People ask me all sorts of questions, many of them strange or dubious or otherwise fascinating. I’d like to record some of the questions and my answers to them for your entertainment, disgust, or casual indifference.
I was recently asked about my opinion on women, which happens at fairly regular intervals because of my remaining single for the past few years after previously enjoying relationships. Some folks inevitably wonder what changed in my life or what changed in the rest of the world to account for such a mind-boggling situation as an eligible man choosing to remain single when he doesn’t have to.
One of the questions I thought was most interesting was essentially, “Do you think that there are no good women anymore?” I had to really think about that question, and not just because I’m suspicious of the premise of the question. Part of the problem is that I don’t evaluate my potential relationship success with women by capriciously and unfairly assigning them to a Bad or Good list. I don’t choose not to have a romantic relationship with a woman because she’s “not good enough”, primarily because that’s simply not the sort of judgement I make to aid my decision-making process.
I make my decision based on assessments of our mutual compatibility in terms of values, personality, energy level, interests, and many other factors after I have enough information to make such an assessment. It’s a complicated process that has definitely saved me from many bad relationships and possibly inadvertently saved me from a couple of good ones as well. No process I design is perfect, after all.
Now that everyone knows that I put way too much thought into my normal life decisions, let’s go back to the question. As a matter of opinion, do I think that there are no good women anymore? The answer to that is definitely in the negative. I think that there are many good women, and the number of them really doesn’t impact my choice to remain single either positively or negatively.
The problem for me in finding women who are compatible with me is precisely that they are good women insofar as they manage to sort out what that means from the wildly conflicting values and behaviors suggested to them by various cultural institutions as being definitive of a good woman. In short, many good women have, with the best of intentions, quite assiduously sought to live up to our society’s expectations of them. Unfortunately, those expectations are really fucked up in a variety of ways which I won’t belabor in this post. Finding women who are compatible with a man like me who has deeply counter-cultural values and an unusual personality type is no easy task. This issue of culture and values happens to be especially pronounced among women in my age group, hence a large contributor to my singleness.