All the Single Men

Mike Dunn calls for the equality of gender and expectation as adaptation to today’s progressive dating landscape.

Upon finishing The Atlantic’s November cover story “All the Single Ladies,” I found myself focusing on the words “deadbeat,” “player,” and “good man.” I don’t disagree with Bolick about what women are facing in the changing landscape of relationships between men and women. After five consecutive years in low-sex-ratio-societies (two in the Peace Corps and over three in Washington, D.C., what I think may count as extreme examples) I am more than familiar with the players and deadbeats that women are confronted with, and agree with her completely.

It did bother me to think that women arrive later in life

at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start [their] lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.

As a result I found myself thinking a lot about the “good man” in her article. Was it really possible that all the good men are taken early on and so don’t count in the longer discussion of coupling in later years?

It is easy to grasp Bolick’s definition of players and deadbeats. She devotes a paragraph each to describe her own personal experience with players (four examples given) and deadbeats (two examples, though she states they were the majority). These personal anecdotes move her discussion forward:

If dating and mating is in fact a marketplace—and of course it is—today we’re contending with a new “dating gap,” where marriage-minded women are increasingly confronted with either deadbeats or players. For evidence, we don’t need to look to the past, or abroad—we have two examples right in front of us: the African American community, and the college campus.

These two examples of descriptors account for approximately a quarter of her article. Yet, I don’t think this a new phenomenon for men. I think there have always been players and deadbeats. Greater gender parity and moving away, slowly, from a patriarchal perspective are putting these men under greater scrutiny. Today’s women, rightly so, are less forgiving and accepting of the players and deadbeats as the dynamics of interpersonal relationships change.

♦◊♦

If there are players and deadbeats then there has to be a flip side to the coin of equal significance and impact worth exploring. I would accept the argument that good men are rarer than their counterparts, but they are out there. Or so I hope. If not, then Bolick is right when she jokingly states that “[all] capitalist men are pigs!” It is, however, difficult to assess from Bolick’s article who or what the “good man” is or what he represents. She mentions the words “good man” twice and “good men” once, and between these short examples she seems to construct two very different definitions for the same thing.

The first example she gives of a good man is a traditional definition. Good men are the “shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be ‘marriageable’ men—those who are better educated and earn more than [women] do.” The perception in this definition is that men are the “bread winners” and, as a result, women “marry-up” in their relationships. But, these traditional perceptions are quickly becoming outdated. They already are, really.

There is an obvious shift in relationship dynamics between men and women, but it is not one easily accepted as a result of tradition or ideology. Bolick herself addresses this dynamic shift elegantly when she asks, “Now that [women] can pursue [their] own status and security, and are therefore liberated from needing men the way [they] once did, [they] are free to like them more, or at least more idiosyncratically, which is how love ought to be, isn’t it?”

Which leads me to the second definition of the good man. My personal perception: a good man is someone who is honest, caring, and loyal. If he has a wife, he’s a dutiful husband; if he has children, he’s a sacrificing father. In the second instance where she uses the words “good man,” Bolick’s definition is essentially her description of Allan. She describes him early on as “an exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind.”

The article is littered with personal anecdotes about players and deadbeats, but really only one about a good man: Allan. It’s easy to dismiss the good man in Bolick’s account because the only example has a perceived happy ending. Allan doesn’t need to cope with being single in a changing world. He doesn’t need to look for some kind of peace, perspective, or place where being single is OK as marriageable hours tick away. But that is Allan’s story. It is not the story of good men, many of who are struggling with the same issues as Bolick herself. Good men navigating a dating scene of women players and women deadbeats. Good men who feel similar, traditional pressures as women to marry and settle down. Good men who try to cope with being single later and later into their adult lives. The severity or stress of these pressures may not equal that placed on women, but that doesn’t make them any less real or any less poignant.

♦◊♦

Bolick has “too many ex-boyfriends to count.” Naturally, the reader infers that she has played the field, so to speak, and come across multiple different types of men. Should Bolick then be considered “a player,” especially considering that most of “the deadbeats” she describes seem commitment-minded? It’s difficult to assume, of course. The assumption’s either fair or unfair. Certainly a lot depends on how she communicated her own intentions to those men. Ultimately, it may not matter—whether the subject is a woman or a man.

Bolick herself states much later that the problem with Allan was that she wanted two conflicting states of being: autonomy and intimacy. That is a definition of a “player,” who “plays the field” finding intimacy where he or she can while remaining autonomous, strictly non-monogamous, in the process. The men she describes as players—what were their perspectives of her? In my mind, Bolick, in her own article, is at times player, deadbeat, and good woman.

My own story is no different. It’s actually incredibly similar. I was with a woman for the better part of four years, and will only ever say the greatest things about her. She was and is a phenomenal woman. But, I decided that I wasn’t ready to settle, that something was missing, that I was conflicted between wanting intimacy and autonomy. I can similarly say that I have too many ex-girlfriends to count. There were times when I was simply looking for that intimacy and staying fiercely autonomous and was certainly a player. Some of those women were good women, really good women. But it wasn’t the right time. I was selfish, and wanted to be. Some of those women were also deadbeats. Some of them were players themselves. And who was I in their eyes? A heartless player? A good catch who wasn’t interested? A deadbeat getting played? Honestly, like Bolick, I was—I am—all the above.

I think all men and women in today’s dating dynamic have the capability to be in varying degrees the good man, the good woman, the player, and the deadbeat. Times change, as do perspectives, needs, and wants. All of these are constantly in flux. Someone who is a player one year might be a deadbeat the next year. Someone who is ready to settle down one year may find him- or herself in a completely different state of mind the next. Meeting the right person at the right time is no easy feat, after all. According to Bolick, it may not even be possible.

Which brings me back to my original question: is it really possible that all good men are taken early on, that none are left by the time when get to Bolick’s age? I don’t think the answer is as simple as to be about good men or good women. Overall, I think Bolick is mostly correct in her observations. I found her points on the changing gender dynamic to be astute, and her exploration of being single (particularly later in adult life) in the changing landscape of relationships was incredibly thoughtful. I only diverge with her on one thing: who is available for a relationship later in one’s life. Not all the men are deadbeats. They’re not all players. And, absolutely, they’re not all good. But the same is true of the women. When a man tries to settle down in his later years, he may play the field and, like Bolick, be disappointed with the selection.

♦◊♦

It makes sense that the dating scene is at odds with itself because more and more of the working population are attacking their lives individualistically. They’re developing their professional life prior to taking a compromising approach with a partner. Furthermore, social spheres tend to dwindle as people age—friends from college, graduate school, clubs, even happy hours lose touch, contacts and networks drop off. And, as gender parity takes more hold, and while we haven’t fully let go of outdated traditional perspectives, it makes sense that men and women are at odds about whom they want and when they want them. We all just need to adapt to the changing landscape. We need to know that, as we grow older and have less social spheres to peruse, we may just find the “right” partner in a bar; we may have to redefine marriage, and its necessity, through a cultural lens; we have to know that anyone we may meet and give a chance may be a good man or good woman, and that they’re not may be because the timing wasn’t right.

Simply, it’s not about there being no good men or good women left when older singles are ready to settle down. Depending on when people meet one another, what they’re priorities are at that time, what perspectives or definitions they’re holding then—everything has to do with who we view as a good, marriageable partner. We can all be players and deadbeats, and we can all be “good.” But the nurse practitioner, the investment banker, the book publisher, the Navy SEAL—whoever it is, whatever he or she does, sadly, but most likely, it’s just not the right one at the right time.

Most likely, these changes will all be for the better in the long run. Currently, we are in the middle of growing pains. And it’s frustrating. Frustrating to think that there are good women out there saying there are no good men left, that there are good men saying the same thing about women. So what do we do? “Find a room of one’s own, for each of us. A place where single [people] can live and thrive as themselves.” I place a strong emphasis in my life on being comfortable in my own skin and on my own … I just hate to think that I may never get to share that room with someone special, where we can live and thrive together.

—Photo bp6316/Flickr

About Mike Dunn

Mike Dunn is non-profit professional based in the Northeast (most of the time). He focuses his energies on being a loving son and friend to everyone, development work and volunteerism, and being an active participant towards positive change. Sometimes he tweets interesting things @doneanddunn.

Comments

  1. It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ok, the post monster got my post again. I’ll rewrite the short version:

    When I met my ex, he was unemployed and while we were dating, he could only get casual work at best. He was slightly below average looking. Looks and money didn’t matter to me. Nor did the fact that he’d use drugs briefly after his mum died but got out of that scene before we started dating.

    What DID matter, is he seemed like a nice, caring, loving, loyal, faithful partner.

    I had no idea he had a long history of abusing and cheating on women before me. I only found out about his history AFTER I split up with him, after a decade together. The whole time we were dating (18 months) he seemed to be loving and caring and gentle, with the only issue we had being his deadbeat loser druggie mates who he still hung out with. When we got married, he seemed to have a fantastic personality and good values which are the only things that matter to me.

    What I didn’t know was it was all an act. He knows he’ll never catch a woman with his looks, so he reels them in by pretending to be a wonderful caring, loving guy, and he only shows his real personality months or years later (two years in my case – 18 months of dating, then 6 months into our marriage), when he thinks he has a woman trapped.

    The woman who he was “engaged” to before he and I had even separated, thought he was a wonderful caring fantastic guy (other than being a cheat, but since her second husband had left her because of her affair with my now-ex, she didn’t have any problem with cheating, as long it wasn’t her being cheated on), but she found out the hard way – before he could even get a divorce from me, he started showing her abusive nature. The mistress he ended up marrying knows about his long violent history, because she pretended to be my close friend for years while screwing him, but because she’s a violent person herself (long history of violence against her exes), as long as he only hits other people, not her, she’s ok with it. He provides her with drugs, so the fact that he’s ugly, broke and a jerk, doesn’t matter to her.

    But for me… I had no idea of his history with women. He kept me believing for a long time that he had a wonderful personality and good values – I had no idea at all it was act that he used to lure women in.

    Some men you can tell are assholes right up, other guys you can’t. Other guys put on a huge act of being loving and caring to sucker women. Few are as skilled as my ex though. With most of the guys who are jerks but fake being nice, you can sense, but you do get a few really gifted ones like my ex who can scam anyone – and it’s not just relationships. He’ll scam anyone he can for anything he can. Money, relationships, sex…. he’ll find a way to con anyone for anything. Most people can’t sense someone who is so practiced at scamming.

    Most assholes I can pick up – far better than the average person, but he fooled me big time.

    I’ve learnt a few lessons from it – if you want to find out what sort of character a person has, look at those around them. You can’t judge a person by their friends, but it gives a fairly good indicator. My ex’s friends were mainly junkies who thought cheating and violence against women was a good thing, the brother-in-law my ex praised as being a good husband and loving father he knew was bashing his wife and kids and had cheated on his wife many times, his sister is ok with wifebashing as long as she’s not the victim and knew about his affairs and helped hide them, his mum was his dad’s mistress and his sister and half brother were born just two weeks apart, and his exgirlfriends were mostly skanks. But I didn’t know must about his family and exes until after we were married.

    This time around, I’ve had a relationship before marriage to make sure my fiancee isn’t hiding some character flaw, I’ve got to know his friends and family – actually, I’ve known his family and some of his friends even longer than I’ve known him, and I’ve interacted with them for over a decade, I know his family and friends are good upstanding citizens who go out of their way to be caring people, and so on.

    I mean sure, he could still turn out to be a jerk – you never know until you actually get married what a person is truly like – even when people live together for years, they still change at least a little after they actually get officially married.

    The reality is women CAN’T sense the biggest jerks. The reason they are such big jerks is they sucker women into thinking they are kind and caring and only when they feel they have the woman trapped, whether it be marriage or pregnancy, do they show their true colours.

    And it goes both ways. My ex has got his just desserts, trapped by a cheating abuser, because she deliberately got herself pregnant (after claiming she was infertile) and claims the baby is his. He’s already lost one child (two if you count the one he killed, bashing me while pregnant), knowing he’s not going to get another chance to be part of our daughter’s life because she hates him for blowing her off to spend time with his lovers during the weekends he was supposed to spend with her, he’s too ashamed to walk away from another child – not because he cares about the kid, but there is no way future victims of his attempts to get into their pants won’t believe that it’s all the women’s fault why he’s walked away from two kids. At the moment he can get away with lying and claiming I cut him off from our daughter – it’s not true, but it’s an easy lie to believe – but he doesn’t think women will believe the same thing happened a second time, if he walks away from this kid too.

    But not problem. I find it sad that he’s now has exactly what he deserves – stuck with a woman who is an even bigger violent, cheating asshole – I actually feel great pity for him. But sometimes karma catches up with people.

    But seriously…. most women cannot sense an asshole. If a guy pretends to be loving and caring, most women will take it at face value until he gives her a reason to believe otherwise – usually by which time, they feel trapped into the relationship. And it happens with men being suckered by female jerks – bad people are just extra good at hiding their true nature.

  3. While on the topic of honesty and fear in dating – more women have std’s than men.
    What about disclosure before hand? In many states this is felony. It should be in all.

    I would take an ugly girl over a dishonest one – for better chances of safety and she might appreciate the attention.

    • And why is that? who gives women the majority of STDs? strangely enough, it’s MEN.

      All of the women I know with STDs are married women who married as virgins and were given STDs by cheating promiscuous husbands.

      The jerks I know, remain STD free because they deliberately target women with little or no sexual experience. Men like my ex who “deflowered” at least a dozen women.

      I’m sorry John but it’s pretty offensive towards women to say you’d take an ugly girl because she might appreciate the attention. That’s pretty cruel. Truth is, an ugly girl probably won’t appreciate it – the majority will know you aren’t going for them for their looks and have been hurt so many times they’ll simply wonder why you’re going for them.

      Giving a woman a relationship/sex/anything out of pity for her being ugly is disrespectful. I will assume though by your previous posts that you’re simply trying to make a point rather than being actually serious with that comment.

      Oh, and I totally agree that it should be a felony. One thing I haven’t mentioned is, I’m in the early stages of cervical cancer from catching HPV from my cheating husband. Hopefully it’s treatable – I’m waiting for an appointment for the doctors to do the colposcopy to see how bad it is, but at this stage they think it’s not too bad, but it’s still cancer, it could still kill me – all because my ex is a cheating jerk. There is no chance I got it elsewhere – he’s the only man I ever had sex with. He deliberately had unprotected sex with dozens of women and men while we were married, while pretending to be a faithful husband.

      So yeah, it definitely should be a felony.

      Although it won’t stop some stupid people – the mistress he ended up marrying had been one of my closest “friends”. When I first found out about the cervical cancer, when I was naive enough not to know that it came from HPV, an STI, she was the third person I told. She knew he had at least one STI then, and yet still she kept screwing him. All the while trying to convince me that you can get cervical cancer some other way, that it couldn’t possibly be an STI because he’d “never” cheat on me.

      For all I know, he probably caught it from her since I know she’s a disease ridden skank anyway who has multiple STIs herself.

      • And yet you married this man. Now according to the theory of the ‘nice guy’, women can sense that a man is an asshole and thus avoid him. This is used to explain why some men never get any attention from women, and since you married this man he can’t be an asshole since you gave him attention. Had he been an asshole you would have sensed it and avoided him.

  4. Warnning! Bad joke comming…

    My Papy use ta say,  Son…

     “Being with a Career Women is like being accepted into a prestigious university

    Ya gotta lie to get in, 
    They’re expensive as all ta be dammed,
    & you’re always being threatened with expulsion fur not keeping up with everybody else…”

    Wait Dad if they’re so Bad Why Marry them….?

    Because Son, you’ll get to loose  WaAay Cooler Stuff in the divorce then you could’ve gotten on your own.

  5. I just want to point out that not all feminists are:
    a) female
    b) full of venom
    c) man-hating
    d) filled with a sense of entitlement

    And I think the sense of entitlement Copyleft is referring to is not by any means reserved to one gender. Whatever your personal experiences are, there are just as many men as women who have unrealistically high expectations in a potential mate. I think the problem may also lie in our (fairly recent) societal expectation that marriage be a continual romance as well as a partnership.

    • Of course you’re right, Beth. Obviously not all feminists are in that misandric category–just the most outspoken and prominent ones.

      And no, entitlement is not reserved to one gender; but all too often it’s socially EXCUSED in one gender and condemned in the other.

      • Do you realise the early history of feminism is very different from today?

        Not all people who believe in feminism (where feminism = equality for females), believe in the male-hating crap that some women push as feminism.

        I find it ironic that many of the early feminists were pro-family, anti-abortion, and pro-manliness.

        There are a good deal of women like myself who would love to call themselves feminists because we believe in equality of the sexes, but are also disgusted by the man-haters out there who have hijacked “feminism”.

        Not all feminists are like these man-hating freaks.

    • @Beth

      “And I think the sense of entitlement Copyleft is referring to is not by any means reserved to one gender. Whatever your personal experiences are, there are just as many men as women who have unrealistically high expectations in a potential mate. I think the problem may also lie in our (fairly recent) societal expectation that marriage be a continual romance as well as a partnership.”

      When was the last time you saw a man seriously going to the media and accusing everyone else for being at fault for his inability to attract a mate? The last time I read up on feminists had one very ardent saying when it comes to men who fail a attracting mates ‘The only constant factor is you’. How about taking that to heart all you single ladies out there.

  6. Typo: living in his PARENTS basement.

  7. Jill says:
    “I’ve read quite a few things by PUA’s, and it always surprises me that they spend so much time and energy denigrating women they don’t find attractive (older women, women who are less than perfect 10′s, etc)”

    I think the rage you’re sensing is at less than attractive women that act as if they are a 10.
    I agree that what they are saying is crass, but it’s not (to my mind anyway) directed at all aged or unattractive women, but just those who still act like they deserve a superhuman top-tier elite man, even though they are nothing like that themselves as a woman.

    You can see this in Bolick’s article. Despite her aging out of having high dating market value, she thinks she deserves a top-tier man in looks, education and everything else. It’s the equivalent of a 35y/o man w/no college degree in a lifetime of blue-collar jobs, unemployed for 2 years, living in his life’s business with no ambitions expecting relationships with models.

    One post on citizen renegade centered around a female blogger who rejected a suitor because he plays Magic the Gathering (and even won some tournaments). Keep in mind this guy is a millionaire fund manager.
    Not only did she reject him, but she did so in a very visual way, attacking the guy on her blog.

    This women is maybe a 6 in looks. She got a lot of angry respondents on her blog. Meanwhile he has gone on to date playboy bunnies.

    A lot of the common theme played out in mainstream media is that women are suffering from low self-esteem.
    Many PUA argue it’s the opposite: women suffer from an (unhealthy) over-abandunce of self-esteem.

    Even very plain looking uneducated women with few redeeming personality characteristics think they deserve a don juan level charming heart surgeon. For some women this entitlement doesn’t stop into middle age (like Bolick).

    I think what you are seeing is a very visceral reaction from PUA’s (especially new members which more and more are being made up of men who have gone through divorce theft for no greater reason than they failed sh1t-tests from their wives) who have conducted a no-holds barred look at what makes women fall for men, and it largely has to do with a very dis-loyal reality of who makes her the wettest.

    Surprise! Men aren’t devils and women aren’t angels. Men were sold a false listing of goods when given dating advice for the last 30 years. Men are becoming very surprised and angered that somebody who actually has no respect for women (not to mention education, caring, future prospects) can get into women’s panties much more easily than good stalwart men of sterling character just by passing a few sh1t tests.

    When you look at what makes women fall for men you are looking at the DARKER side of femininity. Is it any wonder these guys are shocked and angry?

    You can tell a 5y/o kid that there is no santa claus, but he won’t thank you for it.

    • I’m not defending their statements, or their crassness but I can definitely understand the anger these comments come from.

      Men have been told for the past 30 years that what women want are hard-working, no drama, respectful men.
      The reality is that a good portion (if not a majority) of younger women PARTICULARLY beautiful women, eat up:
      drama, manipulation, undependability (i.e. break dates), cruelty.

      Look at one of the most heralded romantic movies: Romancing the Stone. Michael Douglas’s character doesn’t cut the female author a break one single time for being a woman.

      In point of fact, he treats her HORRIBLY. He lies to her, manipulates her again and again, charges her to get her to safety. He even tries to seduce her to steal the map/gem, knowing that this will put the author and her sister in harms way.

      What makes women (not all but a great deal of women) fall for guys is so totally opposite the standard for human interaction (I’m not talking sexuality but regular human contact) it boggles the mind. In most human interaction (sexuality aside) the following steps go:
      1. you do me a favor
      2. I think you or count you a friend

      For female sexual attraction it goes:
      1. you do me a favor
      2. I step on your heart

      or:
      1. you neg me, lie to me, manipulate me, put me through drama, or cheat on me
      2. I not only come back for more, but give you the hottest raunchiest sex you can imagine

      These guys have taken a look at the dark side of femininity and don’t have any emotional tools to use but to lash out.

      • Well, all I can do is disagree with you. If that has been your experience with women, I think that’s very sad. Maybe your description is accurate for a subset of young women age 18-23 who hang out in clubs and party a lot. The women I know are not like what you describe; even the women I hung out with in college are not like what you describe. Most of my friends got married to their college sweethearts and all of those guys are on the shy/geeky side (I was in an honors program so maybe that was a skewed sample). Most of my friends are happily married to this day, and those who are single or divorced are looking to date steady, decent guys. One of my best friends is an attorney who got divorced in her 40’s when her husband left her for a woman who was 5 years older than him (go figure!) It was very traumatic for her, but within a couple years she settled down with a blue collar guy who has never been to college and works as a corporate fleet services manager. (I.e. he’s a glorified auto mechanic.) Most of my other friends are married to guys in the high tech industry — programmers, not CEO’s. So, I just don’t recognize the kind of women you are describing.

        In case you think I don’t know any young women, well, we have a young woman (early 20’s) working in our office who is drop dead gorgeous and I was pretty sure she’d end up as someone’s trophy wife. She’s done modeling, she’s worked as a hostess in very high class restaurants, etc. She’s Asian, and really one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, and she probably could have married a gazillionaire (this is Silicon Valley, after all) — but last summer she married an Asian guy she met in a night class, who is nice, sweet, down-to-earth, is still in school and has no money.

        So, you generalizations are just that — generalizations; and I don’t know what circles you socialize in, but maybe you need to find new circles. Just a thought.

        • Jill, they are not really just generalizations, and this is speaking more based on research than my own experiences.

          There is some evidence that women (particularly young beautiful women) prefer jerks.

          https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:wdRK66Fztt8J:www.bradley.edu/academics/las/psy/facstaff/schmitt/documents/Jonason-Schmitt-2009-DarkTriad-STM.pdf+dark+triad+traits&hl=nl&gl=nl&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESheV-07ImpU5B6rK6txSZaKoAjr4c98U-sBA34EzjsumvTX6FeWoGnTfHHFuvF7etTE47A86luwST03GMWAvCjlwWwY2m4ORdyPfiEDHXoqR1cNjPruoXFbfKIsyS40wD5ptcmu&sig=AHIEtbRR1UjHzk4-3jxnmpXpl6IV7wz3Qg

          Clearly PUA is SO SUCCESSFUL because women DO prefer jerks. You can’t have that (women prefer jerks) be one of the main premises of a dating system and have it SUCCEED without it being true. If I were WRONG then PUA would be an utter failure. Correct?

          Consider it this way. Women KNOW what men like. They like beauty. So if I were to tell you that men prefer beautiful women it would be from the department of duh.

          But, what if men were much less obvious about their desires?

          And let’s also suppose that all of the written and other dating advice you had to navigate your way told you that men DO NOT like women who: shave their legs, or wear makeup, or wear pushup bras or other things to enhance curves or reveal their skin?

          Let’s say dating advice directed at women said that men particularly and firstly like women who cook and were hard-working and respectful.

          As you consistently loss out on companionship to women who were: wearing makeup, shaving their legs, and wearing pushup bras wouldn’t you feel betrayed?

          Wouldn’t you feel shocked that men are so base and craven in their decisions? Wouldn’t you be angry after being lied to by dating experts saying it was the character of the woman that men cared about firstly and mostly?

          I think you are seeing a lot of anger on PUA forums because men are opening their eyes and realizing that WOMEN ARE HOUND DOGS TOO. It’s a rude awakening. You can deny all you want, but pickup artistry WOULDN’T be so successful if their basic premise (that women prefer jerks) was wrong.

          The man who’s wife divorces him DESPITE his doing everything she demands is going to be angry when he realizes that by the simple act of saying NO loudly and clearly he would have passed her sh1t tests and maybe saved his marriage.
          Telling her NO could save his marriage runs counter to COMMON SENSE. But, unfortunately that is the way women’s rules for attraction works! At least for a very sizable portion of women, particularly women who are younger during the main dating courtship ages.

          Personally, I think 10’s of 1000’s of marriages could be saved if men simply knew about sh1t-tests and how by failing them, he will lose any sex appeal he had with his wife/gf.

          The vast majority of women DO sh1t-test whether on a first date or married 25 years. That is based on my personal observations and research.

          Even the more respectful LTR advice sites like Athol Kay’s have their birth in PUA which says that relationships are necessarily ADVERSARIAL. Necessarily because when women think you won’t say no or stand up to her sh1t-tests her vagina will dry up like a desert and the relationship is over–even when their are kids involved. These men are like deer caught in the headlights to find out WOMEN THINK WITH THEIR LIBIDOS TOO, after hearing for all of their lives that women “aren’t like that”.

          • John, I’ll agree with you on one point (only) if you admit it applies to both sexes.

            I did everything for now-ex husband. Treated him like a king. Did all the housework, cooked, cleaned, worked three part time jobs equivalent to full time) while studying full time, came home and gave him sex at least once a day, bought him everything he wanted, while his household contribution was working a few hours on the weekend and spending the rest of his time playing playstation with his mates.

            The only time I ever said no was when I found out he’d started using drugs, I forbid them from inside our house because I have asthma and being near smoke, could literally kill me.

            But you know what? It still wasn’t enough for him. I couldn’t earn enough to support his drug habit which just kept growing, so he used to beat me. I was happy to have sex several times a day – and not just a matter of doing it to keep him happy, I have a high sex drive and enjoyed doing it several times a day – but it wasn’t enough – he wanted threesomes, he wanted to screw men, he wanted the thrill of screwing women behind my back – it didn’t matter that they were butt ugly compared to me, it was simply the thrill of doing something dishonest that he enjoyed.

            I never said no to him about anything until the day he punched our 5 year old daughter in the head because she stood up to him which I had never had the courage to do. He verbally abused her, she simply said to him “you’re not my friend anymore daddy” so he bunched a tiny little girl in the head.

            You can give some people (men or women) the world, and it still won’t be enough. You can’t try to say it’s just women doing shttests, and saying men are the ones who don’t say and it’s still not good enough. It goes both ways.

            • J,
              I was with a man like that except we had no kids and he didn’t do drugs. I never said no to him, but that didn’t stop him. A man is gonna do what he’s gonna do regardless of how he is treated. This has always been true, but men are more under heat now because women have more $$$ and dont have to put up with it as much anymore. I think that never saying no to a man is one of the worst things you can do. He’s having sex, he’s happy, why does he have to work at anything. If a man is having sex he thinks everything is good with the relationship. The result is a lazy, disrespectful man. Throw him a bone for good behavior that’s it.

      • If men know that these supposedly good looking and particularly younger women, are all skanks into drama and manipulation, why do they continue to chase them?

        Why do they constantly ignore kind, caring, loving women, many of whom are also intelligent and hard working, simply because these women are only average, or God-forbid, less than average, in looks?

        I was a victim of this and have seen it happen to woman after woman – women who are an 11 out of 10 in personality and values, women who are highly intelligent, have good jobs, etc, who constantly get rejected by men who are only 4s and 5s in looks (if that!) and even less in personality, simple because the woman is only a 6 or less in looks.

        Women who are being told in their late 20s and early 30s by men in their 40s that the woman is too old for them!

        It goes both ways – most people want to date someone hotter and younger, and then they grumble that these people don’t want to date them, while those who aren’t fussy about age and looks at all, can’t get a date because people who are all older and uglier than them are too busy chasing and being rejected by younger and hotter people.

        The nice people simply can’t catch a break. Mainly because there are so few of them (most people around them are shallow and chasing fantasies) and the chances of finding a fellow nice person is slim.

        • J:
          Regarding your question:
          Firstly, many men DO NOT know that (a great many) women particularly beautiful women think with their libidos just like men.

          That is why you still see men who marry beautiful women thinking he is what she wants (high-earning dutiful caring, but buckles like a belt to all of her narcissistic demands) and they are divorced 2-5 years later.

          PUA is really a fledgling group (at least from my view as a gen xer. It’s probably more prominent among 20-something men).

          MOST MEN don’t know these things.

          Back to your question: a woman’s job does NOT raise her attractiveness to men. So don’t think like Bolick that a CEO woman has made it through some kind of hurdle to be first in line for CEO men as mates. When men look for mates her job counts dead last in all the considerations, men secure support for themselves–they don’t look for support from women. The woman’s job adds zero to a man’s calculation to whether a woman is a catch.

          Secondly, you can’t manufacture attraction. It’s either there or not. So, a woman who is a 4 or 5 in looks (no matter) her personality and other redeeming characteristics will not be able to secure a charming intelligent passionate creative guy. This guy has a high enough mating value to find an equally sterling women (in character) but who is pretty as well.

          That being said I have seen many posters on PUA boards (who I suspected are, like me, not pickup artists but follow the theory) who have said all they want is a woman who is a 6 or 7 who is drama free.

          While you cannot manufacture attraction, there are levels of attraction. Many men would settle for plainish or only slightly pretty women who were drama free and loyal, but even a woman who is a 6 in looks thinks she deserves a don juan heart surgeon (at least when young).

          Because women are hit on so often, they have an inflated sense of their worth.

          I agree the whole system is FUBAR (f*cked up beyond all repair).
          We have been heading on this road ever since 49 states in the USA instituted no-fault divorce (making it much easier to divorce and particularly incentivising women to divorce).

          Our society through no-fault divorce and welfare subsidizes women’s poor choices in mates. Freed of the need for male support (able to secure it from society at large in one form or another) women are free to think with their libido. With sex freely available from these women, it also frees men to think with only their libido. Why marry since it is such a potential pitfall (particularly to men) and sex is so available.

          The kicker of course is that less than attractive women and shy men are left out in the cold with no companionship.

          Easy divorce has transformed american dating into a shark tank in which unscrupulous men and women take advantage of and discard loving respectful men and women like kleenex.

          My advice to help future generations?
          Support shared parenting advocates like fathersandfamilies.org
          Put some teeth back into marriage and make divorce harder.

          • I’m sorry John but looks and attraction are definitely not the same thing.

            There is far more to physical attraction than simply looks. My first husband was ugly when I met him and even more butt ugly now, but he is charming and draws women right in.

            When I was good looking (an 8-9), I never had guys hitting on me because I had low self esteem – these days, I’d put my looks at around a 5, but guys ( and lesbians too) hit on my constantly. Even my fiancee can’t pretend I am mega hot, but he’s incredibly sexually attracted to me.

            Attraction is more about your personality, your sensuality, how you act, and not all about purely looks.

            I do totally agree with you about making divorce harder. It disgusts me that loving, dedicated, loyal, wonderful wives (and husbands too, although all the divorce couples I know, either both the husband and wife were pigs, or just the guy was) can be dumped by totall a**holes, so the a**hole can take off with his mistress (or man-stress if that’s the way he swings).

            I’m all for shared parenting in ideal situations, but it’s one area I’m staying out of with the disgusting way the family court here in Australia treats shared parenting – violent men like my ex who has a long history of bashing women (I found out after we split I wasn’t the first partner he bashed – by his own admission too), aren’t considered to be a danger to their kids, and even men like my ex who have bashed their young children, been charged for it and plead guilty in court, aren’t considered a danger – he also admitted in family court in the end that he was a daily illicit drug users – after years of lying, only coming clean after finally being forced to take a drug test and failing – and yet still, it made no difference.

            The only reason my daughter is alive is because his jealous mistress insist he stop seeing our daughter because it was taking time away from her (the mistress).

            And I know of worse cases – there have been several high profile cases where convicted paedophiles have been granted shared custody of their young daughters, and continue to keep shared custody even after the daughters have reported their fathers doing sexually inappropriate things with them too.

            So shared custody is great in theory – but you have to be careful. Having a system like we have here, where shared custody is granted to even violent abusers and sexual predators, is just plain wrong and taking it too far.

            Especially when what happens is women are punished for reporting their ex’s abuse of the children. I was verbally ripped into by a “neutral” court psychologist for bringing up the abuse my ex had done to me and for raising the fact that he’d been convicted of bashing our daughter. And I know of several women who have thrown their exes out after catching them molesting the kids, and the women end up losing custody altogether for reporting the molestation.

            There obviously needs to be a middle ground. Shared parenting should be the preference, but where there is abuse, it shouldn’t even be allowed.

          • John,

            O really? Most women I know say it’s the man who is hornier. I used to think I was as horny as a man, but that’s because I really didn’t know how horny they really are. The average man is just consumed by lust. This is helpful to women bc it’s easier to get dinners, jewelry, etc out of them. A man will drop a perfectly fine girl cuz the sex isn’t right. Hmm….

            Women do get lustful, but it’s mostly after a handful of alpha males (like the firefighters in one story). Whereas a man just lusts after most anything.

    • Interesting point, John. Female entitlement and privilege are really out of control lately in the U.S., and anyone who dares to question or challenge it earns a hefty amount of venom, tout suite.

      • Arrrrgghhh! just had a long post eaten by the refresh monster.
        I agree that this is a very valid reality (women’s excessive self-esteem) which never gets talked about.

    • John, there is a big flaw in what you are saying which is that if men don’t want to date unattractive women, why are they angry at those women for having an excessively high opinion of their own “dating market value”? Are they chasing after unattractive women and getting rejected? I doubt it. So, really, what you are saying does not explain the anger that PUA’s express towards unattractive women. No self-respecting PUA or wannabe PUA would date an unattractive women, from what I understand. Those women are simply non-entities to PUA’s. From what I have read on PUA blogs, PUA’s do not believe that any woman who is less than a “7” (maybe) should have sex, dates, relationships, men who want her, like her, or care about her, or anything else. They wouldn’t respect an unattractive woman for falling in love with a “beta male” who is in her league. They’d just laugh at the “beta male” for staying with her.

      I read the blog post by the woman who rejected the Magic the Gathering guy. It was stupid. But on the other hand, if she was only a “6”, no one wants her anyway, right? So why be angry at her? If anything, her post came across as kind of anxious and desperate. I can see why the Magic the Gathering guy would be angry at her (although his responses were quite classy, from what I read), but why would other guys be angry that some woman they’ve never met who isn’t attractive thinks she deserves better than she can get — and isn’t getting any?

      • To Jill:
        John, there is a big flaw in what you are saying which is that if men don’t want to date unattractive women, why are they angry at those women for having an excessively high opinion of their own “dating market value”?

        As regards why PUA boardminders would highlight and link articles (such as the MTG guy getting attacked by the woman on her blog) I would say that it is to specifically PINPOINT like a laser 1) that women are hound-dogs too and 2) prove that american women suffer from excessive self-esteem. Thus leading into negs and other tools to knock women from their perch JUST TO DEAL with them.

        Those stories are linked to show men what they are facing.
        Why do the posters on said boards get so angry? I don’t know. Why do women of sterling character who are not quite as attractive get so angry when men pass them by? It’s all part of the same sh1t. A lot of posters on citizen renegade I suspect are not practicing PUA. These are probably men who have faced rejection for no greater reason than that they are not super-smooth but (like J) have other redeeming characteristics and are otherwise sterling examples of men.

        “I read the blog post by the woman who rejected the Magic the Gathering guy. It was stupid. But on the other hand, if she was only a “6″, no one wants her anyway, right? So why be angry at her? If anything, her post came across as kind of anxious and desperate. I can see why the Magic the Gathering guy would be angry at her (although his responses were quite classy, from what I read)”
        Correct. From what I have read he didn’t express any resentment. Again, I think PUA boardminders post these stories to show men what they are facing and how important tools like negging are.

        I think the PUA stance that women suffer from excessive self-esteem is VALID. To what portion of women this can be applied to is up for discussion & disagreement, but I would say it’s VERY prevalent among young single women and even common among single 30-something women.

        Among 40-something single women I would say it happens seldomly.

        • But again, it should be a total non-issue because the PUA’s aren’t after unattractive women with undeservedly high self-esteem, they are after beautiful women who, presumably, actually have high market value so their view of their value is justifued.

          and, actually, this whole discussion seems a little off because in my experience, most women are really hard on themselves and frequently feel ugly (even beautiful women)

          • Jill the same question goes right back to you. Why are you so occupied with what PUAs think and do? After all, bitter loser men like the PUAs (and this I am taking from the jezebel rundown of the subject) aren’t attractive to women at all, so the PUAs will just go extinct in not very long time.

            “and, actually, this whole discussion seems a little off because in my experience, most women are really hard on themselves and frequently feel ugly (even beautiful women)”
            So tell me again. Why do I read fat-positive obese feminists screaming their heads off about their right to preference?

            • I have actually never met a woman I would describe as a fat positive obese feminist — every woman I know feels stressed out about her body. Maybe you and I move in different social circles.

              • Or you don’t want to see what women do and don’t do.

                • No, I think mate, if Jill is anything like me, Jill and I genuinely move in very different circles to people like you.

                  The majority of my female friends are both genuine Christians (so have strong morals and try to live by them) AND are highly educated and highly intelligent, and as a result, most are also highly paid. And when it comes to their looks, there is a range, but most are pretty – not model-hot, but definitely pretty.

                  They are not looking for a man who is hot and rich. All they are looking for is a guy who matches their character, even if he is poor and ugly.

                  It’s not that people like me and Jill don’t see the skanks out there – we just don’t associate with them. I know heaps of skanks who are just after money, sex, etc – in fact, my ex had affairs with dozens of skanky women who thought they were a 10 in looks when they are a 1 or 2 if they are lucky. They were happy to have sex with him because they thought he had money (lol they usually found out the hard way), and even those who knew how poor he was, at a 3, he was still better than they were.

                  But just because skanks exist, even though there a LOT of them, there are also a lot of women who aren’t. It all depends on who you hang out with.

                  Now that I have my ex out of my life, there are no skanks in it, and the only (male) jerks I have in my life are my sister’s friends and I like hanging out with my sister and can’t get rid of the jerks in her life.

              • I have the address of my ex-wife. WOuld you like it?

              • @Jill

                “I have actually never met a woman I would describe as a fat positive obese feminist — every woman I know feels stressed out about her body. Maybe you and I move in different social circles.”
                Have you ever read on shakesville?

          • As I mentioned I think boardminders bring it up to show that even 4’s think they are a 7. So, if a man wants to date a 6 or 7 (who will most likely think she is a 9) then you have to act like you’re the hottest thing since sliced bread and knock her off of her pedestal HARD.

            I think the posters probably get mad because the linked stories remind them of how flighty many women have been in their life.

            I have seen many women get pretty riled up over stories of street harassment on this websight. It seems to me the main reason the women reading these stories & posting get mad is not so much care for the authors story but, that the story REMINDS these women of their OWN instances of being harassed.

            I would surmise for some of these posters that it works the same way. Even though these posters don’t have a particular interest in these women, the stories of rejection still ring a note with these guys.

            It seems to me you see these comments from the newest posters. Which leads me to believe that some of these guys still might be mad at the reality they have discovered that women are low-down dirty scoundrel hound dogs just like men.

            I know that I would have preferred to keep the wool over my eyes. It’s a very disturbing reality to learn quite frankly.

            • Fundamentally, you seem disillusioned by the idea that women can have preferences and options — just like men. You don’t want to be with a woman who isn’t attractive to you, why should I, as a woman, be expected to choose a man I’m not attracted to? It’s a tough world. not that things aren’t F-ed up, I agree with you on that. But maybe you should be encouraging both men and women to make sensible relationship choices, instead of perpetuating a double standard that it’s okay for men to be hound dogs and pick women for superficial qualities, while somehow women should be able to rise above it all and select men based not on superificial things like his looks, status, sex appeal, confidence, education, job, personality but because of… Because of…. Um, remind me again what should women be looking for in a man?

              • Hi Jill,
                I don’t believe I have been perpetuating a one-sided approach to relationships–at least I hope not.
                Some personal things:

                My wife of eight years I would say is a 6.5 or so in beauty for her age.

                The upshot is the reason I married her is because of ALL of her. Her quirks, idiosyncracies, her redeeming qualities.

                The last week of August I was laid off. The following week I injured myself and tore my ACL. Basically, other than my unemployment she is supporting me–and I love her for it.

                I didn’t choose her solely based on attraction, but I believe for men and women a minimum baseline attraction IS necessary to have interest in starting a relationship. This part of it is NOT where the problem comes in.

                Where there is a problem is when men or women choose a mate SOLELY based on attraction (looks for men, jerkiness/confidence/suaveness for women).

                I could have used SOLELY attraction and chosen to be with a woman who is a 9 who likely would have been cruel and stomp on my heart (or attempted to anyway).

                And even stating that this is a problem (the tendency for people to choose mates SOLELY on attraction) doesn’t mean that I want to control men or women’s actions.

                My main point (in my last point) is that I wish we could all BE HONEST about female libido.

                In society at large there seems to be this sense that unbridled female libido can ONLY be positive. You see this attitude when we talk about female teachers statutorily raping young boys. Unbridled female lust is just as destructive as unbridled male lust, and I think it’s time we started admitting it.

                I AM disillusioned. You know why? Because I have been lied to about all my life hearing that women mostly care about the character of a man. At least you have gone into relationships with your eyes wide open. You didn’t have this IMMENSE lie hung around your neck your entire life about what men like.

                I’d like a little bit of honesty that immature women wreck marriages by choosing a new man that makes her wet, just as men wreck marriages by choosing a hottie. It’s just as destructive to kids and society.

                My point is: LET’S BE HONEST.

                • Well Said.

                  I had a VERY selfish wife, and now she is gone. So much for the whole life partner thing. I am going to get back to enjoying my house and shop for new corvette, lose the weight I gained dating her, and rebuild my bank account.

                  I am sure there are good women out there, but they are hard to find. If it is worth having, it is worth searching / waiting.

              • BINGO. @JILL

  8. Although we are living in a modern era, we forget where we came from. There is something to traditional dating and courtship. Make things simple again and don’t over-complicate everything. I work with a old-fashioned offline matchmaker in San Francisco (Amy) at a company called Linx Dating. Yeah there is an informational website but what makes this company super special is that she hand selects the good guys and good girls who are selective and simply won’t settle. I have met some great guys through Amy Andersen and suggest checking out her blog too for really good dating advice.

  9. Doesn’t it all just come down to timing and the individuals involved? One man’s (or woman’s) trash is another man’s (or woman’s) treasure and all that?

    I’m in a relationship right now, with one of those “good men.” But I feel stifled and held back and, generally, like I have to be the grown-up all the time, while he lives in the land of band T-shirts with holes and plastic furniture. None of that makes him less of a “good man.” And his “good man” status makes me no more fulfilled, at the moment. Just because he’s a “good man” doesn’t mean he’s the good man for me.

    And just to clarify, by “good man,” I don’t mean anything about being the breadwinner or my personal ATM. I mean that he is kind and loyal and honest.

    It’s a constant, and it probably always has been, this idea that there are no good men (or women) out there. It just means something different to nearly everyone.

  10. Thanks, Mike, for a male perspective on the problem that plagues both sexes. It’s good to be reminded now and again that there are just as many wandering single men as us wandering single women, trying to find good partners for the long haul.

  11. Transhuman says:

    If by ‘good man’ a woman means ‘my wage-slave and mobile AMT’ then I hope the number of good men is shrinking. Women no longer have cause to make demands of men, they have equality, they can work for their own support, own their own house, car and superannuation. Men need no longer feel they are expected to support women. So, women need to change their offer – what positive influences does a relationship with a woman bring to a man’s life?

    if you consider the hazards associated with marriage, and that men can do everything a woman can do except give birth, then the defining relationship now becomes joining men and women for the purposes of procreation. Unless a man wants children, short-term relationships suit a man better than a long – term relationship such as a childless marriage. Now it is the turn of women to expend effort to attract men, rather than men accepting the dated role of courting.

  12. Can somebody please explain to me why this is a male problem?
    She will just have to suck it up and learn to live alone, just the same level of sympathy that the 30-year old male virgin gets from people like Amanda Marcotte.

    • And what is so wrong with a 30 year old virgin? My fiancee is one. He just has morals, doesn’t do sex outside of marriage and wanted to make sure she met the right girl before marrying her.

      I know of many 30 year old virgins who are fantastic blokes and are awesome catches that will make whoever their future wife is, very happy.

      • I was one – well – 27 – and thought I met the right one. Married her 18 mo later and now she is gone. Guess I was wrong. I am glad you found a good man. Now, hook his friends up on a double date with you too and a cute girlfriend

        • lol all his good friends have been married for years…

          In all seriousness though, I don’t have cute girlfriends. I have smart, kind, caring, compassionate, loyal and hard working girlfriends, but they are either average in looks, or they are beautiful but overweight and most guys I’ve found don’t think a girl is beautiful if she is overweight. Thankfully some guys do see the beauty in bigger girls, but it’s a shame that they are a minority.

    • It’s presented as a male problem because, to certain breed of radical feminists, ALL of women’s problems are the fault of men. Thus, the “lack of good men” is a male problem because men are generally awful and need to change.

      The possibility that she’s not seeing many romantic possibilities because SHE doesn’t have much to offer… well, that simply never occurs to writers like Bolick. It must be men’s fault–somehow.

      • martrevion says:

        There’s fault by both genders. Women rape men AND men rape women. We who have experienced having sex against our will, that alone causes us to constantly play the blame game.The shit has happened, now we are stuck with dealing with the After Effects from either side while the media’s ignorantly blinded to the fact that in order for that foolishness to change, help the pedophile too but most importantly the victim that they may become Victorious in their struggle to change to the so-called norm

    • 8of10 says:
      “Can somebody please explain to me why this is a male problem?
      She will just have to suck it up and learn to live alone, just the same level of sympathy that the 30-year old male virgin gets from people like Amanda Marcotte.”

      Or her other option is to marry a man less educated and less high earning then herself. I notice that a lot of women (particularly a lot of FEMINIST women) don’t have much interest in changing gender norms when they are talking about their own lives.

      • I married a man who was far less educated than myself. During our marriage, he never managed to keep a job, lasting a few months at best – the only job that lasted longer was one working a few hours three nights a week, and even then he managed to lose that one.

        When we got married, on a looks scale, I was 8-9, he was lucky if he was a 5, probably closer to a 3. I’ll be honest – over time, due to medical issues, when we divorced I’d dropped down to around a 5 – he’s around a 1. About as butt ugly as you can get.

        When it comes to personality, he is literally diagnosed anti-social .

        He also was in debt up to his eyeballs when we married, my family had to “lend” (they’ll never see their money again) him money to keep him from bankruptcy, they had to “lend” him money to pay fines to keep him out of jail, he also had a “history” of before we dated, he’d got into drugs to get over the death of his father as a young child and his mother when he was 18 (he did get off them to try to win me) yet despite all this, I married him because I loved him and at the time, seemed like a nice, loving partner.

        I knew I was marrying down in a major way, but it didn’t matter to me. All that mattered was love, even though I had to give up studying to be a doctor to support him, even though it cost me my health (long story), it cost me many friends, and it cost me $100,000 in debts he ran up in my name.

        Yet who applied for the divorce? Not me. Who cheated? not me. Who bashed the other? not me.

        Despite the fact that I gave up everything for him, I supported him despite it literally nearly killing me because of my health. I gave up being a doctor and became a nurse instead because I couldn’t study medicine and work and care for him (he has mental health issues and needs a carer at times) and care for our autistic daughter all at the same time. Despite everything I gave to him and everything I did for him, it still wasn’t enough.

        First he started using drugs, then he started bashing me and then he started cheating on me (although that I didn’t find out for years). I was going to say I don’t know why any girl would even want him, but I guess I do know the answer to that – the two mistresses of his I knew well, one wanted his sperm because she needed to get pregnant to keep her welfare payments and her second husband had had a gutful of raising kids, half that weren’t his, and the other half he couldn’t be sure were his (here sole parent benefits get half cut off when your youngest turns 6 and cut off altogether when they turn 8 and her youngest was nearly 8), and the other mistress is a pathetic loser and so desperate to find anyone, and sees him as a money supply even though he earns very little. She sees sex as a way to trap guys into relationship, and there are far too many guys out there who will screw someone who is a “1” just because they’ll happily take sex from anyone.

        We separated because he assaulted our 5yo daughter after coming home drunk and stoned one morning after a bender with his mates. I gave him a choice – rehab or leave. He said he’d go to rehab – a week later I found out he’d moved in with a mistress which is when I found out he had a mistress (or more precisely that he had many mistresses).

        Yet despite everything, it was HIM that demanded a divorce to marry his mistress – ironically, he couldn’t even hang on to her long enough to get a divorce (there is a 12 month wait here after separation to get one), he ended up marrying one of his other mistresses who knew he was involved in dozens of long term sexual relationships but is so butt ugly and desperate and is diagnosed (by several psychiatrists) as a psychopath.

        There are plenty of women out there who are happy to marry down – women like myself who were highly educated, higher earning, better looking and simply better human beings – but you know what? it doesn’t stop their husbands turning out to be pigs and cheating on them – and with women who are far beneath them on every scale.

        This time around, I’m well aware that I’m marrying up – I only work part time because of caring for my daughter, and I’ve given up on being a doctor and settled for being a nurse, my fiancee is far into the genius range of intelligence and I think he’s alright looking – but none of those matter to me. I’d be marrying him if he was butt ugly, average intelligence and earning little or even unemployed. Why I love him is his values, beliefs and personality. We both both believe in the same things, and he is a gentle, kind, loyal, loving person.

        Not all women are shallow and only care about a guy’s looks and money.

  13. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Women that shallow aren’t very interesting.

  14. J P McMahon says:

    Jill, I would be curious as to your response to MY post since I am essentially talking about the same thing, just from the woman’s point of view. The example of the “brutally handsome” guy that I use in my post is a natural alpha who doesn’t NEED PUA philosophy or techniques. All he needs is a shower and a decent haircut to have as much interaction of any kind with just about any woman that he wants. Ms. Bolling obviously goes for this kind of guy, as evidenced by the fact that she went out with FOUR “players”. If she would be honest and admit that a guy has to be 6′ 2″, have a lustrous full head of hair, tight abs, and nice cheek bones before she would even CONSIDER them as marriageable material, then I would put a lot more credence into what she has to say. But if she was to admit that, it would make her look shallow, and possibly delusional, and the Atlantic wouldn’t have published her article. You are right about PUA being hard on women, but it is even worse on men, most of whom are lumped into the Beta and Omega ranks who are essentially the pathetic losers who get to watch from the cheese table while Bolling chases yet another player. PUA is incredibly cynical, but then again so is science.

    • Yes, I think looks matter to women, although maybe not as much as looks matter to men. I think a lot of women are looking for a man who is the “whole package” (a combination of good looks, smarts, success, and other so-called alpha male qualities) whereas men are perhaps more focused solely in looks, but I agree, women can be pretty shallow in their choices as well.

      • J P McMahon says:

        Jill, Consider how much more money and time women spend on THEIR looks vs. the amount of money and time that straight men spend on theirs, and then tell me that looks matter more to men.

        • firstly, SOME women spend so much time on their looks because they know that it’s all most men care about.

          Secondly, that’s an unfair stereotype. Most women I know spend very little time on their looks – no makeup, don’t shave their legs/underarms etc. I personally don’t bother with makeup unless for special occasions although I do shave when my fiancee is in town. But regardless of how long my friends do or don’t spend on their looks, the majority of their straight partners spend a lot more time.

        • I meant that, when picking a partner, women (as a general rule) care less about how men look, than men care about how women look.

          • J P McMahon says:

            Jill, Thanks for your reply! I have to respectfully disagree with you though. I’m glad that your female friends have the sense not to spend their hard earned dough on so many potions, powders, and treatments, but there is no comparable multi-billion dollar industry for straight men. Compare the services and products sold in a salon, versus a barbershop, and there is NO comparison. The amount of money that women in general spend on clothing is much greater than that spent by men, and the clothes are a lot more expensive to boot. Beauty pageants for straight men? No such thing. Male fans of a dreamy female pop star wildly throwing themselves at her, like women do to a handsome male pop star? I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, but it is rare. Players hit on beautiful women… well that’s the point isn’t it? Personally, I think that your average guy has a better idea what “league” he is in than your average woman, a product of being blown off repeatedly by more attractive women. In any case, the main point of my argument is that discussing relationships, particularly dating, without talking about how people look is equivalent to discussing physics without talking about gravity and math.

  15. No, I disagree, actually he says that women in their late 30’s-40’s are “chronic complainers,” have too much baggage, are usually not attractive, are not the intellectual equals of men, and basically are unhappy because they didn’t use their vaginas effectively to snag a man (or keep him, I guess) when they still had market value. He claims women don’t mature intellectually or emotionally as they age. He seems to say that any man in his 30’s-50’s who would date a woman over the age of 30 must be a pathetic and desperate loser. As a 44-year-old woman, I find that a little tiny bit offensive, not to mention a gross over-generalization. Furthermore, his depiction of the women I know in my age bracket is just plain wrong.

    I’ve read quite a few things by PUA’s, and it always surprises me that they spend so much time and energy denigrating women they don’t find attractive (older women, women who are less than perfect 10’s, etc). If the “movement” is all about having sex with attractive women, why do they even need to talk about the women who aren’t attractive? Why so much hostility? Why write articles about the women you don’t like? It’s like PUA’s feel they are personally offended by the mere existence of unattractive women. Do they realize that hot 22-year-olds get older and that getting older is not a moral failing?

    I am not trying to “shame” anyone. However, pointing out that the article you referenced expresses very derogatory opinions about women is not “shaming”. I do think many PUA’s hate women, based in what they say about women. I’ve read other stuff by PUA’s which is positive about women, but much of it isn’t.

    By “nuanced priorities” I mean that not all men think of women as mobile masturbation aids.

    • Sorry, I mean to reply to r(Evoluzione), above.

    • Jun Kafiotties says:

      Ask yourself why they might hate women, seeing as it’s for a culture of picking up women and having casual sex quite a lot, I’d hazard a guess that many of them have been burned in love and are bitter over it. Seen just as many women burned n bitter like an overcooked fish. There are quite a lot of men though who are shy as hell and need help in engaging conversation with women, they use PUA material because it seems to work. If it didn’t work, then it wouldn’t be used. So it seems some women are rewarding the behaviour and thus is wanted in some form.

      I’ve read both good n bad feminism, but I wouldn’t paint all of it with one brush. Dig deeper on the PUA material, or offer genuine advice to them that WORKS especially to the guys who simply use it as a means to get that first date. The players, I have no respect for, as I believe people should be honest if they want polygamous relationships or just sex. You wouldn’t believe how many men these days are afraid of rejection, have been fucked over badly by ex’s (just as many women have) and are timid about dating.

      • I agree, PUA has some useful advice about how to interact wirh women. It’s not the advice that offends me — even stuff like “negging” can be used in a way that is light and funny rather than mean and hurtful. If it is done in a hurtful way, it probably won’t work. It’s the underlying hostility to women that bothers me in PUA writings and blogs, the many derogatory assumptions that PUA’s make about women, and the idea that women are virtually non-sentient automatons who can be easily manipulated by pressing X, Y or Z emotional buttons. There is no room for indivudual psychology, preferences or needs. The PUA view of men is actually quite reductive and depressing as well. I think it is a sad comment on the state of things in our culture. That said, I do understand the need many men have for practical advice about how to be successful with women and hopefully a smart man can pick and choose from PUA techniques without drinking the poison koolaid. Unfortunately, many of the most prominent PUA bloggers and gurus strike me as borderline sociopaths. That’s based on what the write and what they say. I have no quarrel wirh the underlying goals of PUA but one can pursue those goals without being a raging musogynist.

  16. J P McMahon says:

    “—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.” And why doesn’t Bollick want to go out with these guys? Simple, it’s the way that they LOOK. Their personality, intelligence, and moral character have nothing to do with why she wouldn’t consider them as a love interest. And that is this root cause of this whole dilemma, which I was surprised to find nowhere in this discourse. The “ leagues” thing where men and women are sorted into a hierarchy by appearance? Absolutely true, especially with women. Get a gal drunk and ask her about it some time. Bollick says that she has dated four players, so I guess she is a slow learner. How does a guy become a player? The number one qualification is that they have to be GOOD LOOKING. I cannot believe the number of other wise intelligent women I have known that were thunderstruck to find out that the brutally handsome guy that pumped and dumped them, had done the same thing to half of the other women in the club. And why? Because he could. Bollick would find a lot of “good men” out there if she lowered her standards on their appearance. But she won’t do that because of this thing called Biology, which cannot be rationalized out of no matter how many Atlantic articles she writes.

  17. I find the article to be total rubbish.

    I have never been a player or a deadbeat. Yet in the four years of being single between losing my first husband and finding my second husband-to-be, I did not find a single guy who even made it to getting a first date (other than the wonderful man I’m marrying).

    And both now, and before I became single again, I have always loved to play cupid and find partners for my friends, and have always kept an eye out for nice single men for many wonderful single female friends.

    The reality is, once you hit 25, a single guy who doesn’t have serious problems is rare. Actually, I don’t think they exist. Even my wonderful fiancee was only still single because he is pathologically shy, and the only other decent guy over the age of 25 is my brother, and he’s single because he’s too busy working as a missionary to date. I know another really nice guy who is nearly 40, but he’s never had a girlfriend because he’s intellectually disabled.

    And the list goes on.

    Personally, when it comes to dating, I have incredibly low standards – I will date someone who is on minimum wage, I’ll even date someone who is unemployed, I’ll date someone who is butt ugly, and so on. All I look for in a man is someone who shares my values – nice, kind, caring considerate and follows God – the only other standard I have other than to have good values, is just a man who can hold a reasonable conversation.

    Since I’ve been looking for guys to set my friends up with, even when I was married, I assessed whether a guy was dateable or not – not because I was interested, but because I have some wonderful friends who deserve to find a nice guy to date. In all honesty, other than the three men I mentioned above (my fiancee, my brother, and the intellectually disabled guy who is way too old for my friends), I simply have not met a nice single man older than 19.

    I’ve met plenty of jerks. Because I insist on getting to know a guy before I date him, I talked to hundreds of guys when I was single – not one made it to getting a date, and only one was even decent enough to stay talking to as friends, and quite frankly, I sometimes wonder why I even stay friends with the type of person he turned out to be.

    I actually have lots of single male friends, but they certainly aren’t marriage material, and they certainly aren’t a quality that I’d even consider introducing them to my single female friends.

    Don’t get me wrong – there aren’t very many nice single women either. But my experience over and over, is most guys don’t care if a girl is a bitch as long as she looks hot. A good woman is hard to find, a good man? is beyond rare.

    I’m not a man hater – I feel blessed to have found the one in a billion nice guys who was single in his late 20s, but even then, that’s younger than me. I know of no nice guys in their 30s who aren’t intellectually disabled.

    I’m sure they exist, but they are rare.

    • Jun Kafiotties says:

      “Don’t get me wrong – there aren’t very many nice single women either. But my experience over and over, is most guys don’t care if a girl is a bitch as long as she looks hot. A good woman is hard to find, a good man? is beyond rare.”
      Reminds me of most girls not caring if a guy is a jerk if he’s rolling in cash. But that’s a generalization and there’s no proof of either.

      You’re a woman, of course you will see more good women because you know better what a good woman is. It’s the same reason I know of plenty of good men (many who are single), because I can spot them easy. They aren’t rare, many of them are actually quite shy and are sick of rejection. Take the initiative and start asking guys out, you may see how hard it is to deal with and our society still expects men to do the pursuing.

      The rare part would probably be following god, a lot of people are agnostic or atheist these days. The good guys I know, probably 90% of them don’t follow a god. In fact most people under 30 don’t have a religion that I’ve known of. So if you rule them out because of a lack of faith then you only have yourself to blame for not seeing the countless good men, because faith in a deity is not a necessity to be a good person.

      The reason women may feel so dateless after 30 is probably because they were so accustomed to men hitting on them in their 20’s, and by the 30’s the guys have busy careers, families of their own, divorced, sick of dating and they really CBF hitting on others. Some of course hit on younger women, partly because of societal pressures, partly because (for some) of a perception women their age are bitter or desparate (biological clock). But I would also guess many are simply burned out and tired of rejection and after 10+ years of it…it gets old. So ladies, if you find a guy you like…ASK HIM OUT. Males and females vary a lot in what they like, there’s no way for you to know exactly what a guy is going to want. He may want a 20 year old at 30 (I doubt it’s as common as people think, but people notice it more because it stands out), he may want you, you won’t know unless one of you talks to the other.

      • Ok, this site keeps crashing every time I try to post a long answer so I’ll go for shorter.

        If you read my posts, you’d see I HAVE a fiancee now. I have found the one rose among the thorns.

        If you knew anything about religion, you’d know that those who genuinely follow certain religions, christianity being one of them, you cannot be a genuine christian and be with a partner who is not. Faith doesn’t make a person good, nor does lack of faith make a person bad, but in my experience of getting to know (as friends to consider dating) many men, the majority of men proved to be pigs when it came to attitudes towards women, dating, marriage and sex, long before the issue of religion came up – and that so called “christian” men were usually just as big pigs.

        You ignore one VERY important thing. It is far better to be single than to be with someone you’re not compatible with. You make it sound like being single is a disease that you need to cure by lowering standards to desperately find someone. It doesn’t work like that. There is absolutely no shame in being single. Single or partnered – it doesn’t matter. If you can’t be happy single, you can’t be happy partnered.

        Anyone who is willing to compromise their values and beliefs to get a partner, isn’t the type of person who should be in a relationship. No one should compromise what they believe in to get a partner.

        If I hadn’t found my fiancee, I’d have happily stayed single until I either found another person who shared my values, or simply stayed single for life.

        It is important when dating to have a few standards – when it comes to things like morals and values, these things should never be compromised.

  18. Should have typed, I didn’t like those kind of guys when I was in my 20’s, but I did end up dating some of them, short term (I realize that sounded imconsistent)

  19. (r)Evoluzione says:

    You will find excellent counterpoint analysis to some of the more conventional thoughts on this subject, from a thoughtful, masculine, rationalist point of view here:

    http://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/the-mature-man/

    Mike (OP), your thoughts on this article would be appreciated.

    • wow, the author of that article really seems to hate women. Why so much anger at “older” women? If you don’t like them, don’t date them. Or maybe it should be like Logan’s Run and all women should be shot on their 30th birthdays?

      Honestly, this whole discussion including the original Atlantic article seems totally outside my own experience. I am 44 and not married, but in a happy relationship. I know women who are single and others who are married. I know women who are divorced. Everyone has their struggles and their successes. We don’t sit around and moan about these things. Yes it gets tougher as you get older but its not impossible. My boyfriends mom is in her 70’s and she’s dating!

      I’m one of those “older” women who probably wasted time in my youth on relationships that didn’t go anywhere. Oh well. I’m not bitter, we all have to find our own path in life. I never really wanted kids or I would have tried harder. Such is life. I know plenty of married people who are miserable.

      I’m not interested in dating the types of guys who only value womem as eye candy/sex toys/ status symbols. I didn’t like those guys when I was in my 20’s and I don’t like them now. They are the guys my age who are dating younger women so, good for them. (I know what those guys are like, because I dated older men like them when I was in my 20’s) Luckily there are men who have more nuanced
      priorities.

      Also, if the Buddhists are right, the players will be women in another life and the women they used will be men who get to do the exploiting. Even if that’s not true, I still believe you sow what you reap. If you sow heartbreak, it will come back to haunt you. It’s far better to work on becoming a person who is positive and compassionate rather than one who enjoys wallowing in feelings of hate and anger (even if the anger seems justified or righteous)

      A lot of what passes for discussion of these topics seems merely hateful, shallow, reductive and based on oversimplified steteotypes. It’s worth getting off the computer and into the real world (I type ironically but sincerely into my computer)

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        Jill, where’s the hate? My reading of his words finds no hate, no ad-hominem attacks, no slanderous phrasing–nothing like that. He even says older women can be hot and engaging.
        If there’s no hate in the article, and there isn’t, then you must be using the ‘hate’ card as a way to shame men into identifying with the feminine agenda. Which is exactly what Rollo described. Irony? Yes. Surprising? No. Try engaging intellectually. Come at him, me, us men in general, as equals, instead of with emotion and shaming tactics. Guess what? “You question women, thus you must hate them” is the equivalent for men of “slut shaming” for women.
        A related note: What is this ‘more nuanced priorities?
        I”m glad you read & responded. I’m also interested in what some *men* have to say on this topic, since this is allegedly the “good men project” website. Somehow I think that a lot of men here are pretty cowed by the ladies. Just sayin’.
        PS You are right about getting off the computer into the real world. There is also a place for discussion as we find here. This sort of conversation rarely happens in the real world.

  20. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Low sex ratio societies = “playa” men
    High sex ratio societies = “mensch” men

    Low sex ratio societies (which we’re becoming) are characterized, however by more female-set norms, hence much of the criticism here (plus the writhings of Hugo.) High sex ratio societies are more patriarchal. Women are treated better in high sex ratio societies. Hence in low sex ratio societies they may go to feminist rallies during the day, and date an immature twerp at night.

  21. AnonymousDog says:

    Dunn relates that he spent five years in “low sex-ratio societies”, by which he means women outnumbered men, the situation Kate Bolick found herself in.

    Single men and women are not distributed evenly over the surface of the earth, yet the situation of men who live and work in communities where there are few available women gets little attention in the pages of Atlantic, or GMP for that matter. Such situations are all too often treated as humorous by people who don’t have to live in them.

    Maybe Dunn and Bolick should take a trip to one of those areas where unattached marriageable men outnumber unattached women in the same age range and write about their experiences there.

    • (r)Evoluzione says:

      Exactly.

      Kate Bollick, (and any other womenz who need a man to ‘wife up’) get thee to Summit County, Colorado, where there are 175 single men for every 100 single woman. Prolly one of the most whacked out gender ratios anywhere in the US. You will be treated like the hot commodity that you believe you are, because the ladies are rare, and there are many many dudes. Bros. Lotsa Sausage up in there.

      Oh, but I forgot, it’s COLD up there. (whine, grumble) Like, snow and ice and stuff. (whine, moan) and all the boys up there spend all their time to snowboard, ski, snowmobile, fly fish, hunt.. that place is just too.. masculine. And there’s no Prada or Anthropologies stores up there. Like, how am I going to totally look hot this year. Omigod. No wonders there’s so few ladies up in there.

      • Why don’t you join one of the many theater groups and programs around the country, then? Lots of cooter everywhere. The ratios (especially when you have to bring homosexual men into the equation) are ridiculously in the favor of straight men. But no. It’s too girly and gay. Too many weird costumes and words to memorize…and stuff (whine, moan). Too feminine. How am I supposed to show off how big, burly, and bro-like I am without my snowboard (I’m a skiier, so I had to put in that one last jab 🙂 )?

        • (r)Evoluzione says:

          Actually, I’m involved with a couple of modern dance companies, as an advisor on fitness. You’re right, this field is parched for the drink of liquid refreshment that is heterosexual masculinity. I’m literally hounded with dozens of lithe, young dancers–“cooter,” as you said. Quality, it is. Yes, it is tough, hazardous duty. But I will take one (or a few) for Team Bro on this one.

          • That’s really cool, and sounds like a lot of fun, actually, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I thought you were complaining that you were in a place with a high male to female ratio. I’m not into (or too familiar with) Prada, Bros, or modern dance, so I’m a bit out of my element on this one. Tap that bass! I’m referring to your fishing as well as…ass. ^.^

            • (r)Evoluzione says:

              Aya, I don’t live in Summit County. When I did, I still found no problem dating. I visit there often.

              “Tap that bass! I’m referring to your fishing as well as…ass. ^.^”

              Cute! I like your sass.

  22. Mrs. Bolick forgot something very important- successful men oftentimes are not looking for a woman her age. They may be 35,45 but they are looking at women 18 and up. Men who are very successful a lot of times are not looking for their mirror image, they want someone to complement them. Similarly, it seems like some very successful women have house husbands. I’m sure their are men, just not looking for her.

    If we’re looking at so called equality, count me out. I’ll live my life happily the my dogs and get a career. I have noticed that white men are becoming more like black men, maybe i should go for chinese???

    I really do appreciate the article though. The pressure on men to want to be married aren’t as much as one women, I’d agree. Id also say that since men get what they primarily want outside of marriage they feel even less urge to settle down. Men are much more sex oriented than relationship oriented, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

    was with a woman for the better part of four years,
    FOUR YEARS? The woman was a saint. If it had been me, after 2 years max of dating I would have said marry me or be gone. No way on gods green earth I would wait that long.

    • Alice, you again seem to have the curious notion that ANY relationship should inevitably lead to either marriage or separation. Why is that? Surely you concede that that a one-size-fits-all model isn’t compatible with reality.

      • Copyleft,
        I understand that not every relationship is going to lead to that, but I wouldn’t waste my time. If I am going to deal with men, the relationship has to go somewhere, otherwise I’m fine on my own. I’m not the kind of girl who’d let a man waste 3,4,5 years of my time.

        I guess it’s also cuz I know that if a man is really smitten, he’s gonna propose. And when they do, they usually move pretty quickly.

        • Ya. I never understood this concept of everything has to lead somewhere. Ultimately everything leads to death. You will die Alice and then your relationship will end. Why is your time wasted if you don’t get married. Under your logic why is men’s time not wasted if they don’t get married.

          I have had fantastic relationships with women that never led to marriage. I never felt like my time was wasted. I just felt incredibly lucky.

          • The men get what they want, so they are OK.

            But like I said, if I am going to go through the hassle of being with a man, I’d like it to lead somewhere.

            And lets be real, a lot of times when a man wont commit he just not that into a woman. For example, I dated a guy who was with a girl on and off for 10 years, and proposed to me in 6 months.

            Why should I waste my time on someone who will hump n dump me for years and years? And lets face it, when women get older it gets harder to date. Not impossible but harder. It’s a lot easier for a woman to get married while younger if her goal is marriage.

            • Jun Kafiotties says:

              Why should men waste their time on someone that values an expensive ceremony so much that she doesn’t view any relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage as valid? The assumptions men simply want to hump n dump you because they don’t propose is as childish as men assuming women just want men to pay because of the actions of the few.

              If the guy doesn’t want to marry you after 10 years, either marriage doesn’t matter to him, or the problem is YOU as much as him. And since you want marriage so much, did you accept the proposal? Or did you just want to hump n dump him?

              • Well said, Jun, but Alice is firmly in the “men are selfish” camp and won’t listen to any other viewpoint.

                More and more women in middle age are find that MEN are now the one saying “Relationships are too much of a hassle; why should I waste my time on you?” And believe me, revenge is sweeeeet.

  23. This article is very even sided, I don’t where people are getting the idea that it’s not, either way. Bolick’s original article seemed far more against women than this one. She completely didn’t take into account that women can, and often enjoy being players and that many don’t *need* marriage as much as she does. And when men do it too, it’s also fine. Who says marriage is necessary? Women no longer need to get married at 18 to get out of their dad’s houses. Many men are perfectly happy being bachelors. Not everyone is ready for or wants marriage at every single point in his/her life. Why get married in your 20s just because you’re told you should, and possibly end up regretful, unhappy, burdened, broke, or bored?

    • I also think that her uses of “deadbeat” and “player” were far too simplistic and somewhat insulting. As Dunn says, most men are at different points of their lives deadbeats, players, and good men. What constitutes a deadbeat in this economy anyways? A guy could have a great education but have lost his job due to layoffs and fallen on hard times. He could also have been a player in his early 20s, then got the lifestyle out of his system/gotten bored with it, and decided to wan to get married. He could have been a guy pining for love in his 20s, then deciding that the ‘player’ lifestyle was easier and more rewarding. We can’t all be put into these neat categories of ‘player,’ ‘deadbeat,’ ‘good man,’ or ‘woman.’ Who says she didn’t idealize her relationship with Allan, either? He’s a changing person too, with his own wants, needs, and life circumstances that won’t always stay the same.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        “We can’t all be put into these neat categories of ‘player,’ ‘deadbeat,’ ‘good man,’ or ‘woman.’ ”

        Exactly. I contain multitudes.

  24. Today’s progressive dating landscape????? If that were true, most dating experts would tell couples to share expenses throughout their dating relationship, they would tell both women and men to approach each other, they would advocate a single standard of sexual ethics and so on.

    However, most dating experts strongly advocate The Rules. Annie Gleason, Nina Atwood and a huge majority of dating experts and relationship coaches tell the women not to ask a man out until the relationship is established (whatever that means), they tell the man to always pay, they tell the women not to have sex on the first date but are “understanding” of male promiscuity . . .

    Doesn’t sound terribly progressive.

    • If it’s any comfort to you, men are equally disgusted with such archaic and dishonest advice. Equality means that women should shoulder half the burden if they want an equal share of the freedoms and benefits. That means no retreating into the “take care of me, I’m a special and pampered princess” role when dating.

      Maybe you should look up some _male_ dating experts for a different perspective.

  25. (r)Evoluzione says:

    I concur with previous comments about this being a balanced article. You covered a lot of ground, and with sensitivity and thought. Which is to say, no one was offended except for the screeching feminists who would be offended by anything less than total prostration at their feet, a la Schwyzer.

    His last couple articles take shots at guys who date younger women, and at the same time, glorify older women who date younger men.

    The original Atlantic article, and your article here, go a long way to explain why Schwyzer is full of the male bovine post-digestive metabolites; the women who are left single at age 35+ have had, like Bollick, “Too many boyfriends to count.” Out of all those men, too many to count, she expects men to believe there were no good men? She admits there were. He has a name-Allan. The general consensus in my rather large circle of mid-30’s + men, some of whom are single, married, divorced, or widowed, is that if a woman isn’t married by 30, or at the latest, 35, then there’s something in her makeup, like Bollick’s, that is not amenable to marriage, else she would have been by now. It’s not for a lack of offers.

    Whether Bollick’s personal case is one of being too picky, too much of a player, or some other trait, the result remains the same–she and women in similar positions, made those choices that led her to be single at this point in her life. So my reply to women of Bollick’s age cohort who exclaim “Where are all the good men?,” my reply is: In your mid-twenties, where you left them.

    • Please apologize for your “screeching feminists” comment. Very abusive.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        Certainly, my comment was not more abusive than the sarcastic ‘male privelege’ commenter for whom my mention was meant for. “Very abusive” is hyperbole.

    • “The general consensus in my rather large circle of mid-30′s + men, some of whom are single, married, divorced, or widowed, is that if a woman isn’t married by 30, or at the latest, 35, then there’s something in her makeup, like Bollick’s, that is not amenable to marriage, else she would have been by now. It’s not for a lack of offers”

      Your circle of men has a male chauvinistic double standard. They never said that if a man isn’t married by 30, or at the least, 35, then there is something in HIS makeup that is not amenable to marriage, else he would have been by now.

      I know several women, my mother included, who got married at age 40 and beyond. It wasn’t because they weren’t suited to marriage or were too picky. It’s because, like it or not, a good man is harder to find than a good woman. As long as our society remains male dominated, that will be true.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        “Your circle of men has a male chauvinistic double standard. They never said that if a man isn’t married by 30, or at the least, 35, then there is something in HIS makeup that is not amenable to marriage, else he would have been by now.”

        Au contraire, my dear Kate. The men in question have all either been married & divorced, or, in my case, made the attempt & got engaged. In almost every case, the woman involved pulled a Kate Bollick, and called things off. This squares with the divorce statistics on the books–70%+ of divorces are initiated by the woman. In the one case I can think of where the divorce was initiated by the man, it was because his wife quit putting out once she became a lawyer. He tried for two years of counseling & therapy, and she only became more emotionally distant. So it’s not for lack of trying that men are single or divorced at 30+.

        We are not chauvinists, we are realists. If a 35+ woman wants to be marriage material, the burden of proof is on her shoulders to demonstrate she’s up to it. More often than not, she’s not.

        • revolutionize,
          Thank you, this is what i was getting at. Kate probably isnt marriage material unless she’s going to marry down.

          I’ll keep it real and say that if I were a successful 35 year old man I would go nowhere near Kate. I think sometimes women confuse being successful with being wife material.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        I usually counsel my female friends that if a man in his late thirties of later has never been married, he’s not a good bet. Too many have retained their basketball buddies, are used to the dating scene (which is basically pathology), or are players.

        • (r)Evoluzione says:

          So what if he’s been married & divorced, or engaged but broke off the engagement?

          Also, from the looks of your avatar, you are a baby boomer; if so, your experiences are less than relevant here due to the vast social change that has ensued since you were in your dating years.

    • What a bunch of rubbish stereotypes. At 29, I was single and could count the number of boyfriends I had on one hand. Admittedly I had been married for 8 years and was therefore off the table during that time, but I was single again… I don’t get the point of men or women who date lots – if a man isn’t marriage material, then simply don’t date him in the first place.

      And a man in his 30s who has never been married can definitely be marriage material. My wonderful fiancee not only has not been married, but he’s never had a serious girlfriend before. He is obviously not a player and the problem is not his buddies because he doesn’t hang out with friends much at all. He is just a hard working aussie guy who decided he wanted to get things set up for a relationship before looking ie having a job that could support a family, owning a house etc – and he is also mega shy.

      He is not the only guy in this situation. I have a wonderful brother who will be 30 next year and he’s the same – he has only had 3 girlfriends, none of which ended badly, the girls just preferred being friends, and he remains friends with them. He is hard working and a treats women with total respect, he is just painfully shy so finds it hard to start a relationship. One day he will make a wonderful husband and father if girls can just get past his shyness.

      There are plenty of fantastic 30 year old virgins out there – just most are painfully shy and need a woman willing to make the first move without coming on so strong it scares them away.

      And to answer the question what if he’s been married or engaged before? dependson entirely WHY his relationship broke down. I went through a period of around a year when I got sick of the disgusting way men in general treated me as soon as they found out I was a divorced single mum – the fact that my husband had become a violent serial cheat and I had to flee for my life, didn’t matter to most men – as soon as they heard “divorced” or “single mum” they treated me like I was a sl*t. Didn’t matter that I had never had sex outside of marriage, because I had been married and a had kid, they treated me like I was lower than scum.

      So I deliberately only looked for divorced men who might understand my situation. I was so wrong. Divorced men were even worse for treating me like I was promiscuous for having been married and having a child. If I told them I wouldn’t put out immediately, they disappeared. Their attitudes toward marriage were atrocious – they treated marriage as disposable – and keep in mind, the majority of guys I tried getting to know called themselves “Christians” so finding out they wanted sex immediately and saw marriage as something that could just be easily discarded as soon as they got the slightest bit tired of it, was shocking.

      In fact, of the 100s of divorced guys I got to know, only one didn’t have an appalling attitude towards sex and marriage- and that one guy was a total pig in other ways – morbidly obese, bald, 40, unemployed with five kids, and told me he wasn’t interested in more than friends because I was too “old” at 28, not financially stable enough because I only worked part time, had “too many kids” – I have one child, and that he only dated women who were size 8 or smaller – I could totally see why his wife left him and he hadn’t had a date in the 10 years since she left.

      But if I had found a man in my situation – a dedicated loving spouse who was divorced because their spouse cheated on them or was violently abusive – I’d have dated them in an instant. Unfortunately, I never met such a guy. The majority of divorced men I met either treated their wife badly, or just decided they didn’t feel like being married anymore – and I’m not interested in men who have such little respect for marriage.

      The reality is, most people out there have disgusting attitudes towards sex, relationships and marriage. Men and women alike. The only difference is that there are just ever so slightly more women who have good attitudes towards it than men – still, women who respect sex and marriage are still few in number

  26. Philomena–No
    Copyleft–A cheap-shot for a cheap-shot makes the world go..blind from a Kmart bullet (I don’t know, I tried).

  27. I love articles written from the perspective of male privilege! It’s so hard to find these days!

    • Fortunately, cheap-shot feminists are a dime a dozen.

      • I don’t think that comment is “cheap shot feminist” at all. I agree that the author unwittingly approached the subject through “the invisible knapsack of male privilege.”. But eventually, he had to admit that “”The severity or stress of these pressures may not equal that placed on women.”

        I don’t think this article was very honest. I know that dating is not a breeze through the park for men, but in this society, it is easier for a man to find a mate. The gender ratio is not 50-50, our culture encourages men to marry younger women who make less money and are less successful, there is a cruel double standard of looks, sexual promiscuity and so on.

        This article, like so many other articles on this website, just perpetuated the status quo. It didn’t help women and men have more egalitarian relationships. Sheesh, the author keep mentioning men first and women second.

        • What male Privalege?
          Oh cry me a river…
          So sad poor little snowflake ms. Bolick is having trouble getting the perfect man to go with her perfect education…
          Do I hear violins?
          Oh how my heart aches for her.

          Men who have achieved a certain level of success and are finicky about their choice of partners will flat out own up to the fact that they are in large part total  A-Holes. How I wish these Hypergamous women would follow that example.

          And instad of blaming men for any and everything that happens in a women’s love life may  I recommend that you occasionally look  in to the problem of free will vs traditionalism. 

          See men with free will have greater aspersions then reaching the fantasy criteria  of some narcissist looking for a man to walk on eggshells and jump through hoops for her approval.

          The same goes for Women and Men foolish demands. That’s life where does that become a Privlege not having to deal with someone else’s crap?

        • “Sheesh, the author keep mentioning men first and women second.”

          Why would that surprise you on a men’s forum for discussing men’s issues? Women are not always the focus, you know.

        • Anonymous Male says:

          Marilyn,
          Perhaps it’s *slightly* easier for a man to find a mate, but it can’t be a whole lot easier. I mean, when a man finds a mate that means a woman has found a mate, too, right? (yes, heteronormative here, I realize.) He can’t find one without a woman finding him, so it’s just about 50-50, isn’t it?

    • LOL, Copyleft beat me to the punch and said it far more succinctly.

      Philomena, all I can ask is, seriously? Just what falls outside of ‘male privilege’ in your opinion? Please tell me you are trying (and failing) to be ironic. If your intent was actually sarcasm you also fail, miserably. Is your idea of ‘male privilege’ is a man, any man, expressing a desire for a fulfilling, respectful, loving and engaging partnership with another person? That isn’t privilege, that is rational, reasonable, and completely equitable desire.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        Having a male reproductive appendage and its accompanying hormonal and gamete-producing millinery is apparently male privilege. Freud said a mouthful with that one.

  28. This might be the best article that was ever written on this site (not to put down any of the other writers). Perfect response to the Atlantic article. You took into account everything that she didn’t , particularly the fact that no one is just “a good man” all the time forever–that it changes constantly and responds to life and experiences, and the fact that women can be players and deadbeats too at certain points in life. Additionally, I think she idealizes her relationship with Allan. I want to comment more, but I have to go now. Thanks again for this article!

    My favorite lines:

    “I think all men and women in today’s dating dynamic have the capability to be in varying degrees the good man, the good woman, the player, and the deadbeat. Times change, as do perspectives, needs, and wants. All of these are constantly in flux. Someone who is a player one year might be a deadbeat the next year. Someone who is ready to settle down one year may find him- or herself in a completely different state of mind the next. Meeting the right person at the right time is no easy feat, after all.

    It makes sense that the dating scene is at odds with itself because more and more of the working population are attacking their lives individualistically. They’re developing their professional life prior to taking a compromising approach with a partner. Furthermore, social spheres tend to dwindle as people age—friends from college, graduate school, clubs, even happy hours lose touch, contacts and networks drop off.

    Frustrating to think that there are good women out there saying there are no good men left, that there are good men saying the same thing about women.”

  29. I’m with Lori. Great job, Mike!

  30. “It is not the story of good men, many of who are struggling with the same issues as Bolick herself. Good men navigating a dating scene of women players and women deadbeats. Good men who feel similar, traditional pressures as women to marry and settle down. Good men who try to cope with being single later and later into their adult lives. The severity or stress of these pressures may not equal that placed on women, but that doesn’t make them any less real or any less poignant.” YES. My experience is that this does go both ways.

    I have to say, I rarely read articles that are written so fairly and evenly. And you have my gratitude for writing something that is not inflammatory, but is, rather, so productive. I hope the comment thread remains this reasonable and civil and free of gender bashing. You deserve a substantive dialogue on a very well-thought-out, well-articulated article. Really, really great post.

  31. Nice article Mike.
    I thought the same things while I was reading Bolick’s piece.
    I’m glad you could put it into words, and so adroitly.

  32. (Oops: “willing TO pay”)

  33. This is a fairly evenhanded evaluation; thank you, Mike. One thing that struck me about Bolick’s original article was that the notion of a “good WOMAN” never came up, even once. She never addressed–or even considered–the question of whether women are measuring up to men’s standards.

    The “marketplace” does indeed change when people arrive at their 30s and 40s. So as the ones facing a scarcity problem, perhaps more women should be considering whether they’ve priced themselves out of the market–charging more than most men are willing pay.

    • “Charging more than most men are willing to pay?” What does that mean exactly?

      • In terms of the marketplace metaphor, what does the woman offer–and is it worth the man’s time and attention? A lot of women seem to feel entitled to “a good man’s” efforts without asking whether they’re giving equal value in return.

        • Well I don’t believe in the “marketplace metaphor” in relationships, but of course anyone should enter into any relationship with something to offer. Granted, a lot of good qualities are under-valued in the dating world, and more superficial ones over-valued, so that is a problem.

  34. I really liked this article especially the sections referencing men and women finding ways to meet each other in the middle.

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet I encourage you to check it out. It’s fairly long so takes a bit to get through, but is well worth the read. I’ve read it a few times already and it provoked new thoughts for me each time (there’s also a nice response by Mike Dunn on the Good Men Project titled “All the Single Men.” […]

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