Where have all the good men gone?

Behold the agonies of a Guardian reader, who is looking for a man:

I am 31, with a successful career, friends, my own home and a close family, but I struggle to find relationships with men.

What’s that “but” doing there? Men, in the main, don’t care if a woman has a successful career or her own home (unless he’s a bum), and they are as likely to see friends and a close family as drawbacks rather than assets. How many of your mates are also single?

Now the time has come where I want to settle down.

At 31 the men in her dating pool will be between 33 and 40. She can find one who is handsome, smart, and single: pick any two.

I usually meet men online, though never really pass date three – this often being my decision. I find it difficult to “fancy” men I have met online, though I have fancied those I’ve met in real life. Sadly these encounters recently have led no further.

Translation: the men I want to be with are already married. All that’s left are men I don’t want to be with.

I usually find it’s the same reason I end up finishing with men online. They were not confident enough, not willing to take a lead, and I don’t feel sexually attracted to them.

If they were confident and willing to take the lead, they’d have snaffled a partner long ago. Remember those guys who used to chat you up when you were 25 but you turned down? Not looking so bad now, are they?

I really want a long-term relationship that leads to family life, but I don’t know how to find it.

This is a bit like a 31 year old man deciding he wants a military career.

The advice she receives isn’t bad, but it isn’t half dressed up:

First, change your criteria. If you’re looking for a long and meaningful relationship instant sexual frisson might need to slip down your priority list.

In other words, she needs to drop the lofty standards she believes she’s entitled to and come to terms with the fact that she’s going to have to select from the blokes who are sat in front of her, not the married men in the office.

You should never force yourself to endure a physical relationship with someone you don’t fancy, but it can take more than one date for people to reveal themselves.

Underneath that beer gut and bald plate is a wonderful personality.

It might be better to pause your rigorous appraisal process and learn to make friends first.

A veiled reference to the modern woman’s 277 bullet-point list of requirements every partner must satisfy.

I suspect your determination to secure a lasting relationship could be the very reason it’s eluding you.

Your expectations are unrealistic, and you come across as desperate.

Life can’t be programmed to deliver the moment we want it to. We have to embrace the mystery and surprises along with the frustrations.

It’s not going to just land in your lap, dear. You need to work on this a little, starting with yourself.

This young lass could have saved herself the trouble of writing to the Guardian by listening to Grandma.


63 thoughts on “Where have all the good men gone?

  1. Julia,
    You’re making a common mistake. You don’t mature then have a child, you have a child and that makes you mature. It’s like there’s this whole bit of your brain marked “parent” that gets switched on when the little person arrives. My wife and I were early twenties when my son was born. You just get on with it.

  2. They all appear to marry/begin having children in their late 30s. Sure, that’s just anecdotal. But also, in Australia the proportion of males who enter their first marriage between the age of 34-39 is approximately 12.2%.

    Ah, I see the problem: too many women are stuck in their twenties waiting for their Australian boyfriends to mature. 😉

    More seriously, this is a cultural thing which you find a lot in Anglo-Saxon societies and in western European countries. Russian women, for example, would not tolerate living with a man for the best part of a decade without their getting married (or starting a family). They have an expectation that if the relationship lasts more than a year or two, they’d better damned well get married or he’s not serious and she should look elsewhere. I knew one Russian lady who was engaged for a year and never told anyone: as far as she was concerned, until she is actually married her options are open. She did marry the guy, thankfully.

    I’m not saying the Russian approach to marriage is one to be emulated: normally they marry the first person they meet aged 18, divorce at 20, and spend the next ten years looking for someone they actually like. But they do avoid the trap of living with a guy between 24 and 33 who then says “y’know, I don’t think this is working for me”. There should be a happy medium somewhere,

  3. Hi Tim,
    Yep, I wouldn’t disagree with you there… You’ve been to adelaide, you can see what we have to work with maturity wise. Also would agree that this appears to be common in anglo/western Europe based on my limited experience. A happy medium is probably best. I also admire my female russian friend’s ability to cut through bullshit.

    And Roue, perhaps your approach worked better in your generation, but I suspect there was a higher maturity baseline generally. In my job, I get to deal with the results of poor parenting and it’s pretty awful.

  4. @juliaeryn – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we have a classical womans reaction. As follows:

    Mr Newman linked to a newspaper article by a woman that asked essentially why men are reluctant to marry. Just about every posting above is trying to tell you that for men, the game is not worth the candle but you refuse to take on board what is being explained.

    You state “there is no way I am going to spend time responding to such loaded ‘questions’ that are irrelevant to my main. Tone down the rhetoric”.

    There are a number of points to raise from your dismissal of the questions I posed:

    1) You appear to want answers but refuse to examine the reasons I asked those questions. The answers, if you truly thought about them would give you the answer you require. In short, women offer virtually nothing to a man in marriage, want everything and if they are not “happy” then they win the lottery of divorce financially.

    2) The questions were not loaded (IMO) but meant to get you to THINK and look at things from the male perspective – a forlorn hope.

    3) You ask why men won’t marry up. The answers to those questions are the reason why men won’t. Therefore they ARE relevant.

    4) I would point out that this is not your blog but Mr. Newmans. If he objects to my postings and comments, it is his prerogative, and his alone, to tell me to “tone down my rhetoric”, to cease and desist or block me, not you. But there again, typically for a woman, you want to control everything arrange everything in all aspects of life to suit women and disenfranchise men.

    You appear to have dismissed everything that everyone here is trying to tell you and come back to “it is mens fault for not being mature/not committing” and flatly refusing to examine womens behaviour that might be contributing to mens attitude. I consider that trying to engage with you in discussion is pointless so will move on from this thread. Instead, I’ll be buying shares in cat litter and cat food companies. It should prove profitable in the years to come.

  5. Phil b,
    Well, I can only defer to the intelligence of the other commenters to judge whether I have actually acted as you claim. I think it’s relatively clear, but perhaps that’s my own bias coming through.
    I suggested ‘toning down the rhetoric’ if you wanted considered answers to your “questions” that you addressed to me specifically. But I really have no interest in how you speak or act. by all means carry on.
    At least we both agree that we won’t get anything useful out of one another!

  6. Isn’t this a case of Briffault’s law?

    As: in she doesn’t really want/have a genuine use for a man and thus, isn’t really trying to find one hard enough.

    (So to speak)

  7. But they do avoid the trap of living with a guy between 24 and 33 who then says “y’know, I don’t think this is working for me”. There should be a happy medium somewhere,

    My daughter is 25 and has been going out with a nice enough lad for 3 years. My wife has decided to have a word: if this relationship is not heading for marriage, then time to move on. The daughter will tell her to get stuffed, but the seed will have been planted.

    She has seen too many friends/ workmates turn 30 or 35 and suddenly realise that their relationship is going nowhere.

    Or worse again, having split from their partner because he was unwilling to marry or have kids, watching their ex-partner marry someone 5 or 10 years younger and have several kids quickly.

  8. Or worse again, having split from their partner because he was unwilling to marry or have kids, watching their ex-partner marry someone 5 or 10 years younger and have several kids quickly.

    Yes, I’ve seen this one before as well, a case of “He said he didn’t want to get married and have kids, but what he meant was he didn’t want to do that with me”.

    In both cases that I saw it the guys were living with older women and by the time she put forward the “shotgun proposal” they were both sufficiently well established in their careers to take a pass.

    In both circumstances the replacement was younger and with a more pleasant attitude than the ex, but maybe this is just a case of “baby rabies” making them crazy.

    The “I’m an intelligent, self established feminist” crowd don’t seem to realise how off putting this attitude is to most guys.

  9. In both circumstances the replacement was younger and with a more pleasant attitude than the ex, but maybe this is just a case of “baby rabies” making them crazy

    My wife’s take on most of the women she knew was that it was a slow realisation that they wanted marriage and kids, leading to growing disappointment when their partner clearly didn’t want either.

    The male perspective: this wasn’t in the deal

    The female perspective: we are not 25 anymore.

    My own view is that most men are capable as living as adolescents indefinitely until responsibility is forced on them. In the past, societal pressure to marry and have kids did the job- the Evil Patriarchy

  10. My daughter is 25 and has been going out with a nice enough lad for 3 years. My wife has decided to have a word: if this relationship is not heading for marriage, then time to move on.

    Your wife is a wise woman.

  11. Hi james,
    I completely agree. I hope things go smoothly as possible with your daughter. How wonderful she has you and your wife looking out for her. And how wonderful you have realistic expectations as to how that will go in the short term. But I’m sure you are right and the seed will be planted…

  12. My Name is Barkley. I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from engage to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Germany the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday.My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my my girl friend called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit i have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to priest_fadhili_chausiku@ priest. com, I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck.

  13. Oh, but WHERE have all the GOOD MEN gone?!? (WHATGMG?)

    hahaha. Oh my, such salty tears.

    There has never been a better time to remain in perpetual adolescence for the young men wise enough to avoid marriage, or become MGTOW for a man who’s already gone through the divorce meat grinder once.

    While the ladies follow the script feminists have written for them, men are enjoying the easy access to sex and saying “No thanks” to that big commitment that is RIFE with risk and quite honestly, a lot of emotional drudgery and mind-numbing female antics.

    You’re just not as AWESOME as you think you are, no matter how many “likes” your cohort of girlfriends give you on Facebook.

    You’re 30-something, with a career and 10-years of promiscuity behind you, maybe 1 or 2 kids and an STI or two… and now you’re thinking you can turn away from all that freedom and be a GOOD WIFE AND MOTHER?!

    LMAO. No, dears, you’re a terrible prospect for a wife. A massive risk – flight risk – and all of the divorce and family law courts are massively in your favor.

    What does a bitter old MGTOW like me have to do with it? I’m telling every young man in a relationship who will listen to me to keep drinking that free milk but to never buy the COW! And they’re listening to us men, because our stories are real, the pain is real, the loss is real, the devastation is real and we have nothing to gain through the humiliation of sharing our stories.

    The only satisfaction we get is knowing that if we save just ONE MAN from the divorce meat-grinder and joke of the family law system our activism was WORTH IT.

    Laugh all you want. But make sure your next apartment allows cats. 😉

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