Dating Tips|Relationship Advice|Love Strategies


can•di•date: 1. a person who seeks or is nominated for an office, prize, or honor. 2. in the context of dating, a prospective partner who is considered a good match. 3. a critical choice that a woman makes in her search for true love.

An honest male perspective: Love won’t work if you select the wrong partner. There is a lot more to consider than just mutual attraction when it comes to determining whether another person is suited for you over the long term. Before you get emotionally involved, be sure to evaluate your prospective love-partner based on compatibility, emotional maturity, romantic chemistry, and growth. Otherwise, you’ll be faced with a relationship that’s not going to work for either of you.

Every four years, the two major political parties go through a process of nominating a candidate for the office of President of the United States. During 2004, the Democrats held primaries throughout the country and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts came out ahead of his party’s other candidates. His Democratic rivals included Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Governor Howard Dean, General Wesley Clark, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Senators Joe Lieberman and John Edwards.

With the massive expenses in time, energy, and money, the wisest choice for each political party is to back the candidate who possesses the highest chance of winning in the November national elections.

Similarly, a smart woman wants to back a winner and not a sure loser if she wants to have the best chance of succeeding at love. While there are many finer variables for picking a potential winner for each individual situation, there are definite traits of men who will most likely end up being a waste of a woman’s precious resources. These traits are the ones you should look out for to ensure that you won’t waste time in someone who isn’t a winner.


With the convenience and popularity of online dating, some women are meeting a larger number of seemingly eligible men than ever before. Yet it doesn’t take much for a man to write an appealing personal profile and be able to carry on a friendly online conversation. A smart woman realizes that with so little to go on, it’s difficult to determine with any certainty whether a man she meets on the Internet is going to be a winner or a loser in her search for true love.

On a similar note, a woman wrote to me recently expressing her concern about evaluating the man she was dating:

“What does it mean when a guy says he likes you, but that he’s not feeling the spark? The guy that I’ve been seeing for several months told me once in the beginning that we had good chemistry, but now he says this junk. What gives with this guy? Doesn’t a man either like you or not like you?”

One of the most common lines of questions that a woman will send me is basically about whether a man that she meets is interested in her or not. While gauging a man’s interest is a primary task, I always remind women that it is equally important to determine if the man is right for her.

By evaluating whether or not the man in question has sincere interest, plus whether or not he is a good relationship match, a woman is more likely to avoid falling in love with the wrong man. Thus she may ultimately prevent relationship failure.


Avoiding losing candidates for love is not always an easy thing to do. Since most people are so hopeful for love but meet only a small number of potential sweethearts, they tend to make the most of any romantic opportunity that comes their way.

Several years ago, I was introduced to a lovely young woman who was fourteen years my junior. I remember getting word of her telling a friend that “Steve is neat guy who has a lot to offer,” which was certainly true compared to the guys she was dating at the time. But it was only during our first month of dating that she continued to see me in the best light --- as being mature, easygoing, and financially stable. During this “honeymoon” dating period, it seemed like I was a man who could do no wrong.

During the second month of our dating relationship, this young woman saw me in a completely different way. My perceived “maturity” transformed into my being viewed as “acting like her father.” What was earlier described as “easygoing” became “being lazy, old, and tired.” And what was described as “financially stable” became being “frugal” or “obsessed with money.”

Looking back now, I can see how differences in ages, interests, and relationship goals made me a losing candidate for this particular woman. As a result of these dividing issues, it was no surprise that our dating relationship ended after a brief two-month audition.


It’s important to remind yourself that people rarely change. Therefore, it is much wiser to mainly evaluate a new love interest based on how they are right now --- not predominantly on their potential. The nature of romance makes it easy to get caught up in a passionate moment without regard for longer-term issues like compatibility and growth. But smart women are careful to evaluate things early in the game and before getting emotionally involved. That way, a woman can avoid staying too long with the wrong kind of man.

Here are ways that any woman can realize she’s dating a man who is a losing candidate for her love life:

Steer clear of men with destructive personal habits. If a prospective man has a chronic drug, alcohol, or gambling habit, then it would be prudent to avoid getting romantically involved with him. Destructive habits control people’s lives and the lives of those around them. Many women have learned painful lessons by wasting their time, energy, and emotions on these poor love candidates.

Avoid men with serious character flaws. Character is the foundation of every individual. It is the result of hundreds of choices that a person has made which gradually molded them into the kind of person they are today. Many women today are faced with increasing numbers of men whose character flaws create a very unstable foundation for love. Character is something that takes time to develop and is solely the responsibility of each individual. Therefore, a smart woman would be better off steering clear of men with major character flaws rather than getting involved and trying to change them.

Pass on men who lack any kind of ambition. To many women, this may not seem as severe as the other traits to avoid. But just the same, a woman quickly tires of a man who lacks the ambition to maximize his potential. This trait often leads to a lack of financial resources which is a major cause of stress in marriages. A smart woman needs to differentiate between a man who is at peace with himself and one that is simply lazy and unmotivated. The latter is the kind of man who starts to wear on a woman in an unpleasant way over time.

Don’t date men who don’t turn you on. There is no substitute for high levels of chemistry or physical attraction as part of the mix of what a relationship offers. If this chemistry doesn’t come naturally after a reasonable period of time, then it is best to avoid getting more deeply involved. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in a passionless relationship and this is not healthy or fulfilling for either partner.

Say “No!” to men who are mean-spirited. Women are often confused by a man who shows kindness in one moment and hostility the next. It’s common for women to focus on the good behavior in the beginning and ignore the negative things until after she’s become emotionally attached. When you associate with a man who is mean-spirited, it’s only a matter of time before his general bitterness eventually gets redirected towards you.

Evaluate men by the crowd they run with regularly. This is a tough thing for many women to do. For some reason, a woman wants to believe that her man is a lot different than his peers. This goes against the more likely scenario that he is only showing you the sides that would appeal to you. In reality, he is most likely to be a lot more like those men he has as friends and associates. Consider this rather than solely evaluating the version of himself that he’s trying to sell you on.

Avoid men who naturally clash with your personality. Some people just don’t seem to get along very well. Instead of complementing each other with their mutual support, two people can clash on simple day-to-day issues, and bring out the worst in each other. If you find yourself in one of these difficult relationships, it is much better to, at best, keep things limited. Don’t make the mistake of trying to create an expanded relationship by, for example, marrying a man who causes you emotional upsets on a consistent basis.

Beware of major lifestyle mismatches. How we choose to live our lives is expressed in the clothes we wear, the music we play, the things we buy, the foods we love to eat, the words we speak, the dreams we hold dear, the friends we choose, and the activities we enjoy in our free time. If we want to share a life with someone, it makes more sense to find a partner who matches our lifestyle habits rather than one who doesn’t. People with mismatching lifestyles may add color and variety to our lives, but usually they are best suited for a more limited relationship or friendship.

Recognize potential values conflicts immediately. Values --- such as courage, love, integrity, and family --are the ideals that we hold in the highest regard. When two people don’t share the same values, then deep upsets naturally occur in the relationship. For example, I’ve heard from married women who complain about husbands who get drunk with their buddies instead of doing more responsible things for the marriage. Such a value conflict between responsibility and fun would need to be discussed and resolved before resentment sets in. As a woman in search of a new partner, it makes sense for you to avoid men who clearly don’t have the same values as you do. Values, which are really deeprooted priorities, are not likely to change easily without the aid of significant emotional events.

Spot a man with contrary relationship goals. It’s easy to be fooled by the man who insists that he loves kids, but only has the opportunity to show this trait when the children belong to someone else. A smart woman needs to distinguish between a man who only talks about getting married and having a family and the man who would actually embrace the responsibility of following through. Of course, other men say directly that they have no intention of starting a family and only express the desire to concentrate on their other personal goals. A woman may be fooled into thinking that such a man will change in time, but later discover that his original relationship goals were deeply ingrained. A smart woman will carefully gauge a man’s priorities in life so that she is properly aligned with him. Men who only want a limited kind of relationship are only good for women who want the same thing. This is another example of where expecting other people to change is almost always a long-shot proposition.

By making a thorough examination of dating candidates, a smart woman can back the man who has the best chances of becoming a winner in her love life. This process involves first weeding out the obvious losers and then concentrating on the potential winners.


Write down an example of each type of man described in the previous section. Your example could be someone you’ve dated or known as an acquaintance, someone that one of your girlfriends has been associated with, or even a character that you’re familiar with from politics, sports, music, television, or movies.

The important thing is for you to have a clear image of what a losing candidate looks like as soon as possible. That way, you can make an instant connection to one of the profiles if a man warns you with obvious clues about himself in the early stages of dating.


Dating sucks when you get involved romantically with the wrong man. But dating rocks when there’s a healthy love relationship brewing between two people with high levels of mutual attraction, compatibility, and emotional maturity. It’s great when you’re truly good for each other!