Why Are Women More Negative About Dating Than Men?

If you read the comments on this blog regularly, you can probably draw some false conclusions about dating.

Men are pigs. Men are liars. Men are flakes. Men are commitmentphobes. Men are selfish. Men are abusive. Men only want sex. Men are irresponsible.

As a man who’s none of these things – and don’t associate with other such men –  I take great umbrage at these consistent accusations about what’s wrong with guys. It’s not that there are no men that are like this, but rather that there are so many men who aren’t like this as to render this “discussion” about what’s wrong with guys moot.

My friend, Moxie, a prominent dating blogger and fellow truth-teller, agrees with me. As a 40-year-old woman, she’s been through her share of heartbreak, but when she steps back and takes an objective look at the dating behaviors of women, 35-45, she sees something else entirely. Men are pretty even-keeled about the ups and downs of dating. Women, on the other hand, are extremely negative.

Says Moxie, “They don’t write articles about the dearth of “good” women. They don’t blog about their love/sex lives. They don’t bemoan their bad dates on Twitter or Facebook. They have nothing to prove. They don’t defend their choice to stay single. They don’t have disclaimers or requirements beyond “Please enjoy giving head, be able to pay your bills, take good care of yourself and don’t be a pain in the ass.”

Yep, that sounds about right.

I’ve often heard the phrase, “there are no good men out there”. I’ve never heard the phrase,”there are no good women out there”.

So what is it that makes women more negative about the dating process than men?

If I were to tender a guess, it’s for a few reasons:

1. The biological imperative of childbearing. That ticking clock gets louder and creates an undue sense of pressure to not “waste time” on the wrong men.

2. Oxytocin. It’s biologically more difficult for women to have unattached sex without emotion and bonding. Thus, women get hurt by passionate flings more than men.

3. Societal expectations. I think there’s a ton of reinforcement from women and women’s magazines that one should be married with children. Men aren’t as consumed by relationships, in general.

4. Communication styles. Men aren’t encouraged to talk about their feelings, so even if they are lonely and pining for a relationship, you won’t hear them complain or rail on the opposite sex as much. There are certainly a lot fewer male dating bloggers, relationship columnists, and dating coaches (apart from the pick-up artist crowd).

5. Expectations. I think this is the big one. Men understand that rejection is part of the process. We ask for numbers, get turned down. Write to women online, get turned down. Lean in for the first kiss, get turned down. At a certain point, we realize that this is just how the world works. You win some, you lose some. I don’t think most women are as inured to failure as men – which makes the failures all the more intolerable, leads to prolonged dating hiatuses, and proclamations that there are “no good men out there”.

And if you’ve been reading this and bristling at Moxie’s observation that perhaps women are more negative about dating than men, consider this:

I’ve often heard the phrase, “there are no good men out there”. I’ve never heard the phrase,”there are no good women out there”.

I don’t think it’s because women are better than men. I think it’s because women are more vocal about male shortcomings.

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  1. 121

    Goldie #134 – AMEN.

  2. 122

    Michael says: Well, I would agree that the ethical thing for Tom to do would be to come right out and say that he is looking for something casual, IF women would come right out and say that they are still hung up on an ex or into someone more before they accept a first date. Or that they would offer to pay for their fair share of the date if they were already sure there wasn’t going to be a second. Just as many women are tired of sleeping with guys who won’t commit to them, many men are tired of wining and dining women who have no interest in them.

    IF, Michael? IF?? Being an ethical human being doesn’t hinge upon what someone else does or doesn’t do. It’s about what YOU do.

    Goldie and Selena, I’m with you two.

    1. 122.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Michael’s point, Margo, is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And since there are double standards surrounding women and dating, it’s only logical that there will be double standards for men as well. Do you equally support eradicating those double standards? If not, you’re no different than most men – you want to change the “problems” with the opposite sex but have no desire to address the ways in which women silently lead men on.

  3. 123

    Why are women more negative?  As a man I certainly have been “burned out” on dating and so have many of the men I know who date.  In my experience, women are more vocal about their emotions and also much more quick to throw in the towel.  As someone mentioned earlier, men are used to rejection and have learned to just move on to the next date if things don’t work out.

    Regarding Tom and his sexcapades — yes, some men are out on the prowl. Most men I know, however, don’t enter into a 3 month relationship in order to have sex.

    In the “Why don’t guys hate dating” blog I mentioned that sex is readily available.  I’ve had a number of women mention, in various ways, the “no sex until I’m in an exclusive relationship.”  This is invariably mentioned prior to or during the first date.  If I’m truly interested in the woman, it doesn’t affect me in any way — I’m willing to wait.

    I don’t keep stats but roughly 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 women I’ve gone out with are willing to have sex on a first or second date.  If I’m interested in pursuing a possible relationship, then we have sex.  If I’m not interested, we don’t.  

    Unlike many of the female posters on this blog, many of the women I meet (30-55) have no problem with casual sex outside of an exclusive relationship.  I’m very open & honest and very careful to never lead anyone into believing that she might be “the one.”  This often times leads to a casual relationship that might last several dates or a year.  I’ve never had an F-Buddy and I wouldn’t consider any of the women I see to be friend w/ benefits either.  We see it for exactly what it is — casual dating with no expectations beyond being great friends.  BTW – several of these friends have moved on to more permanent relationships but my friendship with these women has endured for several years (no sex once they have a boyfriend).


  4. 124

    Evan, using someone in any context is wrong. Even if that was Michael’s point, you can’t compare using someone for dinner to using someone for sex. Sex is a part of your body, emotions come into play. Although of value in our society, money is paper, an inanimate object.

  5. 125

    hi tom
    i can’t remember where i read this in your comments but you said something to the effect of “guys like us are easy to spot – watch our actions and not our words”.  does that mean that you tell women what you think they need to hear in order to get sex from them but you don’t follow up with actions?  i’m still totally emotionally broken from experiencing a guy who told me everything he thought i needed to hear in order to use me for sex and an emotional crutch, until he found somebody he liked better and then he ditched me so fast, i have been devistatingly confused about it for over a year.
    so, i was wondering if you could be so kind as to enlighten me, first hand, as to the warning signs that would make a guy like you easy to spot – in your unique opinion. and how you think i can behave around a “wolf in sheeps clothing” to minimise him thinking that i am vulnerable and could be easily manipulated. i don’t want to behave outrightly hostile towards every guy i meet in order weed out the creeps but also the good guys. but i am finding that through my friendly disposition, i get alot of disgusting creeps approaching me – and i blame myself for soemthing i must be doing.  i am obviously as blind as a bat in this department.  some guys i talk to tell me that i could be tricked again but i wish to educate myself as best i can so as never to be used so ruthlessly ever again.  thank you in advance for your unique take on these things and your comments.

  6. 126

    For example, Evan, would you rather be raped or stolen from?

    Both are wrong, but one is far worse than the other. Aside from that, what percentage of women set up dates with men expressly for the purpose of getting a free meal? 1% of the population, maybe? I don’t know.

    However, contrast that with men like Tom who are constantly on the prowl for sex with the sole intent and purpose of deceiving so they can get sex. There are MANY more of the latter, and again, the intent is to deceive and it’s unconscionable.

    You cannot compare that to a woman that arrives at a restaurant, eats dinner because she was invited to do so, but doesn’t offer to pay half even though she knows she doesn’t want to see the guy again.

    1. 126.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Keep spending your life complaining about men who are sexual predators, Margo. You know what’ll happen? Nothing. My advice is to learn to think the best of men and you’ll see the best in them. Seems to me you only see the worst in them…and that’s exactly what you’re seeing in return.

  7. 127

    hi again tom
    i thought of another question. do you think that when you stop using women for sex at approximately age 35, do you think that you’ll be capable of a mogonomous relationship with the same women for the rest of  your life? or would you be more inclined to go for a women who you can have children with, but manipulate her into thinking that you are a loyal, loving, devoted guy who only has eyes for her – erring her into a false sense of security, so that you can bonk around with women who come your way on the side and not get caught (i.e. she wouldn’t suspect you’d be capable of that for a moment because of your skillful manipulation). so that you can have the best of both worlds (family and security and sex with new partners).  i ask you this because i found out that this cunningly cruel beast i experienced had done that with his ex-wife and then me.  or would you hook up with one women for a few years, always on the prowel for something better, and then trade up when you get the chance – so that as you get older and therefore have less choices for easy sex, you at least have a steady bonk for several years until you find something better and new and different and more exciting and so on?
    thanks for your comments in advance.

  8. 128

    Still Looking #138
    <<this often times leads to a casual relationship that might last several dates or a year.  I’ve never had an F-Buddy and I wouldn’t consider any of the women I see to be friend w/ benefits either.  We see it for exactly what it is — casual dating with no expectations beyond being great friends.>>
    So what is the difference between a casual relationship, a f-buddy, and a friend with benefit? Is this a question of semantics? They basically all sound the same to me. And if you are looking for a serious relationship, why would you stay in a casual one for as long as a year?

  9. 129


    (1) Getting used for free dinners, favors, and whatnot, actually feels really bad for a man. It’s less about the money lost and more about the disrespect. It’s hard to explain to a woman, just as it might be hard to explain to a guy how getting used for sex feels so bad for a woman.

    (2) Getting back to what you are saying about ethics. You’re fine as long as you don’t take by force or lead someone on. If a woman says yes to a first date, she is only saying that she is willing to explore a connection with him. She isn’t saying that she isn’t talking to anyone else. If that guy wants to take her to a fancy restaurant, that’s fine, but that’s on him. Just the same: If someone has sex with someone else early on, without any talk about “what you want” beforehand, then what basis do you have to go by to assume the other person wants a relationship? 

    (3) Women will go a long way to protecting themselves if they don’t have sex before exclusive. But whenever we deal with other people, there are no guarantees. You still might be used for sex (I am very sorry for your pain Leesa #140) just as a woman might divorce a man and take half of what he spent his whole life so far building up.

  10. 130

    There’s no reason to believe Margo, that the number of women who “just want to date around for now” is any fewer (or greater) than the number of men who are “just looking for casual hookups”.  Meanwhile, don’t take women to Ruth’s Chris on an early date. And don’t sleep with a man until you actually talk about “where this is headed” and you are happy with what he has to say.
    Or that the number of women who are truly evil is any smaller (or larger) than the number of men who are truly evil. I’d like to believe that it’s only a small number though.

  11. 131

    As a man with many male friends this seems so obvious why do women make it so hard on themselves. The women who are constantly disappointed have very high expectations they rather date the man that is wanted by many women vs the ones with fewer selection. Most of these women refuse to date someone who they have less chemistry with but that means they have to participate in casual relationships with a man with higher chemistry. 

    At the end of the day i see so many happy women the question is why can’t you become of these women. The answer your are unwilling to have realistic expectations. 

  12. 132

    Bill says: ….just as a woman might divorce a man and take half of what he spent his whole life so far building up.

    BS, Bill! Doesn’t such a woman DESERVE half of what her husband has made? She cooked for him, she cleaned for him, she washed his dirty underwear AND sacrificed her own career to take care of his kids so they wouldn’t be stuck in daycare for 12 hours a day!

  13. 133

    I like the word fling to describe non-serious relationships. It connotes temporary – which most casual situations turn out to be.

  14. 134

    Margo #148: I think you mean me, NOT Bill. 🙂 

    We will have to agree to disagree here. (I’m talking about the case where she is leaving the marriage because she cheated, wanted someone more exciting, and so on.) They are her kids as well as his, and meanwhile, she was enjoying the lifestyle that he provided.

    Bill: Yes I agree with you that very often, not always but very often, women are the ones getting in their own way. It’s one reason why there is a PUA Community. Many men, especially those who are Nice Guys, are seeking help from the PUAs, hoping to learn how to develop “Chemistry” with a woman.

  15. 135

    Well I don’t really enter 3 month relationships just to have sex. As neither party declared what the situation was, technically there was no relationship. Though as Ruby says semantics perhaps?
    Besides I genuinely like these women, enough to keep seeing them, but not enough to rule out every other woman in the world! Also being ‘constantly on the prowl’ takes enormous energy and time.
    Like Michael17 I am also sympathetic to your pain. The thought of leaving a woman distraught for over a year and distrustful of men actually horrifies me, especially a naturally friendly woman like you. Regarding what I say to women, my personal rule is to never lie or imply anything false; if you ask me direct I’ll be honest However, I suppose there is an element of saying what she wants to hear (on the first few nights anyway), i.e. if she likes art I’ll talk about art etc, but is that just putting your best foot forward? Some women get so carried away with what they think is such a ‘connection’ that they totally lose their senses and sleep with the guy quickly and then wonder what happened when it fizzles out. Simply not sleeping with a guy on the first or second night will ward off the worst of us; we’ll just move on.
    As regards my future you’ve perfectly summed up my dichotomy: what happens at 35 (or when I lose my hair)? The last thing I want to do is a Tiger Woods and destroy my family. I suppose I could mature and realise that there’s more to life than endless random bonking. Ideally I could do a Hugh Grant, remain single forever, but have my children and their mother nearby and well taken care of. Unfortunately I’m no movie star so that’s not gonna happen; I guess I’ll just have to see what happens!

  16. 136

    @Tom – I appreciate you coming here and writing truthfully about your feelings and experiences, especially since you “get bashed” by many posters as a result.  I feel terrible for women who have been lied to and told stories in order to get them into bed.  However, as Evan has told us again and again, he had plenty of first- and second-date sex back in his 20s and he never needed to lie to a woman to get her into bed. 
    I have some attractive brothers, male friends, etc.  Time and time again I see them go to bed after, say, the 3rd date with women who act like this is just a fun part of getting to know each other but then blow a fuse if, a few weeks later, the guy decides that he’s enjoyed time spent together but he’s figured out that she’s not “Ms Right” for him and he’d like to be on his way.   It’s all rage and melodrama: how could he have behaved like such a cad and slept with her if he wasn’t serious, blah blah blah.  The guy is left blinking, wondering, what just happened?  And I do think these women started having sex believing they could just enjoy it as part of the process but they get more emotionally attached, more quickly, than the men and that’s where it starts getting messy. 

  17. 137

    Ruby @ 144
    You asked, “So what is the difference between a casual relationship, a f-buddy, and a friend with benefit? Is this a question of semantics? They basically all sound the same to me. And if you are looking for a serious relationship, why would you stay in a casual one for as long as a year?”

    I’m sure some will find the distinctions somewhat nebulous but here goes:  A FB, to me, is someone you see strictly for the purpose of sex.  No dinners, no movies, no real friendship — just a booty call.  A FWB is much closer to casual dating and harder to distinguish.  In my opinion, a FWB relationship is strictly friends with no emotional attachment and no real expectations.  In other words, someone who I might only see once every several weeks and never meet her family.  Casual dating to me involves a closer emotional bond yet we both realize that the relationship is casual and unlikely to progress further.

    Your second question is a good one.  Yes, I’m looking for a serious relationship and for that to happen I’m going to need to feel that she is “the one.”  The lady I’ve been seeing for almost a year is a good friend.  I’ve met her children, I’ve met most of her friends, and we have a great time together.  She’s not interested in a serious relationship with me or anyone else at this time.  I’m not interested in forming an exclusive relationship with her.  What we have is a fantastic open friendly relationship where we satisfy each other’s needs, both physical and emotional.  She knows I date quite a bit and I know she goes on occasional dates.  Some people might think it is a strange relationship but it works for us. 🙂

  18. 138

    Leesa says: “so, i was wondering if you could be so kind as to enlighten me, first hand, as to the warning signs that would make a guy like you easy to spot – in your unique opinion.”

    Leesa, a) There probably won’t be any fancy dinners because he needs to spread his money out among the sheer amount of women he’s trying to go through. So, he’ll probably only offer you a cup of coffee.

    b)When he walks through the door of the coffee house, the first thing you’ll notice is his hard-on.

  19. 139

    @ Fiona #25. i agree. i agree.
    i used to read marc’s blog with a lot of interest but have finally discovered is sugar-coated hypocrisy.

    1. 139.2

      It has to be taken with a grain of salt. No situation, desire or solution is going to fit everyone. Each is different. What works for one, won’t for another. I don’t take anyone’s dating advise, for that very reason. It might work for them, or even for the masses. But may not apply to you, the person you’re involved with. Or would like to become involved with. Or your circumstances.. Grain of salt..

  20. 140

    Still-Looking #153
    And you are certain that if either one of you met someone else, there would be no hard feelings on either side, even after a year? I’m also wondering how often you see each other. If you have a great time together, what is missing? No criticism here, just genuinely curious.

  21. 141

    Ruby @ 157 –
    I’m certain that I wouldn’t have any hard feelings if/when she finds someone.  I have several friends that I dated for various lengths of time.  One is now engaged, another is living with her boyfriend, and one is unattached.  I speak to two of them at least once a week and the one who is engaged called me for advice and a shoulder to cry on when her relationship started to go south.  My relationship with all three is and will continue to be platonic.  The fact that a romantic relationship didn’t continue to develop is no bar to allowing a lifetime friendship to develop.  

    Regarding the lady I’ve been seeing for a year — we usually go out once a week and we talk/text several days a week.  Yes, we do have a great time together but for various reasons, she’s not the one.  The other three women I mentioned above are also wonderful ladies who I always have a great time with.  If I was anxious to be in a long-term relationship, any one of the four would be a great choice.  Maybe I’m afraid of commitment, maybe I’m searching for perfection…. I’m not really sure what the problem is or if there is a problem.  I’m quite content with the way my life is right now so I guess for the immediate future I’ll just continue looking and enjoying each and every new day, experience, and friendship that develops. 

  22. 142

    Still-Looking, you didn’t answer the question as to whether the woman you’re having sex with would be ok with it if you found someone else.

  23. 143



    To me, a year and counting IS a long-term relationship. You’re getting sex and fun once a week with zero pressure to commit, so why change anything?

  24. 144

    Margo @ 159 – We are completely open and honest with each other and she knows I date other women. I plan on maintaining a platonic relationship, if and when I find someone else so the sex will end but the emotional support will always be there. I can only speculate but I believe she will have mixed feelings — happy for me and yet sad that the relationship has changed.
    Ruby @160 – She’s getting the exact same thing and both of us are happy with the current arrangement so there really is no need, at this time, to change anything.

  25. 145

    margo, i don’t know your story but you sound like you’ve really been hurt and you’re not over the pain yet. i remember commenting on evan’s blog a couple of months ago and really telling it how i saw it, which was ugly, because of the pain i was suffering over being used for sex and as an emotional crutch. there are alot of creepy, sleezy, self centered bastards out there who don’t care about how they treat women and how they affect them once they’ve used them for sex. but all of my closest friends are males and all but one, aren’t like that. they are loyal, and loving and devoted and they wouldn’t cheat on their wives/girlfriends. since the end of that terribe bastard i experienced a year ago, i have met several men whom have had women lie and cheat on them and piss off on them with another man. one guy cried for 9 months, another for 6 months. the 6 month one was heartbroken for years. another one of my male friends was also heartbroken over a women he couldn’t be with, and suffered badly for over a year after the break up and didn’t have another relationship or women for about 5 years. and it’s not because he couldn’t get one. and another one of my male friends who is 39 and really hot, was totally in love with a women who was 43. she ended up just shitting all over him. i know him well and am confident that he would have never cheated on her. he had been in love with her for about 5 years before he tried to persue her and had only a handful of women in that 5 years but always felt that she was the one. so for all the ruthless bastards who use women for sex and go through them like toilet paper, there are a few men who really do love and suffer like us women. for me, if i meet a guy, i now try to establish how they are wired in their brains regarding their attitutes towards women and relationships and their general respect for people and their degree of honesty. the truth is ugly in that alot of guys i meet are totally disrespecful and sleezy but i just remind myself of all my good male friends and the ones i’ve met who are loyal and devoted. since being used and abused i’m also more aware of how i behave towards others. respect and honesty toward all men, whether they are sleezy or not, is something i try to live by now.

  26. 146

    @155Leto @156Evan since writing 25 I have been following some of this advice and it does seem to work whereas what I was doing before wasn’t working.

    My main take away is that the dating world is what it is and as we can’t change men all we can do is to learn to navigate it better.

    In the UK we have reached a point where things have never been so easy for men. Sex has become so easy to get (not from me by the way) that a lot of men don’t think about commitment at all until their mid to late 30s if they ever do while women the same age have been through hell looking for commitment. We haven’t dealt with it too well as we grew up with the same commitment oriented expectations as our mothers i.e. Free love exists so you might date a few people before you meet The One but we will still be married before we get out of our 20s.

    I can’t change any of that. I have been lost in this town where the streets have all changed using an old map. I don’t like the new town layout much but at least I am finding my way around a bit better with a newer map and will hopefully finally end up at my destination.

  27. 147


    You seem like a person who takes no responsibility for your choices.

    It is really very simple. A man cannot use you, unless you let him. You aren’t a victim of a man’s choices, you are a victim of your own choices.

    You must be strong enough to be yourself. The “toms” of the world can’t get by me, not because I”m defensive, but because I know what I want, I wait and I’m not offended when such a man leaves. He doesn’t want me, for anything other than a fling. Okay..that’s what he wants. Really not my problem.

    I only go for the men, who show me they want a loving relationship.

    Stop being such a victim and start owning your choices, instead of reacting to the behaviour of men.


    You don’t have a bad attitude at all. You are choosing what you want, and women are choosing what they want.

    If what they wanted, was different than how they behaved, it isn’t your problem.

    If you outright lie, I would say yeah, you are a bit of an arse. However you are being quite honest.

    My current partner, sometimes listens to my chit-chat, because he knows it makes me feel good. He’s not alway’s interested, but if I feel good about him, then fun times will evolve.

    I accept it. And I thank him for showing me he cares. He’s not all about himself, he just hopes for some sexy times.

    As I said before, women need to let go of the pity party, and start having respect for their decisions, instead of living in reaction to men.

    You can’t control that, nor are you responsible. Just don’t outright lie and your moral compass is clear imo.

  28. 148


    Nonsense. Unless a woman gave up a career, that had similar earning power as her husbands career, then no she does not deserve half.

    My mother had a teachers salary. My father was a pilot, then became a lawyer. They are still together, and even my father say’s “yes he’ll take 1/2” if they divorced(They never will). After 45 years, I’d almost agree.

    But way to many women “without careers” , and “without high earning power” who deliberately give up their jobs because the “want” to raise their babies, use this as an excuse to strip a man of his earning power simply because the courts allow the women to do so. It is completely unfair.

    Unless you had an awesome career, and truly sacrificed it, then no, you don’t get 1/2. Mostly it’s a just a woman who doesn’t want to lose the lifestyle given to her, that she was never willing to earn. She never wanted a career. She wanted babies.

    Feminist entitled nonsense.

  29. 149

    @AnnieC 148 – you seem to forget that staying at home and bringing up children is making a valuable contribution to a marriage and is by no means necessarily an easy lifestyle option either but often hard work. Not really sure what this has to do with women being more negative about dating than men either. I can see how it might worry an ageing millionaire if he marries a playboy bunny but I doubt that the professional women that read this blog are really aiming to marry a man with a view to an easy lifestyle of changing diapers for a few years before running off with his money.

  30. 150

    AnnieC – You realize that while modern American women benefit from feminism, that only a minority of them are or ever were at any point in history actually feminists, right? The hypocrisy that many people complain about is actually diversity of opinion (women fill America’s churches – bastions of cultural traditionalism – as well as its universities), varying levels of apathy (most people aren’t very political either way) and just attempts to get by with varying levels of success in a world that doesn’t always provide solutions that are in line with the values and precepts that people find ideal.

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