Is It Normal For Guys to Recycle Romantic Lines to Every Girlfriend?

Is It Normal For Guys to Recycle Romantic Lines to Every Girlfriend

Today I was helping my boyfriend of 3 years move some stuff out of his old house and into his new one, and I was in charge of this massive pile of junk that needed to be sorted into what to keep and what to throw out. Since we differ on what we think is trash (I would’ve thrown most of the paper stuff away that he wanted to keep) I ended up having to look at through each item and ask him if he wanted it thrown away or not. I stumbled across old journal entries he had written about his exes and old notes he kept from his exes. I admit I was bad and ended up reading them instead of just glancing at them and asking if he wanted to keep them, but my curiosity got the better of me on this one. Now, I’m not mad that he kept them (not too mad anyways) seeing as he probably just forgot that he had them. What bothered me was that I noticed, 1. Everything romantic he’s said to me were things that he had said about all his exes as well, i.e., each of us conformed to his body so perfectly, like we were made to fit in his arms. (Kinda takes the magic and thoughtfulness out of the statement if he’s said it to everyone.) And 2. I’m not the first person he has seriously talked about marriage to. Talking about marriage isn’t bad, but he wanted every girlfriend he ever had to be his wife. Seemed a little extreme to me.

So what I’m wondering is, is it just a guy thing to “reuse” romantic sayings so often like that? Does it not occur to a guy that that might be a just a little bit…scuzzy? (Can’t think of a better word right now.)

Also, if he’s wanted to marry EVERY girlfriend he’s ever had, could that be a kinda of red flag regarding whether he ACTUALLY wants to marry because he loves me, or just wants someone to be with because of insecurity and being scared of being alone?

Your input is greatly valued.

I love questions like this, although most women rarely enjoy my answers. 🙂

My calculus as a dating coach is really quite simple. When you complain about a man’s behavior, I ask myself, “Would I do that? And if so, how would I be able to explain it?” Given that I am an educated, ethical, sensitive, monogamous, married man who exalts his wife and prioritizes his family, I have to think there are some other guys like me out there who may be similarly misunderstood.

Instead of making him wrong, how about you attempt to understand how this could have happened.

But before I go defending your boyfriend, I want to try a different tack, Heather: try switching the roles in your letter. Your boyfriend writes to me. After three years together, he was helping you move and found a pile of junk. He happened to look through your junk and happened to “stumble” on a series of open pages that show that not only do you have a bunch of ex-boyfriend memorabilia, but, sure enough, you used some of the same catchphrases in correspondence with said ex-boyfriends. What does it all mean?

Well, if you did that really quickly, you’d probably realize:

    1. If you’ve been his girlfriend for three years and are helping him move, he probably has a LOT more invested in you than he does this box of memories.

    2. It’s not very cool for your boyfriend to snoop on your private stuff.

    3. It’s definitely not very cool for him to read your private stuff in detail.

    4. It’s completely unacceptable for him to pick a fight about something he shouldn’t have been reading based on his own insecurity.

In other words, the best way to avoid conflict, in general, is empathy. Instead of making him wrong, how about you attempt to understand how this could have happened. This is where I will insert myself.

I have a box in my office closet with virtually every letter I’ve ever received (including love letters). Yeah, I’m nostalgic. Yeah, I’m a hoarder. But really, what I am is a writer. I like to save my memories, even if I never know when I’m going to dredge them up again. I have a folder in my email with all my online dating correspondence. I have a Word document with a list of everyone I’ve kissed. My wife knows all of this and is not threatened by it. Why should she be? She’s my WIFE.

As far as the actual phraseology that he used in his letters, I think you’re being willfully blind about the nature of passion and the “in love” feeling. Put it this way, I probably said more over-the-top romantic things to my girlfriend at age 16 than I ever have to my wife. That doesn’t diminish my current relationship; it just means that when you’re an insecure, lustful, inexperience bundle of emotions who is in love for the first time, you’re probably going to lay it on very thick.

And, in fact, every time you feel that “in love” feeling (which always seems to end or disappoint) you’re going to lay it on thick again.

You’re not dating a guy who is going to spend an excess amount of time trying to reinvent his catchphrases on your behalf — particularly because you should have no right to know what he said to women in his past.

And, just as certain novelists have repetitive phrasing (See E.L. James in 50 Shades of Grey: “Oh crap” or “My inner goddess”), doesn’t it stand to reason that men might return to the same verbiage when they’re in the midst of a potentially life-changing relationship? Doesn’t it stand to reason that, in that moment, he’ll also want to talk about marriage? Doesn’t it stand to reason that he’ll still trot out the same moves in bed that worked for the last girlfriend?

So, let’s not be too precious here.

You’re not dating a blank slate. You’re not dating a virgin. You’re not dating a guy who is going to spend an excess amount of time trying to reinvent his catchphrases on your behalf — particularly because you should have no right to know what he said to women in his past.

In short, this is much ado about nothing. If I were you, I’d let it go without a mention, because if anyone has a right to get angry, it’s your boyfriend, for having a girlfriend who reads his private journals.

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  1. 1

    Evan, you haven’t even mentioned that after THREE years, she is helping HIM move. As in, he is living on his own after three years. Don’t you normally say things should have progressed by now? If I was her, I’d be way more concerned about the obvious lack of progress here. I think that’s a huge red flag.

    1. 1.1

      Talking marriage isn’t progress?

      1. 1.1.1
        I love emk

        He spoke to his previous girlfriends (who is no longer with) about marriage too. So no “talking” about marriage isn’t progress, proposing with a ring is.



    2. 1.2

      I take your point, Julie. But whether or not things are progressing in their relationship is a separate issue than what caused the the writer to contact Evan.

      I also think that “progress” in a relationship is relative. There is no one-size-fits all in dating timelines. For some people, three years and no wedding would be a cause for alarm. For others, three years and they’re just now moving in together means things are moving along at a steady clip. It works for them if it works for them. Who are you to judge?

      1. 1.2.1

        But they are not moving in together. He was moving alone. That’s what I said was a big red flag-didn’t you read either Evan’s post or mine correctly?

        1. Callie

          Well I’m at the three year mark with my relationship with no plans on moving in with my BF any time soon. And I wouldn’t say we aren’t moving forward in a healthy productive way. In fact I think we’ve never been better.   I don’t think you can judge how much their relationship is or isn’t moving forward by making such sweeping generalisations of where one ought to be by a certain time. One could argue that the fact that he’s moving out of his parents’ place to one of his own is actually a huge step forward, for both of them.

          All relationships move at their own pace and have their own personal benchmarks.

        2. Christine

          Callie, good for you.   The people who can judge what’s appropriate for a relationship are the two people who are actually in it.   As long as both parties are on the same page and comfortable, I think that’s all good–regardless of whether that would be my own personal preference or not.

        3. Anita

          I read your post, Julie. And Evan’s. I wouldn’t have commented on them if I hadn’t read both of them first. So spare me, please, your catty remark.

          It doesn’t matter whether their not moving in together is a red flag… to you. It may not be a red flag to THEM.

          There still are people out there who WON’T live together before marriage. That’s their right.

          There are some people out there that CAN’T live together before marriage. That’s their life.

          There are also some other very legitimate reasons why, three years into a relationship, people still don’t live together, even if marriage is their end goal. Why are you so hung up on the fact that these people might fall into that category? Not living together isn’t exactly a moral failing, Julie.

          Again, who are you to judge? Even though a lot of people would agree (myself included) that living together before marriage is a good thing, that’s not carved in stone.

          Why say that’s a red flag when to them it may not be at all? Especially when there’s so much that you don’t know about their particular situation?



      2. 1.2.2
        I love emk

        You are right.


        It could also be an age thing


        At 22 when my husband proposed, I was shocked and not ready despite being together for 8 years.

        If I was over 28 years of age, I wouldn’t wait more than a year before moving on. If a man doesn’t know what he wants in his late 20’s, he’s going to be a late bloomer and aint no quality woman got time for that.

    3. 1.3
      I love emk

      I agree with you Julie especially if she’s in her late 20’s.

      However, I think she’s being a bit princessey to even concern herself with words.

      It would be interesting if he got his hands on her journal because in it there would be a paragraph about her thinking about the size of her ex boyfriends member while her current boyfriend banged her.

      Lets not pretend we are the perfect gender and these men are oh so awful to use the same language from one girl to another. Of course he’s going to use the same language, he’s not a novelist, he’s a regular guy who only uses a smidgen of the dictionary – I think they say men use about 2000 words per day compared to us women at 10,000 words per day.

  2. 2

    I think I read this differently. Ok, she read his love letters. If he would be bothered by this, he wouldn’t have had her sorting it.   Having her sort his love letters and momentos, that rather puts his past words in her face, with his knowledge.

    But, if my present bf says the exact same things to me, word for word, that he said to every other girl, I’m wondering “so, basically every girl he gets next to fits perfectly, and he wants them all to be his wife?”   And, after me, there will be another who fits perfectly. So, how important am I?

    I see the red flag.   And, after 3 years, there is no progression towards more seriousness? He is moving into another place on his own.

    I think you possibly missed a few areas to comment.

    1. 2.1


      I don’t know if her boyfriend would be bothered about her reading his old love letters or not (I personally wouldn’t), but he may be bothered by her reaction toward him and the relationship after reading the letters (most people, male or female, would be).


      Most likely her boyfriend forgot that those old letters were there, like you and I both would forget something that we have not had reason to think about for over 3 years.


      If anything, her attitude about something that I have not thought about for so long would be the true red flag.



  3. 3

    I would ask the OP and other women here whether they recycle their romantic lines to new BF’s.   Sometimes I do recycle and sometimes I don’t depending on how she inspires me.   When I do recycle, it’s because that’s me and who I am and how I think.   Sometimes when I do recycle, I think of previous partners but that’s how our brains work (I think).   What’s important is that I choose to be with you.

    On the other hand, if I found those old letters and heard the recycled lines, I’d feel pretty un-special.    I was in that situation in the past and it does feel really awful and I wondered if she was thinking about me or the previous guy.   Actually,  I know she was thinking about him.   It was awful.

  4. 4

    Julie and Cara,

    So Heather writes in to Evan about subject A, and you two are condemning him for not discussing subject B? Though she herself never mentioned being concerned about the latter… Got it!


    Though I am curious?

    Since you both  think  that  where Heather and her boyfriend are in their relationship  after 3 years is a problem, could  you show me where Heather mentioned in the letter that it was her boyfriend’s idea not to be living together or married by now, and not Heather’s?


    Sometimes women don’t want to be married  within 3 years, or can’t be married within a certain time schedule because of outside circumstances in their lives. It is not always the boyfriends fault; it is not always a red flag about him.


    Was this just a case of projecting? Was it a case of assuming all women are on the same time schedule in a relationship? Or is it just that you think all men are guilty automatically?

    1. 4.1


      For what it’s worth, I had the same thoughts as you about their responses, and I’m a female.

    2. 4.2

      gotta co-sign this one

    3. 4.3


      Thinking the same here.   The OP didn’t write to Evan about being in a 3 year relationship that she didn’t think was progressing.

  5. 5

    I found myself in a similar situation when I helped my boyfriend move a few months ago. He put me in charge of sorting through his home office and bedroom which included photos, cards, gifts, and other sentimental items. I both loved and hated the assignment.

    I’m self-aware enough to know my curiosity might get the best of me. “Who is this cute girl in this photo with his arm around her?  Why did he keep this Valentine?  Who gave him this teddy bear blowing kisses?” This is the part of the assignment  I hated…I recognized my insecurity in the moment. Ouch.

    As for the part I loved? His trust in me to access some his personal possessions and allowing me to decide what to do with them.

    I  chose not to read the cards. I didn’t ask who gave the gifts. And I stacked all the photos together  for him to look through if he felt the need.  I decided to focus on  what  is good between my  boyfriend and I instead of  focusing (or imagining) what his relationships must’ve been like before. If I hadn’t been reading Evan’s blog, I don’t know that I would have made these same choices in the moment. Thank you, Evan.

    Heather, I hope you can put what you learned from your boyfriend’s journals in the past. Because that’s exactly what it is:  history. You are his ‘now’. And he trusts you enough to have given  you permission to look through his personal belongings. Without hesitation. Perhaps his faith and trust in you is worthy of forgiving his uber-romanticisms with his exes.

  6. 6

    I’m in my 50’s, I recycle everything from what I may say to a woman(obviously everything doesn’t fit every woman so I adapt accordingly) to actual dates and places I’ve gone, things we do etc…. to certain music playlists when we’re being romantic. Sorry ladies we can’t conjure up new material for every single one of   you… Like Evan I do keep notes on certain things like date ideas, restaurant locations on my computer   but not in a shoe box in my closet where it can be found easily like my porn collection. 😉

    1. 6.1
      Emily, the original


      I could handle the recycling of the romantic talk or, as you wrote, date ideas and restaurant locations. Maybe even a reused pet name.

      I would, however, be bothered that he “wanted every girlfriend he ever had to be his wife.” That’s a direct quote from her Heather’s letter.   How many girlfriends have there been? It’s strange that every one of them was serious enough and special enough to him that he spoke of marriage to each and every one. Are women interchangeable to him? Do individual women not inspire him … well, individually?

      1. 6.1.1

        wanted every girlfriend he ever had to be his wife.” ???

        You’re right! I didn’t really catch that. That’s ridiculous. No intelligent man would ever say such nonsense to every woman. I’m wondering how old the OP and her man is?

        1. Emily, the original


          In their twenties?

      2. 6.1.2

        Some people (who want to get married) date in order to rule people in as candidates for  marriage; some people date to rule people out.   Perhaps the LW’s BF is the type to rule people out.   By which I mean, he enters a relationship with the viewpoint of  “I could marry this woman,” or “I want to marry this  woman,” and in the dating process he decides she won’t do, then breaks up with her.   As opposed to going into the relationship with the viewpoint of  “I don’t know if I want to marry this woman.”

      3. 6.1.3
        I love emk


        He is the gatekeeper of commitment and if he gave that up to every Tina, Denise and Harriot, it’s no different to how a man views a woman who gives up sex to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

    2. 6.2

      That’s funny !

  7. 7

    Good response Evan. Switch it up and make her see it from another point of view. how many women would kill for guy who writes and says such things,  even if they are recycled.  perspective is a good thing.

    But the word doc every girl you’ve kissed is a little weird. not saying I’d dump you or another guy over this at all. it’s weird though. But we all do weird shit.


    1. 7.1
      Karl S

      I don’t keep a record of everyone I’ve kissed, but I keep a little slip of paper with the names of everyone I’ve slept with. I don’t want to forget who any of them were. Even the so-so one night stands meant something, so I can relate to Evan on that. I kind of wish I’d recorded every kiss now too. It would be interesting to look back on it after many many years to see if every name still conjured up a face or a place in time.

      1. 7.1.1

        I would bet women don’t do that because we usually want to round our numbers down. 😀

        Boyfriends, that’s different story. i don’t keep a list but I still remember certain things, like when I hear a U2 song I remember the boyfriend who loved U2, when I go to an Italian restaurant I remember the boyfriend who liked to make pasta from scratch. It’s not longing or missing them, more like good memories of something that eventually went wrong. there’s a reason why I’m not with them anymore.

        1. Emily, the original


          I don’t necessarily want to round my numbers down, but I have no interest in remembering all of them. What’s strange is that some who seemed to be so important at the time — I was devastated when it was over — barely register a blip on my radar screen years later. Only a few made a dent in the big picture.


        2. lilly

          Emily, I just meant that I’ve never known a woman to look at her number as bragging rights like men are more prone do.

  8. 8

    I guess it’s kind of similar to men using moves he used in the bedroom from other women with you would you mind that?   I would not if they worked!   But maybe if it was right in my face it would bother me a bit just picturing it.   So she should. It have read it.   It would be one thing if he had said you are the only girl I ever wanted to marry or you are the only girl I did X but he did not.   As far as concerns that he told every girl he wanted to marry him being a red flag that depends are we talking about 15 women or 3 and how old is the guy? How long did he date them for? How old was he when he said it?   I mean you can’t knock a high school or college guy for puppy love! If they were all serious long term relationships and we are not talking large volumes of women then all you have is a man that wanted to get married and always has.   He’s committed and expresses his feelings that’s the man you love.   Nothing has changed about him or your relationship.   He had the same past the day before you read these things as he does now you just chose to snoop and put his past right in your face.   We all have a past.   When you chose to look at something that is private you need to be prepared to accept the consequences.   I’m a huge proponent of snooping when it’s deserved and needed. Meaning sometimes a partner knows deep down that the other is cheating but needs to see hard evidence to leave so snoop away.   But here your partner did not warrant this.   Sure thus stings but again he feels no different today about you than he did yesterday.

  9. 9
    Karl S

    I work as a waiter for weddings. I hear a lot of wedding speeches and let me tell you, when it comes to people expressing what they love about their partners, most of them sounds pretty much interchangeable. Few people are writers or poets, so when they need to articulate an emotion, they use the same hackneyed lines that seep into their brains from popular culture or Hallmark cards. Kinda like how most people sound exactly the same when they try to write online dating profiles.

    When I read something like “each of us conformed to his body so perfectly, like we were made to fit in his arms.” It sounds like I’ve heard it a million times over.

    I’m not the first person he has seriously talked about marriage to. Talking about marriage isn’t bad, but he wanted every girlfriend he ever had to be his wife. Seemed a little extreme to me.

    That’s the only potential red flag I would agree with. However, if you’re still dating him after three years he must seem pretty normal in his day-to-day behavior. Maybe he only wrote that stuff when he was feeling particularly fanciful about happily-ever-afters.

    1. 9.1

      Karl S,

      I agree with everything you wrote 100%.


      Your comment reminded me of the scene from the beginning of the movie Wedding Crashers.


      Most people only date a few people, or marry a few times, so everything sounds original to them, but the characters in the movie had been to so many weddings, that they knew what romantic speech the bride or groom would say before their partner did.

      …    …    …

      On a personal note, when I was about 16, I was at a bookstore, and I saw a young woman sitting on the floor copying the words out of a book. Later, I went back and read the title, it was called The Most Romantic Wedding Vows.


      I remember feeling disgusted with the girl and thinking, I feel sorry for her poor fiance since he was about to marry a girl who doesn’t love him enough to even try to think of anything original to say about how she loves him.


      Ah, to be young naive, and full of unrealistic ideals. Of course now, I realize that though I would love for my future wife to invent every romantic sentence just for me, the reality is that they are just words, it is her actions that really count.


      But I still wouldn’t want to know that she copied them! (^_^)

    2. 9.2

      Lol. How many times have you heard the best man give the “i couldn’t be happier you found a new best friend” speech. Or the one where he says “all the girls who still have keys to his place give them up” and 20 women in the room come up and drop their keys in a jar and we are all supposed to laugh like we haven’t seen that one 5 times before.

      I wrote an original speech for one my best friends when I was her bridesmaid 12 years ago and let me tell you people still mention it because it’s so rare that someone does an original speech. In fact she’s divorced now — the sentiment of the speech outlasted their marriage. 🙁

      1. 9.2.1

        When I was her maid of honor, not bridesmaid 😙

      2. 9.2.2
        Karl S

        Or the one where he says “all the girls who still have keys to his place give them up” and 20 women in the room come up and drop their keys in a jar and we are all supposed to laugh like we haven’t seen that one 5 times before.

        I actually haven’t seen that particular one before (and I’ve seen hundreds of weddings). That’s quite funny.

        Mostly it’s the lines like “Love is not finding someone to live with. It’s finding someone you can’t live without.” etc. The kind of stuff you find on google.

        1. Lilly

          the first one on the list 🙂

  10. 10
    Heather K

    How disturbing any of this is really depends on how old these people are…   It’s kind of hard to put it in context without an age/stage in life.

  11. 11

    This is a bit funny. When things were falling apart with my ex, I went through his email archive (wasn’t snooping around, but the back story is not important here..). Anyway, I found his emails to his previous girlfriend from the period when the two of them were breaking up, and some of that stuff was verbatim what he was also saying to me in the middle of our fights. I think some people have this inner monologue that keeps going in all of their relationships and becomes things they actually say. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  12. 12

    I have a feeling this post could easily be the companion to the post about the girlfriend who was insecure because the boyfriend did not think she was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.


    Except here, the girlfriend is insecure because all his sweet words were not originally inspired by her. Maybe she cares more about originality than how sincere he was when he said them to her.


    Though, I am curious… how many different, new, unique, and unheard of ways can you tell a person that they are beautiful or that you love them, or that they are special?


    And was the boyfriend wrong for telling each girl what he liked? Should he start dating women who don’t have what he is looking for? Or better yet, should he not tell every girlfriend he has, what it is about her that he is attracted to???


    I think the core issue is that Heather wants (like all of us) to feel special and unique in the eyes of the person she loves. That is not a bad thing, but it is not worth ruining a good relationship over.

    …    …    …

    KK, and Lily,

    I am glad that you both agree with me, I always fear that my comments may come off as if I think I know it all or as if I am belittling the opinions of others, which I NEVER am!


    I don’t personally believe that Cara or Julie were trying to be snarky toward Evan, maybe it’s just that dating someone for 3 years without a ring or living together is too long for them as Anita suggested. Each person has their own timeline.

    …    …    …

    Emily, and JB,

    If every woman I date, I date with the purpose of marriage being the possible final outcome if we get to that stage; then why would it be weird if I talked to each women I seriously dated   about marriage?


    I can not speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, every time I was in love, I saw myself marrying that woman; and once we dated long enough, we discussed marriage. Maybe not specifically marrying each other, but we both needed to know if that person was dating for fun, or for sex, for a long term live-in companion, or for marriage.


    Go read any of the post Evan did on following chemistry and “just knowing this person is the one,” yet, every time, they weren’t. In other words, most people have fallen in love more than once with someone and each time, they saw forever with all those people; most people in love talk about long-term goals together.


    To me personally, a bigger red flag (though I don’t like that term), would be if this guy had a string of serious relationships, dated them for years, yet never spoke of marrying any of those women. Why was he dating them than? Just for fun? For sex? Just to have someone next to him in bed at night? Most people date with the intent of vetting the person as a long-term partner candidate.

    1. 12.1
      Emily, the original


      “Then why would it be weird if I talked to each women I seriously dated   about marriage?”

      If you are talking about marriage in the abstract, no, it isn’t an issue. You really like someone and could maybe see a future with her and want to let her know that someday you’d like to get married.

      However, if your discussion is specific to the woman you are dating and you have had the conversation many times, that raises a red flag. You aren’t going to have that kind of deep connection that could lead to marriage with very many people. If you do, it speaks to a lack of discretion in partner selection, which isn’t appealing.

      Do you ever read the blog Hooking Up Smart? Susana Walsh, the woman who runs it, wrote a comment on her latest post that sums up what I am saying perfectly: “The most desirable man is one who *could* have a lot of partners, but is very selective and refrains.”

      1. 12.1.1


        Great point!

        This is why I really like what you mentioned about the possibility that her boyfriend was young.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened more with a early 20 something boy or girl. They would have a serious talk with every partner.


        I have had women tell me the exact same thing as Ms or Mrs Walsh. From my understanding it all went back to feeling unique and special; so maybe insecurities? If this guy would date or pick any girl, then why should she feel special; if he is very picky, then that means that you are special.

        …    …    …

        Would your answer be different if you discovered that the boyfriend was in his late 30s or 40s,   but the letters were written when he was in his 20s? Heather did not mention how old the letters were, or would you still consider it a red flag?

        1. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original #12.1
          “Do you ever read the blog Hooking Up Smart? Susana Walsh, the woman who runs it, wrote a comment on her latest post that sums up what I am saying perfectly: “The most desirable man is one who *could* have a lot of partners, but is very selective and refrains.”
          @ Adrian #12.1.1
          “I have had women tell me the exact same thing as Ms or Mrs Walsh. From my understanding it all went back to feeling unique and special; so maybe insecurities? If this guy would date or pick any girl, then why should she feel special; if he is very picky, then that means that you are special.”
          I’m going to be a bit more cynical than both of you about Ms. Walsh’s motives: I think she’s just doing a bit of classic slut-shaming — but in this case against male sexuality. It’s very un-PC these days to judge anyone for indulging in casual sex, so rather than “judging” guys who sleep around, Ms. Susan Walsh simply implicitly calls them less “desirable”. Same thing though. When guys label women who indulge in casual sex as “less desirable” they are routinely lambasted; both here and other blogs. And rightly so, in my opinion.
          So why does she want to slut-shame men? Well I guess it’s no different as to the reason why men traditionally slut-shamed women: she’s trying to control their behavior. By shaming guys who sleep around, she hopes to prevent them having off-spring with various different baby mamas and be more judicious in investing their genes and resources into the more “desirable” women (who behave like Ms. Walsh of course!).
          Notwithstanding my cynical take on Ms Walsh’s motives I do think both of you have a point regarding feeling special in the eyes of the person you’re dating. I guess no-one wants to feel that they’re just the next person in a long line, as then we’ll always be wondering when they’re going to say: “next”. Lol.

        2. Emily, the original


          “The most desirable man is one who *could* have a lot of partners, but is very selective and refrains.”

          The above statement is not slut-shaming. A man who has options is probably desirable in general, but a man who refrains from taking every option is also confident. He doesn’t need the validation of tons of women to know he is attractive. He isn’t desperate for attention. He has discretion. He is selective. He has some self-control. He doesn’t just grab the first woman who is nice to him. That’s what makes him appealing.

        3. Emily, the original


          As other commenters have noted, we need more context. How old are Heather and her boyfriend? How many women has he loved enough to marry? I mean, there are some people who seem to get engaged to every serious partner they have. It becomes something of a running joke because he/she is always engaged but never married.

    2. 12.2

      This is right on point Adrian.

      “Id tell you you’re beautiful but I already told my last girlfriend that. Hold on a sec … Lemme get the thesaurus.” Lol

      I get that many women particularly those who want kids don’t have years to throw away. If you’re watching the clock 3 years is a long time to lose with no proposal. But forever is a lot longer to be with the wrong person and divorce sucks.

  13. 13

    “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me”
    “I love you!”
    “I can’t imagine myself without you”
    ,…. ………………………..
    etc put your favourite quote there.

    Truth is there are only so many verbal ways of expressing love. Heck , even church vows( for those who couldn’t be bothered to write their own) are a couple of phrases read out to EVERY couple from a book without ever changing anything.

    Now I do understand that there are people who treasure words that much, and those words define the destiny of their relationships….but again like Adrian mentioned, actions are always going to speak louder each time.

    In my humble opinion, I don’t even see any red flag here. I didn’t even hear Heather say her boyfriend is STILL in touch with these women. So it may as well be that she is sweating the small stuff – pretty much what Evan pointed out.
    lastly, men know that ‘you shouldn’t change a winning formula. if a certain line or action worked for me in the past, I’ll surely continue to use it for the same effect.
    Dating is exhausting as it were already, but sitting down to coin new phrases every time, oh please. Its 2016 and we are still quoting William Shakespeare. so go figure.

  14. 14

    I think she feels unspecial because of this, but truthfully I think this is something that needs to be gotten over. Maybe, just maybe, when he said all of those things he MEANT them. Maybe this is how he expresses himself. He seemed like he genuinely loved his past ladies, and that is something to be celebrated. We all want to feel unique. Like the ONE. Like our SO is supposed to feel things they’ve never felt for anyone else and never having found anyone like us. That’s unrealistic. We’re unique, but also… Not. In most ways we’re all pretty much alike. My boyfriend was telling me about the best day in his life… That he  shared with an ex. He was speaking so wistfully about it. I knew then that he loved her. And that’s great. Maybe if circumstances were different and our roles were switched he’d end up marrying her!

    That doesn’t mean he can’t love me just as much and he probably does reuse some lines! And he wouldn’t be who he is without having loved her. She sounds wonderful and he learned a lot from dating her (like how not to be an asshole during arguments- his own words. My gain, really!). Likewise Heather’s boyfriend could well have wanted to sincerely marry each and every one of them. I personally think that’s a plus. I like a guy who can sincerely love in  every relationship. But she’s the past now, and I’m the present. There’s no sense competing with a ghost. We’re all unique, and we’re all not. I’m not “the one”. He probably has had a couple of those but somehow they never worked out. In fact if we’d met when we were younger, when we were both sixteen (impossible, because he’s much older than me) we’d probably have gotten on each other’s nerves! I could have ended up being that one special ex girlfriend. Except I met him last year and we’re both a lot more mature and here we are. So don’t hold your SO’s past against them, and don’t blame them for having loved. you’re special but there’s nothing to say they can’t be, and that shouldn’t be threatening. You probably owe your wonderful SO to them more than you know.

    1. 14.1


      I loved your comment!

      You sound so confident in yourself, which always helps minimize petty misunderstandings.

      Like you, I don’t see any red flags in wanting to marry everyone that you truly loved at the time.

      “There is no new thing under the sun,” as the saying goes. Just because I am not unique, does not mean that I can’t be made to feel special by my partner.

      …    …    …

      Why do you think people who are confident in all aspects of their lives, are so insecure in new relationships or with dating in general?

      1. 14.1.1

        “Why do you think people who are confident in all aspects of their lives, are so insecure in new relationships or with dating in general?”

        I think this is a huge question. Some ideas I have are not so PC. But I would say that women are socialized not to be too sure of themselves. In fact if you have read some feminine sociology books (about how women fight with each other, for instance- not with fists!) bravado and showing off are discouraged in women- women communities  are less hierarchical and more egalitarian, but that also means explicitly affirming one’s own value and superiority- in any way, is highly taboo. Not to say, of course, that these things are the same as confidence but they’re related concepts. Women are socialized to not just behave, but to think humbly and this can be taken too far. We are not used to saying to ourselves: “I’m very intelligent” or “I’m capable” or “I have high value”. We are socialized to cooperate, not compete (as more men are). And cooperation usually doesn’t mean tooting our own horns.

        Sure, everyone is a bit insecure in new relationships- after all the relationship itself is not secure. We don’t know the person well enough to discern what they want from us. But for confident people, as soon as they reach that stage where they can say: “I think this person is for real. I’m awesome so there’s no reason to think they’ll leave me” they’re  just stop fretting about it. But for some women (and men!) who do not realize their value, they will not reach a stage where they  say: “I’m awesome, so it doesn’t threaten me that other people are awesome because my partner loves me and I’m enough.”

        I think everyone should be able to affirm their own value. Sadly this is not the case.

    2. 14.2



      You are so right that just because a current partner had previous partners they felt love for that this somehow diminishes the current relationship.   I actually think that a person being able to love again after losing a previous relationship is the sign of a healthy heart.   There are widows and widowers out there that move on from loss and find love again.   Are they supposed to say their deceased souse meant nothing to them to make the current partner feel secure?   FWIW, the people I do know who had spouses die, then formed new marriages all say that the two marriages/relationships are different, they didn’t exchange one generic person for another.   I think this is true in a way for all love relationships, we do compare them to each other, but ultimately they are going to be different because the people in them are different.

      1. 14.2.1

        “Are they supposed to say their deceased souse meant nothing to them to make the current partner feel secure?  ”

        Jaw-droppingly enough I’ve seen partners openly and insanely  jealous of deceased spouses.

        1. GoWithTheFlow

          “Jaw-droppingly enough I’ve seen partners openly and insanely jealous of deceased spouses.”

          And probably when those marriages flail or end because of their jealousy, they probably claim it was because their husband or wife “wasn’t over” their deceased spouse.

        2. Pol E Anna

          This hit a nerve for me. My dads sister died when my cousins were 11 and 13. My uncle remarried within a year and new wifey proceeded to move into the house, take down all their mothers pictures and remove every last one of her belongings, and attempted to rid the home of any conversation that even referenced his deceased wife — their mother. He did nothing to stop it.   This devastated my cousins who felt like they had to remember their mother in secret lest they piss of their stepmother and make their dad feel guilty.

  15. 15

    On second thought, he definitely should have taken care not to expose her to those things.   There is just nothing good that can come from it and it will haunt her (and therefore him) for a very long time.   I was just thinking of a poem I once wrote for a gf and if a subsequent gf saw that, I would be very uncomfortable, especially if I didn’t do the same for her.

    I had a great line for a gf named Ruth.   I was feeling very attached to her so I sent her a text saying that “the day was Ruthless without her.”   That one still makes me smile.

    1. 15.1


      My mom and sister played this little game where my sister would write things down in her diary that she knew our parents wouldn’t like, and then my mom would read her diary, because we all knew she went in sis’s room to look for it the moment sis walked out the front door.   In turn, my sister would get in trouble for the things my mom had read, all while my mom would try to deny she got the info from sis’s diary.   It was the strangest thing to watch and went on for years.   Unsurprisingly, they had a poor relationship.

      When I was given a diary as a gift in junior high, all I could thing was oh-hell-no!   My secrets are safely stored in my head where no one can access them unless I purposely share them.

      1. 15.1.1

        @Go-   I’ve learned to be very careful too.   I keep a journal of all the crazy stuff my ex did.   On the old microsoft word program, the SAVE icon was right next to the PRINT icon and both were very small and next to each other.   if you inadvertently hit the PRINT icon thinking you were hitting the SAVE button but the printer was off, the document would go into the print queue and the next user would get the printed document.   That is exactly what happened- she turned on the printer and got my journal.   I am VERY careful with paper and documents.

        But shame on your mother for doing what she did.

    2. 15.2

      Scott, I agree with you and commend you on being sensitive to a current girlfriend’s feelings on that.   Yes, in theory, I understand that a secure person should be able to handle it without being threatened.   However, emotions aren’t strictly logical and we all have insecurities that can be triggered.   I’m not sure the benefit of showing something like that to a current girlfriend outweighs the potential conflict it could cause.   There are other people you can share those things with besides a current partner (like with us–I love that line about Ruth!   But probably because I’m an objective outsider who doesn’t know you personally.   If I were dating someone and saw his love poems for an ex I’m not sure I’d be so comfortable with that)

  16. 16
    Karl S

    I was just thinking of a poem I once wrote for a gf and if a subsequent gf saw that, I would be very uncomfortable, especially if I didn’t do the same for her.

    I’ve written sonnets for past GF’s but I wouldn’t feel at all uncomfortable showing my current girlfriend. I have a past. She has a past. We’ve both been ‘in love’ before. You don’t have to hide who you were from people and I think if you find a secure partner, they’d be curious to know without feeling threatened.

    I’ve had a girlfriend press me on whether I’d switch her up for an ex if I could and she is definitely in the past now, haha.

    I had a great line for a gf named Ruth.   I was feeling very attached to her so I sent her a text saying that “the day was Ruthless without her.”   That one still makes me smile.

    That is a good one!

    1. 16.1
      Karl S

      *Of course, you’d do it in the right context. As in, you show them your poetry/writing collection (some of which involve love poems) rather than “Hey, check out this sonnet I wrote for an ex!”.

      1. 16.1.1

        I hear you but I still wouldn’t do it.   The emotional brain would never forget it and it would just cause unnecessary conflict within your partner.   Yes, theoretically a secure person could deal with it but we all have some insecurities and weak moments.   Better to stay in the present, IMO.

  17. 17

    I think she may be making a mountain out of a molehill here.   To me, all this says is that he’s not creative enough to craft unique lines for every girl.   And I’m not sure that creativity is one of those things that make or break a relationship. I once read an article about how Sofia Tolstoy, Anna Dostoevsky and Vera Nabokov found it very challenging to be married to their husbands.   I’m sure they got great unique lines from being married to these creative geniuses–but it came at a great personal cost.

    I’ll admit that yes, I’m not all that creative either and I’ve recycled lines as well.   I’m sure my guy has too.   We really couldn’t care less.   Not all of us can be great writers or poets here!

  18. 18
    Karmic Equation

    In his “Believe in Love” series, Evan mentions that people need to stop making social comparisons (among other bad habits) to be happy.

    I would say that OP is doing a form of social comparison.

    She’s comparing his expressions of love/attraction to previous girlfriends to his treatment of her and finding that his creativity lacking because she feels she should be treated more uniquely. E.g., she wants to know that she is the only woman he loves enough to want to marry, so the fact that he wanted to marry his previous girlfriends makes her feel that she does not compare favorably to them. She is not “more” anything than his previous girlfriends to him and now she feels invalidated.

    In my opinion, this kind of social comparison is self-sabotaging. She’s making herself feel bad for no good reason. She’s potentially introducing a point of contention into the relationship that is pointless, except to create unnecessary drama.

    She needs to work on making believe she never saw or read that stuff. Just let it go.

    If she can’t, then she should try flipping the script. Wouldn’t it make HER feel good to know that every boyfriend she ever had wanted to marry her? Would it be wrong of THEM to have wanted to marry her? Would it have been wrong of them to keep a journal that included how he felt about her when they were together? Aren’t these the romantic thoughts and actions  that most women wish they could inspire in their boyfriends?

    Maybe her bf was lucky and just dated a string of fantastic women. Now she’s the current  fantastic woman.

    What is wrong with that?

    Nothing, except her expectation to be the ONLY fantastic woman he has ever met.

    Kind of unrealistic, don’t you think?

    1. 18.1

      Interesting point there Karmic, I didn’t think of it as a “social comparison” before but maybe that’s what it is.   Of course, we all like to think that we’re unique and special.   I’d like to think that too.   But I wonder how possible that is for most of us.   With the sheer number of people in the world, it’s difficult to stand out from all of the other women our partners ever ran into.

      That hit home to me one time when I looked at my match public profile, then clicked on “see more like her”, just out of curiosity (and to see what I was up against).   Sure enough, there were a flood of other thin Asian women with similar “paper” credentials as me.   For a split second, it was a bit of an ego blow, to think I’m just “one of many”.   But then, I was flattered when I saw that all the women they compared me to were very pretty and seemed great (successful, sounded nice, etc.)   It’s nice to be thought of as great–even if not uniquely great.

      It’s like how a friend of mine (a model) gets so insulted when people tell her she looks like Mila Kunis.   I can see why she wants to think of herself as being this unique beauty, but it’s not so terrible to look like Mila!   There are worse people to look like!

      I don’t think that I’m with my guy because I’m necessarily the best woman he could have ever met under the sun.   Instead, we’re together because we met each other, liked each other, then made a decision to commit to each other–and that’s enough.   I hope Heather also is happy with what she has now.

      1. 18.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        “I can see why she wants to think of herself as being this unique beauty, but it’s not so terrible to look like Mila!   There are worse people to look like!”

        Exactly, Christine!

        I think sometimes people (particularly women in love), can’t see the forest for the trees, when it comes to their relationships. If the guy is with you and you trust that he truly cares about you, his past loves don’t matter. His past, including his past with his exes, helped shape him to become the man she is with. If he’s a good boyfriend and treats her well, they may have taught him that, by either having dumped him because he treated them poorly or, more likely, they showed him how to be good to a woman who loves him.

        BTW, I’d love to look like Mila Kunis with makeup, of course (she’s average   to maybe below average without it). I’d hug people who’d tell me that! lol


        1. Christine

          Wait a minute, I wonder if these people meant that my friend looks like Mila Kunis with makeup (gorgeous) or without it (average to below average, according to you).   If they meant to compare her to the below-average Mila then okay, maybe I can see why she’d be insulted LOL!   (I’d better google that, am oddly fascinated by those “celebrities without makeup” features and seeing the real person behind the glamorous facade)

          I’ve struggled in the past with insecurity about exes, but am gradually learning to let that go.   My guy keeps treating me so beautifully and building a future with me.   So as I kept building trust that he truly cherishes me, I’ve found that I really do care about his exes less and less.   It’s something we do need to learn to deal with because almost every guy out there, of a certain age, will have exes (I know one couple who doesn’t have any exes at all–one who met in junior high and married decades later.   But yeah, those are pretty rare!)

    2. 18.2
      Emily, the original

      Karmic Equation,

      Nothing, except her expectation to be the ONLY fantastic woman he has ever met. Kind of unrealistic, don’t you think?

      I agree with you intellectually, but there is logic and there is emotion, and sometimes never the twine shall meet. I can stand outside of Heather’s situation and determine she could have handled things differently, but I’m not the one in love with her boyfriend. Things get cloudy when feelings are involved.

      1. 18.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        That’s the thing though. As women, we need to control those emotions that do not help a relationship grow. Or said another way, we need to control those emotions that will cause unnecessary friction in a relationship.

        If the bf was CURRENTLY still writing in his journals about former loves, that is a necessary conversation to have, and friction be damned. But journals that haven’t been written in (and probably forgotten about, because I do think most guys would have enough sense to not leave their diaries out for current gfs to read) — they’re just a part of the past. Like a picture, but with words instead of images. Do women get jealous of pictures (yeah, I know, nudies would get bad reactions from most women) — but how about the not-nudies. Where they may have gone on vacation, that kind of thing? Yah, I know, if they went to Hawaii and the furthest you traveled together was NY, that may be an issue, lol. See another social comparison that does not help the relationship…

        All joking aside, just because we are women and feel a lot of emotions, doesn’t mean we need to be a slave to them. We need teach ourselves to not react with jealousy to things our boyfriends did in the past. Better to just mulligan everything in his past relationships that bother you.

        You can’t change the past, so concentrate on the present and make his present the best you can. You’ll both be happier that way 🙂

  19. 19

    Unfortunately, we men do this also. Except, with us it is usually regarding speed and boundaries.


    From what I have observed, if a man finds out that his girlfriend made him wait longer for sex or to be his girlfriend; or he had to repeat ask before she was willing to try something with him; yet he finds out that she didn’t make a ex wait as long or beg.


    They usually first get angry, then they feel inferior and insecure. Everyone wants to feel special and it is hard feeling that way when you see that the person you love was willing to do for another readily what they are hesitate to do for him.

    …      …    …

    Though, I would suggest to those guys to ask why? It may not be a case of you being the backup, safe bet and the ex was the sexy, desired one.


    It could just be that she did not like doing that after trying it for him or she wants to take time and think it out instead of rushing into it.


    But as Emily said, it is hard to see these things when you are in the middle of the emotional storm!


    If a woman made you wait 6 weeks before agreeing to be your girlfriend but only waited 2 weeks with the ex, it is hard to not feel that she desired him more, regardless of what she says.

    1. 19.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Adrian,

      Just curious, how does a man find out about how fast his girlfriend had sex or agreed to be another guy’s gf?

      Did she volunteer the info? Did he ask point blank? Do her friends tell him?

      I’m curious because I can’t imagine an “organic” way for this conversation to begin between a couple.

      1. 19.1.1
        Pol E Anna

        Good question. Can honestly say I’ve never had a conversation of this sort nor have I ever revealed details about how soon I slept with past men with any guy. Ever.

        I hate speaking for my gender but I feel I can safely say this on behalf of most if not all women: what she did with other guys Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. You. It is not a value judgement on you. It’s not even necessarily about your attractiveness.

        Some men, particularly those of the PUA set, believe women go around voting on men with our vaginas. This is a myth directly correlated to men’s validation of their own self worth based on quantity of sex with quantity of hot women. We view the whole thing a little differently. Y’all may have heard something about that somewhere before.

      2. 19.1.2

        Hi Karmic Equation,


        Well, I have witnessed it 6 times personally, so I can only give you a third person perspective. Of those half a dozen times, only once was the woman “not” somewhat drunk, and 2 time it was publicly said (around friends), or the guy confided in me, and each time she with her girlfriends were bragging about hot sexy guys that made them want to get naked, or her and the boyfriend were joking about sex.


        This is what led me to the hypothesis that the guys reactions were not “just” insecurity but also feelings of not being seen as desirable as the girlfriends past lovers. This is also what led me to hypothesize about why some men snarl at the notion of courting so strongly, they are comparing the way a woman enthusiastically reacts toward a hot guy verses how she reacts to him the average Joe; but that is a topic for another time.


        Remember the article Emily linked from Psychology Today with the study about the difference between men and women’s goals during sex. Evan also did a post on it from a separate study done about this, but I can not remember what it was called.


        According to both studies, men “get off” on being seen as sexually desirable toward women (among other things), hearing that your girlfriend wanted to get naked with her ex when she first saw him, while she wasn’t sure with you, so it took her months to figure it out, is a blow to the ego.

        …    …    …

        Over-all, I would say that regardless of what she said, if she is a good girlfriend what is the problem? Most of the guys were insecure, and we were all immature (we are the 30 and under crowd). There will always be someone better looking, sexier, funnier, etc. Just be happy she or he is with you.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Adrian

          Guys in the manosphere complain all the time about women who sleep with hot men right away, and make less hot men wait.   I seriously doubt that this is based much on what they observed, but just seems to be some meme that keeps getting   put out over and over again on the internet.

          Anyway, with my ex-hubby, I wanted to rip his clothes off on our first date, but I didn’t act on that.   Because I wanted to explore the possibility of a REAL relationship with him, and I thought maybe jumping in the sac so soon would spoil any chance of that.   (I didn’t make   him “wait” light years either, I just didn’t act on my raging hormonal impuses immediately. )   As it turns out, we did have a real relationship, with many years of ripping each others clothes off, but sadly, our marriage didn’t quite make it to the finish line.

          So if a woman makes a man “wait” (which these days seems to mean beyond date 3)   it could be because she is very attracted to him AND also wants a relationship, and feels by waiting a bit, she can figure out if he’s on the same page about wanting a relationship.   If she’s just hot for him, but doesn’t want or care about a relationship, then yeah, she’ll probably jump his bones immediately.

          I wonder if these men who think there’s some sort of equal opportunity injustice going on, that women don’t have the exact same sexual timeline for every man they encounter, think that all divorced men, owe the women they date an engagement and marriage on the same time line.

          What would you think if a woman said, my boyfriend proposed to his ex wife after 6 months, he has been dating me for 8 months and hasn’t proposed yet.   What a blow to my ego.

          Would you think that is ridiculous ?   I know I would.   Just like I thing it’ ridiculous that men pry into woman’s past sexual time-lines and demand the same time line as their quickest sexual encounter.   And frankly, I think most of what is posted on the women hating sites, is pure fiction.

          I noticed to, that you said a woman was over heard saying she WANTED to get naked right away with a man.   WANTING to get naked right away, doesn’t always mean ACTUALLY getting naked, and sounds more to me like a hyperbolic way of just saying she thought the guy was super hot.




        2. adrian

          Hi SparklingEmerald,

          My hypothesis is simple; both men and women regardless of their own personal market rating, thinks they deserve a more attractive and qualified partner. Getting angry at all men or women for being shallow is easier than admitting that we are not as great of a catch physically, financially, mentally, or “gasp!” emotionally as we think.


          Hot people think they only need is a beautiful face and sexy body, kind people think character is all that matters, and people with great success, think money and statues is the great equalizer and solves everything.

          …                 …                 …

          I have a question for you (or anyone wanting to answer);

          What is the difference between insecurity and just having different love languages?


          How can one know if their partner being upset about recycled romantic lines or being made to wait longer than an ex, is really insecurity and not just different styles to communicate love?

        3. Emily, the original


          This is what led me to the hypothesis that the guys reactions were not “just” insecurity but also feelings of not being seen as desirable as the girlfriends past lovers.

          I think what you are referring to are “f*** phantoms.” Please pardon the bad language, but it’s the notion that a woman is still pining for the guy in her past who turned her out in bed.

          Do these phantoms exist from a woman’s past? Yes, possibly. Do they not exist for men as well?

        4. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          I don’t know if it is as easy as just thinking the ex was a better lover. I some of the guys I was close to, others not so much, but in each I did recognize a level of insecurity.


          That is why I asked SparklingEmerald, is there a difference between being insecure and just having a different love language?

        5. Emily, the original


          Is there a difference between being insecure and just having a different love language?

          I am not sure what you are referring to here. I read the previous responses from people but don’t understand your question. Sorry. My bad.

          They are comparing the way a woman enthusiastically reacts toward a hot guy verses how she reacts to him the average Joe;

          He doesn’t necessarily have to be hotter or more handsome. You are just attracted to some people more than others. It is possible for a woman to meet a man and know immediately she wants to go to bed with him, while it takes her longer to come to that conclusion with other men. That’s what I was referring to earlier. That’s a physiological response of the “love hormones.” Nobody has any control over who triggers those in them.

        6. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Adrian – I really don’t understand your question either.

          I think it is a sign of huge insecurity to interrogate a partner or a potential partner about details of past relationship, and then compare them to the current one.   That’s not a love language at all.

          The women hating blogs love to tell science fiction stories about about these comparisons, but honestly, I don’t see how those convo’s could happen organically, so I write off these stories as fiction designed to smear women, by men who don’t do well with women and who are bitter.

          Imagine a woman asking you the following questions:

          What’s the most money you’ve ever spent on a first date ?

          What is the quickest amount of time you’ve asked a girl to be your girlfriend ?

          What is the longest you’ve waited before attempting to escalate a relationship sexually ?

          What’s the most expensive gift you’ve given a girl ?

          Have you ever proposed to a woman, if so, after how long, did you propose with a ring, and how much did it cost ?

          Then she interrogates you on how “hot” the woman is.

          If she started whining and complaining that you didn’t even make sexual advances towards the “hot” girls until date 8, but you were pawing at her trying to get her in bed by date 2 and how unfair that is, and you are treating her like a slut, ‘cuz she’s only averagely cute — would you chalk that up to insecurity, or a different “love language” ?   What love language demands to know intimate details of past relationships, and compares them to the present relationship to make sure they are getting better treatment ?

          If a woman found out that you took a “hot girl” out to a five star restaurant and spent $300 on the whole evening for a first date, but took her to a free concert in the park and bought her a beer and a giant soft pretzel off the truck for HER first date, would you think she was insecure, if she was upset ?   Or again, would you just chalk it up to a different “love language”. ? (Personally,   if this info was voluntarily shared with me, I’d think, the other woman was the high maintenance princess, and I’m the fun loving girl who doesn’t demand pricey dates 🙂

          In my yoga class, they have an expression “You never step into the same river twice”   They tell us to treat every yoga class separate, and don’t worry about what you could or could not do in this class, that you did last week or last year.   Every day is different.

          I’m 60 years old now, my sweetheart is 68.   Let’s face it, at our age if you don’t have “baggage” it’s because you’ve never been anywhere.       He treats me like gold, I can’t imagine him treating me, or anyone else any better, but if he has, to me it’s just a sign that he has been a consistently good man throughout his life, and I’m the beneficiary of all that practice treating women well.    And now I’m with him, and whatever his life experiences are, they have all led up to us being together, and I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend !

          Every relationship is different.   Affected by how the other person in the relationship acts, the phsyiological attraction that occurs, the maturity of the two people involved, and lessons learned from past mistakes.

          I can’t see being angry at a woman who was burned by jumping into bed in her youth and it not turning into a relationship, deciding to do things differently to protect her feelings ,   Does she now owe every man NSA sex, because she has done that in the past, even though it pains her ?   If she’s not hopping in the sack with you on the first date, it’s probably because she wants to know that a relationship is at least possible (IOW, you haven’t ruled her out as a girlfriend and are looking to just get laid)     This attitude being churned out by the misogyny sites just smack of that old chestnut “Once a slut, always a slut” or “You give yourself to one man and you belong to all men”.

          That’s know love language, that the language of bitter, insecure men who HATE women.

          Any way, thank you for your question (even tho’ I don’t quite understand it) and I know it’s hard to read tone on a blog, so if it sound bitchy, I apologise.


        7. Adrian


          I apologize. I was speaking about two different things.

          The first question was about the person you are dating thinking their ex is sexier than you; to me this is a tough one. I hope I’m never in that position.


          How would it make you feel or react Emily?

          …      ….      ….

          The second question was about love languages. Since different people need different styles of communication for love, I wondered if there is a way to tell if a person is insecure or just not open to your love language.


          For example, words, and gifts rank low for me according to the test. So a women telling me she loves me, or paying for me to have gifts, something fancy, a night out, or even a vacation means nothing to me. I wouldn’t feel she is showing me she loves me, if she did these things and I would question her intent because I do the same for her. In my mind, it would just be her parroting my actions.


          Yet to her, she is doing all this for me, and I am still questioning her feelings for me, questioning her desire for me. So am I just being insecure or is the problem our different love languages?

        8. Serious question

          “The first question was about the person you are dating thinking their ex is sexier than you; to me this is a tough one. I hope I’m never in that position.”

          Adrian — please read this in a friendly tone and know that it comes from sincere curiosity and not an attempt to insult you and come off as rude.

          To be frank, why does it matter? Even if she felt the guy she was dating was sexier than (proverbial) you, she’s not with him anymore. (Proverbial) you (since I don’t know if this is hypothetical or not) have something he doesn’t — her. Is this a trust issue?

          If said I was insecure about my relationship because i thought my SO felt his last GF was more beautiful than me, what would you tell me? Remember the thread that wouldn’t die about the girl who insisted her boyfriend had to think she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen? OP was torn to shreds for not acknowledging that men find other women attractive sometimes more than their SO. So why is this different?

          As far as comparing the length of time that she made you wait versus another guy, again I don’t see why it matters. Let’s flip it around again, if I said my SO told me he wanted to date exclusively after 2 months but told his last girlfriend he wanted to date exclusively after 1 month and that’s making me doubt how much he really likes me, what would you say?


        9. Emily, the original


          The first question was about the person you are dating thinking their ex is sexier than you. … How would it make you feel or react Emily?

          Well, terrible, but how am I going to know that? It’s certainly not a question I would ever ask and I can’t imagine anyone with a shred of sensitivity divulging that information. The last guy I dated felt the need to share with me other women who wanted him and women he was turning down. It really turned me off. Here’s a little hint: If other women want you, I’ll know. You don’t have to announce it. I’ll be able to tell by the way you carry yourself, the way women respond to you, etc. If you have to announce how hot you are, you’ve already lost all impact.

          In terms of your question about love languages, I think you just have to be honest with someone. I am not into the big flashy show of things, either, with lots of gifts, etc. It makes me feel like someone is on a campaign to win me over and that I have to respond in a certain way. I don’t like fake sentiment.

    2. 19.2
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      I have a question for you, and I ask it with sincerity. (I write that because it is sometimes hard to tell tone in written correspondence.) Did some woman make you wait months and months for sex or an extended period of time before calling you her boyfriend or make you feel like you were the safe bet instead of the first choice?

      I ask because you have mentioned these topics in several posts.

      Did she inform you that everything moved faster with her ex? Did you ask? That would be a tough conversation to have.




      1. 19.2.1

        Hi, Emily,

        No, I have not personally been in that position, though I have watched close friends go through it and they were guilted or belittled by the women or the women’s female friends and mothers for feeling this way… the way a real man shouldn’t (o_O).


        I went back and looked at the post about sexual preferences when I asked my question, it was based off of a commenter stating that she made a guy wait more than a few “months” for sex, so I asked why.


        You will have to the “several” post where I mentioned it. In this post, I was just trying to show that it is not only women who feel insecure, even with good partners.

        1. Adrian

          I meant the way a real man shouldn’t feel according to them.

        2. Emily, the original


          I don’t remember the names of the other posts. I am in the middle of looking for a job and sending out resumes, and it would be very easy for me to spend hours digging through Evan’s site (which I would much rather do!), but I have to stay focused.   🙂

          I have been thinking a lot about how it is probably better to pick out a partner like you select a job: to do it systematically and logically in terms what you are being offered, what they expect from you, salary, benefits, location, potential for advancement, etc.

          And yet so much of how we select someone is based on variables totally out of our control. Attraction is largely a physiological response of our “love hormones.” It’s hard to say why one person triggers them and another doesn’t. The other part of it is psychological: the person fits some sort of ideal we have in our minds of the perfect partner in terms of appearance or personality. Or they fill a void in us–they are something we always wanted to be are providing something we always wanted to have.

          I guess my point is that we all take rejection so personally, but so much of it is whether or not we fit the blueprint someone has been carrying around in his/her head all his life.

        3. adrian


          Good luck on the job hunt. Just for   you, I’ll let you in on a job opening coming up. It’s in DC,   the address is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but you can use me as a reference, because you have my vote! (^_^)

          …     …     …

          We all can easily treat finding a new partner like we treat finding a new job, be remember that from an evolutionary stand point, have sex with and marrying for love is a new concept. We want to feel something upfront, not in the long run.

        4. Emily, the original

          Hi Adrian,

          I think the Beatles have a couple of openings, but I can’t sing or play anything.     🙂

          We want to feel something upfront, not in the long run.

          No, man, I want more than that. I want it to “shake me, quake me, make me feel goose-pimply all over!”     — Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch

          Hit me like a ton of bricks. Rarely happens. That’s why it’s maybe better to look for a partner more practically. Emotions are too ephemeral.




        5. Adrian


          You can be John Lennon and I can be your Yoko Ono; you can be the talent, and I can be your crazy eye candy.

          Or you can be McCartney and I’ll be your next future ex… I want half of Everything!   (^_^)

          …    …    …

          I think we all want that intense rush that certain people can give us. I tried the whole being pragmatic with choosing a partner thing; trust me, without at least some kind of spark, it doesn’t work.

          But I’m weird, so don’t listen to me. I need to have some kind of connection emotionally for sex to be enjoyable and not just lustful.


          Unless you are one of those people whom someone can grow on, unfortunately, I am not. (-_-)

        6. Emily, the original


          Yes, I would like some eye candy, crazy or otherwise. If I could just parade you around where I work … you are younger and all the other women would be so jealous. That could be fun for a while.     🙂         Do you own any tight pants?

          I think we all want that intense rush that certain people can give us. … I need to have some kind of connection emotionally for sex to be enjoyable and not just lustful.

          Is the intense rush physical and emotional or just physical? Do men feel that, too? I guess I assumed men were rather unemotive.


        7. Adrian


          I laughed out loud with the tight pants comment!

          As a side note, I went out socially for the first time since I arrived in this new city this past weekend. I have to say that there comes a time when you realize that you are old and out of touch with what is considered cool. I was surprised at what is considered fashionable now… skinny jeans?… on men!???

          …    …    …

          I have never had an intense physical rush/attraction from any woman, and I have seen some very beautiful and some very sexy women. I only had the intense emotion feeling once after I got to know her, and of course that person instantly became higher physically in my eyes as a result.


          Anyway, to answer your question, yes, most men from my observation wouldn’t care about emotional connections, if they could have lustful sex. But age and what they are seeking in life affects this.


          I think women are the same way, they just refrain from me more than we men do because they have a higher social price to pay for engaging in it.

        8. Emily, the original


          I have never had an intense physical rush/attraction from any woman.

          Never? In all of your 30 years on this planet? I’m not suggesting that feeling that way about someone the first time you meet guarantees a good relationship, but it is a feeling that can knock you over. I used to work with a guy I was so attracted to, I would see him coming down the hall and go the other direction. He made me very nervous.

        9. Adrian


          Sigh, yes, never.

          I mean, I can dispassionately recognize that a woman is beautiful or sexy. But I have never seen any woman whom I immediately had a strong desire for.

          …    …    …

          Why did you hide? I ask because, I always encounter 4 types of single women when I am out.


          *Women who take a quick glance, but mostly pay me no attention.


          *Women who walk by and smile in a friendly, non-sexual way (usually older women)


          *Women who will stare; and I mean the they don’t look away, make you feel uncomfortable type of stare. You know the unwritten social rules, when someone looks at you, you look back, if you are interested you smile then look away? Well these women don’t look away, like someone is trying to assert their dominance with their eyes.


          *And the most common group of women I encounter; women who tried their hardest not to look at you or to let you know they looked at you. They usually look as they are walking toward me, but as soon as they are close enough for me to say hi, they look off to the side. Walking straight, with a head that is pointed diagonally.


          Honestly, for the longest I thought it was me, until one day a girl told me that it was because these women didn’t want me to know that they were checking me out, but this seems weird to me.


          This is why I am curious as to why you hide. Why not just talk to him? If any of those women would have keep their heads straight, made eye contact, or at least given me a smile, I would have talked to them.

      2. 19.2.2
        Emily, the original


        But I have never seen any woman whom I immediately had a strong desire for.

        Get thee to a doctor, Youngster! Let’s make sure everything is plugged in! I don’t know you, so please don’t take offense, but I am thinking you are either   a.) way too picky or b.) extremely self-protective.

        And the most common group of women I encounter; women who tried their hardest not to look at you or to let you know they looked at you.

        See reason b from above. To admit or display attraction or interest opens one up to possible rejection and pain. Have you ever read “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene? I am about a third of the way through it. If people are good at seducing (which is really all about manipulation), they can really mess with your head. There’s always the risk of getting entangled with someone who is playing you like a violin for his/her own amusement.

        1. Adrian


          You mean to send me to a lust doctor? (^_^)


          Remember this post:


          This is not me! This woman and some of the women in the comments stated feeling “no” physical attraction for the opposite sex.


          Your original statement was about that instant fall in love at first site lust. Self-protective and picky, I acknowledge, but I’m not as extreme as I think you believe. (^_^)


          I’m sure that if you polled most people, many would admit to never seeing someone whom made them wish to rip their clothes off.

        2. Emily, the original


          You mean to send me to a lust doctor? (^_^)

          No, just come and visit me. I have some tricks up my sleeve.   🙂         I kid, I kid …

          I’m sure that if you polled most people, many would admit to never seeing someone whom made them wish to rip their clothes off.

          That’s probably true. Sometimes I get too myopic and think people experience things as I do.


  20. 20

    I’m surprised people are acting so negatively toward her. I think what she did was pretty natural. Most people here would probably look too & be worried. It’s a legitimate worry when you see yourself as part of a pattern, because the pattern will likely continue & she may be the next in line to be dumped after being called marriage material. People read into her behavior too much- she didn’t sound like she was freaking out or lashing out- just a natural person with a natural concern. I can understand the bf’s side, but few people really empathized with hers.

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