Can Women Admit to the Loneliness of Being Single?

Can Women Admit to the Loneliness of Being Single--

From Jezebel:

“It has been almost three years since I’ve had sex, more than six since I was in a serious relationship. Dating was fun while it lasted, but it now all feels very much over. I don’t know that it really matters why I’m single, nor am I particularly interested in the eternal back and forth over who has it better: couples, singles, the hardworking polyamorous—we all suffer and benefit from our respective situations. Anyone can feel alone. Anyone can feel they are striving for intimacy and connection, even if they’re in a partnership.”

So writes Aimee Lutkin. I’m with her so far. Then she continues.

“The difficulty is in the inability to talk about it, the lack of language to explain how you’re looking at your life. No one who cares about you wants to hear that you’ve “given up,” but there aren’t many other ways to describe this strange single purgatory that goes on ad infinitum, yet could theoretically end any second. I am never allowed to talk for long about what’s really going on with me and romance. That makes it a hell of a lot harder to live with.”

Hey, that’s the way she feels. It’s not my place to negate her feelings or tell her she’s wrong. But as a dating coach for women, I have heard this kind of language, oh, probably 20,000 times. Every woman feels like she’s in her own lonely dating purgatory, yet if millions of women are feeling the same thing, it should theoretically be a little easier.

That’s why I had a community in my old FOCUS Coaching program and why I have a community in my current Love U Coaching program. It’s one thing to get coaching from a guy who helps women understand men and find love. It’s quite another to discover that there are hundreds of women just like you, going through the same experience simultaneously, from all around the world. Last month I got a lovely email from a former client. She is in her late 60’s and lives in Northern California and she befriended another coaching client from the same group course who is 30 and lives in Los Angeles. They became friendly, found love, got married, and shared a picture of them and their husbands having lunch together.

can-women-admit-to-the-loneliness-of-being-single
There have been Love U get togethers in New York, London, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Virginia, Washington DC, and probably a whole bunch of other places I don’t know about.

Every woman feels like she’s in her own lonely dating purgatory, yet if millions of women are feeling the same thing, it should theoretically be a little easier.

Which is to say that while the author may be feeling acute loneliness, she is far from alone. I hope she reads this and understands that she can reach out and take a proactive stance in her own romantic destiny. Right now, this is how she ends the piece:

“The underlying message in those platitudes is that I need to just keep on wishing and hoping and waiting. Just wait, and wait, because something better than the life you have is guaranteed. Love is guaranteed. But it’s not, is it? Not at all, not even for someone like me, who they maybe think is cool, reasonably attractive, and not obviously insane. I wanted to cry at that dinner table, because keeping up the farce that I’m still waiting means staying still. It means diminishing the life I do lead, which is a good one. I’ll never be free to say that I’m alone forever, only that I’m in a holding pattern until real life begins.”

Do me a favor, will ya? Share this on your Facebook page with any women who feel down about dating and doubt whether love is in the cards. And let’s share this with enough people that it finally works its way to Ms. Lutkin.

Aimee, if you’re reading this, reach out to me through Facebook and I will give you a free copy of my most recent book Believe in Love – 7 Steps to Letting Go of the Past, Embracing the Present and Dating with Confidence. 

I’ve never done this before and I’m not intending on doing it again. It just feels like the right thing to do. Thanks, everybody for helping. Let’s make this happen and help amazing women like Aimee Lutkin believe in love once again.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Malika

    Being single is what you make of it. It’s not fun wondering whether you will ever have sex with someone you are attracted to, or going on a string of dates whereby neither person is feeling it. But life has not stood still for any of us who are reading this. We develop our careers, friends, our taste for all kinds of adventures, a better sense of self (the latter has been a huge part of the past few years for me). I dare to wager that our lives are very fulfilling, we just want to meet someone we can share it with. That’s not the same as being stagnant.

  2. 2
    Yet Another Guy

    If it is any consolation, being single and lonely is a walk in the park compared to the loneliness that is felt in a loveless marriage. Imagine being legally and morally bound to someone with whom one has not had intimate contact for a decade, and the only way out is through a house of pain that includes children whose lives will be turned upside down. Trust me, nothing about being single is that bad.

    To be completely honest, I could go the rest of my life without sexual contact. Sex lost its luster after a decade of celibacy. The price that I paid for it was way too high. I no longer enjoy it like I did before I married. I would rather set the table for one these days than give up my freedom.

    1. 2.1
      Isobel Yeomans

      I’m in your camp. I am, actually, very content by myself and have no desire to ‘be with’ someone else. It is, as you say, 100% better than a lonely marriage.

      I think your line about ‘the price I paid’ is interesting. Whatever our relationship status, there is a price to pay, and it’s a matter of deciding how much one wants to give up balanced with what one gets in return. It’s easy to assume everyone else is having fun but, it’s rarely the case. Singles have this idea that marriage/cohabiting is mostly a cozy, companionable set up, with both of you sharing and caring. There may be some like that but, even they will have had to do some serious work, and decided what it was costing them was worth it. It’s always an exchange. But, if you are feeling lonely it is hard to understand that, you just see the ‘lack of’ in life, and not the abundance.

      I don’t think it’s any harder for women to admit to loneliness than men.

    2. 2.2
      ScottH

      I used to tell my ex that I would rather be alone and lonely than married and lonely.  My loveless/sexless marriage with a BPD was pure hell and divorce was the last thing I wanted for my kids but so was a terribly contentious family life, which is what we had and it did tremendous damage to them.
      I still believe that there is nothing better than a high functioning relationship and in my early 50’s, I’m not ready to give up on the search for it (which also includes lots of intimate contact) even though the search so far has been filled with challenges and heartbreak. My libido has also slowed down a lot but I think it can revved back up in a good relationship, at least I hope so.  There’s nothing more divine than two people losing themselves in passion.

      1. 2.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        I cut my two sexies-on-standby loose this week per the request of the ladies on the profile thread. I had a long talk with both women, and they were clearly hoping that I would come around. The younger me would have had sex with both women, but the older me is glad that I did not have sex with either woman.

        I prefer to be exclusive these days due the high incidence of STDs within the older single population (plus, I am not into head-trips); however, to use a metaphor, the ride is starting to appear to be not worth the price of admission. I just cannot see myself in a long-term relationship. It feels too much like being sent back to marriage prison. Many women who have been married do not know how to turn off husband correction mode. I am a fairly anal for guy. My place is clean and reasonably well organized, but it is organized as a man would organize a home. It does not take long before husband correction mode rears its ugly head, and they are starting to re-organize/offer suggestions for re-organizing my place, or worse, noticing some obscure area of my place that I missed while dusting. It drives me insane. I had to put up with that nonsense when dealing with the mother of my children. I will not tolerate it from a woman who has less of a hold on me. I would rather be alone.

        1. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I cut my two sexies-on-standby loose this week per the request of the ladies on the profile thread.

          How do you feel about your decision?

          It does not take long before husband correction mode rears its ugly head, and they are starting to re-organize/offer suggestions for re-organizing my place, or worse, noticing some obscure area of my place that I missed while dusting.

          You have a right to have your place how you want it. Perhaps this serves as a good way to filter women. If they start to correct you, you just think: NEXT!

        2. Malika

          Hi YAG:

          That’s a big decision you made! They probably saw the writing on the wall before you had the talk with them, but at least you shortened their uncertainty.

          Your feelings regarding the serious relationship and what that could possibly entail are very familiar. I also have moments where i wonder whether it’s worth the hassle. I am sure that not all women who enter your apartment will go into Ms Fixit mode, as Emily says, you can next any woman who sees you or any aspect of your life as a renovation project she is uniquely talented to take on. Evan wrote in a post way back that the key to a happy relationship is to accept the entirety of a person. Wise words that should be heeded by all parties involved.

          The correction mode is not solely represented in the female gender. I have dated men in the past couple years that questioned my university choice, the fact that i have foreign friends, the fact that i dated too much/too little for their taste and i can’t even remember what else, all within the first few dates. The nitpicking mode was always a huge turn off, and ensured that i was quickly wondering how to exit the situation.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          It was not a difficult decision.  What made cutting both of the women loose difficult was the thought of having to do something I knew would be unpleasant.   The easy way out would have been to ghost both women.   What I learned from the experience is that women can become attached to a man before they know him in a biblical way.  I had assumed that I was avoiding attachment by not having sex with either woman; however, that assumption turned out to be incorrect.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Malika

          Yes, people can nitpick; however, husband correction mode is unique to women who have been married.   I have yet to experience the behavior when dating a woman who has never been married.  It is part and parcel to women discussing whatever stupid thing their husbands did in any given week.  Married women tend to want to change their husbands.  Married men hate this behavior.  Some women cannot turn off husband correction mode after they divorce.  They try to change the men who they date, which goes over like a lead balloon.

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

           The easy way out would have been to ghost both women.  

          Good for you for not doing that. Having “the talk” with someone where you make it clear the situation is over/you are not interested is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

          What I learned from the experience is that women can become attached to a man before they know him in a biblical way.  I had assumed that I was avoiding attachment by not having sex with either woman; however, that assumption turned out to be incorrect.

          I don’t know how strong the feelings of your “sexies on standbys” were, but have you never fallen in love/deep attraction/lust with someone you’ve never had sex with?

        6. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          If you really want to good filter to see if women will eventually  husband-correct you, hang up a framed Budweiser poster in your living room. Bonus points if it has neon!     🙂

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          If you really want to good filter to see if women will eventually  husband-correct you, hang up a framed Budweiser poster in your living room. Bonus points if it has neon! 

          No, just no! 🙂

           

           

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I don’t know how strong the feelings of your “sexies on standbys” were, but have you never fallen in love/deep attraction/lust with someone you’ve never had sex with?

          No, I am a guy.

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          Better yet, get a framed print of that (in)famous dogs playing poker picture.  Nothing says man space like that!

        10. KK

          Only if it’s hanging on the wall next to a dart board (and the holes from the steel tipped darts). 😂

        11. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          No, I am a guy.

          Sorry, I don’t buy that. At least not for every man. I’m certain men and women fall in love all the time BEFORE sex. And sometimes, if the sex isn’t good, your feelings can actually lessen.

        12. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Sorry, I don’t buy that. At least not for every man. I’m certain men and women fall in love all the time BEFORE sex. And sometimes, if the sex isn’t good, your feelings can actually lessen.

          That may occur in your circle, but not in mine.  I do not know of a single man who has fallen in love with a women before getting to know her in a biblical way since the puppy love days of high school.   I used to live by the three-date rule in my twenties and thirties.  If I did not have sex with a woman by the third date, she was history.  Most of my friends set the upper bound to two dates, which, in practice, was a more accurate indicator of interest.  Today, approximately 3 out 4 of the women that I meet from the dating sites who are interested in a second date are open to having sex on the first date.   It is crazy.

        13. Marika

          Kudos on taking on board what the other commenters said, YAG. I think that shows a great level of maturity & courage. You’re certainly not responsible for other people’s feelings, but it’s nice that you were able to talk it through with these women & make a decision based on what they said. Nice one!

          As a woman, I can guarantee that women can fall in love or at least have strong feelings for a man before sleeping with him (this has always been the case for me). I’m also saddened to think that men will give up on a potentially great relationship because of the ‘three date rule’. If you do go back into the dating world, try to remember that not sleeping with you straight away is not necessarily a sign of a woman’s disinterest, it can be a sign of a healthy self-esteem and good boundaries, which tend to make for a good, mature relationship (not always, of course).

          I also second Malika’s point. My ex-husband was the biggest ‘correcter’ I’ve ever met. From criticising where I left my shoes in the house, to my choice of friends and getting all worked up about things I’d done in my early 20’s, at least 5 years before I met him, he was constantly trying to change me in the way you say wives will often do. It’s not a female thing, it’s a control freak thing. Just steer clear of control freaks (they’re pretty easy to spot & avoid, if you’re willing to take some time to get to know them before jumping into a sexual relationship!).

        14. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          As a woman, I can guarantee that women can fall in love or at least have strong feelings for a man before sleeping with him (this has always been the case for me).

          Yep, I second that, and it’s not puppy love or high school love. What’s the point of going to bed with someone you don’t have strong feelings for, even if it’s just a strong physical attraction? Otherwise, the sex feels about as good as someone touching your arm! Are men devoid of romanticism?

           

        15. Evan Marc Katz

          No, they’re just men. Why is it so hard to understand and accept that men and women are not the same – and why continue to make men “wrong” for not being women?

        16. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “I do not know of a single man who has fallen in love with a women before getting to know her in a biblical way since the puppy love days of high school.   I used to live by the three-date rule in my twenties and thirties.  If I did not have sex with a woman by the third date, she was history.  Most of my friends set the upper bound to two dates, which, in practice, was a more accurate indicator of interest.”

          Is it that men psychologically can’t fall in love with a woman until they have sex?  And if so, then wouldn’t men bond like crazy to a woman after sex if the sex is a precondition or a trip wire for love? Or is that men have 2 or 3 date rules because they don’t want to risk falling in love with a woman before they’ve had sex by spending a lot of romantic time with her?

          I ask because up until 60-70 years ago, the norm WAS for men to spend time with and bond with/fall in love with a woman during during a courtship and engagement period before they had sex.

        17. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “What I learned from the experience is that women can become attached to a man before they know him in a biblical way.  I had assumed that I was avoiding attachment by not having sex with either woman; however, that assumption turned out to be incorrect.”

          And that’s why men should believe us when we say women DO get friend zoned.  It typically happens when we are younger, before we have strong self-confidence and appropriate boundaries.   Which is probably similar to how men wind up friend zoned.

        18. Jeremy

          Of course men are able to fall in love before having sex with a woman. This is not a ‘guy thing.’

           

          The source of confusion IMHO is that falling in love takes time. And in today’s culture of fast sexual gratification, by the time a guy falls in love with a woman he’s probably already had sex with her – hence the conflation of cause and effect.

        19. Jeremy

          Sorry for the second post, but I want to be clear. If women are brought to believe that men  don’t fall in love until they have sex, the logical thing for a woman  to do would be to have sex with a man to ‘get him’ to fall in love with her. But it doesn’t work  that way.

           

          Men fall in love for similar reasons as women. But men seek sex for different reasons. And while it is true that oxytocin is released in male brains after sex, it only seems to bond men to women when those men WANT to be bonded. When the men seem novelty and live the rush of conquest, sex will not get them to stick around.

        20. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Sorry for the second post, but I want to be clear. If women are brought to believe that men  don’t fall in love until they have sex, the logical thing for a woman  to do would be to have sex with a man to ‘get him’ to fall in love with her. But it doesn’t work  that way.

          Exactly. Sex and love are two different things. One does not create the other.

          Jeremy, you are the voice of reason with a little bit of soul.  🙂

           

        21. Yet Another Guy

          @GoWithTheFlow

          I ask because up until 60-70 years ago, the norm WAS for men to spend time with and bond with/fall in love with a woman during during a courtship and engagement period before they had sex.

          While the period in history to which you are referring was longer the Victorian Period, I am going to refer those dating rules as Victorian dating rules for simplicity.  Victorian-style dating is a minor blip in the history of mankind.  Plus, I can assure you that many men and women were not virgins when they married during that period.  Neither of my parents were virgins when they married, nor were any of my aunts or uncles.

          As Jeremy mentioned, men seek novelty (the reason why new lingerie works so well).   The first time with a woman is often difficult to top.  Love does not make sex any better for me, and I suspect that it does not for many men.  Sadly, I tend get bored with a woman sexually quickly unless she is really open in bed (i.e., a super freak).

        22. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Exactly. Sex and love are two different things. One does not create the other.

          That is correct; however, a man will usually not open his heart to a women until he has qualified her as a sexual partner because he has no reason to do so.  Men almost always lead with physical chemistry.  Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far between after a man leaves the puppy love stage in life.  Men are just not willing to make that kind of investment.

           

           

        23. Jeremy

          YAG, you wrote, “As Jeremy mentioned, men seek novelty.”  Correction: SOME men seek novelty (as do some women).  Not all, not most.

           

          You wrote, “a man will usually not open his heart to a women until he has qualified her as a sexual partner because he has no reason to do so.”  Sorry to be harsh, but I disagree with this in the strongest possible terms.  A man will open his heart to a woman because he WANTS to.  He is searching for a partner, and opens himself to the possibility of love (and the possibility of loss).  And when he finds someone compatible who turns him on sexually as well as emotionally and mentally, he lets her in because she is what he is looking for.  Whereas the man who only looks for sex won’t open his heart to a woman simply for the sex, nor will her having sex with him make him more likely to do so.  The difference is in the man, not the woman, not the sex.

           

           

        24. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          We will have to agree to disagree.  Men who operate that way would get their man card revoked in my circle.  No man that I know will let a woman in before he qualifies her as a sexual partner.  We have all made that fatal mistake. It does not matter how much a man loves a woman.  If the sex sucks, the relationship will end or he will wander.  That does mean that qualifying as a sexual partner automatically translates to love.   However, falling in love with a woman who is not a compatible lover is a fool’s errand.  I made that mistake once.  I will never repeat it.

        25. Chance

          Emily, a man can have sex with a woman whom he finds to be wholly insufferable.  In fact, the experience is quite riveting.

        26. Jeremy

          YAG, what is a “man card,” and where do I get one?  I must have lost mine years ago when I got married…but thankfully my wife doesn’t miss it.

           

          Most marriages, where the sex has declined, did not start off that way.  Rather, the sex declined either due to a power struggle between the spouses, or because one of the spouses subconsciously desires novelty and has lost interest in the other spouse.  In both cases, pre-qualifying a partner based on sexual chemistry at that time would be misleading, and would not have given any indication of the future of the marriage.

           

          A far better strategy than trying to pre-determine sexual chemistry is introspection to determine what it is that we, ourselves, ultimately want from sex.  If it is novelty, then marriage probably isn’t for us.  If it is validation, we need an attractive partner and we need to be attractive to her.  And if it is a relationship, we need to understand that once we have that relationship we mustn’t take it for granted or else we will lose our desire to have sex.

           

          And once we understand our own goals, it will be easier to understand the goals of our partner and realize what it would take to maintain sexual chemistry into the future.  If that sounds like more work than pre-qualifying someone based on present sexual chemistry, it is – but nothing worthwhile comes easily.

           

        27. Malika

          I cannot speak for men as i am a woman, but i can add my observations, having dated more than a few men in the last few years. I have experienced more than a few men being intensely in attraction or in lust way before they got the chance to go all the way with me. If that qualifies as being ‘in love’ (and that is a very debatable term regarding both the feelings of men and women in the earliest stage), i would definitely state that some (not all) men are capable of having that intense level of feeling at the very earliest of stages.

           

        28. GoWiththeFlow

          @Jeremy,

          “A man will open his heart to a woman because he WANTS to.  He is searching for a partner, and opens himself to the possibility of love (and the possibility of loss).”

          That’s what I thought.  A man who has to “prequalify” a woman sexually before he falls in love, is making a conscious decision and is not being driven by biological or innate subconscious drives.

          @YAG,

          “Men who operate that way would get their man card revoked in my circle.  No man that I know will let a woman in before he qualifies her as a sexual partner.”

          Thank you for being honest about how you and your friends think.    I’m having a bit of a WOW! moment that men would question another man’s masculinity based on how open he is emotionally before sexual involvement.  That’s just not something women do:  say we will revoke someone’s “woman card” because they engage in NSA sex easily for instance.

          @Chance,

          “. . . a man can have sex with a woman whom he finds to be wholly insufferable.  In fact, the experience is quite riveting.”

          LOL!  Is this what’s referred to as a “hate f**k”?

          If I found someone insufferable, I think that would shut down my body’s ability to get physiologically aroused.  There just wouldn’t be enough KY Jelly on the planet to make sex possible. . .

        29. KK

          “Men who operate that way would get their man card revoked in my circle.  No man that I know will let a woman in before he qualifies her as a sexual partner”.

          “. . . a man can have sex with a woman whom he finds to be wholly insufferable.  In fact, the experience is quite riveting.”

          Two examples of an incredible lack of maturity.

          Let’s contrast these with examples of a much more mature (healthy) attitude:

          “A man will open his heart to a woman because he WANTS to.  He is searching for a partner, and opens himself to the possibility of love (and the possibility of loss).”

          “Of course men are able to fall in love before having sex with a woman. This is not a ‘guy thing’.”

          Any man more worried about social validation (having they’re man card revoked) by their friends is not mature enough to even be in a relationship. I find it odd that YAG made the comment since he’s made it clear that he doesn’t have sex with women unless there’s the possibility of a relationship. I think that’s great, personally, but I would think your man card has already been revoked because of that.

           

        30. KK

          Jonathon Aslay says:

          Quality men are very picky when it comes to choosing a mate. They don’t waste time on endless first dates, nor do they chase sex as a path to commitment. Quality men are clear on what they want, and they only approach women who are in alignment with who they are”.

           

        31. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          I find it odd that YAG made the comment since he’s made it clear that he doesn’t have sex with women unless there’s the possibility of a relationship.

          I believe that you and Stacy read into that post.  I made it clear that I am no angel in that blog entry.   Relationship and exclusivity are not synonyms in my lexicon.  I am willing to become exclusive with a woman because a) I do not want to contract an STD, and b) it avoids having to deal with the head-trip that follows having sex without being exclusive.  Being exclusive with a woman merely means that I do not date and sleep with other women.  It is not a promise to go “all in” emotionally.   It is that simple.

        32. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          If I found someone insufferable, I think that would shut down my body’s ability to get physiologically aroused.  There just wouldn’t be enough KY Jelly on the planet to make sex possible. . .

          I find it is easier to become aroused when I am with a super-hot, but certifiably demonic woman than when I am with a very nice, but not so hot woman.  All I know is that I like “girly girls,” and many of them can be demonic when it comes to how they treat men. 🙂

        33. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          What makes Jonathon Aslay an authority on quality men?  He is just another guy with his own opinion.

          For what I have seen, quality men go on the most first dates. They actually have something to offer a woman; therefore, they are less willing to settle.  Dating today is a numbers game.  There is absolutely no way to know a person without actually meeting him/her in person.

           

           

        34. jeremy

          @GWTF, you wrote, “A man who has to “prequalify” a woman sexually before he falls in love, is making a conscious decision and is not being driven by biological or innate subconscious drives.”

           

          I think that most guys who “say” that they are making a woman pre-qualify are doing one of two things – either they are trying to trick her into having sex, holding out the possibility of love as a carrot, or they are reacting out of fear and pain, building emotional walls due to previous bad experiences with women.

           

          You know, it’s funny.  Men seek out sex, yet ultimately derive much more happiness from love in the long-term.  That Harvard study Evan posted about a while back confirmed that, as do many other studies.  A good marriage leads to happiness and health among men, far more than any other factor.  So the poor souls on the manosphere, building emotional walls to protect themselves from the pain they’ve felt in the past, are ultimately inflicting misery on themselves….to prevent themselves from feeling misery.  Sure, if you don’t open yourself up emotionally you won’t be hurt by others….but you also won’t be happy.  There’s a great saying that people on their deathbeds don’t generally regret the things they’ve done….they regret the things they did not do.

        35. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          A good marriage leads to happiness and health among men, far more than any other factor. 

          The problem is that most marriages are not good marriages.  I would venture to say that all but a small proper subset of marriages fall into the workable or divorce-eminent categories.  A bad marriage can wreak havoc on a man’s health.  I was married for the better part of two decades.  The lion’s share of the years that I was with my ex were not good, and my health took huge hit.   I gained weight.  My blood test numbers were all over the place.   Within six months of separating, I had lost almost 40lbs and my numbers were fantastic.  I kept telling my doctor that my wife was the source of my health problems.  She finally believed me after we separated.

           

           

        36. KK

          YAG said, “What makes Jonathon Aslay an authority on quality men?  He is just another guy with his own opinion”.

          Like Evan, he’s a dating & relationship coach. Hopefully, he has better insight into what a quality man is than just another guy with an opinion.

        37. KK

          YAG said, “I believe that you read into that post”.

          I took it at face value. Now that you’ve added more detail to explain what you actually meant, the meaning changes. : ) 

        38. KK

          YAG said, “Within six months of separating, I had lost almost 40lbs and my numbers were fantastic”.

          Unless you were hitting the gym like a mad man & eating super healthy, or were morbidly obese to begin with, a 40 lb weight loss in 6 months is unlikely. What is extremely common during divorce, is weight loss due to extremely high levels of stress. And regardless of the reason, of course your numbers will improve tremendously with such a drastic weight loss. Weight loss due to stress was much more likely the cause, even though you wanted the divorce.

          I’m not trying to pick on you. I agree that a bad marriage can impact your health negatively. Likewise, I agree with Jeremy that a happy marriage can impact your health positively.

        39. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          A man will open his heart to a woman because he WANTS to.  He is searching for a partner, and opens himself to the possibility of love (and the possibility of loss).  And when he finds someone compatible who turns him on sexually as well as emotionally and mentally, he lets her in because she is what he is looking for.  Whereas the man who only looks for sex won’t open his heart to a woman simply for the sex, nor will her having sex with him make him more likely to do so.  The difference is in the man, not the woman, not the sex.

          Beautifully explained, as always. AND YOU HAVE A MAN CARD. Just as men cannot give themselves the title of ladies’ man (that label is determined by women), WOMEN give you your man card. If you’re a man, women are your target audience, are they not? If they like you, they are handing you a man card. Who cares what the other men think.

        40. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I find it is easier to become aroused when I am with a super-hot, but certifiably demonic woman than when I am with a very nice, but not so hot woman.  All I know is that I like “girly girls,” and many of them can be demonic when it comes to how they treat men. 

          It’s the same for women. Overly “nice” guys put us into a sexual coma.

        41. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Unless you were hitting the gym like a mad man & eating super healthy, or were morbidly obese to begin with, a 40 lb weight loss in 6 months is unlikely.

          Not really. A weight loss of two pounds a week is considered healthy. If he lost 8 pounds a month, in 6 months he’d be down 48 pounds.

        42. Tom10

          @ GoWiththeFlow.
          “I’m having a bit of a WOW! moment that men would question another man’s masculinity based on how open he is emotionally before sexual involvement.  That’s just not something women do:  say we will revoke someone’s “woman card” because they engage in NSA sex easily for instance.”
           
          I disagree GWtF.
           
          Women who only have sex inside relationships often really struggle to comprehend women who engage in NSA sex easily, and often resort to calling them insecure, naïve, higher testosterone women, immature or the evergreen “lower quality”. These terms are synonymous with revoking someone’s “woman card” in my opinion. I could probably name half-a-dozen commenters here who are guilty of this on a regular basis.
           
          Now, we could probably delve into wondering why someone would bother revoking another person’s “card” but not today.
           
          All that said I’m with you on the matter; I believe in “live and let live” or “each to their own”, and so never question someone’s sexuality or masculinity/femininity. If their methods are working for them I’m happy for them.

        43. KK

          Hi Emily,

          “Not really. A weight loss of two pounds a week is considered healthy. If he lost 8 pounds a month, in 6 months he’d be down 48 pounds”.

          Okay, but it still takes a considerable amount of sustained effort. My point was that a whole lot of people lose weight after they separate, unintentionally, even when the divorce is amicable. It’s incredibly stressful and causes weight loss even in people who don’t necessarily need to lose it.  : )

        44. Emily, the original

          KK,

          My point was that a whole lot of people lose weight after they separate, unintentionally, even when the divorce is amicable. It’s incredibly stressful and causes weight loss even in people who don’t necessarily need to lose it.  : )

          Yes, very true. Some gain weight when stressed. Some lose it. I was just thinking that, after getting out of a bad marriage, he was probably emotionally feeling better and so maybe he was hitting the gym and changing his eating habits.

        45. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          Unless you were hitting the gym like a mad man & eating super healthy, or were morbidly obese to begin with, a 40 lb weight loss in 6 months is unlikely.

          First off, 40lbs on me is like a woman losing 20lbs.  I am built like a 5’11” (in bare feet) linebacker.  I still weigh over 200lbs, and most people would never guess my weight.  I wear a 48-50 jacket and 35″ waist pants (I want to get down to 34″ because it is difficult to purchase odd-size pants). I am the kind of guy who brings to light how poor BMI is as a unit of fitness.   I was unable to wear even an non-tailored athletic cut suit until I hit my highest weight because the chest/waist drop is 8″ on a standard-cut suit and 10″ on an athletic-cut suit.  My current drop is 14″.

          The weight loss was not due to stress.  I was finally happy after being miserable for a long time.  I used to stress eat when I was with my ex.  Life with her could be an existence at times.  While I changed my diet and upped my exercise level, I am one of those guys whose body takes well exercise of any kind.    Exercising when I was with her was very difficult because she would complain about something when I did it.   I exercised, but I had to endure a constant bitch fest.   My doctor ordered testosterone and cortisol tests.   My cortisol level dropped significantly while my testosterone level rose.  That is an indication of a major reduction in stress.   One of the reason’s why men experience low-T is due to stress. Cortisol production affects testosterone production negatively.

        46. Marika

          YAG

          I can sympathise with your bad marriage story, I was in a really bad marriage too. It’s a shame though when you (and others) translate your limited experience into broad rules about women, dating & marriage.

          E.g., most marriages are bad. Really? Because your marriage was bad?  My marriage was terrible, but I know that’s not indicative of all (or most) marriages. If I remarry, I’m confident that my second marriage will be nothing like my first, unless I’ve learned nothing. My bad marriage was on me, I chose badly, I ignored lots of red flags as I was chasing chemistry, the age difference was too broad, he was way too narcissistic to make a marriage work and and didn’t really want the same core things as me. Even if most of your friends and family are in what you consider to be ‘bad marriages’, it would be a terrible survey done on a small group of people from one part of one country to draw a broad conclusion from. I know other people who aren’t in great marriages, but there are reasons: they married too young, they married for the wrong reasons (e.g., societal pressure as they were of a certain age), they were too selfish etc. Marriage isn’t the problem. Marrying the wrong person is (or being the wrong person yourself to make marriage work).

          The man card/three date rule/Victorian dating: at least one man has disagreed with you on this, so it’s clearly not true for all men. I get that men & women see sex differently, but if you think that no man can ever develop strong feelings for a woman before having sex with her, then how do you explain the men on here who said that they have? If what you say is true, I wouldn’t exist as my parents would never have gotten together. Are you also aware that there is a push (rightly or wrongly) now amongst teenagers to get them to be more selective about who they have sex with (due to the rate of STIs), so sexculsivity is not some  outdated, quaint notion from the 19th century.

          And if you end up with a crazy woman, it’s because you’re drawn to the ‘hot mess’, not because all women are crazy (same goes for men).

          If you approach dating & relationships with the same mindset you had during the bad days of your marriage, how can you expect different results? Throw out some of your hard & fast rules and try to be a bit more open-minded. Isn’t that the whole point of reading a blog like this?

        47. Chance

          Hi GWTF, you are correct….. hate f*** is the term that is used.  Although, in my experience, while I found many-a-seduced gal to be insufferable, I can’t say that I hated them.

           

          I also second Tom10’s comment regarding the way many women treat other women who engage in NSA sex.  I agree with you about live and let live, though.  I hold no judgment for the NSA ladies or the ones who say that they require commitment.  Similarly, I don’t judge men who seek sex and eventually find love or men like jeremy.  It isn’t an issue of maturity or who is/isn’t a quality man/woman.  Rather, it’s simply an issue of preferences in following biological imperatives.

        48. GoWiththeFlow

          @Tom10,

          “Women who only have sex inside relationships often really struggle to comprehend women who engage in NSA sex easily, and often resort to calling them insecure, naïve, higher testosterone women, immature or the evergreen “lower quality”. These terms are synonymous with revoking someone’s “woman card” in my opinion.”

          I think we disagree on semantics 😉

          Some women are highly critical and judgmental of other women who engage in sex in a manner in which they don’t approve of or are resentful of.  Even though they use terms like low value, insecure, or damaged to refer to these women, I feel it’s not equivalent to “revoking their woman card” because even low value, insecure, damaged, slutty women are still considered women.  Whereas a man who’s card is revoked is no longer a man.  I guess he metaphorically becomes a woman?

          But like I said, it’s all semantics.  What does matter is using terms like low value or low quality to describe people who’s legal adult behavior or life situation the labeler does not understand or approve of.  I recently decided to consciously strive to avoid labels like that because they are dehumanizing.  Someone’s world view or belief system as expressed through their behavior may be different from and/or incompatible with mine, but I can express this without dehumanizing them, and I would hope they would reciprocate.  Because when a persona says another is of low value, what they aren’t considering is someone may be saying the exact same thing about them!

          @YAG,

          “I  find it is easier to become aroused when I am with a super-hot, but certifiably demonic woman than when I am with a very nice, but not so hot woman.”

          LOL! and Oh Lordy!  Good luck with that!  Sounds like way too much drama for me 😉

          @Jeremy,

          “I think that most guys who “say” that they are making a woman pre-qualify are doing one of two things – either they are trying to trick her into having sex, holding out the possibility of love as a carrot, or they are reacting out of fear and pain, building emotional walls due to previous bad experiences with women.”

          Sounds reasonable.

          “So the poor souls on the manosphere, building emotional walls to protect themselves from the pain they’ve felt in the past, are ultimately inflicting misery on themselves….to prevent themselves from feeling misery.”

          I’m glad you have some experience in the manosphere rabbit hole and can empathize with and relate to these men when they ask for help.  Some have been so indoctrinated to mistrust and dehumanize women that I or any other woman has NO chance of getting through those walls to help them.  Even if they go to a professional therapist, I have a gut feeling they will do better with a male therapist than a female one.

           

        49. Yet Another Man

          @GoWiththeFlow

          Some have been so indoctrinated to mistrust and dehumanize women that I or any other woman has NO chance of getting through those walls to help them.

          Men do not come out the womb this way.  The walls are all the handiwork of a woman.   Older men merely teach younger men how to prevent making or repeating a mistake.  Behind every damaged man is a women who dehumanized him.  More often than not, like my ex, she used his children as her weapon of choice.

           

        50. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “The walls are all the handiwork of a woman.”

          Walls are something some men put up after being hurt by a woman.  Some men who are in an identical situation to a wall builder WON’T start laying bricks down around their hearts.

          When you choose to put up walls but rationalize that it’s an inevitability, you deny yourself your own agency to change your inner and outer worlds.

        51. Yet Another Guy

          @GoWithTheFlow

          When you choose to put up walls but rationalize that it’s an inevitability, you deny yourself your own agency to change your inner and outer worlds.

          I guess that you could put it that way.  I have just reached the point where the ride is not worth the price of admission. I no longer want to have to listen to a woman talk because she needs to talk.  That always drove me crazy. Like most men, I am a problem solver, and all that did was tie me in knots and piss her off.   By avoiding a long-term relationship, I avoid that nonsense.   The way I look at it there is nothing to be gained by being in a relationship.  A relationship used to mean steady sex, but a decade of celibacy in my marriage taught me that I am more than capable of taking care of my own sexual needs.  I have actually reached the point where I prefer taking care of my own physical needs over having to deal with a woman’s emotions.   I did not sleep with either of my sexies-on-standby because I did not want to have to deal with the emotional fallout.

        52. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          It sounds like you are still dealing with the a huge load fall out from your marriage.  If you haven’t tried counseling yet, consider it because you may be at the point where time, distance, and support and love from family and friends has healed what it can and the outside sounding board can get you over the last hill.

          “I no longer want to have to listen to a woman talk because she needs to talk.  That always drove me crazy. Like most men, I am a problem solver, and all that did was tie me in knots and piss her off. “

          You have said you like girly girls.  The downside of a GG is that they come with a lot of emotions that needs to be verbalized.  I don’t know what variety range of women you have dated, but maybe you can find a woman who is less emotional and more direct but a little less GG.  The comparative example for women is the uber-alpha guy who is emotionally unavailable.  There may be a good deal of attraction there, but the emotional incompatibility is what makes the relationship difficult or unworkable.

          The other thing to think about is that the GG women you choose NEED to talk in a relationship, just like you may need moments of solitude.  Both needs are valid and important to the individuals.  Remove the judgement from it.  Look at it this way:  By just listening to her “just talk” you are solving a problem for her and  she will love you for it.

          With a GG, either accept and deal with her emotional needs, or if you can’t do that, trade in some of the GG for a little more calm, cool, and collected.  It’s all about trade offs!

        53. KK

          YAG,

          Just curious… what are you hoping to get from OLD?

        54. ScottH

          YAG said:  “Behind every damaged man is a women who dehumanized him.”

          You could also say, “behind every damaged woman is a man who dehumanized her.”   I’ve met so many damaged women.   I’ve heard so many stories about abused women that it makes me sick.

          Did I already share this Kalas column?  I am the letter writer in it:  http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/we-are-all-walking-wounded

          One of Evan’s top commandments is to not treat the new person like the previous person who hurt you.  It’s really hard to do but necessary to succeed.

          Don’t give up on love.  I’m trying not to and I think our backgrounds and situations have a lot in common.

        55. Yet Another Guy

          @KK
          Just curious… what are you hoping to get from OLD?
          At this point, I am looking to date without having to worry about a woman wanting an emotional commitment from me.  I am finding that women who are 50+ who just want to date are few and far between.  They all appear to be terrified of reaching 60 without securing a man.  I am not afraid of growing old alone.

        56. KK

          YAG,

          Okay, but on this thread you also said, “Relationship and exclusivity are not synonyms in my lexicon.  I am willing to become exclusive with a woman because a) I do not want to contract an STD, and b) it avoids having to deal with the head-trip that follows having sex without being exclusive.  Being exclusive with a woman merely means that I do not date and sleep with other women”.

          And:

          “I have actually reached the point where I prefer taking care of my own physical needs over having to deal with a woman’s emotions”.

          Honestly, just curious because your comments seem to contradict each other.

           

        57. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          The statements are not contradictory in the least.  You are taking them out of context.  I did not state that I am seeking a women with whom to have sex.  I merely stated that I will not have sex without being exclusive for two specific reasons.   Quite frankly, I have reached a point where the price paid is too high.  I do not want to have to deal with the emotions.

        58. AllHeart81

          Yet Another Guy, I have read this entire chain of comments and there is a repeat theme that keeps creeping up in your comments. You blame women for everything. You blamed your wife for your choices, for your weight gain, and you blame women for men’s pain. Not once do you take a more nunanced or self examined step in your own contributions to your issues or how you potentially hurt your ex or other women. Or how men hurt women. You seem unable to empathize with women or see them as human as yourself. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who is unable to empathize with them.

        59. Yet Another Guy

          Au contraire! I am able to sympathize with women. However, empathizing with women is am impossibility because I am not a woman. Men are women biologically very different than women. We do not experience the world the same way.

          I take credit for my failures in my marriage; however, nothing I did remotely justified her behavior, and that opinion came from my sisters who are not above being brutally honest with me. They had a front row seat the entire duration of my marriage whereas you did not witness one second of it. I asked my sisters for advice throughout my marriage, and every time their answer was, “She is not a normal woman.”

          Finally, before you lash out at a man, you need to ensure that your own house is in order and that you have not committed any relationship sins. Men do not become the way that they are without reason. They do not wake up one day and say, “I am going become emotionally unavailable and treat women like crap.” No, that attitude is courtesy of one of your own. The cold hard truth is that men get their hearts broken more often than women because women end most relationships and marriages. I left my marriage because she would not leave.

        60. KK

          YAG,

          “The cold hard truth is that men get their hearts broken more often than women because women end most relationships and marriages. I left my marriage because she would not leave”.

          Sorry, buddy. You just don’t get it. You left your marriage because you were the aggrieved party. Can you seriously not make the connection here? The aggrieved party is almost always the one to leave or file for divorce. It’s true women file for divorce more often and there’s a reason for that. It’s extremely rare that someone ends their marriage on a fluke; to find themselves or some other nonsense. So that statistic you guys like to go on and on about is seriously misinterpreted. The conclusion you should draw from that statistic is that most of the time, it is the man that is at fault (in cases where the woman files first).

          Don’t believe me? Ask any non biased divorce lawyer; male or female. They will tell you that their female clients seeking divorce are victims of abuse 90% + of the time. Infidelity is included as abuse, by the way. Top two reasons: infidelity or physical abuse. Next in line: ongoing emotional / verbal abuse or serious addictions negatively affecting the family.

          As far as heartbreak goes, everyone gets heartbroken during divorce. Unless you don’t have a heart to begin with or in situations where for whatever reason (usually because of children) you’ve stayed in the marriage too long and got over that heartbreak long ago and the divorce isnt much more than a formality. Although, I still think most people grieve the finality of a marriage ending, even if it’s because they only hurt for their children.

          I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that women can singlehandedly destroy a marriage. But let’s not demonize all women. Likewise, even though men are most often at fault, I don’t believe it’s helpful to paint all men with the same broad brush because of that. I know too many good men. That would be ignorant.

        61. Evan Marc Katz

          KK, appreciate your passion. Would love to see this statistic as opposed to your secondhand anecdote of this, “They will tell you that their female clients seeking divorce are victims of abuse 90% + of the time.”

          It seems a bit outlandish to me, since I would think most divorces are simply people who married young, were torn apart by money, communication, insecurity, baggage, parenting styles, etc. Your assertion is that 90% of men are abusive, a number that and puts the fault not only squarely on the head of men 9/10ths of the time, but outwardly suggests that these men are BAD.

          If there were a similar number implicating women for not only being at fault in 90% relationship problems, but for being ABUSIVE, I have a strong feeling you’d question it, too.

        62. KK

          Hi Evan,

          “Your assertion is that 90% of men are abusive, a number that and puts the fault not only squarely on the head of men 9/10ths of the time, but outwardly suggests that these men are BAD”.

          That’s not my assertion. I was referring specifically to cases where the woman is the one who filed for divorce. I also included infidelity as abuse. Some attorneys (and therapists) do as well. Some do not.

        63. KK

          Replace my anecdotal second hand experience of 90%+ with the word MOST of the time and I believe the statistics will back that up.

          http://web.archive.org/web/20170807041630/http://www.austin-institute.org/research/divorce-in-america/

          Sixty-six (66) percent of those divorcees who wanted the divorce as much as or more than their spouse listed more than one reason for the divorce, while one in four offered 5 or more reasons.  The most-cited reasons for wanting a divorce were:

          Infidelity by either party: 37% (28% spouse’s infidelity)Spouse unresponsive to your needs: 32%Grew tired of making a poor match work: 30%Spouse’s immaturity: 30%Emotional Abuse: 29%Financial Priorities/Spending Patterns: 24%Alcohol and Drug Abuse: 23%

          Men and women differ notably in their reasons for wanting a divorce. Women are far more likely to cite:         emotional abuse (37 vs. 13%),                     physical abuse (21 vs. 8%),                 their spouse’s pornography usage (7 vs. 1%),                                                            and alcohol or drug problems (29 vs. 14%).

          Men are slightly more likely than women to cite marrying too young (24 vs. 18%).  Overall, women cited more reasons than men (See Fig 1)

        64. Evan Marc Katz

          KK, your error seems to be that you’re adding up these percentages.

          I would suggest that, say, for the 21% who cited physical abuse, all of them experienced emotional abuse as well.

          Thus I would anchor the number at closer to 37% emotional abuse and assume that the drinkers and the perverts and the beaters fell under the emotional abuse umbrella as well. This makes a lot more sense than the 90% number you claimed. Still a sadly high number, but one that doesn’t paint MOST husbands with the same bad brush

        65. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          Where did you get the 90% statistic?  As Even mentioned, that number appears to be ridiculously high.  A lot of what women claim to be abuse does not fall under the textbook definition of abuse.  I know a lot of divorced people.  I am friends with both parties.  While a few were in abusive marriages (abusive husbands and abusive wives), most marriages dissolved because the marriage ran out of steam.  What is interesting is that more wives cheated on their husbands than vice versa within my circle.    I know that women cheat for difference reasons than men, but infidelity is infidelity.

        66. Karl R

          KK and Evan,

          I’ve looked at studies which investigated the top causes for divorce. Their reasons are all over the map. Furthermore, these studies allow people to list multiple reasons, so it’s not possible to simply add emotional abuse, physical abuse and infidelity, since there’s a high likelihood of overlap. (I have yet to see any studies that lumped infidelity in with abuse, though.)

          There are reputable studies that discuss the lack of consistency (click link here). If you want to see how specific studies broke down, there are some reasonably reputable studies (here, here, here, and here).

        67. AllHeart81

          @YAG
          You don’t have to be a woman to be able to empathize with them. No one is asking you to don a pair of heels and slather your face in lipstick.  I don’t have to be a man to empathize with men. White people don’t have to be other races to empathize with people of other races.  Heterosexuals don’t have to be gay to empathisize with homosexuals. If you are a human being, you can literally empathsize with any other human being. As long as you are willling.  Infact, the ability to consider the experiences of others who fit outside your own experience is a crucial sign of emotional intelligence and stability and is the singular factor in what will make this world a better place. There is no man or woman on this earth that wants their own romantic partner to simply “sympathize” for them. We all want partners who take the time to put themselves in a position to examine our experiences and empathize with us as real partner. There are tons of ways you can increase your ability to empathize with others who may not be or look like you. Doing this inner work will only help you.

          Yes, I see how you take credit for your failures in the marriage…by quickly blaming her once again and making sure we all understand She was by far worse. I know how hard it is to admit our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. But it’s important for our own growth.

          I did not lash out at you. I called you out on something I observed. No need to try and gaslight me by pretending I lashed out of you in some way. Of course I have committed relationship sins. Lots of them! I wish I had been more advanced at a younger age but I wasn’t. I am far from perfect. One sin I have committed is I have kept most men an arms length distance from me when I was younger. I was afraid of being vulnerable and I was afraid of being controlled. So I never was truly vulnerable or open.  I am not afraid of vulnerability like I use to be. If a man rejects me for being vulnerable, i am more okay with that now. I don’t play games about my interest either, for fear of him thinking I am too needy or whatever. I’ve been doing my inner work for years and will continue to do so. I don’t have to be perfect before I can offer you some advice.

          You can literally empathize with anyone if you really want to. We are all human beings under the window dressing. We all have beating hearts. We long to love and be loved. We long for passion and fair treatment and respect…..that doesn’t change because of your gender, race or sexuality.

           

        68. Yet Another Guy

          @AllHeart81

          We are going to have to agree to disagree when it comes to empathy.  Women and men experience emotions differently.  That is biological fact.  The state that women classify as being “emotionally unavailable” is a man’s natural state.  I cannot empathize with woman because I cannot feel the emotions that she is feeling in the way that they are being experienced; therefore, I cannot appreciate the depth to which she is feeling something.

        69. KK

          Hi Jeremy,

          Understood.

          My response to YAG was regarding his false assertion that women are at fault for men’s bad behavior, that women cause more heartbreak, and the reasoning behind it. Using divorce statistics, it is true that women file for divorce more often than men. YAG’s conclusion is women are bad. My conclusion is not that men are bad, but that women have legitimate grievances (most of the time) for doing so, and also inferred (that in those cases where the woman files) the man is more often at fault. If you look at statistics, in cases where only one spouse has been unfaithful, more often it is the man. Same goes for abuse. It isn’t my opinion or anecdotal experience or observation. The stats are clear. I have no desire to come to the opposite conclusion that YAG has, but if I were to deny my anecdotal experiences and observations of genuinely good men, I’d have a better case of making it than him.

          As far as claims of emotional abuse, like you said, it’s really hard to say. Some states are no-fault divorce states. However, when it’s time to go to court, the reasons for each side will be presented. If one side makes a claim of emotional abuse, there’s a very large possibility the other side will as well, regardless of whether it’s true or not. That’s mostly due to the way divorce cases are handled. Months of back and forth between opposing attorneys, before they ever go in front of a judge; and unless you have a super honest, super ethical attorney, if the opposing side comes up with a damaging claim, they will provide a counterclaim regardless. I’d be interested to know if those claims made in no-fault divorce states are documented and analyzed statistically.

        70. KK

          Evan,

          “…your error seems to be that you’re adding up these percentages”.

          Fair point because that’s exactly what I did. Lol. However, I understand what you’re saying. Got it.

          Maybe YAG, Chance, et al could use a little attention re. their faulty logic. 😉

        71. Evan Marc Katz

          I think you do a great job of correcting their faulty logic, KK. I know you feel picked on, but I can’t police every illogical statement on here, which is why I’m glad the Karl R’s of the world do a lot of my dirty work for me.

        72. Yet Another Guy

          What is up with divorcing because one’s husband watches porn?  That is ridiculous.  While most men watch some porn, if man is watching too much porn, it is usually because his wife is not co-operating in the bedroom.  Granted, there are men who are addicted to porn, but for most married men, watching a lot porn is symptom of a problem, not a problem in and of itself.  Pornography is a coping mechanism for men whose wives have lost interest in sex.

          I belonged to a male support group for a while after I separated.  One thing that I learned during that time is that  many of the men in the group shared a common problem; namely, the primary relationship in their homes switched from being between these men and their wives to being between their wives and their children.   Man after man lamented about how he lost his wife to his children after they were born.  A little research revealed that this phenomenon is very common, and it is where the groundwork to divorce is set in many marriages.

        73. Chance

          I respectfully request for someone to provide an instance for when KK has corrected my “faulty” logic.

        74. Evan Marc Katz

          I don’t have the patience, but as an objective observer, she has – specifically around your sweeping claims of how bad women are as a whole.

        75. Karl R

          Yet Another Guy asked:

          “What is up with divorcing because one’s husband watches porn?”

          It’s probably a combination of reasons. I’ve had some female friends complain about husbands (or exes) who preferred porn over sex.

          I’ve seen some statistics that indicate that porn use is surprisingly heavy among some conservative christian groups. I suspect that conservative christian wives may strongly object to porn, where my wife doesn’t care.

          Some of it may be based on the type of porn. There are certain types of porn (including some legal types) that I have some issues with.

           

          And remember, people could pick more than one reason. So in some of those cases, the woman may have had a problem with the porn use … and a bigger problem with his alcohol abuse.

      2. 2.2.2
        Jeremy

        @KK, I don’t want to get into the argument of who most often at fault for divorce, but I must disagree with the assertion that it is overwhelmingly mens’ fault.  For example, women are more likely to REPORT being emotionally abused and to end marriages because of that, but that doesn’t mean that women actually ARE emotionally abused more than men.

        One thing I’ve noticed regarding “emotional abuse” – lots of women admit to being on the receiving end, but few admit to being on the giving end.  Yet if you ask men who have been married, they will tell you (privately) that they have often felt belittled, nagged, berated -and other terms for emotionally abused – by their wives.  Men just don’t often admit to it for fear of being ridiculed, and women don’t often admit to doing it because many of them feel that THEIR  comments are justified, whereas those same comments directed at themselves would be abusive. “Sure I called him a loser, but it was just to get him to get a job.”

        I think that the question of who is more often at fault is very difficult to answer.  There’s lots of blame to go around, and men and women are equally likely to be abused and abusers whether they realize it or not.

        1. Chance

          Agree, jeremy.  I’ll also add, at least in my experience, a lot of men would like to divorce their wives, but they can’t because it would be financially devastating and they would likely lose most access to their kids.  Family law in North America is set up to protect mothers and lower-earning spouses of high earners (i.e., mostly women).

        2. Buck25

          …”men and women are equally likely to be abused and abusers whether they realize it or not”

          Jeremy,

          Quite true; I might add that the same goes for physical abuse as well. When we think of domestic violence we see the face of the victim as female, and the face of the abuser as male. Most commonly that’s true, but, women can and do commit acts of domestic violence against spouses and male children. When this does happen, it’s often because the abuser(female)  has severe mental health and/or substance abuse issues, and it’s far more likely to go beyond simple “hitting”, involve the use of weapons, and end up in attempted (or completed) homicide. Far too often nothing is done until a fatality or near fatality results; in many jurisdictions, both the law and law enforcement don’t take it seriously when the alleged attacker is a woman, and the victim is a man. Men know this, and know in many cases how seriously their complaints WON’T be taken by either the courts or law enforcement officers, at least not until stab or gunshot wounds are involved , so there is no doubt of lethal force (without justification) having been used.

          I’ve seen this from both sides, both as an EMT/paramedic responding  to domestic violence calls, and as a victim myself courtesy of a violently psychotic first wife . I’ve seen more than one cop laugh at these guys; hell, I had more than one laugh at me. I’m quite familiar with what the system fails even more to do on behalf of male victims than it fails to do on behalf of many abused women  (which often is pathetically, woefully inadequate).

          I’ve seen how much it hasn’t changed since my experience with it ended. At least for physically abused women, it’s not such a hidden, “society’s dirty little secret” as it was. At least it’s out in the open, even if not nearly enough is being donate help. For men, it’s still quite another matter. Men don’t cry. They don’t ask for help. They don’t talk. They don’t because they don’t believe anyone cares (mostly true) , and because they don’t think they’ll be believed in any event (also true), and if there are children involved, they often can’t leave, without putting the kids in danger. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt too, so this is not some hypothetical. Those are facts, despite all the jokes and the idea that only men are dangerous abusers. Trust me, “there ain’t nothing funny, about a woman with a gun”, not when it’s loaded and she’s pointing it at you, and if you try to defend yourself, you’re the one going to jail, not her. That’s reality too. I’m alive now, only because my first wife didn’t know how to release the safety on an M-1911 .45 (she tried to pull the trigger several times before I snatched it out of her hand)

          So what I’m trying to say is, NO ONE, male or female, deserves to be abused. I’ve treated abused women; I wish there were no more abuse for them or their children, ever again. I’m for doing everything we can to protect them; but in those rare instances, when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t a man deserve equal protection under the law too? Or do men’s lives not matter? It sure feels that way to some; I know it damn well felt that way to me.

        3. Buck25

          “Empathizing with women is an impossibility because I am not a woman”

          YAG,

          I’d have liked to get into this earlier, but here will have to do. Let me make this totally clear. I could not disagree with you more! I’m a guy, and my thought process and goals may not be wired like a woman’s ,(and usually aren’t). I will be the first to admit  that I don’t always understand why women feel, speak and act as they do. Often, I don’t. What I do understand, are basic human emotions. If a woman hurts, if a woman feels sad, if a woman feels confused, or conflicted, I can have at least some understanding of how that feels, and empathize, even if I don’t necessarily experience those emotions in precisely the way she does. I may not always understand why she feels something, but I do have some idea as to what she feels. That basic part isn’t male or female, it’s just …human. If you can’t understand that,  I don’t know how to help you. The fact they don’t look like us, act like us, or think the same way we do, does not make them something less, or more; it makes them human beings, just like us. This isn’t combat, where we dehumanize the enemy so it’s easier to kill him, because he’s not “people”, just a target. This is just two different genders, all human, just with different thought processes, and different relationship agendas, trying to figure out how to relate to each other without hurting each other.

      3. 2.2.3
        Chance

        Fair enough, I understand now.  To personally attack means to correct faulty logic, apparently.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          KK has been reprimanded by me for her personal attacks. When you remove that, she actually has a point. As you do when you’re not making negative generalizations about an entire gender.

  3. 3
    Stacy2

    The feminist in me is cringing. Aimee did not ask for help. She did not ask to be rescued and she probably didn’t want to be called out like this. When will men get it? Not all of us need to be rescued. He whole point was that it’s not ok that being alone is considered somehow not ok or deficient. No, love is not guaranteed as is nothing else in life. And if you don’t have romantic love – it’s ok. You can still have different kind of love and it doesn’t make your life deficient. This imposition of mandatory coupledom as a precursor for happiness is annoying. That, I think, was her point.

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You seem to have missed the point that she doesn’t want to be alone. The article WAS a cry for help.

      1. 3.1.1
        S.

        I respectfully disagree. I reread it and what I hear is her wanting acknowledgment of the difficult place she is in; her wanting to simply be heard by family and friends.

        They all jumped in to try and help her but she still seemed lonely even among them.

        Sometimes one has to be in that lonely place and have other people see them there so it’s acknowledged that it’s real and it’s bad.  I think that’s an important beat before someone seeks help. Just for people to hear it fully first, before jumping into help right away.

        I am never allowed to talk for long about what’s really going on with me and romance. That makes it a hell of a lot harder to live with.

        and

        They want to give advice without acknowledging the subtext of offering a solution to my “problem.”

        I think Aimee, really, really needs that beat before anything else and that trying to be heard is the primary reason she wrote that article.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Yes, she clearly sounds like a woman who is content growing old alone. That’s why she wrote the article. She loves being single!

        2. S.

          Gosh, I didn’t say she was content.  She’s obviously in a lot of pain.  I’m just saying when she wrote the letter she wanted that pain to be heard first.  Doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like to find someone, just that she wanted it acknowledged that she might not.

          Again, we disagree, which is fine.  But to me the nuance here is important. A woman wants to be heard. Sometimes, in the midst of pain, that’s all we want.  Anything else can come after feeling heard.

          Mileage varies.  I’ll read below to see how others read it as well.

        3. Nissa

          Yes S I would agree on your take that what she wants is to be heard primarily, in addition to her less pressing desire for companionship.

        4. Stacy2

          FWIW I don’t know Amiee but after reading her article and seeing her photos, i don’t think she needs any psychobabble or coaching. That girl needs badly is to lose 10 pounds, get a new haircut and buy some new clothes, and then she needs some cute and bubbly girlfriends to go out on the town and meet men with! Jeez. She’s an attractive woman, she just needs a little makeover and a confidence boost. If nobody in her circle is providing this, she needs a new circle.

        5. KK

          Stacy2 said,

          “She’s an attractive woman, she just needs a little makeover and a confidence boost”.

          She never said why she thought she was single. Who knows? Maybe she’s been holding out for the 1%-ers.

           

        6. Stacy2

          @KK:

          She never said why she thought she was single. Who knows? Maybe she’s been holding out for the 1%-ers.

          And there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be able to get them! She’s a good looking woman with a semi-glamorous occupation and no baggage in the form of ex-es and kids, living in NYC. She just needs to present herself better that’s all.

  4. 4
    S.

    Damn, being single ain’t that bad.  Gosh.  Like anything there are good and bad parts to it. It’s interesting that I read this after reading this article.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2016/02/maybe-you-should-just-be-single

    I’m not sure I agree with either article.  Just interesting to me that both came into the inbox at the same time. Look, single or coupled, just try to be happy.  Everything isn’t so terrible.  Yes, individual moments can actually be terrible and you can be in that place a long time.  But you can also somehow get out.  You know what’s worse about being single for me? Not the actual being. Not being sick alone or or worrying about retirement and managing houses alone or even potentially dying alone. That stuff sucks but it won’t break me.  The worst part is what people think of you.  But what can you do? People think what they think.  I can’t let it stick to me.  Life is so very precious and fun and there is so much to see and do and learn.  When I get down about anything, I try to think about that.  I don’t want to waste the time I have when there are so many things I’ve yet to see!

    Things aren’t so terrible all the time or forever.  Just a specific time.  White walls aren’t terrible. Being raised by a single mom who dated frequently didn’t scar me for life. (She was young, pretty, happy and she and her boyfriends adored me. I was having a ball because she was.  Yes, two parents would have been doubly fun and great and I’m sure it wasn’t all a ball to her but I was happy at the time and I survived it just fine.)

    We are all a lot more resilient than reading this blog would make me think.  Whatever state you’re in, you can be happy again even if it takes a long, long time. Even alone!  Even if it means leaving your ex, your current, the one who won’t have sex with you, won’t help you dig a hole out back, the one you have no attraction to, etc., etc. Reach out to Evan and read the book if that will help.  I sure wish Aimee Lutkin some peace of mind.

    Is being single lonely sometimes? Absolutely.  Can we find ways to either find a partner who makes us happy or live a fulfilled life alone?  Ab.so.lute.ly.

    🙂

    1. 4.1
      Emily, the original

      S,

      The worst part is what people think of you.  But what can you do? People think what they think.

      I can handle what people think of me. I just don’t like how some people, without any prompting by me, what to “fix” the problem — by trying to hook me up with any single man who is breathing. They seem to not give the slightest thought to whether the two of us would be interested in each other or have a thing in common. And they seem miffed when I ignore their offers for help.

      1. 4.1.1
        S.

        I think people assume you’re unhappy and want to help in a way they think they can.  It must be frustrating to see someone you care about unhappy and not be able to help them.

        It’s funny, no one has ever tried to hook me up unless I asked them to?  People figure I’m content as I am.  And maybe they’re right.  I don’t know, if I’d mind a blind date . . . Maybe. 🙂 But mostly, I don’t trust who they’d hook me up with!

        I don’t know why people don’t just ask what you want?  You seem a woman who knows her mind well enough.  If your friends asked you seriously what you wanted in a man or you guys had a real conversation about it where you felt they understood who you wanted, would you be willing to meet a gentleman they thought you’d like?

        I haven’t considered this because my circles are small and most  of my married friends know other married people.  And my single friends are pretty young.  It’s an interesting idea, though . . .

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi S,

          If your friends asked you seriously what you wanted in a man or you guys had a real conversation about it where you felt they understood who you wanted, would you be willing to meet a gentleman they thought you’d like?!

          Yes, but the people trying to set me up aren’t friends. They are work acquaintances who I don’t know well. I have no interest in having them hook me up. It’s very gossipy where I work. I don’t want my personal business all over the workplace.

        2. S.

          Hi Emily,

          That makes sense.  They probably don’t know you well enough to set you up. I think their intentions may be good, unless they are just busy-bodies.

          I never talk about romance at all at work. No one does.  Maybe they talk about the Kardashians. 🙂 But the romantic gossip is about people out of the office.

          But you didn’t answer my question, if it were your friends who knew you well, would you be open to it?

        3. Emily, the original

          S.,

          But you didn’t answer my question, if it were your friends who knew you well, would you be open to it?

          Yes, but it would have to be friends I knew well and who understood what I liked. Years ago, I let a friend set me up with her nephew. He showed up to dinner wearing a Hawaiian shirt, short shorts and white knee socks pulled up to the knees! Her criteria were simply that he was gainfully employed, around my age and looking for a girlfriend. There has to be a bit more to it than that in terms of commonalities.

        4. KK

          “He showed up to dinner wearing a Hawaiian shirt, short shorts and white knee socks pulled up to the knees!”

          You’re just too hard to please, Emily. Lol!!! J/k 😉

        5. Emily, the original

          KK,

          That image will be seared into my brain forever!

        6. S.

          Wow.  That is an image.  Goodness.

          Her criteria were simply that he was gainfully employed, around my age and looking for a girlfriend.

          I wonder if that’s her criteria for herself?  Hey, maybe it is. But that’s kind of what I meant by what other people think.  That you’re so desperate.  But single doesn’t mean desperate for anyone breathing and the right age.  The bar is set a leetle higher than that.

          Thanks for answering. 🙂

    2. 4.2
      H.

      I love your comment. It’s so cheerful and uplifting  in its truth about resilience. No, circumstances don’t have to be perfect for life to be – dare I say it? – happy. Or rather (“happy” sounds almost like a platitude): fun; exhilarating; rich.

      The worst part is what people think of you.  

      What people think of me (now, after decades of consistent singledom) is probably either that I am a lesbian, or that nobody was ever “good enough” for me. If it’s the first case, they are wrong (but I don’t care); if it’s the second, they are absolutely right (and I still don’t care). They certainly never dared or cared to pry; but apparently quite a few female friends and acquaintances – I am finding out now –  have been practically worshipping me all these years for my cheerful, dynamic, most attractive and single self. Be that as it may, nobody ever pestered me about perennially single (or if they did, I never noticed).

      More relevantly, though, you (referring to anyone reading – or writing – this)  don’t really know what they think of  you. You are just surmising, often based on your own projections.

      Most of all, people don’t really spend all that much time pondering about others. Not even friends. Moreover, people’s opinions – even long-standing – of other people can be (perhaps surprisingly) malleable.

      1. 4.2.1
        S.

        Thanks. It was meant to be positive.  Not that Aimee is going to come over here and read it, but she’s not the only one who feels so unheard.  Can women admit to the loneliness of being single is the title of this blog post.  They can.  But that’s not all being single has to be.  And you can feel the loneliness and well, many things during one’s single journey.

        I’ve been single a long time. I’ve been lonely at times during that time. And it is a place to be acknowledged. Some people won’t find their person in this lifetime.  And some will find a person but it won’t work out.  But I don’t believe that’s most people. Most people do find someone.  Is it as ‘forever’ as it was in generations past?  Maybe not.  But I’ve rarely met a person who was happy in love for one day or 50 years who regretted it and wished they’d never been in love.

        I’m thinking of something Karl R. wrote in another thread.  That even ten years with the right person is worth every moment.  Even if they die before you do.  Ten years with the wrong person or in a relationship that ends badly probably feels like hell on earth.

        This one thing I think of when dating gets hard. Discernment. Choice.  It really, really matters who you choose and who you are when you choose.

        For me, now you’re right I don’t know what people think of my relationship status. I don’t think they do think about it.  But when I was younger people asked me a lot about whether I’d get married, whether I wanted children.  A lot.  So I may not have known what they really thought but I knew what they told me  Now, it doesn’t come up.   I prefer it this way.  🙂

        1. Karl R

          S.,

          I think you may be combining some of my statements with something that Chad_E said (#491, click here for the thread).

          “My point in all of this, finally, is that if 2 people love each other and accept the flaws/faults in the other, then you can’t let fear of what may happen later in life stop you from enjoying what you have and who you are with now.”

          Or you may be remembering a direct quote from someone else.

           

          Since I haven’t lost a spouse, I wouldn’t have made that statement quite that way. Chad_E is a widower (now remarried), so he’s better able to discuss how one feels about a good but short marriage.

          That said, I hope that I will feel that way, should I end up losing my wife that soon. I’m certainly choosing to live my life as if it were the case.

        2. S.

          To Karl R.

          Ah, you found the thread. I couldn’t find it.  I forget you are very precise. 🙂

          What you said in 489.1.2 of that thread that there was a 7/8 chance that you’d outlive your wife.  Later on you said, you’ll probably need your dating skills in your seventies if you live that long.  But knowing that was part of the trade-off of marrying your wife.  That’s what you said.

          What I took from it was that you accepted that trade-off.  That it was worth it to you.  You didn’t say that, but I sensed that was true.  No, you aren’t a widower.  But you seemed to have looked all the possible futures in the face and married your wife anyway.

          I take from that: Marriage with the right person is paramount.  There are trade-offs, always are.  But with the right person it’s worth it.

          If I’ve misinterpreted the meaning behind your words, I’m sure you’ll let me know!

  5. 5
    Tron Swanson

    I sympathize with anyone who’s feeling unfulfilled by their life. It’s easy to tell people who are suffering to just focus on other things…but, when you’re really passionate about something, there’s no substitute for it. If a person hungers for something–I don’t care if it’s a relationship or what–nothing else is going to fill that void. A career, friends, money, traveling, whatever. In my opinion, this idea that we should (or even can) just “chop off” desires or dreams is insane. “Oh, don’t worry, you can be perfectly happy without that!” Bull. I mean, yeah, I’m really sure that a promotion at work or a selfie taken in front of a famous landmark is going to make up for losing out on the thing you care about the most.

  6. 6
    KK

    Reading the entire article, it definitely has a somber, if not depressing tone to it. I think her purpose in writing it was to simply verbalize her feelings, knowing it might not be what anyone wants to hear. It felt authentic.

    I think anyone who is honest has most likely felt the same way at some point. Maybe not because of their relationship status. Maybe so. It could also be an illness, career issues, family issues, almost anything that doesn’t have a readily available solution. Some things don’t have a solution and we have to make peace with what is instead of what could’ve been. I don’t think relationship status is one of those things. Whether she decides she’ll be alone forever or puts herself out there is ultimately up to her. It would be interesting if she did a follow up. Not merely, “I met the man of my dreams and I’m so happy now”. But more along the lines of how her thoughts and feelings changed; because I believe they will.

  7. 7
    AllHeart81

    I can relate to this letter. I am in my 30s and never before in my life felt such a desire for a healthy, fulfilling, passionate relationship. I feel lonely lately in a way I haven’t experienced before. Some women are never without a relationship, it was always very easy for me to be by myself.  I was very content with that until rencently. I want love and I want to learn what I am capable of fully giving in a marriage. But I feel at times that I am too broken, and old, to find the kind of love I desire. I feel so lacking sometimes as a woman and  not what most men may be looking for.

    If I had a choice, I would have been ready for true love at 20. But I  had a lot of growing up to do. I have worked on myself a lot and have more to offer emotionally. I am a better partner now than at 20, but I don’t think men care about that off the cuff.

    I regret some mistakes in my past. I have a pattern of every single one of my relationships being ended by me, prematurely. I was rejected a lot in my childhood and I think I got into a pattern of making sure I rejected first. I was not willing to take the risk of not being fully accepted, which also made it hard for me to fully accept. Most of those relationships wouldn’t have worked but there was one man who part of me felt could have been the love of my life. I regret not putting myself fully out there with him. When I met him, I was an immature 23 year old who grew up very sheltered and controlled and he was, at certain times, an immature 35 year old. I recently found out he is married and it really affected me. I thought he would be a confirmed bachelor. I always had the belief that when we both grew more mature, we would reconnect and finally be together. Like love stories you hear about when people loose contact but reconnect. I’d didn’t realize how much I had held out on this until when I found out he was married. I hope he is happy. We clearly were not meant to be. But this information broke my heart a little. And so, I am just grieving a little and learning to let go of an idea I clearly held onto for too long.  I never felt about another man like I felt for him and I wonder if I ever will at this age. The older you get, the harder it is to feel that thing you should feel.  I want love, I just don’t know how to make it happen with my own insecurities dictating my choices.  I know I have a lot to offer. But I also know I am not most men’s first choice. And I want to be someone’s first choice. ….wooo…just emotionally vomited all over this topic, lol.

    1. 7.1
      Marie

      Wow I am depressed just reading your post. I’m sorry you had such a hard time.  But you are in your 30’s! Yet you talk about your dating potential as if it’s all over.  Come on! I had never felt so powerful, present and sexy as I did in my 30’s, which is when I met my husband.  I could never have picked the right person to marry in my 20’s. I was still trying to establish myself then and had no room to think about anything else.  It was not until my early 30’s that I was at the top of my game and I felt completely in the driver’s seat for the first time. I think men felt this too. Not one person I dated made me feel like I was their second choice and I dated some pretty great guys in my 30’s.  It’s all about the attitude – if you come into it thinking already you are too old and  “someone’s second choice” you will be! Men are not that complicated, really.  Good sex, good food, good conversation, love and acceptance of who they are, and a reasonably modest amount of drama…

      1. 7.1.1
        Allheart81

        Didn’t mean to bum you out Marie. I was just feeling very raw about life. Not just because of learning about my ex but my uncle passed away this weekend and we knew it was coming this previous week. Tough week. Heavy heart. You sound a bit more comfident in yourself than me and carefree. I have never had an easy time with it , with men. But I am trying to look at it more from the idea of what I like and what makes me feel good when I am with A man than worrying about if he likes me and doing all the right things. I tend to think that most of us are complex. Thank you for the pep talk, it did make me smile. I am still holding out for love, even if I feel heavy about it at times.

        1. Marie

          All heart – Don’t worry have faith there is someone out there for you! Sorry life is being harsh right now. Big hugs!

        2. Allheart81

          Thanks Marie. 😊

    2. 7.2
      SparklingEmerald

      Sorry Allheart – About 80% of you post could have been written by me, in my late 20’s, before I married my ex.  Or written  by me 23 years later when my ex thanked me for giving him a baby, but said I was no longer needed because our “baby” was grown and moved away. (He basically said “Thanks for the baby, mama — Good bye” )

      I felt very broken, unwanted, disappointed and hopeless in my late 5o’s and divorced.  I even snorted and rolled my eyes as I was re-signing up for match.com after match.com lured me BACK with a special reduced price offer.  I asked myself why am I EVEN getting back into the “dating jungle” online, when it never seemed to pan out before . . .

      All of that changed 2 and a half years ago, when a sexy 66 year old man reached out to me, and we met for coffee.  All of my broken, hopeless feelings were gone in the blink of an eye when we started communicating.   That handsome, sexy, funny, smart, loving, kind man is now my husband.  If a twice divorced, 50 something woman can find love again (and re-marry at age 61), then it’s not impossible for someone in their 30’s.

      Good luck.  Take breaks when you need to, but don’t give up altogether.

  8. 8
    Barbara

    Evan:

    Aimee, if you’re reading this, reach out to me through Facebook and I will give you a free copy of my most recent book Believe in Love – 7 Steps to Letting Go of the Past, Embracing the Present and Dating with Confidence. 

    Do you have to wait and hope for her to reach out to you? I suggest you reach out to her. As you said, she’s already sent out a cry for help by writing her article. Just answer her cry by sending your offer to her at https://twitter.com/alutkin. I think her article presents you with an opportunity to act since that’s what you say you want to do.

    By contacting her via Twitter, you also reach a new and potentially receptive audience for your helpful materials.

    1. 8.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Already did it before you asked. She didn’t reply. Guess the women here are right: she wanted to be heard, not to be helped.

      1. 8.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Evan,

        She may want help.  Sometimes overcoming your own inertia to get the ball rolling is the hardest thing to do.  It was for me 😉

      2. 8.1.2
        Barbara

        Hopefully, she secretly ordered and is reading “Believe in Love.”

  9. 9
    BTUQueen

    I think the loneliness Aimee is feeling as a single comes and goes, like a wave. It washes over us and we feel it strongly and then it recedes and we resume our contended single life.

  10. 10
    L

    I don’t think I could truly be happy single.  I have learned to be happy with singlehood to a degree, meaning I filled my days with thinks I love to do.  I have a full life with a job, children, friends and other routines.  I would rather be single than in an unfulfilling relationship.   However, even if I can find a type of happiness, it isn’t true happiness because when I picture my life, I do not picture r as one without a life partner.  So, even if I am happy when single it is more contentment than anything.  In reality, I am happiest when in a committed relationship.

    During my last single stretch, I had a non committed dating relationship (emotionally unavailable man I knew I wouldn’t want to commit to) and focused on doing things for me.  I was not unhappy at that time because my life did not center on my single status.  I was so busy, i was loath to cancel a workout just to see some man. I am now in a true, committed relationship and I am happy to have love in my life.  But I was not willing to give up my happy single status for a man that would not make me happier.

    At times, I would feel lonely though.  Especially when watching couples friends.  And like the author, it was weird to complain about it because people just don’t “get” how you can both be content with being single but lonely and wishing you had a loving relationship.  Also I was the only single person I knew, making my single hood more obvious.  I don’t know that the author is crying for help – I think she is talking more about the contradiction of enjoying aspects of her life but also yearning for more.

     

     

     

     

  11. 11
    Gabriella

    This article really pulled on my heart. It is sad that the world is full of people and yet so many of us cannot connect with others in the way that we want to.

    I am a 39 year old female. I am average in every way – height, weight, looks, intelligence, accomplishments, hobbies, family background, goals, desires, etc. Although I am not born in this country – don’t tell Donald Trump!

    I think everyone probably knows someone like me.

    I have never had a boyfriend. Never had sex. Never been kissed or had my hand held by a man. Never even been asked out on a date.

    I used to wonder what men saw when they looked at me. Because I did not feel they saw a woman who maybe might want to go out on a date.

    I know I am not the only one like this. But when it is you, it DOES feel like you are the only one. It is like nothing I can do will ever make up for the fact that I am not wanted romantically by any man.

    I spent my teenager years and my entire 20s dealing with family responsibilities that didn’t allow me to put myself, or dating, first. By the time I reached my 30s, I realized I had no skills with men. I could not read them.

    I felt deeply embarrassed and ashamed of my lack of a dating history. This shame held me back from any real efforts to try and change my situation.

    I know that is the worst possible thing to do. But it is easy to do when men did not notice me, anyway – when I knew to get any kind of male attention would be so hard. That, and I just could not bear to think about having to have the conversation with a man about why, at my age,  I do not know how to please a man. He would probably run for the hills. I cannot say I would blame him.

    Some of my friends have suggested online dating to me. I think online dating is a good idea. I know many people who have met their husbands and wives that way.

    But I am a coward. I just cannot bring myself to try and write a date profile for myself. Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the idea of online dating. When I think of it I think of being the plain little puppy in the pet store window that everyone walks past, but no one wants to take home.  It is sad, but I do not feel I cannot be sad about it.

    My lack of both experience and stand-out qualities, my awkwardness with men, my inability to be “cool” and/or to flirt make me suspect that I would not be successful at online dating. After all it is  based on physical appearance, of which I am honestly not much.

    I know this is the wrong attitude to take. I do not mean to be bitter. I feel that way only because I have lived 39 years with no attention from men. They do not find me desirable. So I do not feel confident about dating on the internet.

    I think I waited too long. I think by now, all of the good men are taken.

    I have accepted I will likely always be single. I have no one but myself to blame for that. If I am not willing to put in the effort it will not come to me and I do not deserve to have it.

    But – and this is how I feel the pain in the woman’s post above – when you feel like the cure – in this case, changing myself to find a man who would be willing to go out with me – is worse than the disease – i.e., a life of being single – I think that maybe it is better to just look around and be grateful for what I do have (a lot!) and making the best of things. Sometimes a positive attitude is the best thing to have to change your situation because each new day will not be like yesterday. Maybe I will meet a man in the future who will talk to me and maybe want to ask me out  😉

    1. 11.1
      John

      Hi Gabriella

      Your best bet to get a guy to ask you out is to make eye contact with a guy you find attractive. Many women look away quickly when a man looks their way. One more thing you could do is to accuentate your appearance. You say you’re average. If you have nice clothes, long, healthy looking hair and you put a small amount of well placed make-up on, you will stand out more. I once spent a month in a foreign country with very average looking women. They did what I advised you to do and these so-called average women looked attractive to me. The local guys were not impressed, but I was. I noticed the effort those ladies made and I went out with a couple of them. Most importantly, they made eye contact. We could connect through the eyes first. I loved it. Others people may tell you that what I said won’t work. Try it for yourself. Good luck.

      1. 11.1.1
        Xxxxxxx

        John I think you need to tell her to smile as well. I catch men looking or staring at me sometimes but don’t know if they are attracted or just noticing spinach in my teeth.

    2. 11.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      Gabriella,

      John Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman are both Ph.D. researchers at the Univ. of Washington where they run a “marriage lab” and have published loads of research on what makes relationships fail or succeed.  In their book that came out last year “The Man’s Guide to Women” they had a section on attraction and initial contact between prospective partners.  In it, they talked about how it’s NOT random when men approach certain women.  The men are responding to a kind of pre-clearance cues sent by women.

      So much of the initial communication between prospective partners is non-verbal.  If you don’t learn it through subconscious modeling of adult female role models when you are younger so that it’s part of your default out-to-mingle, it’s hard to figure it all out.  Vanessa Van Edwards has some great tutorials on body language and non-verbal communication at The Science of People.  They work!

  12. 12
    Barbara

    Gabriella

    I think the John’s and Xxxxxxx’s advice is good. I also think your main problem is not that men haven’t noticed you; it’s that you think you are not valuable. When you begin to see your own worth, it will become obvious to others as well. Your self-love will be reflected in your behavior toward others and they will take notice, whether you are wearing make up or not. Your smile will come naturally because it will be a smile that radiates from the happiness you experience within your life. This kind of happiness is attractive and infectious. People–men and women–will enjoy being around you. I suspect this inner happiness was what attracted John to the women in Europe.

    There are many self-help books about how to achieve this kind of happiness. Evan’s “Believe in Love” is one of them. You may also benefit from therapy–I highly recommend finding a therapist who can help you feel good about being you. You might have to shop around–not all therapists are the right fit for your everyone.

    Personally, more than anything else, including therapy, my Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying the writings of the monk Nichiren have helped me become the type of person I’m describing. I’m not feeling happiness from within all the time, but most of the time I am. This wasn’t true for the majority of my life. Even in practicing Buddhism for thirty years, it took me until very recently to deeply value and love myself.

    However, it needn’t take you that long and you don’t have to practice Buddhism or any religion. All that’s necessary is that you decide you no longer want to carry around the weight of feeling unworthy and that you take action to change. Therapy, spirituality, self-help books–it doesn’t matter what method you employ. If it makes you begin to see your infinite worth, it’s right for you.

    I hope you will make 2017 the year you fall in love with Gabriella. Once you do that, it will only be a matter of time before a man–or perhaps many men; you could have your pick–will fall in love with you too.

    One thing you can do immediately, is to stop using negative words to describe yourself out loud or in your thoughts. Thoughts are the most powerful things that exists. If you begin to say in your mind and spoken words, every day, “I am beautiful, lovable, and worthy” and you stop yourself when you notice you are thinking or saying disparaging things about yourself–such as “I am average”– you will begin to feel that you are a wonderful and beautiful person and others will naturally begin to see you this way too.

    To me, at age 55, you are young at 39. I know it’s not too late for me to find love. Actually, once I began to follow the advice in Evan’s books “Why He Disappeared” and Finding the One Online,” I began to change my behavior with men and began to date men I would never have considered before. The man I’ve been dating for the past six weeks has started to tell me, every day, how “awesome” I am. He is confident, sensitive, and treats me with tenderness and respect. We have goofy times together, fun times in bed (no all-out sex since he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend as per Evan’s advice), as well as profound philosophical conversations that have brought him to tears. This is all new to me–moving slowly with a man, dating a man who I initially didn’t find magnetically physically attractive, and not letting blind passion guide how I interact with him.

    If I can change at my age, you can too. You have to begin to believe, deep in your bones, that it’s not too late to find love or do whatever it is you truly desire. It’s only too late if you give up. This is true of love and everything else.

  13. 13
    Kim

    Six months ago, I was still in the online dating world. Two years before, I decided I would give meeting someone some serious effort. I had dated before, but wasn’t really in the head space for it. A string of bad relationships, bad dates, and being pursued by icky married men turned me off dating, although I knew in my head not all men or relationships are the same. I am also okay being single.

    So, I started meeting men online and going on dates. I was getting the aggressive, awful men, of course, but there were a few nice ones. I went on a couple of dates with one who seemed nice and fun. Then one Friday afternoon, he emailed to say I’d have to convert to be a born-again Christian to continue to date him. I said no–after some preaching by him–and wished him luck. I was sitting in my car considering taking a break from the scene, when I got an email from a gentleman I know via my work. He saw my profile online. He was single, too, and asked me out. I said yes.

    That was six months ago and I am having the time of my life. I was nervous and insecure at first, but didn’t let him see it because he was always doing the right things. We are very compatible, both have teenage children, stressful jobs, but enjoy similar fun aspects of life. And he kept moving the relationship forward, talking about the future. We are taking our kids on a trip this spring.

    I have no idea how it was all turn out, but I am enjoying what it is right now. We are still learning about each other but I don’t see any red flags I saw in previous relationships. I also feel secure about my own personal place in life, which I think makes a difference.

    For a long time, I was the single friend who listened to coupled friends complain about their significant others. The common statement was always “I can change him; he has potential” or I can “train” him. I learned this myself years ago that you can’t change anyone so spend your time finding someone who’s compatible and whose few are minor ones you can learn to accept (they will have to accept yours, too). No woman would (or should) tolerate a man saying she should change for him or he can train her.

    And living in the present helps as well. I’m in no rush to get married, but I do think he’d be a great husband.

    I also have no fear of being single again, either. I think meeting him made me realize not only there are wonderful men out there, but having relationships requires changing your own focus, and dealing with your anxieties and leaving bad  experiences in the past.

    The benefit of being happy when you’re single is you won’t get into bad relationships just to be in a relationship.

  14. 14
    Marie

    Gabriella, at the risk of sounding too harsh – you are in a mental prison of your own making. If you want to be alone that would be your choice but you don’t want to be.  The suppositions that you put out there as to why you should not even try to date are are self-defeating excuses so that you don’t have to risk trying and being actually rejected.  Lots of people are average what is wrong with that? Plenty of average men wind up with average women – I bet if you asked them to describe themselves however they wouldn’t think they are average.  And what if you don’t have any experience with men? Why do you feel the need to confess that as if it’s some kind of crime? It sounds like you had very good reasons not to have had that experience – use that as a plus of what makes your character unique. Who in society gets to dictate your self worth based on your experience with men anyways? No one – just you judging yourself.  And before you say I don’t know how you feel I’ll tell you that my  experience with men paralleled yours into my early 30’s, where due to a series of life circumstances I did not have much time or use for men and dating. Then I decided at 34 that I did want to have one day a husband and children after all and as the chosen guy was not about to drop out of the sky I had better go out and get one.  I did my research, got Evan as a coach, went on a bunch of dates and rode that bicycle until I found my husband about 6 months later.  By the end of it I was probably better at dating than most of my female friends who have kept making the same mistakes over and over again in choosing the wrong man.  It’s actually a plus – I had no baggage, no wounded heart, and generally thought well of men. I thought of guys as mostly decent people who were trying to make sense of dating just like me.  Were there a few bad apples here and there?  Sure, but there’s a bell curve for everything and that’s what Evan was there for – to help me root out the jerks.  So perhaps it was awkward at first but by the 42nd guy I went out with it was old hat.  I can tell you, he had no complaints as he married me, haha!  Gabriella, think of yourself as fabulous, BE fabulous and men will revel in your fabulousness.  While I do believe in an element of fate, I think we all also have a hand in our own fate.  If you die tomorrow do you want to die not having ever experienced these things you long for?

  15. 15
    Yet Another Guy

    @Marika

    E.g., most marriages are bad. Really? Because your marriage was bad?  

    You inverted the logical premise of my post.  I did not say that most marriages are bad.

    Here is what I wrote:

    The problem is that most marriages are not good marriages.  I would venture to say that all but a small proper subset of marriages fall into the workable or divorce-eminent categories.

    My assertion is the not same as saying that most marriages are bad.  The majority of marriages fall into the “workable” category, but I would not call these marriages good.  The majority of the married couples that I know who have stood the test of time have workable marriages.  I know a few people who have good marriages, and there is a night and day difference between the two.

    And if you end up with a crazy woman, it’s because you’re drawn to the ‘hot mess’, not because all women are crazy (same goes for men).

    If you approach dating & relationships with the same mindset you had during the bad days of your marriage, how can you expect different results? Throw out some of your hard & fast rules and try to be a bit more open-minded. Isn’t that the whole point of reading a blog like this?

    I threw out the rules when I married my ex.  I am not going to repeat that mistake.  My ex was unlike any woman I had dated up to that point.  Every member of my family commented on how she was not my type when they met her the first time.  I was completely floored when one of my sisters said, “She used your children as a weapon to emasculate you” upon hearing that we were planning to divorce.  I put up with crap that few men would endure, so that my children would not grow up in a broken home like their mother. She drove her father away, and she was not going to drive me away from my children.  As I mentioned above when I was discussing “husband correction mode,” no woman that I meet will ever have that kind of hold on me.

    1. 15.1
      Marika

      Hmm, I think this is a semantic word play. Good and bad are opposites, so ‘not good’ tends to mean bad…

      You didn’t address my point at all about your assertions to do with man cards & Victorian era dating rules etc. My main point (semantics aside) is that your comments make out that you have lots of rules and assumptions about women and dating. I’m just saying they are likely to do you more harm than good as they are based on limited experience & a bad marriage.

    2. 15.2
      KK

      Hi YAG,

      “I threw out the rules when I married my ex.  I am not going to repeat that mistake”.

      If I remember your story correctly, you had dated a certain type of woman that wasn’t really working for you and then you did a bit of a 180 in finding your (ex) wife. That’s pretty common. I did something similar. Evan had a podcast on it awhile back re. overcorrection. I think it was called: Should I date against my type or something to that effect.

    3. 15.3
      Stacy2

      Actually for there to be a successful relationship you simply have to accept some influence from your partner (and so does she, works both way). If you are not looking for any relationship – just occasional companionship and sex – than that’s not necessary of course.

      1. 15.3.1
        Yet Another Guy

        There is influence, and then there is the constant need to change a man.  There is more than grain of truth to the saying that a man marries a woman hoping that she will never change, and a woman marries a man hoping that he will change.  Many women treat their husbands like that do their homes.  There is a constant attempt to “remodel” him to meet whatever fantasy of a man suits her fancy at the time.

        1. AllHeart81

          It is equally unrealistic to expect someone to change the qualities you want to change in them as it is to believe someone won’t change with the years, experiences and knowledge they learn along the way.

  16. 16
    Jeremy

    @KK, (I figured I’d start a new thread because thread 3 is becoming unwieldy), I definitely agree that the “woman=bad” stance is nonsense, as is the “men=bad.”  But where I take issue with your argument is in the notion that for cases where women file for divorce that it is largely the fault of the man.

    The fact that only one spouse cheated does not imply that the other spouse is free of fault.  Many women understand this when it is the woman who cheated (“what did he do to drive her to that?”), but less so when it is the man.  Similarly, a woman may file for divorce because she feels emotionally abused, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t also abusive.  A woman may divorce because she feels alone in the marriage – but that doesn’t mean that her husband didn’t also feel alone.

    Women file for divorce more often than men, and we can only theorize about why.  My own personal belief is that men are more likely to be socialized to accept emotional isolation than women – we are more likely to believe that although we may feel alone, un-loved, belittled, etc, that feeling that way is simply how life is.  Whereas women are not socialized to believe that, and are more likely to have a support network of friends/family/other women to rely on for support, where many men have only their wives.  This is a problem, and is something that should be dealt with on a societal level.

    1. 16.1
      KK

      Hi Jeremy,

      “I figured I’d start a new thread because thread 3 is becoming unwieldy”.

      Thank you!!

      “The fact that only one spouse cheated does not imply that the other spouse is free of fault”.

      Nor does it imply that the other spouse must have done something to deserve it.

      “Many women understand this when it is the woman who cheated (“what did he do to drive her to that?”), but less so when it is the man”.

      I don’t know about that. This woman doesn’t think that way. I have very black and white thinking when it comes to infidelity. It’s wrong regardless of gender.

      “Similarly, a woman may file for divorce because she feels emotionally abused, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t also abusive.  A woman may divorce because she feels alone in the marriage – but that doesn’t mean that her husband didn’t also feel alone”.

      That’s true. The possibility also exists that it could be one sided, as well.

      “Women file for divorce more often than men, and we can only theorize about why”.

      I shared my theory and you shot it down. Lol. I’m open to hearing your theory.

      “My own personal belief is that men are more likely to be socialized to accept emotional isolation than women – we are more likely to believe that although we may feel alone, un-loved, belittled, etc, that feeling that way is simply how life is. Whereas women are not socialized to believe that, and are more likely to have a support network of friends/family/other women to rely on for support, where many men have only their wives”.

      Sounds reasonable except for the fact that there are many women who stay stuck in unhappy, loveless, sexless marriages as well.

      “This is a problem, and is something that should be dealt with on a societal level”.

      I agree, but I think it’s a problem for both genders. I’m not trying to downplay what you perceive as a uniquely male issue. It very well could impact more men than women. Having both a son and a daughter and wanting the best for both of them intensifies my desire for positive change in this area and others.

      1. 16.1.1
        Jeremy

        Hi KK.  I think we agree on a lot of issues.  My views on infidelity are also fairly harsh, for example.  I just meant that when a marriage falls apart, there is usually fault on both sides – even when infidelity is involved.

         

        I also agree with you that there are many women in unhappy marriages who internalize that their life is just how “life is.”  Yet women file for divorce much more often than men, and are far quicker to report unhappiness than men.  I didn’t mean to shoot down your theory – I think there is probably some truth to many theories, yours, mine, Chance’s, and others.  But while I’ve heard it said many times that women file more for financial reasons (a la Chance) and that they file more because men do more wrong, I haven’t heard the theory I’ve voiced be widely acknowledged and I think that is a problem.

         

        You know that I’ve discussed confirmation bias before, but the problem here is an even more insidious one – “availability bias.”  The idea that the more we hear about something the more important we believe it to be, and the less we hear about something the less important we think it is.  The problems of women are widely discussed in our society, whereas the problems of men are not.  And this leads to the general belief that women have problems while men don’t (or at least that men’s problems are less important).  And that, in turn, leads to the notion that men are advantaged over women, or even that men ARE the problem.

         

        I think there is a rampant problem of emotional isolation among men today, and that this problem affects men more than it does women.  And if we acknowledge that, I think we can better understand why men are less likely to leave an unhappy marriage, or even to acknowledge that their marriage is unhappy.

        1. KK

          Hi again Jeremy,

          “I think there is a rampant problem of emotional isolation among men today, and that this problem affects men more than it does women”.

          This might be true. How have you come to this conclusion?

          When I look at real life people, I’m not seeing that. For example, one of my neighbors (I’d guess she’s in her mid 50’s) retired early. Kids are grown and gone, but live close. Grandkids range in age from toddler to teenager. She’s alone all day long until her husband gets home from work. Almost every weekend, he’s off with his guy friends. And I do mean almost every weekend. It’s rare to see him over the weekend. They have a vacation home on the water and he and his friends go fishing or boating or hunting all the time. She doesn’t have an issue with it. It makes him happy and she’s happy with that. I can’t help but wonder if she ever feels a little lonely.

          Another couple I know, a little older, both retired. She’s a social butterfly. Always has been. She’s constantly on the go. Belongs to some kind of sorority for retired ladies, does charity work, volunteer work, lunches and movie dates with her girlfriends. He couldn’t care less. Lol. He’s not super social and doesn’t want to be. Super kind, funny, intelligent man, who enjoys his alone time and taking it easy. He may feel lonely too.

          I guess my point is I don’t see any more of one situation than the other. The difference, in my opinion, between men and women isn’t necessarily social isolation, but reaching out for help when there’s a problem. If a woman is unhappy, she’s more likely to get help. If a man is unhappy, he’s less likely to get help. I don’t know what to attribute that to or what to do about it. Is it simply because we’re wired differently? Is it a pride thing? If so, is that pride deeply rooted or is it because society expects men to be strong and not complain or seek help?

        2. Jeremy

          There was a great article a while back (I don’t have it anymore or I’d link to it) about the difference between the male and female stress response.  We’ve all heard of the classical “fight or flight” response that was thought to be characteristic to all humans, but researchers were recently surprised to discover that females have a different stress response – the “Tend and Befriend” response.

           

          The research showed that stressed females are wired to seek out other females and bond with them emotionally in times of stress.  Doing so releases oxytocin and makes them feel bonded, and when females bond together they improve their chances of survival/thriving – and this is as true today as it ever was.  Males, on the other hand, were not generally wired with a Tend and Befriend stress response, and did not seek out conversation/bonding in times of stress, nor did conversation lead to release of oxytocin in their brains.  No, when men are stressed, their brains tell them to either fight or flee – and though these responses may have been adaptive in primitive times, they are not so today.  In today’s society fighting is discouraged so most men “flee” – they withdraw emotionally, which drives their wives crazy and does not help men become happier.

           

          The TL;DR version of all this is that when women do what their brains are wired to do, they become happier.  When men do what their brains are wired to do, they become less happy.  For men, seeking out help requires them to go against their own programming, whereas it does not for women.

           

          You asked how I’ve come to the conclusion that emotional isolation is more prevalent in men.  I could reply with statistics about suicide and mental illness.  I could reply with studies about how men lack friends and rely on their wives as sole emotional support, or more articles on brain chemistry.  But I don’t think I could speak about the subject as Warren Farrell does in his book “the myth of male power.”  A very eye-opening book, if you have interest in the subject.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

           I think we agree on a lot of issues.  My views on infidelity are also fairly harsh, for example.  I just meant that when a marriage falls apart, there is usually fault on both sides – even when infidelity is involved.

          I can offer a fresh perspective on the reason why a large percentage of men cheat.  I joined a male support group after I separated.  There was a common thread in the group, and that was, many wives put their children before their marriage (i.e., the primary relationship in the house became between the mother and her children instead being between the mother and the father).  What was interesting were the behaviors that occurred in response to this problem.  The men basically split into two groups.  The first group of men sought the comfort of another woman.  The brashest in the group felt no remorse about it.  Their wives were neglecting their needs, so they felt justified in seeking a proxy.  The second group of men remained faithful, but became incredibly grumpy, difficult to live with guys.  I kind of fell into the second group, but my marriage had a lot of other oddities.

        4. Emily, the original

          Hi Jeremy,

          You asked how I’ve come to the conclusion that emotional isolation is more prevalent in men.  … I could reply with studies about how men lack friends and rely on their wives as sole emotional support

          My experience is the opposite of KK’s. The men I know (with a few exceptions) don’t care about friendship. Once they get married, their wives take over their social lives. She’s the one who even keeps in touch and organizes events with his family, and most of their socializing is done with other couples. The friends he had before he met the spouse are discarded. I think we need to teach men to value friendship and the creation of  their own social network. The spouse can’t be the sole source of emotional support.

        5. Chance

          jeremy, I have read articles that cite this study  (that I believe was shared by the National Marriage Project) which showed that the rate of women initiating divorces was much lower in states where custody laws were known to be less biased towards the mother, and as a result, mothers cannot be assured that they will receive primary physical custody of their children.  Unfortunately, the article does not provide a link to the study.  Have you heard of this or similar studies, and if so, could you please provide a link?  When I combine this information with my anecdotes of men whom I know who want to divorce their wives, but are scared to do so because they don’t want to lose equitable access to their children, I have a growing suspicion that the divorce initiation rate for men and women could be materially driven by child custody laws.

      2. 16.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        (cont)

        Being an inquisitive person, I wanted to see if what I had observed had been studied.  To my surprise, the shift in primary relationship is a well-studied phenomenon that is one of the most deadly things that a woman can do to her marriage. The researchers found that women who engaged in this behavior thought that it was okay to stop being a wife during the child rearing years and then expect their husbands to pick up where they left off after the children left the nest.  Their attitude was if he loved me, he would understand that my children always come first.    The cold hard truth is that if a woman neglects her husband after children arrive, there is a very high probability that one of the two behaviors that I outlined above is going to occur.   I have decided to “next” women who openly state that their children always come first in the profiles.  If a woman feels the need to rank the man in her life behind her children all of the time, then she needs to wait until her children are grown to date.  It is that simple.  A lot of divorced women do in fact wait until their children are grown to start dating, and I respect them for making the sacrifice.

        1. KK

          YAG,

          Where to begin?

          Relationships should be maintained by both partners. Parenting should be done by both parents.

          When you get married (and hopefully these discussions take place beforehand), YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE get to decide what kind of marriage you want. Forget everything you think you know or how you think things should be and focus on what works for the two of you. Everyone should have a list of non-negotiables. Hopefully, it’s a small list. A reasonable one might be: “No, I am not going to drive five hours to your parent’s house and spend two weeks with them”. Everyone should also have a list of things they’re willing to do, unselfishly, for their spouse, even though they don’t want to do them. It could be a compromise to the NO: “I’m willing to stay with your parents for the weekend”. The last list is hopefully the longest list or at least as long as your middle list. These are the things you WANT to do to make your spouse happy and have a stronger relationship. Run a bubble bath for her, plan a romantic getaway, send flowers or get her a sweet card for no reason.

          Now, with children, a whole lot of stuff is going to fall into that middle list. You do things for your children because 1) you want to be an involved parent and 2) the more you take off your wife’s plate, the more available she will be to you.

          Women do not want their marriage to take second place to their children. We don’t want the romance to fizzle and die. We don’t want to feel like your roommate. We’d much prefer to be your lover.

          However, you cannot make one person completely responsible to take care of all the children’s needs without ever lifting a finger to help, and then turn right around and place all the blame on her for not making you a priority when she’s running on fumes and is probably starting to resent you. If you want to be your wife’s priority in life, make sure she’s your priority as well. Help out around the house, help with the kids, and romance her.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          I am sorry, but that dog does not hunt. I know that I changed diapers, got up in the middle of the night to feed my children, cleaned the house, did laundry, stayed up to unloaded the dishwasher so that she could sleep, helped to cook, grocery shopped, and still did all of the home repair and maintenance chores. I live on my own as a single man for 19 years before I married. I was used to doing all of the chores in a home. While some of the men in my support group admitted that they could have done more, most did everything that they could to offload work from their wives because they wanted their love lives back.

          The cold hard truth is that a lot of women lose interest in sex after children are born. All sex becomes to them is a way to have more children. They love their children more than they love their husbands. Their children become their sole focus in life. Men basically get turned into sperm donors. It is a well-studied phenomenon. All one has to go is Google “lost interest in sex after childbirth” or “husband feels neglected after childbirth.” It is real. Man after man in my support group talked about how he witnessed his relationship with his wife slowly disintegrate after the first child arrived, and the problem grew worse with every new delivery. There were two men in my support group who had vasectomies without behind their wives’ backs, so that they could not have any more children.

          Now, there are couples who continue to date after children arrive, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who do not. It is a major problem in a large number of marriages. It is a major cause of infidelity. If a woman ignores her husband’s needs long enough, there is a high probability that he will seek the comfort of another woman.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          *lived on my own

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          @YAG said:  “To my surprise, the shift in primary relationship is a well-studied phenomenon that is one of the most deadly things that a woman can do to her marriage.”

          @KK said:  “. . . you cannot make one person completely responsible to take care of all the children’s needs without ever lifting a finger to help, and then turn right around and place all the blame on her for not making you a priority when she’s running on fumes and is probably starting to resent you. If you want to be your wife’s priority in life, make sure she’s your priority as well. Help out around the house, help with the kids, and romance her.”

          YAG, I suspect you are getting one side of the story in your support group.  Which may be great as far as giving men a way to vent and feel validated, but the fact they are divorced may mean they totally missed their now ex-wives’ perspective.  I also think it’s interesting that while you maintain that even in the event of infidelity, it takes two people to make or break a marriage, on this area you are solely laying the blame at the feet of women.  If a man feels he is coming in second to his kids with his wife, he may want to examine how his behavior helped promote this.

          KK gives a good overview of what a wife might be experiencing.  I’ll give you some specifics that I have heard from women throughout the years.

          “He only touches me when he wants to have sex.  There’s no hugs, kisses, arm around the shoulder, hand holding, etc.” What separates a lover from someone who just wants/needs to get off twice a week is “non-sexual” touch.  Creating an ongoing connection through touching.  This NST actually primes women for sex.

          “I don’t have two children, I have three.”  More than once I have been a fly on the wall when a group of men have joked about the tactics they use to get out of doing household chores.  One man purposely repeatedly loaded the dishwasher completely wrong–heavy pots on the top rack, wine glasses laid on their sides on the bottom rack–until his wife said “no more” when she had to clean said wine glass shards out of the dishwasher.  This is what 7 and 8 year old boys do, and while little boys are adorable, women don’t want to sleep with children.

          “I got nothing from my husband for mother’s day.”  “He forgot my birthday again.”  “I made a special dessert for Valentine’s day.  I got in return a rant about how it’s all a conspiracy by Hallmark.”  It’s hard to be motivated to consistently remember important days, and come up with little things to do to show someone they’re special to you when you get nothing in return.  Small efforts and gestures can mean a lot over time.

          “The kids spent the weekend at my parents’ house.  I was looking forward to spending time with X, but he went fishing Saturday, and over to a friend’s house to watch the game on Sunday.”  When you both get kid free time, spend it together.

          Lastly YAG, you mentioned the guys in your group who were unremorseful about having affairs if they felt they weren’t getting their needs met.  I think these men fit Karl’s First type of cheater:  Someone who will be unfaithful if the opportunity presents.  The “my wife puts me second” is the nail they’re hanging the hat on.  If they’re truly unremorseful about it, i.e. putting THEIR feelings and THEIR wants before their family’s they may be narcissists or sociopaths.

        5. Chance

          GWTF, do you think that most women who cheat may be narcissists or sociopaths as well?  I ask because virtually every instance I can remember of when a woman has cheated on a man, she felt little or no remorse when all was said and done.  They, too, would blame the infidelity on actions or behaviors of their partner, and felt justified in their decision to cheat.

        6. KK

          YAG,

          “The cold hard truth is that a lot of women lose interest in sex after children are born”.

          Wrong.

          The cold hard truth is women lose interest in sex when their husbands aren’t meeting their emotional needs. Women need to feel desired, but also respected. Women need to feel heard, connected, loved, cherished, appreciated and understood. If you do that, you’ll have no problems in your love life. Guaranteed!

          I’m sure you struggled with those things since you say you lack empathy for women. If you can’t meet her needs, she’ll start to view sex with you as one more chore to tick off the list; which doesn’t make it very enjoyable and your sex life will eventually plummet.

          You’ve also said you weren’t attracted to your wife and she knew it. Jeez, sounds like a great way to get her all hot and bothered. Lol. Are you serious? Get real! You are to blame for failing in your marriage. Accept it and learn from it or don’t but don’t come on here telling us the cold hard truths about how women are to blame for all the failed marriages in the world. You’re wrong.

        7. jeremy

          KK, you wrote, “The cold hard truth is women lose interest in sex when their husbands aren’t meeting their emotional needs. Women need to feel desired, but also respected. Women need to feel heard, connected, loved, cherished, appreciated and understood. If you do that, you’ll have no problems in your love life. Guaranteed!”

           

          I have no doubt that women need to feel all of the things you described.  But telling men to make their wives feel these things is NOT guaranteed to end problems in their love life.

           

          I’ve commented before about women’s sexual ON and OFF switches, where the ON switches are activated by arousal qualities and the OFF switches are deactivated by comfort qualities.  The qualities you mention here are all comfort qualities – and telling men to focus on them will only be effective if the problem is the woman’s OFF switch.  If it’s her ON switch, they will be totally ineffective.

           

          So often, when a woman experiences low sexual desire (or worse, revulsion for her husband), she will rationalize her emotions with excuses.  “If he helped more around the house, I’d be more interested.”  “If he spent more non-sexual time with me, I’d be more interested.”  Trust me, men around the world have asked women what they want, listened to their answers, and tried their best to give it to them….only to find that their wife’s desire did not increase.  In fact, such women often view their husbands’ efforts with suspicion as if they were just trying to trick women into sex with good behavior.

           

          So often, the “reasons” women give for losing interest are complete BS, even if the woman herself believes them.  Yes, there are women who lose interest due to lack of comfort qualities, but far more often it’s that her husband no longer elicits dopamine in her – her ON switch won’t turn on.   And this is ESPECIALLY true when the woman is in love with someone else – and whether that someone else is a lover or whether it is a new baby, if that new person elicits dopamine and noradrenaline in her brain she will be in love with that person and not with her husband.  She may feel “oxytocin” love for her husband (bonding, fondness), but is not “in love” with him.

           

          This is as common as dirt after children are born, and has nothing to do with men neglecting their wives.  It can happen even to men who bend over backwards to do everything for their wives.  Ask me how I know.

        8. KK

          Jeremy,

          You said, “So often, the “reasons” women give for losing interest are complete BS, even if the woman herself believes them”.

          So your position is that you know more about what a woman wants than she does??

          “Yes, there are women who lose interest due to lack of comfort qualities, but far more often it’s that her husband no longer elicits dopamine in her – her ON switch won’t turn on.

          Let’s say your theory is true. How could you possibly know what’s more common? What I suggested is extremely common in my (albeit anectodal) experience. I can’t imagine looking at a girlfriend and telling her she’s full of BS and doesn’t understand what she’s feeling about her lack of desire for her husband because of some study on the internet(?)

          “And this is ESPECIALLY true when the woman is in love with someone else – and whether that someone else is a lover or whether it is a new baby, if that new person elicits dopamine and noradrenaline in her brain she will be in love with that person and not with her husband.  She may feel “oxytocin” love for her husband (bonding, fondness), but is not “in love” with him”.

          I’m not buying this. The love you feel for a child is not the same love you feel for a spouse. Romantic love is unique. However, that “in love feeling”, which is mostly lust doesn’t last forever. I think it’s different for different people / couples but the expiration date on it is usually within the first 2 to 4 years. Of course, if it’s a good relationship, it changes to the comfort love you describe. But I think that “in love” feeling or lust can still be activated. The trick isn’t activating one swith or the other. The comfort switch is more like a prerequisite before you can activate the lust response.

          Relationships change. If someone wants to be in a permanent state of lust, they better never get married and date someone new every 2 years. Marriage is for grownups that understand that lust part is going to wane, but it’s replaced with something much better. That doesn’t mean you can’t still have an active, enjoyable sex life.

           

           

           

        9. Jeremy

          KK, no, I don’t think I know what a woman wants better than she does. I think it is always wise to ask a woman directly weekday is bothering her, and if you love her to try to give her what she said she wants. The problem comes when you do that and it doesn’t work. Over and over. At that point you need to consider that she may not understand herself and you need to try other things.

           

          I’m not asking you to tell a girlfriend that she is full of BS because of a study. I’m asking you to acknowledge that sometimes people don’t understand themselves. I’m not saying that women don’t sometimes lose desire due to a man’s neglect – it happens. But whereas society assumes that the default reason is men’s fault, this isn’t always the case. Far from it.

           

        10. Emily, the original

          KK,

           If someone wants to be in a permanent state of lust, they better never get married and date someone new every 2 years.

          Hormones are certainly powerful, and the delirious effects of chemistry have been discussed often on this site. But not every woman is a slave to her hormones. Some, yes, as some men are. Those seeking novelty, of course.

        11. Chance

          KK, there are more than a few men out there who know what women want more than women themselves.  This is because men are in the unique position of having spent their lives learning what women are most likely to respond to in order to obtain sex from them.  If a man learns anything from this trial-and-error process (that is performed on varying levels of consciousness depending on the man and his circumstances), it is that a woman’s stated preferences rarely match what women actually respond to sexually.  Pretty much everything a man does in his early post-pubescent life, he does it with sex being the ultimate motivation, although a fair amount of men would like to deny this.

           

          Here’s something everyone can laugh at:  I’ll freely admit that I firmly believe that I know what women want more than most women do.

        12. Karl R

          KK said:

          “So your position is that you know more about what a woman wants than she does??”

          This reminds me of something that happened when I was a senior in high school.

          I was chatting with a new student. He glanced at a girl who was standing a short distance away and murmured, “Wow! She’s hot!”

          My knee-jerk reaction was, “Is this guy blind?” I had known this girl for six years, and I found her to be completely repulsive. But I turned and tried to look at her objectively. She was thin. She had a well-proportioned figure, good hair, symmetrical features…. Objectively speaking, there was nothing wrong with her looks. The new student’s reaction was quite understandable.

          But for some reason, visualizing her (even decades later) is completely repulsive. I believe that’s because she was a horrible person who treated everyone with contempt. After knowing her for years, it was my understanding of what she was like on the inside that affected my perception of her exterior appearance.

          But as a self-aware person, I cannot guarantee that my belief is correct. I observed my own reaction, and then retroactively tried to find a rational explanation for it. I found a correlation which could be the cause. My rationalization could be the correct reason, but I wasn’t consciously observing my revulsion while it developed.

          So if a woman suddenly notices, after years of marriage, that she’s no longer attracted to her husband, she probably does what I did as a high school student … she looks for a rational explanation for her change in attitude. She looks at the available correlations, and tries to retroactively figure out what’s the cause.

          And it’s a normal, human reaction to think, “It’s not me. The problem is my husband.” (As you may have noticed, I believe the high school girl became repulsive because of the way she behaved.) So given the absence of any certain explanation, I can see how someone would latch onto an explanation that fully places the blame on their spouse.

          KK,

          I can’t say whether jeremy is correct, but his claim seems more plausible the longer I look at it.

        13. KK

          Jeremy (con’t)

          By the way, wives should make an effort too. I think problems arise when only one person makes an effort or worse, both give up.

        14. GoWiththeFlow

          Chance,

          Any person who is truly remorseless–i.e. they don’t qualify it based on their partner’s despicable behavior–that’s their default setting could be a narcissist, sociopath, or have borderline personality disorder. Because lack of empathy, sympathy, and viewing others as pawns to have their needs met makes it impossible for them to feel remorse.

    2. 16.2
      Karl R

      Jeremy said: (#16)

      “The fact that only one spouse cheated does not imply that the other spouse is free of fault”

      KK said: (#16.1)

      “Nor does it imply that the other spouse must have done something to deserve it.”

      I’ve looked into this previously. For simplicity, people can be broken down into three groups:

      1. There are some men and women who will cheat whenever they have the opportunity to do so without getting caught.

      2. There are some men and women who will cheat under certain circumstances … usually when the relationship is already in trouble.

      3. There are some men and women who won’t cheat, period.

      Most of the people who cheated on their spouses thought they were in the third category … until they were in the  circumstances which proved they were in the second.

       

      I would like to believe that I would never cheat … that if things got that bad, I would get a divorce before breaking that part of my personal code. But if I want to stack the deck in my favor, I have to consider the possibility that I might cheat under certain circumstances, and plan accordingly.

       

      KK asked:

      “If a woman is unhappy, she’s more likely to get help. If a man is unhappy, he’s less likely to get help. I don’t know what to attribute that to or what to do about it. Is it simply because we’re wired differently? Is it a pride thing? If so, is that pride deeply rooted or is it because society expects men to be strong and not complain or seek help?”

      We may be wired differently, but I think it’s more likely that we’re raised differently. If you’re told that expressing emotionally vulnerability is a sign of weakness, and if you’re attacked by peers (or reprimanded by adults) for doing so, you’ll probably develop a high degree of caution about opening up.

      From the time I was in 5th grade through 10th grade, I can’t think of a single person that I would have felt comfortable discussing emotional difficulties with. Not one. Any time I spoke to someone, I was either running the risk that they would use it against me later, or that they would betray the confidence (sometimes with good intentions) to someone else who would use it against me.

      By the time I reached an age where I saw this trait as more destructive than beneficial, it was an ingrained part of who I am.

       

      If other men’s experiences are in any way similar to mine, then they hit adulthood with a deeply ingrained habit of self-isolating emotionally. I agree that it’s a societal problem, but it seems like it lacks solutions.

      1. 16.2.1
        jeremy

        @Karl, there are 2 potential solutions I can see.  First, visible male role models must be seen to seek help.  Recently, when my sister was diagnosed with cancer and my family started to fall apart emotionally, I sought therapy with a CBT psychologist.  And I told EVERYONE in my family that I was doing it so that they would see that an adult male with his sh-t together can seek therapy without feeling emasculated, so they can too.

         

        Secondly, we can couple the difficult behavior (seeking therapy) with incentivized behavior.  For example, providing financial incentives for men to seek help when needed (tax breaks, alimony payment reductions, etc.).  These are not panaceas, but they are a beginning.

        1. KK

          Jeremy & Karl,

          Do you think it’s getting better (or worse) for younger boys in this generation? I ask because my son, who’s in high school, is an open book. If he has a bad day at school, he tells me all about it and we’ll discuss solutions. He’s never been shamed for getting upset, but he has been reprimanded for blowing up. One of my rules is no hitting or destroying anything, no matter how upset you are. Occasionally, he’ll get mad about something, usually an argument with his sister, and he will fly off the handle throwing things, punching walls, etc. and he’ll get grounded. Once he’s calmed down, I’ll talk to him and explain, once again, that he can’t act like that and offer alternatives like going outside to blow off steam when he gets that upset. I don’t know if this is a male thing that most boys do from time to time. I don’t know if he has anger issues, although I doubt it because it doesn’t happen often, or if it’s because he remembers how his dad would lash out when he was angry.

          The reason I’m asking is because I think the generational differences are pretty big. I was born in the 70’s and by the time I was a teen, I knew lots of kids that went to therapy. It wasn’t a big deal. My parent’s generation seemed to view it as weakness or that anyone that needs therapy is messed up, but I think their views changed as they aged and it became more common. Now, this generation, it’s commonplace. No one thinks twice about someone going for some type of therapy. (Well, I’m sure some people do, but it’s safe to assume ignorance).

        2. Karl R

          KK,

          I think the situation is improving … but it’s very, very slow.

          Attitudes towards mental health and therapy are changing, but far more women seek help than men. One thing that may help in the future … the number of male children receiving help for things like ADD and autism spectrum disorders. If they start as kids, they’re likely to continue as adults. That will at least increase the pervasiveness of men in therapy.

          There have been some advertising campaign to raise awareness of men’s mental health issues. I’m not sure how effective they have been, but it’s probably a step in the right direction.

      2. 16.2.2
        Emily, the original

        Karl R,

        I’ve looked into this previously. For simplicity, people can be broken down into three groups:

        1. There are some men and women who will cheat whenever they have the opportunity to do so without getting caught.

        2. There are some men and women who will cheat under certain circumstances … usually when the relationship is already in trouble.

        3. There are some men and women who won’t cheat, period.

        There’s a subset of circumstance number 2: The men and women who will cheat if the person propositioning them is appealing. I literally just had a conversation today about this with a married male co-worker. He said he’d had offers (and VERY blatant offers), but none of them tempted him. He said it would be difficult to say no, however, if he found the woman attractive.

        1. Karl R

          Emily,

          I’d call that a subset of number 1. He doesn’t seem to have a moral problem with it.

  17. 17
    Gabe Asher

    I want to get to the sex stage in a reasonable amount of time, say 3-4 dates.  I made the mistake recently of dating a girl I really liked for about three weeks (against my better judgement) before having sex.

    .

    The sex was HORRIBLE. Something I never encountered before. “Ouch” “Easy” “Let’s take a break”, “Not that way”, “it hurts” “wait” “I cant do that”…etc.  Had I waited another few months…….I would have been more dissappointed.

    .

    Also, frequency matters. I try to judge her appetite for sex. Since I date mostly teens and early twenties, I like to find one with a more relaxed drive. Most girls that age want to do it 2-3 times a day. Im more like a 5-6 times a week guy.

    1. 17.1
      R-Kel

      I don’t even know where to start with you, dude. Is this real? I don’t think this post is real.

      1. 17.1.1
        Kanga

        I know right?  He’s got a teenager saying “ouch”, “it hurts” etc and he thinks the sex is horrible!!  She isn’t having a good time at all, it sounds like he’s practically raping her because she’s asking him to STOP and take a BREAK(probably not old or forthright enough  to say “NO, fuck off”) and he is literally hurting her and he thinks it’s HER fault??  Can men like this exist in the world? yes, they do. Why do you think he spends most of his time in poor Asian countries screwing teens when he is in his 40s.  His parents did a very, very poor job with him and if he ever tried to come near my daughter I’d try to have him kicked out of my country.  YUCK.

    2. 17.2
      Buck25

      Here, boys and girls, we have a fine example of abstinence =based sex education in school, coupled with parents too ignorant, too inhibited, or too embarrassed to educate their kids about sex. Gabe here has just nicely illustrated the result. This,people, is why someone has to teach kids about sex, the right way, in detail, while we all tell the ignorant, the inhibited, the sexually confused and the sexually dysfunctional religious nuts who always have their collected knickers in a twist at the mere suggestion, to go jump off a cliff…or something. This is the damage that results from pandering to a dysfunctional (though loud) minority among us. As for the unfortunate byproduct of the current futility standing before us, would anybody think it terribly cruel of me to suggest putting Gabe in the hands of a very strong, very experienced, forty-something dominatrix for a while? There would be a certain poetic justice in that…he may not be totally responsible for his ignorance, but he most certainly is responsible for the selfish cruelty he inflicted on that inexperienced girl, after she she clearly indicated her discomfort. I have to agree with Kanga here; this is uncomfortably close to date rape.

    3. 17.3
      Buck25

      Gabe

      Never mind your”disappointment”. You have a much bigger problem. First of all, go down to the public library, look up sex education, and see if you can figure out what you did with that poor girl that hurt her.  And the next time something like that happens, and the girl starts saying “Ouch!’ “Easy”, “That hurts!”, “I can’t do that!” and”Not that way”, I strongly suggest you get off the bed, couch, floor, whatever, get dressed, and leave… because if you don’t, sooner or later one is going to flat say “NO!”, and if you care as much about her as you did the girl you told us about, you’re going to barge right ahead and do her anyway. If and when you do that, I hope you end up in jail awaiting trial on a charge of Criminal Sexual Assault (A/K/A rape), because that will be exactly what you have done. From a moral  (if not legal) standpoint, I’d say if rape doesn’t describe what you did this time, it was pretty damn close.

  18. 18
    KK

    Emily,

    “Hormones are certainly powerful, and the delirious effects of chemistry have been discussed often on this site. But not every woman is a slave to her hormones. Some, yes, as some men are. Those seeking novelty, of course”.

    Sorry, Emily. I’m confused. 😊 Did you think I was implying otherwise? I agree with your statement, by the way, but I don’t think I said anything contrary to it.

    1. 18.1
      KK

      Chance said, “.. there are more than a few men out there who know what women want more than women themselves”.

      “Here’s something everyone can laugh at:  I’ll freely admit that I firmly believe that I know what women want more than most women do”.

      Chance, you’re wrong, and believe it or not, I don’t say that to be mean. You don’t know much at all. You don’t even come across as someone who really likes women. Your views are incredibly sexist.
      I’ll share a story with you even though it probably won’t help any light bulbs go on. I went out with someone that I thought very highly of. He was hot. He was kind. He was successful. He had it together. He seemed just as taken with me. 10 chemistry easy. We had been seeing each other for a couple of months and one weekend he decided to bbq and have friends over. I was there helping him get everything ready. His brother stopped by and he sent him to the store for more beer. As I’m going in and out of the house, he takes a phone call and I overhear part of the conversation. He said, “Come on over. The beer and the bitches are on the way”. I was disgusted. Women know that some men talk this way, but we don’t want the man we’re with to talk this way.
      Before you say I overreacted, let’s look at an analogy since people get so weirded out about the way women / men react to things. Hypothetically, let’s say you’re a racist and you have a good friend that’s black. One day, he overhears you saying racist things. You respond by saying, “yeah, but I don’t think that about you”. How well do you think that’ll be received?
      Women do not like mysoginistic men. Some may put up with it. Some may even be so down on themselves that they believe some of the trash that’s spouted, but once again, a woman with high self esteem won’t tolerate it.

       

      1. 18.1.1
        Chance

        KK, I’m open to you telling me exactly how I am wrong.  However, unfortunately, you’ve chosen to do what you always do:  provide no valid counterpoints to support your argument, and instead resort to petty insults.

        1. KK

          Chance,

          “I’m open to you telling me exactly how I am wrong”.

          I did but I’ll try again. Men that understand women and are therefore good with women can easily differentiate between all the different types of women out there. Just like some men have negative or toxic qualities, some women do too. Those men, then focus on choosing to date / marry women who possess positive qualities. They actually care about the women they’re with and seek to understand them more.

          You, on the other hand, put all women in the same basket. You say it outright or sometimes jokingly, but the message you’ve deeply clung on to is that women are bad by nature. That alone, is reason enough for me or anyone else to say, “No, Chance, you don’t understand what women want better than they do themselves. You don’t understand or know what women want at all”.

          “However, unfortunately, you’ve chosen to do what you always do:  provide no valid counterpoints to support your argument, and instead resort to petty insults”.

          I don’t feel like I’ve done that. Your comments are extremely sexist in nature. I’m not a wordsmith, so I’m not sure how I can say that without just saying it.

           

        2. Shaukat

          Chance, I agree, I couldn’t really see the connection between your comment and kk’s anecdote. As far as I can tell, the insinuation seems to be that while you believe you know what women want you’re mistaken, because you’re a sexist, and women sincerely dislike sexists.

        3. KK

          Shaukat,

          Jeez, it’s not rocket science. How many times has Stacy2 made sweeping generalities about how terrible men are? Do you think she understands men or what they want more than they do? Do you honestly think she could tell you what you want with any accuracy?

          Exactly.

        4. Chance

          KK, if Stacy2 has spent a lot of time and energy figuring out what men want, then yes, she very well may know what men want more than many men do themselves.  Who knows whether or not she has figured out what works for her, and who am I to say she doesn’t know what men want when I don’t even know her?

           

          Exactly.

           

          It seems like you’re trying very hard to conflate two unrelated issues.

        5. KK

          Chance,

          Wanna know what women don’t want?

          Women don’t want their boyfriend of 5+ years to lock their used condoms in a safe.

        6. Chance

          @KK,

          Wanna know what women don’t want? Women don’t want their boyfriend of 5+ years to lock their used condoms in a safe.”

           

          You’re attacking the person again with this statement as opposed to actually debating the topic.

           

          Also, imagine a situation where a commentator, who is a known liberal, writes an article on a non-political topic that contains valid points.  However, many conservatives then dismiss the merits of the article simply because they don’t like the author’s overall views.  The preferred method of dismissal is to attempt to conflate the author’s overall views on unrelated topics with the article itself in order to make the wholesale dismissal appear to be legitimate.  This kind of thing happens all of the time on each side of the political spectrum.  What you’ve been doing here is essentially the same thing.

        7. KK

          Chance,

          I am not attacking you! I am repeating your own words to demonstrate that you don’t know what women want.

          If you make an assertion, at least back it up with examples to prove your assertion. You haven’t even provided one example showing how you know more about what women want than women do. Instead, you’re very offended by what I pointed out; if you have an extreme view of a group of people that isn’t unanimous, you have some blind spots. If you have some blind spots, it’s hard to imagine you could possibly know more about that group than what they know about themselves. But please, if you ignore everything else I’ve said, provide some examples of what you think you know…

      2. 18.1.2
        Buck25

        KK,

        I hate to break it to you, but sweetie, it’s not just “some”; a lot of men in your generation and below (even some you think would not) DO talk that way, especially when they think there are no women within earshot. Trust me; I’ve been around them and heard them. Exactly why so many of them offhandedly use that term for women (at least among themselves), I honestly don’t know. Maybe it reflects a general  coarsening of popular culture. Most of my generation doesn’t refer to women as “bitches”, (a few do) , mainly, I suspect, because we were taught that was just not proper usage, at least, not where I grew up

        1. Chance

          Buck25, I agree with you, but her anecdote  was irrelevant to my comment.  No one is calling anyone bitches, and no one is being sexist right now.  She didn’t actually break down why she thought my comment was inaccurate.  She chose to attack the person instead of attacking perceived flaws in an argument.  Her anecdote serves as nothing more than a distraction.

        2. KK

          Chance,

          My anecdote was relevant because your comments are sexist.

        3. Buck25

          Chance,

          I was addressing KK’s anecdote, primarily because I don’t think she realizes how many men do talk that way.  I don’t think that usage necessarily reflects misogyny, either, at least not in the hateful sense; it’s too casually tossed out for that, and hardly equivalent to the “N-word”. I think I first heard that being used as a widespread general reference to women in the early to mid-eighties. It was certainly a common ghetto culture reference long before that. Perhaps it made its way into popular (male, anyway) culture like some of the other coarser “street culture” references that middle class white kids adopted to sound cool. Apparently this one stuck.  I’m not a fan of  it, myself, but then I’m generally not a fan of degrading references to anyone, whether it’s about social class, ethnicity, sex, or pretty much anything else.

          Now as far as the original argument goes, I think there’s some validity to your earlier point, at least from a sexual attraction standpoint, where most of us have learned (often the hard way) that what women say they want and what they are actually sexually attracted to are usually very different things. See the last quote from Emily TO’s post 19.1 below, which illustrates that same disconnect perfectly, from a FEMALE point of view, yet! I’m not sure we can say that in areas beyond sexual attraction though, and there, I think KK has a point

        4. KK

          Buck25,

          I respectfully disagree. Casually referring to women as bitches is not only degrading and disrespectful, it’s also mysoginistic. If I feel this way, and I happen to be against all the political correctness and over sensitivity that’s so prevalent in our society right now, I can only imagine how extreme feminists view this sort of talk. Lol. Recently, my son and one of his friends told me that a group of boys they were standing with outside the school gym saw a group of girls approaching and said to them, “You stupid hos look lost”. My son and his friend both defended the girls by saying that was really uncool. It’s really sad. Boys that are raised right face ostracism by these little jerks with no manners and they fear being lumped in with them by the girls.

        5. Buck25

          KK,

          I get where you’re coming from on this. I don’t think the way “bitches” is used in common parlance (such as the example you overheard) is intended to be hateful, or misogynistic (though like “Ho”, the usage in its original environment most certainly was intended to be insulting and degrading) . Is an example like you cited insensitive? Yes, it is. Is it degrading? I think it is. Is it disrespectful? Yes, it is. Is it indicative of an underlying hatred or contempt for women? Probably not, honestly.  Most of the guys I’ve heard say something like that, said it when there were no women around to hear it anyway. Besides, where do you draw the line with when the word is acceptable, and when it isn’t? For instance, we’ve all seen the biker T-shirt that reads “If you can read this, the Bitch fell off!”, and the term “riding bitch” (i.e. behind the operator) is commonly used by males and females alike among the motorcycle set.. Are we going to get into the “WE can say it, but YOU better not!” concept again, like we did with another certain epithet? I hope not.

        6. KK

          Buck25,

          “Are we going to get into the “WE can say it, but YOU better not!” concept again, like we did with another certain epithet? I hope not”.

          Goodness no! I hope not either. I would be horrified if one of my girlfriends talked to me like that. Although, it’s common among a subset of the 20 something and under crowd.

      3. 18.1.3
        Chance

        KK:  First, I’m not offended by anything you say.  Exasperated maybe, but not offended.

         

        “I am repeating your own words to demonstrate that you don’t know what women want.”

         

        Yet, it doesn’t demonstrate anything.  Even if the story about the safe were true, the flaw in your logic is that you’re assuming I don’t know that women wouldn’t appreciate that kind of treatment.  My assertion is that I believe that I have a better idea of what women want than many women, not that I do everything that women want.

         

        “But please, if you ignore everything else I’ve said, provide some examples of what you think you know…”

         

        I’m so glad you finally asked, and now we can begin to move forward.  However, you need to first admit that you really have no way of knowing that I don’t have a better idea of what women want than many women, and that your logic was way off in your assertion.  Then, I will be happy to provide you with examples.

         

        1. KK

          Chance,

          Thanks for the giggle. Telling me I must do something…lol… Are you serious? Wow. Just…wow…

          Whether you choose to back up your assertion or not is up to you. If you can’t, you can’t…

    2. 18.2
      Emily, the original

      KK,

      I’m agreeing with you in negating Jeremy’s statement about the reasons for a woman’s lack of desire for her husband: “And this is ESPECIALLY true when the woman is in love with someone else – and whether that someone else is a lover or whether it is a new baby, if that new person elicits dopamine and noradrenaline in her brain she will be in love with that person and not with her husband.  She may feel “oxytocin” love for her husband (bonding, fondness), but is not “in love” with him”.

      I think that yes, there are some women (and men) who are constantly chasing dopamine and falling in and out of love frequently. But a woman looking to have a family and stay married is not going to prioritize these things or she’d be in and out of relationships every few years constantly looking for the next high.

      1. 18.2.1
        jeremy

        Emily, it isn’t about chasing dopamine.  The type of woman I described is not the one who flits from partner to partner chasing novelty.  It is the woman who devotes 100% to her kids, work, housework, gym, hobbies, family and friends and has nothing left for her husband.  It isn’t that there aren’t enough hours in the day, though that is the excuse she gives herself.  She has lots of time to talk on the phone with her friends, after all.  No, the problem is that she doesn’t WANT to give anything to her husband because deep down she feels that there isn’t anything in it for her.  Being with him doesn’t trigger her brain’s reward center.  That’s the lack of dopamine I meant.

         

        The women you describe in the article you cited are asking for a hit of dopamine.  Their husbands make them comfortable and these women like the comfort but feel that something is missing.  They are asking their husbands, “Can you please give me some dopamine?”  But what they aren’t realizing is that the men they married, the ones who give them a comfortable life, have been taught (by women) their whole life to be respectful, gentle, never forceful – that being otherwise is akin to rape.  And now, all of a sudden, these women want them to take charge, be aggressive, and just do it?  They are asking these men to negate a lifetime of social conditioning as if it was nothing – as if it was expected, as if these men should just know to do this.

         

        Is it any wonder the men are confused?

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          But what they aren’t realizing is that the men they married, the ones who give them a comfortable life, have been taught (by women) their whole life to be respectful, gentle, never forceful  … And now, all of a sudden, these women want them to take charge, be aggressive, and just do it?  They are asking these men to negate a lifetime of social conditioning as if it was nothing – as if it was expected, as if these men should just know to do this. Is it any wonder the men are confused?

          Yes, I could see why that would be confusing, but is it any different than a man wanting a “lady in the streets and a freak in the bedroom”? Isn’t there an inherent contradiction in that? Be the nice, respectable girl one minute and the kind of girl who would pick up a man at a bar and throw him up against the wall the next?

          Have you ever read “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene? It’s not a how-to physical manual but is largely a study in the psychological. He writes that a seduction (for lack of a better word) is a world you enter that is separate and distinct from the real world. In the real world, there is a democratizing, leveling impulse where people are supposed to act humble and be polite. But in a seduction (for lack of a better word) you can throw all that out. It’s a dance, and two people cannot lead. One takes over and sweeps the other along. A lot of women have the fantasy of being overwhelmed by someone, but, of course, the one who leads the dance doesn’t always have to be the man.

        2. S.

          To Jeremy 18.2.1:

          I do get how men are confused.  Sigh. I don’t know how to help them with that. I’m one of those women who don’t want an aggressive man or a passive man. I like someone in the middle.  According to Evan, “men don’t go both ways.” Pat Allen said the same thing.  I just want a man with a little edge. Just a little. It’s a nuance, I know. I don’t understand why it’s confusing but I guess it is.

          Not sure what to do. Do I tell a man (not talking about sex, btw) when I want an edge from him and when I don’t? Eh. It’s not that passive men turn me off. If a man is attractive to me physically he’ll turn me on, passive or not. Even if we have sex lots of times. He’s still hot to me.  But if I feel let down by him in other areas (this can happen with an “alpha” male too), that attraction will decrease. The physical  attraction will remain similar, but the emotional attraction will decrease. I’ll just eventually disconnect.

          Maybe I do have to tell men the varying instances I want something different from them.  I can’t speak for all women. But I am changing all the time. I’m not even talking about my monthly cycle. Just emotionally I’m growing and changing. I know this about myself quite well. I accept it.  It just requires checking in with me periodically to see where I am today.

          Sounds like I’m a basketcase! I’m not, lol.  Just I don’t want the same thing all the time.  Maybe other women are the same. How do men know? Ask!  Tell her she’s confusing.  Have a conversation. And if she opens up and talks to you, then listen.  One of my male friends told me that men like routine.  I don’t know if that’s true. But then a man who likes routine has to find a woman who likes routine too.  Otherwise she will get bored.

          It’s just about trying to find the right person.  And communication styles have to match.  I’m a very intuitive person. I can learn a lot about men just by observing and listening.  It doesn’t take me long. Most men I meet can not do that. That’s confusing to me, but I accept I have to tell them specific things about myself.

          I never felt turned off if a man made me feel very comfortable.  That has never happened to me.  But it depends on what one means by ‘comfortable’.  When a man really understands me and his actions show that, I’m even more turned on.  That feeling of being understood is my dopamine high.  That’s it and I’m good.   The thing is if I’m happy and the man isn’t, he has to tell me what he needs. I know it’s hard for men to do this. I know they aren’t socialized to. But how else will I know? Women get confused too.

          Either sex could get caught up in pleasing the other sexually. If only it were that simple.  But in another thread the men seemed to agree, as important as good sex is to them, it’s not a guarantee of anything.  There is no one thing. A couple just has to keep exploring together to see if they have what it takes to stay together.

          I believe with the right person it just flows. He just gets it.  I get him.  I don’t know if he has to work to get it or if our emotional chemistry is that he just does. I don’t have to explain as much.  Sometimes it takes some early conversations but after that he gets me.  It does take talking about this stuff from time to time even when things are going well.  I think we when both stop talking and really think we have the other all figured out and can coast without doing anything at all, that’s usually the beginning of when things will end.

  19. 19
    KK

    Jeremy,

    I understand and acknowledge that sometimes some people may not know themselves as well as they think they do.

    I also think that most women know what they want. The problem is that some women, for whatever reason, won’t tell their husbands what they want. Some women have secret desires and turn-ons that they keep to themselves or share with their girlfriends. Maybe they’re afraid of the reaction or the possibility of rejection. I don’t know. But if you can get her to open up to you, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    You mentioned actions that elicit comfort, but you glossed over the part I mentioned about desire. Women get turned on by turning men on. That doesn’t mean ignoring her all day and then 5 minutes after the kids go to bed, you (generic you) reach over and expect her to ride you like a nymph because she can see you’re hard. A better way would be to send her a few flirtatious texts from work. Give her a real kiss when you get home. Give her non sexual attention throughout the evening while the kids are beebopping around and see how she responds before you give her sexual attention. Can you read your wife? Do you know when she’s feeling sexy, playful, flirtatious? If not, can you elicit those emotions in her?

    You said women have on & off switches. I disagree. Men have on & off switches. Women have dials. Lots of them. Lol.

    A common complaint from married women isn’t that the sex is bad. It’s just vanilla. Maybe a better description would be predictable. “It’s okay but it’s just so boring. It’s like he has a routine. I know exactly what he’s going to do and the order he’s going to do it in”. Of course, the solution would be for her to say something to him in a way that doesn’t hurt his feelings or to just talk him through what it is she wants. Or even ask him what turns him on.

    I’m not blaming all men for relationship issues or sex problems. I think it takes two people who care enough to communicate effectively what they need from each other. I was just trying to give you the female perspective after YAG claimed that women are solely responsible for letting their sex lives fall apart. Sometimes it is one person or the other. Sometimes it’s both.

    1. 19.1
      Emily, the original

      KK,

      You said women have on & off switches. I disagree. Men have on & off switches. Women have dials. Lots of them. Lol.

      There was an interesting article in the NYT about egalitarian marriages that are not wholly sexually satisfying by Lori Gottlieb called “Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex” from Feb. 6 2014. It may explain a little bit of what Jeremy was writing about with ON and OFF switches.
      “No matter how much sink-scrubbing and grocery-shopping the husband does, no matter how well husband and wife communicate with each other, no matter how sensitive they are to each other’s emotions and work schedules, the wife does not find her husband more sexually exciting, even if she feels both closer to and happier with him.One woman in her late 30s, for instance, who has been in a peer marriage for 10 years, said during couples therapy that when she asked her husband to be more forceful, “rougher,” in bed, the result was comical.
      ‘He was trying to do what I wanted,’ she explained, ‘but he was so . . . careful. I don’t want him to ask, ‘Are you O.K.?’ I want him not to care if I’m O.K., to just, you know, not be the good husband and take charge.’ And yet, she said, his caring and his concern that she’s O.K. with what he’s doing are what she loves so much about him in every other area of their marriage, ranging from which brand of toilet paper to buy to what to feed their children to where their money is spent and which nights each of them can stay late at work. ‘I don’t want him to take charge like that with anything else!’ she said.”
      Or, as Esther Perel explained in the article: “Most of us get turned on at night by the very things that we’ll demonstrate against during the day.”
       

      1. 19.1.1
        KK

        Emily,

        Years ago a friend who hadn’t been married that long (probably less than 5 years) had gone to the movies and she was turned on by a particularly aggressive sex scene. She told me she went home and tried to emulate what she had seen with her husband. So she started talking dirty and was very aggressive with him and he looked at her and said, “What the hell is wrong with you”? LOL. She was shocked because she thought he’d like it but it really shut her down sexually and she said she’d never try anything like that again.

        1. Emily, the original

          KK

          Good story about your friend. I know exactly what the NYT article is talking about. I don’t want someone to hurt me, but … I don’t like a passive approach. Don’t ASK if you can do something. Just shut up and do it! Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.   🙂

        2. Buck25

          KK,

          All I can say to that, is it was extremely stupid, shortsighted, and ignorant on the husband’s part. How can an adult human being be that dumb? Some humans are born idiots…I’m not sure how the others get that way.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Buck25

          I would not call it shortsighted.  Modern women want beta males when it comes to domestic activities and alpha males when it comes to romance and sex.  They cannot have it both ways.   That is comparable to a man wanting a woman who can bring home the bacon and is a sexy vixen in the bedroom.  Sadly, most women my age lost the ability to pull off the sexy vixen thing years ago.

          I reclaimed my man card when I left my ex.  The discussions I have had on this blog have forced me to do a lot of soul searching.  I have reached the conclusion that I will never let another woman attempt to turn me into a beta male.  I am going to express my alphaness 24x7x365, and if a woman does not like it, she is free to walk.  That was the attitude I had before I married, and it served me well.  Attempting to turn myself into a pseudo-beta did not make things better.  It just made things worse, and it left me feeling emasculated.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          Yes it’s shortsighted.  That husband basically told his wife that he is not open to exploring all sides of her sexuality.  So when he wonders why his wife never initiates sex with him, he has only himself to blame:  The time she did he rejected her in a very judgmental way.

        5. Yet Another Man

          @GoWiththeFlow

          You are missing the point.  The wife wanted the husband to exhibit alpha male behavior.  Expecting a beta male to exhibit alpha male behavior is akin to asking a rooster lay an egg.  It just is not going to happen regardless of what she desires.  If a woman wants an alpha male in bed, she needs to marry an alpha male.  However, modern women despise alpha males in every area except for romance and the bedroom.  That is why we see fringe male groups such as Men Going Their Own Way forming.

          @Emily, the original

          lady in the streets and a freak in the bedroom

          The comparison is not remotely close.  Both of those female roles are feminine. A beta male is a feminized man (i.e., a man without a man card).  An alpha male is a man in his natural state.
          For the ladies who read this blog, here is a book about how even betas are starting to reject modern marriage:

          The Beta Male Revolution: Why Many Men Have Totally Lost Interest in Marriage in Today’s Society

          https://www.amazon.com/BETA-MALE-REVOLUTION-Interest-Marriage/dp/0985031476/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

          A quote from the’s book page on Amazon:

          The Beta Male Revolution is for men in the 21st Century what Feminism was for women in the 1960s and 1970s” says Author and Professional Dating Coach Alan Roger Currie in his latest book.

          Most men don’t want to remain ‘just friends’ with women.  Men want either sex only from women, or a combination of sexual companionship and non-sexual companionship.

          Unlike men, women have as many as FOUR types of men they want to spend time with:

          – Men who women only want to spend time with for sexual enjoyment and satisfaction:  These are ‘Total Alpha males’

          – Men who women only want to spend time with for a combination of sexual companionship and non-sexual companionship.  These are ‘Alpha males with a few Beta traits and tendencies’

          – Men who women want to spend time with primarily for the benefit of entertaining conversation, enjoyable social companionship, and financial assistance and support.  These are ‘Beta males with a few Alpha traits and tendencies’

          – Men who women only want to spend time with for strictly platonic friendship, flattery, and to have men provide them with an ’empathetic listening ear’ when they are feeling bored, frustrated, or depressed.  These are ‘Total Beta males’

          Many women socially interact exclusively with Alpha male types between the ages of 18 and 29, and then begin looking for a nice, sweet, polite, monogamy-oriented Beta male type for marriage once they reach the age of 30.

          Well, the Beta male types are tired of this routine, and they are now avoiding proposing to marriage to women who they perceive as “Alpha male leftovers.”

           

        6. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          You are on the wrong blog, dude. This is for people who are trying to understand the opposite sex and change some of their dating patterns that have been ineffective in the past.

        7. S.

          Interesting anecdote.  I don’t think she necessarily wanted him to be aggressive. She already was being aggressive and she just wanted him to play along.  She was turned on and trying something new.   But she never did again.

          I don’t think we need to read that much into it than that, goodness.  I think it was just supposed to be fun, kinky, doesn’t necessarily means she wanted an entire role reversal from her husband.

          After less than five years of marriage can’t she be different in bed for one day?  Doesn’t mean it’s what she “really wants” or demonstrates against.  She was just horny and turned on after a film.

          Sometimes I want Rocky Road and sometimes I want Cotton Candy. Next day Carmel Cone. Next orange sherbert.  Shoot.  None of it reveals something deep about my psyche.  Damn, I just want some ice cream.

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          YAM (YAG?),

          You said this. . .

          “The wife wanted the husband to exhibit alpha male behavior.”

          . . . about this behavior (as described by KK). . .

          “. . . she started talking dirty and was very aggressive with him and he looked at her and said, “What the hell is wrong with you”?”

          That’s a woman who is taking on a proactive, aggressive sexual role, a masculine role, in sex play.  That’s a beta guy’s dream come true.  All he has to do is lay back and let her have his way with him.  Also, people with strong beta traits tend not to say “What the hell is wrong with you!” to their partners.  That’s something a more alpha person says.  A plausible scenario with KK’s friend is that hubby is an alpha guy who is uncomfortable with his wife taking on an assertive dominant role when it comes to sex.  After all, being rigid is a feature of people with strong alpha traits.

          Emily mentioned that the old saying that men want a lady in the streets and a freak in the bedroom is the equivalent of saying women want a alpha man in the bedroom and a beta guy in all other areas of life.

          YAM (YAG) replied:  “The comparison is not remotely close.  Both of those female roles are feminine.”

          No they are not.  Just look at how women who are “freaks in the bedroom” are often labelled by men;  as whores, sluts, and gee, just where did she learn that from!  The “freak” is a bad girl who has be kept under wraps and disguised as a “lady” in public because her sexual behavior is deemed unacceptable.  It’s unacceptable because it doesn’t conform to approved feminine behavior.

          YAM (YAG?) said:  “For the ladies who read this blog, here is a book about how even betas are starting to reject modern marriage.”

          So I googled the author’s name and found his website, then clicked on his blog.  It took me all of 90 second to find this doozy in a “guest review” of the author’s podcast by a female blogger:

          “Alan told me privately that he once had a woman who was resisting his sexual advances to repeat the phrase, “Please Mr. Currie, please don’t make me swallow your cum if I agree to suck your cock. Please sir” as many as fifteen times at a party years ago. Of course, she ended up sucking him off. And of course, Alan seductively persuaded the poor girl to swallow his load.”

          So if guys are being advised to behave like that by the author/dating coach, they won’t have to worry about being in a “modern marriage” at all.  Because the huge majority of women will run away screaming the moment a guy tries to initiate a conversation about “swallowing his cum” at a party.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          You are on the wrong blog, dude. This is for people who are trying to understand the opposite sex and change some of their dating patterns that have been ineffective in the past.

          I came here with good intentions; however, the more I read this blog, the less I want to engage women.  I am beginning to question if life is too precious to waste it catering to the needs of a woman.

        10. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “I came here with good intentions; however, the more I read this blog, the less I want to engage women.  I am beginning to question if life is too precious to waste it catering to the needs of a woman.”

          In the comments here and on other recent posts you have stated things that you want that are not going to add up for most women.

          You want exclusivity so you can have sex without STD risk.  But you believe exclusivity can be had without a relationship. And up to very recently, you assumed that a woman won’t become emotionally attached to a man if she hasn’t had sex with him.

          You avoid relationships so you don’t have to bother with the “nonsense” of a woman needing to talk about her day and her feelings.  You want to find a woman who doesn’t expect an emotional commitment from you.

          So you want a sexually exclusive arrangement with a woman who won’t want an emotional commitment, while at the same time you believe a woman will become attached to you after sex.

          Do you see the contradictions here?

          And you’re searching for this all the while you believe that meeting a woman’s emotional needs is “a waste” of your “precious life.”

          I know several women in their 40s and 50s who want a relationship with a man (including sex) but do not necessarily want to get married or even live together.  However NONE of them want to be in an exclusive sexual arrangement with a man who has already determined that he will never love them and brushes off their emotional needs.

          For a relationship to be successful, both people need to have some basic needs met.  But what you are saying is that you’re not willing or able to do that for a woman, but you want your needs for STD free sex and companionship without emotional investment to be met by her.  For most women, there simply isn’t anything in it for them in this kind of scenario.  Relationships are a two way street but you seem to want to find a one way road.

          I’m really sorry that your past hurts and fears are sabotaging your chances of finding a relationship.  Maybe more time will help, IDK.  But until you are able to open up and be willing to meet a woman’s basic needs, you aren’t likely to find one who will meet yours.

      2. 19.1.2
        Buck25

        “Most of us get turned on at night be the very things we’ll demonstrate against during the day”

        Ya think? Really? What a revelation! Such a surprise to us guys who have known about that particular female disconnect for…..oh, I don’t know, maybe a few decades. Now answer me this, ladies; how do you expect men to “understand” women, when most of you don’t understand yourselves well enough to not need an article like this to explain it to you? 🙂 And this, from the highly educated professional women who make up the majority here?  *SMH*

        That last quote nails it perfectly!

        1. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          Now answer me this, ladies; how do you expect men to “understand” women, when most of you don’t understand yourselves well enough to not need an article like this to explain it to you?

          If you read the article, the women told the husbands what they wanted, but the husbands were not able to provide it. (This is true in the excerpt I provided and in the story KK relayed about her friend.)

        2. Buck25

          Emily,

          The women told their husbands what they wanted, and the husbands were not able to provide it

          Quite correct. Now go back and carefully read Jeremy’s post 18.2.1, and you’ll understand why that was so difficult for the husbands (both of whom by the way, appear to have been “properly socialized” guys with very pronounced beta tendencies to serve the daily wants of a woman without any regard for their own needs/wants/desires.) In effect, these men allowed their wives, albeit unwittingly (let’s hope) to basically emasculate them. The wives who did that (and presumably you, from your comment) then can’t understand while these same men couldn’t be dominant in bed?  Jeremy explicates this far better than I can in his post 21 below.

          From my own personal POV, this is why women date alphas, and marry betas,  then expect a thoroughly PW’d beta male to act like an alpha in the sack (as if he could; if he had a even an ounce of alpha in him, a woman treating him like a servile beta in every other part of life would suck the last speck of it out of him). You want to have it both ways; you want a man to be two contradictory men, and oh, by the way,  be each exactly when you want them to be, which they are “just supposed to know” ?You don’t think that is, just maybe, asking a little much? You don’t get the inherent contradiction in that? So my comment stands; most of you really don’t understand yourselves enough to know what the hell you want (and then blame us men for not being able to give it to you).

        3. Chance

          Buck25, just wanted to say that I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts.

           

          One thing that I believe women want that they often don’t realize (or, at least, are not often willing to admit) is a man who is willing to put them in their place when it’s appropriate.  I realize that this will probably cause an explosion, but my experience has caused me to arrive at this conclusion.  Women need to be told “no”….. in fact, they want to be told “no” by their boyfriends/husbands.  Women don’t want their man to acquiesce to all of their demands/expectations despite a society that constantly drills the contrary into men.  Women want a man who has a little bit of a selfish streak (i.e., masculine independence) and who often doesn’t do what they say they want him to do.

           

          I realize that a lot of women would probably strongly disagree, and that this comment could possibly trigger a lot of binary thinking (“So, you think women want a man who is a selfish and overbearing a**hole and who uses his woman like a rag doll??”).  However, the dots connect very predictably when you observe what behaviors prompt a response in women.

           

          KK, this was free of charge.

        4. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          One thing that I believe women want that they often don’t realize (or, at least, are not often willing to admit) is a man who is willing to put them in their place when it’s appropriate.  … Women need to be told “no”….. in fact, they want to be told “no” by their boyfriends/husbands.

          Completely agree. But I think that’s been said here by the female posters before. We want a man with some balls and a strong sense of self.

        5. KK

          h
          Chance said,

          “KK, this was free of charge”.

          Well, that’s certainly kind of you considering this is common knowledge. Lol.

          I actually mentioned this under YAG’s comment #16.1.2

           

        6. Chance

          Emily, I believe I have seen some female commenters note that as well here.  However, I don’t think a lot of women and men understand the extent of it.  Especially younger men and women.  While I expected KK to laugh it off by saying it was common knowledge, most women and men actually  strongly disagree with me on the subject IRL.

        7. Chance

          Also, Emily, I would go further than the quote you posted, and say that women are often turned on during the day by things they would demonstrate against during the day.  You’ve been doing the young fellas a big favour on here with your advice based on what I’ve been reading over the months, however.

           

          KK, that’s why I said “or, at least, not often willing to admit”.  If it was such common knowledge among men, then so many men wouldn’t be confused by the messages they receive relating to how they treat their partners.  In effect, these messages serve as a meta sh** test on a societal scale so as to ensure that only the most masculine of men get it.  In other words, women want men to be masculine without having to be told.  If he has to be told, then he isn’t the man for them.  These societal messages almost serve as some beta filtering mechanism, and the beta men are left wondering why their girlfriends or wives left them for a more alpha man.  It’s interesting how men and women become so indignant when their partner cheats on them, but most of the time, it’s their own fault at the end of the day.

        8. KK

          Hi Buck25,

          Although they serve a purpose, I dislike the terms alpha and beta. For one thing, it seems a lot of men think of themselves as alphas, whether they actually are or not. I think this desire to be seen as an alpha male has more to do with ego than reality.

          That being said, I’ll play along. I think what you’re describing has less to do with women knowing what they want and more to do with what women are actually able to find. By that, I mean, that there are plenty of women that are very clear on what they want. The problem is that alpha / beta exists on a spectrum and knowing exactly what you want isn’t nearly as difficult as finding exactly what you want. True alphas are intolerable in a relationship. True betas are as well but for the opposite reasons. Most women want someone somewhere along the middle. For instance, Emily might desire someone smack in the center whereas I might desire someone a tad more beta.

          Alphas in the extreme are a- holes. Betas can be a-holes too. What’s comical, to me anyway, is some of the biggest betas who are a- holes think of themselves as alphas just because of this. It’s almost as if they’re congratulating themselves for a negative trait, with the false assumption that women find this attractive.

        9. KK

          Chance said, “While I expected KK to laugh it off by saying it was common knowledge,..”

          Of course you would expect that given your psychic ability and also your ability to know more about women than they do themselves. Lol. I’m actually kidding with you. Lighten up. 😊

           

        10. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          You’ve been doing the young fellas a big favor on here with your advice based on what I’ve been reading over the months, however.

          Really? Well … ok. I do my best, and flattery will get you everywhere.  🙂

          In other words, women want men to be masculine without having to be told.  If he has to be told, then he isn’t the man for them.

          Yes, very true. It’s like having to tell a man who texts you 30 times a day after 1 date that he’s contacting you too much. By then, you’ve lost interest.

          Ok, here’s my question: We talked about what masculine behaviors turn women on. What feminine behaviors turn men on? (And I don’t mean how she looks or wears her hair or lingerie, etc.) What does she do to turn you on and what does she do to turn you off?

        11. Buck25

          KK, actually I agree with you on the alpha-beta thing; I’m using it as a shorthand for masculine vs. feminine energy in a man. In that sense you’re quite right,  no one is 100% one or the other; it’s a continuum with more feminine energy on one end (Beta), and more masculine energy on the other (Alpha). I almost hate to use the alpha terminology because it is so misused, here and elsewhere and the meaning is rather elastic. Most men are somewhere  toward the middle of the spectrum (Evan’s term “nice guy with balls” is what I would call the midway point). Beyond that I would hazard a guess that more men these days lean more toward the feminine end of the center, with a smaller number leaning more toward the masculine end. I say that because leaning more masculine requires a higher confidence level, generally, and we’d expect there to be somewhat fewer men at that point than at a lower confidence level. There are two ways a man can gain social confidence, (1) he rarely encounters failure (rejection), or (2)he fails repeatedly, but picks himself back up and learns, over and over, until he doesn’t worry about  failure (rejection), because he knows he can get back up, try again and win.  Only a few “social alphas” have the first option, and the majority of others are not willing to take the emotional risk (and do the work) to succeed with the second. Hence, I’d expect a higher percentage of low-confidence men occupying the more feminine part of the spectrum. On your other point about assholes (let’s just use the term “jerk” for this one) I think you’ll actually find more jerks on the beta end of the spectrum than on the alpha end. Some  pretty alpha-leaning types are not jerks at all (though they may have a lot of the other characteristics, including a rather inflexible personality, that are problematic in relationships). The far end of the continuum, truly extreme masculinity goes even further ( totally inflexible, unwilling to compromise, needs to lead all the time, etc.), and is the “true alpha” you mention, but he’s often not so much a jerk (in the mean sense), as he is rigid and hyper-dominant. Lower level Alphas, the ones you usually encounter (typically social alphas/bad boys) actually have less confidence, drive, leadership ability, intellect and real dominance; they act like jerks not from  hyper-masculine rigidity (“knowing” they are always right) but from simply being able to get away with the jerk behavior without much consequence. The more beta, feminine energy guy sees this, observes their success with women, and wrongly assumes it’s the “Jerk” behavior that’s the attractant. From there, it’s simply “monkey see, monkey do”. Of course when that doesn’t work for him either, he becomes more angry, frustrated, and from that, even more of a jerk.

        12. GoWiththeFlow

          WOW!  Interesting thread Ladies and Gents!

          Buck and KK:  I agree that the terms alpha a beta wind up being overused and abused in their oversimplified form.  It’s presented as being one or the other and it’s assumed that the person is that way all throughout their lives and in every situation (Buck has mentioned several times how men can grow in confidence/alpha-ness as they grow and learn).  The reality is your personality is more of a rubix cube than a straight line.

          Chance:  I think what you are describing is another way of saying that women respect men who have boundaries.  Not surprising since it works in the other direction too.  Men will dump a woman who always does what he wants and caters to his every whim–a door mat–because he doesn’t respect her.  If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will either.

          Emily, Buck, & KK:  As for the whole women want to be dominated in bed thing,  I think most women want this once in awhile to some of the time.  Other times women want it slow and sweet.  Sometimes they may want to be in charge.  I read a saying somewhere that men would be extremely happy to have sex the same way, but with a different partner every night.  Where woman want to do a variety of things with the same partner every night.  So I don’t know if the issue is so much a matter of alpha vs. beta men (which is falling into oversimplified binary thinking) as much as it is difficulty communicating sexual needs and being able to bring in elements of fantasy, role play, and being creative.  KK’s “What the hell is wrong with you!” anecdote is a prime example of failing to be open and accepting of their partner’s expressed needs and desires.

          As for Gottlieb’s article on egalitarian marriages killing sex, Susan Walsh at Hooking Up Smart has several posts on studies that show a correlation between an egalitarian marriage and higher levels of marital happiness.  It sounds like the couples in Gottlieb’s article may be having difficulty with expectations and learning how to embrace and work in to their relationship different aspects of their sexuality.

        13. Chance

          Emily:  “What feminine behaviors turn men on? (And I don’t mean how she looks or wears her hair or lingerie, etc.) What does she do to turn you on and what does she do to turn you off?”

           

          I’m afraid that I don’t really have an uplifting answer.  I don’t think there is much that a woman can do, as far as behaviors are concerned, to turn a man on (that is, to make a man who wasn’t previously sexually interested in a particular woman become sexually interested in her).  I just don’t know if there’s any escaping the fact that a woman’s looks is almost solely responsible for generating a baseline sexual attraction in men.  Now, if we are talking about behaviors that women can exhibit to make a man interested in her as a long-term partner, that is a different story.

           

          GWTF:  “I think what you are describing is another way of saying that women respect men who have boundaries.  Not surprising since it works in the other direction too.  Men will dump a woman who always does what he wants and caters to his every whim–a door mat–because he doesn’t respect her.”

           

          I’m going to have to disagree a little bit here.  True, no one wants a doormat.  However, I don’t think a woman who freely stands up for herself actually inspires additional attraction in men.  In contrast, I do think that when men exhibit these behavioral traits, it can actually inspire additional attraction in women.  If anything, I think it’s more likely for a man to complain that a woman has too many boundaries, rules, or what have you.

        14. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          As for Gottlieb’s article on egalitarian marriages killing sex, Susan Walsh at Hooking Up Smart has several posts on studies that show a correlation between an egalitarian marriage and higher levels of marital happiness.  It sounds like the couples in Gottlieb’s article may be having difficulty with expectations and learning how to embrace and work in to their relationship different aspects of their sexuality.

          I read Susan Walsh’s blog, too, and, yes, couples in egalitarian marriages are reportedly happy. I think the couples in the NYT article were also happy, but the women wanted to take the sex from pretty good/good to great. Make it a little spicier/hotter.

        15. Emily, the original

          Hi Chance,

             I don’t think there is much that a woman can do, as far as behaviors are concerned, to turn a man on (that is, to make a man who wasn’t previously sexually interested in a particular woman become sexually interested in her). 

          Sorry. I should have been clearer. I meant what behaviors can she do if the man is already interested in her. For example, the women in the NYT article wanted their husbands to be a bit more aggressive and take charge. What feminine behaviors ratchet up the attraction/sex for men?

           

           

  20. 20
    KK

    Karl,

    I think when a man says something about knowing what a woman wants more than she does, there’s some misinterpretation going on.

    Let’s say that the woman makes all the decisions in the relationship. She’s only doing so because he allows it. If asked, she might even ensenuate or come right out and say something about liking to be in charge or in control. If she’s self aware, she knows this isn’t 100% true and would like him to take the lead without having to tell him to. At some point, he’s going to resent feeling like her lap dog and it’s probably not going to be voiced until he gets triggered. So, maybe they’re getting ready to go out and she says, “Bring me a drink while I’m finishing my hair. Go grab my heels. While you’re in the closet, see if my black purse is in there”. Lol. He’s had enough of her bossiness and blows up. She’s shocked. He expects a huge backlash and is surprised when she apologizes.

    His conclusion is she doesn’t know what she wants because she responded positively after making it clear she wants to be the boss. He misinterprets her reaction and thinks he should be like that all the time. Bad idea. No one wants to live with someone who blows up all the time. Likewise, no one wants to be bossed around all the time. If she’s self aware enough, she’ll realize why she finally has respect for him and encourage him to take the lead a little. If he’s self aware, he’ll listen to her, believe her, and take the lead sometimes and not allow her to boss him around anymore without a yelling match.

    Other times, a man might touch on a sore spot without knowing it. So let’s say a couple gets into a rut. They’re not having sex. She doesn’t feel loved because he ignores her until he wants sex. He doesn’t feel loved because she’s refusing him sex. So he gets angry after he tries and gets turned down. Says he’s had enough and leaves. He drives around for an hour and comes back home. He expects her to be angry. He’s shocked because she tells him how much she loves him and how she doesn’t want to lose him and they make love.

    He misinterprets this as her not knowing what she wants. Let’s say she’s self aware enough to reflect on it later and realizes that when he left, she feared that he wasn’t coming back and it reminded her of being abandoned by her father. So her response is to please him even though her needs aren’t being met. So she needs to talk to him about why she responded the way she did and talk together about how they can both make each other happy. If things are left unsaid, he’ll think all he has to do is threaten to leave to get his way. Does anyone really want that? Of course not. Not to mention it isn’t healthy.

    1. 20.1
      Karl R

      KK,

      I can’t tell if your examples are remotely realistic, because I don’t hang out with any men who are complete and total idiots. If that’s your opinion of men….

      You and Chance seem to be suffering from the same problem. Both of you assume that the opposite sex is largely comprised of stupid, ill-intentioned individuals.

      If you look at jeremy’s posts, on the other hand, he has demonstrated an established track record of not only possessing a great deal of self-awareness, but also a deep understanding of the complexities (and broad variations of behaviors) of others. So when he says there are women who don’t particularly understand the motives for their own actions, I’m going to give a bit of consideration to his words.

       

      It also rings true to me for another reason. People have repeatedly praised certain contributors to this blog (Evan, Nathan, A-L, Selena, BeenThruTheWars, me) for being self-aware. If everybody was self-aware, nobody would remark about our self-awareness. To some degree or another, everyone struggles to understand themselves. (The self-aware are more attuned to their own particular struggle. The oblivious are more inclined to assume they know themselves, even when they don’t.)

      Part of the reason I’m self-aware, is that I don’t assume that I know myself perfectly. And if there’s a lot at stake, I’ll find someone who is superb at understanding others, someone who knows me well enough to have genuine insight into what makes me tick, someone who will give me their unvarnished opinion, and I ask them what they think.

      Have you ever been willing to question your own beliefs about yourself?

       

      KK said:

      “I think when a man says something about knowing what a woman wants more than she does, there’s some misinterpretation going on.”

      There are clearly lots of people (men and women) who really don’t understand themselves. And there are a certainly a few people who are really good at understanding others. But you’re going to make a blanket statement that men are always the ones making the misinterpretations.

      That’s not an open-minded way of observing or learning about men and women.

      1. 20.1.1
        KK

        Whoa there, Karl,

        “I can’t tell if your examples are remotely realistic, because I don’t hang out with any men who are complete and total idiots. If that’s your opinion of men….”

        That’s not my opinion of men. I don’t think anyone is an idiot (male or female) just because they misunderstand or misinterpret someone. If your referring to the convo between Emily and I, yeah the husband I mentioned is clearly an idiot. I never said I thought all men are idiots nor do I believe that.

        “You and Chance seem to be suffering from the same problem. Both of you assume that the opposite sex is largely comprised of stupid, ill-intentioned individuals”.

        That is not my assumption. Please provide a direct quote from me making such an assumption.

        As to what you said about Jeremy, I completely respect his opinions. Does that mean no one can question them? Does it mean if I or anyone else questions him, we’re attempting to discredit him? Umm, no. I thought we were having a respectful dialogue. You can disagree with someone or ask someone to elaborate can’t you? I’m not sure why you object to that.

        “Have you ever been willing to question your own beliefs about yourself”?

        Of course. Why do you ask?

        “There are clearly lots of people (men and women) who really don’t understand themselves. And there are a certainly a few people who are really good at understanding others. But you’re going to make a blanket statement that men are always the ones making the misinterpretations”.

        If you take a look at my last response to Jeremy, the very first sentence says that I acknowledge and understand that some people don’t always understand themselves. I never made any blanket statements that men are always making the misinterpretations. Once again, my belief is that anyone is capable of misinterpretations. I simply offered examples of how men can misinterpret women and draw the wrong conclusions because of what was being discussed. I am not going to start prefacing every single statement I make with: “Either gender……..” when we’re discussing a topic and the comments are already centered around when a guy does this or a girl does that… It’s already implied because I don’t make negative generalizations. Jeez, Karl! What’s the deal?

         

        1. Karl R

          KK,

          Fine. I’ll give you a mulligan on your response (#20). Why don’t you come up with a couple different examples of how these misinterpretations can happen….

          … and perhaps you can come up with a couple that don’t suggest that these misunderstandings happen solely because the husband is a complete moron.

        2. KK

          Karl,

          I don’t need a mulligan. It is much MORE likely that there is some misinterpretation going on vs someone being able to accurately know what someone wants MORE than the individual themselves.

          Think about it for a second… Why does it bother you that I said that there’s some misinterpretation going on?

          Would you just blindly accept someone saying to you, “Karl, I know you said you wanted to lounge in the hammock this afternoon, but I think you’d be happier if you joined me on a 5 mile jog”. So you say, “No. I’ve got my book. I’ve got my iced tea. There’s a nice breeze and I’ve been looking forward to this all week”. She insists and tells you she knows what you want MORE than you do. If you give in and do what she wants and actually enjoy your jog, does that make her right?

          Granted, that’s a silly example lacking the complexity of relationships issues, etc. but I think we should be really careful when making statements like that and I’m not sure why it bothers you that I would question such a statement.

           

           

        3. Karl R

          KK asked,

          “Think about it for a second… Why does it bother you that I said that there’s some misinterpretation going on?”

          That doesn’t bother me. You insulting the intelligence of every man on the planet … that bothers me.

          Everyone sees themselves as the hero or victim in their own story. When one woman (during late 2006) suggested that I had misread her signals, I went back and reread her emails from the beginning. There was a very distinct change in tone. As soon as I realized that I hadn’t been imagining things, I shrugged it off. She had already admitted to feeling guilty about me getting hurt. So instead of just admitting that she had simply changed her mind, she changed the story, so in her mind, I was the source of my pain.

          Can you think of one time when you sat down with your girlfriends, told them a story about something that happened in your relationship, and admitted that you were the bad guy in the story?

          People spin their stories so they’re the hero or victim. Over time, they even see it that way in their own mind. Not just in relationships, but in the rest of life too.

          I don’t expect you to admit to doing that. I don’t even expect you to recognize that you’ve done that.

          But I am serious, give us two more examples of misinterpretation that don’t require men to be complete idiots. If this is something that happens often (and presumably your friends date men who are above average intelligence), this shouldn’t be all that hard.

        4. KK

          Karl said, “When one woman (during late 2006) suggested that I had misread her signals, I went back and reread her emails from the beginning…..”

          Thank you for explaining why it bothered you.

        5. Callie

          Karl – do you not see the context though? KK was responding to a man who said that women don’t know themselves. That women lie to themselves. Look how you felt when KK implied that all men were unintelligent, surely you can empathise then with how she responded when someone likewise drew a blanket statement and responded with a similar degree of frustration?

          Also she has CLEARLY stated: That’s not my opinion of men. I don’t think anyone is an idiot (male or female) just because they misunderstand or misinterpret someone. If your referring to the convo between Emily and I, yeah the husband I mentioned is clearly an idiot. I never said I thought all men are idiots nor do I believe that.

          I have to second her “Jeez Karl! What’s the deal?” You are usually so chill and reasoned. But you really seem to think KK is on the attack and yet have no issue with some of the men here attacking all women.

           

        6. KK

          Karl,

          Let me add this, although I shouldn’t have to since I’ve already said it. My comment was in no way meant to insult anyone. Ironic, kinda, since the comment was about misinterpretation. You misinterpreted me. If I didn’t word a specific sentence the way you think I should have or preempt a statement by going over every possibility of what I DIDN’T mean to convey, and that somehow offended you, I apologize because that was not my intention.

          The statement that I originally questioned was about men knowing what women want more than they do themselves. I do not buy this for a second because it isn’t true. Do you not see how this is another way of saying that women are idiots and men know best? When someone says that there’s misinterpretation going on somewhere. Miscommunication, deception, something. I’m not going to now (and I didn’t then) get on some soap box about it. The fact that you’re offended by a reasonable response to an offensive statement is what baffles me. Now, Jeremy, completely and thoroughly explained himself. I had no reason to believe he meant to be offensive. No need to reiterate here. But those kinds of statements are usually made (and not in a kind way) by the whole red pill crowd. And wouldn’t you know it….Who pops up and makes the same claim? One of our little red pill boys.

          Whether I’ve been a hero or victim or whatever else you want to come up with is irrelevant. Respectfully, Karl, after reading your comment, you haven’t told me anything I don’t already know. I’m well aware of human nature. I don’t need you to tell me some fact about how we’re all flawed and how you don’t expect me to admit to that. I find it insulting that you would put yourself in a position to judge me when you have no idea what I have or haven’t reflected on in my life, just because I object to being told as an individual or as a woman that men know me better than I know myself. Good grief!!! If I say something you think is stupid, feel free to point it out. I’ve already explained myself more than once.

        7. KK

          Thanks Callie 😊

        8. Karl R

          Callie asked:

          “Karl – do you not see the context though? KK was responding to a man who said that women don’t know themselves.”

          “Look how you felt when KK implied that all men were unintelligent, surely you can empathise then with how she responded when someone likewise drew a blanket statement and responded with a similar degree of frustration?”

          Really? Let’s look back at what KK said.

           

          KK said: (#20)

          “Karl,

          I think when a man says something about knowing what a woman wants more than she does, there’s some misinterpretation going on.”

          Where did I make a blanket statement about women? jeremy made a statement (#16.1.2.7) which was pretty clearly about his ex-wife. I gave a personal example (#16.1.2.12) discussing how I had changed my own attitude towards one woman and then (after the fact) reasoned out (perhaps incorrectly) why that change had occurred.

          Then KK responded to my example with a post that did not at all address the main points that I had made. (We often figure out our own change in motives after the fact. We ascribe meanings to them that may be incorrect.) Instead, she suggested that men misinterpret women’s actions (as demonstrated by two idiotic examples,not real life examples, like jeremy and I used).

           

          Callie,

          Are you suggesting that KK got upset when I suggested that women could have the same difficulties figuring out their own motives that I did? That this is a very human trait?

          Was jeremy’s example from his own life insulting? It took one Google search for me to confirm that his story isn’t uncommon.

        9. KK

          Karl,

          After reading your response to Callie, specifically this:  “Then KK responded to my example with a post that did not at all address the main points that I had made”.

          I think you became frustrated that I didn’t validate you by agreeing with what you said. In the #16 thread, you addressed me by saying, KK said, ““So your position is that you know more about what a woman wants than she does??” You then gave an example of a girl you found repulsive that your friend found attractive and it caused you to question yourself as to WHY you found her repulsive. Okay. Understood. It seems that what you were trying to convey is that we don’t always understand ourselves. Okay. I get that as well. But what exactly does that have to do with the original question? You only addressed part of it. Yes, there are times we may not always understand ourselves. However, that doesn’t automatically imply that anyone else understands us better.

          I don’t get the impression that you found this humorous but I do and I’ll tell you why. You were so intent on making your own point and I mine that we were talking AT each other instead of really listening. Didn’t cost either of us anything, but how many times do you think this happens in our relationships where it can and sometimes does cost us? Part of what I was trying to get across is that misinterpretations (typically because of poor communication) are extremely common. Also, when there are relationship issues that is a common culprit. But we all think we’re great communicators, right?

          As to my examples being idiotic, I’ve known some highly intelligent people that have come to some pretty idiotic assumptions when it comes to their relationships.

  21. 21
    Jeremy

    @KK, I agree with many of the posts that you wrote since my last one.  Wben I wrote about women not always understanding their own motivations, I did not mean that they never understand their motivations, or even that they don’t usually.  As I wrote before, a man who loves his wife will always try to really listen to her and give her what she says she needs (as long as she makes some effort to reciprocate once in a while).  To be clear, I am NOT suggesting that men should, de-facto, over-ride the stated wishes of women, claiming they know better.  What I am claiming is that if a man sees that fulfilling the stated wishes of his wife is not making his relationship with her better, his efforts may be misguided.

     

    At the risk of TMI, I first learned this in my own relationship when my children were small.  I was working all day, up with the kids all night, trying my best to fulfill all the stated and unstated wishes of my wife, and in spite of all of that, my own needs/desires were being completely ignored – even after I attempted to communicate with my wife about the issues.  And everywhere I turned for advice, the advice was much the same as you offered – listen to her, prioritize her, make her feel cherished, etc.  So I did that.  And the more I did, the more comfortable she felt and the better she described her marriage when she talked to her friends.  But none of that made MY marriage any better from my own perspective.

     

    Slowly, painfully, after much reading and thought, I came to realize that the problem wasn’t that she wasn’t feeling comfortable.  It was that she was TOO comfortable!  Too much comfort kills desire.  Esther Perel does a great job discussing that.  But how many women admit (to themselves or others) that they’ve lost desire because they have everything they’ve ever wanted?  THeir sexual meta-goal was to obtain a relationship, and now they have one and it is secure, and they are 100% sure it isn’t going anywhere…..so why continue to have sex?  What’s in it for them?  Again, Esther Perel describes some of her female patients who forget that sex feels good to them when they aren’t having it – feeling good is not their end-goal.

     

    THe solution, sometimes, is to reduce comfort and increase arousal.  Whether you want to think about it as a switch or a dial, makes no difference.  A little less comfort and the meta-goal of maintaining a relationship re-asserts itself.  ANd when it does, desire returns – and BOTH partners are happier.

     

    THis isn’t prescriptive and won’t necessarily work for everyone.  Step one is listening to what a woman wants and giving it to her.  Step 2 is evaluating whether that worked.  Step 3 is finding what will actually work if step 1 does not.

  22. 22
    KK

    Hi Jeremy,

    Could you elaborate more on this:

    “THe solution, sometimes, is to reduce comfort and increase arousal.  Whether you want to think about it as a switch or a dial, makes no difference.  A little less comfort and the meta-goal of maintaining a relationship re-asserts itself.  ANd when it does, desire returns – and BOTH partners are happier”.

     

  23. 23
    Emily, the original

    Hi KK,

    I copied the passage below from Esther Perel’s website. I don’t mean to answer for Jeremy, but I think this is in the ballpark of what he is driving at:

    Love and desire relate and conflict.

    Love is: When you care, worry, feel responsible for someone. You want to minimize threats, reduce the distance, and nurture them.
    Desire is: an expression of freedom and autonomy. Many can feel freer with people they are less emotionally involved in. Why do women like the bad boys? You don’t have to worry about him – don’t’ feel safe with him, but it’s freeing in terms of desire.

    Sometimes the very care, worry, feeling of responsibility we feel for our beloved is what stifles the unselfconsciousness and freedom necessary for desire. What nurtures love is not necessarily what fuels desire and what turns us on sexually isn’t always what is emotionally safe.

    But most long term relationships involve responsibility by design… indeed women find it much harder to give themselves the permission for pleasure, sometimes any pleasure such as sitting down when drinking their coffee. When they are organized around attending to the needs of others they can easily forego their own. The first need to go for some of these woman is their erotic needs.

    For women, they loose themselves because they can’t sustain desire when the nurturing starts. We choose love over desire because that’s what we feel we should do. Men and women trade off the adventure for the predictability. They trade their erotic needs for security needs.

    1. 23.1
      Jeremy

      Emily and KK, I liked Esther Perel’s ‘Mating in Captivity” but my thinking isn’t as binary as hers.  I don’t think that it is necessary to “trade erotic needs for security needs” as a zero-sum game.

       

      KK, I’ll give you an example of what I meant (since you asked).  I would often hear things like “It’s not that I’m not attracted to you, it’s just that I’m all touched out by the end of the day.” “Maybe if I wasn’t so busy dealing with the kids and housework I’d be more interested.”  “Maybe if we spent more non-sexual time together I’d be more interested.”  So I took those messages to heart.  I hired a full-time nanny to do most of the housework and help with childcare.  I took care of the night-duties myself – every night.  I made sure we had date nights and time together, non-sexually.  I made sure to sit down and really talk with her every day.  I gave massages every evening, making sure that not a night went by that she did not fall asleep with a smile on her face, asking nothing in return, in the hopes that doing so would free her from all the “OFF” switches she claimed to have.  As I wrote earlier, it resulted in her being much happier, much less exhausted……and many more new excuses as to why desire and reciprocation remained elusive.

       

      So I tried new tactics based on ON switches rather than OFF switches.  Rather than watching her and taking intuitive and verbal cues, I ignored the cues I’d perceived from her and led with my own desires instead.  Rather than coming home, looking at her and wondering if she’d be receptive to a kiss, I just went up to her, grabbed her, told her she was beautiful and kissed her soundly.  Rather than worrying about whether she’d be receptive to my touch, I just touched her if I wanted (of course, if she protested I’d stop).  Instead of texting her throughout the day asking how I could help her, I sent her sexy or flirtatious texts.  I bought a new wardrobe and started working out more.  I started making my wishes known rather than acquiescing to her every desire.  So far, these are elements to improve arousal – but more was necessary.  I needed to also reduce comfort.

       

      So I would tell her when a woman at work flirted with me.  I did not go so far as to say that I flirted back (I don’t do that), but I mentioned that it was silly, as if it was nothing.  As if beautiful women flirt with me all the time.  Just a touch of jealousy.  Just a touch of competition anxiety.  Just enough to let her know that her safe, cozy relationship was NOT 100% secure, and to activate her desire to maintain it once again.  The Manosphere calls this “Dread game.”  But unlike their description of how to do this in a draconian way, I did it as gently and lovingly as I could, keeping in mind that my goal was not to give her a complex, but just to stir the pot slightly.  There were other things I did too – different tactics with the same thing in mind.

       

      Yeah, it worked.  These days I’m still a fairly Beta guy.  I like treating my lady well, and I spoil her terribly in all kinds of ways that make her feel super comfortable, safe, heard and cherished.  But I also take care to once in a while display high value and prevent things from looking 100% safe, because doing so leads to stagnation.  YMMV.

      1. 23.1.1
        Callie

        Jeremy – do you feel if you did those things absent a nanny and contributing to the household you would have had the same response? You said she was happier and less exhausted (is that not reason enough to do what you did?), so now it seems to me that she was able to, when you started grooming yourself better, and presenting yourself as a more sexual object, to be attracted to her.

        Is it possible that if you had done the latter without the former you would have still had the positive end result?

        I guess my point is: you seemed earlier to be arguing against helping out around the house because that doesn’t touch on the woman’s ON switch just the OFF. But aren’t you really saying one needs to address ALL the issues in the relationship, not just one, to get the best results?

        1. Jeremy

          Hi Callie.  I wrote above that I think the first step is to listen to what one’s spouse is saying and to try to address the issues they bring up.  My wife was telling me that she was exhausted, I love my wife, so I did everything I could to help her.  Now, the fact that my doing so did not result in her feeling desire is a separate but equally important issue.

           

          I think that if I had only increased arousal/decreased comfort without also helping alleviate her exhaustion, the results would have been unpredictable.  It is possible that she may have responded to me regardless…..but what kind of asshole would I be if that was all I cared about?

      2. 23.1.2
        KK

        Thanks for elaborating, Jeremy. I think the other ladies would agree with me that you have an astute sense of insight and awareness. I hope I don’t get attacked for saying this, but I think you’re rare. I think men want to be happy in their marriages but often lack the skills necessary to improve their marriages if / when things start to go downhill.

        1. Jeremy

          Thanks for the compliments, KK and Emily 🙂  I agree that many (most?) men lack the skills necessary to improve their marriage when things go downhill.  But do you begin to see that part of the reason for this is that when men ask their wives what’s wrong, the answers they are given aren’t always true?  If I had only listened to what my wife told me  and not done the reading to understand the psychology of desire, I might be either divorced or miserable right now?

           

          It’s funny – I mentioned above that what I did in my own situation is not prescriptive because different women respond differently, depending on whether the problem is with their ON or OFF switch (or both).  The kicker is that the person in question often DOES NOT KNOW.  The beginning of the path to wisdom for men is in understanding this.  It isn’t that she is malicious, or a liar, or hypergamous.  She just doesn’t necessarily know what’s wrong, even if she thinks she does.  So listen to her, give her what she says she wants….and read about the psychology of desire to have a back-up plan if doing so doesn’t bring back desire.

      3. 23.1.3
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        Rather than coming home, looking at her and wondering if she’d be receptive to a kiss, I just went up to her, grabbed her, told her she was beautiful and kissed her soundly.  Rather than worrying about whether she’d be receptive to my touch, I just touched her if I wanted (of course, if she protested I’d stop).  Instead of texting her throughout the day asking how I could help her, I sent her sexy or flirtatious texts.  I bought a new wardrobe and started working out more.  I started making my wishes known rather than acquiescing to her every desire.  So far, these are elements to improve arousal – but more was necessary.  I needed to also reduce comfort.

        Excellent!

         So I would tell her when a woman at work flirted with me. …  But unlike their description of how to do this in a draconian way, I did it as gently and lovingly as I could, keeping in mind that my goal was not to give her a complex, but just to stir the pot slightly. 

        Another smart move. Just giving her a nudge to say other women find you appealing.

         

         

         

      4. 23.1.4
        GoWiththeFlow

        Jeremy,

        Thank you for the detailed explanation.  It really illustrated your point about a woman maybe “not knowing” what she wants and needs.

        My overall impression is that what you did was to better meet her emotional needs.  Yes, women need what you call “comfort” care.  Knowing that her hubby cares about her physical well being and puts effort into maintaining an emotional connection.

        Then you went the extra step of demonstrating to her that she is desirable.  Women want to be desired.  It stokes their desire.  Where you described how you told her she was beautiful and then “soundly” kissed her was an assertive move on your part, but it also was a nurturing move in that you gave her a shot of self-esteem and let her feel herself as an attractive woman.

        Change the language to something less affirming, and it can become an aggressive move.  Saying “Who’s my slut?” instead of “You’re beautiful” would change the whole tone of the interaction and the likely effectiveness of it as well.  I think that where the manosphere advice goes off the rails is that it promotes aggressive action instead of assertive action (the dread games).  The first is ego threatening the second is ego affirming for the woman.  I also think that it’s why the blanket “just be more masculine/alpha” advice misses the mark sometimes.  There’s no appreciation or explanation about nuances.

        As for the 100% safe theory of killing attraction, my parents went to a party one evening and a man flirted with or hit on my mom.  Apparently my dad was flummoxed by this.  While he may have temporarily lost sight that my mom was attractive to other men, I’m sure he felt confident that my mom would never cheat.  Maybe it’s not so much that the other person feels unsafe in the relationship, but that they now see their partner from a fresh perspective, and that makes things interesting again.

        1. Jeremy

          @GWTF, regarding the question of whether 100% safety kills attraction…

           

          I think it depends on the person – and particularly, what the person’s sexual meta-goal is (I brought up “meta-goals” in another thread, but basically they are what the individual subconsciously hopes to “get” by having sex).  People whose sexual meta-goal is psychological validation (like me 🙂 ) love 100% safety.  We love knowing that the person we love desires us, and only us, and isn’t going anywhere.  Competition anxiety is a sexual turn-off for us – after all, if our partner might prefer someone else, that isn’t very validating.

           

          But other people have the sexual meta-goal of obtaining a relationship – and here’s the thing about that:  once that person has the relationship he/she wants and is 100% confident that it isn’t going anywhere, there is no longer any point in having sex.  Sure, it might feel good, but feeling good is not the subconscious goal.  For such individuals, 100% safety leads to lack of libido – even if that safety is what the individual says he/she wants.  That’s when a strategic bit of instability comes in handy.  But you gotta know who you’re dealing with before you decide to do it, because if you try it with a validational person it will backfire completely.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          That makes sense.  I also wonder how attachment styles and risk tolerance plays into this.

          When I first read about some of the dread game stuff, all I could think was that I’d leave somebody who was constantly trying to make me feel jealous and insecure.  It sounds like hell.

        3. Jeremy

          @GWTF, as an amusing aside:

          I once had a girlfriend (years ago) tell me that a handsome man flirted with her in the lab she worked in, then look at me expectantly for a response.  When I displayed absolutely no jealousy she got upset – “why won’t you fight for me,” she asked, “why aren’t you upset?”  “Because,” I replied, “I assume you weren’t interested in him if you’re my girlfriend, so I need not be jealous.  And if you ARE interested in him, you are not a quality girlfriend to me, so again I have no reason to be jealous.”

           

          Needless to say that relationship went nowhere.  I HATE dread game, and have no desire to play those games unless I have no choice.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “When I displayed absolutely no jealousy she got upset – “why won’t you fight for me,” she asked, “why aren’t you upset?””

          Palm hitting forehead now 😉

          That reminds me of a friend of mine back when we were both in our late 20s.  About four of us women went out to dinner after work and it turned into a therapy session for this friend who had broken up with her boyfriend.  She was beside herself with grief and we said, but you broke up with him him, why are you so upset?  She said they had gotten into an argument and it and she said something to the effect of “Fine if that’s how it is then maybe we shouldn’t be together!”  He left and that was it. But according to her he would have “come after me if he truly loved me.”  To which the older woman in the group (who was in her late 50s) said, “I don’t think he got your read my mind memo.”

           

      5. 23.1.5
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        It is not bad enough that women use indirect language.  Now, a man has to be able decipher what a woman really wants because she is clueless.  What is in it for the man?  Why would a man ever want to have to deal with this nonsense?  I could see doing it for the mother of my children; however, I am no longer with her.  I do not owe the women I date a darn thing.

        1. jeremy

          We do it because ultimately having a good relationship will make us happier than anything else in the world.  We do it because even though it may not be what we think we want in the short-term, it is what will make us happy in the long-term, if we can think so far ahead.  We do it because it is only fair, after all, if women also have to deal with our shit too.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          I am sorry, but that dog does not hunt. There is absolutely nothing a woman who is not the mother of my children can do for me that will make having to play those silly games worth it, and I suspect that a lot of single men my age feel the same way. Male needs are trivial compared to female needs. I do not need a woman to make me feel whole.

    2. 23.2
      KK

      Hi there, Miss Emily,

      Thank you. 😊

      I get it. What I’m interested to hear from Jeremy is specifically, and in some detail (if he doesn’t mind…lol) what exactly he did (in his particular situation) to reduce comfort and increase arousal.

      I appreciate the fact that he said this wasn’t a prescription for everyone because in a lot of marriages, especially with young children, it’s very common for the wife to feel overwhelmed, overworked, and under appreciated. So, when she says those things to her husband, she should be taken seriously. Of course, if he steps up, and the marriage improves (for both of them), problem solved.

      What Jeremy is describing is a little more complex. (No need to reiterate). But I’m curious as to how he reduced comfort, and increased arousal by doing so. This wouldn’t work at all in the situation I described above and would just make it worse. So in situations like his own, what was done specifically to improve it?

      For me, just reducing comfort alone isn’t going to increase my level of desire.

      1. 23.2.1
        Emily, the original

        KK,

        What I’m interested to hear from Jeremy is specifically, and in some detail (if he doesn’t mind…lol) what exactly he did (in his particular situation) to reduce comfort and increase arousal.

        He’s got some doozies!

  24. 24
    Jeremy

    One last thing, given the gender bashing I’ve seen. Not fully knowing ones self is just as common in men as women. How often will a man come home stressed out and tell his wife that he just wants to be left alone? I don’t mean to imply that such a man doesn’t actually want to be left alone (he does, usually), but if leaving him alone is all the wife does, she’s not doing all she could to make him happy.

     

    Whether or not he knows it, whether or not he asks for it, he would probably be brought out of his funk by her giving him 20 minutes to himself alone, then seducing him with a quick BJ, telling him that he’s awesome, and then leaving him alone for another 20 minutes before trying to engage him in conversation. At that point, he will either open up to her like a book or forget whatever was bothering him in the first place.

     

    Sorry to be crass, but it seems to me that many women don’t actually know this simple recipe for male happiness, spoken or unspoken.  They make the mistake of thinking that talking about things will make men happier, as it would for women. If it were so simple to make women happy, men would be all over it.

     

    🙂

    1. 24.1
      Emily, the original

      Jeremy,

      Whether or not he knows it, whether or not he asks for it, he would probably be brought out of his funk by her giving him 20 minutes to himself alone, then seducing him with a quick BJ, telling him that he’s awesome, and then leaving him alone for another 20 minutes before trying to engage him in conversation. At that point, he will either open up to her like a book or forget whatever was bothering him in the first place.

      Ah … wow. If someone tells me he wants to be alone, I usually don’t see it as an invitation to put on my knee pads. (No sarcasm implied.)

      1. 24.1.1
        Jeremy

        Hi Emily.  I didn’t mean to be crass with the whole BJ thing, or to imply that women should do anything they don’t want to do.  But you asked about what behaviours women can do to improve their relationships, so here’s my answer:  Understand that men don’t always understand themselves any more than women do.  Understand that while women have a “tend and befriend” stress response and want to talk when they feel down, men have a “fight or flight” stress response and want to withdraw, but withdrawal does not make them happy.  Women’s brains release oxytocin during emotional conversation, but men’s don’t – instead, men’s brains release oxytocin after sex with a beloved partner.  That oxytocin makes men feel better in the same way that it does for women after a 30 minute conversation with her BFF, and it makes him WANT to open up to the woman he loves much more than when she leads with conversation.

         

        The pitfall, when a man tells his wife that he wants to be left alone, is that she will do one of two incorrect things – either just leave him alone, not realizing that even though it’s what he wants it won’t make him happier, or try to engage him in conversation in spite of the fact that talking is not going to make him feel better until his brain is awash in oxytocin.  What I suggested is a way to manipulate male psychology/biochemistry to optimize what would be a good result for most men.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Dude, you are a deep thinker! I mean that as a compliment. You have 18 mental tracks going at the same time! But your thought process is always interesting. Thanks for explaining.

        2. Katie

          @yag Yeah it’s best for people to give new partners so direction with oral sex because, especially for dudes, different ones can be VERY different as far as what works for them. And what dosent work! Most of my experience is with circumcised dudes so I didn’t realize that with uncircumcised ones you have to be careful about how much friction is being applied to the head! Circumcised ones not so much.

           

          Dunno why I said especially with dudes up there. Chicks are even more difficult. I’m a chick myself and I acknowledge going down on another girl can be frustrating.

           

          ahh the science of bj

        3. Katie

          Wow posted this under the wrong sub thread XD

    2. 24.2
      Yet Another Guy

      I do know about you, but I am an INTP.  When I say I want to be left alone, I want to be left alone.  I need time inside of my head.

    3. 24.3
      Yet Another Guy

      What happens if a man is not a fan of BJs? 🙂

      1. 24.3.1
        Katie

        Heh. Two guys I ended up in a relationship with confessed they didn’t get off from BJ’s.

        They were wrong XD

        Some guys it is harder to come that way. But they still CAN. But often guys seem afraid the chick is going to take it personal if they can’t. Or if they just take too long.

        Best thing chicks can do Is just TELL the dude  there’s no pressure! That you just want to suck his cock for a bit. He doesn’t have to come.

        I hope this post isn’t inappropriate:/ It’s just that I’ve met several guys with a bj complex of some kind that honestly made them NERVOUS of getting bj’s in case they couldn’t come.

        Forgive typos. Writing on phone here

        1. Jeremy

          YAG, it sounds like you had a horrible experience.  Who knows, maybe you would be better off alone.  You certainly seem to think so, and you may be right.

           

          One small point.  Yes, most men are “problem solvers” – trying to change their emotions by dealing with their root-causes.  And yes, most women are “problem acceptors” – accepting the root causes of their emotions and trying to change the emotion itself rather than the cause.  They do this either via oxytocin (bonding with other women), endorphins (chocolate, sex, exercise), or dopamine (trying novel things).

           

          I used to take pride in my problem solving personality.  I’m an INTJ, after all, and most of us are arrogant assholes – same as you INTPs.  But then life happened, and I realized that not every situation has a solution. Someone gets sick or dies, something bad happens that you can’t just solve – and you have to deal with your emotions without “solving the problem.”  That’s where I learned the valuable skill of problem accepting from the women in my life.  It is a skill that every man should learn.

           

          Should women learn our skills of problem solving too?  YES.  It is definitely annoying when a woman tells you not to solve her problems, but just to validate her.  When my wife tells me that, I usually direct her to her girlfriends and remind her that she married a man, and that she hopefully appreciates our different perspectives.  And sometimes I just validate her to make her happy, and I try my best not to be an asshole about it.  That’s another valuable life skill, BTW.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “And sometimes I just validate her to make her happy, and I try my best not to be an asshole about it.  That’s another valuable life skill, BTW.”

          Amen and halle-freakin-lujah!

          I don’t like talking over people in the comments section but YAG’s reply to women have emotional needs seems to be “I shouldn’t have to try and meet them or deal with them.  I want a girly-girl with out the girly-girl emotions.”  I understand he had a hellacious marriage, but like most women he is going to meet IRL, sympathy for his past hurts and understanding where they came from isn’t going to be enough for a woman to be in a relationship with him where her emotional needs are dismissed and derided.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          One more related thing. . .

          On a post below, I referenced a book by John & Julie Gottman:  The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the “Love Lab” About What Women Really Want.

          In it there is a section of how men’s health and happiness is tied to having a good relationship with his wife, a woman’s is determined by having strong relationships with other women.  Men put all of their emotional eggs in one basket, women need several baskets.  They recommend that husbands encourage their wives to make strong connections to other women, be it their moms, sisters, cousins, or other women friends.

          It’s complete bias on my part, but sometimes it’s hard for me (and maybe other women) to understand what is so hard about listening to your wife vent, bite your tongue if you feel the urge to cut her off or problem solve, tell her “I can see why you’re upset and I hear you.  If you want suggestions I have them.  If you don’t that’s fine too.  Maybe you can call your friend M after dinner if you don’t feel better.”  In a sense, when a man does that he IS solving the problem by validating his wife’s experience and allowing the negative feelings to dissipate.

        4. Jeremy

          GWTF, I’ll try to explain why I think it is annoying, in spite of the truth of what you wrote.

           

          Sometimes, when my wife presents a problem and I try to offer solutions, she asks me whether I think she isn’t intelligent enough to think of her own solutions, telling me that she just wants validation.  Yet, for all of that, she usually has not thought of solutions to the problem, when solutions might be possible.  This is NOT for lack of intelligence – it is because of being on a different wavelength.  If her predisposition is to be a problem acceptor and to primarily deal with emotions directly (rather than root causes), she may overlook solutions that DO deal with the root causes.  On many occasions I’ve suggested something and she has looked surprised that she never thought of that before.  Again, not for lack of intelligence, but for differing predispositions.

           

          The women who teach men to simply validate them and not try to problem solve are possibly doing themselves a disservice.  Because just as there are times when being a problem-acceptor is the best way to deal with the issue, sometimes it’s best just to eliminate the cause.  Also, frankly it is annoying to be given a script of how you should respond to someone else based on how they want you to respond, without consideration to how you want to respond.
          BTW, if you’ve never seen the online video “It’s not about the nail,” please google it.  It’s hilariously true.

        5. ScottH

          Jeremy-  i watched that video.  it is hilarious.  I wonder what the women-folk here think of it.

      2. 24.3.2
        Katie

        Same goes for girls I guess. Tou sometimes get a partner that asks LITERALLY every 15 seconds if you’re about to come XD

        Easy remedies for that though. Just sit on their face:)

      3. 24.3.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        As if!

        😉

      4. 24.3.4
        Yet Another Guy

        @Katie

        While most men will agree that there is no such thing as bad sex, oral sex is not quite seen in the same light. Most women are just not very good at the act. In fact, most are quite horrible at it. Although, I did meet a women while separated that was let’s say,”OMG!” She is the one who made me realize how bad most women are at giving head.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Wow YAG,

          Women just fail you at every level, don’t they?  They won’t shut up about their feelings and they are horrible at head.  The nerve of them!

        2. Yet Another Guy

          What is perplexing about this site is the level of hypocrisy that is demonstrated in this blog. Women on this site routinely complain about men not meeting their needs in the bedroom. Do it ever occur that women may not be meeting the needs of their men?

          Now, a woman’s need to constantly dump her troubles on a man via endless talk is a totally different topic. As Jeremy has already highlighted, men do not have the tend-and-befriend pleasure response. Instead, we have an inflammatory response caused by elevated cortisol.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          Once in awhile one of the regular female commenters has said men are bad in bed.  And usually another woman will respond with what women have been told for the last 30 years:  You are responsible for your own orgasm and your own pleasure.  A man des not have a copy of the directions for your particular body model so help him out.

          So YAG why don’t you assume some responsibility for your own pleasure and realize that the women who are giving you “horrible” oral sex don’t have the operating system information for your dick.  Maybe the technique they are using is what worked for their previous partner.  Tell them what you want, what feels good and guide them.

          “Now, a woman’s need to constantly dump her troubles on a man via endless talk is a totally different topic. As Jeremy has already highlighted, men do not have the tend-and-befriend pleasure response. Instead, we have an inflammatory response caused by elevated cortisol.”

          First it’s not a tend-and befriend PLEASURE response.  It’s a physiological coping mechanism that lowers epinephrine and cortisol levels in the blood.  And what Jeremy said was that this means that when men are stressed, talking it out won’t help them. But since women DO have a tend and befriend response, talking it out does help them.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @GoWiththeFlow

          DO have a tend and befriend response, talking it out does help them.

          It does so at the cost of a man’s health. Do you realize that having to listen to a woman talk things out elevates a man’s cortisol and blood pressure levels? Within a year of being married, I went from being a textbook healthy male to being a man with elevated everything.  The exact opposite occurred after I left my ex.  My doctor, who is a woman, could not believe the difference.  It was like she was looking at blood tests from two different men.

          Men are problem solvers.  They do not want to just listen.  They want to eliminate the stressor and move on.  That is what we do in our own lives, and it is what we do when we are talk to other men about stressors.  What women do while talking it out is cause men to go into fight or flight mode.  If a man dares to offer suggestions for eliminating a stressor, which is his natural response, he risks having her blow up on him.  That is why men learn to tune their wives out while they are talking.  It is a stress coping mechanism.  Women complain that their men do not listen. The male side of the equation is that we listened, offered suggestions for solving a problem, and got rewarded by a tirade followed by sleeping on the couch.  It does not take long for a man to learn to nod his head and throw in a few stock answers while almost completely tuning his woman out.

          The time that I have spent on this blog has taught me that women still do not get men, nor do they really care to get men.  Women want men to be hairy women until it is time for them to be men, usually in the protection, romance, and bedroom areas of a relationship.  Women want men to accommodate their needs without men having concern for their own needs.  That is why I am starting to become disillusioned.  It is why my tone is changing.  I would rather be alone for the remainder of my life than to have to go back to a world where the best that I can hope for on any given day is to avoid having the woman in my life blow up on me.  That is not a life.  That is an existence.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          You repeat over and over and over again that women don’t get men.  What you don’t see is that you don’t get women!  Women have emotions and want to talk about them and connect with their man.  You either have to find a way to meet that need or find a masculine woman or be with a man.  Evan reminds women that men aren’t just hairy women, their thought processes and needs are different and women need to understand that.  Well women aren’t just smaller hairless men.  What you seem to want is a woman who’s a girly-girl on the outside, but with the heart and mind of the man.  Except that woman doesn’t exist.

          The fact is BOTH sexes have to work at meeting their partner’s needs.  If you want a woman to meet yours, for example, by giving you time to decompress by yourself after work, then you are going to have to accommodate her at some point with talk time.  And the first step is to recognize that women’s needs are not stupid or crazy or something that you shouldn’t have to deal with because it’s beneath you.

          That’s great that your health improved when you separated from your wife.  As a physician with a personal and professional interest on wellness and physiological aging I totally get that.  But the truth is that your experience is true for ONE woman.  But you extrapolate it to preemptively cover ALL women.  Stop holding all womankind responsible for your ex-wife’s failings.

          If you get to a point where you can acknowledge that women’s emotional needs aren’t a conspiracy to personally drive you crazy but just something that IS, there is a great book by John & Julie Gottman (www.gottman.com) at The University of Washington that can help you with techniques of to make it work for you:  https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Guide-Women-Scientifically-Secrets/dp/1623361842/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1489013472&sr=8-7&keywords=john+gottman

  25. 25
    S.

    I do want to say that not every woman wants to be dominated in bed.  Some do, some don’t. I think communication is important. Instead of extrapolating from what a few agree on, just figure out what the woman or man you’re with wants.  Some men don’t want a BJ if they’re upset.  It may seem shocking, but not every man is exactly the same. I used to try and make these generalizations and the men I dated called me on it and not just the beta ones, either.

    Are there similarities? Sure.  And it’s helpful to realize that.  We haven’t escaped biology but we aren’t ruled by it, either.  I was glad when I read this blog less and actually talked to real life men about things said here more.  It was certainly interesting conversation.  But I also realized I’d be generalizing and it wasn’t really fair to them.  I see the similarities if it’s useful and then I let it go and just get to know him.

    1. 25.1
      Jeremy

      S, I totally agree with your comment.  Everyone is different.  Not all men want a BJ when they are upset.  We are not ruled by biology.  If you read my comment above about what I tried with my wife, much of it was trial and error, trying something out and seeing if it worked.  There were lots of things that I tried that did not work.  But I selected the things I tried based on a knowledge of psychology and biochemistry of what “should work” if the problem was a need for more comfort, or if it was a need for more arousal.

       

      It won’t always work.  Sometimes a wife loses attraction to her husband and won’t regain it no matter what he does.  Sometimes a man withdraws, and no amount of sex will engage him.  But for the loving partner who wants to try, there has to be a place to start – there has to be a plan B if just “listening to what the person says he/she wants” isn’t enough.  That’s where I’m coming from here.

      1. 25.1.1
        S.

        I’m glad we agree.  This thread is a windy road, so it’s sometimes difficult to find all the comments.  I just saw a general trend of women like to be dominated or want less comfort.  When I read the things that you did that work, those things didn’t seem dominating or less comforting to me at all.  It seemed like you were more confident in what you wanted.  But she was your wife.  I’m confused why you wouldn’t have been like that in the first place, she chose you for life.  But some of the men I know who are less assertive, just generally less assertive in general.  When it happened in relationships I was in, the hesitancy was puzzling.  Never turned me off, but I was puzzled.  If I chose to be with someone and I literally responded whenever he touched me, why wouldn’t he touch me anytime he wanted if I was okay with it?

        But I know why I think this way. It’s because I have that sort of assertiveness so it takes a lot of reminding for me to remember that others don’t necessarily go in with that. Male or female.  Sexy texts throughout the day, kissing your wife, and making your wishes known, I thought people would all try that.  But none of that seems dominating or less comfortable.  It’s you taking care of yourself.  And that’s so healthy and that’s really attractive. 🙂

        It’s a nuance.  We all have to figure our partners out.  Just wanted to comment it’s not one size fits all.  There may be different women who would have been turned on by how you were before.  People are just different.  Glad you guys found what worked for the both of you.

        1. Jeremy

          S., you wrote, If I chose to be with someone and I literally responded whenever he touched me, why wouldn’t he touch me anytime he wanted if I was okay with it?

           

          Ahh, but that’s a big “if,” though.  Do you really respond whenever he touches you?  Because most women don’t – at least, not after they’ve been married for a while.  Men are used to rejection – whether it was from women when they were dating, or from the women they marry.  Of course, when a married woman turns down her husband for sex, SHE doesn’t usually see it as rejection.  She’s busy, she has her period, she has a headache, she’s tired – whatever.  Doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her husband, just means she doesn’t want sex right now.  But from the perspective of the man who approaches her with his own needs and emotions and gets turned down, it does indeed feel like rejection.

           

          When presented with this, a logically-minded man begins to realize that his wife is the rate-limiting step of their sex-life.  He doesn’t want to get rejected anymore – it makes him feel lousy.  So he waits for cues from his wife to indicate that she is interested before he makes a move.  That way he won’t get rejected….and neither will she, since he isn’t likely to reject HER.  This is how men can end up not touching their wives whenever they want to, and wait for cues from their wives.  And this leads to a cycle where the wife gets frustrated because she feels that the man is too timid in the bedroom, not realizing that so much of it is because she has turned him down time and again.

           

          It’s a complex cycle.  In the end, men need to initiate because that’s what women like, even though every time men initiate they set themselves up for rejection.  The best way for women to reciprocate, IMHO, is to understand that rejection is painful for men, understand that saying “not tonight, honey” is in fact rejection, and to try to  realize that a fair solution is one where the needs of both partners are met equally, rather than in a lopsided way.

        2. Henriette

          Oh, and @Jeremy.  You write that husbands are unlikely to reject their wive’s advances: he isn’t likely to reject HER.  You might want to ask various therapists and doctors about this one.  From what I’ve been told “by the experts” (anecdotally… haven’t read any official studies on the subject), there are AT LEAST as many wives as husbands being turned down for physical affection.  I suspect this is yet another example of, it ain’t a husband issue, it ain’t a wife issue, it’s a people issue.

        3. jeremy

          Hi Henriette.  I agree that husbands can and do reject wives.  But not the husbands in the situation I was discussing – the husbands whose wives are the rate-limiting step.  In other marriages, the husbands are the rate-limiting step, for sure.

        4. S.

          Ah, yes.  That’s true about being menstrual or sick. I had that in my earlier draft of that comment but forgot to add it back in. The thing is, you can still have touch and comfort during those times.  (My mind and body actually does respond, but if I’m feeling that weak or sick, I just can’t physically get very far with that. )  Maybe I’ll use the word you use, the desire is there even if I’m under the weather or ill.

          I haven’t been married. Are husbands okay with non-sexual touch when a woman isn’t feeling well? I will say I think in a healthy marriage they are.  So it shouldn’t feel like rejection then.

          But I understand in one way. I have been in a relationship where I was the primary initiator.  (Not just of intimacy but that too.) Being turned down by a partner hurts.  I can only speak for me, that it was a symptom of something else wrong in the relationship.  It is a complex cycle. I kept trying, though.  I didn’t try for years since I wasn’t married. I broke up with him. I felt he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. He never said that, but that’s what I went with.

          I’m an initiator of a lot of things. 🙂 It’s who I am. Rejection does hurt and it can take some time to get over.  But I still initiate things. No, I don’t ask men out or anything like that.  I guess I could be more proactive about showing interest early on.  It’s such a fine line. I think men have to initiate early on because they value what they haveto work for.  But in an established relationship, I’d hope there would be more of an ebb and flow.

          I see above that you were talking about a specific group of men.  The thread is windy so I may have missed that. I hope you get from the comments here that men aren’t the only ones who face rejection in an established relationship.  Even in that example above that woman must’ve felt terrible when her husband called her out on her different sexual behavior that night.

          Sometimes I wonder if it is as simple as just finding the right partner? Maybe it is.

  26. 26
    Henriette

    These sub-threads are fun and fascinating ~ more so than the original post, I’d say ~ but also so long that I am adding my thoughts about several of them, here.

    Several male posters complain about women not understanding themselves, or seem awfully proud that they “caught on” to the fact that women say one thing but sometimes actually desire another.  I feel the need to point out that this seems to be more of a Human Issue than a Woman Issue.  Personal anecdote: I’ve noticed that many guys become protective and romantic (and maybe more than a little horny) when I cry.  I don’t find that particularly shocking since I’m generally quite rational /level-headed and crying lets them see an vulnerable, emotional side.  However, if I were to ask a guy if he found it appealing when women cry, I can assure you that they’d all say “hell no!”  No doubt every woman reading this thread could also furnish personal anecdotes demonstrating that members of Both sexes can be unaware of their own responses.

    And KK told an interesting story of a wife who became “very aggressive” with her husband and he asked what the hell was wrong with her.  That made me laugh.  Poor woman!  Like her, I’d be put off trying that again, after receiving such a cold reception.  But all the responses on this thread seemed a excessively harsh towards the husband.  Honestly, if someone I’d been with for more than 5 years became uncharacteristically sexually aggressive with me one night, I’d probably be confused and ask what was going on, too.  Wouldn’t you?  I don’t think he is “ignorant,” “stupid” or even “short-sighted.” Probably a better plan would’ve been if the wife had sexily mentioned over a glass of wine that she’d seen something in a movie that’d really turned her on and that she couldn’t wait to try it with her husband after dinner.  That would’ve given him the heads up that something new was in store and allowed him to enjoy it for what it was, rather than just springing it on him.

    @Jeremy: I absolutely agree that a little spot of playful stirring the pot can fan a spark into a flame (or, even, an inferno).  But, I suspect it worked so well for your wife because you had already laid a strong foundation of the  “safe, heard and understood” feelings within her, through the years.  Uncertainty, romantic competition and a bit of self-serving “alpha” behaviour don’t remain sexy for long (if at all) when the other factors aren’t already in place.

    1. 26.1
      Jeremy

      Henriette I agree with you 100%.

    2. 26.2
      Chance

      Not so much being “awfully proud” as much as phrasing a comment in a manner that will spark conversation (or stir the pot, depending on your POV😏).

      1. 26.2.1
        Henriette

        @Jeremy – We live in the same city and we ENFPs always love the way your INTJ minds function.  No wonder we enjoy each other’s posts!

        @Chance – You know that I always (well, almost always) get a chuckle out of your conversation-sparking turns of phrase, my dear 😉

        Jeremy mentioned a great example of a man saying, “I want to be left alone” as really meaning, “I don’t want to have to yammer on about my feelings just because you’d like me to, and I don’t want you to yammer on about your stuff right now.  Please leave me alone for 20 minutes, then come and blow me, then leave and joy will reign in our household.”  Would you say that men have similar brakes/ accelerator systems to women, or are they totally different?

        1. jeremy

          Love the question, Henriette 🙂

           

          I think that men definitely have the same brakes/accelerator systems as women – certainly Dr. Nagarski thinks so in her book.  But I think that more men have brakes that are easily de-activated and accelerators that activate smoothly compared to women.  After all, how many men can’t get in the mood for sex because they keep thinking about their grocery list?

           

          Having said that, some men have problems with their accelerators – eg. men with porn-addiction who can’t get excited by their wives.  And some men have problems with their brakes – men who are stressed out and can’t get an erection for psychological reasons.  Humans are humans, after all.

    3. 26.3
      Buck25

      “Honestly, if some I’d been with for more than five years became uncharacteristically sexually aggressive with me one night, I’d probably be confused and ask what was going on too.”

       

      Henriette, since it was my comment on this guy’s action (or lack thereof) that you took issue with. let me say a couple of things. First, as the story was related here, he didn’t merely “get confused and ask what was going on”; what he actually did was ask “What the hell are you doing?!” and then basically freak out! Big difference. Second, yes, you probably would be confused if your partner of five or more years(male of course) did something more aggressive than usual; wouldn’t surprise me, you’re a woman. A man needs, (and frankly should have more confidence in bed than that; a LOT more!). The idea that any reasonably sexually knowledgeable and sexually confident man would react that way to any woman, longstanding partner or not, suddenly being aggressive for a change frankly strikes me as ludicrous beyond belief! What kind of man (as opposed to an adolescent boy) is intimidated as this “man” (dubious, in my book) clearly was,  by a sexually aggressive woman, longtime partner or not? I darersay any knowledgeable and sexually confident man would find that a welcome development, if only for variety’s sake, and be damn welcoming of it, rather than be freaked out. My comments on his ignorance, lack of confidence and for that matter lack of just plain manhood, stand,  as written, without apology. As for advising him beforehand, a real man doesn’t need that; he’s confident enough to take a little surprise, and knowledgeable enough to know what it’s about. 

  27. 27
    Sylvana

    I think part of what makes it so hard to talk about loneliness these days (and so many people are horribly lonely these days), is the fact that it constantly gets hammered into women that just because we’re single, we don’t need to be lonely. It has almost become shameful to admit that you actually want a relationship. We’re supposed to be the tough, can do it all by ourselves type of woman, who is just fine without a man. While this might work for plenty of women, it doesn’t work for all of them.

    I know men have been in the same boat forever. It has never been considered “manly” to be lonely or wanting a partner. Now, extreme feminists are pushing women in the same direction. If you browse articles for being single (particularly long-term), you’ll find most of them talking about how great it is, and what a wonderful life you can have all by yourself. Which is fine. But there is not much support for those who simply do not want to be alone. Quite the opposite – a lot of those articles can make women feel like there’s something wrong with them for missing having a partner. And that is rather damaging, in my opinion (same goes for men).

    Oftentimes, wanting to have someone to share your life with is talked about as if it was a weakness. I think this is mostly what the writer was insinuating. Not so much the fact that she feels horribly alone, but also that her feelings are being dismissed as basically wrong. She should consider herself lucky, live life, have all the fun she can while enjoying all that freedom. She seems to feel like no one understands. We are strong, proud, independent women who do not need a man. While that may be true, what if you do want one? There’s nothing wrong with living a good life even single. But there’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to be single, and nowadays, it often seems like it is.

    I think Evan’s efforts of bringing those people together were wonderful. And I think there should be more of an effort to make both sexes feel more welcome to actually embrace NOT being happy about being alone.

    While all those articles  about being perfectly happy single (Evan, of course isn’t part of this) are meant to empower women and help them feel better about themselves, I think they’re almost more damaging in the end. I say good for all of those women who are absolutely fine single. But quit trying to push that onto women who might hint that they’re not happy about it.  That does not show understanding or support. It devalues the other woman’s feelings, and makes her feel as if there was something wrong with her for wanting more.

    1. 27.1
      ScottH

      I agree with every word you said.  People were not meant to be single and there’s no shame in wanting a partner.

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