Where are the Men?

Posted by Ann Evans in Daring to Date Again, Dating over 60, Older women, where to meet men, women's liberation | 4 comments

If my friends and acquaintances are any measure, women commonly seek out dates only in a safe venue. They don’t feel safe on the Internet, so they follow the advice of  best practices articles and listicles, “Get out of the house. Go to a place where other people are doing what you enjoy doing.” So they troop to the local library, the adult school, volleyball night at the YMCA, a conference on a promising subject, or the local church of choice.  They complain that the people they meet there are other women who have read the same articles.

So where are the men? They are in bars, but if you go to bars you meet men who like to go to bars and if you don’t share that pleasure, the odds are high for a mismatch.

At a reading at my local library one man gave an answer. “They are everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, on the bus. You just have to smile and talk to people.” He said that he objected to making dating a project; he just wanted it to happen naturally and claimed that making natural connections in his daily life was commonplace. The “men are everywhere” answer was reassuring. The “just smile!” elicited grimaces of discomfort from the women; but maybe we should consider being more generous with our smiles and comments about the weather.

It depends what streets you are walking, at what time of day, and for what purpose, but what he says makes sense to me.

One of the women in this discussion had just met a man after her nose started bleeding while she was in front of his house. He came out to help her and they struck up a conversation – he gave her a kiss on the cheek after the bleeding stopped. That would be a story to tell their grandchildren!

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Comments (4)
  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    Nice article. The guy is right, we are everywhere……..but. Guys are all over if you look. This guy is not in the bar. I can’t tell you the last time I was in a bar a lone. And I sure didn’t go there to pick up anyone. Slimy IMO. I know if I see an attractive woman I will make eye contact and “maybe” say something. I think the women think that all guys are comfortable with saying something. Well, I for one, am not. And if you say “hi” then what? How do you stop them in their tracks and start a conversation? It just seems to me that all the planets need to align for that to happen. Not sure I agree with your selections on where to go. I am taking a few dance classes and I haven’t seen anyone other than married women with their husbands. I think, in today’s world women know what they want and what’s wrong with them being the aggressor, or going after what they want? Why can’t a woman go up to a guy she finds attractive and start a conversation? Because women aren’t supposed to do that? Please! Nothing ventured, nothing gained I say. If a woman likes being look at as attractive you don’t think a guy thinks the same? And yes, the story is awesome!

    • Ann Evans says:

      Thanks for your comment. I hope you don’t mind if I post it on Facebook. It says a a lot of important things.

  2. Royce says:

    ” I think, in today’s world women know what they want and what’s wrong with them being the aggressor, or going after what they want? Why can’t a woman go up to a guy she finds attractive and start a conversation? ”
    ===============================================================

    Duh, ultimately because they don’t have to and it doesn’t work !
    Nobody wants to do it but women handle rejection generally even worse than men – plus women are much more interested in confidence in a man than vice-versa !
    There is one other factor too, the power dynamic for most couples doesn’t work if she is the one pushing.

    All this may be un-PC but I think it’s right and the women I know agree.

    • Ann Evans says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      The quote you are commenting on was made by a Finnish man who seemed to want a more equal sharing of the responsibilities. The question would not be whether the habit you mention works or not — this is, after all, the way American society has operated for a very long time, so we know it works. The question is “Does it have to be this way?” Must women be passive, must men always “push?” Obviously, each couple os different, but don’t you think we should make allowance for a variety of “power dynamics?”

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Life went on

Life went on again after Daring to Date Again: A Memoir ended, so I began this wide-ranging blog about life as a writer and as a woman in the early 21st century, especially as an older woman.

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