Why Women Are Frustrated and Confused about Men and Dating
Many women are confused and frustrated about men and dating....and they don’t know why. Here is my take on this malaise: At one time, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. On an intuitive level, this essence is still alive today. However, since the advent of the sixties sexual revolution, American cultural standards have shifted.
Men and women are exhibiting somewhat androgynous behavior. Mind you, not all men and women are embracing a form of androgyny, but many are. Thus, the distinctions between the sexes are blurred. Our sexual revolution has created confusion about the relational roles between male and female.
Consequently, there is a whole lot of friction going on in the world of dating.
For example, in recent decades, women have begun hunting and gathering for the male, so to speak. Traditional roles are going by the wayside. In and of itself, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is confusing. Why so? Because our society has inadvertently produced a new male prototype who, because of free love, has become adept at not putting in the time and effort to pursue a woman who truly interests him, the way men used to do.
Such men are convinced that it is perfectly fine for him to be "a gatherer," but the problem is, women are not natural "hunters." Nevertheless, because women are ever the adapters, they have chosen to compensate for the rise of the culturally androgynous male, aka, the "male gatherer." She has now assumed his previous role---that of protector and provider.
Who is the male gatherer? He is the male who claims he has embraced equality; however, he has actually embraced laziness when it comes to dating. You've come across him. He is the guy who let's the women come to him. He does not pursue women. He is very self-centered. His take is, "If women want equality, let her prove herself to me."
1960s Cultural Movement
According to Linda J. Waite, the author of The Negative Effects of Cohabitation, "Cohabitating men tend to be less committed to the relationship."
The 1960's cultural movement had good intentions and some positive outcomes. However, the sexual revolution has failed us when it came to love, romance and commitment. Unfortunately, too many American men have morphed into something we did not foresee coming. The "gatherer" is not adept at committing, pursuing or providing.
Herein lies the crux of the matter.
Feminists had the right idea about wanting more equality, as in equal pay, but they got a little side-tracked by the free love thing. What they didn't realize is that most men are more than happy to accept the "No Strings Attached" philosophy of "free love." His philosophy goes something like this: "If we live together, I will enjoy the convenience of having a quasi-wife, but without any messy responsibilities or financial risk."
The male gatherer is into low stress relationships. In the event he should decide the woman doesn't meet his needs after all, he has no problem leaving. His reasons?
"She was too much trouble."
"Who needs drama?"
Meanwhile, he takes pleasure in having sex on a regular basis. Gratification with no commitment and no repercussions---That's his motto.
Yet sadly, women offer themselves up to this so-called male "feminist" who is actually a "gatherer" in disguise. The reality is that the male gatherer has lost his instinct for honest romance and true commitment. He is not the gentle, caring, fair minded man he claimed to be.
Courting women isn't part of the gatherers' paradigm. He believes relationships should be easy and uncomplicated. Easy come, easy go. His expectations do not mirror the truth, which is that anything or anyone worth having requires time and effort.
Thus, having experienced disappointment in dating for the umpteenth time, many women carry around a perpetual cloud of frustration and anger. Nevertheless, not wanting to appear passive, women continue the hunt. “We have to go after guys," they insist. "If we wait, nothing happens." "What choice do we have?"
Women who feel this way have a point, but their premise is wrong. She has another choice. She can let the man seek her. Here’s the thing. Women actually liked having the man pursue her. His effort proved he had a level of interest. His pursuit of her was hot and efficient - sort of like the engine of a BMW. But the gatherer guy....well...he lacks drive. He's a Ford Pinto or maybe a Volkswagen bus. The easy love thing works for him, but it isn't working for her. Apparently, easy love isn't so easy after all. Unwed mothers who struggle to raise their children without father's know this better than anyone.
Percentage of Single Mothers Who are Hispanic
Percentage of single mothers who are White
Percentage of Single Mothers Who are Black
Percentage of Single Mothers Who are American Indian
What Needs to Happen
So what's a woman to do? First, she must learn to recognize the gatherer. She must then stop throwing herself at his feet. Forever.
Male gatherer guy does not have the inclination or the stamina for true romance women crave. He always leaves women feeling emotionally shortchanged because, in fact, he is emotionally stunted. Chances are high that he didn't have a father to teach him how to be a man. In any event, any woman who truly wants an emotionally satisfying relationship must first decide to place more value on her worth, her time, her career and her passions. In so doing, she changes her own perspective about the value of her life. Women must realize that meeting a great guy is icing on the cake. Icing is delicious and it can make a lovely difference---but it is still optional.
The woman has to step up her game as well. She must learn to appreciate her womanhood and everything that being a woman entails. She doesn't have to become a man to be equal. By virtue of being a human being, she is already equal.
I knew a man who was a former hippie. He was highly educated, but the hippie mentality never really left him. Anyway, he told me that he had lived in a commune and that he really enjoyed his life. He talked about how fun it was to get naked and paint women's bodies. This, I gathered, was a type of foreplay. He went on to say that the only disagreeable aspect of commune life was that the women were, "Really messed up."
I guess so. Having multiple partners, not knowing who the father of your child is and whether or not your lover(s) even remembered you from the day or night before would make any woman "a mess." The dirty little secret about 1960's "free love" men is that they were rampant chauvinists. They made love, smoked pot, quoted Nietzsche, Karl Marx and existential poetry. They didn't do much else. Meanwhile, the woman cooked, cleaned, scrabbled for food and even made herself available to other lovers at the request of her "main man." You know, equal love and all that. It's no wonder why these women were "messed up."
Meet the New Boss: Same As the Old Boss
The point is that male gatherers of the 1960's sexual revolution got used to the perks of free love. Not hard to comprehend. The problem we have today is that many men are content to view women in the same misogynistic manner as did the hippies of the 1960's. Unfortunately, women are still falling for it. The problem is, if the going gets rough because "she has too many expectations that don't match with my idea of fairness," then male gatherer believes he is free to leave. His thought is, "I'll go my way and she can go her way."
To be sure, not all men act badly. I am not making that assertion. What I am saying is that society has created the "male gatherer" and he is someone who does not understand that love and commitment actually matter. He thinks what matters is that he keeps his freedom. After all, no one taught him how to respect women. His frustrated mom was working all of the time, and good ole' dad was MIA. Maybe his mom even lost the values she once had. Thus, the male gatherer had no positive role models to teach him what it means to become a grown-up.
Common Reasons Why Men Don't Commit: Rutgers University's National Marriage Project
- Males can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past
- Males can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying
- Men want to avoid divorce and its financial risks
- Men fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises
- Males face few social pressures to marry
So naturally, it behooves the woman to shift her focus toward worthwhile men who actually enjoy pursuing a woman, who exhibit patience and caring, and who are willing to ignore the trend that presupposes men and women are exactly the same in every way. Men and women are not exactly the same. Our bodies are different, our brains are wired differently, we communicate differently, we have different mannerisms, and unique needs. But the male gatherer would have you believe this cannot be true because that wouldn't be fair or equal---for him.
Long story short, women must become adept at letting the male gatherer go. In other words, she must learn to pare down the dating field. The smart woman values herself far too much to waste her time on a man who treats her like she is worthless.
Finally, women must learn to become responsible for all the bad romantic choices she has made. She must take personal responsibility for her poor decisions. Only then will she be able to turn her life around, and thus begin to let go of the anger and frustration she had carried before. She will now be in a position to proactively guide her dating life in a manner that will finally allow her to experience true love and romance---the kind that has purpose, meaning, and staying power.
The smart woman does not play hard to get---she is hard to get. Let me explain. Playing hard to get suggests that a woman feigns disinterest in a man to whom she is attracted. Being hard to get has to do with the psyche of a woman who is selective about the kind of men she chooses to date in the first place. Once a woman has determined she is interested in someone, she is free to capture his attention. However, she does this with care. She does not rush into a situation without first finding out what she is getting into. She learns to make better choices, always with long term consequences in mind. She becomes responsible and more thoughtful.
Dating: An Art
Dating is an acquired skill which requires good communication. Some women mistakenly feel they must open up about every single thing that has ever happened to them because that is only "fair and honest." But the truth is, there is no reason for any woman or man to reveal everything about their feelings or their past relationships in the beginning stages of dating. We must open up at our own pace. In so doing, we are respecting our parameters and sense of privacy---and this is as it should be. A secure partner will respect your need to share life stories at your own pace. In fact, no one really has to reveal everything that isn't relevant. On the other hand, excessive secrecy in any individual is a red flag.
A woman who is thoroughly uncomplicated and too eager to please will not attract the love of a man who has the masculine fiber women crave. Her confidence as a woman, combined with her feminine spirit, is the magnet that consistently attracts truly decent men her way. The woman who knows how to date well is very much at ease with her femininity. A worthwhile man will readily pursue a woman like her, but he is easily bored with a woman who does not provide him with any challenges whatsoever. A good man isn't looking for a doormat to walk over. The worthwhile man respects a woman who has a backbone. Only gatherer's hate being challenged.
Positive dating also recognizes and appreciates the core differences between men and women. In truth, regardless of our cultural leanings, it's actually quite pleasurable to embrace the distinctions between male and female rather than constantly fighting against them or trying to act like the other gender. Masculine and feminine traits actually complement one another quite nicely---sort of like two pieces of a puzzle.
From now on, let the male gatherer do whatever he wants to do, just so long as he doesn't do it with you. Your responsibility as a woman is to turn your attention toward the man who shows you that he cares---through his actions. Listen to your woman's heart and mind. Only then will you be assured of love that will stand the test of time.
More by this Author
Learn what women truly crave from men and how any man can keep satisfying, romantic love in his life for the long term.
An inspiring list of qualities that men find hard to resist in women, and a true life story of an uncommon male magnet.
A six step guide on how to pique a man's interest by developing that "certain something" that enables you to stand out among all the others.