The Dating Survival Skills You MUST Have

Name: PJ
Age: 59
State: NY
Question: Its Friday night I’m alone again, I thought once I had a bf that
we would do “couple things” like take in a movie, have dinner,
walk in the park.  When we first met he would go upstate to
visit his daughter.  I would ask why can’t you stay
Friday night and leave Sat morning. He wouldn’t do that.
Finally he did stop, I think he daughter got a bf of her own.

I moved in and we started doing a few “couple things”.
But then his school started, he is working on his PHD
in chemistry and is doing a lot of lab work.  He stays
there all night 3 nights a week and claims he sleeps in
the student lounge.

At first I was very depressed being left alone so much,
but little by little I began to develop friends and go to meet up
events.  I’ve gone to comedy clubs, writing groups,
shows, lectures, and many many movies. Often times I go by
myself,  its better than staring at the empty rooms.

I still don’t trust that he is just sleeping in the student
lounge.  I did find some emails on a dating site
where he met with some woman. When I confronted
him he said that he made a mistake that he felt neglected
by me since I had started my jewelry business.  He
claimed that he wouldn’t see her again.

A few months later  I saw a bunch of  sexy pictures he had
taken of her at midnight in her apartment. Red Flag…
He claims he is innocent that he could never be with
another woman that he has hit the “lotto” in dating me.
He is a master manipulator, and a smooth talker.
I do admire that he is  bright but that sometimes works
against me.  His overactive brain  hurls him into doing
harmful actions; such as  talk on the phone secretly in the
bathroom with the door closed, turning off the computer
when I walk into the room.

Why does he persist in telling me he loves me when he does all
this hurtful behavior.  I have to let this not get to me.
To put all my energies into writing again and into my
jewelry business. That gives me a sense of accomplishment
helps me to regain a little of the self confidence I have lost

an update I did finally move out, the secretive behavior
finally got to me, but I haven’t gotten him out of my system. I know this sounds like relationship drama but
now he says that he misses me and wants to get married..
we did have great sex, but that may be because we are
both so needy?


A few months later  I saw a bunch of  sexy pictures he had
taken of her at midnight in her apartment. Red Flag…

No. That’s a Fireable Offense. Not a Red Flag. That is evidence he’s cheating. Hard evidence.

I’m not sure what it is you’re asking in this letter. This feels more like an internal dialogue. You’re almost 60 and I’m guessing this guy is, at the youngest since he’s working on his PhD, close to 40 or in his 40’s. What are you hoping for here?

The guy is clearly cheating on you/using you. And you’re letting him. You have all kinds of proof that he’s dishonest. Yet now it sounds like you’re considering going back to him. My guess is he’s looking for someone to sponge off as he finishes school. So, if you’d like to be that person for him, go ahead.

I really don’t have too much to add to this. If anything, this letter makes me sad and and makes me wonder what the point of offering any advice, ever, really is. Almost 60, alone and clinging to some obvious bottom feeder.

Where did it all go wrong, do you think? Do you think she knows she’s not just settling but in full-on delusion mode? Or do you think this is how she’s rationalized every pseudo-relationship she’s ever had?

I read articles every day that make me scratch my head and wonder how someone can go on date after date, experience disappointment after disappointment, and learn absolutely nothing. They get tripped up on the most simple of things. Well, wait. At first, those things don’t appear simple. I can sympathize for someone who gets all tongue tied because someone asks them when they’re last relationship was or how long it was. But then I learned to realize that people who asks such inane questions are really just revealing their own limitations. I also learned to lie my face off, offer a vague answer that isn’t quite a lie or effectively change the subject.

I developed Dating Survival Skills.

I learned not to care so much.

I learned to say no.

I learned to own my choices.

I learned to accept the path that I was on and that, maybe, I wasn’t supposed to be with anyone at that particular moment, which gives a whole new meaning to the title of this column.

I learned to stop seeking validation.

I learned how to identify when I just wanted attention versus genuine affection.

I learned how to walk away and not need to “win.”

I learned how to own my shit and how I contributed to the outcome.

I learned how to decipher what men really meant when they said certain things and what those things said about them.

I learned how to filter.

I learned to accept that I may very well never settle down with anyone…and that’s okay.

I learned how dangerous loneliness can be if I let it rule me instead of just feeling it and believing that I was just lonely in that moment and that it wouldn’t last.

I guess I just wonder how people manage to get by when they don’t develop ANY of these skills. How do they recover from another frustration? Do they recover? Or do they just spiral down some dirty, dank rabbit hole until the hit the bottom?

Is that who you want to be? Is that what you want for yourself? Do you want to sit on the ground, your head spinning, looking around and wondering how you got there?


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43 Responses to “The Dating Survival Skills You MUST Have”

  1. Trouble Says:

    Wow…put like this, it seems like many of us need a “12-step” program for our unhealthy dating addictions, and I’d wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

    Exactly how low is your self-confidence when you will allow a man to do everything but rub his infidelity in your face? Are you really that desperate? <—two questions I had to ask myself during my marriage to my ex-husband, to be perfectly candid.

    To the woman in the OP, who is 59…exactly what kind of treatment are you willing to settle for just so you won't have to be alone? Pretty bad, it appears. Wouldn't it be better to look your fear of being alone in the face and just deal with it? In the long run, being alone is much less self-respect destroying than staying with a bad man who uses you for a place to stay and fucks other women, in my experience.

    • Howard Says:

      Pretty much the thing we see, when people are in love with, or addicted to a concept, and age is really no insulation. The concept here is ‘having someone hot’. That trumps all. And it’s not about having someone only, it’s about what they consider hot. After all to quote her, “we did have great sex”.

      I am going to be a lttle counter to the typical advice and even be a little ‘tongue in cheek’..

      Well you had to know what was ‘up’ when you met him. He was younger than you. Older guys who get with much younger women or much hotter women, know what is ‘up’. They don’t sweat the details too much; as long as they get the sex and attention most of the time. They know she is using them financially. They know she probably has a papi-chulo on the side. But they aint overly worried about it, as long as they generally get what they want, sex with a much younger or hotter woman.

      When women started this cougar thing, they never fully got it, about the way these things work. I may sound harsh, but that is the reality to playing the huge age difference game, or the huge difference in ‘hotness’ game. I don’t play it. A number of guys also don’t play it, because like me, they don’t like those rules.

      The issue here is picking them. For the life of me, I don’t understand why people don’t get it into their heads, that everyone settles. No one matches up exactly to what we want, and by the time you get to be in your late fifties, dependable has to seriously trump hot. Even hot famous rich people settle. They often go for someone who is sel-absorbed but in a similar famous rich position, just to avoid being used.

      If you could pull off getting someone ‘hot’, I know you can pull off getting someone ‘dependable’. If you wanna keep playing hot, and especially younger, be cool with the side issues related to that.

    • Michelle Says:

      There is a 12 Step program for such things. It’s called Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Lots of on line info about it.

  2. PJ Says:

    thanks for the reality check, I know I am addicted
    to the love fantasy and keep ignoring the red flags
    I’m going to visit my 5 sisters in LA for a few
    weeks, they give me great feedback and
    morale boosts..I love reading your blog
    you should write a book…

  3. Marshmallow Says:

    I’ve been where you are so I’m not taking any high ground but there is something i learned that really helped me: I am 100% responsible for my 50% of a relationship or situation. Turning the blame solely on the man isn’t going to help you. Why would you even consider this a love fantasy? Is this all you want for yourself? I know your family is going to tell you that you deserve better but it won’t make a difference until YOU believe it.

    • Rick Says:

      I don’t see where the OP blamed any of this on the man. In fact, she made many excuses for him, including the gem of “His overactive brain hurls him into doing harmful actions” . Yes, his intelligence is making him a cheating and deceitful bastard. If anything she is not blaming him at all or expecting him to be responsible for his 50%.

      • Marshmallow Says:

        You are correct but I think she is going to be going down that path after talking to her family. And yes, he is 100% responsible for his 50% (thank you therapist!). People tend to either take all the blame or assign all the blame.

      • Trouble Says:

        Yes, responsibility needs to be assigned as follows:

        He is 100% responsible for being a cheating asshole.

        She is 100% responsible for continuing to date a cheating asshole.

  4. K Says:

    Ok, PJ, in some ways you’re doing ok here. You moved out. You have a business and ways of supporting yourself. You’ve already put the effort into developing friendships and interests to keep you busy. You have a family support structure. All of that is great. You do NOT need a man to give you ANYTHING. You have it all within yourself. YOU are capable of providing everything you need to be happy and healthy. You can give yourself the care you need, do things you want to do, get companionship from friends, family, new people you meet.

    Do not go back to this man. He gives you nothing. You weren’t even getting companionship from him. He wasn’t around. He was giving his time and energy to other women. He tells you he loves you and wants to marry you. Those are words. He’s sick. He just wants your attention. He has proven that he is not going to give you anything you want. He still won’t. Block and move on. Be strong. No contact. Look into your options for getting a therapist you can talk to weekly. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Eat right, exercise, get sleep. Be healthy. That’s what you need to do right now.

  5. LostSailor Says:

    PJ, it’s not a “love fantasy” it’s a love illusion. And you willingly bought into it: a much younger man, attention, great sex. That’s not love. But it was apparently enough to blind you not to red flags but blazing nuclear fireballs of warning.

    One would hope that at 59 and single women would have already done the hard work of figuring themselves out, but decades of romance novels, rom-coms, Lifetime movies, and feminist self-help is hard to strip away.

    PJ, your sisters will undoubtedly give you a “you can do better,” you go grrrl, morale boost, but unless they’re pressing you hard to do some serious self-examination and truth-seeking, they’re not giving you the feedback you need.

    If you can’t be happy by yourself, alone, how can you be happy with someone else? Between her marriages, my older sister was petrified of being alone even for a weekend to the extent that she made very poor choices in men. She literally could not comprehend me when I told her that I would go to movies and even restaurants alone if I didn’t have a date.

    Moxie’s survival skills list is excellent not just for dating and relationship success, but also for becoming a fully mature human being.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      What exactly does feminism have to do with defending some guy who treats you like crap?

      (Rom-coms, you may have a point; waiting for the guy who gives you “vagina tingles” in manosphere-speak and placing that above all else rather than paying attention to how he treats you and makes you feel overall and consistently).

      The OP needs therapy (which most people do) to comb through the issues and belief system that’s keeping her stuck.

      One thing I learned from that scary “in recovery” (or whatever he was) guy that I yammered on about a while ago: There really are worse things than being single. Really and truly. It isn’t just some trite needlepoint saying, it’s a truth I know in my bones.

      • LostSailor Says:

        What exactly does feminism have to do with defending some guy who treats you like crap?

        Let’s focus here. I fail to see where I was defending anyone.

        The damage caused by the feminist self-help genre is the idea that women can “have it all” and deserve it because, uh, well…they’re women. This is the root of the “never settle!” mantra that says every woman deserves a high-quality man. Why? Well that question never seems to get addressed.

        Every human being deserves basic respect, what used to be called common courtesy, up to the point where their actions show that they don’t deserve respect. Beyond that, “deserve” has nothing to do with it.

        But in our feminist era, taking an honest look at oneself and candidly assessing people for potential relationships is considered “settling,” which women shouldn’t do because they deserve better. It sets women up to fail.

        And of course there are worse things than being single, such as toxic relationships. But the key to enjoying being single is that you have to like and be content with yourself first.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          >Let’s focus here. I fail to see where I was defending anyone.<

          I never said you were, I said she was (she knows all she knows and she's considering marrying the guy?). You then said "feminism" was to blame for this. First, if he treats her like crap he is not a "high quality" guy. Second, the position of feminism is that you should not tolerate substandard behavior and that it's perfectly okay to be alone.

          • Snowflake Says:

            No one can treat you like crap – UNLESS you ALLOW it to be so.

            Not allowing yourself to be constantly disrespected, by ANYONE its called self respect. Basic sense of common courtesy and being a decent human being is what the rest of us normal folk practice. Regardless of in a relationship with a S.O. or friends/family for that matter.

          • Snowflake Says:

            Stop with the “he treats her like crap he is not a “high quality” guy” see above for what Trouble so eloquently stated.

            Trouble says: August 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm
            Yes, responsibility needs to be assigned as follows:
            He is 100% responsible for being a cheating asshole.
            She is 100% responsible for continuing to date a cheating asshole.

            The saying goes, the only thing you have 100% control over is YOUR REACTION to any situation, person etc. Someone can attempt to disrespect you, you can control how that plays out. Walk away or take the disrespect.

            • fuzzilla Says:

              How is what I said opposed to what Trouble said? Someone treats you like crap, you take responsibility for tolerating it, you walk away and….?

          • LostSailor Says:

            Actually, you didn’t write that “she was” defending him, so the implication is you meant I was, which I wasn’t. Second, she’s not considering marrying him, he got back in touch and was apparently talking about marriage. I also never said he was a high-quality guy. Finally, I never said “feminism was to blame for all this. You’re taking my general argument and acting like I applied it to the particular situation. I didn’t.

            Given the errors in reading comprehension, I’m not surprised you missed my point entirely. Feminism as it has found expression in our society and culture encourages women to unrealistic expectations when it comes to dating and romance which, when combined with the soft-focus cultural notions of what constitutes “romance” very often prevents people from making a clear-eyed assessment of whether those expectations are actually in line with reality.

            • fuzzilla Says:

              If she’s not considering marrying him, then why did she write into an advice columnist and mention his proposal? (To be fair, she seems to know it’s a dumb idea, yet doesn’t seem resolved to turn him down and move on. The last words in her letter were “I mean, the sex was good, we’re both needy…..” The unspoken question seems to be “if he’s telling me now that he wants me, that should be good enough, right?” These are the words of someone not 100% resolved to move on and looking for justification to stay).

              You said:

              >The damage caused by the feminist self-help genre is the idea that women can “have it all” and deserve it because, uh, well…they’re women. This is the root of the “never settle!” mantra that says every woman deserves a high-quality man. Why? Well that question never seems to get addressed.<

              ….which implies that she's turning a blind eye to his faults because he's a "high quality guy" (earning an impressive degree, presumably younger) that she "deserves" because "feminism told her so." What am I not comprehending? If feminism is not relevant to her unpleasant situation then why did you use it as a jumping-off point to rant about feminism? My reading comprehension is fine, you are simply not making any sense.

              • LostSailor Says:

                I’m not the one ranting here, just making an observation. Just because you don’t understand it, does not mean that it doesn’t make sense. You seem to be taking it all a little personally, too.

                • India Says:

                  Your argument about feminism being the root cause of her problem is lost on me as well. The op clearly settled for tool long whereas a feminist would have led the guys a log time ago.

                  • LostSailor Says:

                    Please read my original above at 11:03. Your second sentence is a non sequitur.

                    • anon Says:

                      Yeah, lets blame feminism for everything, and then criticize the women when they ask you to explain what you mean. That’ll teach them.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      LS is absolutely on the mark about the “feminist self-help” crap contributing to this problem. Some of these comments, with their “you’ve got to be good to yourself” and ‘love yourself first” triteness, are perfect examples.

                      This isn’t someone who just needs a lil’ therapy. The OP is severely delusional. Where she’s at now is due to years upon years of delusional thinking and a distorted perception of reality. Oh, and years of horrid advice from her friends. And she got that way by hearing the very crap being spewed in these comments.

                      Some women get a sick pleasure out of giving advice to women like this. It’s like watching a bird with broken wing trying to fly. They feel a combination of sympathy and morose pleasure watching it suffer.

                • Selena Says:

                  I also disagree with the idea that feminism is about ‘having it all’ and ‘deserving it’ simply by being women. To me, a core of feminism is that women are complete as persons, they don’t “need” a man to be complete in life. WhenPJ was a young woman there was a catch phrase to describe this: ” A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

                  Simplistic? Irritating? Maybe, but the point was to rid women of the notion that having ANY man was better than not having a man at all. Something PJ seems to have trouble with. And a large point in Moxie’s survival skills list.

                  GREAT post Moxie. Worthy of printing out and keeping as a reminder when needed. Thank you for writing this.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          I will agree with you that a lot of people’s definitions of feminism are rather hazy. “It’s feminist because it’s my choice and I’m a woman!” Um, OK.

  6. Eliza Says:

    To the OP. Wow–the writing is all over the wall–in huge font no less! This man doesn’t care. His actions say it all…and his inactions confirm it too. Please don’t waste anymore of your energy or feelings on someone this toxic…who brings nothing of value to your life. It’s an abusive situation, filled with distrust, deceipt and thoughtless behavior. However, I do believe that “some people will test the waters and treat you in the manner you allow them to treat you.” You need to respect yourself, love yourself, and believe in yourself. And believe that you are entitled and able to share more with someone worthy of what you have to give and to reciprocate and be a friend. if what you seek is a relationship…learn to be with yourself first, be content on your own, resume your jewelry business, since that’s a positive thing in your life…and regain confidence and respect before entering into a “healthy” situation with someone else. That other person can NOT make you internally happy. You need to be happy with your life and yourself first–before sharing it with someone else. Much peace to you. And yes, Moxie’s list of things to learn are invaluable…learn to accept yourself and your life as it stands–without a man, and happiness will follow. No validation required.

  7. SB Says:

    At 26, I sure wish I had more of these skills. specifically, the attention vs. affection one or decoding what men mean (partially touched on in the DTF post, I suspect). Can you give some specific examples? Anyway to teach some of these skills to the under-experienced younguns? :P

  8. Trouble Says:

    PJ….I hope you will spend some time not-dating and really think about what attracted you to this man, and what you were seeking from this relationship. It’s great to get comfort and reassurance from your sisters, but the biggest journey you need to take will happen inside your own heart and mind. For some reason, you were drawn to a man who treated you badly and was unfaithful. Why? What did this guy offer you that other guys did not? it sounds like he kept you at some distance and was emotionally unavailable…why would you find those characteristics attractive? Are you modeling a relationship-style that you had with someone significant in your life, such as your mom or dad? That’s where therapy, as was suggested above, can be helpful. it was in therapy that I realized that I was modeling my relationship with my mom in my relationships with men. My mom was verbally, physically and emotionally abusive, and I dated men who were a lot like her. She also was frequently emotionally unavailable. I’m a classic textbook example of co-dependency. When my therapist started to help me figure out my patterns, I also started to figure out why bad guys made me tingle, and good guys didn’t. Then, she helped me identify the characteristics of men who were likely to be good partners, i.e., what things mattered to me in my marriage, what was lacking, what were my priorities in a partner?

    Going through that process helped me learn to guard against bad men, become attracted to good men, and know the difference. It strikes me that you need something similar so you can stop this pattern in your life. You are 59, but you have years of possible happiness ahead of you if you can identify the reasons that you are making the choices you are, and start making different ones.

    I’m 46, and I can honestly say that this has been the happiest year of my life. It was hard, and it took a lot of work on my own and with my therapist, but it can be done, and you can work this stuff out. It’s not too late to change your choices, and change the outcomes of those choices.

  9. Maargen Says:

    Hey PJ:

    Your pain and suffering comes through so loud and clear in your post that my heart goes out to you.

    “K” (above) get’s it exactly right by saying “TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Eat right, exercise, get sleep. Be healthy. That’s what you need to do right now.”

    Keep in mind that our brains make very little difference between physical and emotional pain (

    This means that the same methods that alleviate physical pain can also help with emotional pain (

    So yes – medicate. In the form of regualr pain relievers, I mean – not in the form of Jack Daniels (not too much, anyway)

    Think of the physical therapy you’d need if you’d had a dibilitating accident. You’ll need corresponding emotional therapy now. And if you actually feel debilitated (can’t work, sleep a lot, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate, etc.) don’t worry about it – it’s totally natural.

    Your physical reaction to this person is probably very strong, and you’re emotionally bonded (actually, you’re physically bonded in a way that ellicits emotional responses) – (

    (“Despite the inherent difficulties, a number of recent studies have shed light on the brain chemistry of human love. One study compared the brain activity of people looking at pictures of loved ones or at pictures of non-romantic friends. The pattern of activity in the cortex was markedly different depending on which type of face the subject was exposed to. FMRI scans of brains processing a romantic gaze bear a striking resemblance to the brain activity of new mothers listening to infants’ cries. They also resemble brain images of people under the influence of cocaine.” )

    – so getting clarity in order to be able to think clearly and make sound decisions for the future is going to be tough. Imagine you’re a junkie and your coke dealer has asked you to marry him. If you think a lifetime of free cocaine is a good thing, think again. You’ll be putting off the relatively short-term pain of breaking the habit for the long-term pain of maintaining an addiction that’s bad for you. Of course you already know this in some part, but acting on what you know isn’t as simple as “just say no”. Addictions are very, very powerful, and backsliding is par for the course.

    Reach out to friends and family as much as possible. Find a friend who understands this sort of thing and that you can rely on for help. I say ‘friend’ because a therapist is very useful for talking about this stuff, but you need both a combination of talking about it and of forgetting about it for longer and longer periods of time, which is where a friend who can distract you by talking about other things can be very helpful.

    Of course you’ll want to lick your wounds, but don’t overdo it with too many solitary pursuits like art and reading and movies by yourself – that lends itself too easily to brooding. You need social contact to heal.

    Give yourself time, and be very, very good to yourself. This too shall pass.

    Good luck, PJ.

  10. Karen Says:

    I agree. I just turned 52 and have learned those skills. It would be awful to be almost 60 and feel alone. I am a whole person alone. I am not 1/2 a person. WHOLE. Being with someone should not make me feel more lonely. If that’s the case, choose to legitimately be alone. Too many women in this world who feels less than or not enough unless they have a Man. I missed that type of reasoning altogether.

  11. Treifalicious Says:

    “The damage caused by the feminist self-help genre is the idea that women can “have it all” and deserve it because, uh, well…they’re women. This is the root of the “never settle!” mantra that says every woman deserves a high-quality man. Why? Well that question never seems to get addressed.” – Lost Sailor

    Do are you implying that some women should look at themselves and say, “I don’t deserve a high-quality man.”? Really? SHoudl some women say, “I need to scrape the bottom of the barrell to find a man”? That just sounds liek textbook low self esteem that requires the services of a therapist.

    Lastly, it’s not clear to me that this man is so much younger than this woman. I think everyone is jumping to conslusions. He could be in his 60s and decided to do a PhD in his retirement.

    That said she should leave this guy because he is making her unhappy. Problem is ending a relationship is like drug withdrawal – it can be a painful and drawn out process. Once one starts to look at it as getting over an addiction I at least believe it will be easier to do what needs to be done.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Lastly, it’s not clear to me that this man is so much younger than this woman. I think everyone is jumping to conslusions. He could be in his 60s and decided to do a PhD in his retirement.

      Anything is possible, but I’m guessing he’s in his 40’s. If he were her age, she’d have been sure to mention that. The fact that she didn’t mention his age has me leaning towards him being much younger than her. Everything about this situations reeks of a guy looking for someone to help him pay his rent while he goes to school. This guy is a freeloader.

      ps? He wasn’t visiting his daughter and he wasn’t sleeping in the student lounge.Really? She’d just stop seeing her father because she got a boyfriend? He’d just stop seeing his DAUGHTER all together??? Good christ. Hello? Is this thing on???

  12. LostSailor Says:

    Do are you implying that some women should look at themselves and say, “I don’t deserve a high-quality man.”? Really? SHoudl some women say, “I need to scrape the bottom of the barrell to find a man”?

    Of course not. But when women are constantly inculcated with unrealistic expectations, they many times pursue men that have the most options, who are often uninterested in real relationships and emotionally unavailable, while ignoring the perfectly fine men that are more available. Realistically and honestly examining those expectations and the available men will empower women to avoid both the misery of unavailable men and bottom feeding. They’ll also be better equipped to break through the rationalizations that keep them in toxic relationships.

    I also find it interesting that apparently the only other option to the highest quality men is bottom feeding. That mindset is part of the problem.

    • Marshmallow Says:

      Well, speaking from experience, I can tell you that many women aren’t sitting around pining over Mr. Big (or whatever TV character the kids are talking about these days). The last guy I had an unhealthy situation with was extremely average – he was even unemployed! I was looking for the opposite of what I had gone for in the past but I didn’t how to spot a good guy. I think many women have this problem too and developing skills like the ones Moxie mentioned are crucial.

    • anon Says:

      LostSailor. I don’t think the man that the OP described can be categorized among “the highest quality man.”

      The type of hypergamous woman that you red pill men demonize would not date a chemistry phd student, they would be going for the Mr Big type. And Mr Big types tend not to shack up with 59 year old women, so I think that the implications that the OP is being treated badly because she chose a man that she did not deserve are wrong.

      • LostSailor Says:

        What constitutes “quality” is going to be different for each person. It’s also a function of the highest quality person one attract, which will also be different for each person. Assuming this man was younger, which is a quite reasonable assumption, for the OP that could be the higher-quality. That he ultimately was cheating is also not unusual. That result doesn’t mean that she didn’t perceive him to be high quality at the start; in point of fact, that perception was what likely blinded her to his faults.

        And it’s not that she chose a man “she did not deserve,” she chose and stuck with a man who turned out to be inappropriate but ignored the clear warning signs that he was inappropriate. As I wrote earlier, deserves got nothing to do with it.

        We also don’t demonize female hypergamy, we simply acknowledge it and learn to recognize it and how to deal with it. Demonizing female hypergamy would be like complaining that water is wet.

        • Marshmallow Says:

          LS: I’m not following your logic. If a woman “perceives” a man to be high quality – even if he objectively isn’t all that great – that is a bad sign and she should run? By a certain age most of us know our audiences. Most of us would be suspicious if a 25 year old male model billionaire suddenly took an interest.

          I don’t think this is the OPs issue and regardless of what many men like to think, it isn’t the issue with most women either. A guy doesn’t have to bring much to the table to pull one over on a woman who is lonely – it sounds like the OP doesn’t have a wide social circle. He just needs to know how to spot ‘em.

          • LostSailor Says:

            If a woman “perceives” a man to be high quality – even if he objectively isn’t all that great – that is a bad sign and she should run?

            Sigh. No. She needs to make sure her perception isn’t an illusion brought on by wishful thinking. By a certain age some women know their audience. If you’re one of them, good for you. But from the many letters Moxie posts and from the many other dating advice sites out there, it seems that many single women of every age don’t know their audience.

            I suspect that if a 25-year-old male model billionaire suddenly took interest, most women would go all 50 shades pretty quickly…

          • anon Says:

            The overriding logic is that anyone who writes into blogs like this is to blame for their situation, and must be berated for the good and entertainment of all.

            If you date someone “high quality” who treats you badly, it’s because you didn’t deserve him in the first place. If you date someone “low quality” who treats you badly, it’s your fault for being a narcissist who chose someone to support your vision of your own superiority. Or something.

            LTR ended and you’re upset about it? How dare you not see into the future! After reading your story with 20:20 hindsight, we could see it coming from the start. Why didn’t you?!?! And why didn’t you pick last week’s winning lottery tickets, too?

            If you avoid dating someone because of obvious red flags, you’re too suspicious, picky and entitled. If you can’t get a relationship that’s right for you, you’re accused of holding out for a Christian Grey type. Or you don’t really want a relationship.

            If you wait for sex, you are putting your vag on a pedestal. If you sleep with your date too early and he bails, it’s your fault for sleeping with an alpha male who was too good for you (even if your date was a cross between Mr Bean and Shrek).

            Go with a man with a job and you’re a hypergamous gold-digger. Go with a freeloader and you’re a slave to your gina tingles, and to blame for selecting a man who was too attractive for you.

            Sadly, the internet is a place where people can troll others or give “helpful” advice laced with their own hateful agendas without recrimination or guilt. As the reader, it’s your responsibility to filter out those projecting their own issues, and to work out who is worth listening to. And sadly, the latter are very very few.

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              While I don’t dipsute your observations, I think the problem is that you’re combining the advice from multiple viewpoints into a single blob of “advice” and then criticizing the “Internet” for giving horrible advice. The truth is, many of us are thoughtful, as you are, and consistent in our theories and/or advice to a fault, and, in my opinion, some of these theories have predictive value and are not only useful in hindsight. There is disagreement in the commentray on this blog- I certainly won’t take responsibility from some of the shit advice from others, or stupid comments But, that doesn’t mean there’s no value altohgether. I do see pretty good consistent theories and advice offered here including, if I may say so, from myself.

              • Marshmallow Says:

                Since we don’t know the whole story we can only speculate – although the OP did say she moved in with him not the other way around so we have to assume he has his own place and wasn’t freeloading off her entirely.

                I also don’t understand this idea that being younger than a woman is a magical thing for a man,. I keep getting the impression if a guy stepped out of the womb one minute after me he couldn’t possible be interested because women younger than I am should be falling at his feet and if they aren’t, there is a reason why.

            • LostSailor Says:

              The overriding logic is that anyone who writes into blogs like this is to blame for their situation, and must be berated for the good and entertainment of all.

              No, anyone who writes in does so, mostly, because they have a problem and are looking for advice (though sometimes it might be just for attention).

              If you don’t like the advice or don’t find it useful, then don’t follow it. But when someone keeps encountering the same problem and issue, the source is not likely to be other people, but with the writer him- or herself. It can be hard to hear, let alone absorb and act on, the truth.

              Sites like Moxie’s provide specific advice as well as general guidelines for succeeding at dating. People are all different and each dating situation is different, so what works in one instance may not in another, which is why the guidelines are general.

              I don’t follow all of Moxie’s advice nor do I agree about everything here, but my way works for me. If it stops working, I’ll take a look at me to figure out what I need to change.

              As the song says, take what you need and leave the rest. It doesn’t help to get angry about advice, especially if it doesn’t apply to you…

  13. Angeline Says:

    I think it’s interesting that the OP only took up outside interests once she moved in with the guy and started feeliing neglected. Why wasn’t she already doing interesting, fulfilling things with her life? It’s as if the boyfriend position is so important, she couldn’t even go about making a life for herself unless that was filled. Once it was filled, however minimally, it was OK to find interests and start a business, as long as it was his walls and not her own.

    If you want the partner you think you ‘deserve’, you have to take a hard look at what you bring to the table. That’s where the so-called self esteem movement failed – it preached that everyone deservved everything fabulous in life simply because they existed. The feminist movement has its share of blame for why women have a hard time being OK with their femininity, being realistic about the hard truths behind the “having it all” myths, but I don’t think either is in play here. This is just a sad person who can’t figure out that the simple presence of another human isn’t going to make her whole.

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