Where Are All the Emotionally Available, Mentally Healthy Men?

Where Are All the Emotionally Available, Mentally Healthy Men

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

Unfortunately, the pool of men that I’m dating from (early to mid 40s, usually divorced) are pretty messed up. A number of them want younger women (never mind that I look much younger) – didn’t anyone tell these guys that women hit their sexual prime over 40:-)?

I’m besieged by the 50+ set even though our lives are completely different (like my kids are young and theirs are grown and they don’t want anymore). A number of gentlemen I’ve met shouldn’t have been dating at all because they are still grieving. And the most surprising phenomenon that I’ve witnessed in this pool of men is that being a pretty, happy, vivacious “cool chick” is a big negative strike against me. I’m amazed at how many of them fall for the psycho Bs and drama queens.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. 91

    Thank you, Mattie, for restoring some humanity to this long and bitter thread, not to mention throwing us the references to Bauman and Beckett – I love the Beckett quotation and often say it to myself. I haven’t read Bauman;s book – although I attended some of his lectures many years ago – but I will definitely look out for it now.

    I am also a fifty-something woman in the UK. Unlike you, I am not retiring from the fray, but about to enter it. I came to this website to read, learn and prepare, but I have to admit that discussions like this one are almost enough to make me give up before I even begin!

    Surely the real problem is not ‘men are this’ or ‘women are that’, but the fact that most of us – male and female, young and old – lack emotional maturity? We would all like to meet someone who is just perfect for us and who makes everything easy! After ready-made meals, we want ready-made relationships! We are disappointed and angry that other people don’t meet our expectations, however unreasonable. I do think that the myth of romance has a lot to do with this, at least so far as women are concerned.

    I agree with Verbosity that it is better to spend time developing yourself, emotionally, physically and materially, rather than chasing an imaginary ideal partner, expecting them provide what you lack and somehow make you ‘whole’. Actually, this kind of advice has been given to women for years, in self-help books and the like. Strangely, it is not generally found in dating manuals, which tend to approach the whole subject of dating and relationships as a series of exercises in marketing, sales, closing the deal, negotiating, re-negotiating …. perhaps this fits with Bauman;s ideas on the subject?

    Anyway, Mattie, I loved your post. It has encouraged me not to give in to despair just yet. I wish I could have someone like you as a mentor …. let me know if you are available for this role!

    Best wishes to everyone – may we all find what we need in ourselves and what we love in another.

    cerise xx

    ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’

  2. 92

    To Cerise:

    Salut, copine compatriote aux cerises!

    Thank you for your very kind remarks, which are much-appreciated – and doubtless undeserved (I mean, have you actually read any of my more confessional posts?! Aargh, the shame …)!

    I do wish you all the very best. You clearly possess one of the principal success factors for this arena: courage. A rare quality, indeed. And you’re spot-on about emotional maturity – which entails sufficient self-knowledge, based on experience, to enable a reasonable degree of risk-taking. A point which brings us neatly back to psychological square one, ie sheer guts!

    I envy your attendance at Prof B’s lectures. (One of his daughters is a beloved friend of mine.) But I went through school, university, post-grad training, etc., exclusively in the south.

    Thank you for correcting my Beckett misquote, ahem. Ah, Jaysus, and me from an Anglo-Irish background!

    While working on recovering my own bottle, I have also posted on the lovely NML’s blog, Baggage Reclaim; she could put you in touch.

    In any event, I wish you every success and happiness.


    Mattie xx

  3. 93

    Salut Mattie!

    Oh yes, courage is essential! But whether I have it – or enough of it – I am not so sure. That’s something I am working on. The need for courage is a fairly recent discovery in my life. But the lack of it, when I was younger, played a major part in the mistakes I made.

    I don’t think i have read your other posts, but I am sure you don’t need to feel any shame! I am always grateful to the people who post so openly and honestly about their experiences online, both here and elsewhere.

    Ah, Baggage Reclaim! I think it was a link from there that originally brought me to this blog! I subscribe to nml’s newsletter, so I have emailed her to ask if she would give you my address.

    Best wishes,

    cerise xx

  4. 94
    Hot Alpha Female

    Hey guys,
    I think the most important thing to remember when it comes to be single and trying to find a man, is to NOT LOOK SO DAM HARD!

    Sometimes when we have been single for a period of time that WE consider to be a long …. then we start to get the desperate cravings for a man to fill out life.

    Its important to remember first and foremost that YOU are the only person that can make yourself feel complete. Being single is a great time to really learn more about yourself and help develop some empowering beliefs.

    When Joan says that there are no good men out there, she is programming in her mind that there isn’t.

    This means that even if there are good men out there that she is passing in her immediate life space .. that she doesn’t even recognize that they are there.

    That i think is the most serious problem in this situation. Its time to start focusing more on yourself and believing that there are PLENTY of available and worthy men that are ready for a happy and fulfilling relationship …

    I think that will make the search that little bit easier.

    Hot Alpha Female


  5. 95

    Ironic how men want women to be these wonderful happy creatures that are confident in themselves with no baggage yet men look down on women for naturally aging, put them down, tell them how they aren’t good enough. I have learned from this sight that women age, and apparently that is enough to make her appear as “less” to a man and that men age but men are always wonderful and women are just less. Must be nice for the men but it certainly doesn’t make me as a woman have much faith in the male gender.

  6. 96

    Ironic how men want women to be these wonderful happy creatures that are confident in themselves with no baggage yet men look down on women for naturally aging, put them down, tell them how they arent good enough.

    Right on, JerseyGirl.

    Comments on this, Evan?

    ‘Cause it’s a he** of a point.

  7. 97

    Matter of fact, you don’t even have to be too old (although we all age from Year One, which so many men seem to conveniently ignore)!

    As a woman, you can also be too young (“it’s just wearing on me; I’ve seen so much more of life than she has”), too thin (“She’s just skin and bones; I need some curves”), too fat (seen the articles about the Orthodox Jewish men who are asking their shidduchs if the girl’s mother is above a size 8??? ‘Cause if she is, you know what’s going to happen to the prospective wife when she gets to be, let’s say, 60! The horror!!), too short (“I feel like I’m cradle-robbing”), too tall (NO SYMPATHY WHATSOEVER for short men who won’t date these women), too broke (the ever present “gold-digger” epithet), too rich (“I don’t feel like the MAN in the relationship” — don’t even get me started) …

    And after getting the psychic crap beat out of us day after day after day after day after YEAR after YEAR AFTER YEAR of this endless bile spewing against our entire sex (’cause you know, if it’s happened to a man with one woman, then ALL women are of course like that — so logical**) we’re supposed to be happy in ourselves. And confident! And gee golly gosh, men just don’t understand why we’re not! But if we’re not, well then, we just suck as women.


    **BTW, you know, guys, as a whole, you’re not really any more LOGICAL and RATIONAL than women, in general.

    First, you’re just as emotional (anger management, anyone? Punching a hole in the wall? Verbally abusing your employees? Beating up on the wife, kids, dog? Women outliving men because of all those heart attacks and strokes precipitated by the blood vessels burst in the course of the yelling and shouting?).

    Second, your thought processes aren’t necessarily LOGICAL. They’re LINEAR.

    There is a difference.

  8. 98

    Keep bashing the guys ladies. You look so much more attractive when you do. LOL.

  9. 99

    Just read this thread.

    All I have to say is WOW. Here’s what I’ve seen in brief. Where are all the healthy, emotionally available men? Evan and several other male posters answered, and were attacked in kind for their replies.

    It seems that many lady posters do not like the answers offered by Evan and others. Verbosity brought up the point and stats about post-divorce and caution to cliff-dive into a another deeply entangled relationship I find perfectly reasonable. Yet the venom directed towards him was swift and copious. As he noted, no one refuted him.

    Lyall Taylors posts around #22 were terrific. I’m not blamin’ women, just pointing out that a question has been asked, and rather than listen to the answers, processing them, and respecting them, the reaction is vituperative and attacking.

    I’m going to circle back on the thread of Where Are All of the Cute, Stable, Successful… thread that Evan closed. Notice many of the guys on that thread had seemingly ‘checked out’ from dating and mating for many reasons. You may say ‘great’ to that re: those posters.

    But my point is different. If good, emotionally available guys tell ladies what they want and they are very harshly attacked for it, it’s very possible they too have left the dating game as not being worth it to them. So perhaps bashing men (or women) who don’t tell you what you want to hear isn’t an effective tactic.

    Something to think about.

  10. 100

    verbosity made some interesting points. also his style was quite easily lampoonable.

  11. 101

    ” If good, emotionally available guys tell ladies what they want…”

    …then level-headed ladies will not object. However, I don’t feel verbosity came off as such by a long shot. You’ll notice that Hadley Paige often expresses the same or similar sentiments as verbosity, and rarely gets attacked. He has a markedly more expository and diplomatic style.

    And at the end of the day, when we’re sharing ideas about dating, you want to hear from the person who sounds like someone you’d want to date.

  12. 102

    I can see your points re: style. But the next question that comes to mind – So to not be attacked people have to post in a style that others demand or expect? I don’t get it. One may not like his style of writing as ‘too blunt’ or another adjective.

    But of he had some points, why attack him instead of respond to the points? I don’t get it.

    I thought this is a place where people can post and all ideas are welcome, even if controversial. isn’t that part of being individuals?

    Jules wrote: “… at the end of the day, when were sharing ideas about dating, you want to hear from the person who sounds like someone youd want to date.”

    I’m not nitpicking, but that seems a bit unreasonable, expecting someone to sound that way in this manner, particularly if they are putting forth differing, and sometimes opposing views.

    I write this as someone actually trying to understand, not as criticism.

  13. 103

    Keep bashing the guys ladies. You look so much more attractive when you do. LOL.


    I wasn’t bashing men. It is really frustrating how men take any form of critism of them as “bashing”. Critism and bashing are not the same thing. I was saying what I felt was true. Men expect women to be these happy little creatures but at the same time men have some many unrealistic expectations about what they want in a woman, what they wish women were more like (just look at porn), and yet men don’t expect these things to have an efffect on women? That is unlogical.

    It is unrealistic to expect a woman not to have baggage. Any woman over the age of 15, is going to have some kind of baggage. Because guess what, any girl over the age of 15 most likely has encountered some hurt in her life with other people male and female.

  14. 104

    It is unrealistic to expect a woman not to have baggage. Any woman over the age of 15, is going to have some kind of baggage. Because guess what, any girl over the age of 15 most likely has encountered some hurt in her life with other people male and female.

    But does the baggage need to be so big? It’s not that it’s a change purse or even a overnight bag. We’re talking about steamer trunk size baggage! The kind of baggage that the airlines will charge you a couple of hundred dollars to carry. And it’s old baggage, not new baggage. Ladies, unpack your bags; trade in the Samsonite luggage for a nice DG and carry the “important” things.

    1. 104.1
      Susan Young


      There are a great number of women that have been sexually abused by male family members or friends. Although this happens to men as well women as children, women have been much more often the victims. Women also for centuries been blamed when they got raped and molested. This happens when a society has given more power to males then women. Especially in earlier years, women were rarely believed when they came forward about sexual abuse or raped. In actuality it is quite rare for a woman to lie about sexual abuse or rape. It doesn’t take much to betray the trust of a child which can leave a lifetime of struggle with adult relationships.  I am hoping that you protect the women in your family from sexual abuse so they don’t have to suffer. One does not recover from sexual abuse by snapping ones fingers.

  15. 105
    Hadley Paige

    RE” Jules post @ 101 >> “Youll notice that Hadley Paige often expresses the same or similar sentiments as verbosity, and rarely gets attacked.”

    Ladies and Gentleman –“Its not what you say its how you say it.” Ain’t that the truth.

    I am a lawyer (biz & real estate). I make my living by making deals work. That means that boths sides need to feel like they got something & feel good about the process. In order to do that, it requires not getting people on opposite sides of the deal (or a view point) angry or reactive.

    I never cease to be amazed at how one can tell people things they don’t want to hear (REALLY don’t want to hear), things that will affect them in a really negative way (say an eviction for example) and have them be comfortable with it and not hate you. How? Treat them as human beings deserving of respect who have a point of view and want to be heard.

    Someone once told me that where there is anger there is pain. That has helped me alot in my dealings w people.

    I suggest these dialogs would benefit from such a perspective.

  16. 106

    After all these threads, I had to read again what started all this:

    I think Evan really didn’t listened (read) to what Joan said (Sorry Evan). She said she felt she was a “pretty, happy, vivacious, cool chick”. There’s no dark lining in her words. She did not come across to me as “anxious, self-righteous, negative, entitled”. In fact, she mentioned that she had been in a couple of relationships where some were still grieving and two relationships wherein they chose to revert back to women with major drama issues, not because the women were “easy” or “light”. How can Joan possibly be “anxious or self-righteous, etc.” when she’s involved with men such as these? I think Joan needs to look at why “she” is choosing men who have this inner need for drama. She is an intelligent woman, she can see the signs, the signs are there long before it gets too deep, she’s just not listening to them. Maybe she has a subliminal need for caretaking.

    Mattie in #82 said it best: “Give people a chance; Never ignore your gut reaction; Listen to YOUR feelings”, that goes for men and as well as the women. Taking sides and digging our heels in will get us all nowhere.

  17. 107

    Where are all the emotionally available, mentally healthy men? Well, let’s see, emotionally available men happen to be vulnerable enough that once their heart gets broken they are no longer mentally healthy. (Men don’t handle break-up as well as women)

    Once you rule out those men, that just leaves emotionally unavailable men that are trying to protect themselves from having their heart broken by being assholes :).

  18. 108

    I like emotionally unavailable men!

    No seriously, I do, and it stinks.

  19. 109

    Whew. An old and exhausting thread. I meet men daily that seem healthy enough. Now to find one cute to me.

    As for women being submissive to their men. Wow. I thought that went out with the Dark Ages. I’m of the age now where the majority of my friends are divorced. Many of whom tried to be the “little woman,” stay home with the kids, etc. They ended up bored, not using their skills, and in a financially stressed household, which, if you haven’t paid attention, is the number one things couples fight about: money.

    The successful marriages (and I mean thriving, not just towing the line) I know have two people equally pursuing their dreams and goals, often taking turns if needed, both contributing to the financial and domestic well-being of their home. Women provide more than “supplemental” income–sometimes they are the major breadwinner–men cook and clean. Deal with it!


  20. 110
    Been There, Done That

    I find the whole older man dating younger women because it’s easier since younger women don’t have the baggage older women do to be ridiculous.

    Everyone has baggage. However, most men don’t think they have baggage; it’s always the women who have the baggage because they cause trouble and make life difficult by wanting something from men. Even “bad boys” don’t have baggage, they are just bad.

    As someone, who at age 19/20/21 dated rich and successful men age 40 or older because I could, I want you to consider the following: where the hell did you think I got all the baggage that I’m now carrying around in my 40s! Doh!

    Plus, with all that baggage comes with experience, both good and bad. I would never want to be in my 20s again and be as clueless as I was back then. As the saying goes…If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things a lot differently.

  21. 111

    Both sides have legitimate points; if it’s happened to you, then your perception is truth to you. I’m amazed yet again that any relationship ever makes it.

  22. 112
    Seductress Within

    Wow, I’m exhausted reading through this thread. Both sides have some valid points.

    My 2 cents:
    Yes, men do prefer easy to be with, uncomplicated, fun women.
    Yes, I think many women need to lighten up a bit. Not saying this is the original posters problem-I have no clue.

    But does “fun”=”younger” in some cases sure, but I believe there are other reasons men go for the younger woman.
    It makes THEM feel younger, and it’s a pride/status thing-it makes them look good to other men to have a pretty younger woman on their arm.

    None of this offends me as a woman by the way. I LIKE to be the pretty younger woman on a man’s arm. But only if he’s fabulous in every other way too. 😉

    Do men have their fair share of issues. Or course, but what I don’t hear much of on this thread is optimism. Geesh, most of the posts sound so jaded. Dating is difficult and being let down time and again can get to you. But blaming the other sex solves nothing.
    If you keep getting the same result, then you HAVE to examine what YOU can do different.

  23. 113


    I’m glad to have read your post #109- it’s a relief to know that SOMEone knows people in thriving marriages. I thought such a thing was as rare as unicorns.

  24. 114

    I just re-read the OP’s original letter and a few things struck me. First, she’s a single mom. While there are many men that are fine with single moms, most men I know with their acts together will simply not entertain that notion.

    Also, of the available men in the OP’s age range (40-45), I’m sure that there are more than a few divorced ones, or whose good friends or family are divorced. Of these, I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that the once bitten, twice shy theory would apply.

    And last, I have no idea what emotionally available means. It sounds like psychological gobbledy-gook to me.

  25. 115

    “While there are many men that are fine with single moms, most men I know with their acts together will simply not entertain that notion.”

    Hmmm- if it works for Jake Gyllenhall and Ashton Kutcher, why not for these ‘regular’ men?

  26. 116

    Well, the beauty of this post is that we actually know what happened afterwards. The Secret to Love: Mr. Imperfect is Acually Mr. Right http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/secret-to-love-mr-imperfect-is-mr-right/

    I agree with Vino that most men would prefer a woman without children to a woman with children. But at a certain point in time guys realize that their dating pool is also shrinking (though not to the same extent as women’s) and that they need to be open to the idea if they are to have any dates, as most women by the age of 40 have children. There are also those guys who want to be a father so badly (but haven’t yet) that will take the insta-family presented by a single mother, even if their ideal is to start one from scratch.

    Stealing my statistics from the “My Faithful Boyfriend” thread:

    12% of men 35-44 are divorced
    14.7% of men 45-54 are divorced
    29.9% of men 35-44 are single (divorced & never married)
    24.4% of men 45-54 are single (divorced & never married)

    By the time she’s in the 45-54 range there are more single women than there are single men. Interestingly, the same phenomenon occurs with women 30-34 but not 35-44. Food for thought.

    As far as emotionally healthy is concerned, I’d say it’s someone who has good self-esteem (that contentious word!), isn’t needy, isn’t a commitment-phobe, and knows how to express his/her emotions without bottling them all up inside or having huge eruptions of them all the time.

  27. 117

    A-L wrote:

    “As far as emotionally healthy is concerned, Id say its someone who has good self-esteem (that contentious word!), isnt needy, isnt a commitment-phobe, and knows how to express his/her emotions without bottling them all up inside or having huge eruptions of them all the time.”

    This is going to sound like the picky high school teacher, but after reading that I still don’t know what emotionally available means. Self-esteem (as A-L & I have discussed in another thread) is a term that means different things to different people, and therefore useless to me as a clarifying term. Commitment-phobe is another term that doesn’t mean anything. Heck, I bet Webster’s has no definition for it.

    Perhaps that for people of either gender, they aren’t ready to ‘settle down’ or ‘commit’ until they meet someone they feel they can do that with. That doesn’t make them ’emotionally unavailable,’ which seems to present a negative characteristic (to my eyes, at least). Maybe it just means they are ’emotionally available’ to someone else.

    Maybe it’s just that the phrase is most often used as a sword.

  28. 118

    Alright, I’ll revise my definition.

    As far as emotionally healthy is concerned, Id say its someone who is confident, not afraid to be alone, is willing to commit to someone if s/he feels it is a match, and knows how to express his/her emotions without bottling them all up inside or having huge eruptions of them all the time.

    Is that clearer?

    Though there are undoubtedly people who use the word commitment-phobe to describe someone who didn’t want to date them, I think the word came about when a significant other has said, “You’re everything I’m looking for but I’m only looking for something casual/am not ready to settle down.” Or it is one who purposefully screws up a good relationship because s/he has his/her own emotional issues regarding relationships that s/he needs to deal with (ie, having an affair or picking an argument to get the other person to break up with him/her). A lot of these people are people with abandonment issues, so if they do something to screw up the relationship, causing their S.O. to dump them, then it was really them who controlled the relationship, they weren’t abandoned. Though it’s not a term I use often, I think that emotionally available/unavailable is a specific term.

  29. 119

    I read the original article after doing a web search on available and mentally healthy, and stayed to read a good amount of the comments, although I skipped over the ones that seemed to not be able to walk away from making an argument by repetition.

    As a mid 40’s man, I wanted to throw my own thoughts into the ring. A couple of things that stood out in the original post. First, in the original letter the writer made a point that they looked “young” and went on to say they looked 35 instead of 42? I don’t see a lot of difference with those ages. Also, her point was that she was attractive because she was the “cool chick” and her guy friends confirmed this for her. Did she qualify their advice by their own track record of success and did she ask them for some constructive advice on what she could do to be a better person in general and in relationships. These guys may be great resources for her or a boat anchor dragging her down with bad advice.

    As someone that’s currently dating someone 10 years younger, I don’t see the age thing as that significant. I would date a woman 10 years older as well. There’s really not that much difference, in my opinion, unless you’ve decided you don’t want to give up the possibility of having your own biological children.

    From my own experience, and I’m trying to be honest, I think I have a much easier time finding successful, available, interesting women to date. So as far as the man vs woman wars commentary, I don’t think I’ve seen what some comments indicate that “women rule the world” or however it was phrased. That seems a lot like another episode in the “All About ME!” show, that I think both men and women dating suffer through too often.

    I guess my advice is be realistic, if you want to take more than you’re willing to give in a relationship, you’ll only find unhealthy and short term relationships. Also, if you are not meeting the quality of people that you are happy with, take a break, go back and work on yourself. This will keep your attitude positive and bring the right kind of people into your life. After a period of time doing that, then start thinking about trying new things and expanding your opportunities to meet people. That has been what has worked for me.

    I know more single women that I wouldn’t date that have an “in your face” kind of attitude. Really, women that are strong and confident don’t need to do this, their lives speak for themselves. Just like men that suffer from being an adult boy, the little princess syndrome is a fatal flaw.

    I’m not picking on women, I just only have the male perspective and my experiences to offer on this. Obviously, the experts on how it is for women are women.

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    With regard to the “in your face” type of women, I think sometimes women mistake “meekness” for “weakness” and the two are not the same. I believe meekness means strength under control. I don’t think an emotionally healthy, self-respecting man wants a woman to “out man” him. But I would also say that in some cases, the “in your face” attitude is a defense mechanism rather than an actual attitude. Maybe they are expecting to be hurt. I’m not saying it’s right, just speculating.

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