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Why aren’t they just as keen as we are to know “where things are going” early on in the relationship? I particularly love your list of what sucks about being single.A lot of men my age seem uninterested in a committed relationship, seeming to prefer a more casual “low investment, low return” approach to relationships. As a guy who was single for 35 years, I completely agree and think that – all things remaining equal – having a good relationship is a far superior state of being than being alone.(This does not mean that I look down on single people or think you should be in an unsatisfying relationship so, please, spare me the complaints.)But what gets me the most excited, Elaine, is that you’ve forced me to consider something that I’ve never actually considered before: Why Don’t Men Hate Being Single As Much as Women Do? What I have going for me, though, is charm – or charisma – or magnetism – or whatever you call it. It’s not so great when many men I know either hit on me or end up developing feelings for me, and I keep having to do the rejection dances and often losing people I like and/or need.I’m confident and funny and I listen well and I’m truly interested in other people. Illustrative incident: a great new cafe opened up near work, and I have been there every day this past week meeting various people (a friend, a first date, a volunteer coordinator, my writer’s group). I was shielded from this for a long time because I was married.On Friday, the barista came up to my table and said she’d really like to get to know me because she loved the interesting conversations I had with so many people, and she doesn’t even care that that sounds creepy. But I’ve recently gotten divorced, and this THING just keeps on happening. Like, my contractor, who is fully 25 years older than I am, says flirty things all the time and texts me that we should run away to an island together.IDK how to get him to back off without risking losing this thing rarer than unicorns – a good, affordable contractor.
What if it had been someone I actually need to work with? A casual friend who happened to go through a divorce at the same time as me tried really hard to get with me just because it was happening to us at the same time. This guy is sweet and kind and as two people who are working on memoirs, we know some deep shit about each other. The blame and socialization you received from childhood is backed up by our sexist culture – as in, a non-zero number of these men would probably readily agree that it’s a little bit your fault they like you that way and it’s a lot your job to make them feel better about it, and that sucks, but that still doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that they’re right about any of this! ), maybe work on detaching from these guys and their feelings and find a way to practice reminding yourself that it’s not your work to soothe them or to make yourself smaller (SERIOUSLY, THAT’S YOUR WRITING, YOU GET TO KEEP DOING YOUR WRITING) in order to soothe them.Surely these things apply to men just as much as women?If this is the case, why aren’t men jumping up and down with excitement when they meet someone they connect with, like we are?This takes care of most of a man’s basic needs – for companionship, for laughs, for fun.
As I look at that list, it occurs to me that most of my clients who are perfectly content being single are satisfied with their female friendships. This is unfortunate and short-sighted because nobody dies thinking that he wishes he had a 72” Sony instead of a 64” Vizio. Women, who are, in general, more emotional and intuitive, are more likely to define their lives by their relationships.I’m as sensitive as they come and I talk to my best friends in New York about once a month. Women – at least my clients – can only date .0001% of men.