Why Are Men So Desperate To Date Her?

Name: MM
Question: Hi Moxie,

I’ve written to you once or twice before, but today I’m coming to you with a pretty new problem. For context, I’m a single woman in a major city.

Within the past six months to a year, I’ve take on a pretty relaxed but no-nonsense approach to dating. I have no issue making the first move but I don’t waste any time on guys who don’t demonstrate a clear interest in me relatively soon and most guys I’ve dated recently reached out to me first.  It’s a pretty liberating not to waste time worrying about whether or not some dude likes me.

So, the problem that I’ve been having might read as humble-braggy but I swear it’s not.  The last couple of guys I’ve dated came on way too strong, way too quickly, and it seems to be happening again now. Examples include:

-Using the word “we” on a first date

-Constant compliments, especially about my appearance

-Making plans for a second date only a few minutes into the first

-Wanting to go away with me on trips after only a date or two

-Using terms of endearment like “babe”

-Getting pushy about wanting to make plans with me, ASAP

-An unusual eagerness to go out of their way to see me

On one occasion, the guy was so insistent I found it unnerving and canceled the second date- and he had the gall to ask me if I would “reconsider”!

I currently have a date scheduled with a guy who I do like, but he’s also being effusively complimentary before we’ve even met.

Typically, I tend to think people who behave this way have ulterior motives or don’t have many options and are trying to lock something down using flattery and ass-kissing.  I don’t know why that would be the case here, though.  If they just want sex, there’s lots of girls on dating apps and sites also looking for casual hookups…why go to all this effort?

Secondly, I would think the guys in question have plenty of options. They’re all early 30s, nice looking, professionally successful, tall (height’s not a dealbreaker for me, but for some people it is), in-shape men.  I don’t know why they’d be bending over backwards so quickly when one would think they have plenty of options.

What’s your take on this? Am I just a cynic who doesn’t understand true love? Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth? Is there any way to avoid a guy like this, or perhaps something I’m doing that’s attracting their attention? Your take on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Age: 28

For those playing at home, here are the OP’s previous two letters:




This letter reminds me of an article I read last week.

Now, I can not be the only person who read this and – through out the piece – wondered what the fuck the point of this story was. Was she complaining about all her bad dates? Was is a statement about the role fate and timing play in dating? Or was it this:

Years pass.

Feb. 14, 2014

To: Christine Grimaldi

From: [name redacted]

Subject: Date Lab!

You may recall that a long, long time ago you filled out our Date Lab application. Well, we think we’ve found you a great match! So if you’re still up for it, we’d love to send you two to dinner—on us, of course.

To: [name redacted]

From: Christine Grimaldi

Subject: Date Lab!

It is so crazy that you emailed, because it’s just the latest message in an on-and-off exchange that dates back to 2009. I’ve been with someone wonderful for more than a year now, so I’ll have to decline the match.

Update: Two years later, I’m marrying that wonderful someone. I never had to pitch him to love me. My emails with Date Lab may be frank, and frankly, embarrassing, but they remind me of the progression from who I was then to who I am now — always, worthy of love.

So basically this essay was an engagement announcement, yes? Am I just missing the true take-away of this story? Where’s the introspection? What did the author learn about herself and this process besides the “love yourself” cliche? She couldn’t figure that out when she was single? She could only realize this after she met a guy? Reductive, party of one.

Like the essay, this letter feels like a humblebrag wrapped in a blanket of over-analysis and faux introspection. If you read this blog the way you say you do, then you know what I’m going to say: these guys are either total losers or disingenuous. I have no idea what you’re doing that could be attracting them.

My take on this is that you’re thrilled at this groundswell of attention and want to believe that they guys are sincere. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. I haven’t a clue. Based on the behavior you say they are exhibiting, they either sound like controlling douchebags or cloying weirdos. Are you a cynic? No, you’re the opposite of a cynic because you want to believe these guys are for real. Spoiler alert: you’re not confused about any of this. You like these guys. You like the attention. You want to go out with them. You’re making a problem out of nothing for no other reason than you like to spin your wheels.




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8 Responses to “Why Are Men So Desperate To Date Her?”

  1. KK Says:

    I totally agree that this letter exhibits the absolute antithesis of cynicism. And if she is truly wondering what is going on, then I am assuming she has never dated before, which is fine. But SERIOUSLY? Literally millions of guys act this way, and it has nothing to do with who you are. It is about them. It doesn’t mean that you come across as so utterly amazing or that you come across as an easy slut. ALL it means is that these guys think this is what they should do with women. Go on lots of dates. A few of them are ok. Worst case scenario is you never meet anyone you truly like but you met a lot of interesting people.

  2. KK Says:

    oh. I wanted to add that I don’t thin the author who ws all, “I’m engaged” was saying that she learned to love herself. She was saying that she deserved love. Which means that if she had never met Mr. Fiance, she would have failed.

  3. Deirdre Says:

    I saw that WaPo essay on Facebook and had the same reaction. The woman who wrote it sounds neurotic and desperate.

  4. Nia Says:

    Yeah, this is how guys act, in general. There’s a gross double standard (#notallmen!) that guys *do* want to hook up/have casual sex, but they don’t want to “be” with a woman who openly says she wants casual sex because ew! (Sigh.) So they are likely pushing “romance” and compliments to “get” a woman who says she’s not into casual sex to participate in casual sex.
    Also, a more charitable explanation is that the OP is meeting people who are just more effusive, open, complimentary, and nice. Everyone falls somewhere on the extroversion scale, maybe these guys are the type to call cashiers “hon” and hug casual acquaintances?

    Finally, it’s…kind of not a compliment when guys act like this. I’ve had men approach me with the premise “We should date *because I want to date you*, that’s why” Not because of anything to do with what they bring to the table, or even “because we have so much in common.” They want me physically, that’s all. That’s *not* a compliment. It has nothing to do with my spirit, accomplishments, character, or even my interests. It has to do with my body/face. Big whoop.
    When men go bananas over you before meeting you, it’s all about them, and their desire for you. Despite what society (aka Cosmo magazine and xojane authors) tells you, this is not flattering.
    The right guy will be complimentary, but also reasonably and in a measured way, taking your measure as a partner. He’ll be judging (not in a negative way) your suitability as a partner, and that takes time.

  5. BRM Says:

    If she’s hot the guys may want to nail her, and possibly move on. But it also sounded like she has a laundry list of expectations about how a relationship should progress. My guess is she’ll go for all the exciting bad boys and reject some guys who might be good for her only to regret it when she hits the wall in a couple of years. I think many women and men too perhaps would do things differently if they could rewind their youth but alas wisdom generally comes with age.

  6. Yvonne Says:

    The OP is doing a good job of weeding out the guys who aren’t so interested. What’s left are the men who truly are interested in her, and these men are acting…interested. Of course, she should take some of their words and gestures with a grain of salt, since men do say things “in the moment”. While it’s possible that some of these men may actually be needy or controlling, or even just interested in getting laid, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a strong interest in her means not having too many options, or having an ulterior motive. Go out with these men and find out.

    • Lucy Says:

      I agree with this. I think after you learn how to eliminate the wrong kind of man, you could easily go too far and get too suspicious. I think you have to meet them and see. And if, as someone pointed out, they are effusive with everyone, it might not really mean they are fixated on you. I don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing if a man really liked me but wasn’t considering me among options. It would make dating him a lot less complicated. It can genuinely be very difficult for many people to find someone they really like for a long-term relationship.

  7. Eliza Says:

    The men that the OP is describing are obviously disingenuous…looking to get in, get off, and get out of there…therefore, using constant and immediate flattery – since they probably sense it works – with a woman like this–that thrives on flattery and attention. And yes, a humblebrag…because that is how she comes across. These men clearly are desperate and so is she…desperate for validation…from someone…anyone that will pay her compliments. This is how men are. Even if they are much younger than a woman, if they know/sense that saying/doing certain things will pay off, they will follow-through with that behavior..and then possibly disappear. If she is living in some small little town, perhaps she may stand out. But in a city as diverse and highly populated as NYC – and with younger, and more appealing women that are confident and accomplished, she will get lost in a sea of competition, based on what she is writing.

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