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Why do men hate to be alone?

This NY Times article posed the question: Why do men hate to be alone? Initially, I didn’t agree that was the case, then I remembered that out of my divorced friends, the men seemed to be quick to have a full committed relationship, some even remarried right away.

While my never married male friends seem to relish the perks of bachelorhood, when they leave long term relationships, they seem to feel a void. They go through this “nestling” phase where they want the first woman they find attractive to start playing house and fill the void. It’s basically the worst case of rebound girl ever.

Maybe men really do hate being alone? Well, hate it more than women do! Are women more resilient when it comes to being on our own?

There was one part of the article that struck me, though:

A marriage is a lot of work. Strike that. A man is a lot of work. Anyone who has been in a bad marriage knows that its defining characteristic is the unspeakable loneliness in which one feels shrouded, a sense of isolation amplified by not being alone.

If women enjoy their freedom so much after a long (bad) relationship ends, is it because being in a relationship brings a lot of “work” for us? Do most women feel as if they have embarked on a vacation after they divorce or break up?

What do you think? Who handles single life better?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

233 comments Add your comment

Bill Clinton

January 13th, 2012
6:54 am

Single is the life for me on those days when I’m not married…….Bang ‘em and run…..Oooops….It’s Hillary…..Gotta go…..

Bill Clinton

January 13th, 2012
6:56 am

Second…….

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
7:28 am

Morning all. This is nothing new. This has been going on as long as I have been watching people and that is for a very long time now. There are a host of reasons but one major one is emotional, and one is logistical. The emotional one is that men would never admit it but when coming out of a relationship THEY are the needy ones. Women can handle life without men a whole lot better than men can handle life without women. I can’t quote numbers but from years of observation, the man is usually the first to remarry and the first to start dating (ego thing here as well as a perceived physical need). I can’t begin to tell you how many of the men I’ve seen divorced get remarried within a year…some to the first or second lady they go out with more than once.

The second reason is logistical. If children are involved, most of the time the woman still remains the primary custodian. As bad as it sounds, a lot of men aren’t going to pursue a woman with young children. For the sake of the children I wish more men (me included) would be willing to step up, but it is what it is. This is not always just being selfish. Sometimes it is just a desire not to be put in to a position where competition with biological children in no way enters the picture.

There are lots of reasons for this, but men are the neediest ones after a marriage ends by far. If a man can get by the first year or two after a breakup, he gets used to being alone and might (as I have) stay single a long time…but the hard part is getting past that needy stage. now the men on this blog can disagree with everything I have said, but if one looks around they will see that the numbers favor what I just said.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
7:35 am

Afterthought, I would also submit that this is part of the “cougar” phenomenon also. Women, by the time they enter the “cougar” age, have often gotten their children mostly grown and no longer a reason to keep men away. With modern day cosmetology, gyms, and an intense desire to regain their youth, the tools to make themselves look pretty/very good are available and effective (look at Christie Brinkley, 50 really is the new 30).

They have a bunch of pentup sexual desires they are ready to express and fulfil.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
8:00 am

Another couple of thoughts. The title is “Why do men hate to be alone?” Women, not always but most of the time, develop support networks of female friends. Men, deep down, are not wired this way. If you look into the wild, you will almost never see more than one dominant male in a herd, whether lions, or buffalo, elk, whatever. Men form what looks on the surface like friendships, but they are seldom truly “support” friendships if you look close. A man can rule his environment, but his deep seeded emotional needs are often filled in a weird way by women. Dudes look stronger than we really are. We can charge into a hail of bullets and not worry at all about our physical harm, but our egos and our emotional needs are sheltered and much more vulnerable than we show…not allowed to…first paragraph in the MLB.

widow09

January 13th, 2012
8:21 am

good morning, wow Randyt thanks for the insight, i assumed a lot of this abt men’s egos and emotions.

New blogger

January 13th, 2012
8:34 am

Glad to hear a man’s point of view.

Dude

January 13th, 2012
8:35 am

I think that this topic is completely off base, not only that, but it is slated heavily against men. Don’t agree at all that anyone is worse off than the other after a breakup. Steps of a break up for a guy usually consists of going to a strip club, getting drunk, going to another place and picking up a new woman and bringing her home. Pretty simple for most guys.

singlelongtime

January 13th, 2012
8:52 am

Happy Friday Morning: I think women are more apt to build up that security wall after being hurt in a relationship, I know i did. We tend to keep that mistrust and protective wall up for some time and therefore become used to managing on our own. For me it took a long time to let someone tear down that wall…..but regretably, I did.

Kym

January 13th, 2012
9:05 am

Good Morning All,

Well looks like RandyT said it all…sooo I will just watch from the wings.

SlimNu - Deflated, defeated, back to sq1

January 13th, 2012
9:16 am

Good Chilly, scratch that, Cold Ass Friday the 13th

Audra

January 13th, 2012
9:21 am

Randy, you are dead on, once again. I agree. I think men are less comfortable being alone because they need nurturing more than they let on. I do have one question for you though: if men get their emotional needs met by women, then how come it is so hard to connect with a man emotionally when you’re WITH him? I know the ladies out there know what I’m talking about. My ex had a wall up, simply would not let me in. Now that it’s over, he is devastated and I guess he really was relying on me emotionally. Which was news to me!! Please explain, Randy…

:)

KaiserSoze

January 13th, 2012
9:23 am

Well, RandyT, you hit the nails on heads time after time above. I can’t argue with much that you said. My ego would like to argue with you, but deep down almost everything you said is spot on correct. I don’t think I have anything to add. Well sid.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
9:25 am

Morning Dude…I won’t pretend that in the immediate your scenario in the immediate aftermath of a breakup is not 100% true (me included), but what I have seen is that men fall off that within three to nine months with great regularity. There is something akin to an initial rush of freedom that lasts for a brief while, and then a few Saturday nights at 2:00 AM staring at the ceiling and an unease starts to settle in. I think then a lot, not all, of men begin to start clinging a little harder to the next woman, maybe pursuing a little more, a little more intensely. It is more apparent in newly divorced guys, but I think more the rule than the exception. How much of this applies across different races and cultures, I don’t know, but it is very apparent in white suburban males for sure.

KaiserSoze

January 13th, 2012
9:31 am

Audra – men like to act as though we don’t need to feel loved and supported by our mate, but nothing is farther from the truth. We do need to feel loved and appreciated, and we often make that emotional connection earlier and more deeply than the women do, but for some reason we are afraid or reluctant to let it show. Whether it be trying to appear strong, tough, etc. or just trying to not come across as needy, men (in general) are just less able to express and sometimes even accept our emotional needs.

And honestly, deep down, I think many of us men that are divorced are just plain afraid to open up and accept our own feelings because we’re gun shy. We don’t want to admit that we are opening ourselves up, becoming vulnerable again, giving someone else the power to emotionally break us down.

Is it right? Is it fair? Probably not. But in reality we can’t control it, it’s a subconscious thing. Men and women are just programmed differently. We just have to accept and embrace our differences.

Dude

January 13th, 2012
9:31 am

I wonder what the demographic is here, speaking of which. I think it will go on a case by case basis. Men can be needy, to me the very short time that I was a little bummed out was that I had been used to taking care of someone, not that person taking care of me. Men as a rule are made to be providers, so the lack there of, could be more of the reason, not being alone. In MHO

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
9:37 am

@ Audra…your question has me thinking. I am going to have to reflect on it. In looking at my own divorce years ago, my wife made a claim in the last year or two we were together, that I scoffed at but have come to re-evaluate. She said that we could go out with another couple, and i would carry on great conversation with everyone…except her. I thought that was stupid until I reflected on it. Why would I talk to everyone but the one I was supposed to be the most open and intimate with??? It made no sense until I realized a universal truth. The person who can be and should be your strongest supporter and nurturer, WILL also be the one who can hurt you the most because of the vulnerability. Men never really take off that “man armor” in the workplace and or outside of their inner sanctum. However their lover/wife/etc. is one that can get inside that armor and do serious damage. Thus, a major trust issue is involved…and like all trust issues, if violated is difficult to ever repair.

If a man senses the woman really does have his back, he can let down that armor. If he senses that she might use that vulnerability to hurt him or disrespect him, he won’t. Never, never, never forget that a man treasures respect much more than love. Respect, or lack of such, can do injury to his ego and his pride, and that is a man’s most vulnerable part.

KaiserSoze

January 13th, 2012
9:38 am

Dude – I’ll agree with what you said, but in my case it was more that being the provider for my ex and the kids made me feel needed, added a deeper purpose to the daily grind. It was difficult to no longer have that affirmation.

I’m not a needy man, I’m a giver by nature. But I like to have someone to give to, to provide for, and to give me the appreciation.

Audra

January 13th, 2012
9:39 am

KaiserSoze – I get that. Still, when you’re with someone for 10 years it gets frustrating! But I guess some things about women get to you all too.. :)

Dude

January 13th, 2012
9:45 am

Randy 9:37 kudos and thumbs up
KaiserSoze 9:38 kudos and thumbs up

There is that word again, appreciation…..

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
9:50 am

Audra and all the women on the blog…

Let me throw in something here that I heard once and is almost universally true…and seems so very small to women, but strangely makes a huge difference in the man. If women will take this and remember it, they can save themselves a LOT of unexplained silence or irritation from a man. If a woman ever asks, “Why did you do (fill in the blank, anything)…”, a man automatically adds these words on to the end of the sentence “…you dumb SOB”. The woman probably most of the time is only trying to understand, but a man almost always gets this as a put down…against that fragile ego. Again, remember how important a man’s esteem and self respect are.

Remember that in all you do and say and you can have any man eating out of the palm of your hand.

Audra

January 13th, 2012
9:52 am

Good point about respect, Randy. I never realized that consciously, but looking back on my own marriage I think you’re right, and can see ways where maybe my ex didn’t feel that from me. Thanks for the insight into the male brain!

KaiserSoze

January 13th, 2012
9:53 am

Well Audra, I’ll say this only because it is something I learned from my 15 year marriage. I, the man, felt that the emotional connection was there. I relied on my ex, loved her with all my heart, and would do anything for her. As our divorce become apparent (she was caught cheating more than once) she told me that I was “emotionally unavailable” and distant, and unsupporting, etc.

Men try to show the connection in the best ways we know how; women seem to need it verbalized or shown in ways different than men are able to inherently show it. I think it all boils down to communication. If you have questions or concerns about the relationship – ask! If you need or want something from your partner – tell them! Don’t expect anyone to read your mind, and don’t take the passive-aggressive stance that “they should know what I want/need” and wait for them to figure it out. That is a recipe for disaster.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
9:58 am

Lol @ Audra…another little tip for the future ;-) You want to light a man up like a Christmas tree (in a nice way) ? Don’t tell him you love him…tell him you are PROUD of him, or ADMIRE him (Proud is best though). The most “loving” men I know, in the best marriages even, I guarantee could go most or all of the rest of their lives with their wives not sayin “I love you”, if they would occasionally say, “I’m so PROUD of you”. women are wired for love, men ae wired for respect.

I’m not saying that love is not important for a man, just that it is not the MOST important thing for a man. It is how he meaures his self worth.

Audra

January 13th, 2012
10:00 am

Okay, thanks to both of you. However, one thing, Randy: if a man always hears “you dumb SOB” on the end of a sentence, how do we communicate when something is wrong or we have a concern WITHOUT hurting the fragile male ego??

Also, Kaiser, your ex sounds horrid. Maybe she did feel unheard or neglected or whatever, but that didn’t give her license to cheat. That’s just an excuse, and a bad one at that.

kimmie

January 13th, 2012
10:00 am

Morning All!

Not much to add except it’s something I observed a long, long time ago. People are very critical of women that seem to jump from relationship to relationship and can’t seem to take time for themselves. But men seem to fly under the radar in that respect. I first noticed it with widowed men, especially older men that were married many years. They probably loved their late wives dearly, but some would be remarried within a year. They were so used to being married and having someone. Divorced guys seem to be a different story somewhat. You’ve got those that are very open to remarrying and those that swear they will never do it again, or at least for a very, very long time.

I do think a lot more women are a bit more resilient than men. They are more apt to take time to heal and no doubt have better support systems in place. When they do decide to get back out there and date, I do think they are less apt to do it on the rebound like a lot of men do, but that’s my observation, experience and opinion. And if they have children, I don’t think that necessarily makes them less attractive to men. I think it makes them more careful and choosy about who they bring around the children.

Randyt – It has been my observation that divorced/widowed women with children had no problem attracting men. In fact, they seemed to do better than those women never married and childless. All very unscientific, mind you, just going by those in my church and those I live and work around.

SlimNu - Deflated, defeated, back to sq1

January 13th, 2012
10:00 am

Men try to show the connection in the best ways we know how. Women seem to need it verbalized or shown in ways different than men are able to inherently show it

Bingo…sometimes it’s hard for woment to accept that because we are so intuned with what’s between our ears. The beaus doesn’t really say much as far as being all mushy & emotional but he’ll show it in other ways. I was a bit down & out yesterday. So he surprised me with one of my favortie desserts. It really made my day. :D

singlelongtime

January 13th, 2012
10:00 am

@ Randy…good post. Gave me some new insight. Thanks.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:06 am

@ Audra re:” how do we communicate when something is wrong or we have a concern WITHOUT hurting the fragile male ego??” Good question. I suspect, without clear examples coming to me, that the answer lies in the way you spin it. When I used to coach youth athletics, we used the “sandwich” method. We would couch a concern (the meat) in between a couple of compliments (the bread slices). Maybe think of something to build him up first (hopefully we men do SOME things right), then gently express a concern, then say something like “I want to be the best for you baby, and knowing this will make me be the woman I want to be (okay that is extreme I admit, but hopefully you see the concept ;-)

Audra

January 13th, 2012
10:07 am

kimmie – Yes! I have noticed this too – it does seem that women with children are MORE prone to date/remarry. I am divorced but unfortunately we had no children (medical issues, etc.). Now I almost feel that’s a negative for some men, esp. those who have kids themselves. I do love kids and would love to be a mom, adopt, or be a stepmom, but is not having kids at nearly 40 a strike against me? What do some of the men on here think?

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:08 am

2 Kimmie re the women with children…may be. One size seldom fits all.

Sniffing No More!

January 13th, 2012
10:11 am

That’s a question for the ladies?

Men wldnt mind humping and moving along!

It’s the women who want to nurture.

Don’t get it twisted Diva…

morning!

(going back to actually read the argument of the topic) :lol:

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:14 am

Audra, here is another dilemma. Even though I hesitate to date women with young children, I sometimes hesitate to date a woman without children at all for a totally different reason. I have children, and would walk out in front of a truck for any one of them (some people on here before have questioned this but some things are more important than life) . One can love children more than any spouse, or even oneself. There is a concern (and I have heard it voiced by other men), that a woman without children (and I suppose this works the other way also) may not be fully able to understand that love…and may resent that bond with one’s children. I’m not saying this is right or fair, just saying it can happen.

Sassy Me...Juicy Fruit ;-)

January 13th, 2012
10:15 am

Nice posts Randy…

GamePlan

January 13th, 2012
10:16 am

@Audra…how do you communicate with us without hurting our fragile male ego? Good question. I’ve been married 12 years now and the Mrs. has become quite skilled at this I have to admit. The way to do this is like Randy said, begin the conversation with letting us know why you are proud of us and how you respect us for the things we do well. Then lead into discussing the issue that we need to work on. This enables us to let our guard down and to really listen to what you are saying without getting all defensive and trying to protect the ego.

Sassy Me...Juicy Fruit ;-)

January 13th, 2012
10:19 am

The beaus doesn’t really say much as far as being all mushy & emotional but he’ll show it in other ways.

Little things make us happy :-) It’s not always about $$$…

kimmie

January 13th, 2012
10:21 am

Audra – I swear it seems like women with 10 kids have men lined up not only wanting to date them, but marry them!!! And yes, I feel you on not having kids at nearly 40 seeming to be a strike against you. I actually can speak to that due to my experience with it. As I approached 40 without a child, I deliberately sought out men with children. I wanted to be a mother, but in case I was unable to have them naturally, I did not want a man that wanted them to be disappointed. I ran across a lot of men with children that didn’t want any more, so they avoided me. Even my now husband was hesitant. Because of health issues I am not trying to have a baby at this age. His kids were 5 & 7 when we met. Once I assured him that I was happy helping him raise his 2, he was good to go. He could see how I interacted with them that I would be a good mother. I also come from a very large family and am used to being around kids and I dearly love them. Some how, some way I was going to be a mother. God worked it out perfectly.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:22 am

Good post GamePlan. I noticed the words “proud” and “respect” inyour post also. Those two words alone are the keys to getting under almost any man’s body armor.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:23 am

@ Kimmie…great post. Glad for you.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:25 am

@ Audra, I think Kimmie has the key to getting through to a man with children. It may well get in the way of men approaching you, but that is exactly what a man is asking and wants to see demonstrated.

kimmie

January 13th, 2012
10:28 am

Randyt – You 10:14 – eyeopening. I know deep down I am a natural mother. There are ways other than giving birth to become a mother. I never wanted to go about having a child out of wedlock. I wanted to give any child I had the best life possible, not knocking any single moms mind you. I understand that love you speak of. Trying to convince a man of that is a different story. It does hurt, quite a bit, when you know you would love his child like your own and he doesn’t seem convinced.

SlimNu - Deflated, defeated, back to sq1

January 13th, 2012
10:29 am

kimmie – I have to agree that it seems women with multiple kids have no issue with getting a man to marry them and accept her kids. Like I’ve stated before, I have now crossed over into the, No kids at your age, never married or engaged ->what’s wrong with you phase. Granted i’m only 33 but dayum does that mean i’m wearing a scarlet letter of some sort because i don’t have any rug rats running behind me?

kimmie

January 13th, 2012
10:30 am

Thanks Randyt!

Sniffing No More!

January 13th, 2012
10:31 am

Randyt?

I think today u are on some women appeasement crusade…

Look at your t-shirts…is that a sign of not being able to or not wanting to be alone?

When u talk of ego,both men and women have it. Besides,ego is such an internal thing that we can’t touch,measure nor quantify. However,one thing we know is that if society was to ever give us a choice,men wld rather not be ’shackled’ by this status of being married. We would rather just do it the way the lions and other animal male species do it.

But ask any women out there privately if u want…well at least most…they wld rather be with one man,exclusively.

Well if I’m wrong,let them say so.

But for me(don’t know about u Randyt) I would rather be humping All of the MIA ladies….then going to my crib alone! :lol:

Dude

January 13th, 2012
10:32 am

No children here, but I know a lot of guys that prefer to go after unwed mothers, they seem to be more patient, more appreciative, and more receptive to any attempt of going that extra little bit. So guys are not exactly hesitant about going after single mothers, in most cases it’s a benefit.

Mr_NYC

January 13th, 2012
10:33 am

RandyT, I can agree with your early points. Looking back on my separation and divorce I can see how the lack of an emotional support system affected me. Very few reached out to discuss on a deep level. Got the customary “I’m here if you need me.” But most were at a loss and avoided close contact, faded away or tried to carry on as if nothing had changed.

Randyt (made it past the needy stage and dayum glad)

January 13th, 2012
10:34 am

It’s tough Kimmie and I feel for you. Maybe knowing what some males might think, consciously or subconsciously, may make figuring out the best way to deal with this is. Again, one size does not fit all, thank goodness. People get hurt every single minute of every day because of these kinds of belief systems.

Audra

January 13th, 2012
10:34 am

Good for you, kimmie. Glad it worked out that way for you! Hope it does for me someday…

Leggs

January 13th, 2012
10:35 am

Good Hawk Kicking Butt Friday the 13th!

First, almost got into a heated argument at my child’s school, secndly then went to doctor’s office after emailing AND receiving a response that I would be there tomorrow @8:30 to find a sign on the door saying “CLOSED FRIDAYS.” I looked around for a brick, but knew better. I need to do what Mitt Romney would do…fire those with poor customer service.

@Randyt ~ you are on it this morning. All posts are wordy but well thought out (LOL).

I think women are more reslilient then men, but to be honest all depends on how the demise of the relationship occurred that really determines who moves on the quickest.

Audra

January 13th, 2012
10:35 am

And, okay, Randyt I’m starting feel like you’re my dating coach! Not that that’s a bad thing… :)