Dating Tips|Relationship Advice|Love Strategies


bad odds: 1. when the likelihood of failure occurring as expressed in a ratio is much greater than the likelihood of success. 2. in the context of dating, when the prospects for true love are not good because of the poor circumstances surrounding your relationship. 3. what smart women learn to recognize quickly and avoid in their love lives.

An honest male perspective: Don’t act foolishly by expecting love longshots to win! When you are faced with a low-percentage romantic situation, realize that the most likely outcome is failure. The smart move is to only get involved when the love situation is favorable.

The signs of booming times in the gambling industry have been everywhere. Casinos are popping up all over America, a major corporate merger between MGM Grand Hotels and Mandalay Bay Resorts dominated the front page of The Wall Street Journal, and prime-time network television shows such as C.S.I., Las Vegas, and The Casino have been shot on location in Nevada showcasing a gambling subculture.

This gambling mania seems to overlook the fundamental fact that casinos thrive on millions of people losing their money in games of chance. In these games, the odds are bad for the player, but good for the casino. As an old gambling adage so wisely points out, “The best way to win a small fortune in Las Vegas is to start with a big fortune.”

In a similar way, many people take foolish chances in their love lives. And when the odds of succeeding with a new relationship are bad, you end up wasting your precious time, energy, and emotions on losing romance propositions.


Each week, I receive at least one message from a woman who is deeply involved in a love situation where the odds of succeeding are very low. Here’s an example:

“My so-called boyfriend of almost a year has another girlfriend, someone that he lives with. For the past three months, he’s been saying that he loves me. This man said that he wants to provide for me, and he claimed he was getting his act together so that he could move out and end his other relationship. But we had a big fight last night about his current living situation. Now he says he is going to distance himself from me. I think that maybe his girlfriend is putting the screws to him. Or have I just been playing the fool all this time? What do you think I should I do?”

I usually respond to these kinds of stories by telling the woman that at least three things are needed to make any relationship work: the right man, the right woman, and the right situation. The most confusing scenario is when you put the right man and the right woman together in the wrong situation. Inevitably, the wrong situation presents a consistent long-term obstacle that many romances can’t seem to overcome, even when it feels good initially.


Years ago, a love relationship provided a painful lesson for me. I was involved with a woman who I believed at the time to be “the love of my life.” Earlier in the book I mentioned this passionate romance, which started on a beautiful secluded beach in the Bahamas. Our relationship ended after two years when the woman fell for a more suitable man who she eventually married.

Many years later, I had a chance to talk to her and she shared a deep, dark secret with me. She said that our relationship was doomed from the beginning because her father didn’t approve of my Japanese-American heritage. This was something that she felt too ashamed of to discuss with me back then.

In addition, our relationship was a long-distance romance which meant she would have had to eventually relocate. It was far more convenient for this woman to choose her current husband who resided nearby instead of me.

Looking back at this situation, I now know the reason that I lost out with this woman was not because I wasn’t the right kind of man. And it wasn’t that she was the wrong kind of woman for me. It was a simple case of the odds of the situation not being in our favor.


Adversity tests the strength of your love with another person. The more difficult the situation, the harder it is to make love work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a low-percentage situation won’t work out. Many couples have overcome tremendous obstacles and gone on to enjoy lasting love-relationships. But a romance based almost exclusively on superficial things such as physical attraction, for example, will quickly be exposed for what it is when faced with a long-term challenging situation.

To help you assess your love situation more accurately, here are some obstacles that may hurt your chances for finding success at lasting true-love:

Stay clear of married and almost married men. Men who are married, separated, engaged, or already involved in some other kind of committed relationship make poor candidates for true love. These types of men are notorious for stringing along innocent women, and rarely do they make the decision to move away from the current situation as promised. Don’t fall into the trap of being the “spice” in a man’s love life. Instead, find a situation where you will be the “main course.” Make sure that a man makes a clean break from his previous relationship before you make yourself vulnerable.

Avoid men with excessive family problems. Initially, a man may hide the fact that there are problems with his immediate family. His troublesome relatives (parents, children, etc.) will often take priority over any new romantic interests that may appear only short-term to him. Also realize that some family problems can be closely linked to hidden financial strains.

Beware of the geographically undesirable. When two people live a long way from each other, it limits their actual time together or makes getting together a major hassle. If an emotional attachment takes hold and transforms itself into a long-distance romance, eventually a major relocation will be required or dreams will be broken. Relocating for someone is risky business, and shattered dreams bring heartache. So carefully consider any involvement with a man who lives in a different part of the country, continent, or world.

Be wary of romances with traveling men. A lot of innocent women get involved with men who are on a trip for business or pleasure. For some of these men, there is a challenge to see if they can score while traveling regardless of their relationship at home. As a recent commercial about Las Vegas suggests, “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.” For some men, whatever they do while on a trip is all right as long as they don’t intentionally try to hurt another person and nobody back home finds out. Single men may view travel time as an opportunity to have sex “without strings” or a way to get quick sex despite having STDs. Steer clear of these men, or proceed cautiously.

Look out for large age differences. While this obstacle may not apply so much to celebrity love relationships, it is a more common problem for the average person. Large age-differences translate into being in different stages in life, and make it hard to relate well to each other over time. Often, the younger partner starts to blossom while the older partner tends to feel uncomfortable about this change. For some rare couples, this kind of change ends the original dynamics of the relationship, but they manage to reach a new balance of power and go on to lovingly grow together.

Don’t discount religion, race, and ethnic issues. If marriage and starting a family are part of your future plans, then religion, race, and ethnic issues may appear prominently in a romantic relationship. For some recently matched individuals with these kinds of strong cultural ties, such issues may be too much of an obstacle to moving forward in a dating relationship towards marriage.

Beware of class distinctions. Sometimes economic and social differences can also take their toll on a new love relationship. There is a certain level of difference that most people can accommodate. However, if there are large and clear differences here, a rift may begin to take hold and widen. Of course, in movies like Pretty Woman, people of different classes may spark interesting romances that are successful. Still, in real life, social and economic differences have a largely negative influence on long-term success with love.

Take careful note of major scheduling conflicts. Sometimes I hear women complain that the man they are dating is always working. Maybe he owns his own business and works an 80 to 90 hour work-week. This type of man does not leave much room in his schedule for a full-time love relationship. Another common situation is when the man works the graveyard shift (midnight to 8 A.M.) and the woman works a typical eight-to-five shift. If you’re a woman who wants to spend a lot of time with your man, then these kinds of love situations are going to be difficult and stressful for you.

Watch out for unfair competition. Sometimes a woman will have to compete with an almost perfect mother, an adorable sister, a gorgeous ex-girlfriend, or a loyal ex-wife for a man’s affection. While this special person may not even be directly related to his current love life, the comparisons of her personal strengths may be matched up unfairly against any new woman who comes along. Be on the lookout for these obvious clues that a relationship most likely won’t work out. Don’t be fooled by your short-term emotions when the long-term facts point in the opposite direction. The decision to pass when the odds are bad is much less painful to do right away than after two people have become emotionally involved.


Think back to a relationship in your past and see if any of the “bad odds” situations I’ve mentioned contributed to its eventual downfall. If you have an extensive dating history, can you see any kind of pattern or tendency on your part?

Take out a piece of paper and write down a checklist of the situations that you do want to have in your present or upcoming relationship. The importance of this exercise is to develop a quick recognition of the circumstances around your love life. That way, you can take more decisive actions when the stakes are small.

The best strategy is to save your resources for love situations that look good from the start. This is as opposed to fighting an uphill battle against a relationship that only has a small chance of ever working out.


Dating sucks when you’re stuck in a low-percentage love situation where the prospects of advancing to a happy marriage do not seem likely. But dating rocks when a smart woman learns to recognize poor love-situations quickly and moves on to the prospects for love that are more favorable.