Why Do Some Guys Virtually Propose to Me on the First Date?

Guys Virtually Propose to Me

My name is Carrie and I’m 37 years old, no kids and never married. I’m tall, blonde and work as an attorney for victims of domestic violence. I have been online dating for several months now and have met some really cool guys. But I have noticed a pattern that I’m hoping you can help me sort out. Even before our first date, almost every guy I’m in contact with starts off saying things like “you’re every man’s dream” or “you’re perfect” or “I can’t believe you’re single,” just when we are starting to get to know each other. After our first few dates, those statements evolve into “I can’t wait for you to meet my family,” “you should start looking at rings,”, or “when we get married . . . etc.” My friends say that every guy I meet gives me “the bum’s rush” immediately. Some girls may be flattered, but I can tell you it has led to a lot of confusion and hurt on my part when the guys then suddenly vanish. I have read your book “Why He Disappeared” and I understand the principle of paying attention to what a guy does and not to what he says. However, I feel like my situation is extreme because it’s like guys fall in “lust” with the image of who they think I am, but not with the real person (trust me, I have just as many flaws as the next person!).

My question is two parts: First, why do guys say such extreme, out of this world things and then never follow through? I understand getting caught up in the moment, but it’s really hurtful going from “I can’t wait to make you my wife” to never hearing from them again. These seem like such extreme things to say just because a guy gets caught up. Second, what can I do to avoid guys who do this and to recover from the rejection? I want men to see me as a real person, flaws and all, and to stop proposing on our first date! Thank you for your help. I know if anyone would have the answer, it would be you!


So much time is spent complaining about men who never call, never plan, never pay, push for sex, and are completely uninterested in marriage that we tend to give short shrift to the men on the other extreme: those wide-eyed puppy dogs who think, in 10 minutes, that you’d be willing to commit to a total stranger.

I recently worked with a client who had the same exact problem — except she was in her early 50’s. In fact, I think this is even MORE prevalent in older men, for a number of reasons, which I’ll get to in a second. But before I pile on these guys, I want to invite you to consider whether you’ve ever BEEN like these guys. I have.

This is about chemistry — that strong, irrational, chemical pull towards someone that defies logical behavior.

Not often. But I can probably remember a half-dozen times over the course of my prolific dating career that I either turned into mush around a woman or was intent on procuring a commitment right away. And remember, I’m a confident guy who’s generally good at this sort of stuff. So if I can be afflicted, I want to remind you that you can, too. Which brings us back to the why: why do guys say such extreme out-of-this world things?

    1. Chemistry

We can be logical about how weird and offputting it is when a stranger puts you up on a pedestal without knowing the real you, but ultimately, this is bigger than logic. This is about chemistry — that strong, irrational, chemical pull towards someone that defies logical behavior.

Which is to say that people don’t “choose” to act this way; they act this way in spite of themselves. In other words, if the same men who are throwing themselves at you went out with a woman who was pledging marriage over appetizers, he’d run in the opposite direction, too. These guys just can’t help it.

They may be able to try to spin it in a positive way: “It’s a compliment! You should be flattered!” but the truth is: it’s one of the greatest turnoffs one can experience in dating.

The fact that it happens at all is a testament to the power of brain chemicals, as opposed to a conscious decision that a man makes on a date to act as creepy as possible.

    2. Fantasy

When those feelings come on strongly, the guy is not grounded in reality. He is projecting what he wants to happen. He’s been around the block. He’s met a lot of women. And, for whatever reason, the minute he meets you, he knows you’re different. Put aside whether this is true or not (it’s not). Just ask yourself if you’ve ever put a guy on a pedestal because he was cute, smart, funny, sexy, similar to you, or you just FELT something — like he was different, like he knew you forever, like he was your soulmate. This is all fantasy — and it plays out in your head a lot faster than reality. We can instantly imagine a life with someone and make it sound great in our head. Unfortunately, reality has a funny way of bringing us down to earth.

    a. Your fantasy will likely drive your date running in the opposite direction.
    b. If you both have the same fantasy — and instantly hop into bed/commit/get married too quickly — real life will likely teach you that your fantastic chemistry wasn’t such a great predictor of your future.
    3. Loneliness/Desperation

Whether you have gone on hundreds of online dates (like I have), or just got out of a twenty-year marriage (like many of my clients have), there is a strong pull to want to couple up quickly. You’re burned out on dating. You’re tired of the disappearing people, the disappointing people, the people with potential who didn’t pan out. You just want to have a partner — to have regular sex, to have a go-to companion, to share a life with someone, the same way 100 million other people get to. So when you meet someone with potential, you want to LOCK IT IN right away — even when that’s not appealing to the person you’re trying to lock in.

As I said, this happens even more when men get older. They’re divorced, they’re widowed, they have no friends, their kids are grown up, their friends are married and they are looking to shack up FAST.

If a guy disappears after saying you’re his soulmate, he’s not the kind of guy you want to keep.

    4. Inexperience

I already mentioned how I fell victim to this a handful of times in my late 20’s and early 30’s, but I’d like to think that even if I felt that irrational, chemical-driven pull towards a woman, I would have the wisdom to check myself. In other words, you can’t always help how you feel, but you can control your reaction to a given situation. People who are more experienced at dating are more likely to not get too high with a promising prospect or too low at a disappointing one.

    5. Hope

In the back of the mind of any of these men is the possibility that you might just feel the same exact way. And that if he puts his (poorly considered, irrational) feelings out on the table, you will let him know that you also think you’re soulmates and should run off to Vegas right now. To be fair, if I’ve met six women who made me feel this way, I did get three of them to become girlfriends (and scared the other three far, far away).

As for the other parts of your question, I don’t want to sound dismissive, but you shouldn’t concern yourself all that much:

Why do guys not follow through on things that they said? Probably because they were in the moment and weren’t thinking things through. Hell, I have a full book about why men act the way they do called “Why He Disappeared.” But you really don’t have to worry about the why. If a guy disappears after saying you’re his soulmate, he’s not the kind of guy you want to keep.

Similarly, you can’t do anything to avoid guys like this, since neither you nor they know that they’re going to pull this over-the-top act. It’s spontaneous and chemistry-driven. I suppose you can pay attention to his email/texts and see if he sounds like a needy stalker, but generally, level headed people don’t act that way too soon. It’s not until you show up on the date that you know. As such, asking about how to avoid guys who act this way is like asking how to avoid car accidents. You have to be careful and aware, but you can’t control what other drivers do.

Any man who demands you commit to him without knowing him is not a man you want as a boyfriend.

Finally, I have two tangible pieces of advice for you:

First, don’t think of it as “hurtful” when a guy doesn’t act with consistency. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. And since this happens to you a lot, you should probably just make peace with the fact that a percentage of men are going to be this way, whether you like it or not. It’s like getting angry at rainy weather in Seattle. You can do it, but what’s the point? You’re better off not getting too excited about any one guy until you’ve been dating for a month and you’ve both committed to being boyfriend/girlfriend.

Finally, if there’s a good guy who acts this way, then I think you should actually coach him. Tell him that you like him but think it’s too much/too soon. Give him the example of the woman who is overpraising him and naming their kids on the first date and ask how he’d respond. Tell him that you need time for your feelings to catch up and you’d really like it if he courted you in a more normal fashion — a text a day, a phone call every couple of days, a date or two a week — rather than pushing you into a commitment you’re not ready for. It may or may not change his behavior, but any man who demands you commit to him without knowing him is not a man you want as a boyfriend.

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  1. 1
    Tracy L.

    Ha! This post sums up my entire dating life; every guys comes on strong wanting to make me their girlfriend after one date (and some will even become possessive).   And, of course I’m freak out and don’t return their sentiment. I will distance myself or they would just disappear.

    It would be nice to meet a guy who wanted to get to know me; letting things build gradually until I felt comfortable enough to take the next step.

    I think I might start considering a long distance relationship.

    1. 1.1
      In Not Of

      It’s usually the hormones talking. It will pass.

    2. 1.2

      I wonder do women ever consider how much of the disappearing is due to how they make the man feel on the date or during the courting stages?


      Many men come on strong when they are really attracted to a woman, but most women move slower (which they have every right to), and don’t know if they are attracted to the guy. Many women only focus on deciding if this guy is worthy of another date while on the current date, instead of just having fun and making sure the guy has fun.


      And here is the heart of the problem! Most women feel, why should they make sure a guy whom they are not even sure if they are attracted to has fun on the date? Plus women don’t want to give men the wrong idea until they know how they feel about him, but we men do not see that, all we see (and feel) is that the woman we are excited about doesn’t act excited about us on the phone or in person.


      After a few dates with women who a man once pursued strongly, and she is showing him minimum excitement on their dates -again, I acknowledge women need more time than men to decide on attraction-, most men will lose interest or feel that she is not really into him and move on.


      For any woman who feels that they should not have to make sure a stranger who asked them out on a date is having fun, but expects him not to disappear on her until “SHE” decides if she is attracted to him.


      Imagine having to stand in front of a room full of strangers and you are telling a story, during the story you mention a very funny situation.

      Before, during, and after the telling this fun story you notice that the audience seems very reserved, not mean or rude, and they answer every question you ask so you know they are paying attention; they just act reserved.


      How many times would any woman return to this audience before she decline doing it again?

      My point is, it is okay to not be sure about a guy, but not sure does not mean NO (if you are flat out not attracted to a guy, then do not accept a date from him). While out with him, women should focus on making sure they have fun and she should want him to have fun as well. If women do this, then I am sure not as many men would disappear.

      1. 1.2.1

        I used to struggle with this. I am genuinely interested in people and have been told I naturally make people feel at ease and am fun to be around. I don’t change my behaviour when I’m on a date and often have men call me back because they feel a spark. The problem, as we all know, is that there aren’t that many men that I see as a long term prospect (thank you Evan).

        I was recently told by a guy I went out with twice, before deciding we had different life paths and didn’t want to see again, that I should have been less “fun” on our dates as he saw my being relaxed as a sign I was interested. All I did was listen, ask questions, and make funny comments when appropriate. The irony is, he’s not the first one to say this. I never led any man on but these men thought I was.  I used to feel so bad for literally being myself until I met Evan and his advice.

        Have I started pretending to be less interested and because I’m not sure by date TWO? No. I have no desire to compromise or hide who I am to soften someone’s feelings of rejection… but I understand why another woman would project a more cautious facade. The follow up emails from some of these men can be downright nasty but I’m still not changing my behavior (thank you Evan) because there will be men who will be just right for me, and I want to make sure they get the best of me.

      2. 1.2.2

        Wow! This is EXACTLY spot on to my latest situation with a guy. I was unsure and not receptive enough. Then when I started to really care, he was gone. He had showered me with attention and nice dates etc. I didn’t show enough interest or consideration to make him feel good too. Lesson learned.

        1. Isabel

          Ok I found this article because something similar is happening to me. I think this happens when a man who is sensitive and serious about marriage/family doesn’t want to waste time on a woman who isn’t besotted with him…

          Even good-looking successful men could be afraid you will get bored and break their hearts. The only men who might not have this insecurity are those who are players, emotionally unavailable, or not really that into you and just having fun.

          Men who are sensitive and prioritize creating a traditional family with an amazing woman may decide to risk being super vulnerable straight away before they have invested emotions and resources in you.

          He doesnt want to settle for a woman they aren’t enamored with but at the same time he doesn’t want to be a chump, he wants he wants to be validated that the woman is feeling it just as much he is

          If he is otherwise a very stable, reliable man then he is aware it is a fantasy and that a real relationship won’t stay so idealistic. But it’s what he WANTS in the beginning because he wants to know that it is there because, if it isn’t there when you first meet, you probably aren’t super attracted to him… you just think he’s a “good catch” and looking to fill your own void.

          It makes sense because if the woman is ambivalent on the first few dates, and she is beautiful, he knows there is competition but he hasn’t risked his heart at that point… he can walk away disappointed but not emotionally devastated.

          I feel men have walls around their heart because they can be much more emotionally broken by a romantic relationship they’ve invested in. I feel like men can avoid getting attached in the early stages so the nice men who want passion and romance and commitment probably do this as a test to see if they should risk investing further in the woman.

      3. 1.2.3

        I’ve had 50 men propose to me at first sight and another 50 men propose to me within two dates. Every one of the has proposed because they were having fun. The ones I chose to continue seeing were the ones I could see myself committing to. The ones who left didn’t do so because they didn’t have fun it was due to incompatibility (eg they like to cheat, drink too much or party too much for me).



      4. 1.2.4

        This depends on what kind of fun women are expected to make sure men are having. I’ve been in plenty of dates where I’m having a good time and living in the moment until the man starts trying to get ha day waaay too fast and starts fantasy speaking within one week. It’s jarring. I’ve come to expect this and just say let’s enjoy the cruise, we’ll get there to receive the response of, “you make me feel like I can’t be myself. We’re adults it’s ok for us to be sexually attracted.” So no, a woman does NOT need to make sure a man is having fun too if it is not her idea of the same kind of fun. Then that’s when we get labeled as “reserved.” I think most women want to enjoy the date and have fun, while still figuring things out, but most men that give responses like yours don’t make sure that while expecting women to have fun that they are also making sure she is comfortable.

    3. 1.3

      I got a guy on fb rather he got me afterexchaning contacts, we chat once on WhatsApp and the second day when he video calls luring nude on his bed and demanding we have sex. Mind you we are both in two different countries. It scared me had to hang up and text him that I am not comfortable with it. Did I mention that we are both in our late 40s and single? He proposed marriage on the first chat. Since then, every time we video Chat, he is always demanding for sex. He has never taken interest of knowing me. Should I really take him serious.

      1. 1.3.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        You keep chatting with him after he showed up nude?

  2. 2

    Either that or they just use those lines to get sex

    1. 2.1
      Tracy L.

      Yeah, that is apart of it too.   They think pretending to want a commitment after one date (when  they discover that you are not easy)  is going to get them laid.

      1. 2.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        I had one date with a guy who wondered why I was still single. He and I had been texting regularly (maybe 1-2 texts a day) for a week until our date…and got upset after our date that I didn’t reply until the next day.

        I didn’t get the feeling  that he was asking to flatter me.

        However, I did get the feeling that was insecure and had a jealous streak. Couldn’t blame him as it seemed he got played by a few women.

        I think men who offer commitment on first dates aren’t trying to get in a woman’s pants. I think this is how men show their insecurity. Women show insecurity by becoming more needy and clingy. Men display insecurity by offering commitment too soon. As if he doesn’t believe you’ll stay with him if you got to know him better, so he better lock you down now before you discover  his feet of clay.

        1. Tracy L.

          Yes, most of not all of the men were very insecure.   Therefore, offering commitment right away was to lock me down.   This way,  I wouldn’t see  what was  actually  under the hood of the car until after I bought (I never buy, though). He knows he is attempting to  sell me a lemon.

    2. 2.2

      Right, I am this woman, age, job, except I don’t do civil defense litigation.    While there were a few men that were actually interested in marriage or getting serious fairly quickly due to unresolved issues in their own lives, most were just trying to get sex or “conquer me,” in some way or the other.   In their defense many did not actually realize that was what they were doing and it was not purposeful conduct.       They were just so focusing on getting me into bed and having me that they could not focus on anything else.   Once they got me and by got me that did not necessarily mean in bed, but once I expressed interest it wore off.   Or once I got creeped out and pulled away they left.   A woman who looks good, has a good job, high self esteem conducts herself well is a challenge a mystery to a man, they are both enamored and intrigued.       But yes it is pretty much about sex.

      1. 2.2.1


        But sometimes it is just that after getting to know a woman for a while, a man decides that she would not make a good or healthy long-term partner.


        I know women do not like to admit that men actually care about more than just sex, or that her “own” personality could actually not be as great as she thinks, but yes sometimes we disappear because we do not see a future with you.


        Yes if you are physically attractive we come on strong, but once we get to know you, your negative personality can out shine your looks.


        I always found it curious that when women do this they just call it being selective, but if men do it, he is insecure.

      2. 2.2.2

        Gosh, I am also very similar to “Carrie”, in profession and appearance!

        I can share so many stories of similar behavior.   If you go to Google and search the term “future faking” you will find the description for this behavior. Guys say all the things that Carrie described and then very often disappear without a trace.   I was dating a military officer a few years ago who was the worst offender.   Well, turned out a couple months later I found his photo on a dating site “active without 24 hours” while on the other hand he was professing his love and devotion to me.

        Sure, Evan’s explanations may hold water for certain guys, some of whom really feel that way….. but in my experience, it’s mostly guys saying what they know you want to hear.  Men know why we are reticent to trust them.   Men know that many over 35 women on the dating scene are overlooked in favor of younger women.   So they often say what they believe woman want to hear in an effort to speed the relationship along towards their desired “end” (in bed).

        My current “guy” of about 6 weeks  (I am not quite ready to use the b word) has talked about how much his mother is going to love me, showed me a resort where he wants to take me, etc.   I have to slow this train down and let him prove himself because right now it is still too early and questionable.

      3. 2.2.3

        Lisa, I am in the same boat. I have come to realise showing some vulnerability from the start is healthy because it weeds the conquest guys out. Conquest guys fear vulnerability and don’t want to take responsibility. They will run for the hills.


  3. 3

    I think it’s because most men are mostly visual …and therefore think the perfect match for them is a beautiful, thin  woman (no matter what the personality).   That’s why some of our dearest girlfriends with hearts of gold (who may not be a ’10’) don’t even get a second look.   Men are so shallow…

    1. 3.1
      Karmic Equation

      But are your not-10 female friends giving not-10 men the time of day? Or are they complaining that “only guys that I’m not interested in are hitting on me!”

      If the latter, then women are JUST AS shallow as men.

      When women don’t want to give the fat, balding, short, or non-college-educated guy a chance — she’s being “selective” or “has standards”. But if the good looking fit guy doesn’t give the overweight, average-looking woman a chance, he’s “shallow”.

      Both genders are shallow. I just think it’s disingenuous of women to refuse to acknowledge that.

      1. 3.1.1
        Tracy L.

        I totally agree with this.   Yeah, both genders are “visual” and “shallow” a  like.   I have never  been judgmental of men and their preferences in the type of women  they deem attractive or desirable. None of my business.

        1. Tracy L.

          I feel that as women, we are a little more forgiving of looks no manner what we look like ourselves because we start to realize that our window to be on the market is shorter due to  fertility. I know most women hate hearing this (myself included) but it is what it is.

          I also believe if our window of fertility was as extended as men we wouldn’t  as forgiving if we could get away with it. Do you agree?

        2. Josie

          I’m 39 and actually not gung ho about having children at all.

          I give men who are less attractive or shorter than me a fair shot, because I know that the “pretty is as pretty does” principle applies.

      2. 3.1.2

        I don’t see that happening with my non-10 friends at all…mostly they are simply not asked out in favor of sexier women.   Most would love to date a nice guy regardless of looks.

        What most of us women know is that 90% of men (regardless of how tall, short,   fit, educated, redneck,  whatever..) will hit on the same 10% of women…you guessed it, young, pretty and ‘hot’.   It’s like the guys have no concept of what they’re like themselves and think they all deserve the 10 woman… because they think they deserve them.   Then they complain about how bit/chy these women are  when they are dumped.   Supply and demand.

        Honestly, if I’m a 7.5, do I really think I have a great chance with “the bachelor”?

        1. Karmic Equation

          “Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got.” – Sophia Loren

          Your not-10 friends need to work on both halves of the 50%

          I’m short, a little chubby, and always have been. However, I’m approached all the time. Current boyfriend is fit and good looking, with high cheekbones and a cleft chin. We’ve been dating about 9 months now. Boyfriend before him had women handing him their telephone numbers unsolicited. The boyfriend before that was called “very very handsome” by my chiropractor, who’s a woman. (He blushed when I told him that).

          A female bartender at my pool hall is easily 250#, but men gawk at her and call her hot all the time.

          This is what she and I have in common:

          1) We know how to do our make up right.

          2) We dress in flattering styles that don’t necessarily match up with current fashion trends. For example, “skinny jeans” are in, but I wear boot-cut jeans all the time, because they visually make me look slimmer whereas skinny jeans just highlight that I have a thick waist.

          3) We carry ourselves with confidence. We assume men are watching us. And that they lust after us. (Whether true or not, lol).

          4) We’re happy people who laugh a lot.


          Make your friends go to Sephora and get a makeover. I’ve done this at MAC and Sephora.

          Search youtube for makeup tutorials. I spent hours doing this recently. My new thing is “contouring”.

          I believe department stores employ fashion consultants and your friends can ask for their help in choosing clothes that look good on them. — Colors as well as style make a huge difference.

          They need to do things they enjoy in public. Things that are bound to make them laugh or smile. Feed ducks, window shop, ice skate, whatever makes them happy.

          Then they have to just fake it ’til they feel it in the confidence department.

          Men will come a-running once they STOP hoping that men will come a-running. Men are contrary. If   you don’t think about them, they insert themselves into your lives. Once you show you notice them, they want to distance themselves. So the trick is not to care whether they’re in your lives or not UNTIL they’ve committed to being your boyfriend. Until then they are “just another guy you know”.

        2. Lisa

          I agree with you and I think this is what happens with online dating as well. I’ve commented about this several times.   I think 99% of the men are emailing 10% of the women all based on looks and getting angry because those women are not responding or acting bitchy but those 10% of women are getting so many emails they could not respond even if they wanted to and meanwhile 90% of great women are sitting there trying to figure out why they are only getting three or four emails a week and maybe going out on one date a month, and never getting a second one, while the men cannot even get a woman to respond because they are all emailing the same girls and then sending nasty follow up emails to the same girls as to why they did not respond.   I am telling you this is what happens.      A guy that is 5’3, overweight, bald with a HS education working at Walmart, refuses to date a woman who is even the least bit overweight, does not have perfect hair, perfect skin, does not spend hours in the gym, but then get’s angry when women call him out on his looks,how dare she be superficial?    Look I’m not a 10 I don’t know what number I am.    But I can tell you this.    I was bombarded with emails.   I spent minimal time on my profile when I did online dating, meaning I filled out the basics and spent five minutes.   I never sent emails to men, maybe one a week, I responded and they were very basic like hey.    I had girlfriends who had professional photos taken, and spent hours crafting great profiles and sending this awesome emails and would go on one date a month while I was on 5 a week.   It did not matter what my profile said, it matter what my pictures looked like.   You are spot on.         And men are screwing themselves by doing this.    Because that 10% of women have their pick of the crop.   I date average looking guys, and long since gave up dating online.      But I am the anomaly.

        3. Karl R

          andrea said:

          “It’s like the guys have no concept of what they’re like themselves and think they all deserve the 10 woman… because they think they deserve them.”


          Dating is not a meritocracy.


          Dating is a lot like job hunting.   The best candidates don’t always get the best jobs.   The best jobs aren’t always filled by the best candidates.   As an employee, I want the best job I can get (even if other potential employees are more qualified).   And if I’m trying to fill a position, I want the best possible employee in that role (even if I’m sure they could get a better job elsewhere).


          Back in 2008 I dated a woman who was far more attractive than me, noticeably more intelligent than me, better educated than me and more professionally successful than me (both in prestige and pay).   She’s also a much nice person than I am.


          After dating her for a couple weeks, the thought sudden occurred to me: “Why on earth is she dating me?”   After thinking about it for 10-15 minutes, I figured out the answer.   “Why should I care?   She is dating me.”


          Eventually I realized that she was completely incapable of maintaining a reasonable work/life balance.   Since I couldn’t have the kind of relationship that I wanted (with her), it was time to move on.


          You seem concerned about what kind of man you deserve.   Let me remind you that, “May you get exactly what you deserve,” is generally considered to be a curse.


          andrea said:

          “90% of men (regardless of how tall, short,   fit, educated, redneck, whatever..) will hit on the same 10% of women…you guessed it, young, pretty and ‘hot’.”


          Aaaand … the other 10% of men are gay?


          More seriously, according to the 2010 census, 79% of all women 25 and older are or have been married.   87% of all women 35 and older are or have been married.


          Yes, men hit on the top 10% of women.   But if you’re willing to look at hard, objective, quantifiable data, it’s obvious that we also hit on most of the other 90%, and we marry them too.


          Forget about the hottest 10% of women.   Figure out why 2/3 of the least attractive  50% of women are more successful than  you.   Figure out their secret.


          andrea said:

          “Then they complain about how bit/chy these women are when they are dumped.”


          Complaining about getting dumped is a complete waste of time.   It doesn’t get men  un-dumped.   It doesn’t help men get their next girlfriend.   It doesn’t keep the next girlfriend from dumping them.


          Similarly, complaining that “90% of men hit on the same 10% of women” is a complete waste of time.   It doesn’t help you be part of the 10% of women that the 90% are hitting on.   It doesn’t help you attract the men who are hitting on the other 90%.


          People complain because people like to complain.   And if you’re noticing a qualitative difference between your complaining and their complaining, let me be first to inform you that the difference is completely subjective.


          andrea asked:

          “Honestly, if I’m a 7.5, do I really think I have a great chance with ‘the bachelor’?”


          I don’t care if you’re a 2.5.   If you hit on The Bachelor, and then you later complain that you were dumped by The Bachelor, then I think you had a 100% chance of dating The Bachelor.   Your chances of marrying him (at that point, even if you’re a 9.5) would be slightly higher than 0%.



          If you count up all the women I hit on, and you compare them to the number of women that I married, I suspect that my chances average out right around 1%.   If you did the same thing for Evan, I suspect the chances would be closer to 0.1%.


          We didn’t have a great chance with most women.   We barely had a chance with most women.   We’re both married because we kept taking that small chance, again, and again, and again, until we successfully found great women that we could have great relationships with.


          Our chances may have been low, but we only needed to succeed once.


          In general, your attitude toward these 90% of men seems rather contemptuous, even though the men’s behavior is normal (by definition) and a more successful dating strategy than whatever you’re doing.


          I have dated women who were younger than me, older than me, really hot, closer to average, etc.   But I never dated (or even hit on) a woman who felt contempt for me … or contempt for men in general.


          If other men get the same impression of you as I have, that may explain why they’re not hitting on you.

        4. Adrian


          I understand the message you are “trying” to convey, but you do it in a manner that makes you seem like an arrogant braggart.


          You are saying that men are passing up good women for shallow reasons, but you are also imply that you can effortlessly do what they can’t without any of the work because you are so hot (yes I know you never called yourself hot).


          This whole post just seems like a backhanded way of saying how attractive you are, and how virtuous you are, by show pity for your not as attractive friends who work hard at attracting the same men without results, that you can atract effortlessly.

        5. stacy

          This is such a cliche and does not reflect the reality at all. I live in Manhattan which is as far as dating goes is second worst to LA only (from a female perspective). I see happily average looking couples all the time just walking around my reaidential neighborhood, holding hands or pushing strollers. Sure in a bar/club guys will hit on the hottest girls because it’s fun, they want to get laid and they want to test their luck. But then those same guys wake up in the real world in the morning and date real women. If this is not happening for you, you are doing something wrong.

      3. 3.1.3

        Well speaking for just myself, I really do see that happening with my not-10 female friends.   One of them, in particular, is short and overweight.   She bemoans how shallow men are for gravitating towards another beautiful friend of ours whenever they go out (who is so beautiful she’s even done some modeling.   Her beauty can even rival that of famous celebrities and models).   Yet she often rejects the men who are interested in her for some shallow reasons (once rejected a guy just because she didn’t like the shirt he wore on a date–and often insists on tall men).   She really doesn’t see that as shallow, but thinks men are shallow for not overlooking her weight and paying more attention to the more beautiful girl.   I’m not sure either gender has a monopoly on shallowness.

        Thankfully, there are also people–of both genders–who aren’t shallow too.   As Evan has often said, take a look at the average to below average couples at a mall, park or any public place–and you will see that beautiful women aren’t the only ones who pair up!   In fact, I still vividly remember the most beautiful couple I ever saw from a few years ago–because it happens so rarely that they just stood out!   (and there’s a good chance they really were models because I saw them around the Fashion District in NYC while I was on the way to a work conference)

    2. 3.2

      Women are just as “visual” as men if not more so. They think the perfect match for them is a handsome athletic tall guy who of course has to be well educated with a great job no matter what the personality. That’s why some of my best buddies with hearts of gold who may be average looking never even get a response on Match let alone meet a woman. Women are just as shallow, superficial as men and of course throw materialistic in that mix. Of course I don’t really think that myself because I would be stereotyping and sound ridiculous. Wouldn’t I?

    3. 3.3

      Wow this couldn’t be more off, Andrea. Personality is king. Women need to understand this. Looks may be what initially garners attention, but a great personality is what keeps us around. Out of all my friends, not one would disagree. In fact, I’ve never met one other male who rides it out with a so called “10,” who had a terrible personality. Talk about a stereotype.

  4. 4
    Michelle H.

    Good article; well thought out. Thanks.

  5. 5

    Both women and men are   visual and desire attractive partners..that on it’s own isn’t “shallow”.  The only problem is when that’s all they choose to focus on.

    1. 5.1
      Karmic Equation

      So are you saying that women who want attractive partners who are college-educated, are tall, and have a great salary are LESS shallow than men who only focus on looks?

      More criteria doesn’t make one less shallow.

      The point of my posts is that if a woman complains about men being shallow, she needs to make sure she isn’t living in a glass house.

      1. 5.1.1

        Karmic Equation,

        I agree with 100%

  6. 6

    “More criteria doesn’t make one less shallow”.

    I disagree. A man or woman choosing a partner that has substance/ intelligence/ a beautiful spirit in addition to looks has depth, whereas the one that focuses on looks alone doesn’t…


    1. 6.2
      Karmic Equation

      Sounds good Girly, if most women actually chose a man based on those criteria. After looks, which most women don’t admit to, their criteria are “tall”, “college educated”, and “makes as much or more than she does”.

      And the women who complain about being strung along for years? They don’t leave men who cheat on them, who are thoughtless, etc.

      In theory, you’re right. In practice, too many women choose men based on shallow, not substantive, criteria.


    2. 6.3

      Girly, Kamic is right.   You don’t seem to understand her point.   I do.


      Looks are superficial, and has nothing to do with what kind of person you are.



      The same is true of height, weight, fitness, education, salary, family you came from, power you have, how old you are, etc…   None of that has anything to do with what kind of person you are, or, more importantly, whether you are “right” for a specific guy.    The same is true for a man.   His height, weight, fitness, education, salary, etc., has nothing to do with what kind of person he is.   Many guys who would meet all of those criteria, or the criteria you have, are horrible people.   Some have killed their wives, many times more have and will cheat, some are abusive, etc….



      So let’s be honest here.   You have a long list of superficial criteria that a man must meet BEFORE you will invest any time in getting to know him as a person, as a potential life partner.   Most men have one criteria you have to meet BEFORE he will invest time in getting to know you as a person, as a potential life partner.   He has to like what he sees.   This does not make you less shallow.   In fact, it could be argued that it makes you more shallow.


      You won’t be told that in a social media site that creates a “safe space” for women.   But you don’t learn and grow from a “safe space” because safe spaces suppress the truth.   You will be comforted, but you won’t grow as a person.

      1. 6.3.1

        Girly didn’t give a long list that included weight, height fitness.   What she actually said initially was “Both women and men are   visual and desire attractive partners..that on it’s own isn’t “shallow”.  The only problem is when that’s all they choose to focus on.”   Then KE responded as if she assumed that the other criteria was just more shallow characteristics than looks. (I assumed she meant, in addition to looks, also look for character, disposition, etc) Then Girly replied “I disagree. A man or woman choosing a partner that has substance/ intelligence/ a beautiful spirit in addition to looks has depth, whereas the one that focuses on looks alone doesn’t…”

        In your long, unthought out reply you said “So let’s be honest here.   You have a long list of superficial criteria that a man must meet BEFORE you will invest any time in getting to know him as a person, as a potential life partner”

        That’s an assumption you made   (and KE also made)   when Girly said to not focus soley on looks.   I didn’t see a long list of superficial criteria from girly.   In fact, she said “beautiful spirit” in her short list.   Unless I missed her post with her “long list of superficial criteria” you are merely assuming.

        I too have been accused of having a long superficial criteria list for men, but I have never posted such a list on this board.   In fact I have frequently said I couldn’t care less about 6 feet in height and high income (and once called a liar because of it — again an ASSUMPTION made about me, that the assumer couldn’t let go of, so instead attacked me as “liar”).

        I did not see this long list of superficial criteria that you claim girly has.

        Perhaps you can link me to it, or give me the comment # where her long list of superficial criteria appears ?

        1. Karl R

          I’m going to have to side with SparklingEmerald on this one. Karmic Equation and Russell appear to have gone off somewhat  half-cocked.


          Girly hasn’t given any indication (on this thread) that most of  her criteria are superficial.


          If we’re looking at this more generally, Karmic Equation is correct.   A long list of criteria can be just a superficial as a short one.   In addition, some of the criteria we like to believe have depth are just as superficial as beauty.


          For a specific example, many of us (especially me) highly value intelligence.   Girly also mentioned it in a list which (I believe) was supposed to demonstrate “deeper” traits that she values.


          But if I’m going to be 100% honest with myself, the importance I place on intelligence is about as superficial as the importance other people put on height, age, breast size, etc.   You certainly don’t need to be a genius to be a good spouse or have a happy marriage.   I’m not even sure that being a genius helps a person be a better spouse.   (If anyone has seen a study that tracks intelligence against marital success — and isolates it from related factors — I would be fascinated to see it.)   Past a certain point, intelligence could conceivably tend to make one a worse spouse.   (Again, I have no evidence, save introspection, that this may be the case.)


          On the flip side, even shallow traits can be connected to extremely important factors.   Physical intimacy is extremely important in marriages.   My wife needs to be sufficiently attractive that I desire intimacy with her, rather than dreading it (and vice versa).   If I was less superficial, I might find a larger percentage of women physically attractive.   But I recognize my own limitations in that regard.


          Similarly, respect is extremely important in marriages.   My wife needs to be sufficiently intelligent that I respect her opinions, thoughts and perspective.   If I was less superficial, I might be better able to respect the opinions of people with near-average and/or below average intelligence.   But that’s a point that I will probably never reach.


          If any person is willing to be brutally honest with himself/herself, they would benefit by going through their entire list of criteria (however long or short) and determining to what extent each criterion is superficial.   The only requirement to perform this exercise is self-awareness … a higher degree of self-awareness than any of us choose to exercise on a regular basis.

        2. Christine

          Karl R: “You certainly don’t need to be a genius to be a good spouse or have a happy marriage.   I’m not even sure that being a genius helps a person be a better spouse.   (If anyone has seen a study that tracks intelligence against marital success – and isolates it from related factors – I would be fascinated to see it.)   Past a certain point, intelligence could conceivably tend to make one a worse spouse.   (Again, I have no evidence, save introspection, that this may be the case.)”

          Well, I don’t have a “study” on that per se, but perhaps you’d be interested in reading books about Albert Einstein’s and Stephen Hawking’s first marriages (and then, their subsequent divorces).   Just the fact that those marriages ended in divorces tells me that perhaps being a genius doesn’t make someone a better partner.   I’ve seen the movie based on Jane Hawking’s book about her marriage (“The Theory of Everything”), but would be interested in reading her book itself (Travelling to Infinity).   In her interviews, Jane Hawking said that even without the physical challenges from his disease, her marriage to Stephen Hawking probably would have ended anyway.   She goes into detail about how his all-consuming obsession with physics drew a wedge between them, and made her feel like he was shut inside a world she could never be a part of.   I think the first Mrs. Einstein had similar complaints (found a book about her too: In Albert’s Shadow: The Life and Letters of Mileva Maric).   

          After reading those, I may be even more thankful that me and my boyfriend are just “smart enough” (intelligent in our own ways without being that level of genius!)

        3. KK

          Nice comment, Karl. I couldn’t agree more. I will add that it’s refreshing to read someone’s thoughts that are introspective and self aware. Good job!

          @Sparkling Emerald, same goes for you.   🙂

        4. Karmic Equation

          I’m typing this from my alternate universe keyboard, as I’m defending Rusty here… I believe Rusty meant “Generic” you (as in “you women”) not specifically Girly-you 🙂

        5. Sparkling Emerald

          KE. Russell addressed Girly by name, told her she didn’t get your point (mentioning you by name) and his rely appeared under her post.   Nothing to indicate that he was addressing women in general.

        6. Karmic Equation

          I know that, SE.

          However, he did use paragraph breaks.

          And given that, like you, I agree that Girly didn’t provide a long list, and   even though I often disagree with Rusty, I can’t characterize him as an idiot, the only logical conclusion to reach is that starting with “Let’s be honest here”, he used poor syntax. I really think he meant to write “Women” instead of “You” starting there. Because THEN the rest of his post makes a lot more sense.

          If he was indeed ranting about Girly specifically, then he was totally off-base.

        7. Chance

          KE, I agree with you…. Seems pretty obvious he is using the generic “you”.   This is a contrived non-issue.

        8. Girly

          Thank you for getting it, Sparkling!

          My comment merely held a mirror to their beliefs and it revealed all kinds of things.   I’m going to make a “I want more than looks” T-shirt and see what other reactions it brings. lol!

          As far as intelligence being “superficial”, some of us like being mentally stimulated, you know? It’s not about being a scientist or a Harvard graduate, but rather someone who is well -spoken, wise, takes a second to consider another’s viewpoint instead of being reactive 😉
          Russel- “You have a long list of superficial criteria that a man must meet BEFORE you will invest any time in getting to know him as a person, as a potential life partner“.   This one doesn’t make sense. Why would you assume I can magically figure out if a man has substance/ intelligence/ a beautiful spirit before getting to know them? Is that even possible?   Perhaps you come across women that asked you about your I.Q or   your latest act of kindness as you were introducing yourself? Why bring the baggage of your previous interactions into this one?
          Many guys who would meet all of those criteria, or the criteria you have, are horrible people.   Some have killed their wives, many times more have and will cheat, some are abusive, etc”      
          I’m afraid this one doesn’t make sense either. How can someone with “substance” and a “beautiful” spirit” do these atrocious things?   This is where my “unrealistic”, “long list” comes in handy.
          “Most men have one criteria you have to meet BEFORE he will invest time in getting to know you as a person, as a potential life partner.   He has to like what he sees”.  
          I see that as being problematic and a major cause  of heartbreak for a lot of men.    They fall for an attractive woman and they project their ideal fantasy onto her. Fast forward a few months/ years later, and they’re cursing themselves for not raising their standards and expanding their criteria.
          I might be wrong, but it seems your experiences are based on online dating. In ordinary everyday life, if a woman is  curious  about you, she’s open to talking to you whether you fit the rest her criteria or not. When was the last time you walked up to a woman, she stopped you mid-sentence and asked you to fill out a questionnaire?
          Lastly, life gives us feedback 24/7.    Why would I modify my criteria if it’s available and I attract it? Sounds unwise and futile to me.
          How’s that for a “safe space”! 🙂

        9. Joe

          So how is needing to be intellectually stimulated by your partner any less shallow than needing to be visually stimulated by your partner?

        10. Girly

          You call it being more shallow, I call it being pickier…

          Smart men that know how hold a conversation , think before they speak and are witty enough to banter with me TURN ME ON!!! 🙂

          You only live once. Why settle for a pretty face when you can have more? ( Unless that’s enough   to keep you excited about someone long-term).

          Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life; Love shouldn’t be one of them.”


  7. 7

    It is insecurity.   I assume that given your age, you aren’t dating 22 year olds.

    I think Evan is on to something – are these guys recently divorced?   Recently out of long relationship?   Are they hitting 40?   These types of events lead to exactly this type of behavior!   Rapid excitement, the desire to seal the deal, and then panic which leads to disappearing.

    I know it’s hard to do, but screen out guys that show signs of being on the rebound.   Secure guys take things slowly and don’t fast forward relationships.   After all, relationships that burn hot quickly usually fizzle out.

    1. 7.1

      I think you may be onto something, though of course there are many variables. I found while dating that newly single men who had previously been in LTRs did commonly try to move very fast and establish a sense of intimacy immediately b/c they missed the warmth and safety of being in a relationship and were not accustomed to being single/dating

  8. 8

    “Men are more willing to compromise than pop-culture promotes”.

    Maybe, but that didn’t seem the case with the guys in my social circle.   They don’t mind hooking up with the hot airhead, but they want to date the beautiful, spunky, smart woman they can’t get enough of.

    BTW, I never said men were more shallow-just “those” (men or women) that focus on looks alone….

    I am new here,but from the  replies I’m guessing there’s a lot of “gender war” thing going on( hence the knee-jerk reactions).

    Interesting…   .)


  9. 9

    I may be reading too much into the letter, but I think Carrie was saying that her experience with men going overboard is so common, it doesn’t feel genuine. As Evan responded, he’s felt that overwhelming chemistry with six women, and he dated a lot of women. Statistically speaking, you aren’t going to feel that way about very many people in your life. That Carrie would be the recipient of a strong chemical/attraction/lust response from so many men may come across to her as neediness or desperation?? I’m guessing here.

  10. 10
    Elly Klein

    Really well-said, Evan.

    Just keep going, Carrie. You’ll find a decent fella with his sh!t together soon enough. Slow but steady wins the race.

  11. 11

    I’ve had many, many interactions with men that are exactly as the letter writer describes. It can be really frustrating and in the past I’ve been very rude or hurtful to some really great guys out of sheer   irritation. When someone puts you on a pedestal, it’s annoying and kind of painful because they fail to “see” you. Sometimes it has made me just want to be like, “omg, I’m just another human and I’m as stinky and gross and weird as the rest of them!”


    While i “know” all the stuff Evan has said in this post, it’s great to see it broken down. For me it’s a reminder to be kind to people because more often than not they aren’t trying to be crazy or purposefully annoying, they might not be able to fucking help it!


    thanks for the inspiration, Evan.

  12. 12

    Obsidian said “@KarmicEquation,
    Please forgive me if I’m wrong — but I’m given to understand that you’re of Asian background? If so, might I suggest that, based on the data, you too have a “leg up” in the mating market. Like it or not, Asian women are seen as the more desirable of ladies on the open mating market here in the States. I think we have to factor things like this into the equation we have have these kinds of discussions. I’m just sayin’.
    So, who has it better, O? Asian women or blondes? Please let us know. LOL

  13. 13

    The woman in question is confused about men disappearing after being “bum rushed”.   I would like to know more about how she is behaving.    I don’t want to be  worshipped or “blow torched” but sometimes men want to move the relationship forward but the are just inept about it.    If man wants to meet your friends or family and you drag your feet, of course he is going to walk away.

    1. 13.1

      I do not believe that Carrie is talking about a situation where a man genuinely has put forward an invite to meet friends and family.

      She is talking about the premature (first through third date) statements that guys make , talking dramatically about the future before either of them know each other enough to even be at that stage.

  14. 14


    I am black and I get the same response from men. I am not sure if it’s a white thing as much as it’s a physical attractive thing. If you are beautiful, men make an exception no matter your color. However, I do understand your overall point. I will add that this type of behavior seems to be something I come across online more than anywhere else.   I think there are a few psychological reasons for why these men act the way they do in online dating but I digress.

    1. 14.1


      I somewhat agree with you but here’s the thing:

      Most black women aren’t lining up to marry white men either. In fact, I would dare to say that many are just as strongly opposed to marry out of their race as much as white men are similarly opposed.    So hey,  I call it ‘even’.   Black men primarily marry/date black women as well….same with Asian men.   So, I think black women tend to be able to date who they want to date in the first place.   However, I agree with you that overall, black women do have a harder time. However, I still think that the black women who fit the stereotypical standards of beauty tend to have the same opportunities as others but that is just in my limited experience from what I’ve seen – no research to back it up.

      Thanks for your insight.

      By the way, I am far from light skinned (although I do fit in the slim/athletic, slightly buxom, ‘take very good care of myself’, natural long hair  category). I am not naive and I know this has a lot to do with it.

    2. 14.2

      By the way, when I said ‘same with Asian men’, I simply meant that Asian men aren’t desired highly outside their race as well.

  15. 15

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is personality disorders. I don’t have statistics and I wouldn’t ever want to say that EVERY man  that acts like this is a sociopath, but there is enough evidence to suggest that you should treat it as a red flag. It’s called “love bombing”. The disordered do this to throw you off course. If put on a pedestal and adored, their hope is that you will be so enamored and flattered that you will not ever question their true intentions. So, I’m sure some of theses guys are just insecure or sincerely want to jump into relationship mode a little too soon, but the possibility of it being something far more sinister is there and I would proceed with caution.

    1. 15.1

      KK, You are on target.   The man who came on the strongest to me was the biggest narcissist I have ever dealt with.   In addition to immediately asserting his love and that we were perfect for one another , he was making bold claims about his superiority to people he worked with, criticism of others and exacting standards, claims about his physical prowess in the gym and in his sports activities, and displaying a ton of additional narcissistic tendencies (taking selfies,   generally steering conversations towards his life and activities, spending lavishly on unnecessary status items such as a fancy truck and a high end Harley despite a rather moderate salary).   Two years or so later after that debacle, I am better at recognizing those types of red flags.

      I have been dating a man recently who has definitely come on quite strong verbally, and has also displayed tendencies of potential substance over-use , and not so great communications including over reliance on texting.   It’s a bummer because we have a whole slew of similarities in our backgrounds and interests.   My friends were excited for me about him.   The good news is that it is early yet, so I can’t get too heat broken if it doesn’t pan out,    and I have a ton of other great stuff going on in my life so I am prepared to weather a potential disappointment   (recent awesome review and a raise at my job, progressing in my sport, saving money)

    2. 15.2
      Karl R

      KK said:

      “I don’t have statistics and I wouldn’t ever want to say that EVERY man that acts like this is a sociopath,”

      “I’m sure some of theses guys are just insecure or sincerely want to jump into relationship mode a little too soon, but the possibility of it being something far more sinister is there”


      I’m fairly good with statistics (and research), so I looked for some.   It’s hard to find good (consistent) data on sociopathy.   It’s also hard to find good statistics on social awkwardness.   That said, the available studies suggest that perhaps 1% to 2% of people are sociopaths.   About 50% of people are socially awkward when dating.


      In all likelihood, the vast majority of these men are merely socially awkward.   That said, even the socially awkward men aren’t thinking clearly or rationally about their own behavior.   That, in itself, would be a yellow flag for most individuals.

        1. Karl R

          I saw that article too.   It relies on a couple of the higher estimates.   In addition, it slightly misrepresents the results of the studies.   It includes people who would best be described as having minor or mild psychopathic tendencies (13 or higher on the standard tests) and calls them psychopaths.   A clinical psychologist or psychiatrist certainly wouldn’t make that kind of diagnosis based on that type of score on that type of test.

      1. 15.2.2

        Karl-also the “socially awkward” may only be that way under this circumstance where he feels he’s in reach of grabbing the brass ring )his dream woman according to American society). Go to any bar observe a beautiful blonde making normally rational men trip over themselves to get her attention. And this woman pretty much describes herself as the whole package of looks, personality, etc.

  16. 16

    Future faking, love bombing, deceit…all red flags. It could be red flags of  an insecure man at best or a sociopathic, narcissistic, potential abuser, at worst. Maybe Carrie has heard some of these warning signs from her clients. I would also suspect Carrie is not only attractive and smart, but an empath and very nice to her dates. All invitations to men that use these techniques to gain control of a relationship early on.

    While I appreciate Evan’s five reasons for men moving too fast, he down plays the control symptoms even if he eludes to them in each section (Lock it down, projecting, irrational…)

    Why do they disappear? Because in some way Carrie is  being the rational, smart, emotionally mature person, and they detect they won’t be able to control her. If they disappear as quickly as they propose marriage, what does that tell you about their emotional stability? Thank your lucky stars they did, and you did not become their supply source or get locked into the deception, that again can ultimately lead to abuse.

    By asking the question Carrie, you are on your way to having less of these types approach you, as you will recognize the warning signs earlier and may not even go out on first dates. You won’t be as likely to buy in to these comments, that do not happen with more emotionally mature couples, and you will not feel the rejection. Feeling rejection is a warning sign to yourself, that you are letting down boundaries and you believed, even for a second, the lies and future faking.

    Finally ask yourself what is it in your behavior that might be allowing guys to even think saying such things on a first or second date is normal. Are you offering too much of yourself early on as well? Do you have your boundaries and self worth well defined?

    1. 16.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Au contraire. I think you’re assigning nefarious controlling motives when often there are none. I’m only speaking for myself here, but there have been a handful of times that I’ve been overly crazy about a woman…and it had nothing with some sociopathic control issue as much as it did excitement and chemistry.

    2. 16.2

      I would hesitate to go as far as advising anyone to  “recognize the warning signs earlier and may not even go out on first dates.”   I think Evan is right to say that not all men who are overly praising or complimentary are nefarious.   In my experience, some a simply socially awkward, others are genuine but moving too fast,   and several have been narcissistic types.   If there are no major red flags ,   it is worth a few dates to figure this out.

  17. 17

    Yes Evan, you are speaking from your experience, as am I. You offered five very possible reasons, and I added others. Nefarious, yes, because it is. I brought up this possibility of these men possibly being controlling because 1. It’s not talked about enough 2. I want women to think about the red flags and learn to listen to them before it is too late and 3. I don’t want any other person to go through what I did. I speak from my experience too, Evan. I’ve had four significant relationships. In three of them, including my ex husband of 19 years, there was never future faking, but there was instant attraction and chemistry, but no talk of marriage, etc. until later. They were intense, moved relatively quickly, and I am in a healthy relationship now. The other (third in line)man told me he wanted to marry me after our first conversation over the phone. He told me he loved me 3 weeks in, and we hadn’t even met in person. That was the beginning of the controlling behavior that led to abuse. I didn’t know the warning signs or even the possibility that men like that existed. I gave him every benefit of the doubt and excuse, including some you talk about. It has taken a lot to recover which I have and am now with a mature man that has none of the characteristics Carrie described, but are very close to those of my abuser.

  18. 18
    Mrs Happy

    I think Chris’ end of comment at 15, is quite pertinent. There is something about what the OP is doing (the types of men she chooses, and then her conduct communicating and being with them) that is leading to these interactions occurring more often than would be expected.

    These are some of my ideas on that:

    1. The OP is dating below her market worth, and men want to lock her in fast. (I did this and had the same lots-of-proposals experiences, though without the disappearing.)

    2. She tends to choose avoidant or anxious types (see an Evan’s previous blog comments on that issue, i.e. secure versus anxious versus avoidant relationship pattern personality types). Or even controlling types, as mentioned above. Then, when her behaviour illustrates to these men, she won’t play into the role they’re hoping she’ll fall into, they leave.

    3. There is something in her personality/character/behaviour/background that turns many men off, so in droves they flee early on.


    The 2nd part of the OP’s query is, how to avoid these guys, and how to not be too hurt.

    1. Avoid them by dating totally different types to the ones you are currently choosing, and then behaving differently on dates. Ask male friends or blunt female friends/relatives, to be brutally honest and tell you what you may be doing to put men off. (And accept their opinions without arguing back, or getting angry at them.)

    2. Try to invest little in the first few dates in terms of emotional connection, to minimise your hurt, and try to date more than one man at a time until/unless there’s a relationship. Try to keep boundaries – your own.


    I’m not too sure chemistry and fantasy have much to do with the OP’s problem, because if they felt such chemistry, surely the men wouldn’t disappear so quickly? If they held you up as their fantasy woman, surely they’d stick around for longer?


    Oh – and Karl R, welcome back. Love your brain.

    1. 18.1

      Agree with Chris on “I would also suspect Carrie is not only attractive and smart, but an empath and very nice to her dates. All invitations to men that use these techniques to gain control of a relationship early on.” Carrie’s enquiry is exactly what I would write and I do end  up with controlling types. I have come to realise there is indeed such a thing as being too nice, when you offer empathy too readily most people leap for it, identifying it as a  weakness or a crutch.

      I feel it is important to leave no ground for doubt, be kind but firm. Leave the  empathy for when you are in a relationship. I am still learning though and any advice is welcome.  

      Agree with Mrs Happy too that “The OP is dating below her market worth, and men want to lock her in fast. (I did this and had the same lots-of-proposals experiences, though without the disappearing.)” This is me to a T. I don’t have people disappearing too but get these too fast too quick people often. I want to date the confident and insightful kind. Not the controlling or emotionally high maintenance kind. Any advice is appreciated.  

      2. Try to invest little in the first few dates in terms of emotional connection, to minimise your hurt, and try to date more than one man at a time until/unless there’s a relationship. Try to keep boundaries — your own.

      This is the conclusion I come to as well for myself and her in terms of saving some hurt.

  19. 19
    Sarah Lund

    Well then, they’d better keep their “chemistry-driven” outbursts to themselves. I’ve had male friends say similar things to me, except didn’t think they mean half of those things. I’ve got enough life experience to recognise when a man is exaggerating. I would take it with a pinch of salt. Sometimes men act on chemistry, instead of logic. So do women. However, sometimes you have to hold yourself back. Unless you feel sure of him.

  20. 20

    Why do men do any of the strange things that they do? There’s only one reason:

    Because women made them think that it’s a good idea.


    Women are so incredibly terrible at introspection that they are forever directing horrible advice at men, and men do their best to follow it and are worse off for it. These guys? Undoubtedly victims of years of being told “you don’t make women feel special enough!”

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