"Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . where did he go, and why doesn't he call?"

When Men Pay for a Date the Woman Knows Where She Stands

In these modern times, the question persists - who should pay for a date?

I'm going to answer this question by providing insight into how women intuitively perceive this action from a man. Hint - it's not about money. Women can buy their own dinner. The action of paying for a date goes much, much deeper than something superficial or materialistic.

Men, when you pay for a date - you immediately tell the woman where she stands with you.

Being chivalrous and wanting to provide for the woman immediately tells her that shes special. You're keen on her. And you have a desire to protect and provide for her. Very attractive. Very impressive special treatment to take notice of. The woman is now looking at you as a romantic contender.

And do you know what you're telling a woman when you do not pay for a date?

You immediately tell the woman that she's not special to you. You're not keen on her in a romantic way. And you have no desire to protect and provide for her. Nothing attractive. Nothing impressive and no special treatment to take notice of. The woman is now looking at you as a pal. You are not a romantic contender.

There. It's really that simple.

Are You Seeking a Mate or a Friend?

Times may have changed. However, biologically as humans we have not changed all that much. Leading and providing are masculine actions. Submitting and nurturing are feminine passive actions. Biologically, women are romantically "triggered" by masculine actions (paying for a date, taking the lead), just as men are biologically triggered by feminine nurturing actions (appreciation, attention).

And biologically speaking - our actions say a lot about us.

There's an entire "unspoken" conversation taking place during every single encounter with we have with another. An unspoken language exists that's understood more than it is actually spoken out loud. And the very first actions you take with another set the entire tone of the relationship that will develop between you. Your actions and the unspoken discussion they provoke are "planting a seed."

Are you trying to grow a friendship? Or are you seeking a mate?

It's crucial that your actions and the discussion you start on the very first date reveal your true intent for the woman. Because on that date, your actions are going to help her determine if she's just your pal - or if you're a man with a romantic interest in her.

So if you're seeking a friend, don't pay her way. If you're seeking a mate, treat her as the romantic prospect she is - she's special. She's not just a pal. And you're not simply seeking a friendship here. So make her feel good about herself and let her know your intentions by "speaking" to her through your actions. This will also make her feel secure with you. And once you've made her feel special, good about herself, and secure with you, she'll start looking at you in a romantic way as a prospective mate and she'll drop her guard a bit with you.

And once she's dropped her guard a bit with you, the unspoken "conversation" that then begins to take place is one of "trust." And as we all know, all relationships require a strong foundation of trust to support them. Once a woman feels she can begin to trust you, she begins to trust that you have her best interests at heart, and that you'll protect her because you view her as special. She can now feel safe with you and relax a bit - cause you got this.

You're the man - and you got this.

The Friend Zone: When You Don't Pay for a Date

Guys, when you don't pay for a date, you're doing nothing to help yourself. In fact, by your own actions you risk fast tracking yourself right into the "friend zone." Not only that but even worse, you're signaling to her that you're "Mister Carefree, Casual, Go Lucky." You're signaling to her that you're some dude she can hook up with and pal around with from time to time, but nothing more.

You're telling her that she shouldn't expect much from you.

You're telling her that she shouldn't take you seriously as a romantic prospect because you're not coming at her as one. Instead, you're coming at her as a friend. You're not providing for her so she won't really feel safe with you or secure, and she'll keep her guard up.

Besides, let's face it. What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that she can't expect anything from? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that isn't serious about her? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that doesn't have her best interests at heart? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that she can't rely on? What woman gets excited about dating a man that doesn't care to lift a finger for her or treat her special?

For that matter, what is there to get excited about at all? Making a new friend?

She's not dating to make new friends. She's dating to find a prospective mate. And if you're not coming confidently at her as one, you're creating confusion and wasting her time and yours.

She doesn't plan on ever taking you seriously Mr. Fun Time Guy. Because the unspoken "conversation" you created with her on your first date told her this. Either that or, she'll become an insecure, anxious mess.

Guys, if you have a long line of crazy, insecure, anxious women in your past, it's time to stop and ask yourself why. Because I can assure you that women are not born anxious, insecure and crazy. They become this way because they do not know where they stand with you, your actions are not consistent, and you're confusing them. You're not communicating your intentions clearly through your actions and as a result, the woman is now in a state of uncertainty about you. And once that uncertainty sets in, it will begin to manifest itself in her actions.

Your actions are not that of a masculine leader charting a course and presenting a clear, consistent message that makes her feel secure with you.

So now, the woman is insecure and hell bent on questioning everything you do, and every move you make, in order to receive clarity about where she stands with you. Because your actions are not providing that clarity for her.

The Benefits of Courtship Rituals

Back in the day, courtship rituals were regularly used. Everyone, man and woman, knew what that "language" was, and exactly what these actions meant. It wasn't necessary to have endless "talks" and painful confrontations about where you stand or where the relationship is going. It wasn't necessary to play games, or use tricks to manipulate emotions to your advantage. There was a ritual that provided a language that was enforced by actions - that everyone understood, but very rarely ever had to bother to speak out loud or clarify.

When a man takes the lead and the masculine role when dating, and he enforces that through consistent, reliable actions - there's no need to question him. There's no need to question where the relationship is going. The woman knows where it's going because it's clear the man has charted a course, he's the captain of the ship and she's in good hands. There's no anxiety, no worry, no insecurity, no endless "talks" needed, no questions.

When these courtship rituals are followed and adhered to, it's a lot easier for men and women to jump on the same page. No games. Just straight shootin'.

What a Valuable Woman Looks Like and Can Do for You

Back in the day when these courtship rituals were more widely accepted and used, a man knew that when a woman held out on him, she was a valuable woman worth having.

She was signaling that she was serious about him. She was a woman that respects herself. She didn't go around bedding down with just anyone. She was a strong woman making choices for herself. And she was smart enough to think them through without easily being manipulated and swayed. She wasn't weak. And she didn't take this lightly.

She didn't take YOU lightly.

Instead, she was viewed as a valuable woman. Because we all know that anything worth having always requires hard work to attain. When something is easy to attain, it's not that valuable. She was viewed as a woman capable of bringing out the very best in a man. As Jack Nicholson said in the movie As Good as it Gets, "You make me want to be a better man."

What he meant was that, instead of settling for mediocre, passive behavior from himself that produced mediocre results for himself, Helen Hunt was a woman that made him want to up his game. She made him want to be his best self. By not being easily swayed, her character in the movie challenges Nicholson's character to up his game in an attempt to win her affections. And in doing so, he exhibits his best self in his attempts.

Thus, literally becoming a better man - a better version of himself.

And it's her challenge to him by not being easily swayed by him that brings out his best self.

Sending Mixed Messages When Dating

There are a lot of women commenting, asking questions and seeking advice around this site, trying to decipher men's vague, indecisive, inconsistent actions and behavior:

"He asked me out, then wanted to split the bill with me. I wasn't all that interested in him, he felt more like a friend so I did. And I didn't think he was romantically interested in me because if he was, he wouldn't have asked me to pay my half for the date. But then he kept texting me. I'm so confused. If he didn't like me, then why does he keep texting me? And if he is interested, then why did he ask me to pay? Now I don't know what to do. Does he just want to be friends? Is he just trying to get laid here? Or do you think he likes me? I don't know what to do, please help!"

And she doesn't know what to do, or what the mans intentions are, or what the hell he wants from her. . .because his inconsistent actions and mediocre behavior have confused the hell out of her. So now, she doesn't know how to take the man, or how (or even if) to proceed because the man's actions aren't confidently speaking any specific language.

The man isn't communicating anything but a bunch of mixed messages. He's not participating in a courtship ritual. He's winging it like Mr. Fun Time Guy and expecting stellar results from his mediocre, half-hearted attempts.

The mixed messages that this man's actions are sending this woman are that of, "I ain't taking any of this - or you - seriously."

It's Not About the Money

When you pay for a date, it's not about the money, guys. A girl can buy her own damn dinner nowadays, and she won't have to give up access to her body to get it. Spending $20 of her own money for a dinner is a hell of a lot cheaper than being expected to pay for it by providing access to her body.

Paying for a date is about communicating clearly. Paying for a date is about participating in courtship rituals that both sexes understand. Paying for a date is about signaling your intentions for the woman, and showing her your character as a man. Paying for a date is about showing a woman that you're a serious romantic contender. And bringing your best self to the table lets her know that.

When you pay for a date it lets a woman know that - you're in it to win it.

And naturally, anywhere in life you win some, you lose some. It's all a risk and when dating, we are all taking risks - both men and women. But at least you brought your best self to the game, played fairly, and took it seriously, which builds your character as a man.

Because we all know that cheaters who take shortcuts are cowards that are afraid that they don't have what it takes to play by the rules and win - using real skills.

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Anonymous said...

Mirror, thank you for yet another thought-provoking article.

I've watched As Good As It Gets several times, as well as other movies where the central theme is a woman who, through not being easily swayed, and exhibiting her best self, challenges the man to up his game and be his best self. This has always fascinated me even though I don't fully understand it.

I have an ex who was not really a good person (I only saw this in hindsight), but he claimed that this was his favourite movie. I do think that on some level, many if not most (?) men do understand this concept even if they do not practise it.

As a woman, I understand that our only task is to work on ourselves - a process that is, as you've pointed out, not easy and somewhat uncomfortable, even painful. In order for a man to want to be a better man - to win the affections of the object of his desire, does this depend on his level of interest in the woman and his feelings? On timing also? I've read your article titled "Do You Know Your Value" and would appreciate your thoughts on this as well as how we can continue to work on ourselves, as I think many women do not know their own value. Thanks Mirror.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mirror, I wrote on your blog a while back in November regarding a casual dating situation that ended (re: "He's not into you: Relationship Red Flags, November 12, 2015") and appreciated your sage perspective on it. We have never contacted each other btw, I accept that it wasn't meant to be, gone into therapy since then to work on the underlying issues that lead me to that point, and I've done my best to move on by keeping busy at work, sports, and other pursuits--even got a new hobby (who knew). Now, I'm asking for some advice on a new situation that cropped up 2 weeks after the previous situation was officially over.

A man who is new to my office and I have met for coffee, lunch, and formal dinner/movie dates since late November. I think he is a great guy with a good head on his shoulders, very consistent, actively pursues me (not used to this as I've always either been the initial aggressor or fell into that role), and is career-minded but I have always been iffy about office romances after witnessing one between two folks at a previous job implode. On the very first date (dinner and a live show), he asked if I was seeing anyone else, and I coyly stated that I intend to be friends first and to take my time (something I suggested to the previous guy before he said he didn't want a relationship). That hasn't stopped him from stopping by my office from time to time to chat, and I was greatly moved by the fact that he took me out to the movies a week ago after I confided in him that I lost my uncle to cancer. That was very kind of him, and I fully appreciated his support during this difficult time. No one has ever done something like this for me before.

I honestly feel free to be myself around this guy--but not fully ready to date given my previous situation, which was messy and complicated. Something about this latest connection feels meaningful, and I think that we could be friends if we decided that we weren't romantically compatible. The work issue kind of bothers me, and I feel pushed into this by well-meaning friends, relatives, and associates whilst I rather let this develop over a long span of time while casually-dating others so that all of my eggs aren't in one basket and just enjoy the process. As far as dating others, while online dating is quick and convenient, I've come across so many 'characters' there that I'm weary of using it. What would you suggest as I handle this latest situation as I don't want to push him away and would like to have something meaningful, and how do you suggest I meet others? My goal is to develop healthy relationships with others without rushing into and essentially spoiling things...or pushing a potentially well-meaning person away due to my own baggage.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Feb 9, 9:29 AM,
"I do think that on some level, many if not most, do understand this concept even if they do not practice it."

They do. Many just prefer to fight against it, figuring that since society has changed, we as humans must have, too. But the reality is that on a primal level, biologically speaking, we all still have the same needs.

Women look for "leadership" qualities in a man because hey, let's face it - he could father your children. And mating with a man that isn't a good leader or a good provider means your offspring will suffer.

It's the entire reason that male animals like elk, deer, lions, etc. FIGHT each other for mating rights. It's because Mother Nature says the WEAK do NOT get to mate. Because if Mother Nature permits that, and the females also permit that, then species suffers as a result.

In nature, weak = no mating rights.

"In order for a man to want to be a better man - to win the affections of the object of his desire, does this depend on his level of interest in the woman and his feelings?"

Sure that helps. If a man isn't all that interested, he won't be compelled to up his game. However, that won't be the case with all men. There are still a lot of good men out there that really value their reputation, their character, their integrity as men, etc. There are still men out there that still place a high value on these things. I've had good men do things just because. . .well, because they're good men. And because their character and reputation is important to them.

"I've read your article titled "Do You Know Your Value" and would appreciate your thoughts on this as well as how we can continue to work on ourselves, as I think many women do not know their own value."

Well, that article pretty much sums it up. After that - you simply need to "live" it on a daily basis.

And if I were to add anything, I'd simply strees that it's crucial to make sure that your actions and your own behavior align with your goals and beliefs - and NEVER to compromise on them - EVER.

No amount of sweet talk in the world can compel a woman who knows what she wants to settle for less than she deserves :-)

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Feb 9, 1:17 PM,
"I accept that it wasn't meant to be, gone into therapy since then to work on the underlying issues that lead me to that point, and I've done my best to move on by keeping busy at work, sports, and other pursuits--even got a new hobby (who knew)."

GOOD FOR YOU!! That's excellent news.

"No one has ever done something like this for me before."

Isn't it nice to meet a good man ;-)

"I feel pushed into this by well-meaning friends, relatives, and associates whilst I rather let this develop over a long span of time while casually-dating others so that all of my eggs aren't in one basket and just enjoy the process."

You don't have to "DO" anything here.

Don't be talked into that. Don't be talked into trying to take control of the situation and speed up the pace. . .when the pace is working just fine for both you and him. If it ain't broke, DON'T try to "fix" it.

Slow and steady wins the race.

And what you well-meaning friends and family fail to see is that while it appears nothing is happening here, something really is happening. And what's happening is that you two are getting to know one another properly, which helps both of you develop a level of trust for one another. This will provide security for you, which is crucial when dating (so you don't become insecure and begin to act out on it and possibly prevent this from happening at all).

And while that's developing for you, this man is getting to see who you really are as a woman. He's not viewing you as a sexual object or a play thing. He's seeing and experiencing the real you, and he's learning to trust you as well. And in doing so, this is all helping him build respect for you. Which is also crucial when dating.

Because if a man respects you - he won't mistreat you or disappear on you. A man that respects you as a woman CANNOT do that. It weighs on their conscious too much an they'll feel bad about it. Therefore, respect is necessary if you're to be treated well by a man.

"What would you suggest as I handle this latest situation as I don't want to push him away and would like to have something meaningful, and how do you suggest I meet others?"

Well, I'm all too familiar with the "characters" that online dating seems to reel in LOL. But in truth, I believe the real value that comes from dating online - is an education and practice. You get to develop yourself and your dating skills on men that, well. . .that you might not be all that crazy about. The outcome doesn't matter, so the risk is low. So then that way, when you meet the right man, you've already refined these skills. In that case the outcome does matter, so the risk is high - but at least you don't blow it, because you're applying all you've learned while dating online ;-)

Pisces Girl said...

Great article Mirror! i'm really glad you addressed this because i know a lot of men think that since women are independent and can provide for themselves and make just as much if not more than them that they should pay for their own dinner but these are usually the loser men who don't have a lot of ambition or success in their lives or they just never learned what it means to be a gentleman and make a woman feel special and taken care of. That's how i like to feel when im with a man-taken care and provided for and if he cant even pay for a measly dinner that signals to me that he wont be able to take care of responsibilities down the road if we were to be married and have kids one day. You're right its not just about the money -having a man who can provide financially signals to me that this man has his shit together and wont be looking at me to take care of things or screw me over financially one day. I could never feel feminine or happy in a relationship with a man like that even though i am independent and pay my own bills... 
My girlfriend told me about this date she went on with a guy in his 30's -might i add who took her to a restaurant ordered a bunch of food and ate most of it because she didn't like it and then when the bill came he actually asked her if she could pay for it and on top of that he took the leftovers to go for himself!! she did pay but after that she was turned off by him and he actually couldn't figure out why she became distant and aloof with him! btw she makes 6 figures so for her it wasn't about the money at all but more so about the way he made her feel-not special or taken care at all. When i recounted the story to a group of her other girlfriends one night they were appalled and disgusted and we spent the rest of the night making jokes about him and laughing about it. Now when she goes on dates and a guy pays she's so pleasantly surprised and impressed but i told her that that is something she should just expect because anything less is just unacceptable. A man should be a man and make a woman feel like a woman. I guess some women might say they don't mind going half or even paying for the whole date..but those same women usually sing a very different tune when they end up married to these men and have kids and are struggling to take care of household responsibilities, kids and paying bills because their "man" isn't manning up but the fact is the signs were their early on. Another thing is cheap men...ughhhh gross ewww i can not stand the cheapos! if they have money but they just dont want to spend it or feel that all women are out to use them and only care about their money that's even worse! i had another girlfriend who's ex who actually told her that she always looks at him to pay and that she only cared about the money just because he payed for a few measly dinners (she also did a lot of nice things for his ass including driving 2 hours out of town to see him)but this guy had some major issues and i told her its better to find out they are like that sooner than later. 
Anyways Mirror thanks for touching on this and i hope women always remember they are worthy of special treatment and being wined and dined and made to feel special because we are!!! and men who throw out the term "gold diggers" are idiots they just want to make us feel bad about spending their money on us so that they don't have to reach for their wallets -ladies steer clear of these lamos they aren't real men. Also never let a man live off of you in any way shape or form that's equivalent to you spending your money on them.

Anonymous said...

@ Mirror: February 10, 2016 at 4:17 PM
Thanks again for your advice; you're right that I should trust my gut here and let the situation unfold as it's meant to. I agree that keeping a slow and steady pace is what will allow me to see what's actually there rather than what I want to see. I think that was the case with the casual guy--I got so caught up in that situation, the emotions of it, and feeling like he actually cared--all while listening to lots of advice that tried to get me to "DO" something to steer that along, and it didn't end well. That brings me to another question: How do you notice and respond objectively to the red flags in dating? How does one really see that the man truly cares outside of his willingness to pay for dates?

Only after I've taken some time away from it and thanks to my experiences with the new guy can I see that the casual guy had an agenda, got what he wanted, and decided he was done. In retrospect, our initial interactions seem geared toward a hook-up (re: he grabbed my face and kissed me on the second date (I told him to slow down), arrived at our third date drunk (I distanced myself and he returned after a week), and grabbed and kissed me in the parking lot of our fourth date (I asked that we get back into the car)). He also suggested that we go out salsa dancing several times, said that he didn't just want to hook up with me, and never followed through with the activity despite having some opportunities to do just that. I guess his words were reassuring and gave me hope that our interaction could be meaningful in the long run..We did talk about his not wanting a relationship, he asked me to hang out with him after that conversation, and I didn't want to at that point. Upon listening to the advice of a relative, I decided to take him up on his offer since it was his birthday and that led to our full intimate encounter. I ended this because it all started to seem one-sided as though he felt like sex was all I had to offer, and I was confused about his intentions/feelings toward me, as well as feeling like I was compromising myself. So, when he blew me off for the Halloween party he mentioned when I ended it, I felt hurt--though understand it all could have been much worse. In a way, I'm thankful he disappeared because I don't think I would have met the people I've met since then or fully appreciated them.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Feb 11, 9:16 AM,
"How do you notice and respond objectively to the red flags in dating?"

The biggest way to tell is when a man's words do NOT align with his actions. If a man is inconsistent, unreliable, says one thing but then does another, doesn't make your a priority, doesn't treat you special, etc. - these are all signs that spell nothing but a bunch of grief further on down the line.

You can check out this piece I wrote too for many more:


And when it comes to responding, you don't respond to him or object with the man. That's a waste of time. People are who they are. If the man isn't making you happy - you move on. You don't bang your head against the wall for years attempting to change him.

And as far as responding objectively yourself, if you find yourself using the word "but" a lot - check yourself. If you find that you're basing your decisions on your emotions and how you feel versus logical, common sense - check yourself.

So for instance, if you find yourself saying, "He never calls when he says he will, and he never takes me out or treats me special - BUT he did do something nice for me when we first started dating, so I do think he's a good guy."

In that instance, what he did for you one time weeks or months ago has absolutely no bearing on what's currently taking place. And what's currently taking place in this instance is - the man is taking the woman for granted and not treating her well. And while yes, he may be a decent man - the reality is that he's a man that isn't making you happy. He's not the RIGHT man for you.

And this part of that statement "He never calls when he says he will, and he never takes me out or treats me special" - these are the facts. This part represents logic and common sense observations.

And this part of the sentence "- BUT he did do something nice for me when we first started dating, so I do think he's a good guy" are your emotions moving in, shoving logic and common sense aside. In this case, an emotional decision is being made versus a logical one based on the current facts. And when we use nothing but our emotions in our decision making process, it tends to lead to nothing but more of the same. It's a decision that enables the man to continue treating the woman poorly and taking her for granted, because she's permitting that treatment and dismissing the facts.

"How does one really see that the man truly cares outside of his willingness to pay for dates?"

The biggest way is to see if HE pursues YOU. When a man pursues a woman consistently for a length of time, he's interested in getting to know you. Consistency, reliability, the fact that he's a man of his word (his words align with his actions), he does special things for you, he treats you special, he calls, he stays in touch consistently, he's patient, he asks you questions about yourself, he doesn't push for sex - a steady pattern of all of the above signals that the man is interested in getting to know you. Because if he wasn't, he would bother working so hard and putting so much effort into the situation.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"I guess his words were reassuring and gave me hope that our interaction could be meaningful in the long run."

When those WORDS are NOT backed up by ACTIONS from the man - they're just words. Talk is cheap.

"We did talk about his not wanting a relationship"

When a man tells you this - BELIEVE HIM.

Having sex isn't going to change the fact that he doesn't want a commitment. Hanging out with him isn't going to change that either. When someone tells you that they're not seeking a commitment or a relationship, ALWAYS BELIEVE THEM.

Otherwise, if you go along with that, you're going to become an "F Buddy" or booty call in no time if you continue to proceed forward with a man after he has already told you he doesn't want a commitment.

"I ended this because it all started to seem one-sided as though he felt like sex was all I had to offer"

See what I mean?

It's not that he felt that sex was all you had to offer. . .it's that SEX IS ALL HE WANTED in the first place. And he told you that when he told you he didn't want a commitment or relationship, ya' know?

Which is why - when men say they don't want a relationship, BELIEVE THEM.

"I felt hurt--though understand it all could have been much worse"

It could've and be thankful it wasn't. But it could've also all been AVOIDED too. Because the man told you he didn't want a relationship. Sleeping with a man won't change that. Afterwards, he's still not going to want one and you're going to feel used.

So in the future, when a man tells you that - spare yourself the pain, grief and the feeling of being used. . .by walking away from him and moving on to find a man that wants the same things you want :-)

Anonymous said...

@Mirror-- February 12, 2016 at 9:34 A: Thanks again for your perspective. I can definitely see that sex is all he wanted as I'm comparing him to the new guy from work...who asked me to be exclusive with him last night (!!) after 4 months of quietly dating. Of course, I accepted and told my folks and friends right away. I didn't want to tip my hand and ask him for a commitment because, based on your previous responses, it seems like that would be the man's job if legitimately interested. I've never been in a real relationship and he's been pretty clear with his intentions (even giving me a gift on v-day after taking me out to dinner and a hookah lounge), but am open to seeing how it goes and continuing to maintain a full life so that I don't expect and need so much from the guy. I don't really know how else to proceed save for taking it one day at a time and keeping a very open mind. Thanks so much once again for your advice =)

Lottie said...

Hi, Ms Mirror, Ladies,

It's been a while, I thought I would just say hi. I love your new article Ms Mirror. I know you have spoken about this in the past, but it's a great topic and so important as it pretty much determines the progress of future dates.

Well I have been out of the dating loop for some time now. Definitely passed the half year mark, in fact Valentines day came and went and I was not bothered in the slightest.

I have to say though, that I had a wonderful dream a few days ago. It was as simple as this: I had met a man, he was a plain, joe blogs kind of a man. Not charismatic in anyway, more the type who could blend into the crowd and you would not notice was there. In fact he was pretty non-discript. All he had done was to put his hand on my lower back, which felt like he was supporting me. But as I sat on the sofa with him, I knew he was the one. I was at peace.

It meant a lot to me this dream.

I am living my life really contently. I still have no desire to date over the internet, although having some male company would be nice now, however, I do not feel out of balance for it.

I'm catching up on all the posts. Good to see so much strength and wisdom and learning being passed on and so much growth taking place.

Best Wishes everyone
Lottie x

Anonymous said...

It took me 3 years after the break up of my 23 year marriage to find love again, but I just kept meeting these passive, indecisive, evasive, ambiguous types. Actually, they would usually pay for the date, but all of their other actions were confusing. I wouldn't have it. As soon as I got the mixed messages I was gone. Then finally, I met a man who pursued me very intentionally. His words and actions were consistent. He knew what he wanted and he went after it. I never doubted his feelings or intentions for me. We've been together a little over a year now. I feel cherished and adored. I have never felt anxious over him for even a moment.

Anonymous said...

Mirror Aphrodite-

I just found your blog and can't thank you enough for the advice. This mirroring technique really works! I had one of those disappearing episodes a few weeks ago. I noticed that his texts were becoming infrequent with diminishing attempts to see me. We work in the same building so it’s not that hard. It felt like he was slowly inching away. I was forced to look at my behavior and realized that I appeared desperate. Long story short, I didn't contact him for a week. It was so hard to do. Every time I wanted to cave in, I would read your blog for strength, lol! He sent one of those "Hey" texts on Friday. I responded on Tuesday afternoon :). He responded immediately and even came to my office for a visit and asked me to lunch. I declined b/c "I'm busy and have other plans." We went to lunch the following day and had a great time. I want to text him today, but decided against it. I don’t want to fall into the same trap again. He knows where to find me :)

Here’s my question – Is it ever okay for a woman to pick up the tab? He’s always paid and I’d like to reciprocate. I’m guessing this would fall into the chasing him territory, right?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Jun 9, 12:45 PM,
"Is it ever okay for a woman to pick up the tab? He’s always paid and I’d like to reciprocate. I’m guessing this would fall into the chasing him territory, right?"

When you become an exclusive couple after he asks you for a commitment -- then you can pick up the tab once in a while.

But until that time, leave things be.

If you feel that he already started to inch away once because you appeared too eager/desperate. . .then don't give him that impression once again by transferring that behavior over onto a different medium - such as picking up the tab ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just discovered this site and Mirror, your writing style is uplifting and so insightful. Please could you shed some of your wisdom this way. When a guy disappears, when you both are getting on well, how do u know whether he is pulling back because he is scared of his feelings developing or because he is simply bored. In my situation, it is the 3rd time in a 5 month affair that he has stopped initiating contact. First for 2 weeks, then 11 days and currently 5 days into another one. Each time I do not contact him at all but he comes back as if nothing happened. He is emotionally immature and has said this cant get serious and that he will never let it happen (i.e fall in love).

I have come on strong with him initially but have backed off once I realised how he feels about love. Please help. I'm confused.

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Nov 22, 10:47 AM,
"He is emotionally immature and has said this cant get serious and that he will never let it happen"

Your answer is right there - he's already provided it.

He is emotionally unavailable, and he will not "invest" emotionally into the situation. Which is why he's disappearing / reappearing and treating this as something casual.

If you do not want a casual relationship, and you want something committed. . .I hate to say this, but you're not going to get that from this man :-(

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. I guess what I was hoping to hear was there is a chance that he pulls away because he may develop feelings that he doesn't want to have. To state clearly that he will never let himself fall in love, is that not an indication of his fear of that emotion? Or am I just in denial of the reality that this is nothing more than casual to him :-(

Anonymous said...

I must be the 2000th person writing this, but omg Mirror your site is a life-saver!! I have a situation that is hunting me at the moment and I’d love to get your perspective on this.

A couple of months ago I started chatting on social media with this coworker. He is quite senior in the company, while I am lower on the ranking, but we don’t work together and our company is very relaxed in terms of dating colleagues. He initially came on pretty strong and during the first few conversations he made it very clear he was interested in me. He definitely chased me.

A few weeks later we both went out with colleagues and we ended up alone after everyone left. We grabbed a last drink, chatted nicely and he kissed me, many times. It was all quite “romantic” and he did not put it on a sexual level at all, in fact he called a cab for me when I said I wanted to go home and paid for it. While chatting he mentioned that since becoming single again he dated a couple of girls but things never worked out because they expected the relationship to move forward very quickly and did not have the patience to see how things developed spontaneously.

After that night he kept messaging me regularly and showing interest in me, but he never asked me out on a date. He travels a lot for work and when he is out of town he does not keep in touch with me (red flag?). When he is back in town he usually messages me immediately and keeps in touch with me regularly. I once suggested that instead of going out with a group of coworkers again maybe we should grab a drink alone, and he said he agreed but never followed up arranging an actual time (red flag!). Now he is gone on a business trip again for two weeks and I am irrationally worried he won’t message me again when he is back. I feel so silly and pathetic; I should know better!!

I am torn on this one: I keep telling myself that if he was really into me he would have asked me out already and that I should stop replaying to his silly texts, but at the same time I wonder if I just need to wait this out and maybe he will eventually come around and ask me out? On the other hand, I am kicking myself in the butt because I don’t want to be this silly girl getting all worked up because of a guy she barely knows!!

I hope I will get some wisdom from you Mirror. If I won’t, I promise I will keep reading your blog because it is fantastic anyway :) Thank you!

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@ANonymous Dec 13, 10:47 AM,
"I hope I will get some wisdom from you Mirror."

I would sit tight and be patient for now. Remember, he said this, "he dated a couple of girls but things never worked out because they expected the relationship to move forward very quickly and did not have the patience to see how things developed spontaneously."

He could be testing you a bit. And this could just be the natural pace that he's willing to move at.

By not moving quickly, he's testing your emotional resolve. Will you come unglued, chase him down, and become an overnight stalker? Or will you continue to move forward with your own life, fulfilled by it and not necessarily needing a man in order to complete it, and just let him catch up to you?

That could be what he's waiting to see here. I would not emotionally invest into this or him. I would continue to live my life as I see fit without him. I would answer his texts when it's convenient for me, not when it's convenient for him necessarily. And I would keep moving forward.

If he wants you, he knows where to find you -- and he will seek you out ;-)

Lottie said...

Hi Ms Mirror,

I wanted to let you know of a chap that I met at the beginning of the year. I seldom date now, not because I have given up hope but because I let life unfold.

Saying that, at the beginning of the year I was feeling rather sorry for myself. The harsh winter had taken it's toll and I was sick in bed for a few days. I hated being incapacitated and really was looking for someone to talk too. I signed up to a dating site. My profile was brief but I guess I just wanted to connect with someone.

So there was really ever one guy who caught my attention. He wrote in length and tbh passed my rigorous but subtle screening process. I didn't talk to anyone else apart from him.

We moved the conversation from online to the phone and had some pleasant conversations. He is a few years older than me but no major difference in our thoughts.

I allowed him to pursue and set the date and the venue of our first date. It just so happened to be on Valentines day. He asked me if I was ok with that and I said that was fine with me. He was excited but in restrained manner.

Any way we had a nice first date. Just a drink in a bar locally which he paid for.
He is a genuine person and I knew I was not dealing with a player or anything of that sort.

He talked about his dating experiences which had not been too positive. He couldn't seem to fathom why things had not worked out for him. He had his own home and a job and as he said he "ticked all the boxes"

I had picked up on some baggage he was carrying around with him. Anyway it was a nice evening.

So we exchanged a few messages over the week and then he asked me over WhatsApp if a show was something that I wanted to do. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. It was quite an extravagant gesture (the tickets are very expensive) and I didn't feel I knew him that well. More like a 3rd - 4th date thing once I was a bit more comfortable in his presence. Slightly more committed?

I didn't commit to it but said that I had heard some good things about it.

He did arrange a second date and I had travelled into town to meet him after work. Ms Mirror I don't date that often as I mention so when I do I make an effort and wore a nice dress that evening.

We went to a bar and had a drink and talked. He bought the drinks again. I was picking up on some negative vibes at this stage. Not towards me but at the way he perceived the world to be. I knew where he was coming from. I knew the pressures he had been under being the only son to Asian parents and the demands of marriage that must have been put on him. Let me tell you, it's an awful feeling. I have had that put on me too. And the guilt and feelings of failure that you carry around can be like a lead weight and can really affect your self esteem.

I have fought hard to not let that define me. I refuse to be unhappy because I was unable to fulfill someone else desires.

He talked to me about some of things that had been said to him and the way he had been set up with girls in the past without any consideration for his character.

I was empathic. So we went for dinner after, he hadn't booked anywhere, but that didn't bother me. I knew he was a thoughtful guy.

It was a busy place and we came across a pizza place which was fine with me.

So we had dinner and some wine and after the meal I was cradling my wine glass and he took my hand and started to caress it. Now ordinarily I maybe would mind, but I knew he was a genuine guy and there was nothing that made me feel that he was too forward. In fact I know this is something that he does not do too often.

It had been a few years since a guy had held my hand. My cheeks were blushing ...but I was more surprised at my behavior at letting him do that.

Lottie said...

Part 2

He then pulled out a small box of chocolates and handed them to me. He said he wanted to give them to me on Valentines day (our first date) but that would be a bit cheesy.

I said it was a very sweet gesture and accepted them gracefully.

I mentioned a conversation that I had had with a friend of mine about receiving flowers or chocolates on a first date. My friend was totally against it. I on the other hand said it was a very sweet gesture and would not mind at all.

He quizzed me about why it had taken me a while to get to this point (i.e. the dates) . Was I screening him?
I said yes I was and that I don't date that often so I make sure that the guy is all that he says he is.

We also talked about some of the old fashioned values that we had grown up with.

So the bill comes at this point. Ms mirror, it's not an expensive place and he has a card with gives him money of this place.

So I asked gently "could I pay half?". I wasn't being forward I said it in a polite manner. His reply "if you want"

Do you know what that does? I couldn't help it but my heart sank. It was the way in which he said it. "if you want" he was so indifferent.

He knew I was there seriously...but who knows what was going thru his mind.
Anyway we walked back to the train station and yes a part of the romance was killed off that evening.

Like you say it is not about the money..it never is.
After a few days reflection I wondered why he hadn't "flicked my switch".

I had picked up on something’s. He wasn't his best self. I could see he had been very harsh on himself and his thoughts and views were limited.

When he had told me that he couldn't understand why things hadn't worked out for him even though he ticked all the boxes. I thought to myself that's not what we fall for. Of course security is important I have the same things you have. I look for confidence. Confidence in yourself. Love for yourself and to be comfortable in your own skin. I didn't get that from him.

Anyway on the way home I was waiting for my train and a chap was passing. A city worker, maybe slightly drunk, who just came up to me and shook my hand. "you're a pretty lady. I'm Steve" and then gave me a peck on the cheek. He then got on his train. It was bizarre but made me smile. All my years from traveling on the trains that has never happened to me. I’m quite sensible Ms Mirror but I knew he was harmless.

I guess maybe that’s all it can take. A Sincere compliment to push those buttons.
As the train stopped at a station a man walking outside blew me a kiss. I thought this is very strange. Two in one night!!

So after a few days we talked on the phone and he told me how he had found me refreshing…and he hoped that I hadn't taken it badly to him holding my hand. I told him that I was ok with that. I was quite honest when I said I was unsure though about how I was feeling at this time. I didn’t say no. He suggested a movie at the end of the week or when he returned from holiday in a couple of weeks time. I said that would be lovely. I was willing to give it some time.

A big part of me really wanted to give him a big hug…that he so needed. Just some care that he didn’t seem to have been given in his life. But I didn’t feel it was my place to do this.

He hasn’t followed up and he has returned from his holidays. If I was totally honest, I feel his confidence was knocked. But Ms Mirror, I am not harsh in anyway. If that comment caused him to back off then I don’t think we are meant for each other. There is not much he needs to do. He knows I am sincere and if he were to pick up the phone he would be greeted well.

I don’t feel like following up. There is some work he needs to do on himself first. He is into his 40's.

I thought I would share this.

Best Wishes
Lottie x

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

A man needs to feel appreciated, and a woman needs to feel desired. When a man provides for a woman, it stirs something primal in her and she begins to consider him romantically. And in doing so, she begins to appreciate him more and more.

Thus, the two begin fulfilling each others basic primal needs.

It's the foundation that healthy relationships that feel fulfilling to both parties are built on. And no matter how much society tries to change that. . .it remains a basic primal reality.

Thank you so very much for sharing that story.

"So I asked gently "could I pay half?". I wasn't being forward I said it in a polite manner. His reply "if you want." Do you know what that does? I couldn't help it but my heart sank."

Yep, I know what that does. It makes you feel bad about yourself, as if you're not worth treating special. It makes you question yourself. It disappoints you. And instead of creating romantic feelings towards the man, it creates a lot of negative feelings of self-doubt, uncertainty and confusion.

If a man acts like he could care less that he's out with you as a woman that night and a potential romantic partner. . .then how the hell can he expect you to look at him as anyone you'd want to spend time around again?

If you do not come as your best self, and strive to impress (create positive feelings in the other individual). . .then that other individual isn't going to go home with lingering feelings of wanting to spend more time with you.

The best way I can put it for any men reading here (and you know you are) would be this analogy:

A man not picking up the tab for a woman he's asked on a date is akin to a woman showing up for the date in a robe with curlers in her hair.

What would you instantly think about the woman, guys? You'd think, "Wow, she doesn't even care!"

And how would being around her make you feel? You'd feel confused, and you'd start to question yourself and wonder why she didn't bother to dress up (to try to impress you).

And how would you view this woman? What would the impression of her you'd be left with be? You'd think she was a lazy slob and that's how you'd view her.

That's the impression you make on a woman when you ask her for her time, ask her out on a date, she fixes herself up for you. . .and you refuse to pay the tab.

Thanks again for sharing that Lottie. I'm sure a lot of women reading here will appreciate that, whether they comment on it or not, it will reach the people it's supposed to reach and impart the message it's meant to impart onto them ;-)

Lottie said...

Thanks Ms Mirror.

You are very right.
Primal Feelings are embedded in us, no matter how much we try to sugar coat it.They exist and they do matter.

If you are both serious make it count. It does so matter.
Best Wishes
Lottie x

Anonymous said...

Hi mirror, we are both in our thirties, mostly a long distance relationship. been together for 5months now. he says he loves me, yet our convos are completely one sided. he never even asks me how my day is, everything is all about him, i've brought this up to him many times, he says "i don't know, doesn't cross my mind babe." Personally I feel often that he isn't emotionally there for me, and as if a connection or something is missing. He says he is focused on his goals. He acts broke, but has a full time job, and literally he does nothing with his time but go to work and then home and repeat. I recently spent hundreds flying out to see him for a week. During one of our random adventures of hangingout that week, we decided to eat/drink at a casual dining place. When the bill came, he paid, and he said aloud "there's your 1 dinner since you say I haven't paid for a proper dinner yet". I found that very rude. He wouldn't pay for any other outtings that week when i was there, and he said he is broke because he is trying to pay off a credit card as quickly as possible and he said that that's where all his extra income goes. I've never dated anyone so cheap or selfish like this before. He only seems to care about his personal goals over the relationship with me. Ironically, he wants to live together! I find it very strange that money is such a concern to him, yet he isn't educated in making finacially wise decisions, he doesn't understand credit/interest rates etc, nor does he care to learn. A lot of our convos are all about money, earning money, and when debts will be paid off. Ironically, he sits in front of the tv during ALL of his free time and he doesn't know anything about the interest rates on any of his loans. Any advice for me? I find this situation maddening :-/

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Dec 8, 3:00 PM,
"he says he loves me, yet our convos are completely one sided. he never even asks me how my day is, everything is all about him, i've brought this up to him many times, he says "i don't know, doesn't cross my mind babe."

When a mans WORDS and his ACTIONS do not align - that's a sign that something is amiss.

If he truly loves and it doesn't cross his mind to talk about anything other than himself constantly. . .then that's a sign of selfishness.

"I feel often that he isn't emotionally there for me, and as if a connection or something is missing."

That's a sign of emotional unavailability.

"When the bill came, he paid, and he said aloud "There's your 1 dinner since you say I haven't paid for a proper dinner yet."

Okay, now this guy's really looking like a selfish, entitled asshole that cannot even provide for the woman he claims to love but can readily take affection, appreciation and I'm assuming sexual contact from.

When someone takes, takes, takes and gives nothing in return, they're not someone you benefit from spending time with. They don't add value to your life. Instead, they constantly steal from it.

This man cannot provide, is emotionally unavailable, selfish and acts entitled to your company -- even though he has absolutely NOTHING to offer you in return.

"He wouldn't pay for any other outings that week when i was there"

You know what? He has no business dating then. And he should not be receiving the reward of sex or a woman's company for being a failure as a man.


There's nothing worse than a cheap man that's completely okay with acting like a woman. That's what he's doing here. He's taking on the feminine submissive role and handing over his masculine male leadership/provider role to you - as if you're courting him like he's a woman.

NOT attractive at all.

Is that what he's going to do with his wife someday? Kick back and do nothing but take care of himself, while she's working two jobs, rearing two of his kids and nurturning him like he's a third child?

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Is that what he thinks a woman's purpose is - to provide for a man and care for him like he's a child? What does he think a man's role is? Does he not view the man as the leader and provider?

You really need to recognize and think about these things dear. Understand that when you're dating someone, what you are actually doing is seeing what it'd be like to be with them in a committed relationship. Will they fulfill your needs? Can you fulfill theirs? Are you a natural fit? Is this the kind of man that, when hard times come - he steps up to the plate and provides? Or is this the type of man that, when hard times come - he's full of excuses for why he can't provide and is a failure as a man. . .yet still feels entitled to all the things a man should have?

I hate to say this but, men like this aren't fully "cooked" yet. They've got a lot of growing up to do. They've got to mature emotionally to be fully "baked" and understand what it truly means to be a good man LOL.

This guy isn't ready for a real relationship or the hard work, dedication and investment that one requires. These types of men don't make for satisfying boyfriends, lovers or life long spouses. These types of men will disappoint you eventually over and over again and let you down. You can't depend on these types of men. They're careless; they're not responsible or reliable and many times - they are all talk, no follow through.

Thus, endless disappointment time and time again.

Which is why I say men like this have no business dating. Anything worth having in life requires work and investment. Whether that's a friendship, a career or a relationship - every single one of them requires an investment of some sort. Either in time investment, dedication investment, financial investment, mental investment, emotional investment and otherwise.

While I respect him for wanting to pay his credit card down, it's also an indication to me that he went wild with the credit card, was careless and reckless, over spent -- thus, requiring 100% of his finances to now pay it down.

Is that how he manages his life? Is that how he manages his finances? Is that how he manages his bills? And is that how he'd manage his marital home as well? Something to think about.

A man with that much debt has no business dating right now. It's as simple as that. If you cannot afford to invest into a woman, then you have not earned the right to her time, affection and company. This man isn't investing into you emotionally, financially or otherwise.

So what's in it for you? Are you having fun? Are you enjoying this? Or is he becoming more like a burden and responsiblity to care for without any return on YOUR investment into HIM? Is he becoming a financial drain?

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

If you're not enjoying yourself, and this man isn't even able to make you feel special in any small way at all - this isn't a relationship worth continuing I'm sorry to say. If it's not enjoyable, there's no reason to continue.

Guys - when you're broke, don't go onto a dating site. Don't attempt to participate in an activity that requires an investment from you when you have absolutely nothing to invest. Women aren't going to enjoy your company, and you're not impressing anyone at all. Don't expect women to spend lots of money on clothing to look good on your arm and impress you. Don't expect them to spend lots of money on their hair to do the same. Don't expect them to get thier nails done, or spend time on their personal hygiene for your pleasure. And don't expect them to spend hundreds travleing to see you. . .

When you DON'T HAVE A POT TO PISS IN and absolutely nothing to offer in return.

If you can compensate for your lack of fund by making an emotional investment into the woman instead, then fine. If you can do small, thoughtful things that are inexpensive but make the woman smile and feel special and beautiful and good about herself, then fine.

But DO NOT expect to make ZERO investment while you stand there and receive, receive, receive like you've just hit the lottery.

Grow up. Take responsibility, and take the lead like a man. That's impressive to a woman - even when the man lacks financial resources. It's disgusting and an enormous turnoff to a woman when a man is okay with having nothing to offer, yet sits there expectant and entitled as if the woman should jump through hoops to impress him and make him happy. . .and he doesn't have to do a thing to impress her and make her happy.

Don't expect others to reward you for your poor treatment of them.

No woman is gonna' love you like your mother does - except your mother. Don't expect that of a woman you're dating without any investment whatsoever on your part. She didn't give birth to you. She doesn't have to love you, provide for you or care for you. She can give you those things if you PROVE you're WORTHY of them. (Just like she has to prove to you she's worthy of your investment.)

But you are not entitled to those things from her simply because you exist.

"I've never dated anyone so cheap or selfish like this before."

It's a turnoff. And you should seriously consider NOT dating him at all anymore. He doesn't deserve to be rewarded with the company of a woman until he can provide something in return and has something to offer. Whether that be emotional, financial, mental, spiritual or otherwise.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

This guy sounds like a total drag. This cannot possibly be an enjoyable experience for you :-(

"Ironically, he wants to live together!"

OF COURSE HE DOES. You're paying his way and providing for him. You're nurturing him. You're giving him your attention. You're feeding him. You're paying for entertainment for him. I'm assuming you're providing some sort of sexual enjoyment for him. You're investing in him emotionally. You're likely providing emotional support to him.

Who WOULDN'T want to capitalize on that by tossing in free room, board and food on top of all that LOL???

This guy's looking for someone to mother him without asking for anything in return but his mere presence.

"yet he isn't educated in making finacially wise decisions, he doesn't understand credit/interest rates etc, nor does he care to learn."

As I stated earlier, his behavior is telling you something. Are you listening to what it's telling you?

It's telling you that this man is irresponsible, unreliable, careless and reckless. And those are not attractive qualities to have in a mate - male or female.

"A lot of our convos are all about money, earning money, and when debts will be paid off."

He's looking for a free ride so watch out.

"I find this situation maddening"

Then remove yourself from it. It's really as simple as that.

It only feels complicated because as humans, we often let our emotions cloud our judgment. It's only when we are able to set our emotions aside that we see clearly and logically. Take off the rose colored glasses and take a good long look at this man for who he is. Not what he MIGHT be someday. . .but who he TRULY IS, right now.

For you, I think this should be easy. I think the answer for what to do lies in your response to two very simple questions with either a yes or a no (not "well, if he'd just. . ."):

1) Are you having fun and enjoying dating this man? Yes or no?
2) Do you think this man is capable of fulfilling your needs and making you happy? Yes or no?

If the answers above are a resounding NO, then you know what to do. Walk away - no run - NOW.

Before you end up claiming this man as a dependent on your next tax return LOL ;-)

This man can't even take care of himself and his own needs, let alone provide for another (or even contribute his fair share) and fulfill the needs of another.

Anonymous said...

Loved your article as always!

So I was dating this (slightly introverted) gentleman (41-year-old Taurus Sun, Cancer Moon) for a few weeks... I said "gentleman" because he was in every sense of the word: he paid for all the dates, he initiated contact more than once a day every day (I never had to initiate once the entire time), wanted to see me frequently, consistent, always thoughtful and respectful, showed a lot of affection but never tried to touch me improperly (didn't even mention sex)... until he just disappeared one day.

To say I was completely blindsided is an understatement. Sure, he was dealing with a divorce but he didn't seem affected by it much when we were together. He told all his friends about me and seemed genuinely excited about a future with me. I even felt that he was starting to fall for me. I never initiated ANY talk about emotion/ feelings/ relationship/ future/ where this is going etc. Heck, I didn't even initiate contact AT ALL (cos he always did!). And I always encouraged him to spend time with his friends. So basically he did all the pursuing and I just leaned back and received with gratitude and affection. What went wrong?

I haven't attempted contact since he disappeared and am not planning to. I just don't understand how this happened when everything was going so well.

Mirror, I guess my question is, why did he just disappear like this? I'm starting to move on and talk to other men, but I'm really baffled by his disappearance. He's the most gentlemanly guy I've met in years so that's why I said I was blindsided :(


The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

"Sure, he was dealing with a divorce but he didn't seem affected by it much when we were together."

As someone who's been through a divorce, I can honestly say that you're affected by it every single moment of the day, for years. It's easy to hide in public, but in private it's a living hell.

You lose friends. You lose family. You lose your home and your lifestyle. And if you're suffering emotionally and cannot control it, you can even lose your job. There's no escaping the consequences of divorce.

The loss is SO much more than just that of your spouse. And this can weigh heavily on a person's mind and create a lot of emotional turmoil that goes unseen to the public eye.

"What went wrong?"

I suspect that this man wasn't truly ready to move on emotionally. He may have thought he was. He gave it an honest try. But my guess is that something emotionally inside of him has caused him to become fearful and hesitant.

"why did he just disappear like this?"

Assuming he is well and nothing unexpectedly terrible happened to him. . .this is likely the result of him not being ready for this, and not knowing how to handle it emotionally -- because he was already somewhat emotionally "broken" when you met him.

I know he seemed fine when you met him, and everything seemed fine when you dated him. But honestly, if someone can through a divorce "just fine" - there's something wrong with them.

Divorce is so upsetting and life disrupting to the individual's experiencing it and all of their immediate family and circle of friends around them. Things may seem fine on the surface, but there's a lot boiling underneath it.

Loss, gossip, rumors, everyone whispering about your personal situation, people sharing their opinions behind your back, people acting differently towards you, the involvement of attorneys, ongoing litigation that feels like it's never going to end, fights and arguments, shame and odd feelings of guilt, extreme sadness, disappointment, lost hopes and dreams. . .I could go on and on.

Cont. . .

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

All of the above gets carried around like silent emotional baggage and it weighs you down over time - it's like carrying around a 200 pound weight on you back up a hill. At first you think you're prepared. When the gun sounds, you're off and running, full of vigor and strength making your way up the hill and moving on.

But after a while of running, you begin to notice that enormous weight on your back. You try to remain strong, but your stamina and endurance is now being tested. Your pace slows, your legs weaken, and your mind starts to succumb to thoughts of possibly losing this race. You start to think, "How on earth am I going to be able to keep this pace up with this 200 pound weight on my back?"

But you give it your all and you carry on. Up the hill, dragging the enormous weight of all that emotional baggage with you. As you go on, it's tearing you down slowly and silently. By the time you near the top of the hill, you're ready to just give up. You're ready to give up in an effort to escape the enormous weight on your back. The last leg of that climb to the top of the hill so you can truly move on is THE WORST.

By the time you get there, you're feeling beat up, worn out, hopeless and exhausted. Not to mention, the entire time you've been trying to make it up that hill with that 200 pound weight on your back - you've been suffering in silence.

That's likely how this happened dear. After his separation he was off and running, thinking he had this all figured out. He took off with lots of vigor and headed towards a new life. And for a while, he was successful. He was able to enjoy himself for a while. But as time went on, he began to feel weighed down by all the emotional baggage he was likely carrying from his divorce. . .and it began to slow him down. By the time he was near the top of the hill (close to a relationship), he felt the full weight of that baggage and it brought him to a full collapse and he just gave up.

And NONE of that has ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU. None of it at all.

You will likely hear from this man again at some point in the future. But it probably won't be any time soon. It may be a month or more before he circles back around. So continue moving on trekking along your own path and if he wants you dear - he knows where to find you and he'll seek you out.

In the meantime, don't beat yourself up over this. You were an innocent individual that got caught up in someone else's battle and became collateral damage. I suspect this man didn't mean to hurt you.

None of this is your fault. And nothing you would've said or done could've changed the outcome.

MondayGirl said...

I completely agree with this article, I have been in the new online dating world for almost 2 years now (after a 15 year marriage/23 year relationshop) - and personally, go on a lot of first dates (only been on 3 second dates in all this time) - and I offer to pay on the date each time - HOWEVER, if they man ever took my money, I would not think him worthy of a second date (lol).

Anonymous said...

Hi Mirror
I was dating a man who told me that he expects his gf to treat him to holidays (buying air tickets with a birthday meal) every year on his birthday bcos he expects his partner to show her appreciation that he pays for the meal when we meet once a week. Do u think hes out to exploit women? Also when its my birthday i do not have any request for a lavish present because its the thoughts that count I feel;. What do u think abt all these?

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Sun, 2:37 AM,
"I was dating a man who told me that he expects his gf to treat him to holidays (buying air tickets w/a birthday meal) every year on his birthday - he expects his partner to show her appreciation that he pays for the meal when we meet once a week."

That's the most absurd thing I've heard in a long time.

A man should buy a woman he asks on a date a meal because he WANTS to provide for her, treat her special, and prove his worth to her as a good provider (should the union ever produces offspring / children).

A man that does this in exchange for a birthday vacation every year isn't truly invested in the relationship. And by invested I'm not referring to money -- I'm referring to his "emotional investment."

A man that is emotionally invested in a woman genuinely cares for her and WANTS to do these things for her.

This man is looking at a relationship from a "what's in it for me" perspective, without taking into consideration that he's receiving the woman's time, attention, companionship, commitment, emotional support and likely - sex - as if he's entitled to all of that (for free w/o any exchange of romance or romantic actions in return).

It's a classic case of "entitlement."

And it shows that he places NO VALUE on the things he's CURRENTLY RECEIVING from the woman.

Anonymous said...

*** PART 1***

Hi Mirror

I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you to you. I’m 42 and I’ve had THE most disastrous dating history ever – I’ve had every form of d**k head going. Every single one of them has been in some form or another a wrong 'un; abusive, secretly married, mentally ill due to abusing drugs, manipulative, work shy, non-committal, still-living-with-parents-aged-38-and-not-even-paying-rent...the list goes on. I’ve been reading your articles and comments for around four years now. During this time I’ve had two 'relationships' (if you can call them that) with disappearing/reappearing man-babies. I’ve crumbled a couple of times, letting them back more times than I should have but I dealt with them let me say 'better' than I would have had I not have had access to your articles/advice. Without your advice I would have given them way more chances (I gave them each three) and taken them back way more times than I actually did. Each time they did disappear, because of your advice, I never once chased them and I never reached out to them first, I never went crazy and to that extent kept my dignity 100% intact and that is massively down to you and all of your advice – wish I’d have had the strength to have gone that one step further and cut them off the first time they disappeared, but hey ho.

Three weeks ago I joined a dating site for the first time with very low expectation and only chose to do so at that point because I felt educated and strong enough, thanks to you, to be able to deal with the brutal world of online dating. In my mind I set certain boundaries, for example, I wouldn’t respond to someone sending a smiley face as a first message (lazy), I wouldn’t respond to those who hadn’t put effort into writing a profile (even more lazy), I wouldn’t reply to those who lived more than 20 miles away from me (pointless) etc. The very first man who contacted me that met all of my ‘requisite requirements’ has turned out (so far) to be amazing.

He asked for my number within 12 hours of contacting me, he’s called me every day since and checks in (with a couple of texts) throughout the day despite having a very, very demanding job. He initiated our first date three days after we had started talking, he came over my way and we went for an evening meal at a very exclusive spa hotel – he insisted on the lounge menu rather than the bar menu. We had a great time, laughed and chatted nonstop. He wouldn’t even let me see the bill let alone contribute to it and I can assure you it wasn’t cheep! At the end of the date that evening, he walked me to my car (he was parked in a different car park), held my arm whilst I negotiated walking down slippery steps in very high heels, opened my car door for me, gave me an acceptably brief kiss on the lips and then we went our separate ways. Knowing that it would take me around 10 minutes to drive home he called me 20 minutes later to make sure I’d got home safe and arranged a second date (which actually didn’t happen because he was genuinely ill and had to cancel). He’s carried on calling me every night and checking in on me without fail. Not once have I had to initiate a text or telephone conversation with him, he sends me a 'morning' and 'good night' text message every day. We have arranged a second date for tomorrow now that he’s better. I’m going over to his late afternoon, his plan is for us to eat out in the evening and then spend a day out together on Sunday (I’m staying over at his but agreed only after he said he has a second bedroom which he is under no illusion that I am sleeping in...alone).

Anonymous said...

***PART 2***

What I’m saying is that I now, finally understand how dating should work and how a genuine, interested adult male acts. By setting boundaries and being clear about them he is being respectful I assume because he knows that I respect myself (finally – it’s taken long enough).

For the very first time in my life I don’t feel anxious and I’m not constantly worried that he’s going to let me down or disappear on me – if he did I wouldn’t even bother giving him another chance, because there’s no point. Those types of men will never change. Now, this may not work out, I realise that and it’s very, very early days, but at least I now know what a genuinely interested man looks like and does. This one is so intelligent, funny and caring but I’m going to continue to read all of your posts for continuing strength and education. THANK YOU SO MUCH, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and how much you have helped me. You’re an amazing person, with such a fabulous way of explaining all things relationship related! Without your advice I’d still be chasing after losers and giving them chance after chance to treat me like, well, shit really! I just can’t say thank you enough! Now that I've actually found a gentleman the whole picture of what you advise us ladies to do and how to love and respect ourselves and what we should expect from a man is completely clear - there's no going back for me now, never will I entertain a d**k head man ever again, and that Mirror is ALL down to you xxx

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous Jan 18, 9:06 AM,
"What I’m saying is that I now, finally understand how dating should work and how a genuine, interested adult male acts."

Isn't it a wonderful thing to meet a gentleman? A real man that makes all others pale miserably in comparison is such a breath of fresh air. It can literally be a life-changing event.

"By setting boundaries and being clear about them he is being respectful because he knows that I respect myself."

Confidence = attractive.
Needy and Insecure = unattractive (but great doormat).

And it works both ways.

By him showing you respect, you in turn now respect him -- and his leadership skills as a man.

You will find that you can slowly begin to "rest easy" and feel secure in the relationship, trust the decisions he's making, trust that he's always got your best interests at heart. . .and simply ENJOY THE DATING EXPERIENCE for once.

Instead of, as previously, living in a state of suspended anxiety wondering what stunt the fools are going to pull next and being miserable all the time in the process LOL ;-)

"For the very first time in my life I don’t feel anxious and I’m not constantly worried that he’s going to let me down or disappear on me."

BINGO! There you go. . .it's already happening. ENJOY IT.

"Now, this may not work out, I realise that and it’s very, very early days, but at least I now know what a genuinely interested man looks like and does."

Exactly. Keep it all in perspective. Don't get ahead of yourself. Maintain realistic expectations.

At the very least, as you've stated, this is a WONDERFUL learning experience. One that enables you to now know YOUR TRUE VALUE as woman. . .so that you NEVER settle for anything less ever again.

So no matter what happens from this point on - it's a win either way.

"Now that I've actually found a gentleman the whole picture of what you advise us ladies to do and how to love and respect ourselves and what we should expect from a man is completely clear - there's no going back for me now."

I'm so very happy that you've shared this. Makes my heart feel light. Let's me know that I'm contributing to the greater good in a positive way :-)

Now pass the message onto others.

Support the women in your life with great advice. Show them compassion and understanding (mixed with a dose of tough love if necessary lol), and always provide them guidance when it's requested. They will falter. They will fall. But when that happens, reach out and pull them up. Brush them off, help them get recover their sense of self-worth. . .and send them off again surrounded by light and love.

And always remember, we're all together traveling this journey called life :-)

Anonymous said...

...and now to quote you...

I'm so very happy that you've shared this. Makes my heart feel light. Let's me know that I'm contributing to the greater good in a positive way :-)

You have sorted my BRAIN out, so that my heart has gone light. Believe me, four years of reading, I’m putting the work in and I’m getting there. If I could hug you now, I would. Again, this may not work out BUT I know for the first time what I’m worth... aged 42. X

Anonymous said...

From @Anonymous Sun, 2:37 AM,
Tks Mirror for ur reply. I also think hes being absurb. Had THE TALK w him and he was so defensive n insistant on his stance. I am placing him on the back burner LOL

Angelica | 555 meaning said...

This was very well indeed thought-provoking. I especially loved that you included Jack Nicholson's video :)

Laura J said...

Mirror, are there any MOG social media accounts? If not, please please please consider creating a MOG Insta, Twitter or You Tube Channel. It could def expand your reach and the cgannel could possibly get monotized, which would help get you vack for the time and wirk yoube put into this. Much love :)

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Laura J,
"Mirror, are there any MOA social media accounts?"

I don't participate in the social media world much, if at all. I understand there's value in it. But I also understand that the field is saturated with "dating experts" of all kinds these days.

So I don't put much weight into it.

I'd rather not be "one of many" out there in that arena. And truth be told, it's very difficult to deliver the full scope of the messages in 140 characters, or 4 minutes of video. A lot of the concepts around dating and mating are complex and involved, and cannot be summed up that easily or that simply.

Additionally, the stories that women share in the comments on these articles (and the responses provided), help other women. They can relate to many of those stories themselves.

As well, nothing on social media these days in anonymous. And it can all be tracked.

No woman (or man) really wants to pour his heart and soul out online, under their real identity, for the entire world (and the person they're involved with) to see and pour over freely.

The reason this website has grown in the manner it has -- is because it provides the security of anonymity. Your ex can't stalk your story here. The guy you're involved with can't track this down. Your family and friends can't find your deepest thoughts here.

That's always been INCREDIBLY important to me. To provide women a safe space to freely engage in discussions about all their fears and anxieties surrounding their romantic lives and experiences.

Everyone can find you on social. AND they can put you on blast if they're cut from that cloth.

The worries of that don't exist here. Because I've spent years creating a safe space for women to exchange advice, share stories, and support one another.

Money is nice. But for me, when I started this website and even now today ... it's always been about the support and the message.

When your intention is pure, the blessings follow. Somehow - some way - those blessings come and find you anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

This advice is nonsense. Men owe nothing to women, and women owe nothing to men. Ladies are not a prize, and men are not leaders or pursuers. Everyone should simply take care of themselves, even in a relationship. Relationships aren't about doing things for each other, they are simply an expression saying "Hey, I don't find you abhorrent, and you seem to feel similarly about me, so we should both do our own independent activities, but in the general proximity of each other". Nothing more, nothing less. Now woman or man should be pursued, and no one should pay for anyone in life but themselves (that goes for children as well).

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

@Anonymous June 14 at 3:38AM,
Your definition of a relationship is your own. If what you've read here isn't in alignment with your views, then it's likely best to not visit again as this content clearly isn't of value to you.

However, I will respond by providing my own opinion for the benefit of readers since you took the time to comment.

The relationship you're describing is that of roommates, friends and companionship and nothing more by virtue of its definition. Here's your definition of a romantic relationship "I don't find you abhorrent so we should hang out together independently."

Now here's the formal definition of roommates "a person occupying the same room as another." The formal definition of friendship "a person known well to another and regarded with liking." And the definition of companionship "a feeling of fellowship."

The definition of romantic love is very different from what you've stated. The definition of romantic love is "a feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the courtship behaviors undertaken by an individual to express those overall feelings and resultant emotions."

Without those courtship behaviors, it's nothing more than friendship. It's the courtship behaviors that differentiate friendship and companionship from a romantic relationship.

What you're describing does not contain any COURTSHIP BEHAVIORS. There are no behaviors present to generate and elicite romantic feelings. Without courtship behaviors there's nothing romance related AT ALL. So what you're left with is nothing more than friendship.

If a guy takes me on a date and doesn't pay, that's fine, that's great. I'm going to view him as nothing more than my friend. And I'm going to begin approaching that relationship as friendship. Because that's what his actions have signaled to me. He hasn't participated in any courtship behaviors that would signal to me that he has a romantic interest in me. So I will proceed accordingly as friends.

Cont ...

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

I don't need this man to buy me dinner or an ice cream cone. I can buy my own dinner. I can purchase my own ice cream cone. But if he buys me dinner, then I know a few things instantly. I know that:

1) he's treating me special (so now I'm going to begin to view him as MORE THAN A FRIEND).
2) he's showing he's willing to provide which is attractive to women on a primal level (so now I'm going to begin to develop an attraction towards him).
3) he's showing that he's willing to put effort into our relationship (so I'm going to begin to reciprocae that effort back to HIM so as to create a healthy energy exchange of equal give and take that's mutually balanced).

That ONE dinner has now shifted this man from the friend zone into the zone of romantic possibility as a potential mate.

I'm now viewing him different from the way I view my male friends. I'm also now interacting with him differently than my male friends. In my mind, this guy's special because he's treating me and our relationship special.

That one kind gesture at dinner suddenly became a complete game changer. I know exactly where I stand with this man. I know what his intentions are for me. I know that he's intending for us to be more than just friends and that there's romantic interest there.

Had he not done that for me, had he not bought me dinner, I would've walked away thinking he's a nice guy and we'll likely be friends but nothing more. I would not view him as a romantic possibility (because he did not participate in any courtship behaviors of a romantic nature).

And as far as this statement "Ladies are not a prize, and men are not leaders or pursuers" - go tell that to Mother Nature.

Tell Mother Nature's creatures (all of whom participate in mating rituals and behaviors on some level) that that behavior is no longer necessary. They can all just be buddies, not lift a finger for one another, hang out together ... and watch the decline of the species ensue until extinction arrives.

Anthropology is real. Cultural and biological behaviors are what prompts the continued evolution, development and existence of the human species.

If your views do not align with those stated here that's fine. You do you. But courtship rituals serve a definitive purpose. And when people cease participating in them, that's when you see confused people everywhere sharing their stories, "I don't know where I stand with this guy. I'm so confused. He treats me like we're just friends. But he keeps asking to see me. Does he just want to be friends? Or do you think he is interested in me and just doesn't know how to show it?"

Lack of participation in courtship rituals = people left frustrated and confused with valuable connection opportunities missed.

Anonymous said...

What about a man allowing a woman to pay on the first date? Given the woman is from old school values, politely not wanting to expect offers to pay…first generation Irish…and he lets me..but then I find him unattractive. I can pay but like a man stepping into the masculine position when I’m with him. A man who doesn’t want to stand in that role.,,isn’t attractive anymore. I don’t what my standards to be out of date..out of touch…feedback honestly appreciatedšŸ©µ

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