Why Are Men So Affected by Career Issues?

Why Are Men So Affected by Career Issues?
17 Shares

I recently walked away from a guy I had been dating and really liked. I followed your tips, and he was clear about how much he liked me. He made a good amount of effort throughout the course of our almost-relationship, and I think he wanted to feel ready to be in a relationship with me. But it became increasingly clear the extent to which he was emotionally unavailable, largely because of some career instability (he was pretty honest about that toward the beginning, and I probably should have walked away sooner). He is in the midst of a career change, and toward the end of our time together, he talked honestly about how badly he felt about himself because of not having his career stuff figured out. Given my readiness for a relationship, I walked away, which seemed devastating for both of us.

I know your approach focuses a lot less on understanding WHY someone is emotionally unavailable and instead focusing on choosing emotionally available, relationship-ready men. However, I would be grateful if you could shed some light on this concept – for the sake of increasing my empathy and trying not to take these circumstances too personally. How common is it for men to be emotionally unavailable because of career issues? (It’s also interesting to me that I too am facing some career uncertainty, but that hasn’t prevented me from feeling ready for a relationship). Is this a gendered thing? And, they say that timing is everything when it comes to relationships. Is that true? For men? For everyone?

Sarah

Dear Sarah,

I appreciate your interesting and self-aware question, especially this line:

“However, I would be grateful if you could shed some light on this concept – for the sake of increasing my empathy and trying not to take these circumstances too personally.”

There is nothing that would make my life easier than women having empathy for men.

There is nothing that would make my life easier than women having empathy for men.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that most men suck and have little to no interest in the inner lives of their intimate partners. I have literally never heard a man say “I wish I understood my wife more” yet I have an entire business based on women wanting to understand men.

That’s highly unfortunate but it’s reality. And since I can’t do much to change men, I devote most of my time to helping women make the most of their less introspective counterparts.

To address your main question:

How common is it for men to be emotionally unavailable because of career issues?

REALLY common. Like, for the most part, if a guy doesn’t have his act together on the career front, I wouldn’t even bother calling him your boyfriend. That’s a slight exaggeration but you get the idea. I’m no biological anthropologist and I’m not going to effectively parse between nature and nurture but I will observe that if men are taught from birth that they are supposed to be purpose-driven, career-oriented providers and most women seem to reward the men who are the financially successful, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a lot of guys wouldn’t feel ready to settle down until they’ve got the career piece figured out?

I sure think so.

I always wanted to be ready for a relationship in my twenties but my inconsistent, demoralizing Hollywood career never offered me any stability. It wasn’t until I started e-Cyrano in 2003 that I finally made $50K/year and had the ability to operate from a place of confidence that I would eventually be able to support a family. It’s not much of a coincidence that I got married at age 35, 4 years (and 4 girlfriends) after starting this career. As much as I wanted to be ready to get married before that, I wasn’t ready until I was actually engaged to my wife. Every girlfriend before was like playing house – the fantasy of a future was great, but if you put a gun to my head, I’d admit I was scared shitless about the prospect of owning a home and having children.

And that’s just talking about ME. I can only imagine what it’s like to be in a career with less autonomy or financial upside, or to be stuck in a job that is safe but unfulfilling. It may sound like a convenient excuse to avoid commitment but it’s a real one.

I hear something similar from women on occasion, but, in truth, I hear more from women that the thing holding them back from a happy relationship is their EMOTIONAL availability as opposed to their career status. Which, again, makes sense when you consider the lens through which many women view their lives. If a woman is hurting emotionally – from a dying parent to a painful breakup to a battle with weight loss – this is the excuse she usually offers me for not pursuing love.

I think because men are wired a little differently, they are often willing to run into the arms of a nurturing woman even if the man is feeling fat, sad, or overwrought. These guys may not be ready for commitment but they are more than willing to find some sex and emotional support to get them through their tough times.

As you pointed out, it doesn’t matter WHY men are this way but your observation rings true for me. Women can date during a career crisis but will withdraw when she’s hurting emotionally. Men can’t function when their careers are in flux but are more than willing to keep your company while the stakes are low.

So if you want a ring on your finger, choose a man whose life isn’t in crisis instead of thinking that the right man should be ready to commit when he doesn’t even know how he’s going to support himself.

Timing is, indeed, everything when it comes to relationships.

Men marry when THEY’RE ready not when YOU’RE ready.

Join our conversation (163 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    I’ve written so much about this issue on this site. I won’t rehash. I will just pose a chicken-and-egg question: Is it that career issues affect men emotionally, women react to men’s emotional reaction, and relationships break down? Or is it that women lose respect (and hence attraction) to men with career-issues, leading to relationship breakdown to which men react (leading to women’s further, and usually more final, reaction)? My bet is that the OP would claim it’s the former. Yet she walked. Because, according to her words, she was much more interested in a “relationship” than she was in the human being in front of her – more interested in the role than the man. So which is it, really?

    “Why are men so affected by career issues,” asks the title of this post. Because our ability to provide EQUALS our desirability. Our marriageability. “How common is it for men to be emotionally unavailable because of career issues?” asks the OP. Depends, Sarah. What exactly do you mean when you say “emotionally unavailable”? Do you mean that this man was unwilling to open up to you emotionally? But you seem to say that he was, in fact, open to you about his feelings. Or do you mean that he was unwilling to commit to a particular relationship status and the expectations that would be placed upon him thereafter, by you and by his upbringing? If the latter, it was not that he was “emotionally” unavailable. Rather, he was unable to fulfill a role, a role predicated by his career stability, whether or not you understand or acknowledge it. That pesky white horse upon which we men ride. The one that the women in our lives would rather see us die atop than fall off of. Though they’d prefer to see us smiling atop that horse, as if being up there was our idea.

    Finally, Sarah asks, “It’s also interesting to me that I too am facing some career uncertainty, but that hasn’t prevented me from feeling ready for a relationship…Is this a gendered issue?” Tell me, Sarah – did your career instability inspire this man, or any man, to want to leave you? Whether for direct or indirect reasons? Five bucks says it never has.

  2. 2
    Yet Another Guy

    Men are routinely told that women experience fear deeper and more often than men and that we should be kinder, gentler, and more protective. I can accept that assertion. However, I do not believe for a minute that women can accept the fact that men experience extreme, often debilitating stress while dealing with what women refer to as the patriarchy and societal expectations. To men, the patriarchy is known as the male social hierarchy and where a man lands within it determines his future and mating options. Just as men experience at least an order to magnitude more rejection when it comes to mate selection, the crap that the average man has to endure while attempting to move up within the male social hierarchy would make the average woman cringe. Being a man is not an automatic shoe-in as is assumed by women. Men do not handle other men with kid gloves in the workforce. Men will absolutely stick their feet in the faces of other men who they see as threats and push them down stairs in order to protect or advance their positions within the male social hierarchy. Men are significantly more competitive than women. We are talking about extreme ruthlessness at times. Why do you think men commit suicide and become substance abusers at much higher rates than women? It is from knowing that their position, or lack of within the male social hierarchy controls everything. So, yes, the average child rearing-age man is going to be unavailable during a career crisis because he knows that everything is on the line.

    1. 2.1
      jo

      YAG, Jeremy, others: I hear you. YAG, I wouldn’t assume that women won’t accept that men face debilitating stress in the patriarchy. While it’s true that we don’t hear about it often, we can easily believe it when you tell us. And then we see it in our own workplaces. Because I am considered relatively small, young, and pretty, some men will protect me and look out for me in ways that they don’t with men my age and level.

      I think this is relevant to the OP, and what Mrs Happy wrote about if a woman were in a similar situation to her husband’s male friend. My impression is that alpha men are activated to protect women, so they don’t judge us more harshly if we are physically smaller, or have less money or a lower job level. But if they don’t feel like alphas (because they are not naturally leaders or do not have a stable financial situation), then they are more reluctant to pursue. Then they could either pull away from the relationship scene altogether, or look for women who want to lead in relationships and don’t need men to provide financially. There are many such women today.

      Side note: if the patriarchy is harming most women and most men, then surely we should dismantle it – encourage and promote more women to leadership.

      1. 2.1.1
        Jeremy

        Jo, you wrote, “if the patriarchy is harming most women and most men, then surely we should dismantle it.” Dismantle it, and put what in its place? Reminds me of that old quote about democracy – how it’s the absolute worst form of government….except all other forms of government that have been tried.

        We can certainly encourage and promote more women to leadership, as you wrote. Yet, in my experience and in all my reading, it does not seem that doing so encourages women to marry like men, irrespective of their partner’s income/status. No, the professional and high-earning women I’ve encountered and read about – they want men who earn at least as much, preferably more. Not for sex, for marriage. Especially marriage where children are planned.

        It seems that in communities where men don’t focus on income, those men don’t get married. Consider inner city communities, where marriage is idealized by the female population….and usually eschewed. Because the men can’t provide. The women adopt the leadership positions, the men fall behind, and you end up with a matriarchy where boys and men struggle to get by. Because all their motivation has been sapped.

        It’s what you wrote, Jo. Men can feel protective of a woman and still respect her, still desire her. But when women feel protective of men, the last thing they feel is desire. And usually not respect either. Maternal instinct wipes out desire.

        Do women want patriarchy dismantled? Only insofar as it disadvantages them. They mostly want to keep all the advantages, and make lots of excuses for doing so. Same for men, though we’ve been far less successful at retaining our advantages (except for the men at the top of the pinnacle). Dismantle it….and what are you left with? Surgical corrections, not demolition. Slowly, with thought, planning and revision. Because when you bulldoze through a system, what you’re left with might be much worse. Consider the matriarchies of the inner cities.

        1. jo

          Jeremy, I would hardly call inner cities ‘matriarchies,’ given that the women living there are usually single mothers barely eking out a living, often working two jobs at once, living hand to mouth trying to support themselves and children. No, patriarchy or matriarchy is about who has access to the money and the resources. These inner city women are not a matriarchy.

          You ask, replace the patriarchy with what? True equality. I am glad we both see the value in encouraging and promoting a more equal number of women and men into leadership at all levels. What you see of what high-powered women may want in men may change if women can trust men to take over the jobs at home that the women have traditionally held: assuming primary responsibility for caring for children, the household, cleaning and preparing for guests, taking care of elderly relatives, volunteering at schools, etc.

          Here, in the ‘traditional’ space of women’s usually unpaid work, is where I think we still do not see equality – and we don’t talk about this often enough. This could be a barrier to better outcomes for both women and men.

        2. Jeremy

          I think this topic is so important, Jo. And I disagree with you so passionately. I was raised in a very feminist environment, and I grew up believing the things you wrote. But I’ve since been disillusioned. Because the word “equality” is so very relative, and can be used oppressively with the best of intentions.

          Is the reason high-income women don’t seek house-husbands because they don’t trust them to do the emotional labour? Or is it because that isn’t what they want a man FOR? Is the reason men marry irrespective of women’s income/status because we “trust” women to do the home-chores as an equal exchange, or is it because equal exchanges and power balances aren’t what we’re thinking about at all? Is the reason women don’t do the same because of a nebulous patriarchy, or is it because they’ve evolved to need to respect a man in order to be attracted to him (while the reverse is not true)? Do you believe that women’s need to respect a man will disappear with feminist conditioning, or that women will come to respect men for things they don’t currently – and if so, what would be their impetus? Is the reason men don’t do all the emotional labour because we are raised with toxic masculinity? Or is it because neuroticism as a personality trait (and specifically neuroticism surrounding children and nesting) is far higher in women than in men?

          “True equality.” You wrote that we should replace patriarchy with true equality. Does true equality come when we tell men to do the things they don’t want to do because women want them to? Does it come when we tell women to want what they don’t want because they should? God, feminism gave women the power to work and earn income, but it didn’t give them the power not to. Men’s attraction to them irrespective of their income, men’s willingness to support them irrespective of their status – did. And reverse chivalry doesn’t exist. With that in mind, what is equality?

        3. Jeremy

          Oh, and BTW, the inner city communities are matriarchies by definition. The base family unit is, more often than not, a grandmother, a mother, and children. Often children of different men, most of whom are not involved.

          Money and resources create patriarchy/matriarchy, you say? Is power about money and resources, or is it about our ability to get what we want, whatever that may be? This question is really, really rhetorical. If men seek money and power to attract women, and then give their money and power to those women without receiving same in return, those women must be SUUUUPER powerful, must they not? Must have something worth all that money and power to all those men? And – here’s the kicker – the fact that women won’t do the same means that whatever it is that makes women powerful…..yeah, men don’t have it. as far as women are concerned.

        4. Buck25

          “These inner city women are not a matriarchy”

          Jo, with all due respect, we can argue over the definition, but I don’t see that we can much argue about the result. Matriarchy or not, what we see in the plight of women in poor inner-city communities, especially minority women, is directly correlated with the devaluation of minority men in those same communities.

          I’m quite a bit older than you and I’ve had the opportunity to observe what has happened since the social revolution of the sixties and seventies. It’s not that the whole thing was a bad idea (it certainly wan’t) but there were unforeseen and unanticipated consequences. Predictably and sadly, this hit hardest and most immediately at the most vulnerable among us. We created a welfare system, back in the seventies, to try to help some of these most disadvantaged communities, and in doing it, we followed the conventional wisdom of the time. It was believed then that the primary goal was to aid women and children, because poor/less-educated/minority men could not provide for their families. That most of this was due to lack of opportunity, was largely ignored. The result was a welfare system that made these men an economic liability to their women and children. In effect, we encouraged their women to marry not the fathers of their children, but the government. This has not worked well.

          This is what happens when society tries to lift up women, while simultaneously devaluing men. It’s been a disaster, especially for boys and men in minority communities. The message they got from the system was this: “You’re worthless, and we don’t expect anything from you. We don’t expect you to support your children, much less the mothers of those children. You are so disadvantaged we don’t expect you to do any better, or take on the responsibility of fatherhood; in fact, we expect you to fail.”

          What’s the result, Jo? This is what happens when you try to solve social problems with a wrecking ball, instead of a scalpel, to use Jeremy’s analogy. Those men checked out, rather than be a burden, and more children grew up fatherless, and often without any other positive male role models. That was bad enough for their daughters ; for their sons, it was catastrophic. When you tell a boy from childhood, that he’s worthless as a man, and as a father, when you tell him you don’t expect him to do anything but fail, he’s likely to grow up to be a failed man. What does he do then? He turns to drugs, alcohol, and crime. You want proof? A minority young man has a better chance of being incarcerated, or being a victim of homicide, than of going to college. At Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the percentage of women enrolled is going up every year, while male enrollment is declining. We are failing these young men, in droves; that very much tempers my satisfaction that we are uplifting and encouraging our girls and young women. That is bad enough, but like any social ill, the problem is like a cancer, and the dismal failure that has afflicted minority boys and young men has metastasized to the social mainstream. I gather from your comments, that you almost welcome this devaluation of men, that produces more and more failed men, of all races, as a step toward “destroying the Patriarchy”.

          Let’s take a look at what your “new feminized America” has produced. It’s produced now, at least two generations of mostly failed men.Why ? I presume that some women, having failed to become men, now decided to make men become women with male plumbing. Nice job, too; when your feminized educational system couldn’t deal with normal boys as easily as with girls, it simply drugged those same boys into submission (ah, Ritalin, teacher’s miracle drug) whether it was appropriate or not. I won’t go into the whole disaster of “snowflake culture” (another destructive radical feminist fantasy), but let’s just say I’m not a fan.

          I understand you believe a woman can do anything a man can do. Well, I know one thing you can’t do, not with the best will in the world. You can tell a boy how to be a man, but what no woman can do, is model for him what good, decent, masculinity actually looks like in an adult male that he interacts with on a daily basis. You can’t do that today, you can’t do it tomorrow, and you still won’t be able to do that a thousand years from now. You can’t because that is one thing NO woman will ever be able to do. It takes a man to do that, whether you like it or not. You know what I think? I don’t think you want “equality”. You already have that, in everything from employment to housing to education. In many areas, you actually have quotas and preferences, to advance you whether you earn it or not, so stop conflating “equality of opportunity” with “equality of result” and quit worshipping at the altar of Our Lady of Perpetual Victimhood. You want power? Then get it the same way I and every other man got whatever power we have-EARN IT! Some women have done just that, but a lot more (does that include you, perchance?) simply want it handed to them as an entitlement.

        5. jo

          Jeremy, perhaps we shouldn’t take the patriarchy-matriarchy discussion further, as it is evident how deeply we disagree. The situation you describe, if you call that a matriarchy, is so disempowering for the poor women in this scenario (both mothers and grandmothers), and so much not their own choice, that there is no point in comparing it to patriarchy. The terms become meaningless.

          As to your other points: You are getting at something important there. I say this with perfect respect and affection toward men – that feminism has really freed women to ask what it is we want from men exactly. And it has revealed that we don’t all want the same thing. Some want marriage, others like me question whether it’s what we want. Some want LTRs, others don’t. Some want to live in the same home as a man, others don’t even when they are lovers. Some want children (and some via traditional or untraditional methods), others don’t. Some care whether their partners work, others don’t. Feminism has freed us to ask these questions because it has allowed us money and power to buy homes and other resources on our own. Any time you free a group of people, you free everyone ultimately – because more options become available, and there is less shame and stigma attached to alternative lifestyles.

          One last thing: you wrote as if it were a beneficial thing for women that men can be attracted to us without respecting us. I can assure you that this situation is precisely what a woman does NOT want.

        6. Jeremy

          Jo, agreed, let’s drop the matriarchy/patriarchy thing.

          Regarding choice, I agree with you insofar as choice can be a good thing. The confusion, I think, lies in the difference between what people – and specifically women in this case – say/believe they want versus what they do. This is what I meant when I referred to being disillusioned after a feminist upbringing. I heard women tell me how they wanted a man who views them as equals. Imagine my shock when I learned that they love alphas who take the lead. I heard women tell me how they want a man who values their opinions. Imagine my shock to learn that they are more attracted to men who tell them no, sets boundaries with them. I heard women tell me they wanted a man who LISTENS to what they say. Imagine my shock to learn the psychology of the fitness test. Granted, none of these things are absolute. Women DO want men who listen to them. Just….not all the time. Equals until equality isn’t wanted. Comfortable….until arousal is desired.

          You wrote that if women were better able to trust men to do their share of emotional labour, maybe women would marry more like men. That “maybe” is the problem. I say this with absolutely no disrespect intended – I don’t believe you. Because I’ve heard that “maybe” too many times. Spoken with no self-understanding. Spoken based on beliefs about the self, predicated on “shoulds” instead of past behavior. I see absolutely zero evidence that it’s true. Instead….I see what IS.

          You can assure me that men’s attraction to women irrespective of their respect is exactly what women DON’T want, eh? Heh. Again, I don’t believe you. Because all the women who drop out of the workforce to care for children – they don’t want their husbands to lose attraction to them. All the women who seek husbands who out-earn them? They don’t want their husbands to lose attraction to them. What they hope for, as far as I can tell, is that their husbands will respect them, irrespective of their income and status. Which, indeed, most will. Problem is, women do not return that favour. Because the things you respect us for are not the same as the things we respect you for. Hence, the dilemma.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          ” I can assure you that this situation is precisely what a woman does NOT want.”

          That is merely another case of women projecting what they value on men. It is not that men do not need to respect women. It is that men do put as much emphasis on a woman’s status as vice versa. Men are not raised with the option of being taken care of, so different things are a priority. As I mentioned earlier, women may desire success, men have no choice.

          Here is something to ponder. Men generally want a hot woman, so they project that trait on women, that is, a man wants to feel like a woman chose him because he is hot. Why do you think men post so many shirtless photos on dating sites? Why do you think men get upset when women make them wait for sex when they do not make all men wait for sex? As long as men are biologically wired differently, true equality is little more than a feminist pipe dream. A man can no easier bear a child then a woman can father a child. We are complements, not equals.

        8. jo

          Buck25, your comment is surprisingly full of strawmen arguments that I’d never stated. Moreover, I think you are confusing correlation with causality. So I think it is better not to reply further, to avoid misunderstanding.

          Jeremy, likewise, I don’t recall using the term ’emotional labour’ – and am not 100% sure what it means. Were you quoting someone else? Does that term refer to housework and child work, or being emotionally supportive?

          Perhaps we are all talking past each other (certainly we were with the comment about respect and attraction; you wrote in a context of marriage while I was writing of everyday interactions), so best to let it all drop.

      2. 2.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @jo

        If we are discussing African-American majority inner cities, they are absolutely matriarchies. African-American women are currently the least likely to marry of all races in the United States and children are often raised by a grandmother or great-aunt. If you study the history of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) policies, you will see that they have historically punished families where a man was present in the house. Several generations later, we have what we have in most African-American majority cities because of these policies. Men have abdicated their responsibility to provide for their children in large numbers, which leaves women to take up the slack. Men who grow up without a strong father figure fail to launch more often than those who do, irrespective of race. The male social hierarchy exists for a reason, and that is to motivate men to take responsibility for themselves and their families. Men in male led homes are taught from the time that they are little boys that nothing will be handed to them and failure is not an option. If that means cutting a colleague’s throat professionally, so be it. Women may aspire to be successful. Men have no choice because no woman is going to pick a man irrespective of his status. I guarantee that there is not a woman alive who would like what would occur if the male social hierarchy was dismantled, think of a world with no driven alpha men. How many women dream of marrying a compliant beta?

        1. Jeremy

          “How many women dream of marrying a compliant beta?” But that’s my interpretation of what we’re being assured. “Focus more on comfort, more comfort, more comfort. Trust me, women will come to want you.” God, my whole dysfunctional upbringing. The bullshit we’re told by women unable to reconcile their conflicting arousal/comfort dichotomies. “No, no, silly man, you simply aren’t understanding. A man can be alpha AND assume half the emotional labour in a marriage! He can take the lead, plan, pay, assume all responsibility…AND be equal to his wife who doesn’t, who absolutely does NOT want his attraction to her irrespective of her respectability!” Uh huh. About as cognizant of human psychology as communism. God, this thread is making me depressed. Gotta take a break.

        2. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Men have no choice because no woman is going to pick a man irrespective of his status.”
          I don’t think that’s true of all women. In the case of the man Mrs. Happy knows who hasn’t worked in a decade, it isn’t his unemployment that is a problem, at least not for me. I would love to not have to work. Working sucks. But as Jeremy pointed out, does he have a purpose? Does he volunteer or have artistic pursuits? I think if he did either of those things, a good number of women wouldn’t give two shits that he didn’t work. You’re making sweeping statements and the paradigm is changing, particularly with woman who support themselves and don’t want children or who’ve already had children and are divorced. For those women, status is far less important. More important is connection and attraction.
          ” How many women dream of marrying a compliant beta?”
          Not many. I think women want equality in the university and in the workplace. To have their gender not be a consideration but instead their intelligence, work ethic, ability to work within the team, etc. But at home, they want to be a woman, even if they are in high-powered, decision-making position all day long. I think that’s a totally separate issue from the man having to have status and make a lot of money. They want the man to “tcb,” or take care of business, so when he says, “I’ll take care of it,” whether it’s to make a decision or to fix something, she knows that’s the last she has to worry about it. No reminding him or having to do it herself.

        3. jo

          Jeremy and YAG, I certainly don’t want you to be depressed. From reading your comments and those of other men, this thread seems to reveal a possible inequality: that men want women to want them more than women want the vice-versa. Is THAT perhaps the crux of the issue? That seems to be what your comments consistently drive at: what makes women want men.

          Feminism isn’t about claiming that women are superior to men. It’s about allowing women the same rights as men: to vote, own property, work, have educational and other opportunities, etc. That is what I mean by equality, not biological equality in that we have the same endocrinology, reproductive organs, etc. (which clearly we don’t). But when we do have those equal rights, there may or may not be an equal desire for the opposite sex. Is THAT the issue? Women HAD to want men more back in the day when they couldn’t vote, couldn’t own their own house, couldn’t land most jobs, couldn’t earn money most of the time. They needed men to provide for their livelihoods, at the same time that it was men in power who were oppressing them in the first place. Now, if we can do all the above, we don’t want men for the same reasons (but I wonder if we should have ever wanted men for those reasons in the first place). We want men for different reasons, and they may or may not be fulfilled in the traditional family structure.

          Not trying to make any bold proclamations. Just observing and wondering.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          “We want men for different reasons, and they may or may not be fulfilled in the traditional family structure.”

          You should not be surprised when men do not want to play along. If you desire a masculine alpha-type guy, you need to accept the entire package or be prepared to go for a beta comfort dude who will support your feminist ideals. There is not right or wrong here. It is about trading arousal for comfort. Only you can make that choice. Guys almost never choose comfort over arousal, and if they do, they usually end up with a paramour or two on the side.

        5. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Guys almost never choose comfort over arousal, and if they do, they usually end up with a paramour or two on the side.”
          That’s because, at least arousal-wise, most men will be happy with a vast majority of women. So choosing arousal over comfort for them is easy. It’s not the same for women.

        6. jo

          Emily, yes. At least, that has been my observation!

          YAG, perhaps I’ve been very fortunate – I’m surrounded by alpha men who support not MY ‘feminist ideals’ per se, but feminist ideals in general. Women being promoted at equal numbers and abilities as men. More equality in the household. Yet they still protect me and care for me in a number of ways that have us both respecting each other as man / woman. It’s a nice feeling, and many men do this naturally. Of course, I’ve also seen insecure men who, despite their accomplishments, insult and try to topple anyone whom they view as a threat (even if it was just a slight ruffling of feathers).

          With the alphas, comfort and arousal come in one package. We feel comfort because we know they’ll care for us, and arousal because they excite and interest us (in many ways!). It’s not either/or.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “hat’s because, at least arousal-wise, most men will be happy with a vast majority of women.”

          Actually, that is not exactly true. While the average guy will sleep with most of the women he encounters, it is not because he feel arousal for her. It is because he is horny and she will do. I also have to qualify that assertion by stating that most younger men will sleep with most of the women they encounter. Guys become much more selective when it comes to sex as they age. Part of that change is due to maturity, but a larger part is due to declining testosterone levels allowing a man to think more clearly.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          “With the alphas, comfort and arousal come in one package. We feel comfort because we know they’ll care for us, and arousal because they excite and interest us (in many ways!). It’s not either/or.”

          You and I clearly have different ideas of what makes a man “alpha.” The terms “alpha male” and “comfort” do not belong in the same sentence. If you want to get a clearer picture of the true alpha mindset, google “Draper cads dads.” True alphas are cads. True betas are dads, and then there are blend men, most of whom are dads with some cad qualities. I am assuming that you are confusing blend men with alphas. True alphas are very self-focused, which is what makes them successful in most endeavors except long-term romantic relationships. If a true alpha is being nice to you, it is because you have something he wants or needs. Everything a true alpha does is about furthering his ambitions. Evan has a blog entry on alpha men entitled “Is There Any Point in Dating an Alpha Male?”

          By the way, there is an interesting article on Psychology Today entitled “Feminists Think Sexist Men Are Sexier Than ‘Woke’ Men.” Additionally, just because a guy thinks that women should be paid the same as men for doing the same job at the same level of performance does not make him a feminist. It makes him human. I work in a male dominated profession. Yet, competent women are compensated at the same level as competent men. Often, they are compensated at a higher level than their male counterparts depending the scarcity of talent at the time they were hired and what they negotiated coming in the door.

        9. jo

          YAG, you may assume as you wish. Though I agree that we have different definitions (and believe mine is based more on the zoology of mammals), I don’t think it’s productive to get tangled up in terminology, which happens quite a lot in these comments.

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          Yes, we definitely have different definitions of “alpha male.” However, it is interesting that Evan and I have very close definitions. It was also interesting to read about the catharsis he went through realizing that he was not a true alpha. There is nothing wrong with being a blend man, but blends are blends and alphas are alphas. I have known my fair of each type of man during my six decades on this planet. One thing I have never encountered was a “woke” man who was also an alpha male. Those two ways of looking at the world are pretty much juxtaposed. I have yet to meet a woman with a true alpha male that led a comfortable life, not one. There is always a sense of dread that keeps them working harder to keep their men than they should have to work. Alpha men have a lot of options, which is why it is hard to get them to settle down, and if they do, it is rarely for long.

        11. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Actually, that is not exactly true. While the average guy will sleep with most of the women he encounters, it is not because he feel arousal for her. It is because he is horny and she will do.”
          I’m baffled by that. I’ve hooked up with men I wasn’t that interested in and it wasn’t worth it. Why go into a situation knowing the sex will be mediocre at best?
          ” I also have to qualify that assertion by stating that most younger men will sleep with most of the women they encounter. Guys become much more selective when it comes to sex as they age.”
          Maybe. I just had a co-worker tell me men can close their eyes and picture someone else. I said women can do the same thing. 🙂 I still think most men are down to hook up with most women. That’s why a man wanting to have sex with a woman or being attracted to a woman means almost nothing. And I think sex can greatly move a woman. Make her have a sexual awakening with the right man. (Catherine Deneuve in “Belle de Jour”) It’s not the same for men.

        12. Mrs Happy

          ” It is because he is horny and she will do.” -YAG
          Ah, the romance.

        13. jo

          YAG, re: your last comment, I think that men often have misconceptions about what makes a woman comfortable. And because men have largely shaped the human narrative, many women think they believe that narrative too – but we don’t. I think that if we dug deep inside ourselves and admitted the truth, we don’t care as much about monogamy as men think we do. There are at least two reasons for that: we don’t want to be the sole woman responsible for keeping a man happy (just take a look at Evan’s other pages of women complaining how they can’t stand having sex as much as their men want it, and his is just one of MANY pages you can find on that topic) – we would gladly share that responsibility with others if it were socially acceptable to do so. And we don’t mind playing around a little ourselves, even if it’s not as frequently as men.

          But no one is allowed to say those things: men may not want to believe it, and women fear being shamed for expressing such thoughts. So mythologies persist about what women want.

          Men threatening our lives or our livelihoods – that is what makes women uncomfortable. Alpha men don’t tend to do these things. Only weak, small-souled little males.

        14. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “I’m baffled by that. I’ve hooked up with men I wasn’t that interested in and it wasn’t worth it. Why go into a situation knowing the sex will be mediocre at best?”

          It is because men do not control access to sex. It literally takes little to nothing on a woman’s part for a guy to be able to achieve and erection when he is young. He does not even have to like the woman in question. Just the thought of being able to have sex is enough for a young guy to rise to the occassion. My sex drive was blinding when I was in my teens and twenties. It was an especially horrible thing in my teens because I would get an erection that refused to go down in class, leading to awkward moments when the bell rang.

          Women tend to approach sex from a very different point of view, especially NSA sex. Sure, I encountered a few studesses in my youth who were DTF a much larger proper subset of the male population than the average woman. However, for the most part, women can be selective when it comes to NSA sex because they call the shots.

          Now, arousal is a totally different topic. With men, there is arousal and then there is arousal. If guys needed the same level of arousal to be sexually aroused as do women, there would be very few couples because guys tend to select almost solely based on arousal (i.e., why fat women do as poorly with clueless men as do men with lack status with clueless women when it comes to love). I can only speak for myself here, but, for me, high arousal does not automatically translate to enjoyable sex. I have been fortunate enough to be with women that most men would want, many of whom left a lot to be desired between the sheets. On the other hand, I have been with women who were much closer to being a 5 than a 10 who were delightful bed partners. The reality is that a man’s state of arousal does not matter as much to the quality of sex as does a woman’s state of arousal. The more a woman is into a man from an arousal point of view, the harder she will work to please him. That is why I always tell men to run if they grow on a woman. That is because they are being selected from comfort-oriented compensating attributes, not arousal. A lot of unattractive, but financially successful men make this fatal mistake.

        15. Yet Another Guy

          @jo

          Monogamy is hard for both men and woman. I personally believe that the problem with women not wanting sex as much as men has to do with insufficient arousal. We have discussed many times how women find a much smaller percentage of the male population to be physically attractive than vice versa. Whether the 20% figure is accurate if is up for debate, but it does show that women have a higher threshold for true sexual attraction than men. That being said, if we compare the percentage of women who marry with the percentage of men who are seen as being of at least average attractiveness, we cannot help but draw the conclusion that a lot of women marry men for things other than physical attractiveness. Low physical attractions equals low arousal.

          The fact that you mentioned women often prefer to have sex with men other than their husbands just reinforces my assertion that women marry for things other than physical attraction. It is not that women do not want to have sex as often as their husbands, to deny that women are sexual beings is beyond stupid. It is just that they do not want to have sex with their husbands as much as their husbands want to have sex with them.

          I have yet to see a man stray who was married to a woman who loved having sex with him. Most of the time men stray is because their wives seem to have a headache more than they do not. No man with anything approaching self-esteem wants to have sex with a woman who believes that having sex with him is another chore she must complete.

          My advice to women is to stop marrying low-arousal men, regardless of their compensating attributes. My advice to men is run away as fast as they can from any woman on who they grew because that screams “low arousal.” My experience tells me that women who make men wait will have sex with a high-arousal man on the first date. If a woman does not want to have sex with a man on the first date (that does not necessarily mean that she should act upon it), then his arousal level is too low for her and both people should look elsewhere. I know that women will disagree with me, but almost six decades of living on this planet has taught me to believe only half of what women tell me they want in a man. The most rules-based woman will absolutely strip down to bare flesh on the first date with the right man, which reinforces my assertion that time-to-sex in a relationship is a valid measure of a man’s desirability within the male social hierarchy.

        16. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “If a woman does not want to have sex with a man on the first date (that does not necessarily mean that she should act upon it), then his arousal level is too low for her and both people should look elsewhere.”
          I’m going to agree with you on this. She should be at a point by the end of the first date that she’s actively telling herself she’d love to go home with him and maybe is even having to hold back from doing so.
          In terms of your blinding sex drive when you were younger, I’m looking at that from the vantage point of a nearly 50-year-old woman. Just from a female point of view, and it’s only mine … were it not for the newness of the situation or the thrill of the seduction, most of the sex I’ve had, on a purely physical level, was pleasant, ok (some was bad), but hardly knocked my socks off. I’ve only been with two guys where I thought: Now I get what all the fuss is about. They weren’t mad skilled or super hot, but for whatever reason I was very attracted to them and dug how they did it. My point is … is it like that for men? The super hot sex I miss. The pleasant sex, not so much, and knowing that, at least for me, statistically speaking, I have a much higher chance of finding pleasant sex, my motivation to hunt sex down has lessened.

        17. Jeremy

          YAG, you wrote, “The most rules-based woman will absolutely strip down to bare flesh on the first date with the right man.” This is false. I wish you’d stop repeating it. It was wrong when Rollo asserted it, and it’s wrong when his syncophants repeat it. Pick up a copy of “Come as you are” by Emily Nagoski. And read her credentials to write as she does. And understand the difference between sexual brakes and accelerators, and the effects of personality therein.

          You’d advise women to marry men who turn their cranks from the get-go, eh? Advice in isolation? How’d it work for your ex? Things are not so simple. There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

        18. Mrs Happy

          “… women find a much smaller percentage of the male population to be physically attractive than vice versa. Whether the 20% figure is accurate …”

          YAG, I’d say 20% may be a massive overestimation for many women. For example, for me personally it’d be less than 1%, and though I’m picky I’m not that unusual.
          So therein lies your statistical problem – unless the woman is attractive, she can’t attract one of those 1-20% men enough to marry her, and if she wants marriage and children, she will have to marry one of the 80-99%. Tell women all you want to only marry “I’m very aroused with him from the first moment” men, tell men “don’t marry unless she is overwhelmed to nudity by your sexiness”, but you can’t escape mathematical reality.

          Also, just a tip on how some women think – the idea of having sex with a man and that being why he was asking me out on an initial date would not have entered my mind before I started reading this blog in my ?mid-late 30’s, 5-10 years ago, by which time I’d been dating for about 20 years, and having relationships pretty much constantly since about age 16. The vast majority of men did not try to have sex with me on the first few dates. Men may think about sex a lot, but women can easily not. For 20 years I viewed going out on the first few dates as simply a chance to get to know a guy, sometimes to see if I wanted him to be my boyfriend, other times because he asked me out, and I thought, ‘why not’. Sex didn’t enter the equation.

        19. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          I have not doubt that there are breaks and accelerators. However, I will not change my point of view that a woman should never settle down with a guy for whom she does not feel sexual attraction from the start nor should any guy settle down with a woman who did not feel sexual attraction from the start. While that decision may not guarantee a perfect outcome, it is a significantly better way to go about mate selection than settling down with a woman on which a man has to grow.

          As far as to my ex, that one is on me. I let my family pressure me into marrying a woman to whom I was weakly physically attracted. I have mentioned my lack of physical attraction many times. I caused what happened in my marriage by not showing my ex that I desired her enough. I have to own that mistake.

          As far as to women throwing out the rules book, well my experience does not correlate with yours. I spent most of the time before I married in cad mode. That is the major reason why it took so long for me to marry. I can assure you that women who guys thought were special snowflakes were not.

        20. Buck25

          “I think sex can greatly move a woman. Make her have a sexual awakening with the right man…It’s not the same for men.”

          Emily,
          Absolutely correct on both counts. I’ve read and heard enough accounts of this to believe that a lot of women encounter such an experience sooner or later, and they usually describe it in words quite similar to yours. As far as I know, there is no male equivalent. Now let’s look at something else you mentioned:

          “I’ve only been with two guys where I thought: now I understand what all the fuss is about. They weren’t mad skilled or super hot, but for whatever reason i was very attracted to them, and dug how they did it. My point is… is it like that for men?”

          Ok, it wasn’t super hot looks, or some magic physical technique, so what do you think made those encounters feel so different from your usual experience? It would seem that something had to trigger what was obviously an emotionally intense experience. Might that also connect with your comments above? I want to be sure I understand what you’re talking about, before I answer your last question.

        21. Emily, to

          Buck25,
          “As far as I know, there is no male equivalent.”
          So what does move men? How can super hot sex not move you? Or is it, as I’ve long suspected, like changing your socks? 🙂 I can’t believe men don’t hook up with some women who totally turn them out and it rocks their world.
          “Ok, it wasn’t super hot looks, or some magic physical technique, so what do you think made those encounters feel so different from your usual experience?”
          It was a high level of attraction and yes, I guess you’re right — technique. Attraction to me has very little to do with looks. I won’t belabor that point. I’ve tried to explain it with little success before. And technique was simply being aggressive, not asking persmission. That’s it. Sounds like someting simple to find. It isn’t. And because the physical part was so overwhelming, it became emotionally overwhelming. I know. I’m sure it was totally different for the two guys involved.

        22. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “I can’t believe men don’t hook up with some women who totally turn them out and it rocks their world.”

          Sadly, I believe that the answer to that question for most men is “no.” While feeling close to the right woman can open a man up to experiencing emotions at a completely different level, I have never heard a man say that women turned him out.

          You said that it was attraction, but not physical. Are you saying that you do not have a physical type? Sure, there are things that can turn a woman who is attracted to man off, but I cannot wrap my head around sexual attraction being completely disconnected from physical type.

        23. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “You said that it was attraction, but not physical.”
          It WAS physical attracTION (infatuation/limerence level), but the attraction had very little to do with the men’s level of attractiveNESS. Two different things.
          “I have never heard a man say that women turned him out.”
          So you’re saying all sex is the same for men? Really? You’ve never had sex with a woman for the first time and it was so bad, you thought, “Well, we aren’t doing that again.”?
          “Are you saying that you do not have a physical type?”
          No, I have a type. One of them was my physical type. One was not.

        24. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “So you’re saying all sex is the same for men? Really? You’ve never had sex with a woman for the first time and it was so bad, you thought, ‘Well, we aren’t doing that again.’?”

          Speaking for myself, no, I have never had sex that was that bad. Speaking for the men I know, no, I have never heard a guy tell me that he had bad sex with a woman. What I do know is that I and other men have commented on a woman’s hygiene/body chemistry making it not worth a second pass. I believe that the gap between good and bad sex is wider for women. I cannot explain why that is so. It just appears to be so. I believe that a lot of the difference in perception can be attributed to women being the gatekeepers to sex. Men have much lower expectations because any sex is usually preferable to no sex. My own views on sex have changed over the years. Even though I was more successful than other guys when I was young, I still had to put forth effort to obtain sex. Now, obtaining sex is almost effortless; therefore, I am more selective because I can afford to be selective. I do not know why that is so, but I do have a hypothesis.

        25. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Speaking for myself, no, I have never had sex that was that bad. Speaking for the men I know, no, I have never heard a guy tell me that he had bad sex with a woman.”
          It’s almost not even worth it. If I’m having a sexual experience that is shaking me to the very core, completely upending my world, and for you it’s like all the other sex you’ve had … what’s the point?

        26. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          The point is that all intercourse feels good to most guys. Orgasmic release feels even better. I, like most guys, do not need to feel connected to enjoy sex. Selective pressure wired men differently. The greatest chance of a man passing on his genes lies in impregnating as many women as possible; therefore, selective pressure rewarded men who enjoyed sex with a lot of women. While he was not a good man, a huge percentage of the world’s male population (1 in 200) can trace their Y-DNA directly back to Genghis Kahn.

        27. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “The point is that all intercourse feels good to most guys. Orgasmic release feels even better.”
          When I mentioned the really hot sex I had with those two guys, the greatness of it had NOTHING to do with getting off. In fact, I didn’t every time. It was the experience of being with someone I was really into who was really aggressive and didn’t need instruction and a lot of “that-a boys.” I also really liked the way they kissed me, which is rare.

        28. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “When I mentioned the really hot sex I had with those two guys, the greatness of it had NOTHING to do with getting off. ”

          I can appreciate what you consider to be hot sex. What you cannot seem to grok is that there is male equivalent to what you described. Men usually act upon whereas women are usually acted upon, especially at first.

        29. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “What you cannot seem to grok is that there is male equivalent to what you described.”
          So … the male equivalent to a woman having her world upended by a sexual experience is … does it feel good and did I get off? Can you not see the HUGE CHASM between those two scenarios? Does not the male equivalent happen with ALMOST ALL SEX that a man has? Whereas what I’m describing is found in great poetry and books.

        30. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          I never attempted to treat the experiences as equal, nor did I attempt to down play what you experience. It appears that you are upset that men do not experience sex the same way as women. Could it be that you are upset that the men with whom you had those experiences more than likely did not experience the same thing?

          Guys are easy to please sexually. There is good sex and better sex, but there is really isn’t anything that comes close to bad sex. The only thing that I can think of that comes close to bad sex is a when a woman tells a man to stop halfway through the act. For men, it is an opportunity to obtain sexual release that does not require self-manipulation. The orgasm and the resultant pleasure hormone release a man experiences is usually more intense via intercourse than masturbation. I am certain that a lot of women feel the exact opposite way in that they would rather spend time with a vibrator than have sex with guy who does not do it for them. As men age, they tend to avoid having sex with women who do not matter because they do not want to have to deal with the after sex head trip.

        31. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “As men age, they tend to avoid having sex with women who do not matter because they do not want to have to deal with the after sex head trip.”
          Statistically speaking, as woman are quite capable of experiencing bad sex, I can guarantee there are women who’ve had it with you. Not every woman is Glenn Close after sex, stalking the man afterward. Or even wanting to keep in contact. Some just want to drive thru once it’s done.

        32. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          You are missing something here, I never claimed that none of the women I have known have have had bad sex with me nor did I claim that all women are clingy after sex. However, statistically speaking, there is a high probability that a man will have to deal with emotional fallout after hookup sex, especially if he turns a woman out as you say.

        33. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “However, statistically speaking, there is a high probability that a man will have to deal with emotional fallout after hookup sex, especially if he turns a woman out as you say.”
          A woman is turned out by ONE (maybe two) men in her life if she’s lucky. It’s VERY rare. For me, personally, unless I’m really into the guy, I don’t get attached after a hookup. Hookups are usually crimes of opportunity. At my age, with so many guys off the market, the hookup options usually aren’t my first draft picks.

        34. Yet Another Way

          @ETO

          “A woman is turned out by ONE (maybe two) men in her life if she’s lucky.”

          I will have accept what you are saying here, but life has to suck when most sex is mediocre or bad. I am glad that I am not a woman. I would probably put a gun to my head. Does it bother you that men do not experience the same kind of experience? Does it make you feel less important that a guy will never have a comparable experience with you? It does not take away from the fact that he may be really into you, like your touch, smile, and the way you look naked.

        35. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “I will have accept what you are saying here, but life has to suck when most sex is mediocre or bad.”
          I didn’t say it was mediocre or bad. I said the fun of it is in seducing the person or the newness of it, but physically, it doesn’t feel like much. As you pointed out, a woman can be more successful with a vibrator is she’s just looking to get off.
          “Does it bother you that men do not experience the same kind of experience?”
          Yes
          ” Does it make you feel less important that a guy will never have a comparable experience with you? It does not take away from the fact that he may be really into you, like your touch, smile, and the way you look naked.”
          Not if he’s felt that way about all the other woman he’s been to bed with.

        36. Buck25

          Emily
          I see you seem distressed that sex isn’t the same mind-blowing experience for men as it can be for a woman (however rarely). Men typically do not have the same emotional responses women typically do with regard to attraction, arousal, sex and orgasm. As has been noted before, men do not bond as a result of orgasm as women tend to do. This is why men find it relatively easy to separate sex from emotions, while most women experience great difficulty in doing the same(if in fact, they can do that at all). In addition, the primary sex organ for both genders (but arguably much more so for women), is not between the legs, but between the ears. Emotion is not only part of attraction for women, it is in fact (for most) a key component of arousal, and more important for a satisfactory (or better) sexual experience for most women. In fact, laboratory experiments under controlled conditions have demonstrate that some women(albeit a small percentage) can quite literally think and/or fantasize their way to orgasm, without any physical stimulation at all, whether by self-stimulation or stimulation from a partner. That would indicate that a woman’s arousal, is tied at least as much to the effect a man has on her emotions as to anything he does physically. Also, orgasm is not a requirement for her to have a great experience, as you noted yourself. Sylvana posted in another thread something I will paraphrase here (because I can’t locate the post to quote her directly). “Before you can turn on a woman’s body, you have to turn on her mind ” That squares with my own experience.

          So no, men’s response to even great sex with a woman is not remotely as emotionally intense as yours (I wish it were, honestly; as the emotions we can feel from you in those moments are one of the most beautiful things in the universe, and we can only experience a small fraction of that, vicariously, as it were.) Mostly that’s the best we can generally hope for as men. You needn’t feel bad about it, as these days the reasons a man with options falls in love with you have a lot less to do with sex, and more to do with other qualities which we discover in you as the relationship progresses. Believe it or not, ultimately it’s those things, not sex, that makes us want to make a place in our life for you to stay. Sex after all, is comparatively easy to obtain, for us. Emotional intimacy is quite a bit harder to find.

          HOWEVER, there is one rare exception for a man, one which has as much or more to do with a combination of mutual attraction AND intense mutual emotional connection than with sex per se. Even so, sex in such a relationship feels qualitatively quite different from a male POV, as does intimacy in general. That’s extremely rare, I think; I have experienced that only with one women, many years ago. I never experienced anything remotely close before, nor in all the many years since.

        37. Emily, to

          Buck25,
          “I see you seem distressed that sex isn’t the same mind-blowing experience for men as it can be for a woman (however rarely). Men typically do not have the same emotional responses women typically do with regard to attraction, arousal, sex and orgasm. …Emotional intimacy is quite a bit harder to find.”
          I think therein lies my issue. The physcial part of sex and particularly strong attraction can move me emotionally, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I feel emotional intimacy with the man in question. I have never looked to straight men for emotional intimacy because a lot of straight men aren’t all that good at providing it. And then the ones I’ve met who are aren’t necessarily the ones I want to have sex with. Or maybe I’m subconconsciously picking men I don’t want to have sex with to befriend. Of course, this is just my personal experience and my sample size is small. So there’s a disconnect in the experience. Both sides wanting and being moved by different things.

        38. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          “I have never looked to straight men for emotional intimacy because a lot of straight men aren’t all that good at providing it.”

          I believe that you may have hit on something important. Have you ever considered that you may be sabotaging your efforts by desiring male attributes that are juxtaposed to what you desire long-term? Men, especially strong straight men, are terrified of being vulnerable and true intimacy requires one to be vulnerable. I walked a fine line for most of my life with respect to being vulnerable and for good reason, vulnerability is something that women seek, but are woefully unprepared to experience with a man to whom they are physically, emotionally, intellectually attracted. Confidence and emotional toughness are very attractive to women. Why? Because women have an innate need to feel safe and secure. A man who stands up for himself will stand up for his woman. A man who is emotionally tough will not break down during times of crisis. Being emotionally vulnerable is the exact opposite being emotionally tough. The average straight man is terrified of letting the woman he desires see who he is at his core. It takes a very special woman for a man to show this part of himself. In essence, it takes a special woman to make a man feel safe enough to remove the mask he wears that allows him to compete and win. There is more than a grain of truth to the saying behind every successful man there is a great woman. That saying may not be politically correct in the day and age of feminism, but its value is still the same.

          As buck mentioned, men choose women for things other than sex. Granted, a man has to be physically attracted to his woman, but it is what she brings that is special that makes him commit. The most important thing that you can do as a woman is to make the man with whom you share your life feel safe enough to remove his mask and not loose respect or judge him for doing so. The reason why I love my girlfriend and why she is so different than any woman with whom I have shared my life is because she does not judge me during moments of vulnerability. She still mentions that it can be difficult to break through the hardened shell I have erected around myself at times, but she loves the moments when she manages to do so. It during those times that we connect at level that I had never experienced before her.

        39. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          If you are interested, there is a good article on the Internet about the mask that men wear to protect themselves that is entitled “The mask many boys and men live behind” (Google it). There are other articles on the Internet that are related to this topic as well.

        40. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Have you ever considered that you may be sabotaging your efforts by desiring male attributes that are juxtaposed to what you desire long-term?”
          Well, the man has to bring attraction, sex abnd heat to the table. That’s the whole point in dating a man, at least for me. That’s what I desire the most. I know you’re not supposed to say that, but it’s true.
          “Men, especially strong straight men, are terrified of being vulnerable and true intimacy requires one to be vulnerable.”
          I can understand that and I’ve tried to do the same thing, only to be greeted with a repsonse that was woefully inadequate. I told a guy I considered dating that I had lost a parent. Pause. Pause. Pause. Pause. “That must have been difficult.” Silence. Is that the best you got, I wanted to ask? Really?

        41. SparklingEmerald

          YAG said “The most rules-based woman will absolutely strip down to bare flesh on the first date with the right man, ”

          Any man who would expect, demand, or try to manipulate that from me on a first date would not be the right man for me.

          I don’t consider myself “rules based” (read that book, HATED it) but I don’t do first date sex, no matter how attracted I am. For me, the right man won’t expect it or pressure me for sex on a first date.

        42. SparklingEmerald

          Somewhere in this long thread . . .
          Author: Yet Another Guy
          Comment:
          @SE
          Hopefully, you read this part of the post:
          “If a woman does not want to have sex with a man on the first date (that does not necessarily mean that she should act upon it), then his arousal level is too low for her and both people should look elsewhere.”
          I stand by this assertion. If that desire does not exist on the first date, it will never truly exist at a level a man needs from his mate.

          ___________________________

          I actually agree with you here YAG. I have caught flak on this blog for it, but I am NOT the type of person for whom attraction can “grow” if it’s not there to begin with. If a guy is trying to escalate physically, I might RESIST, but that is way different than RECOILING !

          I have felt insta-attraction and had if fizzle, but I’ve never had an initial “meh” turn into anything that could sustain a relationship. (Yes, I’ve tried ENOUGH times to know this about myself). Since women aren’t all cut from the same cookie cutter, there may be women who can warm up to a guy, but after 65 years of living, I know I am not one of them.

          However, as I got older, I stopped acting on my initial feeling, even if the guy was pressuring for it. In fact, one man who I was VERY turned on by at first sighting, tried to pressure me into an overnight on our first date. As hot and heavy as I was, making out with him and as hard as it was not to just give in to the moment, I resisted. Of course, he ghosted on me after that. We had a tentative 2nd date planned, he was supposed to call me and firm up a time for our 2nd date, and of course he never did. I was disappointed, but relieved that I didn’t sleep with him, because I think the result would have been the same. He either would have ghosted if I did spend the night, or take me on a token 2nd date, and then ghost. I did suspect he was “out of my league” when we first met. He pursued me (I didn’t chase him) but in the back of my mind I thought he was out of my league. Oh well, it was fun making out with him, and it probably would have been fun spending the night, but I am glad I resisted. I now thing men who push for first date sex aren’t looking for a relationship (with me) So that’s something I just don’t do, NO MATTER HOW HOT, I am for him.

          I was ON FIRE for my 2nd hubby, and believe me, I had to take a cold shower after our first date make out session. However, and most won’t believe this, I also had a high level of comfort with him as well. I don’t think it’s a choice between a low arousal comfort guy, or a high arousal guy with whom you’ll never feel safe. I had both with my 2nd hubby for about 10 years.

          I felt very attracted and comfortable simultaneously with my now husband. Of course, I don’t think I have the hormones for the kind of intense feeling I had for hubby #2, but I did feel like a giddy school girl with my dear husband, and since he was pretty focused and determined to claim me as his girlfriend (and later his wife), I felt safe and secure AND turned on, througout our relationship. (I realize most won’t believe me) 5 years later I still feel the same.

    2. 2.2
      Cathalei

      YAG, your comment about comfort vs arousal made me think. You said almost no man would choose comfort over arousal. But what does give comfort or/and arousal? What you said made me ask questions.
      “If you desire a masculine alpha-type guy, you need to accept the entire package or be prepared to go for a beta comfort dude who will support your feminist ideals. There is not right or wrong here. It is about trading arousal for comfort. Only you can make that choice.”
      But what gives arousal to an alpha-type guy or a beta comfort dude? The two must be aroused by different things right? Or is it the lack of comfort that blocks communication between an alpha-type guy and such a woman? For me, comfort versus arousal scale was never an issue. Unless someone comes off as Ted Bundy-like creepy to me (never saw him as attractive as portrayed in the media, the way his eyes looked quite odd to me at best), what gave me arousal came off as comfortable. Is it only have a problem with women who have self-proclaimed feminist ideals? Then again, “beta” shouldn’t be a doormat.

      1. 2.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Cathalei

        What truly differentiates a guy who is an alpha from a beta comes down to physical arousal. I personally believe that the anthropologist Henry Harpending and hjs first wife Patricia Draper (who is also an anthropologist) hit the nail squarely on the head when the coined the terms “cads” (basically alphas) and “dads” (basically betas) to describe male mating strategies. There has been a lot of follow-on work performed on cads and dads by other researchers. Something known as the “sexy son hypothesis” factors into this area of study. Basically, women want to have sons by sexy cads because it gives them the highest probability that their sons will be selected as a mate; therefore, passing on their genes. However, they want dads to provision and help them raise their children, which is probably why a man’s greatest fear is being made a cuckold.

        What is a woman’s number one comfort point? You alluded to it with your Ted Bundy comment. Men who are seen as creepy are men who induce fear. On average, women experience fear more often and more intensely than men. That is why a woman’s number one comfort point is to feel safe and secure. It is also a woman’s most basic primal need. Contrary to the lie that many women tell themselves, true alpha men only make a woman feel safe when they want something; therefore, they tend to score low in comfort. I am willing to bet that Evan earns an appreciable portion of his revenue off of female clients who cannot shake the alpha male addiction. These women will never feel safe/comfortable in their relationships until they shake this addiction. Why? Because alpha men have the looks and charm necessary to have a lot of options. An alpha male does not need to be faithful because he always has a backup plan or two. That is why Evan attempts to drive home the reality that alpha men are not good long-term investments. If a woman just wants to have a fling, that is an entirely different subject.

        The reality is that a lot of the class of men that I refer to as “blend men” are confused with alphas by a lot women. The blend spectrum is wide, ranging from mostly cad with a little dad to mostly dad with just enough cad to be arousing. There two questions that determine if a man fall into the blend man category.

        1.) Does he truly physically arouse me (via his physical attributes, not his compensating attributes)?
        2.) Do I feel safe and secure enough around him to be truly comfortable?

        If a woman finds the right blend man, she has a chance at being in a comfortable relationship with a healthy, enduring sex life. It is about finding the right mix of cad and dad that meets a woman’s arousal and comfort needs. A 50-50 mix of cad and dad is ideal for women looking to go the traditional family route, but most men are better at being one than the other; therefore, most of the women will end up with dad or a cad-dad blend that leans heavy dad.

        1. MountainChick

          I personally think that this whole cad-dad alpha-beta theories have little to do with real life. It’s a neat theory but it is not at all confirmed by the observation. It would have us believe that alphas are these dark heroes who never settle down and just roam the world slaying dragons and spreading their seed as wide as possible with women who just can’t resist the hormonal calling. This is fiction straight out of bodice rippers. In reality, what we see is that business, political and military leaders are predominantly all married with children. Exhibit A: Elon Musk, the ultimate alpha man, is on his 4th marriage with his 6th(?) child on the way. Now I don’t know him other than by reputation, but I know enough of business leaders who are decisively alphas – and they are all married. Do they cheat? Yeah. Do they get divorced and remarried? Sometimes. But they do get married even though it is clearly an option to not do that (Exhibit B – Leonardo DiCaprio). So yes, lots of women are in successful marriages to true alphas – i think it’s very difficult to be married to one and wouldn’t want this gig full time myself – but it is possible if that’s what a woman wants.

      2. 2.2.2
        Emily, to

        YAG,
        “That is why a woman’s number one comfort point is to feel safe and secure. It is also a woman’s most basic primal need”
        I don’t agree with this at all. Feeling unsafe and a little off balance is why women like “bad boys” (for lack of a better word). One lover of poet Lord Byron’s described him as “mad, bad and dangerous to know,” and women flocked to him. He wasn’t providing them a shred of comfort. For women who get off on the danger element, they have to train themselves to like comfort because it’s a quality that usually bores them.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          Women like bad boys because they are high arousal cads. However, when it comes time to settle down, most women choose a high-comfort dad. I know that you have heard of the manosphere term alpha fiux/beta bux. The manosphere is way out there on a lot of things, but alpha fux/beta bux is not one of these things. Women do in fact lust after bad boys when they are young, not all women, but enough for guys to make the observation. Most of the women who lust after bad boys eventually realize that they are never going to achieve the level of comfort necessary to settle down and start a family, so they settle for a faithful, loyal, but low arousal dad (these poor schmucks more often than not get stuck with an alpha widow who secretly or not so secretly lust after a cad she could not tame). Women who have no desire to have a family do not have to make this shift. However, women who do not desire to have a family are also not the norm, they are outliers.

        2. Emily, to

          YAG,
          “Women like bad boys because they are high arousal cads.”
          To me, being a “bad boy”is an attitude, an “fu” to society and its norms. I personally don’t know any at my age. If all a guy is doing is hooking up with a bunch of women and refusing to commit to one in particular, he’s missing about 70% of the bad boy equation. He may be elusive but he’s hardly a bad boy.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @ETO

          If all a guy is doing is hooking up with a bunch of women and refusing to commit to one in particular, he’s missing about 70% of the bad boy equation. He may be elusive but he’s hardly a bad boy.”

          And what makes it possible for a guy to hookup with a lot of women after age 40? It sure as heck is not money. Guys who do not project an air of danger are not hooking up with a lot of women, especially after age 40, Why? Because age 40+ women can just hookup with a young bad boy. What makes men dangerous at this age? It sure as heck is not outright breaking the law like occurs when a man is younger.

        4. Emily, to

          Yag,
          “What makes men dangerous at this age? It sure as heck is not outright breaking the law like occurs when a man is younger.”
          Attitude. If you’re in a corporate job, do you question the bullshit kool-aid they make you drink, or are you just excited to get good health care benefits? Do you have a passion or interest outside the corporate job? Are you political? Maybe going to rallies? (This is just one example, and obviously you can’t be for Trump.) Are you mischievious? Would you lean over to a woman you just met at a dinner party and ask her to leave with you right then or would you sit there, drinking your martini, eating your filet mignon, and politely ask for her number after the party was officially over? I’m just throwing out examples. It’s an energy that projects being with you sexually will be a slightly different expereince.

  3. 3
    Mrs Happy

    My husband’s closest friend spends a day every weekend with us. He is an absolutely wonderful guy. Single, great conversationalist, charming, smart, nice, helpful, morally and ethically upright. He helps my daughter and I quilt, and cleans up after lunch and dinner, and builds sheds and retaining walls with my husband, and hangs out washing, and plays with the kids and watches them in the pool, and irons clothes while chatting, etc., all the weekend chores a family muddles through on a home day. He is tall, good looking, very kind. Practically one of the family. To clarify, he is straight.

    He will not let me set him up with anyone I know, because he is unemployed and doesn’t want to date until he has a job. It’s insanity, I keep thinking, because he is such a catch, and he would make the best father and husband, and he really wants a wife and kids. He has been through a marriage and divorce whilst unemployed and the lack of a job has affected his self worth in a huge way. So he is in this frozen state, not able to get a job (I’ve tried to help), and not doing the things he wants to do, because he thinks that without a job he can’t have the rest of the package.

    I’m not a man so I don’t really know, but if everything in his situation bar gender was the same, i.e. well educated, lovely, good looking, kind etc. etc. middle class woman, unemployed for a decade, … would her unemployment be a barrier to her dating and having a relationship which led to kids and marriage? In my female brain I think, of course it would be a barrier, a big barrier, but maybe I’m wrong and men don’t think that.

    1. 3.1
      Jeremy

      Unemployed for a decade? How does he afford to live? What has prevented him from finding work? Do you think that he won’t date while unemployed due to his upbringing, or due to his experience of being married /divorced while unemployed? Sounds like an interesting story.

      But your description reminded me of the woman you know who is sweet, charming, great conversationalist, but very obese. This guy… Great niceness qualities, no job. All meringue, no pie… As far as many women are concerned. Reverse the genders – much less of a big deal.

      1. 3.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        He affords to live via family money and he is very frugal.
        I don’t know why he won’t work. I think the longer someone is out of the workforce, the harder it is to re-enter. And after that long, the re-entry is at a much lower level than the exit, which is demoralizing.
        The woman you referred to is my husband’s other closest friend. Ah, the irony.
        It’s sad though, isn’t it, that something as little as weight and employment makes such a difference to these lovely peoples’ lives. I mean ‘little’ in the sense of, who these people are, how wonderful and interesting and pleasant, isn’t valued more by potential partners, than weight and a job. Sigh.

        1. Jeremy

          My brother in law used to co-own a printing franchise along with his brother and uncle. The brothers did most of the work, but the uncle was the senior partner who owned several other franchises. Eventually the brothers decided they no longer wanted to split earnings with their uncle who, in their opinion, did nothing. So they offered to buy him out. He was so offended that he used his position as senior partner to push the two of them out instead. He took over the shop and gave their positions to his inexperienced other nephews. My brother in law was certain that the business would tank after that, he was sure that it was his own herculean efforts that had kept it afloat. But months later he learned that it was doing better than ever in his absence. That his efforts and his contacts were not special or unique. Were not only replicable, they were easily replicable. And the new shop that he set up with his brother, through the sweat of their brows, failed in the first 3 months. This so destroyed his confidence, so shattered his world view of what he should value in himself, that he hadn’t worked in 14 years since. Not even my sister’s cancer and their family’s lack of money could force him to do so. She tried to set him up with jobs, he wouldn’t go. He had the thought to be a handyman, she bought him a truck, but he lost confidence in himself and wouldn’t do it. A spiraling cycle – the more he fails, the less he believes in himself. The less he believes, the less he’s willing to try, lest he fail again and have to think even less of himself. Nevermind that trying would make everyone think better of him, that trying is the only way to succeed, that the only way to escape a circle is to strike a straight line. He isn’t happy in his circle, but thinks that it’s better inside out than outside.

          A job might seem like a small thing, but our self worth as men is so tied up in it. Not a good thing, but a true thing. Your friend sounds like a nice and caring guy, but how can a man be a relationship partner if he has no sense of self worth, nor any means to procure one – not only in the eyes of his partner, nor in his own?

    2. 3.2
      MilkyMae

      I think your husband’s friend that you describe is fairly common. Many adult single men have long term unemployment issues. I know quite a few single who men have floundered and fallen behind in the workforce. They are not horrible men but they are not working or they working intermittently at jobs that I would consider better suited for a teenager or young adult. Cutting grass, selling stuffed animals on the boardwalk, delivering pizza,.. I’m not sure why but I think men tend to associate ambition and careers with marriage. When they don’t see marriage in their future, they don’t value work as much. I think opposite is true for women. When women don’t see marriage on the horizon, they work more. They go to school and advance their careers. The problem is insidious for men. Unemployment can spiral out of control because unemployment can become chronic or permanent if goes on too long. Thereby, closing the door on marriage for a man AND a woman somewhere in the single world. Even if someone breaks the cycle after ten years, the skills, experience, and assets are ten years behind.

  4. 4
    Ames

    I agree w/ Jeremy and YAG as to unstable/underemployed men feeling undatable. It’s the same as an obese woman deciding to wait till she has her stuff together, in this case her body in a healthy condition before getting involved or serious. I’ve been that woman. I’ve also been rejected mid relationship for being unfit when my partner stated they were attracted to me upon meeting, months later deciding they weren’t. Financial success is the #1 thing we judge men on and I don’t envy them. Your soulmate is the same guy even during tough times. Paychecks can change but character doesn’t. My fiancé is a small business owner who struggles for the usual reasons and also 2 financially dependent adult children that can’t shake off trauma of an addicted mom who chose substances and a boyfriend over them. But he’s industrious, frugal and because I support myself I have the freedom of choosing for character and loyalty. During tough times I remind him most importantly: we’re together, we’re safe and healthy. Anything else is fixable. When I feel like a failure he reminds me the same. If you’re a team and your partner is determined to make a living, instability seems an awful reason to leave your soulmate. Dig your own gold together.

  5. 5
    ezamuzed

    What am I missing here? The guy opened up and was vulnerable about how bad he felt about himself for his career instability. And he was seemingly devastated when she broke up with him after this. It sounds like this is the very definition of emotionally available, yet she says she broke up with him because he was emotionally unavailable.

  6. 6
    Yet Another Guy

    @Evan

    ” I can only imagine what it’s like to be in a career with less autonomy or financial upside, or to be stuck in a job that is safe but unfulfilling.”

    I have been thinking about what you wrote for the last two days. All I can say is that most people I know fall into one of these camps. I have lost track of the number of men I know that held on to safe, but unfulfilling jobs while they were raising their children. A lot of these men retired immediately upon reaching age 62 because they could not drag themselves into their workplaces another day.

    1. 6.1
      Mrs Happy

      My husband went to his 20th high school reunion a number of years ago. The men there were aged 37-8. It was an exclusive expensive private boys school, so the vast majority of men were in professional roles, investment bankers, lawyers, doctors, or owned businesses, etc.
      ALL of them, all, didn’t like their jobs, and ALL said they would quit working if they didn’t need to support a wife and children, bar one group: the teachers. A few men had become teachers and were teaching in the school, or in similar schools, and out of all the men at the reunion, the teachers were the only ones enthusiastic about their jobs and contribution to society.
      I was amazed. I love my job and was incredulous when I heard this – I actually had a fight with my husband because I was so surprised and saddened by it, and he had to reiterate again and again how lucky I am that I get to enjoy my work; he thought I was naive in assuming most people were in similar situations. In the years since I have come to realise that many people probably don’t enjoy their work much.

  7. 7
    MountainChick

    Interesting topic and as a woman i tend to agree with most of what Jeremy and YAG said but only to a point. I do think that times are changing and women look less at the amount of money a man makes, and in my liberal east coast 30-something circle there are couples where the man out-earns and there are ones where the woman out-earns. That said, i think being fully unemployed and “not having your shit together” situation is also equally unattractive for both women and men (for anything more than a one night stand, that is)

    I think ultimately it comes down to the expectations, or mutual expectations even, within a couple. If a guy tends to define himself through his job, than of course losing said job will cause some emotional crisis on his part, and if his woman also defined him through that job, it will create tensions – much like what Jeremy described – until the final rejection.

    So, let’s say if I am dating a high powered banker who is defining himself through his “master of the universe” status – than that’s WHAT HE IS to me, to the world, and to himself. Take this status away from him, and all you have left is a sad schmuck moping around the apartment and smoking weed all day. So it’s not (just) about the lost of the status and money, it’s the loss of the identity. Major turn off and most women will bail.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of men who define themselves differently. Through their art, through their service, through their passions other than work. I would be way more attracted to a struggling adventure photographer who measures his accomplishments by the number of miles hiked, than to an unemployed finance bro. Again, this is not about the money or whatever. I have my own money and I am ambivalent about having children so not super concerned with their provider abilities. It’s just that personally i find myself attracted to risk-takers, irrespective of how that is expressed. Give me a trader or give me a backcountry skier, but do not give me a guy with a boring 9-5 job and nothing else going for him, and especially don’t give me him if he’s even lost that 9-5 job. May be, in this day and age, men gotta shift their focus on just being interesting, engaging, exciting. It’s not all about the benjamins guys. Just don’t put my shoes to sleep.

    1. 7.1
      Jeremy

      This post made me LOL, in a good way. Yes, MountainChick, everything is personality-dependent. An explorer-personality will be attracted to adventure. An idealist personality will be attracted to identity. A hybrid of both will need some of both. But where I’d quibble with your post is that you are focusing on what your priorities are in this moment. And the biggest caveat that you included (as an aside) was that you’re not interested in children. If you were, you might find that your priorities would change, predictably as the moon.

      And then change again. Because not all women are attracted to men who are “masters of the universe.” And not all are attracted to them based on how they define themselves. By their authenticity, by their adventurousness, by their artistry. Each woman will have her own hierarchy of needs, much like Maslow’s (but different content). Problem is, lifestyle needs are the base of the hierarchy. When you lack those, the pinnacle don’t matter. If you don’t have kids, you can take care of your own base. If you do, you can’t, necessarily. Hence the messiness.

    2. 7.2
      Jeremy

      Oh, and BTW, re: ” May be, in this day and age, men gotta shift their focus on just being interesting, engaging, exciting. It’s not all about the benjamins guys. Just don’t put my shoes to sleep.” No. What men gotta shift their focus on is their goals. THEIR goals. Not yours. Turnabout being fair play, and all that. The only reason for a man to dress up like a mountain is if he wants to attract a mountain-climber. Is that what he wants? Or what the climber does?

      1. 7.2.1
        Mrs Happy

        “What men gotta shift their focus on is their goals. THEIR goals.” -J

        Jeremy, you and YAG have previously written that men barely have any goals aside from those that will see them attract women. A picture has been painted of men refusing to follow an effortful career path, finish uni, build bridges, work at all, even barely get out of bed and wash, without the incentive of someone, or many someones, with 2 X chromosomes, to somehow reward him for doing so, with affection/attention/sex/love/care/feting/fawning/whatever.

        I don’t believe this, these were your ideas. Ever since you wrote them I’ve had difficulty believing them. But in this context, for you to suddenly state that men should identify their own goals completely apart from women, seems quite a leap.

        There is great freedom in doing something you want to, without thought of attracting or keeping someone, without thought of how it will affect the amount of sex you’ll have. Doing things just because you are living life. The mind reels.

        1. Jeremy

          Where is the contradiction, Mrs H? If the man’s goal is to attract a woman, that’s his goal. If it’s to attract a certain type of woman, again, that’s his goal. And if attaining his goal requires him to build bridges, go to uni, get a job, and all that jazz, well… that’s what he’ll have to do (unless he determines that the effort isn’t worth the result) . And if doing all that doesn’t get him any sort of goal that’s meaningful to him? Then he won’t. Whether or not any given woman in whom he’s not interested tells him what his goal should be.

          Btw, neither you nor anyone does things just because you’re living life. We all do the things that our brains reward us for doing. I didn’t climb mountains in my youth because my dopaminergic system is relatively weak, doesn’t reward me for doing so. I don’t act like a guardian type because my serotonergic system is relatively weak, doesn’t reward me for doing so. Why should your mind reel when considering the motivational machinery of others? Their brains’ reward system not matching yours? Should my mind reel to learn that middle aged women are less interested in sex, for instance, in spite of the fact that their still “living life”? Their testosteronic system is weak, doesn’t reward them for doing so.

        2. jo

          Mrs Happy, amen, amen. Ironically, once you start doing this (whether you are a man or a woman), you become automatically more attractive. All humans are attracted to – well, as you point out – LIFE.

        3. Emily, to

          Mrs. Happy,
          “There is great freedom in doing something you want to, without thought of attracting or keeping someone, without thought of how it will affect the amount of sex you’ll have. Doing things just because you are living life. The mind reels.”
          Here here! Find an internal motivation that doesn’t involve the opposite sex.

        4. Mrs Happy

          JJ,
          as ETO and Jo wrote, and you alluded to, life should be enjoyed. It just seems … so narrow, you writing that a person only does what their brain rewards them for doing, then the only examples you give are about men attracting women.

          Have you never done anything big just for you? Aside from the fish. (Not denigrating the fish at all, long live the fish, just interested in any other example.). BTW my mind reels a lot; I’m bewildered by most other people.

        5. Jeremy

          I kind of shake my head when people tell others what their motivations should be. Do you do this because you think you are helping them? That by changing their motivations to be more like yours, you’ll make them happier because you are happy? That isn’t how it works. Brain chemistry, as I wrote above. People’s motivations are what they are. And women who give this sort of advice are not thinking it through to its conclusions. Seriously, women would not like the world that results if men stop treating them as their primary motivation. You guys seriously take for granted all that comes as a result. Because your comfort and arousal systems are at odds. Your comfort wants all the advantages of men’s prioritization. And your arousal loses attraction to men who prioritize you. So your minds make up bullshit about how attractive men do what they do, not for you but because they internally want to. God, such obfuscation. Such lack of understanding. Men don’t do that stuff because they internally want to any more than you do.

          Seriously, be careful with the romantic advice you give to men. The reason men don’t seek advice isn’t because we’re too arrogant. It’s because all the advice we’ve been given is bad.

        6. Emily, to

          Jo,
          “Ironically, once you start doing this (whether you are a man or a woman), you become automatically more attractive. All humans are attracted to – well, as you point out – LIFE.”
          I was just going to post the same thing. If you find your internal motivation, your passion, whatever makes you tick, people will be drawn to you. You’ll be interesting. Have a true style. Have unconstrained personality. If you make other peoples’ approval, validation, willingness to have sex with you your prime motivator … blech.

        7. Emily, to

          I second what Mrs. Happy says. Figure out who you are, get a purpose and live by the principles you believe in and women being attracted will be an extension of that.

        8. Jeremy

          I think that some people are born advantaged compared to others with regards to what simulates their brains to reward them.

          I look at my parents compared to my in-laws, for example. Both want a relationship with their grandchildren. The happiness of their remembering-selves demands it. But for my parents, the happiness of their present, experiencing-selves precludes it. Because their brains don’t reward them in the moment for child-related efforts. My in-laws facetime with my kids every evening. My parents don’t. My in-laws go to my kids’ sports games, recitals, school plays… They wouldn’t miss them for the world. Because they enjoy them, get pleasure in the moment from doing so. And my parents, who would like to have done these things in retrospect, don’t get pleasure. So they don’t do any of those things. And complain that they have no relationship.

          I think that women are generally hugely advantaged over men in regards to being rewarded by their brain chemistry for a far larger variety of things compared to men. And further, being rewarded in the moment for things that will make their remembering-selves happy in retrospect. Which is why relationships with women tend to make men happier than relationships with men make women. Which is why women need men to provide something extra to compensate them for what they provide the relationship. Which is why men need income, define themselves by their jobs. Which is why your nice friend remains single.

          There are indeed things I do in life that I enjoy. And some were my ideas. But some were my wife’s idea, that I’d not have thought of or followed through on on my own. Because my brain’s chemistry in the moment would not have incentivize me, except in retrospect when it would have been too late.

        9. Jeremy

          Emily, you wrote, ” Figure out who you are, get a purpose and live by the principles you believe in and women being attracted will be an extension of that.”

          LOL. Male dating profile [pic: scruffy beard, disheveled hair, crooked but confident smile]:

          “Hello ladies. I see you’re admiring my Magic, the Gathering collection. My return to Ravnica brings all the golems to the yard. I can teach you, but I’d have to charge.”

          Women viewing the profile: “Ha ha ha, look at this loser.”

          In order for a man’s drive to equate to female attraction, both the thing at which he’s driven and his physical being need to be found attractive by them. I know this seems obvious to the well-meaning advice-givers, but it’s not obvious at all to the oblivious advice-takers. And further, the women attracted to the drive? Not necessarily the ones the man wants. Unless he likes dopaminergic idealists who aren’t terribly interested in marriage and/or children, right? Because other personalities? Attracted to different attributes.

        10. Emily, to

          Jeremy,
          “LOL. Male dating profile [pic: scruffy beard, disheveled hair, crooked but confident smile]:”
          I know you think it’s funny when the women on here tell you what they like. I don’t know why. Is it a defense mechanism?

        11. Kevin

          I agree with his sentiment…beside taking care of children a mans whole drive to being successful…a HUGE portion of that is tied to raising his level and status which those things in turn are supposed to raise SMV if he is single…if he is married he wants to impress his wife and keep her arousal/attraction high for him to make sure the sexual part of the relationship doesnt dwindle…without that for men they mostly see no point…because companionship without sex‍♂️‍♂️ yea ill pas lol

        12. Jeremy

          No Emily. It’s not that I think it’s funny when you tell me what you like, nor that I think you’re wrong in what you like. I fully, fully believe you when you say that you like men who take care of business and who are aggressively authentic. I just don’t think that’s the whole story.

          What’s funny to me is when I perceive what women aren’t saying, that they think is obvious and isn’t. Like that whole argument we had about chivalry as an attractant. Any man with any life experience would find the assertion that chivalry is an attractant in and of itself to be absolutely hilarious. And further, I find it funny when people, men and women, generalize from the specifics about themselves to the generic population, as though what they find attractive is necessarily generalizable to those with different temperaments.

        13. Jeremy

          BTW, Emily, I didn’t mean to attack or denigrate you with my comment about dopaminergic idealists – the comment applies to everyone, myself included. I could have replied to MountainChick’s comment that when I was dating I’d have found her description of her tastes unattractive. I could have given her a list of what I do find attractive, and advised her to focus on those things to attract a man. But that would have been bad advice. Because it wouldn’t attract “a man,” it would attract a man like ME. And why on earth would she want to do that? My type and hers….like oil and water. My advice, in such a case, would have been so non-generalizable that it would have been comical. Hence my LOL.

        14. Mrs Happy

          “I kind of shake my head when people tell others what their motivations should be. ” -Jeremy

          Ok JJ I won’t suggest you should be motivated by anything other than what you need to get love and sex from a woman. This will require a big mind shift from me so I might accidentally slip up sometimes.

          It’s odd, because in reverse, such a woman (who was only doing things all her adult life to attract a man) would be seen as quite superficial and featureless, without drive or achievement, dull and insipid, but a man who does so, like you, is so interesting. Now that’s the amazing thing.

        15. Jeremy

          But Mrs H, who said anything about “only”? Base of hierarchy, not pinnacle. Like women with security.

        16. Emily, to

          Jeremy,
          “BTW, Emily, I didn’t mean to attack or denigrate you with my comment about dopaminergic idealists – the comment applies to everyone, myself included.”
          I didn’t take that as a personal swipe. You know I genuinely like you, even if I don’t agree with everything you write. 🙂
          ” But that would have been bad advice. Because it wouldn’t attract “a man,” it would attract a man like ME. And why on earth would she want to do that? My type and hers….like oil and water. My advice, in such a case, would have been so non-generalizable that it would have been comical. Hence my LOL.”
          I see what you are saying. I don’t think for a minute that what I find appealing is what all (or even a good number) of women find appealing. I’m just offering a different perspective. That not all women are lined up for Mr. Status, Mr. Money, Mr. Tall or Mr. Workout. As MountainChick wrote: Excite me! (says the dopaminergic idealist.) 🙂

        17. Emily, to

          Mrs. H.,
          “It’s odd, because in reverse, such a woman (who was only doing things all her adult life to attract a man) would be seen as quite superficial and featureless, without drive or achievement, dull and insipid ”
          And then what happens when she’s no longer attractive to men? Does she cease to exist? Wouldn’t we think she was a bit hollow at the core?

        18. Mrs Happy

          “And then what happens when she’s no longer attractive to men? Does she cease to exist? Wouldn’t we think she was a bit hollow at the core?” – ETO
          Well, yes. There are a lot of astoundingly dull, vapid people about. People who seem to exist mainly in others’ reflections of them. Little self at the core that can be tapped into. Female beauty carries with it a very real danger to much self actualisation.

          “But Mrs H, who said anything about “only”? ” – J
          You, dear. With every word, and all your actions.
          You describe doing nothing aside from maximising your chances at affection from your wife, and fish. Everything else is thought. (Your thoughts are extremely interesting though.)
          It is a very weird existence you describe. And so at odds with your brain. It’s part of my fascination with you.

        19. Buck25

          @Jeremy,

          Some of your analysis is very interesting from a clinical standpoint, but to tell you the truth, I’ve always been a bit too busy doing things, to spend much time pondering what my precise motivation was. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about what personality type anyone thinks I might be (haven’t thought much about it myself, honestly), or about just how “alpha” I am or am not . Since I was apparently “alpha” enough to attract a reasonable number of women, at least in my younger days, I suppose that’s been sufficient for me. As I’ve said before, I’m not a great fan of labels.

          I’ve heard the position that everything men do is based on attracting women and sex put forward before. I’m not so sure I buy that, at least not universally. If that were universally true of all men, why would any man do any acts of philanthropy, especially those that weren’t likely to be noticed at all? After all a woman can hardly be attracted to a part of a man’s character that she knows nothing about. For that matter, if my goal was attracting women, why would I have joined the Army? It’s not that way now, but at that particular time, let’s just say that choice was not popular with a lot of women, and just wearing the uniform would get a guy more curses than kisses. Not exactly a way to get rich either; company grade officers weren’t paid much back then. Some men do operate the way you and YAG suggest, but not all men. Whether the majority do that, I couldn’t say.

        20. Emily, to

          Mrs. H,
          “People who seem to exist mainly in others’ reflections of them. Little self at the core that can be tapped into. ”
          I dated a guy like that once. Whatever I said I liked, he liked. It started to make me really uncomfortable. Either he had no core self or he was placating me to keep things going.

        21. Jeremy

          The “What you see is all there is” fallacy from you, Mrs H? I talk about what I talk about because of where we are. The fish are a useful metaphor, like the plants. Are not other things, or at least their existence, obvious by their absence? Like black holes, invisible but for their effects on other structures? Like all the things you avoid talking about, the shape of which is evident by the shadow of their absence?

          LOL. Do you think I spend my days pining for love and watching fish? That my only moments of enjoyment are those?

        22. Jeremy

          Buck, based on your comment, I think you’ve misunderstood me.

          First, it does not surprise my one whit that you don’t think about personalities or motivations. IME the majority of people are oriented to the concrete. The who, what, where, when, and occasionally how of reality. The doing. Few people are focused inwardly on the why, and of those few who are, only a tiny percentage do it well or functionally. When you’re a swan born among other swans, you tend to look at things differently than the duck living among you. To focus on other things. I don’t know if that speaks to you. Speaks to the ducks.

          Second, not ever did I say that men do everything we do in order to attract women. We have many motivations for our behaviour, conflicting modules in our brains. What I said was that for many men, the need for love and validation from women forms one of our prime, base motivations, upon which much else is predicated. But Buck, one of the reasons I talk about personalities is to distinguish the fact that different people have different motivations. Consider, for example, why one would choose to join the army. Is it for honour and country, a set of ideals adopted from the external and internalized to generate feeling and authenticity? Is it what one was taught to do in order to fit into the societal description of a man, to be accepted among the group? Is it to fulfill a specific goal, such as earning college tuition? Is it to seek adventure? A concrete oriented person will never introspect about it, will think that doing so is a waste of time, will focus on the doing and the emotion. An abstract person will realize, though, that the answer to the question of why reveals much about the person… Not just about his past actions, but also his future ones.

        23. Mrs Happy

          “Do you think I spend my days pining for love and watching fish? That my only moments of enjoyment are those?”
          I can only really know what you tell me. We’re operating under your rules here.

      2. 7.2.2
        jo

        Jeremy wrote: ‘I think that women are generally hugely advantaged over men in regards to being rewarded by their brain chemistry for a far larger variety of things compared to men.’

        Jeremy, this might well be true – personally, I have many interests, passions, and loves for people and things and activities. But in a later comment, you accused commenters of generalising their personal experiences to everyone of their sex. Might you in fact be doing the same thing here? Do you believe ALL men are like you, in not being rewarded by your brain chemistry for much of anything beyond women and sex?

        Because if so, that is truly sad – I don’t mean that in a critical way, but a literal way. I can’t begin to imagine what a life like that would be like. If it is true, no wonder MRA and MGTOW groups sound so angry, bitter, and critical. It is because they feel as though they’re giving up something much more than they’re willing to admit – whereas if women decide they no longer want men and sex, they’re much more peaceful and laissez-faire about it.

        1. Kevin

          Yea at the point man gives up women/sex he might as well be dead after that from a male point of view anyway…funny how women have the potential to be completely opposite…but i guess when you as a woman are the…forgive my language…”object” of desire it can get old…especially since there is no guarantee that u will even come close to getting the happy ending that males get every time

        2. jo

          Kevin, yes, that’s about right. We women don’t mind being the objects of desire – at least, I don’t; I enjoy it 😉 – but happy endings are far from guaranteed every time. No wonder we women don’t mind giving it up or putting much less emphasis on it.

        3. Jeremy

          Jo, you asked, “Do you think all men are like you, not rewarded by your brain chemistry for much beyond women and sex?” But this isn’t what I’ve said. Please consider the following :

          There are those things in life that we do because we want to. Because we are internally motivated by our brain chemistry, our personalities. And then there are the things in life that we do, in SPITE of the fact that we DON’T internally want to, are not directly rewarded by our brains for doing so. So then why do we do them? Perhaps we are running biologically-evolved algorithms – like women with baby fever or nesting. Things they don’t necessarily enjoy doing, but feel driven to do, feel punished for not doing. Things that our genes need us to do in order to reproduce.

          It’s not that I, or most men, have nothing in our lives that we are internally motivated to do. It’s that when it comes to providership, to working hard to produce and then giving the fruits of that production to others, our motivation is an algorithm and not necessity a pleasure. We don’t do it because we love it, we do it because we’ve evolved to crave the result, to feel listless if we don’t. And further, society has evolved to tell us that we must do it or we’re not men, and must enjoy it or else not be attractive to women. Leads men to all manner of psychological contradictions to which women are largely oblivious….because men are largely oblivious, blind to our motivations as most of us are.

          But with this in mind, yes, I do think that men have fewer things that give us genuine pleasure compared to women. And that this is a common-enough male experience to make it a gendered issue.

        4. jo

          Jeremy, you bring up interesting points. It isn’t just men, but also women, who may be blind to these ‘algorithmic’ forces driving irrational behaviour. Although both sexes may not question it enough, and although we are definitely generalising now, I have wondered about women dressing skimpily (Do you watch American football? Did you watch the Superbowl halftime show with some questionable clothing?) and wearing stiletto heels. All of these are uncomfortable and impractical, especially in cold, snowy, icy climates (which Miami USA is not, but it happens in cold places too!). Yet women still persist in wearing them. It is not that women take comfortable pleasure in wearing them. Clearly it’s for the purpose of attraction, though if not for making babies, then for making sales at least.

          We both, men and women, do many stupid things not for the sake of pleasure, comfort, or even personal survival, but for the sake of… whatever you call that thing – it’s not always sex, it’s the entire miasma surrounding it.

        5. Jeremy

          Exactly Jo, I agree 100%. I was co-opted into attending a Superbowl party last night, in spite of my lack of interest in football. My son’s friend was having the party and his dad (who is my friend) wanted me to come too.

          The room was mostly full of kids age 12 and under (who attend a private school and live a sheltered life), with a few moms and dads. And when the half-time show began, and the scantily-clad dancers began prancing about, I was amused to watch the expressions on the kids’ faces. One 10 year old boy lay very still, midsection obscured, and blurted out in a rapid monotone, “This-is-really-inappropriate.” My 12 year old son turned to his 10 year old sister and said, “I hope you get a really good job when you grow up, so you don’t have to dress like that and do those things for everyone to see.” “Don’t worry, I will for sure,” she replied. So sweet. And so human. And so lacking of the understanding of the greyness that adulthood brings to the black-and-white world.

          Because I agree – dressing like that isn’t likely what those women want to do. So why do they do it? To be attractive to men and so earn money, perhaps. To be attractive AMONG women and so feel powerful, perhaps. Because they’re taught from an early age that their power lies in their beauty, perhaps. Women understand this all too well. What they don’t understand is the male equivalent.

          Mrs Happy wondered aloud why a woman who seeks love is viewed as insipid and vacuous, while a man who seeks love appears more interesting. It’s because the ways in which we seek love are different. Women dress up. Men slay dragons. No men around? Women wear sweatpants. No women around to impress? Dragons can live their lives.

        6. Emily, to

          Jeremy,
          “And when the half-time show began, and the scantily-clad dancers began prancing about, I was amused to watch the expressions on the kids’ faces.”
          What’s wrong with showing some skin? Shakira is 43. J. Lo is 50! They both look fantastic. Show it off, I say. Use it while you’ve got it.
          “My 12 year old son turned to his 10 year old sister and said, “I hope you get a really good job when you grow up, so you don’t have to dress like that and do those things for everyone to see.”
          Does he not realize that either woman could do ONE concert tour and make more money than most people do in a lifetime? And what’s a concert tour? A year? Wear a skimpy outfit onstage for a few hours several night a week for a year … or do a 9 to 5 for THE REST OF YOUR DAYS … hmmmm

        7. Mrs Happy

          “Wear a skimpy outfit onstage for a few hours several night a week for a year … or do a 9 to 5 for THE REST OF YOUR DAYS … hmmmm” – ETO
          But Emily the vast majority of scantily-clad dancing women are not making so much money they can spend the rest of their lives in retirement. The 2 performers you note, bring something else to the table.

          “Mrs Happy wondered aloud why a woman who seeks love is viewed as insipid and vacuous, while a man who seeks love appears more interesting. It’s because the ways in which we seek love are different. Women dress up. Men slay dragons. ” – Jeremy

          No. That’s not the right answer.

          Both my children whine, but when a male friend visits he will not long be able to stand my son’s whining, and in fact will leave the room to avoid it, whereas he’ll be much more tolerant of my daughter’s.

          “… when it comes to providership, to working hard to produce and then giving the fruits of that production to others, our motivation is an algorithm and not necessity a pleasure.” – J

          You write about this a lot. Why?

        8. Jeremy

          What does whining have to do with our discussion? My explanation might indeed be wrong (or incomplete), and people may indeed have less tolerance for male whining than female. But here we are discussing the motivations for normative behavior, not behavior that’s considered abnormative.

          I write about this topic often for the same reason I write about the dreaded P word. To help people with relationships, as per this site’s raison d’etre. Because while I agree with you that some of the problems people experience in relationships arise due to laziness, others arise due to pure cluelessness. When I asked how women can reciprocate for men’s courtship efforts, women were surprised by the question. Because if they believe that men exert their efforts because men enjoy courtship, then women have nothing to reciprocate. And so they don’t reciprocate in any meaningful way. And get surprised when the courtship stops – and blame laziness, blame hedonic adaptation, blame marriage as an institution… Blame everything except themselves.

          I write about this, Mrs H, because it applies across more domains than just courtship. And I’d like to believe that if women realized what they should be appreciative of, they would be more likely to engage in reciprocation. And if they knew how best to reciprocate, their efforts would be better appreciated by men who would, themselves, reciprocate further. Leading to good and happy relationships.

          And yes, I know that the same applies to men.

        9. Emily to

          Mrs. H,
          “But Emily the vast majority of scantily-clad dancing women are not making so much money they can spend the rest of their lives in retirement. The 2 performers you note, bring something else to the table.”
          Yes, agreed, but if you’ve even seen a professional dance performance, the dancers are often not wearing much. A scanty outfit isn’t always worn by a stripper. In ballet, you can see the man’s religion! And when I watched the halftime show, some of the women in the room made comments about Shakira’s and J Lo’s outfits. Women usually do that when they feel threatened by another women’s attractiveness. Also, I was suprised by Jeremy’s 12-year-old son’s response. Don’t 12-year-old boys like looking at scantily clad women? 🙂

        10. jo

          Mrs Happy, I’m pretty sure Jeremy was referring to adult men vs. women, not boys vs. girls. Makes quite a difference!

          Emily, believe it or not, I prefer the 9-5 gig, not so much to avoid skimpy clothing as that I would rather be anonymous to the public than famous. You can’t do just one concert tour in your life and have the kind of fame that would bring you that much money. You’d have to keep selling yourself to the public, which I would hate. Not to mention the stalking, security issues, and never being able to go out on your own without being recognised. Much better to be ordinary. We ordinary people shouldn’t take our luxury of private lives for granted!

          (Well… I’m ordinary anyway, maybe you all are famous and I’m dialoguing, unbeknownst, with stars.)

          Jeremy, that conversation with your kids and other kids is so funny. And yes, black and white, but we all gain nuance with age. I do agree with you that activity (slaying dragons, so to speak) is usually more interesting to behold than sitting pretty.

        11. Emily, to

          Jo,
          “You can’t do just one concert tour in your life and have the kind of fame that would bring you that much money. You’d have to keep selling yourself to the public”
          Nah. Look at Brittney Spears. Her first album was a big success. She could have then toured with in and been done. Banked the money and lived fairly anonymously for the rest of her days doing whatever the hell she wanted (which you sure as shit cannot do with a 9 to 5). Pop culture and “what’s in” move very quickly these days, particuarly with the internet. People forget about you unless you keep putting out more records and making appearances, especially if you only had the one big album and tour.

        12. jo

          Emily, to each their own. I wouldn’t have wanted either the hypothetical (by you) life or the real life of Britney Spears. Very few people want to spend the rest of their lives not working at all if they are, say, in their 20s or 30s (or even 40s). People who don’t work at all, even if their work would not have been 100% satisfying, become depressed and listless, and sometimes even criminal. There have been many studies on this topic. But like I said, to each their own. YMMV.

        13. Mrs Happy

          “What does whining have to do with our discussion? ” J
          “…Jeremy was referring to adult men vs. women, not boys vs. girls. Makes quite a difference!” -Jo

          JJ, You must be tired to have missed that metaphor and its subsequent interpretation. You do seem over it all, lately.

          A heterosexual person puts up with annoying behaviour in members of the opposite sex because the behaviours are more tolerable than they would be from a person of one’s own gender, and that is because of evolutionary programming for reproduction.

          As socially incorrect as it currently is to contemplate, the reality is our adult male friend will be sexually attracted to my now 9-y-old daughter in about 6 years. He will never be so, towards my son. Hence my son’s whining annoys him more than my daughter’s. (It wasn’t long ago Anglo-Saxon girls were married by the time of their first period – look at half the Shakespeare plays.)

          And similarly, vapid women with no goals past enticing the next man, seem irritating beyond belief to me, whereas the average heterosexual adult male would enjoy their attentions with much more tolerance and amusement. My delusional friend with the Hooters waitress perplexed me no end until I realised what was going on in his brain.

        14. Jeremy

          Is that it though, Mrs H? If it that we are more tolerant toward members of the opposite gender because we are, or may ultimately be, attracted to them? I’m not saying that I think you’re wrong – I do think that’s part of the issue, but I’d guess it’s more so for men than women. Look at your own attitude toward grown men’s expressions of negative emotion, though you admit you’re a marshmallow to children. Are women more tolerant to grown men’s expressions of emotionality than they are to grown women’s, in your experience? Not in mine.

          Could the other part of it be that it’s not that we’re MORE tolerant of the opposite gender, it’s that we are LESS tolerant of our own? Because we see ourselves in our co-genderists, and we’ve grown up, so they should too? I see a boy moping and crying and find myself without tolerance for him….. Because I know that life will be difficult for that boy of he can’t learn to control his emotions as I’ve learned to do. He will be rejected both by the society of women and men, will find no solace anywhere. But for little girls? I’ve not perceived that same necessity. I wonder if you feel the same toward women whose desire for love is primary? I think that’s part of the reason, at least, for what you described.

          I watched the first season of Dracula per your recommendation. Good show. A bit nihilistic for my tastes, but well written and acted. I did enjoy the character of Sister Agatha. Interesting mix of Rational and Explorer. Rational to a fault… But would someone truly rational have been in that situation from the get-go, have sought it of? Depends on what their goals were, and weren’t 🙂

    3. 7.3
      Emily, to

      MountainChick,
      “On the other hand, there are plenty of men who define themselves differently. Through their art, through their service, through their passions other than work. I would be way more attracted to a struggling adventure photographer who measures his accomplishments by the number of miles hiked, than to an unemployed finance bro.”
      Keep posting. We need more women like you on here. To contradict the message that women care about height and muscles and money and status before anything else.

  8. 8
    Michelle

    I’m even more grateful for the relationship I have with my husband after reading these discussions. Both that gender plays very little role in how we relate to each other (we are biologically male and female but psychologically there is pretty much no difference) and my husband’s career goals were shaped more as the children of a family in a developing country than American ideas about masculinity – as in, get money to survive, and you’d be better off doing that somewhere other than here (hence his moving to the United States). He likes money, and culturally he has been influenced to save as much as possible, and he sees participation in hypercapitalism for what it is. My husband has no emotional attachment to his relatively dull, quota-based corporate job; he has turned down promotions because he rightly saw that they were titles with more responsibility and little to no increase in benefit to him, financial or otherwise. He now works from home (we moved to a popular town for vacations) and plays a good game of logging overtime and pretending to be interested in the mundanity of his co-worker’s lives, who buy bigger houses and bigger cars and boats and have more children, and limit their choices should they ever want to quit. (He has enough money stashed away to take a year off probably). He (and we) gets his work done and spends every other minute enjoying his/our hobbies of being active outdoors, cooking, and reading. We live simply and our idea of a splurge is the organic grocery store or a hiking holiday. We would both love it if he was laid off since he would be owed a six-month payout, but he’s too effective an employee for that. He has zero interest in financially supporting children, so lo and behold, he found a woman (me!) who has equally zero interest. (Childbearing is “good for business” in hypercapitalism but we are mutually grateful we both avoided that particular societal pressure for a multitude of reasons). In sum, having a male partner whose world wouldn’t collapse if he were fired or never even worked in that industry again is something this post made me appreciate in a way I didn’t before.

  9. 9
    Yet Another Guy

    So, per Jeremy’s request, I read about brakes and accelerators. Nowhere in the discussion did the author invalidate the need for solid initial physical attraction. I never asserted that a woman had to act upon it on the first date or even the third. However, if physical desire does not exist from the first date, a woman is not doing a man a favor by continuing to date him, let alone marrying him (i.e., if a man had to grow on you attraction-wise, leave him alone because odds are you will end up making his life miserable). The reality is that there are women with whom a man will sleep and there are women who a man will introduce to his friends and family. Women should guard against the former and not take advantage of the latter. Conversely, if a man had to grow on a woman attraction-wise, he should run as fast he can or face the very real reality that he will end up in a marriage where his wife does not desire him due to no fault of his own. While there is no guarantee that guy will not do something to cause a woman to slam on the brakes, there is also no guarantee that a man for whom a woman settled because of his compensating attributes will ever be cause a woman to step on the accelerator once the newness of the relationship wears off.

    One last thing, one thing I discounted is the power of family pressure. In my case, my family did the full-court press on me due to my age and the fact that they initially really liked my ex-wife. I should not have married her. I am certain that there are women who married a guy to whom they were not physically attracted because they experienced the same kind of pressure from their families. No one wins in this kind of situation.

    1. 9.1
      Jeremy

      I agree with this, YAG. It’s not that I thought your comments above were blanket-false. It’s that I thought they lacked nuance. There is a difference between the assertion that physical chemistry is important (so don’t marry someone who doesn’t feel it for you), versus the notion that if a woman doesn’t want to drop her panties on her first date with you, she’ll never want you enough to be worth marrying. Some women simply won’t feel that way until their brakes are deactivated by comfort.
      At which point you need to ascertain whether the movement you see in her is simply the slowness of one’s foot removed from the brakes, or the velocity of one whose foot is firmly on the accelerator.

      There is also the consideration that there’s much more to the equation than physical attraction – important though attraction is. See my comment to Mrs Happy in Evan’s recent post about “How you can be a better partner – and bring out a better partner in return.” It’s about having what your partner wants be a continuous stream, not a discretely-attainable thing. And such must go both ways.

      1. 9.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        I agree with your assertion that comfort makes the difference, which is why the equation attraction + comfort = seduction makes a lot of sense. I am acutely aware of how that equation works because it worked for me every time I applied it. However, I will also say that a little fear of the unknown also works amazing well for some odd reason (i.e., being a little dangerous), at least here in the United States.

        That being said, there a million ways a guy to whom a woman is attracted can blow it, which is why a guy should never get too comfortable in a relationship. That is where a lot of guys mess up. I have done it in the past and hopefully, I have learned my lesson.

  10. 10
    Jeremy

    I wanted to write another thought regarding the conversation about equality with Jo, above. Did anyone here watch the movie, “A Marriage Story” on Netflix? It starred Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, and was about a divorcing couple and the custody battle for their son. I watched the movie a few weeks ago, and have been disturbed by it since then. Well, not so much disturbed by the movie itself, but rather by what it purported to be: 2 well-meaning people, equally well-intentioned, equally-flawed, equally making mistakes, equally coming to a compromise. This is what the movie purported to be, and how it was interpreted by the numerous critical reviews I read about it. But OMG, that wasn’t what it was at all.

    Spoiler alert. This was a story about a woman who unilaterally decided that her marriage was unsatisfactory to her. So she took her son from their home in New York to California, ostensibly temporarily, in order to set precedent for custody and file for divorce under California’s more female-friendly laws. She promised her husband not to use lawyers, then went out and found the best divorce lawyer in LA, and poisoned the well so that almost no other good lawyer in LA would be able to help her husband. She used every dirty trick in the book to get her way, and seemed legitimately perplexed when her husband fought back. Her lawyer gave a stirring speech about the inequality women face in terms of parental expectations, only to have the speech totally contradicted by what actually happened in reality. And in the end, after completely and totally getting her way – her now-ex husband leaves his job and his life and travels thousands of miles so as to be able to occasionally see his son – she allows him to have 50/50 custody. Magnanimously. She even tells him she still loves him and ties his shoe for him. Heartwarming. Tell me, does “equality” mean a man and a woman each doing 50% of the tasks IN A PARADIGM ENTIRELY SET BY HER? Flipping the question slightly, is it “inequality” if she does 75% of the tasks in a paradigm entirely set by her? Is equality or lack thereof determined by the tasks, or is it determined by the paradigm? The answer to this should be obvious, so obvious. Yet somehow it isn’t.

    This is relevant to the conversation above with Jo regarding equality and feminism, and it is relevant to Mrs Happy’s question about why I write about these topics so often. It is because it is amazing to me that in the numerous discussions about equality and relationships – here and elsewhere in society – there is so much focus on the concrete and absolutely zero focus on the abstract, the paradigm. As if we, men and women, want the same things and are just not dividing them fairly. As if our motivations are the same, in the end, and so all the misery of the opposite gender would be solved if only their motivations and actions matched ours. Such an easy thing to want. After all, if our partners shared our motivations and divided the tasks 50/50, not only do we expect that would make our partners happier…..it would also free us from that pesky reciprocation thing. Because there’s nothing less sexy than obligation, is there? So let’s pretend it doesn’t exist. That “nice guys” are only really nice if they do what they do without any expectation of reciprocation. Because they want to be doing what they’re doing as much as you want them to do it. Sounds like a great paradigm…..for the person setting it. It just isn’t the world we live in.

    1. 10.1
      jo

      Jeremy, while I respect your views, I can’t help wondering if this comment of yours starts from a strawman premise. Not one review I read claimed that this movie was about equality.

      Not having watched the movie but only read the reviews, I will take it on faith by your words that the family ended up living by the woman’s paradigm. But that is hardly a generalisation to everyday life. I don’t want to get into any gender wars, but to ask you to consider that you may or may not be aware of all the ways that paradigms by which all of us live daily might be based on male, not female, ways of thinking and preferences. Everything from the blandness of architecture and rooms and car designs and colors to the overemphasis of sex, constantly, every day, both in your face and in nuance, inescapable. From the temperatures in public buildings to the size of food portions to the design of waiting rooms and most hospital rooms. From the requirements that achieve promotion across multiple occupations, whereas other side jobs are overlooked. If you see it every day, and are immersed in it every day, it’s very hard to extricate yourself from it and observe, and realise that one gender may have had a lot more to do with the overall design and prominence of ‘the way things are’ than another.

      Of course, I am sure that in different contexts, preferences and ways of thinking are primary female-based. The point is to be aware. And I think that if this were ever to dissolve into a discussion of who has it better, it would not be productive. I have my own thoughts about that, but don’t want to start a ruckus.

      There is nothing wrong with aiming for equality as an ideal, as long as we remain realistic and understand that very few events in daily life, not to mention extended life (e.g., however many months/years a divorce takes), ARE truly equal. Just as many wholesome religions encourage goodness in their adherents, when goodness is simply not possible every moment of every day. Nonetheless, striving toward the ideal pulls us closer to it than if we had not tried at all.

      1. 10.1.1
        Jeremy

        Yes Jo, but what is the IDEAL? Equality does not mean the same thing to you as it does to me, so when you and I both strive toward equality, we may in fact be diverging! This was my point to you above, when I wrote that the word equality can be used oppressively. Remember that Pew study that showed men lagging behind women in unpaid labour? That people interpreted equality as meaning that men should do more of the unpaid labour? But that study ALSO showed that when all forms of labour are combined, men and women do about equal amounts….so men doing more unpaid labour would create IN-equality, not equality, as the goal of equality is misused. What is the paradigm?!

        And while it is true that we cross multiple externally-imposed paradigms on a daily basis, when it comes to relationships the difference is that WE are the ones who set the paradigm. It’s not externally-imposed, we impose it. So it behooves us to do more than shoot for a nebulous concept of “equality” as WE see it. We need to understand that our partner doesn’t see it the same way. Else we can end up like the female lead in the movie – who believed herself to be a good and fair person, a 50% compromiser, a feminist, a shooter-for-equality. And end up squeezing our prerogatives out of our partners until they end up with nothing and we believe they have half. True equality may be unachievable….but we can do a heck of a lot better than that.

        1. jo

          Jeremy, the answer to the question you pose in your first paragraph seems pretty simple to me: pay more women for the labour that they are currently doing unpaid. Equality and fairness achieved.

          As for your second paragraph, I don’t think it’s that easy to separate a relationship from everything that happens outside it. In fact, I daresay it is impossible. Much as a couple may try to set an independent paradigm for themselves, it will be imposed upon by society in terms of: who gets shamed if the house is dirty or messy when guests visit, who gets the lion’s share of dealing with children’s appointments and schedules based on who teachers or doctors or other parents contact first (double down on mum), who is expected to take care of sick extended family members, expectations for how often they have sex… the list goes on and on. Unless the couple are hermits, they necessarily absorb the messages and expectations imposed by a society that already is far from equal in gendered paradigms.

          I don’t buy your premise that equality means different things to us. I don’t think this has been the right medium so far to have even had that discussion.

        2. Jeremy

          The simple answer is to pay more women for the labour that they are currently doing unpaid? Huh? Who should pay, and how much? If your claim is that a breadwinning spouse should pay the home-making spouse a salary, would she/he be satisfied with the going rate? I happen to know that a full-time worker who takes care of the kids, cleans the house, and cooks the meals makes about $45k/yr in my city. Is that the salary level home-making spouses are hoping for? Or are they hoping for half the income, regardless of how much that is?
          That 2 women might be doing equal home-work but one is married to a man making $50k/yr and the other making $1M, so woman A gets $25K and woman B gets $500k for the same job. Fair? Which is fair? The answer is far from simple, Jo. Because what seems equal to one spouse doesn’t seem equal to the other – for valid and legitimate reasons. How is this not obvious, I really don’t get it?

          As for your paragraph about who is expected to do what, I firmly believe that it matters much more what a couple expectS than what is expectED of them. Because I tend to think of both members of a couple as adults. This is not to say that certain personalities are not affected by the opinions of others (and some more affected than others), but to say that it is ultimately our choice as to how much to prioritize those expectations versus the only 2 sets of expectations that matter. Ours, and our spouse’s.

      2. 10.1.2
        Jeremy

        And to focus better on exactly what I mean, I’ll bring a concrete example from Evan’s post “Do relationships make you feel anxious”. I don’t mean to bring it back to sex all the time, but this just happens to be a salient example where you and I both made our opinions known. I had been talking about entitlement in relationships – how just as no partner is entitled to sex, no partner is entitled to a relationship. If one partner decides to unilaterally stop having sex, the other partner has every right to end the relationship. To which Sylvana responded (and you concurred):

        “Of course she still wants all the other things from the marriage [after she stops having sex]. All the other things have nothing to do with sex. Just like she should still be giving all the other things in return. Sex is only one part of a relationship. You don’t get to take away all the things that are NOT sex just because sex was taken away. Once again, what is she? Your whore, your mistress?”

        Hmmm, equality? She takes away sex….so the only thing the man’s entitled to take away is…sex? Is that equality? Tell me, if he stopped doing housework, would her response be limited to….not doing housework? WHAT IS THE PARADIGM? If the paradigm was that men and women want sex equally, desire each other equally, have equal desire to do housework – then Sylvana’s assertion makes sense. But if relationships are, to some degree, about exchanges between those with differing priorities, differing wants, then the removal of what one person wants should result EXACTLY in the removal of what the other wants. “What-they-want” will, almost by definition, not be the same thing. *That* is equality. That is what was missing from that conversation which, as Lynx summarized so well, ended with no one agreeing or changing their minds at all. Because we couldn’t agree on what “equality” meant.

        I used sex as the example, but could as easily have used chores, or romance, or providership, or whatever “what-they-want” can mean. Not the same. Treating it as the same is not equality.

        1. jo

          Jeremy, what does it matter? What do you hope to accomplish by bringing up past drama with strangers on the internet? It doesn’t matter what I think – as you said yourself, it only matters what the two people in the relationship think.

          So please, if any of this is a real concern to you, consider bringing it up with your wife. I’m not saying there’s any cause for dissatisfaction – but if there is, don’t wallow in how much power you imagine women have, or all the ways you think you’re disadvantaged. Focus on the power you DO have. That is the only thing you can control. Sometimes the greatest power we have is the knowledge that we can walk away if need be (even if we choose not to exercise it), from any relationship of any kind, even as we acknowledge all the difficulties that might follow. We’re all rational enough to do a cost-benefit analysis – no matter how much some may groan at the practicality of that – and to stay if we ultimately see it as more beneficial. There’s rarely such a thing as 100% satisfaction when it comes to relating to others in any way.

        2. Jeremy

          Sigh. And there it is. Very frustrating. Of course anyone can walk when their partner isn’t being good or their relationship is unsatisfactory. The advice here is how to BE a better partner. You know, for those who care to know, who have the insight to realize that they maybe haven’t always been? Who read what I wrote and admit that they didn’t know it, hadn’t really considered it? Who look at what they always thought about equality and admit that they never considered the other side of it? Or they could, you know, keep thinking what they always had and simply move the goalposts or deflect the argument when they hear contrary thoughts on a medium that seems to work ok. I wrote this, not for you Jo, as I don’t consider I’ll change your mind at all, but for any random reader who happens to come across this discussion. That they shouldn’t get side tracked from the point by your deflection. Our memories best retain peaks and endings.

        3. jo

          Jeremy, if, as you say, the goal of your comments is really about how to be a better partner, I’m not sure it’s really succeeding. At least, not for me. Because while I do believe you are a fine human being, a lot of the comments do come across as complaining and about trying to make everything come out perfectly even-steven, and then sounding very frustrated if it doesn’t work out that way. In other words, it SOUNDS (or reads) a lot more to a reader as if you’re complaining about the other side not hearing you, than as a wise person dispensing gentle advice.

          So if that really is your stated goal, then maybe the delivery needs to change a bit. FWIW, I have no problem receiving such advice. But these comments – to be honest – have not provided it.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          I stay out of this for a reason, but from where I sit, Jeremy’s frustration is that you aren’t even listening, understanding or acknowledging his truth. It’s like he’s not even talking. Feels a lot to me like Republicans in the Senate: doesn’t matter what the truth is, it’s easier to deflect or deny. Very painful to read the lack of self awareness on display in this thread.

        5. Jeremy

          Bingo, Evan. Jo, things sound how they sound depending on the listener’s willingness to listen. A “whine” is just a complaint we don’t want to hear, that annoys us because we don’t want to hear it. This is the difference between anger and righteous rage, cockiness and confidence, smugness and happiness. The perspective of the listener.

          It is ironic to be accused of being overly desirous of equality….by a person who is so vocal about desiring equality. To hear about how equality is impossible to achieve and so we should learn to accept the status-quo or walk….by a person so vocal about how others can help women change the status quo. You know, when changing the status quo works for you, fits with your paradigm. And not when it doesn’t. And that is the point.

          Imagine that when women came to men with their concerns about the status quo and their suggestions for creating a more equal society….that men had told them what you told me. That men’s attitude toward women matched women’s. Thankfully, it largely didn’t happen that way. Because, as Mrs Happy notes, people are far less tolerant to the “whining” of boys than girls. Again, “equality.”

        6. jo

          Evan, I must disagree. If you read through all our comments, you will see that we have mutually read and acknowledged (including agreement) each others’ comments many times.

          If Jeremy is intending to offer advice, as he states, I think it is reasonable for me to offer corroborating advice about how to offer that advice in a way that people will understand and absorb. Perhaps because he is a good storyteller, it reads more like telling his personal story, including grievances (at least, this is how it reads), that at times becomes quite passionate. People don’t tend to read personal advice when that is the tone. Instead, they read someone else’s unique experience and oftentimes think it’s quite different from their own. That is all I was trying to say.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          Want to understand men and be more effective in relationships? Then try listening to Jeremy or me or Karl R or even YAG (who has a point when he’s not being so black/white). Want to continue to tell men that their opinions and feelings are wrong or don’t matter? Keep doing what you’re doing.

          “First seek to understand, then to be understood.”

        8. jo

          Evan, that was the point I was trying to make. I DO listen to you men. Including YAG. It’s not always about men vs. women commenters. It’s about two people who sometimes agree, sometimes don’t. Please don’t paint it as not listening to men.

          I hope I can share (and hope it’s useful) that things that make a person stop – not listening, but thinking it’s applicable to them – are impassioned comments that sound either frustrated or angry. Or comments that start with ‘sigh’. It’s condescending. I’ve tried to avoid that in my own comments.

          Also, what Jeremy accused me of – deflecting from one of his comments – yes, I did precisely for the purpose of deflecting away from drama. He cited a previous post in which he got very angry. I saw no good in indulging that further, and took a calmer route that refused to go down that path again. And now I’m getting called out for that? Evan, I don’t think that’s fair.

          It doesn’t mean I didn’t read. It meant that I chose to respond differently, to deflect drama, which for certain shuts down people’s listening.

        9. Evan Marc Katz

          All of us see things through our own lens, Jo. “Sigh” is condescending. Then again, denying someone else’s valid truth as if it’s nonsense is ALSO condescending. You just don’t think about it in the same way. I feel like this is a perfect example of their being two valid sides to a story: yours and Jeremy’s. But Jeremy is out here trying to get acknowledgment that women can be blind and selfish and is not getting any purchase with our regular readers. I get to make this case with my clients but they’re paying for a course to listen to what good, self-aware, happily married men think, and they’re willing to absorb it instead of deflect it. That’s why I spend more time coaching than fighting on this blog. The women want to listen and learn.

        10. Jeremy

          Funnily enough, Jo, my experience is that more people absorb advice when disguised as a story (as opposed to direct advice) than the opposite. Because stories allow them to derive their own advice, and most of us better value what we derive ourselves versus what we’re overtly told. This is the “Ikea Effect” (whose name derives from the fact that people tend to value the furniture they assembled themselves, though it may be objectively junky, compared to furniture we buy ready-made). Concrete stories are also much more salient than abstract advice. But not everyone values their own constructs more – I hear you that you don’t. But I have to go on my experience (and the research, both in psych and education) that more people do. Which is why I frame things the way I do, both here, in my teaching, and in my parenting.

          Plus, telling stories is more fun.

    2. 10.2
      MountainChick

      Oh, how very freaking typical to watch this movie and only see the guy’s perspective. I have seen this movie. What you conveniently omit front your cliff notes version is that, in their marriage, she lent her star power to his struggling theater in Brooklyn and helped to make it a successfull production company, that she always wanted to live in LA which is where she was from, and he lead her to believe that eventually they would move, but never did, and lastly that she was offered a job (a part on a TV show) in LA. It was also revealed that they as a family had previously move to another country for his work, but he was not considering moving to LA for hers. Your complete inability to see this side of the story is very disappointing. For someone who proclaims to be one of the “good guys” … I guess all guys can only be that much “good”.

      1. 10.2.1
        Jeremy

        Indeed I did omit all that. I also omitted the fact that he had an affair. My point was not to say that she had no justification for divorce. My point was to say that in the end, the paradigm that resulted was entirely hers. Do you disagree?

        By the way, I do not describe myself by the moniker “good guy.” It is meaningless.

        1. MountainChick

          No, that “paradigms” wasn’t entirely hers. I am pretty sure that hers and any woman’s first choice would be to stay married to the father of her child who’s not cheating on her and takes her interests into account as much as his own. That wasn’t available to her. Her husband had the marriage on his terms and didn’t want to compromise for her, or didn’t even think that he needed to consider it. So she had the divorce on her terms and made him compromise in court. They spent some years in NYC and after the divorce he was forced to consider her desire to live in LA and split his time. Pretty equitable if you ask me. What would you view as an “equitable” outcome – both moving to Minnesota?

      2. 10.2.2
        jo

        MountainChick, thank you for sharing the more full, well-rounded version of the movie’s story. That changes things in my mind completely. Those other details should have been raised before, instead of telling a very limited POV.

        1. Jeremy

          It looks like Evan is either having technical issues or else is closing the comments section somewhat. If so, he’s doing me a favour. I’m going to write this and then give myself some distance for a few weeks.

          Jo, a while back I wrote that one of my greatest personal fears is that I might be too much of an idealist. And you questioned why I should fear that. I fear it because what it would mean is that I’d be too stuck in my own world-view to appreciate other arguments. To fail see when my argument is deficient, and instead deflect and blame other things. To say A-freaking-men to comments that support my own view and never others. I apologize to you for using the word “sigh” above. It was, indeed, condescending. I suppose I saw in your comments and in your comment history, exactly what I fear to see in my own. I’ll have to consider to what degree that has been the case for me. I will not advise you to do the same. Advice was not solicited.

        2. jo

          Jeremy, speaking of deflection…

          My greater disappointment is not about your earlier condescension, nor your veiled jabs here, but that you were not truthful in your representation of both sides of the story in that movie. As I’d written above – no matter how we disagreed in the past (and I think we agreed more than disagreed), I thought we were coming to this discussion in a mutual spirit of truth, and trusted you to give a fair portrayal of the story. It was not so. You turned it into a man vs. woman issue and completely misrepresented the woman’s part, making her appear 100% at fault.

          As such, I do not know that I can trust your fair representation or account of stories in the future. That is my disappointment.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Oy. Jeremy is just about the only guy who even ATTEMPTS to understand both sides and you’re gonna single him out as an unreliable narrator? Sorry. Not true. I attempt to be objective on here and it’s obvious which commenters advice comes from a limited range; Jeremy is not one of them.

        4. jo

          Evan, did you read Jeremy’s account of The Marriage Story vs. MountainChick’s? If you think that was a fair portrayal of the woman’s side, then – I’m quite honestly shocked, and we’ll have to agree to disagree. Peace.

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re taking one piece of evidence from one post. I’m taking 10 years of Jeremy’s posting history as a larger sample of his ability to see both sides and own his own blind spots. Please let me know one time you’ve apologized or changed your mind in the 282 comments you’ve posted here. I find his ability to go a level deeper incredibly valuable and find the outcry to him far more frustrating than his usual thought-provoking input.

  11. 11
    Sarah

    Hi all – Sarah here (OP). I’m glad this post generated some discussion, and while I didn’t read all the comments, I thought I’d add a bit more context. I actually felt really understanding and patient with this guy’s career issues, and I didn’t walk away because of a loss of attraction. I ultimately walked away because I felt like my hand was pushed – he became pretty distant at the end and suggested that we take a break before I ended it (there were some other stressful circumstances for him at the time). I greatly appreciated his openness, but it ultimately seemed like he did not feel like he could be present to a potential partner at the time. Yes, I had hopes and expectations because I thought he was great and wanted to be in a relationship with him, but I think he projected a lot of fears and expectations on to me. The end was devastating for both of us, and it was hard to not take personally (i.e. if we both seem to like each other so much, why is this not working?). I thought increasing empathy and understanding about the way that career issues affect men and their ability to be in relationships would be helpful. Your initial points about that were helpful, Jeremy.

    1. 11.1
      Jeremy

      Thank you for the update, Sarah. I am sorry that the relationship didn’t work out, and for the pain that you both experienced. It is easy for me to accept that the man in question wrongfully projected all sorts of fears and expectations onto you. A question to think about (and no need to answer it aloud here unless you want to) is whether any of those fears and expectations were valid? Whether you did want things from him that he wasn’t in a position to give you, that you thought he could simply develop as he went, but that he was not at all certain he could, being that he would be the one to have to do it?

      A quick story: when my wife first discovered she was pregnant with our first child, she was ecstatic. Started researching pregnancy books, mommy websites, went into a happy nesting frenzy… And noticed that I wasn’t interested in the things she was researching, I seemed distracted and somewhat melancholy. She took that to mean that I wasn’t happy about the pregnancy, and wondered aloud what was wrong with me, that I want acting like she was, like her female friends and relatives did upon hearing the news. I explained to her that it wasn’t that I wasn’t happy, it was that I was trying to figure out how I would deal with my own side of the equation of the pregnancy – how I was going to pay for all this. We’d been living in a small apartment, would need a house. Would need another car, would need all sorts of things. I was new at my job, wasn’t making much money, didn’t know how I’d manage. My wife wasn’t thinking about all that. She was thinking about her side of the equation. It’s not that money didn’t cross her mind, she just assumed it would all somehow get taken care of, that we’d just figure it out. I couldn’t assume that. I had to take care of it. Just as she’d have to take care of those aspects of the pregnancy that only she could. She and I were not thinking about the same things, because our roles were not going to be the same.

      This story may not resonate with you, Sarah. You might not find it applicable to your own history. But the point I’m trying to express is universal, is about perspective. If we, men and women, were the same – same biology, same socialization, same wants, same roles – then equality would be really easy to conceptualize. Theory of mind and perspective-taking would be simple, and relationships with others no different than our relationship to ourselves. But we are not the same, don’t want the same things, don’t have the same roles. And so, taking perspective requires us to go beyond our own experiences. To think not only about why others are wrong to think what they do…but also where they might be right. In fact, to focus MORE on where they might be right, because that’s our learning experience, our opportunity to grow.

      It is so very easy to identify with one spouse from that movie. So easy to trivialize the other. So easy to mistake equality as an equal division of labour in our own paradigm, because our partner’s paradigm should be the same as ours, if only he was wise and mature. Shifting paradigms is where the real work of compromise begins, the beginning of the road to equality.

      You now understand that career issues affect men. What are you going to DO with that knowledge? That is the thing that, as a man, I’d want my female partner to think about.

  12. 12
    jo

    Evan: I find your last comment puzzling. Most people commenting here have not apologised. If they do not feel that they have done wrong, of course they won’t apologise: nothing remarkable there. And I have changed my mind about several things, and am sure that other readers have as well. It is not necessary for us to comment each time that happens, although I actually did in this very thread.

    But if you go through this thread, you’ll find that my tone throughout has been more conciliatory than Jeremy’s. Please note the multiple times I have bolstered and praised him, as many other women on here do; compared to how often he does for us. Yet you called me out. I do not see that as fair.

    It is not for his one misrepresentation that I question his view, but also for comments about (among other things) single mothers in inner cities being a ‘matriarchy’ that proved that matriarchies are a failure, as if these poor women had any real power; and other comments in other threads that women have found objectionable (e.g., Mrs Happy in the thread after this). Often I do not find his view of women to be sympathetic or true to life, especially that comment about ‘matriarchies’ of women abandoned by men in inner cities – and have every right to challenge it as a woman myself. I feel disappointed when you seem to automatically take his side without considering the very real reasons we women objected.

    On the flip side, I’m confused that you’d say ‘even YAG’ as if he were less worthy. I actually find YAG to be decent and truthful to what he believes (even if I disagree sometimes). I don’t recall him ever insulting or being mean-spirited or ‘angry’ to others here. His staying aboveboard, though unacknowledged, is more valuable to women than silver-tongued eloquence. We do not have to worry about being verbally attacked by him. Perhaps this is something men cannot truly ‘get’ about women: how much it means to know we won’t be attacked, including verbally, by men. When it comes to relationships, which is what this blog is about – that matters.

    What I realise, of course, is that I write this to you, Evan, in the hopes that you too will learn from the perspective of a woman (which of course you do every day in your work). I don’t want to just bow to anyone because you think well of them, if I disagree. I hope you can understand that, as well as the perspectives I’ve shared above.

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I hear you and acknowledge you. I largely stay out of the comments section because I find the back and forth to be as fruitless as arguing around politics. In brief, I would say that there are multiple sides to every story and I am not sweeping yours under the rug at all. It’s your side. It’s 100% valid and I respect the time you take to articulate yourself. In general, I find myself aligned with Jeremy’s POV more than anyone else’s, which is why when I see him dismissed or misinterpreted, it rubs me as wrong as if you’re dismissing or misinterpreting me. That’s pretty much the only reason you ever see me jump in here – he’s speaking by proxy for me, the way Karl R did for years before that.

      In light of the fact that there are fewer male contributors willing to take on this job; I would point out that there’s little reward for a married man to consistently explain what bright, successful, commitment-oriented men are actually thinking when constantly being told we’re wrong about what we’re actually thinking/feeling/doing. This forum is a public service to women who want to understand men; any other effect is unintentional. I do hope you continue to read and enjoy but please understand why I have opted out of having these battles in my own comments section with women who would, for the most part, prefer to argue over minutiae than invest in a dating coach.

      1. 12.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        EMK said “I would point out that there’s little reward for a married man to consistently explain what bright, successful, commitment-oriented men are actually thinking when constantly being told we’re wrong about what we’re actually thinking/feeling/doing.”

        Actually Evan, I have no issue when Jeremy tells us what HE is thinking, feeling doing, the issue for me, and most of the other females is when he constantly tells US that what we are actually thinking/feeling/doing, is wrong, that we don’t actually know what we think, etc. etc. And he does that OFTEN.

        I often think I should just drop off this blog as I am now happily married and no longer “have a dog in this fight” but since I struggled for a few years after my divorce and wound up happily married (when a long term boyfriend was my goal, which I exceeded) I think some of the women on this blog enjoy my posts, because my story is a success story that unfolded right here on this blog. I think a WOMAN’s perspective, who is happily married holds some value as well. (yeah, I realize most of the men on this blog wish I would just shut up, but this blog is for women) My story unfolded right here on this blog, from lonely divorcee, to happily married, isn’t my experience worth something as well ? Can’t I just tell MY TRUTH, about MY EXPERIENCE without the constant push back, of “no, you don’t want an even handed relationship” and “no you have never reciprocated,” blah, blah, blah.

        But Jer has told me several times, that what I want, I don’t really want, what I feel, isn’t what I really feel, that I don’t really want an even handed marriage, and that I have NEVER reciprocated or gone out of my comfort zone. You tell us that Jeremy is entitled to “his truth” and he is, but he isn’t entitled to OUR truth, and that’s where our frustration is.

        I am surprised that you feel he is a proxy for you, as he seems very unhappy in his marriage (and for that, I am sorry that he is going through that) and he seems to be constantly weighing and measuring the power differential in his marriage, (and I sense he feels powerless) which is something you don’t seem concerned with in your happy marriage.

        As a successful married woman, “my reward” for sharing my thoughts are when some of the women thank me for sharing my experience. Does a happily married womans’ perspective, at least hold SOME value ? That reward is short lived when a male poster feels the need to negate my experience with his constant criticism of my relationship, my past dating habits, etc and passing off his OPINION of my marriage as HIS truth.

        1. jo

          Sparkling Emerald – yes, to me at least, your views do hold value, and I hope you’ll keep sharing. What I learn from your comments comparing your previous to current marriage is twofold: choose the right person to begin with, and marry for the right reason (beware if the reason a man wants to marry you is that he thinks you’re cute and would make a good brood mare). Oh, a third: it’s never too late in life to find great love.

          If you read my comment below yours, you’ll see that we arrive at the same conclusion. So Evan, I think it’s highly unlikely that any of us women see Jeremy as your proxy. We’ve been praising him in part because we like you and you seem to like him – but because of the reasons SE and I raise (among others), I don’t see him as respecting or valuing women in the way you do, and therefore don’t see you as interchangeable.

          If a man actually argues on here that mocking a man is an equivalent crime to killing a woman… what does that say about how much he devalues women’s lives? Why would we be remotely open to receiving advice from such a one? You might over-estimate how much we’re willing to listen to someone who could make comments as these, no matter how rational or eloquent the subsequent advice. Because there will always be that lingering distrust, even if we do respect good arguments. ‘Do you care about women? Do you value us?’

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Perfectly fair criticisms, heard loud and clear. I have a unique position as the host, dating coach, and moderator of this forum. I get the first word (and, if necessary) the last word, but try not to wade into the muck too much unless I think I’m being wildly misunderstood. I think when you’re fighting battles in the comments section (as in any comments section), it’s really hard for any of us (myself included) to strike the right tone.

          My take on this is that EVERYONE is an expert in how he/she has had to sacrifice for relationships and is acutely aware of the compromises one has to make. Jeremy speaks for what he has to do as the provider for a wife and a family of 4 in an upper middle class suburb – and how his efforts (and many men’s efforts) are largely unappreciated by wives who spend more time complaining, criticizing and focusing on the children than being the warm, fun, attentive wife he hoped for at the outset. The EXACT same thing and more can be said by women about the failures of their men to fully appreciate the compromises THEY have to make in THEIR lives to be part of a couple. Since the women here already KNOW about your compromises – and are highly attuned to what men are doing wrong – I feel Jeremy provides a valuable service to explain the inner life of an introspective married man who recognizes that, whether we like it or not, there IS a power dynamic in a marriage. Ideally, it’s not wielded (as in my marriage) but it is THERE, just beneath the surface. If I had a different relationship to money and wielded that over my wife…if my wife had a different relationship to sex and wielded it over me…if we weren’t in the position to both be happy with our roles as breadwinner/stay-at-home mom and spent more time keeping score of who did what for whom… I could easily see how a good man (or woman) would feel highly misunderstood when his/her valid claims are shot down on here.

          Which is to say that you are encouraged to keep posting and “defending” women but I don’t see Jeremy’s posts as an attack on women; I see it as an otherwise unheard voice on this forum that would be more valuable to listen to than argue with. Same way you want him to listen to your truths, the equal courtesy should apply. You can BOTH be right. The point is to listen and see the validity of the other side.

          Okay, back to work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s truly appreciated. I’m proud of this group of bright, caring, articulate commenters.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          HI Jo – Thanks for your response “What I learn from your comments comparing your previous to current marriage is twofold: choose the right person to begin with, and marry for the right reason (beware if the reason a man wants to marry you is that he thinks you’re cute and would make a good brood mare). Oh, a third: it’s never too late in life to find great love.”

          Oh dear, I do hope no woman turns down a man because he thinks she cute and he wants to have children 🙂

          Never to late. I actually read that “gray divorce” is now officially “a thing”. I guess that’s why there is such an uptick in “gray weddings”. Eat, drink and RE-Marry ! Honestly, it has been a loooooooong time since we have attended a wedding between youngsters. Even our friends children are nearing middle age. Last time we went to a relatives wedding between kids in their very early 20’s, I felt like we were watching kindergarten children play dress up. This month we are going to another wedding between some “old folks” a first for him, not sure if the bride has been previously married or not. Very happy for the groom though, a really great guy who deserves all the love and happiness life can offer, and we are all thrilled that he found a good woman to marry !

          Honestly, looking at my first marriage, I don’t see how I could have predicted what went down. Even if we had a reasonable courtship (we married after dating 10 months) I was pretty much head over heels for 3 or 4 years. So, he thought I was cute, I wouldn’t marry anyone who didn’t think I was cute. I wanted children, so his wanting children was not a red flag for me. NEVER would I have guessed that 23 years in the future he would say “Thanks for the baby, mama, now good bye” I don’t even think he thought he would do so either. Since our divorce he has expressed much remorse to me over what happened. He still sends me mother’s day cards and gifts, and occasionally keeps in touch with me to tell me major news on his side of the family. As much as that divorce caused me so much pain, I’m glad at least that I did get to experience motherhood. If I had reached meno pause, never having had children, I think that would have been a great pain to bear than the divorce 🙁

      2. 12.1.2
        jo

        Thanks, Evan. I can understand why you have leapt to his defense now, if it is identifying with him. The way I’ve seen it is that, on the surface, yes – you may have a lot in common, such as similar faith background, socio-economic status, married with children, maybe close to the same age, education level, style of dialogue.

        But the key difference is level of empathy toward women. I don’t see that you’re alike at all in this one way. It’s not just the comments in this thread about matriarchies and leaving out women’s perspectives in stories, but others; including defending a literal interpretation of Atwood’s statement that women laughing at men is equivalent to men killing women (where I responded by invoking Viktor Frankl), and questioning why women don’t just leave their abusers. I can understand that men might see these as ‘minutiae’ if it doesn’t directly affect them, and it’s possible he meant these as just intellectual exercises, so maybe I need to start looking at it that way. But at the gut level, women don’t see it that way. It scares us to know that some men think like this.

        I can’t believe you would ever say or think things like these; but would understand the women’s perspective. That’s why I didn’t see him as speaking for you. The more rational and thoughtful comments: yes, I can see that. Thank you for your welcome to stay here and keep commenting, and I hope you don’t mind if, when I read such comments, I will continue to defend women.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Jo – Like you I am surprised that EMK identifies with Jer so much, that a disagreement with Jer, feels like a disagrement with him. Especially since in his “I’ve made a million mistakes” column he said

          ” The entire time I courted my wife, I did all the work – she never contacted me. As a married couple, we communicate as needed. There is certainly no keeping score or power dynamic since we’re both fully invested. It would be strange if my wife “did nothing” for the rest of our lives; mirroring is just to keep women from chasing at the early phases of dating. Nothing more. ”

          Jer seems obsessed with power dynamics and score keeping and seems to believe that following EMK’s mirroring advice in the beginning, sets up a life long pattern of non-reciprocity on her part and puts her permanently at the power advantage and leaves the man permanently dis-empowered.

          Jer, if you are off of your blog break, sorry if I seem to be picking on you, but I felt very picked on when you dug up an over 5 year comment in an attempt to prove that I really don’t want an even handed relationship, and also when you accused me of NEVER reciprocating at all.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @SE

          I have been in Jeremy’s shoes; therefore, I can empathize with him. It is not fun being in a relationship with a person where there is a large power differential, especially when children are involved. It impacts everything in person’s life.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          “Yet Another Guy
          @SE

          I have been in Jeremy’s shoes; therefore, I can empathize with him. It is not fun being in a relationship with a person where there is a large power differential ”

          I can empathize with that as well (and I even said I was sorry for his apparent marital unhappiness). I was in a big power differential marriage, although there were no children in my first marriage, which is why I strive for even handed relationships. (I don’t want to hold some guy under my thumb, like my first husband did with me, and I don’t ever want to be under anyone’s thumb again).

          So yes, I empathize with the power imablance that Jeremy is apparently experiencing in his relationship, but I do take issue with his constant projecting that on me, and his dubious untrue claims that I really don’t want an even handed relationship, or that I have NEVER reciprocated but expect men too.

  13. 13
    bvg

    For alpha men (or more accurately – anyone overflowing with masculine energy), the ability to earn a living, be proficient and respected in their chosen field is critical to self esteem and self identity. Career issues affect more than mood they affect the central core of a person. I would personally find it very difficult to focus on a relationship if my chosen career was in jeopardy.

  14. 14
    Yet Another Guy

    @SE

    Hopefully, you read this part of the post:

    “If a woman does not want to have sex with a man on the first date (that does not necessarily mean that she should act upon it), then his arousal level is too low for her and both people should look elsewhere.”

    I stand by this assertion. If that desire does not exist on the first date, it will never truly exist at a level a man needs from his mate.

    Evan always states that a 7 out of 10 in chemistry and a 10 out 10 of in compatibility trumps the reverse. That is sound advice, but what does it really tell us? The reality is that men and women experience chemistry very differently. For most women, chemistry is first experienced emotionally and intellectually. Physical chemistry often does not appear until later, if at all. That is not how guys experience chemistry. Emotional and intellectual chemistry lag physical chemistry for most guys (i.e., a woman has to get past a man’s eyes to get to his heart). Once again, there are exceptions on both sides of the gender divide. However, most non-desperate guys do not continue to pursue women for whom they do not feel physical chemistry. Sure, guys will hook-up with women who do not trip this trigger, but they will not continue to pursue (there are exceptions such as guys who are game players).

    Have you ever had a girlfriend tell you that she feels connected to a guy, but physical chemistry is absent or at a very low level? I have heard it several times my life, even from my sisters when they were younger. That is how a lot of guys end up blindsided in the friend-zone when everything appeared to be going well. Even worse, it is how good men end up getting married to women who feel little in the way of physical chemistry. Compensating attributes will never replace the need for strong initial mutual physical chemistry because it does not grow stronger over the long haul. I have yet to hear a woman say that her man became hotter over time, more attractive, yes, hotter, no. Attraction is significantly more multifaceted for women than it is for men. When most men say that a woman is attractive, they are talking about her physical features. Women most women say that a man is attractive, it is usually a combination of physical features and non-physical attributes. The word “hot” is basically a synonym for “very attractive” for men. For women, hot is not a synonym for “very attractive,” as a man can be hot, but not attractive, not so with men.

  15. 15
    Jeremy

    I have taken a bit of time to compose my thoughts so as to phrase them in a way that will hopefully connect better than my previous ones.

    Jo, I understand what you wrote about my questioning why abused women don’t just leave their abusers. My point, then, was not to ask this in a literal sense, and I would share your horror at the lack of perspective in a man legitimately asking this. It would demonstrate a terrible lack of perspective. Rather, the question was rhetorical in its context. We had been discussing a case of a man unhappy in his relationship, feeling belittled. I had described the psychological pain this causes in men, the emotional abuse. You implied that in such a case the man should simply leave. What I thought you were missing was the fact that leaving isn’t so easy. For all the same reasons it isn’t easy for WOMEN experiencing emotional abuse, aside from the fear of violence. My bringing up the case of abused women was intended to give the matter salience to you, to put it in a way that most women would understand intuitively. To give you a sense that men and women are akin in this respect. It was not intended to trivialize the problems women, it was intended to help women stop trivializing the problems of men. Which many of us perceive women do.

    In the same way, my description of this movie was not intended to leave out the perspective of women, but rather to demonstrate how the movie and the way it has been interpreted leaves out the perspective of men. I knew that people here would have seen the film, would read my description and become angry. “But what about her perspective,” they’d say. “what about the fact that he cheated, that he ignored her desires, that she felt trapped in his paradigm throughout their marriage, couldn’t become self-actualized without leaving her husband and son due to his selfishness?!”. Valid! Agreed! I 100% see your POV. We can argue about the ethics of what she did once she decided to divorce…. But what I don’t think is arguable is this: That by doing what she did, she trapped her ex in the EXACT situation that she herself was so desperate to escape. That now HE could not fulfill his desires, become self-actualized, be where he wanted to be, doing the things he wanted to do – without leaving his son. He was trapped in her paradigm – exactly as she’d been trapped in his – but unlike her, he lacked the option of a further “divorce” to change his circumstances. It’s not that his perspective is the only valid one, or more valid than hers. It just shouldn’t be… Less valid. Less important. So much less, from a practical perspective.

    This is where I think we’ve been talking past each other. Each of us eager to have our perspectives seen as…. Not less. My anger in the post about coercion was exactly because of this. Not because I wanted my perspective to matter more than yours, but because I wanted it to not matter so much less. The women didn’t want their perspective to matter more, they just feared sexual coercion… And so their perspective had to matter more. The men didn’t want their perspective to matter more, they just feared non-sexual coercion.. So their perspective had to matter more. The place to begin is for both sides to acknowledge the validity, the EQUAL validity, of both fears. To stop insisting that our fear is the worse one (fear of violence aside). Both sides have fears. Those fears are not the same. This is the beginning of equality IMHO.

    I agreed with your recent comment on the Lori Gotieb post. Your questioning the ethics of settling, marrying, in order to have a co-parent. I question the same thing. Perhaps you and I can begin anew there.

    1. 15.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jeremy

      ” You implied that in such a case the man should simply leave. What I thought you were missing was the fact that leaving isn’t so easy.”

      Leaving a marriage is never easy, especially when minor children are involved. No man wants to be relegated to seeing his children on weekends and most states in the U.S. award primary custody to the mother. For the most part, the mother has to agree to joint physical custody in my state and few women do without a fight because it affects child support payments.

    2. 15.2
      jo

      Jeremy, I appreciate your taking the time to write a thoughtful reply to our dialogue above. A few thoughts:

      Several times, you point out that it’s equal except for the fear of violence. But the fear of violence isn’t a negligible thing, to put in parentheses. It is CONSTANT in women’s lives, a fear we always need to deal with when in the space of men. Often it’s from ‘romantic’ partners, but other times it’s from neighbors, co-workers, or complete strangers. So it can’t be taken out of the equation. If you haven’t been privy to all the articles for women, classes, sharing among friends, etc. – about holding keys vs. throwing things vs. types of hits to do if men grab you in this or that way, or how to rescue your pet (let alone kids) if you have to leave a violent partner – you’ll have to take my word for it. Men rarely fear the same from women, and there is no equivalent here, as there would be for other kinds of harms people inflict on each other.

      Regarding the movie: while I see your point, I think we have to agree to disagree that he was trapped in her paradigm. MountainChick was right when she said that that wasn’t her paradigm, nor what I would imagine would be so for most married women. She would rather stay married to a caring man who wouldn’t cheat on her, and would take her wishes into account rather than living his own way and forcing her to live by his wishes alone. In the end, neither of them were living an ideal. But – neither of them is trapped permanently, because once the son turns 18, he’d most likely live on his own anyway. Then they could ‘self-actualise’ as they wish.

      Yes, we agree on the Lori Gottlieb Atlantic piece. Combining that with the above, I just have to say… the more I read and listen to you all, including YAG’s reply to you, the more I wonder why anyone wants kids. If you think about all these stories put together, it’s all about KIDS ultimately trapping parents in paradigms that aren’t their ideal. Yet it’s not the kids’ fault at all, because they didn’t ask to be born. And it’s not like the world (or humans as a species) needs us to reproduce at rates we used to 100 years ago. The Atlantic piece had some pretty questionable advice on the topic of settling, because while I can see that it’s great advice for single mothers who want a co-parent, it really isn’t fair to the men if that’s the women’s primary goal. And even for single people without kids but who might want them, they might ‘settle’ for someone (Lori wrote about even settling for someone we find slightly creepy!) and then find out that they can’t have kids after all (e.g., infertility). So then they’re stuck with a slightly creepy spouse, and no kids to show for it… and why would anyone want that? Better to avoid the problem at the start, and not have to worry about divorce or other issues.

      I don’t know. I think we should choose relationships based on the mutual desire for partners, and not factor kids into it so much, because they’re not a given and there are so many uncertainties and sacrifices that some adults may not be prepared for.

      1. 15.2.1
        Jeremy

        Where I agree with you and Mountainchick is that she’d have preferred to remain in a marriage where she was getting her desires met. As would he have. The divergence comes once it becomes established that that won’t happen.

        I don’t know if you saw the movie. There was one scene that I personally found most powerful and disturbing of all the scenes. The husband didn’t want to use a cutthroat lawyer, so he chose a fair-minded one, played by Alan Alda, who totally fubbed the case. And while advising the husband to surrender to the wife’s stipulations he tells the man that he can’t win, that he’d be happier to give up and accept the reality, either of the loss of his son or his aspirations. That one day, maybe in a decade or so, the boy might go off to college and might choose to see his dad more often then. I’ll tell you, Jo, as a parent? That’s pretty much the worst coercion I can imagine. You’re right that men don’t deal with the threat of domestic violence as women do. But hard as this may be to understand? Some of us would prefer the violence to the powerlessness we face in the legal system, as it tries to simultaneously be fair yet protective…of everyone except men. The removal of a child is worse than a wound to the body. And while it is true that all children eventually grow up and leave, losing those formative years with our young children is something desperately harmful.

        I agree with you that the primary reason to marry should be for relationships…. But my “should” don’t change reality. Above I was accused of mansplaining to women what women think. Perhaps there is merit to the accusation. But there is, IMHO, also some necessity, for men and women both. Because while Evan’s mantra is for women to understand men, I think it’s even more important that we try to first understand ourselves. And the first step to that? Is understanding that that understanding is neither simple nor intuitive.

  16. 16
    N.N

    Wow..! This was so interesting! I don’t usually read a comment thread until the end but this one was worth it! (This is my first time on the site!) I have truly learnt a lot. Increasingly I have been seeing the narrative about men fill unsupported in relationships. As a single woman that hopes to end up happily married one day with a bunch of kids, I am taking note. Women aren’t really ever taught how to support men or how our perceived lack of support affects them. It is nice to hear from men on the matter.
    Concerning The Marriage Story, I too have watched it and sympathized more with Scarlett’s character but I guess it is true that they both suffered and we should see both sides.
    I think women just sympathize with other women more cause we understand the struggle or have been in the situation before not necessarily that we are ignoring the feelings of men.
    As for the career issues it made sense that men would want to focus on themselves and get their act together before focusing on a relationship, women do that too. I was sad though to learn that most married men don’t enjoy their jobs and just suck it up for the sake of their family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *