Psychology Today Says Women Are Getting Higher Standards–and Men Are Left Lonely

by | Aug 12, 2022 | Preparing for Marriage, Research | 182 comments

Women Higher Standards Who to Date

What if men are finding it hard to find a mate because women are getting higher standards?

That’s the claim in a new article in Psychology Today that’s going crazy on social media right now: 

Women Get Higher Dating Standards

And I checked out the references the post uses, and they appear to hold up! A peer reviewed study does show that single men are lonelier than single women, and that loneliness among men is increasing.

Another study shows that men are more likely to be unpartnered long term than women, and that unpartnered men are faring worse than unpartnered women–and faring worse than unpartnered men did thirty years ago.

And, yes, more men are on dating apps than women.

So let’s look at the claims in the article! 

Women have higher standards about who they will date

The thrust of the article is that women are no longer willing to invest in men who haven’t invested in themselves. Women don’t want emotionally immature men who don’t know how to carry a conversation; don’t know how to pull their weight in a relationship; and aren’t willing to open up emotionally.

Women would rather be single than date someone like that.

And so women are super choosy on dating apps, and many have left the dating market altogether, leaving men in much fiercer competition for the women who remain.

The article says that the big problem is that men have a skills deficit:

For men, this means a relationship skills gap that, if not addressed, will likely lead to fewer dating opportunities, less patience for poor communication skills, and longer periods of being single. The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love. Emotional connection requires all the skills that families are still not consistently teaching their young boys.

Greg Matos

The Rise of Lonely, Single Men, Psychology Today

This reminds me of the series I did on emotional maturity.

I wrote about how in evangelicalism, men are taught to not be emotionally mature.

In fact, our best-sellers encourage emotional immaturity in men.  And they also work directly against direct communication for men. 

I wonder, then, if this problem is actually greater in Christian communities. Many, many women have told me they prefer to date secular men than Christian men.

Women are pursuing higher education at greater numbers than men, so women are more likely to be highly educated (though men are more likely to be skilled in trades, which often leads to better pay). Women are more equipped to look after themselves in terms of running a household, and women have better emotional skills on the whole, and so aren’t as lonely even if they’re single.

When women are in a community, then, where women are seen as “less than”, and where they are expected to follow men’s opinions rather than their own; abdicate their own dreams in favor of their husbands; and exist as an appendage to their husband, many women are bowing out. Combine that with our evangelical culture that teaches that women are responsible for keeping men from sinning by dressing modestly and then by providing sexual favors when married (even during the postpartum phase), and many women are just saying no.

"A groundbreaking look into what true, sacred biblical sexuality is intended to be. A must-read." - Rachael Denhollander

What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the messages that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these toxic teachings?

It's time for a Great Sex Rescue.

Great Sex Rescue

All of this brings me to something else that happened this week that took me by surprise.

I shared a Fixed it For You of a man writing that a husband’s job is to get his wife ready for Jesus. 

 

Fixed it for You Ready for heaven

I couldn’t believe how much this blew up on all my social media channels! But what was interesting about this one was how many women were just done. Absolutely done. They were having none of it.

And yet I had pushback from many men, claiming this is how it should be.

Four and a half years ago, when this article was first published, I wrote about why husbands aren’t to get us ready for Jesus, and there was widespread support for my stance. But this year the support was accompanied by downright anger at the injustice and the distortion of the gospel to elevate men. So many women are completely and utterly fed up.

The truth is that a lot of women bring more to the table than many men do.

Women can care for themselves financially; can look after a home; can keep family relationships intact and together; can get their long term goals in place and pursue them. If they are going to marry, then, they need a partner who enhances their life; not someone that holds them back or makes more work for them. Men have to bring a lot to the table too.

This is not to say that men don’t; but increasingly stats are showing that young women are more impressive than young men, at least if you look at job prospects, emotional maturity, and life skills.

If you’re a man who honestly believes that you are to be your future wife’s leader and your job is to correct her, then, it’s going to get increasingly difficult to find a woman who wants to fill that role.

Women are realizing that we are whole people, made in the image of God, and that our allegiance lies first to Jesus, not to our husbands. It is Jesus that we are to follow. And men who want to find women who will obey them may find that it’s an awfully small pool they’re picking from.

I think this is a good thing, and a good trend, and I hope that it means that we start raising our boys to be more emotionally mature, more able to have good relationships, and more able to look after themselves and their households without a woman, so that they can pull their weight. Because if we want to raise boys who will be good catches, it’s about more than just making sure they go to church and making sure they have a job.

It’s about making sure they’re actually a good partner. And that starts with raising them to respect the girls around them, take responsibility for themselves, and not feel entitled to other people’s deference and obedience.

 

Women Higher Standards for Dating

What do you think? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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182 Comments

  1. Joel Horst

    As a man, I honestly think this is great. Guys should be showing up as mature men, not as overgrown kids who need a mom to take care of them. They need to be the sort of guys who will give themselves to their wife wholeheartedly—gee, didn’t I hear that before somewhere?—and carry their fair share.

    They need to be the sort of guys who aren’t intimidated by a woman who knows and speaks her mind, while also knowing where they themselves stand and not merely being passive acceptors of everything she says.

    They need to give the wife honor as a joint heir in Christ—gee, didn’t I read that somewhere as well?—and treat her as a full adult, not as someone who is “under” them.

    They need to treat their wife the way they themselves would want to be treated, too. (Am I tripping or did I read that somewhere too?)

    Oh, and by the way, if the Holy Spirit is active in their lives, they will be loving, peaceful, joyful, kind, gentle, patient, and self-controlled.

    I mean, I could be wrong, but I think this relationship advice was given like, what, 2000 years ago? Like, maybe, just maybe, implementing it would be a good idea?

    Reply
    • John

      I am a mature man still very young (21). I live on my own, go to the gym 5 days a week, I am tall and have a great job. I am very kind to almost everyone and am a Christian. I am a good looking guy. I cook, I clean, I work. The true reality is women don’t even look towards a guy like me. Being 21 most women require me to drive a Range Rover, have a house, make 100k+ p/y. Older men and women cannot speak on the current dating game of younger generations, they do not understand. Being a “good” man at young ages now adays is not rewarding to the modern day male and not appeasing to the modern day women.

      Reply
      • Missy

        John you sound like a decent, mature young man, but don’t be discouraged. These same women that are turning you down now will be sorry later. I believe any thing that’s of true value is rare to find, so be encouraged.

        Reply
      • Angharad

        John, you can’t expect an old head on young shoulders. You are still very young yourself, and assuming you are looking to date girls around your own age, so are your potential dates. People in their late teens and early 20s are still developing, maturing and finding their own way in life. And often still learning what the right things are to look for in a life partner. So don’t be discouraged.

        You’re sad that ‘most women’ expect you to be a wealthy home owner with an expensive car. Maybe instead, you should be glad that women with a materialistic mindset are ruling themselves out, so you don’t have to waste time doing it! Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, keep striving to become more like him. Godly women appreciate men who have a Christlike character – and do you really want to be attracting the attention of women who DON’T want a husband who seeks to be more like Jesus?

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Very much so! I also tell people that if the only possible dating partners they meet are totally bad, then perhaps they need a different social group. Go join a university Christian group, even if you’re not in university. Join a College & Careers group in a town near a big university. Volunteer at meaningful things, and you’ll find women who are also passionate about things that matter.

          Reply
      • John Doe

        John,

        Sadly the age group of women that you are pursuing is the same age group that most single men are pursuing. There have been numerous studies that have shown that men prefer women in the 18-29 age range. That is when women have their greatest leverage in the dating market. Men, however, don’t appear to begin to have the greater leverage until they reach their late 30s and up. There are of course exceptions.

        What you are running into is hypergamy that many women still cling to. I have seen it described as ‘The sixes’. Women appear to want a man that is 6 foot, with a 6 pack and a six figure income, and that is before the considerations of personality are even factored in. These criteria make the majority of men invisible to women.

        However, if a man has standards, the internet explodes and he is called sexist and misogynistic.

        Ain’t double standards a pain?

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Can you please show me any proof that women are pickier about men’s looks than men are about women’s looks? You make a lot of claims with no basis, and it really sounds like you just don’t like women very much.

          If you’re giving off that vibe, women will not want to be with you.

          Reply
          • John Doe

            Sheila,

            ‘Can you please show me any proof that women are pickier about men’s looks than men are about women’s looks?’

            You are misrepresenting my point. It was that men’s looks can be a barrier to entry with women.

            A study from University of Chicago and MIT in 2006 looked at online dating patterns. In regards to height, “Women like tall men. Men in the 6’3 – 6’4 range, for example, receive 65% more first contact emails than men in the 5’7 – 5’8 range.” (Pg. 21).

            https://home.uchicago.edu/~hortacsu/onlinedating.pdf

            I did not say that women were more picky than men in regards to looks. Misquoting my statement gives the appearance of bias on your part when critical feedback is given.

            ‘… it really sounds like you just don’t like women very much.’

            Gaslighting?

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            I am honestly not sure the point you’re trying to make. Yes, women have preferences, just as men have preferences. I never said they didn’t.

            Women are setting higher standards, yes, but the change is not about looks but about the fact that women want a man who adds to her life, not one who makes more work for her.

            Again, the way to fix this problem is not for women to have lower standards, but for men to develop emotional maturity and take their share of mental load, which are much bigger barriers to dating than looks are. Of course looks matter–they do to men, too, and they matter more for men. No one is arguing that they don’t matter.

            But you seem to not want to deal with the fact that women are in a better place to be single than men are, and so it is men right now who are going to have to show they are worth partnering with, which means developing emotional maturity and not feeling entitlement.

          • John Doe

            Sheila,

            I am not entitled. It is a minor miracle that my wife married me and hasn’t kicked me to the curb even though I worship the ground she walks on.

            But maybe that is the depression talking.

      • Meghan

        Hon, I’d like you to read your comment over again real quick. What qualities did you point out about yourself that make you feel like you stand out? I saw a lot of things you do and the way you look, and only one statement about your character (the part where you mention being kind to everyone). When I met my husband, the things that caught my attention the most about him were all character based: he is empathetic, kind, always ready to help others, treats everyone with respect and dignity, and genuinely listens. I hear your frustration, and I felt it too for years and years and years as a single woman. It could be that you’re just not encountering the right kind of women, but it also could be that you need to work on how you present yourself as a person of character. I wish you the best of luck in figuring out what’s up, if anything is, and hope things get better.

        Reply
      • Kathy

        John, I have a 20 yr old single Christian daughter who would walk in the other direction if she heard you place so much emphasis on your physical looks that you spend 5 days a week in a gym. It’s character that counts. Spend more time volunteering and being involved in activities that you enjoy, rather than concentrating so much on your looks and building muscle. Physical health is important, of course. But you seem to make your looks the priority, judging by how you describe yourself, and where you spend your free time (gym).

        Reply
      • Lea

        John you are only 21. What on earth makes you think this? It is not at all true for women your age.

        I suspect the sour grapes are hindering your dating pool

        Reply
        • John Doe

          It sounds like he has bad experiences.

          He gave specific examples as to what, in his experience, that women seem to want from a man today.

          Reply
          • Sarah

            Seemingly informed by red-pill beliefs, as your own comments also indicate.
            Red pill propagators push a narrative that does not match what women want.

            Get out of the red pill space and start listening to real women: we are telling you that you can be 6’5″ have an 8-pack and have a substantial income, but if you’re a jerk or if we can tell there’s an underlying disdain for us as women, we’re not interested.

            A man who invests in his emotional and mental health and sees and cares for others is very attractive. I’ll take him over the dude with the physical and financial traits going for him, if that is all that guy is offering.

  2. Jo R

    Better for men to be lonely and single because they’re not suitable relationship material than for women to wind up lonely and married to men who spent a few months successfully pretending to be suitable relationship material.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I agree 100%. That’s exactly where I find myself, and I wouldn’t pick my marriage again if I had it to do over, even though I love him very much.

      Reply
  3. Codec

    There is a lot that goes into the lonely male. Some have never put themselves out there. Some do not want to deal with heartbreak. Some have been burned by women and figure that it would be better to avoid women than risk being hurt again. Some think that they have no chance to begin with that society genetics and their own anthropology are against them. Some are as terrified by women as they are fascinated by them.

    I think a lot of men feel lost. They want a sense of purpose. They want adventure and companionship.

    Reply
    • John Doe

      I have several single guy friends that have told me exactly this. Add to that the very real possibility of divorce, which is still move than 50% in the US. Of those, women file 80% of them, that makes marriage not work the risk to some men.

      In regards to dating, you have to also look at the increasing gap of education and income levels between men and women. If a women has a bachelor’s degree, they are less likely to be willing to ‘settle’ for a man that does not have that degree. In fact, they are more likely to pursue the men who have higher degrees than them because they would be at or above their level educationally.

      There is also the physical characteristics. For instance, women are less likely to date a man who is as tall or shorter than her.

      Emotional maturity is important but there are other differences that come into play as well.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Well, the thing is, John, that women who are single are happier than men who are single. You’re talking about all the reasons women won’t settle. But this isn’t hurting women. This is helping women. So if women won’t settle for men who are not as educated, who don’t have as much motivation in life, who aren’t as emotionally mature–well, that isn’t something to mourn. That is a reason to tell men that they need to bring something more to the table.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Also, I think you’ve got the logic wrong.

          If women are initiating 80% of divorces, it means that marriage is worse for women than it is for men, and singleness is better for women than it is for men. It is women who are saying, “I would prefer to be single than to remain with him.”

          Thus, marriage is a bad deal for women, not men. And the stats show this. Marriage has far better health benefits, emotional benefits, and family benefits for men than for women. Women do a lot better single than men do single.

          If what you’re saying is true than it would be WOMEN who want to marry, and MEN who didn’t. But what the data shows is that more men are lonely and long-term single than women, and men are more unhappy about it than women are.

          The solution, it seems to me, is to make marriage a better proposition for women than it currently is! Because women are okay ditching marriage, while men do not fare nearly as well when women do.

          Reply
      • Jo R

        Now that women can live, and live well, independently of being married, yeah, they don’t need to settle.

        Is it really so bad that men have to step up, grow up, and be better human beings to attract a woman?

        As for women not dating shorter men, how many women have been rejected due to not being supermodel beautiful or having DD breasts?

        Reply
        • Lea

          Also the average man is 4-5 inches taller than the average woman.

          Men are basically blaming women for the very good odds that they will end up with a taller man! Meanwhile my 6 foot friends husband is shorter and that is also fine.

          Reply
    • John Doe

      I think that there are multiple issues are work here. Emotional maturity is just one component.

      I have several single male friends that have been longer term single. Some of them are Christians and some are not.

      – The divorce rate being over 50% and women filing 80% of the time. Since divorce laws overwhelmingly benefitting women, some men see this as a high risk.

      – Women’s education and income levels rising to the point the men that are not on or above their level of achievement are often not considered.

      – Physical aspects like height. Women are less likely to date a man that is not taller than her. Men are less likely to date a women taller than him.

      There is work that men need to do. However, I do believe that women need to keep in mind that if you have sky high standards that you will be disqualifying a whole host of potentially good men.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        When women initiate divorce, it is overwhelmingly because there is abuse or infidelity. The issue is not who initiates the divorce; the issue is who caused the problem in the first place. With rates of abuse being as high as they are, it’s hardly surprising that women initiate so many divorces.

        Reply
        • Codec

          You make many good points Sheila.

          I have to wonder though. It is indeed necessary for people to improve themselves, but what are the practical ways to do so?

          Education would be vital. What else would help?

          Reply
          • Angharad

            Character is the most important thing. Kindness, loyalty, compassion, generosity (I don’t mean giving gifts or money, but having a generous spirit in your dealings with others), reliability, patience, gentleness…in fact, the list given for the Fruit of the Spirit is a good place to start!

          • Em

            Here are some ideas for practical ways to improve yourself:
            – Good grooming. Learn to take care of your face, eyebrows, nose hair, teeth whitening, skin care, filed nails, etc. Maintain a good haircut.
            – Dress well. Learn to measure yourself at home and *find pants that are the right length.* Tailor if necessary! And shirts with either trendy graphics or no graphics. StitchFix offers men styling. Start with one pair of pants and one shirt.
            – Walk with confidence, full height, head up, feet pointed straight ahead.
            – Pursue interests by reading, listening to podcasts or learning a new skill. You can become proficient at nearly anything by watching You Tube tutorials! Get outside, take up running or walking or gardening and try to find all the local trails in your area.
            – Search “leveling up” or check out The Art of Manliness blog, read leadership books and biographies.
            – Improve your living space. r/malelivingspace or r/Declutter are good places to start. Add art and plants.
            – Therapy!!!!! A therapist can give you tools practical to your life to help you be your best self.

            Great question to ask! Im not sure how to word this next part…if a guy wants to give off good “vibes” and be attractive then he genuinely needs to be happy, confident and nice APART from having a companion. There’s room for loneliness in that, but it’s not the sole focus or majority of what should make you up internally. Hope that helps, good luck in your journey!!!

      • Angharad

        There is a difference between women having ‘sky high standards’ and women saying ‘I enjoy being single, and I’m not going to give up my singleness until I meet a man who is worth that sacrifice’.

        I’m sure there are some women who will reject men solely because of their income or educational level, but I don’t think there are as many of them as you think. I know more than one good-looking man with a very good job and a very high income who is single because of poor character traits.

        You know one of the things that first attracted me to my now-husband? The way he thanked the street cleaner for keeping our town looking so tidy. I was asked out by a lot of men who were better looking, wealthier and in more high-powered careers, but I was never asked out by someone who had more compassion and servant-heartedness toward those around him. Those wealthy, arrogant guys said I was too picky. I think I was just picking the right things!

        Reply
        • Codec

          I think part of it is that high profile horror stories are everywhere for both men and women.

          You have what happened with Ravi Zacharias. You have all the bad teachings with books like every mans battle. Women are rightly fed up with that bogus and so are men.

          You also have stories like the false rape allegations against the Duke Lacrosse team or the absurd abuses Amber Heard did to Johnny Depp.

          You have lots of tiktok and youtube vids by narcissistic misogynist/misandristic people.

          You don’t see as many examples of how to have a healthy relationship. Who will be my roll model now that my roll model is gone? I feel that many need a good role model.

          Reply
          • Sarah

            It’s telling that you mention Amber Heards abuses, but not Johnny Depps well documented, self-admitted, and long history of abuse to Amber and others.

          • Codec

            Telling how?

          • Codec

            I am not trying to do anything bad.

            I find abuse frightening really. I think one of the most frightening parts is that I could have easily done the same in either of their shoes.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Can I be honest, Codec? I’m not sure you could have abused. I mean, I guess there’s a sense that all of us could do that. But the fact that you keep showing up here and you’re so interested in learning, that I think you’re really growing emotionally, or at least quite open emotionally!

          • Codec

            Thank you.

            I am trying to grow as a person.

          • Marie

            This is a good point. Totally agree, it’s hard to find examples of healthy people and way too easy to find over-viewed examples of serious horror stories from both genders!

      • Mara R

        Jon D.
        I’ve recently divorced. And I was the one how had to initiate it.

        He had been unfaithful for years. I was holding out till my last child left home. Then once I looked up from THAT responsibility, it became apparent that my parents (Yes, both of them) were up to their eyeballs in dementia. They had hidden it so well. But they couldn’t hide it anymore. So my brother and I had to spend years taking care of that. Plus my parent lived nearer to me so I was the one who visited them every weekend.

        While going through this, the unfaithful husband asked me to move out because he had a girlfriend and couldn’t be open about the relationship because she had a local business and didn’t want to be viewed as a home wrecker. But I felt paralyzed due to the great burden of my parents.

        Then my brother asked what it would take for me to get divorced. I told him I was drowning in caring for my mom (dad had finally passed). So we went to the trouble of moving her to another state, near my brother. The week she was safely moved, I found an apartment and moved out of the house I shared with the ex.

        We talked about divorce and I kept asking him to do things towards the divorce and he kept not doing it. But he didn’t mind asking me for money to pay HIS bills.

        This story is getting too long. I finally had to initiate the divorce because he just wanted to continue to use me financially to pay for his girlfriends.

        Reply
        • Codec

          I am sorry you had to go through that maam.

          Reply
        • Mara R

          All this to say that, yes, I’m in that 80% of women who initiated divorce. But there is WAAAAAAAAAY more to the story than including me in a cold, sterile statistic that doesn’t take into account what my ex did to me for YEARS before I initiated.

          And it doesn’t take into account that he wanted the divorce as badly as I did but was so disorganized and incapable of following through on anything that wasn’t fun (like chasing tail).

          That 80% statistic also doesn’t take into account my sister-in-law who also had to initiate the divorce so that her abusive, unfaithful PASTOR husband could save face in his church and blame her for the divorce rather than take responsibility for his unfaithfulness that has led to him being blackmailed.

          Sorry if I sound angry. Not trying to be and not trying to take it out on you. You just see numbers and think they say something that they are not saying.

          Yes, I initiated the divorce.
          But it was my spouse who was a narcissist, who was verbally abusive and felt entitled to be unfaithful that actually broke our marriage. I just went to the trouble to start the legal proceedings to bury the thing that was already dead, murdered by him.

          Reply
          • Laura

            Mara R,

            I initiated my divorce over 20 years ago because my husband was sexually abusive and I just could not live in fear of what he would do to me in my sleep. I needed to leave for my own safety and I am so glad I did that.

            Kudos to you for leaving your narcissist ex.

      • C

        Who has sky high standards? I’ve seen the height issue come up so much. I have no doubt that this is an issue for a small portion of men. But whether we like it or not, everyone has preferences, and those who are conventionally attractive by society’s standards will have better luck. Holds true for men and women.
        I think in some cases improvements to the total package can be very helpful–a haircut, new eyeglass frames, a beard trim or going clean shaven–these are all worth a try.

        Reply
      • Pam

        The divorce laws did not benefit me as a woman. He stole all the money and wiped out all our accounts including the children’s. And since he had wiped out his retirement account the courts gave him half of mine. It didn’t matter at all that he had dissipated all the money which was proven. He did have to pay the children back but was able to take even more from me. So men can stop their whining about divorce laws favoring women. The women I know and I were taken advantage of yet again. And I completely agree with this article! I am thrilled to be single and am not even interested in dating. And if I were, he would have to have the entire package for me to even consider a coffee. Highly successful, mature in all areas, kind and fit. Height, balding etc the things no one has control over are not a concern for me. For me, the ones that are lazy about what they can control are not in my ballpark.

        Reply
      • Jane Eyre

        John,

        The divorce rate is not over 50%. That’s thoroughly debunked. It’s more like 33%, and is lower for first-time marriages.

        The courts do not favour women, and to the extent that they do, other women are angry. There’s even a group called the Second Wives Club, who are furious that their hard-earned money goes to their husbands’ ex-wives. There are women who earned the lion’s share of the income and had to pay abusers to leave (google Robin Wilson).

        The only thing I agree with you on is education. Women earn about 60% of the bachelor’s degrees in America, but aren’t hitting those percentages at top schools (which are 50/50), or the hard sciences or engineering (which are close to parity but not there). Med school is about 50/50.

        The problem isn’t the women with astrophysics degrees from MIT who also want to date someone extremely smart; the problem is women who mistake “having a degree” (which, at some schools and for some degrees, basically just means that you’re of average intelligence and willing to put in the work) with being better and special-er than someone without a degree.

        “I couldn’t date/marry someone without a degree!” (Shrug) The numbers aren’t on your side, so maybe focus more on ambition and work ethic?

        Reply
    • Hiraeth

      I always appreciate your thoughtful contributions, Codec.

      Reply
  4. Anna

    I guess the cool thing here is that these are things which are totally within reach of the average man, as long as he has an open mind and a willingness to read a few things and let some people into his life. None of this requires surgery or hours at the gym or rearranging entire chunks of their lives. (Remember when MGTOWs told us women that our fertility was paramount, and we must be willing to put off everything in order to have multiple kids very early?)

    Reply
    • Tim

      Had to google MGTOW. I think I liked the world better before I knew they existed.

      Reply
    • Nikki Isom

      I’m sorry who is MGTOW?

      Reply
      • Tim

        I’ve only read the wiki article, but it stands for “men going their own way”. Apparently it’s a group of men who think that society as a whole is misandrist and have decided to avoid relationships with women in response. (There’s more to it, obviously)

        Reply
      • Codec

        Men going their own way. The general idea being that men should seperate from women. Some are folks who have been burned, some are confused, some are actual misogynist.

        Reply
      • A2bbethany

        Men who are anti all women….. though I already forgot the exact words. Basically they think women have ruined the world and want to live in a monastery type world…..only not as religious.

        Reply
  5. Angharad

    In my single days, I noticed a striking difference between Christian and non Christian guys who asked me out. When I turned down a Christian guy, I invariably got “Why? You’re single aren’t you?” as if the ONLY reason I could possibly have for rejecting him was because I was already ‘taken’. They’d then get really angry when I said that yes, I was single but I just wasn’t interested in dating right then. I’d usually get a rant about how selfish, spoiled and demanding women were. In contrast, the majority of the non Christian guys would simply say something like ‘That’s ok. I hope you didn’t mind me asking.’ The one or two who did question my reasons for saying no just wanted to make sure they hadn’t done anything obnoxious to put me off.

    Even now, I know a few long-term single Christian guys who can’t get dates and who complain it is because women have ‘unreasonable’ standards. Every single one of these guys is arrogant, selfish, angry and regularly mocks and belittles women in their conversation, yet they are adamant their behaviour has nothing to do with their repeated rejections.

    Guys, if you are single and not by choice, please take a long hard look at yourself and ask if it’s just possible you might be the problem.

    Reply
    • Codec

      It is difficult to face your shadow. To face the depths of your own soul. Still it is far better to do so. It is also far more likely to produce results than trying to change entire systems or thinking that millions of people across different cultures are deliberately scheming against you.

      I am in that process. Admittedly it is painful. Still I believe it is worth it.

      Reply
      • Nessie

        Thanks for being one of the guys that acknowledges there is room for improvement and is putting in the difficult work to do something about it! That is great.

        We all, male and female, have areas in need of self-growth. Some will see it, admit it, and take action to do something about it. Others, not so much. Those are the ones that seem to complain the most (or the most cluelessly) about how there is so much wrong with others.

        Hoping for a less-lonely future for you, Codec!

        Reply
        • Codec

          Thank you.

          The truth is this blog has been nothing but helpful to me.

          I realize that in many ways I am not the man I should be. I have a lot of emotional enmeshment issues. I bullied people growing up. I thought I was better than other people. I used porn and justified it by saying it was better than becoming a heartbreaker or an abuser.

          The truth is I am kind of a mess. In admitting that though I have been able to work on myself.

          I still have a lot to learn. Living on your own is like that. I hope I can be a positive influence on people.

          Reply
          • Laura

            Codec,

            I admire you for your honesty and that you are growing. Keep up the good work.

    • Helen

      Ugh, so entitled. This reminds me of an article I read a few months back (I don’t think this was it but it used the same stats and made some similar points: https://www.womanalive.co.uk/opinion/why-there-arent-enough-men-in-your-church-and-what-we-can-all-do-about-it/5968.article).

      Basically there’s an imbalance between single men and women in the church here in the UK (I assume it’s the same elsewhere but don’t know) and single men outnumber single women two to one. It means that the men can afford to have higher standards because they have more choice, but they can also get away with not working on their character and know they’ll still get married eventually because the numbers work in their favour. It can create such an unhealthy sense of entitlement for men, and women always lose out in one way or another.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, I think that’s why so many women are marrying outside the church. It’s an interesting trend I’m seeing in my comments across social platforms. Many women also say that the men at work treat them better than the men at church (to whom I reply–You’re at the wrong church!)

        Reply
    • Laura

      The new term I have heard that defines these types of men are incels. These men never get dates yet they think they should.

      When it comes to dating in the “Christian” world, the only requirements are that you are a single, breathing Christian. At least that’s what I have experienced when “well-meaning” church folk want to fix me up with a single man who I don’t have anything in common with.

      Reply
      • Codec

        Incel is not necessarily the right word but their is overlap. Incel means ” involuntary celibate” the idea being they would like a relationship but things prevent them from doing so. I think entitlement is the best word to use in your aforementioned situation.

        I think a lot of the incel stuff is a self fulfilling propecy. You tell yourself that you will never get into a relationship so why try and you have hundreds of people repeating the same sentiment. It is sad and defeatist.

        Some who have applied this label to themselves have even commited misogonystic misanthropy fueled killings.

        Scary stuff.

        Reply
          • Codec

            It is. Looking into the manifestos and lives of the high profile violent murderers who have put that label on themselves is tragic and mortifying.

  6. John Doe

    I think that there is more to men being lonely than just emotional maturity. But it is sad to see that so many women laugh at men saying that they are lonely. If anything, this might be one reason that so many men are opting out and going MGTOW.

    Reply
    • Tim

      Are you referring to this conversation when you say “But it is sad to see that so many women laugh at men saying that they are lonely”? I haven’t seen that here at all.

      Reply
      • Codec

        Not here Tim, but more on the tiktok/reddit/online dating scene.

        It is unfourtanate that people can be mean and shallow, but I do not think that shutting women out as mgtow does will help.

        If anything it just makes the problem worse. It becomes easier to objectify people.

        Male loneliness and purposelessness is indeed an epidemic. I feel that we all in a sense need to go on a hero’s journey.

        Reply
    • Jo R

      Is it equally sad to you that women married to men who claim to be Christians wind up having in the house an extra-tall three-year-old that needs as much babying as an actual toddler?

      Why is it that so many men can appear to be emotionally mature, as in connecting on an emotional level with their girlfriends and fiancées right up until the wedding, then have zero interest in continuing that emotional connection after the “I do’s” are exchanged? Men who after the wedding say “That’s not who I am” or “That stuff isn’t important to me” or “I don’t need that stuff”?

      Yeah, they need it while they’re single if they want a chance in h*** to marry, but once they’re married, the wife is trapped, and the men think bringing home a paycheck is all the emotional connection they need to provide.

      Sorry, women don’t consider marriage is being hired as a live-in maid, cook, nanny, and accountant who provides sexual benefits to her employer. We want to continue the emotional relationship that the man manages to show during the dating and engaged phases. If he has no intention of doing so, then he needs to not bear false witness about himself before the wedding.

      As for MGTOW, I hope they don’t let the door hit them on the butt as they leave. Sorry, if they don’t want to put in the work, then they don’t get the reward.

      Reply
      • Codec

        It is sad that people shirk responsibilities and opportunities to grow.

        I live on my own. I am getting an education. I take care of myself. I understand I have so much life to go through. It is both refreshing and exhausting.

        Reply
    • Sharon

      Who is laughing?! I don’t think any of us find it funny. We are frustrated because we’ve been begging for common decency for so long and men have been denying us that. Now, they’re maybe starting to feel the repercussions but it’s sad! We just want men to do their part.

      Reply
  7. A2bbethany

    My dad used to listen to this motivational speaker lady, Shauna shoe. And she was married to a horse farrier and talked about how proud she was of him. She said she was proud of the fact that he was very pro-active in his hygiene. Because horse&shoeing is a very sweaty, dirty job, he’d bring multiple undershirts and button up shirts. And she said he always freshened himself up after working.
    I think that’s honestly a big selling point!! Basic hygiene and not being lazy because it’s a “dirty job”. It’s very common to see plumbers or carpenters or someone like that, with messed up teeth and always dirty looking. I’ll bet if they kept themselves better, it’d have a big effect on getting a partner. Because it naturally brings self respect and a thoughtful attitude. ( Not always of course, but most of the time!)

    Reply
  8. C

    I saw in the article that men were 62% of the dating app users so in that regards the deck is stacked against them.
    If, as the article suggests, men are lacking relationship skills–we should ask why—are the men spending too much time in the virtual world, are they not getting the right messages from their parents or church?
    I do think that in 2022 it is more acceptable not to marry at all. Whether we like it or not, not everyone feels called to marriage….or perhaps not as much as they did 100 years ago. Given this, people don’t feel the pressure to accept someone with red flags just to say they are married.
    I don’t know that men as a whole have a skills deficit. I think those that do though don’t have good mentors and perhaps aren’t capable of self reflection. I think there are a lot of wonderful young men out there.
    I think there are a lot of men in the evangelical church who refuse to hear the helpful messages you talk about on your blog. Watching the mental gymnastics some men go through to defend a model of male immaturity such as promoted in the book L and R is truly bizarre.

    Reply
  9. Sue R

    As a different but related perspective, I recall many years ago reading an article about general/overall happiness in life. I wish I could remember more specifics, but the results of the survey being reported on was that the group who self-rated themselves the happiest was married men, followed by single women, followed by single men, with married women being the least happy at the bottom of the pile (in fact well below the next higher category of single men). Among my personal circle of friends, colleagues, etc — not counting the many divorced individuals — but only those who have lost a spouse (I’m of that age), the men are looking to remarry as soon as possible, but the women won’t even consider it. Both the men and the women loved their spouses and had long-term marriages, but my take is that the men want someone to take care of them again, and the women are not interested in signing up for that again. As this post has described, women do better on their own. It makes me very sad that men often can’t see why. It is not about looks or money (although yes, there are some women who are about that), but most women look at a man’s character and how he treats other people, especially her.

    Reply
    • Laura

      After my father passed away over nine years ago, my mother was 58. She still does not want to remarry because Dad was the only love of her life (she was 19 when they got married) and she’s not interested in starting over again. My 91-year-old grandmother has been widowed for almost 40 years and she said she didn’t want to have to take care of another man. I cannot blame them.

      I’ve been divorced for 20 years (I was 26 when the divorce was final) and still not sure how I feel about remarrying. I came close several years ago, but we decided to remain friends. I find that I do just fine being single. I’m freer to do what I want, when I want.

      Reply
  10. Junia

    I was 28 when I got married. I was a midwife at the age of 22 and emigrated on my own. I traveled the world and did some nice and dangerous things. Loved it! I have found that often but not always, women who married very young are more likely to buy into the complementarian view that a man needs to provide for and protect them, and ‘lead them to Jesus’. And then they cant change their minds once in that marriage! When you have had your own life and relationship with Jesus, marriage the comp way seems such a step back!

    Reply
  11. Jeff

    I was on FB Dating, I saw a female profile of a bank vp. I figured she was making $150k/yr. I was wondering how this plays into her ‘standards’. Does a journeyman electrician/machinist/plumber/pipefitter/etc. who takes care of himself and treats people decently and appears to have similar interests/goals/values/etc. have a reasonable likelihood of being considered acceptable?
    I was thinking that female CEOs could only be satisfied with male CEOs of bigger companies if a certain logic prevailed.
    I don’t see male profiles, so I don’t know what others have up. I try to demonstrate that I have my act together, but I refuse to say that I own a house, have great insurance and pension. I’m looking for someone into me, not those ‘attributes’.

    Reply
    • A2bbethany

      Well why do you want a girl to choose you? That’s what should be advertised.
      I found my husband on online dating and I contacted him because I felt a connection with his writing style. Be clear in what you are looking for!
      We found each other on okcupid, which most other profiles were just looking to date or a hookup. I was very clear! Looking to marry within the next 5years, or I’m not interested in trying to date.
      I chose that site out of multiple, because they have questions about myself/themselves that show if we’re compatible. That’s very important!!
      I had a general personality type in mind and only 2-3 physical ones. Not shorter than me(5″6) and dark haired not too good looking.(I didn’t want one of those pretty boys that all the girls fawn over) and the personality? Just a calm steady person as I’m flighty.

      Reply
    • Working Gal

      I don’t know if I’m an anomaly, but as a career woman, I can make my own money, so what a man earns is truly not that important to me. However, he does have to work at something or be the stay-at-home parent if that’s the arrangement. A schlub who plays video games all day and won’t get a job doesn’t cut it. A good man who works in the trades is infinitely more appealing than an arrogant CEO who thinks he is entitled because of his finances or position (of course not all are — but I’d say most of them). If a female CEO won’t look at a good man unless he is earning her equivalent, she’s not worth it either. Men need to look for character and respect in women, too.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, I think character, responsibility, and inner motivation are all really important. Do they take intiative to do the things that need to get done? Very important.

        Reply
      • Meghan

        I’m the same way. I’ve been the breadwinner in the relationship the entire time. My husband was a welder, which is not a high paying job where we live. He worked incredibly hard for way less pay than he’s worth, all to support our family. He was laid off during the pandemic, so we decided to have him stay home with our daughter because it made the most financial sense for our circumstances. He’s taken to it like duck to water. I swear that man can do anything he sets his mind to.

        Reply
  12. Sarah O

    Honestly I’d say the biggest item of urgency here is why men are so unhappy being single. Whether good character or bad, men will almost certainly experience some period of singleness as adults (pre-marriage, post-divorce, widowers, etc.)

    Since you KNOW you will be single for a while, start by figuring out how to thrive there. And even though that should be it’s own motivation, I bet that effort will probably go a long way in helping with the relational issues.

    If you don’t know how, start asking people you admire and respect “If you had a whole week off to spend by yourself, what three things would you most look forward to?” That should get you some strong clues on what to try.

    And then, take responsibility for what you DO know – rest, diet, limited screen time, physical activity, social groups, etc.

    You have Google…

    Reply
  13. CMT

    “Emotional connection requires all the skills that families are still not consistently teaching their young boys”

    This seems really crucial to me. As a parent of boys, I see this as actionable. I can’t do anything about global economic trends, the gender gap in higher education, or whether women prefer men who are taller than they are. But I can work on modeling healthy relationships and emotional skills for all my kids. When my sons are grown, I never want to hear them complaining about how women are too picky.

    Reply
    • Jo R

      How much of the “women are too picky” line is because men have now been forced to relinquish the tiniest bit of societal power that they’ve held since, well, forever?

      Now that women have kicked open the doors to more possibilities and opportunities than their mere biology limits them to, they have at least some of the choices that men have been taking for granted as their natural due for, well, having been born with a penis.

      Reply
      • CMT

        I think there’s a lot to this. “If you’ve been used to an unfair advantage, an even playing field feels unfair,” or something to that effect.

        I can have some empathy for where many guys are coming from, though. It’s like what my generation (millennials) went through coming of age during a historic recession. We collectively found out just as we were hitting adulthood that we had been prepared for a world that didn’t exactly exist anymore (or maybe never did, but I digress). And a lot of us had obscene amounts of student loan debt to boot. If sexism is having a bit of a recession, that’s good. But it’s hard for people who went all in on that version of how the world works, and it isn’t necessarily their fault they feel lost (Not an excuse for incels or MGTOW or whatever they’re called now, but still).

        As a parent, I feel somewhat hopeful, though. We have the tools to do so much better for the current generation of boys (and girls too).

        Reply
  14. EOF

    On one hand, I say GOOD! Women need to have higher standards, especially with “Christian” books and many churches pushing men to be lazy, demanding, harsh and controlling husbands.

    On the other hand, I wonder how much has changed in the last few decades. I remember about 25 years ago as a college student, overhearing two guys at my church complaining about the high standards the women had and how the women at church basically expected to marry Jesus.

    And I can tell you, those grumblers were hardly great catches – as displayed by their whining. Rather than strive to be the men women deserve, they instead expected the women to lower their standards! Crazy.

    Actually, it isn’t crazy. They were setting themselves up to be the lazy, demanding, harsh and controlling husbands that the marriage books our church was shoving down everyones throats told them they deserved to be.

    We live in a world where average men think they’re God’s gift to women and where gorgeous women often feel unattractive and worthless. Add onto that the “Biblical” teachings that women are inferior.

    Women NEED higher standards. We are NOT inferior. God does NOT want us to be under the power of men!

    (By the way, I love the story in yesterday’s podcast about Katharine Bushnell saying 100 years ago that the subordination of women is abuse. She couldn’t have been more right!)

    Reply
    • Codec

      Everyone needs standards. Developing healthy ones is something that can take a lifetime.

      I think of it like a cell membrane. A cell that lets nothing in is going to die. A cell that lets everything in is going to die. Cells have semi permeable membranes that filter out the bad and take in good stuff.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Wasn’t Katharine Bushnell inspirational? I really loved reading about her and Josephine Butler, though it is a little bit crazy that we’re still fighting the same battles all these decades later!

      Reply
  15. Laura

    Wow! I didn’t realize there were so many lonely, single men. At my age (mid-40s), it’s hard to find a man around my age who is interested in me. Most of the men in my age group want younger women and the only men who tend to be interested in me are more than 10 years older than me. I prefer someone closer to my age, maybe a bit younger. They tend to be less sexist and don’t seem as threatened by intelligent, independent women. My ex-fiance (still a friend) is five years younger than me and admired my intelligence and independence.

    There’s nothing wrong with having high standards. I don’t mean so high that the man must have a six-figure income, GQ model looks, an advanced degree, and charm. I am working on a master’s degree and I do not care if a man has a college degree. Of course, I want to have meaningful, interesting conversations. As for looks, it just depends on the individual and there must be some chemistry.

    I gave up on online dating several years ago and don’t even want to bother with it. I like being single for now and am just going to continue focusing on living my life to the fullest, with or without a man. If he ever comes along, then great, but I am not looking.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Laura, when I was on dating websites in my 30s, I too found that most men were looking for women who were within the “fertility zone” of under 35, despite these men themselves being older—sometimes much older—than that. (They were able to indicate their acceptable match age-range on their profile.) Once I turned 36, almost no men would contact me. The point is that the pool of women for these single Christian men is small to start with because the men have already ruled out women who are less likely to easily produce babies. Once you add in the women’s expectations for maturity and stable career, etc., the pool of available women for these single men has shrunk to an extremely small one.
      (I got married at 40. Thankfully my now-husband wasn’t put off by my age, that I had advanced degrees, or that I had a long-term stable career!)

      Reply
      • Laura

        I was 40 the last time I tried online dating and in that place where my biological clock was loudly ticking. I was looking for someone closer to my age who wanted children, but most of the men around my age didn’t want children and the ones who were interested in me were much older and did not want children. Did they not read my profile at all? I guess not. They just saw what I looked like and went from there.

        Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Fully agree about the chemistry! I’m so glad that you’re in a good place in your life right now after all your disappointments in your 20s.

      Reply
    • Boone

      I’m happily married but if I was searching I would be pursuing women about 15 years or so younger than me. I’ll be 64 the end of August. I have a very active outdoor lifestyle. I fly fish, hunt, hike, camp, ride and whitewater kayak. Very few women my age are into those activities. I would want somebody that I could share most of those with. My wife loves them all except the whitewater. She does follow me downstream taking pictures of me being thrown around like a rag doll.
      There’s another issue. Most men my age still want an active sex life. Most women my age, not so much.

      Reply
      • Jo R

        “Most men my age still want an active sex life. Most women my age, not so much.”

        Three or four decades of male-centered sex will do that to women, especially when the church aids, abets, and even requires that selfishness.

        (From other comments, I know you’re one of the good guys, so this is not directed at you, Boone, but at some of the other men who might read here.)

        Reply
  16. Jane Eyre

    Could not agree more. I had a great single life; the idea that I should be miserable in marriage because it’s maaarrrriage is insane.

    Here’s my concern: raising a young man in this environment. Women who were born in the ’90s and aughts don’t put up with backwards ideas… why should I raise a son around people who believe this garbage? Who would ever date him in 2035 if he’s running around acting like it’s a hundred years ago? Imagine dating someone in 2005 who thought it was fine to have an outhouse and only uppity snobs want indoor plumbing.

    Reply
  17. Mara R

    EOF: “We live in a world where average men think they’re God’s gift to women and where gorgeous women often feel unattractive and worthless. Add onto that the “Biblical” teachings that women are inferior.”

    I do think you are onto something here. And I’ve thought this in the past as well.

    When you watch movies, average guys get the hot girl, a lot. You about never see and average girl get a hot guy. Just doesn’t happen

    Then you got Driscoll bragging about his smokin’ hot wife teaching guys that this is what they can and should expect.

    There might be a lot of lonely guys because THEIR standards are too high and they won’t look a certain women twice because they don’t fit in the smokin’ hot wife category.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Not only do these men have high standards on what they want in a future wife, they do not put a lot of effort in improving themselves. It’s like saying, “If you want your woman to look like a Victoria’s Secret model, then you need to look like a GQ model.”

      Years ago, I read a book by a single Christian woman (Kate McVeigh) who said something along these lines, “If you want a man who makes a good living, has an attractive body, and lives a godly life, then you need to be doing those same things.”

      When I had done online dating in the past, I could tell by a lot of grown men’s profiles that they did not seem to put much effort in their profiles. Their spelling was atrocious (maybe I’m biased because I’m a writing tutor at my local college and a part-time librarian) and they did not complete their profile. When they messaged me, they did not put much effort in what they wrote. It was like all they said was “hi” or “how r u?” I’d look at their profiles and often, I was not impressed.

      Maybe, I’m just too picky. I’m not perfect and I don’t expect perfection, but I expect some effort on his part as well as mine.

      Reply
      • Vic

        Too many men want a 10 but they’re a couple of cents short of a dime!!!!

        Reply
    • Meghan

      I think there is some truth to this. I spent my entire life being the sidekick, the kid sister, the wingwoman. I can count on one hand the number of dudes who were interested in kissing me, let alone actually wanting to date me. And marry me? Psh, only one. And I said yes because he’s amazing and I love him dearly. But yeah, I totally can vouch for how the “smokin hot wife” ideal is a problem for women who aren’t conventionally attractive.

      Reply
  18. Not buying it

    This has to be the most jaded and one sided blog on the internet anymore. It had increased every year and has taken the top spot now.

    No matter what, it is always the man’s fault. Every “Christian” woman wants all the perks of being a woman AND a man, with none of the downside. It just isn’t reality.

    Most of you just pick bad spouses and you know what, it was the best you could pull. It had little to do with your theology and almost every thing to do with your choices.

    You as women wanted to rules of society changes and every time you do you don’t like the results.

    80% of women have always chased 20% of men. What kept it in check was old fashioned patriarchy that honored the man as head of the household. Add in porn on mens side and media of all sorts on womens side and it’s recipe for disaster as we each chase and fill the gap with things that harm us.

    Society will continue to degrade and the church will become even more of a shadow of itself until men are allowed to be men again and honored as such.

    You are wrong. The difference between the sexes is vast and the closer we try to make one in to the other the more miserable we will all become.

    As one of the 20% of men who spent the first 13 years of his life as the 80% I feel for the 80%. But society has to change, including women and not just men. I’m everything you HATE and we are happily married 25 years. If she died tomorrow (how very heartbroken I would be) there are many women who have let it be known they are happily in line. Key to being successful in the mate department as a man in 2022- being able to have other women at any time because your wanted by other women but not doing it out of love for Christ and your wife. And that only works for the 20%. The only other alternative is old fashioned patriarchy- that works society wide if it’s Christian patriarchy. Yes there will be horror stories- but have you ever read the Bible? Trust me, you’re no better. We all are sinners to the core. The problem is womens sin is no longer considered sin. In fact it’s often celebrated.

    You want men? No you don’t. You hate men, real men. But real men have no problems finding a wife. They line up.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Actually, everyone who works on the blog has amazing husbands! And we’re all married to our first husbands, and we love them. And they support us, and they agree with this blog, and they are amazing. And they are well educated and accomplished, and amazing fathers.

      The reason we believe men can be awesome is because we’ve witnessed it firsthand.

      And the happiest marriages are those where both partners are committed to each other, emotionally mature, and where both share the load of childrearing. It’s where both invest!

      I don’t know why you’d want to promote anything else. Doesn’t that sound wonderful–to be in a relationship where you are fully known, with someone else you fully know, that you share life with? Where you raise amazing kids? Where you take great satisfaction from your life together?

      Why would you not want that? Why would you want men to remain emotionally immature and unavailable; to remain uninvolved with their kids? The stats are quite stark. Unmarried men don’t do well. Unmarried women do. Men have some serious work to do in our society, but it’s not because they’re biologically not fit for emotional labor. It’s because we haven’t raised men to be strong and open emotionally, and thankfully that’s changing with the next generation (which is likely why younger people have far lower divorce rates at similar ages than Gen X and Boomers).

      Reply
      • JT

        I’m a heterosexual, unmarried man by choice and am doing quite well, thank you. We don’t need women if they are overly hypergamous and entitled. If they get off their high horse and fairly engage with men then we’ll re-evaluate. Especially with government getting involved in the legal contract of marriage and imposing unfair, devastating laws. Men have better things to do.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          On behalf of single women everywhere, thank you for being single by choice. Please stay that way and don’t make a woman put up with this.

          Reply
    • CMT

      “Key to being successful in the mate department as a man in 2022- being able to have other women at any time because your wanted by other women but not doing it out of love for Christ and your wife. And that only works for the 20%.”

      This is really sad. You don’t know it, but it is.

      Reply
    • Jo R

      And the difference between Christian patriarchy and old-fashioned patriarchy is what, exactly?

      How wonderful your wife must feel knowing that there’s a line of women waiting to step into her shoes.

      At a guess, zero women here are interested in joining that line, but you wouldn’t be happy with any of us, so we’ll call it quits, OK?

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        It simply is patriarchy. It’s interesting, though. The men who protest when women simply want to be treated as well as men are treated–well, they’re showing the weakness of their own character.

        Reply
        • JT

          “The men who protest when women simply want to be treated as well as men are treated”

          This is a strawman. Most of the men in these men’s movements (that are really a response to the unfairness of modern feminism as illustrated in your opinion piece) are not protesting that women want to be treated as well as them. Lol. Nice try. I believe women should be treated as well as men and so do these Red Pill adherents. But they believe that mediocre (according to mens criteria) women who reject worthy men because of hypergamy-driven hyper-selectivity deserve what they get. A life of puffed up self-entitlement and being alone. They have become the man they’ve always dreamed of so they should be happy with themselves. You go girl!

          Not to mention the laws regarding marriage. Is that fair treatment of men?

          Reply
          • Mara R

            You need therapy too.

            There are a lot of broken and hurt men in the world who need inner healing. That’s a given. Unfortunately far too many broken men find it sooooo much easy to blame women and society for their issues rather than doing the hard work of inner healing.

            But, you go girl, er, I mean guy. If vilifying women in order to make sense of your inner, broken pieces gives you some sort of shallow ego boost then I guess it’s not for me to stand in your way.

            But in truth, I feel sorry for a lot of today’s men who take the low road of blame and scapegoating rather than the high road of honest healing. If you insist on living in this inner hell and stoking that hell in other men rather than finding real solutions, there’s not a lot anyone, male or female, can do for you.

            You are a sad, strange, little man. And you have my pity.

    • Anna

      Yes. You DO make us jaded.

      The fact that you think you know “many” women who want you….

      Well, you also amuse us. But I feel real bad for the woman you married.

      Reply
    • Liz

      Oh dear! I fear you are misinterpreting some smiles! Women don’t line up for this kind of attitude. (As an aside, isn’t it adulterous to label someone as a backup spouse? Jesus said it begins in the heart. And it really reeks of seeing women as things and not people to claim to have a whole lineup.)

      Reply
    • Angharad

      “If she died tomorrow (how very heartbroken I would be) there are many women who have let it be known they are happily in line. Key to being successful in the mate department as a man in 2022- being able to have other women at any time because your wanted by other women but not doing it out of love for Christ and your wife.”

      I am really, really, REALLY hoping that you are just a troll. Because the idea of a ‘happily married’ Christian husband keeping some kind of mental list of the women who would be happy to step into his wife’s shoes if she were to die is nauseating beyond words.

      You may regard my husband as a ‘bad spouse’ but ‘the best I could pull’ but I regard him as a very good spouse. And that’s because he reflects the Fruit of the Spirit in his life, not because he is ‘able to have other women at any time…but not doing it.’

      If your post IS a true reflection of your life and not just trolling to get a reaction, then I am deeply sorry for your wife. But I am even sorrier for you.

      Reply
  19. Mara R

    @$$h@lenotbuyingit: “Most of you just pick bad spouses and you know what, it was the best you could pull. It had little to do with your theology and almost every thing to do with your choices.”

    I did everything right according to the teachings and theology I was given by the church. Back when I got married, nobody in mainstream society knew of the existence of narcissism as a personality disorder. Heck, most people didn’t know that there were such things as personality disorders. The church purposefully resisted acknowledging mental health as a real issue on any level and to not be concerned with when entering the dating/courtship world.

    I wasn’t just ill-equipped by the church. I was sabotaged by bad male-centric teaching that promised me happiness but delivered hell.

    We’re smarter now. And I’m glad for that. But it’s too late for me. All I can do now is tell my story in hopes that other women will avoid the mess the church made for me and women of my generation.

    And all I can do now is help Sheila point out how awful and abusive the marriage teachings and books have been in the church.

    And all I can do now is respond to arrogant men who think they are wise but are just entitled little fools without a clue. Proverbs 26:5

    Reply
    • Mara R

      I’m kind of surprised that my above comment wasn’t edited or removed for my use of @s and $s.

      I would have completely understood if it had been edited or removed.

      Usually I try to keep in mind the culture of the blog owner when I leave comments. I could have made my point above without the @s & $s.

      But I went a little overboard because I have completely lost patience with men who blame all the problems with marriage on the choices of women with no consideration for how things have been so slanted and off-balanced.

      I used to run into this in the past on other discussion boards. There were men who expected women to marry young and they expected those women to have the wisdom of Solomon in making their choices at such a young age. Then if is turned out she ended up with an abusive husband, their attitude was that they made their bed so now they have to lie in it because God hates divorce. Their attitude was that women had to submit to the men they chose and could never leave them and it was their own fault for making a bad choice when they were in their late teens, early twenties, before their brains were even fully developed.

      I used to label this attitude in these men the “Sucks to be you gospel” (STBYG). And I fought hard against it because I knew that there is no STBY in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      So, yeah, I may have come on a little bit too strong in my reaction. I get tired of men blaming women for the sorry state the male-dominated leadership has led the Church into.

      Reply
      • Jo R

        Hear, hear!

        (Scurries off to add “STBYG” to “pervangelical” on her handy list of words and phrases.)

        Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Your comments automatically go through, Mara, and I don’t really check on weekends, so now I have to go and see what I let through. 🙂 and I may edit it. 🙂

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Okay, just checked and edited one word. 🙂 But I appreciate your sentiment!

          Reply
  20. ML

    I experienced the opposite of what is posited by the PT article when I was dating. I had moved multiple times, and eventually had to resort to online dating–at a friend’s urging–when there were virtually no single women near my age group at my 300-person church in a Midwestern university community.

    Many of the women I met online had poor communication skills (the one who took 50 minutes to convey a story via text that could have been told in about eight minutes by phone quickly comes to mind), couldn’t articulate things about themselves that seemed reasonable to inquire about, and several were rather immature, despite being in their 30s.

    I was the one banging my head against the wall. I was the one longing for deeper, more meaningful conversations and a tighter connection.

    Even a woman with whom I hit it off, who embodied almost everything I was seeking in a woman, suddenly disappeared a few days after wishing me a happy birthday…and didn’t reply to any calls or messages for months. I honestly wondered if she’d died in an accident! That one still stings my soul.

    The women with whom I most enjoyed things were generally better educated (as I am), and they seemed more stable and better equipped to have deeper discussions, the sort of interaction I’ve enjoyed with friends since high school. They could talk in person or over the phone, and didn’t speak in the argot of teens texting each other inane randomness.

    I realize that people often have a propensity to throw out the baby with the bath water concerning most anything these days, so I wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to the vague concept that men are trained to be bumbling louts; to my mind, that’s a stereotype perpetuated on TV and movie screens. The Christian guys I know are–for the most part–realistic, loving, caring, and thankful for their wives.

    A friend’s son, an undergrad who was recently married, has grown from a terribly annoying kid six years ago to a sturdy, God-fearing leader for his wonderful, godly wife. He didn’t do that because society taught him how; he did so because his patient parents stuck with him, loved him, disciplined him when necessary, and prayed that he would become that kind of man. God provided!

    So, though I understand the premise when viewed through TV shows, I’ll politely dispute the thesis that many men are lacking in the necessary skills to meet women and successfully date/marry them. I’ve found just as many women who fit this description, much to my consternation and with many tears in prayer to God.

    Thankfully for me, after much more time than I’d have liked it to take, I’m now engaged to a smart, enjoyable, godly woman. Why did we hit it off–aside from our mutual faith in Christ? It came down to the ability to communicate well enough, relate to each other to understand enough, and foster an emotional connection that could survive COVID and over 1,000 miles of distance between us for multiple years of dating.

    It can be done! Both sexes need to find someone who can communicate in a healthy, robust manner, with a hint of vulnerability and genuine humility to ground those “this person is unbelievable!” thoughts of infatuation at the outset. Prayer never hurts, either, whether by oneself or together.

    Reply
  21. Kate

    This rings true to my experience. I actually feel bad for the men in my generation. They were raised to expect something that the modern woman has no desire to give.
    I have turned down more then a few men because being single was better than what they brought to the table. I’ve even said to myself, ‘if this was the 50s and I needed a man to support me, I would pick this guy. I don’t need a man to support me therefore I don’t want to settle’.
    I am engaged to a wonderful man now. He puts in the effort on his appearance, he is well educated, we have stimulating conversations, and he is kind and caring. He was raised to expect women to pick up the slack in the housework and emotional IQ department but because he doesn’t have a massive ego or entitlement, when I point out the inequalities in our relationship he rises to the occasion and makes an effort to improve. I was single for 12 years before meeting him and I have found that to be an extremely rare quality in a Christian guy. I was almost ready to start dating secular men. I got really lucky. Non-Christian men are so much kinder and more respectful towards women on average. I hope the work you are doing Sheila can change this disturbing trend for the better.

    Reply
  22. Sarah

    I’m this person. I came off dating apps (Christian ones!) a while ago, after realising that using them seriously depressed me as it was like a part-time job filtering through the search results and finding no one I could connect with. I don’t have the emotional energy for that! I know I need to work on myself and honestly it’s easier doing that solo that trying to do it while also trying to pursue romance. I’ve seen in the lives of those I’m close to how destructive it can be to seek meaning and identity in romantic relationships. I’m done with the common methods of pursuing men. If God wishes to parachute a man with his ish together into my life, I wouldn’t say no but in any case, I’m chilling. The single life is pretty amazing.

    Reply
    • Laura

      I agree, Sarah. When I tried online dating like 5 times, I felt like it was a part-time job. Currently, I’m in my mid-40s, working two part-time jobs and attending graduate school. So, I do not need another “job.” After breaking off an engagement four years ago and experiencing some disappointments in the romance department, I have decided that I’m just going to keep enjoying the single life. I regret that I wasted my 30s praying fervently for a husband. I was married to an abusive man during my early to mid-20s and it took me 15 years to feel comfortable enough to be in a relationship.

      Yes, the single life is “pretty amazing!”

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        It’s so good to hear so many women saying that so confidently. This is an area I don’t feel qualified to speak into because I’ve never experienced it, and I don’t want to seem flippant in any way. So thank you for speaking up!

        Reply
    • Angharad

      I agree the single life is totally amazing. I married in my mid 40s for the first time, and it was quite a wrench leaving behind my single life. No regrets about getting married – but I loved my single life.

      One weird thing though – I found that a lot of Christians were fine with me being single and would give me loads of pity over my tragic boyfriend-less, husband-less state. Yet as soon as I said I was happy single, they would get really angry…like it’s ok to be miserably single but being happily single is somehow…unChristian?!!

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I think happy single people are a big threat to the unhappy married women!

        Reply
        • Vic

          🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

          Reply
      • Laura

        I have experienced the same thing. Throughout my single years before I met my ex-fiance five years ago, I constantly expressed a strong desire for marriage. I got a lot of sympathies and “We’ll be praying for God to bring you a husband” responses. However, I also got a lot of unsolicited advice from long-time married people (the last time they were single was when they were in high school) about how to be content with being single. As if they knew. Then, I often heard this tired cliche “Remember, Jesus is your Husband.” Even though the Bible uses this metaphor, I do not consider Jesus my husband. It just sounds too weird for me. This would make for a celibate marriage.

        Well, here’s what’s funny. After I broke off the engagement four years ago and decided that I was going to enjoy being single, suddenly people were trying to encourage me to date again. Now that I talk about enjoying the single life, I am met with unwelcoming responses like “Just don’t give up; God’s got someone for you.”

        It’s funny how the switch gets flipped. When I talked about wanting to get married, I was told to “learn how to be content being single.” Now, that I say that I’m content being single, I get a response like this, “God’s got someone for you. I’ll be praying for Him to bring you a husband.”

        However, I do receive encouragement from other single women who say they admire me and they also express their contentment with being single. So, it’s not all bad. It’s just weird sometimes. I don’t think church folk know how to handle content single women.

        Reply
  23. Guest

    Most women nowadays are real narcissists and feminists to begin with unfortunately which is why so many of us single guys can’t find love anymore because of that, and many of us aren’t single by choice either.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      What is your evidence for this claim?

      Also, have you ever considered that your belief that women are narcissists may contribute to women not wanting to be around you?

      Reply
    • Mara R

      Eh, all four of my kids (2 boys, 2 girls) would disagree with you whole heartedly. The all know that it was their dad that was the narcissist and not me.

      May I ask, Guest? Have you only pursued beautiful women rather than average? Our society puts beautiful women up on pedestals and many of those pretty girls fall prey to thinking they are owed and begin to feel entitled to preferential treatment. I’ve observed this in my job in ways I can’t get into.

      Perhaps not all women are narcissists. Perhaps you are the one that feels entitled, believing you deserve a drop-dead gorgeous woman. But those types of women know they can easily get someone better than you.

      Reply
      • John Doe

        Mara,
        “But those types of women know they can easily get someone better than you.”

        Is that not also an entitlement mindset? Are there not instances of women taking advantage of men in dating and in marriage?

        I have witnessed horrible treatment of men by women that would not be acceptable if the roles were reversed.
        Specifically, women physically assaulting men and men being told ‘You’re ok, she didn’t really hurt you.’

        Reply
        • Mara R

          John D.
          Nobody here is saying that women can’t be narcissistic. Narcissism comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders.

          What I was opposing was Guest’s declaration that “most women today are narcissists to begin with.”

          Where does he come up with that? My best guess is that it’s from personal experience. Perhaps his mother was a narcissist. Or perhaps a sister. And perhaps Guest is wired to attract and be attracted to Narcissists. If that’s the case, then I feel bad for him and hope he gets therapy.

          But he is not in the position to say that most women today are narcissists to begin with. He can’t use his personal experience to make such a sweeping judgement against that many women. Not an honest judgement, anyway.

          I wouldn’t say that most men today are narcissists to begin with, even though I’ve had more than my fair share of dealing with male narcissists. This is my issue with what Guest said.

          And yes, some attractive women are pushed over the edge into narcissism due to being elevated in status above average women by fawning and adoring men (and entire culture) who value the wrong things in women.

          Reply
  24. Chris

    Oh where to begin with this one? Well for starters, I agree young men today have problems. I employ a lot of them and find myself scratching my head at both their actions and thought processes. Say nothing of a terrible work ethic. That said the young women of their generation are nothing to write home about. And those are the ones without issue. Women are naturally hypergamous so you will always end up with nearly 100% of the women going after a very small percentage of the men. I have encouraged all of the young men I know to get off the dating app stuff because it serves them no purpose. They don’t and won’t get matches. If they are to have any chance meeting a woman it will be in person. Note I didn’t say a good chance, I said any chance.
    As for this “unmarried women do fine” that’s flat out wrong because there’s no such thing as an unmarried woman. A woman is either married to a man or she is married to the state. If the government collapses or the Chinese start landing brigades in British Columbia then we will see a whole new dimension in pairing off.
    As for raising the next generation of boys, I am a married man doing just that. My goal is to raise young men who are educated, kind, hard working and single. Marriage no longer serves either sex any purpose.

    Reply
    • Jo R

      Neither Laura nor Mara R (frequent commenters here) is “married to the state,” so your argument is a nonstarter.

      As for women being hyergamous, well, when the rules are written the way they’ve been for the last couple of centuries tries, that’s the only rational way for women to function within a system that they found themselves in. That’s almost the only “advantage” that existed for women, so why shouldn’t they take that one microscopic sliver within their reach?

      When all your choices stink, shouldn’t you take the least worst option?

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      A woman is either married to a man or married to the state? Chris, this is flat out misogyny and wrong. For your information, unpartnered women are more likely to be better educated than unpartnered men. Unpartnered men are more than five times as likely to live in state run institutions than women are. Unpartnered men are far more likely to live with their parents (so unpartnered women are more likely to be independent). If women are on welfare, it is often becomes MEN aren’t paying child support for the children they made.

      Unpartnered women have better mental health than unpartnered men. So you need to just stop. Please. This was an incredibly misogynistic comment, and I don’t expect that from you.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Oh, and you can find the stats for that by following the Pyschology Today link and looking at the studies they’re referencing. It’s all there, and we’ll talk about it in the podcast this week. But you need to stop, Chris.

        Reply
      • John Doe

        Sheila,
        It appears that you are misrepresenting the cited data.

        From the Pew Research cited, the state run institutions include prisons and correctional facilities. So it makes sense that men would be over represented than women in that statistic since men are more likely to go to prison than women, even when committing similar crimes.

        In regards to men vs women living with parents, men are 31% and women are 24%, which is not that drastic of a difference. There is no additional information as to the reasons why but it could be to help with caring for aging parents, financial reasons or other reasons.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s not me misrepresenting the data. That’s what I’m talking about. Men are more likely to be cared for by the state, because they’re more likely to be in prisons or in institutions.

          And even if men are more likely to go to prison for similar crimes, the fact still remains that men commit the vast majority of violent crimes.

          Surveys have also shown that women are far more likely to help with aging parents than men (in fact, research has found that if you want to be cared for well in old age, you need a combination of 3 daughters or daughters-in-law.). Women do the vast majority of emotional labor and care. It’s been found that in countries where women have a lot of economic freedom but there are still big sexist divisions of labor, men live with parents longer (see Italy, South Korea, etc) while women move out.

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Now, again, none of this is biological, but is instead largely due to the fact that we teach girls to be responsible in a way that we don’t teach boys, and we teach girls to be in touch with their feelings and to nurture relationships when we don’t teach boys. And since well-being in our society is far more due today to interpersonal relationships and emotional health, then women are at a distinct advantage. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t raise boys to also be emotionally mature and healthy and to also nurture relationships, and when we do, I don’t think we’ll see this dichotomy anymore.

    • Mara R

      Chris: “As for this ‘unmarried women do fine’ that’s flat out wrong because there’s no such thing as an unmarried woman. A woman is either married to a man or she is married to the state.”

      Wow. Just wow.
      I get thrown out like trash by the ex and find, with time, that I am doing better mentally, emotionally, AND financially (with my own job and no government support) and then guys like you make statements like this.

      Talk about adding insult to injury.

      Unless I’m misunderstanding what you are saying, that is. It does seem as though you take a very dim view of women.

      And as far as China landing anywhere in North America, I have two grown sons and a son-in-law if I need male protection, if I’m understanding THAT part of your comment. Not sure I am. Perhaps I don’t know what you mean and need further clarification.

      But at face value the unmarried “women are married to the state” is so beyond horrible. I am also in shock learning about the deeper parts of you philosophy.

      Reply
      • John Doe

        Mara,

        Chris’ comment is accurate in certain circumstances. Thomas Sowell has talked about how in the African-American community the family has been decimated by welfare giving incentives for women to have children out of wedlock in order to receive more government assistance.

        75% of African American families do not have a father in the home compared to 25% in the 1960s. Now, there have been increases in other ethnical communities as well, but the largest increase was in the African American community. One of the major factors that occurred was the rise of the Great Society championed and implemented by Pres. Johnson. Since then the federal government has spent more than 3 trillion dollars on social programs.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          No one is arguing that welfare is not a big deal. But he is saying that if women aren’t with a man they are on welfare. That is absolutely, patently false, and quite frankly misogynistic. If he meant “many women can’t support their children without a husband, and so they end up on welfare” that would at least be partly true–although I would note that the issue here is one of lack of child support and holding men accountable for their children.

          But he didn’t say that. He insinuated that a woman who isn’t with a man is relying on the state. My mother never took a dime of welfare and she was a single mother because my father walked out. She supported me on her own and did really, really well. So, yes, I am extremely, extremely offended.

          Reply
        • Mara R

          John D. This is old news that I heard decades ago. There are many African American men (and women) doing things to try to change this.

          But this has little to do with the discussion at hand.

          Chris said there is no such thing as an unmarried woman. She’s either married to a man or to the state. Those words reach so far away from what is going on here that it’s irrelevant and adds nothing to the conversation except to insult the people involved.

          It’s like Guest saying that most women are narcissistic. These all or nothing, black or white comments get us nowhere. There are shades and nuances that must be considered.

          John D. I know that I can be harsh. And yes, it’s a reaction to being hurt in the past by a man. And if I come on too strong, I’m sorry. But I try not to make sweeping, all encompassing, over the top statements in order to beat down an entire gender.

          It’s not your fault, Guest’s fault, Chris’s fault, or even wheels’ fault what the man in my past did to me. And I hold none of you responsible. But could you all please refrain from allowing your personal philosophies to justify insulting us women who have been to hell and back but are still trying to love God and not hate all men for the idiocrasy of a few.

          Reply
          • John Doe

            Mara,

            I know that you have been hurt and I can empathize with you and the other ladies that have expressed their past hurts by men. It makes me angry because that is not what men should be doing. Good men should defend women from bad men.

            I acknowledge that sweeping generalizations bother me because it can be used as a cudgel to beat down an entire group for the sins of a few.

            As to insults, I agree that personal insults do not help at all. When the name calling begins the discussion is over.

          • Laura

            Thank you Mara!

            With an abusive marriage under my belt, longtime singleness, a broken engagement, disappointments in the romance department, toxic church teachings on marriage, sex, and gender roles, then reading the misogynistic comments from men on here, I sometimes feel like I am DONE with the male species. Yet, I am “still trying to love God and not hate all men.” That last part here has been my struggle.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Chris, I do need to say one more thing. You owe your fellow commenters an apology, and I expect one. You have been a part of this community for a long time, and that was a completely unwarranted insult at so many of the single and divorced women who are here.

      I will be watching for it.

      Reply
      • Chris

        Sheila, in short I think I need to think more about my comments before I post them. I made that post late at night and did not choose my words very well. I am sorry for that. After reading through several of the responses to my comment it was clear to me that by using the word “state” everyones minds went to welfare/public assistance/WIC type money. Actually, none of those were what I had in mind when I made that comment. And in fact I get heat from a lot of conservatives that I know because I support a robust public welfare system for women and children. What I actually meant was that women can get all their basic needs met today without being married. Merely by being in a western country. All the infrastructure, all the commercial opportunities, all the educational establishments. Women don’t need their husbands to chop wood so they can cook, its just a check to the gas company. In short, men have become largely redundant. They built up an amazing society with loads of male-labor saving devices so well, that men basically built themselves out of a role in that society. The great Canadian Psychologist Jordan Peterson likes to say that men find value in responsibility. Well men have nothing to be responsible for now. And thats why they are depressed. Many would like to take responsibility but there is literally nothing for them to be responsible for. This is not to say we are not teaching them responsible behavior. There are just a lot fewer things where they can express that responsibility; they just don’t exist.
        As for the issue of hypergamy, that just is what it is. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. A lot of terrible men out there. Believe me I know. As Jo R said “when all your options for a mate are bad, you have to pick the best one”. I completely agree with her! But the only problem is, the numbers don’t work. The demographics won’t bare it out. The further women go up the education/earning potential/career ladder, the smaller the mating pool is. Due to hypergamy. So when women in that highly educated demographic group say they choose to remain single rather than settle, they actually don’t have as much choice as they think they do, since the pool is so small. And if they choose to stay single, it benefits the other women in that pool by freeing up one of the precious few men in it to a woman who does want to get married and have children.
        I think why I got as mad as I did was because the original post was basically “Men are defective and women are opting out”. It frustrates me, because men ARE becoming more and more defective. But everyone looks around confused as to why. I grew up in the eighties and at school boys were treated like defective girls. I am just now realizing how screwed we all got. I am just now realizing with therapy how inappropriately we were treated. (A close female friend of mine from primary school recently told me that she and a couple of the other girls in our school actually felt bad for the boys because of how we were treated back then). I hope its better now. I hope its better in Canada. Or else you and Rebecca are going to get an education of your own when Alex enters school.
        To Sarah and Mara and Laura, and to any of the other women who my comments triggered or upset, I am sorry I lashed out the way I did.

        Reply
        • Jo R

          I don’t want to pile on, Chris. I honestly don’t.

          If we stipulate that boys have been treated badly at school since the 80s, how is the group that been treated badly for all of recorded history supposed to respond? Are women supposed to, I don’t know, ride to the rescue in some way? Are we supposed to pretend women have been treated well for millennia?

          I’m just not sure what you and some of the other men are expecting. You decry the changes that have given women the choices and options that men have had forever, as though it’s somehow inherently right for men to have had that freedom and women to not have it. Or that it’s now wrong for women to have freedom that in turn forces men to work a little harder on the relationship front.

          And it’s a bit jaw dropping that men then complain they don’t have role models to point the way in improving those relationship and emotional skills, because hello? Women have been socially and in many places and times even ***legally*** precluded from everything that now gives them options, mainly education, initially just primary school but even recently college.

          Well, crap, fellas, if women can learn math and physics and medicine and law, can men not learn to be decent relationship partners? As Rebecca pointed out, at least guys now have youtube to learn how to clean a bathroom and therapy to identify emotion issues. Women had to almost literally kick open school doors and then be subjected to massive discrimination to do anything beyond being a teacher or a nurse.

          Is men doing that work really that big of an ask?

          Reply
          • John Doe

            To be honest, Jo R, you like talking about historical issues from centuries past. Is it possible to focus on today and the future since that is where we are all going.

          • Jo R

            I talk about the past because a large swath of Christendom still lives there. And I mean in the western hemisphere.

            Until that fact is acknowledged, the rotten fruit chucked out, and the rotten root that grew the rotten fruit is dug up and burned to a crisp, there really is no point talking about how to change the future.

            Because too many men don’t think the future needs to be different. THAT is the fundamental problem. We can’t fix things until we diagnose the actual problem, or else we’re just giving aspirin for cancer.

          • Chris

            Jo R. I want you to feel free to pile on if you want to. Nothing wrong with that. I have big shoulders, I can take it. Do some of your comments boil my blood? Absolutely. But your comments are filled with both pain and a strong desire to see that justice is done in the world. And I respect that a lot actually.
            Jo R, a couple of weeks ago I was in church after the service had ended and I wanted to light a large votive candle for my mom. But all I had was a $20 bill and the candles were $5 each. And of course there is no way to get change out of the donation box. So I picked up 4 candles and thought to myself, ok, one for my mom, one each for my maternal grandparents, and I’ll just light a random one I guess. So i place the first three and lit them. But the rack was then full so the only place left was on a marble shelf on the wall that sits in between the bases of two large and beautiful stained glass windows. One of St.Catherine of Siena and the other of St. Teresa of Avila. As I lit the candle and looked up at two of the strongest women in church history a voice inside me said “this candle is for Jo R”.
            Jo R, I suspect that the paths each of us took to this blog may not be all that different.

          • Jo R

            Wow, thanks, Chris. You just left me in tears and speechless.

        • Mara R

          Sometimes it’s really hard to understand what the other is going through.

          Saw a TED talk by a person who was originally male and was surgically turned female. And the person was shocked at how their former gender treated their current gender. Had no idea.

          Here is a excerpt from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy concerning the Point-of-View Gun that is humorous but also illustrates this problem between the sexes. This problem has existed a long time and still exists today.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsgbcYnmR6Y

          Was thinking of linking “Running Up That Hill” as a commentary on how hard it can be for each gender to understand the other. But I figured people might be getting burnt out on that song at this point.

          Long and short, there are a lot of men in Christianity, especially those who are entitled and/or in positions of authority that could use a few (hundred) blasts from that gun. They love their own point of view and see no need to try to understand what women are going through dealing with all the doctrines that hurts them.

          Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Thank you, Chris! I really appreciate that.

          I do agree with you about boys in school. I do think that it’s been harder for boys to like and enjoy school, and that’s a societal wide problem for sure.

          At the same time, I’m not sure your critiques about women being reliant on the state are any different for men. I mean, by your definition men are reliant on the state as well. So why decry women for something that men have as well?

          I understand that men want to be needed in a specific way, as men. I get that. And for centuries they were. And now they aren’t.

          Except that they ARE, and I wish men saw that. Most women want someone to go through life with. Most women want a partner that they can love, and spend time with, and do life together with. Most women find that a husband is a wonderful thing!

          I wish men could see that we love men just for they are–our partners–rather than some role or something they can do. I think it would be very sad to have to go through life thinking you have to prove you’re a man. I think life would be a lot easier if you went through life just trying to be the best version of yourself. To look more like Jesus, to develop the fruits of the Spirit. That’s all women want, really.

          Reply
          • John Doe

            Most men today feel that we need to prove ourselves.

            I know from personal experience. I pray everyday that I will be the man that God desires me to be. The husband that my wife deserves and the father that my sons deserve.

            What might help this community to better understand the issues that men face (shocker, men can have it rough too) is to maybe talk to those that are trying to address those issues.

            Warren Farrell, for example, has written several books on the topic.

            Jordan Petterson, a fellow Canadian, has also spoken extensively on the disempowerment of men in the West.

            Food for thought.

          • Mara R

            Is Jordan Peterson the one I saw on Youtube who had a video from saying something along the lines of how dangerous Amber Heard is to our nation, world, or society or something?

            Or am I confusing him with someone else.

          • John Doe

            He commented on Twitter about the court ordered psychological analysis of Amber Heard’s mental state. I have not seen any views that he may have done specifically talking about it.

          • Chris

            John Doe, have you seen the debates between Jordan Peterson, who is Christian and Steven Fry, who is atheist? I think they are on YouTube. To watch two men who are both so intelligent debate the existence of God is fascinating and should not be missed.

          • John Doe

            I have seen that. It is great to see two sides being able to have a frank discussion that does not turn into name calling. Also, Peterson is not a Christian. Yet.

            I would recommend looking at their discussion about if There is Meaning to Life with Dr Rebecca Goldstein.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV4oIqnaxlg

        • Angharad

          “… women can get all their basic needs met today without being married…Women don’t need their husbands to chop wood so they can cook, its just a check to the gas company. In short, men have become largely redundant.”

          If you are assuming a strict segregation of household duties, then your statement could equally apply to men – now that clothes can be bought ready-made, men don’t need wives to sew for them etc, etc…

          I’ve spent some time living in a house where heat & cooking were provided by a wood-fired stove. And I chopped my own wood. As a single woman, I was no more ‘married to the state’ than a single man would have been.

          Your solution to making men feel more purposeful seems to involve making women more helpless, so that they have to depend on men to do practical tasks. Another commenter would like women to become less educated, presumably so that men can feel superior by knowing more. I would suggest that the true solution is for men to find their identity in Christ.

          My husband doesn’t need me to useless at DIY (just as well, because I’m better at it than he is!) or less educated than he is so that he can feel ‘purposeful’ compared to my helplessness and ignorance. He finds purpose and meaning in following Jesus.

          Reply
    • Sarah

      I’m unmarried and doing just fine with no spouse, thank you. The state is not supporting me in any way. I have had a man I was dating say something similar to me, asking why women would want to be dependent on the state instead of a husband who loves her, as we were discussing gender roles, and that was my cue to exit the relationship. If a single man is not married to or dependent on the state, what makes anyone think that a single woman is?? That’s such a bizarre and insulting thing to believe.

      The same man called me a “strong independent feminist” as I talked about things I am planning for in the future, including buying a house. I had no idea that being a functioning, self-supporting adult with plans for the future made me a such strong independent feminist. /s

      Reply
      • Mara R

        I think a lot of Christian/Conservative men (and some women) suffer from severe “Political-enemy-itis”.

        This is something that political and church leaders do to drum up support for their leadership.

        Hitler was good at this. He made Jews the scapegoat of his movement and was able to rally an entire nation under his control by whipping up hatred for his chosen scapegoat.

        One of the scapegoats of the Religious Right movement is those nasty feminists.

        It’s those nasty, independent feminists that are out to kill everybody’s babies and castrate all men. It’s the propaganda that has been liberally pushed by the Patriarchy.

        The problem is that it’s become so bad that any woman that doesn’t hold to the political tenants of the party is labeled a feminist even if she is prolife, likes men, and is softcomp.

        It’s so bad that when that guy saw that you made plans to buy a house that didn’t need a man to achieve, he decided that you were in cahoots with his political enemies, those nasty feminists.

        It’s so bad that when men like Wheels comes here, instead of seeing what is really going on, he gets all scared, superior, indignant and judgmental and starts ranting and raging like der fuhrer.

        Even our reasonable discussions are looked upon as the rantings of those nasty feminists who want to kill everybody’s babies and castrate all men.

        There is no reasoning with men who have decided that women with opinions that don’t line up with their “Political-enemy-itis” extremes are damaged goods and nasty baby-killing, man-hating feminists.

        I used to frequent a blog called “Whitewashed Feminists” back in the day. And the crazy thing was these were pro-life, complementarian women who were vilified and given this name by staunch Doug Wilson/Doug Phillips patriarchs who have terrible, terrible views of women. So these comp ladies adopted the name for their blog because of how ridiculous these men were. They saw that there was a serious need for discussion concerning how off-kilter (and dangerous to women) this extreme Political-enemy-itis has made things.

        Reply
        • Mara R

          And I’m sorry, Sheila, that you realizing that the obligation sex message was not Christian or Christlike has put you in the cross hairs of the He-man-Woman-haters club.

          But that is what happens to the entitled when people start pointing out that entitlement has no part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They start getting judgmental and hateful.

          Reply
    • Angharad

      ” there’s no such thing as an unmarried woman. A woman is either married to a man or she is married to the state.”

      Really?!!! News to me. How exactly?

      I was single for the first 45 years of my life. Constantly employed, including running my own business for the last 15 years of singleness, paying taxes…And I’m not the only one. I know several women in their 30s and 40s who are able to earn enough to keep themselves AND to support Christian ministries. If they are ‘married to the state’ then so is every man.

      I wonder if your friends share your patronising, dismissive views of single women? If they do, then I suggest that dating apps are not their only barrier to finding a partner. That attitude will be a big turnoff to single women seeking marriage.

      Reply
  25. Wheels

    Most men now dismiss this website outright. Here is several reasons.

    When our comments are put through (often times they are not) then our follow up comments are.

    You can say whatever you want about men and it’s fair game But say something about women:..oh boy! Do you honestly think women, modern Christian women, are doing a better job of serving their Lord? Nope.

    And can we please stop with education. First, most education these days is a joke and a scam. But especially the education women choose.

    I’ve been married 25 years. My wife would call me the best husband she had ever met. I’m a father of three. My worst enemy would tell you they are absolutely amazing kids. I’ve pastored full time. I’ve run a small business for 20 years and make an incredible living. I care for and support my parents. My neighbors call me when they are in trouble. I try to serve my Lord Jesus not when it’s convenient but long past it hurting. But here at this site my views are considered quack, wrong totally misguided and hateful. I have a dozen women comment and the author I have no idea what I’m talking about. Most who are divorced or by their own admitting miserable in their marriage- but they are the experts! You can live in your fantasy land where men are the only problems or you can continue to push this nonsense to sell more books, get mildly famous with the femanazi crowd by tickling theirs ears but most folks know it’s garbage. You actually chided a guy for saying women are hypergamous when the article your reference says exactly that.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Actually, yes, women are doing a better job at serving the Lord. Multiple studies have shown this, because Christianity has always been a religion with more women than men. And women are also more likely to do spiritual disciplines and to agree with orthodox teachings.

      The reason your views were denigrated is because they were simply wrong and did not reflect research. The reason so many men don’t like this blog is because we DO reflect research, and research does show that 50% of men use porn; that most men don’t do enough foreplay; that women achieve very little sexual satisfaction compared to men, and that this is something that men can usually rectify if they wish.

      I know that these are not fun facts for men to believe. Also, what is true in general is not necessarily true for each individual, and so it could be that there is a man who is desperately trying to do foreplay, desperately trying to get his wife to like sex, carrying his part of the mental load, connecting emotionally with her, not using porn, and she refuses to engage. This definitely happens. We’re just saying that it’s not the norm when you look at the numbers, and yet you tried to paint it as if it were.

      The reason that your comments are considered so odd is because you’re not paying attention to the actual facts on the ground, and you’re instead choosing to believe things about women which have no statistical support. You may want to ask yourself why you do that.

      Reply
      • Wheels

        Then why may I ask have you had to cut ties with every blogger you used to align yourself with and even a decade of YOUR own posts? Not even your own words are good enough for you. Not to mention most of Christianity. These aren’t my facts and statements, they are yours.

        Yes, 50% of men who attend church use porn. Do you know the amount of women who do? Let’s include erotica. How about how many have had an abortion? Divorced? Fornicated? Your stats say what you want them to say. I can find stats to disprove everyone one. Neither of us are “right”. Both genders are in miserable shape. The thing is I acknowledge that. You do not. You can’t escape your childhood or your college years. You’re circling back to where you started. Women openly state positive stuff about divorce, dating non Christian’s, lesbianism- all things strictly against the churches teaching and your mum or even cheer them on in some cases. Your religion is women. Not Christ- that’s just the tool to get you there after twisting His teaching. You’ve been damaged goods your whole life and like most you’re happy to take as many down with you as possible.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s right, not even my own words are good enough.

          Why? Because I did research and I looked at the research. And Jesus said a good tree can’t bear bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t bear good fruit. Healthy teaching leads to health. Where there is no health, then it’s not of God.

          So I changed my mind! That’s what we all should be doing. It’s called growth. And I have no idea what you’re talking about circling back to my college years. The only things–the only things–I’ve changed my mind on is how we talk about sex. I used to spread the obligation sex message, and now I don’t.

          And I’ve changed the emphasis of what I say about marriage (though not the message) because I’ve become more trauma informed and realized that commitment is not the issue; emotional health is the issue.

          Thank you for calling me damaged goods, because it shows your true heart.

          You know, you said you used to be a pastor. A pastor calling people damaged goods. Jesus is upset at this, but He’s not upset at me. I suggest you think about that. The reason people are leaving the church is because of people like you. I’m showing them who Jesus really is, and that means you’re going to lose your power. And you’re fighting back. I get it. But all that’s happening is that your ugliness is showing.

          Reply
    • Mara R

      Wheels: “Most who are divorced or by their own admitting miserable in their marriage- but they are the experts! You can live in your fantasy land where men are the only problems or you can continue to push this nonsense to sell more books, ”

      And this comment along with your dittohead feminazi remark makes me see how much you really do not understand what is going on here.

      If you are as wonderful a husband, father, son, pastor (and I don’t have a reason to think you aren’t even though we are having a time understanding each other) then I’m happy for you, your wife, your parents, your children, your former congregation, your employees, etc. I wish you and yours all the happiness.

      But somehow, your religion and philosophy makes absolutely no room, no space for those of us who have been through hell in the ‘name of God’.

      Wheels: “Do you honestly think women, modern Christian women, are doing a better job of serving their Lord? Nope.”

      Who died and made you God? The height of your arrogance that allows you to place yourself in the judgement seat of Christ is staggering. How I wish that you would open your eyes and see that you are forming your god after your own heart and image rather than finding out who God really is by the way Jesus treated women in the Gospels.

      Please, go your way. This place is not here so that you can be judge and jury and try to slam women back down to lowly places that you believe they belong. This place is not here so you can add your abuse on top of the years of abuse these women have already suffered at the hands of lesser men than you.

      Please go your own way. You are as bad or worse than Job’s comforters who at least let Job talk a little bit about the bitterness that he was going through.

      Reply
    • Jo R

      “And can we please stop with education. First, most education these days is a joke and a scam. But especially the education women choose.”

      Interesting stance, considering male vs. female enrollments in medical, law, and engineering / STEM programs.

      Reply
    • Sarah

      “And can we please stop with the education”

      No. I like learning things. So there.

      For all the women who have ever been denied an education in order to serve men – and yes, this is still happening- I will continue to learn.

      Reply
  26. JC

    A friend shared this same article on his facebook profile, commenting merely that it was interesting but highlighting the dating app part. Almost all of the responses (mostly men with one or two women) were along the lines of “dating apps are terrible” and “men (other than me, of course) are pigs.” There were stories of sending inappropriate pictures as examples. It is fascinating to me how quick everyone was to jump on the dating apps and completely miss the better standards point.

    My comment pointing out that women were having better and higher standards was brushed aside as “different people get different things from the same article.” Why can’t men see that calling all other men pigs doesn’t solve the real problem? Yes, sending inappropriate pictures is not acceptable and should stop. But just because a man has never done that does not automatically mean he is dating material. Is he going to expect me to carry the emotional and mental load of a relationship while still expecting to be considered the leader?

    I promised myself never to whine about not dating or being married. So this is not me whining. But this is definitely me saying I am tired of guys not getting it and I give up and I would rather be alone than have to fit myself in a box to conform to how a man expects me to be.

    Reply
    • Jo R

      “Is he going to expect me to carry the emotional and mental load of a relationship while still expecting to be considered the leader?”

      Yes.

      Reply
    • Gary

      I’m a 30-yr old unmarried Christian man that doesn’t use porn, goes to church, has an MBA, a great job, can cook and clean, and my own house.
      What’s the benefit for me to get married? I have great friends, can travel where I like, decorate my house how I want, heck if I want kids it’s now acceptable for a single man to adopt. What do I gain by getting married?
      According to this blog I will have to be content if my future wife allows me one orgasm a week, regardless if I’d like one every 2-3 days. What’s the upside? I can take care of my own needs without someone being upset that I’m doing it without them, even though they may not be interested.
      JC in her last sentence says she’d rather be alone than conform to how a man expects me to be. Isn’t that what the women in these comments are doing-men have to conform to what the women want or they are out of luck?

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        The upside, Gary, is having someone to spend your life with in real, true intimacy. To be known and accepted and loved. To have a companion to walk through life with. To have a witness to your life.

        My son died twenty-six years ago, and the only other individual on this earth who truly understands what I went through then is my husband. If I didn’t have him, I would be alone with that pain.

        But instead I have someone who knows everything about me–and still wants to be here. I have a safe place to go when I’m sad or lonely. I’m able to listen to him and help him when he needs an ear. We feel as if we are never, ever alone.

        That’s why you get married. And if you don’t want that–then it’s better that you don’t.

        Reply
      • Jo R

        Women can also now “[have a] great job, can cook and clean, and my own house…have great friends, can travel where I like, decorate my house how I want.” They also can be single parents.

        But in large swaths of Christianity, right now, a man don’t have to give his wife orgasms at all, if she is in the 63-ish percent of women who find it nearly impossible to orgasm via PIV (which can be due to a variety of factors, but for many is anatomical geometry, which of course she can’t do a thing about).

        She just has to give him sex, i.e., ***he*** gets to orgasm, and if what works for him doesn’t work for her, well, that’s just too bad. She has to be content with “emotional closeness.”

        Where’s the upside to marriage for such a woman, which of course she can only find out AFTER she has married? 🤔 🤔 🤔

        Reply
        • Chris -2

          Sheila’s blog is working to change that narrative (obligation sex/orgasm rate), but where’s the upside for a man that has a high libido? The wife is not required to give him sex on demand (which I agree with) but what if it turns out she’s fine with one orgasm a week and he isn’t. He can’t find that out either until after he has married, but the teaching on this blog is to be content with one orgasm per week. I do t recall this blog saying to find a happy medium. The man in this situation has to be content with “emotional closeness” except once a week.

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            What I’ve said, Chris, is that research has found (ours and others) that once a week seems to be the magic number where you’re talking about preference vs. problem. So once a week and more, you’re looking at different preferences. Less, and it’s likely causing a problem in the marriage.

            So what do you do with anything else in marriage where there’s a difference in preferences? You talk about it. You listen to each other. You compromise. You show love. You think about it from the other’s perspective. You each give.

            It’s just like anything else. But what research has also found is that libido is not static. It’s not that you have to live with once a week for the rest of your life! It’s more like–if you share mental load with your wife so she’s not so exhausted; if you truly are an equal partner, and if you emotionally connect, it’s very likely that her libido will rise. Libido is not a static thing that is independent from your relationship. Libido is highly dependent on the quality of your relationship, the stress level, the exhaustion level, and the quality of the sex.

            So all of that to say that there’s actually quite a lot you can do to boost everyone’s libido, in most circumstances. But there is a big warning that we really do want the high libido spouses to understand: When you treat a preference like a problem, you are very likely to create a problem. So understand it’s a preference and honor it, and then work on the rest of the relationship, just like you would anything else in marriage.

  27. SjV

    Wow, very interesting posts here along with helpful, powerful insights.
    What I do know is we are both created in the likeness of our Creator. It is also stated that it is not good for man to be alone, so therefore He created woman from the man’s ribs, so they can walk together side by side. Not ahead of her or behind her. Equality, each of value in their creation.
    Jesus also stated, “neither male or female, jew or gentile, we are all created equal in the eyes of God.”

    Reply
  28. Fact

    This is why it is very difficult for many of us single guys to meet a decent normal woman anymore today.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      …Because decent and normal women are also asking men to be decent and normal, too? The whole point of the article is that women aren’t lowering their standards anymore, but are expecting equal partners. So I do not understand what you’re trying to say here!

      Reply

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