Are all men on dating sites emotionally arrested?


No, of course they’re not. I just thought I’d open with a swing out of Yankee Stadium!

But emotionally juvenile men do seem to congregate in the dating arena. It makes sense: they are looking for some panacea to their woes; some way of filling the emotional void left by their less-than-perfect upbringing. As are we all, to some extent.

Add to this the fact that many middle-aged men (cubs, be gone!) put themselves on sites, post-separation,  with unmitigated haste. I have lost count of the amount of recently separated/divorced men I have met who think that a bit of rumpy-pumpy is going to put them back on top of their crumbling world. And the finishing touch to this emotional blancmange is the proliferation of a certain pornographic framework in which many men now place themselves, or believe they SHOULD  place themselves. They have been lead to believe that they will always want sex if it’s offered, and that they will always be able to make the money-shot. When they realize this is not the case, they feel bad about themselves (for the wrong reasons) and/or perceive the woman, or the relationship itself, as being flawed. It’s a wonder any of them have got their masculine shit together.

Over the last few weeks I have  been on the receiving end of poor behaviour from a couple of such men.

I met Theo* for a coffee, and we had a splendid time. Laughs, conversation and some chemistry. He had only broken up from a long-term relationship a month before, but he finished it, it wasn’t a live-in relationship, and he seemed quite together. A few days later he invited me to his place for dinner. Again, a lovely time was had, although I noticed a certain reluctance, which I put down to the fact that we were both very tired from a long day at our respective occupations. We had acceptable sex. I went home. The next day, in response to my polite “thank you” text he informed me that he realized that he wasn’t ready to play with anyone new, and was still recovering from the break-up, despite being the instigator. Absolutely fair enough, in general. But it just infuriates me that he didn’t realise how unready he was until AFTER I’d sucked his cock.

Funny that.

And then there was Andrew*. A very interesting case, is Andrew. I shan’t go into too much detail, as the relevant ones would tend to identify him. Suffice to say he is not the standard, single guy. He was uber-keen when he read my profile, and we exchanged messages and a couple of phone calls, over a week. Intelligent, reasonably well-read, articulate and (seemingly) quite emotionally together, I was looking forward to meeting him. We met for brunch and ended up spending most of the day together. I decided to go home and let the dust settle, but later that evening, felt a yearning to see him again ( I know…nice, right?) and he was happy to pop over to hang out with me that night. We got into quite a heavy conversation, which mostly revolved around his being unsure if our energies matched. What I found astounding was his assertion that he, basically, wanted to decide there and then, if we were relationship material. He even used the analogy of jumping off a cliff. Except that I don’t see relationships as cliffs, and even if I did, I’d want to spend more time FINDING THE RIGHT BLOODY CLIFF. So I sat there, with someone who hadn’t known me 24 hours, having parts of my personality deconstructed, in order for him to make an immediate decision. My wildness, although attractive, was seen by him, as something which he felt he should dampen just a little. He wanted to be my quiet, safe place. Have a guess whether he ASKED me if I wanted a quiet, safe place. And naturally he denied my accusation of taming, clarifying that he didn’t want to put my fire out, just cool it a little so that I could burn for longer. I think he was just stretching a metaphor so it could burn for longer. And talking somewhat arrogant bollocks in the process.

Suffice to say he decided, a couple of days later, that I was not for him: made a snap decision about what could have been, in my humble, a very exciting and passionate friendship, if nothing else.

And, of course, he made that decision after we had sex.


I sometimes think the intelligent, articulate ones are the worst, because they can hide their emotional immaturity behind fine-sounding words, and exquisite justifications. And because they tend to attract intelligent, articulate women, they feel that they are  safe from too much crazy, clingy behaviour. So they can piss us around with impunity.

The lesson for me? Next time a guy tells me he only broke up  with the girlfriend a month ago, I will say “thanks for the coffee…give me a call when you’ve REALLY broken up with her.” And when I’m next told by a bloke that he believes in jumping off the cliff, I will politely suggest that he go wank off a cliff.

Then I shall head to bed with one of the men who never let me down: Richard Russo or Cavafy or Bill Bryson.

*Not their real names. Or even close.


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