This is a question I received on my latest survey about a dozen times, which lets me know that it’s important to you. And if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

You’ve said it to me loud and clear; you’ve been hurt before, you don’t want it to happen again, and you definitely don’t want to waste your time.

It’s important to remember, however, that nobody escapes matters of the heart completely unscathed. In 99% of relationships, either he’s breaking up with you or you’re breaking up with him. Somebody always gets hurt.

Which means that there’s a bit of risk involved in any relationship, and there’s not a single thing that your trusty dating coach can do to entirely eliminate that risk.

What I’d like to do is help you mitigate that risk a bit so that you don’t end up wasting too much time on the “wrong” men.

Which brings us to a notion that I articulated in “Why He Disappeared,” which has a funny way of always resurfacing on this blog: “Men look for sex and find love.”

This doesn’t mean he’s a player or a liar or a loser. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be a good husband and father one day. All it means is that when he shows up on the first date with you and sees how attracted you are, he’s not thinking about the long-term future, he’s thinking about the short-term future:

“How am I going to charm her? How am I going to make her like me? How am I going to give her an extra drink so I can get her back to my place?”

Once again, I’m not proud of this fact, but it’s true. Men become focused on the here and now, trying to make the most of the present moment.

Women, for the most part, are rarely focused on the date itself. Half the time you’re on the first date with him, you’re trying to see through him and predict the future:

“What’s wrong with this guy? Where is this headed? Is he financially stable? Does he believe in marriage? Is he a player? Does he respect women? Does he want children? He better not hurt me. I don’t want to waste my time.”

Whew.

This disconnect explains almost all of the friction in dating and once you understand it, you can make a permanent adjustment.

All he knows on the first date is that he’s attracted to you.

The way he figures out if he really wants to be in a relationship with you is based on the quality time you spend talking over that first month or two. This is completely separate from his desire to sleep with you.

In this time, when you feel like you’re in limbo, he’s giving you a lot of information about his intentions, based on the effort he makes for you. If he enjoys seeing you platonically and wants to talk to you on the phone, and not every date is planned around him trying to get you in bed, you might just have a man who actually LIKES you.

The way he figures out if he really wants to be in a relationship with you is based on the quality time you spend talking over that first month or two. This is completely separate from his desire to sleep with you.

If you want to be exclusive with a guy, you have to give him time to want to be exclusive with you. That can reveal itself over days, weeks, or a couple of months. But not much longer than that.

The guy who’s been casually seeing you for over two months, where he occasionally texts you, occasionally sees you is simply not putting in the requisite effort to win you over. In the long run, he’s a waste of time because he’s already showing you the kind of relationship he wants: low-stakes, low rewards, no commitment.

I personally became exclusive with my wife after a month. Guys who don’t escalate their efforts after about two months are probably a waste of your time.

This is not a hard and fast rule, of course, but merely a guideline. But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture about mistaking excitement for a future.

If you go on a first date, have electric chemistry and end up in bed, it’s impossible to know if he actually likes you, much less loves you, much less is looking to be married, much less is ready to be married, much less is compatible with you for the next 40 years.

All you know after the first email, first date, or first, is that things are promising. Don’t get ahead of yourself and make things mean more.

And don’t waste your time with a guy who’s not your boyfriend after two months or so.

Wamest wishes,

Evan

P.S. Even though this video is free…don’t discount the value of it. I have talked to thousands of men and women to draw these conclusions. I hope you can break your “bad man” cycle right away!

If you’ve struggled to understand and connect with the “right” men, do yourself a favor, if you haven’t already, and put in your email address. That will put you on my priority mailing list so that you’ll get first notification when my new offering comes out in a few weeks.

*UPDATE: FOCUS Coaching is now available! Click here to learn more about this coaching program for smart, strong, successful women.