Dating

Normally I avoid these kind of sites like a plague, but I stumbled across this article linked to a blog I sometimes read. I think some will find this man’s opinions to be sexist. I think others will find his opinions to be insightful. I found his opinions to be both. Despite his claims to the contrary he is very tactful, though it may not look that way below where I extract just the quotes I found interesting, leaving out his tact.

From

Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women?
08:05 am on Sep 17th 2007 Evan Marc Katz


I’m 41, happy with my rounded self, smart, direct, and articulate.

I’ve been told that my lack of dates is due to:

1) Men don’t like smart, direct women, and

2) I’m centered, which sends the message that I don’t need anyone.

Are men really that insecure? I’m certainly not going to be less than I am just for someone else’s insecurities.

Tell me honestly, Evan – are there any good men out there who appreciate a woman who knows herself?

snip…….


Hi, Evan:

I do not know what is going on and why I am lacking luck in finding Mr. Right. I am educated, refined, and a self made millionaire by age 34. I am good looking. Many men, women, elderly, and children of all age have told me so. People also told me that I am one of nicest and sweetest people they have ever met. Even though I am 36, most of the people I meet would think that I am only 26. Unfortunately, I have been through all kinds of online dates in the last two and a half years. CEOs, doctors, lawyers, hedge fund mangers, business owners, professional athletes, actors, etc… When I am not interested in them, they work for the relationship day and night. When I am committed to them and act nice and devoted, they start to look elsewhere. Anyway, in short, I need some serious help and hope to hear back from you soon. Thank you.

snip……..

Great letters. Important question. But first I want to start off with a hypothetical email from a man.


Dear Evan,

Dear Evan,

I’m what you’d call a “nice guy”. I make a good living, I’m pretty attractive, and I treat women well. In fact, all of my female friends comment on what a great catch I am. But then I see those same women dating jerks. Yet they would never consider going out with me. So what do you think? Am I cursed to be alone just because I know how to be kind to women? Isn’t being nice a good quality? What’s wrong with women these days? Please let me know.

snip…….

Men reading this might empathize with Jason. Women reading this may feel bad for him, yet also want to him to know that it’s not BECAUSE he’s nice that he’s not attracting women. It’s because he’s doesn’t have masculine energy. It’s because he constantly seeks the approval of others. It’s because he’s not sexually aggressive. It’s because he sacrifices his personal power to be conciliatory. These are common attributes of nice guys, yet nice guys think that women don’t like nice guys BECAUSE they’re nice.

Not true. Women want nice guys – nice guys with opinions who stand up for themselves and know how to take control.

Smart women are very much like nice guys.

“I’m intelligent, I’m direct, I’m successful, yet I can’t seem to find a quality guy who appreciates me.”

Men like smart women. I do. My male coaching clients do as well. So how is it that all these successful men are not connecting with all these successful women?

Because there is much more going on than merely a meeting of the minds.

What never occurs to some women is that:
What never occurs to some women is that:

They’re being evaluated on far more than their most “impressive” traits.

These traits sometimes come with a significant downside that is painful to acknowledge.

Take me, for example. I’m a reasonably bright guy. I make a fair living. I can write a decent joke. These are my good traits. But right behind my good traits are a series of bad traits. Anyone reading this blog can see that:

The flip side of being bright is being opinionated.

The flip side of being analytical is being difficult.

The flip side of being funny is being sarcastic.

The flip side of having moral clarity is being arrogant.

The flip side of being entrepreneurial is being a workaholic.

The flip side of being charismatic is being self-centered.

Again, not EVERY person who is bright is opinionated, and not EVERY person who is funny is sarcastic. But there’s enough anecdotal evidence to suggest a strong correlation. And I’m just talking about MYSELF here. And if my good qualities come with bad qualities, have you considered that yours might as well?

So when I hear a woman talk about how “direct” she is, the first thing I think is: “She’s tactless.” I wrote about this in an article for Match.com entitled “Are You Honest… Or Overboard?” Self-proclaimed “direct” people often tell their dates what they think about them even if the date didn’t ask. They often try to change partners who have no desire to be changed. When the partner pulls away because he doesn’t want to be with someone so critical, the “direct” person concludes that he couldn’t appreciate her “honesty”.

snip…..

When a man goes out with a woman, he’s not as concerned with whether she’s articulate and on track to make partner at the law firm. That’s what women want in men and they assume it’s of equal importance to them. It’s generally not. Men DO value intelligence, but they also want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates. Warmth, affection, nurturing, thoughtfulness. If he finds himself constantly hearing all the things he needs to change, he may just determine that he wants a bright woman who is less challenging. Not a Stepford Wife. Not a bimbo. Not a maid. Just someone who makes his life EASIER and more pleasant.

Listen, I’ve spent my life chasing after women I’ve intellectually admired. Invariably, all of them had major issues with me. They’re not wrong for seeing things I could change. But a huge reason I’m with my wife is because she spends her time loving and supporting me, not challenging me on everything from movie tickets, to travel plans, to wake up times. She’s easy, in the best sense of the word.

The point I found the most interesting is that the same qualities can be seen as positive or negative depending on how those traits are described. Also, the same trait, which may be great in one situation or of value to one person may be a turn off for someone else in another situation.

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12 thoughts on “Dating”

  1. I can see how some people might, especially other things in the article that I did not quote. There are people who would object to one personality trait being deemed “masculine” or “feminine”. Others would object to the implication that a woman should act differently on a date then she would at work. LOL, you can tell that I read the comments to his article.

  2. I didn’t think the parts you quoted were sexist. The most sensible thing in the article is the point that people of both sexes say, “Nobody wants to date me because I’m just so awesome,” and that it’s pretty much always BS.

    I tend to stop paying attention, though, whenever somebody starts talking about what all women think or what all men want – because that’s pretty much always BS too.

  3. I think there are trends for groups of people and that most of us would be unable to function in society without using some generalities. However, generalities are a place to start. Once you have a start then it is time to deal with people as individuals.

    The interesting thing is that the authors points didn’t have to be about men and women. His “flip side” traits would pretty much turn anyone off coming from anyone in a dating situation. The author mentioned an example of how his traits which were similar to the women who wrote into him were not appreciated by many of his dates.

    I think his article included the verbiage it did as a means of tactfully telling the men that nobody enjoys dating a wus, tactfully telling the women that nobody enjoys dating a ball buster and tactfully reminding people that their good traits are not all of their traits that their dates experience.

  4. Certainly it is necessary to make some generalizations in order to function in society. For example, you can usually assume that if you go to a social function after not having showered for three weeks, you probably won’t be considered terribly attractive. But gender-based generalizations are usually not in the same category as that. The parts I’m thinking of are here:

    “When a man goes out with a woman, he’s not as concerned with whether she’s articulate and on track to make partner at the law firm. That’s what women want in men and they assume it’s of equal importance to them. It’s generally not.”

    and here:

    “But a huge reason I’m with my current girlfriend is because she spends her time loving and supporting me, not challenging me on everything from movie tickets, to travel plans, to wake up times.”

    The latter’s not technically a generalization, but in context it reads like one. It sounds like the author’s saying that all women value their partner’s career success (that is, status and money) above all else, and all men are primarily looking to have their egos massaged.

    Just making those generalizations doesn’t bother me – it just strikes me as a bit silly. But when you go a step further and say that it’s somehow *necessary* to assume that any given woman is looking for a sugar daddy until she gives some indication to the contrary, that’s heading into dangerous territory.

    As an aside, I don’t think that the real reason that self-described “nice guys” can’t get dates is because nobody wants a wuss. It’s because in actuality, such guys really aren’t all that nice – just like women who complain that men are afraid to approach them (or they suffer some other disadvantage) because they’re too hot, aren’t usually all that hot.

  5. I do think gender based generalizations ( per a specific culture ) are in the category of generalizations you need to function. Like I wrote, you start off with a generalization and adjust things as you get to know the individual.

    In regards to your other comments I think you are extrapolating too much from what the author wrote.

  6. Generalizations (gender-based or otherwise) are what dating sites, soap operas, agony aunts and “reality” television need to function. Individuals need them only to be able to say “there, but for the grace of Richard Dawkins, go I.” But upon this need has been built a vast, exploitative industry that is a very, very long way before wisdom.

    Surely, BW, you wouldn’t start off your relationship with anyone on the basis of a generalization, a stereotype, a preconceived notion. Why, that would be sexist / racist / speciesist / florist / amethyst (I am running out of words here – perhaps I am an exhaustiverbalist).

    As to “extrapolating too much from what the author wrote” – well, what the author wrote was a reflection of the times, and il faut qu’il vive (mais…) But it does rather perpetuate the idea, dontcha think, that what men really want (and deserve) from women is “support”. To do what? And why?

  7. Hi Woubit;

    I don’t think a person wanting a relationship to be supportive and nourishing means that person is looking to have her/his ego stroked or that they are looking to exploit someone, I think it only makes that person is a human being.

    I grew up in a liberal household. All of the women in my family and all of my parent’s friends were 70s era feminists. I grew up on the stuff. The idea that men and women are not the same and that they want different things in similar situations feels palpably scandalous to me.

    Yet, I have to go with what I have seen over the course of a life time, rather than the comfortable ideal belief that I was raised with.

    To quote Groucho Marx:

    “Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?”

    Continuing to hold a belief after I have seen reaility to be different would literally make me into a fool.

    I don’t believe the observation that you can draw generalities for many men and women is exclusive with the ideas of equality and respect for individuals as they are. No matter how many times you gently mock my alias.

  8. I agree that women and men are not the same. On average, there are differences, and most of those differences needn’t have anything to do with equality between the sexes.

    However, this isn’t about generalizations in general – it’s about the specific generalizations made in the article. When you start edging in the direction of “Men want to be controlling; women want to be controlled,” that very much is antithetical to the idea of equality between the sexes.

    I’ll also note, with regard to generalizations in general, that even if a generalization is true on average, encouraging or relying on it too heavily can do all kinds of harm to the people who are different from the average. I’m thinking mostly of women who choose careers in fields that women “aren’t supposed to be good at,” and in which career success is largely dependent on subjective assessments. But that is a topic for another conversation.

  9. I don’t think the author of the article wrote that men want to be controlling and that women want to be controlled. I think he wrote that men don’t want to be incessantly challenged on everything and that they don’t enjoy being bluntly criticized on a date. Not the same things.

    About your last point, neither the author nor I advocated using general rules to the exclusion of personal observation of individual circumstances.

  10. I brought up my last point because it seems to me that in response to the question “Why is it necessary/desirable to make gender-based generalizations,” you’re saying “Because some gender-based generalizations are true.” My point is that even if a particular generalization is true on average, using it can still be a bad idea because of the harm done to the people who do not fit the generalization.

    I don’t think the solution is quite as easy as saying that you will allow individual observations to override the general rule – in my experience, once a generalization enters your subconscious, it is very difficult to get it back out.

    I’m saying these things not to argue for the sake of arguing, but to respectfully encourage you to re-examine your line of thinking. I don’t mean it as a criticism either – I’ve actually found myself guilty of jumping to false conclusions based on the very generalizations that have harmed me in the past. So it’s something that I need to work on too. Being aware of the harm that is done is the first step.

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