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. 31
    Sam

    “Men do need to change. Men do need to realize, truly realize, that they are in the drivers 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.”

    Come on, there’s so much overlap. A good looking woman is going to have more options than an ordinary looking guy. A woman with a good career is going to have more options than a guy with an unimpressive one. Etc etc.

    Women in their 20s have more options than men in their 20s. As we age a male advantage develops, but IMO, there’s parity while we’re in our thirties.

  2. 32
    verbosity

    Hunter, I agree completely.

    I do not understand Sam’s post. He/She (Samantha?) wrote, “Come on, theres so much overlap. A good looking woman is going to have more options than an ordinary looking guy. A woman with a good career is going to have more options than a guy with an unimpressive one. Etc etc. Women in their 20s have more options than men in their 20s. As we age a male advantage develops, but IMO, theres parity while were in our thirties.”

    There is nothing inconsistent with what I wrote. Sam’s comments are loaded and general and some are the subject of other threads. I will address a few of the general points he made. Let me first say that there is an underlying assumption to my comments – that men desire a good, healthy (physically and mentally) match for them for the long term, not just some hot piece of tail. That said, women in their 20’s likely do have more dating options than men in their 20’s, generally speaking (particularly if they are good-looking). My belief is that women in general are more likely to choose men who make and/or have significantly more money. So women in their 20’s have the option of men in their 20’s, 30’s 40’s & up.

    Money is not the only reason for these additional options in their 20’s. Further, I would submit that truly healthy women in their 20’s are not placing inordinate importance on money. Money and dating are the subject of other threads on this site and explore it more fully.

    It’s true that good looking women have more options ordinary looking guys. No kidding. That’s comparing apples and oranges. Women, good-looking and ordinary-looking, have more options for dating.

    We can look at the flip side of all of Sam’s assertions (women with better careers have more options than men with unimpressive careers) (as opposed to men with great careers and women who do not have good ones), but the point of my post is that men should focus on their own lives to become good, successful, healthy and balanced. They will not only attract more women that way, but they will attract more women better suited to them that way. I submit they will also be far better suited to choose a good, healthy match for themselves. I think this rings true through all age ranges.

  3. 33
    Sam

    Verbosity,

    Thanks for commenting. I was merely qualifying what you said about men being in the driver’s seat. I think that how in control of a relationship you are depends on what your other options are, and how many options you have depends on your looks, brains, career, and age. If you have other options you don’t need to chase someone who isn’t that into you.

    There probably are more instances (like 40+ dating) where the man has more options, but there are almost as many where the woman has more. I certainly don’t feel advantaged in my relationships at all. Most of the time I’m the one doing the chasing.

  4. 34
    verbosity

    Sam,

    Thank you for clarifying where you are coming from. I think we see each other’s point. Based upon your comments, I guess you to be in your mid to late 20’s (please don’t confirm or deny if you wish). I think you are correct that women in their 20’s have more options….Being in my mid-30’s, I have dated women ages 23-42 in the last 12 months. The point being that the women in their 20’s have more options of guys in their 20’s – 40’s (usually).

    One cannot ignore this reality. However, my point is this…have you ever noticed you find it easier to meet and attract women when you don’t think about it? Like when you spend more time and energy at work or other hobbies and not just work and seek women? I submit it is at these times, where you lead a more balanced life, that you maximize your options. What I guess you desire is that you wish to maximize your options to women in their 20’s. However, beyond that, I suspect you’d like to maximize your options to GOOD (for you) women in this age bracket. Of course you have to do some chasing… after all, men almost always have to initiate action (women’s lib be damned!).

    But realize that life and dating is a race. It isn’t a 100 meter sprint. It’s a marathon. You may not feel advantaged in your relationships now, but as you spend more time on work, friends, hobbies, etc. (ie. – yourself). I submit the more comfortable you are with these major aspects of your life, you will feel more advantaged and in control of your relationships. I’ve found it helps to be more at peace with myself before being with another.

    I hope this post doesn’t condescend. I simply desire to make sure my communication is clear.

  5. 35
    hunter

    …somehow I think relationships are more about information/being consciously aware of what you are doing….

  6. 36
    Paul

    We need our women back…
    I just got done reading every post on here. I found that the women seem to be very angry and really could not come back with much that made sense at all. If you look into the faces of all the women driving home from work, at, lets say arund 6:00 at night, what you’ll see is a deep sadness. It’s not what they truely want or are made for. If you look back in the last 50-60 years and ask yourself who has changed the most, it would have to be women due to the womens movement and womens liberation. I don’t think there can be much argument there. It has had unplanned consequesces and devastating effects to our society, as evidenced by the lady commenters on this thread, kids not coming home to a mother in the house, etc. Do you think it is an accident that the divorce rate, which held for decades at about 20 %, skyrocketed to almost 75% during the same period? So who probably needs to change the most? Hmmm…women maybe? I can’t imagine going out with some of the women who attacked the men posters here…yek! No leverage? What a joke…we have all the leverage we want. These women are exactly the cause of the problem in my opinion (and that is all this is btw…my opinion…you DO NOT have to agree with it). Guys after all, are really pretty simple and easy to please. We don’t want much, but ladies, harmony in the household is something we do need. Verbosity is correct. Your opinions? Sure, we’ll listen, and need them, but guess what…father does know best usually. Your independance? Where does it say that women are supposed to be independant? It is just the other way around actually…we are all supposed to be interdependant and we’re made for relationship. Men have been imbued with the leadership responsibilities in this world. That is as it should be. Women just don’t seem to want to admit that as a woman ages, lots of them tend to get more grumpy, temperamental, judgemental and just plain sour. Who wants that? We have gotten so far away from the biblical model for husbands and wives (on both sides to be fair), as politically incorrect as it is, but it must be remembered that women were made FROM the man, and made FOR the man to be his helpmate…it is not the other way around. Just to be clear on that…we lead, you follow. You want your man to be more responsible, then help him to be that way. Yopu want him to be a better leader? Then help him to be that way. The fact is, we need you, can’t get along without you, don’t want to. But we need you back the way you were meant to be…not the way you are now. Sure there will be women who point out that there have been men that have abused our God given authority, and there have been, no doubt. But I think a lot of that is simply our tendancy to jump to the opposite conclusion. There have been many, many more that haven’t. On the other side of the coin, I think we need more men like Verbosity who are not afraid to make a point, however unpopular…I think we need more REAL men out there who show true gentle leadership, responsibility taking, control taking and who know how and when to take command of a situation in life. We are the ones who handle things – to protect and provide. If you want to say I must be living in another decade, that’s fine…those were much happier days back then frankly. Men were men and women were women. Now what we have is women becoming more like men, and men becoming more like women! When it says we are to treat women as to the weaker vessel, what it means is we are to treat women like a fine china cup. Men, we are to love our women, and women, you are to respect your men…and both are unconditional!
    Good reads are “Love and Respect” and “Wild at Heart”.
    Thanks,
    I hope I’ve ruffled some feathers.

    1. 36.1
      Crystal

      Paul, thank you for this post. i totally agree. I’m a 40 something woman who has a good career and been raised by a single very feminist mother who maybe taught me too much independence.  since college I have always questioned the feminist movement and the simultaneous increase of broken families. with the economy the way it is I’m not sure that we could ever go back but there has to be someway that our behavior can come to a conclusion where men can again be our protectors, our champions, our world which women admire and will do anything for. For us women, we need to allow our vulnerability and light to come out and be that women who supports, adores and is there for her man 100%. Then the woman is that beautiful jewel that a man will cherish forever.  

    2. 36.2
      Lucey D

      The solution is NOT to revert to the oppression of women. Male dominance and control is a thing of the past and the “sadness” you see is women’s frustrations that their basic human rights are still largely ignored by men who want to put them right back in the cave man days.

  7. 37
    Jamie

    Wow, Paul.

    I am a parent. I have a great job. I was ordained when I was 26 years old. I have my doctorate. I drive home with a smile on my face -but sometimes I work at home -still smiling. I earn much more than my spouse -we get along great! I know I am one of the most blessed people on the planet. I was on the phone today with TIAA-Cref updating my retirement profile -good things there. There are so many good, good things I wouldn’t trade for anything. I know I would not be where I am without Jesus on my side! I also am a woman. I’m glad you did not have a say in my life. I hope it continues to be the case.

    Best,
    Jamie

  8. 38
    verbosity

    How many “I’s” did Jamie just use in personally bashing Paul? I respectfully submit that these posts remain about the subject matter at hand (Where Are Emot. Avail., Mentally Healthy Men), rather than personal insults levied against the posters.

    I happen to disagree with the thrust of Paul’s post. However, there is a way to disagree without being disagreeable while keeping to the subject matter at hand, not the person posting it.

  9. 39
    Jamie

    In response to the bash from verbosity… “I” was using a literary technique in illustrating a point in using myself as the example. A very common technique. Ok, maybe it would have been better had “I” been used once with a lot of commas….(???) -but “I” used in consecutive fashion is a way to… I’m not going to explain writing style.

    Anyway, “I” posted my POV as all of us -which is inherently personal. The entire notion of a post is personal -such as with your last post, verbosity. [Which I find joyfully hypocritical]. This isn’t BBC news or CNN. Thank you.

    I am supposing silence (even with the written word) is the better response here.

    Best to you,
    Jamie

  10. 40
    verbosity

    Jamie,

    Your supposition silence is better is incorrect, and I am joyfully not hypocritical. Your ‘literary technique’ had one end goal – to belittle Paul, verbal niceties aside. My little comment about the use of I’s was simply a literary device to draw attention to the fact you personally attacked Paul (“Im glad you did not have a say in my life. I hope it continues to be the case.”). If you feel that way, fine. Send it to Paul directly, outside of this public forum. Most importantly, it did absolutely nothing to add to the thread’s subject matter.

    By all means, share your POV on the issue of emotionally available, mentally healthy men. However, i submit sending broadsides Paul’s way regarding your life is unrelated to the subject matter of emotionally available, mentally healthy men.

    Posts are personal and so are the opinions expressed in them. However, there is a difference between disagreeing with a person’s opinion and taking a verbal shot at them, not their opinion. I do not know if you can discern the difference.

    My basic point is you were blatantly disrespectful to Paul. Further, You mentioned that Jesus was on your side. I wonder what He would say about treating someone else in that manner, particularly when Paul said nothing provocative to you directly. Please do not throw the hypocrite label at me.

    Curiously CNN and BBC receive criticisms from many areas their news reporting is colored by their political opinions, but I digress..

  11. 41
    verbosity

    In regards to Paul’s posting, I see his points. However, I respectfully disagree with him. We need our women back? Those horses left the corral.

    If I read his post correctly, he would like women to change to a more traditional, Bible-oriented approach to life. (Paul, feel free to correct this paraphrase). The problem with this approach is that it is near-impossible to change someone else’s behavior, particularly when that someone else has little to no incentive to change.

    So why bother worrying about what women do? Lyall Taylor had an interesting point – “And to say men are essentially obsolete – this is an incredibly offensive statement to make. Its 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.”

    I say don’t worry about what women do. You cannot change their behavior, only your own. Spend time on YOUR career, men, YOUR friends, YOUR hobbies/interests, YOUR physical and mental health. And, much like the cat who wants to be petted by the only person in the room ignoring it, they will come.

    If there is a common thread among many comments by ladies throughout this topic and the topics that deal with $ and dating/relationships, it is that they want men who are secure emotionally and monetarily. I submit that by focusing your energies as stated in the preceding paragraph, men not only become that, but they will also be in a position to better choose women that are emotionally healthy, not primarily focused on men’s earnings, non-harpies, etc., and attract more of them.

    I believe only in focusing on their own lives in this way can they realistically change these issues.

  12. 42
    Julz

    In regards to Paul’s comment about guys being “easy to please” what a load of crap! Men want to have sex whenever they want and then they end up falling asleep afterwards because it’s not their fault. Poor boys! They want a girl they can show off to their mates to boost their own ego and self esteem. They want their meals cooked to their liking, things perfect at home without them lifting a finger to help. They want to be able to watch sports, hang out with the boys, drink beer, look at other women to see what’s out there. Ugly guys still want perfect girls but they have lost the mirror to check themselves out. Women will like a guy regardless of his looks if there is something to attract them but a guy is usually only attracted to a women’s looks and that’s why the attraction on his part fails. They don’t care what a woman says just what sexual favours she can perform in the bedroom and if she is hot enough to show his mates. That’s why so many great women are single.

  13. 43
    hunter

    to julz,

    I agree with you, there should be more info written, for men, on “attraction”…

  14. 44
    verbosity

    Julz is soooooooooo right. That is the perfect description all men. They are 100% responsible.

    I usually refrain from sarcasm, but cannot help it…

  15. 45
    Julz

    Verbosity, I am not saying men are 100% reponsible. I am being serious so I don’t appreciate the sarcasm towards my response. Men need to realise that their actions have consequences just like ours do. If your hearts not in it don’t lead a girl on to believe he wants the same thing. You try to talk about feelings but the guy closes up so you don’t really know where you stand. I chose to stay with a guy who in the end couldn’t commit to an adult relationship which involved meeting friends and family. I take responsibility for that. I don’t take back the rest of the stuff I said about what men want.

  16. 46
    mrs. vee

    Paul said, “I found that the women seem to be very angry and really could not come back with much that made sense at all. If you look into the faces of all the women driving home from work, at, lets say arund 6:00 at night, what youll see is a deep sadness.”

    Paul, I am a working woman, successful, happily married. Mr. Vee and I equally respect and admire one another. I love my life.

    In your mind, is something wrong with this picture?

  17. 47
    Paul

    Mrs. Vee,
    Absolutly not. If you read proverbs 31, “The Wife of Noble Character”, God clearly says the wife works, or at least does something to bring in income. In a way, she too provides – “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vinyard. She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for the task. She see’s that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” I don’t think though God had careers for women in mind when he wrote that. A womans husband and family should be her “career”. In proper alignment, the wife is under the husbands umbrella of protection. Just as it goes that first there is God, then Jesus is submissive to Him, the husband is submissive to Jesus. Then the wife is in submission to the husband…he has authority over her and in the house. He is the head of the household. That is the way God wants it to be…that is not my idea by any stretch of the imagination! “She watches over the affairs of her household.’ Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” The income is just to suppliment the family.
    Much of what I say in my earlier post that has got so much attention is straight from the bible. Woman are made from man (ie. the rib) and for man (to be his “helpmate” – not slave!) because God knew it was not good for man to be alone and that we needed each other. It does not demean or belittle women in any way. In fact just the opposite. It holds them up. I love women and respect women. And I think it is great when a women comes out and says she and her husband admire each other.
    I run a relationship small group, all based on biblical principles. After two divorces, I said to myself this was not going to happen again, so I turned to the bible and several Christian relationship books to find out what does work in relationships. All I can tell you is if you guys could see a marriage work like God says it should, you’d be amazed how happy you can be. Ever since the womens movement, the roles that God set forth have been skewed. And that is not good and that is why there are so many problems in relationships these days.
    “A wife of noble character, who can find. She is worth far more than rubies.” A men.

  18. 48
    verbosity

    I don’t pretend to speak for Paul, but I think I can safely say that the main thrust of Paul’s comments, as quoted by Mrs Vee, is that many of the responses from women are angry, ad hominem attacks without much by way of refutation. I think he expressed a frustration I share – that Paul and other male posters have posted thoughtful responses from the male perspective why there are fewer emotionally available, mentally healthy men, and some in response to why many men date women younger than their contemporaries.

    However, instead of refuting Paul’s points (which I have done) or many other men’s posts (including mine re: reasons and context within which men make dating decisions), I must note that there have been little, if any refuting posts to many of the aforementioned men’s points. Lyall Taylor (post 22) wrote a great post that was thoughtful. I noted above that there has been little to refute these points and that ad hominem attacks on myself and other posters seem to be the main order of response from most women.

    As I wrote above, is it really so hard to understand or more importantly, to feel empathy for men’s points? 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, which is why I suggested additional things men can do (instead of hoping women change), above. Ignoring the valid points made, often with statistics and articles to support the points, attacking the messenger instead, is disrespectful.

    In regards to Julz’s comments and response, I was admittedly sarcastic. The reason I posted the sarcastic line was to point out that she painted ALL men with the same overly broad brush. Additionally, I would further note all she paints the same sexist, stereotypical of all men that does nothing to further better communication.

    Please bear in mind that any man san state, as Julz did, that all women are gold digging, attention whoring, shoe-addicted, Juicy Couture wearing, fake french manicure having, emotionally needy, too much makeup wearing, lazy slobs who want nothing more than to sit home on their backsides while their men pay for their shopping, lunches with girls, while they cackle about how much they spend, how little they do, and how much it’ll cost him to leave (assuming marriage). FYI – notice how I left sex out? See how that does nothing to further the discussion? One can refute what I just wrote in this paragraph and what Julz wrote in so many ways, that it simply is not worth the time or effort to do so in any way.

    Additionally, I understand Julz may be upset with my use of sarcasm, However, I respectfully point out that both of her posts provide absolutely no basis for discussion, but conclusory statements about how all men are bad and/or wrong. I understand that she may feel frustration, but the picture she paints does not represent reality.

  19. 49
    angelique

    verbosity…

    so I guess, to you, quoting the Bible like Paul does is a non-objectionable basis for logical argument, but ad hominem attacks (which you are evidently vigilant for) are grounds for dismissing a person’s point of view?

    i don’t get you.

    everybody’s got their own arbitrary set of rules of engagement, and you’re no exception.

    pardon me if you perceive my observations to be “ad hominem attack”.

  20. 50
    Julz

    Verbosity, I am not getting into a slanging match with you. I have read through your comments and you do make a few valid points. I didn’t intend to paint all men in the same way. I admit it did sound that way reading it over. I was actually talking about the men I have experience with. I can only comment on those men. I am aware that not all men are the same and when I get into a relationship with a guy I do not judge them on my past experiences. I understand that both people are responsible for the success or failure of a relationship. I never said men are 100% responsible.
    As far as my posts making no basis for discussion that is harsh. This is a forum for people to air their views, frustrations, personal stories, etc. I appreciate the support I get from others in the same situation and listen to those who have a different point of view. However, I do not appreciate a personal attack. Good luck!

  21. 51
    verbosity

    julz,

    Well, I certainly do not think my post was a personal attack at you. For definition’s sake, I consider a personal attack to be something long the lines of what Suze write about me in post 13 -” By the way, you really have to wonder about a guy who comes onto a womans dating advice board and starts harping and nagging and getting all hostile and defensive. Kinda makes my point, doesnt it?”

    You can see where a comment like the one above attacks the person it was directed to (me) without discussing the subject matter. An example of a personal attack is to say, for example, “Julz is a bitter woman” – something I did not do at all. I took pains in my remarks about your statements to limit the remarks to your statements and their implications, not you personally. I understand you may think I overstated my points, and I respect that. I am glad, however, you see my point about over-generalizations.

    I am sensitive to the fact you shared your experiences as a basis for discussion and appreciate it. My constructive criticism is that you made entirely conclusory statements, all of them the worst of men. An analogy is that I came on here and posted “All women are bitches.” Without any background facts or stories, it is difficult, if not impossible to adequately comment. As they say there are 2 sides to every story. I appreciate the fact you may not like what I said or how I said it. However, I think if you read my comments again you will agree that I limited my critique to the content of your words, not of you or your character.

    I understand you and many others view this is a forum for people to air their views, frustrations, personal stories, etc. I agree, but would like to add that I also view it as a forum for people to clarify and critique others’ statements, including factual and logical omissions, with the goal of understanding differing views. In other words, I do not view it as a rant board (not to say you did that).

    That said, I am sorry if your experience with men is as you’ve described. I wish you the best of luck and do look forward to further discussions.

  22. 52
    Selena

    Ladies,
    Why are you bothering? Haven’t you noticed Verbosity is systematically posting the same thing (cutting and pasting!) on this blog thread by thread? Any criticism is perceived as an ad hominem attack. I don’t know about you, but this is getting waaay old for me.

  23. 53
    verbosity

    Angelique,

    I do not have arbitrary rules of engagement at all, contrary to what it appears you think. I will say that procedurally, my issue is where others do not respond to the contents or implication of comments, but about the commentator, as you have done.

    If a goal of this forum is to have a healthy debate about the male/female condition, posting insults about others posters while ignoring their comments does nothing to further the debate. It merely coarsens, cheapens the debate, and shows great disrespect for everyone else, particularly the targets of the comments. I mentioned Suze’s comment about me in post 13 as an example - By the way, you really have to wonder about a guy who comes onto a womans dating advice board and starts harping and nagging and getting all hostile and defensive. Kinda makes my point, doesnt it?

    Angelique, there is nothing in these ‘attack the messenger’ tactics that advance the debate. For example, if I point out that women initiate 70% of divorces as a reason men are hesitant to commit and you call me a bitter whiner, you (A) do not respond to my point and (B) attack me personally in the process. I trust you understand this distinction.

    I also think you misread my posting regarding Paul’s comments. Paul has stated his Biblical approach to man and women as a basis for his viewpoint. As I mentioned above, I don’t think the model applies now. I therefore submit your comment (” . . . so I guess, to you, quoting the Bible like Paul does is a non-objectionable basis for logical argument . . .”) is wrong.

    Also, for your reference, your posting questioning me, implying I am arbitrary is the very definition of an ad hominem attack. It does nothing to advance the debate, but seeks to harm the messenger.

  24. 54
    verbosity

    Selena,

    I am not going to post a lengthy reply. Suffice it to say, I have found the main debate tactic here to simply attack me, not to respond to anything I say, the vast majority of which is supported by statistics and surveys.

    Curious how no one, including you, has responded to the content. If it gets waaaay old for you, then I respectfully suggest you add something constructive.

  25. 55
    Selena

    Two words Verbose. Ho Hum.

  26. 56
    angelique

    I’d like to second your ho hum, Selena. You’re so right. I was hesitant to even bother with him.

    As as long as it’s clear that silence is not acceptance of verbosity’s remedial Rhetoric 101 tactics, of which, he’s only perfected the whiny “Ow, you’ve ad hominemed me!” maneuver, I’m satisfied.

  27. 57
    mrs. vee

    You know, I used to be a walking doormat, letting men make any observation they wanted to about me. But no more. Today I would draw the line at being on the receiving end of a slur as grave as “arbitrary”. Once, Mr. Vee called me “mercurial”, and I just about called up my divorce lawyer!

    I read in The Times that ad hominem attacks now only trail behind heart disease and car crashes as the nation’s leading killers (although the CDC has recently added tautologies and straw men to its “watch list”).

    ;)

  28. 58
    verbosity

    Funny how no one still responds to the content. Typical.

  29. 60
    sheseizereason

    verbosity: “Funny how no one still responds to the content. Typical.”

    A guy walks into a bar wearing a gorilla suit and wants to talk about the upcoming election, but no one wants to discuss that subject with him. They just want to talk about his gorilla suit.

    Typical.

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