… approach me? chase me? pursue me? marry me?
These questions are an everyday occurrence in the singles forums where I participate. I’ve answered quite a few of them in the forums, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a lot bigger issue than just in the forums.
So why aren’t these guys pursuing girls? I asked some questions of my own to the girls/women in order to get a better understanding of their situations, and not surprisingly, a pattern emerged: immaturity. In nearly every case, whether the question was asked by a 14 year old girl or a 30 year old woman, the men in question were under 25 years old, most often several years younger than the woman.
It Isn’t Just The Men
Currently in Western cultures (especially among British and American women), the trend is to date/marry same age or younger. I’ve heard a lot of justifications about it, such as life expectancy, etc., but upon more careful questioning, it usually comes down to one of two things. One is obviously the looks of a younger man and the thrill that comes with being with a ‘stud.’ The second is less superficial. It’s more a matter of ease and comfort.
As I’ve said in other articles, dating culture is moving back toward men stepping up and actively pursuing women. That’s a huge task for guys to undertake, but girls seem to be unaware that they, too, need to adapt to this change. While it’s indescribably flattering when a man steps up and openly pursues a woman, it’s also frightening and intimidating to her. And so instead of ‘womaning’ up, these women try to maintain a comfort zone by dating and marrying younger men. They want the best of both worlds – a guy who is handsome and youthful, a guy who will step up and pursue/lead them, yet with the understanding that they, the women, are the older, wiser, and more experienced partner. It’s a psychological security that gives them the feeling of being in control, a residual effect of the same ’90’s culture that turned men into mush.
At this point, I’d like to contrast Western women with women of other cultures. While it isn’t my primary means of meeting women, I’ve been a part of the online dating community nearly since it’s inception back in the ’90’s. One of the biggest complaints I hear from Western women online is this: Why do our men always go for the Russians, Asians, etc.? I myself have entertained the pool of single ladies from other parts of the world, and this is the answer: Because those women are searching for men. In an international dating pool, it’s easy to find the Russian or Asian women. It isn’t because of their nationality. It’s because they commonly list their ‘searching for age range’ as 10+ years older. Many will plainly reject any guy who is less, and some are searching for men 20-30 years older. By contrast, Western women nearly always have their ‘searching for age range’ set to no more than 2 years older but up to 10 years younger. It hasn’t gone over well with Western women on these sites, and the label ’mail-order bride’ has largely become synonymous with ‘gold-digger’ or ‘daddy’s little whore.’ Our soon-to-be First Lady is a perfect example of such a label. Yet these women themselves testify that their reasoning is because they want a man who is stable, mature, and capable of leading and caring for them. In essence, they have the very same desires in men (though perhaps more honestly) and issues with male maturity as do Western women. They simply answer those issues differently. Where Western women try to mother boys into being men, Eastern European and Asian women seek men who are self-made.
The process of male maturity…
… is simple to us guys. Not so much for girls to understand. I really don’t like to make comparisons between humans and animals, but sometimes it’s the best way to understand something. This is one of those things.
Women don’t understand male maturity because females have a group or ‘herd’ mentality. Much like female deer, horses, etc, women find their maturity and identity as part of a group. They begin life in their father’s herd, then they may wander away into another herd led by another male, where they mature and reproduce. Herd to herd – that’s the way she’s psychologically wired, and it makes perfect sense to her.
Men, on the other hand, have a more complex maturation process, a process which may or may not actually occur in any given male. Guys start out as part of a group, much like girls. Some of them never leave. They find the comforts of home and hearth too appealing to leave behind, so they choose to stay as a subordinate part of a group. Other males, ‘alphas,’ reach a point when they are unbearably discontented in being a subordinate in another male’s group (think: father-son conflicts), so they leave to wander on their own. Often, they form bachelor groups, gangs, etc, again much like young male deer or horses. Sometimes, they can wander in the wilds for years before they identify and establish themselves as mature men. Once one of them reaches that point, he gains strength and confidence to make decisions and lead himself. Then others begin seeking his strength and sheltering in the domain he’s established, and soon, he finds himself leading his own herd.
In this metaphor, ‘herd’ is the home, beginning with a woman. This type of man doesn’t want what others have built – not even his own father. He wants (perhaps even needs) to build his own life, his own home, his own family. And the psychological journey for that to happen takes time. Years of time. Women don’t seem to understand this. They don’t seem to understand that until a man is fully matured, he persists in a place of wandering and uncertainty. It isn’t a matter of whether or not he knows what to do. He probably knows it very well. He may even practice it. But he’s uncertain. He’s learning who he is, what he is, what it means to be who he is, and how to attain it. And it can be a very long, difficult journey. It can be a lonely journey. And that’s exactly what makes it so valuable to him when he finally has his own. That’s what makes him a man who knows exactly what he wants and needs from life. And it’s what makes him a man who doesn’t hesitate to pursue it (or her).
Women need to realize that just because a guy is a ‘legal adult’ who has a job and a functional sex organ doesn’t mean in the least that he’s a mature man who will pursue and lead a girl in a relationship or build a home with her. They need to realize that there probably isn’t one out of a thousand guys in Western culture less than 25 years old who has reached maturity, and few who have by age 30. It’s just the way it is.
Why does he just stare at me from a distance? Why won’t he come over and ask me out? – Because he’s uncertain, more uncertain about himself than about you. He’s still trying to figure out what he’s feeling, much less whether or not he should react upon it.
We hang out all the time. We’ve had sex multiple times. We just seem to get along so well. Why won’t he call me his girlfriend? (Yes, I actually did have this exact discussion with a 25 year old woman 2 days ago.) – Because you’re a toy. He’s using you to practice and develop the things he’ll one day use to settle down and establish a home and family with a woman he deems fit. And sorry, but it won’t be you.
We’ve been dating for months. He even proposed. Then he flaked. Why??? – Men who are in that uncertainty phase can do some pretty cruel things to girls. They can use them for sex or money, which is what most people think of when they hear about a guy using a girl. But a guy can also use a girl for experience. Having the heart and love of a girl – any girl – is a sort of ‘I did it!’ moment for a guy. It’s one of those milestones that helps convince him he’s a man, much like when a girl gets boobs, has her first period, gets married, or has her first child. Sometimes with immature guys, reaching that milestone takes priority over common decency and consideration of another’s feelings. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of, ‘Well, now I know I can do this. Now to find the girl I really want to do it with.’ That’s when he drops you and flakes. As harsh as it sounds, you were just an experiment, a training exercise on his journey to manhood. And unfortunately, it can seem very sincere and convincing, even to the guy himself. It takes maturity and the wisdom gained by hindsight even for him to identify and understand his own motivations.
So what’s the answer? How do I not get hurt? How do I find a real man? You know those ‘mail-order’ girls? Those ‘world-wise’ girls? The ones you like to call bad names? Yeah, they have it figured out. You can either do the Western thing and play mom to a boy who may or may not ever mature and build his own home (at least with you), or you can join with women from other parts of the world and search for a sound, secure relationship with a mature man.