Bad Dating Advice – A Response to Evan Marc Katz

Last night I did something I try not to do very often … I googled myself!

Intrigued by which of my projects appear when you enter my name in Google, I flicked through the various web pages, and came across something I had never seen before.  A rather surprising and scathing attack from someone on the other side of the world.  Someone well-reknowned in the world of dating.

Evan Marc Katz is an American dating coach.  A former JDate staff member, he’s been in the dating world a long time.  These days he gives advice specifically to women.  It’s quite different to the stuff I do and write, and I’ll admit I’ve not spent much time reading or watching anything he’s done, but I remember finding his TED talk on Dating earlier in the year interesting and fun.  Interestingly, his name came up in a brainstorm I was doing earlier this week for my new job role.  In January I’ve accepted the role of Global Head of Dating for Time Out (eek! yes, very excited about it! more on that soon!!!), and had been brainstorming American dating experts to use on that side of the pond!!! Evidently I won’t be using this particular one any more …!!!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 01.18.05

Copyright TED


I’ve never met Evan Marc, or had any contact with him … so it was something of a surprise to find my name negatively discussed in an article by him on his blog.

Back in October I wrote an article for the Huffington Post about stereotypical dating advice which isn’t actually that helpful.  I took things people tell you about dating, and spun them around, to look at some of the reasons those ideas don’t necessarily work.  As with everything I write about dating, it was simply an opinion, and I tried to be as non-patronising as possible.  I believe one of the reasons 30 Dates has earned its place in the dating world, is because I never overtly tell people what they have to do, and because I’ve been there and done that.  Often I’m laughing at myself in the process of working out the best way to approach something!  I’m (just about still!) a single girl, and have been single for the last 3 years.  I’ve dated on more websites and apps than I can remember, and in the last two years have met thousands of singletons who’ve shared their dating experience with me.

I know how my writing is generally received, particularly by other people who work in the dating industry.  I’ve been called upon by countless dating websites, newspapers, radio stations and other companies to share my expertise and experiences, and have consulted for some of the biggest names in the UK dating industry.  Interestingly, the Huffington Post article in question was one which a number of British experts had praised or shared themselves.  All three comments written directly on it were positive ones, agreeing with what I said. So why was Evan Marc so opposed to it?!

For starters, here’s the article under discussion!

I personally thought it was helpful and pretty inoffensive!  Apparently not … here’s Evan Marc’s response!  I would like to point out, Evan Marc didn’t in any way share this article with me, contact me with his disagreement, or even comment on the HuffPo article directly – which I think is a bit spineless and underhand.  If you’re going to write a response to something, at least have the decency to let the person you’re attacking know about it!  Especially when your own article appears to begin with a rather personal attack!

In response, I will tweet Evan Marc a link to this article.  I don’t plan to start a war of words, but I do wish to respond directly to a couple of things he says.  Because we all have a right to our own opinion, and to free speech, and I feel the way I’ve been portrayed on his blog is pretty harsh and under-researched.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 01.01.18

1) The choice of photo suggests I’m a clueless granny, sitting pretty doing my make-up, disinterested in what I’m writing about.  I live what I write – that’s how this whole blog started.  The reason I’m so invested in dating is because I’ve been single for 3 years and I’ve lived the ups and downs, and want to help save others some of the dramas!  I’m 31, not 51!  And a normal girl!!

2) “God, I hate people who give advice. They’re so smug. So opinionated. So unqualified. So wrong! I’m sure that’s what many people think about me, and that’s certainly what I think about Charly Lester, London-based “blogger, journalist, dating expert,” and Huffington Post contributor”

I’ve never been accused of being smug on this blog.  The whole point is it’s designed not to be patronising.  If anything the post in question was designed to tell people not to worry so much!  The advice was telling them things like ‘you don’t need to lose weight to attract someone’ and ‘you shouldn’t have to stress over your dating profile too much’.  How is that smug advice?? As for opinionated … As I often say on this blog, we’re all entitled to our own opinions, and you’ll never get a situation where everyone agrees … but I can’t help feeling this introduction is a pretty personal attack … and a rather unnecessary one given the nature of what was being discussed.  “So unqualified …”  Evan Marc, I’ve spent more time talking, writing about, and most importantly DATING in the last two years than anything else.  I set up a national Awards scheme, judged over 200 applications across the entire industry and managed to bring an entire industry together in one room.  And possibly most importantly … unlike you, because you’re happily married, I’ve actually been dating first-hand in 2014.  I’ve actually online dated in a world of Tinder …. How does that make me less qualified than a married man who has only dated vicariously in recent years?!  Like I said, I’m not here to start a war of words, but I do find it rather patronising for someone who is happily married to tell me as a singleton that I don’t understand dating or online dating.  I do – I’ve lived and breathed it, and have had a lot of time to work out what does work, and what doesn’t!!!


3) Put A Lot of Time Into Your Online Dating Profile

I stand by this opinion.  If your profile is too lengthy, it will put people off.  And there is no point writing your life story on a dating profile, or creating something so cultivated that you lose the sense of you.  Evan Marc – in 2014, yes there are people who read every word of a profile.  But a LOT of people just skim read and glance at the main stuff.  That’s not saying they’re bad people or not worthy matches, that’s just how we function in 2014.  We have lots of other media going on.

The advice was to encourage people not to stress too much, or over think things – which a lot of singles I know have done, and it put them off online dating entirely.  Surely it’s a good thing to encourage people not to worry too much?!

4) Improve Yourself

“Okay, let’s tell men who write to women 30 years younger to keep doing it. Tell men who send dick pics to keep doing it. Tell men who only contact you for booty calls to keep doing it. Tell men who don’t pay for dates to keep doing it. Tell men who only communicate by text and never plan in advance to keep doing it”

Evan Marc – you’ve really misread this one! I was talking about people being told they should lose weight or improve their appearances to date!  Did you even read the explanations beneath the headers?!


5) Get To Know Someone First

Again this advice was clearly qualified.  I’ve fallen foul of this one before – talking to someone too long before meeting and then being really disappointed because they didn’t end up being the exact same person I imagined.  Getting my hopes up too soon because I felt like I really knew someone before we even met.  Only agreeing to go on dates with guys who I felt I had a real connection … only to realise the guys I had most connection with in real life were ones I would have probably dismissed online.

Dating is about going out, meeting new people and learning about yourself.  By the sounds of things, Evan Marc’s advice is about husband-bagging.  A recent video was entitled ‘How to Make the Most Attractive Men Fall for you Every Time’.

And that I think highlights the issue Evan Marc has with my article.  We come at dating from completely different angles.  I don’t profess to be a dating coach or a relationship expert.  I know about dating.  That’s my area of expertise.  How to approach dating.  How to have a fun date.  How to get confidence about dating.  How to learn from dating.  How to embrace being single.  I’ve never tried to tell people how to find a husband.  And frankly I find telling people to act a certain way to attract men pretty offensive and old-fashioned!  Particularly when it’s stressed as ‘the Most attractive men.”  But some people want to hear those things.  Some people want to spend their money being told exactly how to attract a husband – something EMK has clearly tapped into well – by the looks of his website he has quite an empire!  Each to his own and all that …

Sorry Evan Marc, looks like we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one …

What I will say though, is next time you start making personal attacks though, it’s good form to at least make the other party aware!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

28 Comments on Bad Dating Advice – A Response to Evan Marc Katz

  1. First – Bravo for standing up for yourself! I have actually called EMK out for “advice” on writing profiles in niche Sugar Dating Sites. A world I know quite a bit about, by the way. It was at best generic and an up chuck version of how to write something similar for traditional dating. He didn’t respond…go figure. How very passive aggressive and cowardly of him to not at least give you a ping back, so you could at least benefit from a back

    We should chat about what you have going on. It’s been a while 🙂

  2. Reading your article and then following with Evan’s response I’m confused at his complete overreaction, especially as he doesn’t know you. Well done on sticking up for yourself and just realise that this is all part of the journey of increased success! Haters are gonna hate but you keep on writing this fabulous blog!

    • Thank you! I was equally confused, especially as he is such a big name in the States – why bother having a go at me! You’re right, have seen it as a sign of increased success and notoriety! 😉 Thanks for continuing to read 🙂 xxx

  3. A former Evan reader // December 12, 2014 at 3:56 am // Reply

    Good for you Charly! Even’s over-the-top snarky schtick is getting old- as is his advice. He claims to just be an ‘observer of the world’ and ‘reporting the facts’, but he doesn’t seem to realize he cherry picks all of the studies he uses as his facts, and suffers greatly from the confirmation bias he accuses everyone else of. He has grown completely insufferable.

    • Thank you for commenting! Everyone has been really supprortive, and general consensus is that my common sense approach (and the fact i dont try to make money out of daters!) threatens his business model!!! 🙂 xxx

  4. I posted a link on EMK’s blog, when he didn’t reply to any of my related tweets.

    I received this response.

    Evan Marc Katz
    Charly, as I said at the top: I’m sure you’re a nice person. I disagreed with three of your 5 bullets on HuffingtonPost and I explained why. I stand by my take on things: People should spend a lot of time writing their online profiles. People should try to improve themselves. People should get to know each other before going on blind dates.
    I didn’t need to notify you or the Huffington Post of my opinions in advance. Does everyone on the internet check in with each other before writing posts? Did you contact me before writing your post? Of course not. So I’m glad you have an audience in the UK, I’m glad you’re making a difference in the world, and I’m sorry I won’t get to meet you at iDate. But the fact that I am sharing your rebuttal to me on my own blog should be all the evidence you need to see that “spineless” is the last word you can use to describe me.
    Best of luck in the future.

    Still not convinced he read my original post properly … or this one!
    “Did you contact me before writing your post?” “Um yes I did! And I tweeted you the link too!”
    Some people!
    Best of luck in the future Evan!

  5. I have not read either post yet, but just the introduction slamming people about giving advice is very hypocritical when the first you see on his screen is to ASK HIM FOR ADVICE. Dating can be hard, relationships are hard, and for me trusting is hard ,but without a little outside perspective from many angles (his and yours) how is anyone going to be able to decide what is best for his/herself? I do not see the need for a personal attack however, I say that and had someone misinterpret a blog entry of mine about a woman who told me it was my fault my ex cheated and beat me. With so many different experiences out there we need to remember a bit of compassion no matter the difference of opinion. No matter how long Evan has been at this, the least he could do is respect you if not learn from your experience/opinion.

    • Thanks hun – all very odd to be honest! The irony is that since his post I’ve noticed some really bad advice on the internet from ‘experts’ and yet i would never think to call them out on it or pick on them personally! Each to his/her own i guess! Hope you’re well xxx

  6. I have followed Evan for awhile. I am actually beginning to think he’s quite nasty. His responses and mass emails are fairly passive aggressive. It makes me uncomfortable.

    • Thanks for commenting Dana. He’s not been particularly friendly to me! Which is a shame as I know he has a good reputation over in the States. But each to his own – I’m sure I say lots of stuff people don’t agree with, but I’ve always tried to be as open and non-patronising as possible in the process 🙂

      Cheers Charly xx

    • I agree Dana.
      Auntie Pam

  7. not scared // July 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm // Reply

    I left a comment on his website as very condesending towards OLDER single women never married. I find the comments from Evan to be humilating towards “whats her problem” as to never equate that most single women above the age of 40 are single because of challenges of soical environments and economical stress. Evan states that married women are simply happier people. Um i noted that you can be single and never married and don’t have children to receive fulfillment. Just because at some point in my life never had children doesn’t mean that i’m some unattractive person inside and out and don’t appreciate the fullfillment that life can give me 40+. I received a very condesending bullying attack on his social website from an “emerald dust” and my comments were deleted showing me to be unintellegent and underminded. I think Evan and his website should be investigated towards manipulating the “single” woman to boast the happiness of married women (whom majority aren’t happy just faking it).

    • Thanks for commenting 🙂 You’re certainly not the only person I’ve heard complain about having their comments deleted. xx

      • not scared // July 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm //

        thank you Charly its nice to hear support from the green grass side. Best wishes towards your dating blog in truly wanting the best for those of wanting to find positive congruitive love.

  8. not scared // July 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm // Reply

    also sorry for the mispelling of two important words…. social and unintelligent…… take care!

  9. I’m very happy about your post. If you have ever read Evan Marc Katz, there is always an underlying sexism. He believes women have the underhand and that the man is the prize. Lots and lots of narcissism going on there, and he loves the female attention and adulation. If I read him and take him seriously, i always feel well “icky.” He’s outdated and comes from a world, probably his past, where extremely insecure men try to find weak women to prey upon. That’s not the majority of men. Most men and women are people, most are good, most have good intentions and we’re just trying to find our better half. The granny thing was very sexist and disturbing. Also, your advice as meet in person before spending too much time getting to know them online, is on the money. If anyone is going around thinking they have to do all of this stuff to find companionship, they will never find anyone. Accept and love yourself with all your flaws-well…other people tend to see what we see in ourselves. This emk douche-his while aim-is to make women feel inferior-so he will feel less so. He’s a classic narcissist.

  10. He’s a misogynist who advises women to lower their standards and date old men. He believes men shouldn’t have to pay child support if they say, ‘I don’t want the kid’.
    And he treats the idea of single women as a fate worse than death. Personally, I’d rather be single than with an old man I’m not attracted to.

    • Omg I am so glad I found these comments, after reading Evan Marc Katz I was so depressed he said finding a never married never had kids was impossible if I were not i n my 20’s and yes I agree he feels that woman should trade down and date bald older men I would rather stay single ! He’s a chauvanist

  11. That bloke is nothing more than a misogynist praying on poor humiliated desperate woman. I believe a blogger once even said he is a “shitstain” on humanity and I could not agree more. I am just making the remark that it is useless to try and appeal to the morality of such a man, because he has none.
    Once he even wrote an article about how “rape is not that bad”. It is sad to say that so many women have a low self-esteem and they actually follow this individual’s blog, either that or they are there to troll him and he just deletes their ranting comments hah!

  12. I’ve been to his site and read his “advice” and this guy is a total fraud. He either talks in circles and never really says anything, or states the perfectly obvious and acts like it’s expert advice only he would know and needs to charge you for. The reason this male dating coach targets women is because they are too polite to tell him to his face how full of it he is. A male audience would have lost patience with him a long time ago and demanded he actually get to this expert advice he keeps claiming to have.

  13. Katlodbrock // March 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm // Reply

    I know this is an old post but. He seems to be a shill for the online dating conglomerate. His advice follows their protocol and it’s filled with puas personally attacking women who like you who were just stating an opinion. I think his advice is serving no one but himself and what has quickly become a dating monopoly.

  14. sandyjeanie // May 6, 2016 at 12:45 am // Reply

    I posted a reply on one of Evan’s articles once, looking for help and that guy ripped me apart. He only printed parts of my post, making me look like a complete idiot and then told all of his readers that I came to his site to attack him. If he had printed my entire comment, readers would have seen that I was very sad and depressed at the time of my writing. But the way he rearranged my comment with bits and pieces made me look like whining imbecile of a nasty snipe who was just looking for attention by ripping Evan apart. He did that to another woman on that site too because she and I got together and talked about it. We both attempted to explain our real reasons for writing on his site but Evan would not print any of our comments explaining ourselves. He used us to his own advantage, to make us look bad and make himself look good for his followers. I think he is a selfish, self serving, narcissist who only cares about his own benefits. So, I am not surprised about the things he said about you without even attempting to speak with you first. Truthfully, that man makes me vomit!

  15. LOL the guy is a slim ball. he deleted a few of my posts and his also when he looked real stupid.
    His advice is pretty generic in most cases.

    My opinion is he is not a dating expert. If you’re interested in knowing about relationships you should read the book Men Are From Mars and Women from Venus By Dr John Gray. While he doesn’t give dating advice in the book he does give show how men and women are different and what makes a man happy is different from what a woman makes her happy.

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