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Why Date?

Is it really worth it?
Nov. 6, 2011
”Tiring women are forever asking me why my family and I have had so many husbands. Is it not possible for them to understand that you fall in love, but you also fall out of love?”
-   Zsa Zsa Gabor
”Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
-   I Cor. 13:4-7 (New Living Translation)

Those who have followed the missives I’ve posted here know that dating has been a less than rewarding experience for me. Not that it’s a vacation in the Garden of Eden for women of course, but my experience as well as that of most single men I’ve talked to has led me to conclude that guys face a unique set of challenges.

I’ve written elsewhere about the well-documented tendency of women to be excessively picky toward nice guys and gravitate toward dangerous and emotionally unavailable men (Jonason et al., 2009; Urbaniak & Killman, 2003; Bogaert & Fisher, 1995; Sadalla, Kenrick, & Vershure, 1985). Now to guys who want to play the field and indulge in hot, cost-free sexual dalliances this is good news. The Seduction Community has spent the last 30 years or so perfecting an arsenal of tactics that a majority of women can to at least some degree be counted on to respond to, including those who loudly insist that they hate such men (, 2011;, 2011). With a little confidence, style, and a willingness to be dishonest and manipulative they’re fairly straightforward to learn, and once mastered, a man can count on a well-stocked harem of women vying for his attention. For guys who are rich the news is even better. With a six-figure income a guy can literally buy down a woman’s standards even without lies and manipulation, and an annual income of $250,000 to $300,000 will all but guarantee her devotion regardless of his character, appearance, or how he treats her (Hitsch et al., 2005; Shackelford et al., 2005; Buss & Schmidtt, 1993; Berscheid et al., 1971; Greenlees & McGrew, 1994; Goode, 1996; Bereczkei et al., 1997).

But to those of us who long for something more… to love, honor, and cherish a woman, to be her sweetie, lover, and best friend, to mingle our tears and joys with hers and build a loving life together… it’s pretty damn depressing.

Most of the single guys I’ve known fall into one of two categories: Those who have hardened themselves emotionally toward women in the interest of succeeding, and those who have resigned themselves to loneliness. The former group includes everyone from outright players and manipulators to otherwise decent men who have managed to find relationships (for the time being anyway) but limit their emotional presence and commitment level to varying degrees so as to avoid the appearance of being too available. The latter group has for the most part sworn off dating altogether, out of disgust toward women or a belief that love just isn’t in the cards for them and they best make their peace with that and get on with their lives.

What they all have in common is utter bewilderment at my own attitude toward dating. Across the board those who have read my online dating profiles say I’m out of my mind. Why on earth, they ask, would I dare to wear my heart on my sleeve the way I do and talk of tenderness, sincerity and trustworthiness? Don’t I know that women are fascinated with a challenge, and emotional availability and trustworthiness are the surest ways to drive them off? Don’t I know that all the complaining they do about emotionally distant men who can’t commit is just talk… that in the end that’s what they will always respond to? Why on earth would I be foolish enough to actually listen to what they say they want instead of relying on what hard factual experience has consistently shown they will choose?

Much as I hate to admit it, they have a point. Over the years most of these guys, like me, have found that as far as nice guys are concerned, a woman’s affection is, above all else, fragile. She may be interested at the moment… present, pursuing, caring, even passionate. But that is no guarantee whatsoever that she still will be even 10 minutes from now. No matter how well things are going, in the absence of any challenge, sexual tension, or uncertainty about you in her heart, the slightest misstep, or even a mood change can undo weeks of emotional investment and send her running. More often than not, what countless women glibly refer to as “chemistry” ends up being little more than a passing hormonal breeze or a childhood issue of some kind that is never thoughtfully examined or prayed about. And when it gets right down to it, most guys just aren’t willing to risk a commitment on anything this flaky. Whatever else they might be accused of, they are not stupid. Why would they invest their hearts and souls in something they ultimately cannot count on… in a “love” that no matter what they say, think, or do, could at any moment evaporate as easily and inexplicably as a passing breeze? Many of these guys have told me that they occasionally turn to strip clubs for fun and sexual satisfaction. In their more honest moments most admit that this doesn’t satisfy the deepest longings in their hearts, but if nothing else, they say, at least they can depend on it. After all, in a world where a woman’s “chemistry” for genuinely nice guys may not be around even 10 minutes from now, $100 will virtually guarantee them the doting attention of a stripper for at least 30 minutes and a few lap dances to boot.

What I hear again and again from single guys is that the surest way they’ve found to circumvent the emotional fragility of the women in their lives is to keep them guessing. Be caring, but only enough to pique her sense of intrigue… string her along with a challenge. Whatever you do, never, ever, allow her to believe that you’re going to sign a lease when you can go month-to-month. Once again, in their more candid moments many of these guys will admit that they aren’t truly happy with this. In the secret corners of their hearts they too long to love, honor and cherish a woman until death do them part, and be likewise cherished in return. But they’ve come to believe that genuine love, the kind that transcends mere sentiment, lust, or “chemistry,” is an inaccessible dream whereas the emotional guessing game will at least keep women in their lives for a while. True, most women will only endure drama for a limited time—a few months or perhaps even years—before moving on in disgust. But that’s a few months or years that they’ve had someone on their arm and in their bed. And even though she eventually leaves, the emotional guessing game will quickly land them someone else who will then keep them in company and sex for another few months or years… and so on. This is what has consistently worked for them…and in their minds it beats the inevitable loneliness and celibacy they would be forced to endure at the hands of women if they were genuinely nice guys.

I have no doubt that all this is true, if not for all women then certainly for a significant majority. My own experience has repeatedly borne it out, and so has the bulk of published research on dating and relationships. But for my part, I couldn’t care less. I am not, never have been, and never will be happy with this kind of life. Whether they secretly desire it or not, the thought of treating women this way makes me physically ill.


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