Sunday, March 17, 2013

Where the Good Men Are

I took inventory of my single male friends.

Nearly all of them are 30+, all of them own their own house, all are gainfully employed, and though not all Ambercrombie and Fitch models, not one of them is obese or below what I would consider a 6. 

They also all have at least ONE unique eccentricity about them.  Many of them are ballroom dancers.  Two of them are pilots. One belongs in a band.  A fourth is starting his third serious company.  And another has taught himself two languages because he managed to retire at 42.  It is because of their eccentricities they are part of my crew of friends.  They are interesting and significantly-above-average intelligent people and conversation with them is the most enjoyable aspect of my life. 

However, there is one who stands out in this category of "Captain's single male friends."  The reason he stands out is he is the only one who actively pursues dating.

Though 43, he is in good enough shape and charming enough with the ladies he manages to date 25 year old women on average.  While this is certainly fun, his long term goal is to get married.  However, he faces a quandary.  Most 20 something girls are immature and not marriage material.  They are pain to date and are not capable of the level of intelligent conversation he needs.  To find women his maturity level, he needs to date older, "older" to him meaning 30+.  But when he does there is inevitably a deal-breaker, usually another guy's kid or a financial wreck.  Thus, he still plugs along, filling his date card with 24 year old's, occasionally wandering into 30+ territory only to have her life-mistakes return him to the younger ladies.

Now you would think "this is a great situation" and he is having the time of his life.  But alas, my 43 year old friend is starting to suffer from "Player Burnout."  He no longer is excited about the prospects of a new date.  He no longer has the giddiness and hope of taking out yet another 26 year old.  And when they text him their naked pictures he merely shows me and the others guys and says, "meh."  In the past year I have seen his interest in other hobbies supplant his interest of women, and if you were to ask him today if he'd rather smoke a cigar than go on another date with a girl he met online.  In short you are witnessing the last dying moments of a player, much like watching the final stages of a star gone supernova, before it collapses into nothingness.

When he does go "supernova," however, there will be no more players, let alone men looking to date in my crew.  And with his resignation from "the game" he will pull himself out of the dating market and there will be one less "good guy" out there for the ladies.  It then dawned on me that the answer to:

"Where have all the good men gone?"

was staring me right in the face.  I can answer that question by simply explaining what all my single male friends do.

"Mike" the retired at 42 year old has a lifestyle akin to mine.  He has no real job, he wakes up when he wants, and he pursues various intellectual pursuits to stimulate his mind.  He is a minimalist with very few expensive possessions and though he is a veritable millionaire, he drives the cheapest import car he could afford.  For entertainment he tries different coffee stores and hangs out with some of his other retired friends during the day.  In the evening he hangs out with us usually for cigars or a cheap dinner at one of our favorite dives.  He returns home where he teaches himself languages, reads books, watches documentaries, has cocktails and goes to bed around 4AM.

"Bill" is a pilot.  He just purchased a very nice home and the mortgage on that home is the only debt he has.  He has been living frugally for the past 10 years, building up a massive downpayment that he could afford a 15 year mortgage and a very low interest rate.  He works out with me religiously.  He is also the musician in our group and can ballroom dance.  He's been working on his music, his body building, and his career.  When he's in town he joins us for dinner at that same dive restaurant or (time permitting) is up for flying down south to enjoy warmer weather.

"Fred" is a computer networker and a race car driver.  His house is pretty much paid off because he busts his ass off working about 60 hours a week.  If you want to find him you can find him at work, at the gym, in his basement (tinkering with computers) or on the race track.  You will not find him at a club or a loud bar, because he is a beer connoisseur.  You will find him at the quiet local brewpub with a bunch of other 40 somethings.

I could go on, but if I were to succinctly summarize where to "find the good men" it would be:

1.  At home
2.  At a coffee shop/low end restaurant
3.  At work
4.  Out doing their hobbies

In short, NOT at the bar or the night club.

But here is where the women face a high, if not, impossible hurdle.  You can't meet these men even if you wanted to.  You can't go to random houses, knocking on guys doors to see if any "good guys" are home.  You can't go to a restaurant and randomly approach men to see if they are good guys.  You certainly can't go to various corporate offices to see if any good guys are at work.  And unless you are in the passenger seat of Fred's race car or Bill's airplane, you're not going to find good guys attempting to join their hobbies.  In other words, they've gone ghost. They're gone.  They're not only off the market, you can't even find them to convince them to consider going back on the market. 

This leaves marriage-seeking women with the "nightclub" or "online dating" as markets for finding men.  Unfortunately, these aren't "good guys."  Not that they a morally bad men, they're just not marriage minded men.  They're players.  And so when a guy scores a number and lines up a date with a girl he met at a bar, 9 out of 10 times he has no romantic interest in her, only sexual.  This makes things doubly bad for women because it is misleading or (to borrow from economic parlance) "sends the wrong pricing signals."  With all these players asking for their numbers, women misinterpret this attention as romantic attention, not sexual.  Thus, they are constantly thinking "Mr. Perfect" is just around the corner, when it is just another player.  20 years of bar-hopping and night-clubbing go by with no yield of "good men" and thus, with the biological clock screaming, they ask "when have all the good men gone?"

The answer, ladies, is "home."

Enjoy the decline!

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