I’m Dating A Passive Beta Male. Is His Behavior Normal?

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Hi Evan,

I love your blog and Why He Disappeared. It can be a tough pill to swallow at times, but I appreciate your no-nonsense advice. I’ve had to learn the hard way, that my “go-getter” attitude does not translate well in the dating world. Not doing anything in the beginning stages of dating tends to drive me crazy.

I’ve been dating a beta-male for about a month and a half. He’s a total sweetheart and for the first time in a long time, I feel very safe. He’s kind, attentive and affectionate- when we’re together. He communicates with me daily, mostly through text message, to which I always respond warmly.

Here’s where I’m struggling: I find myself wanting to take over and take control with him sometimes (planning things mostly). I am resisting this urge as I’m trying out your mirroring concept.

My question: We’re texting everyday, but he’ll wait FOREVER, (in actuality, 5-7 days) before asking to see me again. What gives? Is this a downside of dating a typical beta (i.e., no initiative) or is he just not that interested in me? Do I continue to utilize patience or should I move on?

Thanks, Evan!
-Michelle  

Dear Michelle,

Thanks for reading “Why He Disappeared — The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever”. Glad it turned on a few light bulbs in helping you realize how a few of your behaviors have been ineffective in forging a relationship with a man.

But I have to say that if I had to write the whole thing again, I would have taken a few pages to put in a caveat:

This advice doesn’t work for every single woman in every single situation with every single guy. Basically, WHD was written for alpha females who want to date alpha males. It was a way to open your eyes about how the men you’re the MOST attracted to don’t necessarily want to date you in return.

While you’ve adjusted your take-charge attitude, you haven’t adjusted for the fact that you’re NOT dating a take-charge guy.

And in the absence of giving yourself an entire personality-ectomy, the smartest thing you can do is a) be aware of some of your tendencies to dominate and b) find a partner who is cool with them.

You, apparently, have done both of those things, Michelle.   But while you’ve adjusted your take-charge attitude, you haven’t adjusted for the fact that you’re NOT dating a take-charge guy.

Take charge guys are the ones who will always follow up quickly, make plans, make the first move, and claim you as their girlfriends.

Beta guys are the ones who have more kindness than confidence. They’re not nearly as assertive. They’re so passive as to be, well, almost feminine in nature. They are not going to put themselves on the line for rejection until it’s 100% clear that you like them. They would sooner wait to get a written notice in the mail that you’re really, truly interested in them than to follow up too much and potentially make you uncomfortable.

Is any of this hitting home, my friend?

So you’re not wrong to curb a little bit of that domineering side. Where you’ve gone astray is that when you’re with a beta male, you’re ALLOWED to be more alpha. “Doing nothing” as I describe in WHD works with take-charge guys because those guys don’t need you to take charge. Your new guy DOES.

The good news is that, if he’s a true beta, he’ll be THRILLED that you’re taking control.

So instead of extrapolating my advice to apply to every man, make an adjustment based on the man you’re actually dating. The good news is that, if he’s a true beta, he’ll be THRILLED that you’re taking control.

When you’re done reading this, give him a call to find out if he’s around this weekend. You’d like to cook him dinner. I suspect that’s all you’ll need to seduce him into becoming your boyfriend. And if, in fact, he’s just not that into you, you’ll figure that out quickly, too.

For all of the women who are reading this who would not be able to tolerate such behavior from your guy and prefer a take-charge man, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Why He Disappeared”. You’ll be very glad you did.

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Jeremy

    One further thing, since I’ve been stewing over your post since last night, lynx. I’ve written before about my observation that people are quick to describe the faults of their exes – their selfishness, their emotional withholding, their abusiveness – but they are often oblivious to their own faults beyond poor choices and boundaries. But keeping a good man at arm’s length emotionally, losing attraction because he is too giving, yoyoing with a man’s emotions…. This is female assholery, the way in which women display selfish, withholding, abusive behaviour toward their significant others. If he was the one writing in for advice I’d tell him to drop you asap. If you have to convince someone to be attracted to you, the relationship will never be satisfying.

    That’s my advice to him. To you it’s this – you have 3 choices as I see them : 1) break up with this man and avoid relationships because you aren’t ready for one 2) break up with this man and accept the dreck you’re attracted to. 3) grow the F up.

  2. 122
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy,

    If I may ask; “What was it in Lynx’s post that triggered so strongly?

    You don’t come off as passive or beta to me, so I can’t imagine that you experienced this in your marriage. Yet this seems personal (the subject NOT Lynx) and I am curious why?

    Remember that post you had a few weeks ago where you and your wife were watching breaking bad and the wife on the show didn’t want to -I believe- give him a blowjob for his birthday, she rarely did it for him but he often gave her what she wants and he was suppose to understand and accept it… You said that triggered you… very HARD!

    At the time I assumed it was because of the sex issue, but now looking at your response to Lynx (as well as other recent post) I’m thinking it is because the wife on the show saw the husband doing things he didn’t want to make her happy as natural/expected. But saw him wanting something she didn’t want to give as being selfish.

    Again I see that and the connection could be that the male character on the show was a beta in his marriage and Lynx boyfriend is a beta…. But you are not.

    So could it be that you are so triggered by this because you see Lynx as somehow selfish? She takes and he gives?

    If so what about free will?

    She isn’t forcing him to stay, just as the wife on the show wasn’t forcing the husband to stay with her.

    …   …   …

    Just for the record I’m focusing on the subject and NOT YOU… Like Mrs. Happy I love our conversations about human motivation; especially since the vast majority of your personal stories, emotions, and reactions remind me of myself.

    I ask you so many questions because in a way understanding you is like understanding myself. So I’m not looking down on you in NO way.

  3. 123
    Jeremy

    I don’t mind the question, Adrian. When I was learning about psychology to understand what was wrong with my marriage, what I had done wrong to end up where I was, I experienced many disappointments. Many truths about how attraction works that somehow had eluded both myself and the general public. But nothing, and I mean nothing, made me as angry, as frustrated, as DISGUSTED, as the discovery of the psychology of the fitness test (or shit test). The notion that giving a woman what she asks you for can be responsible for a lowering of her attraction to you via a loss of respect. A loss of respect because you did what she asked! That while a man might think that he is doing everything he can to improve his relationship by giving his wife what she wants, what she actually wants is a man to tell her no. A man who isn’t so accommodating. That giving her what she wants won’t strengthen your marriage, nor make you more likely to get what you want, but rather will weaken it and make her less likely to reciprocate for any reason other than guilt. It made me think back to so many times in my marriage when I could see this effect in retrospect.

    Years ago, before we married, my wife had surgery that took months of recovery and pain meds. I stuck with her, did everything I could for her, did everything she asked. And later, years after she had recovered, she reminisced about that time and how nasty she was to me, and she asked me whether there was anything she could have said or done that would have made me break up with her. Its not that she wanted me to have broken up with her, it’s that she would have been more attracted to the sort of man who would have done so. Even though that sort of man would have been a terrible partner to her. This psychology is so toxic! And sooo ubiquitous.

    Is not about alpha or beta or that nonsense. It’s about realizing what makes a good partner and what doesn’t. It’s about tendencies that are both masochistic for the women, and sadistic/abusive for their partners. Biology screws us all, but we can rise above it. Men can overcome our urge to violence and self seclusion. Women can overcome their urge to denigrate the one quality that actually matters in long term relationships, their urge to be assholes to men who are good to them. And if they can’t overcome that urge, they should have the decency to walk from those relationships. Because only they know how they feel.

  4. 124
    Emily, to

    Adrian and Jeremy,

    Adrian asked Jeremy: If I may ask; “What was it in Lynx’s post that triggered so strongly?

    Really? The minute I read Lynx’s post I knew Jeremy would respond. Let’s try something different. Jeremy, tells us a time when you did something out of character. Maybe said no to your wife (and not to the nightly shoulder massages but something bigger). Maybe refused to do something or go somewhere she really wanted you to. Maybe you felt your wants and needs weren’t being heard and you were tired of being compliant with hers.  Because if all of a sudden Lynx’s boyfriend had a strong opinion or want every now and then, she might see him differently.

  5. 125
    Emily, to

    Jeremy,

    That’s my advice to him. To you it’s this – you have 3 choices as I see them : 1) break up with this man and avoid relationships because you aren’t ready for one 2) break up with this man and accept the dreck you’re attracted to. 3) grow the F up.

    Ugh. I just read this after posting my other comment to you and Adrian.  This man may be too passive for her and I agree that she may need to break up with him, but the rest of your response … you’re moving into MGTOW territory. “Oh, she must like assholes because she doesn’t like beta guys.” I had a friend who was with a guy just like the one Lynx described. Super passive. Went along with everything. And then, TEN YEARS into the relationship, he broke it off, telling her he was tired of her dominating everything! When he had never said anything about that before. That’s the problem with someone who’s too passive. They don’t have the backbone to express themselves and could be stewing in resentment for years and you wouldn’t even know it until they finally explode. Or they do passive-aggressive stuff like a child to get back at the partner who is more take-charge. Bad dynamic.

  6. 126
    Jeremy

    Is not about assholes or beta guys, Emily. It’s about specifically losing attraction to guys who do what you ask them. To guys who tolerate the behaviour you show them, knowing it’s bad, testing their reaction.

    And while I could give you examples of times I refused my wife’s requests or didn’t tolerate her behavior, especially after I understood this dynamic, I eventually stopped this behavior because I couldn’t respect myself being so shitty of a spouse, going so against my own values of propriety. Just because someone else behaves badly is not an excuse to behave badly oneself.

    You and lynx and everyone else are obviously free to like whomever you like. But not to treat partners like shit and then blame them.

  7. 127
    Adrian

    Hi Emily,

    You said, “Really? The minute I read Lynx’s post I knew Jeremy would respond.

    Really? What about it told you he would? I was surprised by his response; especially the emotion behind it. I didn’t sense that Lynx was attacking her guy (or men) in anyway…

    You said, “Ugh. I just read this after posting my other comment to you and Adrian.

    Ahhh… Now you understand why I asked him what triggered the strong emotional reaction.

    You said, “I had a friend who was with a guy just like the one Lynx described.

    I was with a girl like this back in my first semester as a freshman in undergrad college. I was constantly blindsided by her explosive outburst because as you said she waited months to bring up  something I did that upset her. I was constantly walking on egg shells.

    I wonder how old Lynx is because now as an adult I could not be with someone like that. At the time this girl seemed so special and unique and I feared I would never find another like her so I tried to stay, but now I realize that:

    1. No one is really unique-there is always another. Maybe instead of ABC they are BAC, but all the letters are still there, just in a different order.

    When Evan says try someone different that is what I think he means. Not date someone who DOESN’T have any qualities you desire but date someone who has EVERYTHING you want but just not exactly like YOU think it should appear.

    2. You have to love yourself more than you love someone else or you will not respect yourself enough to walk away when that person is hurting you. Hell when you are blinded by love your thoughts are so sadly twisted that you think by enduring their mistreatment you are somehow showing/proving your love for them is worth it.

  8. 128
    Emily, to

    Jeremy,
    “It’s about specifically losing attraction to guys who do what you ask them. To guys who tolerate the behavior you show them, knowing it’s bad, testing their reaction.”
    I hope I wouldn’t engage in that type of behavior you described, but I also probably wouldn’t date a man who was as passive as Lynx described her boyfriend. The last guy I spent time with didn’t seem passive at first … but he seemed to share almost EVERY opinion and like/dislike I had. (Obviously he didn’t, he was just trying to please me and it made me uncomfortable.) And I did breakup with him after a few months. I did not drag it out. I hope in the future when I do start dating again that if I wanted to do something and the man didn’t, he would have the backbone and the fortitude to say he didn’t care to. Not because he was testing me or intentionally saying no to prove a point but because he felt free to express his opinion and was ok with the fact that I may like it. Meaning: His need to say what he did and did not want to do (to have an open dialogue about it) was greater than his need to please.

    And men do the same type of behavior you are describing. When I was in my 20s, I was bending over backwards to do what I thought the guy wanted. They either got bored or walked all over me.

  9. 129
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy,

    You said, “The psychology of the fitness test (or shit test).

    I thought this was just something PUA guys made up.

    Would you mind giving me some examples of how women do this”subtly” ? I ask for subtle because I think I would see blatant attempts at this.

    You said, “That giving her what she wants won’t strengthen your marriage, nor make you more likely to get what you want, but rather will weaken it and make her less likely to reciprocate for any reason other than guilt

    Isn’t this just certain types of women?

    Evan would say not all women are like this so just choose better quality women.

    But I think you are saying all women are like this. If so then isn’t Tron and his kind right? Relationships aren’t worth it if you can’t be with someone whom you can just give openly and freely to without them thinking you are weak?

    A few months back I was leaving the grocery store with my toddler niece (6 yrs old) and my little sister. When my niece opened the door it lightly tapped the other guys car (no scratches). He jumped out and got in my face cursing at me and calling me names… My first instinct was to BREAK this guy. I go to the gym regularly so my body is solid, I’m 5’11 and I’m 32. This guy had to be about 55-60 years old, short overweight, with a old man body and a beer belly. I could have stomped that guy without even breaking a sweat.

    But I didn’t, I held down my anger and apologized because I DIDN’T WANT TO GO JAIL. I felt so emasculated in front of my sister and niece-so it was a lose-lose situation. If I knock the guy out I lose, if I don’t do anything I lose.

    To me this is what your story sounds like. If you are nice (balls or no balls) you lose and if you fake it, play games, be mysterious, play hard to get you lose because you are not being true to yourself.

    You said, “Many truths about how attraction works that somehow had eluded both myself and the general public.

    This drives me CRAZY!!! Women say they want one thing but their actions show they want the other. Do you think they consciously realize they are doing this?

    Have you ever read the book Dataclysm? He used the data from over 600,000,000 online daters and the data confirms many things men say about women in regards to dating. Yet women will still fight you saying that they don’t care about _ or _ doesn’t really attract them; all that matters is a good kind heart. It’s like the data of 6 million people is wrong, they are right.

  10. 130
    Emily, to

    Big Adrian,

    Really? What about it told you he would? I was surprised by his response; especially the emotion behind it. I didn’t sense that Lynx was attacking her guy (or men) in anyway…

    Because he has written extensively about the man doing everything the woman wants and the woman losing attraction.

    You have to love yourself more than you love someone else or you will not respect yourself enough to walk away when that person is hurting you. Hell when you are blinded by love your thoughts are so sadly twisted that you think by enduring their mistreatment you are somehow showing/proving your love for them is worth it.

    That’s just it. When you’re in the mindset of proving your worth/trying to prove how much you like them/trying to get them to like you, you start acting like a different person, twisting yourself into whoever you think they want. It’s not a healthy thing to do and the other person doesn’t necessarily like you any more for it.

    I mentioned in my response to Jeremy the last guy I spent time with and him sharing all my opinions. I was specially referring to sex. He liked everything I said I did. C’mon … what’s the likelihood of that? He would have said anything to keep it going, which turned me off. Who was this guy? I didn’t know. He was too busy trying to be somebody else.

  11. 131
    Jeremy

    Emily, there are 3 different scenarios that tend to get conflated:

    1) Man doesn’t like something, but pretends to like it because he likes the woman and is trying to earn her affection.

     

    2) Man does what the woman likes because in this case he doesn’t care about the choice and she seems to.  For example, letting her choose the movie or the restaurant because he’d really be ok with just about anything and has the priority of just spending time together.  He isn’t trying to earn anything, he legitimately doesn’t care about this choice but rather about the company.

     

    3) Man prefers not to do a certain thing, lets his partner know his preferences, but gives in to her anyway after discussion because relationships require compromise.

     

    I’d agree with you (and most women) that Type 1 guy is dangerous – because given time and hedonic adaptation, he will eventually stop pretending, she will discover who he really is and what he really likes, and he might feel entitled to some “earned” payback (which, of course, was never earned because his contracts were all covert).  But type 2 and 3 guys are good relationship partners to whom many women lose attraction for being overly accommodating, and will falsely blame their similarity to type 1 guys as their overt excuse.

    I understand that you once dated a man for whom you bent over backwards and he dumped you anyway.  That’s a shame, and we’ve all had shitty partners/experiences.  But I guarantee you, without ever having met that guy, that he wouldn’t have treated you better nor liked you any more if you had started refusing him and erecting boundaries.  That isn’t a guy thing.

  12. 132
    Jeremy

    Adrian, your questions are so important for any young man seeking marriage.  I wish I’d had the knowledge to even ask the questions you ask at your age.  So please forgive the length of my reply, but I hope it is useful to you and others.

     

    First of all, fitness tests (I prefer that name) are not something PUAs invented.  They are very, very real and they are not limited to women.  Children, for example, do this all the time unwittingly.  Children ask for all sorts of things, and the more you give them the more they ask for – the more outlandish and entitled their requests.   But here’s the thing – children subconsciously respect boundaries.  Give them everything they want and they’ll not only walk all over you, they’ll not respect you.  Refuse them, put up boundaries, give in only occasionally – and they may throw tantrums, may tell you they hate you….but they’ll respect you.  And children need to respect their parents/teachers, need boundaries for their sense of personal security.  You can’t feel secure with someone you don’t respect – they can’t offer you security.  They want what they want when they ask for it, they have no conscious awareness that they’d respect you more for refusing their requests….but they would.

     

    Men don’t seek security from women.  It doesn’t feature at all in our pie-charts.  Which is why men don’t need to respect women to be attracted to them.  We need to respect them to want to marry them and have children with them – you need security from the person who will co-raise your children – but not for simple attraction.  Women though, as we’ve discussed before, very much do need to respect men to be attracted in the long-term.  Not just for love, but for attraction – because security features very, very prominently in their pie-charts.  So they test us to see if we are respect-worthy.  Like the child, they often have no conscious awareness that they’d rather we refuse their requests – when they ask us for something they totally believe they want it, get angry/frustrated when we refuse, but respect us more for doing so – and respect leads to attraction for women.

     

    I once had a girlfriend who would do this overtly – she’d ask for something outrageous, I’d give it to her, and she’d actually tell me that my having done so made her lose respect for me.  But this is the exception, IMHO, as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to avoid women like that.  Far more common IME are women like my own wife – women who’d vehemently deny that they have any element of this in their psyche at all.  Women who invest in their own maturity – who’d tell you (and believe!) that when they ask for something it’s because they want it, who tell you that they want you to express your emotions, who tell you that comfort qualities lead to their arousal.  Adrian, they say it and they believe it, and they are right about themselves enough of the time to have evidence for it….but only if they ignore the disconfirming evidence of all the…other times.

     

    You asked for examples of subtle tests – I can think of so many.  But here’s a salient one, given where we are.  Years ago my wife took issue with the fact that I read and comment on this site.  She felt that it was inappropriate and she asked me not to.  I thought about her request and flat out refused.  Told her that I won’t allow anyone else to dictate what I read, where I go, or what I say.  And when she tried to argue I told her that as far as I was concerned the discussion was over.  She got angry.  She accused me of being uncaring of her opinions.  Of being stubborn, selfish, arrogant.  I didn’t budge.  She raged, she argued, she stormed out…..and she was very affectionate later.  And whether that was because she found my refusal arousing, or whether she was trying to “win me back/over” with her behavior, truth is it doesn’t matter.  What works and what doesn’t?

     

    On the other hand, there were many times when I did capitulate – capitulated for Type 2 and Type 3 reasons I described for Emily above. Similar reasons for why you walked away from confrontation in the parking lot, Adrian, because fighting would only have made things worse.  And that capitulation never, and I do mean NEVER, resulted in greater arousal from my wife, though it did increase her comfort.

     

    Please don’t misunderstand here, Adrian, and think I’m saying that women always (or usually) want to be refused.  They don’t.  We need to distinguish between comfort and arousal.  Giving in to requests increases comfort.  Refusing increases arousal.  A good marriage has more comfort than arousal.  You’ll give in more often than you refuse.  Giving in should be the default state; refusal should be a tool in your back pocket for use when needed.  Not all women need as much refusal to maintain arousal.  Good wives need hardly any at all.  It is possible to choose a woman who likes being treated well, who feels happy and comfortable with you for treating her well….just look out for loss of arousal and realize what it takes to reverse the situation is not more of what you’ve been doing.  Because these women will be happy enough without the arousal, will tell their friends they have great marriages – and believe it, just like they believe all the other things we discussed above.

     

    Adrian, you wrote, “To me this is what your story sounds like. If you are nice (balls or no balls) you lose and if you fake it, play games, be mysterious, play hard to get you lose because you are not being true to yourself.” Be yourself.  If, like me, you respect yourself for treating others well and living according to a code of personal ethics, behave this way and let the chips fall where they may.  If a woman is unattracted to you for being so, dump her with prejudice.  If a woman is attracted to you 95% of the time for being so but requires a little something more for 5%, learn how to give that to her.  Otherwise that 5% will become 50% and you’ll find yourself where I was years ago.  But don’t expect her to be attracted to you 100% of the time, because women’s arousal is highly dichotomous and no man can be both ways.

  13. 133
    Emily, to

    Jeremy,

    I understand that you once dated a man for whom you bent over backwards and he dumped you anyway.  That’s a shame, and we’ve all had shitty partners/experiences.  

    But they weren’t shitty. I was so accommodating, so obviously trying to win their approval, to use your phrase, they lost arousal. Hell, I was turning myself off. They lost interest, which is also what happens when men don’t have some level of balls with the women they’re dating. Isn’t that what this site advocates, to have some level of balls? I have to believe there are “nice guys with balls” out there. Guys who realized they were once too accommodating and moved a little more to the center but not into complete asshole territory.

  14. 134
    Jeremy

    It does not take “balls” to act like a child, to prioritize our own personal selfishness and personal gain. It takes BALLS to act for the greater good, to prioritize the relationship, to put one’s own personal priorities on the backburner to invest in something greater. Mrs Happy once expressed wonder that I was up with my own children most nights when they cried – her personal experience was that most working men did not do so, in spite of what their wives might have wanted. Tell me, Emily, which takes balls – to be the one to wake up or to be the one to refuse? To be the one to prioritize himself, or to be the one to prioritize others?

    The notion that “balls” means the prioritization of personal preferences is such unadulterated bullshit, so masochistically toxic, such an evolutionary short-circuit, that I can hardly believe it. The fact that women specifically seek out that trait…unbelievable. I’m too emotional about this. Should take a breather.

  15. 135
    Lynx

    @Jeremy, @Adrian, @Emily, to: I appreciate the discussion following my post, it is such a help to read how others think. (I practice “Screen-free Sundays” so did not read this until Monday.)

    It might be useful to clarify, for additional context. Both my boyfriend and I are in our mid-50s, both of us were in ~20 year marriages to narcissistic spouses. We were both passive-aggressive in our marriages (I’m not proud of that, just being honest.) Both of our spouses would get loud, angry, tantrumy, threatening when things didn’t go their way. So, @Jeremy, your comment,Whenever I find that healthy food tastes bad, it’s usually because I’ve been eating crap beforehand.” immediately hit home.

    A significant part of our attraction to one another is because we are both calm, rational, communicative people who are self-reflective, open to admitting our role in a problem, and open to shifting if it makes sense. (Another shoutout to @Jeremy, point well taken about the options you suggest — I agree this is a me problem.)

    It is not like I have asked him to jump through a bunch of hoops — I am loathe to do that. Over our years of dating, I have explicitly asked him to make just one significant change (a pet-related housebreaking issue) and it literally took years for me to speak up. I don’t believe one should ask others to change. So, it is not a situation where I asked him to do X, Y and Z, he did it, then I lost attraction.

    Here is my concern: If we live together, I will be responsible for EVERYTHING. If a bulb burns out, I will replace it; if money needs investing, I will research it; if a dog needs grooming, I will make the appointment; if a faucet leaks, I will fix it. I will decide any novel restaurants we go to, any novel activities we do, any novel vacations. He is very bright, and in that absent-minded professor way where he does not see these things need doing, and procrastinates mightily when it does finally sink in (and he acknowledges this). I have raised two children and am grateful I no longer have to tell them what to all the time — I don’t want to go back there.

    The irony of my situation isn’t lost on me, because I have no doubt my ex felt the same way about me. Perhaps I am simply reaping what I’ve sown.

  16. 136
    Emily, to

    Hi Lynx, 

    “If we live together, I will be responsible for EVERYTHING. If a bulb burns out, I will replace it; if money needs investing, I will research it; if a dog needs grooming, I will make the appointment; if a faucet leaks, I will fix it. I will decide any novel restaurants we go to, any novel activities we do, any novel vacations.  … I have raised two children and am grateful I no longer have to tell them what to all the time — I don’t want to go back there.”

    Thanks for weighing in, and you hit the nail on the head in terms of the biggest issue with a passive man: You have to do everything. For some women, that gets tiring and they start to resent having to take on that role.

  17. 137
    Emily, to

    Jeremy,

    Tell me, Emily, which takes balls – to be the one to wake up or to be the one to refuse? To be the one to prioritize himself, or to be the one to prioritize others?

    Obviously, when you have children, both parents have to compromise and sacrifice personal preferences for the sake of the greater good of the family. We’re talking at cross purposes here because I don’t want children and don’t plan on being with someone who has them. You’re writing about examples that are a lot more serious in nature than mine. Once I get out of my current work predicament and move, I’ll be looking for someone who really turns me on. So someone “having some balls” is right up my alley because passive doesn’t do much for me. Of course, down the road, if I get serious, I’ll have to consider all the factors. What this site advocates to look for …. kindness, consistency, character, etc.

  18. 138
    S.

    @ Emily, to

    I’ll have to consider all the factors. What this site advocates to look for …. kindness, consistency, character, etc.

    You don’t want that right now? I can’t imagine not having kindness at the center of even my most superficial relationships. The mail carrier spoke sharply to me once and it changed my view of her completely, lol!

    I agree that is the crux about passive men. I wish they’d speak out about why a woman has to do EVERYTHING. Or why they need so much support to do the simplest things. But alas, they might be too shy to chime in.

    That said, I’d still make that compromise for kindness any time of the day or week. In a heartbeat. Yeah, there are guys in the middle but they are rare and usually taken which is fair enough, I guess.

  19. 139
    Jeremy

    Thanks for your reply, Lynx, and truly I don’t mean to pick on you.  I remember very well your past descriptions of your marriage, of your ex, and of your experiences while married.  Which is why I found your post here so vexing.

     

    In order for any relationship to have a future, 3 things must be present: Chemistry, Compatibility, and Friendship.  Without any one of these 3 legs, the tripod of the relationship will collapse.  Your initial post here made it sound like the missing factor was the chemistry – you were turned off by his passive behavior.  Your second post makes it sound like compatibility is the missing factor – you worry that in your future together the power balance will be all askew because you will be stuck doing everything.  So which is it?  And let’s not take the easy way out and say both.  Let’s be real and determine which is the reason and which is the post-hoc justification.

     

    Many, many women complain about uneven power dynamics in their marriages, about being stuck doing too much of the work.  Sometimes the complaints are because they are legitimately doing way more than 50% of all the total work.  But sometimes they’re complaining because they don’t WANT to be doing what they’re doing.  Not because the total workload is unfair, but because they specifically don’t want to be doing WHAT they’re doing, or (so commonly) don’t want to be doing it for the PERSON they’re doing it for.  Don’t feel that there’s enough in it for them in return.

     

    During my marital troubles, my wife would refuse sex due to a complaint of headache.  But she’d run a marathon after a night of intense stomach pain and zero sleep.  She’d do an intense morning workout (called “tread-sanity”) while she had fever and body aches of strep throat.  I came to understand something about her, and about most people really – we’d move heaven and earth to do the things we WANT to do.  And we’d find any excuse we can to avoid doing what we don’t want to do.  When someone doesn’t do something, it’s most often because they don’t want to.  They might be embarrassed for not wanting to, their desires may conflict with their “shoulds” and they may invent excuses to save face….but the problem is the wants, not the shoulds.

  20. 140
    Emily, to

    S.,
    You don’t want that right now? I can’t imagine not having kindness at the center of even my most superficial relationships. 
    No. Once start to consider other qualities other than attraction, attraction begins to decrease. It has to. You’re weighing it against everything else. This isn’t to say it’s non-existent, but as this site advocates, it’s not rocket high.
    I agree that is the crux about passive men. I wish they’d speak out about why a woman has to do EVERYTHING. Or why they need so much support to do the simplest things. But alas, they might be too shy to chime in.
    I’m probably overly sensitive to the passive thing but my father is passive and he bungles even the simplest tasks, so you just learn to do it yourself.

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