The Conundrum

July 3, 2011 § 27 Comments

There are no men.

Someone enlighten me.

My inexpert theories are just theories.

There are equal numbers of men and women.  Fact.

There are more gay men than there are gay women?  OK, so that might account for a small proportion of the disparity in numbers.

Logic dictates that there are no fewer married men than there are married women.  Plenty of MMHs (Married Men Hunting), but they don’t count.  I am talking about available men.  While some women are not bothered if a man is married, I am.  Big time.  To me, married men are the third gender.  In a sense, not really men at all.  I love the company of many of them but I don’t fancy them, same way as I don’t  fancy women, or praying mantises.

A man can pick from a wider pool of women: his age and under, by several decades.  I have a friend who is late thirties and lives with and has children by a man in his mid sixties.  She is one of the youngest girlfriends he has had but by no means the only one of her age.  He is paunchy and has grey chest hair and is not especially rich.  He is married – but has been separated from his wife for twenty years; won’t divorce her.  Already has a couple of tricky teenage daughters.   He is neurotic and critical and fussy.  My friend loves him, after a fashion.  They argue a lot and she is not particularly happy yet is counting herself lucky.  He plucked her out of a richesse of willing women.  All circling him like vultures, they were, before my friend “got” him.  She is seen as the “lucky” one for being with him whereas I think he should thank his lucky stars that he is with someone so wonderful and special.  What the fuck was that about?  All these women from whom an inadequate had the pick of a great bunch?

Who else is there after the gay men, married men and inadequate men?

Widowers are still in love with their wives and can never replace her.  I want to be irreplaceable, not the less-than-first-wife second wife.  Novels have been written about her misery.

Everybody knows one single man.  Only one, mind.  And, whisper it, SFAR (Single For A Reason).  Namely, insane.  Or, variously, OCD, commitment-phobic, addicted to sex, drugs, alcohol (delete where applicable, or not as the case may be).  Baboon-arse ugly.  Boring.  Homeless. Thick.  Teenage.  All-round wanker for whom only a woman who combines the physical attributes of Brigitte Bardot and Keira Knightley as well as being a female Dorian Gray will do.

Divorced men fall into three categories:

1).  Married men who have been left are like widowers, still in love with their wives.  Broken men. If they want sex at all they want it not as a commitment but as a Wank Plus.

2).  Making up for lost time (ie. the married years) and fucking anything (under thirty) that moves.

3).  The majority.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man never leaves his wife if he hasn’t already got another younger woman whom he is regularly and gloriously screwing.  I have NEVER heard or read about or even contemplated the notion of a man leaving his wife for an older woman.  Nor have you.  It has never happened in the history of the world.

As I say.  There are no men.

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§ 27 Responses to The Conundrum

  • Brilliant! And so so true. When you put it that way you start to think lesbians have the right idea…

  • skidoo says:

    Just to provide the exception that proves the rule. My ex husband left me when I was 33, he was 29 ,the other woman was 36 …. it was embarrassingly quite some consolation that she was older than me! He has now left her too

  • butterflyexperience says:

    I often wonder if that perfect mythical man creature does exist?
    Or are us modern day women buying into some romantic novel bull and end up with the wrong man?

    • Lewis Blight says:

      You may have a point. Some woman may have bought into some romantic novel bull, as you put it. In that case, not only will they end up with the wrong man; sooner or later they may end up with no man.

      Simple rules if you want a man, and then to keep a man. Learn, in general terms, what men are like and what your man likes, and accept it as who he is, even begin to like him for it. Reality is probably a little different than the men of many a romantic novel, but what would you rather cuddle up to at night!

  • Sarah Hague says:

    Hello Plankton, I’m over from The Times online. Great idea this blog. I am your age but I live in France where there is also a dearth of available divorced men. There are a lot of the dodgy types you mention, but there is also the odd sane guy looking for a partner.

    Still, there is hope. You are, in fact, not a plankton, you are an interesting, intelligent, sexually experienced woman with something to say. There are men out there who are looking for that combination especially when combined with kindness and a sense of humour.

    What men hate, in my experience, is the predatory female so you have to play a delicate game of letting them know you’re not after a casual sex relationship, but you’re not desperate either. Desperation can be smelt at 100yds and makes them run for the hills.

  • Chris Searle says:

    I enjoyed this but have to say that as a single man who left his wife because it was a loveless relationship and For No Other Reason, it seems to me as though the ideas in this article can be reversed male-female. As a male 57, solvent, normal, looking for a loving relationship with a female it seems as though there are actually no females around and for all the same reasons as listed here. Its a matter of perspective.

  • No escape says:

    Plankton, you should be me (actually nobody should be me, not even me) – a refugee from the South East, retired to South Wales, a move made to make retirement a reality and leave behind a life as a wage slave struggling to pay my enormous middle class Surrey mortgage. There are absolutely NO men here that I would want to share air with, let alone bodily fluids.

    • Lewis Blight says:

      And, in the end, sharing bodily fluids is where the fun is – I can only suggest that you widen the area they’re looking in. Oh, and here’s a thought as well. Read a lot of things about what men are looking for in a relationship; just so you know. For example, on a certain well-known dating site lots of women would have us believe that ‘walking in the countryside’ is one of the main things they enjoy. If not that, ‘watching a dvd with a glass of wine’. You’ll never attract a thinking, interesting man with such unimaginative guff. My advice is merely to say interesting things, be interesting, and enjoy sharing bodily fluids, to borrow your phrase. That’s basically what men like most. Oh, and make sure you let your potential partner know about your enjoyment of the bodily fluid bit – that’ll keep him interested. If you don’t like it the bodily fluid bit, well, men, basically, aren’t interested. Only my thoughts of course.

  • Ecosse esquire says:

    Enjoyed reading your Conundrum, but please don’t write off all widowers as hopeless cases still in love with their late wives. I should know.

    I am a widower of almost 4 years now and although my age starts with a six, I am still slim and presentable and well behaved without being boring. People say I don’t look my age, and my looks, although not in the George Clooney bracket, are not in the George of George and Mildred category either. I would love to meet a new lady as a companion and more. My late wife will always be a part of my life now past, and any ‘new’ lady friend will be cherished for what she is and not be compared to my previous wife or life. Love can blossom second time around without looking backwards all the time. Not all widowers are companions of misery.

    The problem for me in my experience is meeting elegibile ladies in the first place. Some I have encountered have emotional or physical hang-ups, ex-husband’s/kids looming in the background, or are very high maintenance. I don’t have any children, so for me it’s a case of where are all the single ladies without the aforementioned baggage?

    The answer is out there somewhere.

    • Vic says:

      Your age start with a 6 – so are you looking for a woman (lady???) who’s age also starts with a 6 (or 7) or with a 4 or 5.

      You may want to believe you don’t look your age … and all those other cliches old men use …. but you are in your 60’s, a bit a reality should make it easier to find a partner in your own age group.

  • Tim says:

    Love your blogs, they’re v.funny.

    But, as a middle aged man, I’d have to respond by saying “there are no women”.

    There are the slim, reasonable looking but neurotic, high maintenance types, who are either:
    1) obsessed by their children, constantly wanting to change the curtains/decorations/tiling/bathroom/kitchen/garden & worrying what the neighbours/friends will think.
    2) insecure, constantly questioning if their hair/clothes/shoes/waistline/backside looks okay, and how their health is being affected by the latest health/diet scare (wheat/gluten/nut intolerance, etc).

    Then there are the much “curvaceous/voluptuous” ones, who are either:
    1) slackers usually found sitting on a couch watching trashy TV/texting & scoffing biscuits, who bore you about their latest diet, just before tucking into a sugar laden dessert. Holidays involve lying on a beach in some overly hot cultural desert, till their ample cleavage/cellulite is highlighted in bright red.
    2) leery, girls around town, who pretend they are still in their 20s, and have an inflated opinion of their self-worth, usually accompanied by under-education, poorly applied make up, tattoos/piercings, and a fondness for saying “this is how I am, deal with it/think yourself lucky.”

    Single middle-aged men haven’t ceased to exist, we’ve simply gone into hiding.

    • Lewis Blight says:

      The picture you paint is one that I, for one, recognise. That said, there are still also lovely, single women out there. I don’t know any figures, but I guess we’re all only attracted to a small percentage of the opposite sex. It’s just a matter of continuing to look, and whilst looking giving every opportunity a full chance. It strikes me that we’re all so lucky to be in an age where we have the internet. Internet dating opens up a new world, but it’s only a reflection of the real world, but on our computer screen. So, all the unattractive traits that Tim mentions will be one there. We just have to ignore them, forget any inhibitions, and send out a lot of long, interesting emails. How easy, and potentially brilliant, is that?

  • AnonW says:

    You’re not totally wrong about widowers, but you are partially. There are two main types of widowers and these are probably two of the sub-types of widows.

    A lot of widowers, and widiows for that matter, lose their long-term partner to a very fast event, like an accident or a heart attack. They have difficulty coping and many never find a new long-term relationship, as they are always dreaming what might have been.

    And then there are the widowers, whose late wives talked them through their death. In my case, my wife died of cancer of the heart and she had just a few months. She made certain that I would remember the good times and told me to think of what will be. I know two other widowers, whose wives prepared them for the future life in the same way. Both are now happily married, after a few years.

    So don’t be so dismissive of the widower’s former wife, she might just be your friend.

  • ian mortenson says:

    I read your article in today’s Times and sympathise. Let me offer a possible explanation.

    The majority of available 40 year olds are divorcees. Many of those, due to the nature of our legal system, are broke, living alone and watching TV.That’s why you don’t meet them.

    Ian

  • A Man says:

    Read this in the Times today and this version is a touch more blunt but more entertaining 😉

    I know personally I don’t fall into any of those categories and as far as I have noticed there is neither an axe nor a secret stash of vodka in the cupboard under the stairs. So I don’t believe I am an psychotic stinking lunatic.

    The man you are after is out there somewhere, just perhaps moving in different circles and not doing some of the standard men things. Not all of us want to shag anything under 30 that moves and are probably looking for the same thing the right person to be with.

  • knackered old fart says:

    So when it comes down to it – you’re just as picky as any man.

    The classifications you have for men – pretty much replicate the other way.

    Why would anyone want a partner who’s mad, fat, thick or ugly

  • Gary says:

    Read your piece in The Times. Your writing style has me hooked it is great.
    I know a divorcee in her late 40’s who is attractive and has a lovely personality – her only fault is that she is trying so hard to find another man. I am married but if I wasn’t it would certainly scare me off she comes across as being so ‘needy’.
    Someone will come into your life just take some time out for yourself, relax, chill and get involved in something that will increase the available male population you circulate in. Think of available men like buses you wait for ages to get one and then two turn up at once. Think about why that might be.

  • Mark says:

    I read your Times column today. There are LOADS of available men out there, but the problem is that women tend to dismiss them as inadequate, even if intelligent, solvent and presentable. Thus the men erect a shell around themselves and pursue “male” interests which makes them seem even less appealing. From a female perspective, most men have a touch of OCD and are a bit boring.

    • Lewis Blight says:

      There’s probably a degree of truth in what you say Mark. When we’re 18-26, say, we probably don’t know much about ourselves, never mind other people. We meet a partner, accept things at face value, maybe even get married and just follow the road ahead, almost without thinking where we’re going. Now, at a later stage in life, say post-40, we’re a little more thoughtful. We have a degree of knowledge about ourselves, and are aware of what we want to accept in a potential partner, and what we won’t accept. It become that little bit more difficult, because rather than accepting things as we would in our younger days, the women we now find attractive are much fewer, both because more are married and we’re more choosy. But, I still feel it’s by no means impossible. I can see that it could be quite easy to not bother, and take refuge in a perfectly satisfactory life full of things we like doing. Male-type things, as you suggest. We mold our lives around us, and, at some level it’s alright. But, it’s not really enough. So long as we don’t get bitter about what life has given us, we keep an open mind and, and this is important for men who can get a little self-centred, we show, and have, a genuine interest in finding out about potential partners, sooner or later it’ll all work out. At least, that’s the theory. Be positive about yourself, and proceed at a steady pace. What else is there?

      • kidrock says:

        I would have thought the solution was quite simple. if you can’t find anyone from a similar age group then try younger. why restrict yourself?

  • Buster says:

    What an absolute load of rubbish from start to finish!!
    I know first hand and second hand how dificult it is being of this same age and trying to find even a half decent woman of just about any age.
    I know a really decent, goodlooking, intelligent, tall, athletic, kind, sensitive, honest (the list goes on & on believe me!!!!) guy who’s been trying to get a date with at least a half interested woman from 35 to 45 (He’s 43) for months to no avail with Dating direct. He says he just can’t be bothered anymore!

  • McChoc says:

    Tim is on the right track. Available women who are old enough to be of interest, but young enough to start afresh, would seem, in my opinion, to fall into one of two categories. either 1) be looking for a pain-free rerun of what they’ve already known, often requiring unrealistic wads of disposable cash, or else 2) trash-reading swamp donkeys, welded to the sofa, engulfed in soap operas and guzzling a constant supply of Doritos and value branded lager. Where are all the non-materialistic Emma Peel lookalikes looking to join me in my remote beach bothy, to share my Lindt bars and discuss classic motorcycles?

  • SB says:

    Loved the article in the Times and adore the blog. When I mentioned the article to a 37 year old friend she dismissed it saying you’re lovely but it is so true especially the SFAR’s!! Keep up the good work.

  • Martina Williams says:

    I fall into this bracket to, turning 50 soon. Saw this headline on the ‘Irish Independent’ and felt quite disheartened. Will I even bother to get more pro-active in finding someone? Seems that one’s got to be very lucky to establish a successful relationship at this time of life.

  • - says:

    I pointed out that ones Rss seriously isn’t working the right way. Imagined I ought to

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