What You Should Assume About Men


This is the third video based on the questions YOU wanted answered in my 1500 question survey. Last week, I told you that you don’t ATTRACT the wrong men, you ACCEPT the wrong men. I got a lot of really great feedback on that and hope that you’ve already made the mental adjustment to stop thinking you’re a bad man magnet and instead realize that you’ve been way too accepting of unacceptable behavior.

Today’s tip might be a little more challenging because instead of telling you to dump the bad guys, I’m going to ask you to open up to a whole new way of viewing the pursuit of love. It may be counter-intuitive, but I am confident that it will make a big difference for you. You ready?


You Have to Assume the Best In Men, Rather Than the Worst in Men

You’ve been hurt by men before. You’ve been hurt bad. You’ve vowed to learn from the experience and protect yourself from that ever happening again.

And to protect yourself from being hurt by a man, you:

Choose not to date at all.
Try to make him earn your trust.
Pull away from a guy at the first hint of trouble.
Tell him your relationship goals on the first few dates.
Want to clarify where things are headed in the first few months.

Those are all perfectly rational. The problem is: the only thing you’re protecting yourself from is the possibility of falling in love.

Let me explain.

Look at your life. You probably work a minimum of 40 hours a week. You probably have friends and hobbies and family. You’re probably really, really, wary of men.

And because of your previous experience, you do everything in your power to prevent the “wrong men” from getting in. You’re vigilant about looking for the signs. And you find them everywhere you go. As a result, you remain single.

Think of it like a visual metaphor. You live in a house. Mr. Right is walking down the street, trying to find his Ms. Right. There’s two houses right next to each other that look identical. They’re gorgeous, modern, spacious, well-decorated, inviting. Except for one minor thing. The house on the left has a 10 foot brick wall around it. The house on the right has an open door with the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting.
Which house do you think Mr. Right is going to peek into?
It’s kind of a no-brainer.

the only thing you’re protecting yourself from is the possibility of falling in love.

Now you can make the argument that the RIGHT man would try to figure out how to scale the 10 foot wall. You can make the argument that the REASON there’s a wall is that there’s some crime in the neighborhood and she’d been robbed twice before. You can justify that protective wall in every way possible. But it doesn’t change the bottom line.

A good man doesn’t need to break down or scale your wall. He’s just going to look for a warm, inviting, open door.

To take it even further:

  • A good man will not be able to find you if you’re working 11 hours a day.
  • A good man doesn’t need to earn your trust if he’s never done anything wrong.
  • A good man may have a number of characteristics that you might not like.
  • A good man takes relationships seriously and can’t promise that he will know after a a few months that you are destined for the altar.

So while I deeply empathize with you if you’re trying to avoid “wasting” time by trying to figure out the future before HE knows the future. Just know that you’re sabotaging any real chance you have to form a real trusting connection.

You have to go in with a clean slate, an open mind, and a clear head. At any point you have the right to determine that he’s not the one for you, and he has the right to determine that you’re not the one for him. It’s called dating.

Instead of trying to figure everything out up front to protect yourself from getting hurt, give yourself to the process and let him reveal his character.

Opening the door and assuming the best will make the good men gravitate towards you. Treat him as if he’s going to hurt you and he’s not going to want to stick around.

P.S. Even though this video is free…don’t discount the value of it. Opening up to love and being vulnerable makes you more attractive to each new man you meet. And since you will never accept less than optimal treatment from a man, you can never be blindsided again!

If you’ve enjoyed these videos, in which I tell what men are really thinking, please, put in your email address. That will put you on my priority mailing list so you’ll get first notification (and valuable free bonuses) when my new book comes out.

Signing up will also give you access to a special report I created based on YOUR survey questions, called “The 3 Biggest Illusions You Have About Men”. This is some really valuable and eye opening stuff, and it’s all yours on the next page. Just put in your email, click submit, and stay tuned for more.


Join our conversation (102 Comments).
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  1. 41

    Great advice as alway's Evan. Thanks. Difficult to open up and trust again, but knowing that we have to is the first step.

    For me, it's also now about making sure my life is really great without the guy, and ensuring I don't get too attatched to him too quickly either, which for me means not getting too physical too quickly. That way I can open up, trust him, get to know him, but take it slow keeping my own great life kicking along.

  2. 42

    "The house on the left has a 10 foot brick wall around it. The house on the right has an open door with the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting."

    I agree with the metaphor about the 10 foot brick wall as I've run into that wall myself a few times with both men and women, and not just in the dating realm.  (I give the person the benefit of the doubt, however, and understand the hurt that person must have experienced, emotional or physical, and try to earn his/her trust if they are an otherwise good person.)

    However, I cannot agree with the use of metaphor of having the door wide open.  It is a false and dangerous analogy.  There has to be a much more accurate and safer visual that reflects the world we live in Evan, because having the door wide open one, belongs on "Fantasy Island."

    You advocate boundaries in dating and safety on-line, but then use a visual like that.  I find it to be truly irresponsible, and sets both men and women up for unrealistic expectations.  I am disappointed that you would use it Evan.

    I also find it distressing, that no one, male or female, who has made any comments has mentioned it.  Women who leave the door open are leaving themselves wide open for trouble, and men who think women should leave the door wide open are naive.  Neither of them are living in the real world.

  3. 43

    I should mention…for people who leave the doors wide open and discover the harsh truth that there are many untrustworthy and bad people in the world, I also give him/her the benefit of the doubt, work to earn his/her trust, and when they're ready, help them learn how to protect themselves in an appropriate fashion…i.e., not to put up a 10 foot brick wall, but common safety tips, that trust is something to be earned and not given away, lock your doors, don't answer your door until who truly know the person who is knocking at it, etc.
    And also how to deal with friends, family and new people — for example someone he/she might be starting to date — who think he/she doesn't trust anyone because of what happened and was stupid for leaving the door open in the first place.

  4. 44

    Okay. I DO go into relationships with an open mind. I don't put up walls, don't work 11 hours a day, and give every guy a chance. I don't ask where it's going right away. In fact, I don't date someone unless I "think" he's a "great" guy.  It's only a few months in that I find out that he's not. At least, my last tfew short-lived relationships have been that way.
    For example, even after 3-4 months of dating, and not becoming intimate until after 3 months, the last person I dated refused to be exclusive. No I wasn't asking him to marry me, but I didn't want to be sleeping with someone who was still "looking". And this guy acted like he was my best friend! And we are not kids – both of us are over 40.
    I think a lot of women here will be able to relate to this…

  5. 45

    although…what do you do if you DO have to work 11 hours a day? Get a new career? it's not that simple…

  6. 46

    Give a guy a break.  After a week+ on the road I bet he really needs to do some laundry.

  7. 47

    Re: #44
    Ava, I'm in the deep end of the 40's, haven't waited 3 months to become intimate with anyone since I was 20, and find it hard to relate to your post.  If you waited for 3 mos. to become intimate, didn't you discuss exclusivity beforehand? (if that is important to you) How much time did you spend together? I ask because by 3 mos. in my experience, I would KNOW if we were exclusive and expected the relationship to continue, or if it had become rather obvious it was just a casual "thing". I would know because by then we would be spending most of our free time together.  Or not.
    It's those first 3 mos. where you do the most "getting to know each other" and finding out what the other person is really like – aside from the initial physical/mental attraction.   It's when we get comfortable we let our real selves show. And our real selves aren't going to be compatible with everybody. Is it that much of a surprise to find out the other person isn't  so great after all? Or at least more flawed than infatuation blinded us to believe? When looked at this way, it's quite natural that many relationships end by or around the 3 month mark.
    Which brings us to Mary – she's right there at 2.5 months – and is pissed and ready to call it quits because her "great guy" didn't act the way she expected/wanted him to.  During all the "hot texting" and the 40 min. phone call why didn't she tell him she had a great dinner planned for his homecoming after an 8 day business trip? He wanted to unwind at home after traveling, but he still asked her to dinner…why didn't she accept? It was rude of him to put her out in orbit on hold, but is that routine for him? Or maybe he didn't think he would be stuck with the caller that long? If he was that into her wouldn't he have come right over, tired, laundry, work- out be damned? Or did he think because of what she said in her previous conversation she would understand he needed some alone/me time?
    Sooo…maybe he's not as great as Mary thought he was for the last 2 mos.  And maybe Mary isn't either. This could be one of those pivotal points where one decides if the other is really right for them or not.
    Stray thought: where do people live when a half hour drive is considered a long distance relationship? 🙂

  8. 48
    Isabelle Archer

    \”Stray thought: where do people live when a half hour drive is considered a long distance relationship?\”

    It would be to me! I like to date neighbors, but then again, I live in a big city and don\’t drive.

  9. 49

    I would date someone 200-400 km away – and I do live in the biggest town in the area.
    BUT those who I am interested in, are so few and far between, that I wouldn\’t let one go just based on geographical distance.

    But then again, I do drive some 1000 km a week and stay away from home 5 days during the week because of my job. That is something I hate, therefore I\’m seriously contemplating changing careers in order to get a chance to have a life.
    Being veterinarian means that the jobs steals away the personal life, and I am so fed up with that.

    But hey, that is just me. I prefer to change when I feel that status quo leads to stagnation, and distance is just geography.

  10. 50

    This is pretty solid. This is the attitude I have on early dates, I don't have the time to be mistrusted or deal with chicks who are flake because of past relationships.

  11. 51

    What do you do when you work 11 hour days?  How can you make yourself available when you are required to work long hours, or you simply want to excel at your career? I interpreted the author's comments to say that a woman should not work long hours if she wants a relationship.

  12. 52

    Hi EMK, and thank you for this brilliant post, blog and I enjoy getting your newsletter in my email box too!
    I'm 53, beautiful, smart and successful but single with a string of failed marriages and relationships and last year I decided that I had to work out what I was doing wrong and do something different!  I started out with NML on Baggage Reclaim and followed her link to you and over the past 4 months I can honestly say that I've learned so much and I am so grateful that you are sharing your wisdom with people like me who were never taught it by relatives or were taken in by the crap in the media.
    This particular post is soooo useful to me because I have been really struggling with understanding how to balance being sensibly cautious, putting up boundaries and yet being 'emotionally available'.  It's a difficult balancing act to achieve.  One thing I've realised is that what is most important is to be clear about my own values, interests and likes/dislikes before I start to date again.  Funnily enough I watched the end of Runaway Bride when I dropped in on my mother and realised that this is the 'message' of the movie (though I generally despise rromcoms) – the scene where she is working out what kind of egg dish she likes …
    I've realised that there are no easy formulae or hard and fast rules which will deliver results (witholding sex for 3 months will not automatically produce exclusivity for example – as Selena 47 points out, you still have to talk about it!) and it's never a good idea to 'interpret' other people's behaviour as I agree with Shay et al that Mary's assumption that her bf's behaviour definitely meant a lack of interest was hasty and unfair.  If Mary really likes him then maybe letting him know her reaction was down to disappointment might help, but if he's a genuinely nice guy it won't be hard for him to find another woman.  That's something I've learned far too late in life.  We women moan 'where are all the good men??'  that's easy – in the arms of warm, welcoming, trusting women who assume the best of them so don't tear them off a strip at the first sign of trouble.
    Honestly – all you younger women out there – this advice EMK is giving is brilliant – how many of us have wanted to 'understand men' for years?  I wish I'd found this all out 30 years ago.  I for one am not wasting any more of my life being afraid and lacking boundaries – I'm slowly turning that around and even if I never use that to form a relationship, it'll still have been worthwhile as I can feel the effects at work and in my family relationships and life just keeps getting more interesting and exciting.
    Thanks again

  13. 53

    I'm a lawyer. Trust me, I prefer not to work long hours, but if I don't- I get fired. I'm actively looking to get into a job with a flexible schedule, but it's hard right now- hope things will look up later.
    I have noticed something- men who work long hours almost always are married, in something serious. Not so much for women. Obviously, you need both parties to be available for a relationship. So, why is it so skewed in favor of the men, with regard to this issue. BTW- I'm not blaming men (or women) here- just making an observation and wondering about it.

  14. 54

    Selena #47
    Actually, I used to get physically involved much more quickly when I was in my twenties. The relationship I mentioned moved more slowly because of some distance involved (yep, not ideal),  but we had just about daily contact. We both wanted the relationship to continue, but we had different ideas about what that meant. And there were a lot of mixed messages as there were in the other recent relationships. I admit to being guilty of cutting guys a bit of slack when maybe I shouldn't have. As a result, I've gotten much more vigilant about confusing signals. If this hasn't been your experience, good for you.

  15. 55
    Karl R

    reese asked: (#51)

    "What do you do when you work 11 hour days?  How can you make yourself available when you are required to work long hours, or you simply want to excel at your career?"

    Whether you're a man or a woman, constantly working 11 hour days is not conducive to being in a relationship. If you have your weekends free, you can probably fit a relationship in. If you're working 11 hours per day on the weekends to, you won't have enough time to maintain your existing relationships, much less start new ones.
    In order to mix a relationship with a tough work schedule, you may need to get creative. Set aside two evenings per week for dating. It may take some of the spontaneity out of the relationship, but a regular "date night" is a workable solution.

  16. 56

    I guess it helps if it's a big city and you work near the person you're with- that way u can take lunch breaks together. Most of the time, people who work 11 hour days aren't happy with their work (me being one of them- hence why I REALLY want to get out), and probably need the rest of the time to relax at a spa or the park- alone. lol

  17. 57

    Well…I still am astounded by the fact y'all keep commenting (30 or so times) on Mary's dating issue, but don't see the fallacy of Evan's analogy/metaphor.  FYI – I brought it up at work to see if I was nuts, and none of the women I worked with immediately saw the safety problem with Evan's example (although they did after I explained my take on it).  No…they were all offended that he used the open door with the smell of baking cookies…and how 1950's (Mrs. Cleaverish) and sexist that image was…but no one here mentioned that here either.

    Anyway, I'm gonna go for cross-thread points on this comment, because I recently asked on another of Evan's blog entries what it means to a man to be a woman's hero (as Evan said in his entry that a man wants to be a woman's hero) and the only responses were his Hans Solo to her Princess Leia (great a guy wanted by both the law and the criminals, and a woman who's an actual princess and a know it all witch to everybody including him) or I have to pretend to be empty-headed and clueless.  Either way, I'm screwed.

    So Evan's entry this time, gave me a chance to say what kind of man would be my hero.  He wouldn't be a guy who rescued me or slayed my dragons.  My dragons are too big for most men to handle (although most think they can until actually confronted with them…then they want to pretend they don't exist), and I needed to slay them myself (with some trained professional help) in order to survive.

    No, indeed the man who would be my hero isn't scared by a few checkpoints, a curb to step over, and to have take the time to knock on my front door which is appropriately locked.  He'd understand the world we live in can be a dangerous and horrible place, and I shouldn't be leaving myself open to all manner of predators by assuming who is and is not a good guy without knowing them (has anyone ever heard about the wolf in sheep's clothing).  He'd also understand that just because I'd experienced some of these horrible things and taken a few measures to protect myself that it's not directed at him personally…it's just good sense.  Oh, and that I am worth the effort.

    But, the most important thing would be that he understands that my baggage (for lack of a better term), is mine…earned with blood, sweat and tears…broken bones and other horrible things.  He'd respect the fact I've spent a lot of time and money to learn how to carry my baggage all on my own…got some luggage straps and few roll away bags.  But that doesn't mean it won't weigh me down sometimes or that I won't trip and fall under the weight of it once in a while…maybe they pop open once in a while.
    When that happens, my hero doesn't just walk away saying she's too much trouble and I can find another woman on the internet.  He wouldn't push me aside and grab my bag and try to carry it, or just grab me and drag me along…nor does he think that is what I expect him to do.  No, he squats down next to me and asks me if I'm okay…and asks me if I can use a hand to get up or some duck tape to close my bag because the zipper broke.  If I say no, I got this…and I get up myself or pull out a roll of duck tape, he doesn't take offense because it's my baggage.  But, if I say I really could use a hand, he holds his hand out, lets me take his hand…and then pulls me to my feet.  (That last thought makes me tear up every time, because you know how much I wish I could find a man that would do that…I can picture it perfectly in my mind.  I once wrote a poem about how I had a better chance of finding a unicorn than this man.)

    And you know what, I would do the same thing and then some for my hero.

    So, I guess I'm screwed again, because if Evan and the guys on this board are to be believed no one will ever get to be my hero because I'll be ditched at the first sign that I might have some very weighty baggage and he might have to make a little bit of effort to get inside my house.

    P.S.  For the record, my hero would know that if I was working 11 hours a day it was to help keep things together financially…and he would know exactly where I am and how to find me.  He'd just grab dinner and meet me in the park outside my office.  As I would do for him if the reverse were true.

  18. 58

    Casey #57
    Earlier, I'd tried to post a reply that rather than putting up a 10-foot wall, perhaps we should make it a more inviting, yet still secure, white picket fence? But it didn't get posted…
    Not to criticize, but this is why I take all dating advice with a grain of salt. One year, we're being given "The Rules", which is all about self-protection and boundary-setting, the next it's "Why Men Love Bitches", more about self-protection and boundary setting, and then, "He's Just Not That Into You", still more about self-protection and boundary-setting. 
    Now, we're being told we need to be more open to men…as if being open to men isn't what got us all the baggage we now have. If we weren't open to men, I doubt that most of us would be reading a dating blog in the first place. Especially since we don't know where a relationship is headed in the early months of dating, how can we leave ourselves completely unguarded? Relationships are not black and white, and mixed messages often abound. Retaining a degree of openness, yet still preserving some boundaries, is a balancing act to be sure.
    We women are still judged more harshly than men because of our age, our career aspirations, and our "baggage".And still, we continue to leave ourselves open to romance and the potential heartbreak because we do realize that the alternative isn't preferable. 

  19. 59
    Isabelle Archer

    re: working 11 hour days while trying to date…my view is that this won\’t work if both people work 11 hr days, but it can work if only one does. It can also work if both people work in the same place (hence all the law firm couples out there). It can also work if you decide to prioritize your social life and are able to smoothly transition from work to play – say, leaving the office at 8pm for an 8:30 dinner date. This means though that you have to forget about housework, hobbies, and other things!

  20. 60
    Karl R

    Casey, (#58)
    Turn the situation around. Imagine that you have just begun dating J__ (who used to date my girlfriend, so I know a bit about how he behaves).
    J__ has some baggage. His wife cheated on him. So did several of his girlfriends. Now he is insanely jealous, so he constantly accuses you of cheating on him with any man you associate with (in a personal or professional setting).
    J__ also grew up with a father who firmly believed in machismo. He believes that strong people control their feelings, and weak people are controlled by them. So if you break down for some reason (i.e. if your mother is slowly dying of cancer), J__ will show you some tough love and tell you to stop being a baby about it.
    J__ has baggage. Lots of baggage. There is a reason for all of it. But do you want to be the woman putting up with his baggage? Or would you get tired of being accused of cheating? Would you be crushed when he offers no emotional support when you have to face a major crisis? How long would you want to spend getting through his emotional defenses … before leaving to find someone who shows you some trust and compassion?
    If you are not interested in dating J__ (he and his baggage are currently available), why do you find it so awful that most men would feel the same about you and your baggage?
    You can take reasonable safety precautions without causing the man to feel like he is climbing a wall or going through checkpoints. You can get a disposable email account for free. You can get a prepaid cell phone for $10. You can meet your date at the restaurant instead of at your house. If the guy brings up an uncomfortable topic, you can let him know that you are not comfortable discussing that topic yet … but you will feel more comfortable once you get to know him better.
    The best security is not obvious.

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