1101. Break Off from Mr. NotGoodEnough

At the ABOUT page Her Highness Denise asked how best to break off from a man who’s “just not what we want?” The answer: Find out what YOU want and inform him casually—I repeat, casually—but in detail scary to men and meaningful to you.

Now, you can scare him off, tell him off, or send him off. A better way exists: Let him conclude you’re not Mrs. Right, so he can walk off with dignity. Whatever he concludes registers better than whatever you say or do. Get your act together and display it proudly as a woman he’s never known. Then watch him run from it.

First, redefine expectations for your life. The bullets that follow are an idealized model. They express female hopes and dreams and likely make men see that their qualifications are lacking. Either his future no longer harmonizes with yours, or yours with his.

Plan how you will convey the following to him discreetly but distinctly, calmly and casually. Holding his attention, you claim something like this:

  • I changed my lifeplan and speeded up my goals. I want marriage and children sooner than planned.
  • I finally got straight in my mind that Mr. Right must match my expectations as both husband and my children’s father.
  • He needs virtuous character, admirable leadership skills, an ardent sense of responsibility, unwavering commitment, and strong work ethic.
  • He must be appreciative of female sensibilities. If he can’t honor my gender as unique and different, he’ll never honor me as wife and mother.
  • He needs to be devoted to Christ more than me, me more than him, and family more than anything else in the world.
  • He will rule the family, but I will rule the home.
  • When push comes to shove, he pushes the world, and I shove him.
  • His cars and toys mean less to him than our kids.
  • Our savings mean more to him than his toys.
  • When he barks, I will jump. If I ever bark, he will cower.

Second, inform him casually of your new plan. When opportune, introduce the subject of life plans, and after some feedback, break out a sheet of paper on which your plan appears. Go down the checklist of your expectations similar to that above. Don’t explain why you’re doing it, but answer his questions about details.

Formality of paper, boldness of delivery, commitment to plan, and repetition add authenticity. It opens the door wide for him to drift away with dignity. (Or perhaps shift into full-devotion mode for you, because he wants you enough to rise to your expectations, but that’s another story.)

NOTE: Reviewing with Mrs. Guy, we perceived another use for a life plan idealized above. I’ll revisit it tomorrow at #1103.


Filed under courtship

37 responses to “1101. Break Off from Mr. NotGoodEnough

  1. Jill F.

    I love these bullets! The last four are short but so full of wisdom.

  2. Grace

    This seems like a lot of trouble to go through for the ego and dignity of a man that I am no longer interested in. Having a life plan is wonderful and I think that everyone should. I see the benefit to the unwanted man, but what is the benefit to the woman for dumping men in this elaborate way?

    I usually said “this is not working out for me and I don’t think that we should see each other any longer.” If they ask me why I tell them we aren’t compatible. If they persisted I would tell them the truth: Boring conversationalist, tied to their mother’s apron strings, lacking in character, bad kisser, not all that attracted to you, cheap, lazy, rude to waiters ect.

    I found it effective and it took about five minutes with no waiting around on my part.

    Your Eagerness Grace,

    What you say works, and I don’t object. It fits your persona. But it’s not WhatWomenNeverHear. Women frequently hear your way and variants.

    Your way, moreover, is how a man might design it for someone else were he not involved. Masculine colorations suggest it was designed of, by, and for the masculine mentality. Male-slanted influences flood your approach, such as directness, efficiency, ego-centeredness, hard-heartedness, get rid of losers promptly, competitive attitude seeks to dominate with mission of winning as everything, other party’s faults justify dismissal, and unwillingness to waste time IOW don’t invest oneself when infringing someone’s dignity.

    I still endorse a less masculine approach as beneficial to most women and, specifically, as more of WhatWomenNeverHear.

    What’s the benefit to the woman? Personal satisfaction of living up to values, standards, and principles bigger than herself, aka what makes her a better human being.


    • Grace

      I don’t think that sitting around hoping that a man gets the hint that he is being dumped makes you are better human being than saying “This isn’t working out let’s stop seeing each other,” and moving on with your life. Is a woman supposed to keep seeing the man while she waits for him to conclude that he’s all wrong for her? Is she free to date other people and look for the right man during this time? How many days, weeks or months should she spend waiting for this man to conclude that he is all wrong for her? After all if he really likes her he will likely persist. What if he is wrong for her for reasons not on her list, for example some of the reasons that I listed? I’ve dated men who had all of the qualities on your list but were lacking in some other areas that I could not over look.

      Sometimes indirectness is impractical. It certainly works with men that you want a relationship with, but I could easily see it giving a man that you aren’t interested in the wrong impression. The how to dump a man advice that I hear most frequently, is to stop returning his phone calls or answering when he calls and hope he gets the hint. Indirectness that crosses over into passive aggressiveness IMO. But your advice was certainly something that I’d never heard before so I give it points for uniqueness.

      Your Loveliness Grace,
      Thanks, and I applaud your uniqueness.
      What is a woman supposed to do? Whatever satisfies her self-interest.

  3. Jlynne

    This post is very timely. I have just realized the need to break things off with the man I am dating as he really doesn’t have time in his life for a relationship because of his job demands and isn’t interested in marriage for years (I think he wants to wait until all of my children are gone from the home–I’m a single mother–which is several years from now). I’m not really interested in just “hanging out” for the next several years of my life with someone who started dating me *knowing* I had three children and now doesn’t want to move forward into a commitment. He says he wants to get married “someday” but after almost two years, the “someday” never gets closer. This post will be a help in how I present things to him as well as a validation of my values. I care for him deeply and really hate to hurt him, but I also don’t have the time and energy to pour into a relationship which he has indicated by *his* time and energy is only peripheral. Thanks for writing this post.

  4. Hush


    Your relationship sounds exactly like mine, w/exception that I have been in mine 5 years now. I was also not practicing virtual virginity, and we were beginning to have more dicord and he was moving further away and becoming more stubborn. Then came the realization through a 3rd party informing me he had no intention of marrying now and w/kids; and he confirmed this by telling his family, in front of me, he wasn’t ready for marriage.

    I asked him about it. I waited a couple weeks and quit responding to any advances. I told him I would not be staying over anymore as I wanted to work on getting to a better place in our relationship. After a couple weeks, and after finding this site, I began putting all of Guy’s advice into practice (be feminine, pretty, raised my self-image, changed my way of dealing with him, became “mysterious”, etc.). After about a week of that, I had to let him know that I could no longer participate in sex (he was becoming impatient at my non-response or pulling away from advances). I then told him that I’ve realized that I want to be married and although I love him dearly and would like it if it were him, I also understood if he wanted to break up. I told him I never meant to mislead him, but I now realize how important it is to me.

    He asked me to not break up, but let’s see how things go; and he accepted my request to not be intimate.

    So I’ve been doing as Guy suggests, and I’ve found myself happier because of my decision. I knew he could only make one of two choices…leave for free, convenient sex elsewhere or stay and step up to the plate. I was ready since I realize I win either way…either he will become Mr. Good Enough or I go practice virtual virginity w/someone who will be Mr. Good Enough!

    He instantly had greater respect for me, has been “dating” ne again, calling me (he used to refuse saying he didn’t like talking on the phone), etc. This past weekend, he sat me down and let me know he does want to be married and he wants to marry me. He said he wants no other, he is working things out and he will be asking me (just don’t know when). He has turned around 180 degrees over the past month and a half. And we have time…still practicing virtual virginity and etc. to get to a really good place together before marriage, as neither of us desire to ever divorce again.

    Tell him what you need to. Be prepared for him to walk away. Stick to your guns. He may surprise you. If not, you’ll still be better for it!

    • Jlynne

      Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful to hear how you handled it. I do insist on virtual virginity (I was married before and he knows it but doesn’t know details) which is something he respects but finds frustrating at times. I am planning on being honest with him and telling him that we seem to have different expectations–I want marriage sooner rather than later whereas he does not–and where does he want to go from here. I really do not want to hurt him or burn any bridges for the future if he *does* change his mind. I love him dearly and I’m quite sure he feels the same but there are past hurts which I think are messing things up. I also want *him* to make the decision as I have no desire to destroy his self-respect or leadership role. Currently, I am constantly feeling as if I can no longer be honest with him about how I feel or what I need from him which hurts me. And he is feeling the pressure of my unspoken desire to be closer which is becoming intolerable for him. It seems to be better to face the elephant in the room and decide to either deal with it or walk away. I don’t know if he’ll decide like your bf did or decide that he wants to end it, but I think it is the right thing to do. But, oh so hard. 😦

  5. Hush


    I don’t know you, but you seem angry and bitter. If you continue as you are, even if you left your husband and found another man, you will find yourself in this same place. If you don’t change your approach, you will get the same frustrating results. I speak from experience. It is true that those that don’t learn from experience are doomed to repeat it. You get divorced, and your present unhappiness becomes your history; and then you bring all of that into the next relationship. If what you are doing now isn’t working in this current relationship, what makes you think it will work any better in the next one? My heart cries for you, as you are headed down a very hard and lonely road.

    • Grace

      Hush – You make a very good point. A large part of the problem is my attitude in my marriage and my defensiveness about being called on it. I might be one of those better off single kind of girls. Apparently my instincts are not at all feminine because I tend to solve my own problems as efficiently as possible, have little trouble putting aside emotion to make logical decisions, and have almost no patience for massaging people’s egos. It annoys me that some men even need that.

      After speaking to my husband today he explained a few of the hurtful things that I’ve done. Apparently the worst of it was that after I got into an accident a month ago, I didn’t call him. (I was hardly injured: 5 stitches in my arm, a few bruises, bump on my head, totaled car)

      I called my insurance company, called my best friend to meet my kids at the bus stop, and called my parents to meet me at the hospital and my brother to go to the scene of the accident and get my stuff from the car if it was still there. I was well intentioned and this all seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. He’d been talking for months about something that he was doing at work that day, and I figured that nothing would break his concentration like hearing about a wreck. I thought that I would be home before he got home but I wasn’t so he heard it from someone else. Then I told him that I was fine and that he really didn’t need to skip work because I’d just be popping pain pills and sleeping anyway. He says that I almost died and still didn’t think about him (dramatic much? I did not almost die.) and that even when I am bleeding in the hospital I won’t call him for help. He thinks this means that I didn’t want him there, don’t care about him and so on from there. Although I started out feeling guilty as he went down the list of my faults and alleged misdeeds I got mad, and have been basically ignoring him ever since. In hindsight I probably should have called him first, but for him to be mad about decisions that I made after being thoroughly shaken up and bumping my head pisses me off. I think that I did the best that I could.

      • violet

        Grace- I can’t help but think that you have been living in or have been brought up in a competitive atmosphere and that has given an “edge” to your personality. I think that if you would get some distance from competitive and judgy people that it would allow you to let your guard down and see things from a fresh perspective. Maybe you could join a church womans group and hang around people who live the virtues of unconditional acceptance.
        I think you would find it to be a breath of fresh air.

      • Hush


        He’s telling you his truth when he says he felt you “didn’t want him there, don’t care about him.” That he said you “didn’t think about him” may seem selfish on his part, but he is trying to say that he cares about you so why don’t you recognize that and call him so he doesn’t worry. It also says he WANTS to be there when you ‘should’ need him. You called everyone else BUT him.

        A co-worker of mine recently went through a divorce for the same type of issues with his wife. It got so hard for him, and he would sometimes talk with me at length. He tried counseling with her, and without her. He tried everything. He allowed me to read some of the letters they shared. He always met her with understanding, willingness, love and kindness. She was only cold and demanding. The sad final truth is that now there are two children dealing with this divorce, and SHE is terribly unhappy (which gets passed on to them…by her). He still keeps photos of her around so the kids always know he loved her and so they don’t have to feel an emptiness without something of her there where he is. Some men truly have more to offer and care much more than they are given credit for. Now, he is getting attention from women who truly appreciate him, and he is already considering marriage with one who appreciates him beyond what he imagined.

        I understand your being ‘pissed’ because you were making decisions when shaken up and feel he should understand that. I personally would have been more upset about it if I had actually called and he didn’t come. One point is you didn’t even give him a chance…in his mind. Another is that he may have been more quickly dismissive of you being shaken and not calling him if he didn’t already feel a sense of how you feel toward him. That’s the truth. People know. You would know. Whether intentional or not, he likely felt as if you intentionally ‘added fuel to the fire’ because he has already been feeling your ‘heat’.

        I once read something about putting down the oars to the relationship boat and letting him do the rowing. I had to do that. I’ve always been the ‘responsible’ person in my relationships. I’ve found that if you let go of the oars, he WILL pick them up and row! I doubted it at first, but he did. I was in the place you are now. I was angry, defensive, made decisions regardless of him, etc. That’s the competitive attitude Guy speaks of, not the cooperative attitude.

        Maybe it helped that I had a male co-worker and could see the other side of things. But ultimately, learning about love and respect and also learning the things Guy has been discussing (because he helps put the love and respect concept into practice) have helped me tremendously.

        You’re already reading what Guy has to say. About the concept of love and respect, this is what I’ve learned: pastors typically preach on ‘husbands love your wives…’ and then go on to preach about ‘love’ and how to ‘love each other’ and about what the husband should do for the wife. What doesn’t get expressed is the rest of that scripture that says (paraphrased) ‘wives respect your husbands’ and how a wife should respect him. And the rest of the concept is this: husbands are told in the Bible to ‘love’ their wives because love is a woman’s primary need and makes her feel respected; wives are told in the Bible to ‘respect’ their husbands because respect is a man’s primary need and makes him feel loved.

        An example: If your husband said, “I ‘respect’ you, but I don’t ‘love’ you,” how would you feel? It might devastate you. It would devastate most women. If you told your husband “I ‘love’ you, but I don’t ‘respect’ you,” how would he feel? It might devastate him. Turn that around and think how it would feel if he said “I love you, but I don’t respect you.” It wouldn’t have the same impact to a woman because he still loves you. It’s the same for him, but the opposite applies. If you said “I respect you, but I don’t love you,” he would still feel basically okay because you respect him.

        Respect is important to a man. Respect for a man makes him feel loved (as love for a woman makes her feel respected).

        So when you are disrespectful toward him in whatever manner (you’ve described many ways in many of your comments), you are making him feel that you do not ‘love’ him. And maybe you don’t. But if you do, you should consider how he needs to be ‘loved’ just as you would want him to consider how you need to be loved. There is no waiting for him to do it first. There is tremendous maturity and healing (for yourself) in making those moves regardless of what the other person did or didn’t do for you!

        If you feel he hasn’t or isn’t meeting that for you, try giving him respect and open the door for you to also get to express your needs. Do you remember why you married him? Think about those things. You certainly didn’t marry him at the time because you thought him disposable, did you?

        I’m quite sure if you would have given him the respect of making that phone call, there would have been no “list of all your faults”; rather, you may have seen a glimpse of who you married.

        Until you open the door to your heart to allow him to love you…by respecting him…you will not feel his love and you will be caught in this endless cycle. The next time he says something that seems hurtful (like a list of faults), if you don’t recognize anything you did as seeming to be disrespectful, ask him if you said something that made him feel disrespected. If so, he’ll tell you and you’ll know why he criticized you. If you didn’t, he’ll think twice the next time he says something that may feel hurtful to you and put you on the defensive.

        I apologize if I’m going on too much. I feel for you because I think there is so much more going on that is keeping you from opening up. I don’t want to tell you this, but I have been here too many times in marriages (3 to be exact). No, I don’t feel the failures are all my fault (there was abuse (first one), cheating, etc. on the man’s part). But I was sooooo angry after this last one and his cheating that I have been who you are now with my current boyfriend of 5 years. He is far from a cheater, and we’ve nearly broken up many times; and recently I began to think we would never work things out. And some of how my boyfriend handled things with me kept me in that angry place I was in after my divorce (reminders, his attitude at times, my “rights”, etc.). So it has been both of us. It took Mr. Guy telling me maybe he wasn’t Mr. Good Enough to realize what my boyfriend had done; but also in looking at what he had done, I started to see more of myself! We have both been at fault.

        I have never in my life seen such a dramatic change in a man since I’ve been following Guy’s advice. He has been even more wonderful than when we first starting dating! He has never given me the attention he is giving me now, and he seems so incredibly happy and less stressed every time I see him. Part of me wishes I had known all these things so very long ago…but I have no regrets, only plans to improve my future.

        I truly hope you can find the softer place in your heart for your husband. And Guy’s blog is a great resource to help you get there.

        • Grace

          I didn’t want you to think that I am ignoring your well intentioned comments. I will think about what you said. You didn’t go on too much at all. It was very helpful.

          I was pretty happy with the way my marriage was going until recently. If he wasn’t trying to start arguments then I would be happily married now. I do respect him. If he asks for something I usually do it, if he asks me not to do something I usually stop. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve raised my voice to him in the past 3 years, and I am almost always very polite to him. I don’t criticize, nag or complain anymore. I refuse to argue with him because most of the time it’s just not that serious to me and there is no point in getting worked up over something. He listed my faults I said “I understand how you feel” promised to call him should I ever be in a similar situation again, and then went about my business. I certainly don’t get in his face about things and rarely challenge him directly on anything. I don’t worry about equality in the home or my rights. If I feel like I’m doing too much then I hire someone to lighten my load but I don’t expect him to make things equal.

          I’m not emotional where he is concerned anymore, which makes it easy to be logical. And since I know that he is a bit of a workaholic and had really important stuff going on at work I gave him the respect of NOT interrupting over a relatively minor situation. If I’d thought that he was sitting at home twiddling his thumbs I’d have called him first.

          I’m sure that he senses my emotional distance but unless I’m missing something, emotional distance shouldn’t be a huge deal when you are still showing plenty of respect. I’m not cold towards him although I’m not especially affectionate either. But I don’t think that he expects that anyway. I’ve decided to spend as much time around him as he asks for and see what happens, but really he’s not neglected now. We eat breakfast and dinner together almost every day. And when I go out for dinner with friends I make sure that he has food in the crock pot or something. I like sex so I certainly don’t deny him or me the fun of it, and I have no trouble separating sex from whatever other issues we are having.

          Maybe we have different definitions of respect, but it seems that I respect him plenty and he’s never said otherwise. I’ll ask him but I suspect that I will get a “huh?” in response. What exactly should respect for your husband look like? Maybe I’m doing it wrong….

          Your Exquisiteness Grace,

          If not, your questions should be rhetorical. You have plenty of inputs, so I offer this opinion: You have the expertise and reign from the expert’s throne. When you figure out BY YOURSELF WITH HUSBANDLY FEEDBACK what respect looks like and determine what is wrong and right, you will eventually do all the right things more than adequately and close to perfectly. It’s not what you do so much, as how it sits with him and you. You’ve probably already done most of it.

          You’ve convinced us that you don’t need a relationship overhaul, and your minor tuneup seems to be working.


          • violet

            You sound like you conduct yourself in a very respectable way. The only thing that seems to be lacking is a genuine devotion which he probably expects but doesn’t feel a need to reciprocate.

            For me- respecting my husband means that I show (in my actions) immense gratitude for the life he has provided me. Keeping a clean home and myself tidy is one aspect of that…the other is the little romantic gestures and thoughtfulness that set me apart from others.

            I hate that this comments section looks like a fault-finding session. I think that you are probably very inspirational in your self-discipline and self-control and I am sure that the reason you have come across a little hard-edged is in part because the medium of the internet just doesn’t reflect the emotions behind words very well.

            If you think that softening your image is something that would add value to your life then a great book to read is Fascinating Womanhood. I found the vivid picture that she paints of the feminine woman to be very insightful.

  6. violet

    According to my understanding it is amongst Mr Guys goals for this blog to teach women how to make society a better place for women in general. His advice might not always be the easiest and most efficient method of solving a problem but that isn’t always the main point. It is always the option of a woman to approach a problem in a masculine way (and in some instances it is the only effective option like when someone intends violence towards her) but it is usually in the best interest of all women for her to affirm the feminine virtues at every opportunity.

    One of the issues that Mr. and Mrs Guy wish to address is that our culture has changed in such away that it is no longer friendly towards females. Individual females may be able to get by just fine, but less privileged females suffer greatly because of a lack of understanding about how the world really works. A woman who grows up poor, fatherless, and taught only the feminist ideology of how things “should” be in some imaginary feminist fairytopia is at a great disadvantage in creating a happy life for herself.

    A woman can be hard-headed and hard-hearted and get everything she wants out of life but she isn’t going to be very successful at softening the hearts of men and is likely to leave a lot of bruised egos and jaded attitudes in her wake. That isn’t good for women (or men) as a whole.

    • Grace

      Now I am worrying that I may have caused some men permanent damage. I assumed that they’d just be annoyed enough to go away without a fuss and maybe fix some of those issues.

      I do tend towards the most efficient solution to any problem and I must admit that does leave bruised egos behind me. But really indirectness is so much more work and I prefer to keep things simple. I don’t feel at all masculine. Efficiency isn’t a masculine quality in my opinion. I’ve never even thought about how those men I dumped dealt with women that they met after me, and beyond doing some volunteer work here and there I rarely think about making society a better place. Maybe that’s why I struggle with some of the concepts of this blog.

      I will refrain from commenting from now on because I clearly don’t get it.

  7. Jill F.

    I agree with you Violet. I grew up in an intellectual hippie town (the parents were the Harvard and Yale Ph.D’s and their kids were the dropped-out, drugged up hippies) and I observed the feminist agenda first hand (as the younger sibling). It was ugly, it was awful.

    The bitterness and anger and self-centeredness that oozes from a woman who is only considering “her needs” and “her rights” is beyond awful. And it hurts men (who really are far more vulnerable than most of us realize).
    Labeling men as “egotistical” is an easy way out for women instead of seeking to understand men and what makes them tick.

    When a woman chooses to cut a man off at the knees when she is breaking up with him she is not even treating him as a human being. Yes, it’s true, a jerk should be dealt with swiftly and firmly but why lower ourselves to his level by acting ugly while we’re doing it?
    Guys wisdom to women in this blog is that we women have power and we have power when we act like a woman! There is something wonderful about realizing that even the way I deal with a man who doesn’t have a clue can make a difference in the world.

  8. Delicate Petals

    His Seemingly Genius Sir Guy,

    What about requiring him to get a doctor’s note for a clean bill of health (STDs) before first time sex can even be a possible option in the relationship?

    Your Delicateness Delicate Petals,

    It needs to be done, but you pushing him to do so doesn’t ring with me as ideal. It brings sex into the foreground. It essentially says, ‘You get it, and you can score’, or at least he will expect it.

    I’m betting that a prolonged virtual virginity courtship will lead most good men to volunteer so as to prove their worth. No obligation either for you to reward him. Just another medit badge on his qualifying checklist.


  9. Simplicity Evermore

    I have a question: What is the difference between respecting a man not your husband, and respecting a man who is your husband?

    I know that part of it is not going along w/ BF just to please him. And I know that part of it is being indirect and not showing too much gratitude.

    And that with husbands we go along to get along, and we show a lot of gratitude. We also help them when they ask and support them when we can.

    What else?

    Also, I would like to ask: How does the above method keep a man from being strung along? It seems that men these days won’t take anything but a ‘no’ firmly and directly in order to back off and go away. And I would worry that they might miss the hint.

    (Though I realize that it is very important for him to conclude on his own that he is not wanted. Which, is what I think your getting at.)

    Your Patienceness Simplicity Evermore,
    Good questions but I’ve run out of time. Be back on Friday.

    P.S. Your Ladyship Simplicity Evermore,

    It’s Friday and I’m back. I copied you and added me in CAPS.


    I know that part of it is not going along w/ BF just to please him. And I know that part of it is being indirect and not showing too much gratitude. THEN RECOGNIZE THIS: YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT, HOW, AND WHY TO DO EVERYTHING. JUST TRUST IN YOUR SUCCESSES, AND FORGIVE YOUR MISTAKES.

    And that with husbands we go along to get along, and we show a lot of gratitude. We also help them when they ask and support them when we can. WELL SAID.


    Also, I would like to ask: How does the above method keep a man from being strung along? It seems that men these days won’t take anything but a ‘no’ firmly and directly in order to back off and go away. And I would worry that they might miss the hint. WHY WORRY? THEY MISS THE HINT I VENTURE YOU HAVE ANOTHER ‘WEAPON’ READY. USE IT TO SHAPE YOUR LIFE BETTER AND MORE AS YOU EXPECT IT.

    (Though I realize that it is very important for him to conclude on his own that he is not wanted. Which, is what I think your getting at.) YES, I WAS GETTING AT THAT, BUT ONLY AS THE PREFERRED OPTION FOR MAKING BOTH PEOPLE MORE ADMIRABLE AND SOCIETY MORE TOLERABLE.


  10. Denise

    Guy, you have said some challenging things on here, but I find this to be the most difficult of all! The reason: “Let him conclude you’re not Mrs. Right, so he can walk off with dignity.” This takes such strength, emotional security, and a solid self-image. I think that it really gets to the heart of whether a woman is dependent on a man to tell her what she’s worth, or whether she knows her worth and can assert it independently of what he says/thinks it is. If she’s dependent on men to learn her worth, then she won’t be able to bear seeing or hearing him say that he is not willing to value her highly and meet her expectations…for then what does that say about her?

    As far as efficiency goes, I can sort of see both sides. For instance, a woman can tell a man that she expects devotion to Christ. And he may go to church with her and make a good showing, but still live his life in a way that does not reflect those values. Or, a woman can say that she highly values a man who has clear career goals, when her current man hasn’t quite figured out his path. She can keep saying that she expects something different, but at what point would it just be nagging? If he’s not living up to her expectations, even though he knows what they are, should she not walk?

    Also, I was listening to a sermon earlier today, the main point of which is that genuine love means that you put the good of the other person before your own. Having the graciousness to allow a man to tell us “You’re not the one for me” for the sake of his self-image rather than beating him to the punch to save face may well be a kindness.

    Your Loveliness Denise,
    Good questions but I’ve run out of time. Be back on Friday.

    • ladylike

      I met a man on a blind date once who I knew straight away wasn’t the man for me. I could see he was attracted to me, and I wanted to let him down gently. So this is what I did… when he started talking about his previous relationships and mentioned that he seemed to attract women who wanted commitment (he was surprised that his ex-girlfriend whom he had been dating for five years had wanted to marry him) I used this as an opener to explain that I was virtuous, Christian women with Christian standards. He got the message, and I saw the slow dawning of realisation on his face that I was not an easy woman. He told me very seriously that I should go to a church to find the sort of man that I was interested in and that he definitely didn’t fit the bill. I nodded my head sagely. He then insisted on paying for my dinner, wished me well, told me to be careful in my dating life as I was clearly an innocent abroad, and then hurried off on his way, with his dignity intact. I could have just as easily said, “I’m not attracted to you” or something else, but I preferred to let him down gently. When he started speaking about his life, I realised we didn’t share the same values and and I knew if I spoke about Christian virtue that he would disappear no matter how attractive he found me initially. I found the whole experience quite amusing, deep down, and it didn’t bother me at all that he thought that he had dumped me, rather than the other way around, as I had met a lot of similar men, and they tend to scurry away fast when they realise that you have standards. Anyway, just thought I’d share this story 🙂 I felt a little bad at the time that I was tactically setting out to get him to dump me, but perhaps it was the kindest way to go about it…

  11. KKC

    This advice seems to assume that if a man has all of those characteristics that the woman should marry him. Finding a man like that isn’t difficult. I’ve broken up with men who fit my life plan. I didn’t want to marry them for other reasons. How does one get rid of persistent suitors without being honest and admitting that you don’t want to be with them? Suitors who realize your worth and are willing to meet your expectations?

    Your Highness KKC,
    Welcome aboard. I love it when pretty women join the crowd here.
    Unfortunately I’ve run out of time today, but I’ll be back Friday.

    P.S. It’s Friday and I’m back!

    Your Highness KKC,

    Being new, I’ve added a lot extra to help you catch up with what this blog’s all about. Hope it helps.
    I quoted you and commented in CAPS.


    Finding a man like that isn’t difficult. I’ve broken up with men who fit my life plan. I didn’t want to marry them for other reasons. THEN YOU’RE BLESSED MORE THAN MOST WOMEN SEEM TO BE. MANY OPTIONS PROVIDES GREAT EXPERIENCE, IF LESSONS LEARNED ADD TO YOUR FEMALE STRENGTHS.





  12. Manda

    Guy, this is related if not slightly off-topic, but what do you think about using intuition to guide decisions? Many people say we (women) have strong “gut instincts” to protect us from potential harm, since we generally don’t have the physical strength to defend ourselves like men do. Not to say that we are in physical danger every time our intuition pops up, but it seems to be useful in guiding us to make the right decision in “bigger” situations, like who to marry.

    Example: I am currently in a great relationship with a wonderful guy, who I have been dating for almost a year now. He is kind, respectful, responsible…he has all the qualifications that you describe for a Mr. Good Enough. We have discussed getting married and I believe he is going to propose soon. But for a couple months I have had that nagging feeling in my gut, like he isn’t the “one” for me. It drives me crazy because we have a relationship built on trust, our communication is good, we both come from good Christian families, etc. so that from a logical standpoint, we are a very good fit. Is an intuitive feeling that a man isn’t the right one a legitimate reasons to break things off? Or would suggesting to him to hold off on the engagement be a better course of action (until I figure out what it is about him that is giving me these doubts)? Thankfully I have been practicing virtual virginity with him, so I know my judgment isn’t being influenced by those pesky false-love chemicals, thank goodness. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated! ❤

    Your Instinctiveness Amanda,
    Trust your instincts but try to find out more. Your subconscious mind currently reflects some conflict within yourself, with your relationship, or with him. Take your time. Examine yourself more objectively, your relationship, more emotionally, and his actions as reflective or not of devotion to you. If you can’t find the reason for your discomfort, marry and it will hit you up beside the head—too much, too unwanted, and too late.

    • Manda

      Thank you, as always, for the thoughtful and honest response. I do have a lot of inner work to do (spiritual, related to self-image, etc.) and I believe this inner work will help me think more clearly, as well as help me discern more clearly between fear and gut instinct.

  13. Sir Guy, the end of your post touches on the possibility of a man rising to meet a woman’s detailed expectations. If a woman does find herself with a bona fide Mr. Good Enough on her hands (considering his.character and devotion to her) even with high prospects for becoming Mr. Right down the line, to what extent are her own feelings of romantic attraction to influence her choice to marry him? Usually the line is something like, “He’s such a great guy and treats me great, but I’m just not attracted to him.” “Attracted” will
    often mean physically as well as that more general sense of being in love. Do you have a perspective on the role this type of attraction in the woman’s decision to marry a particular man? Can she marry one she doesn’t have particularly strong romantic feelings for without her or his disappointment down the line?


    Your Highness Denise,
    Yes she can, but the devil is in the details. So, I made my response the daily article scheduled for posting on Tuesday 11/29.

    • Peach Blossoms

      Sir Guy,
      Which article would this be?

      Your Highness Peach Blossoms,
      It would be 1461-Marry Without Romantic Appeal?

  14. solocuteduck

    I feel moved to comment Re: the comments Grace wrote here over two years ago now which I’ve just come across. I think it would be a great shame, Grace, if you have refrained from further comment on the blog. I find your honesty and directness so valuable, though I am unsure exactly why. I think you had/have alot to offer and I hope that you still cruise this site now and then and contribute. I read your comments on this post as indicative a sincere self respect and self acceptance which inevitably has lead to a genuine respect for you husband and his accomplishments (ie his work). How could your very clear sense of self respect and self care (ie real care for yourself evidenced in the way you handled your accident) result in anything but a wonderful respect for others for who they are (and you seem to imply that your husband’s job is tied to his own sense of self -maybe to use the terms of this blog-his self esteem and self image, and it was that that you were thinking of when you didn’t call him after the accident)% (%=question mark, the keyboard question mark on laptop broken). Your further descriptions of your relationship within your home do nothing to lessen the impression that you are a great relationship harmoniser. The impression I got, though only vaguely formed, is that you are not into mothering your husbandand that you are resisiting some kind of subtle pressures from him to be treated (at least in some areas of your lives%) as a little boy, unsure of your love. I am guessing and may be way offtrack, but I wonder if hubby has any problematic relationships with other key women before you (most significantly mother). There is a post in here re alpha, beta and gamma males (a categorisation and they do overlap ofcourse) and perhaps that might be useful to you%. Whatever the unconscious motivators I read you hubby as suffering from a lackof self admiration, though that is notwithstanding your demonstrated daily respect for who he is (presented) and what he does. All the best to you.

    Grace wrote below on

    11/09/2010 at 10:43 pm

    Now I am worrying that I may have caused some men permanent damage. I assumed that they’d just be annoyed enough to go away without a fuss and maybe fix some of those issues.

    I do tend towards the most efficient solution to any problem and I must admit that does leave bruised egos behind me. But really indirectness is so much more work and I prefer to keep things simple. I don’t feel at all masculine. Efficiency isn’t a masculine quality in my opinion. I’ve never even thought about how those men I dumped dealt with women that they met after me, and beyond doing some volunteer work here and there I rarely think about making society a better place. Maybe that’s why I struggle with some of the concepts of this blog.

    I will refrain from commenting from now on because I clearly don’t get it.

  15. Lady Penelope

    Dear Sir Guy

    I opened the door wide open for him to choose to walk away with dignity as per your suggestion in your post above. His reaction? He didn’t acknowledge what I said and swiftly changed the topic. I don’t understand this response. Could you perhaps enlighten me? It is a fact that this guy just wants one thing from me, he made this very obvious since the beginning of our journey and has consistently been focused on it… I am stilling recovering from mistake(s) I made along the way, such as revealing what a lady should rather keep to herself as you suggest in various other posts. Furthermore, since you say elsewhere a man will do anything to have frequent and convenient access to Neverland I don’t understand why he hasn’t modified his behaviour yet or made the decision to rise to my expectations in order to gain access and why he still thinks words without action will suffice. Could you perhaps shed light on his unwillingness to change? Also I find my mind to be in many states simultaneously: one state wants him to see the door and take that opportunity; another state wants him to remain for what I am learning and the practice I am receiving at maturing into the woman I envision to be and then there’s that state of hope that he just might change… How does one embrace and work with such a conflicting/confused mind to paint an improved future for oneself?

    Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the reference you make to #1102 in the conclusion of your above post. Methinks you might have intended to mean #1103 and not #1102…

    Your Highness Lady Penelope,

    Why it’s not working as you desire is caused by what is behind this statement, “and then there’s that state of hope that he just might change.”

    You’re confused and he reads it as the door is still open. You consider him still a candidate as Mr. Good Enough if only he’d change, which he doesn’t have to because your confusion says that he needn’t. You let hope he will change override determination for you to take charge. After your opening attempt to discourage him graciously, all that you do invites him to stay.
    So, why expect results that please you if you don’t take charge?

    You’re right and I corrected 1102 to 1103. Thank you, darling. I love it when pretty women cite my mistakes.


    • Lady Penelope

      You are very generous, Sir Guy. Thank you for the key…

      Your Highness Lady Penelope,
      Your taking it as a key instead of gospel tells me I did well. Thank you.

      • Lady Penelope

        Dear Sir Guy
        7 months ago I took your advice of taking charge. He was dishonest with me about something and I decided that was going to be the last time. After confronting him about his dishonestly and which he denied, I fell off the face of his earth. Ever since, he has been trying to reach out to me without success and I find this persistent response of his curious. Why do you think he hasn’t stopped yet? What value is he chasing? Is he reaching out because he feels challenged?

        Your Highness Lady Penelope,
        My guess is that he remains intent on not losing to a woman. You blamed him and he can’t live with not proving you wrong. His competitive spirit knows no bounds when a woman is involved. Men are born to compete but not with women except for first sex, i.e., conquest.

        • Lady Penny

          Dear Sir Guy,
          It is more than a year and this guy is still trying to reach out to me. Perhaps it is because he remains intent on not losing to me as you say… I don’t know how to handle the situation with him. He wants to know why I left his life abruptly and without explanation even though I told him he lied to me in our last encounter. He claims his not knowing the reason why l left has him speculating, which agonizes him, and the absence of a reason plays on his conscious. I don’t know what to make of his claims. In fact, I am conflicted about him. One side feels I don’t need to explain myself; I can come and go as I please. A second side feels if I give him an explanation or the same explanation of him having lied to me back then for that matter then he will just counter it like he did back then and we will remain in a loop. On the other hand, he could admit to lying and then what? I am not sure if I can trust him again even if I charge him my highest price for it. A third side feels if i don’t give in to his communication attempts, I will remain in the situation I am in now, where he continues to reach out. There must be a way of solving this in a wwnh way. Do you have a sip of water for me?

          Your Highness Lady Penny,

          If you never yielded sex to him regardless of others, don’t explain and don’t complain. Just say no, nope, and get on your get along. We are through.

          If you did yield sex to him regardless of others, just give him the silent treatment. No answers, no responses, no chatter. Refuse to listen. Hang up.

          No exceptions regardless of how bad it makes you feel.


          • Lady Penny

            Thank you, Sir Guy 🙂

            • Lady Penny

              Hello Sir Guy,

              This guy is relentless in his pursuit to reach me! He got hold of my new number through someone who has now lost my trust too. Should this guy next learn where I now work and live, and choose to get in touch with me physically at these two places, I am unsure how to tactfully address such a situation especially if he chooses to make a scene just to get me to talk to him and explain to him why I left his life the way I did. Would the strategy of don’t complain and don’t explain be effective in such a scenario too?

              Your Highness Lady Penny,
              Yes, continue without explaining your actions or self. If he tries to embarrass you, ignore him and get away. If he pushes too hard, complain to legal authorities for stalking.

  16. Femme

    Sir Guy,
    I have a dilemma regarding a male friend.
    We’ve known each other for over 10 years but have never been close friends.
    He is married with 2 kids who are my son’s age and this was kind of a glue that held the friendship together.
    Apart from that I liked long discussions with him as he is an educated man.
    Also really outgoing and has lots of friends and acquaintances in this area.
    About 1,5 years ago we had a coffee at a cafe and talked mainly about my concerns regarding finding employment. He gave me some advice then kissed each other good bye and parted ways.
    I hadn’t heard from him until a few days ago.
    He texted New Year’s wishes so I texted happy New Year back.
    Then from there there more texts. Wife was very ill, he seriously hurt his back and is recovering and the kids are unwell as well.
    I expressed my sympathy and thought that was it.
    But the same evening he called me at 10pm.
    Then sent a text that it maybe inconvenient but could I answer the phone because he wanted to talk to me.
    I didn’t answer as the phone was on silent on account of my daughter being asleep.
    I discovered the missed call the next morning.
    Since then he tried calling around 5 pm and then around lunch time.
    Finally sent a text saying he has been trying to call me and could I please let him know what time was convenient for me to talk.
    I haven’t responded.
    My gut has been telling me something was not quite right.
    The problem is, I feel really bad now.
    I feel not nice and like I overreacted (by not reacting). I will also surely bump into him at some point in the future.
    Did I do the right thing or was my imagination telling me something that wasn’t there?
    After all, he could have had a simple question or something.
    What are your thoughts Sir Guy?

    Your Highness Femme,
    Text him a convenient time to call you. If it gets too personal, sign off. If he needs advice about wife or kids, help him but keep yourself detached.

    P.S. MLRowe just below has more info and some sound advice.

    • MLaRowe

      Sounds to me like he is pretty interested in you (sexually) and you are right to follow your gut (if you are not into having affairs which I assume by the fact that you read here you are not).

      I have been perceiving for a number of years now that there is some sort of “game” going on between married people (with people other than their spouse).

      This scenario seems to be something like what has happened to me a few times. The woman is going along with life (married, happily or not) then some man comes out of the woodwork that the woman thinks is a friend/acquaintance.

      The man starts to let the woman know of his interest (clearly just in having sex). The signals seem to go something like this: he actually listens to what the woman says (don’t be fooled he most likely doesn’t care what you are saying because it’s not true respect).

      Sometimes it’s just a pointed “look” (my gay friends have told me that this used to be the silent signal closeted gay men would use to show interest in each other).

      Other times it’s this seemingly innocent touch on the shoulder (which just grosses me out, but I digress).

      Anyway this has been my experience. I can’t really say about all the details because I don’t play that way. I want an honest life and so if I didn’t want to be married I wouldn’t be.

      Apparently though men are reading something (online?) that’s saying this crap works (and maybe it does). I believe that there is a serious problem with sex addiction at this point in history and that these are some of the techniques sex addicts are using.

      I’m not saying this guy is not on the up and up. Maybe he is just lonely etc. but I would be very careful if I were you. Dont’ feel guilty about pushing a married man away.

  17. Femme

    The innocent touch on the shoulder.
    It’s hard to avoid these days.
    Thank you for confirming my suspicions – especially that I forgot to mention that he texted something like “I don’t think you should be feeling bad about
    too much food and too little exercise during the Xmas break because perhaps you look even more interesting! Seeing is believing!” before calling.
    I thought to myself “Whaaaaat?”
    The biggest problem for me in terms of screening guys is that I don’t want to appear “not nice”, unfortunately.
    And no, I’m not into affairs or casual sex.
    As for men reading “stuff” online… If their primary drive is to get a woman into bed then it’s kind of logical that they will seek advice to that end.
    Women usually seek ways to get a man to commit 🙂
    It seems the only way forward for us women is to make sure men don’t succeed with the “stuff”they learn.
    I fell pray to a man once who pretended to listen to me and be interested.
    Never again.

    • msarianne

      Lady Femme,
      If what he had to say was important enough he could have left a voice mail or text with details.
      You are right to be cautious.

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