mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The tradtional V-day, it sucks to be single, woe is me post...

So I've had a bunch of dating and the like thoughts floating through my bearded little head, so I figured today would be an appropriate time to post them in one rambling thread, while I listen to my in-a-relationship coworkers gloat about being in a relationship.

First of all, it's probably a sign that you are pretty pathetic when posters on message boards I frequent know my dating status.

Secondly, Instapundit links two very interesting, and very different, perspectives on marriage. The first is this one on why guys don't want to get married. The second is this Rachel Lucas post, in which she rebuts this article by a woman on why women should settle for a guy rather than seek out Mr. Right.

It seems that there is a stereotype of women in their late-20's to thirties who are desperate to get married, have kids, ect, and just can't seem to find a man. You seldom hear of men in that position, yet that seems to be where I am. I'm watching my college classmates, my coworkers, people I grew up with get married, have kids, achieve the kind of life I so want to have but so can't seem to.

In the years after college, I focused on a couple goals - buying a house and getting an MBA. That meant working lots of overtime, 6-day workweeks, and taking night classes and spending free time doing homework. I didn't really develop friendships, or networks, or the kinds of interests and hobbies or experiences that make men interesting and attractive to women. So now I have an MBA that hasn't helped me one bit in my career and a house in the 'burbs that I for the most part like (except when something breaks or my neighbors throw a party) but that gets awful lonely. And because I don't have those big groups of friends or hobbies to fall back on, it makes it all that more noticeable. Not that I'm usually bored - there always seem to be things to do around the house, books to read, tv shows to watch, blog posts to write. But put those things in a personal ad, and women go "boring" and move on.

Every now and then I'll come across an ad like I did a few weeks ago on OKCupid, where a woman lists very broad things that she's looking for in a guy like 1)must not live with his parents, 2)must not be on probation 3) must have his own car 4) must be employed. But if what women really wanted was that minimal, I probably wouldn't be writing this post.

For all the women who agree the Lori Gottleibs of the world about settling, there must be quite a few who are still seeking perfection, or at least who are seeking something more perfect, or at least more exciting, than me.

If a woman who doesn't get married used to be considered an "old maid", what is a guy? An old butler? Whatever it is, it makes me wonder if I'm an outlier or a trend - if there are other guys out there who actually want commitment but can't seem to get it, rather than the traditional stereotype of trying to avoid it.

As I've mentioned before, I signed up with eHarmony a few weeks ago. I was initially hopeful, as I actually made contact with some women, which is more than I got in my 6 months of membership. So far, though, all have either closed communication or just stopped responding without closing it off. I do feel that eHarmony seems to have better candidates - everyone on match always seemed to be party girls whose hobbies consisted of getting drunk. Maybe they are too good for me - lots of them seem to have cool hobbies and high-level careers and probably don't have a whole lot of interest for underemployed, underexciting mad anthony.

There is one depressing aspect of eHarmony - people can "close" matches, signifying that they aren't interested in a match. With match, you can always figure that maybe nobody saw your profile (and with match, you actually could see who viewed your profile, and it usually was a small number). With eHarmony, you look at your closed matches and know that they looked at you and decided they didn't like you - they actively rejected you, instead of just passively - and they usually mark the reason as "other", which always makes me wonder what is wrong with me.

I've been reading Greg Easterbrook's The Progress Paradox, and it describes my situation pretty much to a T- doing better financially, healthwise, and on a lot of other measures than ever before, but still not thrilled with life, because of a lack of meaning and of meaningful relationships. But until I figure out the secret of that, it's no secret how I will be spending v-day.


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