Being “Great On Paper” Doesn’t Mean A DAMN THING In Building A Successful Relationship

On Friday I was having a discussion with my homegirl Goddess Intellect and she said something that gave me a momentary pause: “The men in this city [Toronto] are SO lucky!” The reason I paused is because I’m incredibly TORN on the truthfulness of that sentiment. On one hand, she’s right because the city IS full of beautiful, successful and intelligent women – but on the other hand, those are just “on paper” qualities which say absolutely NOTHING about those women’s ability to maintain a successful relationship. It’s funny how easily we can judge men and women by their superficial characteristics and attributes as being GREAT partners, yet have absolutely NO clue about how FROWSY their TRULY are in the context of dating and courting.

After Goddess said that, I quickly gathered my thoughts and replied: “In this city, the reality is it’s easy to find a woman to want to be in a relationship with, but it’s extremely hard to find a woman to build a relationship with.” What I meant is, women here are very good on paper because they have the qualities most men would deem necessary for their future wife to have which makes them great candidates to court. In fact, it’s easier for men to find women who match those positive ON PAPER attributes than it is for a woman to find a man who looks equally as good ON PAPER. BUT, it’s also those same women in this same city who present A LOT of difficulties in MAINTAINING a successful relationship, because no matter how high your salary is, how good your grades are and how robust your cleavage is, those things say NOTHING about how crazy, ignorant and dating-inept some of these women REALLY are.

All that ON-PAPER GOODNESS says NOTHING about her intense jealousy, incredible narcissism, unfaithfulness or just plain ol’ CRAZY.

But this isn’t solely about women, because there’s A LOT of men who look GREAT on paper (handsome, tall, smart, educated, accomplished and ambitious) yet are lacking A LOT of the skills needed to build a successful relationship with a woman.


There’s A LOT of dudes who appear to be amazing just when you hear their personal descriptions detailing all of their various accomplishments and physical attributes – but get his musty ass on a date, and it’s a whole new ballgame. There’s a lot of dudes walking around who are possessive as hell, self-centered like a mutha____, cheat all the damn time and just straight-up INSANE.

Wherever in the world you are reading this, I want you to get away from the mindset of believing that men or women in YOUR city have it particularly easy because of the proclivity of good partners available to them. The truth is, besides their ON-PAPER attributes, you don’t have any DAMN clue about the level of FROWSINESS that these supposed “great catches” really have. If you want to state judging someone’s date-ability, you have to use a LOT MORE than surface-level achievements and traits.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    01/07/2013 at 4:47 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, In YOUR City do you believe that men or women are LUCKY because of the "high-quality" of people available to date? Or do you think it's impossible to judge just from a surface level?

    • petersburgh

      01/07/2013 at 6:09 AM

      I don't even think like this period so I can't tell you but I can say Barbados (which Toronto or NY can swallow many times over) has several beautiful women and that's all I can say. I admire women regularly but if I am not interested in dating or having a friend, I don't speak to them because sometimes the attitude etc makes them even less attractive or at least I look past it

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        01/07/2013 at 12:43 PM

        Bajan women are definitely beautiful – and definitely have attitude too!

  2. Jordana Spice

    01/07/2013 at 5:20 AM

    I actually touch a bit of this topic on my blog post this week about online dating. But according to some of the American men I've corresponded with, yes, I do believe that the men in Toronto are l

    • Jordana Spice

      01/07/2013 at 5:44 AM

      (Sorry typing from my iPhone)continued:
      … Lucky to a degree. I don't know the validity of what these men have been saying, because I don't live in the states. However, I constantly hear about how Toronto has some of the bloody beautiful women in the world. And with our multi culturally diverse options, I won't necessarily argue with that, but what I foun interesting is these men mention that even though beautiful, there isn't an entitlement to be "taken care of" in comparison to beautiful women in the states. I've been hearing how many of the beautiful women in the states seem to believe that their beauty is a free ticket for them to not work.

      I think these men are sharing some perspective based on their own dating experiences, but it's interesting to see my perspective has changed big when it comes to my dating experiences with Toronto men. I will not hide the fact that I find a lot of them to be lazy and entitled. They do not want to make a lot of effort in regards to courting, yet they expect a woman to sweep THEM off their feet. Indecisive about they want commitment-wise, and immature in regards to living independently.

      My apologies if I offend anyone as this isn't my intention. I can only truthfully speak on my own personal experiences and what I've been witnessing from experiences I see with my friends. I know a circle of quality women who I see constantly struggling with the dating scene in Toronto. And so far the only success that I've seen come their way was when they opened their options to dating American men. 2 of my girlfriends had men from the states come down over the holidays to visit them with no issue whatsoever. These men booked their own hotel room to stay and STILL attempted to pay for dinner when taking my friends out.

      Yet, I see some men in Toronto who don't even wanna buy you a coffee because that is $5 outta their pocket if they meet a a girl at Starbucks. It's just really disappointing that I'm heavily considering long distance dating in comparison to dating men in my own city because we don't seen to share much in common anymore. Even though I'm not in my girlfriend's lives to witness how they interact dating wise… I can see how they treat me as a friend which is a great indication of what they stand for morally and who they are as a person. And they deserve to be treated right, but it's like some of these Toronto men are jaded or something. To the point where they cannot risk treating a girl properly in fear of the fact that they may invest a few bucks on a possible " gold-digger". Now, they've lost a good opportunity with a quality woman due to their baggage. It's like they wanna be proved she's a good woman first. Expecting wifey and girlfriend treatment BEFORE commitment so they can assess if its worth their time.

      I hate to make this a rant about Toronto men(which this has turned into) but all I can say is that so far it's been refreshing talking to some of these men from the states who seem to be willing to drive the distance, understand the difference between a quality woman and a trick and who's independently taking care if himself in his late 20's to early 30's.

      • mena

        01/07/2013 at 7:10 AM

        This could have been written by someone from the states talking about the awesome men in Toronto and the jerks here. :-)

        We appreciate those on the outside more than we do on the inside since it's new and exotic. It's the "grass is greener" syndrome. When you have dealt with crap from your own city, you build an "eat shit" attitude for those in your city. Hell, enough crap can make you just simply give up so possibly the attitude projected is "fuck off." Then you go to a new city or meet someone from the outside who knows how to approach and date and all of a sudden your attitude changes and you favor that one group more than the group you have known.

        Trust, we face this in the states too. I'm sure if I went to Toronto, I would rave about the men that y'all can't stand and vice versa if you came here.

        Your dating options should open up if you can't find someone in your own settings. I think you should try a few dudes from the states.

        • Jordana Spice

          01/07/2013 at 8:34 AM

          I completely understand what you are saying Mena. I’m sure that if you came to Toronto, it would be something different than what you are used to in the States. I just really hope that our Toronto men would step it up should you come to town and treat you with respect and like a lady, vs. expecting you to woo them and impress them. I was very PRO-TORONTO up until about a year ago. My reasons for this was due to the multicultural exposure we have in this city. It’s great dating a guy who knows the clash of Hakka cuisine (Indian infused Chinese food) or who knows how to “pelt waist” to soca music. Not saying the men in the states aren’t exposed to different cultures, however, I find the multiculturalism in Toronto is VERY diverse in comparison to many cities in the U.S. However, I’m definitely expanding my horizons now. I’m done asking the men of this city to step up their game and act like men. I’m done with feeling exhausted as if I need to prove my worth as a woman just to be treated like a lady in this city. If an American guy steps up to the plate to claim me, I’ll welcome the idea with open arms.


          • mena

            01/07/2013 at 8:48 AM

            I def think there is probably more culture in Toronto. Just moving from the middle of no where to a city, I have seen different cultures so I can only imagine what Toronto has to offer.

            "If an American guy steps up to the plate to claim me, I’ll welcome the idea with open arms." So true. I think this is the right attitude to have. Nothing wrong with expanding your reach to find the right match.

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          01/07/2013 at 12:55 PM

          Yup. Women here act as if their problems with the opposite sex are only specific to them in THIS city. Sorry, but you hear women and men from EVERY city say that about their own people.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        01/07/2013 at 12:54 PM

        Interesting perspective. Because that's YOUR perspective I can't say whether it's right or wrong because that's not in my jurisdiction to do so.

        But as a "Toronto man" I've dated women in this city, in the Caribbean, NYC and Europe, and to be honest – women here are great, but the belief that they are "Better" than women from other places is just absolute bullshit. And although there are more quality women than men, the idea that it's an epidemic of mass proportions is simply fallacious.

        The way I've seen women in NYC hustle while maintaining their sex appeal and being beautiful and classy while still having an edge is unlike ANYTHING in the GTA. The way I've seen women in Atlanta look gorgeous and FIT, while being able to have solid homemaking abilities because they don't think they're too "good" to learn how to cook and take care of home is unlike ANYTHING in the GTA. And the way I've seen women in France be incredibly well educated. fashion-forward, beautiful yet friendly, is unlike ANYTHING here.

        But is that true of ALL women in those places? Of course not. Is it even true that those women in those other cities are better "wife" material? Of course not – because they are good on PAPER.

        No matter what your geographical location is, no matter how much positive attributes you have, if you don't have the skills to nurture a romantic relationship that's YOUR fault – not your area codes'.

  3. alexxussknight

    01/07/2013 at 11:28 AM

    When prey changes their behaviour so will the predator. Toronto men are spoiled because there are so many women in this city who forget their roles and begin doing the things that back in the day would require work to attain. A guy no longer needs to bust his ass to get the goods.He doesn't need to go on dates, open doors or pay for meals. Chicks out here are willing to just ride around, go no where, chill inside the crib and dudes still get the draws. It requires nothing to be with a girl in Toronto now a days. Which in the end makes it hard for a good girl with standards and a strong sense of self. Why would a dude work so hard when there are at least 4 other girls in his phone willing to come break him off for only Mcdonalds and a smile. Here's the other thing that's not the dude you want anyway, if we can read the signs early as in how he approaches you and what he suggest for a first date you can avoid all of the chit chatter and move on without breaking too much of a sweat, but that is the real problem in Toronto, the prey!

    • Jordana Spice

      01/07/2013 at 12:08 PM

      I completely agree!

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      01/07/2013 at 12:41 PM

      I think one of the problems that NON-FROWSY men in this city have to deal with, is many women's false-perceptions of themselves.

      It's hilarious to hear women in Toronto talk about other women in this city as a unified group of smart, intelligent, classy, sexy, cultured, hard-working, respectful, beautiful, curvaceous, educated, successful women – with men who don't amount to one-tenth of that. As someone who has been blessed to live outside of this city, it's absolute BULLSHIT.

      Toronto women, BY IN LARGE, are no better than any women anywhere else on the planet. The "creme-of-the-crop" here is definitely unique and unlike women anywhere else because of our city's cultural influence, but to say women here are this large group of GREAT women with NO options is a boost at best, and delusional at worst.

      Also, I find it hilarious that women in Toronto, who've never lived outside of Toronto, seem to believe that women here are SOOO intrinsically special as compared to women in other cities. I think they need to go live in DC, ATL, Houston, Chicago, LA, Miami, Dallas, Italy, Spain, France, Australia or Japan and observe the WOMEN there before patting themselves on the back.

      • Jordana Spice

        01/07/2013 at 3:38 PM

        I think we will ultimately have a difference of opinion as Lincoln is a man and I’m a woman both living in this city and we both encounter different dating environments. I cannot speak for ignorant women with false perceptions of themselves because I do keep it real on all levels and I will be the first to admit that I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I also do not believe I run with a bunch of chicken-head unintelligent, non-classy broads with no value or morals. I actually have standards when it comes to my friendships as well. So, when I say that I know quality women, I’m not to be confused with ratchet or frowsy types who are in denial. And due to the fact that I’m a woman dating in Toronto, I too, encounter men who have lack of education, lack of looks, lack of body shape, lack of a job, lack of morals and ethics but YET…still demand a dime-piece on their arm. We could go back and forth at this all day. But, if Toronto women were so bad, than you wouldn’t have kept the 25 mile radius initially on your profile when you decided to online date. And at no point am I saying that women are BETTER here than anywhere else, but do I believe that Toronto men are lucky to have such beautifully diverse intellectual women here at their access…yes. I stand by that. And I wholeheartedly agree that THIS is the reason why they have such entitlement and believe they have so many options. It’s been said repeatedly by many men on your blog that because there are so many women (who I’m sure are beautiful) that are willing to give up the nani without any work, they don’t feel they NEED to do any work. Regardless of quality or not. And again, this isn’t a hate letter to Tdot men, b/c I used To have a lot of love for them. My faith is dwindling, maybe it will be restored one day. I’ll keep an open mind 'til then.


      • alexxussknight

        01/07/2013 at 7:22 PM

        Are you agreeing with me or disagreeing with me? LOL

  4. Akil

    01/07/2013 at 12:23 PM

    I'll take Toronto's ON-PAPER attribubes over my frowsy city's lack thereof. Better to have half an option than none at all. I'm even willing to take a woman's on-paper attributes as an incentive to 'train' (for lack of a better word) her into having proper relationship and social behavior. You see, the on-paper stuff is an indication of all the beauty, sanity and competence required to date. If she's lacking anywhere, we already know that she has the potential to learn, even if she needs to be taken on as a charity case for a little while. Maybe that makes me superficial, but with all the looks, grades and career highlights she probably needs a man to teach and complete her on the romance front. Nobody's perfect.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      01/07/2013 at 12:32 PM

      I think that's a sentiment we would have shared a couple of years ago – the belief that an 80% person can be taught the extra 20% to make a great person.

      Unfortunately that's not how things work in real life.

      You can find yourself someone who is really only great on paper, and eventually you will find yourself neglecting your own happiness. Looks, career success and all those ON-PAPER attributes are great, but if that person lacks the personality and personal skills you need, you will be incredibly unhappy with them.

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