Do You See Yourself as Victim in Love? Snap Out of It!

Do You See Yourself as Victim in Love. Snap Out of It!

Arthur C. Brooks is a conservative. So right there, we’re on different pages. But I’m not a knee-jerk liberal. I’m an evidence-based guy who isn’t as wedded to personal dogma as I am to best practices. In other words, I only care what works, not who’s right.

Which is why I’m sharing with you Brooks’s seemingly unrelated article about victimhood on a dating and relationship blog.

So, who are the victims in dating?

Well, if you’re a woman, it’s women. If you’re a man, it’s men. Each side believes that the other side is wrong and that they are the true “victims” in the gender wars.

Quite objectively, both of them are wrong.

Men have valid grievances. Women have valid grievances. One side’s grievances don’t trump the others. Those who seek to minimize the suffering of the opposite sex are really doing themselves a disservice, because it means they really don’t understand how the world works. They think they are the center of the universe; they are seemingly unable to put themselves in the shoes of other people.

You can see how this compassion gap between the genders hurts all of us.

Says Brooks, “The culture feeds a mentality that crowds out a necessary give and take — the very concept of good-faith disagreement — turning every policy difference into a pitched battle between good (us) and evil (them)….Today, millions of Americans believe that their side is basically benevolent while the other side is evil and out to get them.”

Those who seek to minimize the suffering of the opposite sex are really doing themselves a disservice, because it means they really don’t understand how the world works.

He’s talking about politics. He may as well be talking about dating. As anyone who’s read this blog for a long time knows, there is a huge lack of understanding in the relationship world. Women who blame men for wanting sex without commitment. Men who blame women for not giving a chance to nice guys, short guys or men without money. Women who blame men for not communicating like other women. Men who blame women for having different emotional needs as men. All you have to do is read the comments section below and you’ll be astounded by how much anger and victim mentality we see from otherwise bright, normal people.

They shall remain nameless, but you know who they are. They are the men who complain that the world is rigged to favor women and spend all their time railing against injustice (“I had to pay for dates! She didn’t even call me back! American women are emasculating hags with no sexual market value over the age of 30!). They are the women who complain that everything is part of a greater patriarchy designed to oppress women. If you question it, you’re a part of it. So although 50% of my advice is to tell women to stop putting up with bullshit from men, the other 50% is to tell women how to act more effectively with men. It often means being nicer, more patient, more accepting, more understanding, more easygoing – putting yourself in his shoes the way you’d like him to put himself in your shoes. Basically, it’s good people advice that somehow gets twisted into a patriarchal attack on women, because evidently men aren’t entitled to expect better treatment from women as long as other men still treat women poorly.

In other words, it’s a race to the bottom. MRAs and MGTOWs say that they’re no longer going to court women or get married. Many women say that they are also opting out of love – because men as a gender can’t be trusted. This is victimhood culture.

Not surprisingly, these people who out themselves with their heightened rhetoric are the least happy people of all. According to a study in the Brooks piece, people who see themselves as victims were more likely to be selfish, entitled, and less helpful.

Similarly, according to Brooks, “Victimhood culture generally seeks to restrict expression in order to protect the sensibilities of its advocates. Victimhood claims the right to say who is and is not allowed to speak.” Which is why those victims will always stand out like a sore thumb in the comments section. They’re the ones who write 1000 word diatribes. They’re the ones who carpet bomb the opposite sex. They’re the ones who insult yours truly, all because I offered a logical opinion that personally indicted them.

Victimhood culture is a pox on all discourse and it needs to be fought against vigilantly.

The irony is that those people are unhappy with their choices – and yet they will defend their right to make ineffective choices. In other words, they’re not asking for advice. They’re looking for validation and get pissed when they don’t get it.

They complain about men. They complain about women. And they don’t understand how any man or woman worth anything would not want to date someone who has such animus towards the opposite sex. These victims claim to be empowered (Men Going Their Own Way! A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle!) but really, they are the opposite. They are powerless, railing against reality, painting a highly one-sided picture of what healthy relationships are all about. I don’t even get mad at them. I just feel bad for them. The women who respond to all advice to women with “But MEN–” The men who troll me on their blogs and Twitter accounts as if respectfully listening to women is tantamount to kowtowing to women.

Victimhood culture is a pox on all discourse and it needs to be fought against vigilantly. Which is why I continue to write these blog posts that somehow inflame people; I will not be shut down just because a few victims want to shoot the messenger.

“Fair-minded people can discriminate between expression that puts people at risk and that which merely rubs some the wrong way,” says Brooks.

A-fucking-men, my conservative brother.

Your thoughts, below, are always appreciated.

Join our conversation (82 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    SMC

    I never subscribed to man bashing, and I highly resent men bashing us women as a collective whole.  It’s counter-productive and just plain not nice.  And not very bright, either.  None of my friends do it, I don’t think I could take listening to it.  It paints the complainer with an ugly brush.  Whenever I hear someone bashing men, I nearly always say “I love men!”  And I do.  They’re funny and fun, and you can generally be yourself around them and not have to walk on eggshells the way you do with (some) women.  They are, by and large, a lot less judgmental as well.  (Someday I’ll share a story about an exception to that rule.)  Men give a different perspective on just about everything which makes the daily grind much more interesting.

    And I detest that whole fish/bicycle thing.

  2. 2
    Malika

    Men are wonderful, i would otherwise not keep falling in love with them!

    Whenever I hear anyone complaining about the opposite sex, I always wonder who broke their heart, that they feel the need to cloak themselves in such bitterness. It’s far easier to blame the opposite sex, than to look our questionable choices when it comes to dating. It’s far easier to give up on the opposite sex completely, than to realize that you grew up with questionable role models. But it’s not going to get you anywhere!

  3. 3
    sophia

    M.Scott Peck speaks of this “victim” mentality in “The Road Less Travelled” and states this is a character disorder. These people “don’t see themselves as the source of their problems; they see the world…as being in need of change and therefore fail to recognize the necessity for self-examination.”  He goes on to say “ we must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it”…..

    And therein, lies the rub and, IMHO, why it’s far easier to blame others for (whatever!).

    I think that was under 1000 words.  🙂

  4. 4
    Christine

    I have to admit that I had those “victimhood” moments in the past, but am glad I got over it.  I doubt I’d have my relationship now, if I had stayed there.  Holding the entire opposite sex at “fault” for all our bad dating experiences is a way to avoid taking responsibility for our own role in creating them.

    However, I can vouch that that victim mentality is ultimately very draining, and did a lot of soul searching to get myself out of that funk.  I just feel bad for anyone who is still in it, because I know it’s not a happy place to be in.

  5. 5
    ScottH

    There’s a great column on Baggage Reclaim on this topic:  http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/shifting-from-blame-to-taking-responsibility-for-you/

    “Taking responsibility means not focusing on blame. It means figuring out what your next move is as well as what’s yours, what’s theirs, and what if anything, you need to learn and work on in order to transcend that experience. One of the things I’ve learned about blame is that you can’t do any good with it. Blaming leads to shaming and you can end up feeling helpless because blame is a very narrow viewpoint that lacks compassion and empathy. Responsibility is in the present and gives way to a brighter future, blame has you based in the past. Decide which direction you want to go in.”

  6. 6
    Lydia

    I think the challenge is people who have been genuine victims at some point in their lives, rarely learn how to go from victimhood to sovereignty. If someone was abused or violated as a child or teen, then once they become an adult they have to become responsible for their entire lives, regardless of their past, they have to untangle all of that. And it’s hard work. We’ve all got to learn how to take responsibility for our lives, while recognizing another person’s role in our problem, if that’s the case. I think this is why take responsibility is so hard for some people.

    1. 6.1
      Lexi

      Hi Lydia,

      This is a great point.  It’s  true that it is very difficult for those growing up as victims to overcome that mentality.

      As an emotionally/verbally abused child, I had huge struggles getting out of the victimhood mentality when I got out of the house.  I had to spend 5 years just to sort through all that mess before I was healthy enough with myself to move onto having better relationships with others.  I’m very fortunate to have a great mother, friends, and the right resources online (including this blog) to help me heal and see the narrowness of my childhood worldview.  However, habit’s, victim mentality, and trauma are hard to break, and I personally know there are people out there struggling 10, 20, 30 years later.

      At this point, I have compassion for those other abused individuals as it is truly so difficult and something I hope most people never have to experience or understand.  And its wonderful that Evan brings up so many points and experiences up here, because even if someone is still in victimhood, reading these posts will really help them think, and hopefully give them the insight to begin to heal in the right way to allow them to later have fulfilling, amazing relationships.

  7. 7
    Adrian

    I remember, back when I needed some serious relationship guidance and like all lost, hurt, confused and lonely people, I was easily seduced by PUA’s, who promised that I could, be in control of the relationship, win the heart of any woman, and not get hurt.

     

    After a while, I found myself on the opposite side, reading books like The Rules, which also promised control of the relationship, the ability to win any ones heart, and most importantly, how not to get hurt.

     

    I was seriously on the road to being bitter, blaming the opposite sex for my loneliness. All the while not even realizing that I already was drowning in victim mentality.

     

    Somehow, I found Evan’s site, and now months later, I can definitely say that I am more mentally healthy than I ever was. Taking responsibility for all the bad relationships.

     

    As Evan says, you can’t change other people but yourself, others fight him on this, but I don’t, because I understand what he wants us to learn. I am now able to see that EVERY bad relationship was 100% my fault! Not because I am just a horrible boyfriend, but because I choose to stay, I choose to put up with the bad behavior of my ex’s, I had the power to leave, but I didn’t.

     

    The thing is, allowing yourself to be the victim is AWESOME!

     

    Your ego doesn’t get damaged, and most importantly… you don’t have to see that you are not a great catch after all.

    1. 7.1
      Karmic Equation

       

      I agree with you, Adrian.

      Many people LIKE being the victim for the exact reasons you state.

      If OTHER people are the problem then there is no reason for them to self-reflect or adjust their own behaviors for better outcomes.

    2. 7.2
      Christine

      There is that sick benefit of “victimhood” but, unfortunately, that lack of self-reflection and adjustment doesn’t lead to healthy relationships.  It was a blow to the ego to think about my own shortcomings.  However, I wasn’t able to really forge a healthy relationship until I thought about them, reflected on my mistakes and made some necessary adjustments to the choices I made in my dating life.

      Not to mention, realizing our own flaws can make us more tolerant and accepting of someone else’s, since no one is perfect.  Since we all have certain undesirable qualities that someone else will need to put up with, it’s only fair that we accept theirs too (unless it’s a real dealbreaker.  It’s critical to reflect, to learn what we really can and can’t accept).

      For what it’s worth Adrian, I think you’re well on your way to the relationship you desire since you are willing to do that self-reflection.  Half of finding love is having a good sense of what you bring to the table.

      1. 7.2.1
        Adrian

        Christine,

        A few months ago, I had a strong realization about BOTH men and women when it comes to dating…

        To most of us, a perfect partner is someone who has no flaws, BUT, accepts us, desires us, and loves us for all our flaws.

        Knowing this has helped me appreciate something I have always heard but never understood the meaning of until now. “I’m not better than that person, just different”.

      2. 7.2.2
        Chris

        “So, though there are certainly men out there who see themselves as victims, I would dare say it in no way compares to the sheer magnitude of women who do. And I think we need to discuss how and why that is, especially given the times in which we now live.”

        I fully agree with the above statement.  As an answer to the question of “why that is”, I present that there’s a societal element in play here that’s at least reinforcing if not causing the problem.

        It’s fairly flawed thinking to make a statement like “men and women both have a victim mentality that needs to stop”, but then not recognize that when one of those genders (possibly more often than the other) plays that victim card, their sentiment is (wrongly) supported by society as a whole which only serves to reinforce said victim mentality as the “default setting” among that gender instead of pushing that gender to recognize their own failings in the eyes of the opposite sex.  Conversely, when the other gender does the exact same thing (i.e. plays the victim card), no matter how justified they may be given their individual situation, they’re typically socially shamed as a weak or unworthy individual and told to suck it up and improve themselves in the other genders’ eyes if they want better relationships.

        It’s this double-standard that caused the inception of the MRA/MGTOW/Red Pill movements (i.e. the creation of the “Manosphere”) mentioned in the blog above… and no, they’re not just male versions of radical feminists, nor are they all man-babies living in mommy’s basement at 35 because they don’t want to grow up.  If you think any of that (EVAN!), you need to do considerably more research on these concepts and the basis behind the philosophy.

      3. 7.2.3
        AllHeart81

        I stopped reading at RooshV (Who might I add has a HUGE victim mentality). You have lost all credibility upon learning that you take RooshV seriously.

  8. 8
    ahimsa

    rather than hate the opposite sex, it helps to just understand that there are those of us, both men and women, who will never find a fufilling relationship despite what efforts we make or advice we take.  the idea that “there is someone for everyone and if you are not having any luck then you are doing something wrong”  is the keystone of people who earn a living giving dating advice.  the truth is that some people, unless they are EXTREMELY lucky to have found mutual attraction at a time when both parties are able to take advantage of it, have 2 options due to circumstances beyond their control-settle for someone you are not attracted to or just give up and accept being single.

    90% or so of the opportunities we will have in life are pre-determined before we are born by things like genetics, personality, family, where you live, etc.  the 10% or so we do have control over can make a difference but in many cases it is not enough.  saying things like “height does not matter-just look at Tom Cruise” ignores the fact that many celebrities who are referenced in this way not only have a  tremendous edge because they are rich and famous, but also are extraordinary in other ways such as looks or an exceptionally outgoing personality.  for every “Tom Cruise” or anecdotal friend who is 5’5″and bald yet is married to a model-like wife, there are countless thousands of men who have virtually no luck with women or settle for someone in order not to be alone.

    some may consider this victimhood-others realize that it is merely a harsh reality to which many people cannot relate never having to have faced it before themselves.

     

     

    1. 8.1
      AY

      Interesting take on this issue of victimhood. I think people don’t necessarily see themselves as victims all the time, but when they have been particularly hurt, they need to vent and to go through the “anger” phase. When people assume victimhood status as a result of being repeatedly rejected or badly treated by the opposite sex, we automatically think they have not tried self reflection and improvement. Like you observed, many of these people could very well have done so, only to be rebuffed despite their best efforts to make themselves more attractive. I think eventually these people “give up”, find acceptance and somehow make the most of their partnerless (not necessarily loveless) lives, but to get up to that point, many of these folks do go through the kind of angst, that less kind and charitable people will describe as “cult of victimhood”.

       

      1. 8.1.1
        ahimsa

        yes,  it really does not help having taller, very good looking dating coaches telling people how height and looks are not what most women are interested in.  those of us not as fortunate in these area’s eventually come to understand that confidence is only attractive when all of the other requirements are there- otherwise it is considered creepy or even worse, the man ends up friendzoned.

        unfortunately, i find the following 1:22 video to be all too accurate, as i’m sure many others would:

         

         

         

        1. Greta

          I love your take on this Ahisma.  Great response AY.  That video says it all.

  9. 9
    stillsingleat40

    I think it is important to recognise that people who react in this way are hurting quite badly and that this is a defensive mechanism to stop themselves from getting hurt again.

    I remember leaving home for university as a starry eyed 18 year old who was more interested in finding love than my studies and over life the emotional bruises started to take their toll as I learned that not everyone was looking for the same thing. I was pursued for sex a lot and I started to think there must be something seriously wrong with men that I couldn’t go out for a single night without several propositions for sex yet struggled to find a boyfriend while others were coupling up and moving in together. It was easier to blame the opposite sex for being predators than to accept that it isn’t always easy to find the right match and that men have their own difficulties in the dating world. That comes with experience, learning about other people and having empathy.

    I did find relationships when I changed my approach and my mindset but things became much harder when a relationship broke down in my mid thirties with the biological clock ticking. Finding a husband and having a family became virtually all I could think about or even talk about. I threw myself into the process with gusto but these things often take time and as I moved from mid to late 30s, found that my peers were preferring younger women. Again it is easy to be a victim…

    These days most of my offers are from men in their fifties or men with much less education. I don’t blame men my age for looking for younger and I don’t blame men much older than me for looking for younger. I just accept it. However, I would rather just be alone if I can’t find a peer on my wavelength. It isn’t ideal but it is what it is and I am not blaming anyone anymore. What I have recently found shocking is the number of people who take issue with that decision and there are plenty of people ready to tell me I ‘deserve’ to be alone for not being interested in much older or much less well educated men. I don’t really see it as anyone else’s business if I prefer to be alone than with a non-peer so have developed a thick skin.

    I have no doubt that people in happy relationships are happier than me but bearing myself up over it and blaming others won’t help. I have very recently moved overseas again to pursue other dreams that have long been neglected. I would still love to find love with a peer but I accept that it may not happen (and certainly not in time to have a family) that I think it would have been foolish to keep making that the sole focus of my life.

    Not finding love in time to have a family is my biggest regret in life so to younger women who  still have time to do that I would say don’t let the fact that you met some men who wanted to have sex with you but not a relationship trigger that defensive mechanism. Keep looking! Don’t think people in relationships are more loveable than you – they’re not. Some people just find their match sooner than others. Good luck.

    1. 9.1
      Britt

      Your post really spoke to me.  I see myself as you in another 5 years.  I am 35 and divorced for almost a decade from my high school sweetheart.  I, too, find myself pursued by men who are almost uniformly not age-appropriate.  The last 3 men to ask me out in real life have been under the age of 25…they think that I am around 30, because I do take good care of myself.  On the flip side of that, the men who pursue me online are mid-40s or older.

      I am essentially already mourning that I didn’t get myself together in time to have a family of my own.  I did make poor decisions in men for years after my divorce – I had left my marriage with a sincere belief that I was not physically safe with my then-husband (he threatened me with a knife)…and I chose men post-divorce who were unsuitable for marriage just so the threat of marriage would never loom.

      I go out by myself often, have active social hobbies, and try to date online but there are simply no men within shouting distance of my age – I’m not even talking about “unsuitable” men, there just are NONE, eligible or otherwise.  I always meet much younger and much older men.  I have dated short, bald, overweight, financially troubled, etc. I have dated men who want to spend their entire weekend watching sports on the couch.

      I hate being alone, but it is better than being a servant and sugar mama for someone for whom I feel no attraction.  I’ve thought about moving, but I do have a dream job with a dream boss and it seems foolish to give that up on the off-chance that I will find somebody in a new city.

      1. 9.1.1
        stillsingleat40

        keep going! In both real life and online I have also been pursued by lots of ‘cougar’ hunters but I don’t waste time on younger men as I know it likely won’t work in the long term and I have more in common with my peers. Oddly that is another thing that plenty of people want to criticise too on the basis that I am lucky that I have so many opportunities to have fun – except for me, as for most women, there is nothing fun about ‘fun’ which just leaves me feeling empty and I’d rather just not bother so I don’t. I do find it interesting that whenever I say to men of any age that I have no interest in flings or one night stands on the basis that, as for most women, I am going to get nothing out of that other than hurt, they are convinced that I am the exception by not wanting casual sex and that most women do want that although science suggest that I am completely normal in that regard. There is a lot of misunderstanding among the sexes. I used to blame men for wanting casual sex now I just accept its the way they’re wired, politely decline and remain friendly with them. I get on well with lots of men platonically who have previously propositioned me. They’re alright as people but want different things.

      2. 9.1.2
        Theo

        Britt,

        I understand that finding love and a relationship sometimes might feel hard or hopeless. However, for a rather young woman like you it is certainly possible to find a man say in the age range 35-40. Besides dating online, talk to men in your vicinity, with similar social hobbies, or to men you meet in your professional life. Men like women who are social and willing to engage in conversations and who show some interest in them.

      3. 9.1.3
        GoWithTheFlow

        Britt,

        I live in a small city that is “a great place to raise a family.”  Yep, not a great place to be when you’re single, so I get it.  Maybe expand your online search to metropolitan areas that are an hour or two from where you live.  You will have to commute, but if you wind up in a good relationship and you decide to relocate, you won’t be leaving a dream job for nothing.  Or he may move closer to you 🙂

        Also, when thinking about men who are older than you, consider physiological age versus calendar age.  Calendar age is just that:  The age you are based on the date you were born on.  Physiological age considers the status of one’s health relative to the health of the typical man or woman of a particular calendar age.  You can have two calendar age 45 year old men who are physiologically aged 38 and 55.  The first one was likely gifted with fabulous genes, and has made good health choices in his life;  not smoking, no drugs or drinking to excess, a healthy diet and exercise.  The second man may have been handed a bad lot of genes or he may not take his health seriously;  smoking, poor diet and exercise, etc.  The first man is likely to be more attractive than the second as well.

        If you are getting attention from 45 year old men, try dating the healthiest ones and see how it goes.  You can wind up having many happy, healthy years with an older man who takes care of himself.  On the other hand there are men who are 38 years old today, who will drop dead of a stroke or heart attack in 10 years due to poor luck and poor health choices.

        Good Luck!

    2. 9.2
      stacy

      I am kind of curious what the heck is wrong with dating 50 year olds when you are 40?? I am 34, divorced no kids and I prefer to date 45-50 age group. I am always left scratching my head when women my age or older put them down as not age appropriate. There’s plenty of educated, successful men in good shape in that age group who actually know how to court a woman, and to them you’re a catch!  A lot of them would even agree to have a kid if its still somehow a priority at 40. I just don’t get it.

      1. 9.2.1
        stillsingleat40

        There is nothing wrong with being in your fifties except I’m 40 looking for a life partner at the same stage in  life not a man much further down the road to retirement and not likely to be at the same stage of life or have the same energy levels as time goes on. I would not contemplate having a child with a man in that age group either as in my view children deserve parents who are likely to have a shot of being around until they are well into adulthood. It is bad enough having an older mother without a father old enough to be a grandfather not to mention the very high risk of birth defects. Just no.

      2. 9.2.2
        GoWithTheFlow

        Stacy,

        There isn’t anything “wrong” with dating men older a decade older than you. When I was in my late 30’s I dated a man who was 11 years older than me, and I am way more open to a man who is 5-10 years older than me than to one who is 5-10 years younger than me.  But, big age gaps do create problems since it often means the partners are in different life stages.  A few examples:

        1) My ex-bf (mentioned above) was divorced because his wife cheated on him.  He was still an angry guy a few years out.  I had never been married and had never experienced a wounding like that.  Even though his anger was completely understandable, I decided I didn’t want to continue doing the penance for another woman’s sins.  After I got back into the dating world, it was so nice to date men closer to my age who had never been married and gone through such a heartbreaking experience.  We still both had a certain trust in the opposite sex that is missing in a lot of people who have gone through the divorce wringer.  A SO who is much older than you is more likely to have had their heart broken and you will have to deal with the fall out. As a bonus, it was also so much fun to be able to call a man my own age and say, “I scored Duran Duran tickets, wanna go with me?” and have the answer be “Awesome!” instead of “I never really was into them, they were after my teen and college years.”

        2)  A girl friend of mine married a man in his late 50s when she was in her mid 40s.  Almost immediately after the marriage, his health began to deteriorate.  Now they are financially stressed because he had to retire early due to his health, and she needs to take significant time off from her work to take him to doctor’s visits and in for treatments and procedures.  They used to travel and have a very active lifestyle. Not any more.  Men die sooner than women because their health begins failing before that of their women peers.  Add in an age gap and you see where this can leave you.  FWIW, my friend loves her husband and would never abandon him, but she thought (and so did he) that they would have many good years together before this point was reached.

        3)  A male friend of mine had parents with a 2o+ year age gap.  His wife likes to tell the story about how he was the most serious, relationship minded 25 year old guy she had ever met.  He wanted to get married and get started on having kids before he was 30.  Why?  His dad was in failing health by the time he was in middle school.  He tells the story about how he hit a home run in a Little League game and after he rounded home he was disappointed that his dad wasn’t next to his mom in the stands.  When he asked his mom about it after the game she told him that dad’s back was hurting and he was tired so he went to go lay down in the car.  Then his father passed away when he was in high school and it was and remains a huge void in his life.  Bob loved his father very much but he was always very adamant that he wanted to be a young dad and wanted his kids to have a young dad.  A 50 year old man may be willing to father a child, but the 50s are an age when many men start having health issues.  I know this is something that women take into consideration when they want kids and are considering dating a man past a certain age, because I have discussed it at length wish several friends.

        Those are a few reasons a woman in her 30s may be more likely to try and stick closer to her own age when dating/mating.

        1. stillsingleat40

          Stacy, if you like much older men that’s up to you. I find it odd that you’d rather have children with someone a generation older and risk them having autism or worse but we are all different. If I find much older men unattractive (and I do) and prefer to be alone than with a non peer that’s up to me. I am also saying no to the younger men who would be a much more appealing option in the short term but even then I prefer my peers. Yes I’d rather be alone than with an older man. Yes I know there are tons of people who think I ‘deserve’ to be alone because I want a partner, a peer, a best friend and not an older man but I can’t control what other people think. There are benefits to staying alone unless and until the right peer shows up and he won’t if I’ve settled for an older man in the meantime.You are right in that people can get sick at any age and that’s a gamble where you hope for the best. Choosing someone much older is almost a gamble where you hope that you are the one that gets sick so you don’t end up being their nursemaid which is more likely. Best of luck. I am enjoying the here and now as best I can. If I find a peer to share it with it (and I might or might not) it will be the icing on the cake. The older men will eventfully find someone their age when they realise that’s usually going to be the women that want older men or someone younger that thinks differently and wants an older man. Better for them and for me if they do. The mist sensible option for them would of course be to find someone their age who is less likely to leave them for a peer later on but they want what they want and it isn’t my place to tell them so it will continue to be a no thank you and best wishes from me.

  10. 10
    stacy

    I am sorry ladies but this is a lot of faulty thinking that makes little sense. Obviously, if you are 38-40 and you find men close to your age and “lifestage” whatever that means to date, that’s great and nobody is saying that you should instead date a man 10 years your senior.

    However, it appears that this is NOT the choice you are facing, rather the choice you’re facing is to date a man 10 years older or stay alone. Now, how is the latter a better choice, what does it do for you?

    Health? Health issues as I am sure you know can hit at any age. Genetics and lifestyle explain a lot and you can figure those parts out on the first date. The rest is just dumb luck. A 40 yo can develop cancer, and a 70 yo can be completely healthy. You just will never know.

    Kids? Whether you prefer to be an older parent, or not have kids at all, BOTH options are equally available with an older man. You’re not losing anything. And If you are an older parent – who cares?? If that makes you happy? And if you decide not to have kids, you can enjoy other things in life together and enjoy a great partnership.

    Finances/”Lifestage”? I hardly even see how this is relevant at all at our age. Its not like you’re going to be saving for a down payment together, is it now? A 35 yo and a 50yo both supposed to be financially secure and having their shit together. Our partnerships would be more like merger of equals, not startups. I fail to see how a guy with more dollars in his 401k is a worse partner?

    In sum, turning down a 50yo who may otherwise be a wonderful partner just because of his age seems really strange. You’re standing in the way of your own happiness with all this overthinking. May be enjoy the here and now with one of those older guys and see where it goes ?

    1. 10.1
      stillsingleat40

      I guess the other confusion that arises is that people tend to assume that I am turning down attractive successful men fifty plus. The reality is that I am turning down men who are unsuccessful, unattractive AND much older who often do not have their shit together…and there really would be nothing in it for me. I am at the age where children are a long shot but I do have my shit together so the only thing I need a man for us really love and companionship….

      1. 10.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        There must be a reason the attractive, successful, shit-together guys don’t want to date you.

        Figure out what that reason is (or those reasons are) and you’re half-way to success.

        The other half is change what you can (as long as it’s for the better) to make yourself more attractive to the men you find attractive.

        If you’re unwilling to change, then yes, being alone seems to be your destiny. However, don’t kid yourself that you’re alone because you choose to be alone. You’re alone because you refuse to change.

      2. 10.1.2
        Karl R

        stillsingleat40 said:

        “I guess the other confusion that arises is that people tend to assume that I am turning down attractive successful men fifty plus. The reality is that I am turning down men who are unsuccessful, unattractive AND much older who often do not have their shit together…”

        Some people might assume that, but most of us here recognize that most people who are attracted to you won’t be ones that you want.  If 90% to 95% of the men who approach you aren’t ones who interest you, that’s quite normal.  (The same is true for men.  90% to 95% of women who are attracted to us won’t be ones we’re interested in.)

        So given that this is just part of dating, other people have succeeded under the exact same circumstances.  This means that you’re having one (or more) of three possible problems.

         

        #1 You’re not approachable / attractive:

        These two are interrelated.  But for real-life dating, being approachable is more important than being attractive.  (Several years ago, Evan found a study that demonstrated that.)  Furthermore, a lot of women believe they’re quite approachable, when their mannerisms and body language suggest the opposite.  So you could be sending “back off” signals without being aware of it.

        If you find 5% of men acceptable, and you only attract 10 men, then you have zero or one decent man to date.  If you attract 100 men, then you have about 5 decent men to date.  So it’s necessary to attract more men, even though most of them are the wrong men.

        More importantly, if you’re inadvertently giving “back off” signals, guess which men are more likely to recognize and respect those signals:  the social adept, respectful men … who are the ones you’d prefer to have approach you.

         

        #2 You’re driving off the right men:

        I already gave one example, but it’s not limited to your initial body language.  You’re only interested in attractive, successful men.  Those men, whether they’re 40 or 50, have options.  That means they always have the option of finding someone else.

        If a woman is suspicious or guarded, these men won’t spend months trying to gain her trust.  It’s faster and more rewarding (for the men) to find someone who trusts them.  If a woman is still damaged from her previous relationship, it’s easier and more rewarding (for the men) to move on and find a woman who has already recovered.

        There are numerous other examples, and many are specific to the individual man.  For me, the fastest way to drive me away was for me to realize the woman was difficult to get along with.  I wasn’t exceptionally attractive or successful, but I still had enough options that I didn’t have to accept “difficult”.

         

        #3 You’re too picky:

        If you are able to rule out #1 and #2, then this is the one that’s left.  If you’re attracting dozens (or hundreds) of men, and you’re not scaring the good ones off, then the only remaining detail is what percentage of men do you find acceptable.

        If you’re ruling out 90% or 95% of the men, that’s normal.  If you’re ruling out 98% or 99% of the men, that’s not normal.  (If you’re extremely attractive and very approachable, you can afford to be that picky.  Most of us can’t afford to.)

        As you pointed out, “the only thing I need a man for us really love and companionship”.  That’s the position I was in when I was dating.  Therefore, it’s unclear to me why you’re focused on men being successful.  I required that a woman be able to support herself on her own income.  That was it.  If you’re avoiding the men who are a sucking black hole of financial irresponsibility, that’s prudent.  If you’re requiring a lot more than that, then you’re focusing on elements that are unrelated to your stated goal (love and companionship).

         

        Each one of these is something that’s under your control (unless you’re physically unattractive … in which case, you might want to reconsider holding out for someone attractive).  But in order to fix the problem, you’re going to need to figure out where things are going wrong.

        And if the problem is #1 or #2, that means you’ll need to see yourself as others see you, not as you see yourself.

        1. Stacy

          I am curious, what makes a woman look “not approachable” in your opinion?

        2. Karl R

          Stacy asked:

          “what makes a woman look ‘not approachable’ in your opinion?”

          It’s easier to explain it the other way around.

          If you want a man to approach you, make eye contact and smile at him (preferably not while surrounded by a group of your close female friends).

           

          If you deliberately avoid making eye contact with a man, that specifically tells him that you’re not interested in him.  Some people (particularly those who are extremely shy) inadvertently do that with everyone.

          Even if you don’t smile at a particular man, if you seem to be a happy, friendly person who smiles at people in general, you will seem more approachable.  The further you are from that, the less approachable you will appear.

          On a more subtle note, there’s a look that some women have (some of the time) that I would describe as “guarded” or “wary”.  It’s fairly subtle.  The woman may be smiling with her mouth, but she’s not smiling with her eyes (if she’s smiling at all).

          On a more obvious level, if you seem completely focused on something else (or particularly somebody else), you seem less approachable.  This is particularly true if you go out with a circle of close girlfriends.  If there are several of you focused on the conversation you’re having with each other, most men aren’t going to walk up and try to butt in (unless they’re really cocky.)

           

          As a final note, these signals the same for men and women.  If a woman (or man) seems unapproachable to you, then they’re projecting that same impression to everyone around.

        3. sophia

          I am curious, what makes a woman look “not approachable” in your opinion?

          For starters:

          1. Minimal/no eye contact (looking down or worse- at cell phone!)

          2. Crossed arms

          3. Not smiling (maybe even scowling and not realizing it…)

          4. Turned away from people or in the middle of a large group

          5. Off-putting nervous habits, i.e. biting nails (yucko)

        4. sophia

          Disclaimer: the above reply may not reflect Karl R’s opinion…

          🙂

        5. GoWithThe Flow

          Karl R

          One more question if you don’t mind 😉

          When I go out it is often with 2 or 3 girlfriends who are also my age and single.  I just don’t walk into nightclubs, bars, lounges by myself.  We are all interested in meeting men as well as enjoying each other’s company.  Is there any way, that as a group of 2-4 women, we can collectively be more approachable, as in a trio of guy friends might want to wander over and converse with us as a group?

        6. Karl R

          GoWithTheFlow asked:

          “Is there any way, that as a group of 2-4 women, we can collectively be more approachable, as in a trio of guy friends might want to wander over and converse with us as a group?”

          I never did the “wing man” thing, so I’m not sure what would or wouldn’t work for attracting a small group of guys. However, I suspect that if you’re easier for one guy to approach, then you’re also easier for a small group of guys to approach.

          Most of my suggestions are also going to be situational. They’re not going to work everyplace.

           

          Make eye contact and smile:

          It may be a little less effective when dealing with two small groups, but if three of you end up smiling at a bunch of different guys, the odds of getting someone to approach will go up.

           

          Talk to someone I know:

          It’s difficult to walk up to a group of strangers and join their conversation (or start a conversation with a group of strangers who aren’t conversing). It’s far easier to walk up and talk to a friend or acquaintance.

          Therefore, mingling is a good idea, even if you’re talking to men and women whom you’re not interested in. They still might be someone the cute guys know. At a party, chatting with the host is a good plan, since the host knows most people. But any person who seems well-connected with the men will work.

           

          Be approachable (from the front):

          If the group of ladies is clustered in a circle, then regardless of whom I approach, the woman has her back to me. If the ladies are standing roughly in a line, facing the main group of people, then it’s far easier to approach from the front and start up a conversation.

          If you’re at the bar, turn your backs to the bar and face the crowd.

          If you’re at a country western bar, there will generally be a rail around the dance floor (with several large gaps in the rail where people enter and exit the dance floor). Stand at the rail, facing the dance floor, next to one of the gaps. You can make eye contact and smile at guys while they’re on the dance floor. As they leave the dance floor, you’re facing them, accessible … and approachable from the front.

           

          Proximity:

          If you’re at a bowling alley, you’re more approachable if you’re in the next lane over, rather than six lanes down. The same is true for tables at a bar.

          At a party, you can hang out near the food and/or drinks, because that’s a place where people eventually go.

           

          Ask for help/information:

          If you’re at a sports bar, you can ask some guys what penalty was just called … and then ask them what that means. At a party you can ask for help getting the cork out of a bottle. You can ask them if they know when daylight savings time starts.

          People like to be helpful. If you’ve asked for help, you’ve given them an easy excuse to approach you.

           

          This isn’t an exhaustive list. It’s just a few things I could think of for situations that might be reasonably common.

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Thanks Karl!

          I will use your suggestions as soon as I’m in an appropriate social situation and will report back 😉

    2. 10.2
      Christine

      Stacy, I’d also be interested to hear Karl’s take and get a male viewpoint.  Maybe this will give you some reference point.  Years ago, I read some survey in a magazine, where more men stated they’d rather date Jennifer Aniston than Angelina Jolie if given a choice.  The men stated that they thought Jennifer Aniston seemed friendlier and more approachable.  Whereas they called Angelina a “haughty hottie” who’s beautiful to look at, but more standoffish.

      I still remember it since the results surprised me so much!  I had really thought Angelina Jolie was every man’s fantasy date.  I guess I stand corrected (?)  I guess “approachable” might very well outweigh everything else?

    3. 10.3
      GoWithTheFlow

      Stacy

      “I am sorry ladies but this is a lot of faulty thinking that makes little sense.”

      NOT faulty reasoning, but very real concerns of very real women.

      “In sum, turning down a 50yo who may otherwise be a wonderful partner just because of his age seems really strange. You’re standing in the way of your own happiness with all this overthinking.”

      If the 50 year old man has two kids in college, has had a vasectomy, and is adamant he does not want more children, he’s not likely to make a 36 year old woman who very much wants her own biological children happy.  Both have valid reasons to want what they want, they are in different life stages.  She is in family building mode, he is largely done with the family building stage.

      “Health issues as I am sure you know can hit at any age.”

      “Kids? Whether you prefer to be an older parent, or not have kids at all, BOTH options are equally available with an older man. You’re not losing anything. And If you are an older parent – who cares??”

      For statement #1, yes and no.  Healthy people can be affected by cancer, a bizarre infection, or an accident at any age.  But, as a physician, I can tell you the increasing age and male gender correlate to higher levels of disease and death.

      What kills most people is heart disease, and the risk of cancer increases a tremendous amount with age, with a large risk jump for cancer occurring in the 45-55 age group and increasing exponentially afterwards.  And men are more likely to die from cancer than women are.  Men in their mid 50’s are 2.5 times as like likely to die from heart disease as women in the same age group.  In a country of over 300 million people those statistics play out every day, and more women than men lose their spouses, and more children lose fathers than mothers.  If a husband is much older than his wife, it is taken for granted that she will become a widow at a  younger age than if she married a man the same age as her.  Again, if a  36 year old woman wants to have children with the 50 year old man she has fallen in love with, this can lead to the very real tragedy where her children lose their father when they still very much need his love, guidance, and financial support.

      We are constantly reminded that men are biologically drawn to women who are young, and exhibit other traits that are linked to fertility and health.  This will mean his children have the best chance to be born healthy and to a mother who will be able to effectively parent them until they reach reproductive age and pass those genes along.  It is just as reproductively effective for women to chose a man who is healthy and young enough to contribute healthy sperm and parenting time and energy to her children, to ensure they reach adulthood.  It is entirely rational for a woman to consider a man’s age and health when she is contemplating him as a potential marriage partner.

       

  11. 11
    stillsingleat40

    One of the main issues I think is that I spent most of my twenties and early to mid-thirties working overseas. Great for career, terrible for stability and relationships (but I didn’t know that at the time).

    Since I returned home late-thirties I found most people already settled down and lots of the men that were left in my age group permanently playing the field. Not a criticism, just an observation. It seems as the biological clock panic happens to women, there are some men that suddenly see themselves as having options beyond their wildest dreams and that makes them less inclined to settle down, or maybe that’s just how it seems to me.

    Since turning 40, I honestly think a big part of the issue is that I am being ruled out by my peers when it comes to online dating as almost all the other single women I know in my age group are having exactly the same issue. Other than shaving a few years off my age (which I wouldn’t do) I really don’t think there is an awful lot that can be done about that. If I am never going to show in the searches of most men my age (or even successful men that are a bit older than me), I am not going to meet them online and that is just the way it is.

    Given the amount of men who approach me when I am out and have told both me and other female friends what an attractive woman they think I am, I don’t think the issue is with how I look so much as finding a relationship oriented man that is the right fit becoming harder and harder over time.

    I did wonder why there is such a massive disparity between men who approch me in life and men who approach me online and have had my profile and photo scrutinised to death by men I trust who have assured me I look hot in my photos which are true to life, whereas they have been on dates with women who looked a lot better in their photos that in reality. I was beginning to wonder whether it was me but other women that I consider to be very attractive have compared notes with me and it seems that we all have exactly the same men writing to us and none of us can understand it…

    Anyway after four years on the dating scene and not succeeding in finding the right man while the biological clock was screaming at me, I was feeling burned out and have moved overseas for work again for this year with a view to returning home recharged at the end of it. In some ways turning 40 has taken the pressure off as (in my own mind) I am assuming that kids, while I would welcome the miracle, are off the agenda. What that means is that the pressure to find a man is also now off for a bit and I suppose with that my willingness to compromise on certain things has deteriorated. While I might have been talked into marriage to someone I wouldn’t otherwise have considered while I had my baby goggles on, I am less prepared to concede as much now.

    If I am going to end up with someone and not have kids (which takes up most time for people who have them and I may have compromised more on the man to have the kids) it really has got to be the sort of person that I could envisage spending most of my time with and not go crazy and vice versa.  It’s going to have to be someone of a similar age, clever, educated, loyal with a good sense of humor that I can put up with and can also put up with me. Maybe I am asking for too much and I accept that but I genuinely can’t see me being happy with someone that doesn’t fit that bill or being able to make them happy in return. So I agree that I could very well be a combination of coming across as 2 in the eyes of some men (although I largely seem to have resolved that since I ditched the baby goggles) and to some extent 3 which I am trying to work on but finding it hard.

    1. 11.1
      Karmic Equation

      “If I am going to end up with someone and not have kids (which takes up most time for people who have them and I may have compromised more on the man to have the kids) it really has got to be the sort of person that I could envisage spending most of my time with and not go crazy and vice versa.  It’s going to have to be someone of a similar age, clever, educated, loyal with a good sense of humor that I can put up with and can also put up with me. Maybe I am asking for too much and I accept that but I genuinely can’t see me being happy with someone that doesn’t fit that bill or being able to make them happy in return.”

      I think you let go the “similar age” requirement, you will automatically open up the pool of men you can date. I think 5 years younger up to 10 years older could fit the bill.

      Men of similar age to you that fit your criteria are looking to date 5-10 years younger than you, because they can. If you end up with a man similar to your age, who fit that criteria, then odds are he was REJECTED by his target audience, similar to the way you’re rejecting the 50 year-olds you don’t want.

      I think you just have unrealistic expectations because you’ve been told you’re hot, assuming by men you find attractive. If you’re told you’re hot by men you DON’T find attractive then, quite frankly, their votes don’t count.

      Thus if men you find attractive have told others you’re hot, why didn’t those men step up to date you? And if they did date you, why aren’t you still happily coupled up? If they ended it, you should try to find out why. If you ended it, you need to reassess your criteria, because obviously, attractive men who you thought fit the bill weren’t good partners for you. Why not?

      The sentence I highlighted showed what you wanted from a man. What do you offer a man like that other than looks? He’s not looking for educated, clever, good sense of humor. None of that makes HIS life easier. Men are looking for women who are their port in a storm. Are you a port they want to find safe harbor in or are you the storm they want to get away from?

    2. 11.2
      Karl R

      stillsingleat40 said:

      “it really has got to be the sort of person that I could envisage spending most of my time with and not go crazy and vice versa.  It’s going to have to be someone of a similar age, clever, educated, loyal with a good sense of humor that I can put up with and can also put up with me.”

      I agree with your requirement that it be a person that you have to be able to spend a lot of time with without driving each other crazy.

      I disagree with the laundry list that followed.  Have you tried spending time with and getting along with a variety of people who are less educated … or a different age … or not as clever?

      Instead of going into the dating market with a pre-built laundry list of things you believe will drive you crazy, why don’t you try dating people and find out what actually works in a long-term relationship?  (It sounds like you lack actual experience with that.)

      Seriously, over half of your criteria are ones that make someone a superb dinner-date companion, not a superb spouse.

       

      stillsingleat40:

      “Given the amount of men who approach me when I am out and have told both me and other female friends what an attractive woman they think I am, I don’t think the issue is with how I look so much as finding a relationship oriented man that is the right fit becoming harder and harder over time.”

      If online dating isn’t working for you (and you’re not getting the same kind of attention online that you do in real life), then why aren’t you dating these men who are approaching you in real life?

      From the words you’ve chosen, it appears that you’re aware that these men aren’t all perpetually playing the field (though many of them likely are).  So why hasn’t that become your primary way of finding dates?

       

      And if you’re ruling them out because it’s likely that they’re playing the field, then you’re making the exact same mistake that you’re making with your criteria.  (Starting out with a sensible criterion, then making a blanket assumption that it applies to a broad group of people, without testing it on an individual basis.)

      And if you’re going to argue in defense of your use of these broad assumptions (since they’re correct in a large number of cases), let me point out that you’re getting filtered out online … due to people making the exact same blanket assumptions.

      1. 11.2.1
        GoWithTheFlow

        Karl,

        Your last 2 paragraphs reminded me of a saying, “Everyone’s a player until they settle down.”

  12. 12
    Britt

    Karmic, I usually agree with your comments but not this time.  Here are MY responses to your questions above:

    1.  Thus if men you find attractive have told others you’re hot, why didn’t those men step up to date you?
    >>> Because those men are all married to or coupled with lovely women.

    2.  If they did date you, why aren’t you still happily coupled up? If they ended it, you should try to find out why.

    >>> I’ve only been dumped once and it was because I elected to take my dream job across the country.  He promised to come with me and then changed his mind *after* I’d taken the job and bought a home in the new city.  Oops.

    3.  If you ended it, you need to reassess your criteria, because obviously, attractive men who you thought fit the bill weren’t good partners for you. Why not?

    >>> Because I dumped them for being (pick one) physically abusive/outrageously narcissistic/a financial disaster (despite a solid job and no dependents)/utterly non-contributing.  I do have one ex-boyfriend who would love to get back together…but when I broke up with him years ago, he invited 800 people to a freedom party via a crudely worded invitation that could have gotten me fired at my job (he invited my work superiors).  Would you really suggest that I patch things up with someone whose behavior is so vindictive and unpredictable?  He is certainly attractive and charming…

     

    I am guessing that stillsingle had similar good reasons for ending things with her prior partners.

    1. 12.1
      Caroline

      Hi Britt- I realize dating is tough. Just as someone looking impartially, you may want to step back and really reconsider the answers you gave to KE. Sometimes when we are in the muck of it, it’s really hard to see what is going on. Look at Karl’s advice too. It requires true self reflection. I know I personAlly would ask one if my sister’s. They tend not to mince words and will tell me the truth.I know this sounds a bit harsh- but honestly what you and still single have apparently an endless amount of reasons but they really seem to be more like excuses. If you’re having trouble try to consider its something else and learn from it. We’re all here to learn and help each other succeed:)

      Karl- thAnks for putting forward such a thoughtful,logical approach. I know I personAlly had trouble realizing how I was utterly unapproachable. Turns out, I had a perpetual scowl and I was so shy I was thought to be quite snooty and aloof.

      @still single. Have you considered its truly not a compliment to be called “hot”.Hot is pretty generic for “I’d sleep with her” imo:(

      I really couldn’t keep straight all the negativity and presumptions which ran rampant in this post. Imo, it really sounds like many of you ladies need to get out of your little circle of friends and explore people of different ages and walks in life. Way too much stereotyping.

      1. 12.1.1
        Britt

        I want to thank you for your thoughts, Caroline.  I guess we will have to agree to disagree somewhat, as my reading of your comment is that I was wrong to leave these men for the stated reasons (which you call “excuses”).  If needing to feel safe under the same roof as my partner …if wanting someone whose consumer debt doesn’t exceed his annual salary…are unreasonable dealbreakers, then I suppose we have different ideas of what it means to “succeed” in dating.  To each their own! 🙂

        Agree with your advice to seek out the opinion of others.  For what it is worth, I have two close brothers, one ex-bf, and 2 close platonic male friends who all say that my dating faults amount to putting up with too much a$$hole behavior and generally dating below my league.  I have been told point-blank by girlfriends “you can’t date him…if YOU end up with HIM, who are the rest of us going to end up with?!”

        I’ve been following the advice of my brothers and male friends on choosing men in the last 6 months especially and have found that there is nobody left so far.  The “no intimacy without a commitment” thing really chases men off in my experience.

        1. Christine

          Britt, I know how tough dating can get.  After hearing more of your story, I don’t think you were wrong to leave those men–but I think you’ll agree that it was a mistake to choose them, to begin with.  I can relate because I did the same thing before, in choosing toxic men and relationships.  I engaged in a lot of self-reflection, to figure out why I chose men who weren’t good for me.  It wasn’t until I did that, that I was empowered to make better choices and find a happy relationship.

          Just know that your yesterdays don’t dictate your tomorrows.  Just because “no intimacy without commitment” has chased men off so far, doesn’t mean it always will–or that another man won’t come along who will want a commitment.  I know how tough and frustrating it can get but believe me that the wait is worth it.

        2. Caroline

          @Britt-are you for real? You really think someone would fault you for leaving a narcissist, a Peter Pan, or abuser?

          I’m saying-look at what you said. Maybe you chose unwisely? Give yourself a break. Maybe the bigger question is why you chose them in the first place. Live and learn from it. It doesn’t mean ALL men are narcissists, Peter pans and abusers. Btw-you very quickly jumped to this conclusion without reading what I actually said. I recall I said there might be another reason for this but you’re so in the muck of it you can’t see it.

          Also, not all the good guys are taken. I can vouch for that firsthand.

          lastly, why on earth are you identifying as a victim of abuse? You’re a SURVIVOR!!

          it takes time and much growing, I know this firsthand.  Don’t let the past define you and steal your happy future. Get help. I went to therapy. It was the best thing I ever did.

          Youve been through the worst part of it. Move on. Get the relationship you deserve.

  13. 13
    stillsingleat40

    Food for thought Karmic Equation indeed. My answers below:

    1. Indeed some of these men are coupled up. It is however hard for me to go out for an evening with girlfriends without being approached by several men who all seem to feel the need to tell me how hot they think I am. The trouble is that most of these men seem to be on the prowl for sex rather than anything else. I assume the fact that I get approached the most but never put out is not because they think I am the ugly one. There are now one in four never married women where I come from (more than at any time since the end of the First World War) so there seems to be a much bigger phenomenon going on that has left a lot of us scratching our heads and wondering what is going on. Most of the women I know are either married to men they met in their twenties or, if they are not, seem to be really struggling to find a relationship oriented peer. I can honestly say that sometimes the reasons are obvious but most of the time I can’t see why my attractive friends are struggling. Some have become bitter but most are just still trying and really confused.

    2. I know why most of my relationships ended and in my twenties and early thirties a lot of it was due to choosing the wrong men – often expats who are running away from something at home – often commitment. There are certainly some cases where I got it wrong too and I have just had to learn from it. The man that I thought was ‘the one’, moved in with and planned to marry got cold feet. It hurt….a lot and took me a long time to recover from as I thought I was safe, home and dry and suddenly found myself anything but in my mid-thirties which is not the best time to be tossed back in to pool as was simultaneously trying to recover from a broken heart and deal with the whole craving a stable family. However, the (8 years younger) man who left me did marry someone else at the end of last year so I have to accept he just didn’t think I was the One for him. I guess we all have stories like this. It really shook my confidence in myself and I didn’t properly heal before putting myself back out there which was a mistake as I was guilty of presenteeism on dates.

    3. Not as often as you might think. I have left a few men who weren’t treating me right but in general I am pretty loyal and I tend to stick with people I care for through thick and thin including family and friends.

    It is all rather frustrating. Being overseas this year means time for reflection and putting things on hold. Since turning 40, I don’t want to be fighting my way for another drink at the ‘last chance saloon’ with the other drunks where kids are concerned. That kind of pressure isn’t conducive to finding love. Time out in some ways feels like wasting time and there are days when I want to jump on the next plane home and get looking but it will be good to boost my energy levels in addition to giving me a chance to work on other areas of life and take stock of what else I want to fill the void of not being a mother. In addition to that a non-peer is most likely not going to be a part of my future. I could have settled for one and had the kids but I doubt I would have been really happy with that which is why I did not. When I figure out how my life without kids is generally going to look, I hope I’ll be better able to assess how a partner would fit into that and vice versa. In the end I do think a lot of it still comes down to luck though. You can try everything but there are no guarantees…

    1. 13.1
      Caroline

      Hi still single. I’d like to ask you a question. And please I’m NOT being a smarty pants. Why is it you seem to equate you being “hot” and your “attractive” friends as being relationship worthy? Looks, to me at least, are just about initial attraction and of course they help with keeping sexual attraction going too. But after 40plus years on this earth; might you consider there’s more to acquiring a relationship than mere looks?

      like I said before, if a guy tells you you’re “hot” -it merely means he would sleep with you. Yes, my guy tells me I look good but it was when he said how fun it was to be with me that I knew we had something:)

      1. 13.1.1
        stillsingleat40

        don’t equate looks with being relationship worthy. I do howver recognise that men won’t date a woman they are not physically attracted to and am merely pointing out that that does not appear to the cause of my being alone. Of course I have a lot more to offer but as men tend to look for sex in the first instance, finding someone relationship oriented they I feel any mental attraction to isn’t easy and definitely gets harder as you age.

        It isn’t anyone’s fault but the fact is that there are lots of never married men in their forties and up who will admit they never really wanted to settle. Generally, people tend to accept it when they say this. It just seems a bit odd to me that when women the same age state that they have met lots of men like this over the years, they are often instantly labelled as being at fault for not being able to find a peer who wants to commit even though this is now happening to a quarter of women, I am not blaming the men, just observing a huge societal shift in attitudes where the social pressure on men to settle in liberal countries is not what it was in previous generations. This is not altogether a bad thing as that past pressure must have led to unhappy marriages to men who were not marriage minded but it does mean that for every carefree 40 year old bachelor there is  logically likely to be a single woman. It just gets a bit tiring to repeatedly be told that we are at fault. Sure, we’ve all probably made our mistakes but in the end we are just negotiating our way through big societal changes that don’t really work in our favour as best we can.

        1. Caroline

          Actually still single- the eternal bachelor’s I’ve met- I knew exactly why they never “settled”. Because NO woman in their right mind would ever have them!

  14. 14
    Evan Marc Katz

    “WHY these MGTOW guys SHOULD settle with Plain Jane (or less) women.”

    Because these MGTOWs are Plain Janes themselves. That’s all this is about. That’s the elephant in the room.

    Women think short men who don’t make much money are beneath them.
    Men think women who are a little older or heavier are beneath them.
    You focus on the former and assiduously ignore the latter.
    Time and again, you decry women for dating up, all the while defending your right to do the same.

    It’s all the same from my angle. Your respective refusal to compromise only means that you will maintain the “least unhappiest option,” being alone and trolling my blog to convince me that your decision is justified.

    This is basic economics. Supply and demand. People in the greatest demand don’t have to compromise as much (at work and in love) People who are not in the greatest demand do have to compromise more. Unless they choose not to. Such folks can choose to remain unemployed because their skills are not in demand and refuse to settle for less than a six figure salary.

    Okay, man, refuse to settle. I just don’t know why you see fit to come back here all the time and tell me about it. Really, if you’re happy, I’m happy. Go your own way. Just don’t pretend you’re any different than the women you rip on. Any objective reader will have picked up on the exact same thing.

    1. 14.1
      Chris

      “Because these MGTOWs are Plain Janes themselves. That’s all this is about. That’s the elephant in the room.”

       

      What you’re missing is that Plain-Jane women (i.e. 4-6, maybe 7 out of 10 in complete package, i.e. not just looks, but also personality, mental stability, character/reliability, etc.), for whatever reason (IMO it’s because society goes to such ridiculous extremes to prop up young girls’ self-esteem by telling them they’re all so uniquely special and great and should never expect anything but the best their whole lives through, not to mention everyone-gets-a-medal equivalents such as the “fattitude” movement, etc.), often think they deserve top-shelf men (i.e. nothing less than a solid/upper 8 out of 10 or better), and then get pissed at all men when they find out they can’t get him.

       

      That means average, “Plain-Joe” guys in that same up-to-7 range are stuck with the 3-and-lower angry wildebeasts and land-whales (to be clear, I’m talking gargantuan women, not just somewhat curvy… think Tess Holliday, not Ashley Graham), the emotionally damaged/unstable/untrustworthy former(?) “carousel riders”, the frigid/passionless/insecure and not willing to change/work on any of it/find a happy medium lovers, those that do nothing proactive in the relationship and instead wait to be led around by the hand like children and told what to do because “it’s a turn on when the man leads  (so I expect him to do it 100% of the time because I’m lazy)”, the eternal welfare-beggers with too many kids from too many different drunken bad-boy, deadbeat fathers that “made her tingle”, or the post-wall “career women” with such rampant baby-rabies that she’ll desperately latch on to any guy who isn’t a complete slob in order to pop out a kid or two before their eggs dry up, then toss him aside like he never meant anything in a divorce after she gets those kids… just to name a few.

       

      What possible justification, Evan, can you give, as a dating coach/blogger/etc., for telling men who objectively will be the first to admit they aren’t perfect by any stretch, but still have rightfully earned the small/moderate amount of self-respect they do have, that a 6 man scraping down to a 3 woman is somehow on par with a 4-6 woman “scraping down” from an 8+ man to one that’s actually on her level?
      All that aside, having read a number of your other blog posts, I will give you all the credit in the world for at least doing something by giving some of the women I referred to above (the Plain-Jane, 4-6/10 women) a much-needed constructive reality check… much appreciation and gratitude is deserved on your part there, no doubt, and it’s also the reason I keep coming back here.

      1. 14.1.1
        GoWithThe Flow

        Chris,

        What you’re missing is that Plain-Jane men (i.e. 4-6, maybe 7 out of 10 in complete package, i.e. not just looks, but also personality, mental stability, character/reliability, etc.), for whatever reason (IMO it’s because society goes to such ridiculous extremes to prop up young boys’ self-esteem by telling them they’re all so uniquely special and great and should never expect anything but the best their whole lives through, not to mention everyone-gets-a-medal equivalents such as the “fattitude” movement, etc.), often think they deserve top-shelf women (i.e. nothing less than a solid/upper 8 out of 10 or better), and then get pissed at all women when they find out they can’t get her.

        See that?  It works both ways!

  15. 15
    McLovin

    One of the least happy people of all, checking in!

     

    But seriously, Evan, how can you claim to be against victimhood culture, while at the same time proclaiming yourself a liberal Democrat?

     

    Victimhood culture is the left’s stock and trade, and Feminists and other leftists have made hay of it for well over 50 years.

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      McLovin, just because I’m a liberal Democrat doesn’t mean I blindly agree with the most extreme liberal positions. And if anybody has been crying victim lately, it’s the white men who are flocking to Donald Trump and complaining about the “war on men/Christians/etc.”

      1. 15.1.1
        McLovin

        It’s almost impossible, for me at least, to separate “liberal Democrat” and “victimhood.”  As noted above, their whole agenda for the last, oh say, 50 years or so has been one of victimhood peddling.

        How you resolve that cognitive dissonance is beyond me, but I would love to hear how you do it.

        And, no. People are flocking to Donald Trump because they’re getting tired of the effete, limp-wristed PC authoritarians telling them how to live.

        But at least you took both genders to task here. The only thing you didn’t note is that women generally receive validation and support for their victimhood, while men generally receive sneering derision, which I’m sure you’re going to heap upon me in your next post.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I’m not heaping anything upon you. I’m extremely curious about why you consistently read a site from a liberal Democrat who supports women and marriage if my views are so antithetical to yours. For the 400th time, go your own way.

  16. 16
    Karl R

    Obsidian said: (#14)

    “You may decry the ‘victimhood culture’ that the MGTOWs and their counterparts on the female side exhibit, but in a very real sense Evan, they ARE victims – victims, of what David Buss calls, The Mating Wars”

    Let’s assume they are victims.  Being a part of the “victimhood culture” is still unhealthy.

    If a soldier loses both legs and an arm to an IED, if a mother sees the rest of her family burn to death in a fiery crash, if a girl is repeatedly sexually molested by her father, if a young woman is burned and scarred over most of her face and body … even then, it’s still unhealthy for them to wallow in the victim mentality.

    For a more in-depth discussion: (click here).  The article is geared more toward the PTSD-inducing examples that I gave, but the general principles apply to men who can’t date attractive women.

     

    Whether you lost three limbs in an explosion, or whether you watched your family burned to death, or whether you lost your virginity to your father, or whether you can’t date the pretty women that you’d like to … the key to thriving is to move beyond feeling like a victim.

    It doesn’t matter whether the MGTOWs stay single or get into relationships.  They will be happier if they stop perceiving themselves as victims.

    And that’s under their control.  Nobody else can do that for them.

     

    Obsidian,

    It doesn’t matter how much time you spend blaming the nail.  The nail isn’t going to change your flat tire.

     

    Obsidian said: (#14)

    “would them getting with women they didn’t want, be any better? And if so, how? Your work focuses a tremendous deal on getting people to settle for each other, but I have seen precious little in the way as to WHY these MGTOW guys SHOULD settle with Plain Jane (or less) women.”

    I know a couple men who recently married (within the last few years) the kind of women you’re talking about.  Objectively, their wives are morbidly obese.  Subjectively, I would say they’re well below average appearance.

    Both of these men are old enough, and well-adjusted enough, to realize that getting married is optional for them.  Neither wants kids.  Neither was getting pressure from family.

    Both are sufficiently intelligent to make life choices that will make them happier.  Both chose to get married.  And having known them before and after getting married, they both seem to be happier now.  (And neither was unhappy beforehand.)

     

    So at least for some men, marrying a woman who falls below average in physical attractiveness makes them happier.

     

    Obsidian,

    Some MGTOWs might prefer to forgo changing tires and walk or ride the bus instead.  Those are valid choices, particularly if the choice makes them happier than owning a car.  But blaming the nail doesn’t get those men anywhere.

    The victim mentality wastes its time blaming others for the situation its in.  The survivor mentality stops worrying about how it got into the situation, and takes responsibility for figuring out how to adapt to it or overcome it.

     

    Obsidian said: (#15)

    “This is something that is almost never mentioned in the larger conversations on these issues, both in and out of Black America itself, largely because it would upset the Sistahood itself, a key consumer demographic and client base.”

    In other words … Th’ sistahood is keepin’ yah down?

    ROFLMFAO!

     

    Obsidian,

    Thank you for providing this example of victim mentality.  Even if I could have found an example this egregious elsewhere, I doubt anyone would have believed it was genuine.

     

    Many people would find your attitude sad and pathetic.  I just find it hilarious.

     

    A little off-topic … but far too juicy to pass up.

  17. 17
    Nissa

    There’s an interesting article on Vox.com called The rise of American authoritarianism that discusses how people that feel threatened (such as those with a victim mentality) cause them to support political leaders that are “simple, powerful and punitive” such as Trump.

    Here’s the link: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

    Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated, I just happened to find it interesting.

  18. 18
    McLovin

    Ah, I see you decided to punt on my question, Evan. No problem. Believe it or not, I’ve voted Democrat most of my life.

    I am not an MGTOW, and have never claimed to be.

    And for Nissa, here’s another interesting article from the opposite perspective, about how SJW’s and other victimhood peddlers represent the new totalitarianism of our time:

    The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors’

  19. 19
    stacy

    @Obsidian

    You make a lot of good points. In this day and age in the US at least, nobody really needs to get married. I always remember the famous “sell me marriage” dialogue from Up in the Air https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ye06I-1Vk

    And not only is this an issue of settling for a person you’re not necessarily attracted to, but in the case of actual legal marriage financial consequences can be grave for the higher earning party due to outdated marriage laws in the US (I believe that nobody in their 30-ies who makes over 200K should get legally married unless their spouse makes same amount or more and/or has substantial assets, its just economically and legally a horrible choice).

    However, have you considered that you may be are on the wrong forum? This is a blog and forum for people who do want to compromise and fall in love and even marry. The need to convince others of the opposite position seems very immature to me. Why do you care? People who are confident in their position usually don’t give a shit about the ones who disagree.

    1. 19.1
      Caroline

      @Stacy-I liked your comment;)  very true nobody in this day and ages “needs” to get married. That’s why I found this article I read about arranged marriages. Come to find out many of these couples thrown together for financial reasons, land , etc-“learned” to love each other. Amazing. They felt love, compassion, friendship, empathy and dedication to their partner. All of that without the need for a laundry list of must haves.

      Now I better get my cowboy boots on cause the horse sh*t is bound to get deep in here after your comment:)

       

    2. 19.2
      GoWithTheFlow

      Stacy,

      This made me smile, “I believe that nobody in their 30-ies who makes over 200K should get legally married unless their spouse makes same amount or more and/or has substantial assets. . .”

      A lot of red pill guys love to argue that men shouldn’t get married because if a divorce occurs, they will lose “their” house, “their” money, and “their” kids, while the ex-wife receives “cash and prizes.”  At the same time they heap derision on women with careers, often using the label independent as an insult.  It’s ironic because if they did marry these very same financially independent women, they sure wouldn’t have to worry about being wiped out in the event of a divorce.

      Just sayin’!

      1. 19.2.1
        Chance

        “At the same time they heap derision on women with careers, often using the label independent as an insult.”

         

        Hmmm….  Don’t think I’ve ever heard a guy insult a woman for being independent before in my whole life.  Perhaps that takes place on those red pill subreddits, though.

        1. GoWithTheFlow

          It’s a red pill thing.  They want a virgin, hot, young June Cleaver, then are upset when a dependent wife gets child support and alimony in a divorce due to said lack of independence.

      2. 19.2.2
        Chris

        “A lot of red pill guys love to argue that men shouldn’t get married because if a divorce occurs, they will lose “their” house, “their” money, and “their” kids, while the ex-wife receives “cash and prizes.”

        And the reason for that is because female instinctive nature tells them to only seek higher-status mates (i.e. to only date “up”).  Why else would men, despite women supposedly surpassing them in education and professionally, still be paying 90%+ of all alimony/child-support payments and getting downgraded to a small apartment (or worse, completely out on the street or in jail if he loses his job and can’t pay), while the ex-wife gets to stay in the house (which his income most likely primarily paid for considering society as a whole still expects him to uphold his part of traditional gender roles even though women aren’t), gets a chunk of if not all of his pension, etc., not to mention she gets awarded default primary custody of any kids they have, while he also has to pay child support for them despite barely getting to see them on top of everything else… all because the state says these “empowered” women need to be “protected”.

        All of this even if the woman outright cheats on him, or simply on a whim decides to just up and leave because “she’s bored with him” or whatever (which no-fault divorce makes possible)… so he gets the added humiliation of either being stigmatized as a loser who couldn’t keep his wife happy (which can potentially costing him professional advancement), or worse having the new guy she cuckolded him with living in the house he’s still paying the expenses for.

        “At the same time they heap derision on women with careers, often using the label independent as an insult.  It’s ironic because if they did marry these very same financially independent women, they sure wouldn’t have to worry about being wiped out in the event of a divorce.”

        And those women tend to use that “strong and independent” moniker as an excuse to only commit up to arm’s length with one foot out the door to perfectly decent men who accept them… she’s essentially holding that independence over his head like a guillotine blade that she can drop at any point if he steps even slightly out of her predetermined, overly-entitled line, expects an actual proactive effort out of her within the relationship that might resemble a traditionally female gender role, or even if she simply gets a sniff of another potential mate who might offer her a better deal even if her current husband does nothing wrong.  (BTW, yes, even with a more “financially stable” woman, he could still get raped in a divorce if they get the wrong judge, and/or she makes up some lie about him abusing her that gets taken as truth with no remote investigation whatsoever.  Even a pre-nup isn’t enough to guarantee he doesn’t get screwed given those two points.)

        And of course, if you combine both of these concepts… i.e. that even career women who are more financially successful only want to date up, then you run into the same problems, just with higher salaries for both parties, and larger payouts for women.

        Essentially, what all this comes down to is that, typically speaking, marriage legally obligates men to keep their commitment to their wife (with the alternative being to figuratively chop their leg off in an unfavorable divorce settlement if it goes bad and they want to get away), while women aren’t even MORALLY held to their commitment to their husband (i.e. any significant consequential incentive, be it legally based, socially, or whatever, levied on a woman for her to keep her marital commitment is seen as “oppression”, so she basically has free reign to act as potentially rotten as she wants while still being called “empowered”).

        Here’s an older, but very relevant blog post that thoroughly explores this exact concept:

        Women are the ones who want to avoid commitment.

        Regardless of all that, regardless of what any of you believe, MGTOW’s still don’t claim victimhood here… in fact, one of the core concepts within Red Pill/MGTOW philosophy is to simply recognize and accept this behavior as the manifestation of basic, innate female instinctive nature (commonly referred to as hypergamy in the manosphere and considered a natural concept essential, at least on a primitive level, to the survival and advancement of the human species) allowed to run unchecked by modern western society as a whole (including men, women, the state, etc.).  Red pillers/MGTOWS just go a step further and urge men to positively adjust their own individual self-preservation strategy by refusing to participate in marriage (among other interactions, but marriage is the relevant concept for this reply) as it’s an objectively unfavorable legal engagement while trying to make the best they can of their lives without it.

        1. Suzy Q

          I agree with some of what the red pill preaches about family court bias, and in 2016 I do have a problem the with idea of anybody getting alimony, but then you just go off the rails. Like most red pillers you can’t just make do with the truth you have to exaggerate.

          “so he gets the added humiliation of either being stigmatized as a loser who couldn’t keep his wife happy (which can potentially costing him professional advancement)”

          Just stop.

          Please explain to me how red pillers make sense of their intense resentment for wives who get everything in a divorce because of a wide income disparity while simultaneously holding contempt for women who work. “Careerist cunt” is the term many of us get called. Isn’t that right?

          “she’s essentially holding that independence over his head like a guillotine blade that she can drop at any point if he steps even slightly out of her predetermined, overly-entitled line”

          Wait.. Wut?? How do you hold your own independence over someone else’s head?

          “expects an actual proactive effort out of her within the relationship that might resemble a traditionally female gender role,”

          What exactly does that traditional gender role look like to you?

          “that even career women who are more financially successful only want to date up”

          Yeah we’re just passing over the hordes of men looking date women who make more money than them.

          “marriage legally obligates men to keep their commitment to their wives”

          That’s kind of the point of marriage though, isn’t it? a legal commitment?

          “MGTOW’s still don’t claim victimhood here…”

          I almost choked on my coffee when j read this. Reread your own post and see if you can discern why people might have the impression that MGTOWs claim victimhood.

          Don’t get married if you don’t want to. We don’t give a shit. Its a free country. But you’re not going to find too many of those misguided men to mentor to in the ways of red pill on a blog geared towards women. Just saying, bruh.

          so why are you here again?

        2. GoWithThe Flow

          Chris,

          You state that “. . .the ex-wife gets to stay in the house. . . gets a chunk of if not all of his pension, etc., . . . primary custody of any kids they have, while he also has to pay child support for them despite barely getting to see them on top of everything else… all because the state says these “empowered” women need to be “protected”.”

          Those are not “empowered” women, they are dependent women.  And they are dependent upon men who chose them, since it is still men who, individually and as a group, chose which women get married.  Evan, and other bloggers, consistently say that men put little weight in what women can bring financially to a relationship.   That what men want from a woman is a soft place to land at the end of the day, to feel trusted, appreciated, and needed.  Being the breadwinner is a big way in which men meet this need to be needed.  And how’s that working out for men, this drive to be needed?  In some cases not so well.

          I don’t dispute that some men get screwed in divorce court.  I’ve seen it happen to two men I care for, and I feel bad for them, as do most of the people who know them.  I think their ex-wives made foolish choices, and a few years post-divorce the ramifications are backfiring on them big time.  But I also know this:  These men had options and they both purposely chose women who wanted to be stay at home wives and moms.

          I understand why the guys did it.  With demanding careers of their own, they didn’t want the challenges having a full time working wife would bring, having to take on household duties and childcare after a long day at work.  It’s so much easier to come home to a clean house, a warm meal, and kids who are done being schlepped around for the day to school, sports, and social activities.  Heck, I would love to have a SAHW, those ladies get s#!t done!  (Side note:  Looking for full time household manager husband and SAHD.  Please contact me if interested.)  But the trade off of having a wife who is a household manager is that she is financially dependent upon the husband, and if it doesn’t work out that dependency doesn’t go away.

          Alimony and child support laws are meant to prevent a woman (and her children) from becoming dependent upon the government in the event of a financially devastating divorce.  The state isn’t “empowering” these women, state governments don’t want divorced women to wind up on welfare and medicaid when divorce occurs.  If you don’t like how the laws are applied (there is much to dislike) work to change them.  Yes, it will take time and a lot of effort to change unfair laws and practices, but isn’t that a worthwhile goal to work for during the time in your life that is going to pass anyway?

          Yes 70% of divorce petition filings are done by women, but that number hardly means they are ending marriages for frivolous reasons.  A woman may be left to file the paperwork because her soon to be ex is busy shacking up with his new paramour or off on an alcoholic bender.  Even in cases where she leaves because she isn’t “happy” she could have spent years trying to communicate her needs to her husband, or pleading for him to go to counseling, with her, only to be ignored.  If a man is flummoxed by his wife “suddenly” asking for divorce, it may just be that he wasn’t paying attention the the distress signals his wife was sending in his direction for a long time.

          Let’s get back to men’s need to be needed.  If someone needs you for something, they are dependent on you.  Why are men driven to be needed/depended upon?  How about being with someone because they want you?  Not because they are in a dependent role of needing you.  Why do so many men chose women who need them financially over women who don’t need them financially, but want them?  Do these men think that a woman needing them, being financially dependent upon them, will more tightly bind her to him versus a woman who doesn’t need financial support but wants companionship?  A quote from Noah Brand of The Good Men Project blog

          “The core issue is this: many, many men in our society feel they have to be needed, because they can’t imagine they could ever be wanted.” – See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-men-must-be-needed-because-we-cant-be-wanted/#sthash.X21bshwV.dpuf

          Is trusting that a woman who merely wants you will stay with you for the long haul such a scary concept?  Women want men.  The multi-trillion dollar beauty industry (cosmetics, hair care, clothing, diet plans, gyms, plastic surgery) exists because women are putting time, money, and effort into fulfilling men’s desire for a physically attractive partner.  Evan has mentioned in a previous blog post that women, on average, spend more money preparing for a date–hair styling, new outfit, cosmetics– than men do on the actual date itself.  It’s one reason he maintains that men should pay for the date, because women have spent at an equivalent amount of money on preparing for the date.

          Chris, you also say, “. . . those women tend to use that “strong and independent” moniker as an excuse to only commit up to arm’s length with one foot out the door to perfectly decent men who accept them… she’s essentially holding that independence over his head like a guillotine blade that she can drop at any point. . .”  Is this really about alleged droves of financially secure women dumping wonderful accepting mates for no good reason?  Or is this men projecting their fear that not being needed will lead to abandonment?  Look at the language here, a guillotine being held over one’s head:  That is fear.

          Sure some women do fear commitment, but the huge majority of women deeply desire a healthy relationship with a man, so much so, that it is often the central purpose of their lives.  Evan’s career is a result of this.  Women will leave a man if emotional neglect is bad enough or if she is being abused or treated poorly enough.  Being able to support herself makes the logistics of leaving easier, but it doesn’t make it emotionally easier.  Even the wealthiest of women will put up with or turn a blind eye to terrible mistreatment to avoid the emotional fallout a failed relationship brings (See Sunny Von Bulow, Maria Shriver, Lana Turner) because that is much harder to deal with than figuring out where she will live and how much money it will cost to leave.  And since you maintain that that numbers of financially dependent women leaving perfectly good husbands is high enough to scare the desire to marry out of men, why are men that much more afraid of financially independent women divorcing them?  At least the men won’t go broke in the process.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has data that shows that in 2013, in dual income marriages, 29.3% of wives earned more than their husbands (up from 17.8% in 1987).  Add in marriages where the husband doesn’t work and that’s a lot of marriages where in the event of a divorce, the chances a husband pays alimony is greatly reduced if not eliminated.

          As for hypergamy theory, is this instinctive or is it learned behavior enforced by society and the culture at large?  And what role do men have in perpetuating it?

          For thousands of years a woman’s, survival and standing in society was dependent upon the socioeconomic status of her husband.  Even with so much directly at stake for her, she likely had very little choice in who she married.  That decision was made by her father or tribal elders.  Fathers ensured their daughters’ survival (and the passage of his genes she carried) as well as the larger status of the family by making the most advantageous match for her that was possible.

          The husband, in turn, gained a wife to run the house, and bear and raise his children (and a much greater certainty that the kids were actually his).  Having children, especially sons, ensured that he could transfer property and status to his genetic offspring, thus giving them a survival advantage.  If his wife was from a powerful family, the marriage increased his social standing. In a time where survival was anything but assured, men benefitted from this system as much as women did.

          In current times when survival is taken for granted, and people are free to chose spouses for reasons of attraction, affection, and love, why are women still expected to try and marry up financially?  According to that BLS data, at least 29.3% of women are not marrying up.  So is it an instinctual drive in women to better her socioeconomic status in life by marrying up, or is it a societal expectation that will continue to recede as women continue to make career and salary gains?

          After I completed med school and residency, the number of people, both men and women, who advised me to seek a higher earning spouse was surprising.  Their reasoning wasn’t that I should marry up to improve my finances, it was that my earning power would threaten the ego of a man who made less money, and would therefore doom the marriage.  I was even told to imply to my romantic interests that I make less money than I do.  In a sense, I was told that men place a high value on making more money than their wives do.  So we’re back to men needing to be the provider, needing to be needed.

          I’m not even going to touch the money=power/control dynamic with the proverbial ten foot pole here.

          As for going MGTOW, if it brings you happiness and peace, go for it.  Some women have been dropping out of the marriage market since the 1960s.  Single Mothers By Choice was founded in 1981.  Nothing says I give up on this marriage thing than a woman giving up on finding a husband and having a child on her own.  In the just published All the Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister makes the case that women who chose to not marry do so because it wouldn’t benefit them to be married.

          In a sense, the women who seek Evan’s advice are balancing what trade offs and compromises they can make in a man and still achieve a marriage relationship that benefits them, instead of just throwing up their hands and saying, “I quit!”.  Evan consistently tells people that the only way to change your situation is to change your own attitude and behavior.  He also encourages the genders to be kind to the opposite sex, and assume the best intentions.

          The basic marriage relationship has gone through revolutionary changes in very recent human history.  Both men and women have changed and more change is inevitable.  If your position is that mating behavior you don’t like (hypergamy) in the opposite sex is innate to their nature (instead of socially constructed learned behavior) then the change that has already happened wouldn’t have happened, and future positive change cannot come about.

          If you don’t like someone’s behavior, you can chose how you react to it.  If women don’t like men who jerks, they should examine why they are drawn to jerks and how they enable them.  Then take steps to identify jerks, steer clear of them, and focus their attention on the good guys.  Likewise if men don’t like women who treat them like ATM machines, they should look at why they are attracted to them, how they enable that behavior, and then take steps to avoid money motivated women and find the nice girls.

          Men can insist that they be treated as people who deserve to be wanted for themselves, for the friendship, affection, emotional support, and good times (Sex anyone?) they can bring to a relationship.  If you chose to throw up your hands and say “I quit!” you miss the opportunity to make positive change in your life.

        3. GoWithThe Flow

          Suzy Q,

          “Please explain to me how red pillers make sense of their intense resentment for wives who get everything in a divorce because of a wide income disparity while simultaneously holding contempt for women who work. “Careerist cunt” is the term many of us get called. Isn’t that right?”

          I guess women who divorce are all supposed to have a trust fund or perhaps come with an insurance policy that will pay out the money to support her while she earns a degree or builds up enough work experience to make a decent wage.

          In my home state lifetime alimony is extremely rare.  The wealthier spouse typically pays alimony for a period of 2-5 years.  Community assets are divided 50:50.  Most couples wind up selling the family home and dividing any funds from the sale.

          If the woman gets the family home, the husband will typically keep all of the retirement funds in exchange.  She is then usually responsible for any remaining mortgage on the house.  Most financial advisors tell women NOT to enter into an agreement like this out of emotional attachment to the house, since long term, it doesn’t appreciate to the extent that other investments will, and the upkeep on a home can be very expensive.

        4. Suzy Q

          GoWithTheFlo: It’s much easier for a lot of people to believe the problem lies with all women/men than accept responsibility for their own failures/lives. C’est la vie.

  20. 20
    stacy

    And, sorry to be going backto that movie but really I think it was one of the best movies about relationships made in the last decade. The 25 yo girl with her laundry list and “I don’t want to settle. Settling is losing by definition” line sounds a whole lot like some people on here 🙂 level of maturity…

     

     

    1. 20.1
      Chance

      Yes, that was a great movie.  I remember my parents came to see me for the holidays, and we went to see this.  When Vera Farmiga said “it’s nice for the guy to make at least as much as you do” (or something along those lines), I was thinking “WTF?”.  After she said that, my mother immediately said “yes, absolutely”.  Then I thought “WTF?!?!?!?!”.  That was before I learned the nature of many women as they approach 30.

       

      Oh well, such is life.  Heh.

      1. 20.1.1
        Caroline

        Chance-I think you might be interpreting it differently than I was. In my experience, it’s easier on the relationship if I made less because my male partner often got his Underroos in a twist about it! At least in my age group it appears to be a bit emasculating:(

        I owned a business with my ex. 85% of revenue came directly from me. It was a constant bone of contention with him. He went off the deep end when our accountant pointed it out. Everything I ever did after that was met with snarky remarks. And suddenly my parenting skills came under fire after that also.

        1. GoWithTheFlow

          Chance,

          There is absolutely a generational element to it.  Caroline and I are in the last age cohort where growing up, most everyone’s mom was a full time homemaker, at least until the kids were past elementary school.  So I think a lot of us assumed that that is the family model we would have when we grew up.  Then it became increasingly difficult to support a family on one salary so things changed.  I think it just hits a certain emotional spot in some men of my generation that they aren’t the total or primary support of their families like their fathers and grandfathers were.

        2. Hilly

          “Everyone’s mom was a full time homemaker” was the standard among middle class, non-immigrant white families. Not the experience of all families at any time in our history.

        3. GoWithThe Flow

          Hilly,

          Then Caroline and I are in the last age cohort of white middle class families where most everyone’s mom was a full time homemaker. . .

          Does that help?

  21. 21
    j dalton

    Heck I can’t even get arrested out here….I’d like to think I have much to offer, but apparently not…the second to the last first meet I went on the guy told me I wasn’t worth anyone’s time and left…then had the audacity to try to call me 3 days later…..this last one I got stood up.  so I quit.

     

    My epitaph will read…”only wanted to love and be loved….and couldn’t get that”  and I just don’t care anymore..

  22. 22
    Christina

    My no.1 turn off is someone with a victimhood mentality. I don’t want to hear about how hurt you are, I don’t know you well enough to comment nor do I want to entertain your moaning. I just want a casual get to know, see if we gel.

    I get that break ups are hard and that’s why I choose to remain single and heal myself before even considering dating. I feel that is being responsible to myself and the people I date. No one wants to pay for the past, it’s disrespectful and rather ridiculous. They don’t take a balanced point of view that somehow the other person contributed too. That is a huge red flag for me.

    The problem with people who have a victimhood mentality is that they often become defensive, deciding that whatever they have done in the past ain’t worth it, becoming lesser versions of themselves. Often this means whatever good they have done, they decide they aren’t doing it anymore. Which of course does not an attractive partner make.

    Not everyone is the same, is it so hard to understand or believe?

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