It’s been quite an eventful 18 months of no eventfulness for me.
I said it to another man the other day, very nonchalantly. “I haven’t enjoyed to company of a woman for sometime.”
Pathetic right? I’ve been on one date since my last almost relationship died in September 2021. And it wasn’t even with a woman I was attracted to, just a date just to say I had a date.
And, get this, it’s been on purpose.
When I first started this blog, it was to learn game, pick up, and the art of being an attractive, socially adept man dating after divorce.
I had success, becoming better with women, having abundance, but as my blog has evolved, it showed me that abundance in women meant emptiness in myself. I would date anyone with a pulse because there is and always has been the drive by society to say if you aren’t dating, then you are a loser.
So why in the hell would I want this? There’s more to the story below.
These days, we seem to have quite a few “losers” out there, including myself. A study by my alma mater, Indiana University, shows that 33% of men ages 18-24 report having no sex in the past year. I don’t know if there are studies for 40 something men out there, but as a man who’s living it, I have quite a bit to say on the subject.
We are seeing men in general reporting no dating and no sex. Women’s numbers have gone up slightly, but women aren’t taking the brunt of these numbers like many men are. We’re seeing an epidemic of sexlessness, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight.
I watched Rollo the other day talk about hook up culture. He stated, “Hook up culture is alive and well for most women, and the top 20% of men”, but that leaves 80% of men out in the cold and we are seeing a precipitous rise in men who aren’t having any sex. And hook up culture is about the survival of the hottest.
Now I could go on and on about the causes. It could be societal shift to female dominated sexual dynamics, it could be the entitlement many women have when it comes to dating, it could be hook up culture, it could be many things. Myself and the Man-O-Circle have gone around and around on who’s to blame. Hint: It’s everything.
I’m writing this blog today to talk about it from this man’s side and what I am seeing that is holding men back from the dating market, either real or imagined, and what is going through my head on why I am intentionally not dating at the moment, and haven’t been for the last 18 months.
Does this make me a Volcel (voluntary celibate)?
“How is a tall, attractive, successful single father not dating any women for a prolonged period of time?”
I’m certain I could make excuses up the wazoo.
My industry / career, my parenthood, lack of time to go out and meet women, where I live, my family time requirements, not religious, etc. It could go on and on forever and the excuses could pile up. You certainly can call me a loser for not going out more, as I’m always coming up with a reason to not. The point is, I’m not alone. There’s a whole shitload of people who would rather do anything but date. Younger men aren’t because it’s not as important as Call of Duty, hanging with friends, work, career, and as years pass it continues to slide down the list.
Social circles are shrinking, the ease of apps are addictive, the hopelessness is palpable.
And the message is the same for many singles I’ve spoken with in many different age groups. “Dating Sucks.”
To the 22 year old woman who says, “All it is is a meat market, and hook ups.”
To the mid-fifties divorcee women: “I don’t want to waste my time on men who are ready for a commitment.”
To the mid-thirties man: “It’s like a shitty game of musical chairs and rather than wait for the music to stop, I just left the room.”
To the mid-thirties woman: “Why go to all the trouble when he won’t commit to you? It’s getting my hopes up for 6 months only to have him cheat or get bored and leave.”
To my fellow mid-40’s single father: “My time is important. And I waste it on the dating apps, waste it on women I don’t find attractive, waste it on getting ghosted after having a good time, waste it on flaking, lying, and trying hard for an ROI that, quite frankly, is lousy.”
To the early 40’s Christian woman: “Younger men don’t want me because they want kids, and they’re too immature. Older men want younger women, and I don’t want a 60 year old man. I’d love someone my age but it seems every single one of them have issues. Not to mention I want a man who shares my faith.”
The stories and comments are an interesting look into what everyone is seeing in a dating market that is most definitely for the “haves” versus the “have nots”. And people like myself and many of the folks above, those who would be willing to date as long as it’s someone who remotely fits what we want out of a partner, would rather hold tight and focus on other aspects of our lives.
Dating gets forgotten and put on the back burner first and foremost because, let’s be honest, it isn’t fun any more.
In my time blitz dating three years ago, many of the matches I had had more issues than Sports Illustrated.
So, in a vain effort to not be seen as a loser, I decided to “date just to date”, not excluding anyone due to attractiveness, figure, salary, mental issues, etc. And it was an absolute dumpster fire. Serial ghosting and flaking, entitlement, and drama met me when I decided to swipe right on everyone who was at least halfway decent. I had traveled the country to meet women from all over, figuring it “was” a numbers game, right? The more women I get in front of, surely one or two will separate themselves from the crowd?
And when a few did? I was lied to about their relationship status (I was the other man several times), catfished, and had long distance relationships that I couldn’t possibly keep alive due to my status as a single parent with two kids and my home being here in Indiana.
With all the work I put into dating….I was exhausted after 2021. The MGTOW battle cry of “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze” harangued in my head.
So, I did the only thing I knew to do. What many people in this modern dating world are doing.
I pulled back.
I needed to do certain things involving improving my physique, health, parenthood, and family life. When my father passed away last November, I felt I had done those things better. My dating life took a back seat, after4 years (and a pandemic) of being the highlight. I got my jollies, I got to date, but I felt more empty that I ever felt, more pessimistic about my chances of finding a woman to be in my life, and wasn’t looking forward to starting up dating again, if and when things were handled in other parts of my life.
The issue here…things will never be handled. There’s never a good time to start, and it was time for me to at least try again to get out, so since December, I’ve been doing small things to get myself out and at least start meeting women. Even if it was to give my number to a server, or to go out and be friendly at new places, it’s a task I am taking great care with who I share my time with, or even who I approach. The “YOLO” and “you should be getting your dick wet” crowds continue to harp on that a man in the prime of his life should be going out and pounding everything that moves. But I submit this:
I’ve already chased pussy. That game is old for me. And while many men would never tire of it, I got tired of the drama, the juggling of women, the slashed tires, the showing up at my house in the middle of the night with my kids home threatening harm, the 3AM booty calls, the annoying calls at work, all of it.
I’ve had it, I don’t want it any more. And I value my time, and the time for dating gets cut because I’ve got other shit going on. Once again, not an excuse, but it is what it is. I have no interest in wasting my time, nor does anyone else in the same dating game as I am.
The Other Reality
Dating too often takes a back seat because….many people aren’t good at it. My dating in 2018 -2021 was Twitter, Tinder, Bumble, and the countless networking events I went to that generated dates, but nothing long term. The problems were many because it doesn’t allow for much long term connections, good conversation, and most were just looking for the quick hit, the spark, and if it didn’t happen, then a – ghostin’ we’ll go.
Dating is a chore because we treat it that way. We expect it to just be “done” and when it isn’t, it’s a drag on our whole life because we don’t want to do something that isn’t comfortable.
I haven’t been with a woman for a year and a half because I didn’t want to get hurt again, I didn’t want to rush in again, I didn’t want the same ending that has befallen me for so long. So I avoided it. So I put other things ahead of it. And I just accepted, as a pissy martyr, that I was destined to be alone.
We make excuses because we either have work to do on ourselves to be attractive again, or we don’t want to do the work to get attractive again. Because it stresses us out if someone rejects us. Rejection sucks, and no one wants to go through it.
I’ll admit I fell back into all of these things because I didn’t want to go back to the grind that was 2018-2021.
I wanted a long term relationship, and it meant having to “get back out there” which is a heavy lift for anyone, but more so for me because I, as of this writing, have never had a successful relationship. A lot of self doubt builds up because I haven’t circled this square. And I’m sure many people are struggling with these issues in their own lives, another reason why many of them are so timid to get back out and try to meet someone.
But lifelong failure doesn’t mean you stop trying.
My self-manufactured scarcity has been on purpose, because the people who I’m attracting at the moment aren’t the people I want. I could have easily gotten into dozens of “situationships” over the past two years but I have standards, I learned from 2019 that I also value my time, and from my divorce I learned that I won’t settle.
I stop watering the plants because I didn’t like the ones that were growing. The drought is self made. And it’s not out of self pity or helplessness, but the plants around me aren’t worth watering. But I have to go and get new seeds and water them.
It’s so much easier to blame so many other things than the fact that you don’t have the balls to get back out and find that person for you.
And that’s where I was for so long, until I realized that it wasn’t going to build itself.
So, in the midst of this self made drought, I have decided to go and get some water and try to find some better seeds.
It’s been deliberate, however. Not getting onto Bumble / Tinder or the online game. But trying different options, like things I enjoy, the gym, classes, hobbies, and adventures. This isn’t going to be a pickup session at a bar or a club. This is going to be me, finding my joys, and finding other people who enjoy those things as well.
The excuse making has to stop for the millions of dateless, sexless men and women in our world right now. But these people also have to make themselves better so their dating is better. But always putting off the fact that you aren’t doing well in dating because of what YOU are doing is the mirror many people need.
Yep, even me, the retired single parent ex-PUA.
It’s time to unretire and take a sip of the water. The taste of bitterness of not having a successful relationship is gone. It’s the cool taste of being the best man I can be, and finding the best woman for me. Use that water to grow relationships.
I will have a successful long term relationship.
No more excuses.