28 bonkers reasons given for being interested in someone

When readers share their reasons as to why they’re in love with someone or why they won’t leave, or what attracts them, I’m genuinely perplexed at times. Here are just some of the most common…

1. They go to church. But do they go to church or do they go to church? Are their churchgoing ways reflected in their lives and character, or is it just something they do for an hour or two each week? Also do you embody these church values? You can’t catch virtue just by going out with someone, you know!

2. They share similar hobbies and interests. If Ted Bundy had liked to knit, sew, bungee jump, and read 18th century literature and basically liked all of the same things you did, would you still have wanted to go out with him? Er, no, because his values were diabolical. If you don’t share common values, your shared interests don’t mean anything.

3. They appear to be very good at their job. It’s just a j.o.b. How well someone delivers Powerpoint presentations, or capture’s criminals, or saves lives or whatever has nothing whatsoever to do with their capability for a relationship. There are many workaholics who are brilliant at their jobs and score a F for their relationship skills.

4. They’re respected by the community. You’re not going out with someone’s public image. There is a big difference between helping out on the tombola, donating to charity, helping the elderly with their shopping, and a having a relationship with someone. I don’t think I need to point out the number of ‘helpful’ criminals who have shocked their communities with their misdemeanours. It’s not about being distrusting – it’s about not being a sheep.

5. They’re great at sex or even The Best You’ve Ever Had. Unless they have a character and relationship to match, short of supergluing them to you so you’re permanently having sex, you’re wasting your time. Sometimes the sex is great because the relationship has nothing else going for it.

6. They appear to have lots of friends. There’s a lot of popular playa’s out there. I also know of people who have hundreds of friends on Facebook and don’t have one close friend. Some people who appear popular, only appear popular in the context of someone who doesn’t see themselves as popular or liked. Some people who are ‘popular’ are more feared than liked. It doesn’t matter how many friends they have – what matters is how they treat you.

7. You instantly fancy them or you have to fancy them immediately before you’ll consider going out with them. I’ve instantly fancied quite a few people. Where are they now? *whistles* Your sexual organs/libido are crap judges of character. How about growing to fancy someone, instead of fancying immediately and clinging to an illusion?

8. They talk about God, Buddhism, yoga etc. Great, but again, do they embody these values? Also be careful of those who doth protest too much. Most people who truly do embody these values don’t go on about it or use it as pickup line…

9. They’re respected at work. Until you get to know someone one on one, what you know is their image. That and how respected someone is at work has got shag all to do with how they will treat you or their ability for a relationship.

10. They have a large penis, big breasts, a certain colour of hair, a certain height, colour of eyes, a six pack and other such irrelevant exterior factors. Objectification and vacuous vanity and superficiality will make for a superficial relationship lacking in substance.

11. You pity them. Pity is not love or even like. It has no business in a relationship. Don’t make other people’s pain and problem’s your purpose.

12. They’ve been married / in a long-term relationship / lived with someone before. This does not mean that they’re commitment able. It means that they can get married (and divorced) or have a relationship. It doesn’t mean that you will marry them / have a long-term relationship / live with them.

13. They’re an only child/middle child/eldest child/youngest child/one of X children…and you were too. Er, what the what now? I’m not saying that you might not have common experiences, but I wouldn’t assume that you’ll automatically ‘get’ one another and that you’ll know what they think, feel, and do.

14. You had similar painful experiences as children or in adulthood. Again, it can be the making of some common ground, but I certainly wouldn’t use pain as a marker for interest, nor should you assume you know what they think, feel, and do, or assume you can fix them, or that they have recovered to the same extent as you. Instead of using pain as a common ground, resolve your issues.

15. They’ve recently broken up with someone too. Oh, so because you’re both hurting, you can comfort one another out of your pain? Er, no. That’s two people not over their ex’s and avoiding their feelings, and at least one of you is going to be burnt.

16. They’re good with animals and children. This is nice, great even, but it actually has little bearing on how they will treat you unless you’re 1) an animal or 2) a child. It also doesn’t mean that they’ll want a pet or to have a family. Oh and you’d like to think that the type of love poured into animals and children is different from romantic love…

17. They don’t want children. Just because you don’t want children too, doesn’t mean that they’ll want to commit to you or that you have similar values about ‘everything’.

18. They’re in their 30s so they must want to get married or they’re in their 40s + so they won’t want to be casual. I know people in their 20s who have been married for years. I also know people in their 50s who are less mature than a teen. Don’t make assumptions about people based on their age – judge them on the merit of their actions and words matching and the relationship you’re in.

19. Another person wants them. It’s like people only become interesting to you when they’re ‘pre-approved’.

20. They’re close with their family. Er, no, this doesn’t mean that they’ll want to commit or introduce you to them.

21. They’ve had the exact same job for a gazillion years. Clearly you value stability, but I wouldn’t go assuming that they want a stable relationship. They may be brilliant at the job…or they may lack ambition.

22. They have their own house, car and teeth. You immediately realise that material goods, security, and er..dental work are very important to you. But what can these things do for your relationship.

23. They have a lot of money. But they still might be emotionally bankrupt.

24. They’re currently attached/married. Back to that pre-approved thing again. If you’re thinking that they’re commitment able and they’re having an affair with you, you’re only demonstrating that you have no idea what commitment means.

25. You like the same political party. Or you both recycle or are vegans. Yeah it’s common ground and some common values, but if you value honesty, commitment, and family as well, it will be of no use to be with a recycling, vegan, Conservative that has an allergy to commitment or the truth.

26. You’re in a similar profession. It can be nice to work in the same field, but it’s hardly critical. What are you? God? A higher power? A rocket scientist? It’s not critical to go out with yourself… Broaden your horizons. Switch off from your job. Oh and don’t be blinded by intelligence either.

27. They go to therapy. Some people go to therapy and do therapy, and others pay lip service to it and it’s just this thing they trot out to woo people without actually ever growing.

28. They behave at their worst. Don’t be flattered by their lack of shame and decency – run. It’s not because they love you why they behave this way!

Do you know what matters?

How you treat each other, whether you share a common view and direction of the relationship, and whether you share similar/complementing values with regards to how you both want to live your lives. Everything else doesn’t matter if you don’t have these components. Stop making assumptions – start taking the time to do discovery in your interactions.

Your thoughts?

Image credit Bizior via SXC

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188 Responses to Stop The ASSumptions!: 28 Dodgy Reasons People Give For Choosing Someone For A Relationship

  1. Blaise Parker says:

    This an excellent article, Natalie, as per usual. Curious, could you do the opposing article – 28 (or however many) excellent, real and responsible and HEALTHY reasons to choose someone to date? And perhaps the one (or however many) reason(s) you choose to commit/marry someone?

    • Kate K says:

      Excellent idea! That would be awesome.

    • Mutual love, care, trust, respect, and demonstrated shared core values along with commitment, intimacy, balance, progression, and consistency. Plus the attraction that distinguishes it from a friendship.

    • Ivy says:

      I agree with Blaise. Excellent article and would LOVE to see an opposing article! This one really made me think.

      • EllyB says:

        Might also be interesting to read an article “xx bonkers reasons for NOT being interested in someone”. A lot of such reasons seem to come up over and over again, too (“wrong age”, “wrong party affiliation”, “no chemistry at first sight”, “too little sense of humor”, “has been single for many years”, “too tall/not tall enough” and so on). Of course, I’ve been guilty of almost all of them too.

  2. addy b says:

    Great Article. I have a question about 7. “You instantly fancy them or you have to fancy them immediately before you’ll consider going out with them.” Should you not be initially attracted to the person? Or does that mean the same thing as to “fancy” someone. I have had this discussion with friends… I always felt like If Im not attracted to someone, I could never “grow” to become attracted to them…

    • Lostagain says:

      I’m very curious about #7 as well. If you are not initially attracted, wouldn’t that just make them a candidate to be friends. Shouldn’t there be a little attraction going on to be able to call it a romantic relationship vs a platonic relationship?

      • If you look at a photo on a dating site or are introduced to someone and you don’t immediately feel warm in your pants or feel instant attraction, you’re telling me they have to be written off? So you guys could fall in love with someone you don’t know, and continue to fall in love with and hold into illusions, but you couldn’t get to know someone and grow your interest? That’s just…whack.

        • Ashamed says:


          I worked in the same building with my AC for two years and never gave him a second glance or thought. The more I got to know his personality, the stronger the attraction. Some days, we’d be out to lunch and I’d want to rip his clothes off right there and I’m not a nympho either.

          One thing I would like to add to the list is “chemistry”. Two people can have great chemistry and still be totally wrong for each other.

        • Broadsided says:

          I will weigh in that, yes, some attraction to me is important. Some intense “fancy”, like what I just experienced – the “you are the one” feeling after 3 dates as he wrote to me on a nice card and which I ate up, is flat out dumb. (As a good male friend asked, “Did he write that BEFORE or AFTER you were in the sack with him?” LOL, he called that one!)

          • Sally Webster says:

            I recently met a guy online, I wasn’t that keen on his photo but the emails were fantastic – we seemed to hit it off. I am 51 years old now and had I been in my twenties I wouldn’t have emailed this guy at all. As I’ve got older I’ve learnt that what someone looks like isn’t that important and you can grow to ‘fancy’ someone.

            I met this guy and he looked a lot better than his photo! We got on really well and we continued to meet for a couple of months. He told me that that he really liked me and that he found me very attractive, he was quite shy though and made no attempt,initially, to kiss me (or anything else). I even stayed over at his place a couple of times and we drank wine and slept in separate rooms! He was beginning to seem like a really nice guy – treated me well, was consistent, I didn’t have to question his feelings for me because it was very clear.

            The problem was, although I liked him, the physical attraction just wasn’t there. I tried really hard to ‘fancy’ him but it didn’t happen. He was quite an attractive guy, nice body etc., but nothing doing. I desperately wanted to find him physically attractive, I don’t know why it didn’t happen.

            I was up front and honest with him from the start and he knew I was giving things time to see what might develop. One of the deciding factors for me is whether I feel I would want to kiss someone or not, I thought I wanted this guy to kiss me at one point and yet when he went to do it I almost felt repulsed and pulled away. I think that hurt him a little bit, although we did talk about it and I explained the way I was feeling to him.

            In the end I had to walk away and let him get on with his life, I couldn’t keep him hanging on a piece of string…just in case. I feel bad because he did seem to be a genuinely nice guy and I know he would have treated me well. I just don’t know why I wasn’t able to fancy him.

            Just to add that I have had my fair share of rotters in my life and this guy was like a breath of fresh air…sadly not to be.

            • Sally, this story gave me the shivers. I’m not sure why you would tell someone you hardly know that you needed time for your feelings to develop and that you didn’t find them physically attractive. Why force it? Why stay around his house? Why tell him all of this stuff? You’re not *that* desperate and neither is he. We cannot hold onto men like a dog in a manger ‘Well I’m repulsed by him but he’s such a nice guy that I’ll just keep him on layaway as if I let him go, some other woman will snap him up.’ or ‘I’m always attracted to assholes and he’s not, so hey ho, he’s nice so I should fancy him and I don’t yet, but I’ll keep trying until I do’

              The moment you felt repulsed, it was time to walk. He doesn’t need your pity or the high level detail. He’s was put in the position of ‘proving’ himself *and* asking himself why you’re not interested.

              You were ambivalent. For whatever reason, you weren’t interested, but it wasn’t about him, it was about you. Address your own habits so that you’re not in this position again.

              Women hate to be on the receiving end of this – so do *men*. I’m glad this has come to an end!

              • Sam says:

                How do you let someone down gently that really likes you but the feelings aren’t mutual? I have been on the receiving end of being dumped however I struggle with letting someone down, AC are easy to walk away from when you realise what they are but if it’s a nice guy and you care about them it’s difficult to find the right words. Any advise on this would be good as I always end up feeling sorry for them and send mixed signals which makes it worse.

                • tired_of_assanova says:

                  Dear X

                  I’ve had a bit of time to think about us and the possibility of something more serious with you. After a bit of thought, I’ve realised that a relationship is probably not going to work out between us.

                  I’m sorry to disappoint you and we need to stop seeing each other. Good luck with your search

                  And then MAKE SURE you go NC after this, delete their contacts and DON’T SIGN UP TO THE ‘FRIENDS’ PACKAGE.

                  One thing I find absolutely remarkable, and I have experienced also, is that every person we come across we feel guilty if they’re not for us and try to hang around so as not to hurt them, except you are making the situation 10x worse. Who wants to live a lie?!

              • Sally Webster says:

                I did try to walk after our third date, I had told myself that if I didn’t fancy him by then then I probably never would. Something drew me back though, I don’t know what it was. It certainly wasn’t the thought of hanging onto him just in case someone else came along and snapped him up. I really thought that if I got to know him a bit more then I would start to fancy him too, I thought it might just take a bit more time. I wasn’t trying to force anything.

                Why did I tell him all that stuff? Because he asked and because our emails had been quite deep and very open. We talked about anything and everything – a mistake maybe, but we just went with the flow.

                You are right though, I should have followed my instincts and walked away after date three. Something to learn from for the future! I don’t use people (I never have) and I never set out to hurt anyone intentionally. I just thought it was better to be honest with him, maybe I was too honest. It would have been kinder to say nothing.

                I’m a little confused you said above, “If you look at a photo on a dating site or are introduced to someone and you don’t immediately feel warm in your pants or feel instant attraction, you’re telling me they have to be written off? So you guys could fall in love with someone you don’t know, and continue to fall in love with and hold into illusions, but you couldn’t get to know someone and grow your interest? That’s just…whack”.

                Well, I didn’t feel an instant attraction and I was trying to get to know this guy and grow my interest. So I am not sure what I did wrong? (Apart from giving him too much detail).

                Thank you for your comment and it’s nice to have someone else’s point of view on things.

                (The reason I stayed over a couple of times was because we lived quite a distance away from one another).

                • grace says:

                  I think the problem could be the emails. I’m almost phobic now about texts/emails/IMs/FB and even letters as a replacement for getting to know someone in “real” life. On the one hand it’s superficial, and on the other, it can really get inside your head and you feel a connection with someone who is basically a stranger.
                  Phoning may be better, but I’ve even been burned by that.
                  Or – how about dating someone who lives in the vicinity?

                  • Sally Webster says:

                    Grace, you are right – the emails were the problem. We both felt like we were falling in love, it translated in real life for him but not for me. The emails were an illusion, I can see that now.

                    Distinct lack of guys to date in my vicinity, despite my friends’ best efforts to find a ‘nice’ man for me. I am 51 years old and have nearly given up hope (but not quite) :)

                  • tired_of_assanova says:


                    Guess what! Someone I met three months ago in a nightclub, decided that randomly, they’d text me TODAY.

                    “Hey, how’s things??”

                    Oh yeah, it was like 10 pm as well.

                    Normally my old self would react to this, but after months of silence, and BR, they’re just not that special and let’s be real – they could have chat me up three months ago. CRAZY


                    • P. says:


                      This happened to me also (except we only e-mailed before), so I met with him for walks around town, twice, then he decided “just be friends” and I responded “don’t worry about it”. What followed was an insane barrage of aggressive, insulting texts and e-mails; I almost called the police. Yep, one of ’em “normal” guys… You did the right thing. (Oh, and he did call and not just texted etc.)

      • Lioness says:

        Addy, Lostagain. It does happen. When I met my husband (now amicably divorced and platonic friends) years ago, I just really liked him as a person. I don’t remember thinking whether I was attracted to him or not. I just liked him and felt at ease and comfortable, in his presence, which I think is key and it progressed from there. I remember it was a few dates in that my feelings started to develop and grew more deeper after a few months. I think slow and steady is the best way both to get to know someone and be aware of your feelings. One thing I remember clearly is that I lived my own life (eg saw friends, did hobbies etc) and didn’t wait around for his calls and make him my total reason for being. I’ve since been in ‘relationships’ were there were quick ‘passionate’ feelings etc and they have all ended badly. I have realised that I did not allow myself the space to step back and slow the relationships, however, some were the typical EUM full on/sweep you off your feet players, who overwhelm you so you have no chance to question anything until it is too late and your hooked!

        Even though I am no longer with my ex husband I am using the knowledge of the early days of our relationship as a reminder how things are suppose to ‘progress’ with a healthly relationship. Nat has it spot on.

        • Broadsided says:

          Lioness, I am going to tape this to my bedroom wall and burn it into my brain before dating again, LOL, particularly: “I think slow and steady is the best way both to get to know someone and be aware of your feelings.”

          “I’ve since been in ‘relationships’ were there were quick ‘passionate’ feelings etc and they have all ended badly.” – Yep, me too – ALL of them – though they start with so much promise and excitement.

          “…Typical EUM full on/sweep you off your feet players, who overwhelm you so you have no chance to question anything until it is too late and your hooked!” – Just happened to me – again! Not happening any more. You simply cannot quickly believe people, 95% of the time at least. (Every time I say this, someone knows a couple who were full on from day one, knew they wanted to get married and eventually did, and lived happily ever after! I think this is the rare exception.)

      • Lostagain says:

        I was thinking about one specific example were the guy seemed to be everything that I “should” like. I met him after chatting a bit and I just wasn’t feeling it . There seemed to be something missing or something wrong. Thinking about it now and re- reading some of these post, I think it might have been more than not being physically attracted (he was actually kinda cute ,which made it harder for me to understand why I wasn’t attracted). I realized he reminded me a lot of my EX EUM. Some of the things he said could have/probably did come straight out of my ex’s mouth. Blowing very hot in the start. trying to fast forward. I mean I only met him once and he was convinced I was “the one”, I just didn’t know it yet. Maybe, after all, me not being attracted was just me realizing the red flags in my gut and opting out…even if it was initially subconscious.

        • grace says:

          If someone thought I was the one after one meeting, I’d run too. I wish I’d run when the abusive ex said I was the one. Turned out I was the one whose life he made a complete misery.
          Someone who believes an almost- stranger is the one has serious issues. And so does the person who believes it.

          • ChiTownKitty says:

            Just had an experience with this…remember I was the one who flushed the AC who stood me up twice…anyway another guy emailed me through the dating site. We went to the same university and looking over his profile I wasnt sure if we had much in common but did email hi to see where it would go. We IMed through the site and I asked about some of the things he had written which he quickly backtraced from. He was anxious for a date. I passed. I had the feeling that he would say anything to meet a woman and declare her The One. FLUSH btw he’s now constantly visiting my profile page, I refuse to respond to any emails and have disabled the IM feature. Its a slow process but I am learning!

  3. Lia says:

    “20. They’re close with their family. Er, no, this doesn’t mean that they’ll want to commit or introduce you to them.

    21. They’ve had the exact same job for a gazillion years. Clearly you value stability, but I wouldn’t go assuming that they want a stable relationship. They may be brilliant at the job…or they may lack ambition.

    22. They have their own house, car and teeth. You immediately realise that material goods, security, and er..dental work are very important to you. But what can these things do for your relationship.”

    Dang, guilty as charged! Lol, especially number 20. The guy that I dealt with treated his mother so well, so of course I just knew that all of that love was going to somehow transfer over to me…it was a hard pill to swallow when I realized that I felt like I would always to have to compete with ‘mommy dearest’, and the sad thing was that I don’t even think it was really her fault. Sure, I think that their relationship was unbalanced, but I think that he used it as a cop out. We are young adults, yet every time she needed anything I would get dropped like a bad habit, and sat there like a fool waiting for him to pick me back up again. Never again. Come to think of it, I only met the woman once. She seemed nice enough, but I’ve never really gotten to see them interact. For all I know, he was lying the whole time about their relationship and just trying to make himself look good.

    This list is making me laugh with embarrassment Natalie, especially that last one. I used to think that if someone showed me his bad side it was because he trusted me, and I would rather know the bad ahead of time so I could make up my mind without being bamboozled. Wrong wrong and more wrong lol, their “good sides” rarely came out, usually only when they wanted or needed something from me. Great post!

    • Lostagain says:

      Oh yeah, I also learned #20 the hard way. He was very close to the mother, lived with her. He described her as “all he really has.” He would bend over backwards for her. I thought it was great, so much love and respect for his mother…must be how he treats women also. WRONG! I think the breaking point on the ‘mama’s boy’ aspect was when he left me alone in my bed to go stay with his mom because her husband was away at work and she was scared to be alone.

      • Lia says:

        “He described her as “all he really has.” He would bend over backwards for her. I thought it was great, so much love and respect for his mother…must be how he treats women also. WRONG!”

        Yea that sounds like the guy I had, or thought I had I guess. He once canceled on me because his mom needed her car washed. I thought he was joking until he apologized for postponing our plans…anytime I hear about a mama’s boy I swear I say a prayer in hopes that when I have sons they turn out differently…

        • Stephanie says:


          I got cancelled on because his sister suddenly went into labour. I appreciate that he needed to take her to the hospital but she has a husband and another sister. What makes it worse was that it wasn’t even true! A bit of Facebook snooping confirmed that his sister did not in fact go into labour until 2 weeks later. After cancelling on me he never contacted me again. I now realise it was just an excuse to get out of our date and he never intended to see me again after that.

  4. Kathie says:

    NML… another excellent post :)… When I read it I thought of this quote:

    “Reputation is about who you are when people are watching; character is about who you are when you are alone in the room”

    My EUM jumped into another relationship with someone he met at a bar. He said when she walked in the chemistry was instant. I was sitting at his house waiting for him to come home.. He made his choice that night to stay & chat with her…..ouch !!! Of course I didnt find out until a few days later when they met up for lunch which he lied to me about. He said he had gone to visit his father. When I went over later in the day he had all this cologne on (which I purchased and had to literally throw on him to get him to wear it ) … My instincts told me immediatly that something was amiss..
    I found a text on his phone the next morning while he was in the shower…Long story short I exited the 9 yr relationship. Went NC immediatly for my sanity… I feel so betrayed by someone I loved. Its so hard sometimes but I will survive … Nat I love your book & this blog… It is my salvation and motivation… I know I am not alone in my struggles..

  5. Alice says:

    As my counselor once said, “Being a good son does not make a guy a good husband.”

    • Lia says:


      Your therapist is probably right. I believe that to be true now, but I had to find out the hard way. I’ve come to learn that some men/women can only relate to members of the opposite sex based on the limited roles that they’ve learned to play with them. Some men/women only know how to relate as sons or daughters who receive love and care from a significant other, just as they would from a parent. Unfortunately, the parent/child relationship is not very reciprocal, and children are almost always on the receiving end while the parent does most of the giving. Someone who never learns to grow out of this probably won’t make a very good partner…

      • Spinster says:

        “I’ve come to learn that some men/women can only relate to members of the opposite sex based on the limited roles that they’ve learned to play with them.”

        Really good food for thought. Thanks.

        Maybe that’s why my last ex never cooked, insisting that his mother cook for him even though he’s a grown man living in his own house in a different neighborhood from his parents. 😐 He bought the groceries for her to cook his food every week so at least he wasn’t mooching off of her money, but still. 😐

  6. Elle says:

    Guilty on these fronts: high academic intelligence = emotional intelligence (nope, can often mean issues with control and overly-sensitive – not always true, but often), popular = good at relationships (again, sometimes means that has a need-to-please and wants to be adored by the crowd, not one person sitting with them on a couch); good to mum = open to women (err, no, in fact, was once told by a guy – months in – that I would always be a second to his mum and that I had to accept this); money = ready for a family/stability (no, and in fact can involve a sense of entitlement about being able to speak and act however they please – one guy asked me how much money he could give me so that he could get me to leave a date – ie pay for the cab – so he could go back to work); high status job = worthy, acceptable to my family’s apparent expectations (that may or may not exist) (again, sometimes/often status-seekers have a mission that is completely different to creating a trusting and mutually happy relationship); funny = humble and down-to-earth (no, sometimes just very good at being cruel in ways that cause confusion and prolonged pain).

    So, yep, have learned all this the hard way! Truth is though, I am still attached to some of these ideas and connections, especially around status and intellectualism (as worthy of respect). But I know that these are nothing without the stuff, Nat, you listed above – love, care, commitment, consistency etc. It’s the respect thing that I get stuck on because I often respect guys (for their work and intelligence) that I don’t, then, actually have that lovely, practical happiness with.

    • Mymble says:

      Yup, my nemesis was a Prof, with an international reputation etc etc. (Plus good looking). That was a big attraction for me, not least because academic achievement is very highly valued in my family. Also his political affiliations.
      Would they not all be impressed with this one! (Pity he was married…)
      But the thing was he KNEW, of his “value”, and had narcissistic tendencies. I suspect he had a lot of women hitting on him, academia is full of young women swooning over the lecturers and Profs. I think he sensed the lack of a real connection between us, and knew perfectly well the nature of my interest. he disparaged my occupation – which, to most people is impressive – in order to empahsize his own superiority.
      And, frankly, we were not having lots of highbrow intellectual discussions, he was very far from being the most stimulating conversationalist I have ever encountered. A couple of times I found myself laughing my head off at his emails, they showed such vanity and lack of self awareness.
      It’s like Natalie says, you can’t inherit or shag your way into status and intellectual achievement.

      • P. says:

        My “thing” is/was? – writers and readers…. Oh, he read more books than I did, OMG he must be PERFECT!!! Oh, he actually WROTE books? He was FAMOUS??? Don’t even let me get started on that one…

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          I’m with you ladies. I loved the readers and the writers too. His favorite novel was “War & Peace”, that’s all I needed to know. Nevermind about the niggly little detail that he had a wife of 20-something years. Immediate s**lmates for life.
          I’ve been blinded by that intelligence thingy. Come to think about it, I’ve just been blind! Thanks Natalie and everybody, I’m seeing things a little more clearly, although geez I feel like such a numpty sometimes.

          • Spinster says:

            The intelligence thing got me too. I definitely know better now. 😐 (Half of them aren’t even as intelligent as they claim to be.)

    • Izzybell says:

      I recently realized that if I imagine that my ex isn’t a world class scientist and professor, blah blah blah I’m not sure I’d really like or respect him all that much. Because apart from his professional life which he has devoted 99% of his time and energy to over the years, he’s really quite underdeveloped as a person– immature, selfish, unhappy, insecure, totally unselfaware. It startled me to realize how much I was looking to the external signs of success to determine his worth and desireability as a partner.

      • RadioGirl says:

        Izzybell, that’s a great lens to look at someone through in order to be authentic and grounded about why you are being attracted to them. I shall be trying that out when dating!

      • Spinster says:

        Gonna keep this in mind whenever I get a date in the future. Thanks.

    • intuitive says:

      I agree on the “funny” thing.

      With more than a few dates I’ve been on, the ones who make the remarks that sort of had me scratching my head or wincing, or teased me, etc. never turned out to be fundamentally nice people. In many cases they are malicious, as Elly says, or they are just full of themselves.

      There have been times on dating sites where I have tried to interact with people and I am met sometimes with a string of smart-a** remarks one right after the other. I’ve had to just block them or bid them farewell in a message.

      BR has been a big help. I’m not feeling good, so it’s my choice to stop interacting. Done.

      One person made a point of being relationship minded in their profile, and we got to talking and it turned out this person would eventually like to be married. I thought about my views on marriage for a while and realized it just isn’t for me. Later on I wrote a message saying this, explaining that we want different things, and thanking them for getting in touch.

      The answer? Some comment about how they’ve already rented the wedding hall and mailed the invitations. I’m sure they thought they were really cute, just hilarious… but no.

      This wasn’t the first time I had been a bit uncomfortable with how this person interacted with me but that was just over the top rude.

      Flush! (or delete, or block, whatever it takes…)

      • P. says:

        I am with you on the “humor” thing. Often they are sarcastic or condescending (about exes etc.), so now when I read or hear “you must have sense of humor” I just KNOW it is not going to work out. What they are really saying is that you must put up with anything they say, even hurtful, because it is disguised as humor (in their view…)

      • Lostagain says:

        I agree on the humor thing. Especially when they tease you to be funny. My ex teased me in our first messages about my shoes….the teasing continued on our date. I thought it was cute poking fun kind of stuff at first until he started teasing me about everything – glasses, clothes, shoes, my hair. Turns out he was actually just being really mean, trying to cut me down maybe in hopes that I would change it to things HE liked. Just cause something is said with a smile or a laugh doesn’t make it funny or ok. NOT NICE.

        • Tea Cozy says:

          And, some guys do the teasing / mocking thing as part of a routine they’ve learned from the pick-up artist “community”. It’s called negging. Basically, it’s an attempt to throw you off balance by making a thinly-veiled critical remark, delivered in a cocky/joking tone. Sometimes the ploy is so transparent, it’s comical.

          It’s a 100% red flag, run-screaming-in-the-other-direction cue for me.

          • yoghurt says:

            Among my pet peeves is the accusation “you don’t have a sense of humour”. Actually, my sense of humour is so finely developed that I’m able to recognise when someone is using an insult or unpleasant comment to hide their lack of true wit or comedic ability. So shut up.

  7. AngelFace says:

    Ladies. Don’t Assume anything, especially don’t assume that he can not or that you will never catch HIV+ Aids.

    Just minutes before reading this article by Natalie, I was online at a site called Request A Test. Total confidentiality for getting a HIV test done at a legit and top lab (USA)., paying and getting the lab result on-line. (If you go through a doctor you probably can’t get it done anonomously – and you can be DENIED health insurance…pre-existing clause etc.

    So, for those who know me on this site: My X Narcissist, Aspergers, Sadist, Sex Addict boyfriend – who is stalking me by living on my same street, AFTER I met yet another woman he was cheating on me with…. OK, he keeps a harem and is a sexual predator. I knew that. I did not end the relationship quickly but did end it at the 14-month point.

    The woman he had relationship prior to me & during the time he was having sex with me reported to her friends in this county that SHE IS HIV+. I was assuming that I would never catch Aids.

    My test result, that I read just minutes ago looks like this:
    HIV 1/0/2 Abs-Index value <1.00
    Index value specific reactivity relative to the negative cutoff
    HIV 1/0/2 Abs Qual. NonReactive

    I did not contract HIV. I am negative. But seems too darn close that 'the other woman' is HIV+ I got lucky this time. I will not chance this ever again.

    PS: I've successfully been NO CONTACT for months. He did pull a stunt & telephoned my job recently and talked/LIED with a co-worker – who shared it with my boss. I have been keeping my boss informed of this mess, and she is on my side and sees him as a crazy horrible person. I did not tell her about my recent (March 7, 2012) AIDs test.

    Be Safe ladies… Don't Assume. Learn to detatch from him, learn to Not Love him. Make a new life foryourself. Peace Out.

    • gg says:

      Wow. That is horrifying. I’m glad you are negative. Please be safe from now on!
      My cheating ex-AC definitely gave me HPV. One of the high-risk types that causes cervical cancer.
      It’s not the dramatic ordeal that HIV would be, but it certainly makes my body feel invaded and sobered me up a bit when I found out. I have to have a somewhat invasive surgery to prevent further growth of cancerous tissue.
      A frustrating thing is that men aren’t tested for HPV and don’t have symptoms for the cervical-cancer-causing types. You can bet that if they had to have pieces of their penis removed that everyone on the planet would be getting tested for it, though!!!
      I also know for a fact that this AC is (by his own admission) having unprotected sex with girls and not telling them about his status. It makes me ill to think about– he could ruin these girls’ lives, all for a bit of play on his end. I don’t know what to do about it. I told mutual friends, at the risk of seeming like I’m stirring up drama… I know I certainly can’t control him and just have to hope that the women he encounters think for themselves and engage in safe practices. Ugh.

    • Allison says:

      That’s frightening!!! So important to ALWAYS wear a condom!

      Please retest in 3 months, just to be certain.

  8. Jahmila says:

    you aint nevah lied..this is truth and a 1/2…squared and multiplied by 100. haha.

  9. Limerence says:

    Sadly the AC/MM I was involved with wasn’t really ANY of these things. He had very few good qualities that I saw, yet I still wanted MORE of the bad. Although there were things I zoned in on… he was “popular” at work (until you dug deeper, and realized he had a reputation).

    I’m so glad the fog and illusions are gone. I just got home from the doctors today. I waited and waited and waited, fretting, about getting STD tests and HIV and all that incredibly fun stuff (since my “relationship” was one of pure fantasy, of course I didn’t need to use condoms!), but I am worth it. My rapid HIV was negative which is a blessing.

    I’m so glad to move on from that chapter in my life. Counseling and my therapy (the books I’ve been reading, being at baggage reclaim, focusing on ME) have taken me tremendously far. I don’t MISS MM/AC, I see him at work and besides feeling some slight shame, I don’t PINE, I don’t reminisce, and I don’t even have regrets. This has and will make me stronger.

  10. Broadsided says:

    Wow. This is the most relevant article yet for me, going forward – and everybody please take note. It is absolutely 100% right on. I can’t begin to say how much. Some of the biggest assclowns have sailed through many of these desirable traits – and I assumed these traits meant something about their ability to have a one-on-one healthy relationship: popular, holding down a stable job forever which everybody thinks they are good at, well loved in the public eye, all of their “fans” telling me how wonderful they are, billions of adoring Facebook friends, blah blah blah. But indeed, all that matters is how they do one on one with you. Some pretty bad people are very adept at their public persona. It’s like they have an outer and an inner side. A lot of the crap does not come out until they are one on one and have to actually demonstrate things like care and concern and love – things that are not narcissistic or about being adored. And my last guy was “Christian”. Guess he forgot the “do unto others” part.

    • ixnay says:


      In order to have the emotional upper hand, my ex used to destabilize me with little digs right before we would go to some event at which he shined, being funny and engaging to the point where people fawned over him and made comments to me like “Isn’t he the funniest person you ever met?” and “He’s such a great guy!”

      Meanwhile, I would be on the edge of tears, withdrawn and confused. He would then tell me I didn’t know how to have a good time.

      One example of this: I had bought a Black Halo white linen sundress on ebay. We were headed to a gallery closing event, and I modeled it for him. He looked at me coldly and said, “What happened to your breasts?” I took it off (never wore it, sold it on consignment) and went with hm to the event, feeling that sick, bad, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here feeling. We sat next to a couple and the guy, a new friend of his, was telling his girlfriend, “This is the guy I was telling you about!” and my bf turned on the charm for them. I was almost silent.

      I almost felt like his sadism toward me *energized* his interactions with other people. It was like he had me where he wanted me: “Don’t get too comfortable. I decide how close you can get and how secure you can feel.”

  11. Broadsided says:

    I wanted to add a P.S. that in my last guy’s case, he had a very stable employment history but a very unstable dating/relationship history. Yet told me it’s because he hadn’t met the right woman and that I was “different.” Well, I was kept around for so long then abruptly thrown under the bus so he could get back on with his game and his admirers. The last comment he made, as a reason for incompability, was that he realized I was “actually too short”. (I’m 5’3″.) Uh, yeah, and the other reasons went downhill from there.

  12. Molly says:

    #27 They’re in therapy

    My last EUM was in therapy twice a week and had been for about four years when we met !

    I think a lot of the damaged guys play the therapy card to get you to believe they are “psychologized,” “in touch with their feelings,” “working on their issues,” whatever the term du jour happens to be.

    A lot of these guys are playing their therapists the same way they are playing you. The only difference is the therapist is getting paid to get played.

    • Polly says:

      I once read somewhere that proper sociopath types just use therapy to learn how to become even more skilled at manipulating people. I’ve been on the receiving end and it is pretty scary. Whilst I think therapy can be really beneficial, someone who has had ALOT would be a definate amber if not red flag for me – particularly if they used it as a chat up line / way to impress you.

  13. Ethelreda the Unready (formerly PJM) says:

    Hey Natalie, you forgot these ones:

    29. They have a compatible star sign to yours.
    I don’t even want to GO there with the science behind this one.

    30. They asked you out.
    This is not a Divine command, nor some kind of imperial decree, unless you happen to be living in, say, ancient Rome and the guy in question really IS the Emperor.

  14. Ethelreda the Unready (formerly PJM) says:

    And a few more:

    31. You’re really lonely at the moment and ‘need someone’.
    Aung San Suu Kyi commented once that ‘loneliness comes from the inside’. Fixing it by slapping on a human being from the outside just won’t do the job. Also, this is tipping over into using people, isn’t it, plus it reeks of desperation, and is also akin to going shopping when you’re hungry. All.Very.Bad.

    32. You need to settle someone else’s hash by pairing up ASAP.
    See above RE using people. And go and get a life, while you’re at it!

    33. You’re in LOOOOOOVVVVVVE.
    No you’re not. You’re in limerence. Google it.

  15. Brad K. says:

    OK, I recognize #16. That is why I state it “children and animals *thrive* under their care”. That is, the children and animals are disciplined, respectful, content, and useful. If the children and animals aren’t *better* for having been in the prospect’s care, I would consider that a caution flag at the least.

    And being “good” with children is only part of figuring out if a prospect is a viable candidate for a lifelong mate and co-parent. The rest has to be their to mean anything.

    I know people that think “good with children” means the adult doesn’t throw a fit at the presence of a child. Gack.

    #10 should include “looks amazingly handsome/beautiful/cute/etc.”. The problem I see, is that if you pick someone for physical appearance, the perfume they wear, the cologne or toothpaste or whatever — anyone else meeting that criteria might just tear your attention away from yourself and your relationship. And that isn’t good. On the other hand, someone that wants to be noticed for their breasts, their penis, their awesome blonde locks or muscles or hips or whatever — is going to remain conscious about whether others are noticing them and being attracted. That isn’t good for a viable relationship, either. This is also the problem with anyone with a lot of dating partners — they will continue to seek new partners, even after being in a “relationship”. This is a life-skill, and will be a tough combination of habit and sense of self worth to rebuild, if they ever care to (it isn’t something anyone else can impose).

  16. Sarah says:

    Ive so been guilty of this!!!! started going out with the last guy because he was popular, got on well with his family, shared interests etc but i dont think he cared about me and he certainly didn’t respect me. at the beginning he feigned care at least, would ask me about myself and seemed concerned when I was ill or upset. But it never felt sincere. It wasn’t long before I felt like an inconvenience to him. He didn’t respect many of my wishes and he would challenge the boundaries I did assert, not that there were many.

    So in the end it really didn’t matter that we shared similar interests and popularity means diddly squat. A relationship where I feel I can be myself and have to hide my emotions, needs..even who I am or a superficial relationship where I’m only wanted or valued when I’m “fun” is not one I want.

  17. maya says:

    Hi all,

    This is my first time commenting. So, here goes.

    Mine was #18. He was in his late 50s and I was about 2 decades younger. Well, naive not very young me thought – after 2 failed marriages and heaven knows how many more failed relationships he’d had, he surely must be getting tired now. He must want to make this one work. Well, apparently, he doesn’t know how to make a relationship work, or he doesn’t want it to work or whatever – I’m past caring. That explains why he is not in one – to me at least, now. He is just commitment shy? phobic?

    Ah well, I live and learn. Thanks Natalie for another brilliant post :)

    • Broadsided says:

      One way to look at that is when a guy’s in his late 50’s (as my last AC-EU was) – he may have established some patterns and intentions that will probably last the rest of his life. My EU before that was in his low 50’s. Same deal. Personally, I am EOA (emotionally overavailable) but reigning that in starts right now.

      Of course, there may be exceptions, if a guy has that level of self awareness and can articulate what he’s done before and how it came up short, vs what he wants now. I have no idea how to judge that, though – as my last guy told me this but it was BS.

      • Mymble says:

        When I read your story before I assumed that you and the nan were 20s, 30s – based I suppose on his behaviour, (FB friends, lots of short relationships , the fast forwarding and future faking) I can’t get my head round the fact that men that age would behave like that, but it would seem they do, lots of them do. I read “A round heeled woman” recently and there was men in their 70s and – 80s ! behaving like this (fast forwarding, future faking etc).

    • Eloise says:

      Mine was no.18 also. My ex was mid 40s – never married, no kids, but several, long-term relationships under his belt. I (mistakenly) thought he must be ready for a serious commitment at his age. He did profess (often) to wanting commitment, marriage and kids, but he couldn’t even commit to what he wanted for breakfast that morning. I spent a fortune on flights when I dated him because he never wanted to book holidays until the day before going and always wanted to leave the return date open. I’ve met guys in their teens who were more ready for commitment than the EUM in his forties.

  18. tired_of_assanova says:

    As some posters might know, I’ve been off dating for a while and I think I’m at a point where I want to try get back in the saddle. Not making it a vocation, but there’s someone I’d like to choose because:

    – They seem nice
    – They’re cute
    – I like them
    – And I want to know more!

    I haven’t made an approach to them yet, so they don’t know that I’d like to ask them out yet.

    I’m in a bit of a conundrum though – perhaps I’m overthinking – I may be going overseas in about 4 months time (or not – depends on a funding grant outcome for a job post) and there’s uncertainty over that. I want to try for something decent and real this time, but I’m worried that my deal on offer is defective – should I even bother trying again, who is going to want a relationship that might end after 4 months?

    I’m tired of one nighters, I don’t want to visit sex venues, and there is NO way I want to have casual flings.

    Is there such thing as a short-term relationship? Do people have ideas about how long a ‘long’ term relationship is? Or am I just crazy?

    • Lioness says:

      @tired of A. I think you’re over thinking and putting yourself under unecessary pressure. Why are you assuming a future relationship when nothing has happened yet (and you might decide not to approach them anyway)? Even if you did ask them – it should just be discovery dating anyway, not jumping straight into any physical. I don’t see the possible overseas trip as an issue if you are discovery dating. If you want to tell them about it just mention it in passing without being too heavy about it. After all you might find you’re not that interested in them after spending some time together. Relax, and keep both feet on the ground. hugs

    • grace says:

      t of a
      I think a long-term relationship is entered into with a view to a lifelong commitment if you’re well-suited and both want that after a decent discovery period. YES I’M THAT SQUARE!
      I agree with lionness, don’t overthink it. That’s more stressful than the actual reality. If he’s not interested, or you’re not, or neither of you are, then the job issue is moot. If you ARE both interested, you work something out. Which you do with him rather than on your own staring at the ceiling (before you’ve even been on a date).
      With my pretend boyfriend (for want of a better term) when I made a move and realised that he likely is not interested, I waited for the sky to fall in. And it did not. I feel LESS anxious than when I was doing the shall I – shan’t I – what does x,y,z mean routine. That was driving me up the wall.
      Reality is much easier to deal with than all the doomsday scenarios/ lala happy endings we cook up all by ourselves in our heads while the man is just going about his daily business. The thing starts to take on a significance which it doesn’t deserve.
      What I have learned, which is reassuring, is that I don’t make it about me anymore. I’m still me, I’m still largely happy. I do get sad moments for what might have been, but they pass whereas the shall I/shan’t I obsession was becoming 24/7. I’m also very sad to be going through this at 47 rather than 37 or even 27 – but that’s not his fault!
      He’s not put a foot wrong, there’s been no using, no hot and heavy stuff, no charm offensive – so at least my taste has improved. (He’s still tall though! )
      Just for the record, I do really like him. For some reason I feel I need to say that.

  19. Your advice is always just spot on. I agree with every single point (especially about protesting too much!).

  20. Magnolia says:

    @Ashamed: I second the thought re “chemistry.” There is a man who has been vaguely showing interest for a few years, but that I distanced myself from after an outing that felt very much like a date, until after going biking with me, going to a reading, and then hanging out for a longish coffee, just before saying ta, he mentioned his girlfriend. He’s very physically attractive and is a curator at a local gallery. He’s bright, easy to talk to, and is impressively knowledgeable.

    I was at an event of his tonight. Suddenly, quite suddenly, I feel ‘chemistry.’ Something about our last interaction before this evening gave me the sense he was quite fond of me, and now I feel a strong attraction, after years of nothing. (I assume that’s what you mean by chemistry, because it’s certainly not rational thought!)

    I’m surprised at myself. What is it that supersedes rational thought in these cases? It’s not the heart. My heart doesn’t want a guy who takes women on ambiguous one-on-one outings when he has a partner. It’s not my mind. I don’t even think it’s my va-jay-jay because … well, when he looked at me like that I felt like a noticed girl … it didn’t feel very sexual.

    I guess it’s just a moment of feeling wanted. Feeling visible. Or is it just that a guy was/is being friendly and I get too excited, ‘wagging my tail,’ as one BR reader put it, about a guy who is actually just being warm and friendly toward me? :(

    Whatever. I won’t dwell on it, but I wish I understood it. It would be nice if that feeling could come from a consistent source that shares my values.

    @Brad: I feel like I might be one of those people you describe, always on the lookout for if someone seems attracted. I thought that was just ‘being single and looking.’ How would one ever begin to change that? I imagine dropping all interest in whether I’m attractive to men would feel like I was going back to being invisible.

    • grace says:

      It may be that when someone is attached he/she feels “safer”. You can let down your guard cos – nothing is gonna happen right? There is also a frisson of danger but – nothing’s gonna happen right?
      Of course, this may not be you but – it’s what I used to do. I’d be all funny, relaxed, friendly and then LOAD THE DRAMA SEEKING MISSILE.

      • tired_of_assanova says:

        I’ve noticed this perception issue as well, it is quite amazing. When someone is with someone else, it is like I imagine that they’re in some blissful relationship (grass is greener) and that they’re kept by someone also is almost like “social proof” that they’re capable of an LTR… someone taken does look more attractive.

        Maybe it is the forbidden element.

        Funny thing is when they break up, suddenly they’re not that captivating!

        Definitely need to get to the bottom of my unavailability. Almost there though!

      • Magnolia says:

        grace, tired:

        um … i don’t think so … he has been attached and friendly for almost two years since the outing to the reading.

        i’m going to guess that for a moment I felt a “fondness” – i use the word because i can’t find another one for the sense that a man might have an urge to take care of me, protect me, etc. – funnily enough I have only felt it from guys who are taller than me!!

        my two ltrs were with very caretaking-ish men who were avoiding taking care of themselves; then cue years of not quite understanding how future-fakers give signals that like offers of potential protection and care. i just find that vibe such a trigger – the guys who feel like ‘buddies’ seem less powerful than me (or maybe ‘only’ equally powerful) and hence not able to protect me. i wonder if wanting to feel a protective vibe from a guy is the same as a rescue fantasy.

        Oh well – it’s more likely just a passing craving! I have been eating very healthily this week (no wheat, no dairy, no sugar) and riding through the intense feelings that go with giving up unhealthy habits. There is something very primal about feeding myself well that makes me feel I’m paying attention to myself and caring for me in a way that I have never experienced before. Stirring up a few deep feelings about wanting to be cared for, I guess. I feel … loved.

        • Magnolia, many women make a primal assumption that confidence, even if it comes from assholery, is indicative of a man’s ability to take care and provide. This same primal assumption comes into play regarding height. My father is a shorty – I have been out mostly with men who are 6ft – 6ft 7. I’m sure there was an element of making some weird correlation about his height and ability to provide, but fact remains that my relationship resume is full of tall men who either could or couldn’t provide but who were all unavailable with some crossing into AC territory.

          There are some women who will probably wake up one day and think “Jaysus, I’ve spent my whole life being attracted to and going out with tall assholes or tall men with no emotional skills. Hmmm, I wonder if I should have worked harder to address my beliefs about height, or at least addressed my beliefs and habits so I cold focus on opting in and out of situations on merit? Or should I have a look around the nursing home and have one last stab at finding a tall man?”

          • SM says:

            “Or should I have a look around the nursing home and have one last stab at finding a tall man?” LOL this cracked me up. Funny because I find men of all heights attractive and have dated, been madly in love with and dumped by some dudes that are 5’3″. BUT my first husband was 6’6″, my second 6’4″ and the guy I’m seeing now is 6’4”.

            What always ropes me in is personality. If they have an outgoing, good sense of humor, seems at ease talking to people, then I automatically assume they are ‘healthy’…NOT.

          • Natasha says:

            “Or should I have a look around the nursing home and have one last stab at finding a tall man?”

            That one cracked me up too!! I’ve been on a few dates with someone who seems cool so far and is 6’4”, but I have enough faith in myself at this point that if he turns out to suck I will not cling onto the leg of his extra-tall jeans, trying to wring the very assholery out of him. Even though it’s not exclusive yet, I’ve been focusing on getting to know him, even though all my girlfriends think I should be keeping my options open by dating approximately 38 guys at once. If it doesn’t work out, I am going to make a SERIOUS effort to be open to the possibility of someone who is less than a foot taller than me. Sadly enough, a few years ago that would have been a major friggin’ concession!!

          • Ashamed says:

            I do agree completely! I love tall men. I’m 5’2 and AC is 6’2. Just loved when he had to bend down to kiss me. Something about that gesture made me feel good. They say that tall men have a greater success rate in the corporate world and I definitely see that trend at my work. It’s about their presence in the room and the perception that they have control of the situation. Seems unfair but it’s basic human psychology. The opposite of that is how short heavy people get dicriminated against. Many may not be perceived positively simply because they are overweight and therefore are often overlooked. I guess personal relationships don’t differ much from this either.

          • EllyB says:

            I think as grown-up women, we shouldn’t seek a “provider” for ourselves at all. Even a housewife is a provider in my book, because she provides meals, clean clothes and so many other necessities.

            If we seek a “provider”, we act as if we were still kids, which we aren’t. Kids, on the other hand, really need to be provided for (financially and emotionally). But who would be better suited for that role? A “macho” guy with a huge sense of entitlement and a constant need for ego-boosts? Or a guy who would even clean houses all day long if no other job was available and would STILL try to be home with his kids early? I think if we asked any small child, the answer would be clear.

    • Ashamed says:

      My chemistry happened quite suddenly after spending time with him outside of work, doing fun things and having great conversation. After that, I decided to kiss him to see if I’d feel anything and I never expected the intenseness of our first kiss. I remember right after our kiss him saying “wow-I am actually feeling cold” as in the chills and it was 85 degrees outside. I felt the same way. It’s those damn chemicals kicking in making you feel high in the moment but as we all know, will ultimately fade with time. It only happened to me a couple times in my life and it’s quite the rush. Definitely does not mean you are destined to be together but it can certainly be the precursor for a great physical connection.

    • Brad K. says:


      “How would one ever begin to change that? I imagine dropping all interest in whether I’m attractive to men” — I don’t think that is the choice.

      It seems that as humans, our bodies are wired to be attracted to any number of other bodies. As members of any particular culture, though, and as members of families and communities, we find that there are distinctions between what works, long term, and what is closer to a rash or itch that goes away after you wash up.

      And that is where character and reputation come in, where aptitude for being a part of a family becomes most important. Because I think the alternative to looking for someone you might find attractive, is to look for someone available, respectable, responsible, and attuned to ethical behavior and responsibilities within the frameworks of family and community. Then use dates and shared experiences to evaluate — does he hear you when you speak (respect you)? do you actually, really enjoy making him happy, and does he actually, really enjoy when you try (are you actually communicating)? do you respect his actions as well as his words as to family life, what he wants to do with his life and community (shared family values)? If, during the process, you don’t find anything comfortable and satisfying (excitement is a matter of danger and risk, and something to be wary of), then thank him and look for someone that is suitable.

      Please don’t let fashion and romantic comedy ploys define how you approach finding a special someone, not even to avoid problems. Being invisible isn’t going to prepare you to live a satisfying life; living with and as honorable folk is a much better plan.

  21. grace says:

    Ha. no. 6 made me laugh. Stalin anyone?
    The height thing is a problem for me. I’m only five three (if I stretch) and the man I married was six five, the returning ex was six seven. Ridiculous. I just don’t “see” shorter men. There are a few I’ve got to know and I’ve thought “hmm , he’s cute after all”. But by then they’re with someone else.
    And I’m with some lanky AC.

    • Mymble says:

      Laugh if you will, Grace, but politics is VERY important. If you were brought up by politically active parents whose time was largely occupied in debate, protest etc it is a nonnegotiable core value. It affects all your choices, how you educate your children, what work you will do, how you spend your time. I once had a boyfriend who had opposing views, there were some nasty rows and we grew to loathe one another. Never again.
      FYI we are more Leninists than Stalinists.. Lol.

      • j d says:

        I first learned about this political dynamic during a brief try at online dating. Being apolitical, there was no ‘right’ answer I could give and I bypassed all of the women who had it as a requirement. Plus I couldn’t understand the issue as important. It’s interesting to see the different things people value (or at least think they value). I agree with the author that it seems a very minor point of common ground. I’m left handed, but can’t imagine refusing to date right handers; that seems about as important as political affiliation to me.

        • Mymble says:

          Its like religion. I’m not religious so I don’t mind if they are/are not. But I can quite understand that a religious person might not wish to be with me.

        • P. says:


          It does not seem important at first (because you are “in lust”, I guess), but the way politics is played nowadays very much interferes with people’s values – for example the recent debates about contraception, women’s rights – those are definitely directly related to how one conducts one’s relationships.

          • Mymble says:

            Well that’s what I think too. I don’t believe in the idea of “apolitical” bc all the choices you make in life are in fact political, and are affected by how you view race, gender, and class. Unfortunately some people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. That for me is dangerous bc I hear the words and am enraptured – but words don’t match with actions and by the time I’ve noticed it’s too late.

            • P. says:


              Thank you for adding race and class.

            • Polly says:

              Hi Mymble,

              My ex talked up his socialist credentials all the time and then I found out when it came to going on strike he ‘worked from home’ to avoid the picket line but still get his pay.

              • Mymble says:

                Well we had a disagreement about the exact same thing! How funny! He had all these irrelevant excuses for why he *couldnt* go on strike..What a hypocrite.

          • runnergirlno1 says:

            My jury is out on the political issue. I’m a registered Decline to State which in the US means that I do not have a party affiliation. I fall on the left and the moderate right depending on the issue. But I’d like to see less of a divide because we are all working toward the same goal, albeit the means may differ. All my past relationships involved lefties. The exMM was hugely conservative. I’d never really experienced the difference in core values that can be associated with political alignments. We had a few major rows over political issues but when push boiled down to shove, we could actually agree. We are both extremely political but amazingly, we could agree in some areas. Most importantly, I learned a ton and he did too. He’s not the same right wing conservative after hanging with me and I’m not the same lefty leaning Decline to State after hanging with him. That was a really nice part of knowing him. Yeah, the married part and the right wing political rhetoric regarding “family values” wasn’t so endearing.

            • EllyB says:

              @Runner: As I’ve said somewhere else in this thread – maybe we care so much about a guy’s political leaning only if we’re somewhat self-conscious about our own? That used to be true for me, at least. Whenever I met someone who was “on my side”, I felt reassured – and gladly opened the doors for bad treatment.

              Now I think it’s sufficient if I have my beliefs (which happen to be fairly strong) – I don’t need anybody to share them (well, I need a majority to get what I want, but I don’t need my partner to vote with me, lol!). I think the more I learn to respect my own views (and to stick to them even under “attack” from others), the less I would care about my partner’s. After all, my partner’s (or my) beliefs could change during the relationship as well. Should we file for divorce whenever we or our partners want to change their party affiliation?

              I think political beliefs are different from values. Whether we try to solve unemployment issues with more or less welfare money is very important for the big picture but doesn’t really matter for a relationship. What matters is our personal values, how we treat people near and dear, and how we approach life in general.

              • runnergirlno1 says:

                Hi EllyB, your comment gave me pause. I think you are right, political beliefs may be different from values. I get things totally confused. You made me think about the difference between political views and personal values. I agree 100%, it’s always about how we treat people near and dear. Compatible or incompatible political views don’t necessarily result in a relationship or doom one. You and everybody else are so brilliant. I learn so much from all of you. This is the greatest, most incredible cyber spot on the planet. I’ve learned, healed, and am looking forward to the future as a result of you all. Gracious, I’ve never met such brilliant women!

          • SM says:

            P. I agree with you! Politics and religion very much state how one conducts their lives. I am a conservative Christian and recently the new guy I’m dating asked if I could set his ‘separated’ friend up with my girl friend. I said absolutely not. He is legally married and until he is legally divorced I wont ‘set’ him up with anyone. That is a Christian view point and it is also a view point I hold very dearly since beginning to read Baggage Reclaim. My girlfriend holds the same views.

            Now, since NML says stick with your values, I am keeping the fact that my new guy thinks it is ok for a separated person to date in the back of my mind. Because maybe this is an early indication that we dont hold the same values.

            • P. says:


              I would say that would definitely be a “values” issue. I went out last year with a guy who was self-proclaimed conservative Christian, told me he had custody of his kids (so I assumed he was divorced), his ex lived in another state with another guy… Turned out he did not even file for divorce, and when I inquired why he said divorce was too expensive and he had “a plan”. I refused to have a relationship with him, to commit (how could I commit, right?), and he threw an angry fit so loud that a neighbor talked to me about it the next day. This guy was “single in his heart” (his words) and later I saw him on an online dating site (actually, two) looking for “casual sex” and stating he was a single father… So much for his “family values”. And he might have even been a good father, but I just could not proceed, not even with anything casual, it seemed he was lying and not dependable that way. If he was more open – I do not know…. but I would say again definitely if you do not feel comfortable with the values of dating while separated you do have an issue with the new guy :(.

              • SM says:

                Thanks P. And I didnt mention this, my new guy’s friend told me off when he found out that I didnt deem him acceptable dating material because he’s separated. He basically said that I had no right to judge him, that I didnt know anything about his marriage or what he went thru, even though he’s been separated for a year and has had plenty of time to make it legal. I was flabbergasted to say the least. What a jerk! Luckily I’ve met plenty of the new guys family and friends and this is the only one I dislike.

            • Spinster says:

              SM – Christian or not, that’s a good value to have. From, an agnostic. 😉

    • Natasha says:

      Grace, I have the height issue too! I have literally never gone out with anyone under 6′ 2″. The irony of it is that I’m 5′ 1″.

      • Magnolia says:

        I have the opposite issue! I seem to go for the short men … my mother begged me jokingly, after the AC, to stop dating men shorter than me (I’m 5’8″). She thinks I get the ones with short man syndrome, and other people suggest it’s because I’m at core scared of men who are physically bigger.

        • Tea Cozy says:

          Magnolia, I’m 5′-10″, and though I don’t have any one body type or height I prefer, I often find guys my height or a bit shorter to be quite attractive. What cracks me up is how many tall guys in the online dating world assume their height is a universal attractor.

          I can’t tell you how many initial queries I get along the lines of, “You’ll love me. I’m tall.”

          Oh, REALLY? Your height says *what* exactly about the goodness of your person, hmm? Or our shared values? Bah.

          That type of come-on has actually become a yellow flag for me.

          • Broadsided says:

            Natasha, I’m 5’3″ and have dated two guys who were 6’4″ and one who was 6’7″. My last “boyfriend” was 6’4″ and as he reached to think of reasons to break up with me, one was that he realized that I was “actually too short” for him. I find that really shallow – especially since I was the same height when he met me a couple of months ago, LOL. (Seems if someone has height requirements they’d see this right away and move on?) I confess I do discriminate more on the basis of physical fitness – as I am a fit and active person. (You could say that reflects shared values.)

      • Natasha says:

        Ladies, I’m glad it’s not just me that can be “height-ist”! I have to confess that when I hear guys go on and on (and on) about how sexy tall women are, I get pissy, which is like, “Hello. Pot, meet kettle.” OY. Tea Cozy, I totally agree that a dude being all, “You’ll want my ass because I’m tall.” is none too good a come-on!

        Broadsided, I had an ex-AC fumble around for reasons to act a fool too – he came up with “religion” and, just like you, I was the same religion when I met him…five years prior. ANYWAY. I find physical fitness to be important too, because I love golf and tennis and really wouldn’t be happy with a couch potato. They key is not to find a physically fit jackass haha!

        • Tea Cozy says:

          Natasha, I had to laugh reading this comment, because it seems like I always hear guys gushing about how attractive they find petite women.

          I once had a guy say to me, after we’d been dating for a few months, “You know, you’re just too tall.” Really, buddy?! You only noticed that NOW? Oh, brother!

          Ya just can’t win sometimes. 😀

  22. EllyB says:

    I think our excuses why we stay with a toxic person can tell us a lot about ourselves. In my case, my political leanings changed dramatically during the past 5 years. My family background was very much right-wing/conservative, but I’ve recently drifted way more to the left. Specifically, I wanted to rein in the financial markets even before Lehman Brothers.

    Oddly enough, since then, the guys who gave me the most trouble were left-leaning as well. My most recent example is that married top manager who invited me to lunch with probably somewhat shady intentions. When I first met him, he expressed some views even the “Occupy” movement would love. I was impressed, because guys like him usually don’t share those views. I guess that was the main reason why I was so happy to be invited to lunch with him (but had somewhat bad feelings afterwards).

    I think there is nothing wrong with my political views. My toxic parents were clearly right-wing, and I’ve met quite a lot of right-leaning EUM and AC as well. Toxic people can be found everywhere.

    So what was my problem? I think it’s the need for external validation. I’m still self-conscious about my views (especially since they seem to “violate” my family’s values), and always think I need reassurance. If a guy with high status comes along and shares my views, I’m enchanted. I think it’s logical to some extent, but also dangerous.

    My views are okay. They would be okay even if nobody else in the world shared them! I don’t need any guy to validate them. It’s again a new insight, and I still need to get used to it.

  23. happy beginning says:

    Attraction to attitude is my problem. How did it ever surprise me that if they have a devil-may-care ‘tude, there’s a good chance that they will not care! But I am wired to see it as confidence and feel the chemistry. There are times when I’ve run a mile when they have started to care and stuck around when they don’t. I must be EU. So relieved to recognise it now and know what I’m trying to achieve and roughly what the path is. thanks a ZILLION BR and commenters.

  24. MaryC says:

    O my gosh I’ve been guilty of too many of these to even list. As I was reading them the light bulbs kept going off and I could see the red flags waving in the wind. The next time I fancy someone I’m gonna use this as my beginnng reference point.

  25. jasmine says:

    i should like to add another one

    29. because he is a virgin….

    i mentioned my story ages ago, but in the process of getting over a mr assclown ,whom i lost my virginity to …(him in his late 20’s, me nearly 30) he was a virgin and in a lot of ways i attributed his waiting for sex as a sign that he was a morally good person, didnt use women etc… so i let down all my boundaries. lets say that i was very naive. i’d like to throw the religious tag in as well ; i saw that as a sign of him being good as well…”he’s religious ” i told people, like that meant he wouldnt be an assclown. oh well, you live and learn..

  26. Karina says:

    I am so guilty of #7 and #10! My sister says I have a hotness problem that I need to deal with. I was always the ugly kid bullied in school growing up and once I hit my teens I blossomed into a pretty good looking gal. Guys started noticing me more and I felt that I had to get the cute ones in order to feel good about myself and justify the fact that others found me attractive.

    This has led me to major problems and the hot ones can also be the idiots! They are so full of themselves that anyone else is irrelevant in their lives. But at the same time I wonder if I’m going about it all wrong because if I don’t feel initial “fancy” I just let that one go and he might be a great person in the end? I mean, isn’t initial attraction important to begin with? Shouldn’t I feel at least a twinge of chemistry when we meet? HELP!!!

    • Natasha says:

      Ohhhhh Karina, I know just what you mean. I was none too attractive until I got to college and I recently realized (AT THIRTY) that “my type” that I refused to deviate from my entire adult life…was basically a fascimile of the dudes I couldn’t get in high school. Let’s face it, we’re all human and biologically wired to be attracted to good looking people. The issue arises when they are both good looking and sucky.

      Looks are a funny thing in the dating world, am I right? It’s interesting, because I’ve always tended to think that the super good looking dudes have so many options that you’d have to be Gisele to marry them. Not all hotties, however, are douches/commitment phobic. (And not all “average” dudes are going to commit to you because you’re prettier than them. Truth.) My sister has a new neighbor. This new neighbor is literally the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life. LITERALLY. He is married to a lovely (lovely, not supermodelly) woman and has three children. They got married when they were 25. The moral of this is that it’s character and commitment-readiness that matter, not looks.

      • Stephanie says:


        Me too! I’m one of those women whom I can honestly say has blossomed as I got older. I started to swan when I hit 30 and it gave me that extra boost. However it never stopped me for always going for the hottest guy I could get (stupid me!). When I first saw the ACs profile online I never thought he would fancy me. So when he showed all that initial interest and was chasing and pursuing me I got caught up and didn’t recognise the signs until it was too late. Boy, have I learnt a lesson or two! Looks really don’t mean a thing to me anymore, although I do think there should be a physical attraction of some sort.

      • Karina says:

        I’m glad you saidf that Natasha…I need to just let things be and be guided by my instincts. I used to let that deeply buried even though something told me things were off with the cute ones and forgave their every crap just because he was a good looking keeper. I’ve also met my fair share of not so attractive guys that treat women like shit and still end up with someone. So beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but at the same time instincsts have to kick in. My main problem is that I don’t want to seem shallow even though I value much more than looks, but it is the first thing we get since most of us are visual beings.

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          Oh dear ladies, beauty must be in the eye of the beholder. You all would crack me upside the head based on the physical appearance of the ex’s. Hey, but they could write one hell of an email? And could text me into another world, never did sext though. It’s so not about the superficial stuff. So not about the 28 plus things. It just isn’t about that. I’m using pronouns deliberately.

        • Broadsided says:

          To me, it’s about what the handsome fellow does with his looks in terms of who he is. Is being “hot” his whole identity, that he uses to get as many women as possible? Or is he a good guy, who happens to be hot? (I am proud that my adult son is quite handsome but also quite a good, respectful guy.) You can often tell by the way guys carry themselves, or whether they project genuine warmth or aloofness, whether they are about their looks or have more depth. The boyfriend-before-last I had was gorgeous but didn’t see himself that way (thought he was “average looking”). Yet was still a total EUM, for other reasons. (The far bigger trap for me is behavior that seems authentic but over time is not – believing it off the bat has been my downfall.) The biggest ass I’ve been with, my ex husband, was just average looking.

      • Natasha says:

        Couldn’t agree more ladies! I’ve known some guys that weren’t model material, but by sheer force of charisma and charm could have any woman they wanted. Of these three dudes, the only ones that were jackasses were….all three of them, come to think of it. It’s always character, character and character when it comes to who to date and who to run a mile from. Interestingly enough, people generally show you who they are within the first 10 minutes of meeting them and it seems we’ve all learned our lessons as far as actually paying attention goes!

        p.s. Broadsided, well done on raising a good man. Seriously, boys can be tough to raise and you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done :)

    • FedUp says:

      I agree the more attractive they are the more arrogant the guy is.

  27. Wiser says:

    Here’s another bad reason to get into a relationship with someone.”He’s so quiet most of the time; seems kinda shy therefore he must be sensitive like me. ”

    Or, he could just be kinda introverted, have little interest in you and others, and be emotionally unavailable…and because of those things, he will treat you with LESS care and respect than an emotionally healthy person.

    My former EUM/AC I thought was the former and turned out to be the latter. I held on too long and tried to help him. Big mistake. Talk about tears and disappointment. Reading BR was a turning point, finally realized that I cannot change him and it was doing me and him no good for me to wait around. Tomorrow will be 29 days NC so far. Moving on.

    • P. says:


      do I understand you correctly that you think being introverted is something negative? Why would that be?

      • Wiser says:

        To clarify, I don’t think being introverted is a negative trait unless it is coupled with being seemingly self absorbed most of the time.

        • P. says:

          Good :), because I just read an awesome book about this, and it is not about being shy/quiet, but about how you recharge your energy… fascinating!

  28. Eloise says:

    I’ve been guilty of all of them at one time or another, except no.1. I really couldn’t give a flying bleep whether a guy goes to church.

    Numbers 10 (tall and I’m a sucker for brown eyes) and 18 have probably tripped me up the most.

  29. Tea Cozy says:

    This article made me laugh and wince in equal measure.

    Let me add another to the list:

    #whatever: He’s a good speller. (See also: Has perfect grammar; writes beautifully; has a big vocabulary. — You know what they say about guys with big vocabularies, right?)


    • P. says:

      What do they say about guys with big vocabularies? And what’s wrong with good grammar/spelling? I am not saying people who cannot spell are not good people, but if communication skills are important to you, doesn’t that count as one of your values that you are kind of entitled to have?

      • Tea Cozy says:

        Fair question. Let me take a stab at it.

        Good writing skills do not indicate good interpersonal, face-to-face communication skills. While it’s really nice, and very fun, to engage in clever email exchanges, or to read someone’s carefully thought-out article in a publication, what’s more important to me is someone who walks the talk in person.

        I know some really great guys, mensch-caliber, who simply aren’t good with the written word, but are wonderful conversationalists and stand-up guys. I’d choose them over a more writerly type of lesser character.

        But that’s a fairly recent change of heart for me, mainly as a result of having given a lot of thought to NML’s past posts on what really matters. In the past, I dated articulate brainiacs who woo’d me with panty-dropping emails, links to their beautifully composed scholarly articles, and so on. But, as it turned out in some cases, all kinds of ugly truths were hidden behind the pretty wall of words. Lesson learned. So, “Good written communication skills” has been bumped waaaay down in my priority queue.

        (The big vocabularies quip was a play on the myth that guys with big feet have big peeners.)

        • P. says:


          Oh, I have not even meant being clever or witty, but mostly getting emails or texts that do not even mention your name, or, at best, say: Hey there! I went out with someone who never addressed me by my name, not even in person (and he knew it and commented on it, too – I should have run, but he was pretty eloquent and interesting ), but this was before I started reading BR, to my excuse. Or as in, not being able to form a full sentence that actually has a period at the end…

          • Sally Webster says:

            I was with someone for 7 years and they only used my name twice in all of that time – once was to shout at me through a shed door, can’t remember what the other time was. I always thought it was a bit odd (and a bit hurtful).

            We are still in contact now (business) and he rarely uses my name at the top of an email, often there is no greeting at all. The email just starts…

            I am always friendly and poilite, he is cold, still!

            • P. says:


              I wonder what that means when they are “unable” to use your name – maybe some really extreme disconnect?

              • Catherine says:

                One of the reasons ( possibly ) that a man won’t use your name in conversation is that he’s concerned that he’s going to get it wrong. I had a friend who unabashedly admitted that to me. He had so MANY women in a feeding frenzy for his crumbs that he just found it easier to address them with mock terms of endearment – like “hon”, or “sweetheart”, or “love”. He went on to clarify that these “titles” – usually VERY early on in the relationship – really seemed to “hook” the women. The actual agenda was that half the time he couldn’t even remember their names !

                • Sally Webster says:

                  I was in a relationship with a serial womaniser (met him online) and he called me ‘sweetheart’ in our first phone conversation – before we had even met. And yep, it hooked me. Won’t fall for it again though.

                  He called me sweetie (and other such things throughout our 10 month relationship), I thought it was nice. I pulled the plug when I realised what he was like, I went NC and that was 9 months ago now.

    • Magnolia says:

      P, I think the key with all these points is that they all fall under “things that I’d like to have, or even things that I must have” but none of them are “must-haves” to the point where you should be overlooking shady behaviour. If you wanted a guy who spoke Italian, or was Bahai, both of those are fine qualifications, but neither in itself makes a guy worth staying with if the real stay-worthy qualities aren’t there.

      I myself am very vocab-sensitive but I believe I met my match recently with a guy who couldn’t stand it when the waitress said, “Are you still working on that?” re my unfinished food. He went off about how eating in a restaurant isn’t work. In fact this person ticked some of my favorite boxes: artistic, articulate, bright, ecoconscious, even reasonably handsome. For those of you who remember the “super intelligent” conversation, he qualifies – he’s a world class concert pianist and music theorist. But that’s not worth choosing him for – oh. my. god. He’s one of the biggest sucky babies I’ve ever met!

      Now, I do want a guy who can communicate through words. I don’t have to give up that desire; I just don’t prioritize it over, say, empathy or kindness.

      • Izzybell says:

        right on, Magnolia! your screening system sounds like it is getting better and better all the time!

        maybe those of us who tend to overthink (myself, for example) and spend too much time in our own heads end up placing too much value on intellectual power in prospective partners. There are so very many ways of being “smart” and, in my experience, intellectual intelligence, achievement, etc. is sometimes a cover up for a lack of emotional intelligence (empathy, kindness, humility, insight).

      • P. says:

        No, of course not, Mag., but I mean if they cannot call you by your name (perhaps they do not care to remember it?), respond in one word texts or e-mails, don’t care to spell the most common words correctly – I take it as a sign of not caring enough to put a little effort in communicating with me. And that would be a value, not just preference for an intellectual guy or whatever (even though those, as I said, have a certain appeal for me… ha ha).

  30. runnergirlno1 says:

    No. 18 (age) really made me think. Since exH #1 and #3 were 11 years my senior and exH #2 was six years younger, I figured the generation gap played a role in the demise of the marriages. Maybe. So, I went to the opposite extreme and narrowed the pool to “my age”. That’s how the exMM didn’t get automatically screened out. I asked him his age on our first “busines”s meeting. Didn’t really mind that he was married as he was the same age!
    I didn’t realize I was making such broad assumptions based on age. I put it together when I actually spoke to the stud muffin (I haven’t been blinded by physical appearance in my past…trust me on that one) at the gym. The only thing going through my head was, is he old enough! Then, yesterday I spoke with a student (non starter anyway) who is 35 (usually they are 22) and the I ran the same tape…too bad, too young. Realistically, he’s a student and I don’t go there. However, reading this post and the comments made me conscious of how I’m clearly making assumptions based on age. Wow! So, if I follow my own flawed internal logic, I can only be interested in guys between the ages of 50 to 55? Preferably, 52. Now what am I thinking? Thank you for the wake up call, AGAIN!
    Of course, it’s about shared core values, mutual trust, respect, and care not their age.
    But they do have to do their own laundry. After asking their age, I used to ask if they did their own laundry. See, I had boundaries…he, he, he. Okay, my boundaries have changed. Now, they’ve got to be unattached and available, treat me with love, trust, respect, have shared core values, and do their own laundry. That may limit the pool more than the age factor.

    • P. says:


      one study I saw said that more than 9 years either way was the boundary for the r’ship actually working long term. It was a pretty decent study….

      • runnergirlno1 says:

        Thank you P. Some days I get wrapped up in ruminating. I’ve watched my closest B/F trying to work through a 20 something age gap with her partner. She is 50-something and her partner (a she) is 30 something. Gender is irrelevant. They are different places in their careers and in life.
        So, can a 30-something, 40-something, and a 50-something share core values?
        I’m going ask the stud muffin at the gym if he wants to meet for lunch. He seems within the age range, despite his 6 pack o abs. I wouldn’t know what to do with a guy with a 6 pack o abs. And, he’s shorter than usual. Of course, I’m 5’3″ on a good day.

        • P. says:


          Some 30-year olds are stodgy (hope that is the correct word), some 60-year olds are youthful – in my opinion it depends on how you get along as far as activity levels etc. provided the values are compatible. Good luck with the guy!

          • EllyB says:

            Well, the only boundary that makes sense to me regarding age is if the partner belongs to a different generation. That means, if it’s more than 15 to 20 years, I think it’s rather likely to become a “father/daughter” or “mother/son”-style relationship. Maybe this isn’t always the case, but all relationships I personally know in which the woman is 20 or 30 years younger than her partner (including several examples in my own family) look an awful lot like that. To me, they usually don’t behave like true co-pilots (although I might be mistaken about that).

            Of course, if one of the partners is still underage, both partners should be WAY more close in age.

  31. Magnolia says:

    Two songs for you on a Friday:

    @runner, this one is on topic (wink), but the original version is ‘non-political’ and very much addressed to all of us!

    and the ultimate FBG rock-anthem!


    • runnergirlno1 says:

      Crumbs Magnolia, I can’t download the links. I need to hear the National FBG anthem. If Natalie would allow it could you resend?

      • Polly says:

        That’s right, the links don’t work. Just tell us the songs and I’m sure we can find them!

  32. miskwa says:

    Being a good non-Christian, I actually tend to avoid guys that make it a point to talk up thier church-going. I do have a weakness for tall, thin, and intelligent guys. Tall and thin because I would lime someone I could dance with and dancing with someone shorter or your height feels really awkward. The turn and other moves just do not work. I have been with short men and it means I must give up dancing, which I love, for the duration. Thin because overweight men are a major series of health problems waiting to happen, just like smokers and lung cancer. And large men do not want a super active partner. Since I work hard to stay healthy so I am not a healthcare burden to another, I expect a partner to do the same. Plain old self love and self care. About looks: its hard if not impossible to even force oneself to feel desire for someone you are just not attracted to regardless of how he treats you. At some point the poor guy will wind up being hurt. Intelligence and a desire to learn new things is vital at least to me. I want a partner I can relate to as an equal but he must be emotionally intelligent as well. I have given men with much less education a chance and it always ended in his resentment of my higher salary and better job. However, many highly intelligent folks, particularly in the sciences, are emotionally stunted: this is what grad school and high level academia selects for. The superficial stuff only lasts so long before basic character becomes evident. I just dumped an on line guy that was good looking, tall, etc because it became clear he was unethical and racist. It was painful but in these cases I think “thank you for showing me who you really are”.

  33. runnergirlno1 says:

    You all would have a field day with grading this batch of essays. The essays deal with the basis of marriages cross-culturally and they are assigned 3 articles. I haven’t tabulated the difference in female vs. males responses but there is a clear divide. I can clearly tell the difference between the essays written by a male vs. the essays written by a female. You all would howl. I’m not making this up. I assign three essays per 150 students per 3 semesters on the subject of relationships/marriage. The response from the male students are so different from the responses from the female students. There’s a difference.

    • Allison says:


      How so?

      • P. says:

        That would not be a “gender in cross-cultural perspective” class, would it? 😀

        • runnergirlno1 says:

          Allison and P.
          It’s just a regular intro cultural anth class. The male responses seemed to focus on the sex part of the reading assignments whereas the female responses seemed to focus on the love part of the reading assignments. I’ve noticed this in the past but never gave it any thought. Neither males or females are graded down as long as they explain the major concepts. It’s just a difference in focus as they explain their understanding of the concepts. In keeping on track, it’s becoming very clear to me that I’ve made a lot of assumptions based on superficial details. Worse, I’ve overlooked major facts while focusing on the superficial details. Getting a grip. Males think differently than females. Duh!

          • P. says:


            in class I would say “most males think differently than most females” or students would call me on that :). I have taught women’s studies once and a few students complained I was talking about men, as well… hilarious.

  34. Tanya Z. says:

    I was involved with someone who’s very popular and confident. (I’m not, and have always wished that I were.) It did not end well. It turned out that what looked like confidence was arrogance and selfishness. All the friends? A lot of them were drinkers, and slept around on their partners….and, as it turns out, my ex did too.

    Someone on this site said that if you don’t like their friends, it’s a big red flag. So true! People rarely have friends whose values are radically different than theirs.

  35. pinkpanther says:

    I had a first date last night. Officially met her via computer, but had seen her around town for a few years, and have been quite attracted to her looks.
    So, while I engaged in a few fantasys about how great it would be…I had Natalie’s voice in the backround, keeping me real.

    We had a nice time, but there was no reason to pursue this further. In the past, I’d probably try to make myself fit into her world somehow, but it’s clear to me, that while she is a nice person, and beautiful to look at, she’s not for me.

    I really wish I’d found this site years ago. Natalie, you are the Queen! Love you, thanks!

    • Tea Cozy says:

      In the past, like you, I would’ve tried to either twist myself into a pretzel to conform to the other person, or done backflips in my thinking to try and reconcile the reality of them with my fantasy of what I’d like them to be.

      Nowadays, when I find myself making good choices in my dating life (such as opting out early), I like to think of it as getting in touch with My Inner NML. 😀

  36. NeroliJasmine says:

    After being in a long term relationship with an intelligent, bright, interesting, capable, very well liked(they don’t know him!) Insited on having female ‘friends’, it was against his human rights if I protested. He was very immature, career driven and self centered.

    Things got strained when I found he had been looking for women on dating/hook up sites, although he said ‘nothing happened’ and of course he blamed me.
    Things were never the same, you cannot trust someone after this.
    He continued to check out every woman when we went out. The porn consumption was getting out of hand too.
    And he wondered why I was so paranoid and unhappy. In the end I was taking antidepressants and at the lowest I have ever been. And he still continued searching/meeting women online and through work.

    I had been given lists on how to improve relations between us.
    Read books on certain subjects, so we can have more ‘interesting’ conversations. I had interesting things to talk about, he just never listened.
    Watch these movies- which I found boring.
    Learn a language. Go to college. Yep costs money.
    I should make an effort to make friends/do things with other people. Just moved to a new city!
    Explore on my own. I had limited funds.
    Exercise more- as stayin ‘in shape’ was critical for him, he was hardly buff himself! I was out 3-4 times a week.
    Said he wanted to be more ‘active’ at weekends, bike riding, rock climbing … then he would just stay in bed sleeping or reading.
    Be more like this, think more like that, don’t be so critical and negative…
    Even though I have an alternative satirical sense of humor.

    It was like he wanted to change my personality completely!
    Being very critical of your personality is a sign- beware! It’s not you, it’s them with the problem. Way too controlling.

  37. Molly says:

    #5 I’m so over the “must have relationship if the sex is hot.”

    Honestly ladies we can all have great sex without the hassle of dealing with inappropriate men! And let’s face it many of these EUMs are not even that great in the sack.

  38. teachable says:

    Wow. I’m learning so much. Sharing troubled backgrounds & thinking I can help them overcome this like I have been able to, & certain common interests have been my biggest downfalls thus far. Needless to say I’ve had more than my fair share of AC’s as a result! I’ve also realised IM the one who is EU which is why these types have also slipped in under my radar. I’ve been badly burned a few times (inc physical & emotional abuse all be former was in my teens & a mistake I learned from & have never repeated) so have walled myself off in an effort to become financially independent & complete my education before ‘going there’ again thinking this will protect me if things go belly up. Problem is, I now wont date until I’ve acheived these things which will take approx another 6-8 years! At 42 with no heathy LTR past 9 mths in the past decade if I dont change ME I will bring my fear of forever being alone into reality by my own doing! HELP!

    • grace says:

      I think it’s a mistake to wait for everything to be perfect or “done” before you’ll date and later commit. Life will never be perfect. I guess you commit to the now – to making the most of what you have today and the journey together should you meet someone, rather than waiting for perfection (which won’t happen) before you go and choose the “perfect” partner (who doesn’t exist) and then commit to the perfect relationship (which also doesn’t exist).

  39. Broadsided says:

    I just have to underscore some of the comments above that you can’t really get to know someone via E mail. My ex pro Future Faker and I are both good writers. One reason I let my guard down quickly is because we’d exchanged a series of E mails, and he seemed articulate and expressive so I assumed he was legit (also because I’d known/known of him a bit, and many loved and reported well on him because of that smooth “public persona” gained from years of working on air – which as noted in the article, has NO correlation with someone’s ability to have an intimate relationship). I’m going to have to go back and study some of the articles on dating. For it is really hard for me to tell what is legit in a world of BS Artists. I was thinking today, how truly sad it is that people treat each other as disposable humans – don’t care what kind of garbage they dump on them, and throw them too quickly to the side for their own narcissistic reasons. In this case I felt like a container of takeout food – he consumed the entree ’til he’d had his fill then cast the wrapper aside. Such people will take advantage of your honest love and caring, and profess love for you that they do not have. The world is full of sharks and naive little fish like me. :-)

  40. ChiTownKitty says:

    Have a question…I agree with all your comments Natalie but for those of us out there trying to find someone online (sorry where I live its very paired up, especially the older you get–one of those The Kids Come First towns)…where should a gal start? I read profiles and try not to be swayed by looks and will read profiles that don’t have pictures and to be honest its easier to delete a profile (someone who says they will date someone only for sex, who is at odds with some of my core politcal beliefs, someone who says they are in the market for a wife right this minute) than it is to pick a good one. I mean we are all attracted to that mystery something that should be beyond looks. One thing that ticks me off about these sites is that there is such an element of trying to pick the prettiest fruit. I have emailed guys that I have thought I would have a lot to talk about with and not one of them has ever emailed me back even to say no thanks…I know, its part of the online game but its one I dont like. (Plus I have to laugh..all of these guys are on the site every Saturday night…gee, I guess Angelina hasn’t signed in and picked you…sorry I am a cynic).
    Today I took your advice and really looked at one man’s profile who had visited mine…we had a lot in common and looks wise he was okay but I decided not to email him based on our age difference (6 years older than me). So long way around to the first question…just how do you decide who to try to meet?
    One very lost in the online dating world ChiTownKitty

    • grace says:

      Six years older is nothing – come on! (I assume you’re both over 21).

      • runnergirlno1 says:

        Chi, I can’t offer any online dating advice because I don’t do the online thing. However, I realized based on Natalie’s post that I was making assumptions based on age. Sheesh on Thursday, I was being chatted up by a 35 year-old and I’m 52 (not going there for a number of reasons).
        I’m working not making any assumptions. Period. It’s whether their actions match their words. Whether they treat you with respect, love, and trust, not their age, appearance, whether they love their mum, small animals and children, whether they can write or have read “War and Peace” or any of the other 28 dodgy reasons.
        Thanks to BR, I’m getting a grip but they still have to do their own laundry. 6 years older? How old are you?

    • Magnolia says:

      Chi – I haven’t hit the jackpot yet with online dating but have learned a whole heck of a lot. I’d say things got better when I did what you’re doing and began to give real weight to how I feel about what they say in their profile.

      For the first while, I’d not be terribly excited by their write-up, and think, oh, you can’t judge someone based on that. I’d go out with men more because they approached me, or were flattering to me, than because I found their self-presentation compelling.

      Judge your own reaction to their profile. Do you think they sound genuine, or are they hyping themselves? Do they offer any real personal quirks or tastes, or is it all, “I love fine dining, wine, and hikes in nature” (who doesn’t?) and list an income of 100K, and that’s it? Do they sound like an overgrown teenager? Do they apologize for themselves? Do they seem to have put real thought into what they wrote – thought that shows their values, rather than time coming up with witty one-liners?

      The more attention I’ve paid to how I feel about a profile, the more grounded I am coming into the date (if there is one). And now I tend to do the initial asking. But when guys do approach, I don’t even bother responding if their initial email doesn’t at least try to connect with what I wrote. I also drop any communication that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

      “Hey, what’s your dissertation about and why do you like rocks so much?” is way more engaged as a sentence than “Hey, you’re gorgeous.”

      As for my approach to guys I want to start a conversation with, it would look something like this. “Hey – I really enjoyed what you had to say about x. Question about x, and maybe y, in your profile? Take a look at my profile and if you think you’d like to meet, give me a shout.”

      I agree with Grace. Six years older wouldn’t rule a guy out for me.

      • ChiTownKitty says:

        Thanks Magnolia! Actually that’s what I have been doing, right down to how I word the emails (had a friend who is in her 30s check out the first few)…and not one man out of the 20 I contacted has emailed me back even to say no thanks. Oh, and I did email that guy who was 6 years older than me..he checked out my profile and didn’t respond. Its discouraging.

    • Tea Cozy says:

      I’m doing the online dating thing too, ChiTown. My screening process is to first comb through the guy’s profile for any red flags. Things I screen for (beyond the more obvious no-gos, like the guy being married, or an admitted boozer):

      — no bitter comments about exes, or snarky comments about women in general;

      — no recently divorced (or separated) dudes — must be unambiguously single;

      — must show good manners and respect in their messages to me.

      I found it very helpful to spend a lot of time thinking about my core values, and making sure to clearly state in my profile what I’m NOT looking for, and then sticking to it. Sticking to it, even if the guy is otherwise appealing. (It’s startling how many guys will write to me asking to be the exception to the No Separated Dudes stipulation. Ain’t gonna happen!)

      Beyond that, it really comes down to taking your best guess, going with your gut, and remembering that you can opt out at ANY time. Even if you can’t quite put your finger on why a guy feels off, you don’t have to justify or explain to him — just politely excuse yourself from any further communication.

      And by the same token, guys can opt out at any time, too. I know it feels kinda blecchy when you get no response to a nicely thought-out message you send, but for better or worse, that’s a norm in online dating: the silent “No thank you.”

      I find it’s also helpful to think of the first meeting as Date 0, rather than a first date. It’s really more of a pre-date, if that makes sense. That takes a lot of pressure off. And, if the guy shows up looking NOTHING like his photos, or obviously has lied about quantifiable stuff like height/age, etc., I can end the date ASAP. (I’m not particular about height, and have a wide age range I date, but lying is a big no-no.)

  41. Heartache Amy says:

    I’ve written about this before, so I apologize if it’s too repetitive, but I couldn’t resist. My ex AC/MM is 1) an avid church goer. Now he’s even started teaching Sunday school, along with ringing the bells and being lay eucharistic minister. Is there nothing he won’t say no to? Is he perhaps trying to “atone for his sins” by doing churchly things? I can’t bear to look at him in church (so I try not to). He’s also somewhat of 4) respected by his community – mostly because he’s a free mason and apparently is a “grand poo bah” or whatever it’s called at Lodge. Again, turns my stomach. He’s also close with his kids (too attached, if you ask me) and of course, is married. And finally, he’s a 28) he behaves at his worst. He pursued me, initially, via flattering, charming and funny e-mails. Then texts and phone calls, with a good dose of future faking mixed in. I fell for it, which makes me unhappy, never mind the fact that he’s married. It just amazes me that the persona this jerk presents to his family, his church, his friends and whatever else is worlds apart from the way he behaved with and treated me. Was it me, then? Or is he a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    • grace says:

      I think he made a mistake. And as a christian he does get to avail himself of God’s forgiveness. He doesn’t have to spend the rest of his life in sack cloth and ashes, hiding at home. He doesn’t have to be miserable with his children. He doesn’t have to distance himself from his wife.
      As Jesus said “forgive your brother seventy times seven”. How many emails did he send you?
      And you – you get forgiven too, for your mistake in encouraging his attentions. I assume you replied to these emails.

    • Tea Cozy says:

      Whether his ultimate rejection of you was all about you or not (and I can almost guarantee, it wasn’t all about you), I think it would be productive to figure out why you chose to reject *yourself* in the first place by getting involved with this inappropriate suitor.

      You’re an avid churchgoer (and married, albeit en route to divorce). What would need to change (in you) so you can stand behind your values, and stand up for what you believe in, next time an unavailable man shows you some interest?

      Believe me, I’m not asking that from a position of any sort of superiority. It’s a question I’ve had to ask myself after I, too, got involved with an unavailable guy (separated). I initially rebuffed him, but eventually let my desire for companionship outweigh my better sense, and got involved.

      I think in both our cases (yours, mine), having a firmer commitment to our core values would’ve saved a lot of heartache. I won’t be abandoning myself again anytime soon. How about you?

  42. runnergirlno1 says:

    Natalie, regarding your new workshop “Dating with your Self Esteem in Tow”…I wanna go. And I want to sign up for BR school. But I’m on the opposite side of the world. For all of you who are so fortunate to attend, I hope you’ll share with us. I’d love to be there and meet you Natalie and all the wonderful folks. You all so fortunate to have Natalie on your side of the planet. This sounds so exciting Natalie. Maybe a pay per skype seminar in the future? You are one talented lady!

    • P. says:

      Maybe she can do one in NY? That is not a long flight from London?

    • Tea Cozy says:

      runner, if I’m remembering correctly, you’re a California girl? We need to lure NML out our way for some fun in the sun and seminars!

      • Tea Cozy says:

        I also like the idea of pay-per-Skype group seminar.

      • Hi ladies, there will be skypey type seminars but am trying to squeeze 7-10 days in the US in before I get married where I will be having a last tango in NY with one of my bridesmaids and doing some pit stops both east and west coast. Nobody warned me (OK they did) how consuming a wedding can become and how tiring kids are (Ok I was warned about that too) or how your child going to school plays havoc with your freedom, so I’m trying to find a realistic slot in my schedule. Otherwise, I’ll spend a few weeks in the US in the summer.

  43. overandout says:

    My EUM is a pillar of society. A public figure if you wish who is lauded for his good works publicly. I thought we had so much in common and thought that was enough.

    Two years down the track and he has damaged me emotionally, and now wants nothing more to do with me. To make it worse I saw him a week or so ago exiting his new love’s house arm in arm and kissing her passionately before getting in his car to leave.

    I like to think that it was fate giving me a wake up call to get over him, but gosh it hurt.

    • Broadsided says:

      @Heartache Amy and OverandOut – I think these guys have dual personas – which to me doesn’t indicate a high level of mental/emotional health, or integrity. Maybe big egos, too, especially the sought-after public guys. It is hard/impossible to spot this right off the bat, apparently. As the article points out, whatever causes them to excel in these areas (career/public persona or church/spiritual matters) does not always correlate to what is in their heart as far as relationships go. To me, this is a serious disconnect in their being. The guy who just left me was both active in his church and well respected by the public. My guy did have trouble with depression and sometimes anxiety and told me he was on two antidepressants. At one point he admitted he did not feel things normally. (Yet, this sure didn’t stop him from making comments like he looked forward to the next 30 years with me, etc., etc. ) His persona was such that one would guess him to be the last person to suffer depression. I see he tried to call me last night, but I did not take his call. No idea what he would even say or what I would say, but I’m doing the NC thing with him. (I don’t think there is anything he could say that would sit well with me at this point.)

  44. Heartache Amy says:

    Grace, yes, I responded to his e-mails and definitely played a role in the “relationship”, of which I’m not proud. And I know that people make mistakes and that God forgives us when we do stupid things. I guess what irks me is that this guy turned around (figuratively) and essentially pointed the finger at me, made up a bunch of lies about me to get himself off the hook, and hurt me in order to end the relationship (or whatever it was). It was bound to end painfully, no matter what, but had he come to me and apologized or told me in person that he indeed had made a mistake, etc., I think I’d be feeling a little better now. It’s also the fact that he struts around church, gives me a cheery “good morning” on Sundays and acts all holier-than-thou that churns my stomach. People make mistakes, but doing do at the expense of hurting others isn’t justified, in my book.

    • Heartache Amy, I feel for you, I really do, but 1) you are punishing yourself and 2) you’re acting like a victim. You wanted him to explain to you and apologise? Er, he’s married. He shouldn’t have been pulling this BS in the first place and *you* shouldn’t have been involved either. You made a mistake also. Are you going to apologise to his wife? Are you going to explain? Will you be explaining anything to the congregation? No.

      You were ok making the ‘mistake’ with him until he decided he didn’t want to be involved. It is the classic issue with the Other Woman and the Cheater – you’re both doing a heist together and then when you get cut out of the deal and are screwed over, you get upset and become the victim. But you were happy to be doing the heist when you thought you were going to get your cut. You’re also forgetting the topline data – you were doing a heist, he was cheating. Expecting him to apologise for cheating with you, even if it was more emotional, is like closing the door after the horse has bolted.

      It doesn’t matter if he prances around like a peacock – trust me he was prancing around like a frigging peacock before you both got involved. He is married, he has responsibilities, and he is also not mentally placed to be juggling two relationships. Because you’re so busy nursing your ego and avoiding dealing with your separation and divorce, you are unable to see the blessing in disguise and what you have to *learn* out of this situation. You could be hiding your aces, but if your comments are anything to go by, the time that has passed has been used to focus on him.

      You can take responsibility for yourself and your own actions without having him do his. You are a grown woman, not God or a higher power – he will face what he is and does one way or another, but it will not be ordained by you.

      Of course he is going to act like there’s no issue with you – aside from the fact that he has mental health issues, what the hell else is he supposed to do? He’s not going to raise suspicion – it’s his sneaky, slippery ways that enabled him to be creepy creeping with you in the first place! Those skills can be used in a multitude of ways. Just ask Runnergirl with her jackass ex managing to approach her at a funeral and I bet no-one has a clue.

      Rest assured, you’re not the only woman in town who knows how duplicitous this dipstick is. Let it be.

      • tired_of_assanova says:


        These EUMs and AC are so damn shady!

        My AC didn’t even tell anyone else about me / our fallout. Nothing, nada! They just put on their big assclown smile and walk around like nothing happened, leaving you blindsided and wondering if you’re in alternative reality!

        • yoghurt says:

          Yup and yup.

          When I was pregnant, the EUM mysteriously managed to admit that he was the father whilst simultaneously managing to deny ever really having known me at all. That is one hell of a head-f*ck. He even manages it now, by taking my son out with his girlfriend to show off his happy family to his mates whilst I stay at home and have no face (stings a bit still).

          Still, live and learn. Their perspective is a manky way to look at things, especially as it assigns you zero significance as either a partner or a human being. I’d rather look at things from MY perspective, in which I am brilliant and he is a bit weird and messed-up, and anyone with an ounce of perception can see it.

          My most recent ‘breakthrough’ (one of the many) has come through realising that I DON’T HAVE TO SEE THINGS FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW. His point of view is horrible and, speaking objectively (as far as I am able), wrong and twisted. Mine is right and more humane and pleasanter for me so I’m sticking with and acting on it.

        • Sugar and Spice says:

          “They just put on their big assclown smile and walk around like nothing happened, leaving you blindsided and wondering if you’re in alternative reality!”

          Yep, that says it all!

  45. Heartache Amy says:

    Okay, Natalie, I think I get the point. I know I was in the wrong by getting involved with him, and I suppose I’ve continued to punish myself for that…and expected HIM to be punished, as well. I’m tired of men (meaning, my husband and this guy) acting badly and seemingly getting away with it. But, as you say, it’s not for me to impose a sentence or punishment. That’s up to a higher power. And I’ve been just as guilty, at least with this guy. I’ve got to stop wasting my time and energy thinking about him and try to move on. It would be better if I didn’t have to see him, but it’s my choice to continue going to church. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I hope this time it works!

  46. yoshizzle says:

    ha, funny…mine had NONE of the above….with the exception of no.21 and the only reason he had that is he failed the first exam to advance on the job, and refused to ever try again (pride).

  47. Roobie says:

    Re: the chemistry thing.
    I don’t set much store by instant chemistry alone – I have to look at it in the overall context of ‘do I like him as a person, does he appear to have some semblance of honesty/integrity?’ My longest relationship was with someone I barely noticed was alive for almost a year – we became friends and the chemistry didn’t develop until later on.

    If I like a guy as a person and want to spend more time with him, I’ll let the attraction develop. But if I feel physically repulsed in any way, or that there’s simply no connection on a cellular level, I opt out. And if I’ve invested a bit in a guy and he turns out not to be right, I opt out. (That’s the thing with investing, isn’t it? You don’t always get a return and you’re left a little out of pocket.)
    I owe these men nothing but honesty; I demand the same, and in those early, ambiguous stages, I think that’s the best policy. Even if I don’t get it, I give it.

    Oh, and I’ve learned that shared musical taste and level of intellect is NOT an accurate barometer of how good a person is. Saying that, I can’t date a guy who thinks TOWIE is the best thing on TV. Or someone who puts ‘lol’ at the end of every sentence.

    I think this post can best be summarised thus: LET GO OF YOUR ‘TYPE’. I’m just happy to be around people who understand me and like being around me too. Experience has taught me that the rest falls into place naturally :-)

  48. broadsided says:

    Brad, thank you for that post. I loved your points in the paragraph. – “someone available, respectable, responsible” etc. I am getting over someone who was none of of those things but “available.” I was beginning to do NC but he engaged me via email tonight and I took the bait. It did not go well and he was hurtful. Your post reminded me of the calibre of person I want. This man neither listened nor respected my feelings.

  49. Mark ^.^ says:

    hi. this is random..i read a lot of your posts. im a young guy going through the pain of losing that first love..been a year since and it still hurts..but your site gives me hope and belief that all things happen for a reason and that things will be okay. Im sure a lot of people like me have are in peace knowing that your site is here, and youre there encouraging us to be strong at times when we are weak, and to be patient as a brighter future awaits.. your an inspiration. i wanted to write this last time but i messed up the page and all that i wrote just vanished lol…so i guess this is just a big thank you!!!!!!! God Bless u and all of you reading this hehe. air hug ^.^ haha…

  50. Bhoot says:

    I was reviewing this list and I realized that in my previous dating lives, I was guilty of using at 1/3 or more of these as a reason or justification as to why I was with a particular guy!

    I found myself laughing at an image that popped into my head while reading. Anyone here remember Sesame Street? I keep thinking of those funny little aliens that looked like rags with long tassles for their bodies and their strange mode of communication: yep, Yep, YEP, YEP, YEP…….

    That was me thinking ” Yep, Yep, Yep” to several of points on the list when thinking of my rather unhealthy relationship past! :)

  51. Spinster says:

    1. They go to church. >>> Hold on a second. People actually use this one past the age of 30? 😐 Pardon me for being “slow”, but I can’t understand how someone who isn’t chronologically young would even use this reason to be with someone. At least a younger person has the excuse of being young & (at least somewhat) dumb. 😐

    28. They behave at their worst. >>> Ahhhh, the good ole “He/She is an asshole, but at least they get what they want/get things done/(insert nonsense here). This one has almost got me caught out there a few times in the past. Thank goodness it was “almost”. 😐

    Actually, ALL of these are ridiculous reasons to choose someone for a relationship. I’ve probably been guilty of at least one. Those are just my top 2.

    Off to read a few of the comments…

  52. Michelle says:

    Love these, Natalie! If you don’t have the common ground for values, respect, communication, friendship, none of the other stuff matters at all.

  53. Melanie says:

    As much as these are ridiculous reasons singularly to be with someone, a lot of them together are actually good reasons. Being with someone because they don’t want children because you don’t want children is stupid, if that’s all there is. But if you don’t want children, being with someone who does is pretty much a deal breaker in most instances. People with similar interests typically have a much better chance of staying together because they can relate. It’s just important that you have several of these reasons – and good compatibility.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.