Where Are All the Emotionally Available, Mentally Healthy Men?

I’m a 42 year old single mom who is very attractive (I look about 7 years younger), fun, has a great smile and laugh (and does both a LOT), emotionally stable, and not looking to race to the altar. And I definitely fit the definition of a “cool chick” – and my guy friends will confirm:-).”

Unfortunately, the pool of men that I’m dating from (early to mid 40s, usually divorced) are pretty messed up. A number of them want younger women (never mind that I look much younger) – didn’t anyone tell these guys that women hit their sexual prime over 40:-)?
I’m besieged by the 50+ set even though our lives are completely different (like my kids are young and theirs are grown and they don’t want anymore). A number of gentlemen I’ve met shouldn’t have been dating at all because they are still grieving. And the most surprising phenomenon that I’ve witnessed in this pool of men is that being a pretty, happy, vivacious “cool chick” is a big negative strike against me. I’m amazed at how many of them fall for the psycho Bs and drama queens.

My last (short-term – I can’t find one healthy enough to become long term!) boyfriend told me I was the first mentally healthy woman he dated in 3 years. But although I had everything he wanted in a woman, he didn’t feel any “chemistry” for me – so he went back to a younger woman who had serious enough issues that she lost custody of her kids. And he is not the only guy I’ve encountered like this. Another date, who didn’t feel chemistry with me but we became friends, I’ve watched him fall for all the women who don’t want to give him the time of day. He gets his butt kicked time and again and then cries on my shoulder.

I’ve tried all the big dating websites and I go out a lot (that is another weird phenomenon – men my age sit home on the weekends and don’t go out and do anything so I never meet anyone by just going out and having fun). So Evan where can I find the emotionally available mentally healthy men who will appreciate a woman like me? Thanks!!!!!

Joan

A very honest letter, Joan, which is particularly timely, given yesterday’s thematically similar posting. I anticipate that you speak for a lot of readers out there – quality woman who are frustrated at their ability to meet quality men. I can tell, from your tone, that you’re speaking your truth, based on your experience, and I would never attempt to negate it. However, I would like to expand on your truth. Maybe put it into a different perspective.

If we take everything you wrote at simply face value, you’re pretty close to the perfect woman. Young for your age, emotionally stable, cool, etc. This is good news. Now, by your estimation, there are no men out there who are either a) interested or b) qualified for a long-term relationship. Let’s analyze both of those things. And let’s delve into the assertion that “being a pretty, happy, vivacious ‘cool chick’ is a big negative strike against you. Because that’s simply untrue.

What is true is that your options are unfairly limited. This is a dilemma that faces any woman on the far side of 35. Your value goes up – your self-awareness, your experience, your wisdom, your sex drive, your income – and yet, to men, your value goes down. And the main reasons it goes down are because he wants to have kids or because he’s still a slave to the Maxim aesthetic. One reason that women rarely want to consider (and I’m not necessarily applying this to you, Joan), is that with their experience comes a darker lining. Moxie hit it on the head in yesterday’s post that successful, intelligent woman can often be anxious, self-righteous, negative, and entitled. These are not the adjectives women use to describe themselves; these are the adjectives that men often use to describe you based on their own dating experiences.

A relevant aside: Last year, it dawned on me that for every “crazy girl” dating story I had, there was a woman on the other end who was telling her own version of the story, except that in her version, she’s the heroine and I’m the bad guy. We all have myopia when it comes to dating. It’s much easier to find fault in others than it is to find it in ourselves. Studies have shown that people in couples overestimate what they bring to relationships – their generosity, their emotional availability – because they are exclusively inside their own heads. We remember our good deeds more than others’ good deeds. We don’t keep track of how many times our partner kept his/her mouth shut for the sake of harmony. But our partner does. Each of us thinks we’re the martyr.

So am I saying that you, Joan, are anxious and negative? Not at all. What I am saying is that you’re only seeing things from your own perspective. Which is limited. If you’ve gone out with a handful of guys who ended up with drama queens, that brings up a very obvious question: why would any man prefer a drama queen over you? If you think it’s because men like drama, I’ll have to respectfully disagree. I wrote about this in Why You’re Still Single. Once a man reaches a certain age, he prefers easy relationships. When we’re younger, we may tolerate craziness, just because we’re lonely or desperate for sex. But as we mature and value ourselves, we tend to court what makes sense for us in the long term. I’m not suggesting that the drama queens make sense to your ex’s, per se. I am challenging you to consider why he’d choose them over you at all. We’re largely rational beings. There has to be some reason, right?

I was on a plane two days ago and found myself seated next to an attractive and wealthy 59-year-old man. We got to talking and I learned that, not surprisingly, he had a predilection for younger women. In addition to the obvious physical attraction reasons, this man emphasized that it was so much EASIER to go out with a younger woman who has not yet been scarred by life. Someone who is up for anything. Someone who doesn’t judge. Someone who doesn’t tell you how to act. Keep in mind if you’re reading this that a younger woman doesn’t have to be a sycophant or a brainless chimp (although some insecure men are just fine with that). But for the men you’re interested in, the younger woman just has to be open and fun and easy to get along with. This is one of the things that women often ignore when they question the tastes of men. Every time I hear a woman saying that she “intimidates” men, this is what comes to mind. First of all, you don’t want to be with a man who is intimidated by you. Second of all, the greater likelihood is that not that he’s intimidated, but that he doesn’t want to be challenged by you on every little matter. This doesn’t mean he wants you to “dumb it down.” It means he wants you to “take it easy.”

That said, men ARE impossibly shallow. I struggle with it in my coaching every day. Clients who tell me, as they show me their lists of hot, underaged favorites, “I can’t help what I’m attracted to”. Yeah. There’s not much we can do about that. It’s why the 50+ set is interested in you. Just know that there ARE men out there who are looking for peers. My 60-year-old Mom married a 60-year-old guy. I’ve had single parent clients find the love of their lives on Match.com, JDate and Nerve. It happens all the time.

But one thing I’ve learned from years of dating and dating coaching, is that there’s nothing to learn when placing the blame squarely on everybody else. I hear your pain in your email, Joan. It’s frustrating out there. I completely agree. But I assume your question was not simply looking for validation: “You’re perfect. Men suck. Don’t change.” A question seeks an answer. And if you’re not arriving at the answers yourself, it’s useful to get another perspective. In this case, a male perspective.

Listen, if you’re dating online with a great profile, great photos, healthy flirting technique and a long-term subsecription, great. If you’re going out and doing things you love and putting yourself in the position to meet like-minded men, great. If you’re still finding that there isn’t one quality man in the world who wants a quality woman like you, I have to question something. There are quality men out there – even if they’re few and far between. Most of them want to date someone younger – because they can. But if you are all the things you say you are, I have no doubt that some quality single dad is going to grab you and never let you go.

Just don’t make the mistake in assuming that there are no emotionally available men, that men prefer drama, or that men don’t want “cool” women. Because that type of false thinking doesn’t lead to anything positive.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    JimmyE

    Everyone talks about how middle aged men want to date younger women, but take a look at some twentysomething profiles and you’ll notice how many are willing to date men up to twenty years older then them, but rule out candidates born 12 months after them.
    That’s their perogative, but i can’t help but wonder how many women dated older men in their twenties, and then complained that their peers considered them too old 10 years later.

  2. 2
    Vicki

    JimmyE,
    I am 38, and I adore younger men. I have had a crush on a younger guy (he looks about 17 or 18, but I don’t dare ask him!) who works as a waiter at a restaurant I frequent with my parents. I actually have a mental block about dating older men, even a couple of years older seems so very very old to me! lol I think it is just each person has their own tastes you know. Unfortunately, society praises the older man-younger woman pairings, and disparages older women-younger men pairings. The pressure can be a bit daunting. Many people who are cool about seeing gay couples out together are openly horrified if they see a woman out with a younger man. Why is that??? It is the final frontier, in my opinion, and I guess I want to be a trailblazer! lol. So, not all women exclude younger men. I only wish more of them would date me! :)

    Vicki

  3. 3
    Hadley Page

    Evan Has hit it on the head. We want easy.

    First some back ground. I am a. 49 yr old lawyer, divorced w 2 kids that I have 1/2 time. I am relatively sane, relatively reasonable & considerate, relatively presentable, relatively fun & entertaining and relatively financially secure. And yes, I have my fair share of issues just like everyone else.

    I don’t have much of a problem meeting and dating women. But I do have a challenge meeting women that I am interested in having an LTR with. Why? Because at this point in my life I don’t want a women who is trying to change me> I don;t want hassles. I don’t want difficult. I want easy. After pondering this for a few years I have concluded that easy and pleasant are the 2 most important qualities in a women for me — More important that attractiveness, more important than great sex.

    In theory I have no issue with successful, intelligent women. But my experience has shown me that, as Evan says, they can often be anxious, self-righteous, negative, and entitled. (NOT EASY)

    Sorry, I wish it wasn’t true, but for me it seems to be.

    Ladies., if you want to get into an LTR you might consider thinking about what is really important for you and what you can live without.

    Hadley Page

  4. 4
    Suze

    I’m coming into this discussion late.

    Have you noticed in this exchange that women’s behavior/demeanor etc is being put to blame here, and men are being let off scott free?

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it is quite valid to point out that older women who have developed higher standards should put a plug on their nagging harpie tendencies–if indeed that is truly how they are coming across.

    But is it?

    How are men coming across? Likeable? Confident? Mature? Chivalrous? Relationship material?

    The underlying message in the commentary here is that women are the ones who need to change their flawed behavior.

    Why? Because we want relationships more than men do?

    Here is the sad truth: more women, across the board, at all ages, are opting to be single because they do not like the quality of men out there.

    There are now more single women than married women and the numbers are expected to grow. This is an historical development

    the numbers are going to continue to grow until men elect to examine their own behavior and not put the responsibility of change squarely on women.

    So I guess there is going to be a whole lot of sexual frustration going on in both corners.

    c’est la vie.

    1. 4.1
      n lee

      I am a woman and I strongly agree with your response regarding the ‘quality’ of single men available which.  This can sometimes be discouraging and make dating a bit challenging.  I think it is important to be active and open to meeting people and trying new venues which keeps the dating game fun and interesting.
      Thank you

    2. 4.2
      D.

      Excellent point Suze! I completely agree about how it nearly always seem to come down to what women are doing wrong and how we can adjust if we want to have any kind of relationship with a man.  Which may be true because it looks like we’re the ones expected to change more often.  I think it’s due to well, 1000′s of years of the power paradigm being structured one way and suddenly in the 20th+ centuries it’s being challenged and is changing to go into another direction altogether, completely foreign to humanity …and with it comes a whole lotta growing pains!@ For us and them!  
      I think in particular American men have a really difficult time with the emotional elements of life, relationships etc.  
      I always try to work on my s@#t and grow with people and don’t always get the same in return from the men in my life, friend or lover.  It’s easy to become jaded and give up….Meh… but I don’t wanna! :)

      1. 4.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        No man is perfect. Just as no woman is perfect. So unless you, yourself, are indeed perfect, there is always room for improvement.
         
        If you don’t want to adjust to men, that is certainly your prerogative.
         
        However, you telling men to change won’t make them change. You have absolutely NO control over anyone but yourself. So either you change, so that YOU can MORE EFFECTIVELY get what you want. 
         
        Or you can stagnate as you are and just complain about how come no man wants to stay with you beyond the first b*ng, assuming you let them get that far. And if you let a man get that far, knowing how imperfect and unchanging he will be, you have no one to blame but yourself if he disappears. 
         
        So don’t date. Don’t listen to dating experts. Don’t post on blogs. Save your energy and time and continue as you are. You sound so happy.

      2. 4.2.2
        Evan Marc Katz

        It’s not power. It’s practicality. Quick: how can a man “change” you? How can he “make you” love him? How can he “make you” commit to him? How can he “make you” communicate more effectively and shed the demons of your past relationships. He can’t. All he can do is accept you as you are, and if he can’t accept you, find a woman he CAN accept. Same advice goes for women. What part of that do you disagree with?

        So if this is a blog for women, wouldn’t it make sense to give women, y’know, some actual ADVICE, as opposed to “You’re perfect. You’re doing everything right. He has to change”. Wouldn’t that be a boring read? Furthermore, who would it help? No one. Advice for women cannot be “men should change” because that’s called validation, not advice. Advice is about what YOU can do differently. So, what can you differently? You can adjust to him or you can dump him. You can’t change him. It’s not your job. It’s not your right. No more than it’s his right to change you.

        Are we done with this?

  5. 5
    Alison

    Ah, Fun one.

    I think Evan is quite right, fair or not!

    Us fabulous, wonderful, sexy, and smart older women do need to learn to project oursleves in a more easy going manner.

    We need to also examine our expectations AND our preferences.

    Sadly statistics are NOT in aging women’s favor and so even MORE reason to learn to play more effectively and extend the playground. The keyword here is ‘play’ and being ‘playful’.

    Even if older, that attitude will help us appear as youthful and fun. (and we will feel and benefit from that too)

    Yes, our stage of life and what one is willing to embrace does effect the pool of possibilities.

    As one’s children are out of the home, one could maybe date a younger man who does not wish children, as well as an older man whose children are also gone. Also at that stage one may be more ‘easy-going’ and relaxed as pressures lift and priorities change.

    Christian Carter is a consultant to note, who speaks to what men want very clearly and understands a perspective of women. Like it or not, women should listen.

    In fact a woman should listen carefully to what each of the men she dates say, and can question (lightly and playfully) to seek to understand. She can also ask for feedback from male friends.

    That said, Suze is correct too. Many men want easy and simple – ‘seamless’.

    Some are as deluded in their search as some women, not ready to realize that life itself is never seamless and it takes work to maintain and repair.

    They may find simple in a younger woman (at first) but as she matures, or feels sercurer in a relationship, she may start making more ‘demands’ and set more limits too. Also circumstances may make things more complex and the skill set a woman has to deal with this may become more important.

    ALL could benefit by examining preferences, willingness to flex, and to communicate better- in a more attentive and easy-going manner.

    Suze is right- many women choose to divorce and stay single because many men ARE so difficult and inflexible, and not fun or easy-going (remember Girls just want to have fun too)

    In the midst of so many work, family commitments, financial stressors- it is hard to be ‘easy-going’.

    The trick is finding a way to center still, flirt, maintain openess.

    Luck helps too. Also one’s skills at discrimination,

    As Evan says- great to keep being out there and not mistake lack of success as a sign that it is impossible , or to justify a judgment of the pool of ALL men.

    Sometimes we just don’t match up. C’est la vie.

    And the ones that reject us to enter a relationship of drama with someone else- well those are ones we may not want anyway. Don’t be jealous. It may not be happy for those two- nor last.

    I am 53 and 10 years post divorce, have at times felt hopeless, but have continued to be ‘out’ there, with my interests, with my family, online- wherever. It does take energy, creativity and means.

    I have recently begun a very hopeful relationship with a man who is early in the divorce process. Could be an issue but I determined it was worth a go. We are both aware of the potential pitfalls.

    So far we meet each others preferences and can match desires.

    The best part is we BOTH are taking personal responsibilty, are seeking balance in our own lives, COMMITTED to FUN, and not expecting perfection. We are each committed to creating beauty in our lives with each other and others- regardless of what lasts or does not last.

    Timing and luck has played a part in allowing this to unfold, willingness and grabbing opportunities another piece, and the rest has been the self-evaluation and growth we have undertaken before meeting. We are committed to continuing wherever it may lead.

    No guarantees-

    Best,
    Alison

    Also you may enjoy going to my blog and following links to some commentaries on Midlife dating, dating dilemmas, realistic or unrealistic preferences and expectations, how to manage being hot (or not) at 50, and when nice is not so nice.

    You can also google the Amherst Bulletin on these topics.

    and I highly suggest tango or other partner dancing to both sexes to develop better skills, awareness, and to maintain youthfulness.

  6. 6
    downtowngal

    You have to consider the big picture that you’re not going to click with every guy. I wonder how Joan has been going about meeting men other than online, and if this is her first foray into the dating world after being married.

    Also, what kinds of track records do these men have? I’ve found a huge difference when dating men who are beyond a certain age and have been married or in LTR’s vs. those who have not – a certain maturity and realistic expectations when it comes to relationships.

    If a guy can’t handle dating an emotionally balanced woman you wouldn’t want to be with someone like that anyway. It can seem daunting if you keep meeting these types of men but I believe there are good guys out there, just need to change your ways of meeting them beyong bars, online, etc.

    And Evan, I don’t believe that women over 35 have their options limited – I know of many women into their 40′s who’ve ended up finding someone AND having children. I’m sure that some women have issues preventing them from having fulfilling relationships but I think that men who reject women because of their age generally don’t do so because they want children (as they claim), they’re really afraid of commitment and ‘being rushed’. I know of some of these men and they’re into their late 40′s and STILL single, still looking for that perfect woman who doesn’t exist, meanwhile dating psycho-chicks.

  7. 7
    verbosity

    Wow, where to start? I must first comment that I have heard the term ‘emotionally available’ (or unavailable) regarding men defined at least a dozen different ways by a like number of people of both sexes. It is an amorphous phrase with no specific meaning. I therefore do not know what Joan writes about.

    Since most of the posts are from women, I’ll state things from my oh so humber male perspective. I write not to cast stones at the fairer sex, but to balance the viewpoints a bit.

    One must realize that in the age brackets we discuss here (40+) most of the men (and women) have been through at least one divorce, long-term relationship, or other similar trauma. Of the divorces (btw, the divorce rate in Scottsdale, where I am, is approximately 70%), 70% of them are initiated by the women (can be independently verified). I am going to assume for sake of argument that the numbers are similar for non-marriage relationships also. What I’m getting at is that, in all likelihood (70%), a man had his marriage or most significant relationship ended by a woman. I’m not getting into questions of blame – that’s another discussion. Simply, she initiated the breakup.

    So, men in the 40+ age range are more likely to be cautious in committing their hearts, minds, and assets to a realtionship.

    I could not disagree with Suze more. She wrote “I think it is quite valid to point out that older women who have developed higher standards should put a plug on their nagging harpie tendenciesif indeed that is truly how they are coming across.” Developed higher standards? Is she so much better? Sorry to say, but these superioroty assumptions and entitlement mentality are why so many older men are reluctant to jump into relationships. No man should deal with any nagging harpie. The ‘nagging harpie’ usually surfaces after marriage and the legal commitment exists. But I digress….

    Suze further wrote, “Here is the sad truth: more women, across the board, at all ages, are opting to be single because they do not like the quality of men out there.” See my comment on divorce, above. Women are opting to be single, particularly in the 40+ range after divorcing. They are ‘opting’ to discard the life they initially chose like an outdated outfit, particularly the men they initially chose.

    It’s interesting. Suze thinks that men need to change further to suit women, it appears. My personal belief is that men should, for the most part, ignore chasing women. Instead, they should focus on their careers, friends and community. Women will seek them out.

    Alison also writes thoughtfully on the subject of family pressures, children and the like. I would like to note that she also shares the same wrongheaded assumptions Suze possesses when she wrote, “Suze is right- many women choose to divorce and stay single because many men ARE so difficult and inflexible, and not fun or easy-going (remember Girls just want to have fun too).” Huh? Difficult and inflexible? I don’t want to parse words, but my general observation is that men in general do not change their personality over time. Perhaps she thinks she should change for her – a wrong belief….

    Here is man’s perspective. Men like younger women. They are usually more fun, usually physically more attractive, less likely to have shrew-like harpie tendencies. After the aforementioned divorce or ended long term relationship, most men I have talked to just want something simple and to have fun. They often see their 20′s and 30′s as a waste of their youth and fun time due to their previously mentioned divorce, LTR. Now in their 40′s they prefer younger, simpler women.

    However, Alison alludes to something powerful – “They may find simple in a younger woman (at first) but as she matures, or feels sercurer in a relationship, she may start making more demands and set more limits too.” Why demand? What limits? Most men have experienced this, particularly ones who were married. What I’ve founds is that as soon as there is some tpye of significant entalglement (living together, joint bank account, marriage, etc…) women get more ‘secure’ and start making more demands, since for the man, extricating himself from the relationship is now messy, expensive, and difficult.

    The above paragraph brings me to another point – ladies would be well-served to quit worrying about a man’s income, and assets so much. This is its own separate subject, but every time I or my friends meet a woman, the inquiry is always about my occupation and neighborhood, indirectly inquiring about my income. This is treated on other parts of this site, but it should be mentioned here. I bring this up to make the point that men have no qualms going for younger women, since all women, younger and older, look at him and his wallet. This is a generalization, but an accurate one.

    Also, this is very non-PC, but so what? Men can afford to go after younger women also. Not monetarily speaking, but in this way – Men, as we age, generally get more distinguished and attractive (presuming we don’t go completely to pot) to a wider range of women older & younger. Our options increase. Women simply do not. Their options therefore reduce as men’s options increase.

    Additionally, regarding men’s preferences – Men without children almost always do not want to date women with children. I will state this simply (and do to women I meet) – I do not want my dating and social life to revolve around someone else’s children and their soccer games, practices, after school activities and the like. I chose not to have children, value my freedom, and act accordingly.

    One man’s perspective….

    1. 7.1
      Liz Lesar

      VERBOSITY:  Your comments indicate a pretty jaded, bitter mindset towards women, but the silliest statement you make is that “men, as we age, generally get more distinguished and attractive… Women simply do not.”  How many 40+ guys do I see with huge pot bellies and grey hair hanging out at every bar, restaurant, and sporting event I go to!  relying on their financial success to try to attract a woman 20+ years younger than they are themselves, and a total physical mismatch for them.  I look much, much younger than my age, and these men are always astonished when after buying me a drink, they find out I’m their own age.  Suddenly, although a moment ago they were all over me, they’re no longer on fire.  Men should really learn to lose their social prejudices that have no basis in actual reality, and be more easy-going and open to genuine love with a woman who actually will care for you yourself rather than just your wallet, or we’re all doomed to sexless singledom.  I mean, I’ve been open-minded and sincere enough to try to look beyond the pot belly for a truly good man, but you guys are training me to go out only with the much younger, hot guys who approach me (and whom I’d have a better chance of bearing a normal child with, since the age of the man’s sperm, as well as a woman’s ovaries, contributes to a baby’s makeup).

  8. 8
    Hadley Paige

    I am reminded of the quote “Men marry women and hope they don’t change. Women marry men and hope they do”.

  9. 9
    just my thoughts...

    Verbosity, “emotionally unavailable” generally means not able to commit emotionally to a relationship, whether someone wants to or not.

    Just because most relationships/marriages are ended by women (according to the stats you cite) doesn’t mean that the relationship was a good one. Some women end relationships because men are not willing or able to take it to the next level – i.e. dating exclusively or marriage. Other times it’s because the marriages weren’t good ones and despite all the counselling it’s not working, often times it’s the man who’s unwilling to change enough to focus on his relationship with his wife.

    If a guy wants to be with a ‘younger simpler’ (naive?) woman to try to relive his 30′s that he lost being married, that’s not the guy who’s looking for a serious mature relationship IMHO.

    There are a number of men who haven’t even been married and haven’t a clue how to treat a woman respectfully. I think these are the guys Joan is referring to.

  10. 10
    downtowngal

    Verbosity, the kind of guy you describe sounds like someone who doesn’t want the emotional responsibility of being in a serious relationship.

    True, you can’t change someone’s values or personality quirks. But that’s different than being willing to compromise on certain things, like $$, household chores, etc. If you think that’s what makes someone ‘demanding’ or nagging then there’s a bigger issue here.

  11. 11
    verbosity

    downtowgal, I don’t wish to write a lengthy response. However, I am afraid the context in which I describe the kind of guy appears to be missing from your comment. The salient point I made was that a man, 40-ish, is exactly less likely to jump into a serious relationship. This is so due to some of the factors I stated (see above). Generally, one is reluctant to place their hand on a stove once it has already been burned.

    I do not mean this to sound flippant, but I have no idea what that phrase “emotional responsibility” means. It helps to know what that phrase truly means, particularly when used as an ad hominem attack instead of facts, as it is used here.

    Regarding money, demands and compromises…my opinion is that men should never, ever commingle money (or loan, or borrow from, etc) with a woman. Why would a woman care how much a man made unless she thought she would benefit from it in some way? By not commingling money (even if married), a potential area of conflict is solved. Further, since women can do the same jobs and earn the same (actually more than) as men for the same work, they should not care one bit what a man makes.

    What I think I’m trying to convey regarding the ‘demanding’ issues specifically, is a ceaselesss focus on the faults of guys. We’re not talking about forgetting to take the trash out occasionally. We’re talking about actually telling him on occasion the good things he is/does. Too often it appears the woman’s compromise (in her eyes at least) is even being with the guy at all. Not a good relationship point of view…

  12. 12
    Suze

    Verbosity–I don’t know what era you are from but women are less likely to get into relationships these days. It’s at a 50% level and it’s by choice. Wake up.

    Men don’t have leverage on this. You don’t seem to get it.

    I think women’s lib turned men into a bunch of angry squalling infants.

    I partly blame the whole feminist shift for that…but the end result is that most single men are emotionally crippled and well…not appealing.

    I’ve always been this kinda bitchy though…so I won’t pin it on age. I am just super fussy and when I meet the right guy, that’s that.

    And quite frankly, the normal healthy guys are generally married (and stay married) by age 35. So you’ve got some mighty slim pickings.

    All that means is that it’s going to take longer–and requires patience

    So ladies, be patient, and know that a good thing is worth holding for.

    Women in their 40s are probably better off with men in their 50s and up. Just make them work hard for your love. That’s all. :-)

    1. 12.1
      Mike Nike

      SUZE “Women in their 40s are probably better off with men in their 50s and up. Just make them work hard for your love. That’s all.”
      Yes SUZE, make that man work hard for your love.  Ummm….Love should be given freely.  Any males here see the entitlement?  This is in almost every woman.  Its outrageous the self entitlement.  Why don’t you try working hard for his love?  OMG….now they will come out swinging.  How dare you suggest a women make an effort for a man.  A man is supposed to work hard for the women’s love, and change, and be treated like dirt, and how much do you make again?  Hmmm…let me think.  No sorry.   Ya you ladies are oh so appealing.   HAHAHA.  Single, Mingling, and loving it.

  13. 13
    Suze

    By the way, you really have to wonder about a guy who comes onto a woman’s dating advice board and starts harping and nagging and getting all hostile and defensive.

    Kinda makes my point, doesn’t it?

    1. 13.1
      Mike Nike

      Its called posting an opinion Suze.  Yes men have those and no they don’ t need your permission.

    2. 13.2
      Mike Nike

      Evan MarcKatz is a man Suze.  Wrong again.

  14. 14
    verbosity

    Suze, just to be clearthis is a blog run by a man who gives dating advice to both sexes. Before you engage in an ad hominem attack not on the subject matter, you should first be correct on the basis for your attack (not a women’s dating board only).

    Further, Rather than have a rational discussion and a logical disagreement regarding the posted subject with some basis in fact, none was unfortunately posted. I have no idea what you mean by “Its at a 50% level and its by choice.” What exactly is at a 50% level. Divorces? Or the gender initiating divorces? Or something else?

    Actually, sorry to rain on your diatribe with some fact, but the divorce rate in AZ is 65% for 2005 (see cdc.gov). CA, the 800 pound gorilla in terms of population (and who do not report divorce stats to Census), is very high:

    Year, CA Div.,L.A. Div.,CA Mar.,Divorce %
    1996 169,416 38,026 219,039 77.35%
    1997 165,547 37,501 237,669 69.65%
    1998 161,905 35,706 194,108 83.41%
    2000 156,078 36,551 196,896 79.27%
    2001 154,672 38,850 224,241 68.98%
    2002 160,854 40,468 217,880 73.83%
    2003 148,511 38,811 194,914 76.19%

    Average Divorce Rate: 75.54%** (Reference: Court Statistics Reports for 1996-2004.)

    To be fair, many other states are below 50%….TX, for example, has gone from 47% in ’03 to 43% in ’05. based upon this information, it think it fair to assume the overall divorce rate exceeds 50%, eepecially when the rate of 2nd & 3rd marriages far exceeds 50%.

    Of this over 50% divorce rate, women do initiate approximately 70% of all divorces. See Discovery Health, AARP. The whys are irrelevant for this point at least.

    The point, you ask? Simple. Many older men, likely having gone through a divorce (and by proxy, a split of a long term relationship) they likly did not initiate, are understandably reluctant to get into another relationship. To ignore this reality is foolish.

    I do not understand what Suze menas by “Men dont have leverage on this.” What is ‘this?’ Many men do not understand they have absolute leverage, particularly as they get a bit older and more established. See above for further explanation, which also refutes Suze’s comment of “Women in their 40s are probably better off with men in their 50s and up.”

    There is no merit in addressing or even characterizing The rest of Suze’s comments. They unfortunately speak volumes by themselves…

  15. 15
    Melina

    I don’t mean do add fuel to all that’s been said…but as a lawyer I can tell you: Anyone can pull up statistic with internet and conjure up some very “scientific conclusion (but totally teinted on the person owns perspective on the subject)”. Like the saying goes..” 99.6% of people knows that”. (joke)

    So really…using divorce statistic rate to make a point about man “absolute leverage” as so nicely said by Verbosity, it’s not only biased on perhaps his own perspective/or views on the “bad women who actually leaves mans – either divorce or end of LTR” but also look down on women who are in their 40′s because clearly…as said before :”Men, as we age, generally get more distinguished and attractive (presuming we dont go completely to pot) to a wider range of women older & younger. Our options increase. Women simply do not. Their options therefore reduce as mens options increase.”. This is not only a presumption and very condescending but also it created a double standard about women’s worth in the dating game. It’s my opinion that this is not a fact…but clearly again, like Evan nicely said, ” a type of false thinking that doesnt lead to anything positive.”

    I personally believe that womens over 40′s are of equal worth against man in the dating game. We as womens do get more distinguished, confident and also more wise about what’s really important as we aged.

    Maybe mens want “simple”…Sadly, I agree on that. But I’m kind slightly disappointed in womans older then myself…Women wiser and into their 40′s….I mean as a women over 40′s you have to think about this for second. At this stage, you have probably raised children successfully, they’re grown and have their own life, you might have been through divorce or a failed relationship (who dumped who here or statistic is so not relevant ), you been around the “stage” of dating long enough to know a few hidden tricks going on behind the curtains and you also have on the other hand, possibly LTR or a marriage during a number of year and also lead /or still lead a very stimulating career. I’m not trying to play the feminist card or anything like that. But my question is :With clearly the value of life’s experiences that womens over 40′s possess why not wonder : why are some mens over 40 singles? It’s just a thought…There might be something there!

    Ok,the mens over 40 or even men under that age group in fact, may want “simple”, “easy come and easy go” type of attitude or “fun “…The truth as i see it, It’s true!! Fun, simple and quietly breezy is great!!! But clearly not in the long run. Let’s face it and be honest about this, life doesn’t cut it for “simple” and “take it easy” attitude always. I think that It might be quite a change from life’s demanding nature to have “simple” for a while, but “simple” just don’t last in the long run. I might also add and it’s only my legal point of view but…some marriage might have failed because after a few years and a lot of unresolved issues on both parts…”simple” is the way to do things, nothing gets solved and things then fall apart. We tend to put things underneath the surface just to keep the peace or the harmony in the relationship. What happens to “commitment” ?? (see “commitment” : when you are willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in, or a promise or firm decision to do something (Cambridge dict.))

    My point is exactly this : as we get older we want someone to be there for all of it not just the “simple stuff” but even the heavier-unexpected-stuff that are bounds to come down the road. “Simple” doesn’t really last, “simple” is gone out the door the minute a bump in the road comes along. That’s telling it like it is. Womens shouldn’t put their judgment aside and try to be “all is breezy” and “let’s not think to much it might scare the poor fella away”. They should in the beginning of a relationship be able to let loose and enjoy the moment, be able to “take it easy”, it’s nice for a while. But I personally think that a really “distinguished man” who have any life’s experiences and some backbone will no doubts embrace and appreciate a women who can be “the deep and wiser” women that the women over 40 is, and put the breezy “fun and simple” on the side.

    I also have to say to men…Simple is fun for anyone, under or over 40, sure “simple” makes very good dating in the short term but it’s not what makes it in the long term. The problem might be that, as we do with other subjects…we don’t wanna see the tough truth behind things, it’s either better to blame the person in front of us or simpler to be in denial…

    Also, I might be overly idealistic about it or us as womens..but ladies I can only say this : you should believe in things that “empower” the essence of who you are as a women and as a person. Not the “simple” version of it that leaves us with a sense limitation about our worth.

    I might be younger, i might even be able to still act the “simple carefree naive way” from times to times that mens seem so fonds of…but I already know from life experiences that “simple” doesn’t make it in the end. I believe that for a true LTR, strong, authentic, distinguished mens with character go for womens who possess the qualities they possess themselves. A strong, authentic and distinguished women with character who surely can “take it easy” and be up for some “smooth sailing without excess complications”….but not for a women who define herself or let mens define her as “simple”.

    P.s. I also need to add that i think that it’s for the same reason younger man are now considering dating womens older than them or in their 40′s …simply because womens in their 40′s know what they want, they have character and depth…because that’s so much more than “simple”. It’s way better;)

    As a younger women, I would really appreciate comments from womens older than I am about my opinion stated in my post. Thanks you in advance.

    Nota bene…I know there is more than one error in grammar, verbs, etc…Just be nice and understanding please :) Thanks!

  16. 16
    Patti

    I for one am sick of all the “self-help” people telling women they have to change to please men. Why? Why do we have to put up with dishonesty, not calling, game playing and cheating and then be “fun and easy going” (i.e., ignore/forgive their bad behavior.). Smart women have trouble dating because we see through – and won’t put up with – a man’s lies and bad behavior. We call them on it and it makes men uncomfortable when they get caught in their lies. Also, being smart women ourselves, we’re not that enamoured or impressed with their accomplishments because we’re equally accomplished. When you think about it, with the creation of sperm in the laboratories, test tube babies and electric jar openers – men will be obsolete in a few years anyway – just keep them around for the sex (well, we don’t really need them for that either……) and go out with your fabulous girlfriends!

    1. 16.1
      Crystal

      I’m recently divorced and in my 40s never having children. Yes, I am with Patti that we are at a point in our lives where we have gained wisdom and enough confidence in ourselves that we are done playing to men’s deception, cheating and lies. We women are the instigators of most of the divorces described in comments above because we don’t want to stay in a marriage that we thought was great, full of love, great everything even the sex and to wake up one day to find that the husband lies and cheats.  It is sad the the feminist movement has turned the role of men from being our champion warriors to stubborn children who wont grow up. It’s even more sad for us women who have grown up and are very attractive, loving, fun, and want that non nagging easy relationship and now only have the choice of settling 1. For a man 15 + years her age or 2. No LTR ever and being alone for the rest of her life.  Boy, we Gen X women seem to be out of luck. 

      1. 16.1.1
        Mike Nike

        51 percent of Men and 49 percent of Women have admitted to cheating.  This isn’t a Male phenomenon it’s a Human Phenomenon.

  17. 17
    mev

    Patti you are right on the money. Believe me, I understand the differences in the sexes- men are visual, driven by their animalistic urges and trillions of sperm, yada, yada, yada. Hey, as a very well-educated woman who is 41 and mighty proud of it, and extensively well-read I too can come up with any statistic, fact, anecdote, etc to challenge someone such as Verbosity (I know it scares ya, hon). And, according to all the self-help gurus a true man desires a woman with confidence, intelligence, money of her own and experience. And, again these same gurus (such as Evan-sorry bud) state that you must trust your instincts, not be a doormat, not to settle for less than your worth; yet, by the same token this same woman should discard all that advice if she is over 40 because she is too thoughtful, not light (uh, do you mean I have a brain) and unwilling to compromise on her core values. Maybe, it’s because she does not have to because she has the wherewithall, knowledge, self-acceptance and insight not to accept anything less than what she feels she deserves. Isn’t this what the dating gurus “harp” to us single women? So the question remains if this is what a true man needs then why would he want someone “simple”? Are men really this base? Are they so low on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs??? And, why is no one mentioning that contrary to Verbosity’s viewpoint, many men over 40 do NOT look more “distinguished.” Unless he’s Sean Connery. In fact, the most classy, elegant women I know are over 40 and look unbelievable. And, thank goodness there are images today of women over 40 who are absolutely beautiful-and here’s the kicker-inside and out. Think Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Teri Hatcher and the list goes on. Nothing can substitute for experience, knowledge and a life well lived. I sincerely believe that simple, free and easy are being euphemistically substituted for naive, stupid and passive. And, to which, I am positive no honest good man would desire in his life.

    1. 17.1
      Mike Nike

      “And, according to all the self-help gurus a true man desires a woman with confidence, intelligence, money of her own and experience.”
       
      Only Women have lists.  Men just turn their heads and think “Whoa, who the hell is that.” 

    2. 17.2
      Mike Nike

      Yes, all men know about ” The List.”  I saw an ad on an online dating site and I swear to you this one woman had a list of 53 qualities and traits she wanted in a man.  I wrote her and said you do realize with a list like that you are going to die alone.  She wrote back and asked if that would scare a guy off?  I said no, it won’t scare a guy off.  It will scare all of them off.

  18. 18
    Sindee

    Whew…..

    Well Melina, why not pull the feminist card.

    As a 40 something year old woman, raised in an era of equal opportunity and strong women as a role model, I have supported two husbands at the sucessful peak of their careers only to be divorced and replaced with younger women so the men could shoulder the glory as their own. Both – now addicts of one sort or another and less successful.

    Still, I maintained hope and belief in my intellect, well kept my body, and hoped to share a good life with a good man.

    I have concluded, that the opinionated data found on the internet and consumer psychology supports the “BackLash Theory” . The one thing which was overlooked by the men behind the theory is the backlash on the backlash.

    Now, women have harnessed their sexual power and demand careers – as the corporate ladder is replaced by golden poles at gentlemen clubs – $4,000 a week can be garnished from their new found power.

    Young girls go out with old guys because they buy “bling bling”, or clothing, etc. Cheaper than the marriage contract of splitting your pension 50/50 – sooner or later – the women will wise up and start to teach their offspring.

    I have my own personal spin on this. To those older women out there who understand the old double standard game. Recognize the bottom line is this. You can hook up for a one night stand and get sex. Look on Craigslist. You can also spend lot of money (did you know that on average a woman spends $65,000 coloring her hair over her lifetime?) trying to stay young and beautiful. But – as you trade in the tight abs for a steel mind – you recognize the joke has been played on you.

    My real bottom line is this. For what? A bunch of fat old men who are basically pedaphiles? Who wish to bolster their flaccid egos with imagery and spend hard earned moments for a 5 minute finale?

    I have lost respect for the majority of men out there. Fortunately for me, this frees a great deal of my time and energy for myself. I can’t really see spending time finding “one of the few good guys left”. I also know, if I want a hot sexual tryst – I can find it. In fact, the sex trade industry flaunts the new fad in Kenya – hot young studs for older women. Frankly, I don’t think that two wrongs make a right. The backlash on the backlash is that sex has been irretrievably damaged an taken out of the equation of love. Women are deemed assets with short term shelve lives. Youth has a high trading value. As a society we have become whorish.

    Shallow men are a turn-off. So – I’m judgmental. Old Fat Men chasing young girls are juvenille. Men in big cars imply big disappointment.

    I spoke today to a 48 year old who was telling me about his disappointment in a 28 year old he was dating. He ended it when she demanded his credit card and joint signatures. LOL –

    Bottom line. Take a long hard look at what’s paid off. Intelligent Women in their 40′s see the light. Men can’t get over on them.

    All of the subliminal and overt manipulation of consumer advertisements (propaganda) has screwed up a very basic element of life that makes it healthy and loving for both men and women.

    Too bad for all the old fat loser men who are chasing young girls. You are too foolish to see your game of power has you defined as loser – right along with the older women you seek to disempower.

    This gal has found new joys and if I want hot sex – I know where to find it. So old guys – keep your power & hope your pretty little theives will take care of you when you are old and grey.

    Maybe that is the femist card. If so – proud to carry it.

    1. 18.1
      Some guy

      Your “feminist card” is clear to see without you declaring it, the shaming tactics you employ are all that’s required. 
       
      Simply put it should be readily aparent to all with unfettered eyes that, women enjoy greater attention levels prior to the age of 30>35, then men enjoy their day in the sun (with increased levels of attention.) 

    2. 18.2
      Mike Nike

      Congratulations on being single and enjoying it.

  19. 19
    hunter

    …ladies….I am sorry men have’nt turned out to be what you expected……..

    1. 19.1
      Mike Nike

      HAHA.  Funniest post today.

  20. 20
    verbosity

    Reading reading the above comments certainly fascinates. Evan’s right in that both sexes are to blame. Rationalizing the superiority of your position and/or refusing to see another’s point of view is precisely heart of Evan’s point. That said, I feel I must share some observations.

    Melina, in everyday life, people use statistics and measures in order to make decisions. No one claims the conclusions are ‘scientific.’ However the issue is whether the conclusions are reasonable based upon the available information. You offer no contradictory information to challenge the reasonableness of the assertion (that men are cautious about entering into a serious relationship after divorce or LTR), just an ad hominem attack on me with no basis in fact. I provided the statistical cites. As an attorney, you should know this is not persuasive argument to a court.

    What I find amusing and disheartening about Melina’s post (and similar ones), is a complete disregard for my point that “many older men, likely having gone through a divorce (and by proxy, a split of a long term relationship) they likly did not initiate, are understandably reluctant to get into another relationship.” Is it really so hard to understand or more importantly, to feel empathy for this point? I would submit such understanding is vital to communication, and therefore, vital to a successful, mature relationship. The absence of such understanding in these posts is telling.

    What I also find fascinating is that several posters seem to think that Evan is lying when he says they want ‘simple.’ He wrote an intelligent explanation regarding what he meant by it, specifically taking care to mean it did not include ‘brainless chimps.’ I would submit that ignoring this point does nothing further to enhance understanding between the sexes, and is quite disrespectful.

    Also, my impression of the ad hominem personal attacks on me for stating an admittedly politically incorrect perspective (based in fact) is that there are an awful lot of angry women out there, for there is no reason to personally attack someone for stating a contrary opinion. I can only guess that those posters who have engaged in such ad hominem attacks are angry I have contradicted or indirectly challenged their paradigm of the male-female interaction. I would further submit that expending such anger in hardening one’s defenses proves counter-productive to establishing healthy relationships with the opposite sex.

    Hunter said it so well above….

  21. 21
    Lyall Taylor

    Suzi, nobody is trying to say that men are perfect, or lay all the blame squarely on women’s shoulders. But men are tired of being told that things are always their fault, and rightly or wrongly, for any women trying to improve their relationship status or find that someone special, that attitiude will be of absolutely no help.

    You say the following:

    “Have you noticed in this exchange that womens behavior/demeanor etc is being put to blame here, and men are being let off scott free?

    The underlying message in the commentary here is that women are the ones who need to change their flawed behavior.

    Here is the sad truth: more women, across the board, at all ages, are opting to be single because they do not like the quality of men out there.

    the numbers are going to continue to grow until men elect to examine their own behavior and not put the responsibility of change squarely on women.”

    All this presumes that women are faultless and men are the ones who need to change – you are basically doing exactly what you accuse men of doing in this discussion. THis attitude is exactly why MEN are also choosing not to enter into relationships, and also have extreme difficulty finding the types of women they are looking for.

    We simply do not like being with women who always presume we are at fault and we need to change. The presumption is always that men need to change to accommodate a women’s relationship needs and a man’s needs are almost always considered largely irrelevant (even if only unconsciously). Mens needs, desires, aspirations etc are so unappreciated that often women do not even realise that they exist independently of her needs.

    The reality of the situation is very simple. Men simply want women who are physically attractive and sensual, who like them for who they, are who aren’t always complaining/trying to change them. That’s all. Hadley Page has even noted that the phyically attractive bit takes backseat to being fun/easy going.

    And the reality is that those traits ARE difficult to find. And it is constructive advice to women that if you are that way, you will increase your relationship success. Assuming that women are already perfect and don’t need to change will not increase relationship success.

  22. 22
    Lyall Taylor

    Patti – you say the following:

    “I for one am sick of all the self-help people telling women they have to change to please men. Why? Why do we have to put up with dishonesty, not calling, game playing and cheating and then be fun and easy going (i.e., ignore/forgive their bad behavior.). Smart women have trouble dating because we see through – and wont put up with – a mans lies and bad behavior. We call them on it and it makes men uncomfortable when they get caught in their lies. Also, being smart women ourselves, were not that enamoured or impressed with their accomplishments because were equally accomplished. When you think about it, with the creation of sperm in the laboratories, test tube babies and electric jar openers – men will be obsolete in a few years anyway – just keep them around for the sex (well, we dont really need them for that either) and go out with your fabulous girlfriends!”

    Lets just think about this a little bit. Women can also be dishonest. Women also often don’t call. Women most definitely also play games. And women also cheat.

    Yet it is only men who are to blame and women shouldn’t have to ‘put up with mens bad behaviour’. Are women ever accountable when they behave in a similar way?

    And to say men are essentially obsolete – this is an incredibly offensive statement to make. It’s worse than a man saying “we only need women for sex, and now that we have prostitutes and pornography, women for relationships is essentially a waste of time”. Can you imagine the wrath a comment like that would attract.

    It is these attitudes that men find so unattractive. We are tired of always being wrong. If a man cheats, he is a dog. If a women cheats, he must not have been attending to her needs. Do you not think that a man cheating might also have had something to do with whether the women was being attentive to his needs?

    If a man asks a women to change at all, then he is being selfish and putting all the blame squarely on women. If women criticise men’s behaviour, and he doesn’t change, then men are being insensitive and selfish and women will “choose not to get into relationships until men clean up there act”.

    I really find all this quite upsetting and I think I can speak for many men in saying that we can’t understand what we ever did to deserve to be treated this way.

  23. 23
    Hadley Paige

    Patti wrote “… being smart women ourselves, we’re not that enamoured or impressed with their [men] accomplishments because we’re equally accomplished.”

    Patti’s world view is representative of why I ( and many other men) feel that “successful ” women are not good material for successful marriages. Yes, they are fun to date & bed and are “fabulous”. But they are not that impressed with us (so it is likely that a marriage won’t work out). Since many men feel that marriage is a crap shoot they can’t win if divorce occurs we tend to take women who, among other important traits, ARE “enamoured or impressed” with our accomplishments.

    1. 23.1
      Mike Nike

      My advice to men everywhere is just find suitable sex partners and leave it at that.
       

  24. 24
    m

    “But they are not that impressed with us (so it is likely that a marriage wont work out). Since many men feel that marriage is a crap shoot they cant win if divorce occurs we tend to take women who, among other important traits, ARE enamoured or impressed with our accomplishments.”

    Men crack me up sometimes.

    What if your “accomplishments” just AREN’T THAT IMPRESSIVE?

    That just seems to occur to so few of you. Like Lake Wobegon, where “all the men are above average”.

    Sheesh.

  25. 25
    hunter

    …..a shortage of men? Physically speaking, a shortage of men?……..I have heard that saying the entire half a century that I have been on this planet………who knows, maybe, it will happen….

    1. 25.1
      Mike Nike

      The shortage only exists because of unrealistic expectations.  I asked a girl what her ideal guy was and she told me … well educated, income over 100 thousand a year, so on and so forth and at the time her income was 1200 a month.  But she was incredible hot though I will give her that but she expected men to pay for that beauty.  She wouldn’t give it away for some stupid reason like love or anything.

  26. 26
    verbosity

    I just love reading M’s post. It is completely devoid of rational, logical, respectful discussion. It seeks only to insult men in general, and contributes nothing to the discussion. In fact, it seems to reinforce the logical, rational, thoughtful points made in this thread.

    And to add something to Lyall Taylor’s posts, I would respectfully disagree with him. Men do need to change. Men do need to realize, truly realize, that they are in the driver’s seat regarding the opposite sex. They should focus on their careers, health (physical AND mental), family and friends. Women will therefore seek them out, like the original poster.

  27. 27
    Hadley Paige

    In response to the observation that perhaps men seek out women for LTRs that are impressed with their accomplishments, M writes: “Men crack me up sometimes. What if your accomplishments just ARENT THAT IMPRESSIVE?”

    For you M, perhaps most mens accomplishments are not that impressive. Consequently you have a challenge before you relationshipwise. But regardless of how unimpressive you find any particular male, there is a pool of women who will likely be content with that level of accomplishment. Hence back to the original point that “successful” women have a challenge meeting suitable (does that really mean impressive???) men.

  28. 28
    hunter

    yes, to lyall taylor,….in case you haven’t heard,… men do have to admit they are wrong,….. if they want to get laid….it comes down to this, do we want to get laid, or do we want to be right?….

  29. 29
    verbosity

    Haha, hunter. You are unfortunately correct for the vast majority of situations.

    I still keep coming back to the concept that men in general (women also), should spend more time on themselves pursuing career success (whatever that means to your chosen career), physical and MENTAL health, and a family/friend life balance. In short, they should seek to be balanced, happy people. Members of the opposite sex will therefore seek them out as standouts from the rest of available options.

    Just chasing tail only seems a recipe for disaster.

  30. 30
    hunter

    to Verbosity,

    …a recipe for disaster.” I agree with that,yet, many single men are “clueless.” I am not for constant chasing, but, I am all for raising the level of conscience awareness…making men(and some women) aware of the “dating code.”

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