Unsolicited Advice For Women Who Date The Wrong Men

If a guy wants to be with you, he will tell you.

If you have to wonder if a guy likes you, the answer is no (or not enough).

When a guy finds a lady he really, really likes, he trips over his feet to get face time with her. (And that’s what you want, right? A guy who really, really likes you? It should be noted this letter is for women looking for long-term. Flings and casual daters: keep on keepin’ on.)

Don’t tell me you’re not smart enough or if only your boobs were a little bigger. Jack Black is married. You have nothing to worry about.

“He’s shy.” That’s fine. Shy guys still have a voicebox to say, “I like you” and fingers that can pick up a phone. “That’s not his style.” Sharing his thoughts with another human being isn’t his style? Is that a quality you’re looking for in a partner? “He likes being single.” The number of bad boys and perpetually single guys I’ve seen do a complete 180 when they’ve met the right girl is mind-numbingly high.

What are we making excuses for? Do you have friends and family who enjoy spending time with you on a regular basis? Good. That means there’s nothing wrong with YOU, there’s something wrong with HIM, so let’s go find the next HIM who realizes what a catch you are.

Can I tell you something? Guys are not “too busy” to text or call you. The leader of the free world has time to tuck his wife into bed, but you think the i-banker you met last week is too busy to dial your number?

Think of a friend. She knows how awesome she is. She’ll look you in the eye and tell you she’s among the funniest of her friends and family. She expects support from loved ones and offers it back in return. And yet when it comes to guys, free “GET OUT OF JAIL” cards abound. It’s not just new guys. Sometimes it’s guys you’ve known forever but haven’t had the heart to accept there’s a reason only one of you has tried to take things to the next level. Then she goes on a date with a guy who looks her in the eye and tells her every guy who has passed on being with her is an idiot. That, my friends, is the difference between dating a boy and dating a man.

This whole thing may sound harsh and black-and-white. That’s because it is. You are a smart, funny, beautiful, kind, busy woman and you don’t have time to waste with “eh” guys who call you once in a while when they’re bored on a Thursday night. Remember that guy a couple months ago that YOU felt kinda “meh” about and never called back? That guy is the love of someone’s life. Drop the frogs and let them drop you so you can both go about finding a better match.

You don’t see guys agonizing and analyzing every last nonverbal gesture for a clue, any clue! that the girl he hasn’t heard from is still somehow interested. Why do we, on the other hand, act like the one cute, kind of nice guy we met in the coffee shop is the last Y chromosome we’ll ever have a shot with?

Stop going on dates with guys whose attention you have to fight for. The right guy won’t notice there’s anyone else in the room. TC Mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • rachel

    this wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be.

    however, not all girls are “smart, funny, beautiful,” and “kind”. we should start nipping that line in the bud. if you’re going to be as honest as this piece is about men, let’s not overhype every woman either.

  • guest

    this article was awesome, but i have to say..why should i listen to you, anyway? you’re a virgin who can’t drive.

    • Guest

      hahahahahahahahaha thats brilliant

    • Esther

      that was way harsh

  • H

    I was with you until the bit about men not agonising over every clue. A lot of them do actually.

  • Euan

    This is so pathetically trite and banal, practically platitudinous. Not that TC is some amazing bastion of high-concept written-word, but I’m surprised this passed judgment.

    “You are a smart, funny, beautiful, kind, busy woman and you don’t have time to waste with “eh” guys who call you once in a while when they’re bored on a Thursday night.”

    I almost threw up.

    • VA

      Well. She’s not wrong.

    • http://impeachableelegance.tumblr.com Elizabeth

      When I was little, my dad used to take me to the local art museum once a month, and my favorite paintings were always those by Jackson Pollock. I think the sole reason for that was because his art was attainable. There was no way my five year old self, or even my fifteen year old self, could paint a Van Gogh or a Monet. But if you gave me a canvas, a few brushes, and a couple cans of paint, I could paint just like he could. I remember my mom came with us one time, and I told her about my favorite painting. She took one look at it and said, “Well I can do that.” And I told her that she didn’t. So yeah, three billion other people, probably including yourself, could’ve written this article …But they didn’t. But YOU didn’t. This work isn’t exactly of the highest intellectual merit, but it’s published. So instead of sitting on your computer using the words you found in your google search for “synonyms for pathetic” to criticize a work that didn’t possess the diction of a Bronte or a Dickens, maybe you should get out there and write something that might be worthy of your time.

      • http://twitter.com/pardimate Steph Carcieri (@pardimate)

        Elizabeth, you are amazing.

      • PiratesLife4Me

        I agree. Elizabeth, you freaking rock.

        In regards to the actual article, I agree with some other commenters that “are you right for each other?” is a better question than “is he right for you?”, but that’s not the title of this piece so what does it matter? This was an interesting and entertaining read.

      • AL

        Great comment, ELIZABETH. Completely agree with you.

      • Stephanie

        ~stands up and applaudes~

      • Guest

        Elizabeth, way to go. Finally someone took those pedantic, judgmental (and mean!) losers down a notch.

      • http://theiiiv.wordpress.com chandlerstephen

        *slow clap*

  • JD

    “Then she goes on a date with a guy who looks her in the eye and tells her every guy who has passed on being with her is an idiot”

    And then she tells all of her friends that he’s really nice, but he’s kind of boring and pines over the other guy.

    Because she’s not as smart, funny, beautiful, and kind as she thinks she is and she’s secretly kind of shallow and needs to grow up and mature before she’ll ever find a more mature man.

    • Mademoiselle

      Well you know, just because a guy falls in love a with a girl and happens to be (or think of himself as) a good guy, it doesn’t mean that she will reciprocate. And if she doesn’t reciprocate maybe she’s not shallow, or dumb ou ugly, she just doesn’t reciprocate. You know, there are some things I like to call feelings. One’s feelings are one’s own, if you choose to set your heart on someone that’s your responsibility; if you take it badly and become the scorned and mean guy/girl then you’re the asshole – unless she/he actually leads you on and treats you like crap, then she/he’s the asshole.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hannastruppe Hanna Struppe

        I so agree with you. Just because someone is hypothetically a good and awesome and perfect boyfriend, doesn’t mean you fall for them. That’s the miracle of love.

    • twilso28

      hilarious and so true. we want what we can’t have. as i read this i ‘agree’ with every statement because that’s what we WANT to believe in. but fact of the matter is, those guys that we dont think about and who we rarely call back are the ones that are telling us we’re beautiful and every other guy who has passed on is an idiot. we hear that and head for the door!

  • Marti

    I loved this. Thank you. Haters gonna hate.

    • Guest

      I totally agee! This was awesome! She never said EVERY guy was like this (some readers are a little too defensive – hmm I wonder why) – she’s simply trying to give women some confidence not to just date a guy who’s not totally into her – If she were bashing guys she wouldn’t have made this statement “Remember that guy a couple months ago that YOU felt kinda “meh” about and never called back? That guy is the love of someone’s life.” She’s simply saying he wasn’t RIGHT for you. Thank you for the reminder that we shouldn’t “settle”!

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/unsolicited-advice-for-women-who-date-the-wrong-men-2/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • confuzzled

    Guys, this holds the same for girls. If a girl really likes you, her part in the relationship should never be just to wait around for you to call, visit, or text. She would give at least half the effort you’re giving just to be with her. With the rise of feminism, its puzzling to see millions of girls who thinks they should wait for the guy to make all the moves. Dude, you’re in a relationship and you know who makes the relationship work? Both of you. Compromise. Sure a girl should leave a guy who doesn’t value her, but never assume that a guy wouldn’t do the same to a girl who doesn’t even make an effort to call back. Its too expensive? Um, Facebook? Men have needs too and I’m not talking about sex. It takes TWO to make a relationship work so never, ever assume that the problem is just with him or her. Grow a pair and acknowledge that you are at least part of the reason why something doesn’t work out. Don’t lay the all the blame on the other person. Instead of saying that he’s not the right man for you (as if he has some defect and you’re oh so perfect), isn’t it better to say you’re not right for each other?

    • H


    • A gal

      Love it. I have to say that every long-term relationship I’ve been in is because I was the one who pursued the man. It was because I wasn’t distracted by someone else’s pursuit (and lines and cute tactics etc) and was able to know exactly what I wanted and unapologetically went for it. 4 years later I tell you that it was worth laying down my pride and going for it. But if I had gotten any mixed signals I would have happily walked.

    • Rishtopher

      WORDS OF WISDOM! You should just write a “It Takes Two” article. Too many articles about what guys/girls are doing wrong in regards to getting with the opposite sex on TC (IMO).

  • Katherine

    the best advice is the uncensored kind. and since you don’t have to worry about “hurting the feelings” of hundreds of anonymous ladies who will read this article, you can say to our faces what our “guy friends” don’t always have the stomach to. thanks, man. i needed this shit. i love honest, blunt advice – it’s really the only helpful kind. keep on keepin’ on, you rock.

  • Katherine

    and yes, stephanie, i realize you’re a lady. i call everyone man. it’s not cool at all, but i read one too many beat novels in nigh school.

  • Just some dude

    We can’t read your mind, and nobody wants to be the punchline of that timeless joke about the guy who confused a woman’s friendly behavior for romantic interest. I doesn’t take a whole lot*, but there should be an unmistakable signal on your part that lets us know it’s time to man up and initiate something. After that, if he still hasn’t acted then he might be a little too timid for you. If, for whatever reason, his timidity isn’t a dealbreaker for you then your best bet would be to just force the issue on him: “Dude, I don’t know what your deal is but it is pretty obvious I like you. Yes, like *that.* Am I wasting my time here or what?”

    I think a lot of us though just want to know that the risk is minimal of being on the recieving end of the not-stifled-in-time surprised laugh followed by, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh, it’s just that I think of you as . . . you know–a friend.” On the other hand, if you are tossing out unmistakable signals left and right, and he isn’t timid but hasn’t acted, then you should get out of dodge ASAP. He is just using you for the psychic benefit of knowing a girl in into him without him having to do anything to deserve or maintain it.

    *In my youth I was actually quite clueless. Some women had to resort to extreme measures (slowly licking my neck at a party, or spending 45 min. telling me how I’ll never meet another woman like her before dropping her jeans to “show me a scar” on her leg, others…) before I realized something was going on. The current version of me is somewhat more sensitive to signs of romantic/sexual interest.

    • Just some dude

      also, what you think is unmistakable and what we think is unmistakable probably aren’t the same thing. Err to the obvious.

  • http://ijustwanttosayhello.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/for-all-the-single-ladies/ For All The Single Ladies « I Just Want To Say Hello

    […] Unsolicited Advice for Women Who Date The Wrong Men Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. articlesdating ← Previous post   […]

  • Brad

    In all fairness, the leader of the free world takes the stairs from his office to his bedroom and can be there to tuck his wife into bed in about 2 minutes.

    • rachel

      amen sistah. plus she forced him to change his name from barry to barack so we all know who’s wearing the pants in that relationship anyway. i don’t know what that has to do with anything, but let’s roll with it.

    • Renata

      I don’t mean to be a hater and I think the article is fine but it just irks me when you americans say your president is the leader of the free world.
      Come on.

  • asdf

    This could really be reasonable advice for either gender.

  • http://lapoubelleblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/finding-prince-charming/ Finding Prince Charming « La Poubelle

    […] my friend shared “Unsolicited Advice for Women Who Date the Wrong Men” from Thought Catalog. Honestly speaking, I only read the article since she asked for thoughts on it […]

  • http://www.facebook.com/mizzraynay Renee Aisha

    i’m 200% positive i’ve read this EXACT same article somewhere else. unoriginal article is unoriginal.

  • Claudia

    This is clearly a rip-off of “He’s Just Not That Into You” (the book).

    • PiratesLife4Me

      Yes, because only one work of writing can possibly give any kind of dating advice and everything else is just ripping it off. Good detective work.

  • stopbeinghaters

    hahaha pirateslife4me.

  • http://noubelle.wordpress.com Crystal

    Reblogged this on Noubelle and commented:
    Such truth!

  • http://theknifeisclean.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/thought-catalog-is-right/ thought catalog is right « The Knife Is Clean
  • michelle

    Great essay. True for both genders, I might add, too.

    What’s astounding is that two people can actually find each other in this world, and feel this way about one another, simultaneously. What are the chances?

    It’s even more rare and miraculous when that feeling lasts for a lifetime.

    But, even though it’s hard to find, we continue to search and hope, because it is the most amazing feeling in the world.

    Happy, hopeful hunting, everyone. Good luck!

  • http://airahantonio.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/nsolicited-advice-for-women-who-date-the-wrong-men/ nsolicited Advice For Women Who Date The Wrong Men « Color My Life With The Chaos of Trouble

    […] (source) Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  • Sarah

    As true as this may be, I didn’t realise I was reading Cosmo.

  • http://m33pm33p.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/two-articles-i-liked-funny-and-insightful/ Two articles I liked (funny and insightful) | meepmeep
  • Lady

    While I’m sure that this advice is true a lot of the time, and I’m sure the HJNTIY theory or whatever you want to call it has probably saved many women heartache, I’m very, very wary for catch all advice for what a man will do in a given situation. I don’t know why I should believe that men are not every bit as varied as women. Can any of us complete this sentence? “If a woman likes you she will __________.” Tell him? Some will, some won’t. Play hard to get? Some will, some won’t. Giggle? Bat her eyelashes? Show you her nipples? Stalk you? Tell all of your friends and hope it gets back to you? Bake you cookies? Slap you in the face? Keep it entirely to herself and never let you know but hope in vain that you’ll make a first move? Some will, some won’t. All of these things can and do happen, but not all women do all of these things all of the time and they frequently vary how they communicate based on the man in question.

    But you’re telling me that for all men, with any woman, if he likes her, he will state it? Mmmm…I’m kind of betting that some do. Some don’t.

    And I’ve seen some of the bad boys pull a 180, too. But that doesn’t mean the bad boy didn’t rear it’s ugly head once in a while, particularly in the beginning.

    Because…here’s another thing about this whole, “if a man likes you” thing…To like someone, you have to get to know them a little bit. So that guy you met at a bar you gave your number to who didn’t call? He doesn’t dislike you. He has no idea who the hell you are.

    I know that there are plenty of women out there who endure too many bumps in the road. And I know that arguing with advice like this sounds like saying, “No–but really, you SHOULD make excuses for bad behavior and assume that if you try hard enough you can make a man love you!” I’M NOT SAYING THAT! Let the record show, I’m not saying that. But what I am saying is that this kind of advice is insulting to men, it causes people to be very judgemental of relationships they know nothing about, and while this HJNTIY stuff purports to be anti-romance and pro-realism, I find it to be such unrealistic, romantic tripe that it’s dangerous: If we are made to believe that the only people who care about us are the ones with no hangups, no flaws, no personality quirks–the only people who care about us are the ones with no insecurities, no fears, no hesitation–the only people who care about us are the ones with no baggage, no past, no problems, no obstacles–then we are missing out on an entire world full of people who could love the shit out of us.

    Know when to say enough is enough. But I think the best advice is simply to trust your gut. If you don’t feel cared about, then it doesn’t matter if they care or don’t. You don’t feel it, it doesn’t matter. If you do feel cared about, in spite of the fact that a man didn’t text you back right away or has any sort of life that doesn’t revolve around getting face time with you NO MATTER WHAT 100% of the time!!! (“Pssssh…sure you’re mother died last week. But if you REALLY liked me you could at least text me from the funeral”)? Then have a little patience and see where it goes. The end.

    • Alex

      This comment is better than the article.

    • Another Lady

      Methinks some people are taking this article waaaaaaay too seriously. Not all women do the same thing. Not all men do the same thing. We get it. Lighten up please.

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