From age thirteen til thirty I identified as a man interested in women. During these eighteen years only two women expressed romantic or sexual interest in me unprompted. Both of them were friends of mine. There was a third ambigous case but thats it! Here is what I looked like recently:
That should give you some idea of how I looked. I am a bit short (5’8”) but I was usually in quite decent shape (I could do 15-25 pullups at all times, could always at least bench bodyweight, etc). During my adulthood I always had a decently active social life. For some of my adult life I had a very active social life.
Most men are unbelievably desexualized. I think many people have no idea what ‘average’ guys are actually like. And they certainly don’t seem to understand how demoralizing it is for most guys to date. I don’t endorse unhealthy responses to male lonliness. But I wanted to share the empirical reality I experienced: I got unprompted interest from women about once a decade. This really sucks. I hope one day society is able to have much healthier norms. I have a lot of respect for any guys who found a way to deal with the hand they were dealt. It’s rough out there. Stay strong brothers.
Context: A lot of my pals are discussing articles like this one and what advice men need. I love sharing advice. But I only like advice when it is very high impact. Most dating advice for guys doesn’t seem very high impact to me. And I think most advice doesn’t contend with how demoralizing the situation is.
4 thoughts on “Dating Woes”
Very brave of you to post this.
Good post, especially re: advice that contends with demoralization. One of my biggest positive developments as a dater is that I started viewing online dating as a sales campaign rather than a sequence of interactions and rejections.
I agree, it’s brave of you to write this. All the dating guides say that vocalizing or otherwise tipping off one’s needs is a deal-killer in dating (“neediness”).
Jacob’s writings don’t engage or empathize enough with all the men who are struggling. As a man who has struggled for years with dating I found his advice I utterly unhelpful. The problem with men not being able to find a partner seems particularly acute in the EA / rationality communities. My guess is this is because of the high percentage of aspie / socially awkward guys. Just as men are picky about looks, women are picky about being non-awkward / socially competent. Looks you can generally change, your neurotype you can’t really. It’s happened to me many times where I’ve been on several dates and everything seemed fine and then the next text I get she says she’s not interested. I never manage to get any feedback as to why. Dating seems like a mindfield – everything is fun and you’re hopes are getting up and then one slip up and boom you’re rejected. The best you can do is try to practice meditation etc and try not to let it be too much of an emotional rollercoaster.
Generally speaking, loneliness among men of all ages is a neglected problem in society currently.
Aloha. Here 50+, married, 5 kids (3 moms, it’s complicated). Girls coming to me to ask for a date? Yeah, that’s rare (Once in high-school.) Girls willing to go on a date, if YOU go ahead: yep, that’s the way! (You are lucky or girl-wise, if you notice their signals*. That led to enough dates over 3 decades as an adult. Though it not always felt “enough”. And I would never advise to take a no for a “try harder”. Just ask, try more often to get an ok. putanumonit has good advice and a great blog.
If that is too hard (though you look better than me, are fitter, I know, and smarter, I assume):
Here my advice for the lonely: Look to marry (married people have more sex, btw.. With each other.).
Who? -A girl from a country where your salary is in the top 1%. Moldova, Russia, Philippines, Vietnam, Dominican. Video-call, go there, meet your dates, invite. Don’t you worry, they all do have agency. Loads of. They are women, after all. And not selling out.
(* our culture now seems to be all about “do not signal”. I do feel your pain. Hardly ever got laid in the west, too. Bad luck. Good luck: I worked abroad mostly.)
p.s. If this true and tested advice is turning you off: I understand, too.
pps: This post about meat is guaranteed to do so: https://erikhoel.substack.com/p/eating-meat-is-good-says-the-philosopher