Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Women and Men, Cats and Dogs

Over at Meridian Magazine today, I share a little tough love with the single men of the world. And I know without any doubt that what I have to say is making more than a few people angry.
There's women of an older generation disagreeing with every last word I wrote. Men whining that it can't possibly be their fault (although I guarantee you none of them are trying very hard). And there's a lot of single women in their 30s singing Hallelujah, someone understands me!
If you don't know what I'm talking about - go check it out.
And after you have read it (and feel free to leave a comment), feel free to come back here and read these other two articles that don't disagree too much with me either!
(my article) How the Sexual Revolution Killed the Common Date
Where Have All the Good Women Gone
Why Are Men Angry


  1. don't complain12:35 PM

    You write a lot about this topic, but I have to wonder if your long held beliefs even hold water. Does sharing tough love with the single men of the world make them want you any more than they do? Do you understand men at all or are you expecting them to love and cherish you because you exist? If this method is working for you, keep it up. If not, make a change. Ask some men what attracts them to women or how you can approach them better.

  2. Anonymous12:08 AM

    As a 27 year old guy, I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I look around at many men of today and I don't think many of them are willing to do anything that requires effort even in things beyond sex and dating. In my grad program, all of the women are pretty smart and have it together. But some of the guys, well, they might as well still be in high school. Our culture glorifies being able to do what you want. When I got married, I had been living on my own for several years. Even though I knew that my marriage and my wife would be awesome, it was still a little bit of a struggle for me to put away the free single guy mentality.

  3. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Call me Anonymous2, I guess.

    One thing I've noticed (even when it isn't quite 4:1) is some (or many) of the women "give up", and quit paying attention to what men there actually *are* there. Combine that with the number of women who are very shallow, or flat-out ignore eligible men, and the number shifts closer to .5:1. I think "Why men are Angry" article has (at least part of it) right--women have a "stated preference for nice guys and actual attraction to bad boys", which means, if you are a "nice guy", you're pretty much out of luck.
    On something mentioned in your article (and previously here)--what could/should have the men at the Activity done to "impress the women"? I ask because I considered going to that specific activity, but having 35 (of the 40) women ignore one is not my idea of a fun weekend. Well, that, and I don't ski, which was the ostensible purpose of the activity...

  4. Anonymous2-
    I drove 4.5 hours to attend that activity. And I don't ski. But I live in a town where dating an LDS guy is a joke. My pickings are so slim that they are non-existent (unless I want to marry a second or third cousin, and I don't). I was extremely motivated to attend the activity.
    But not all that surprising, when I got there, I already knew 8 of the 10 guys. In fact, 3-4 of them are good friends of mine. Guys I have known forever - from the singles wards. There were exactly 2 guys there I had never met or seen before. One was very nice and became my friend. The only reason I had never met him before (as it turns out) is that he was always "Alexandria" and I was always "Langley" before. We just never crossed paths. The other guy was pleasant enough, but paid me no mind. No big deal.
    But what hit me was how out of 40 women there (roughly! it could have been more like 50) that I only knew tops 5 of them by name, and recognized maybe only 5 more. And yet I knew 8 of the 10 guys.
    The reason being that its always the same guys who attend every single activity. I have openly teased a few of these guys for years for having "harems." A nice circle of girls who do everything for them. These particular guys have no reason to pick a girl and settle down, now do they?
    Because I suspect one of the guys there may read this, and he is far from that type of guy, I will put that disclaimer out there. Not all guys are like that. He is the exception to the rule.
    The guys weren't milling about, trying to get to know the girls. (I wasn't the only girl who drove a long distance to be there, I might add. I discovered several of the women had done so!) The guys were quite literally sitting in one place letting the girls come to them.
    But then, why shouldn't they?
    Not all girls like the bad guy. In fact, I for one can't stand the bad guy routine. I don't like so buttoned up as to be annoying and pious either. I'm personally looking for a young Mitt Romney type. But if I admit that, you'll just tell me my standards are too high, right?
    So I'll put it out there plain and simple-
    I want an active, Temple going (not just worth), LDS man, with a passion for anything except video games and alternative music (because both repulse me), good friendships and relationships with his family, that I perceive to be smarter and stronger-willed than me, without an argumentative side (I like a good challenge and competition, but hate someone who argues or criticizes everything I do), who can appreciate and support the fact that I don't take a back seat anywhere, ever. He can't belittle others ever (this is a deal breaker).
    A guy like that isn't the guy who lets the girls plan all the parties and invite him out every week.
    You want to impress the women? You take charge. You go first. You show them you care.
    Really, all any women wants- EVER- is to know a man cares. He cares about what she did that day (he listens). He cares about what happens to her (he helps her get there). He cares that the activity goes well (by helping with planning, and participating, and showing up).
    There, you now have the secret to all dating and women.
    Women don't want to waste their time on the same 10 guys over and over and over again. If he hasn't asked her out over the last 10 years, why should she waste her time on him now?
    And if you want to impress a girl - you do something that shows you CARE.

    Ladies- anyone want to help me out here?

  5. Dear Don't Complain,

    Have you noticed that she writes a column for/about LDS singles? That's sort of the topic.

    She has also written a number of columns about the prides and the failures of LDS singles wards and activities.
    That's a couple of categories. I'm sure if she had any great successes to share - either hers or of others' - she'd be THRILLED to write about them.
    Have you any brilliant topics for her? Maybe your ward does some brilliant outreach to singles that other LDS wards could duplicate? If not, what do you think they COULD or SHOULD do? Tell Erin! She has lots of ideas, and she writes about them - and then readers crab about how singles should do all that stuff for themselves - ironically.

    It does make me wonder - why there is not a counter-singles-column... written by a man in that magazine. Hmmm?

    Anonymous 2,

    your quote; "some (or many) of the women "give up", and quit paying attention to what men there actually *are* there. "

    OF COURSE the women are going to quit paying attention to the men they see over and over and NEVER DO ANYTHING!
    Sheesh... how many times do you light a dud firecracker - expecting it to finally put on a show?

    Let us ask you... when you go to these events and see these same women... what do you do? Do you approach them, do you engage them in conversation? Show an interest in them? Do you ask them do dance? Can you talk about something other than that one awesome scene in "The Fast and the Furious"?

    Remember, (Proverbs 31:10) "When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls."
    I know pearls don't seem like much in today's marketplace... compared to an iPad or something... but think about it.
    A pearl doesn't run around and fling itself around someone's neck. If you want to find a pearl, you go to the ocean floor, pry open an oyster and look for one.
    There may not be one there. On to more oysters. But to find something valuable, you have to seek it out.

    That's sort of the point of all those articles... men have stopped seeking anything out. (not just men, women too - if we follow my consumer society analogy here for a minute.) because today, anything of value is advertised to us... screaming that we have to have it... and if that's not enticing enough... they'll put it on sale ... deep discounts. And guess what.. everyone else has one too. The very same thing. Nothing unique about that xbox, or iPhone or Porsche even.

    So if you want that valuable pearl... you're going to have to do some digging.
    At a social event that means, getting out of your seat or your comfortable corner and approaching a woman.
    Someone in comments to Erin's column mentioned being shy... and I admit I don't have much advice for that... but if it's easier or less frightening to work in groups do that. (I think that's what the LDS group dating was supposed to be about before it crippled all the men)
    Get your buddy to go up to a group of 2-3 women with you. Talk about hobbies. Ask what they like.
    I've read a lot of articles informing women that men don't like to break into a group of women... but I say if you haven't singled one out - talk to the group. If there's interest it will be obvious. The other two women will fall off, leaving you with the one who is most likely interested in you.

    Also, since we know that men like to approach a woman outside of her group... we have learned to occasionally break out of our pack. Ever see a woman go off to get a drink or a cupcake or something all by herself and walk VERY slowly back to her girls? She's purposely creating an opening for a man to approach.
    But to notice that, you have to be paying attention to the women!

    (contintued... whoops, sorry Erin!)

  6. It's my position that women should not have to seek out the interest of a man.

    Some of those comments suggested that women should ask men out once in a while. Ask ANY SINGLE WOMAN, and you will learn that she HAS! As an occasional exception to the rule, such an effort might lead to a relationship - but I can tell you - it doesn't work. While a man might like to be asked out, ultimately if it wasn't his idea - he's not that interested. Sure, he'll go out with her.. .but if he wasn't interested in her to begin with, he's probably not going to develop great interest in her later.

    God designed men to be the pursuers. Sorry boys, it's your job.

    That is not to say that women shouldn't show interest when she's interested. Of course she should and she will. But learn how to respond to it guys!

    Just a couple weeks ago, I was having lunch at a restaurant and noticed a cute single guy... he ate alone at a separate table and I eyed him to see if he might notice me. He did. We caught each other looking several times. I smiled at him. He smiled.
    I lingered over my plate after I was done... to give him an opportunity to approach.
    When he got up, he tossed his soda cup... and looked back at me TWICE! Both times he saw me seeing him... and he did nothing!
    What was I supposed to do... get up and chase him down?
    Ultimately, I surmise a case like that and think... if he's not brave enough to approach me... he's not man enough for me anyway.

    The way I see it... very few men are seeking a worthy wife. I have had my guy friends tell me... "when I find the perfect girl, I'll ask her out." Well good luck with that!
    I really think men just expect someone to fall out of the sky - or that right woman will be real obvious to them... maybe just five paces to the left of that burning bush Moses!

    Erin's right. We want a man who is going to show he cares. Starting with, he cares about God's plan for himself. He cares about people in general.
    Women like to plan things, dinners, events... a group trip to the go-cart place. Rather than sit back and show up for the things they've planned.... go talk to a woman, find out what she likes and plan a date.
    YOU HAVE TO GO ON DATES! A date is not a wedding. relax. just go talk. go laugh.
    if she's not for you, you'll both know it - but don't be so afraid of it that you don't do it.

    Faint heart never won fair lady. (Never)

    Oh sheesh I could go on and on... but now my comment is longer than Erin's column and that's making me look bad!

  7. Anonymous4:38 AM

    You want a man that doesn't belittle people? Stop belittling men in your articles. Men want a woman who cares too. Are you showing that you care by passing the baton off and saying, you make the first move? (And asking a man out is not the first move. That is emasculinating.)

  8. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Anonymous 2, again. I posted this a few hours ago, but it isn't showing up, so this is a second try at it...

    erinannie, no, I don't think you're setting your standards too high. The way I read it, you've identified key requirements (from Temple going to not belittling), and some "nice to haves" e.g., Romneyesque, not annoying, etc. I think women (and men, too, for that matter) set their standards too high when they consider *everything* on a wish list a key requirement, and have no room for some positives to outweigh negatives. They don't distinguish between "must have", and "nice to have".
    The real question I'm looking to have answered, though, wasn't, "what should a guy be like?" because we are all what/who we are. Rather, "What should a guy have done at that event?" i.e., circulated among all the women, talked to a small group, etc. Because, those are actions, and can be chosen/changed.

    TRS, the part where you quoted me on men not being there? What I had in mind is rather a guy is new to a group, but women have quit looking, so they don't see. To use your analogy, no ones is lighting that firecracker, not because it's a dud, but because they don't even realize there's a firecracker there.
    Here's what I do when I go to these events: Yes, I do approach women, show an interest in them and attempt to engage them in conversation. However, they either ignore me, or give a cold shoulder, especially when they're with their little cliques. But, they'll talk to the "cool" guys, but the "cools" have their pick, so why should they bother with cliques? Now, this isn't all women, but I'd say it's 90% of them. And yes, I can talk about things other than video games and action movies (although why anyone would bring those topics up in conversation with a women unless she expressed interest first is beyond me).
    I agree, women should not have to seek out the interest of a man. However, they should at respond when a man expresses interest in them. Also, I don't know what your guy friends are thinking--how can you know someone is "the perfect girl" if you haven't gone out with her, and learned who she is?


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