Why Do Men Feel Like I’m Using Them For Sex?

Hello Evan. I have a quick question for you. I have been single for many years now and have tried online dating on and off and been on lots of first dates, many 1-3 dates and a few weekends away. What I don´t get is that most guys end the dating process with saying: “I let myself go too quickly, you are just using me and taking advantage of me and you just want me for sex.” I have heard this quite a lot and I never understood, they never explained themselves fully and it left a bittersweet taste. Why should any guy feel used by me, if I have never asked anything from them? I pay my own share on dates, movies, food, drinks, etc., even the petrol for their car if we travel together. I have never asked anyone to commit to me, marry me or have a family with me. I make it clear from the start that I have been single for pretty much all my life and that I need my space. I never play games and as long as I am into them I respond to their approaches very positively. I share with them my positive thoughts and emotions about them, make them little gifts, pay them lots of compliments, am quite cheery and fun and smiling often, and very playful in bed. I just don´t understand why somebody would feel used by me when I actually feel like I am giving way too much. Please help.

Thanks,
Alena

Alena,

Something about your post doesn’t add up.

You don’t own any flaws about yourself.

All you know is that you’re repeatedly getting the same confusing feedback from men – and it doesn’t register with you. Allow me to explain as best I can, with what limited information I have – given that I don’t know you as an individual, only what you revealed in your email to me.

It seems to me that you have two major issues that are leading men to draw this conclusion.

      1. You’re acting like a man.

 

    2. You’re invulnerable (i.e. acting like a man)

And because men generally don’t like dating other men, they’re passing you up.

Let’s take the “you’re acting like a man” piece first.

It’s always dicey to talk about “men” and “women” as monoliths. I know that there is a spectrum of behavior for both genders and that most people have both masculine and feminine energy. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no value to stereotypes for our purposes.

You’ve taken the “cool girl” thing so far that your behavior reminds men of other men.

Does this paragraph sound like a man or a woman?

“I pay my own share on dates, movies, food, drinks, etc., even the petrol for their car if we travel together. I have never asked anyone to commit to me, marry me or have a family with me. I make it clear from the start that I have been single for pretty much all my life and that I need my space. I never play games and as long as I am into them I respond to their approaches very positively. I share with them my positive thoughts and emotions about them, make them little gifts, pay them lots of compliments, am quite cheery and fun and smiling often, and very playful in bed.”

There’s no value judgment implicit on either gender if we point out that the person who is perpetually single, pays, has no needs, and needs space sounds somewhat like a typical guy. Thus, you’ve taken the “cool girl” thing so far that your behavior reminds men of other men.

This isn’t “bad” or “wrong,” but from your email, I think we can both conclude that this behavior is “ineffective.” Men are not feeling emotionally connected to you – and their only way of describing it is by saying that they feel “used” by you.

Sounds a LOT like the kind of things that women say about successful, busy, charming men who act perfectly nice, pay for the dates, have sex, and don’t seem to have any emotional needs beyond that. Which brings us to point #2.

While no one likes someone who is weak, needy and chronically insecure, most of us respond extremely well to authentic displays of vulnerability. The person who seems to have it all together is a cold fish, intimidating, inhuman, and confusing to the rest of us humans.

Although it may be useful to be independent and not to “need a man,” this is also the crux of why men are leaving you. Men want to be needed.

The choice is yours: keep exerting masculine energy and wondering why men don’t feel good around you, or let a man make an effort for you, appreciate him, and let him into your life.

And if you pay, you plan, you have sex, you make gifts, you pay lots of compliments, and you don’t express any desire for something more meaningful, guess what? You’re the guy in the relationship.

The only man who is going to stick around is a feminine man who is so passive that he needs to be courted by you.

The rest of men are going to look for women that they can pay for, compliment, win over, and feel important with.

The choice is yours: keep exerting masculine energy and wondering why men don’t feel good around you, or let a man make an effort for you, appreciate him, and let him into your life.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Clare

    Alena,
     
    Evan is spot on. Everything that you have described that you do on dates is masculine energy. You can’t understand why your behavior doesn’t work because it’s not “bad” or “wrong” per se. But masculine and feminine energy are like the two poles of a magnet in a relationship. If you put either the positive and positive poles together, or the negative and negative poles together, they are going to repel each other. You need a masculine energy partner, and a feminine energy partner; if you have two of the same, they are going to repel each other. And since most men are predominantly masculine energy, your masculine energy will repel them. Even predominantly feminine energy men will eventually be pushed away if you never let them do for you or give to you.
     
    So, masculine energy is:
    * giving
    * doing
    * thinking
    feminine energy is:
    * receiving
    * being
    * feeling.
     
    Men get into relationships with women because we compliment them and make them feel important and needed by doing the above and allowing them to feel useful in their masculine energy. Ask any woman who’s been through this a few times and the fastest way to push a man away is by usurping his role by contacting him all the time, paying, taking the lead with affection, sex, compliments etc.
     
    Also, you sound surprised that the guys you’ve been with haven’t loved the fact that you didn’t ask for a relationship, family etc. Contrary to popular belief, most guys go on dates because they want those things. Men who want relationships and marriage do not want to be used purely for sex any more than women who want those things do.

  2. 2
    Deacon Bones

    The OP’s approach sounds rigid and formulaic, and her interactions with others resemble a commercial transaction.  Men and women alike know when someone is dealing with them in a procedural, rules-driven way that creates or preserves distance.  When she “make(s) it clear from the start that I have been single for pretty much all my life and that I need my space” she is declaring her disinclination to become involved in an emotionally meaningful way.  Her standardized M.O. not only defines her to her companions, it dictates to them exactly how they are to behave, and what their experience of her company will be like.
    As EMK summarizes, “Men are not feeling emotionally connected to you – and their only way of describing it is by saying that they feel ‘used’ by you.”  Whether they articulate it as being used for sex or something else, these men know the OP doesn’t need or want them to be three-dimensional human beings in her life, and she won’t be one in their lives either.  It brings to mind some Rolling Stones lyrics:
    I can almost hear you sigh
    Almost hear you cry
    When you make sweet love to me
    Almost see your smile
    It stretched half a mile
    You had a stone cold look in your eyes
    Other people know that look when they see it.
     
     
     
     

    1. 2.1
      JoJOe

      Went and listed to that song. Thanks for that, love the written word, music.
      I’m wondering if her “masculinity” is a shield.
      If she is too in the masculine she would be attracting “needy” feminine men. Therefore, she needs to get away and have some space. She is confused through lack of inner understanding and feeling her vulnerability.
      Find out why she is afraid of the feminine, she is rejecting herself and thus getting rejected from what she wants most. Companionship.

      1. 2.1.1
        Wendy

        i have the same problem but guys r confused n don’t know wat they want cuz then we become gold diggers idk relationships r out my book cuz of this man that told me just recently he feels used for sex…I feel used as a host. He knocked me up n now I can’t get sex??? It’s like dude I told u I didn’t want a kids but I F up I know it’s all my fault 😣 Shoulda lived life without sex

      2. 2.1.2
        Sylvana

        Don’t assume she’s afraid of the feminine. She might simply be an extremely high testosterone woman, like me. Took me years to figure that out. And now a lot of things make perfect sense.

        She doesn’t sound like the typical woman who hides behind a masculine shield, but rather just like a man. Which means this is her natural way of thinking, not an act. In fact, she even sounded like she was trying to do her best to please the men she was with and make them feel appreciated. Meaning she was trying to be in her feminine energy.

        To tell us to become more feminine is about as effective as telling a masculine man to become more feminine. It doesn’t work. We think and respond in a way that is generally considered male. The feminine responses simply aren’t there, and we forever have to guess what a woman might do in the same situation.

        It’s extremely frustrating. We are basically men stuck in a woman’s body, with a few feminine traits (such as compassion) still highly pronounced, but at the same time, we are generally absolutely straight in sexual orientation, oftentimes even attracted to even more masculine men. Basically and without humor, your masculine gay man stuck in a woman’s body. It absolutely sucks.

        And while submissive and  high estrogen men tend to worship the ground we walk on, a lot of us cannot be attracted to them due to the fact that we do still have a lot of feminine cores.

  3. 3
    AMC

    Alena,
         One just has to ask, why would a man want to stay with you, at least on a long term basis?  I recently went through a rather heart renting experience with a woman very similar to the way you describe yourself.  I don’t want to impose my experience on you, but similar dynamic existed and one just has to ask, what does it mean to have your space?  I don’t understand that.  I want to share my life, I want a partner in crime, someone to see the universe expand and multiply and someone beautiful and engaging to be by my side when my dreams and her dreams come to fruition.  When you “need your space” you are casting them out in the cold.  So, really the question is not “why do guys say I’m using them”.  The question is, why do you need to be alone?  If you are happy being alone then by all means, go for it, but don’t get confused when no one wants to take a joy ride with you.  As for me – and I am assuming for most men that you are involved with – I am in to play for keeps.  Not to have a joy ride.  

    It’s kind of odd, I see the answer as abundantly clear.  While I am not laughing at your obvious sincerity or your pain, it would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.  The whole “I need space” thing is equally perplexing to me.  I have been single long enough to know that I can navigate life without complication and can handle life on my own terms.  But I also know that I don’t want to be alone – see, I can be alone, but I don’t want to.  So, from a guys perspective once you meet someone, you begin to taste that companionship and you know you want more.  Then when the person says they need space, well, you’re casting them back out in the cold; they are alone again.  So the first time or even first several times, he probably won’t say anything because he just wants more and doesn’t know how to respond.  It eventually becomes a cycle.  I am guessing the whole “I need space” thing is in some way linked to being intimate with your partner, because different men have said you only use them for sex.  What they are interpreting is that you are intimate, then recoil with the whole “I need space” malarkey.

    They don’t get to taste the full embrace.  They want to be there afterwards.  I do not do anything in half measure, I’m very accomplished professionally, very hands on as a dad, I’m sociable and have a rather loyal group of very true and sincere friends.  While I don’t know, I am guessing from several of your context clues, you date men that are similar to me.  Men like myself do not take it lightly when we can’t get what we don’t want.  We want a partner in crime, someone to grow old with and someone to challenge them to greater and more profound things in life.  When you cast a man out after you’re intimate – and you have to understand men like myself are men of passion and men of action, we feel strongly about making love to our partner and feel strongly about our role in our partners lives – he feels cheap and … well used.  

    It’s a real shame, because the men you’re dating will end up in a relationship with most of the qualities that you brought to your relationships with them; but one very important thing is missing.  They want you – not the next woman in line.  They chased YOU! They chose YOU.  But you can’t be had because you need space.  So, they will move on and perhaps you will see them and they will be happy and content in their relationships (at least most of them will, most of the time) and they will grow old with that person.  What will you be doing when you’re old?  Will you be an old spinster?  If you’re happy with that idea – sans partner, sans kids/grandkids, sans soulmate – then keep doing what you’re doing, but you should at least let the men know that you’re just playing a scrimmage game. 

    To the extent that you can answer and explain it, if only for my own benefit, please explain the whole “I need space” thing.  I doubt that it will change my behavior; who knows maybe it will.  But to me, it is just an attempt, most of the time an unconscious attempt, to avoid having a full relationship.  I can hardly blame you for wanting to live life on you’re on terms.  But, we are playing for keeps, not just a scrimmage game.  You’re playing the scrimmage game with the men in your life.  

    1. 3.1
      J

      AMC this reply is so useful to read, and so well written.  In my early 20s I dated my dream man, I really thought we’d be together forever, but was just so young and naïve, and was working on my own self growth and said things to him like “I need my own space” occasionally to explore just being me.  He would tell me directly that “he needed to be needed”, for example if he wanted to help me with something, and I just brushed him off, because I figured I could do it myself and I really didn’t believe him!  So, as could be expected, after five years he dumped me and got into a relationship with a woman with two kids who obviously made him feel very needed and loved, and they appear to be a very happy family now.  It was an incredibly  heartbreaking learning experience for me to go through.  Two years later I’m still learning from the pain that I caused from my attitude in that relationship.  Understanding that men actually want to be needed isn’t really taught to women (or wasn’t to me, anyways), so it’s nice to read a post like this.  However, had I read this in my early 20s, I doubt I would have the life experience to actually understand it and see this type of attitude in a man I’m dating.  At 30, I approach my relationships differently now, and have to remind myself that men want to make me happy!  I don’t always have to go it alone and prove to the world I can be independent.  And looking at the original posters comment, it could be some avoidant tendencies as well, which I can identify in myself and work really hard to be aware of!

    2. 3.2
      starthrower68

      On the one hand, I understand you asking the question; but on the other, does the answer matter? You can just find a woman to needs a partner to be constantly involved. You have admitted to being a hopeless romantic to the point of being reckless. There has to be a large number of women who deeply desire that if this blog is any indication. Some people, men and women, simply are not that way. Now if the OP is looking for a lasting relationship, she probably is shooting herself in the foot. But not everyone is wired that way. Doesn’t make them bad or wrong, just different from you.

  4. 4
    starthrower68

    Women are to give men space but not need it ourselves? Just asking the question. 

    1. 4.1
      AMC

      I personally don’t need space, at least any more outside of say the gym.  The problem is that it comes at inopportune times and sometimes for long periods of time.  If you 15 min here or there, no one objections.  Even a few hours a few times a week is fine.  But what if it’s at the expense of sharing a connection?  What if it’s needed for weeks on end?  That is problematic.

      1. 4.1.1
        starthrower68

        Men do that all the time. It’s called the rubber band effect.  For every man who doesn’t want a woman who needs space, there’s another telling us women expect too much.  

  5. 5
    LB

    I don’t understand how “giving” is masculine energy. Women give and give all the time.

    The question I have is how does one create an emotional connection exactly? I know it seems like a silly question, but as a shy type of person and someone who takes a while to open up, I really don’t understand how to create an emotional connection with a man. I thought I was, but with my results so far I must not be. 

    Also the whole idea of going out and getting what we want from life as been put in our heads since we were children, so the whole stop giving and going after things, specifically men here, seems difficult.  

    This definitely gave me an ah ha moment.  So thank you for that! 

    1. 5.1
      Elizabeth

      It’s a lie. The will go after you for 4-6 weeks and then totally disappear moments after you show genuine happiness of being in their company. 

      And then weirdest of all, they (men) will text you sporadically every 2 months for the rest of time. I have no idea why they think I will suddenly respond after they very clearly made up their mind. At least the ones I dumped don’t do that.

    2. 5.2
      Clare

      Giving is not feminine energy. Receiving is feminine energy. Giving BACK to a man, after he’s already given to you, is feminine energy. The man needs to do the giving first, the initiating. If you chase a man or give to him, before he’s put in the requisite energy himself, you will most likely push him away.
       
      It may be counter-intuitive, but it’s the way it is.

    3. 5.3
      Tom10

      @ LB #5
      “The question I have is how does one create an emotional connection exactly? I know it seems like a silly question, but as a shy type of person and someone who takes a while to open up, I really don’t understand how to create an emotional connection with a man”
       
      I actually think that’s a great question. My opinion: you have to be the best person the person you’re dating has ever met before.
       
      When I am trying to create a connection with a woman I will try to trigger as many as responses as I can. So I try to be a handsome, driven, confident, funny and most importantly as kind as I possibly can. If that doesn’t work, I’m a pianist in my spare time so sometimes bringing her to a performance works (I know that’s corny!). If she reckons she can do better then all my efforts are in vain. If I can manage to indicate that I’m better than guys she’s previously dated then it should work.
       
      For women creating a connection with a man is a little different. It’s more about her looks and confidence but also kindness and how she makes him feel etc. None of this will work with an unavailable man though. 
       
      My personal theory is that an “emotional connection” is simply your genetics telling you that you’ve met a person with high genetic value. Imagine you went on a few dates with a guy you would normally never consider dating; say he was obese, unemployed, old and ugly. I can guarantee he will feel an “emotional connection” for you.
       
      Fairly clinical I know.
       
      @ Elizabeth #5.1
      “I have no idea why they think I will suddenly respond after they very clearly made up their mind”
       
      They’re chancing their arm that you might sleep with them again, as they might have no other options at the time. They do this because a surprisingly high percentage of women will still occasionally sleep with a guy after he’s dumped her.
       
      “At least the ones I dumped don’t do that”
       
      Because it doesn’t really work the other way around. Women ‘usually’ have no interest in having a guy as a booty call who they’ve already dumped.
       
       

      1. 5.3.1
        LB

        That kind of makes sense, but how do you make a man feel good without giving to him or doing stuff for him? I’m a giver by nature, so I help my community, give to my family and others, perhaps my dating downfall. I like to think I’m pretty cultured and diverse, so I can carry on a conversation about pretty much anything and I’m pretty fun to be around. So I do think I’m a pretty awesome catch, but men don’t seem to realize this. So I must still be missing parts of this emotional connection idea or I keep getting involved with unavailable men. I can definitely relate to Alena, but the difference is I don’t want space and I do want something lasting.

        1. Clare

          LB,
           
          “how do you make a man feel good without giving to him or doing stuff for him?”
           
          Easy. You smile at him. You laugh at his jokes. You flirt with him. You show interest at what he has to say, you express openness and curiosity about him. You’re warm and feminine, giving off an inviting vibe without giving anything away. You thank him and show appreciation when he does something for you. These things will make a man feel like a million bucks and he will want to connect with you and see you again without you giving anything.

        2. starthrower68

          Smile and nod.

      2. 5.3.2
        Stacy

        Tom,

        How incredibly insightful! 

  6. 6
    Gabri'el

    I of course agree with Evan, BUT! I think it’s just the men she is choosing, and not just Alena. If she gets with a guy who wants love and a relationship, then yes, he will want that from her, but if she gets with a guy who is not looking for anything serious, he would love to be with a girl like her, this site is filled with stories from women who’ve unfortunately given their hearts to such guys over and over again.
     
    Hmmm… but now that I think about it, I wonder… If she is intentionally choosing these type of men because she gets the high levels of attention from them without the burden/fear of falling in love with them back. It’s a very powerful and safe position to be in. Alena, are you telling these guys you don’t want anything serious up-front?
     
    I wonder why none of those manosphere guys are commenting on this? Alena seems to be the type of women they are always scream on this blog about wanting. I would also love to hear Karmic Equation’s take on this subject since she is the ultimate cool chick to me. Karmic, is Alena just being too cool without realizing it or is she just an emotionally unavailable woman? 

    1. 6.1
      Karmic Equation

       
      Aww, Thanks, Gabri’el 🙂 I’m flattered.
       
      My initial reaction after I read the original post, but before reading all the comments, was that this was another version of the “It’s not you, it’s me” breakup line that we’ve all given to someone at some point in our lives.
       
      Only this time, the guys used the sex reference because they feel she could accept that over, “I don’t like your persona/personality.” Most men ARE chivalrous (doesn’t want to say she’s too bitchy or too doormat-ty)…or cowardly (doesn’t want her to freak out. Freak outs of calm people are scarier than freakouts by loose cannons), when having the breakup talk. Depends on your perspective and the woman involved 🙂
       
      Then when I read her reply, I agree with Evan as to the WHY the men are breaking up with her. Too much masculine energy is the reason the men she dates doesn’t stick around. And the REASON they give is just the most palatable one they think she can handle, as it might be something she unconsciously values in herself. E.g., like women who’ve been told (or suspect) that men are are “intimidated” by her success, when in reality the men were turned off by something else that they didn’t want to tell her. 
       
      Men DO know that women would rather hear some form of “you’ve got <too much of a good quality>” when being broken up with than the “you’ve got a fault I don’t want to deal with” — Because women don’t argue or try to stay relationships when a man breaks up with her when he implies she’s too good for him. Her ego is sufficiently stroked so she doesn’t go batsh*t crazy on him 🙂 But if she hears that she’s got a fault, negotiation or arguments often ensue that he doesn’t want any part of (i.e., drama), when he just wants to be cleanly out of the relationship.
       
      IMHO, if a guy breaks up with a woman for any other reason than “it’s just not working out”, I strongly believe that he’s just avoiding the real reason because he wants to avoid the drama associated with disclosing the real reason.

       

  7. 7
    Noquay

    I am a very self-sufficient woman and what is described here to even me is very mannish. “I need my space” generally in man-speak translates to “I am not interested”. That MEN think you’re using them for sex means you are coming off as very, very sexually aggressive. Its OK to be independent, etc, actually all adult folk ought to be; however, there’s no need to talk about it. Dress classy, like a girl, show appreciation for things your date does for you, be a good listener. 

    1. 7.1
      AMC

      What the problem here is that you are painting with a very broad brush.  There are some women who actually mean something by it.  What is so hard to understand is what they mean by space.  Most of the time they are not literally going into the wilderness to isolate.  They still have friends and otherwise live their lives, sans guy she told she needs space.  Why would they want to abandon them?  Most of the time, in my experience, there is a commitment phobia or there is a fear of the sting of being hurt, as experienced in other relationships – so they are lugging around old baggage.  Assuming either of those things are true (or any number of similar issues) it’s problematic because the man is hurt and for a reason beyond their control and quite frankly the woman too suffers from her own phobia or baggage (or whatever other reason).  The same dynamic obviously exists with me, in fact there probably more men out there w/ excess baggage or commitment phobia.  

      As for the person who “needs space” they are the ones that need to take the space and work on why they are commitment phobic.  Unfortunately most don’t even understand the cycle they are engaging in and don’t care to examine their own selves.  It’s ashamed. 

      1. 7.1.1
        starthrower68

        What if someone is just an introvert?  Do we need to now pathologize introverts?

        1. Clare

          THANK YOU for saying this. As an introvert, I regularly need alone time, and it has nothing to do with how I feel about my partner. A third to a half of the population are introverts and they need to be with partners who have a basic acceptance of this need for “downtime”. It all depends on how do it and how you make your partner feel – if you are taking space because that is what you need to recharge, and your partner knows it’s not personal and that you still love them, that is fine. When it veers over to bad treatment and neglect, that is a problem.

        2. starthrower68

          @Clare, just moments ago, I saw a post on Facebook from Dr. John Townsend explaining that some people need alone time to recharge and, as you say, it has nothing to do with how you feel about your partner. In my case, I was an only child until age 12, my mother left when I was 5, my dad was never really emotionally involved with me (unless I kissed him off), and I always kept myself entertained. I never played much with other kids. It appears, based on some posts, that I have some sort of disorder. No, I’ve always been alone for the most pand other than my kids, I don’t know if I’d do well with someone that would need me constantly. I love my daughter with every fiber of my being but she is highly emotional and very talkative and it does wear me out at times.

        3. starthrower68

          Unless I *pissed* my dad off. He never showed me any affection. A dad is the model for the men a woman chooses later in life, so it’s little wonder I haven’t made good choices.

        4. Clare

          I understand. I live with my family at the moment, and my mom talks a lot and it does wear me out. I am moving out soon partly because of this, although I love them dearly. This is just an introvert’s lot in life. And it is NOT a pathology – quite the contrary. There are many studies which show the advantages and gifts of an introverted nature. BUT, when it comes to choosing a partner, and even friends or workplace for that matter, you do need to surround yourself with people who have a basic understanding or at least acceptance of your moderate need for space, so that you don’t feel isolated or like an alien. Simply doing this – making decisions in your life and in who you spend your time with which support your introversion, makes all the difference in being able to have a balanced, happy life. I’d just encourage you not to isolate yourself if you are introverted. I am about the most introverted person that anyone who knows me knows, and I make a conscious decision to engage with people and activities in a way that doesn’t wear me out. I do still succumb to the temptation quite often to just “cocoon” by myself though 🙂 I dated a guy for a long time who was very introverted himself and so I felt complete acceptance for this side of me, although he had other flaws which caused the relationship to end. But I know they are out there.

        5. starthrower68

          And as such it can lead one to introverted behavior.

        6. starthrower68

          Btw Adrian, I finally had a chance to look at the links you shared. Clinginess/neediness aren’t the issue.

        7. Adrian

          Starthrower, the point that was made in both articles is that our childhoods shape our relationships. Childhood were parents don’t show emotion comfort or support shape how we react in dating. Some people are clingy and needy, some people are the opposite and are always afraid, expecting the worst or to get hurt

        8. Lea

          Seriously, thanks for this comment. As an often very outgoing introvert, I go through phases of social activity and wanting to be out and about…’til I don’t. And when I need that downtime, I REALLY need that downtime.
          I also think relationships should allow ample time and space for both parties to grow and explore – yes, sometimes independently. This means I will want to partake in hobbies – rock climbing, trekking, scuba diving – without my partner, see my friends, or just catch up on books and blogs I’ve been wanting to read. Not to mention, I also run my own business and sometimes, I just need total solitude to get my work done.
          There are a lot of (very valid) reasons for needing space. Some are quite healthy.

  8. 8
    Michelle

    If this is a woman and this is how she acts, then she’s acting like herself and not like a “man”. There’s something fucked and disgusting  about framing her behavior in this insulting and restrictive term. Say she’s invulnerable, say she’s closed off, cold etc. Those are personality traits that makes sense to tack to this individual, but to claim mannishness for such neutral behaviors is just invalid. 

  9. 9
    Michelle

    To act like something you’re not means to be ‘put on’ and ‘forced’. Her behaviors, however ineffective are organic from her nature as a person, not a gender. I just can’t give a pass to this line of thinking that leads to attempts put a woman in some kind of “place”  that of course only a man gets to choose for her. 

    1. 9.1
      Jeremy

      @Michelle

      i disagree with your  post.  Of course the OP has every right to behave as she sees fit, for any reason that makes sense to her.  And if acting as she describes makes sense to her then, yes, she is organically acting like herself.  But her question related to why MEN respond to her as they do.  And therein lies the difference between the way men tend to view the world versus the way women do (in general).  Men very much view attraction from the concepts of differing polarity – what is masculine and what is feminine?  Men view certain traits/behaviours as feminine and are attracted to such traits in women.  Men view other traits as masculine, and want women to find those traits attractive in them (and don’t find those traits attractive in women).

      i have observed that women don’t generally view attraction based on polarity.  Women are often attracted to men who have the same traits as themselves (and preferably in greater measure).

      So although I agree with your statement that she has the right to be true to herself, I very much disagree with your statement/implying that there is no such thing as masculine or feminine energy/behaviour.  There is, and it is important to men. 

      1. 9.1.1
        Michelle

        Not what I said bro – sorry was that too masculine a statement for you? My point was that these particular habits of hers are neither masculine nor feminine, they’re human, not that there’s no such thing as typically masculine or feminine behaviors. There’s a dangerous line Evan crossed here into validating beliefs of people who want to circumscribe women’s personalities and behaviors into something own and controllable by using “acting like a man” as a weapon to insult and shame. I’m not with it. Evans advice is always great, but there’s a better way to teach this woman than resorting to that 

        1. BOB

          If anyone wants to see what thought looks like when indoctrinated by feminism, this is it. Michelle gives is the usual feminist axioms such as there is no such thing as masculinity or femininity or that there is only “human nature” rather than masculine or feminine nature.

          The tragedy is that so many women have received this same brainwashing and then they wonder why they can’t form or maintain satisfying relationships with heterosexual men. Go figure. 

        2. jeremy

          Michelle, I understood your remark the first time.  You wrote that there is no such thing as masculine or feminine behavior, but rather that each human has his or her own behavior that is unique to the individual – and that it is harmful to categorize behavior by gender.  I understand your argument and why one might make that argument.  I just disagree with you.  And I don’t just disagree based on my own opinion and experience, but based on that of every single man that I know, every article, book and blog that I have ever read on the subject.
           
          Men definitely perceive certain traits/behaviors to be masculine and others to be feminine, and further – we NEED that difference, that stereotypical difference, to maintain attraction.  We are attracted to women who are dis-similar from ourselves, and want them to be attracted to (and need us for) the qualities in which we ego-invest our masculinity.  You can argue that those differences are more nurture than nature, and we can have a lovely (and inconclusive) discussion about that.  But when male and female behavior becomes homogeneous men lose attraction.
           
          As a footnote, I certainly do not believe anyone should be shamed for being true to their nature.  The OP is free to act as she pleases.  But if she is wondering why men are responding the way they are, it behooves her to understand the fundamentals of attraction and the ways that male attraction differs from female attraction.

        3. Clare

          Why would “acting like a man” be an insult or used to shame? There is no shame in acting like a man if that’s what you want as a woman.
           
          But if you’re wondering why you have no success in romantic relationships with men, this is a huge clue.

  10. 10
    deep6

    What nonsense, Evan.  This woman is being straightforward about her desires and expectations for a relationship.  That is the best thing she can do, by not presenting herself to be something she isn’t, or claim to want something she doesn’t.  If these men have sex with her and then end up dumping her (or just breaking things off if they weren’t more formally dating) because they claim to feel used for sex, then it’s probably for the same reason that many women break things off with men when they do that: because they want to feel reciprocal emotional intimacy, and they’re giving but not receiving.  She’s not “being a man.”  Good gracious.  She’s telling her partners what she wants and is capable of, and they’re not okay with that, so they’re backing off.  That’s how relationships work.  These men can feel however they want, but if she’s being straightforward with them and they just don’t like her answers, then THEY are the ones who need to get with the program, not her.  There are plenty of men out there who are willing to date at this woman’s speed, where sexual intimacy and acts of care are interspersed with a lot of alone time.  She just needs to find a guy who’s looking for the same dynamic.  She is NOT responsible for someone else’s wounded feelings when she was honest with him from the start.  I imagine a lot of men assume women are lying when they hear a woman say “I need space” because they have the same foolish gendered notions of what constitutes “real” female behavior.  They need to listen to women’s words, same as women need to listen to men’s words.   

    1. 10.1
      AMC

      Agreed that framing the behavior in the fashion of the manliness is less than ideal for the sake of clarity.  Having said that, your notion that “a lot of men assume women are lying when they hear a woman say ‘I need space’ … is also nonsense.  Most modern, educated men who also work with many accomplished woman have no problem accepting women as just like them.  

      What is being missed is there is no indication that Alena is telling her partner what she “is capable of” insofar as commitments.  If so, well so be it.  But with most things in life the reality is probably much more murky.  It is entirely possible that Alena doesn’t even know what she wants, except to say that she just needs lots of space.

      What I don’t understand is, if she wants space, then gets it after the man accuses her of using him for sex, then why complain?  She is getting her space?

      The whole “need space” thing seems disingenuous to me.  Does she isolate herself from her friends?  Look a relationship – a true growing relationship – is about being vulnerable.  It seems as if the “need space” thing may be an attempt to avoid that.  Even if it isn’t, that is still the result.  Her need to isolate herself from him at least means that the relationship doesn’t grow and he is out in the cold when he doesn’t want to.  

      Just come to terms with your own baggage and don’t date.  She is the common denominator in the cycle of bad breakups, so it’s fair to surmise that she is the problem.  Deal with the underlying issues.  If she doesn’t she will continue to involve herself in the same cycle and no other men will waste their time with her, but most importantly, she will stop wasting her time with them. 

      1. 10.1.1
        deep6

        Fair enough.  *Some* men assume a woman is lying when they hear her say she needs space.  Better?

        What we know she has told them is this: I make it clear from the start that I have been single for pretty much all my life and that I need my space.

        That’s pretty clear to me.  That means she’s got a life, she’s got a routine, and while she’s interested in dating and sex, she’s not going to fully integrate Man X into that life and routine.  That she’s still splitting the cost of activities, dinners, gas, etc. is another clear sign she’s not asking a man to invest more in the relationship with her.  

        Maybe the best solution is for this woman to be even more explicit than she’s explained she’s been in her letter to Evan, and to be blunt (if necessary) with the men she’s dating.  None of this suggests she has a problem or illustrates the myth of masculine energy.  There is no such thing as masculine energy.  There are only stereotypes (western, white) about how women should behave and years of socialization that encourage women to behave in a dependent manner, and that reinforce the idea that all women are looking for a serious relationship with every man they date.  

        And why do we assume this woman has baggage?  Not wanting to be fully emotionally invested in a serious relationship is a healthy choice for some people.  We can’t assume she has some problem.  And none of what you’ve said about other men refusing to waste their time with her is true.  You have no idea what men in the future will or will not respond to favorably about her.  Nobody here has a crystal ball.

        1. AMC

          Okay, don’t know if I agree or disagree with what you said.  What I don’t understand is what does it mean to “need space”.  Is she isolating herself from her friends?  If she is is then we’ll Olay then it’s truly space.  But most of the time that isn’t the case. So I am still just not understanding the “need space” thing.  

          As for her baggage, it seems obvious to me at least that getting into a relationship and getting all hot and heavy and then pulling away is an issue.  That is not healthy for her victims and not even healthy for her.  As long as she is in a living secure relationship with someone who she cares about, she should stay instead of driving them awAy with her pull push pattern.  That is, to me, evidence of her lack of ability to commit.  Most people learn to recoil from relationships due to previous pain from other relationships.  That is why she has baggage.

          What she can’t deny is that she is the common denominator.  Seems to me that she is the one who need to change or get help.  Sounds to me like the men just want more.  Maybe she hasn’t found the one yet, but she never mentioned about the men not being the one.   That is a material fact, the absence of which is indeed evidence of absence.  

          Okay,  regardless of all that.  Can someone please please please give me a well reasoned answer to what it means to need space.  I don’t understand it.  To me it’s a fear of commitment. But I truly beg people on here to explain why I’m wrong.  I am truly keeping an open mind.  It is just that I can’t see how I’m wrong,  so someone please explain it to me.

  11. 11
    Morris

    I’m a bit confused by this post. Sounds like a great situation to be in(for the guy). Not that I can’t afford to pay on dates. But a woman that pays, doesn’t ask for anything and casual about sex? Sign me up.

    My guess is she is attracted or attracting beta males. Sounds eerily similar to alpha male casual dating issues. Upfront but women still fall for them and get their hearts broken.

  12. 12
    jenny ravelo

    Seems like you want the attention a woman gets from a boyfriend, but act like someone that doesn’t want a committment, which results in mixed signals that draw to you the kind of men that want a relationship with you and later feel used because they realize you don’t want the same.

  13. 13
    Stacy

    AMC,

    Maybe I can explain. Naturally, I am an introvert although you will never know it if you meet me. At the center of it all, I reenergize when I am alone and with my own thoughts. It’s draining to be around people all the time. As a result, I tend to ‘need space’ in a relationship. For me, I need time to be with my own thoughts…while the need is not for extensive periods of time, a man would have to understand that I will feel smothered if he is always trying to be around me. I will feel smothered if I can’t have a healthy amount of time to myself as well. I have absolutely no fear of committment. But I feel most alive when I am alone for a time period and then I can reconnect wonderfully after. It just is. However, it’s a sensitive balance because I also have to make sure my mate understands that this has nothing to do with him and I have to stay with a certain amount of vulnerability so that these actions won’t seem ‘cold’ in my experience. Weirdly enough, I can chat forever on the phone.

     

  14. 14
    Stacy

    So to continue, I don’t think the needing space is the central issue. I think the OP sounds as of she lacks the vulnerability and.feminine (yes there is such an idea of a feminine construct – whether it’s through nature or nurture, it just IS) energy that many men look for when searching for a long term/permanent relationship.

  15. 15
    BOB

    So many of you are missing it.

    First, she doesn’t tell us her age, or that o the men in her life. Men in their 20s just want to bed hop, men in their 30s typically want to settle down. If these guys are the latter, they sense they are wasting their time with a woman who is acting like the former.

    Thats what some women just don’t get- that he wants what you do, just maybe not with you, so he’s with you because he v needs regular sex and because you are better than nobody.

    What this woman is also doing is expressing that she wants to be lovers and friends, but only that. That’s great for a man of any age who wants the same thing, but contrary to contemporary female “wisdom,” many men do want to find someone and settle down, maybe to start a family. Such men don’t detect that she wants the same thing, so the relationship- can it rally be called that?- ends, if it ever existed to begun with.

    Re these men bleating they were “used for sex,” I think they say that because they are confused by the whole ordeal of dating and having sex with a woman who is genuinely emotionally unavailable. Theyve probably never encountered such a woman or situation before and are reeling from it.

     

    1. 15.1
      Wendy

      Tell me something, BOB. Why is it okay for men to use women for sex when they’re in their 20s, then expect us to “reward” them for that decade of misery they put us through with our devoted presence once THEY decide that THEY want to settle down in their 30s? Men sure don’t like being used by women, though, do they? Now Alena is being looked at by the men she dates as some sort of user just because she’s doing what they have been doing to us forever? Definitely seems unfair to me.

      1. 15.1.1
        Clare

        Whoo Wendy, talk about painting with a broad brush.

        I’m pretty sure it is not the same men in their 30s trying to get commitment from the identical women that they “used” for sex in their 20s. And if by some small chance it is, those women should grow some self-esteem and move on – you know, unless they were also happy to have fun and be unattached in their 20s, and realize that people grow up and move on and want different things as they get older.

        Why would any woman stay with, much less marry, a man who made her “miserable”? Women are not being asked to “reward” men in any way here. If she’s not happy in the relationship or happy to commit to the guy, guess what? She should MOVE ON. In this way women have just as much power as men here. Your post smacks of wanting to “punish” men for their wayward ways as 20 somethings (heads up: this is a lost cause), when really the most powerful thing a woman can do is walk away from an unsatisfying situation and look for someone who wants the same thing as she does, at the same time.

        1. Wendy

          Clare, I’m not at all saying the SAME women are staying with the SAME men here. I’m saying that, in general, MOST men in their 20s just want casual sex and MOST women in their 20s want a relationship. Obviously most of these encounters do not result in what the woman wants so she DOES move on. Fast forward a decade and now all those guys who were just fooling around suddenly want families and stability, The pool of women to choose from are the women who were screwed (in more ways than one) ten years ago by a bunch of guys who just wanted to use them. But now we’re supposed to be be all excited because men want us now? That’s like beating the crap out of a puppy for peeing in the house, then wanting the dog it grows into to protect the home from intruders.

        2. Clare

          Wendy, I’m not going to try and convince you, because it seems like you have boarded the self-righteous train and have no intention of getting off.

          But let me just say, that no, women do not have to be “all excited” because those men want us now. If she does not believe the guy is worthy of her, then by all means she should not go out with him. I fail to see the hole or arguing point in this logic.

          What I am saying is that your view of men is woefully tainted – I, and many other women I know, happily had relationships in my 20s with men who were NOT just looking for casual sex. And now that I am in my 30s, I meet many men who never were looking for causal sex but have simply taken their time to grow up and get their lives in order before settling down. There is no need to give a passing thought to what you would have us believe is most men – players only out to use and abuse women – only in my experience, it is NOT most men, and also men really are just doing what they want to do. Much like what women should be doing. I would really hope that it is not the same pool of women who were supposedly “screwed” in their 20s who are still waiting around for these guys to grow up. I would hope that they have moved on to better guys, because, you know, that is more logical than spending 10 years of your life bleating about what dogs men are.

      2. 15.1.2
        Gabri'el

        Wendy and Clare, I want to say think you for your discussion. And I hope you don’t thinking that I am being sarcastic or insincere, I truly mean it.

        I love coming to Evan’s blog because everytime I learn something new about how women actually feel and view dating verse what the media is telling us how they feel, and I’m sure it’s making me a better future boyfriend. One of the most important things I’m continually seeing is: “neither side -men or women- have a monopoly on fear, pain, or bad experiences.

        The reason I said thank you Wendy is because your argument is the exact argument I have heard countless men use about dating older – over 35- women.

        > “Why is it okay for women to walk past the nice guy who is working as a waiter to put himself through college, without even noticing him, for the cool, bad boy, player when they’re in their 20s, then expect us to “reward” them for that decade of misery, loneliness, and rejection they put us through, now that their body’s are bigger, their skin loser and wrinkled, and they have a few kids, while I’m a [insert high paid professional here], who regularly goes to the gym. She didn’t notice me when she was at her best (I’m assuming they mean physically), but now that she isn’t as hot ( or not hot at all), yet, now I am, she expects me to choose her over a Sexy, childless women in her 20’s when I have the option between the two?

        > I would always hear this as the reason many successful older men gave for why they were players (though they never considered themselves players) or wanted women my age or younger. I always thought it was just the talk of some men, until I heard it on a nationally syndicated radio program about a year ago. Apparently many men all over the U.S feel this way. I think older men going after younger women is less about fertility they people want to give credit to.

        I believe the cause is as Clare said, these men were hurt and now they fear trusting other women their age, or they are lashing out against the type of women their age, who they feel would have rejected them when they were younger.

  16. 16
    BOB

    Another thought- could this woman lie somewhere on the autism spectrum? She seems tho have great difficulty emotionally understanding or empathizing with men, and generally seems to have a poor “theory of mind.” As said, she’s didn’t state her age, but if she’s in midlife and still can’t c relate to others in these respects, I wondert if she is capable of doing so or ever will. 

    1. 16.1
      starthrower68

      You know, if she wanted to spend time with these men and marry them, she’d criticized for being too needy and be told, well, men just don’t want relationships or marriage because women do this and women do that.  Darned if we do, darned if we don’t.

      1. 16.1.1
        Joek

        ST, I think BOB’s point would be better stated that she seems to not know how to emotionally relate to the guys she “dates”. Don’t conflate that with “all women”…just this one in particular.

         

        Not saying she’s a bad person, or wrong, or any other kind of judgement, but rather wondering if she’s aware of this (and if it’s an accurate perception of her).

         

        Karmic – TURTLE! lol

    2. 16.2
      starthrower68

      I don’t date. Guess I’m autistic now?

      1. 16.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        No. But I think you turtled, ST.
         
        Better to not be out there at all, than to risk rejection, right?
         
        Life is more colorful and fulfilling when you take some risks.
         
        If love is worth having, it’s worth taking risks for.

        1. starthrower68

          Well the good new is, it’s not hurting anyone. 😉 

        2. Karmic Equation

          It’s hurting you, ST. Resignation ain’t good (unless you force someone into it in Chess with Friends, haha. I love doing that. Better than checkmate!)
           
          Seriously though. You obviously have a good soul. Let’s leave aside what you think what YOU deserve and what YOU should have in your life.
           
          You are denying someone else the chance of having you in THEIR life.
           
          Good souls deserve to be with other good souls. Turtling doesn’t “pay it forward” to the universe.

        3. starthrower68

          I don’t believe in *the one*, but more like a few that could be good. Someone else will come a long for them.  I am too set in my ways to be part of a couple again.  I like my solitude more than all the drama of dating. 😃

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Begs the question as to why you are such an avid reader.

        5. starthrower68

          Doesn’t mean I don’t find it interesting here. But if I’m not welcome here, just let me know. ☺

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          No one is banning you. But it would be like me hanging out on a political site if I didn’t care about politics. Or a steak blog if I were a vegetarian. It just doesn’t make much sense from the outside.

        7. starthrower68

          Au contrere Evan. I enjoy the discussions here and have learned a lot. Just because I have come to different conclusions for my life doesn’t mean I don’t get something of value here. ☺

        8. Karmic Equation

          But you’re not applying the knowledge. So that knowledge is kind of wasted head space 🙂

        9. starthrower68

          Maybe so. But I still have to ask, so what? I don’t mean to be argumentative, but again, it’s not hurting anybody. We’re all about doing what we want here as long as nobody gets hurt. 😉

        10. starthrower68

          And I just remembered, KE, it would be too masculine, desperate, or needy of me to have any sort of goal or expectations where romance is concerned, so if I am here simply because I enjoy it, then isn’t that being feminine? To receive? I mean really, I’m just dating this blog. 😍

        11. Wendy

          I have to go with Starthrower on this one. As she says, “I like my solitude more than all the drama of dating.” Amen, sista! I’m dating a decent guy now, but before I met him I SWORE I wasn’t going to date again. (He pushed the issue, I caved, and here we are.) But I can tell you this—if/when this one ends, I’m DONE. It’s just too much of a PITA to constantly keep trying to please these guys. Again, as Starthrower says, “You’re darned if you do and darned if you don’t.” I’m convinced most men want some ridiculous, unattainable perfect girl who looks like Kate Upton from the minute she wakes up in the morning (and after three kids), cooks like Rachel Ray, and cleans like Hazel. But if you’re too busy cooking or cleaning or raising his kids, you don’t have time to go and do what he wants, so you’re no fun. If you wear a pair of sweatpants when you have the flu, all your friends tell you after you’ve broken up that he went around telling them you “let yourself go.” Dear God! But we’re supposed to be happy with your farting, balding, pot-bellied self who leers at other women right in front of us? No thanks. Aftter this one, I’m out!

          But even though I’m taken right now and have no interest in dating again, I still find this blog entertaining. BF and I both read it (and several others) for a good laugh now and then. And I’m sorry, Karmic, it ISN’T hurting anyone except maybe your own ego, because you think everyone should agree with you flat-out. Starthrower and I often don’t, and that’s not cool as far as your concerned. She and I want different things from what you want. Revelation time–that’s okay!

        12. starthrower68

          In all fairness, I will say that I am a big fan of personal growth and maturity. I have many things about me to work on. Karmic did get me to thinking and I just got my hands on a great book, “Beyond Boundaries” by Dr. John Townsend. It speaks to things I struggle with.

          That having been said, I can work on fixing me but everyone else is still going to do what they’re going to do. The minute you bring up “courting” you get an angry barrage telling you that you don’t deserve it because women are this and women are that. And we have brought some of it on ourselves. I basically see dating disintigrating into an us vs. them but will hook up thing. I can work on myself but I can’t change the culture. I still value peace in my life and what I have seen of dating in the past 10 years doesn’t give me that. The sex-before-marriage genie ain’t going back in the bottle; fair enough. But amount of self work is going to get me to compromise on principles that are a matter of faith. I am not here to tell everyone else to do, but I have learned a lot from Evan, taken his words to heart, and simply realize that there is no place in the dating culture where I belong. I’m not complaining, it is what it is. Maybe divine providence will bring someone along, maybe not. Either way, I’m not giving up my peace or a clear conscience.

        13. twinkle

          Starthrower68, I feel like if u’re not dating and meanwhile keep reading this blog, u may actually become even less likely to date. Because by its nature, this blog will have many comments about all the problems pple face in dating. Also, some of the commenters have some bitterness towards the opposite sex caused by their negative experiences, and u will see a lot of criticism and put-downs of women by men. I promise, in real life there are actually loads of guys who have very positive views of women, and really wanna find a nice lady like u to spend time with and wanna treat her well.

          Without dating and enjoying its benefits while reading this blog, u may actually find yourself feeling feeling discouraged and increasingly negative towards dating by seeing all these comments. I think u might benefit from forcing yourself on 1 or 2 dates a month. Make it your New Year’s resolution! I’ve given myself some dating-related New Year’s resolutions and targets, because as an introvert like u and many others here, and as someone who feels reasonably happy when I’m alone, sometimes I just need to force myself. I recommend u try that too.

        14. N

          ST,

          Love is not the end goal. Hence, it was stated “in the process love may happen.” By being self-aware we could improve our relationship with others i.e. friends, family, colleagues and yes men too.

      2. 16.2.2
        N

        ST,

        What Karmic and Twinkle says.

        Learning without doing the work is futile.

        We are so flawed in some of our thought process that through self-awareness, we are doing ourselves and the world around us a huge favor. And in the process, love may happen.

        1. starthrower68

          But insisting that doing the work be in a romantic context is not entirely necessary either. I can always work on improving relationships with people I’m not romantically involved with. I agree we all need connection with others as, that is how we are created. I don’t believe that a romantic relationship is the only way to do that. More power to anyone who does. I’m in your corner.

  17. 17
    Alena

    Hey Evan, thanks a lot for posting my question and everyone else for commenting. I actually live in Austria, Europe where everyone pays for themselves, in the era where I expected the men to pay they asked me where my purse was. The gifts thing was some lucky charms on new years eve. the being charming and complimentary runs in my family. the “needing space” is needing time to think/recharge in the evenings or do work-out and calm down afterwards as i work as a doctor and need a little bit of time to get rid of the hospital stress. the being like a man is an inherent part of me, or let´s say i have always been told i had “more cojones” than the guys. i just didn´t see why men wouldn´t enjoy sex without commitment but instead make me feel bad about myself. so I know now. Also I am quite vulnerable and wear my heart on my sleeve as the saying goes, but I am looking for an emotionally stable and serious partner. this is not easily found. I am more open for a commitment now than maybe a year ago!
    Anyhow the “feminine energy” part is quite difficult to understand, ar least I don´t really get it. If this is an appearance thing, I don´t have any problems in this department. Thanks again for running this blog. Greetings from Vienna! 🙂
     

      1. 17.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        This was a GREAT explanation, Evan. Thanks! Saved to my Evernote notebook 🙂

  18. 18
    Janie

    Good advice, as usual, but I would take this one with a huge caveat. There are men who conveniently use their gender to hide or justify their fear of intimacy. They are going to be emotionally unavailable, and always have one foot out of the relationship. You never really know where you stand. They like to string you along, telling you what they think you want to hear. They may or may not actually be “players”, but you can’t really know for sure. They will only tolerate being the driver of the “relationship”, (I use quotes because this situation is not two human beings truly relating to each other) and claim that this is okay because they are “the guy.”
    Painfully, this can be very attractive. After being burned enough, I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with it if a woman decides to just be her independent self and not let her guard down or become (sexually) indebted by letting him pay for everything–until she knows that the man is also willing to expose his vulnerable side. I learned this the hard way too. Well, I didn’t have sex with them before I was sure, but I’m not judging the OP or anyone who does.

        IMHO it’s a special kind of sad when you’re, imagine this: a human being who happened to be born female, who has managed to forge some measure of financial and emotional stability for yourself, without always having to go from guy to guy. Then, when you do find a guy you really like, and want to be with for who he really is, not out of need or because you can’t stand being single–and find yourself getting rejected because of it!
        When this happens to me, part of me wants to scream, “I hope you find a nice gold digger type, get your masculine ego boosted for awhile, and then, after the novelty wears off, you’ll know what it’s like to be TRULY used by a woman. You’ll be financially and emotionally drained, but you’ll tell yourself you should be happy; men don’t have emotions and are supposed to be providers. But secretly, you’ll regret rejecting me, and wonder if I’m still available–if she hasn’t already dragged you (read: your paycheck) down the aisle.”
        But then my more rational part says: Keep your head up. There are guys who are genuinely good people, and make you feel secure and loved enough to expose your vulnerabilities–emotional as well as financial. They know that you’ll also be there for them in the ways they need.
     

    1. 18.1
      AMC

      Quite frankly you’re jaded and have become so by a string of bad men.  Not all men play that game and maybe you need to get some counseling to get over your dysfunctional world view.  Some day maybe you will find the right guy; the problem is that you will drive him away with jaded and rather inaccurate views of men.  I’ve been with people like that.  I prefer not to be their victims.  It’s not so easy since I am admittedly a hopeless romantic and quite reckless in love.  I refuse to put up my guard.  Maybe that’s foolish and it has resulted in heartache but I would never have known them quite the way I did if I didn’t do those things.  

      I’m not endorsing the gender defined roles that some people on here do.  I happen to find an educated, ambitious and successful woman quite attractive for those traits alone.  There is no aphrodisiac quite like accomplishment.  I have no problem being the yin to a woman’s yang if it’s appropriate under the circumstances.  You’re view will turn away a man who does come to you in sincerity and wants to make something beautiful.  Maybe not marriage or moving in together or anything like that, but certainly something sincere and real.  The best thing would be to just take each person on their own merits and weigh the relationship accordingly.  

      If you need some space well, go for it.  But make sure that you aren’t driving the men away and depriving them of what they need out of the relationship, such as intimacy, knowledge that someone else out there cares for them and all the other reciprocal benefits that flow back.  

      1. 18.1.1
        Janie

        Hi. I should probably apologize for throwing such an emotionally charged rant out there, but this article struck a chord with me. Thanks for your reply, though. You’re partially correct about the “string of bad men” — it started with not having a good relationship with my parents, followed by complete avoidance of the opposite sex, and then some very trying experiences. Now, I am actually in a happy relationship, but it is the first relationship I’ve ever had that’s predominantly happy, and I was already 29 when we met. But yeah, sometimes I think back on some previous guys and get worked up. I’ll admit I’m not completely over someone. It’s my own personal issue. By now I’ve realized that it’s not truly *him* I’m not over–more like the reflection of myself revealed by his presence. So, I take an interest in relationship advice as an interesting subject, not because I’m currently looking. I also struggle with depression to varying degrees. I might try counselling, but I’m not in an English-speaking country right now, so strangers on the Internet will have to do for now. Again, thanks for your reply.

  19. 19
    missy

    If anyone wants to see what thought looks like when indoctrinated by feminism, this is it. Michelle gives is the usual feminist axioms such as there is no such thing as masculinity or femininity or that there is only “human nature” rather than masculine or feminine nature.
    The tragedy is that so many women have received this same brainwashing and then they wonder why they can’t form or maintain satisfying relationships with heterosexual men. Go figure.
    Bob, you are dead on!!! now we all supposed to love ourselves go after what we want.BUT.. what he is saying at the core of it all, two men in a relationship will never work unless you are gay no pun intended!!! what real man wants a woman who thinks and act like him?? get out of dodge. I’m sorry I have NO use for a heterosexual man who acts like me.. yeah right!!

  20. 20
    Potter

    ><

    Wtf…

    You are using them for sex is the answer.

    You stated, " I have been single for many years now " So none of these encounters count as relationships. So, you're just using them for sex. Have a look in the mirror, take responsibility for your actions and become ok with it, OR change it.

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