Should Men Chase Women or Women Chase Men?

June 16, 2009



Please listen to the radio show on this topic here;

and then add your comments below. There is also a written transcript of this show at the link above.

Kim and Steve.


16 Responses to “Should Men Chase Women or Women Chase Men?”

  1. Lacey said

    For some reason my broadband High Speed cable connection will not connect to your links. Could you Email me another link to find it? I am very interested in hearing these.

  2. Jana said

    I feel enlightened about a lot of things, however I am strictly trying to focus on the narcissistic aspect of it all rather than just relationship trouble. If you have someone that is doing things, underhanded things that you cannot trust or rely on, then how are you to relate to them because you are relying on an honest relationship? It seems great advice but, it also seems like advice you would give in a normal circumstance not an abnormal circumstance. If they would rather lie to you than get to the bottom of anything it does not matter what you say to them. That is what I deal with! I caught him cheating and, because he is so vindictave and because he made arraingments to put his refridgerator in my house and get rid of the old one, i was obligated to not stir the pot. There were a few other things that he worked to HIS benefit that he talked me into as well. No strings kind of things. He arrainged things in that way so that I was obligated. I had his email which I didn’t even try to track down. It was on my name when I signed in to look at my bank account online. His account with his password signed on came on under MY name and because I had been feeling doubt I looked. I wrote everything down and he continued to lie above and beyond anything I have experienced. I did not want to be without a refridgerator so I didn’t say anything. He bold faced lied to me above and beyond, me knowing the truth, to where I cannot trust him at all. Now he says he wants to be with me and it took that experience to know what he wanted. He answered a personal ad on Craigslist and did not even know or converse with the woman other than to say when and where. I trusted him with everything because from thm the beginning he assured me and told me he hated cheaters and liars. I had NO reasaon other than the fact that he began acting strangely. Somehow listening to what you guys seems possible and plausible, it does not seem like what I have been going through.Other than that he seems to adore me and think I am it in his life. After the fact though. I want to trust him but, I don’t think I can. He is a non-descript person for the mostpart until you get to know him. It is a very strange situation and I am up on what I need to look out for narcissism and I know that is what it is.He has not been diagnosed, but I recognize the symptoms and they seem extreme to me. Any input or related stories would be appreciated. This IS NOT a manhunt! Thanks!

  3. Petunia M.A. LPC said

    Trust yourself. You are right. Advice, though helpful in relationships (even abusive relationships) does not extend to NPD. Let me guess: You are far more “wrong” in uncovering his wrong-doing than he is in the actual act. He feels entitled to act as he chooses because of ?? a refrigerator?, etc. and should be above your scrutiny. Even the “truth” he presents it does not hold still long enough for you to deal with. You are so right. Trust yourself.

  4. jackie said

    Well, This is ALL good! ALL GOOD.

  5. Suzanne said

    Dear Kim and Steve,
    I love the story of Skeleton Woman and find it to be profoundly true. How refreshing to hear your take on relationships–it feels confirming to me. Much of what I read regarding relationships seems shallow. Your insights are more in line with my experience. Thanks for this thoughtful perspective.

  6. Kim Cooper said

    Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog, I think Jana your post is a good one for me to comment on for the benefit of everyone and I hope that this helps (-:

    I am not really an expert on NPD. I just share my story of how my husband Steve’s behaviour fit the NPD profile to a T but still because of me working on myself our relationship still did turn around 180˚ for the better! So the people who diagnosed him and said there was no help were wrong.

    I think when love goes wrong a lot of men and women show symptoms of NPD. Look how many are on our list!

    The point that is important I think, is that if you have healthy boundaries and are well adjusted enough yourself to get beyond the games and have the self respect and trust in yourself to show some vulnerability but not turn into a mess if your partner rejects you or plays games with you, but instead you learn how to deal with this in an emotionally intelligent way that you are not going to be a target for this behaviour anymore.

    I like the saying that a predator does not need an excuse, just an opportunity.
    Some people leave themselves open to be mistreated and some do not. More than others I think that someone with NPD is looking for a worthy opponent to their BS. They are looking for someone who knows how to be strong and stand up to them calmly and see through their games, but don’t be deceived to think this will be easy, because they will put up a fight (-:

    I don’t really understand the story about the fridge from this guy you met on Craig list Jana, but I do agree with Petunia. Trust yourself! If you don’t trust this guy well tell him to take his fridge back and say it will be waiting for him on the street. You will get another fridge, it is not worth it letting a predator into your life for that. Build some boundaries and self respect! If on the other hand you do like him, well you need to get the games over the fridge out of it and work out what you need to do? Ask how much he wants for it and be clear that you don’t want to be feeling in debt to him and make a vow to yourself that you won’t leave your boundaries down like this again with someone who is virtually a stranger.

    I might be old fashioned but I will give you some very old fashioned and what I think is good advice …

    Being educated has nothing to do with watching TV or going to the movies. Someone who is really educated reads books and engages in conversation with people regularly. And when it comes to meeting a potential partner please skip over Craiglist and social networking and instead make the effort to befriend solid members of your community and get involved in community activities, whether it be a community garden or church. Then you will have good people who introduce you to other good people and you will do much better in your relationships with this as your starting point.

    I hope this helps and I am glad that you all liked the show!

    Hang in there!

    PS. I love the story of skeleton woman and can’t believe I finally have got the chance to tell it!

  7. Louise said

    Hi Kim and Steve
    I have been a reader of your site for quite some time and have great admiration for what you have both achieved in forging such an obviously great relationship and partnership. I have found your advice inspirational and useful, though it has taken a while for the penny to drop and realise that it’s myself I need, and indeed only myself, I can work on to address any inadequacies in my relationship skills.
    I love the story of the skeleton woman and understand the significance of the message.
    However, one thing puzzles me. I have striven to maintain a positive attitude in the face of my partner’s relentless negativity to become a strong, cheerful, open, independent person. Rather than react to his taunts or put downs I began to just ignore them in an effort to negate their effect. Nevertheless, I have recently become so tired of trying to conteract the misery that my partner seems to wallow in to the extent that I’ve become very withdrawn, uncommunicative, undemonstrative and sullen in his company. Strangely the effect of this is that he’s now on his best behaviour, being more positive and responsive and affectionate towards me. It’s as if he senses I’m pulling away and getting fed up and he’s trying to reel me back in.
    What’s happening here? Is it the fact that I’ve given up trying a factor here? Am I the skeleton woman whose now given up the chase? I do remember just thinking how tired I am of trying to get people to like or love me – this is me take it or leave it! Will he just revert once he feels secure with me again?
    And one question for you Kim – what would you imagine would have happened if Steve had in fact not changed or developed in the way he so obviously has?

  8. Adam T said

    I think the fridge and craigslist were unrelated points.
    The fridge she keeps finding herself in these situations were he is going to fix or solve one of her problems like around the house for instance thus making it seem more difficult for her to demand respect, honesty and everything else she feels shorted on. (I think/ I hope that’s the correct interpretation)
    The Craigslist thing is, one time he answered a craigs list personal (casual encounters W4M I pressume). He basically had no real conversation with the woman other than “time & place”, in otherwords anonymous no strings attached sex.
    The internet isn’t all bad though, I met my woman online but it wasn’t intentionally. I mean I wasn’t at a popular dating dot com and wasn’t trying to find anything on craigslist. I would chat sometimes to kill time, being separated and renting a room in a shared house of men left me some considerable spare time some times. I chatted with one friend for many many months, one day I answered my cell phone and heard this very pretty lovely voice on the other end and much to my surprise (I forgot my phone number was in my yahoo profile) it was her. We haven’t got enough of each other since then. We were both at tough times in our lives and liked the online friendship but after months of talking on the phone we decided to meet somewhere public neutral to both of us. I would have never found her had I not been goofing off on the internet so much back then.
    The one thing that really grabbed me about the show was Steve waiting 3 whole weeks to call you! LOL I hear such things a lot why do guys think there is some secret formula to calling a female? I am very ignorant about what I call “The Game” I think that’s the same thing you are warning against in this show. Outside of the message of your show what are women thinking when they give their numbers to a guy? Hopefully he’ll call me tonight? or tomorrow? I’m always the one ready to call tomorrow but I haven’t had a ton of luck with that. It seems like women are more likely to give their number out and then never return the phone call. I honestly don’t think waiting some magic number like one or two weeks is correct either. Deep down inside I want to believe that it just depends on the woman and the situation and I’m a terrible read when it comes to women and what they expect in the way of being approached and asked out. The ladies that feel I didn’t notice them notice me are wrong I did notice I’m just sparing them and myself from my incredible awkwardness.

  9. Lindsay Barnhill said

    This show was wonderful and very helpful and also my first show to be able to hear. On the comments i kind of felt like Jana,but Kim and Steve have asked me to not focus on my husband,so I’am doing the only Thing I can do is work on the only thing you truly have all the power over: yourself, i’ve already learned the hard way that there was alot of things about me that i didn’t see or realize needed two change from my perspective the harder I try the worse it gets, being the key word is I, i’m positve Brian (my husband) would have a different version. Thanks

  10. Lynette said

    it might make some of you feel better to know that the narcissistic dilemma can affect all types – regardless of education and age, we can all get drawn in. I sit here tonight knowing he is one block away in the apartment of his long term ‘friend’ again. We started dating a couple of years ago. I thought he was shy and didn’t want to be openly affectionate because of that. I knew he owned some apartments in the block next door and assumed he stayed in one of them when he worked late in his restaurant on site. It took me months to find out he stayed with her – one block away – and that she had been his ‘friend’ for 19 years. There was no shyness he just didn’t want anyone to know about us.

    I am a professional, tertiary educated person and hold a high level corporate role. But he lies so well, I think he convinces even himself he is telling the truth. When I met her, I liked her. She was desperately sad – emotionally abused narcissistically for years and just wanting his love and affection and a normal family life. For 20 years she has supported him, wanting his child and commitment. He entangled her in his business deals and lost her small family inheritance and now she struggles financially while he develops waterfront real estate.

    He broke up with her 3 months ago and has been ringing me frequently. I agreed to do dinner. The following week his car was parked outside her place again overnight. She needed to talk, he said. I decided to try to trust him and we had a great night. Tonight he is there again. Talking, all night again, no doubt.

    Why do we choose to believe crap when we know the real truth? How can a smart woman find it so difficult to resist the charm when we know the real deal in our hearts. Too many times I have told myself ‘enough’. But in again I march and the result is another period of emotional anguish and uncertainty. Love to know where to find the strength from to walk away forever. The pain is not easy.

  11. redfield said

    Personality disorders are ego-syntonic, that is sufferers do not have insight into their own behaviors, and regard their behavior as normal. This puts this class of disorder in a seperate category from nearly all other abnormal psychology. Also psychologists don’t diagnose these disorders easily, typically diagnostic correlation between clinitians can be as low as 37%, meaning one in 3 will agree with their colleague on diagnosis!
    So this is why these people are difficult to treat, when a person realises they have a a personality disorder kind of defeats the DSM definition.
    Personally I couldn’t wait to get free from my N!

  12. Steve Cooper said

    Hi Redfield,
    I’m not sure if you were trying to make Lynette feel better with your post, or if you just wanted to post something of your own? I’ll assume the latter, as this is a supportive forum, encouraging people to interact with each other (while our team, Kim and I moderate and keep nasty people gagged).
    So, without being nasty myself, this is what I got from your post….You can drop someone (anyone?), into a category of having a personality disorder. Next, crunch some numbers. Then, when finding nothing conclusive amongst the established professions, you can then be rid of the problem- because the problem isn’t you. End of story.
    However, if your post is a reply to Lynette, and offering some ideas as to her questions of “why”, I suppose you might have been helpful, but we’d have to ask Lynnette that.
    I never want to run down science too much, but I do know that there are differences within specialities in the scientific world. If I need a specialist on an internal combustion engine, I’ll happily pay good money to a mechanic; as he is a specialist. But when it comes to love, and even personality disorders, I want to gather as much info as I can, from as many specialists and non-specialists as I can. That is to say, the science of love and personality disorders are far more complex than mechanical science.
    I recently read about a psychologist/author, who says we need to re-think the “love at first sight” myth. He says that we are betrayed by surges in hormones and we can make poor decisions about our choice of partner. This idea has some merit. He also suggests that these poor decisions should be recognised early, and if they are, long(and expensive) periods of marriage therapy can be avoided by a simple admission that “we’re just not right for each other”. He went on to suggest that separation is the simplest, most logical and most practical course of action.
    This author has raised some interesting questions, but as is often the case, he is jumping to conclusions and offering answers when really, the raising of the question is more than enough.
    Lynette, you are aware that there is a problem. That is great. You can see that there has been some kind of ‘swindle’, i.e. him pretending to be shy. There are some questions for you now. Why were you attracted to him? The question shouldn’t be too precise, because there are emotions involved, and no matter what scientists say, we cannot really get to the “why” in emotions. You have shared some intimacy and that means something.
    He is behaving more like a child than an adult. In a healthy solid relationship, there is no room for ex-girlfriends, and to think that a Platonic relationship can continue indefinitely will only serve to destroy trust, in nearly all cases.
    We believe that trust is so central to a healthy relationship, and we have written eBooks about how to build trust, even when a betrayal is suspected or confirmed.
    Lynette, I really feel for you, because I am sure that the time you have spent with him meant something to you, and you felt that it must have meant something to him also. I am sure it did. His behavior now is in question, and with that comes a chance for you to call on what tools you have at your disposal, we can give you some of those tools and will also direct you to other material from other authors that will help you build some additional skills.

  13. mary said

    I think the guy has been cheating on her with you; and on you with her. Do you want to be sad for 20 yers as she has been? He doesn’t deserve either of you!

  14. Amanda said

    Thank you, I could really relate to the Skeleton Woman story and am at a point where I’ve stopped the chase.

    It’s taken me 6 weeks after my husbands infidelity shock (and at the same time realising about all his other deceitful behavior and npd traits) to become strong enough to do it but I’ve done it and think I can maintain it.

    My biggest fear is that even if this works (which I think it might as I can already see an instant change in his attitude within the first 2 hrs), do I have to live in fear for ever more that I might end up in this pattern of chasing and running again one day?

    That I’ll be happy again, but one day this could crop up again until I find myself in the same ugly painful situation.

    I like to hope that if we make it through this that we will both have learned enough and changed enough from the horrors of the experience that we won’t repeat the same stupid dance again.

    Thank you anyway, what I’m reading from you since I signed up has been some of the most insightful words I’ve ever heard in my life, so I’ll be staying tuned in to learn as much as possible.

    I find it hard to listen to the radio shows as the sound is a bit distorted sometimes, will they/are they all converted to written transcript also?

  15. Jude said

    I appreciate the radio show. I wonder if this is helpful with people with NPD. They seem to want to get the object quickly, with out much time for the object to discern the person behind the mask. Not dating but going in for the kill. Controling the time frame so that there is not so much work on thier parts. As soon as we were married, the insults, blame and shame began. This man was known to my parents for 26 years and they had no clue of his abusive personality and to what cruel degree. They encouraged me to marry and quickly. Now they feel bad. I was hooked and ripped, running away.

  16. Shannon said

    The skeleton woman is a nice story and I can see some of the parallels but not well enough to provide direction in my present delima. While it is good to know how I got here, I still have no clue as to where to go from here forward. I am not married to this guy, I cannot force him to be in my presence and I cannot force him to see me/talk to me. I made a lot of mistakes in my efforts in trying to disarm the situation – all which seem to make it worse. I’m trying to heal the relationship at least to a good friendship. I’m standing here like a deer caught in the headlights. Every move I’ve made so far seems to have been wrong but I know if I stand still, the friendship/relationship will be just as dead. I don’t know how to un-do being too easy to catch. I don’t know how to un-do all those actions, wanting to please, wanting to talk and then just crying when I just didn’t know what else to do. He has misconceptions about me and my intentions. I suspect these conceptions have less to do with me and more to do with other pass experiences. I have tried to rectify and disarm his concerns to no avail. I do not know how to gain his trust and to disarm his fear of me – like I am the skeleton woman.

    I have been divorced for over 9 years. I do not fall in love easily. I can accept if we are not to be together as a couple, but if I loose my friend as well, that will be much harder to endure. People are not puzzle pieces to me where I can simply go and swap out or replace one person with a new person. Every person in my life has unique value, and while I realize that this one is “damaged” so to speak, he is still important enough to me to try to mend the relationship. His hurtful words and actions are without malice and I believe are from his own internal pain.

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