Beautiful Women Must Try Harder

December 18, 2012

I rarely post two letters from readers back to back, but I received an email today that is both time-sensitive and potentially instructive to readers.

I’ll begin with a confession. The real name of the writer is very unusual, and after reading her letter I had a hunch I wanted to confirm. Sure enough, she is indexed in Google images thanks to social media profiles. It is as I suspected. She is a hard 9, at least, if your taste runs to Kate Upton on a good day. I don’t mean to objectify her, but I think she falls victim to a mentality that is common among beautiful women. It may sound counterintuitive, but beautiful women often have to make a special effort to land a good man, initiating intimacy, providing encouragement and offering reassurance along the way.

My advice would be the same in any case, but her looks are undoubtedly a factor in the dynamic between them.

Dear Susan,

Hi, your blog always gives such insightful advice on relationship issues, and I would love some right now because I’m in a difficult position with the first man I’ve liked in a long time.  I’m 22, he’s 25.

I’ve been dating him for around two months now. I ended things with a guy this summer and was deeply depressed for a while, which is why I didn’t want to get emotionally attached too soon. There was a bit of imbalance – he took me out to nice dinners, walked me home, didn’t even make a move. When we started sleeping together, things were great but I was still not completely accommodating – I didn’t offer him coffee/breakfast in the morning, which I kind of regret now. I’m an introverted person and I don’t express emotions very well. Raised that way I guess.  Nevertheless, we continued dating and he’d text and call very often.  

I haven’t seen him in person for around 3 weeks. It’s sometimes been difficult matching our schedules (he’s working, I’m a student), and I have been travelling the past week. He said he wanted to take me to a lovely dinner the night I came back from an overseas trip. I was jetlagged when back and had a heavy lunch so I suggested a drink instead, and he accepted. I dozed off, got back to him a couple of hours later and said we could meet 45 mins later at which point it would be 10.45. He said it would be “a little too late” because he had to get up early for work, but we could meet the next day. I was pissed – that drink would probably lead to him coming back with me, he hasn’t seen me in 3 weeks, what guy says no to that because he’d get six hours rather than eight? I was so annoyed I said I was busy the next few days. He told me to “let him know when I could see him”.

So when I was out Thursday night I texted him (very late, early hours) asking if he was out too. For a weekday, I figured he might have been in bed. I got a reply the next morning. Friendly, as usual, but he hasn’t initiated anything since.

Worst part – Saturday night was a party hosted by a friend of his – an all night dinner and drinks.  He asked me about a month ago and even convinced me to stay in town a far more days to attend. Come Saturday, I heard nothing.  I’m just assuming he went to the party without me. I suppose most girls would text and go “what’s going on with that party??”. But I always assume a defensive position towards men – I think until the point of exclusive, the initiatives should be theirs. Plus, I did make an “initiative” Thursday night by texting first.

I was angry and in my irrational rage, I figured this was “finished from my side”, deleted him off facebook and deleted our text message history. That was yesterday, I assume he’s seen it by now, but he hasn’t said anything. I am twisting in agony trying to figure what the reason for his silence might have been… Whether someone said something about me. I can’t figure why, I’m not known as promiscuous, and I don’t think there is anything awful that may surface.

So as you can see I’m going out of my mind. I like the guy, and I know I acted irrationally when deleting him. But his behaviour was really schizo – he was all over me and seemed so genuinely interested, and then shut down on Saturday. I feel like it would be stupid to contact him now, it will seem as if deleting him was a provocation and now I’m “giving in”? I feel like it would give me an instant lower hand. Should I just wait it out? 

Am I being completely crazy? Will this end right now if I don’t make a move? Or will I look pathetic? Or is it the case that if he likes me enough, I will hear from him? 

An ex boyfriend accused me of always causing unnecessary drama. If that seems the case, please let me know.


Dear Anne,

It sounds like  you’re a regular reader, in which case you’ve seen my posts about avoiding players, and also my posts about the need for a woman to escalate emotionally when a man does get through her filter and she wants to be in a committed relationship with him. 

I’m going to cut straight to the chase here.

You have been employing the Principle of Least Interest with such success that you convinced Stephen you are not interested in him. To be fair, you describe yourself as having been hurt fairly recently and feeling somewhat self-protective. It’s hard to escalate emotionally while deliberately delaying intimacy. Being introverted and not emotionally expressive makes this more challenging as well.

It sounds like Stephen was happy to go all out in pursuing you, putting in most of the effort. You already have a sense that you did not give him the reinforcement that would have helped to seal the deal early on, as you mention having regrets about remaining aloof, even after sex. However, I see some poor judgment calls here on your part within the last week or so that I don’t believe you fully recognize. At the risk of being very hard on you, I’m going to highlight them in hopes that you can learn from this experience, whether things work out with Stephen or not.

You did not act eager to reunite with him when you returned from Miami. 

I understand that you were jet lagged, and I’m sure he did too. You might have rescheduled, explaining that you were dying to see him but wanted to be at your best. You could also have mentioned that you simply could not function without a couple of hours sleep, would he be amenable to a late drink? 

Instead it sounds like you dismissed his plan because you were not particularly hungry (bad call) and then left him waiting and wondering until 10 p.m. That was not very considerate of his time, and it may have played a role in his declining at that point. Or he may have calculated that you would both have a much better time with less pressure by doing it the next day instead. Maybe he wanted to enjoy your company for an evening instead of racing home from the bar to have sex before an early alarm.

You felt rejected, so you punished him.

If a man is rejecting you, punishing him for doing so is not a good strategy for exciting his interest. Had you agreed to the next night, you would likely have had a passionate reunion. Instead, you told him you did not want to see him. His response that you should let him know indicates hurt feelings and hurt pride. 

You sought to increase your control over him.

After turning him down, and without letting him know when you were available to see him, and how much you wanted to see him, you texted him while out late on a work night. This served to remind him that you are a carefree student who can be out and about getting attention from other men while he is required to get his sleep before another grueling day at the office. I imagine he woke in the morning, felt peeved, and his resentment grew throughout the day. 

Note that you have still not texted to “let him know when you could see him.” You have only texted to convey your fabulousness and desirability on a night when he was unlikely to go out. 

You stubbornly waited for him to break. 

You entered into a pissing match over who would blink first. It should have been you! Why do you always assume a defensive posture with men? Why are they required to do all the work? You’re bound to intimidate the hell out of most men as it is – they’re going to need some positive reinforcement to keep going! And they’re very likely to assume that they’re unlikely to hold your interest.

Deleting him from facebook probably signalled to him that you have zero interest in him whatsoever, and want all reminders of your association gone. 

In short, I don’t think his behavior has been schizo or the least bit unreasonable. I think you’ve been acting like a bit of a spoiled brat. (I say this with a maternal affection.) I don’t know whether this is salvageable, but if you really look at Stephen and see a potential father for your children, here is what I suggest you do:

Go crawling to him on your hands and knees.


I regret the way things have been between us for the last week. I accept responsibility for doing a very poor job of letting you know how much I wanted to see you upon my return. I have enjoyed our time together very much and I’d like to set things right. Are you free tomorrow night? Would you like to come over for a drink and we can talk about it?

Missing you,


If he is kind but says no, you’ll have time for soul searching. If he is a jerk and really was playing you in some way, he’ll be rude and unresponsive, in which case you just got rid of a bad guy. If he says yes, you’re back in the game. Respond graciously no matter what.

No more silent treatment, it’s time to make a little drama here (the good kind – as in, a dramatic gesture to surprise and delight him).