Where Have All The Good Men Gone?

I worry when I read things like this (yes, I've been reading Craigslist again): "If I don't want my heart broken, don't hand it out." ...but if you don't allow yourself to hand it out when someone worthy comes along, you'll deny yourself happiness - or worse - you'll deny yourself love.

I'm always the guy a woman dates after having her heart broken... it's a recipe for disaster, and it always leaves me wondering when dating became so difficult.

When I was in my early 20's, dating was easy. OK, maybe it wasn't always easy, but in comparison to dating now, it was dead simple. I'd ask a girl on a date. If it was fun, I'd see her again. And maybe again.... and again. It was fun! Eventually, if things went well, time passed and wonderful memories were formed. Generally speaking, if I got to a third date, I'd end up dating the girl for a long time. I dated my first girlfriend for two years & the second for two and a half.

Then came my mid to late 20's... I had a crazy career that kept me moving from city to city as I climbed the corporate ladder. I lived in six cities between 1995 and 1999. HOLY $#!@! One day I looked at what had become of my life and it dawned on me that my career was getting in the way of what I really wanted in life: I wanted to actually STAY in a city - a wonderful place to call home and build a life. There was never a question for me when it came down to choosing a city. I adore Portland. I'd livd here BRIEFLY in the late 90's, but by the time I moved back in 2002 almost all of my friends had moved away. This meant I was starting from scratch. Not a problem!

READER INTERJECTS: "Wait a sec. What does this have to do with where the good men are?"

I REPLY: "Sorry about that. I'm getting to it."

Welcome to my early 30's. I'm blessed with a young face (people think I'm in my mid to late 20's), a healthy fit body (I walk a lot and hike from time to time), and a charming personality. I'm not perfect of course, but I'm sincere & enthusiastic, and women seem to enjoy that in me.

But somehow, by my early 30's, dating has changed. True, I'd been mostly removed from the dating scene for years. I'd gone on roughly ten first dates over a period of ten years. My average relationship to this point had lasted two years & usually ended due to a national move.

So here I am, in Portland to stay. I've gone on lots of first dates... and I do mean lots of them. I've met more wackos than I even knew existed - but that's been the exception. I've also met some of the most fantastic women a man could hope to meet. I've built a few wonderful friendships, and I've had a few short lived relationships. I...

READER INTERRUPTS: "What the heck. I thought this was a post about where all the good men are."

I REPLY: "One last thought before that."

READER: rolls eyes & exhales

Maybe it's a Portland thing... maybe it's a late 20's/early 30's thing... all I know is that too many women seem to worry themselves out of a good thing the moment they spot one. Granted, I gravitate towards intelligent women, so it shouldn't surprise me when they overthink things. But still... the better the dates go, the less the odds it will turn into anything. That's NUTTY!!!

I've been told "I'm not ready for this" many times, but I never really know what 'this' is. Seeing the same person over and over? I'm not looking for someone to move in with me or marry me... If someday that were to eventually happen - who knows. It could be great. But all I'm talking about at this point is enjoying the company of a woman who enjoys mine. If two dates were good, let's go on a third. If that's fun, how about a fourth.

I've watched some of the women I'd gone on dates with (or even briefly dated) end up in relationships with men who don't commit. I watch these women get cheated on, ignored, and left wondering if the man they're interested is even into them at all. I have to wonder if they prefer the man who won't commit because they can't really be hurt by someone they know better than to give their hearts to? That theory would be great, except that I watch these women get hurt.

I understand that the heart wants what the heart wants - meaning that it doesn't want what it doesn't want. That's fine. But I can't help wondering if the fear of something possibly being good prevents some women from actually being happy. I've gone on a number of dates with women who have a marvelous time... dates where the energy between us is infectious and the connection obvious. Factor in the things we have in common with the intellectual stimulation and a physical attraction. What's so wrong with allowing yourself to enjoy such things? I get told things such as "I had a great time. But when I got home I thought about it. And then as the days went by [during which time *I* am left to wonder what happened] I thought about it some more and more and more and there was once this guy named Blank and everything felt great and then something changed and now I'm worried that will happen again." What? So, the problem is that I was a great guy and you enjoyed yourself when you were with me? Is this to suggest that if I'd been just average, I'd have a better chance of seeing you again?

I'm not referring to one woman here. This has happened often enough that I sense a pattern. Sometimes it happens after a week or two. Sometimes after a month or two. I once had it happen after JUST ONE DATE!

Is it that I'm looking for too much? I don't think so. In a perfect world, what I'm hoping to have happen is: one great date becomes two... and then three. I want that sort of connection that builds into an amazing friendship mixed with romance. I want to talk about life and the world and people and challenges and hopes and dreams. I want to hold hands in the park and sit together enjoying a meal, filling the silences with soft gazes across the table. These things take time of course, but I see no problem with that.

READER: "No seriously - I'm gonna reach through my monitor and grab you by the neck if you don't get to the part about where the good men are."

I REPLY: "Yikes! ...ok..."

Women of Portland - hell, WOMEN OF THE WORLD!!! There are good men all around you. There really are! Some of us are attractive, funny, well spoken, interesting, and even charming. And here's the kicker! Some of us are even single. The problem is that you tend to find one of us after some poor excuse for a man has used you. He probably refers to this as "the game", but playing with someone's emotions isn't a game. It's a crime, and everyone pays the price for it except him.

::::: | Friday, Apr 23 2004 at 12:34 PM
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angela said:

hi i read it all, your funny you sound like me when i describe the men ive been out with. my friends tell me if i cant find a good man then they cant. because im so outgoing and bascially im a good person and im attracted so i cant find a good man i been on dates they see i am a good women with looks which is the pacakge deal and run scaredddddddddd i never seen anything like it im 30 also i said to myself things have sure changed men are actually scared of me because i am that dream girl i have alot going for me and i have a good personality but im cool at the same time. so men dont want commitment whatsoever they want to screw as many women as they can very very few men appreaicate a good women and know how to hold on to a women like me. so i might be single for a long time untill i actually meet a normal guy who really loves women! hahahhahah have a good day angela!

::::: | June 4, 2005 12:02 PM

Herb Jarvie said:

women want men to be women and the divorce court has changed men from commitment to screw all i can i myself am celebet cant spell it eitherwomen is resposible they are becoming whores just look at the belly factor today i am angry so that is why i am saying this

::::: | June 12, 2005 8:12 AM

Me! said:

Well Herb, I'm not sure I agree with that. I just think - and this is true of men too - I just think we all need a wake up call now and then. A reminder that good people are all around and maybe we're just overlooking them.

That's my thought anyway.

::::: | June 12, 2005 9:05 AM

amberleelou said:

To Portland Man:

You are exactly right. And I am not even sure how I stumbled upon this article, but it was cute and it made something clearer than it was before; something I realized about myself recently.

I spent the last four years with one man. I am currently 22.5 years old. I tried very hard to love him, please him, make him happy, make us happy, but he was never satisfied. One day I woke up and realized never once in those four years did he stop and ask if I was happy.

Leaving him was one of the most painful and difficult times of my life. I must respect though how it has helped me to grow and mature as a person.

Right after I left him, I bumped into a young man that was an old neighbor. When we were kids (14, 15, 16, 17) he called me all the time. We'd go for long walks together, shoot bb guns in the woods, visit the old man at the end of the street, and talk, and enjoy the nice weather. He was the only boy I ever found a truly good friendship in, but it never turned into anything more. I was afraid, and I think he was too.

When we reunited, I was still torn apart inside because of all that had happened with my ex. A couple of nights he invited me over. We sat next to eachother and just watched the same movie over and over again. There was still electricity between us, but neither one of us could work up the nerve to touch or cuddle or anything. Late one night he text me. He admited that he did not want to make the first move.

I spent four years being rejected intimately repeatedly by my ex, so no way in hell could I do it.

He introduced me to all of his good friends. I would get so nervous around him. I wanted more, but I could express it, and neither would he. We lived together for a short period of time, but nothing ever happened besides watching movies.

I wanted him to hold me. Desperately. Something. A kiss, but nothing. We'd end up eating candy, drinking milk, and watching movies. Then go to our separate rooms, alone, where I would fall asleep and dream about him often.

Eventually, I really screwed up. Tired of waiting and desperate for intimacy I foold around with one of his friends. He found out of course. I was honest with him. He was really dissappointed. He reminded me of it every night before we went to bed. He wouldn't watch movies with me anymore.

Finally, he moved out. Now he and I live down the street from eachother again. He passes my house over and over everyday. Sometimes he catches me outside and waves. I left a letter in his box once, but he never replied.

I wish I could change things. I wish I could have been a healed and stronger person when I met him again.

I ruined a friendship that could've become something incredible. I think about him everyday. Sometimes, I think I see him when I'm out, and I get butterflies in my stomach.

I wonder if he and I will ever be friends again. If that's all we ever are or become that would be better than nothing at all. I miss him. I screwed it up because I liked him more than I'd ever liked anyone before, and I was afraid. I told him that once.

I wonder if he still thinks about me too.

::::: | March 12, 2007 8:21 PM

Michelle P said:

Well, I'm 52 and let me tell you....it ain't any easier to find a good man at my age. I've been with a man sorta for almost 4 years and he's basically been the most unattentive on/off again boyfriend I've had. Course I was married a long time before him, so what did I know about the dating scene. Anyway....I try and end it pretty much weekly, but my stomach gets in the way. You know....I get nauseated just thinking about it. Too old to make anymore major changes. I don't ever remember having such awful feelings inside. So that doesn't work. Back to the point: Ah...where exactly are all the good men??? Cuz I haven't seen any yet...and mine isn't any good either. I thought he had potential, but I don't think his momma taught him the basics of loving a woman 101.

::::: | November 4, 2007 7:59 PM

Trouble said:

What a simply nauseating read. I can relate with all the stories above, and for some silly reason have always thought is was just me. I guess when Grandma said there are other fish in the sea, she was not kidding. There are thousands to go through to find the right one. In this busy day and age who has the time and energy for that. I know women who have just give up on the whole matter. I being mid forties do not want to give up on life and the pursuit of happiness, but I still have not grasped it. I have been married and divorced twice. The two hardest things I have done. I loved each of them and gave them my all, only to be used. I wish I could find that good man, that best friend and possible guy next door to stop the cycle of insanity. There is too much laughter I want to have and share with another and time is slowing drifting away.

Well, in any case, thank you for listening and letting me vent my say. I wish all the best in the future and hope we all find love that is truly meaningful.


::::: | February 18, 2009 4:28 PM

marie said:

This is all very cute, made me smile, I have no man @ this time, but I am happy and enjoy my own company these days, maybe one day I will persue a partner.... we will see...

::::: | June 19, 2009 11:32 PM

Baggage Collector said:

I'm attracted to men that have WAY too much baggage. I find men that have been screwed over by hateful women and they just haven't healed from them. So, I guess that I'm the nice girl that guys meet after they get out of bad relatiobships. I get "I just don't know what I want." They "care" about me, but they're just too burned to let down their guard. I am one of the good girls. I'm attractive and have a good job. I owne my own home. I have fun too. I have plenty to offer and there are many guys that come back later and say man, I should've held on to you. It's just frustrating!

::::: | January 12, 2010 1:29 PM

Rose said:

My idea of a good guy is someone who is goal oriented, self-motivated, kind, considerate of others, and is not interested in playing Peter Pan. In other words, a good guy is an adult who is truly a good person.

::::: | May 14, 2010 7:16 AM

Toni said:

I'm 53, attractive, good job, but tired of the dating scene. I no longer know what the answer is, where to look and even what to do. If you approach a man you're forward, if you hold back and smile, you get ignored and are considered a snob... I tire of men, I tire of hearing men say that women ignore them when I see men go looking for women who are easy (not to mention creepy and would suck the life out of them) and then complain that there are no good women. I'm a good woman, work hard, raised my daughter to be an asset to the community, love my God, try to do the right thing by other people, am respectful, basically good natured, sweet, pretty, fun, but I have become more and more quiet as I tire of competing with the loud overbearing women men seem to want to pick over me... yes, these women do jump into be much sooner than I, but they end up being the bitches men complain about. I was taught men pursue and women act like ladies, but I'm just worn out with the people of society anymore. It's no wonder we've declined so... Men don't know how to men and women don't know how to be women. So, yes, the good usually get caught in the mix and are the ones who ultimately suffer.

::::: | August 1, 2010 8:04 AM

Gaya said:

Fun read!sounds like human nature,if things are too easy often people think this couldn't possibly be the answer to my complex & special desire of wich I am asking of life.I say it is.science says gravity works,like atracts like,if you dream it, you live it.lots of dreams=lots of experiences,you can't dream too big,stay open to new things especialy if old ones nolonger serve you,find your joy,its your movie,tread light with others will,&have fun!

::::: | October 26, 2010 5:15 PM

Brian said:

I hear you friend. I wrote up a little tidbit to show these gals, where we are, who we are, and gave them some pointers, some won't like, "helps weed out the players", as well as pointers for us good men to make a move forward to. You can't fake honesty, you can try for a while, but it's separating the wheat from the chaff big time!

::::: | February 24, 2011 2:04 AM

Bibi said:

It's nice to know that there are still human beings out there in the world. I am currently GUY-LESS, which is an incentive to say hello here, in order to support your hope (and mine) of finding that one person you click with. I sense that your bloggers are real, that their heart is in the right place.

This blog (opposed to many others) is filled with the 'good' that is going on now. Thanks. What I've found (to confirm Brian's sentiments) is that if you are real, you can see real in others. Thanks everyone, and have a great Sunday.

::::: | March 20, 2011 9:08 AM

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