Okay, single guys, this one is mostly for you. I’m sorry if its slightly sexist but recent surveys have found the opinions expressed here to be very true, keep reading though, you may learn something! Really, I’m on your side!
Now I thought the blog I wrote about online dating would be enough, giving all my guy friends advice on how to spruce up their profiles. Clearly, however, there is more work to be done. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about this blog is that it encourages people to talk to me. I have always loved connecting with people and hearing their stories. Since I’ve been writing this blog, however, I have had the opportunity to connect with far more people and often in a much more personal way than I ever have before. People openly tell me their stories! Lately, since I’ve confessed some of my own dating-in-middle-age adventures, people of all ages have been sharing their dating stories.
Most recently, my lady friends have been telling me a variety of stories that all end in almost the exact same way, with a male person telling them that he is “wounded” and “emotionally unavailable.” From what I can tell, and after talking at length with some of my male friends, what this is code for is “I am not ready for a relationship but I would like to have sex with you!”
And guess what guys, that is perfectly okay! In fact, sometimes it is way better than, just okay! Just say it from the get-go please! In many cases, the honesty will be refreshing and it will actually work! (Really, people, we’re all grown-ups here! There is no need to be shocked by this).
On the other hand, I have yet to hear a woman, straight or gay, say she is “wounded” and “emotionally unavailable.” Even though in many cases, many of us are quite wounded! I am not suggesting we are without flaws. Believe me, we are aware of the baggage we are hauling behind us and most of us are trying our best to sort it out. Yet, for some reason, women seem more willing to jump back in, to try again, to open ourselves up in order to make a connection with another human being.
So here’s a warning guys. Stop using that line. The ladies and I have talked. We’re not taking that excuse anymore. The next time one of you claims to be “wounded” and “emotionally unavailable” we are going to tell you to get the f@ck over it! Yup, sorry. We are all wounded! It’s time to move on, or at the very least say you aren’t ready to move on, but just be honest, okay. (Now I know this isn’t all men, so if you are one of those guys who is emotionally healthy and open to love, please do not take offense. And actually, email me, I know several nice ladies I can introduce you to).
I know it’s not easy, believe me, I’ve been there! I know it takes time and sometimes alcohol, therapy, a mid-life crisis, or a long road trip. Whatever, you need to do, go do it!
One younger friend recently said that some of her other middle-aged friends, and I, all seem really cynical about relationships and that sometimes it brings her down. I’m sorry about that, really I am, because that is never my intention. Really, I want everyone to be happy, to find someone special. Now I can’t speak for all of us, but I can speak for me and I confessed to her, what I’m going to confess to all of you now (try to keep it between us okay).
I am not really bitter or cynical at all. It’s a cover. It’s a cover a lot of us use! It covers the hurt, and it covers our vulnerability, and laughing about something is better than crying over it. However, at the end of the day, despite all evidence to the contrary, despite my own failed relationships, despite a divorce so horrid I’m still not sure how I survived it, when all is said and done, I still believe in love. I am still holding out hope for that one special person to grow old with, really.
I mean, what else do we have, really, except the connections we make with other people; friends, family, lovers. In order to make those connections, you have got to be vulnerable. You have got to let your guard down. You have got to open yourself up to the possibility of getting hurt again . . . and to the possibility that you won’t get hurt at all, that you might actually find something wonderful!
I’m on your side guys. Come on, you’ve got this!
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore . . . I hate love.” Neil Gaiman