The Trick to Successful Dating: Stop Caring So Much

Name: Kelly
Age: 43
State: AL
Question: Hi, Moxie: I have a ? about online “fakers”, e.g. married men lying about their status. I have had a lot of dating experience, both from online and “real world.” Also been married before. My fear is that some of my bad past experiences are coloring my judgement. I seem to be getting a lot of emails from men who “travel for work” a lot, never seem to be able to call, only email me thru the website, etc. I know most of the tricks, but I want to be sure I’m not just getting jaded. Example: Guy emails me, seems to be type I’d be interested in. Says he is in NYC for two weeks as his corporate office is there (he is in some kind of sales where he travels during week). Wants to meet me when he gets back. Ok, great. We swap numbers. He calls me once, I call him once. Nice, brief conversations. He does say that his phone is a work phone and “I can’t text on this phone, they don’t have that feature” or something. My suspicions are raised. Then he says I’m back on Friday let’s meet. But I decide to go away for weekend last minute. So he says ok, no prob, I’m taking my two sons to their grandparents, I will be back next Thursday (this was last week). So again, cool, let’s get together when I’m back. This weekend comes and goes, I forgot about it as I’m seeing other guys, then yesterday, Sunday, an email thru the dating site (most of this was on the site, emails), hey how’s your weekend? I didn’t respond. Today, another email, hey I’m back in town this Friday, let’s set up a def date! Wait, you were supposed to be back LAST THUR. So we go back and forth, emailing, I say look, I think you’re shady, etc., he says no, I’m not, I really am single, want to meet. Then he says, oh, yeah, I just happened to spill coffee on my phone today, so that’s why I can’t call you now. But I am really single! I know this is BS, but again, I want to be sure I’m not just getting jaded and jumping to conclusions. This is only one of several examples similar to this one. Thanks!


I don’t understand. I mean, I do understand the overall question. What I don’t understand is why you care about any of this, since you have other options. Yes, he’s probably shady. There. Suspicions confirmed. Next. I’d have been outta there the minute I read “in town for a couple weeks” or “travels a lot.” Why set yourself up for frustration? He’s not going to be around. Unless that’s what you want. In which case, what’s the problem? You’re as flaky and unreliable as he is. Why are you holding him up to a higher standard?

I’m sorry to sound twatty, but this just feels like a self-created “problem” that only exists because you choose to allow it to exist. It’s good copy.  There’s no need to engage this guy at all. You have other options. Yet, there you are, calling him out as though that will make him break down and admit he’s just some dude looking for a piece on the side. You’re both relying on plausible deniability to justify your actions. You’re going to believe him if he insists he’s single. He just hasn’t been able to convince you…yet. That’s what you’re waiting for. So why not just be honest with yourself and avoid all this unnecessary drama? Go have sex with him! Go have drinks with a cute guy and flirt! Do whatever! You’re not obligated to anybody. If he’s cheating, that’s on him. You know he’s probably lying. But unless he comes out and tells you he’s otherwise taken, you’re free to do what you like. Even if he does reveal his true status, you’re still not responsible for other people’s vows and commitments. Personally, that’s not something I wish to get involved with just because of the inevitable headaches, logistics and, you know, being roped into someone’s divorce law suit. It would have nothing to do with feeling guilty.  It could be argued that, morally, you’d be wrong for being with a married man. Ethically? I’m not so sure. That’s debatable. Reason #578 why people shouldn’t get married unless they’re truly willing to make the necessary sacrifices. But whatevs. Honestly. I don’t get it. If you want to have sex with multiple people, don’t get married. Why is this so difficult?

The only reason you’re even bothering to  challenge him on his somewhat weak excuses is that you’re interested. If you weren’t, none of this would even matter. Your words and actions don’t align. What does align is your preconceptions about men and the men you appear to be meeting. It’s not a coincidence that you’ve had a number of bad experiences. You believe most men are shady. So you assume that most men you meet will end up being shady in one way or another, so why not date them since – in your mind – most men are shady. This just in…not all men are shady. Also? A man not seeking commitment is not necessarily being deceptive. You heard it here first.

Maybe all these “bad past experiences” were actually what you wanted? Maybe it’s not bad luck or bad timing, but that you actually don’t want a relationship? Which is perfectly okay, btw. I just think people would enjoy their love, sex and social lives that much more if they were just honest about what they wanted instead of trying to prove something to themselves or to others. People who enable this type of drama tend to, in my opinion, enjoy the drama. Know what I mean?

Go date. Meet guys. Have fun. Have great sex.  Settle down. Don’t settle down. Whatever you do, stop living your life the way you think you should and live it the way you want to live it. Stop with the faux frustrations and drama and just do what you want. If people were to do that, I can almost guarantee you 90% of all the dating dramas we hear about wouldn’t exist. The drama is just what these people who don’t know what they want use to justify why they’re single.



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11 Responses to “The Trick to Successful Dating: Stop Caring So Much”

  1. xyzed Says:

    Great response!… Last night I met a woman from match for a drink who was the same age as myself (early 50’s) and during the course of the conversation, I mentioned why as we get older, its becoming more difficult to meet someone who has “their act together”. At this age we no longer have to worry whether we want kids, buying a house in the Suburbs, city, etc or any other life altering events. Why not go out and enjoy what your partner has to offer. If there is not much then more on. Why do most people try to fit a “round peg into a square hole”

  2. BTownGirl Says:

    My take on The Ethics Of Shtupping The Married – eh, it’s not great. That’s not to say that women (or men!) who do are terrible people, but do unto others and all that. Of the handful of women I know who have hooked up with married man, only one was a Certified Shitty Person, the rest were just not in a great place in their lives. I think we’ve all been attracted to a piece of the forbidden fruit at some point or another, but the vast majority of people with their self esteem intact and who aren’t in a wonky place emotionally aren’t going to put themselves in that situation knowingly. As to why people even bother getting married if they’re going to cheat? I’d guess that the vast majority don’t think they ever will. Then life happens, kids come along, there’s less sex/more stress/etc. As for the ones that know they’re not going to be faithful? People who want someone else to bake the whole cake for them while they eat it and their mistress gives them a foot massage. Girl, bye.

    P.S. Do any of you guys watch The Affair? I can’t discuss it with people without wanting to punch myself in the face every time someone’s like, “Alison, that whor-AH!” At what point can we all agree that this was a deeply troubled woman trying to run away from her life and her grief? I digress. Also, if you don’t watch the show, get to it!

    • Eliza Says:

      Agree with BTown…people get married, for plenty of reasons, the typical American Dream of the white picket fence, 2 kids and Golden Retriever…and then they realize it’s not all roses….want a break from reality and feel the need to explore…the grass is always greener – to them. What was new and shiny is now old…and that will happen with the next “flavor of the month” too. And they want a “partner” to lean on, and be there, when the shiny new model is no longer a mystery. That’s the truth…not for all, but most. I should watch The Affair…will look on Netflix.

  3. Selena Says:

    Terrific response Moxie.

    Travel for work? Only in town now and then? Cool if one is only looking for something casual…maybe. But for anyone hoping for a *real* relationship…why bother? Married or not, what would be the point? Just pass and don’t worry about their karma.

  4. Yvonne Says:

    There ARE a lot of shady guys online. However, the problems isn’t that the OP’s letting her bad past experiences color her judgement. The problem is simply that she isn’t using good judgement, period. In her heart of hearts, she KNOWS this guy isn’t on the up and up. So why does she give him a chance? Because he’s cute and seemingly so dateable that she wants to believes the lies he’s peddling.

    A friend of mine actually referred to this phenomenon in online dating as “the cute guy who lives out of town”. The guy who might not normally contact you in your own city. I hate to say it, but the cheaters often won’t hesitate to lower what they consider their “standards” if it avails them the opportunity to get laid.

  5. Noquay Says:

    I find it hard to believe that most guys on line are shady. Many are unsuitable; not having their lives together, emotional/commitment issues, not attractive, not compatible. Yep, there are cheaters too; most as blatant as the example given here, some are scammers, again pretty easily sussed out. Don’t date them. Dating, especially on line, is a huge crap shoot. 99.9% of the men you meet won’t pan out. We chix do invest too much when given waaaay too little. Take in this context, we should go into dates with zero expectations, keep eyes and ears open.

    • Bill Says:

      “I find it hard to believe that most guys on line are shady.”

      The “shady guy” is persistent, prolific and perennial. Given enough time, he will contact EVERY woman he deems attractive in his metro-area. Then, he’ll create a new profile, and repeat, ad nauseum.

      His copious activity makes his population percentage appear over-sized.

  6. Eliza Says:

    Ladies, just because a guy claims to travel for work, doesn’t mean he does. That’s just a disclaimer, and a forewarning: “don’t ask for too much from me, because I have a very unpredictable work schedules”, bla bla bla. Yeah, right. He can even be unemployed, for all we know! lol. But with that disclaimer, he’s already setting up the pace, and expectation level. Low, to the ground…and gives him an out, and graceful way of saying, Hey, work is very demanding and this is why I am looking for a “spontaneous” type of person. Spontaneous equates to available at the drop of a hat, when one wants their needs met. No planning, or commitment required there. I’m in town, and free, like right now, what are you up to tonight? Travelling for work constantly means they have a hectic schedule, and unable to keep plans, or may cancel at the very last minute. You’ve been warned. LOL

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