Sunday, June 1, 2014

Advice Roundup 1

I spent the last month without a computer, so I am way behind on posting and e-mails. In an effort to get back on track with both simultaneously, and because I haven't posted any reader Q&A in a while, the following are 5 that I thought might be of general interest - either because they are unique, or recurring, or not covered elsewhere on the blog.

1 ----------------

Hi Andrew....

My ex broke up with me he claims its because I have tattoos and different kids father but he has tattoos and 2 different kids mom.

In the beginning of the dating I asked if he mind if I have tattoos and he replied,  "So do I, why would I mind?" Two months into the relationship he says that at the rate our relationship is moving he had to step back and think about every thing and me having tattoos and kids by different men (my ex husband and another guy) he could no longer be with me. He said he really enjoyed me and was having a blast but couldn't get past those two factors.

We became a couple fast. He said he had never ask a girl to be his girlfriend as fast as he asked me. Could the fact that it was going too good for him scared him away? I never pressed the issue of us being together... It was all him. Your thoughts please

Thank you,


The tattoos and even your kids are excuses to avoid telling you what he really dislikes about you - which he might not actually know definitively for himself. But if things were really going as well as they were in the beginning, he would still be able to look past those things. He is losing interest, and now he is latching onto the obvious "problems" - as I said, either because he wants to avoid telling you the truth, or because he just has a gut feeling that something is wrong but he can't pinpoint what it is. The tattoos and kids from other men are just easy scapegoats.

Keep in mind that the beginning of any relationship is always colored in a man's mind by the prospect (and if you sleep with him, the actuality) of sex with a new woman. He was able to look past the things about you that he dislikes - not just the tattoos and children - because he was partially distracted by the novelty. Now that the novelty has started to dissipate, he is looking at you and the relationship more critically. In the future, you need to treat with a heavy dose of skepticism anything a man says to you during the first, say, three months of being together.

And come on, you know as well as I do that no guy (or girl) has ever genuinely been scared away by something being "too good."

Good luck,

2 ----------------

Dear Andrew!

I have a friend who was interested and liked me and thought I am beautiful, however, did not tell me directly recently, so, I was not 100% sure, if he still has feelings for me. Important point: he has never been in a relationship (we both are pretty inexperienced due to cultural things, and priorities for studies, etc.)
Recently, he asked me for a favor, I helped, he responded "thank you, you're the best!)", then i joked, and then he: "not only, in general you're the best",

My intuition is telling me, that this reply is a typical "friend-zoning" answer, do you think so? I helped him twice, when he asked me, probably I shouldn't have done that. However, I never called first, tried to show limited interest towards him, only responded when asked, never stalked him on facebook, since I liked him. Now I learnt that bitter lesson, that I even shouldn't have helped him eagerly... since men need to be ignored totally to like you (sorry).



"My intuition is telling me, that this reply is a typical ‘friend-zoning’ answer, do you think so?"
No, a guy could say that in an attempt to hint at the fact that he really likes you.

The interesting part of your question is the second part. You didn't make a mistake in helping him. A lot of girls mistakenly believe that they need to be cold and distant to attract a guy. But you don't need to be cold; you just need to maintain your personal boundaries. So, for example, if he'd asked you to help him at a time when you already had plans to do something else, it wouldn't be smart to change those plans just to spend time with him (i.e. a guy who hasn't proved his genuine interest in you yet). But if you were free to help, you definitely should have helped him. It's a perfectly natural thing to do, and it provides an opportunity to get to know you better and ask you out. If you are constantly avoiding those opportunities, he will get the impression that asking you out will surely end in rejection, and he won’t even try.

Good Luck,

3 ----------------


I've been with my boyfriend for 7 years. He's 29 years old, I am 25. We started dating when I was 17.

We fight a lot. However, we often speak about marriage and imagine a future together. He broke up with me a week ago and told me he can't trust me and can't be with someone who he will always doubt because of an incident that happened 6 years ago. I went to hang out with friends (guys and girls) from work and didn't want to answer his phone calls [mainly because] I felt like I couldn't do anything on my own. Even hang out with my friends because I felt like he was checking up on me.

I don't give him reasons to doubt me. Instead, he's the one who does that. For almost 2 years, he's been clubbing. When we first started dating, he NEVER did this and I don't know if that is the reason why he does this now. He goes out behind my back and I always find out because of Facebook or Instagram. He has girls who will leave comments on Facebook. I've seen pictures of him with girls (side hugging) and I get very jealous. I act like a crazy girlfriend. I feel the need to always be checking on things to find out what he's doing.

I know our relationship is not healthy and I'm sure you've read the "but I love him" sentence before. Yes, I know that is not enough BUT it's hard not to try and make things work after 7 years of a relationship. I don't know what to do. We were fine and suddenly he comes out with this. I'm heartbroken.

Thank you,


There isn't an easy way to tell you this, but I am also sure that you know it already: your ex was just looking for an excuse to end the relationship. There are two ways I know this: first, the fact that he is citing an incident from years ago rather than something recent (i.e. relevant), but secondly - and this is the interesting part of your question - the clubbing.

Clubbing is inherently sexual in nature. Your ex might not be sleeping with the girls that he meets in clubs, but by indulging in the nightclub atmosphere, he is indulging in sex by proximity - he is getting "close" to sex. And of course it is possible that he is sleeping with the girls he meets; it might not just be proximate. Either way, his going to clubs is a clear sign that he doesn't feel sexually fulfilled in the relationship. That doesn't surprise me, because men crave sexual variety, and he's spent the vast majority of his 20s committed to you, while the social norm for a guy that age is to be having sex with lots of girls. He's probably been feeling that "deficit" for a while now - at least since he started going out, but probably before.

You are right that the relationship isn't healthy, and I understand that you feel like you are throwing away seven years by letting him go. But it should help to realize that the relationship has been dead for at least two of those years already. This will also help you to frame the situation (rightly) as letting go of something that's already dead, rather than (wrongly) thinking of it as holding on to something that still might have some life. It doesn't.

Good luck,

4 ----------------

Hi Andrew

I am 27 years old. How can women best go about putting herself out there and go out to places like bars, cafes, events to potentially meet guys, when she has no single girl friends to be her wing women?
I have many friends, however, no single girlfriends. My girlfriends rarely go out these days, and when they do, they always have to go early like 8-9pm.

Kindest Regards.


You aren't asking the right question. You shouldn't be asking how to meet guys on your own, you should be asking how to make more girl friends. If you were 40 and living in a small town, maybe I would understand, since a lot of the women your age would be married; but at 27, this really shouldn't be a problem.

Either your life situation isn't set up in such a way that allows you to meet other girls, or else you are closing yourself off to new female relationships. If the former, then move, or change jobs, or do whatever you need to change your life situation. If the latter, start making real efforts to open up to other women more. If a girl can't even relate to her own sex easily, she can't expect to be successful interacting with the opposite sex.

Incidentally, I think you'll find that as you make more girlfriends and expand your social circle, you will meet their guy acquaintances and might not even need the bar scene.

Good Luck,

5 ----------------


I have a simple question and it is one you have not answered before on your blog. Why would a guy ask for your phone number and then not call?



Men do this to prove to themselves that they can get your phone number. In other words, they do it out of pride. This might be a shitty thing to do, but recognize that it is ultimately rooted in insecurity or narcissism: either he has a low enough opinion of himself that he needs the reminder that girls like him, or else he is so obsessed with the fact that women like him, that he cannot resist reminding himself of it. Either way, you should be glad that the guy didn't call you.

On rare occasions, a guy might have recently met another girl that he likes more than you, and be focusing on her instead.

Hope that helps,


If you want to ask me for advice, please follow the guidelines here: How to Ask Me for Advice And if you liked this post, let me know in the comments; I have about 200 more e-mails I need to answer, so I should have plenty of material for additional posts like this one.


  1. "In the future, you need to treat with a heavy dose of skepticism anything a man says to you during the first, say, three months of being together."


    Some of the "rules" regarding what men say can be confusing at times. I denote your comment above because I have also heard, "A man says what he means and means what he says."

    I have seen you talk in an earlier post where you said to watch what a man does instead of listening to what he has to say. Any thoughts?

    1. A man does not always say what he means. Men tend to be more literally-minded than women, but what they say usually needs to be filtered through the situation at hand. I don't remember ever saying that "men always mean what they say and say what they mean" but I have often stressed the point that when a man tells you he wants to break up, or only wants casual sex, or isn't interested in a relationship, he is always telling you the truth.

      In the post "5 Ways That Men Misunderstand Women" I said that "Men are literal creatures... Many men believe that women are equally literal. These men believe that women mean what they say, and say everything that they mean - but this is simply not true." Perhaps this is what you are remembering; but this is not the same as saying that men always mean what they say and say what they mean. The point in that post was that men tend to be more literal and direct than women, but it wasn't meant to say that you can believe everything a man says.

    2. 1.) Similarly, as in with the situation in #1, how do I know if a guy has an issue with something that could come back and prevent him from wanting to commit? Will he typically bring it up on his own? Or is it mostly when a guy has an issue it's because he doesn't like you enough?
      2.) So, in general a woman should ask early on if the guy is looking for a relationship then when she feels ready sleep with him, but always be skeptical of what he says for the first few months? Or should she just try to hold off on sex for a while until real feelings can develop say 2 months+ or is it a guy who really likes you won't take off just because he thought you were easy after say 3-6 dates?
      Sorry, for all the questions. I don't have trouble attracting guys. My main problem is having one stick around for a while.

    3. @BethISFP

      1) mostly by getting to know him rather than asking direct questions that can be side-stepped. Subtle approach and feminine intuition, ladies - use them.
      2) see above on "direct questions". Furthermore, if the woman wants a relationship, holding off sex up to +/-2 months while still engaging the man is a generally good approach.

    4. @ Tracey - If a guy tells you something positive during this period, you should take it with a grain of salt, and if he says something negative, you should accept it as truth.

      It's not because it's 100% that he means the negative things and not the positive ones. It's just that it's the safest assumption to make in order to keep your expectations low and not get hurt.

      In your particular situation, I would neither ask the relationship question, nor hold off on sex for 2 months (the poor guy might give up! Of course, this depends on your cultural context.). I would try to hold off on sex for at least a few dates until you feel some emotional connection. Follow your intuition. You can usually tell if it's going well when you both can't wait to see each other again.

  2. I feel you're missing a couple obvious answers for #5.

    1) The guy was too chickensh*t too call. Not calling back can act as a defense mechanism. Better to feel you were the one passing on the girl rather than call back and risking rejection.

    2) There were several times I've got numbers from girls who I was lukewarm on. I got the numbers either because I invested a good chunk of time talking with them and asking for a number was the easy segway to end the conversation. Or I was pretty intoxicated and taking any number I could get. After sleeping on it, and perhaps creeping on pictures through social media to get some second opinions on their looks, I've sometimes decided calling back wasn't worth the effort.

  3. Andrew, in the vein of being cautious the first few months, do you caution against the "fast and furious" relationships where people spend tons of time together initially and essentially fast forward the natural progression of the relationship? I'm referring to people past college-age.

    1. Not if you aren't having sex. In fact, that is exactly what you should expect to happen when you meet a guy who is genuinely into you: he'll almost immediately want to spend a lot of time outside the bedroom with you, even if you aren't sure about him yet.

    2. But what happens when too fast and too furious leads to a quick burnout? I find that guys who "whirlwind" girls are the ones most likely to disappear.

  4. Very informative read! I got a silent chuckle with #5 because I have a specific person in mind that you seemed to perfectly describe in your reply. My label for that is the "number collector," and it's about ego/self-esteem/insecurity.

  5. I thought this post was brilliant. I found myself reading the letters and trying to guess what your response might be, but you always got me! Really insightful, and so enjoyable to read regardless of how much i can relate to each one. Thanks Andrew!

  6. Question - how can you tell between a guy who is quite into you and awkward due to this interest (Confidence v. Interest) and a guy who is merely disinterested? Also, for scenario 1 - how do you suggest a girl initiate in order to make him feel comfortable but not become the pursuer?

    1. Hi, I am no Andrew but I have dealt with your situation, and here is my two cents. You need to relax and let the guy take the lead. If he likes you he will come around, sooner or later ( in your case later ) Do not initiate, he will see you as easy sex. Good luck !

  7. This is a good post, Andrew. On #4 I'd add that as an alternative to trying to make new female friends, ask married friends to set you up w single guys. That might even be more efficient than trying to put in time and effort to expand one's social circle. In the example, seems like she is capable of making friends given the number of married friends. In addition, the value of having married friends is that they have some sense about how to lock down a guy (unless they're all settling or settled out of desperation, which I doubt is true 100% for all of them).

  8. Andrew, is there a way to know whether a guy is gay? A gf and I are trying to figure out whether a guy we know is. In the grand scheme of things it might not matter (we have gay friends and our friendship wouldn't change), but he complains about not being able to meet women and whenever we set him up w women friends in the past they never like him. He also likes to take overnight trips with friends and he always suggests sharing hotel beds w guy friends. The cost savings on things like that isn't huge and money isn't an issue. He usually asks our guy friends about their sex lives (detailed stuff), and he seems to get turned on by it. He also has an oddly close relationship with guys in the sense that he's always in the know wrt their personal issues and gossips about it. One of his guy friends told us that he once went to a strip club in vegas and instead of "enjoying the show" he asked the stripper how she became a stripper and essentially psychoanalyzed her. As part of our efforts setting him up with women, do you think there's a way to have a sit down with him and ask him why he's so in to his guy relationships, or just leave it alone and tell him we don't know anyone when he asks us to set him up again. We're leaning towards no longer setting him up, because his behavior is odd altogether and it's a waste of time for the girls we set him up with (and us lol). Any advice?

    1. Emily,
      I don't comment much but that post struck home. I used to be that guy you are talking about and I have a lot of friends like that. I wasn't gay, but I did the things you mentioned. Without knowing his age and details I would talk to him about three things:

      Porn. How much does he watch? When did he start? is a good resource. Porn can really mess with guys.

      Testosterone. Ask him to have his doctor check it just because.

      Fitness/appearance: does he work out? Would you say he is physically attractive? Does he put thought into what he wears? If he's single, fitness groups are good for socializing anyway.

      Be careful to ask him about being gay. You could ask him but if he seems annoyed , drop it. I had girls ask if I was gay when I was just really bad with women. It sucks especially if he's attracted to the girl asking.

      As far as setting him up, get input from him. He may just not be attracted to the girls your setting him up with.

      I think Andrew has posted about being a wing women before. In general you shouldn't bother. Just be friends with him. Invite him to things where other girls are and introduce them but don't worry about playing Cupid.

    2. Even if he is gay he might not realize it, so asking him is a bad idea. I'd say just wait and let time tell. If he's gay enough, he'll come out eventually.

    3. Thanks JustCause, Andrew! Sounds like to do-nothing approach might be better with such a touchy subject. Most people think he is.

      JustCause, not sure I'd want to know his answers to those questions either. Also seems like you have a good sense of how certain behaviors might be characterized. Sometimes people can be accused of being something they may not be out of spite or meanness too, so in addition to genuine questions, there may be that element to consider. Family upbringing, development, etc, there could be a variety of reasons for that behavior that I'm not knowledgable enough about to mention. But either way, some people might benefit from psychological counseling and given his behavior (there are other odd things I didn't mention that weren't relevant), he might benefit from getting a proper assessment.

  9. I hope you manage to answer my question, it was about a gentleman who I commute with on the train to work. I read your guidelines and kept within the conditions that you had stipulated.


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