Why women lose the dating game.
Bettina Arndt listens to the other voices in this debate: the men.
Naomi sat in the back row of Melbourne’s Grattan Institute, about to watch her fiance give a lecture. She was joined by three unfamiliar women – all attractive, well groomed, in their mid-30s. From their whispered chat, she quickly realised they weren’t there to hear about politics and economics but to meet her eligible man. Naomi explains: ”He’s 36 years old and is definitely someone who falls into the alpha-male category: excellent job in finance, PhD, high income, six feet two, sporty and very handsome. And he’s an utter sweetheart.”
Naomi is an attractive 28-year-old PhD student. She has been in a relationship with her fiance for six years. Her new companions were very friendly and chatted to her during the break. But then her partner, who had been socialising at the front of the room, made eye contact with Naomi and smiled.
”The women saw this and it was like the room had suddenly frozen over. There was silence and then one of them asked me if I knew him. I wasn’t going to lie, so I told them he was my partner and how long we’d been together. It was amazing how they responded. They stopped smiling at me, shifted awkwardly in their seats and looked me up and down as if they were trying to figure out how a girl who still wears jeans and ballet flats could land a guy like that.” The women left before her man gave his speech.
Naomi is stunned by the number of women in their 30s who throw themselves at her partner: the colleagues who sign emails with kisses; the female journalist who pointedly asked, post-interview, if he was married. Yet given the plight of thirtysomething women seeking partners, it’s hardly surprising that her boyfriend is in their sights.
We hear endless complaints from women about the lack of good men.
Women astonished that men don’t seem to be around when they decide it is time to settle down. Women telling men to ”man up” and stop shying away from commitment.
But there is another conversation going on – a fascinating exchange about what is happening from the male point of view. Much of it thrives on the internet, in the so-called ”manosphere”. Here you will find men cheerfully, even triumphantly, blogging about their experience. They have cause for celebration, you see. They’ve discovered a profound change has taken place in the mating game and, to their surprise, they are the winners.