Monday, February 24, 2014

6 Ways Men Mask Their Indifference

Whenever you are dating or seeing a guy, and there is some kind of external impediment to a normal relationship (or to the normal progress of a relationship), be skeptical of what "feels" true. By external impediment, I mean some factor outside the relationship that is making things between you difficult or impossible. You can scan the headings below to get an idea of what I mean. A man's affection in these situations will sometimes feel very much like the real thing, when the truth is that he is only allowing himself to fully express his feelings - or even slightly exaggerate them - because he knows that he is engaging in an impossible (or terminal) relationship. In other words, he will indulge in the relationship because he knows that he has an "out," and commitment will never be demanded of him.

Some men will do this in a manipulative way: they will consciously acknowledge to themselves that the relationship is a dead end, but act like everything is fine in order to continue in a fun or exciting or comfortable situation. More commonly, however, men will simply enjoy the relationship or the interaction with you, and will sub-consciously allow themselves to be more free with their affections or emotions or compliments, because they know in the back of their mind that they will never be forced to prove them by committing to you.

This isn't always the case, and your intuition is probably a strong guide in judging whether it applies in your case; but that intuition will be stronger still after understanding that this kind of behavior is a possibility, and recognizing the following ways in which this phenomenon can manifest itself:

1. Long Distance
This is probably the most common one. When a man is in another city or country, the pressure is off. He might not be cheating, but he is automatically expected to see you less, call you less, and generally be less involved in your life. Even though there is no impediment to him calling frequently, as he would if he were living down the street, it isn't expected of him. I've never been in a long distance relationship, but a few times I've kept in touch (for several months) with girls that I've met while traveling, so I know what this freedom feels like, and how low-investment those relationships are. The fact is that, if you are in different cities, you aren't on his mind anywhere near as much as you would be otherwise. When you are in the same place as a man, you occupy his thoughts frequently because there is always a possibility that you will be able to see each other soon. He is constantly entertaining this possibility in his mind, weighing it against other options. Even if you don't see each other as much as you'd like, he is still forced to think about that possibility (and therefore you) far more often. You are much more immediate to him. But when you are dating long-distance, there is no possibility to be together, and he mentally "shelves" you - that is, he makes you less of a priority in his life - because he knows that physical intimacy is not possible (and I don't only mean sexual intimacy). So a man in a long-distance relationship can put in far less effort to maintain the same level of commitment from you.

2. Technology
By technology I mean cell phones, text messaging, e-mail, etc. While these might seem to be facilitators of a relationship (as they make communication easier), they can often be exactly the opposite. Technology diminishes the amount of personal interaction that we have when we communicate, and, perhaps more importantly, allows us to multi-task. A guy can chat with you online every day, sometimes for hours, but because he is bored at work, while you are thinking "He texts me all the time even though he is busy at work." One time a girl thought I was falling in love with her because I called her almost every day for a couple weeks while I was driving home from work. The reality was that I just enjoyed talking to her and flirting, and I had nothing else to do during my commute. By the time I realized how much she'd read into it, it was too late. In extreme instances, a guy could be texting you from another woman's bed. Even if he doesn't multi-task like this, and uses his free time to contact you via chat or phone or video, it is less valuable than it is if you see him in person. If a guy spends an hour with you on video-chatting, for example, he only needs to be in front of his computer (or these days, his smartphone) in order to do it. In order to spend time with you in person, he would have to shower and get changed, travel to be with you, allow extra time for uncertainties like traffic or a change of plans, and then commute back. That one hour would be effectively two or three by the end of it. So interpret anything less than in-person one-on-one time with the caution it deserves.

3. His Relationship
Married men who are cheating on their wives, or guys who flirt with you even though they have a girlfriend, will never have to demonstrate how willing they are to commit to you. They can always hide behind their inability to leave their current woman. Judging from the e-mails I get, it is fairly common for men in marriages to profess their love to a mistress, but simultaneously claim that their hands are tied: "I would do anything for you, you know that - but I have a family; I can't just leave them." Getting involved with married men is a bad idea for many reasons, but this is an important one. He can continue to have the benefits of a secret relationship, always blaming his lack of intimacy on the fact that he is married and has and family, when the truth is that he wouldn't enter a serious relationship with you even if he were single. More commonly, a guy with a girlfriend might flirt with you and get your hopes up, when the reality is that he wouldn't want to be your boyfriend even if he were single; and it is precisely the knowledge that he can't be your boyfriend that gives him the liberty to engage in flirting with you. 

4. Your Relationship
You might be dating a guy that you are only semi-enthusiastic about, or thinking about breaking up with. Or perhaps you are married but unhappy. And there is a hot, single guy in your life that gives you a lot of attention. In fact, you are sure that if you weren't tied up, he'd be all over you. Think again. Men often allow themselves to enjoy the flirting, the sexual tension, the affirmation of your attraction and all the other makings of a courtship when they know that there is no pressure on them to follow through. They might not be attracted to you enough to make a move, but they will allow themselves to engage in the fun parts of the exchange because they know they will never have to. This is essentially the same mechanism as described in the previous point, except that it is a little more risky for the man, in the sense that he isn't in control of whether or not you end the relationship that is "preventing" something from happening between you and him.

5. Academic Degrees or Careers
I am sure some readers have been told "I love you, but I can't get engaged now; I need to graduate first." This might be true, but evaluate that statement with a heavy degree of cynicism. He could truly feel the need to get a piece of paper before making a commitment, or he could be uncertain about making a commitment to you at all and using his education as an excuse. Are you willing to wait until he graduates only to find out that he actually isn't as serious about you as you thought, or that he wants to "spend some time on his own" before he can commit to a future with you? The same kind of thing can be said about getting a promotion at work, or achieving financial stability (whatever that means), or buying a house. It all has potential to be bullshit.

6. Religious or Cultural Differences
Maybe your guy has told you that he "can't marry a non-Indian girl" (and you are American) or "I can't marry a non-Jewish girl" (and you are Catholic). While both of these might be perfectly true, men will often acknowledge their cultural or religious limitations and still continue to date you. I know plenty of guys who have done this, and the women simply hold on, thinking that maybe he will change his mind. Especially when it comes to culture and religion, you should take these men at their word: the relationship is a dead end. While there are a few Romeo and Juliet stories in the world, they tend to be played out only when both parties have little else in life to lose, not by people with comfortable lives and limitations imposed by cultures or creeds that they don't actually engage in or practice anyway. If you are trying (for example) to get a Hindu Indian doctor from a wealthy family to marry you, when you are a dark-skinned Muslim without an advanced degree, and his family has "expectations" about who he will marry, you are fighting a a losing battle against unreasonable prejudice: give up and cut your losses.


Related Posts
1. Men Don't Have Commitment Problems
2. The Analogy Between Sex and Commitment
3. The Dynamics of Dating Shy Men
4. Don't Let a Guy Waste Your Most Eligible Years

52 comments:

  1. Andrew, I feel like this post is missing one more big mask. I'd call it Convenience, not sure what you would call it. It's the tendancy for people to form a relationship simply because they are horny and are in close proximity to another--not because each other finds the other particularly special. And it's usually clear to outsiders that the guy has no hopes of settling down with convenience-based partners. Plenty of men stay in relationships that lack a future or strong connection (some may clearly be unhealthy) not because they particularly are interested in the girl, but just because it's convenient for them. I've seen it happen so many times where the relationship goes when the element of convenience disappears. I mean, let's face it. A lot of men just take what they can get because of proximity. Do you have some tips for seeing past this type of mask?

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    1. The difference here is that you are completely in control of how easy or convenient you make the relationship for him. Don't be easy and this won't be a problem.

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    2. I agree, which is why I've never been in that situation. "Don't be easy and this won't be a problem" works for #3 His Relationship as well. Just saying, Convenience probably derserves a place on the list.

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    3. Hi Andrew, on the topic of Convenience, I think I maybe in one. I am currently living with a guy right now at a sharehouse for 2 months already. He asked me several times to go out with him and I said no. While I do find him attractive, I've always thought of the saying, "Don't shit where you eat" and I think he's only asking me out because he recently learned that I started seeing another guy. Or.. another reason that I could think of is that it's convenient for him to ask me out because we live on the same roof. While I also find him nice and funny, there are some qualities about him that I find annoying. I'm really attracted to this other guy that I'm seeing but also to this housemate of mine. I'm confused. Should I give this a shot? We're both in our mid20s from Australia.

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  2. men flirt so often with women they dont even like? is it just for physical beauty, or does it even matter what she looks like, are they just looking for an ego boost?

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    1. I believe they are "in the moment". Andrew had a post on this some time ago I believe. I doubt they flirt with women they don't like. I think on that particular occassion (probably drunk) he may have thought she was alright but then came to his senses later.

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  3. Bahaha, your account of what Hindu Indian families want is pretty spot-on -- it is true that the nightmare scenario for the Hindu son's wife would be "dark-skinned Muslim girl without advanced academic degrees." Haha, if only you'd added "Pakistani" to that description, and it would have been perfect. Were you in a relationship with an Indian girl at some point? I imagine that's why you know all this :P

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    1. I have dated Indian girls, but I didn't have that problem. The example is a real one though; it describes a friend of mine.

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    2. Andrew-does your mom expect you to marry a woman of your religion? ...do you? The weight of family expectations is very important. Sometimes when dating it's easy to mesh into general mushiness of social circles and forget about your religious values... Do you also think it betrays your religious beliefs to date/marry someone against your parents' wishes? I have my own biases, and based on the two significant relationships I've had (w a christian and a jewish guy), there are certain religions from which I won't date. But surprisingly, my christian mom liked the jewish guy I dated. My dad pretty much agrees w my mom, but it made me realize that understanding a guy's religious beliefs and their importance in a relationship should be added to my to-ask list. Do you find in your experience that religion comes up, is an issue, or are people just happy to get laid and betray their religious beliefs just to be in a relationship?

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    3. ...i also expected religion to be a sticky issue w my parents, but even the guy's mom loved me and i kept dating him because i had such a good relationship w his mom lol But if I were the date a guy w different religious beliefs I'd want to get his parents' support. Maybe I'm old-fashioned. Would you think asking a guy's parents whether they supported the relationship makes sense? [Assuming he has a reasonably worthwhile relationship w them and that they'd be involved in the guy's life.]

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  4. Hi Andrew. I am a long time reader of this blog and enjoy your opinion on most topics.
    I am wondering how men feel about their female coworkers. Can you do a post on this?

    Recently, I went out for drinks with a coworker and we ended up kissing. I've only seen him at work once since then (we work in a restaurant) and it went fine. We were busy but joked around and made eye contact and I think he blushed a little.

    Is there potential? Do men consider dating their female coworkers, or is it typically a hook up only kind of thing? Your thoughts? Full disclosure: I'm a white 20-something living in the U.S. Thanks!

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    1. I would also like to read a post about co-workers. Those can be some of the most confusing flirting situation.

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    2. A guy who is completely into you will find a way to get to you outside of work. Andrew's got some posts on not getting approached during the day, but if you indicate interest without initiating but he doesn't "take the bait" and invite you out somewhere he may simply want to have sex with you. In my experience guys are usually not too concerned with relationships in the workplace unless there's a company policy that could get them fired.

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  5. Moral of the day is, when a man tells you something, BELIEVE HIM. Simple. I've stuck by it from day 1. My previous person told me something like "I've got a lot of bullshit" etc etc - He convinced me, I believed him, and dropped it immediately. I do not care the reason he told me that - indifference or to protect me - just glad he did. Just listen ladies.

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    1. A corollary is that you must be prepared to hear something you may well find unpleasant if you are going to be told the truth. Jack Nicholson in the film "A Few Good Men" comes to find ---- You want the truth ? You want the truth ? You can't handle the truth !!!!!

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    2. Mate, what are you on about? To want closure often means that you still care, you are still in that state of "need" - of confusion and inadequacy... I had no further interest, I was not confused, I was not affected. I could have asked what he meant for the sake of asking, but I didn't. The comment he made in itself is a truth. It was enough to let me make a choice of whether to embark a ride full of bullshit or not. He blatantly and subliminally told me - "I am most likely going to treat you like shit."

      Like I said before, we ladies just need to listen, most men actually tell us who they are. This is the point Andrew is making in 6.

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  6. what about when a guy is on the rebound? can you make a post about rebounding? i recently was seeing a guy who used me as a rebound, but never told me that i was just a rebound until i pried it out of him. he really acted like he was into me.

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  7. Hi Andrew!

    Longtime follower of your blog - I even have my mom (who hears about the guys I'm dealing with long distance) hooked haha! I'm in my early twenties and have been living in NYC for almost 5 years. It's been beyond a nightmare tryings to find a decent guy...unfortunately the guys I am into (think athletic, preppy Brooks Brothers types) seem to be the worst offenders.

    Anyway, a good friend of mine sent me this video the other day and thought you might be interested. I'm sure a lot of people will have a problem with the emphasis on birth control, but it's a good watch nonetheless. I forwarded it to all of my girlfriends because I really thought it hit the nail on the head.

    http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/brilliant-animation-perfectly-breaks-economics-sex-video/

    Can't wait for your book!

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    1. That video is awesome. I'll be making a post about it soon. Thanks for posting the link.

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    2. No thank you! I'm so glad you want to post it. I think EVERY girl should see it!

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    3. @Liz - good clip! @Andrew - can you include a discussion in the post about it things like online dating (which is apparently pesticide lol), and competitiveness between women? I've seen women do to lengths because they are threatened by other women, and i've always wondered what men think about women who do that merely because they are threatened by, jealous/ envious of other women.

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    4. ...actually, the more i think about it, i would be curious if any men or women have a view of women who try to sabotage other women. i've had it attempted towards me maybe 3 times, and because of it i tend to avoid female drama and relationships w female friends are very superficial and i don't invest a lot in relationships w them unless i'm 200% sure they're worthy of my friendship. it's also kind of why i enjoy andrew's blog bc the advice generally seems helpful and constructive.

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  8. Regarding #4, some men actively seek out married women to have sex with, counting on the scenario of the woman staying with her husband so the relationship question doesn't even arise. I've heard of a couple of horrifying moments where the woman indeed leaves her husband---and the boyfriend on the side will not commit to her after the marriage is wrecked.

    Regarding #3, men will never, ever leave their wives. They can be blatant serial cheaters, and will never consider leaving their wives. I get so many sneezy FB messages from married men with low self esteem. Never fall for it.

    It seems that regardless of who the married party is in the extramarital relation scenario, the man reaps all the benefits in both situations.

    Statistically, I've read that an overwhelming amount of relationships founded on infidelity fail anyway. So, no use embarrassing yourself for a "relationship" that is very likely to fail.

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    1. @ Bethany

      Yeah, sure. Married women don't ever get bored from the hubbies and don't feel sexual desire, ever.

      You should try and see things from a different perspective than your own sometimes. Maybe there is a chance you'll gain something from it.

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    2. @digra:

      A frequently mentioned condition in this blog, and in the comments section is the pursuit of sex for men and the pursuit of an emotional connection for women. While it's true that a married woman may seek an extramarital affair partly for sex, ignoring her likelihood of an emotional desire in this scenario would contradict some of the earlier discussions that have occurred here.

      Is a man seeking an emotional connection or relationship prospect in a married woman who he sleeps with? Absolutely not. He gets laid and disappears after she has compromised her life for him, probably seeing him as an investment (how he never viewed her).

      I should have been more specific in my wording here: both parties in this scenario are in the wrong, but the man gets his needs met and suffers less social stigma. The woman does NOT get her needs met, wrecks her family relationships and encounters more stigma just for being a woman who took the same social risk as the man in this situation.

      So, it appears that the man would benefit more from this kind of affair.

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    5. women are, simultaneously, amazing and confusing creatures indeed.

      so, if I read you right... women have a gripe with men in situations like these, because (generally) the man with whom the woman is having the affair, won't commit? and you say the woman already invested in him?

      Please make it crystal clear, I want there to be no misunderstanding as to what you meant, I'm man enough to admit it the possibility of not reading you right.

      The woman in question, is bound to be an adult, right? with agency over her own actions and words? if so, what is stopping her from being vocal about her needs beforehand?

      I'll give you a clue to one likely reason why the man in question won't invest in anything - because, even though he's having it nice and sweet, in a corner of his mind he can visualize himself in the cuckolded hubby's shoes. Ladies, remember this.

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    6. I don't really have a "gripe" with men like this because I do not plan to participate in this type of thing. But I don't respect them. I'm just pointing out to married women that these scavenging opportunists are out there, so women should not fool themselves by getting involved with a man on the side and thinking it will develop into something more.

      Of the situations I've heard about, the married woman clearly wanted to be with her extramarital partner. When she left her husband, the boyfriend darted. He only wanted to bang an unavailable woman. The empty promises from him continued until that horrifying moment when she actually became available.

      So now, this grown woman who made a choice of her own free will, is a humped and dumped, lonely divorcee while her fellow adulterer just got away with a large supply of uncommitted sex and ego strokes, at the expense of her marriage and her family...most likely because she had unrealistic expectations of a socially taboo relationship, and he was happy to encourage her in this delusion for his benefit. Both parties are wrong. But she's the one who "lost."

      So, my original message was a warning to these unhappily married women to not fall for it. In this situation, she will wind up looking like an idiot while he reaps the benefits.

      I recently left an unhappy marriage. It was very lonely and I DID desire sex, as you suggested in an earlier comment. But opening myself up to eager men would not have been a smart move, although life is tough sometimes and seeking superficial companionship from others can be tempting.

      I've gotten several unwelcome invitations from sleazy men who hoped to feed on my vulnerability and loneliness during the last phase of my marriage and now that I'm divorced. I feel like a moving target when I still have so many other things to handle in my life in the aftermath of this divorce. I cannot help but feel intense anger toward men who want to benefit from my misfortune, just for a lay. Can't they just go get someone at a bar? Why stoop so low? Why exploit someone's loneliness for superficial gain?

      As for the part about a man not wanting to be with a cheating married woman, because she could do the same to him: Sure, that is a reasonable observation. But he is a man who bangs married women---so how great of a moral character judge could he be? He doesn't have any leverage to pass judgment in this situation because he is a participant.

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    7. I get the gist of what you're saying. if this was an ideal world...newsflash, it is not. and we can't really change it, we're only in charge of our own actions.

      questioning people's morality and name calling is a fool's errand. no one is perfect, even Christ got nailed. it is not against the law to cheat, even though I agree with you in the point that it is not respectable.

      yeah. men lie. they will lie out of their skin to get what they want easily.

      women that are switched on, are aware of this, and make the man work hard for what he wants - and after a period of time, either the domino of lies will crumble, and the con artist disappears - or the man proves himself worthy. this is how it used to be, men went to wars, built civilization, worked hard, actively supported the law, order and progress, to prove themselves.

      Now, though, seemingly they don't really need to.

      It is what it is. Now, here's a red pill and a glass of water. Call it realism.

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    8. also, kudos to you for being strong enough to not yield to your desires. Hopefully it will pay off one day, and then you'll let go of the resentment you feel towards men. For my part, I won't suggest that of you again.

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    9. Before giving up the kudos, keep in mind that I did date that one guy who humped and dumped me when I was fresh out of divorce. You might recall lots of bitching about him on a previous post.

      To add insult to injury, this was a younger guy with a social stigma of his own (performance issues) who one would think would have above average humility due to his own unfortunate experiences at the hand of small town gossip. Nope. Not a chance. He dropped me like a bad habit as soon as things became challenging for him.

      So, if a guy with below average confidence and significant "issues" of his own doesn't want to stick around, that gives me little hope for well adjusted men with good relationships and healthy boundaries.

      I'm aware of the world not being a wonderful place. I've had extensive social science course work and work experience. I know how naive my reactions to other people can sound, but there are certain areas of humanity I can never get used to, no matter how frequently I've heard of it before.

      I know my hyper vigilance against men is unappealing and irritating. But I think my redeeming quality is my realistic expectation of them. All I want is a man who truly is a good person---kind, caring, good relationships with family and friends, nice to those who cannot do him favors and doing the "right thing" when no one is watching. And for him to be financially responsible, enjoy going to sporting events (or at least is a fan of sports) and reasonably in shape. I don't place superficial expectations on men in this asinine, consumerism based value society just as I do not want their superficial expectations placed upon me.

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    10. @Bethany - this is easier said than done: don't give people (like the guy you describe) that much power over you. Dealing w crappy situations like that isn't easy, but if I were you I wouldn't waste any time thinking about him.

      There's that concept of being vulnerable in relationships. Sometimes when one person is emotionally open in the relationship and the other isn't, things can end pretty bad.

      I don't speak from the experience you've had, but I'll give a brief example. There was a woman who dated a friend of mine and apparently was severely threatened by me. She tried to get him to not be friends w me, then she tried to get him to get our mutual friends to no longer be friends w me. It turned out to be more social drama than i imagined (i didn't really pay attention to her), but she was busy trying to make me look bad and blame me for the guys problems. It's a convoluted story, but considering how impressed I was by the lengths she went to embarrass me (all of which backfired on her), I didn't give her the time of day. In fact, nothing she says or does requires my attention. The guy should know that I'm not the reason for his problems if he viewed things rationally and truthfully. ...but she has a lot of reasons to be threatened by me--I'm hotter, smarter, everyone who knows me likes me, more classy, and am more successful today than she'll ever be in her entire lifetime. And even if I weren't, some people I come across in life don't deserve my attention, and she's one of them. But part of my point is that shit happens, life goes on, and I think that once you do your best as a person, you really shouldn't give a hoot what impact a past relationship can have on you. And even in situations where I've made mistakes, I try to learn from it, try to rectify things, and don't beat myself up or question my judgment or begin to doubt myself bc of things gone wrong.

      As you already seem to know, some people have issues. If the dude didn't want to be w you for whatever reason, he's not the man for you. It also seems like you were lowering your standards for him, which you shouldn't. You really want to be w someone who wants you. Sometimes, unfortunately it takes some time to figure who that person is or will be, and maybe it'll take a few tries. It could be someone from a past relationship, may not, who knows?

      I sometimes take a light-hearted approach to dating and I've had no problem being very direct w men because I don't waste my time on a guy unless he impresses me beyond belief. In those instances, I will invest my time. In fact, I measure myself on a billable hour scale I used at work, and even invoiced a guy a few years ago for wasting my time. I think the time you waste devoting energy to people like that, it's simply wasting your time when you can probably get your nails done, go to a spa, or do something more productive than devote brain cells to some people. It's not easy, but some people don't deserve your time or energy.

      I'll add a disclaimer that I don't know the details or magnitude of the situation, but that's how I'd approach it. Never having lived in a small town, and not knowing what the social scene is like, are there decent candidates you'd be interested in dating there??

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    11. @ Bethany

      Like I was saying, no one is perfect. if you talking morality, on account of what you say, you seem to have managed to keep your dignity in difficult situations.

      So pat yourself on the back, cheer up and redeem your kudos voucher at the nearest mcdonalds

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    12. @Bethany---i agree with Digra's advice that you need to accept reality and move on. Andrew's post on 01/30/14 about stop having sex to prove he likes you has a similar message you should consider. The man does not want you. The more you wallow in anger or disappointment or how ever you chose to describe it, it doesn't seem constructive. Seriously. Does the man you are upset with read this blog?

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    13. @Emily:

      Nope. No one I'm interested in dating there.

      Your advice is solid. I agree with not wasting energy on even thinking of those who do not contribute to our lives in a positive way.

      @digra:

      Thank you for your thoughts. I'll keep all of that in mind.

      @amonymous:

      If you review my comments, you'll see that I was not complaining of only one guy, but several who I felt used strong advances at an inappropriate time. I only considered one of them. When he dumped me, I did not contact him at all and moved on.

      But my overall attitude is because of several men and not just one.

      Does this one guy read this blog? I seriously doubt it.

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  9. Andrew - can you add a word search feature to your blog? Merci! And a question for you: what are the advantages of setting a general timeline for when you'll have sex w a guy you're dating? I don't always stick to the timeline, and my purpose is to give me enough to know i'm interested in dating the guy and that he's serious about me...does it seem like a good or bad thing?

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  10. I think I fall in to the category #1 with other factors. Anyone who has any illuminating thoughts on this please do not hesitate to comment. Any comments will be helpful!!

    To keep it short, I started communicating with an English guy in Tokyo from the beginning of January.(I live in Seoul) We met online but the thing is we haven't met in person yet due to our complecated schedules. While I was in England, he was in Japan and when I got back to Seoul, he had to get back to England. We arranged to meet in April when he gets back to Tokyo. And you know it's only February. He seemed very interested in the beginning. He texted me every other day. He invited me to Skype video chat and talked for over an hour from the initial chat. And he said he fancies me even though we haven't met yet and expecting to see me soon. It was the end of Jaunary. But recently, I feel there is a subtle shift in his attitude. The initial contacts tapered off. He has not texted me from Sunday and it's Thursday today. I know he is travelling to Italy from today but he didn't drop me a text that he is going to.
    I don't know how I should react. I don't like texting on the phone too much. So it's fine that he doesn't text me. But also not texting for 4 days or more could mean he has lost his interest. And since we are in different countries, I'm assuming all sorts of situations of why he doesn't text me e.g ex gf, flirting with other girls etc as this post mentioned.

    I'm not sure if I have to wait and see after we meet in person or stop it here. He and I will be in the UK from August and we both are aware of this. His travel things were already settled before we started communicating.

    I'm not a huge fan of long distance online dating of course. It just happened to be like this. What should I do? Should I keep in touch with him even though he texts me a week or two after or leave him in advance?

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    1. I'd say stop there. There are a lot of amazing guys in Seoul, too. I know since I'm from there.
      And if you are Asian, I'd say run the hell away right now.

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    2. Hi. He obviously lost interest. This is pretty hard to take upfront, but easier on the long term. Let it go and cherish yourself :-)

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  11. "One time a girl thought I was falling in love with her because I called her almost every day for a couple weeks while I was driving home from work. The reality was that I just enjoyed talking to her and flirting, and I had nothing else to do during my commute".

    This amazes me because I am a female and I would think the same thing as she did. Why does this situation mean the opposite for males? I kind of understand your point about more face-to-face communication requiring more meaningful effort, but I wish you would elaborate. Is the lack of personal interaction what makes this kind of behavior so appealing to men? Just because it requires less effort? Do men really just send text after text/call after call because it requires so little of them and in reality, those texts are meaningless?

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    1. Let me give you my two cents as a woman. I think what men do is far more revealing than what men say. Also, try not to worry that much about their reasons for behaving a certain way, and try to find out if a certain guy is good for you, not if you are good for him

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  12. This article hit home. I just got out of a "not relationship" which had an expiration date (I'm planning to move continent). Things were going amazingly, but after a few months he started holding back. He said didn't want to get hurt, so didnt want to get more invested in me when I was going to leave him, but was simultaneously "torn" because he'd never connected with anyone the way we did (his words). Problem was, I already was 100% invested (my fault).

    I broke up with him three times and each time we talked it out and he asked me to wait for him to be "ready" (to get over being torn :P). When I eventually told him I meant it he refused to give me no contact. He kept saying that he's never connected with anyone like me and he "doesn't want to lose me". He made out like he really wanted us to be friends. In hindsight, I'm assuming this was to just keep me as an emotional / cyber "what if".

    Interestingly, most of the really hard-core romantic stuff he said to me was after we split (telling me he loved me, that he thought I was "the one" etc.) Maybe because he never had to back it up? So frustrating. I eventually realised he's a douche (for other reasons) and I told him to F-off, so most of me doesn't care what was real and what wasn't, but part of me still wonders.

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  13. Andrew , do you think it's disingenuous for women to fake orgasms? Would men rather women not lie about it? Does it have a negative impact on a relationship?

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  14. Andrew. I'm young and abroad in Europe. Briefly met a guy and now have a situation exactly as described by #1, he travels for weeks at a time for work, me in Madrid. What would be the most appropriate/smart way for me to act in this situation? As a girl its easy to let your imagination get away from you...

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  15. I fell in love with a friend and I worked hard to focus on my appearance and keep to a good personality. Up until now I would have considered him my best friend, we talk constantly from chit chat to much more personal and deep conversations, we go out and have fun, he said he finds me attractive. But he'd never commit to me. I pulled back and he would chase, again but after speaking to him tonight I found out that all he's been doing is leading me on with no intention of committing to me. Why? I don't have a career. I've found myself inbetween work, bouncing between different temp jobs and he said it detracts from me. That it's attractive to build a career, to have money to do things, that having a steady job says good things about a persons personality - that they're not "flaky."

    I'm at a loss. There is nothing that I can do that I haven't been doing to the best of my ability to find a decent job. I just find it ironic how high his standards are when he's just graduated university and yet to find work and still lives at home. I made the choice to move out when I was 23, I knew it would be a struggle but I didn't want to mooch off my dad (he's a millionaire, so the temptation to stay at home was hard to overcome!) Surely this shows strength of character, determination, will and drive much more than a steady career?

    I'm heartbroken, I feel like the past 2 years of my life have been a lie and I don't know quite what to do. Everything else that would satisfy most men has been there, have I just been unlucky?

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  16. Thank you so much for this post. I've wasted the past year on a long distance friendship/flirtation with a close friend from college. Our situation is a perfect example of almost every category on your list. Because he chatted with me constantly, complimented me like no other, and said I was his "back-up wife," I actually believed that we would eventually date. I ignored my friend that told me I was being played, but the explanation above actually hits pretty close to home and makes me ready to finally let go.

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  17. This is a good post.

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  18. I am living with a guy for two years. He likes for me to do my own thing, be independent, which feels funny since I think if he truly cared about me he would like to spend lots of time with me. When I go away for a trip, he seems to miss me, but doesn't take long to get back to needing his space.

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