The Big Problem With Dating Men These Days


baggage department signIn my quest to find a committed relationship, I am forced to date. I say forced because I don't do dating well. While my friends encourage me to enjoy the getting-to-know-you part of falling in love, I prefer the comfort that comes in already knowing someone well. I like the familiarity that allows a relationship to feel real, and I enjoy the security (as much as there is security in life and relationships) in knowing a partner will be there for me.

After two years of dating, I have come to the conclusion that dating sucks. Maybe it's where I'm at in life (mid-30s or, more likely, Los Angeles), but whatever the reason, I find myself continuously wondering why I can't seem to find a right guy. Most of the guys I date ask me why I'm single, but then, when I want more, the ones I want tend to want less. 

Maybe men are more practical, and when they see a potential "dating hazard" (like commitment), they make the appropriate adjustments to deal with the situation before it gets out of control. Maybe I'm too much of a dreamer, or an optimist, thinking everything will figure itself out in time. Whatever it is, I know I'm a grow-er, not a show-er, meaning guys don't generally fall in love with me at first sight, even though I usually get a second date. Men like me more as they get to know me, so I just expect they'll continue to keep liking me more and more if they let themselves get to know me better.

The problem is they get stuck in some middle space. And then, when we're in dating limbo, I get frustrated, too. When he can't commit to just dating me now, or when he can't get over something his ex did, I can't stick around either. Whatever it is, men need to claim their own baggage too and deal with it

My problem may be that I know what I want and knowing what I want scares some of the men that I date. I want a partner, not a part-time lover. And yes, I let the men I date know this, too. As someone who facilitates conversation around sex and relationships, I'm not being honest with myself if I don't let them know that I'm not looking for casual sex anymore. It may be my timing. I may let them know too soon (within the first month) and that could be the deal-breaker. But if a guy can see the potential too, why can't he just go with it anyway? 

I've heard stories from other women my age who talk about similar situations. In the early stages of a relationship, a guy drops the "you're too old" card, or the "I don't want a family" one. Or he just plain gets up and leaves and never phones again.

Recently, a smart, well-educated, grounded man told me that he was afraid he'd hurt me because this relationship wasn't going to last forever. And so I asked him, what lasts forever? Maybe uranium or plutonium, but what human experience lasts forever? 

How difficult was it for you to find your right man? Are you still looking?

Image via Noël Zia Lee/Flickr

dating, commitment, love


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sarap... sarapunkinpie88

No, I just didn't worry about it, and then we fell in love. You just have to have fun.

Who tells someone within the first month you want a serious relationship? That's your first bad move right there. You don't say that or sleep with them until month 6.

Melis... Melissa042807

I dated for a couple of years, went on a lot of first dates but not a lot of second dates, and got to the "dating sucks" point and decided to take a break.

Then I met my husband. Of course. Go figure. :-)

Em Chappell-Root

My husband and I went into our relationship sick and tired of dating, knowing the other was looking for a lifemate and partner, and with the understanding that if we didn't have chemistry, we'd still be friends. 7 years, 3 kids, and a lot of fighting and making up later, we've still got that commitment. We talked for a MONTH, from when I got home from work at midnight, until he had to leave for work at 7AM, before our first date, and were engaged by the end of our first date. We aren't from any crazy religions or cults, we just knew we didn't want to waste our time on people who weren't serious and break our hearts, and that relationships are work, so we made a commitment to each other. We've had a hell of a journey, there were times when both of us thought, "What the HELL were we thinking?" but we remember that commitment to each other and how we felt, and we keep getting through and getting better.

Lulu_B Lulu_B

I definitely wasn't looking for a husband, or even a serious relationship, and then, BAM, one of my friends and I realized that we were totally meant fo each other. It kind of came out of nowhere. One night we were just like, I can totally see myself spending the rest of my life with you. Three weeks later (we were long distance at the time, so this was the next time we were actually in the same state) we were engaged. It's kind of weird to tell people we only dated for three weeks, but we already knew each other so well. We were really good friends for three years. So, obviously, I am a big believer in friendship first--no dating games, no mess, no frustration. Well, at least, that's how it worked out for me!

nonmember avatar Dayl

I'm early 30's and I also live in L.A. and all I can say is that I feel your pain girlfriend.

Samal... Samallama

I've never really "dated". The concept of dating has always seemed like such a business deal to me. When I was younger the few serious relationships I had became about because of friendships that eventually added sex into the equation, for whatever reason. 

Then I met my current SO through work when I was 20, and we didn't even admit we were a couple (to ourselves or anyone else) for quite a few months, so we never really dated. 

4cadi... 4cadillac

good luckI believe that 1 never "finds" their mr. right, he just appear (from the weirdest places). My fiance is not my knight n shiny armor but I am content with him. At the age of 36, i am too old and set in my ways to look for someone else or try and start over. Some times we need to look @ the bigger picture and the well being of our future than "the now".

nonmember avatar Rachel Macahcek

I think it's great that you put out what you want right away. Being able to do that is the hardest thing. It weeds out the incompatibles pretty quickly. And yeah, dating does suck. I've done a lot of it. After many many moons (a decade in fact) I've met someone I like and want to sit still with. I don't know what changed. Maybe I realized I was holding out for something that didn't exist. Maybe it just wasn't my time. I dunno. Anyway, I totally related to what you said: "when I want more, the ones I want tend to want less." That might be the root of it. For me, I think the guys who didn't want more were "safe" for me bc I never had to be vulnerable with them -- it wasn't going anywhere. I don't know what it is for you, but it's what stood out to me in what you wrote.

Marjc... Marjchaos

I think it is a good idea to point out you are not looking for casual sex.  Seriously. It gets the waste of your times out of the way.  Dating does suck, I'm glad I'm not out there.  However, I genuinely believe where there is hope for love, always.  And guys who are up front about not being interested in commitment are helpful.  You can walk away without a single regret.  An overgrown teenager is no match for a full-grown woman, and that is a fact.

teenm... teenmommy31

I got extremely lucky. Me and my bf did it backwards. Pregnant then a relationship. We were 16. Thankfully he came from a very good, and religous family who taugh him well when it cames to women and relationships. The 1st year was rocky, but the baby eventually brought us together. We grew up pretty quick, considering were currenly 19 and have a house, being this mature and successful isnt like most 19 year olds. Other people around our age are partying and screwing every1.

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