The best thing written about modern dating is by The Last Psychiatrist, and it’s so good he felt compelled to delete it, Don’t Settle For The Man You Want. It’s about narcissistic monster Lori Gottlieb, a woman who can’t see herself for who and what she is but is compelled to ladle advice out to everyone else. She thinks TV shows like Will & Grace and movies like Titanic are somehow real… “Nothing characterizes the dumbest generation of narcissists in the history of the world better than using throw away cinema as a template for life.” Lori can’t find a man for many reasons, one being that “She wants someone who will see her the way she wants to be seen and fulfill various other roles she has planned for him, leaving herself free to ‘grow.'” People are people, not roles, and not props in another person’s drama, however much social media tries to convince us otherwise (the best women I’ve met and dated in the last decade use social media minimally, if at all: not a coincidence). Lori is an expert in the negative, not in the positive,
A reasonable question might be, what kind of a man is this woman looking for? I defy you to answer this question. She’s two books and at least three essays into the topic, and still I have no idea. What I do know, however, is what she’s not looking for. That’s where her laser focus is pointed.
She is all “want” and no “give.” Real relationships mean give and take. Too much of either makes them impossible or dysfunctional. But, lots of people (especially women) have been trained to think like Lori: the man is an accessory to their life, not a person with whom she’ll build a new thing. Religion used to try to fight against narcissism, but it’s dead, and now it’s all about you. Advertising tells us so. And we have good psychological defense mechanisms that prevent us from realizing that we only want to take and never want to give. “Gottlieb figures that because she’s attractive and intelligent, the problem must be her standards are too high or men are threatened by her. Wrong. The problem is she is daring someone to like her.” Well that is one problem, and not the only one. But the key word “standards.” Listen to single women and you’ll hear endless talk of “standards.” Listen to married women and they’ll talk about how much they love their kids. Coincidence?
Listen to women’s dating podcasts (I don’t recommend it, but xbtusd listens to them, masochistically) and the idea of “standards” recurs over and over again. It’s right up there with “Living your truth” and letting emotions rule, and ruin, your life.