736 Comments

I don't think we can understand the "EPIDEMIC OF LONELINESS" until we look at how "us being CONNECTED" has really made us MORE DISCONNECTED than ever before.

Humanity was never meant to keep in contact with THOUSANDS of people. We were designed to only CONNECT with those 50, 100 people that we are within our TRIBE, our CITY, and so forth.

In this way, TECHNOLOGY has greatly damaged our society by destroying our ability to make and keep meaningful, lasting, relationships.

https://unorthodoxy.substack.com/p/our-ocularcentric-society

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When she was sixteen my niece boasted about her 500 or so Facebook Friends. I asked her to tell me something about the first ten that came to mind. She couldn’t do it.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

Interesting but not surprised. I only follow those I care about…so my Instagram following is low (93) and private. I know it’s unfashionable to have such a low number 🤣 But admittedly, it’s much easier to hone in on those that matter the most.

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I had around 763 Facebook followers. Then I supported Trump and lost about half. Then the pandemic happened, I talked about hydroxycholroquine and natural immunity. Lost another half of that number. Looks like I'm doing quite well so far. :)

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When I had a Facebook account, I never allowed more than 100 friends. Every month, I "unfriended" anyone who had not engaged in any of my posts the previous month. It kept my account real and manageable. After the 2020 election, I deleted it completely. Bye bye and not missed.

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I’m just looking for a nice girl with a ponytail and glasses who knows how to stop Democrats from stealing elections.

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Frankly, far more important is stopping Republicans from stealing and rigging elections and throwing insurrection tantrums when they don't get their way.

(Mic drop)

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Hahahaha, "Mic drop." As if anyone cares enough to do anything but laugh at you after you write that.

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You sound like a lab combo of Stacy Abrams and the Witch of Chappaqua.

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Stacy Abrams sent a bunch of nightclub promoters to recruit 800,000 new ‘voters’ and she still lost.

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Lol!!!

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Can you stop openly corrupt, senile Dems and their openly corrupt offspring at the same time? (Calling out mic drops in parantheses is the opposite of a mic drop, btw.)

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Somebody's mind is truly in the gutter, lol.

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You still think the 2020 election was stolen? Oh, you poor thing.

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I agree with every major Democrat, including Joe Biden, who has expressed outrage and concern about Republicans placing partisans in elections offices because they say that Republicans will be able to steal elections if they have people inside elections offices.

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I think will go over poor Aaron's head.

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Make sure she’s over the age of 16, Kev. Just a warning. You don’t want the tribe coming after you..

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They're now called the Cleveland Guardians.

And it's the Rays that have problems with the age of consent.

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This is one of the best comments ever! Hope you find her. :) But don't overlook the mavericks unafraid of short pixie cuts.

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When Donald Trump can't find a female's kitty to grab, he rapes a woman in a department store or hires a whore.

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Do you honestly believe that nonsense? Trump is almost certainly a pig. But the "rape" tale is howler. Only a NY jury would buy that. The Bush tape was a discussion of groupie behavior. Ask any athlete's or rock star's wife what they think of their morals. As far as hiring whores, we have 535 of them on our payroll in DC. With far lower morals than Stormy.

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Joe Biden is a pedophile and you talk about Trump. The subject of my post is the ever senile Biden. Try staying on topic.

I despise Trump. Does that make you happy?

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It's amazing how you actually believe that.

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Believe what? Can you send me a quote, otherwise I don't know what your referring to

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That Trump raped women. That is a very serious accusation that is unfounded.

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Just last night I was listening to the radio and "Street of Dreams" by Rainbow came on. I found myself imagining listening to that when it was originally released, on a car radio at night, and how much more intimate the experience of simply listening to the radio when you don't have access to the whole fucking world at your fingertips. Technology has robbed of us intimacy in many, many ways.

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Yes. Needing to watch a TV show when it was on, or miss it (ok, record it on the VCR maybe!). Enjoying the song when it came on the radio (ok, jumping up and hitting 'record' on your cassette deck maybe!). Seeing people you knew at a bar or event just because you were both there. The ease of everything has made appreciating things harder.

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Technology hasn't robbed you, you handed it over willingly.

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That is true

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People generally also used to stay in their communities but now have to go where the jobs are, often thousands of miles from family and friends. And friends you DO make in a new location tend to come and go as they also move to follow job opportunities.

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This is known as the ‘IQ shredder’.

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Sorry, but I'm glad the internet provided me the option to connect with people in England and the world, I pretty much didn't have anything in common with the bar flies of Northern New Jersey who wanted to go get sloshed and sing living on a prayer by bon Jovi every Friday and Saturday night at their local watering hole.

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Sounds like you were looking in all the wrong places.

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Sure, before you mock your own hang out with the soccer hooligans. Brilliant.

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After I left the US, the only way that I could stay in touch with friends was through the internet.

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Or, alternatively, you didn't have to leave the US.

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I left because I could no longer afford to live there.

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I guess it's good you left when you did. It's only become more expensive over the past 2.5 years.

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Yes, I've seen that. If I still lived there I'd be on the street. Where I live, SS covers all my needs. I don't have any wants.

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"43 percent of young women say they have no interest in dating whatsoever". Go figure......the corporate media, social media, university/political leaders and social justice warriors have spent the past 10 -15 years telling men that they are the part of the oppressive patriarchy and responsible for most of society's problems. They've discouraged masculine men and the byproduct is physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally weak males. Just go to any concert, mall or large gathering and look around. Is it surprising to anyone that women having sex is also in decline.....I mean how could it not be? Masculine men are a dying breed IMO.

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My man! Couldn't agree with this more! I'm working on an article having to do with the "attack on manhood" because you see it everywhere you look.

One theory that's out there is that (disclaimer, the theory is Unorthodox, because that's what I write on:) Humanity itself is under attack. And the protective species within humanity is the male. The male protects and the female creates.

If you take out the male, that masculine energy, driven by naturally building testosterone, who's there to protect the female species, the species that produces life and nurtures the species in the future?

Unorthodox, I know, but when you look around at the policies and how the world is moving, you almost have to say, "hmm.. it doesn't sound so off after all"

https://unorthodoxy.substack.com/p/love-the-ultimate-weapon

https://unorthodoxy.substack.com/p/elmo-and-a-rock

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When there’s a big ugly spider that needs killing, feminists want a guy with toxic masculinity. Not Woody Allen.

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Especially if, as in Woody's film "Annie Hall", the spider in Annie's tub was "the size of a Buick".

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Only now, they don't want him to kill it, but rather to capture "humanely" and release it into the "wild."

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I suspect we'll soon have bots which will patrol your house to seek out spiders, insects, rodents, etc., capture them, and then take them outside and release them into the wild. No toxic or non-toxic masculinity required.

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But who will feed them in the wild? From time in one's house, they have lost their instincts, as in a zoo.

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Well, I never signed up to be a zookeeper, and the critters never agreed to pay me rent, so after I evict them I'll disclaim any responsibility for their future care.

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Even if it's a lowly cockroach, my wife calls me to be the executioner.

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LOL Maureen! When I spot a scorpion I'm yelling for my husband!

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I have a dog who patrols for, and kills scorpions. She is a Yorkie and her nickname is Killer.

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You just woke up to the fact that there's been a war on boys going on for decades?

Congratulations.

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It just so happens that Christina Hoff Sommers wrote such a book, The War on Boys. Great book, things happen when some mothers have a boy child. The Tiger Mom arrives. It centers around a vocational school in NY. The bottom line was educators didn't like the disproportionate amount of boys in the school. So with all of their coastal brilliance, they ended up with a school with many unhappy girls and boys who lost an advantage. Way to go NY.

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Let's face it schools are run by women and the people who succeed in them are girls. Schools are made for girls. Lively, boisterous boys are a problem for many teachers, so we drug them. Nothing like telling a boy he's not good enough right from the get go.

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Agree. I didn’t really understand boys until I had three sons. They are just wired differently than girls. When they were school age I learned to appreciate when they had female teachers who were understanding of their boy students. But some just wanted them to fit the girl mold of a calmer and more focused child. Fast forward to now and my oldest and his wife were able to choose a Christian school with an emphasis on outdoor learning and play. That’s a real blessing and a direct result of his experiences as a child. Regarding the author’s overall point, I would emphasize that parents need to model healthy relationships for their kids. Divorce, single parenting, cohabitating by Mom and Dad? Parents not paying attention to their kids, not parenting, not monitoring social media use, not looking into what they are learning in school? Kids grow into young adults who are disconnected from people, and don’t understand the value of faithfulness, respect, monogamy and family. They don’t see or feel these things in their own lives. It’s like a foreign culture. My observation is that kids raised in two parent, religious homes are able to grow up and become much closer to the author’s grandparent’s model than those who aren’t. At least that’s the view I see here in middle America.

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Statistics, although not an end all, do back up what you're saying! As does every anecdotal story I can think of!

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My mother was a grade school teacher, she would agree. Cutting recess is devastating for boys.

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PE isn't a daily activity anymore either.

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Everyone needs a break from hours of sitting at a desk.

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Schools have always--always--been female-centric places. Now they are absolute re-education camps for boys. Amazing that there are any real men left anywhere in modern 'Murica.

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Very true, but now with recesses being shortened and some eliminated, PE not everyday, it is becoming harder for them to "get the wiggles out." High schools have also eliminated shop and woodworking classes that were havens for boys who struggled in academic settings. Those classes gave them chance to excel with other skills. It's the same for girls who weren't interested in college but just want to marry and settle down, they lost Home Ec classes.

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I remember a woman I went to high school with who majored in math education. As a side gig she used to tutor kids who were "gifted" in math. She said that most of her pupils were boys, not because boys were better at math than girls, but because they were more likely to get frustrated by their regular math classes, act out, and thus attract the attention of teachers and parents who were motivated to find a solution.

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The famous book "Tiger Mom" was written by Amy Chua (I have read it). She has two daughters and no sons. Amy Chua also wrote "World on Fire" (which I have also read). Note that Amy is that daughter of Len Chua (a famous name in transistor theory).

Note, that you have many details wrong, but are broadly correct. American society has waged war on boys and the results are dismal.

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Nah.....just stating the obvious for those who are still captured in hopes they might wake up.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

But wait....aren't they "woke?"

On the other hand, masculine men may not be a dying breed after all. A recent poll show many more high school boys are now identifying as conservative. Fewer soy boys means a better stronger America.

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Curiously, "woke"'s definition reversed itself. It originally was used for people who were "awake" eg noticing the cultural changes. During the Trump years; the definition was either misunderstood or co-opted to mean the exact opposite.

It's not the only word to have gone through that in English. "Terrific" used to mean "inspiring terror". "Awful" used to mean "inspiring awe". "Literally" used to mean "truthfully".

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Also see The Boy Crisis for facts about how males have it tough in today's world.

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Recall Megan Kelly pulling her son out of the toniest boy’s school in NYC (Collegiate) because she said every other day they were questioning him as to whether he thought he was a boy. He was only 8 and it was confusing to him. Kelly pulled him out and moved to suburban Connecticut. Boys are being besieged by woke crap. It’s no wonder they aren’t enrolling in the military anymore

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You are spot on and a prime example is AOC. When the guy was calling out her booty and the man spam she has kept walking. A man would have gone over and punched the guy in the face. I am not violent by nature, but the old saying is, I will do great and violent things to those who harm my family applies.

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Or like Ted Cruz kissing Trump’s ass the past 8 years after he very publicly insulted Cruz’s wife (and his father for the cherry on the top). You mean that kind of masculinity? Not sure my marriage would have survived that one. Or, any of the so called men in the GOP who continue to kiss Trump’s ass after being personally insulted along the past several years, or knowing that Trump if he hasn’t already attacked them would do so if they so much as questioned anything he says or does? Those men? The only member of the GOP that had any balls was Liz Chaney. Yet, these same strong men have no problem constantly tossing their venom in the direction of those that can’t defend themselves. Those guys? Always amazes me in these comments that anything, pick a topic, finds examples on the left side of the aisle and crickets on the right…..

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How do you know Cruz didn't take the high road and confront Trump privately?

Maybe he didn't want to wage a public war with an ignoramus......

Liz Chaney has balls? She may have guts, but she's a lousy politician.

(Are these the crickets from the right you're talking about?)

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Cheney wasn't interested in being a politician. She was interested in serving. That's a feature, not a bug.

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Jill, Cheney may have been interested in “serving” initially, but after she became “infected with TDS” she stopped serving! Ask her constituents why she was not re-elected?

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I don't disagree, but she did not have to be so vocal in her hatred of Trump.

She sided with the enemy. She let perfect be the enemy of good. She was a traitor to her constituents who elected her, and they kicker her to the curb.

Lesson....you can serve, but you're still a politician.

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She just follows Daddy's war-mongering, and Trump wouldn't go along, so out with him!

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Maybe he didn't want to wage a public war with an ignoramus......

Thanks! I needed that! Until someone has the courage to do so from within the ranks, it will be “President Ignoramus” again.

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Under "President Ignoramus" we were at peace, had prosperity and were re-establishing our borders. Nobody lost any rights, laws were being enforced and real wages rising. Under his "successor" - the senile, corrupt imbecile, we have raging inflation, open borders, rampant crime, erosion of the rule of law, incitement of racial animus, degradation of our electric grid and soaring prices for energy, corruption in government and the politicization of our Justice Department. To a "progressive" - progress. To any normal person - lunacy. Thanks a lot.

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You are cherrypicking here. The article and comments do not say that every liberal or Dem is unhappy or wimpy, etc. And in fact the article seems to indicate that Dems are happier with extremists of their own party than are Republicans, perhaps indicating that they would be happy killing spiders they disagree with. However when it comes to percentages cited in the article above, it does seem true that Republicans are more married, more happy, and in more traditional and not extreme modes than Dems. Just guessing by your comment that you are a Dem. Try switching and maybe you will be happier. Alternatively, write back something obnoxious and prove my point.

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Here goes… simply was responding to Terry’s comment that led with AOC and her “spam man.” First instinct, an AOC comment. Second, the man she was with was “spam.” I thought Dave made a good point about discretion h that follows) with a good example. Didn’t mention anything right or left, didn’t bring in Hunter Biden, trans people, senile Joe Biden, etc. Lots of comments in this space always seem to wind up there no matter what the article is about. Blame the liberal socialist elitist pedophile loving Democrats and their owned MSM for whatever wrong is being addressed in the article. So, I wanted to balance the scales with a GOP example for Terry that always irked me. That’s all. I’m not a Dem, not a Republican, and a pretty happy person. Not trying to be obnoxious, if I am, I guess I proved your point.

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Fine. My point is that proving that there is a Republican who is in any way wrong about anything does not excuse any other person from being wrong, nor does it excuse an entire category people from statistically being poorly emotionally adjusted in society. AOC is a terrible advocate for her electoral constituency and is a divisive, selfish, anti-Semitic anti-white bigot. The correct response is “yes she is” or “no she isn’t”. The incorrect response is, “oh yeah, well Ted Cruz supported Trump.” Either one is completely independent of the other. We might cure Ted Cruz with years of therapy but AOC might still be the same person she is today. That was my point. And very happy you were so polite about it. Have a great day.

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Maybe you are not a Dem or a Republican but you are one of those who complains about what others do by doing it.

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And, Steve, I would think you are also amazed at how “TDS” keeps showing up in the comments, regardless the topic! It also keeps the WOKE Left ignoring any & every thing this Biden Crime Family Regime has done / does from being addressed. At some point (we can only hope) the “But, but, but Trump whataboutism” will play out.

Can we agree there is way too much “ass kissing” going on from BOTH Left & Right?!

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"Kissing his ass..."?

That is not the private part they are applying their lips to...

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That was Kamala. Or Monica.

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Very much so Terry and I’m a female, wife, mother and grandmother, if you touch my husband, children or my grandchildren I will do violent things to! I’m old fashioned wife and old fashioned mother and grandmother.

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But isn't it the case that sometimes "Discretion is the better part of valor", something Will Smith might have considered before he went up on stage and slapped Chris Rock at last year's Academy Awards? Of course maybe Chris Rock should have thought twice before making fun of Smith's wife's alopecia.

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Earth to Dave - Chris Rock is a comedian, a profession that has wide birth. Maybe Jada should have had more of a sense of humor first off and secondly, perhaps she shouldn’t have cuckcolded her husband with her son’s friend which made her husband insecure about his own masculinity.

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staged for effect

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I've wondered if that was the case, maybe an attempt to perk up the ratings?

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Rock and no one outside the family and friends knew that she had alopecia. Other than that, it was a dumb thing for Rock to do.

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There IS an attack on humanity that has been going on for millenia. His name is Satan. He is seeking to destroy everything God made. If God said it is "good", it must be destroyed, gender roles and ultimately marriage and family included. And we "intelligent" humans, all full of ourselves, are playing right along.

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Satan is a female. Please don't misgender her.

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Wait a sec, yours are as orthodox as it gets. 🤓

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hahaha thanks for this ! :)

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Maybe unorthodox, makes sense to me.

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It is not unorthodox it at all. In fact it is millions of years of biologic evolution. But hey, let's toss that baby out with the bath water.

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More posts written by AI?

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Hahaha! Nah lol I'm still learning how to use it to make the overall writing (e.g., Grammarly for corrections and tone) better. But the idea, the general flow, creative concept is always from me/the user/etc.

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Males are expendable. Always have been.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

Trust me, many of those women will regret not seeking a mate AND getting married. At 66, I observe that friends who have never married are more anxious and it gets worse over time - no obvious place to go for the holidays, not certain what to do on weekends. My married friends are far more content with ‘built in companionship’ no matter the work that might take sometimes. I have encouraged my daughters to become educated & well-employed but equally I have stressed the importance of family, children & relationships. So far, they are nailing it…but still working on getting the younger one married 🤣

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I was as happy unmarried as I am being married. I didn't marry for "happiness," I married because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the person I loved and the only way to do that was by being married to her. Happiness is a byproduct of love.

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The issue being that a large number of young women are not even looking for love. Hence the possible link to how more women are saying they are unhappy now than in my entire life.

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Sadly it doesn't just impact them. If they aren't looking or won't accept most candidates, that leaves an equal number of men also alone, even if they don't want to be. You end up with a growing pool of unhappy lonely people who are cynical about their future prospects.

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I think it’s much easier for a single guy to find someone than it is for a single girl…it’s just my perception. Too many girls are too picky whereas men seem more grateful that anyone cares. That said, my 31 -year old daughter says too many guys don’t seem to want to grow up and are just happy to go drinking with their guy friends. She’s over the party scene and is not interested is going out drinking anymore so it’s difficult to find someone who’s more of a homebody and/or just interested in ‘moderation’ (less drinking).

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Hehe...my experience is opposite. I have always felt that women control dating (which in general lines up with woman having the burden of pregnancy and thus needing to be pickier).

I have wondered if part of the current issue is that we have spent decades telling men they are bad and to leave women alone and not harass them. So many men have taken that to heart and don't put themselves in a position that might lead to them being blamed for bad behavior or worse. Who wants to get canceled because of a bad date. Add to that if a man does get married and then it ends, they are statistically the bigger loser, as they may have to pay alimony, child support, etc.

Aside from the fact that men are lonely, there isn't a huge incentive for them to get into relationships. As this article jokingly states, once we have decent sex-bots, a HUGE chunk of men are going to be off the table as far as dating goes.

Sadly, there is a good chance that there are plenty of men that don't go out drinking...but if they are homebodies, how would your daughter meet them? They are also less likely to approach your daughter and ask them out in the first place.

The current way that dating works (or doesn't) is a result of people complaining about how it used to be being bad/wrong. But they didn't replace it with anything better. So we have what we have.

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I do think men mature slower. My theory is that they do so about 35 years of age. So tell your daughter not to give up yet.

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To those who are commenting about single people living in dire straits, and marriage being always preferable, you are possibly overlooking the learning that comes with single hood.

For me, as sad as I was to have my marriage end, I gained an inner wisdom and self reliance that brought me to a level understanding about myself and God I would never have achieved.

Knowing oneself is required in order to have a truly committed relationship with your marriage partner. I’m still looking for a husband, but I’ll never be desperate.

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I have mixed ideas about this. On the one hand I agree with the idea that knowing yourself will help you be a better partner. But I can't help but wonder if we simply picked someone who was 'good enough' and then dedicated ourselves to making the arrangement work, if we wouldn't be happier.

For most of human history marriage was a simpler choice. Would they provide for a family or be ok at raising one? That was the basis of most human relationships. And I suspect this is at least part of the reason arranged marriages have a much higher success rate than our current western way of doing it.

That said, I don't think most of our ancestors had all of the mental health issues and the complex world we currently have. In the past most of the people in your area had similar backgrounds and values that you had. You married someone from your village or neighborhood and had a pretty good idea that they had a similar religion and political bent. There weren't thousands of various interests and hobbies. So I totally understand wanting to make sure you have your own crap in order before then trying to find someone who fits into that.

But I also wonder...maybe finding who you are, with someone else helping and growing together might be better? Or perhaps all that time alone 'finding yourself' only makes you less able to compromise and thus you end up needing to find someone much closer to 'perfect' because you are less able to grow and evolve as you have spent so much time solidifying into yourself.

I say all of that as someone who has been single for nearly 20 years now. I know myself better than ever. And that includes all of my faults. Which makes it harder for me to even want to engage with someone new for fear of subjecting them to who or what I am. Whereas when I was younger it was easier for me to connect with someone, as I was still forming myself.

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I would LOVE to meet someone already and get married/have the family I’ve always wanted. But I’ve been told I’m not photogenic, guys might find me attractive when I wear contacts but when they see my glasses, they run for the hills. I can’t do anything about that but be grateful they’ve filtered themselves out. If they can’t handle thick glasses on a woman, they would never be able to live with the other challenges I have to deal with daily. Guys have zero interest in getting to know me as a person. They just see me as someone they think they can use for their own pleasure or green card.

And these guys aren’t that physically attractive either yet seem to think they’re entitled to a beauty queen. How about both genders be more realistic and lower expectations?!?

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Women outnumber men in college 3:2. Women are hard wired to marry up. Mathematically, that means that 1 in 3 women will have to stay single, marry down, or settle with another woman. Thanks feminism!

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

It's a huge fallacy to think that college automatically results in some kind of betterment. Go to a 2nd or 3rd rate school? Likely no value. Get a degree in some nebulous major (this or that studies), no value. Conversley, a good electrician can easily earn multiples of those degree holders. Plus, his/her mind isn't poisoned. Instead, I think degree holders by and large have an incorrect elevated view of their "value" in society.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

This is true. The guy that put in our new HVAC system is married to a physician's assistant. He's a good looking, articulate guy, but he doesn't have a bachelor's degree. His wife was pregnant with their 3rd child at the time and he said she stopped working to take care of the kids because he's bringing home way more than she was. We didn't discuss politics, but just from his outlook on life, I would be highly surprised if he or his wife vote Democrat.

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Married women tend to ‘moderate’ as they get older and lean conservative according to stats.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

True, but the way things are now, where do young people who are not in college meet? I am serious, I have no idea how they would meet without a college meat-market or the internet. The traditional communities are few and far between. There are no matchmakers or social dances for the young, and most of them don't go to church/synagogue.

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If I would have married my college boyfriend, we would have been divorced by now. What I thought mattered then is not remotely what I thought mattered 10 years later in my early 30s. Happily married for almost 18 years now.

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I think it’s different for everyone. I married my university sweetheart and am still happily married to him 47 years later.

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Completely fair, Jan. I wasn't trying to say that my way is the only way. Two of our closest friends met in 10th grade and they're going on 30+ years of marriage!

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Agreed, although every guy I was involved with in college would have made a disaster of a marriage. I met my husband at work when we were in our late 20's. We both wanted marriage and a family so we were drawn to each other even though this was the early 80's when the sexual revolution was creating havoc for women. These days, it would have been almost impossible to meet the way we did because of all the strictures of Human Resources rules.

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That is a problem. When I was young and single I met most of the guys I dated at church. I met my husband at work. He was looking for a wife and I was looking for a husband. I'm not sure young men and women are seriously looking for a mate today.

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Depends on the value of the degree. If the degree leads someone to the life that they want, it has value. Not everyone has the aptitude to succeed in the trades. You wouldn't want me to fix anything in your house, however if you need a drummer who can play most styles, give me a call.

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I think it is worse than that. Your math assumes that of the remaining men in higher education, they “all” do better than the women and are thus in available “higher ups” pool for marriage.

In reality, only about 20% of the men concurrently in higher education with the women are “available” for dating. The other 80% are either not as successful post graduation, ugly or extremely socially unacceptable for any variety of reasons, homosexuals, or dead.

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I saw a group of seemingly good looking boys prowling around last Nov in Target in Silicon Valley, obviously off of school for the week. They all wore pink and purple plastic necklaces, brightly dyed hair color and one wore a purple dress. Some wearing masks, and I saw several of them fussing with their hair. Girls hung around, but they were just as weirdly dressed. Hardly any interaction even though they were all there together.

Fast forward to this summer at the local water park, after we moved to a Red state with a strong Religious foundation. Kids, both boys and girls, all races and ages, healthy, active, flirting with each other, and not a pink necklace or bikini/female bathing suit on a boy in sight. Playing water football together, or watching (and giggling if they were girls). Roaming the park in packs, trying to have fun before school starts and succeeding. I know which kids I'd rather my own kids hang out with when they get older.

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Marginalization *is* social currency in many places. In your "red state" example, social currency would be good looks, articulation, succeeding in sports, talents, having fun stories to tell, etc. In a lot of places, though, social currency is defined by identity. Coming up with neopronouns, taking medications/hormones, identifying as autistic, etc. that's not just socially tolerated, but socially ENCOURAGED, via everything from advertising/media, through teachers/parents, down through peer groups.

Kids *dressing* weird... heck, that's been a thing for 100 years. You had the hippies with their long hair and promotion of drugs, 70s disco, 80s hair metal bands, 90s pop punk, etc. When I was going through my phase in high school, I had my hair over my face and wore spikes and MCR shirts and talked about how much I hated my life. I got over it after a couple years, moved onto being a stoner, then somehow managed to move onto being boring.

There are a several big differences now. First, is that the encouragement via social media likes is incredibly powerful -- the dopamine rush of getting a like on a comment is a type of social encouragement we never thought possible. Second, the encouragement to be different comes not just from peers and social media, but also from parents and teachers - the school assembly doesn't celebrate the basketball team, it celebrates kids based on identity. And third is that a lot of the "cool" stuff teens do now has a far more permanent effect. If you were emo and cut yourself for attention, the worse you'll have is maybe a scar you can laugh about when you're 25. If you take hormones, that's permanent(*).

(* virtual signal: i know there are actual transgender people, but there are also a lot -- hundreds of thousands -- who detransition later in life. it's tragic to see teenagers who might not actually be transgender being led down that path because it's viewed as cool).

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Decades ago my Swedish professor told me that Swedish feminists had gotten most everything they wanted, except in the end they didn’t find the new sensitive modern post-feminism Swedish guys even remotely appealing. Here in the US we’re catching up fast.

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Some of the hesitance toward military intervention in Ukraine exists because the way we prosecute wars is dictated by effete feminine pajamaboy intellectuals now. So the wars always turn into scams/disasters.

If people thought Ukraine was going to work out like Desert Storm they’d be more supportive. But they know that won’t happen. Most of the soldiers are pretty badass still but they’ve got David French telling them who they can kill and when, so it ends up more like community organizing with casualties.

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Jake Sullivan and Ben Rhodes? National Security Advisors to Democrat Presidents. Why would combat experience matter when they're both political operatives.

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Almost any sitcom about families shows the dad, the traditional head of a household, as a dolt or as a clueless boob. Maybe this goes all the way back to the Question Authority philosophy that is helpful in university philosophy and poli sci classes, but when it leads to disrespect, institutions fall and society follows.

Ward Cleaver for President

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It isn't just TV dads. I challenge you to find a male character in a Disney movie in the last 2-3 years that is not either a moron, sexist jerk, or evil (yet often incompetently so).

Heck, the Barbie movie shows the Kens are useless and dull, and the Barbies are not that interested in them...until they stand up for themselves and take over. Then the barbies love them and actually seem happy. Yet the movie reverts them back to useless by the end. I'm not sure that movie knows what message it is trying to give.

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I was actually trying to think of any Disney movie from the last 30 years with a high-quality male lead -- are there any after the Lion King? Genuine question.

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I would say quite a few of the male leads in Marvel used to be good. Tony Stark had a great arc. He may have started out as selfish and conceited, but he was also highly competent. Pixar used to do ok there too. If we are talking only Disney, Nick the fox from Zootopia? Ralph in the first WiR had a good arc (2nd totally ruins his character).

Yes there are plenty that are also there for comic relief or evil. But at least they were GOOD at being evil.

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That’s really good to know about the Marvel movies! For kids movies, I also think the How to Train Your Dragon series has a great male lead. But in regards to Disney, I’m thinking particularly of movies like Tangled, Frozen, Moana etc that all feature female leads on a quest (nothing wrong with that of course) with a reluctant male sidekick they have to drag along for the ride. In Frozen, Hans, who shows leadership and initiative and takes charge, turns out to be a villain (out of the blue, also) while Anna has to force Kristoff to come along and help her.

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It goes back much further than that. For me it goes back to the way husbands were portrayed on radio programs in the 1940s. Dolts and clowns.

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nah. he was too hard on the Beaver

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They’ll be missed! But the problem might be self correcting.

https://open.substack.com/pub/joelelorentzen/p/patriarchy-schmatriarchy?r=1p5p1m&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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Liked your article. It's funny you and I see the same thing. I have a son, 21 years old. Left college to work/travel, now back in college. Doesn't seem to have any issue with finding women to hang out with. Now has a serious girlfriend (also in college). His friends mostly have or had serious girlfriends. Some are exploring the world, some on the straight path; college/work. Now some of the young women he knew growing up, matriculated to elite colleges and seem to be heading to that high level career path. Some have boyfriends, many do not. I think the issue is that when "experts" talk about a generation they really mean only a small slice of it; the ones that developed a very thin version of life that includes most of their energy doing academic work. Their version of life seems more about academic success/career success. And that is what the data seems to point out. The main reason our fertility rate has gone from 2.1 to 1.75 in the last generation is about the increase of women who don't, for whatever reason, have children. These women have put academic/career success at the center of their lives to the exclusion of anything else. And despite their obvious academic abilities and willingness to work hard, they aren't particular worldly, actually I would call them niave. Nice people, but many are ignoring the elephant in the room.

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I couldn't agree more!

We have only a daughter, now 35, married for five years and pregnant with our second grandchild, due in a couple of months. She and her husband dated off and on for 7 years. (My wife and I dated for 16 months before we were married - back in 1982!) But now, her and her friends are all in that parent stage - and its rewarding to see. It feels very normal and wholesome.

I think "naive" works. Either that or no sense of calling. I did another piece earlier this year on Motherhood that I think you might relate to, curious for your reaction.

https://open.substack.com/pub/joelelorentzen/p/motherhood?r=1p5p1m&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Wouldn't it be nice for all the guys out there who are interested in dating if theat 43% of women not interested would just wear a ribbon on their sleeve so guys wouldn't waste time deciding whether to ask them out?

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

Good post, Evans. I was thinking you could have added another sentence after ‘masculine men are a dying breed IMO’ - as in ‘but there are quite a few of us manly experienced males on this FP comment thread that could surely lend a hand..’

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I’ve been out of the dating pool for 40 years but have multiple single friends of both sexes in their early 30’s. When I am around them, I feel like Margaret Mead observing a new species.

A few comments.

1) If you seek something too ardently you will make compromises and be disappointed in the result. Live an interesting life and your life will put a better choice in front of you. Your partner will find you.

2) Many singles now are just plain uninteresting. They check off societal boxes ( career, education, political beliefs, etc) but there is no person behind the facade. It’s like everyone in the dating pool is an avatar with no real person behind it. There is no actual conversation when they meet- just a series of checkbox questions. And the answers are almost always predictable.

3) They travel too frequently in groups. Gaggles of women and groups of men. When alone, especially women, they are fearful of any interaction. Basically without the support of a group around them, they are social cowards. Women believe every man is a potential rapist and men believe every woman will wrongly accuse them of rape.

4) Social media and dating apps are less than useless. They are harmful. They magnify they checkbox mentality and create pretend lives. Why is anyone surprised that they also create pretend relationships ?

5) Public space, especially in cities, is not safe enough for social interaction now. I met my wife by casually speaking to her on a street corner waiting for the light to change. We were both on lunch break in Center City Philly. I walk by that same corner now. The homeless have made casual interactions like that less likely. Social space, not the person involved in the meeting, is too threatening.

6) Work from home jobs, which for some reason every young person seems to want, eliminate a significant social network. It’s not just the young potential mates that you would meet. It’s the Aunts and Uncles of potential mates who you work with as well. An Aunt has a more serious interest in the relationship success than an app that just wants to keep you engaged with a continuous flow of partners.

So, who would have thought that working in your apartment alone, surrounding yourself with a same sex peer group that is basically competition for you and developing no social skills outside your narrow world would all have hurt your potential for happiness? What a surprise.

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These are really insightful observations. I agree on the checklist mentality of the apps. It’s like flipping through a catalog of humans, reading reviews, trying to find the best, best, best product. So different from how my friends and I found our spouses. We dated whoever was around, found someone we liked, and made a commitment to build a life with that person.

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A long story short. At the end of the set, as I was walking off the stand, I glanced to my right, saw a group of 5 young ladies sitting a corner table. One of them caught my eye. That was Jan. 12, 1968. We spent a year together, then her education visa expired, she returned to her country. I returned to mine. Fast forward to 2012. Her daughter, 2 yrs. after her father's death, finds me on facebook, her mother and I reconnect, in 2013 we marry, and here we are.

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What a beautiful story. I love it.

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You made me smile..

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Sounds like buying something on Amazon based on ratings.

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Not really, that's just his observation.

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What is your observation?

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I have a single friend - handsome, successful, charming, smart - who’s a regular dating app user. My impression is it’s a great way to get casual sex or a few weeks of hanging out, but nothing more; in fact it seems to trap people at that level. He jokingly sends us screenshots every now and then (the number of women who put political stuff front and center in their profile is remarkable) and tells us "war stories" about how his dates will do a deep dive into some political / ideological crap on the very first date. It all sounds like a nightmare to me.

I would add to your list that you can no longer flirt and meet people at work even if you have an on-site job. I find it amusing to think about the bawdry, flirtatious environment at work in my younger days (very much including stuff initiated by women, including female managers, and a few times up to the level of outright proposition by said manager). We would all have been fired and sued a hundred times over nowadays. Not that actual sexual harassment isn’t a real problem - though, typically, my guess is we’ve removed all the fun stuff of interaction between the sexes at work without actually solving the harassment problem. I have fun memories from work, female friends whom I never dated but with whom there was a spark, which would be simply impossible today.

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I think the argument being made is that the dating apps hurt the women and not the men. The apps turn everything into a transaction. It is easier for the guy to "game" the transaction to get what he wants, which is inevitably just sex. I am not surprised that your friend has success on the apps, and can probably have even more success if he wanted to lie about politics, etc. just to get laid. Millions do, I am sure.

It seems like everything that's occurred over the last generation or two has hurt women in the long-term mating department. And now, they can't even compete in sports without running into some failed male athlete who is tired of coming in 12th in a 11 person field.

It would be easy to shrug and say that women helped create this nonsense but that perspective doesn't produce anything positive for the general good.

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I agree with you, but it also cuts both ways - my friend actually wants to have a long term relationship and a family, and I think the transactional environment of the dating apps, the change in culture post-feminism (without women as the gatekeepers of sex and the humanizers of men / limiters on base male instincts) as well as the general change in "typical young liberal women" vs years ago when I was dating all kind of work together to make the real relationship/family prospects much more unlikely.

Women didn't just help create this nonsense, they firsthand created it. Now everyone's stuck, and there's no obvious way out.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

So, I look at my son's male friends and most of them have or had girlfriends. They aren't all in college, some work, some travel and work, and some are graduating college. These are Vermont/New Hampshire HS graduates and most stay in the northeast (my son went to the intermountain west). I see no difference from what the dating scene was like in the 1970s/80s when I was in it. Maybe, the problem is in the 28-40 age group????? But, at least in his age group, there doesn't seem to be the general angst I see reported.

I have a friend, 69 years old. Getting divorced. Uses e-harmony. Gets lots of dates. He is not rich, is reasonably good looking (how good looking can a 69 year old be), For him it is useful to meet women, but might not necessarily produce the one. Point is, maybe the expectations one goes in with, colors the results. A bunch of women, looking for an extremely good looking young, successful, wealthy man of a certain above average height, and a particular politics might be very disappointed when they click on a bunch of men looking for 1 fun night.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

Did you ever work in a restaurant? I did, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the things the guys said to us girls would cause jaws to hit the floor among today's Gen Z's and Millennials. Everyone would get fired now. It might as well have been 100 years ago, not 35. I don't know how they are now, but restaurants back then were bastions of bawdy behavior and dirty repartee.

God, it was fun.

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LOL same with being a young teacher in "the old days."

My first job was teaching at a Catholic high school that had a ton of young teachers, both male and female, and boy were those years a wild bacchanal.

It's amazing to me that a secular workplace today is more puritanical than a Catholic high school faculty room just 20 years ago.

We would all get fired today, indeed.

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Indeed I did back in the 80s, and indeed it was (bawdy and fun)!

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Heck, in the 80s in NYC in a high powered law firm ---we worked hard but they should have made us pay them for all the fun we had.

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The lack of flirting is so depressing.

I used to LOVE flirting. One of the most exciting things about work was the potential for flirting from male co-workers! When I met my husband we were both young teachers at a Catholic high school; the tense dance of subtle flirting, keeping our relationship a secret from students, walking the highwire of the Catholic morality we were bound to keep in order to keep our jobs while experiencing the flush of passion was just so exhilarating and *sexy.*

Yes, its full of risk and uncomfortable feelings in your stomach and a few tearful nights, but isn't it worth it?

I feel so sad for young people who won't ever experience this.

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Great insights. I agree with you about social dating apps (and I used them a few times, so I understand the checkbox mentality). I think dating apps CAN be successful, but only if used the right way. I met my husband on one of those (free!) apps, and the ONLY reason we're together now is that we emailed just one or two times (he initiated), and then he wanted to call me. After that first (long) phone call (an actual phone call!), he asked me out for dinner. And after 6 weeks of dating, then I became serious about it. Some of those other dating app guys I'd be emailing for weeks or even months, and they'd never pull the trigger. Only by meeting someone and spending time with them can you know if the relationship is worth pursuing. But people don't know how to have conversations anymore, and they think everything can be decided by texting and email (although email is old school). We need to go back to old fashioned conversation. If he had EVER moved to just texting, I would've lost interest immediately. I was 35, he was 46--I think if he'd (we'd) been 10 years younger it would've been text only, and that's where we've gone wrong from a courtship perspective.

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I think you make a good point about texting vs. conversation. I would take it one step farther. I think something in our society broke about 20 years ago. That damage affects more than just dating. The nexus of smart phones and social media and apps is a dangerous area and has done significant damage, some of which is only becoming visible now. Lot's of damaged people and relationships out there now. Much more than before, I think.

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My youngest step-daughter never removes her phone from her hand. She eats with the phone in her hand, she sleeps with it next to her pillow, and when she's with others, she's constantly glancing at her phone. I don't know how she manages to hold a job, but. apparently she's good at what she does. Maybe geniuses can do more.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

As someone who used to do dating sites (not apps), I actually have a theory about those "email only" guys, of which I had plenty. The theory is they are keeping you on the back-burner because they are dating someone else and want to see if it will work out, or in some cases, even married and are putting feelers out because their marriage isn't going well. This explains how some of them would suddenly go ghost or their profiles would be removed entirely overnight.

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As a late-twenties guy, this very much hits home. I was in a LTR from college until my mid-twenties and leaving that was like landing on an alien planet. The difference in dating and single life even between my college years and now is a completely different world.

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Honestly, just live well and actively on your own and you will become both visible and attractive to your new partner, imho. Frankly, it's not like your competition is all that strong.

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Best advice I’ve read. Couldn’t say it better myself.

Just live your life. Do things that YOU enjoy. Be authentic. That is attractive.

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Take salsa lessons. It will take you about a year to become a good leader. Then head out there to dance clubs. Latin American salsa clubs is a different world. Very obvious who is the leader and who is the follower.

I would have never made it when I arrived to the US in my mid 20s all by myself on the entire continent, if not for the warmth of the Latin American dance community.

Latin American immigrant culture will eventually take over the US and bring the good. But it will take another generation. Don’t wait. Join know!

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I met my husband in 2010 and feel like I dodged a massive bullet with the onset of apps!

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Hey Philly Guy, thanks for the insight. These are some great observations. With all sincerity: What would your advice for someone in their early-mid thirties age group who has lived an interesting life (lived and worked abroad and in a National Park, run marathon, hiked 14ers, etc.) but hasn’t found their partner (or anyone generally interested in them for that matter)? I feel like you get to the point where you’ve feel like you’ve tried everything (getting in shape, joining meetup groups and workout classes, talking to random people in public (dog park, farmers market, neighbors, etc.), working on yourself financially, career wise, emotionally, buying a place of your own) and end up at the same place - generally rejection or dates that you feel go well and end with the same confusion about why they don’t want to pursue it further. Personally, I get to the point where I just don’t know what steps to take anymore.

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Three suggestions:

1)Take college courses chosen for your interests, not necessarily for degree or credit. Try to stay away from night classes if possible. Too many retirees.

2) Find a nice, friendly neighborhood taproom with good bar staff and visit for one drink regularly at close to the same time. Become known to them as a regular.

3) Church?

Somewhere there is a 28 year old sick of dating someone who lives in their parent's basement.

In all situations dress neatly and well, always be polite, don't talk about yourself but DO talk about your interests when conversation occurs. Do well in class. Tip well at the bar but not too well. Smile a lot. It your target demographic is a 25-28 year old, don't dress/act like a 25-28 year old. Stop trying to meet people. Take a zen approach. If you live it, she will come.

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Church is always a great place to meet people. Actually if the your people aren't there, their parents, relatives, and friends are. Introductions are made and then you're on your own. Be as kind to the people you meet as you want them to be to you. They may not be perfect at first glance but give them a chance, you will often find hidden gold.

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Be kind is good advice. here's a true story (I think) that I read a few years ago.

Two attractive women friends. They are meeting at the end of the day at the store that one works at before going for dinner. The worker at the store is complaining that she can't meet any nice, successful men. Just then there is a knock at the door- someone wants to come in to do some late minute shopping. The worker friend looks annoyed and just yells out that they are closed. The other friend, nearer to the window, sees an attractive age-appropriate man dejectedly walking to a 100k Mercedes ready to drive away. Just the type her friend wanted to meet. A little kindness might have gone a long way.

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Sounds like an urban legend to me, but makes a good point.

Fwiw, I met my husband on a blind date/lunch. Guy in my law firm and his wife in H’s law firm fixed us up and the 4 of us went to lunch one day. H called me a few days later for an actual date. 3 weeks later engaged, 8 months later married, 41 years and 3 adult children later still together.

My daughter met her H on a blind date. Her work mate went to college with her H and thought they’d make a good pair. They did. Her best friend met her H through a dating app after many bad matches, ie, perseverance. Woman scientist I know met her H through a dating app. She told me the trick was to use the apps where you pay a fee because those are the people who want a relationship, the free apps people usually just want sex.

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Blind dates have worked since, well, forever. I think they've always been the most likely source of matrimonial talent because there is a common source. I think they face headwinds now because fewer people actually see each other now with WFH being more common. In general, I think blind dates need face to face knowledge of one of the people and I think there are just fewer face to face relationships now.

I am told that dating apps don't work well because most are designed like casino slot machines. They need to keep you engaged and paying and to do so they always want you to spin the wheel with a new partner regularly. If you think about it, they don't have a financial incentive to solve someone's dating problem because then that person leaves the site as a paying customer. Sounds like your friend approached it logically, as a scientist would.

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So true. My aunt knew a woman in the 40's who wanted to marry a wealthy guy she was dating. For Christmas he gave her a pair of gloves with $100 in each finger. When she saw the gloves she was disappointed and didn't even bother to try them on. My aunt asked what he's given her for Christmas and she dismissively said, "A pair of gloves, I gave them away." The guy asked if she had tried on the gloves when she thanked him and she said no. He realized she wasn't the girl for him shortly thereafter and left.

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He was lucky to lose that one!

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

Holy hell, that advice is good! Did Will Smith play you in a movie? I'm 50 but only got married at 40, so I was out there in the smartphone / app era a bit. If I may add:

1. Advice above from Philly guy is good. The becoming a regular at a pub or tavern (not some nightclub or disco or whatever) that has decent people coming there is Gold. When people get to know you, they will make connections to other people they know that might be good for you.

2. Without being a weirdo, it's ok to make it known fairly early that the type of relationship you are interested in is a serious one leading, hopefully, to marriage. No need to try and play Mr Cool Guy because you think that is what "the market" wants.

3. I'm just repeating Philly guy again but yes, dress like a MAN. Shirts with collars, long pants unless you are on a boat or the beach or similar, wear dress jackets in the evening. Look like the serious person you are.

4. Be a gentleman always. You know what to do. It's ok to be old school. Never talk negatively about a lady, don't kiss and tell.

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Thanks for sharing! Definitely some great advice from you, Philly Guy, and Cynthia! Great Hitch reference btw.

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Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile. Stay happy. And, definitely get a Golden Retriever...and take walks...always engage. Who doesn’t love a Golden?

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Haha, so true! I have a super high energy German Shorthaired Pointer mix, but would definitely love a nice calm Golden!

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Hey, Balancer’s Eye, I’m not Philly Guy (who has great advice, imo) but I brought up this article in my workplace with a guy who is almost 30 and asks some of the same questions. Everyone chimed in, girls too, and it was a good discussion. We talked about it on and off all day today and I thought I would write down some of the answers we came up with. Its long but maybe it will help, maybe not.

I used your post to Philly Guy as a springboard, hope you dont take offense or mind.

“I feel like you get to the point where you’ve feel like you’ve tried everything”

-Try “not trying” (The most entertaining, funny, and informative movie I have ever seen on this very subject is “Tao of Steve” …***Note: Even though it is a romantic comedy, this is NOT a “date movie” …way too much “truth” 😂

https://youtu.be/6RsTTA7KaAQ

https://youtu.be/ix52LldhtfQ

“getting in shape”

-is this for yourself or what you think others are attracted to? Highly recommend either way, healthy body healthy mind is attractive (unless it becomes your “identity”, then it’s just vanity and narcissistic which is unattractive and transient.

“joining meetup groups” are these groups who meet for the sole purpose of “meeting”?

-Sounds forced and inauthentic like something you’d see in an old Seinfeld episode. Life is too short, stop this.

You will meet plenty of people, authentically, by just stepping out your front door and doing “regular life stuff”

“workout classes”

-again, if you are really into exercise, and like group activities…sure. If you are male, and just doing it in hopes of meeting someone to “hook up with” then it is creepy, inauthentic, and a waste of time, imo.

“talking to random people in public (dog park, farmers market, neighbors, etc.)”

-is this something you would normally do as part of your natural extrovert personality? If so, great! Its the best way to meet people and mates…ever. 😃

OTOH, if it is inauthentic and forced, and you really aren’t an extrovert with the gift of gab who finds joy in striking up conversations with strangers…then it’s obvious and usually off putting.

Surest way to know the difference is if you are only doing it with the opposite sex.

“working on yourself financially career wise, emotionally, buying a place of your own”

-this is always a good idea, as long as it’s for your own satisfaction…***Note: when dating, YOU NEVER BRING IT UP YOURSELF OR BRAG ABOUT IT trying to impress. In fact, try never talking about yourself or what you do or what you own. At least when first dating, say little to nothing about yourself unless asked. Ask your date a million questions about themselves and listen to their answers. It matters and should come naturally and easy.

Your own successes and failures will be revealed…It simply is part of who you authentically are. It will show and be made known naturally just by spending time with you.

Career goals, financial thinking, emotional state, buying a house…Shows you are thinking about the future and stability.

***Hint, this is extremely attractive…as long as you aren’t the one who mentions it, it will be obvious. Notice how truly smart people never say they are smart?, truly generous people never mention their generosity?, truly kind people never mention their kindness?…etc.?

If you do talk about yourself on a date, that may be interpreted as “sales”, and most people don’t want to be sold to. Especially women know a sales pitch when they hear one because that is what they deal with from dudes every day of their lives since time began. 😂

They associate salesmen with deceit. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against salespeople, they are my favorite people and good ones are hard to find (hint: never play poker with a good salesman ;) )

The trick to good salesmanship is to make the person truly feel like it is their idea. Either you can sell them a yes or they can sell you a no.

Reading list: Read “Don Juan” by Byron (not kidding) and watch the movies, “Tao of Steve”, “Glenn Gary Glenn Ross” and “Inception” 🤪

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Hey Eric thanks for posting such a great response! Really appreciate the multiple perspectives and insights brought to this conversation, and definitely no offensive taken (this is not a subject I talk too much about with friends/family so this is appreciated)! So the meetup groups are generally things that I am interested in (for example beach volleyball) and definitely not something that is forced or inauthentic (I like the Seinfeld reference). The same is true for the workout classes. I generally sit in a chair all day (unless I'm out in the field which is rare), so I do yoga which helps with my lower back tightness. With respect to talking to random people, I am generally curious person so I tend to ask questions for things I'm interested in (I have a vegetable garden so I try to get the tricks from the farmers market folks and have a dog so ask dog related gear, food, etc.). In short, I don't do these activities solely for the purpose of finding someone to date, but hope that by putting myself out there that something will come (even if it's just a friend of a friend). Definitely agree with the dating advice (I'm more old fashioned with this). I always dress appropriately and make sure I'm well presented (haircut, beard trim, etc.), try to take the initiative and plan something besides just drinks (indoor mini-golf, coffee and a walk around the National Mall [more crowded public outdoor place], lazer tag and cocktails, ice skating and hot chocolate, etc.), and always asks tons of genuine questions and make sure my attention is solely focused on the person I'm out with (phone doesn't leave my pocket and I tend not to talk too much about myself unless asked [and if so it's not in a bragging type of way or tone]). For me (at least in my late twenties/thirties) it's seems to be a cycle of flaky, non-commitment and second dates (the third dates are generally planned and then later cancelled by the person). The frustration aspect comes from feeling that some of these dates went really well and there is a genuine connection (by your mid-thirties I fell like you can definitely sense this), and not understanding what is going wrong or where the disconnect is (and knowing how insanely easy it is for a lot of guys). Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places (some mentions of church or regularly going to a local watering hole which I like) or it will come when I'm not looking and just carrying forth trying to live my best life (tough to be patient in your mid-thirties when you want something real). Anyway, thanks for the suggestions and I'll have to check the book and "Tao of Steve" (seen the two others)!

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Thanks for the reply! Glad it wasn’t taken the wrong way.

National Mall? You’re in Dodge City?? I grew up there! (VA side) Small world! 😃

“knowing how insanely easy it is for a lot of guys”

Maybe, maybe not. Too many songs to mention about this phenomenon. (Rod Stewart “Some guys have all the luck” playing in my head 😂 )

Best not to assume…Maybe those guys are just naturally charismatic? Maybe you are just seeing their successes and didn’t see all their failures, or maybe they are just very good looking and their appearance does all the work 🤷‍♂️

All I know, as a happy married man with kids, is that comparing yourself to others, especially the superficial stuff, is the root of unhappiness.

I think the reason so many men and women are unhappy these days is because of social media. It feeds the green-eyed monster (envy) like nothing before in human history.

From The 2nd link clip I posted from “Tao of Steve”:

“We only pursue that which retreats. “

“Dogs chase rabbits, not rocks or parked cars.”

“Women are bored with the easy catch…”

“In relationships, Boredom = Death”

“For great looking guys, they got no problem, they can just slide by on their appearance.

But; for guys like us, successful hooking up with the ladies requires a little work, and a lot of intelligence”

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founding

Don't know you, but I learned early on that if you become a good conversationist, which means a good listener, and pay attention to social clues, it will go a long way in getting interest from people. Becoming a good conversationalist takes practice and a willingness to open yourself up. I was a military brat, moving from place to place as a child, so it came easy for me. Just had to get over some shyness that appeared in my late teens. In my early adulthood I worked with some hard core salesmen, who always had women. They all had the "gift of gab" to be good sales people. Add in a genuine curiosity about people to a willingness to talk to people and you could find yourself more in demand.

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"2) Many singles now are just plain uninteresting. They check off societal boxes ( career, education, political beliefs, etc) but there is no person behind the facade. It’s like everyone in the dating pool is an avatar with no real person behind it. There is no actual conversation when they meet- just a series of checkbox questions. And the answers are almost always predictable."

I think - and this is from my experience as a therapist at a university though most of the 2010s - that this comes from young people's fear of anything ambiguous.

There is something about mid to younger millennials and zoomers that seeks extremely black and white answers to everything. Their world is made up of good and bad, safe and unsafe, perfect relationships and abusers, success or failure.

They need a step by step programs with guarenteed results, or they melt. They can't figure stuff out on their own. They can't really have fun because the fun might get problematic or something (and that would be BAD.). They need everything to organized and programmed for them. They cannot deal with mystery, ambiguity, uncertainty, or even the contours of real personality.

Where does this come from? I think there are so many causes. Lack of free play in childhood, helicopter parenting, an aggressive focus on academic success and resume building over the development of personality, lack of intergenerational socialization, political polarization, cancel culture, simplistic YA novels and superhero movies. I could go on.

But whatever the cause, there is just a psychological fragility that makes so many young people incapable of having or dealing with actual, vibrant, complicated *personality.*

My husband and I have recently been binge watching Seinfeld and The

Office. Can you imagine "characters" like this being written today? When we were growing up (we are late Gen Xers) we had no "digital" spaces to escape to; we had to live real lives in the real and physically limited communities where chance had stuck us. And those communities were filled with "characters": weird neighbors, loud aunts and uncles, quirky teachers, daring friends with big personalities that clashed out in the woods or the concrete playground far from adult rules. You had to deal with real people in the real world, you had to work sh*t out with them, you had to learn how to be hurt by them and how to hurt back and how to forgive and be forgiven. You had to laugh at yourself and others and show mercy to both.

And our stories and media reflected that world.

And then everything became organized travel soccer and video games and having to get into the "right college" and getting fired or canceled for a tweet, that world vanished, and personality flattened.

I think one of the reasons our media and literature has gotten so incredibly bland is that young writers simply do not have enough real experience with vibrant, unique, weird, flamboyant *characters* in their social world. Everyone they know is a fellow black and white, profile building, millennial or zoomer careerist, with the "right" things on their carefully curated resume, not a single failure or displeased authority figure in sight (one must never risk failure through experiment or challenge those who write the recommendation letters) and impeccably puritanical progressive morality.

There is no room here for personality.

There is also little room for love, or relationship, or genuine marriage and parenting that is more than just another resume building excercise.

I think one of the reason affluent, successful Girl Boss types often end up so miserable in motherhood that they need to write essays about it for The Atlantic or NYT Magazine is that they see having a child as just another resume item. A child isn't a unique person to women like this, but another aspect of herself that needs to be maximized. This is accomplished via the right schools, toys, feeding methods, and social approval etc, rather than a relationship with a real, messy, ambiguous, flawed, vibrant, and unique human personality.

When the child refuses to play along with Mommy's carefully curated agenda, Mom goes into despair. In her life of resume building and profile maintenance and kissing up to authority no one ever gave her the emotional tools to deal with what is genuinely human, and the genuinely human is the task and logic of marriage and family life.

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A few points to add;

1) you are right about unsupervised activities. We would go to the playground without parents and play whatever sport was in season at the time. We would choose sides. Two best players would be captains and they would choose in turn from highest skill level to lowest. The pecking order was clear and meritocratic. The better you were the higher you were chosen. Very simple.

2) from a nation of citizens we have become the nation of consumers that we were warned about. I date that to well before social media. It started with “branding” and mass media in general decades ago. You are what you own now. Not what you do or how you act or think.

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What part of Philly are you in? I’m in East Falls, it would be cool to connect with another TFPer in real life

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Did he respond?

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The good news of this story is that liberal women will not produce off spring.

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Aug 16, 2023·edited Aug 16, 2023

I hate having to continually reference lessons from the movie Idiocracy, but I think that one of them is applicable here. Educated liberal women may not be having children, but liberal women on welfare absolutely still are.

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My husband and I watched that movie for the first time last month. A few years ago, I would have said it was utterly ridiculous. As we watched it though I spent the whole movie going “oh shit, this is our current trajectory”.

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