I'm going to apologize in advance that, while W's posts have been very deep and meaningful these days, my posts haven't been as much. I suppose that's the beauty of having a co-author, right?
Okay, so I just feel the need to share some of my current thoughts about single men these days. Hint: I am generally displeased with them. Now, I’m going to go on record and say that I’m referring to a very generalized concept of the twenty first century mid-20s to early-30s single man. This is not all men. This is not all single men. This is not even all "twenty first century mid-20s to early-30s single men." I’ve encountered some exceptions… like maybe 5. Haha! However, I’ve encountered dozens of non-exceptions, and thus the generalization was born. Please note that I am (unfortunately) not distinguishing between Christian and non-Christian men, because frankly, I have not noticed a need for such distinction.
I’ve done my fair share of dating various iterations of this man, and I’ve also watched my friends cycle through their own. Ladies… if you haven’t had the pleasure of being single and dating in adulthood (no, high school and college do not count), let me tell you that it is rough. A good man is hard to find.
Here are some of the trademarks of the twenty first century mid-20s to early-30s single man… recognize any of them?
1) He’s into "hanging out"… not asking you out. Hanging out is more casual… it’s less pressure. Hanging out means that he can see you but not prioritize you. Hanging out means that he’s not responsible for planning, paying, or even getting fully dressed. He lets you know when he’s "free" (normally 1.5 hours max before desired "hang out") and just wants to know if you’re free too. The reality is that he’s bored, broke (likely ha!), and not man enough to risk the possible rejection of a real date invite. Not impressive.
2) He’s into texting… not calling. Texting is easy! It’s fast! I can do it while I’m at work! I can do it while on the toilet! Texting takes absolutely no commitment. You can say what you want, when you want, with almost no consequence. You can text multiple people at the same time... you can text while literally on a date with someone else. Texting keeps you from investing your time or your emotion into this person or this relationship. Texting is a poor, poor substitute for real communication, and that's precisely why these men prefer it.
3) He’s into being casual… not exclusive. He comes up with every possible vocabulary word to describe what this "thing" is, with the exception of "relationship" or "girlfriend." You meet this guy and find yourself "dating"… "talking"… "hanging out"… "courting"… "seeing each other"… maybe even "hooking up," but Lord knows that you aren’t in a relationship. He refuses to get attached, be vulnerable, give up his other options, and get serious. If you express concern about this fact, it’s suddenly your fault. Didn’t you know that it’s unreasonable to think you’re the only one? Please.
4) He’s single because he "just hasn’t met the right one." Homeboy lives in some alternate universe where apparently being with "the right one" means never having to compromise, sacrifice, do chores, communicate, be honest, meet her needs, and ride out a rough patch. He’s always looking for the next best thing… because it’s a deal-breaker that this beautiful, smart, kind, God-fearing woman just doesn’t love the Patriots. I mean, how could we ever raise children together if she doesn’t love the PATRIOTS!? He nitpicks and fault-finds to avoid facing the hard reality of his own baggage – namely, immaturity, emotional unavailability, and commitment phobia.
5) He’s too postmodern for chivalry. Didn’t that officially die with feminism? Has this guy ever opened a car door? Doubtful.
6) He’s consistently unsettled and uncommitted. Okay, we’re not even talking about relationships here. Now we’re talking about general life… We’re talking about the life of a real, full-grown adult. He doesn’t settle anywhere and doesn’t commit to anything. He switches careers every 6 months, switches roommates and apartments every year, refuses to make any kind of long-term plan, wants to keep himself "available" at all times. Available for what? For chasing after some boyhood dream of living in Key West and drinking coconut milk all day? For running around after the flavor-of-the-week women he encounters in bars? He spends all of his energy running away from that which distinguishes adults from children: responsibility. And we wonder why the thought of marriage terrifies him?
I am more and more convinced that real, respectable, mature men are a dying breed. And ladies, I regretfully say that I believe we’ve had a hand in killing them off. So many of us (definitely myself included) have grown to accept this bad behavior because we simply lack confidence that we can expect anything else. Isn’t that sad? But really, why should we anticipate different behavior if this is what we see over and over again, day in and day out, one by one with all of our friends? Like I said, it is rough.
One time W said that being engaged is like entering a secret circle of women who are all silently communicating with their shimmering eyes and glittering rings "We did it!" I wouldn’t know, but I think the unspoken victory might also read "We actually found a good one! We seriously, actually found one worthy of us. We win! We win!" That’s cause for celebration in my mind. Ha!
Anyway, my point of all of this was not to depress you, fair readers. But it was to bring all of this to light and say "Are we really going to deal with this any longer?" Are we really going to continue to make excuses for men who are apparently comfortable being immature, maladjusted, weenies? I vote NO. We deserve far, far better.
I’m halfway convinced that once we realize this and start to act like it, maybe some real men will step up their game. I mean, it’s worth a shot, right?