Why Is It So Wrong For a Woman to Admit That She is Lonely and Wants to Find Love?

Why Is It So Wrong For a Woman to Admit That She is Lonely and Wants to Find Love

I generally don’t read first-person pieces from Elephant Journal or TheFrisky or XOJane or The Good Men Project. I’m not sure why. They’re widely shared on Facebook, but they tend to make me a little uncomfortable. Sometimes, it’s TMI. Sometimes, it’s a half-baked idea from an astoundingly unaware human being. Sometimes, it’s intentionally controversial. Sometimes, it’s been written by someone who was born in 1994, when I was graduating college. But I see why these pieces are alluring. Like reality TV, it allows us to get a glimpse of our own humanity, and usually feel somewhat superior.

That was not the emotion that was invoked in Briony Smith’s Flare article on “Why Being Single Sucks.”

Most people are adept at defending their own worldview, but somewhat deficient in empathizing with others’ emotions.

If anything, I found myself sympathetic to her, the same way I was sympathetic to Lori Gottlieb when she was writing, “Marry Him” in 2010. Others may vilify women who nakedly state that they want to fall in love, get married and start families, but I think that’s unfair. Just as no one should ever say that all single people should get married or all married people should have children, it’s equally disrespectful when the proud-to-be-single crowd makes a woman feel bad because she’d be happier in a partnership.

Most people are adept at defending their own worldview, but somewhat deficient in empathizing with others’ emotions. And I see a lot of that from the Kate Bolick/Meghan Daum/Bella DePaulo crowd. Entire tomes are written – in a somewhat defensive tone – about how happy they are to be single and how being single is superior and how weak people are for wanting companionship. God bless them all. Whatever makes you happy. But it is interesting to me that someone can be excoriated just for admitting that, yeah, it would be really nice to have someone to wake up with every day, someone to go to the movies with, someone to travel with, someone to share life’s ups and downs, and build family and memories every day until death do you part.

Anyway, instead of giving you excerpts from Ms. Smith’s piece, click here to read it and please share what you think of her take on things.

Join our conversation (118 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Richard

    I’m not entirely sure what to make of the article.

    From my experience as an exclusively heterosexual male, I feel that most men would not have an issue with a woman admitting to being lonely. To me, anyway, I wouldn’t hold it against a woman for wanting to find love. In fact, a girl I’ve been talking to told me that she was feeling lonely and down after being single for the first time in 11 years. It’s not easy for her to adjust to singledom. I empathized with her as I know how bad the loneliness can get sometimes.

    What I find is that it’s far worse for a man to admit to being lonely, to either women or men. I have a few close friends who can relate, but any other time I mention feeling lonely, I get the old “bootstraps” talk and how I just gotta push it all down and get on with my life. And I get it and realize I have to keep trying. But sometimes the lack of empathy and the “man up” sort of quips take their toll.

    Anyway, in terms of the article, I can empathize with Briony’s sentiments. Dating is hard and you want to find both a healthy sexual chemistry and a healthy compatibility. Everyone struggles from time to time. It’s tough all around.

    But every now and then she throws in words like “dream piece” and “settling” and I get the feeling that she’s possibly like many other women who write to you, Evan. She wants to find someone, but he has to be such and such, and have that or this other thing. She doesn’t want to settle and she claims to get some attention but doesn’t seem to want it from those men because they are “so-so.”

    I have to ask, how “so-so” are they? Maybe they’re wonderful and she is too critical. Maybe she’s looking for someone with modelesque looks. I don’t know since the article is not entirely clear on what she is looking for.

    I can understand that she wants to be with someone she can care about and I agree that she shouldn’t be with just anyone. She shouldn’t have to just accept the first guy to show her affection, but I also have to question where her head is at in all this.

    She, like many other women, has to think clearly about what they will and will not accept and be open to and logical about many of the opportunities that come their way, rather than waiting for a “dream piece” to drop into their laps. You don’t have to settle, but you have to allow love to happen with someone good rather than refusing every guy who doesn’t immediately float your boat, and then crying about how “unfair” it all is that your “dream piece” is nowhere to be found. It’s possible Briony passed up her “dream piece.” But it’s possible he hasn’t arrived yet either.

    I’m torn between two worlds with this article. I wish Briony and all other women much happiness and I hope they all find their “dream piece,” but I hope they also realize that their dream guy may not be the guy they first thought, nor will he necessarily be the guy that gives you tingles in all the right places with a mere wink of an eye. He may be the guy you unceremoniously dismissed without a second glance. It happens. Be open to opportunities. Don’t force love, but don’t let it slip by unawares either.

    1. 1.1
      selena

      Richard.. I m very impressed with your response.

    2. 1.2
      Pumpkin

      Richard, this just nails it.

       

    3. 1.3
      Dreben

      I wonder just how damaging it is to have several generations of men that have completely hardened themselves because they have always “manned up.” Without any softness in a person they aren’t going to be capable of love, which requires vulnerabilities from both partners and both sexes.

      Vilifying male sexual desire also causes the same issues.

      Men have to protect themselves because society is quick to shred a man down if he shows any vulnerability. This is really where women were historically protectors of manhood, as a good family/marriage involved sharing vulnerabilities and each gender assuaging each others insecurities and vulnerabilities. That is kind of gone now.

      1. 1.3.1
        pat

        oh brother.  give me a break.  you need to lay off the MRA cliches.

      2. 1.3.2
        CC

        I liked your response and I think it’s true. Men and women use to know how to fill in their vulnerabilities for each other,  and provide each other what the rest of the world didn’t. Thoughtful and right

      3. 1.3.3
        KW

        Yes , women often throw around adjectives around about men , such as ” creepy , rapey , pervert ” on a regular basis !!

    4. 1.4
      Christine

      Richard, your comments are some of the more balanced and nuanced ones I’ve seen on here.  Sometimes I wonder what took me so long to find my boyfriend.  Some of it really was beyond my control (he was in a serious relationship with another woman so really wasn’t available for a long time, while I was looking).  It’s possible that sometimes, the right match really isn’t available yet for whatever reason and it will take longer for them to arrive (in my case, longer than I would have liked!)

      However, I still think there is some benefit to dating in the meantime within the guidelines you give, even if they (like me) don’t see the desired result right away–so that when the right person does eventually become available and come along, they don’t prematurely cut them off for the wrong reasons.  After taking into account the advice here (and getting burned by domineering alpha males) I started requiring only a reasonable spark of chemistry to get started, rather than a raging inferno.  It eventually paid off when I met my boyfriend, and our love has grown over time.  Giving more people a chance doesn’t always prevent dating the wrong ones–but it can at least guarantee not prematurely filtering out the right ones.

      1. 1.4.1
        Richard

        Thank you for your response.

        I agree with you and it’s why I advocate that women be more open to giving guys chances.

        A lot of people get bent out of shape and say that I’m suggesting that women date people they aren’t attracted to. I don’t want women to force themselves to feel something when it isn’t right. I just want them to be more open to different people and not be so quick to write others off based on what they think they ought to have or feel they want in one particular moment, because we all know what people want and need can change from time to time, and as Evan says sometimes, you don’t always get a full picture of someone on a date. It may not hurt to give another chance or two to a guy who didn’t wow you the first time, and it might be useful to keep decent guys as dating prospects in your network (just don’t lead them on or use them) in case circumstances change and they become far more appealing to you.

        I know people are all different, but it seems a lot of men and women have an all or nothing attitude. Either someone’s the total package who gives them fireworks or they’re not even worth a little of that person’s time.

        It’s neither right nor wrong to feel a certain way about someone when it comes to love. It’s not about being fair or righteous. I just think it’s a poor strategy for finding a partner. All or nothing leaves little in between, and that’s where most of the people are.

  2. 2
    Sparkling Emerald

    Richard. This is one of the most balanced and thoughtful comments I have read here in a long time.

     

  3. 3
    SAL9000

    People who are “lonely” are primarily that way because they make a concerted effort to do so – in my experience it’s mostly owing to one or more of the following: can’t accept their market value, don’t know what real-world attraction is, have a ridiculous set of criteria, or are unhappy with themselves (usually health/weight) and don’t feel up to dating. ALL these things are choices and they are ALL correctable. Problem is it usually takes a lot of time/effort to get to the point of being “lonely” so it’s gonna take a lot of time/effort to not be.

     

     

    1. 3.1
      CC

      Your response seems harsh. Many people just have not met their match. Some people are more emotionally sensitive to things like criticism or lack of emotional support. Judging people for not finding an emotional fit is not helpful and not everyone can “fix” being single. People don’t want to be lonely, they just want to have authentic feelings for the person they’re with and not have to fake it through life. Her article was right on and try as we may, we don’t always find the one. End of story.

    2. 3.2
      pat

      Empathy can be a good thing.

  4. 4
    SAL9000

    I should add I am a recovered “lonely” person ;).

  5. 5
    Miranda

    Ah. What a relief to read an article  by someone who feels like me. My husband left me two years ago and I have been desperately lonely ever since, to the point that I can’t really see the meaning of life without someone to go home to, share a bed with, share meals with  and wake up with.

    I joined lots of  clubs, go running, play tennis, did internet dating and go out socially which actually left me sharing the same horrible feeling of loneliness described by Briony as I drove home alone to an empty bed.

    What surprised me was  the constant and continued input from friends with regard to how great it is to love yourself and be alone. Annoyingly this was  often most perpetuated by my married friends who have never experienced the anguish of being on their own but are rather bored with their husbands and think it sounds like a nice idea. The other infuriating concept is the  oft trotted out wisdom that you will never be lovable until you love yourself. Whilst this is a great idea  in theory many of us never managed to achieve that and are at our best when loved by someone else.

    I do wonder however whether Briony is possibly setting her standards too high. I have met many long-term singles in the clubs that I have joined and have observed  that they’ll all looking for Mr/Ms Absolutely Perfect and usually move on once the smallest problems start to rear their heads, deeming that person not good enough.

    I have now been dating the same man for nine months and I’m left with the next dilemma which is whether he is Mr Good Enough.  He is kind, honest, affectionate,  healthy, attractive and committed, however he is unromantic and not the best conversationalist in the world. But at the end of the day I am in my mid 50s and do not want to be alone.

    1. 5.1
      CC

      Miranda, If it’s been 9 months, you’re not grossed out, he’s committed, you should stick. Talk with your girlfriends if his convo lags. A relationship shouldn’t have to meet EVERY need in your life, just some of them. You found kind honest committed and attractive. You beat the odds and after 2 years? I’ve been dating 9 and haven’t come close. You should be grateful in my opinion.

      1. 5.1.1
        Miranda

        Thanks CC. It’s helpful to have another positive view. Maybe Richard is right when he says A relationship shouldn’t be all or nothing. I think a lot of us are very prone to believing that if it isn’t ‘all’ we should throw it away and start again and that’s why so many of us end up alone.

        You’re absolutley right. I am lucky, but I still have that ‘what if’ feeling.

        On another note, I worked very hard to find this one. I spent a couple of hours on the internet everyday and wrote to lots of men and went for at least one date every week. The men I wrote to myself were a lot nicer than the ones who wrote to me and just as keen to date. It took a lot of effort and was very stressful, but I was very determined. My single friends were amazed and envious, but they just didn’t want to put the work in, so it seemed clear to me why I was getting more success than them. I have to say though, the thought of doing it all again is pretty awful. The long process of getting to know and trust another man and getting him to commit to me is also awful, so yet more reasons to stick with this one. I just wish he lit me up though like my horrible abusive husband did. Im still trying to accept that a slow steady burning flame is better.

        1. CC

          Miranda, A slow steady burn is WAY better and it can last. I have had wild chemistry with inconsiderate and mean men. Yes, it’s hot and wild, but It’s not worth it (and doesn’t work)! You worked hard to find him, and he wants YOU…don’t be lured into thinking that is easy to find or reproducible without years of effort…or maybe never! Give it time he is worth investing in and I suggest focusing on the positives, not what you think may be missing. We are wrongly convinced that a relationship can meet all our needs, but that is unlikely. Slow and steady wins the race. Congrats.

        2. JoeK

          Congrats Miranda, for figuring out what works for you in dating. It does sound like you found someone rather good for you.

           

          May I recommend you broach the subject of what *you* find is romantic – perhaps by approaching the subject from this perspective he’ll be able to listen. If he’s a good guy, he likely wants to see you happy.

           

          There’s nothing wrong with asking for what you want – but how that is delivered makes all the difference.

        3. Yowza

          youve never heard someone say they  were surrounded by people but still lonely? I’m sure this won’t be  popular here but I’ll say it anyway.  Most of us when we are single miss the companionship, friendship, sex, etc. Loneliness is something different. Loneliness is about something missing in you. Getting into a relationship and expecting the other person to fill your void is unfair.

  6. 6
    Happy

    I read all of Evan’s blogs, but I’m rarely moved to comment, mostly because both my job and my creative passion have me typing at a computer all day, so in my free time, the last thing I want to do is type.

    I really enjoyed Briony’s piece because I’ve been there, and a few years ago, had I been more brave, I might have written it. But that’s the danger, isn’t it? We can all express ourselves only via our own experiences, but they may not necessarily be another’s experience, SAL9000. And since like attracts like, you may have also witnessed lonely people in your life who needed to change some things about how they were moving through the world in order to be less lonely.

    Although I agree that Richard expressed himself in a balanced way, he suggests that a woman needs to reevaluate her own needs–in the face of an article written by a woman who both well expressed her openness and flexibility and was brave enough to seek out her kindred. When I was single, it was assertions such as his that nearly sent me over the edge. If nice guys with balanced perspectives couldn’t even hear me, then who would?!

    I do understand that there are some women who hold onto impossible standards. I do understand that when one is seeking potential dates online, it’s easier to default to those standards because you don’t have an actual personality in front of you, and I did in fact have to consciously correct for this to ensure I wasn’t doing it. But I also understand that that’s not what women like Briony or me are/were doing that keeps/kept us single for so long. Sometimes it’s just that we haven’t yet met our matches. And that wait can be sad, painful, and frustrating. We know what we’re looking for, we know what we’re willing to compromise on, and we’ll know the right guy when we find him. The man I fell in love with didn’t come in the package I idealized–he was a decade older, bald, in the middle of a divorce, and had never been interested in having kids. But two years in, we are not only madly in love, we’re completely compatible in building a life together. I was single for so long because I was seeking the man who met my real needs–he’s kind, supportive, challenging in all the right ways, has an adventurous spirit, we have an intellectual and physical connection, and he loves me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, but for me–to find those things in someone who was compatible with me–took a long time, a lot of energy, and a lot of heartbreak. I’d encourage Briony to hang in there, because the wait is worth it. But in the meantime, wanting those things and not being able to have them can really, really suck.

    I read into this that there are men commenting here who are also looking for love and who feel they’re being passed over by women they think they’d be happy with, women they think are rejecting them for all the wrong reasons. There was a time when I had similar thoughts regarding men, but I realized that these men were probably just able to see things in a way I couldn’t. They could see that we weren’t right for each other, for whatever reasons and even if I thought their reasons were stupid. That right there probably makes us incompatible! So maybe give women like Briony a break and just accept the fact that, for some people, it’s going to take longer than they’d like to meet someone, but they’re fine just the way they are.

    1. 6.1
      Richard

      “Although I agree that Richard expressed himself in a balanced way, he suggests that a woman needs to reevaluate her own needs–in the face of an article written by a woman who both well expressed her openness and flexibility and was brave enough to seek out her kindred.”

      You’re right, I probably suggested that somewhere in the subtext.

      I don’t think anyone should be with someone they really can’t get on board with, and it is perfectly okay for Briony and other women to wait for the right guy. But there are likely many compatible men for her and other women. Not necessarily just one.

      I know you can’t force attraction and if someone really isn’t for you, you can let them go. If a woman has little to no attention from men, I can fully understand the loneliness and it is awful. But sometimes I hear women who have men clamoring to date them talk about being lonely. It can be hard to find the right guy, I get it, but when they refuse a guy even a conversation, it sort of irks me to hear them say they’re lonely.

      I sometimes say, would is be so bad to explore your options with that guy you refused? How do you know he’s not the key to ending your loneliness? You don’t even know him yet.

      So, I agree with you, don’t be with someone who really isn’t for you. Do wait for your kindred. There’s nothing wrong with waiting and enjoying yourself as a single person, but explore every avenue and above all, don’t shut out the possibility of love. You may not need to reevaluate what you’re looking for, but if you never seem to find what you’re looking for, it may not be so bad to just check your list to make sure you’re not asking a little too much of people.

      1. 6.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi Richard – I hear you, and I really did think your intial response was balanced, because you didn’t come off as “This is DEFINITELY the reason all women are single” etc.

        But I have to beg to differ on “exploring your options” with a guy one isn’t initially attracted to.  I think a small percentage of women “learn to love guys”, but they know who they are.  I know I am NOT one of those women.  I have fallen “out of love” or out of “potential love” with a guy I was initially attracted to, but I have never really fallen for a guy I had to talk myself into.  And believe me, I have tried.  Once guy I almost got there with him, but it was such a fragile attraction,  that I knew I would eventually turn into a bitch girlfriend.  I didn’t want to hurt him that way, and I certainly don’t want to BE a bitchy girlfriend.    I have hurt a few guys by leading them on by trying to let them grow on me.   I feel AWFUL when that happens.  I know it sounds wierd, but I HATE hurting people, MORE than being hurt myself (in the early phases of dating)  As for break ups of LTR’s , well, they are always a bitch, no matter who did the hurting and who got hurt.

        Some people say men size women up immediately as either girlfriend/wife material or a hump and dump.  And women know immediately if they want to sleep with a man.  I tend to believe that.  (for most people, of course there are exceptions)

        As for guys that I was INITIALLY attracted to, then it faded, it was usually because of very bad behavior on their part, or such an obvious dis-interest in me that I either lose my initial attraction, or just stop seeing the guy, because I sure as hell am not going to try and win the heart of a disinterested guy.

        So thats JM2C on women trying to force an attraction to a guy they just don’t feel it for.  I think we do women AND men a dis-service by suggesting such stuff.

        Also, it very RARE that I see MEN advised to try and learn to be attracted to a girl they aren’t initially attracted to.

         

        If there isn’t at least a baseline attraction (a small amount will work), then it’s a losing battle AFAIC.

        1. Richard

          “If there isn’t at least a baseline attraction (a small amount will work), then it’s a losing battle AFAIC.”

          Fair enough. That makes perfect sense, and I agree with you.

          However, as a point of divergence, it has been documented numerous times of women changing their opinions of men and falling in love over time. It doesn’t always happen, but it seems common enough (and I know it can happen to some men, including me). Sometimes I wonder, though, if some of the women, not necessarily you, who say they never change their minds about a guy or rarely feel attracted to a guy haven’t somehow convinced themselves or conditioned themselves to not feel anything for a guy if they don’t feel immediate pangs of lust or chemistry or whatever you want to call it. If it doesn’t happen in seconds, they trick their mind into thinking it’ll never happen. Maybe it won’t, but they won’t try to find out if they’re wrong.

          What I’m trying to say is, if a woman at least tried a guy out with or without a baseline attraction, barring finding him simply repulsive, a spark might grow and there ends the loneliness. But as it is, I see so many women just passing guys going “nope, nope, nope, not him, not him either, maybe, nope.” They don’t even get a sense of the guy’s character or personality before relegating him to their subconscious “never” pile.

          Women don’t owe me or any guy anything, but for the sake of happiness, my point is to at least try.

          To use a bad analogy, think of men like a buffet. Try a little bit of everything and when you find what you really like, pile on seconds of it and you’ll be satisfied. Just make sure its not too unhealthy so you don’t get sick. It might turn out that the brocolli you thought you wouldn’t like is now your favorite thing (maybe you could add a little sauce to make it tastier) and that chocolate cake you couldn’t get enough of before just makes you want to puke.

        2. Karmic Equation

          I triage a different way.

           

          My first question when I viewed an online profile was “Is he cute?” If yes, then message him back. If no, next him.

           

          Then if a date results, my job is to figure out if I like him. This can be from whether or not I consider him a good conversationalist, whether I can figure out if he’s self-less or selfsih, if he likes animals, just whatever information I can get during FUN conversations with him. If most of the information is negative (guy talks too much about money, seems too insecure, too brash, not brash enough, I don’t like his voice, etc.) — then no next date if he asks. If most info is positive, and he doesn’t ask for a next date, no problem, go to the next guy.

           

          If both of us are on board, then more dates. Maybe a relationship will result, maybe not. Maybe sex will result, maybe not.

           

          But for me personally, triaging from “cute” and then funneling down to “compatibility” is an easier road to take than to start with “we have common interests” and “maybe I could sleep with him eventually”. My way is fast as well as effective. The second way takes too much time and the outcome is too tenuous. Sure, I could grow to love him and be “ok” with sex with him. But really, for both of us to be happy, I should “look forward” to sex with him, not merely be neutral or tolerant. That’s just a recipe for eventual discontent for BOTH parties.

        3. Stacy

          Starthrower, I could have written your response and couldn’t agree more.  Men are NEVER asked to allow attraction to grow.  I, like you, find it impossible for a man to ‘grow’ on me if the baseline attraction isn’t there in the first place.  I also wonder why we are urged to do so when in my opinion, it’s not even natural. Attraction is a tricky thing and for most people, it’s either there or it isn’t.  Trust me, if we could force it, it would.  If the attraction is extremely weak, it’s just a no go. Also, most women keep dating men they are not strongly initially attracted to IF there is at least a baseline attraction and there is hidden potential there.

          Fortunately, I am dating a man who is extremely physically attracted. His personality is also awesome.  But, the physical attraction played a huge role in why I was drawn to him in the first place. Obviously, that is far from the only reason. But I get tired of women being asked to compromise on our sexual attraction just to have a man.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Your blind spot, Stacy – and I see evidence of this all the time – is that my clients routinely meet a guy who starts as a 6 and ends up an 8-9. Thus, “allowing attraction to grow” is a perfectly viable strategy. By the way, it would be a perfectly viable strategy for men, too. We all know people who get more attractive the more you get to know them. But because the onus is on men to ask out women a second time, I would think very few of them would do so if they didn’t feel an initial spark.

        5. Karmic Equation

          I think you meant to address me, Karmic, not “Starthrower”, in your response, Stacy?

          Just to clarify for me, “cute”, doesn’t equal “attractive” for me. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just define that for me, “attractive” means a guy I like. You can find a picture cute, but you can’t actually like a person until you meet them.

          A guy could be cute but NOT likable/attractive after I meet with him. Maybe he’s not as cute as his pix or maybe he has some dealbreaking flaw (e.g., insecurity, brashness, bad kisser, etc.) that renders him unattractive to me. He can still be objectively cute, but since I don’t like him, he’s never going to get sex from me.

          So “cute” is just an evaluation of whether he’s good looking. And the “likable” funnel is the one I use to determine if I would ACTUALLY be able to have sex with the guy.

          Evan’s advice is great for those who those who equate cute with likable. He’s asking women to look for LIKABLE first then decide if he’s “cute enough” to have more dates with.

          For women who’ve been burned by the charismatic cute guy, this is a good way to reset her relationship-radar. She liked that charismatic cute guy for superficial qualities. Evan’s method forces her to make a determination on his SUBSTANTIVE qualities first.

          I haven’t been burned, so I don’t need the reset. If you’ve been burned, this reset could work for you. If not, stay your course 🙂

        6. Chance

          Sparkling Emerald and Stacy,

           

          I, and many of my male friends, have often been encouraged to give women that we aren’t initially attracted to a shot – especially when they are single mothers.  We’re often shamed for not being too keen on supporting a child that isn’t ours.

        7. Richard

          Just for the sake of context in light of Chance’s comment. I understand that women are tired of being expected to give guys chances when they aren’t interested initially, but, in Chance’s experience, and in mine, this happens to men too.

          The first girlfriend (to use the term loosely) I ever had was when I was 16. She, unbeknownst to me, developed a crush on me, but I wasn’t interested. She was a lot bigger than me and I wasn’t attracted, and though she was a wonderful person, we had very few common interests and I found myself being bored with our conversations.

          Anyway, for several weeks I was badgered by my friends into giving her a shot, partly because they thought I’d grow to like her and partly because my best friend wanted a date with her friend, but his love interest would only agree to a date if it was a double date with the girl who liked me.

          So, after weeks of saying no, I finally gave in and went on the double date. I had a reasonably good time, but had a crush on a different girl. I eventually told the girl I tried dating that I preferred just being friends and that we didn’t have enough in common to sustain the interest so much during the week, which broke her heart, but she was able to move on and find someone else. It caused me a lot of trouble though when her cousin found out and gave me hell because “how could I dare break up with a wonderful girl like her.” The girl is now engaged and I’m happy for her.

          So, that scenario plays out probably a lot for some girls, but guys are expected to do it sometimes too.

        8. CC

          Exactly right. And good point about men not being told: learn to be attracted to her! If you’re making yourself be attracted to someone, it won’t work.

      2. 6.1.2
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi Chance & Richard

        Thanks for your input.  Most of what I know about what men are advised to do, comes from internet surfing and some reports from my young adult son.  He has only asked for my dating advice ONCE when he was 16, so I bite my tongue around him a lot.  I would never try to set him up with a girl that he was reluctant to go out with.  I don’t advise him on his love life, because he hasn’t asked.  He’s pretty mum on the topic, to begin with, and I certainly won’t be running interference or trying to sell him on a girl he’s not interested in.  If I ever I met a girl that I thought was really “his type” (he points out girls he thinks are cute to me, so I have an idea) and I thought would be a good match, I would try to find some stealth way to arrange for them to meet.  If he wasn’t attracted, he simply wouldn’t pursue, and I wouldn’t push it.   I think most guys are adverse to blind date set ups anyway, but I might be wrong about that.

        I know a match making service I tried to use, often tried to push couples together, and they did this in both directions.  I told them that I didn’t want them trying to CONVINCE men to date me, my profile was available on their service, and if a man thought I had a cute profile pic and liked my profile, then I would prefer he contact me on his own, rather than have his arm twisted by a high pressure sales person trying to sell me like a product.

        But socially speaking, I was not aware that men faced this pressure to “give girls a chance”.

        I think it’s a BAD idea all the way around.  It’s bad enough when a disappointed would be suitor or suitorette (I just made that work up 🙂  tries to sell you on the idea of giving them a chance, but a third party matchmaker doing this is really obnoxious.

        Chance as for people trying to pressure you into a ready made family, sorry you went through that.  These people might have meant well, but they aren’t doing you, or the single mom any favors.  My divorce happend after my son was grown, so dating as a single parent was never an issue for me, but if I was in that situation, I certainly wouldn’t want “friends” trying to set me up on welfare dates.  I think single parents are best off dating other single parents. (Although in my first marriage , I had a 10 year old step son, who I love dearly)

        In fact, this time around, when some of my friends tried to set me up, I told them ONLY if the male friend they had in mind, really seemed WILLING to be set up, and excited to meet me.  I told them, PLEASE, do not try and convince a guy.  If he looks at my FB page and thinks “meh”, don’t try and sell me.  If he says “She’s pretty cute, she looks fun, I’d love to meet her” then game on.

        Happily, I am out of the dating game jungle for now !

      3. 6.1.3
        Cora

        I agree with this. I noticed a lot of reply comments here saying that Richard is saying to go for a guy you are not attracted to at all. But, for me, I don’t need an overwhelming steamy attraction at first to give it a try. When I was dating more regularly a few years ago – one guy from college asked me out. He was heavy-set, super tall, very involved in school and nerdy. Nerdy is a good thing to me anyway…I like that as I used to be a computer nerd myself and still am. This isn’t a “typical” guy for me to go out with and really there wasn’t any big attraction physically. There could be – if his personality was attractive to me. But I saw he had a passion – he was driven – he was pretty funny and nice. Those thing were attractive – not wildly attractive – more subtle. Enough to make me curious and give it a try. We went out and then hung out afterwards talking. He was probably 3x my size and weight, etc. but I could be attracted to him if there was something deeper – a connection. We just didn’t have it – or I didn’t. He spoke a lot about his ex negatively and having zero involvement with his kids – there was a lot of drama with his ex. I could have given it a chance further or another date – but we just didn’t have anything in common – and went our separate ways. So, I know I need to open myself up more and try to put myself out there and give things a try. I am more open to trying and getting to know guys I don’t feel that strong attraction to. That strong attraction has become something that scares me a bit – as it is synonymous with past failed “relationships,” that were taken too far too fast or too physical. Attraction so overwhelming can sometimes be a distraction and cloud our judgement.

    2. 6.2
      CC

      Happy, thanks for that. So correct! Please let’s stop needing to blame the woman who can’t find a mate and is sad about that. She’s not the only one. Congratulations on your happiness too, permit me some jealousy?

    3. 6.3
      Holly

      I have last go of all my “standards” for race, age, education, and income and just go with the flow.

      I am not lonely in that I’m not bored because I am always dating. However most of those dates are not that meaningful and I could spend the time learning to play the piano or traveling or doing something more meaningful and lasting for myself. Everything has opportunity costs. Sometimes I don’t want to date just because I don’t want to get the calories from restaurants!

  7. 7
    Kitty

    SAL900 it is not uncommon when people improve themselves to look back on the flaws the used to have, hate themselves for it and react by judging anyone who hasn’t, in this point in time, overcome that particular problem WAAAY too harshly.  And even if you’re right and your pet theory describes every unattached or lonely person on planet Earth why do you write “lonely” in quotes like it is an insincere or invalid theory?  Evan is right, lots of people aren’t very empathetic and you’re one of them.

    1. 7.1
      SAL9000

      No hate or lack of empathy – just answers to the implied rhetorical (“Why am I lonely and how can I not be?”) borne out of a LOT of personal experience.

  8. 8
    SparklingEmerald

    OK, I just read the article referenced in the above, and I swear I could’ve written before I met my sweetheart, or during the gap between my ex husbands.

    Society seems to have a schizophrenic attitude towards singles.  On the one hand, you must be some sort of loathsome creature to not have love, on the other hand, you shouldn’t even WANT love.  And the secret to gaining love ?  Is to not want it.  (Not to pretend to not want it, but to REALLY, REALLY not want it)  To which I say “Huh ?”  We’re supposed to not want love, so we can end up in a relationship we didn’t want to begin with ?

     

    I have a friend who got married for the 2nd or 3rd time in her 60’s.  She kind of made a big deal that she didn’t WANT to get married, and acted all blase about it, as if this was something she was talked into.  Put on the whole “I wasn’t even LOOKING for love” act.  She related to me that she was at a meet up group (sans new hubby) and when she told the girls she was just recently married that the women acted “desparate” because they said “Ooooh, how did you meet this guy ?”.  I just gave her a puzzled look and asked her how that was “desperate”? Generally when people share GOOD NEWS, other people ask questions like “Where is your new house” or “How do you like your new job”.  So now, in order not sound “desparate” if a woman tell us she got married we’re supposed to say “Gee, that’s too bad”. ??????

    Well now, she finally acts like a woman who loves her husband and is happy to be married to him.  And she let it slip that she met him through a MATCH MAKING service !   Not looking for love MY ASS !!!!!!  ????????  And really, they do seem like a good match, and her hubby seems like a great guy.

    But in a way, I don’t blame her, women these days are supposed to so cavalier about marriage & motherhood, and I see so many women blab on about how they weren’t initially attracted but he won their heart, or they never wanted to get married, but here they are, married, etc., etc.

    So between women being told that they shouldn’t want love, relationships, marriage or babies while being told we’re big fat losers if we don’t, it can be very disheartening and confusing.

    And men who really want to be married and have children get a lot of flack from their “bros” as well.  Constantly being told they should be humping and dumping girls, and not getting “oneitis”, as if caring about just one girl is a disease.  I think men may have it worse in this respect, because they have always been traditionally portrayed as anti-marriage and desiring to be perrenial bachelors living it up, hopping from bed to bed.

    Yes, some people sabotage their love life, by wasting years on un-requited love,  messing up good relationships (or potential relationships)  by cheating, nagging, or somehow mistreating their partner, or by playing games and LOSING the game they were trying to win.

    But many people are single because they honestly haven’t met their match.  They aren’t being “picky” to want to be attracted to their mate.  They aren’t butt-ugly inside or out.

    Wanting to be in a relationship is a normal desire,  it is good to learn to live a somewhat satisfying life without a relationship, but no one should ever be shamed for admitting that their PREFERENCE is to be coupled. And that in between relationship, they feel lonely.

    I don’t agree with slut-shaming, prude-shaming, body shaming, or gay shaming, but I think it’s time we added “single and wish I wasn’t shaming” to that list as well.

     

    1. 8.1
      Chance

      “And men who really want to be married and have children get a lot of flack from their “bros” as well.  Constantly being told they should be humping and dumping girls, and not getting “oneitis”, as if caring about just one girl is a disease.  I think men may have it worse in this respect, because they have always been traditionally portrayed as anti-marriage and desiring to be perrenial bachelors living it up, hopping from bed to bed.”

       

      This hasn’t been my experience.  The males I’ve been around in my life have been understanding of each others’ desire to partner up with a woman.  However, I do think that many guys (under the age of 25 or so) are quite scared of girls/women knowing this because they fear that they can be perceived as weak.  Women in this age group often seem to be attracted to the guys that don’t appear to care, which is why PUA tactics (the way I used to know it about 10 years ago – haven’t followed PUA in a long time) actually work when you’re very young.

      1. 8.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi Chance – Glad that you have supportive male friends.  Not sure how old you are,  but you seem to be in a more mature group.

         

    2. 8.2
      Allison

      Yes to all of this. Being single is hard enough but then people treat you like it’s your fault even if you’re trying everything, and then suggest that you should stop wanting it so much.

       

    3. 8.3
      Gina

      SparklingEmerald:  I so agree with everything that you wrote. I tell my friends and co-workers that I would like to find that special someone. When I feel lonely (and even when I don’t) I speak out loud that before I leave this earth, I would like to know and experience true love and to have a fulfilling, satisfying, and lasting relationship.   There ain’t no shame in it.  I think that they key to finding that special someone is to continue putting oneself out there by joining meetup groups, online dating sites, walking the dog, grocery shopping, etc., etc., and having a positive, open, and friendly demeanor with people whom people whom I encounter as I go about living and enjoying life.  Love can be found anywhere at any time. Thanks for sharing!

    4. 8.4
      CC

      Emerald, awesome post, you got it right!

  9. 9
    Joe

    I think I’ve said this here before: can you really be happy with someone, if you can’t be happy on your own?

    1. 9.1
      SparklingEmerald

      I think it depends — if you are miserable with every aspect of your life, than adding a relationship probably won’t help.

      But if you have satisfaction in many areas of your life, but a special someone to love is the “something’s missing” aspect of it, then I say yes.

      I was happy with most aspects of my life, I enjoy good health, wonderful friends, I am very proud of my grown son, I am happy with my living situation (I like my home, job, room mate and her little dog too !), but boy, did something “seem missing” until I met my sweetheart.

      Of course I didn’t focus on my health, home, circle of friends, because those things were set, all I had to do was maintain those, so much of my energy was spent thinking about finding love.

      So I was mostly content before I met my sweetie, but I am so much happier now, that I have someone special in my life.

    2. 9.2
      Lau_ra

      I wonder what is it with presumption that people who want to couple up are neccessarily unhappy being on their own? I was never the “I must have a man at any cost” girl, nor I’m that kind of woman now. I’ve been single for years, however, even when having my down moments at times, I rarely felt unhappy about it – I just took the situation as it was. However, whenever I am vulnerable enough to admit I’d like to find someone to build a life with, people always start talking crap about being happy on my own first and “finding love when Im not looking”.

      1. 9.2.1
        Joe

        The post is entitled, “Why Is It So Wrong For a Woman to Admit That She is Lonely and Wants to Find Love?”

        There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.

        1. CC

          There is not a difference between being alone and lonely….only if the person wants to be alone. Then it’s fun. If they want connection with another, being alone is lonely. All that pseudopsycho jargon is just alienating,

    3. 9.3
      CC

      Joe. the answer is YES. A relationship can make you happy the same way a relationship can make you sad. We feel and live and learn in mutuality, connection and intimacy.

  10. 10
    Michelle

    Being single and lonely is hard, for sure – I could write the book on it, having been single for most of my adult life. I didn’t meet the right guy for a long-term relationship in my 20s and 30s, but I never let it stop me from pursuing my passions in life (travel, study, work, hobbies). However, learning to be content while single has a HUGE asset for my dating life. I accepted the wrong men into my life for many years (thank you for pointing that out in your video, Evan!) because I was immature and didn’t know myself very well. These days my life is brilliant and men truly are the icing on the cake. It’s amazing how attractive a woman with a secure identity, an interesting job, and an active social life is for a man! They know you don’t *need* them, and choose their company because you find them attractive and interesting. I am now exclusively dating a man with two kids and therefore a lot of demands on his time, and he loves that I don’t feel the need to be with him all the time, because I have so many friends, interests and study as well as work. I also love that he was single for two years after the breakup of his marriage because I knew that while being alone he had the time to grieve his relationship and learn how to live his life as a single man. There is no substitute for what a loving and intimate partner can give you, I don’t dispute that. And I have definitely felt like something was missing at times over the years – and nearly gave up on dating. But being secure and happy as much as one can as a singleton means you can date with confidence knowing that if you meet a wonderful man, it’s just a bonus on the great life you already have, and if that relationship ends, you’ll be ok.

     

    1. 10.1
      Josie

      What an excellent comment – just what I needed today.  Thank you Michelle.

      At this point, my efforts in online dating recently have been met with a series of “good on paper” but emotionally unavailable men, baldfaced liars and players who disappear either right before or after the first meetup.  Settling in after relocation to a new city for only one year, I am gradually beginning to meet people organically while working a demanding job and also participating in the sports that make my life fulfilling.  I’m 39 and have now given up on any hope of children –  I had only wanted them if I had a supportive partner and that’s apparently not happening now.  I’m going to focus on my career and sport, rather than signing into Match and being reminded that 10391298 men have viewed my profile.

      Still, the societal stigma of being a single 39 year old woman continually emerges and it does hurt.  I share Briony’s feelings of “what makes ME so apparently unlovable?” It takes a lot to push through that each day, no matter how successful and independent you are.

       

      1. 10.1.1
        Michelle

        Hi Josie you’re welcome!!! I have totally been in your shoes and it is only very recently that my luck changed. I am also 39 and have felt that stigma because I was comparing myself to other people’s lives, and thinking there must be something fundamentally wrong with me because I couldn’t find love.

        For several years I was on “guy-atus” and was coming round to the fact that I might be on my own for the duration and that I was just going to have to accept it.  It’s very easy to allow past experiences to dictate the future. There were a lot of reasons I didn’t find long-term love before (bad luck – it is a thing! – living overseas where there were language and cultural barriers with most men, my emotional immaturity and accepting the wrong men because I didn’t know what was truly important in a relationship.

        Evan’s advice has been GOLD – and he is right – the time to give up on love is NEVER. Earlier this year I started dating again – and the first time the guy pulled a disappearing act (as you have experienced) and I was gutted, but I kept going and took Evan’s advice to not get attached to any one guy (as well as having the odd fling or two with guys I sussed were not boyfriend material). I started focusing on what the guys had to offer me (CEO of my love life!) and what I had to offer them – an independent, interesting, worldly, educated, cute, physically fit and bubbly woman with no kids or divorces, and for so many guys that is unbelievably attractive! 

        Now I’m in a “careful what you wish for” position because I’m exclusively dating a guy I think is really special! However after many years of being single, as much as I love dating him and feeling like a teenager with butterflies in my tummy every time I think of him, it’s still very challenging to negotiate my feelings and to open myself to someone because I *have* had a lot of disappointing experiences in the past, and not a lot of relationship experience to fall back on. And he was married for 17 years- no pressure! I know it’s going to be a challenge for me at times, but I have a wonderful therapist supporting me and have a lot going on in my life apart from him (friends, work, study, hobbies) which I hope will keep me grounded.

        When we decided to date exclusively, I told my friends  to keep swiping, because someone special IS out there, and it’s true. I can’t believe I’ve met such a lovely guy, and believe me Josie, I was the most cynical person about love on the planet!! Being me I’m cautiously optimistic and of course there are no guarantees in life, but I’m telling you Josie, DON’T GIVE UP. I’m not naive and don’t believe love is magic and easy and just happens with no effort (or struggle) but don’t deny yourself the chance to find love and someone else the chance to meet you and experience all you have to offer. Big hugs to you xx

         

    2. 10.2
      CC

      That’s a good point Michelle and yes, we all try for that and many achieve it. I think the point Briony was making is in the privacy of your alone moments, and in the reality of your aloneness there is great pain, regardless of how much you have filled in the blanks on your own. You can’t substitute a loving relationship with jobs, school and fun. Ain’t no way.

  11. 11
    Dina Strange

    I am in a relationship right now, but prior to it i was single for a year…prior to it, i was single for two years, and i am going to be honest- being single sucked. But what sucked even more is being in a miserable relationship.

    Unfortunately  we women don’t have that much of a shelf life in present society that praises youth and beauty. So every year or two spent with a wrong person, or getting to know the wrong person with whom you eventually break up, carries an opportunity cost of us – girls. You can’t win over biology, men still prefer young and beautiful to older and not so good looking (with or without great personality).

    My present relationship is satisfactory, yes there are things i’d like to fix about him, but i am giving it time (no pressure) and trying to figure out whether we are a fit long term.

    So, my point is – being lonely is real. It’s not weakness. We humans are supposed to be in pairs and in society, we are herd animals after all – however being lonely is much better than being with someone and miserable. The choice is up to you.

  12. 12
    Henriette

    I think there are many areas of life in which one is supposed to succeed without wanting it or putting any work/ thought into it.  Just consider how a person is perceived if his/her personal style is described as “effortlessly chic” vs. “try hard.”  There’s a prevailing idea that certain things, including love, should only come by chance.  Pffffft.

  13. 13
    popee

    just to counter the point some people have made about loneliness, attraction and pickiness. I fell for someone who is all kinds of wrongs on paper – he has three kids and a problematic, possibly alcoholic ex wife and huge alimony/child support payments.  I have never been as attracted to or felt like I was compatible with anyone else as much as am with this man, so all the other things I thought were necessary fell to the wayside…EXCEPT that the attraction was there from the moment I met him.  All of this to say, (and I know Evan’s view on this is the opposite of mine…) that true feelings of attraction and love cannot be compromised, but everything else can.

    1. 13.1
      Richard

      That’s a good point. Feelings of love and attraction are important. I don’t think Evan’s feelings on that are different at all. I don’t think he’d want you compromise on love and attraction. He wants people to be logical about the degree to which you should let those things influence who you are with.

      You say your man is “all kinds of wrong on paper,” but having three kids and an ex wife doesn’t mean he is a bad partner, nor that your relationship was headed for failure. So, in essence, it seems you fell for a good man. Your guy is likely a good father, and his ex wife’s possible alcoholism is not necessarily a reflection on him. And to boot, you were attracted (physically, emotionally?) from the start and that’s great.

      My advice and I think Evan’s advice applies moreso to women who fall for guys who are “right on paper” but often make poor partners and the women let their feelings of love and attraction override all the reasons the guy is not a good partner. You shouldn’t compromise on love and attraction. You said that everything else can be compromised, but I doubt you meant everything. You may have lucked out in this case, but would you really want to compromise on things like integrity, honesty, loyalty, etc?

      So, my advice was to be more open to guys that don’t initially strike all the right chords and allow them to become the right guy through their actions. If your feelings don’t change, no matter how wonderful the guy is, there’s no need to force it, but don’t immediately count a guy out of the race for your heart based on a five-second impression that is not likely to be accurate. Not all women are picky, but I know many who want way more than they should realistically expect, PLUS they want butterflies and if they don’t get them in a minute or two, they’re out of there and don’t look back.

      Being with someone you don’t love can be as lonely as being alone. I just don’t like to hear women bemoan the lack of men for them when I know that they tossed all the interested guys aside without checking the potential there. Like Evan said, take a 5 or 6 and see if he becomes an 8 or 9 after two or three dates. If not, thank him for the dates and look elsewhere. If so, you both win. Don’t always go for the 9s and 10s and hope their personalities and character traits match. And you certainly aren’t obligated to give a guy a chance when he is without a doubt unappealing to you, but like one poster said, go for “cute” or “pretty handsome” rather than always running after “hot” or “sexy” or “induces butterflies.”

      For some women, there really are very few men making themselves available, so being single is hardly a choice and that sucks, but for other women, being single when they don’t want to be sometimes is simply them exercising poor judgment when it comes to accepting or refusing guys, and that’s what Evan and I and many others here want to help eliminate.

  14. 14
    MilkyMae

    She says she’s on three dating websites and had plenty of dates, flings, and ex-boyfriends.  She may be yet another victim of the corrupting nature of online dating.   Its hard to commit when everyone  has so many choices. If you go back a generation, most people seemed to get married when their dating options dwindled.(ie after college or the  bar drinking years ).

    1. 14.1
      Josie

      I’m late thirties to Briony’s 32.

      I have observed that in both people my age, and hers, there are still plenty of couples that partner up after college.  Young divorce is prevalent though, amongst my colleagues and friends.  Just about everyone is divorced or separate by late thirties / early 40s.  I think societal reasons are a large reason, the lack of support from family members, living distant from family.  For those couples, there’s no option to drop the kids off at grammy’s while mom and dad have a weekend away.  Raising a family in a two -income household is tough especially without a close network of family supporting you , and that’s increasingly rare in this transient society.  Increased stress, marital tension, then divorce are the results.

       

  15. 15
    judy

    I think that at least the woman is honest.  Yes, it can be lonely being single – the very same reasons why a woman can be incredibly lonely in a marriage that is wrong for her (and for her spouse).

    Society still has trouble accepting that women rather enjoy being single and we still get whacked with “single supplements” in hotels.

    Maybe, just maybe, I would prefer to be married with a good man who cares as much about me as he does about himself.

    Having met so many nerds and jerks, I sometimes think that I get more emotional satisfaction from my colleagues than I would ever get from a commitment phobe who “likes his freedom”, alcohol, porn sites, drugs more than he would ever value a woman.

    Hard? Yes.  But the truth is hard.  And unpalatable.

    Because you’re not supposed to say that.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. 15.1
      Richard

      “Having met so many nerds and jerks”

      What’s wrong with a nerd? How do you define nerd?

      Just because a guy likes sci-fi or has a “nerdy” hobby doesn’t mean he’s going to force it on you, nor does it mean he can’t be emotionally, mentally, or physically satisfying. Nor does it mean he will be into porn or drugs or be afraid of commitment.

      I like nerdy things and I’m a computer programmer, but I would not classify myself as a nerd and when I meet women, I will mention my interests, but if they don’t share them, I don’t harp on about them. I focus on the things we do have in common, or I take the time to discover her interests and see if it’s something I can develop an interest in too.

      I consider myself a pretty normal, everyday kind of guy.

      1. 15.1.1
        Josie

         

        Judy (see post below) clearly has a definition of “nerd” which does not match most people’s.

        I’m fine with guys with nerdy interests, and have dated a few.

        My problem with the “nerdy” guys who often approach me online, or through things like Meetup, is not the nerdy interests but the lack of social capabilities. The nerdy guys I have been dealing with lately are absolutely on the autism/Asperger’s spectrum – unable to read social cues, creepily persistent (FB stalking), just plain strange.

        Nerdy interests are fine – but no, I did not answer the guy dressed as a Storm Trooper in his Match.com profile LOL

         

    2. 15.2
      Karmic Equation

      judy,

      If your experience is that most men you date are “commitment phobe[s] who “likes his freedom”, alcohol, porn sites, drugs more than he would ever value a woman” — then you’ve been accepting the wrong men for relationships.

      Just as there are gold-digging women, bitchy, ratchet, stupid women out there, there are going to be all types of not-good-for-relationships men out there. And I have just as much sympathy for men who choose those kinds of women for relationships as I do women who choose inappropriate men for relationships.

      The problem is that men can make a choice from their eyesight. They often choose women by their outward qualities (aka beauty) and then accept all the negative qualities because their sex appeal offsets her bad characteristics. Women have a tougher time because we don’t want “just beauty” we want commit-oriented men. Unfortunately, we often have to date men many times to make that determination. Because of those multiple dates, then we either get attached or fantasize that this guy is “the guy” — such that when his TRUE colors show, we can’t let go but instead try to change him, because letting go is just “too difficult” especially after sex.

      There are two ways to solve this problem. One is to do as EMK suggests and don’t have sex until the guy is your bf. Or you can do as I suggest, which is learn not to take it personally if he walks away after sex.

      It’s probably a Murphy’s Law thing. You don’t care if he walks away, and he sticks around. You care too much if he walks away, he walks. Which probably tells you that something about your attitude (particularly when you DO care) about his departure possibly changes YOUR behaviors in some way. Because if you DON’T care, odds are you consistently behave as you did before sex. And he was attracted to that woman’s behavior and sticks around. But when you DO care, you change in some way that makes you DIFFERENT (and in a bad way) than you behaved before sex. He’s not attracted to that after-sex woman’s behaviors, so he leaves.

      EMK’s way helps screen out players. My way — learning to control your behaviors after sex — helps keep them around after sex, such that YOU get to have the power to continue to evaluate if he’s worthy of your love. And if he is NOT worthy, then letting will not be as difficult…because YOU get to make that decision, not him.

  16. 16
    judy

    Hallo Richard, nerds for me are self absorbed individuals who have no space in their lives or hearts for someone else.  As I described it, nerds are those who are more into their bottles of booze, porn, group sex, and financial problems.  They are very often on dating sites unfortunately, and in real life.  They don’t find someone because quite frankly, they are a waste of time, unless a woman is so desperate, she’ll take whatever trash she can find (and pay for it as well).  How sexy is a drunkard? How emotionally available is he? Physically satisfying as a drunkard, as a lover of porn? Oh please.

    I certainly was not targeting you as an individual or anyone else for that matter on this website.  I think you did not understand my comment at all.

    Men can have whatever “nerdy” hobbies they want and I’m a tolerant person, and can adapt to “nerdy” things (I did have a boyfriend who loved Startrek – another whose rather interesting hobby was volcanic lavae) but the price of meeting so many of these idiots who go on dating sites (and God knows, I’ve tried so many of them) is the cost of the subscription, the disappointment, and resignation.

    If I can’t have a man who can L O V E a woman (rather than one who just “makes out”, worships his bottle of booze, and other idiocies, forget it.

    They are all out there – and guess what? Some of them actually make a living out of cheating (they target women who have bought their own homes, marry them, and then divorce them so that they get their income).

    Yes, this sounds hard.

    Life is hard for those of us who are still romantic, still dream of love, still go out (and still get hurt time and time again).

    So then we give up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. 16.1
      Richard

      Ah, yes. It would be hard to live with that sort of person. It seems, however, that we take the word “nerd” to mean vastly different things.

    2. 16.2
      SparklingEmerald

      The word you are looking for is narcissist.  Nerd means a socially awkward person, or someone who is very much into intellectual or obscure pursuits.

      I have never seen the word used as you described it.

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerd

  17. 17
    judy

    Have a nice day Richard :o)

  18. 18
    Karl S

    Regarding the subject of pickiness and settling, I’ve read a few books here and there that suggest a women’s sexuality is, on the whole, a more malleable and evolving thing than a man’s sexuality. For instance, based on hormonal changes, we know that women can completely flip about the kind of man she partners with if she’s on the pill compared to when she’s off. Apparently this kind of flip happens on a smaller scale depending on a woman’s cycle, with classically masculine men becoming more appealing during the peak of ovulation. Men on the other hand are rather fixed from an early age. For instance, there are a lot more men with foot fetishes and such, and these fetishes are a lifelong thing. This may seem like reductionist evolutionary psychology hokum, but I actually read it in ‘Sex At Dawn’, which is heavily critical of most evolutionary psychology and the standard romantic narrative.

    Regarding “giving men a chance”, I have some personal thoughts to share. I am a waiter at weddings. I’ve served at somewhere near 100 weddings now  and I’ve heard a lot of stories from the couples who have booked at the venue where I work. I can remember a number of times when the woman was “won over” by the guy after he was turned down on numerous occasions. I can’t remember a wedding where the reverse story was told. Now, I’m not a fan of continuing to pursue girls who don’t want to be chased (by me, at least), but I can’t deny it seems to have worked for some people.

    So, I wonder now if the first idea ties into the second in that women can sometimes (not always) be “won over” by “giving a guy a chance” because their sexuality and what becomes attractive to them  is more of a malleable thing.

    1. 18.1
      Karl S

      Oh btw, could you please edit my post to say “a women can completely flip” rather than “women can completely flip” so that it fits with the rest of the sentence. I only ever seem to notice my own grammar and syntax errors after I press post. 🙁

    2. 18.2
      Richard

      I’ve heard numerous examples of that too.

      I suppose by pursuing (in an appropriate manner), some men have a better chance of showing off good qualities over time that the woman would have missed had the man simply stopped after one rejection.

      One woman I talk to has turned down attempts to spend time together on a few occasions (though she accepted one of them). She, however, has never actually said she wasn’t interested and she makes it clear that she’s single, so I continue to chat her up from time to time, but I only offer an invitation to something maybe every two to three months.

      She doesn’t seem to hate me for continuing to chat with her, so perhaps in the future things could change. I, of course, will not hold my breath for it and will try to meet other women too. But I’m so intrigued by her that I would hate to simply disappear from her life entirely.

      And the hormonal changes are one of the reasons I don’t particularly approve of women using the pill as a form of birth control. I fully agree that women should have control over when and how they get pregnant, but I disagree with using the pill precisely because it messes with a woman’s preferences in a mate and it’s not really natural to mess with hormones so much anyway.

      I’ve heard stories of women being on the pill when they met a guy and got married. When they stopped using the pill to start a family, they realized that they were completely turned off by their husbands. Apparently the husband’s body odor, which was not an issue before, suddenly was unpleasant and apparently in other cases, the husband’s facial structure was suddenly unappealing.

      So, ouch. I think it would help some women to allow guys more time to show their qualities. Average case you expand your social network and meet many new men and women to increase dating opportunities, best case you realize an amazing guy was right under your nose the whole time and all you needed to do was let his awesomeness shine through. Worst case a guy feels led on, but you can mitigate this by being clear in your intentions.

      1. 18.2.1
        CC

        You guys talking about a woman being on the pill and it running their preferences in men and sex….just plain ludicrous. No. Not accurate.

        1. Richard

          I’m not trying to say that the pill will ruin a woman’s preferences. I doubt it’s as simple as her preferences doing a 180. But the scientific literature on the pill suggests that it’s prolonged use can tend to cause women, on average, to be more receptive to men that they are normally don’t find as appealing. The changes are likely more subtle, but they may be there. The pill does actually affect your biochemistry.

          The cases of women changing their minds about guys after taking or stopping the pill have been reported, so it may be something a woman wants to consider if she wants to try the pill.

          Every woman is different and there are likely other variables involved, but I still think there are better methods of contraception.

          http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/oral-contraceptive-pill-associated-changes-brain-structure

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_oral_contraceptive_pill

          I am not an expert, but I would not be so quick to dismiss the possibility that the pill may affect attraction.

    3. 18.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Hi Karl S @ 18 – I think there is a little bit of “tall tale” telling going on when women tell these stories of how they initially weren’t into the guy, but then he pursued them and captured their reluctant heart.

      “The Rules” book, is not a new concept.  Women have been told to play silly games for ever.  Ever hear the expression “He chased her, until SHE finally caught him ” ?

      So if a woman initially played hard to get, it was a big act, put on to stir his interest.  If she eventually let him catch her after playing games, he being proud of his catch, what is she going to do ?  Admit that she liked him from the git-go, and just merely gamed him into liking her with her coy little games ?  I think it’s a script that serves the couple, and maybe even underneath the surface, they both know it’s not really true.  But the man likes to boast about his prize catch, and the woman wants everyone to know that she wasn’t “easy” and that she made him “work for it”.

      I’ve heard some of these “tall tales” from women myself, but as I’ve gotten to know them better as a couple, little things would slip out, unintentionally, that gave a truer picture of what really happened.

      Another reason women might perpetrate this myth, is perhaps initially they were a little bit scared, didn’t want to be a booty call or FWB, (thought the guy was out of their league), so they resisted initially to see if he would persist or they resisted wanting him to go away, because they honestly didn’t think such a guy would fall in love with her, but just use her and lose her.  I don’t know how many brides would tell a server at at their wedding “I was really hot for him, but I was tired of being dumped by guys after sex, so I acted slightly indifferent, figuring he would go away and stop trying to just get into my pants.  Turns out, he really was interested in me beyond a fun romp in the bedroom.  When he continued to pursue me, after I initially turned him down, I couldn’t resist any more”.

      Perhaps there are SOME women who can learn to love a guy they have initially have ZERO attraction for, but usually there is some BASELINE attraction to begin with.

       

      Also, if a woman who constantly falls for guys that she feel white hot lust for at first sight and gets burned enough, she might dial it back a bit.  She might “give a guy” a chance who she finds kind of cute, but not “irresistable”.  Her initial feelings for him might be warm, safe & comfortable instead of out of control, in heat, gotta hop in the sack with him NOW.  As she gets to know the cute, but not drop dead handsome guy better, her feeling of affection grown more passionate.  But truth is, there was SOME attraction there that GREW into a more passionate attraction.

      Some men have observed this and it angers them, you’ve might have read about “Alpha lays, beta pays” or the more crude “Alpha f*x, Beta Bux”. I call it women maturing and figuring out what is REALLY important in the long term.

      Too me, it’s not much different than guys who have a few high drama relationships with high maintence “hot 10s” but fall in love with a more averagely cute “girl next door type” who is a bit more sane, and a lot less maintainance.  Of course he would be intially attracted to her, just not blinded by her beauty and he would stick with her, because she is easier to be with.  And know guy would ever admit to being initially un-attracted to a woman if he ended up with her.

      Also, I think some women just plain old “settle”, marry men that intellectually they think they SHOULD want to be with, but don’t.  Fear of being a spinster, of never having children within a marriage, the social stigma of being single over the age of 30, or just plain selfishness.  A bride in such a situation certainly isn’t going to tell the waiter “I never was really into him, and I’m still not into him, but I’m not getting any younger”

      Those are the saddest cases of all.

      I think Evan has run at least to blogs answering letters from women who settled for a guy they weren’t attracted to.  In one case the letter was from a woman who MARRIED a guy, and she thought his FACE was unattractive.  (she cited family pressure as one excuse for doing what she did).

      I object to this pressure on women to “give a guy a chance” if there’s zero or pretty darn close to zero attraction.  (I’m fine with advising women to stop chasing wild-red-hot chemistry and find a balance).  My objections are mostly due to how devastating it is to the MAN in such situations.  I think it is very cruel for anyone of any gender to lead someone on.  And I think much of this “give the guy a chance” pressure, really is just leading a guy on to love us, when we know we’ll never be able to love them.  Very cruel.

      1. 18.3.1
        Tracy L

        Hi SparklingEmerald, I agree with everything you stated in your post.  In reference to settling: I have always gotten the impression that men are just fine with one-sided attraction.  It appears that men will easily enter into relationships with women they know are not attracted to them.  Therefore, I have never felt bad for them once it didn’t work out with those women.

        In my experience, I have met many men who would pursue me relentlessly knowing full well I had absolutely no attraction to them, trying to convince me to be with them anyway, hoping that at some point I would become attracted.  Or men who wanted a long-term relationship with me after one date not taking into consideration whether I wanted to be with them long-term before deciding.

        How about rich old men who acquire young hot trophy wives, do these men really believe that those women are really into them in return…my estimation in most cases is that it doesn’t matter, they got her to marry them and that’s all that matters in the end.

        I can’t imagine any woman wanting to be a man she knew wasn’t attracted to her.  I just don’t believe women are wired to tolerate men that aren’t fully into them.  I couldn’t be with a man that wasn’t completely enthused about being with me.

        A man doesn’t pursue any woman unless she first passes his penis test and is not pressured or expected to do so.

  19. 19
    judy

    16.2 Thank you Sparkling Emerald.  Maybe nerd is not the most accurate word but it describes to me the perfect narcissist twit that tends to be found single! (and with good reason – who wants or desires a man like that?)

    I would certainly give a decent man a chance.

    If a man cannot be bothered to chase me, or at least give the impression of it, I wouldn’t give a toss about him either and am in two minds whether I should just make it difficult to have a date with me, so that at least I know that he cares enough to try (quite a few times) or to be more open (and risk being hurt for the ten hundred millionth time).

    I know that I’m not alone in this.  Recently, I chatted to a man who I’m still in two minds about.  He is not my usual type – but at least he was honest enough to say that after a disappointment, you get wary.

     

    For Karl S. – hormones are one thing and I respect your opinion.  Kindness, courtesy, reliability and being romantic (and intelligent???) for me are powerful turn-ons.

    And that would make my hormones rise very sharply.

    So where the hell are all these great men who are tens, when all that seems to be out there are “O minuses”??? Sorry, that was mean, but it describes my feelings at the moment.  It really sucks to be a perfect 12 size figure, kind and attractive, and to feel so lonely all the time (despite good friends, a full time job, a gorgeous grandchild, with another on the way, hobbies of my own,being open to those in need, etc.).

    It gets to the stage where you or rather I, just say, fuck it, if that’s all that’s out there, I’ll buy myself a vibrator with rechargeable batteries.

     

     

    1. 19.1
      CC

      Judy, wait, what? Buy yourself a vibrator? You don’t already have one? Ahhh, get busy gal.

      1. 19.1.1
        judy

        Ha ha CC.  I used to have one when I was 20.  My husband and I used to laugh about using it.  Can’t say that the idea thrills me so much now (although maybe a hot buzzing rabbit………beside my bed :o)

        Think I prefer the real thing!

        1. CC

          I definitely prefer the real thing! NO question. But, if the real thing is not immediately available…. If they’re out of something on the menu at the restaurant, do you leave or do you settle for choice #2? Options are nice. Ha!

  20. 20
    TonyBlairCastsNoShadow

    I’m gonna come right out and say it.  If , as I suspect, the photo of Ms Smith that accompanies her article represents her at her best, she’s kind of a so-so girl herself.

    She’s articulate, has a sly sense of humor,  and could probably discuss things that the receptionist with the push-up bra and the chancy tattoo couldn’t.   However, even at 32, she’s competing for a thinning field against women with a lot more appeal.  Despite the similarities between their articles, she is nowhere near as attractive as Kate Bolick.

    I know men who remain single because they pathologically compete outside their weight class.   They sally forth week after week, bouquet in hand, only to get pummeled and sent back to their corners by the Tall-Dark-And-Smoulderings.  Relief for them can come if they lay off the porn and stop masturbating.  That has the salutatory effect of making a wider spectrum of women attractive to them.

    I don’t know if there is a corresponding therapy for women.

    1. 20.1
      CC

      Ms. Smith is an adorable, beautiful and lovely woman with intelligence and obviously has relationship skills demonstrated in her ability to communicate her feelings. What a mean and ridiculous thing to say. A perfect example of objectifying a woman like she’s a Christmas roast. Weird post, you need to learn some kindness and manners sir. Women are people not products.

      1. 20.1.1
        Chris

        From the original article : “Not having someone is hard, but settling for just anyone is harder”.

        She would rather be alone than settle. What a maroon.

        1. CC

          Name calling is never necessary, even tho I ‘m a big fan of Bugs Bunny..only he can pull it off. And I get it, not that hard a concept,not wanting to settle. I was referring to his “assessing” her viability based on a single photo. Pretty shallow, that’s all.

    2. 20.2
      Stacy

      So you think a woman who is only 32 has already lost much of her attractiveness? Seriously?

      This is why I think many people are simply delusional and around and around we go.

      1. 20.2.1
        Stacy

        Last comment was for tonyblair…

        1. CC

          couldn’t agree more Stacy…Tony is more critic than lover evidently

  21. 21
    judy

    TonyClairCastsNoShadow – that’s a point.

    I am just wondering myself if it is wrong for a woman (or man) to say that she is lonely as it does come over as rather desperate.

    Some of those quiet types take too much time approaching a woman, and when they do, it’s a head scratching moment (at least, that’s how I see it) in the sense of “why did he take so long to ask?”.

    It makes me wonder if they are really genuinely interested in a woman (I have seen this with a friend) or nervous?

     

  22. 22
    ktrain

    The whole issue about the “growing on you” approach is that there are certain areas of attraction where that just can’t happen.

    For men this typically is the physical attraction piece. Guys will tolerate some pretty crazy things from a women that is attracted to them and who they find physically attractive.

    For women it’s a bit more complicated but allows for far more variables than men. But there are still no go areas for women. For me I need a good guy, not be confused for a nice guy, with a similar world view and who lives a similar physical/outdoorsy/non Netflix life. My last three extend courtships all centered around having similar world views, but neither the first nor the third point where true.

    Which brings me to the key difference in relationships between men and women: once you hit a certain point of being unattractive to men, as a women you make compromises that are so large in terms of the guy’s character that it’s better to stay single. However the author of this article isn’t one of those people, she just needs to change her expectations to be in line with her to the average guy.

    It stinks that the guys get more variables to work with when attracting women but the longer women wait to accept the nature of the situation the worse it gets for us.

    1. 22.1
      Josie

      Yes, someone on here had previously posted that attractiveness is binary for men.  You either are or you aren’t bang-able to a guy.  My experience has been as men age, their expectations for the level of woman they can score with does not become more realistic. They are inclined to dismiss a woman after the first date if she does not immediately provoke a stiffy.  The penis does the picking, as Patty Stanger says.

      I have watched Patty Stanger in the past.  Episodes tend to be similar.  The men will always go for the youngest, hottest woman off the bat, and Patty will be forced to convince a 50 year old man why he is more compatible with the lovely, successful 43 year old than the 27 year old hottie. He will go on a date with the young hottie, have absolutely nothing in common with her, then realize his mistake ( but still not be really willing to date the 43 year old).  It will take all of Patty’s efforts to convince him to date the 43 year old – but when he does, the two actually have nice conversations and deeper connection.

      My point is that, without a matchmaker involved, a picky man will not give a second chance to a woman who does not immediately light his fire.   Women on the other hand will give the less attractive man a couple of dates and let him show his true character ( just

      1. 22.1.1
        Josie

        I hit post to0 soon – I was going to conclude that this is just as Evan advise, to give him a chance and let a spark develop.

        My experience with men is that they will cut women off after the first date if she doesn’t immediately get his motor running.

  23. 23
    Katie

    I’ve been single again for almost a year after ending a four year relationship with someone I truly considered my best friend. It broke my heart, and his, but we wanted two very different things and truly, I felt lonely when I was with him for most of the last two years so being single again, although not where I thought I would be at this age is better than where I was. I took a six month hiatus from dating after the breakup and read a lot of information on this blog especially and put it to use when I rejoined the dating scene a few months ago. I’ve been much better about letting guys go who weren’t making the effort to see me again but I know there isn’t much I can do besides move on. There does seem to be a stigma when you tell someone you really want to find love, like only wanting to focus on your career or some other life goal is “cooler”, the more modern thing to do, and that wanting to find a relationship is so old fashioned and desperate. The worst too is when people say you’ll find him when you least expect it, as if being proactive about dating is even worse than admitting you want a relationship. I admit most of my long term relationships have been when I wasn’t looking for someone specifically, so I “get that” but that should just be a pleasant surprise, not a way to conduct looking for love if that’s what someone wants.  I don’t rely on happenstance as a way to achieve any other life goals. It’s tough out there and I wish there was a little more understanding towards people, women especially who want to find love.  It’s a basic human component that has gotten lumped in as a negative goal in life. I want to find someone to share my life with (yes I have great friends but no that isn’t the same) and make no apologies.

    1. 23.1
      CC

      Katie, that makes total sense and I liked your post. Being judged for wanting the thing that everyone else raves about hurts. It’s supposed to just happen or you look desperate and lonely. Well guess what, sometimes desperation is the right response to circumstances. If some of these men who want to play the field at 50, 55. and 60 aren’t feeling a little desperate for authenticity and a real connection, I consider that uncool and see them as losers. Looking for love has been seen as a negative, but looking for lots of casual uncommitted sex, way cool? I think not.

    2. 23.2
      Josie

      The problem with happenstance is that it happens less when you’re older and your social circle is smaller.  That’s why the OLD routine is so critical to dating over 35, tough as it can be.

  24. 24
    judy

    CC, 23.1

    I’m not convinced that desperation is the right response.

    Maybe letting go of it is (I’m not trying to say you are wrong – just offering an alternative view).

    Perhaps as you get older, your prerogatives change.  Being alive is already a bonus.  Certainly, as I have gotten older, I am more patient and see this in other people of my age group too.

    Between 50 and 60, our bodies are not quite so “performing” so therefore, when our bodies do perform, it is great, so I’m not sure about the casual sex, i.e. that it really happens in true life.  Maybe what I’m saying is that, if I met a man whom I was really attracted to, I would cool it more about the commitment but there would hopefully be feelings.

    And just maybe the commitment would come.  But I would not be holding my breath.

    1. 24.1
      CC

      Judy: 23.1: I agree with you. I’m not talking commitment like marriage. I’m talking about being exclusive and not wondering who he is sleeping with tonight while I’m at home. after we’ve been dating 5 months.  It’s crazy at this age. It really does happen at this age I’ve experienced it and know others who have too (59 years old). My body works  JUST fine, and my libido is intact (surprisingly) plus I’ve expanded sexually through the years and feel more confident and expressive than ever. Plus, when you know the years are flying by, you don’t want to waste time. But I know when I’m being played without any social consideration, and can’t pretend not to see high school hijinks when they are in my face. I just want some honesty and maturity at this age. Tell me the score up front, and let me decide if I want to come over for some casualty in the sack. Just don’t try to play me with a bunch of slippery slimy half truths, that’s an insult.

  25. 25
    judy

    15.2 Karmic Equation

    Thank you for your comment which was very much appreciated.  In fact, what happens for me, is that I suss them out really fast (and when I say, really fast, I mean that!).  By the end of the first date (and usually before it is ended), I have listened so hard that I realize what to expect.

    Basically, nothing much.

    So, I don’t sleep with them.  Even when they ask.  Because, as I explained, the sex won’t be great and afterwards (if there would be an afterwards) I would not feel great.

    Of course my reticence is not appreciated.  But is it a turn-on? Yes.

    This is not the reason I do it – but more for self-protection.  I’m a sensitive woman, and I really cannot bear (either mentally or physically) the idea of cheap sex.

    Thank you for your input.  All thoughts are very much appreciated.

    1. 25.1
      CC

      Judy (15.2)…Good for you for knowing your boundaries and limits and sticking with that. I have often had to make the choice…some good sex for an emotional burn? Often times I choose the sex. Sometimes I lie to myself to get the sizzle, then I look back and the clues were there, and the voice in my head said: this is gonna feel really good, then hurt like hell. I think it’s called having a modicum of a sex life while being single. But I’m starting to find that the pain does not balance out for the physical contact, especially when the guy plays the upper hand really really hard for some ego trip. Well, like you say: We’re alive! That’s something!

  26. 26
    Karmic Equation

    What I got out of Briony’s article is that she’s conflating being single with being lonely. As someone else mentioned, you can be lonely while married. And I’ve been lonely in a roomful of people. So being “lonely” is NOT synonymous with being “single”. They can overlap, of course, but Briony doesn’t like admitting she’s not part of a couple. She doesn’t want to go home to an empty apartment. (She could solve this by finding a roommate or dogs, no?)

    So, her article is that she feels she’s being judged for being lonely, when in fact she’s projecting and feeling judged for being single. Nice people rarely would judge a person who feels “lonely”. Especially not men (men understand this feeling better than women). So who’s judging her? Other women. And are they really judging her for being “lonely” or “single”? Women judge the latter but console the former.

    I think Briony should take a look at her checklist and pare it down to a maximum of 3 criteria and start dating as many men as she can who meet that minimum checklist. She’s bound to find someone then and end her single (aka “lonely”) status.

    However, I suspect she equates “paring down her list” with “settling”. So her single status is by her choice. So why should she get brownie points for being eloquent when her single plight is of her own making?

    No one faults anyone for admitting loneliness. If they do, they’re not nice people. But if (generic) you’re equating “being single” to “being lonely”, yeah, lots of judgment will come your way. Because one state is a choice you can fix with proactive action and the other state is a feeling you can’t control.

  27. 27
    CC

    Karmic Equation: I’m in a psychology program, and they have shown through research that “singleism” really does exist. People rate singles as more narcissistic, less considerate, and emotionally stunted and automatically give couples higher ratings in consideration and thoughtfulness even when the information presented is exact for singles and couples. Singles experience discrimination in many areas of society, and it does wear us down emotionally, as these micro aggressions do impact our self image. So, yes it exists, and it is completely unfounded. Knowing this can help deflect the impact and keep us from internalizing the covert messages that there is “something wrong” with you if you have chosen singleness over unhappy coupling. And, there ARE some external factors that impact whether someone meets their match or not, for example, if their job allows them to meet lots of people, of if they work on the computer on home as I do. You can’t always fix singleness through effort, although upping the odds is preferable that’s why I read Evan, to keep my motivation up, and improve strategy. No guarantees, though!

    1. 27.1
      Cora

      Good attitude CC. 🙂 Interesting about the psychology program results. I still feel like we, ourselves, assume that others are looking down on us (even if we have no idea what the other person is thinking). I have been judged by others for being a single mom – outright – told to my face. And I’ve felt odd at church before & my son’s old Christian school (there I was the only single parent). I went to a church group and I prepared myself mentally, assuming it would be all the married families/couples there at this orientation. The little orientation blew me away! People introduced themselves if they wanted to – and more than 3/4 of the people there were sharing personal details about their situations – most newly single, divorced, etc. I was in awe. They bravely shared it with the group and I just didn’t expect that as I always assume it will be couples there. So I think I should have given the writer here a little credit for being bold enough to share her thoughts. Maybe the feedback will give her some hope to get her out there to try dating more. 🙂 My point was – we should try not to assume we are being judged. 🙂

    2. 27.2
      Karmic Equation

      I was coupled up from my 20’s to 45, with maybe 2 years in my 20s where I was single. I was single from 45-48 and currently in a relationship about 4 months old.

      Maybe it’s because the majority of my friends are male.

      I have not experienced any “singleism” based discrimination, overt or covert.

      I have noticed a lot of women (and even Evan himself) commenting on men over 40 who’ve never been married should be avoided or have issues that make them bad partners (e.g, Peter Pan complex).

      And when men comment negatively here, most comment on women’s loss of beauty, waning fertility, gaining of weight and bitterness, entitlement complex, etc., as reasons why these men avoid dating women in their late 30s and up. None mention that it’s because “At 40, she’s been single and never married, so something must be wrong with her.”

      To me that means that, if there is singleism, that it is perpetuated by other women OR it’s women projecting this onto themselves. Maybe both.

      Of course, moms and dads hoping for grandchildren, pressuring their unmarried daughter to get married is probably a MAJOR contribution to a woman feeling singleism discrimination 🙂

      But feeling ashamed of asking for only one set of chopsticks to an innocuous question, is truly a problem/criticism in her own mind. I’ve worked in chinese restaurants. Chopsticks cost money. If you only need one set and we give you two sets, that’s money out of the bottom line. Chinese business people are VERY bottom line.

      When older people ask “Why’s a pretty girl like you not married?” That’s not criticism of her single status, but a compliment to her prettiness. But if that pretty girl is feeling bad about her single status, she’s going to hear the criticism not the compliment.

      Singleism may indeed exist, but I really think this is largely a female affliction. And it goes back to, if you’re living a happy life, you don’t hear or notice those “micro aggressions”. So if she hears criticism or feels discriminated upon or unheard, I really do feel that it is self-induced. It’s a projection of how she feels about her own single status. She feels her single status means shes unworthy of love. Not because other people “covertly” imply she’s unlovable. They may covertly think to themselves, “Yeah, I remember Fred. He was great. Dumping him cuz his belt didn’t match his shoes was pretty stupid on her part.”

      I’m being facetious here. But I’m inclined to believe that if there’s any discrimination of single people going on, it’s because they’re been “discriminated upon” for their dating/mating decisions…of whom to date…whom to dump…what she does to find eligible men…why she won’t accept blind date setups, etc. She’s not being discriminated upon for being single. But judged for her actions (or nonactions) that keep her that single if she doesn’t actually want to be single. No one expects any single person to couple up with unsuitable people. But if everyone is unsuitable, perhaps there is something wrong in her dating/mating decision-making process.

      1. 27.2.1
        Cora

        VERY insightful and interesting reply!!! I loved this part: “But feeling ashamed of asking for only one set of chopsticks to an innocuous question, is truly a problem/criticism in her own mind. I’ve worked in Chinese restaurants. Chopsticks cost money. If you only need one set and we give you two sets, that’s money out of the bottom line. Chinese business people are VERY bottom line.” I love your take on it. You are honest. You are looking at it logically. I feel the same. This whole thing about projecting it upon ourselves – I have done this too from time to time …Sometimes we are just over-analyzing things way too much.

  28. 28
    Cora

    I am 31, and I’ve been single for a while. I had a full and adventurous life in my 20s – working and really living my dreams overseas. Had one serious man I loved totally and completely 7 yrs ago – and he was cheating on me. I’m over that now and moved on. I was more open to dating about 5 years ago – then on and off in between. I have had some wild and strange dating experiences – something out of the movies – just a wide variety.

    I had some health problems over the past years and just didn’t care to put the energy into it. If I did meet someone intriguing, I would go for it. But you know what…sometimes that approach can scare a man off – ie: me asking him out – even just casually, no pressure, etc. In addition, I have a child, I’m a single mom, and have cared for him alone his whole 10 yrs. I am independent. I don’t care to talk about looks too much – I am modest. I used to get a lot of attention – used to probably be more open and approachable – maybe I was more social or friendly. I have been told I’m beautiful and used to do modeling overseas – but I don’t get approached much now and if I do – it’s from a certain type of man who is hollering to me from across the aisle at a grocery store – whistling and telling me how I made his day, etc. 🙂

    I don’t want to go into too much of a tangent about my dating – but I have tried and I am open to dating all different types – young, old, similar, different, computer nerd, farmer, etc. 🙂 – and I’ve tried to do this, but just haven’t met someone yet. I personally need to just have a no pressure approach to dating – I need the guy to take it easy and let us just totally relax, have fun and get to know each other. From past experiences, I do not want to dream up some fantasy romance before even meeting. And, I can sense it if a guy is doing this – and I can’t go out with him if he is (before even going out) already texting me day and night and needing non-stop sweet talk on the texts. It stresses me out and I feel he will take things too fast and go overboard – skipping past the part of being friends.

    As far as being lonely – I’m going to be honest. I haven’t had sex in 5 yrs. and even before that, so very little compared to people who are in committed relationships or married. So, I’m not feeling the way the woman did in the article – she seemed to feel so in need of that companionship – and so distraught about being alone asking for one set of chopsticks. To me, I’m sorry to be rude but it seems a bit immature. Life is SHORT! She needs to be happy with who she is – generally ok with herself and by herself before being with someone else. Or else you might end up becoming co-dependent with someone you meet – or scare them away. There are a lot worse things in the world – a lot of people struggling with health issues and other problems. Loneliness – I can see how it’s a problem for people too. Maybe do some volunteer work – connect with people again – help someone. In some ways I can understand it a little bit, and in others I don’t – because I have been single for so long. It is natural to be longing for closeness – I’m just saying, it doesn’t have to be in that form and you can be ok with who you are – above all else, and before dating.

    Because I have not had sex in so long (and honestly I am really a bit shy in person but will share this on here) – my hormones are killing me lately!!! When I am ovulating, I know it. My hormones are raging and suddenly I become open to dating again. 🙂 And, it is true that we as humans need physical closeness. I don’t want “friends with benefits,” …well, maybe 🙂 but seriously, I wish it would be possible to just be close with someone – even the cuddling and all that – without the heaviness or pressure or expectations of some type of fantasy future. Sometimes I wish we didn’t complicate everything. When I was a teenager, 16 or 17, my close guy friend, Nick, and my close friend Annie, we would spend the night at Nick’s house. We would go to sleep and we would both be holding his hand and I can’t remember, but I think I could just be cuddling and laying there with him. He was probably just too shy – but he didn’t do anything to us, except that. It was bliss. And, I had one other incredible experience like that – where I was friends with a 28 yr old when I was 17 or 18 (ok that almost sounds illegal) and I would spend the night at his apt. I would wear his flanel if cold and sleep in his bed. He never did a single thing to me. That would be nice to have sometimes. That is the extent of my longing right now. Yes, of course it would be nice to meet someone who I can laugh with, enjoy things with – have adventures with – and I will try my best to put myself out there and be open to it – but until then, I will not feel at a loss. I will not feel sorry for myself in any way. I have not cried over it. But everyone is different, and I know people can really get lonely.

    I think the author should give those guys who asked her out – a chance. They’re probably shy around her but had the guts to ask her out. She thinks they are so-so because they might be a bit timid (I’m totally assuming – and have no idea). But, she should totally go for it and just experiment and try it out. No pressure. No expectations. Hopeful for a friend. And see where it goes. I’m going to just guess here – but if she were to think someone were really spectacular (not sure what that would entail – a fancy job or great looks, etc.) he might end up not really being what she’s looking for anyway. The last time I was dating actively, my goal was to purposely go for guys I normally wouldn’t. It didn’t work – but I tried and I did put myself out there. I dated a young farmer, who was in his early 20s. I dated a guy who was a bit heavy (which really wouldn’t matter if he had a fun personality – but he kept talking about his ex and never seeing his kids) and he was a computer guy, a fitness fanatic ex Marine, and some others from a dating site. Dating site ones really didn’t work well. Anyway, I know I shouldn’t be giving any dating advice, since I’ve been single so long – but there it is. 🙂

    Lastly, there is dangerous side effect of being totally single with complete lack of contact with the opposite sex for so long. Example: today – I went to a new chiropractor. Of course he was handsome. I can’t tell half the time when people are flirting. He was very friendly but not unprofessional. If anything, I was a little unprofessional. Dangerous side effect I mentioned: being single for years + currently ovulating. The man had me sit on the massage table and he stood up right behind my back (I’ve had this done before so I knew what he was going to do). And he told me to put my hand across my chest – then he put his across mine to crack my back. Apparently I am not used to close human contact and just leaned completely into his body behind mine. It happened so fast – I don’t know if he moved away or just quickly did the move where he pulled me back and cracked my back. It seem silly though. But I had this done at a different chiro before – who would literally yank me flush against his body with full force – so I just fell into this guy’s body/chest today! 🙂 Thinking back…it seems funny to me! This is life though. 🙂 Other dangerous side effect when you do start dating and are really attracted to someone – you yourself then might take things too far too quickly – like a wild animal. So, keep that in mind for all the singles who are dating. 🙂 I’ve done that before – and then had to take a step back because I added to that problem of moving things along too quickly – from getting too intense even with kissing – too soon.

    So I think I have made the longest comment I’ve ever posted. Thank you also to Richard – I loved reading your take on it. I too, even as a woman, I would not be ok admitting loneliness. But if I am, I suppose I would say so to a friend. I don’t really feel lonely (honestly only missing my kiddo sometimes because he’d rather do other things than hang out with me!). Rather than loneliness for me, I think my body is craving closeness and I am bored as well and just want to get out and have more fun with some great people.

    I don’t understand the part of the her article about how people should feel empathy for her pain and loneliness and isolation. She can be part of the problem and she has the choice to be part of the solution. Also, I am a single mom – add that to the mix of being a single 30 something yr old and that is a whole other situation. 🙂 I think it helps to be open and to have a positive attitude. I think she is lucky she works in an environment where she is around a lot of people – she can meet so many different types of people. I have always worked from home and now attending college – not living in a happening area – it is a lot harder to meet more people – but it is always possible.

    I think she needs to change her focus – stop focusing on how you feel so lonely and how horrible that is – and learn to be really happy with who you are, single and all. Learn what makes you happy – and if you don’t know it yet, figure it out and meet some great people along the way. 🙂

     

     

    1. 28.1
      judy

      Cora, you are very generous with what you said.  Thank you for your openness and honesty.  I wish you love and a great guy.

      Certainly the idea of dating with no pressure, on either side, means that both can take their sweet time.

      Isn’t it true that while one is already fantasizing about their fabulous sex life/love life together, the other is not “running” at the same speed?

      As someone who has become rather slow at making up my mind about a man, this “slowness” helps take a good look at someone and allows them the time to “assess” so to speak.  This is not a self-centered comment but more, if I take my time, he can take his time too (and hopefully, we’ll catch up with each other – ha! :o)

      It doesn’t mean anything judgemental about those who are faster, however.

      It just struck me that if a woman cannot admit to others that she misses a man, they may not even notice it! Recent comment heard about a strong independent woman I know “she doesn’t need a man”.

      Hm.

      1. 28.1.1
        Cora

        Hi Judy. Thank you for the nice reply too. 🙂 You are so right – about how one person can be fantasizing about all sorts of fun stuff – and the other is at a different pace. I don’t know how much people notice the other person doing this. But, for me – I am probably obvious if I am doing that – and if a man is doing that – usually his actions also give it away. It’s a strange “game” of push and pull almost. I noticed if I am too upfront – it can easily scare a guy off – but I also have the mentality that life is too short – and if interested, ask the guy out and see what happens. 🙂 And I don’t really think of it as a game – it just seems in our nature for some reason. I like that you take your time – and in your slowness – can get a feel for the situation and let you take it all in. I love that. If the person can’t handle it – and keep pushing (in my experiences) then I tend to push away and move on. I’m not sure if I should give it more of a chance or if I am writing people off too quickly – but if it’s a certain way in the beginning, and I was clear about taking it easy – I just fear how much harder it will be later on. 🙂 Anyway, thank you so much for the nice comment. I wish you the best also. 🙂

    2. 28.2
      Lily

      Cora,

      If you have been a single mom for ten years, your situation is very different than the woman who wrote the article. Raising a child is difficult but does help make a person less lonely. She has never had a child.

      This woman is bright and funny and obviously has a great life. She couldn’t have the career she has if her focus was on her loneliness.

      and whoever suggested that this woman get a dog… Geez! I have had many dogs over the years (they were way more affectionate than my ex-husband!) but a dog is no substitute for a significant other. There is no substitute for waking up next to someone who loves you!

      Cora, you may understand loneliness a bit better when you drive many hours to drop your son off at college and return to an empty house. I know I did!

      1. 28.2.1
        Cora

        Thank you, Lily for a nice and insightful comment. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and I agree…I was probably too harsh with my comment. Everyone is different and in different life situations. For me, since being single for most my life – I am more used to that than not. And, if I am really in love with someone and then do get to experience that closeness and relationship – then I think when it is gone I will feel the loneliness much stronger and worse. About my son and your experience – I know I will feel this in the future. My son is getting more and more independent and less close to me by the day – so I do feel the pain of that little by little…and I know it will be worse. Thank you for making me think! 🙂

  29. 29
    CC

    Cora, thanks for sharing so much. I must say, I don’t think Briony is feeling sorry for herself. I found it really cathartic to read her article, and to know I share many of her feelings. It was validating to know that even though I go out 2-4 times a week for music and dating or visiting friends, and I work and am in a masters degree program that I adore for a fulfilling post retirement career, and I do volunteer work mentoring school age children, own my own home, do all the gardening and cleaning myself and raised 2 amazing daughters alone, both finishing up their bachelors degrees  from a very good UC while working, and one going onto Columbia University in the fall…..I get lonely as hell. Acknowledging one’s feelings is not feeling sorry. But everyone is different and maybe your need for companionship is different than hers. But saying her hurts are not as bad as someone else’s just because she doesn’t have cancer, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t feel deep loss at not achieving what she wants in a mate, especially when she desires children. Maybe the woman with cancer and the amazingly supportive husband is having a better day than her, we can’t judge. These close relationships like husband/wife really contribute greatly to our sense of belonging and well being, our ability to handle other stressors and our optimism about the future. Minimizing the importance of intimacy and connection by saying she is whining is way oversimplifying. Interesting share though, it helps to see how others think and feel. CC

    1. 29.1
      Cora

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply, CC. I think I was harsh with some of what I said. It’s just difficult – the whole situation – and everyone is so different and experiences things so differently. It does help to see other points of view. I shouldn’t minimize her feelings and I didn’t mean to do that. Part of me has really accepted my current single state as the current norm – so it is not a sad thing for me. It was interesting to learn about your life a little too. You’ve done so much and raised two daughters, own the home, etc. That is all significant and huge accomplishments. I am on the verge of buying a home too – and have been overwhelmed with all that’s involved in just renting a home – as the owner lives overseas. Managing a 1 acre yard – gardening, etc. – I enjoy it though – although it’s a lot of work. I have some great neighbors -and we all help each other out and it means a lot. Part of being single, that I like, is in learning do to more things myself. For example, fixing things – it’s more just my nature that I like learning how to do something if I can manage it – ie; doing a tune up on the car, replacing a toilet, etc. It makes me really excited to learn and do these things on my own. I had to think about what you said and what the writer said a little more. And, I have had moments where I felt that loneliness or longing. An example – my dentist – he and the hygienist are two of the nicest, funniest and kindest – warm people I’ve ever met. My dentist is a veteran (as am I) and he’ s just a compassionate guy that I am drawn to – feel safe around, etc. When I have been around him the last couple times, I felt that time – that loneliness – for a man like him. I do realize though, at the same time, that people aren’t perfect and the grass isn’t always greener behind closed doors. But, I know that is the type of guy I would want to be with – and at those times – just a few times – I felt sad about it. But, then life swept me away again with projects, my kid and school and all that other stuff. I think it reminds me, when meeting someone who I find to be what I would be looking for – that there are compatible people out there. Anyway, I’m rambling way too much. I should have more compassion for the writer’s feelings – and I didn’t mean to downplay them – we are all different. It’s nice to learn about each other on here. 🙂 Thanks CC.

  30. 30
    jon

    Yeah I do think that men are better equipped emotionally to handle loneliness and being independent.  She could always get more dogs or cats.  Though there are more humans on the planet than ever before, it is very easy to live an isolated lifestyle away from a community. Some women have high standards that are uncompromising, and this prevents them from getting close to any unworthy men, or they are protecting themselves from being hurt when a man dumps her in the future.

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