Dear Level

Men, Do Not Court These 5 Women if Your Life is In Shambles

Why commitment-phobes need to keep it movin’

Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Published in
5 min readJan 29, 2021


Photo: Prostock Studios/Getty Images

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting

Growing up, most of my friends were boys. I was always more interested in things like capturing bugs than applying makeup and shopping for purses. To be honest, not much has changed since then. No, I’m not out here climbing trees as a grown-ass woman, but I keep platonic members of the opposite sex in my circle, and I still think makeup is gross.

One perk that comes with male friendships is having a front-row seat in the theater of men’s minds. This sort of access has allowed me to discover my guy friends’ propensity for utter foolishness — including, but certainly not limited to, the willful wasting of a woman’s time.

Six months ago, my friend Sam and I were catching up over the phone when he dropped a bombshell.

“I’m getting married,” he said.

“To who?” I asked, perplexed because Sam wasn’t seriously dating anyone. He hesitated to answer, perhaps aware of how ridiculous he sounded.

“Darlene. We met about six weeks ago. Still, that doesn’t matter. She’s the one!”

Naturally, I was skeptical. Since entering his fifties, Sam had accelerated his search for love in hopes of finding an everlasting relationship. It was the sort of desperation one usually equates with women of a certain age, so I was shocked to hear this sort of talk from a man. Sam was adamant that he was now “over the hill” and “running out of time.” For him, patiently dating was not an option.

If a man doesn’t have himself together, he should be honest about it, both to himself and to the women he meets, and fully committed to his own betterment.

So, Sam and Darlene, both Muslims, swiftly entered into a Nikah Mut’ah, a marital contract during which the couple can act as husband and wife without any binding commitment (or accusations of moral indecency). If all goes well, the marriage is solidified. It’s…



Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
Writer for

3x New York Times bestselling author, art enthusiast, and design girlie living between Los Angeles and New York City