Why Don’t Men Hate Being Single As Much As Women Do?

Why Don’t Men Hate Being Single As Much As Women Do? Dear Evan,

Why don’t men hate being single as much as women do? I know you say most men are marriage-minded underneath but they seem much less interested in getting into a stable, committed relationship than women do, and seem to drag their heels.

Some of the things I hate about being single are (in no particular order): lack of love, affection and emotional support; not having someone to go on vacation with; not having someone to share domestic tasks with; being excluded from social gatherings because I don’t have a partner; not having someone to talk to at home on a day to day basis; having to cope with the financial burden of being single (apartment, bills etc.); not having a regular source of quality sex available.

Surely these things apply to men just as much as women? If this is the case, why aren’t men jumping up and down with excitement when they meet someone they connect with, like we are? Why aren’t they just as keen as we are to know “where things are going” early on in the relationship? A lot of men my age seem uninterested in a committed relationship, seeming to prefer a more casual “low investment, low return” approach to relationships. Do men actually ENJOY the endless tedium and stress of going on a string of disappointing dates? Or does it all simply come down to the capriciousness of the female orgasm – since men can have an orgasm with practically anyone, they don’t much care who they’re with, whereas if a woman finds someone who’s actually good in bed she’s desperate to hang on to him?! Your insights would be much appreciated.  -Elaine

Dear Elaine,

Love. This. Question.

I particularly love your list of what sucks about being single. As a guy who was single for 35 years, I completely agree and think that – all things remaining equal – having a good relationship is a far superior state of being than being alone.

(This does not mean that I look down on single people or think you should be in an unsatisfying relationship so, please, spare me the complaints.)

My assistant says it’s because when they’re single, they can play video games and watch porn, and if they got a girlfriend, she’d insist they give up one or both.

But what gets me the most excited, Elaine, is that you’ve forced me to consider something that I’ve never actually considered before:

Why Don’t Men Hate Being Single As Much as Women Do?

My assistant says it’s because when they’re single, they can play video games and watch porn, and if they got a girlfriend, she’d insist they give up one or both.

Funny, but probably not the entire picture.

So, together, let’s consider why men are generally cooler with being single than women:

1. Low investment, low return. As I observed in “Why He Disappeared”, this tends to be the way that men deal with most of their relationships. When a man hangs out with another man, he’ll watch sports, play poker, talk trash, grab a few drinks, and maybe talk about whether he’s hooking up. This takes care of most of a man’s basic needs – for companionship, for laughs, for fun.

Men are more likely to define themselves by their careers – What do I do? How much do I earn? What kind of car do I drive? How big is my TV?

As I look at that list, it occurs to me that most of my clients who are perfectly content being single are satisfied with their female friendships. My mom, for example: she volunteers at the hospital, she tap dances in the musical at her clubhouse, she plays canasta with the girls twice a week, she does Sudoku in her garden, she’s on the party-planning committee… and while she misses a travel companion, movie companion and regular sex, life is pretty much okay as it is.

I just think there are more men than women who are okay with low-investment, low-return, that’s all. Which brings us to…

2. Self-definition. Men are more likely to define themselves by their careers – What do I do? How much do I earn? What kind of car do I drive? How big is my TV?

This is unfortunate and short-sighted because nobody dies thinking that he wishes he had a 72” Sony instead of a 64” Vizio. But hey, that’s men.

Women, who are, in general, more emotional and intuitive, are more likely to define their lives by their relationships. So when they lack a partner, they’ll be disproportionately sadder than men, who just bury themselves in more work and (sometimes) play.

Then again, many of my smart, strong, successful clients also bury themselves in their work for a decade, and emerge from their cocoon of success and travel, only to learn that they’re really, really lonely. I can only imagine there are millions of women who haven’t contacted me who continue to immerse themselves in that worldview that success and accomplishment matters more than love. Which brings us to…

3. Communication styles. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: men need more help; women ask for more help. And nowhere is that clearer than in the realm of relationships.

A few thoughts off the top of my head:

• Over twice as many women take anti-depressants, compared to men. I remember reading somewhere that it was about 1 in 6 women vs. 1 in 48 men.

• 90% of the self-help market in bookstores is for women. Seriously, apart from “The Game” have you ever seen a relationship book for men that’s sold in airport bookstores?

• Women maintain closer friendships throughout life. My mom talks to her best friend every day. She has friends who talk to their daughters every day. I’m as sensitive as they come and I talk to my best friends in New York about once a month.

In other words, even if men feel the emotional need to connect, they rarely reach out to do so – with each other, with their families, and with you.

Women talk about their feelings with much greater frequency and intensity, further feeding the perception/reality that they care more about relationships.

4. Sex – Perhaps Charlie Sheen said it best, years ago, when talking about his predilection for prostitutes: “I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave.”

There are a decent number of men out there who don’t really desire the same kind of relationship as you do. Their needs are met by their male friendships and their careers and the last thing they want to do is hold your purse when shopping at Nordstrom.

You can tell who these men are because when they’re not with you, you don’t exist. They’ll call you once a week to hook up and that’s all. These guys play on their terms, not yours and are a total waste of time to any woman trying to forge something real and lasting. It’s like trying to teach a fish to ride a bicycle. In my experience, there are very few women who treat men as if they’re good for nothing but sex.

So yeah, a man’s ability to separate sex and love is another valid reason he’s not terribly upset when he’s single.

The last thing men want to do is hold your purse when shopping at Nordstrom.

5. Expectations about relationships. I think this is the most important point of all. Women expect their relationships to be transcendent. They expect the man to illuminate and inspire. You remember “Eat, Pray, Love,” right? “You don’t need a man. You need a champion.”

Guys don’t work that way. We want someone who is attractive, who doesn’t criticize us or tell us how much we need to change, who we can spend lots of time with without getting bored, who we can bring around our friends and families with minimal incident.

You don’t have to play fantasy football.
You don’t have to make six figures.
You don’t have to have washboard abs.
You don’t have to have an M.B.A.
You don’t have to be spiritual.

As a result, most men can date lots of women.

Women – at least my clients – can only date .0001% of men.

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her follow-up to “Eat, Pray, Love,” called “Committed”, explores these outlandish expectations that Western women have for love – which are nothing like what women in other cultures experience. As a result, Western women are very disappointed in their men, whereas men aren’t nearly as disappointed in women.

In other words, we think you’re fine as you are.

We just hate the fact that you need us to change so much.

As a result of all of these biological and societal observations about men, it shouldn’t be too surprising that there are no Time Magazine cover stories or best-selling books about desperate men.

We can separate sex and love, we define ourselves by our work, we don’t lack dating options, we get 95% of our needs met without female companionship, and we don’t talk about relationships nearly as much.

If there’s anything I missed, please let me know. Guys, please chime in here. Why are you okay not being in a relationship – and how is this different than the women you know?

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Comments:

  1. 871
    T

    Despite having a summa cum laude degree in engineering, a masters and Ph.D. in physics, multiple domestic and international patents, and a variety of publications my excuse is simple. It is the Peter Principle of relationships. I rapidly rose to my level of incompetence and endeavor to spare any other woman that I would assume to care for the experience.

    You’re welcome.

  2. 872
    Likerofpeople

    Wow! I can only speak for myself as a woman and say that this article could have been written on a lot of points with regards to how I see a relationship with men. I have experienced very needy men and very needy women in my life, neither are nice to be in a relationship with.

    We are never going to get anywhere calling women bad or men bad, because both genders can behave selfishly or can be nurturing relationship partners. I don’t think that it’s up to one gender to learn how to satisfy the needs of another. It’s best to take responsibility for your own happiness.

    The thing with sex is that a lot of the time people are approaching it with the attitude that they are going to get something out of it and that expectation is probably not going to lead to a fulfilling experience.

  3. 873
    Jon Baker

    I like this article because he was asked a question and he’s just being realistic in the sense that to make a man and woman happy together, there is no need for an “over-the-top and exceptional relationship”; there just needs to be two people that are down to earth and realistic, yet still romantic, kind, and loyal. They need to be on the same page when it comes to their viewpoint on life, and to not expect unrealistic things from each other.

    It’s true that women have way higher and unrealistic expectations in America than men do. I lived in Argentina for two years and their relationships are way more chill, realistic, and genuine. And in my opinion, I also think it’s why they have better-looking women, because they don’t try so hard and they are more confident, due to their more realistic expectations of men and themselves.

    The reason this article is bothering so many women on here, is because it strikes true in their own hearts. They know they do it, and they don’t like that somebody points it out so blatantly. It’s not any different than when it bothered me for a moment in this article when the author wrote that men spend most of their time worrying about money and TV’s, but that’s because it’s true! And to be honest, all of the women getting on here and writing angry comments should try and read it constructively, because if they didn’t need relationship help, they wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place.

    Thank you, Evan for a good and finally honest article.

    1. 873.1
      Persephone

      To John Baker 873, I read teh first paragraph of your post and thought, “Whew, finally a common sense person here.”  Then I got to the second paragraph. Oh, boy, oh , boy.  I  disagree with one comment you made, “that women have way higher and unrealistic expectations in America than men do.”  That has not been my experience  I see it go both ways. As a lawyer who is now officially burnt out on doing divorces, I can say that neither gender has the monopoly on crazies, or on those with unrealistic expectations.  My personal experience with relationships and with my own failed marriage(s) is that men can be pretty darn unrealistic. 

      Why the whining about not pulling the shower curtain back correctly?  Why is a shower curtain, or a garbage bag with “air” in it, or the placement of pillows on the couch more important than your marriage?  Why in the world, when your wife is spread thin, can you not try to pick up at least a little slack?  If I forget to mail the power bill, can you not find it in the kindness of your heart to do at least 51% and quit haggling over every little percentage, cent and piece of minutia? He would let it set there on the console table until it rots, or until I finally “got responsible” and mailed it.  He refused to mail it, with thoughts that it would teach me a lesson for the power to get cut off.  Seriously.   OH, and God forbid that I should not have supper right on time, regardless of the difficult legal brief that is due with a strict deadline.

      As for me and my new beau, he is welcome to enjoy his life without me fussing. He can languish until noon in the bed on weekends for all I care. I am just glad to have his sweet angelic face on the pillow next to mine, and I can take out my own garbage thank you very much, but if he decides to take it out on his own incentive, that’s awesome.

      Point it that it’s the individual who has unrealistic expectations–not the gender.

      1. 873.1.1
        Insightful Idiot

        “As for me and my new beau, he is welcome to enjoy his life without me fussing. He can languish until noon in the bed on weekends for all I care. I am just glad to have his sweet angelic face on the pillow next to mine, and I can take out my own garbage thank you very much, but if he decides to take it out on his own incentive, that’s awesome.”

         

        See? The good ones are always taken lol

        1. Persephone

          Yeah, my good guy is taken, but he is 5’9″, and works a crazy schedule, having to stay sometimes in motels during the week for construction jobs.  It’s not that he enjoys being single, it’s that he  thought he needed to stay single because no woman would accept this.  (I hate Trumps but he is funny when he says W-R-O-O-O-N-G!!!!.) I have a life, too, ya know, and sometimes must stay late working on a legal brief.  Yes, there are men and women all over the place who have realistic expectations and understand what a “J.O.B.” is.

  4. 874
    John

    marriage has become a 4 letter word in my book.   It destroys lives and props up whatever disillusion you started off with when the idea of marring someone popped into your head.   The problem, is that marriage has no definition.  It means something different to everyone and the more the definition differs between couples to be, the more damage will occur.   Does marriage mean your woman will now be your personal sex partner and want to do fun things with you every single day?  Absolutely!!!   Does marriage mean your man will help you confront all of your never ending plights, helping you to battle the world which is against you, and he will just give you occasional hugs in place of any kind of sex life because that would just be picture perfect?  You Bet!!  These realities are as good as stone for the first day and then erode after realization sets in doing damage for years to come.   To restate, marriage is as good a word as ‘hope’ or ‘change’, empty and meaningless except to those who give it meaning.   Take the above ludicrous example and then add a layer of absolute security around it, meaning that this particular couple absolutely cannot divorce even though one strongly desires it and the other strongly does not.   Now lets add kids into the bag and we’re almost at suicidal.   One is a delusional cupcake from fantasy island and the other a realist striving for the weakest link to break so something more important does not.   Are we there?!?!  Yes we are, ok, now you’re at my level.  Hi!  Im John.  Welcome to Hell.

      1. 874.1.1
        Amanda

        Evan, best response ever. 🙂

    1. 874.2
      DeeGee

      John said: “(I hate to duplicate any of that text)

      Wow, dude, that is a really black hole you are in.
      I would recommend seeking some counseling.  Seriously.  That is not healthy.
      Marriage will be what each person puts into it and makes it.  Which is why it is important to choose a good mate, and to be the best that you can be.

  5. 875
    Amanda

    Wow, I’m a single woman and love it,but I cringe when I hear the words dating,relationship, and marriage,maybe its because I’ve been single for over 4 years. I don’t turned down guys,because I never get approached. So basically I don’t date. I love it!

    Men have this unrealistic image of what a woman,regardless how they look themselves. For instance men chase after 10s when they’re only a 2. So I don’t fit in anywhere. I’m okay with it. Besides you can’t stop the aging process.

    To me relationship means you’re co dependent, clingy,needy,and only looking for validation because you obey society. Where I’m my own person, and I’m happy with being alone. I am currently going to college for a degree in accounting,so I’m busy. Relationships just hold me back, why should I put my life on hold because of other people. I’m not about to give up my life because someone wants me to be someone I’m not, because they want me to be want they want me to be.

    I’ve had three relationships in my whole life. First one lasted 9 years, it was very violent, I literally ran in the middle of the night and never went back. Four years later was in a relationship for six months, I kicked him to the curb, because he didn’t want a job. Last relationship lasted one year. He cheated on me and got another woman pregnant. So its not like I don’t have experience. Lol.

    Not every woman or man likes dating. If you’re okay with being single nothing wrong with it. I just wish people would respect others life decisions even if they don’t approve it.

    1. 875.1
      Marika

      We respect your decision, Amanda. We just wonder why happily single people who don’t want to date and think relationships mean you’re codependent and just want validation, come to and comment on a site designed for people who want to date better and form a great relationship…

      1. 875.1.1
        Diane

        Never come across as needy. Never start having a mental time clock that the guy needs to follow. So many dates equals the next preset level of a relationship progress. So many months equals an engagement, moving in together and a marriage date set. Guys can sense a needy woman quickly and will fade away. They want a more relaxed, low stress time with a woman. Once they feel that a woman is becoming controlling, demanding, clingy, they will bolt. Just the way they are.

         

  6. 876
    keke

    Spot on. I don’t know any men sitting around wondering how to find a good mate or thinking any less of themselves because they’re single. They typically feel there are so many options to pick from how do I pick one.

    1. 876.1
      Tyrone

      AKeke

      I’m not so sure about all of that that.

      Men are more accustomed to overt rejection (look at the blog about 69% of men getting rejected before the first date) and all we can do is keep trying, take a break from trying, or give up trying all together.

      I have certainly wondered if I will meet someone that interests me. If I meet her, will she even bother to go on a date with me. What can I do differently to experience fewer rejections. And as time goes on, I personally feel like I have fewer options to choose from based on what I am looking for in a partner. But we have to be mindful not to project those feelings outward when trying to date. No woman is looking for the guy with low self esteem because he takes rejections hard and thinks he will be single forever.

      I think there are substantial number of men that don’t really want to be single, but are for one reason or another. I never talk about these things with anyone, and I’d bet many of them don’t either. And just as Evan said, there aren’t a bunch of magazines, books, movies and shows about men desperate to meet the one. So I just keep up the good fight and just live my life trying at least do some things that I enjoy in the meantime.

       

      1. 876.1.1
        Sylvana

        Very true. All one has to do is look online, and you’ll find plenty of men who would love be in a relationship. Actually, I’ve found more lonely/sad about being single statements (in blogs, forums, etc.) from men than women online.

        I think whether a person is all right with being single or not has more to do with the individual than being a man or woman. The only difference is that is socially more acceptable for men to be single than for women. And socially more acceptable for woman to say they would rather be in a relationship than for men.

        1. Persephone

          Sylvania, I agree with you very much. I know of a lot of men, including relatives, who wish that they could find somebody, and their expressed desires sound very much like women’s expressed desires on this matter.

    2. 876.2
      Persephone

      Keke, I do. I have a family member who desperately wants to get married. He reminds me very much of Evan. I think he’s almost becoming jaded because he wants to find a wife so bad. The crazy thing is he so smart, and so handsome, and such a good catch. I keep trying to encourage him to give girls a try. He says why even bother going out with a girl if he’s just not crazy about her. I tell him that he should give them a chance. He won’t know that until after one or two dates.

      As far as guys getting rejected, I can’t believe some of the stuff they do that causes them to get rejected. The guy and the girl will be hitting it off on text message, and he starts saying something silly like give me some of that. They haven’t even met yet! This is exactly what happened to me. They push sexuality too fast, even before they met. Yeah it’s important. But you have to take it slow in that area, or there’s going to be early on rejection.

      The guy that I’m seeing now didn’t start getting sexual with me right away. He made himself seem useful, first. He showed me how useful he was in helping move a couch. Sorry, but this is the way it goes. I’m sure he would be looking for something equally as useful from me to balance that out.

      1. 876.2.1
        Tyrone

        @Persephone

        When I was younger I had the “give a girl a try” mindset. Female coworkers, friends ans family said it was a great idea. An issue I took with it is that it always seemed to go like this: I like woman #1. She is not receptive to my advances. I try to talk to woman #2 and she pretends she can’t hear me speaking to her. I send an email on a dating site to another woman and it goes into the abyss. On an on until someone takes a chance to go on a date to get to know more about me. It felt a lot like the the advice I was being given wasn’t being practiced by a large number of women and I was spending money going on dates with ladies that I had less of an interest in simply because they said yes. It’s not a practice I engage in anymore. Most women don’t engage in it. I can see why your friend wouldn’t want to do it either as long as his expectations are realistic.

  7. 877
    Sara

    After reading through several of these comments, I am very happy to be single. I know I am high maintenance because I have high expectations for my life. If I want something, I go for it. I don’t wait for a guy to ask me out, U ask him out! I also pay for my own dinners, drinks and whatever else I want. I don’t let guys pay for me because they think they are owed something in exchange for paying for me! No thank you! I’m not desperate!

    Please learn to be happy alone. It will be the greatest investment you can make on YOU!

  8. 878
    Gene

    Why would a man marry?  The law favors women.

  9. 879
    Insightful Idiot

    I really resonated with your response.

    When she wrote in asking
    “Some of the things I hate about being single are (in no particular order): lack of love, affection and emotional support; not having someone to go on vacation with; not having someone to share domestic tasks with; being excluded from social gatherings because I don’t have a partner; not having someone to talk to at home on a day to day basis; having to cope with the financial burden of being single (apartment, bills etc.); not having a regular source of quality sex available.”

    Emphasis mine. These are things I either don’t care about, don’t apply to me, or are met by my friends. Yes I can get casual sex but I miss the intimacy from having sex with someone you love.

    I also miss the idea of someone kissing and hugging me after a day of work… but that usually never happened anyway. She’s usually bouncing from thing to thing talking a mile a minute.

    Cliche I know, but honestly all I wanna do when I get home is have a beer and shut my mind down for 30 minutes. Thirty minutes – I don’t want to be one of those guys that zones out on tv for 3 hours after they get home. 1-2 beers, NO TV, no talking. Just recharge my batteries and loosen me up.

    I’d be ok with a beer and just having my arm around a woman – just enjoying each other’s company. That’s not what happens though. I just hate that what I need seems to conflict with what she needs. I read that women talk nearly twice as much in a day as men. 2x as many words.

    Women have been the only ones to ever make me feel lazy. I’ve worked in a sawmill and I grew up in the country – I’m no stranger to hard work. But women… they’re always talking or doing something and they always want your help. I want an independent woman who doesn’t need my help. I want a partner – someone to spend time with – not a second job and more responsibiliies. Kill this spider, check the oil, lift this heavy thing etc… I don’t need her help. If she wants to help me cook, fine, if she wants to help with dishes fine – but I don’t need her help with that – I can do it myself. I’m looking for someone to add to my life not take from it – that’s why I’m self-sufficient and I expect them to be able to as well.

    “Guys don’t work that way. We want someone who is attractive, who doesn’t criticize us or tell us how much we need to change, who we can spend lots of time with without getting bored, who we can bring around our friends and families with minimal incident.”

    Wow. Exactly. The main thing that stuck out to me is the minimal incident. Yes dear god if you can limit the drama in my life I’ll love you forever.

    I read that the divorce rate for men increases by 33% when they become unemployed and divorce rates for women increase by 0% when they become unemployed. This is just a small taste of the unrealistic expectations women have for their men. Women seem to have a life plan and if you falter, you’re killing their dream. It makes you feel, as a man, more like a tool they use to reach their goal rather than a living breathing man with feelings who suffers tragedy and missteps like everyone else. Their happiness doesn’t reside in you – but in the life they (need you in order to help) create.

    I seem to meet women who want to be my everything. You can’t. You can’t possibly meet all my needs and it’s unrealistic for you to expect to be able to and I have no interest in being your “everything”. 

    I feel I need to add – though I highlighted the differences I have had with women – I don’t hate women. I just wish that what they needed meshed with what I needed.

    1. 879.1
      Sylvana

      I generally agree with you. But the problem is, the woman you are looking at dating would be a very masculine (or high testosterone) woman. No – not a feminist, power hungry bitch. There is a huge difference, mind you. Basically a woman who thinks, acts, feels like a man.

      And there are plenty of those women out there. But we keep being told we’re not feminine enough to attract men.

      I’ve noticed this is a rather common problem these days in general. A lot of men describe their ideal woman, and it includes her having about 70-80% masculine traits. Yet, at the same time, the woman is also expected to still be feminine.

      It doesn’t work.

       

    2. 879.2
      Persephone

      I am replying to both I.I., and to Sylvia.

      As far as a woman and a man not meshing 100% with everything. That’s not a phenomenon that exist because of male versus female. That’s a phenomenon that exists because of human versus human. Let’s say we have a non-sexual friendship between two hunting buddy males. They’re always going to get aggravated each other, but they’re good buddies how they work it out. Or between two women who do whatever women do anymore together. (Yes, I admit as a woman I don’t know what to do with other women. Where men have hunting, we women sadly don’t have quilting bees, community canning, and things like that anymore.)

      Biologically, all women have testosterone. It’s partially what gives us a sex drive. But then we can get into the nature versus nurture argument, and I think we’re all mixture of both. I’m a lot like I.I., and that I can’t stand a chatterbox. There are  times when I want to have high energy conversations, and times when I just want to chill, and just enjoy somebody next to me without this high-energy conversation, when my energy has been all used up. That’s not a characteristic of me being female. That’s a characteristic of my job being really really hard. It’s also a characteristic of me coming from a family where I have a sister who had ADHD and would talk talk talk talk talk.

      I haven’t quite figured out, it’s Sylvia, what it is for a woman to think act and feel like a man period since I’ve never owned a man’s brain, I really don’t know how a man thinks any differently, except for how is environment has conditioned them to think that way. I used to be the only woman at a heavy industry job, and guys would come up and tell me that there were a lot of differences between men and women’s thinking. And I would ask them how. I really wanted to try to understand this thing, and I had tons of conversations with him about it. They would say, “Okay let me give you an example. What is your favorite store?” I responded that my favorite store was Home Depot. He told me he expected me to be like all other normal women and say Walmart. I hate Walmart. Does that make me not a full member of the female part of the human race? They’re too big,  you can’t find anything in them,  the crowds overwhelm me, and the checkout lines are too long. With Home Depot you can just go in, fidget with fun stuff, look at plants, smell the smells of all the different mulches, look at great tools….

      So, Sylvia? What is the great difference? I’ve tried to figure it out and I just can’t. Maybe it’s me that’s weird. Maybe I’m not a normal female. But if you are around me for 5 minutes he would say that I am very feminine.

      But I would like to set you straight on one thing. I hate the way you placed the word feminist, with the words power-hungry bitch in the same sentence. Just wanting equal pay, the right to vote, the right not to have your butt grabbed in public, the right not to have your face smashed in and nose broken, the right to drive a car, and all kinds of things that are human rights toward women, does that make me a power-hungry bitch? If that’s the way you think, you’ve been around nothing but a bunch of misogynist men. Run for your life. There are plenty of decent men out there who don’t equate feminism with being a power hungry bitch. Thank goodness.

       

       

  10. 880
    Persephone

     Insightful Idiot at 879 said, “I read that women talk nearly twice as much in a day as men. 2x as many words.”  This little bit of misogyny became popular with James Dobson, of Focus On The Family.  Dobson said, ” “Women speak 20,000 words each day, but men speak only 7000”? The first quoting of this factoid seems to date back to 1993, in James Dobson’s book Love for a Lifetime.  Then came the next burst of ignorance from arriving in 2001. That’s when Allan and Barbara Pease wrote their pop pseudo-psychology gender-difference book, entitled Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps.  If an untruth is repeated often enough, it can get a life of its own. 

    Much of the above is taken from this link:  http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/03/23/2854143.htm

    1. 880.1
      Insightful Idiot

      Wow thanks for dispelling that little big of ignorance. I had no idea. I guess I’m just a really really quiet guy because all of the women I know talk more on the phone in front of me than I do ALL DAY. Anecdotal but it did help to reinforce the incorrect information when I read it here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-protein-may-explain-why-girls-talk-more-than-boys/

      1. 880.1.1
        Persephone

        I.I.:  The term “mansplain” didn’t catch on for no good reason. Studies have found that men talk more than women, particularly in public professional settings, where those with more power often feel more comfortable holding the floor.The belief that women talk too much is rooted in the understanding that women should be silent.The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence.  Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.

        So,  now I have dispelled even a little bit more of ignorance. 

  11. 881
    Charles Calthrop

    I’ll try to weigh in from a man’s perspective about the original question as to why men don’t hate being single as much as women do – and I’ll try to keep it just about the question as it is, rather than get into a lot of the sociopolitics of our time.

    To do so, I’m going to leave aside the quagmire below that’s specifically dealing with marriage and the associated legal issues, and just definite a relationship as a LTR, committed monogamous boyfriend/girlfriend type set-up.  We don’t need to worry about property issues if we’re just in committed monogamy without marriage.  (For the lawyers, I’ll assume the couple aren’t living together as yes, I know about common law and it’s implications on alimony.)

    The picture, ladies, is not quite as dire as anyone above paints it. While I’m not disagreeing with Evan’s hypotheses above out-right, I’m going to say it’s not even as negative as all that (I don’t necessarily agree that “men get most of their needs met by guy friends”).  I think it’s more the fact that while most women are selective up front about who they’ll date, men are more selective about who they’ll be in a relationship with long term.  So while we need a lot of the same things, since we’re less selective (generalizing here – I’m actually very selective upfront) in the early stages, we have to be more selective for compatibility before making a firm commitment.

    Let’s look at the various elements that the original writer posted as to why she seeks a relationship: 1)Love, affection, and emotional support, 2)vacation partner, 3)domestic task split-up 4)date for social gatherings 5)Day-to-day conversation, 6)financial burden, 7)quality sex.

    Starting with 1) – just about anyone within a wide band of normal emotional response desires this whatever they may say (and I mean a wide band, as I know that I desire this greatly, and friends and family view me as having ice water in my veins).  That said, different people express love and support very differently.  It is not uncommon that the person you’re dating will not express love and support the way you receive it.  If as a man, one doesn’t receive this, one pulls away from a relationship.  Especially in an era where women are extremely independent, it can be easy to misconstrue this.

    2) Vacation partner.  While I think it’s easy to be reductive and say ‘oh guys would prefer to go on a vacation with a crew of their guy friends’, I think that also is oversimplifying things.  The fact of the matter is that going on vacation with an SO is like going on a roadtrip with a friend – it reveals a lot about both of your personalities.  People have very different ‘vacation personalities’.  The two extremes are the schedule based, military precision wielding check-list people, and the other are the completely lackadaisical, plan as you go sorts, with every shade in between.  While vacationing together sounds like bliss on the surface, it can quickly reveal – ‘oh, vacationing with this person, is not that much fun’.  It’s not a gender thing so much as a personality thing. Have a few of these experiences and you get more realistic about the fairytale of vacationing with an SO.

    3)Domestic task split up.  The reductive will just say ‘oh guys do less chores, ergo this is not a benefit to them’.  As a long-term single guy, there’s more than a few times, I’ve caught myself thinking ‘hmmm this would be great if there were some cute girl to split it with’.  The reality when I’ve dated is similar to No 2.  The ideal is a partner with whom you come to an equitable or palatable split of the tasks.  The non-ideals are the extremes – and I’ve dated both – a partner who’ll take nothing off your plate, and may even add on things you have to do – or a partner who ‘does too much’, because frankly they are cleaner than you, and you can’t keep up.

    4) As a guy who is socially independent, and has wonderful couple friends who go out of their way to include him, it would be easy of me to say ‘oh well, I think guys don’t need this as much’.  But then I remember the times when I’ve thought a little social dynamo of a girlfriend would be awesome for networking benefits (social and career – especially as you move up, the two blur before completely merging).  Frankly I have to do more here than I should, and I’m probably at the limits of what one person can do.  But even this requires ‘the right girl’ – a girl who isn’t ‘executive appropriate’, the right level of socially engaging, and not correctly able to navigate the right social circles is a liability.  (And whether guys realize it consciously or not, there’s a social circle at all levels for guys as well – and they want their girls to ‘fit’ that.)

    5)As a guy who had to teach himself to ‘small talk’ in order to relate to people from many walks of life, I’m very tempted to trot out ‘oh we don’t need this as much’.  But even this is not true – it’s more what we talk about.  If a girl engages me on topics I’m interested in that’s huge.  (And it’s definitely possible as I have great conversations with my female friends).  It’s just finding that woman who you enjoy talking to (again due to shared interests and personalities) is the challenge.

    6) Financial burden.  I’m a career man and have the means that that entails.  Further I tend to be fairly reasonable and methodical about my living expenses, so while I live well, I invest and save better.  (Which in turn leads to even better means.)  So no, financial burden would seem to not be an issue. BUT… would it be nice to be paired up with someone similarly successful, and save/grow more while cutting costs AND enjoying a better lifestyle?  Sure, but that again means – a small subset of women will satisfy this criteria.

    7) If you ladies have managed to read through this verbose post so far, you’ll have spotted a pattern in how I think about this issue.  The knee-jerk response is that ‘men care more about quantity of sex than quality of sex’.   I’d say instead that it’s the combination of ‘low orgasm barriers’ coupled with most men actually having few partners which leads to most men not identifying quality sex.  (My younger brother dated 7 women and married the seventh, partly because ‘the sex is great’ – I rolled my eyes – immaturely at the time – because in my experience at the time, 1 out of every 7 were any good in bed, and I thought my brother had merely settled on the first one he’d encountered who was any good.)  My point is – if a man has not encountered quality sex, (most encounters aren’t), then he doesn’t value it.  Until he encounters it – and then usually that’s something that becomes very important very quickly to him too.

    So, the picture is not dire ladies – men do want the same things out of a relationship.  But just as the dating process is for you to vet him, the opposite also holds true.  It’s just that you’ve done more of your vetting up front – because usually the things you’re looking to assess are more readily apparent up front.  In contrast, the man needs to take longer to vet the woman, as those characteristic reveal themselves over time.

    As an aside: reading all the contentious comments, I will give one piece of advice.  The landscape between the sexes is much like the political landscape these days – full of hot rhetoric within echo chambers that only exacerbates the situation.   The healthiest, happiest people I know avoid echo chambers – especially online ‘think pieces’.  These sites ring true to us, because they take a piece of our experience – perhaps a few pieces of our experience – and tell us our worst fears: that these weren’t just isolated experiences, but are the sum total of truth and experience.  We believe it, because it is very easy to believe, to succumb.  And it’s in the interest of the online ‘thought pieces’ – because you will patronize them more and drive ad revenue to them.  This is true of political groups, religious groups, and the feminist-mra dichotomy.

    The truth is, there are plenty of horrible people out there – but they are out there of all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, creeds, you name it.   It’s easy to take the existence of these horrible people, and convince yourself that all people (or all people of a particular type) are horrible.  But the only one who misses out is you. (I’m not saying however not to protect yourself against said horrible people – please do take the precautions you need to stop their influence in your life.)

    Instead, put down the online reading.  Go do something else.  Improve yourself.  Interact with the real world. Maybe do something that has nothing to do with you or ‘the other side’, like volunteer for charity. There are also good people of all stripes out there as well – interacting with them will make you feel better about yourself, as well as about others – which will ultimately enrich your life.  (Unlike reading loads of polarizing BS online, which will close you off, and increase your stress.)

  12. 882
    Charles Calthrop

    BTW – by online thought pieces, I’m referring to politics sites, MRA and feminist blogs etc., not a site like EMKs – which aims to help and help understand, not inflame.  (In case that wasn’t clear.)

  13. 883
    Julie S.

    Wow. This is an older article that I just came across but as a newly divorced woman in my 40’s trying to date again, I found many of the responses from men to be disheartening. I would love to find a man that I could support and love, try to make happy, and treat well without some crazy expectation of getting his money, nagging him to death, or withholding sex. It makes me a little sad to see that many men feel that being in a relationship will only serve to drag them down and result in financial loss. Dating men my age who have been through divorce has been much harder than I anticipated, perhaps this is why. Hopefully there are still some men out there who will value what I would bring to their lives; so far though I have only found men who are wanting to play around with casual sex and avoid getting close by distancing themselves within a few weeks despite how well we seem to hit if off. Trying to keep a good attitude but it is definitely tough sometimes!

    1. 883.1
      Persephone

      Julie S., Even the never-married 35 year olds are like that!

  14. 885
    kiran

    I dont agree with this answer. Actually if the guy just doesn’t like you a lot he will start talking to exs and other girls he may have had contact with in the past or a new one and just move along. I feel most men are desperate for women too mainly due to status of if they’re getting laid or not which is highly important to them and their friends. And they’ll never pass up on a relationship unless they have something else to move on to which they nearly always do as women are also very desperate for men.

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