Monday, April 22, 2013

If You Wondered Why I Stopped Blogging About Relationships, Here's the Main Reason

The “experts” think their always right. The readers either think their experts or will defend the experts almost to death against those who disagree. And the dissenters too often move quickly into “defense mode,” which again turns into “I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story.” You can find the tenor of this thread all over the place. It’s a pretty human condition.

At the end of the day, though, the best advice always comes from a place of humility and openness. Because no one walks the exact same path in this world. Humility and openness are the two qualities I think are most missing in these kinds of discussions. Which makes for more drama and excitement, but makes it more difficult for helpful truths to shine through.

41 comments:

  1. You're totally right but not only about relationships. I think this is true of more and more discussions across the internet, especially anything that involves the emotions. People are polarised so much faster because it's impersonal and they don't feel accountable. I can't read the comments on newspaper articles online, they just sound like schoolchildren hurling insults across the playground.

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  2. Agreed, Nathan and Jennie. I stopped reading many articles online about relationships because I would get so depressed, until I realized that the people who may disagree with the things that are said in the articles and the comments are likely not even online posting comments on those articles, or writing articles about relationships. There is a website called ask the guys (I think) and those men give very thoughtful, compassionate and empathetic answers to people's questions about relationships. There isn't any of the immature behavior or arguing in the comments. They don't get baited into those kinds of things. That's the only other site I go to anymore-besides this one-because Nathan, you also helped me remember that not every man is like Evan Marc Katz, so thank you for that! :)

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  3. Thank you both for your comments. I appreciate it. Jennie, I totally agree that this is a general issue. I read a lot of social and political commentary online, and reading the comments section on much of that is painful. I sometimes wonder how much of it has to do with being able to hide behind a screen, and how much of it is just how people are.

    Sara, I think I have read ask the guys before, but I can't remember for sure.

    Seems to me people long for that kind of approach - thoughtful and compassionate. At the same time, I get the sense that many folks want to be told what to do and how to think. Some of EMK's advice is excellent, and some of it I highly question. But the main vibe he offers (and which many writers/coaches like him offer) is that he knows the truth, has the formula for success. People tend to give up a lot of personal power under these kind of conditions. And become willing to override their own intelligence because expert X said they should think some other way.

    The bulk of the kickback on his posts is from women who, in some manner or another, recognize this. They aren't going to go along just because they like other things the guy has said in the past.

    I could go on, but I'll let it be. Lol! Anyway, maybe I'll get back to writing here in the near future. Perhaps I just needed a break.

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  4. My 2 cents...

    1) there is no "one size fits all" advice. Even something that works for 90% of all people, won't work for the other ten, which is still a lot of people. My current bf is not at ALL like EMK's stereotypical guy. I am nothing like Suzanne Venker's stereotypical woman. Hell, I can't walk in high heels for more than five minutes without tripping over my feet, and according to SV, I am supposed to "love prancing" in them.

    2) I used EMK's advice when dating and it helped tremendously. It is great advice on how to play the dating game. Game being the key word. Both sides know damn well that they are going through a ritual dance, and that their relationship, should they embark on one, won't be anything like that. It's like pretend play for adults -- fun in moderation, not sustainable in real life long-term. I knew nothing about dating when I came to his blog, and like I said it was hugely helpful. But as far as relationship, marriage, and parenting advice goes, I consider myself just as qualified to give that as he is. I've been through a lot. I raised two pretty awesome kids (every teacher's question to me at last parent conference for my youngest, who's a junior in HS: "do you have any more children?" and they were all disappointed when I said no.) With some assistance from my then husband, I managed to get 18 mostly decent years out of a marriage that was bound to fail from day one, because we were a pretty horrible match. On top of it, I've read a lot of various literature on marriage and parenting from several different POVs. So when I see advice on marriage or parenting that makes no sense, I tell it like it is.

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  5. Hi Goldie,

    I hear you. And I agree that there's no one sized fits all advice. That's really one of the main points I keep trying to make over there.

    Can see why EMK's advice was good for the dating game. He's playing the percentages, which I certainly can't blame him for doing. I have no doubt that he has helped many women work the dating world, especially work through the muck of online dating.

    I still think that younger folks - the under 30 crowd - aren't coming from the same place. And would readily reject more of his views than those over 30. Not just as young adults, but as they age. I just don't see these rigid notions about masculinity and femininity playing out regularly amongst young folks. Sure, elements of it are still there, but there's also more fluidedness and embracing of "opposites" going on. But they aren't his main audience, so whatever truth is there isn't terribly relevant for writings like him at this point.

    I was going to offer something about Venker over there, but felt like it was pointless, given the reception everyone else who was critical of her got. From what I have seen, she sounds like the authors of young women's guides to marriage from the 1940s and 1950s. I can imagine that there would pieces of "good advice" in her book somewhere, but the same can be said about most books of that nature. It's rare that someone totally misses the boat on every single account. But that doesn't mean everyone should be handing out applause or cookies to her for offering a few sound words.

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  6. Wow, things did get ugly over there :( I think I might know what the problem is. There are two kinds of people in this world ;) The ones who believe that there is a fundamental biological difference between women and men on a personality, intelligence etc level that spills into every area of their lives; and the ones that don't (like you or me). I'm starting to get the vibe that both EMK and SV are in the first group; and, you're right, the next generation of educated, successful, driven people is predominantly not. Right now this new generation isn't on any dating coach's radar, because frankly they're flat broke and cannot afford a dating coach -- they have to pay off their student loans first. But in another 5-10 years they will be a force to be reckoned with and whoever wants to gain them as their clients, will have to adjust. Hmm, have I just stumbled upon a new career for myself? lol

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  7. As far as the Suzanne Venker business goes, I did a ton of reading about the woman, and when I discovered her affiliation with a gay hate group, I was even more disgusted. The more I read of excerpts from her book, the worse her views seemed, not better. She's been backpedaling a lot because of the amount of hate mail she's gotten. I'd have to say that the feedback about her on EMK's blog was far more charitable than on any of the other sites I read, and I'm talking about mainstream sites like Forbes.com, and her alma mater, Boston U, where many people wrote to say that she was a poor role model for the school. She was even challenged by a commentator in an interview on Fox News!

    The interesting thing is, when I read most dating advice, I haven't got a clue about that person's political leanings, and don't even think about it. I can't figure out why EMK got behind this one, except to generate controversy and drive traffic to his site. I was surprised that he took the criticism of her so personally.

    FWIW, I did not see your comment as an attack on EMK, but as a comment on how much support she was getting on the blog in general. Anyway, just wanted to say that I always enjoyed reading your posts on his blog, as opposed to all the creepy manosphere guys!

    I think a lot of younger people take the gains of feminism for granted, and they are probably not reading such a blog. Most of my 20-something friends have boyfriends, or are married. EMK's prime customers are probably wealthy, more conservative, over-40 women.

    Goldie, I would love to read YOUR dating advice blog!

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  8. Sigh. Here's all I'll say in my defense. It won't be brief, but, then, I never am.

    Nathan, you're a good guy. You're entitled to your opinion. And I'm sure you're going to make some woman very happy one day.

    Sara, whatever you think about me, you don't know the half of it. I make my wife and kids extremely happy and I've helped thousands of women find love. Thus, whehter you believe it or not, the world would be a better place if there were more EMKs.

    Ruby, I made a point in my Venker post to completely separate the woman's politics (abhorrent and judgmental) from her advice (surprisingly right on - and congruent with my own). I could concur with you about every point on Schlafly and anti-gay stuff, and it still wouldn't take away from the fact that How to Find a Husband gave good, sane, grounded, realistic dating advice. You don't have to agree with every word she writes to get value out of it. Much like my blog, I suppose. :)

    Goldie, there are far more than two kids of people in the world. There is a spectrum, and I'm well-aware of it. Just because I praised some of SV's advice doesn't mean I'm in lockstep with her; nor does it mean that I buy the "biological" excuse. Hell, I've run those jerkoffs off my blog already (remember Paragon? ugh!) I believe that men and women are probably 90% the same and that the 10% that separate us tends to cause a lot of that friction. It seems like you - and the others here - believe that men and women are not at all different. I disagree. I think we are equal but different at times. Whether it's biological or sociological, I couldn't say. But if men and women were the same, I wouldn't have a job. So I do that job - as best I can - explaining to confused women why men do what they do. I am a man - and maybe a more "typical" man than Nathan, and that has real value to the vast majority of women who meet and want to date men like me. I also understand all types of women because I've been coaching them for 10 years. Very few of my clients are conservative; if anything, the thing that distinguishes them is that they're very smart, very logical, very successful in one aspect of life and not so much in another. They want help. I offer it. They have great success.

    Gender roles may be changing and getting blurry. That still doesn't change the fact that most women want men to "man up" and most men like when their women are supportive and loving. That does not mean that women can't be successful in work or that men can't be supportive and loving. It means that one quality is traditionally masculine, one is traditionally feminine. Ideally, everyone finds a complement who balances him/her out. That's what I'm looking for, and that's what I'm sure you're looking for, too.

    Thanks for being a part of my community for so long. And thanks for attempting to listen and understand where I'm coming from.

    EMK

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  9. Evan, I went back and read the thread on Rosin's book, just to see what actually unfolded there. You're initial review of the book was similar to what you offered on Venker's book. Some positive, some negative. Which is totally fair. I didn't care for the title of Rosin's book, although I also figure it was about selling books more than anything else. The difference between that thread and the Venker thread - which is probably why I didn't even remember it - was that you never once stood up for Rosin's book in the comments section, nor did you tell readers they should support her writing, despite any philosophical differences. The whole thing had a very different tone to what unfolded on the Venker thread, where it seemed like any disagreement was also an indictment of your advice. When the thing is, no one seemed to be equating you with Venker - besides yourself.

    And I think in general, you're a lot more combative with commenters expressing liberal/progressive ideas, than on declared social conservative folks like Michelle, who routinely makes snarky judgements and sweeping generalizations, and is basically left be.

    That is where the original comment came from. It's fine if you disagree with those observations.

    Ruby above is right that in general, the political leanings of the majority of dating advice folks out there aren't easily discerned. It's only the real extremes that stand out. Folks like Bella Depaulo and Venker. I'm sure I can find things to agree with in both of their writings, but am I - or the average reader - going to be interested in spending the time wading through them to find some gems? Probably not.

    I would only read Venker's book if I wanted to understand where her core audience is coming from better. I do that sometimes because it's helpful in working with others. Perhaps that would be a better pitch to the numerous folks who otherwise aren't going to pick up her book, and/or support anything she says.



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  10. Briefly:

    a) Rosin's book didn't get attacked like Venker's book. That is largely because my readership - like me - is very liberal. Liberals are less likely to attack a liberal book. Feminists are less likely to attack a book that talks about how women are taking over for men.

    b) To your next point - that I'm more combative with liberals than conservatives. Once again, far more liberals read my blog. As such, far more liberals take issue with my ideas, none of which are particularly "conservative". As such, liberals are more combative with me, which is why I am more combative with them. I've pissed off a few conservatives regarding my stance on casual sex, but for the most part, conservatives leave me alone. Michelle, you may notice, may have attacked knee-jerk liberals, but she hasn't really said anything bad about me, nor twisted my advice into something it's not. If she had, I'd take on the same tone with her.

    I happened upon one of my first blog posts from 2007 the other day. It was called, "Why Is Evan So Unfair to Men?" or something like that. Basically, it was a guy telling me that I'm too pro-woman and that I always make the men seem like jerks. I pointed out, of course, that when men ask questions, I tell them to change their approach, when women ask questions, I ask them to change their approach. If you're a man who feels indicted, I have it in for men. If you're a woman who feels indicted, I have it in for women. The fact that I unintentionally upset so many different people only goes to prove the one thing that I've always stated - I don't have any agenda except to give sound, sane, dating advice that works for the majority of people. I'm liberal, but my advice isn't liberal.

    I'm proud of that. And I'm learning to accept all the slings and arrows that come with it. Best to you.

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  11. @ Evan:

    I am sure I read recently on your blog your statement that you tailored your service to a particular clientele (the women who were most likely to buy dating advice anyway, and you described a demographic for that). This means that claims like, "Thus, whehter you believe it or not, the world would be a better place if there were more EMKs." and "I don't have any agenda except to give sound, sane, dating advice that works for the majority of people." are somewhat shaky. You run a business, and evidently a successful one (at least by Logan Pearsall Smith's standard of success, "I have managed to have enough to eat, and escaped being eaten" - slightly paraphrased), and respect is deserved for that.

    Yes, your work does help the people you aim to help, and that's good. Trying to generalise from that is more problematic, though. There needs to be other kinds of advice, and other kinds of people giving it, for the people who aren't in the demographic you serve, and there needs to be space for them to be right as well as you being right. Which seemed to be the overall thrust of the OP.

    I enjoy reading your blog, because the fundamentals do appear sound. The gender difference stuff (what does it mean to "man up" anyway? And how different are the essentials of "manning up" from being "supportive and loving"?), the emphasis on monogamous pair-bonding (particularly in terms of quoting research that purports to show it's good for society), and so on, all strikes me as appealing to your core audience, but not really essential to good dating practice.

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  12. Since you bring up these points, I'll elaborate on a few things that tend to rile some folks up over at EMK's blog.

    First off, relationship advice with the nuclear family as the best, or only good outcome, is conservative. To me, conservative has multiple definitions. One is linked to politics, voting, and a general attitude about social issues. The other has to do with how much you align with, and uphold privileged cultural norms. When I speak of conservative in terms of advice like EMK's - it's all about the second one.

    Married, heterosexual couples with children are the default standard in the U.S. And everything from single people to polyandrous relationships are judged in relationship to that standard. Note that most of the gay marriage movements across the U.S. are pitching gay couples as being "the same" as straight couples. They're deliberately downplaying any differences because they realize that might be the only way to get some straight folks to support them.

    Hell, the average American isn't even too supportive of multiple generations of family living together. There's shame in adult children living with their parents or grandparents, whereas in many cultures, this is the norm. People act like the nuclear family with a father and mother as the sole or nearly sole parental figure for children has always been "the way it is," but it's truly a modern invention. Born of industrialization. And in part, from a crass push by corporations seeking profit to divide people up, and then sell them goods that once were luxuries that could be shared, but now became "needs."

    Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with heterosexual marriage and having children. I support anyone who wants it. Furthermore, I think it's totally fine for advice writers like EMK to offer help to folks that want to find the right person to get married to, and have children with. There's no doubt in my mind that he's helped plenty of women in this regard, and will probably continue to do so.

    However, when the nuclear family is the baseline from which any or most successful relationships are measured, it's easy for everything else to be deemed second rate. Which is why I tend to reject generalizations that claim to be speaking for the vast majority of people. It's entirely too common for differences in race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, etc. to be minimized or overlooked.

    There is a big different between speaking confidently to your target audience, and using your target audience as the default for all people. Too many dating and relationship writers do the latter, in large part because it's easier to write confidently in generalizations, and also easier to get a larger audience from doing so.

    The other point I have is that there's really no way to separate one's politics from advice/writing being given. It's always there, even if in subtle ways. Someone like EMK with his liberal political stance is willing to entertain GLBTQ readers, and occasionally offer posts tailored towards them. You'd never see a writer like Venker doing this. Objectivity, especially in something so subjective and romantic relationships, is nothing but a big story.

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    1. Yes, that's just what I said. But it sounded like you were making a rebuttal instead of reinforcing?

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  13. I am guessing that Evan has said his piece, and that's that. My comment above could have been another post actually. I wasn't disagreeing with you VN, nor rebutting. These are just some of the things I think about when commenting on EMKs blog and othercdating blogs, but tend to skip saying because tend to get too reactive/defensive.

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  14. Oye, smart phones ... last half of sentence should read "other dating blogs, because folks tend to get too reactive/defensive when such issues get brought up."

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  15. Isn't the real problem that there are too few real experts, offering practical, down-to-earth advice on how to cultivate effective, hard core dating habits?

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  16. There's some truth to that. Of course, what's practical for a marriage minded women is often irrelevant for the casual seeking man for example.

    Most advice givers play the generalist hand, suggesting that they've got truths for nearly everyone. Which, given how diverse people are, and their desires are, is fairly impossible. Or requires that you offer watered down platitudes and really basic stuff that most folks either know, or should know.

    It's the next level that's lacking. There's endless entry level material out there. I think anyone trying to find a date, deal with online dating, or navigating through the initial stages of dating should be able to find something that speaks to their situation. But developing and maintaining a relationship across time in these modern, diverse times - yeah, that's lacking.

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  17. Venker lost me at her "women need men to pick up slack at the office" (that's from her War On Men). First of all, this isn't even true. People who get things done (regardless of gender) pick up slack after the ones that don't or won't (again regardless of gender). In my 20+ year career, I've lost count of how many men I had to pick up slack after. More importantly, this is exactly the kind of reasoning that led to me being out of work for a few years in my home country. Back there in the 90s, employers could say "we don't hire women" and get away with it. My husband was hired on the spot as software developer and I wasn't. He'd never worked as one before. He came home, gave me his first assignment and played with our toddler while I sat at the kitchen table, writing the code for his first assignment on a piece of paper. That piece of paper started his career (which is pretty good, I admit, he's done a good job). But the fact remains that he was considered a good fit, and I wasn't, based strictly on what was between our legs. Because people like Venker went around spreading rumors about how women are lazy, dumb, cannot work when they're on their period, cannot work when they have young kids, and all around cannot do a good job at anything. I have zero tolerance for that kind of reasoning. Especially in the case when it is coming from a woman, who works and has a career, and who got PAID for writing that drivel. Ironic, no?

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    1. Goldie, Venker's hypocrisy has been one of the main complaints about her. Interestingly, it was the major complaint about her aunt, Phyllis Schlafly. Ironically, Venker recently commented (although I suspect disingenuously, that she wasn't close with her aunt because Schlafly was such a workaholic and was "all work and no play".

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    2. Venker is backpedaling away from her aunt at quite an impressive speed lol

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  18. I always come back to the idea that there's really no objective or neutral advice. Some might lean more in that direction, but it's really difficult to be a truly successful generalist. Someone that can dig deep enough to find the commonalities and offer them in a way that are really helpful to a wide variety of folks. The latter is usually where writers/advice givers fail. In addition, those things that are common to being successful in the vast majority of dating/relationship situations are pretty plain and simple. Like being kind and respectful. Listening. Paying attention. Having healthy boundaries. Pretty bread and butter stuff, not easily spun into compelling narratives that will keep people coming back to you for more.

    Which is why most of these advice writers/givers are speaking to niches. They often deny it, and try to claim some sort of universality, but those claims just don't hold water. Whatever they have to offer will be most true to that niche. With diminishing gains as you move further away from the target group.

    That last sentence is why, to me, there's really no reason for people who reject the worldview of someone like Venker to read her book. Unless they want to understand that worldview, which might be a worthy affair, but I'm sure you could find more articulate (and frankly less ridiculous) social conservatives writing about relationships to choose from. Otherwise, the whole point of picking up these books is for help in getting the kind of relationship you truly desire. It just seems to me like a lot of wasted effort going through a book trying to unearth a few gems buried amongst thousands of lines that don't speak to you.





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  19. Venker's book actually the other way around, Nathan. Lots of good relationship advice amidst a handful of objectionable lines.

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  24. Hi Nathan, long time no see.

    Hope you're doing better than I am. I am currently recovering from a breakup that was sprung on me out of the blue a week ago. He still hasn't told me the reason why. We were together for two years. In his defense, now that I've had a chance to step back and think of it, we weren't working out as well as I thought we were, and are probably better off going our own separate ways. But in light of everything I've read on Evan's site over the last three years, what happened to me makes zero sense. I followed Evan's advice to a T. I went outside of my type, in sense of both physical appearance and personality, and chose the man who treated me the best out of all available candidates. Over the two years together, he consistently checked off every item on Evan's "is he a real boyfriend" list. Then last week I came to our weekly date night only to be told that this is the end of the show. The mind boggles. I feel like Jon Snow right now, in the sense that I know nothing. I have no idea how to go about dating and building my next relationship, not that I'm interested in any of that right now. I'd been meaning to send Evan a success story via email for the last two years, but kept putting it off because I'm a great procrastinator. Now I have no success story. Neither do I feel qualified to give dating or relationship advice anymore. This is all very weird. Keep in mind, I still think I'm better off being out of that relationship, long-term. I'm just very confused about my future right now. Maybe I should buy Venker's book, along with The Rules if there's a package deal, lol

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  25. Hi Goldie,

    Life is pretty good on my end. I've been writing a lot about other topics for various websites, which is part of the reason I haven't been writing here, or saying much on Evan's blog. I also got sick of arguing with him, lol!

    Sorry to hear about the break up. That kind of surprise ending is difficult to swallow, no matter what signs you may have had beforehand. I suppose he may have not known how better to handle things, given that it was going "good enough." It's easier to justify when everything has fallen apart.

    One thing I wonder about is whether you saw each other only once a week or was it more than that? I ask because in my experience, it's really easy to keep something going, or delay facing the facts, when you don't see each other much. I had a relationship that lasted over 3 years like this, where we saw each other maybe 3-4 days a month due to living in different cities and other issues. We weren't a great match, and if we'd spent more time together, odds are it would have ended before the first year was out.

    I think Evan's writing is very convincing. He's so damned confident that even when folks balk at his advice, the majority of the dissenters come to agree with him at least in part. And no doubt, he's got a lot of success stories behind him to support what he's saying.

    But everyone's lives are different, and nothing anyone offers will work out for everyone. Furthermore, I tend to think that Evan forgets how specific his target audience is, and assumes what he's offering applies to a vast majority of people. Which I don't think is the case. Everything from sexual liberation, internet dating, gender flexibility, shifting wage earnings, and technology developments have stirred the dating/relationship pot away from the uniformity that was much more present just a few generations ago. Leaves us all with a lot more freedom, but also many more unknowns and potential confusion.

    The relationship writers out there are mostly trying to pin down the impossible to pin down, and then persuade people they've got "THE" answers. When the reality is they have pointers and observations which might be exactly what someone needs, or not.

    I think it's totally ok to be confused right now. And to live in that place of not knowing what to do next.

    Nathan



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  26. Hi Nathan,

    I really and truly had no idea anything was wrong! I was looking forward to growing old together. Weird, huh :) But you're right, we were borderline long-distance (70 miles) and saw each other for a few hrs 1-2 times/week during the week, and for 1-1.5 days during the weekend, plus holidays and vacations. It was pretty exhausting too, having to juggle the weekend trips and everything else at home. Oh well, both of us were skeptical about making 70 miles work, but we decided to give it a shot... was worth a try. And you're correct when you say that, had we lived together 24x7, it may have ended sooner.

    You're right that, especially in dating and relationships, there are a lot of outliers that do not fit into the general mold. And, speaking of myself and the people I normally date/am friends with, we're all geeky nerds, or nerdy geeks, which means we're even further from fitting into a mold. My ex-bf was nothing like the driven alpha male Evan describes. I'm nothing like the strong successful women he describes (I've met a few of those in ex-bf's social circles and most of these girls could eat me for breakfast, lol). Therefore, odds are high that we have to take his advice in a very limited manner, unless we want to completely misunderstand and hurt each other along the way.

    Thanks for your kind words. Back to my state of confusion now :)

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  27. Hey, Goldie, really sorry about your loss. Sometimes, as I say in "Why He Disappeared", there's nothing to learn. You may be tempted to beat yourself up for something you missed, but if he decided he didn't want to spend the next 40 years with you, that's his prerogative. Doesn't mean you did something wrong. Give yourself a break and don't hesitate to be vulnerable again.

    Hey, Nathan, really sorry you haven't been posting. You have a valuable voice - even if we don't always see eye to eye. I can completely understand why you chose to stop though. No point in doing things that don't bring you joy and satisfaction.

    I do think you see me as a lot more rigid than I really am - something I find unfortunate. I'm a pragmatist, not a dogmatist. I also give advice to masses of people at the same time. It would be literally impossible for me to account for every nuance of every personality type in every column, you know? So I play to the masses, and give generally solid, based-in-logic-and-experience advice that applies to lots of people and gets great results for my clients. I'll always acknowledge that advice isn't one-size-fits-all - if you like women to ask you out and follow up with phone calls, god bless you. It's that - in general - women tell me that they want a man who follows up consistently without her having to nudge him. I am sure to tell women who are dating shy, inexperienced, or beta guys that they can absolutely take the lead - some men like it. And some men don't.

    Just understand my position - I'm aiming for the mainstream and could not possibly give individual advice in each post for women who have been abused as children or men who make $35,000 and want to find women to support them. They're real, they're common, but they're not my target audience. Hope you can at least get that, for what it's worth.

    take care, y'all.

    E

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  28. Goldie,

    The long distance thing works out for some, but probably not the majority. And Evan is right that beating yourself up over what happened isn't worth it. (I don't know if you're doing that or not.) I always figure there's something to learn from any situation, but it might not come to you until after you've moved on and started dating again, or even after you've found someone else.

    Evan,

    I appreciate the kind words. I don't think I have quit writing about relationships for good. My plate is full with other writing work at the moment, which is a plus. But it also makes it difficult to maintain a blog like this one, or add my voice to other conversations. My interests are wildly eclectic, which is both a blessing and a curse, lol!



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  29. Hi Nathan. I was going through my bookmarks and re-found your blog. I'm sure you think me conservative, but I want to tell you your posts were ones I looked forward to reading on other blogs. :) I feel your strength is actually being able to see other points of view, which is so often in contrast to some of the comments I've read on blogs we've both participated on. I see you post I and wonder, "What does Nathan have to say?" And I can also understand why you might get tired/frustrated commenting on some blogs- given the climate and feedback and just say the hell with it. I take breaks from some for the same reason.


    Goldie, I'm sorry to hear about your recent breakup. You are another commenter I always look forward to reading. For all the years I participated on the EMK blog, I never related to his 'target audience' either. I'm not high income. I didn't even KNOW what 'alpha' and 'beta' males were before hearing the term explained there lol. And was happier for it no doubt. :)

    Giving you a cyber (((hug))) and hoping you will still share your perspectives. They are valuable whether or not you are in 'a relationship' - and you know that my friend, don't you?

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  30. I have read most of your articles nathan. you are a master at something relationships. I am just an amateur I hope you can follow the link anchor pleased me. thank you
    HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP

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  31. Hi Selena,

    Thank you. I never really pegged you as "conservative." We pushed issues back and forth sometimes, which is totally fine.

    The biggest reason for my disappearance is that I've had a bunch of writing assignments over the summer. Paid writing gigs. In addition, I am teaching a meditation class, and in general have had more on my late to do.

    I have kept reading some of EMK's posts and the comments. I essentially stopped reading Moxie's blog for various reasons.

    Hope you are well.

    Nathan

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  32. Aw, thank you, Evan and Selena (and Nathan of course). Sorry I missed your comments when they first appeared. Thank you all for your well wishes. I am of course trying to move on and get on with my life; which is hard, because a large portion of my life was built around my relationship and now I have to find something else to do with all that free time.

    The ex and I talked it out btw, and agreed that we wanted different things. He wanted basically living separate lives during the week, then getting together on weekends, vacations and holidays (plus an occasional weeknight) and have a very intense, interactive quality time together that was I guess supposed to be enough to get us through the next week until we'd get together again. Well I tried, but the intense interaction was wearing me out, especially since I also have a family and a house to deal with. I tried to take care of all family and household needs during the week, so I'd be able to spend the weekend on the relationship. It wasn't too bad at first, but early this year my dad, who used to help me around my house, got very sick and passed away in April. After I took over all household work that he'd been helping me with previously, it just got too much. Towards the end I was falling asleep on my feet and didn't understand why.

    Anyway, the whole time, I thought that the weekend-only thing was temporary and eventually we'd be able to move in together, take care of the household stuff together, and things would get easier. Turned out he never wanted any of those things. He just wanted the weekend quality time. Why two people of above-average intelligence never sat down and discussed what each of us wanted from a relationship, is a million dollar question. Each of us just assumed the other one wanted the same thing he or she did. So we're both better off not being together anymore. Hopefully we'll be able to remain on friendly terms in some capacity.

    Nathan, I tried Moxie's blog a few years ago and had zero luck with it. Selena was once reprimanded by Moxie for showing me support :) I'm way too soft for that blog, I cannot handle its awesomeness :)

    Good to hear about your workload picking up! Way to go!

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    1. Glad to hear you finally got some answers Goldie. That out-of-the-blue thing...rough. I hope you keep feeling better every day.

      Moxie's blog - let's just say I think there are ALOT of very unhappy people commenting over there. Requires sifting through so much negativity. Taxing.

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  33. Goldie,

    Sorry to hear about your father's death. It sounds like everything just piled up to the point where either the arrangement with the ex had to change, or you had to be done. Of course, knowing earlier that he only wanted the weekend thing would have helped, but at least you found out now instead of trying to keep it all going for another year or longer.

    I think Selena's right about Moxie's blog. A lot of nastiness, personal attacking, and self righteousness over there. It's rare that an actual discussion that goes in depth ever unfolds over there. I used to comment a lot, but the hostility got old, and I also found that I didn't care anymore about much of what was being debated anyway.

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    1. Thank you Nathan. Yes I agree that he did us both a big favor :) I would not have even thought of ending it myself, because he treated me well, he was a nice guy, loyalty, blah blah blah. I'm glad he found the courage to do it.

      I think the thumbs-up/thumbs-down system manages to bring out the worst in people over on Moxie's blog. People will say anything that they think will get them upvoted; or downvote someone for reasons not related to their comment. I have a feeling that, should the voting system disappear tomorrow, it would improve the overall atmosphere on that blog. I speak from my very limited experience on there, though, so could be wrong.

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  34. Getting rid of the up/down thumbs would help over there. However, Moxie's writing sets the tone. She basically encourages a dog fight and pissing match kind of atmosphere. One where personal attacks and brutal dismissals are commonplace. I think she likes that kind of energy, even when it comes back to bite her personally. (Which it does fairly often.)

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