Wednesday 21 May 2014

Men are clingier than women: understanding why men are inclined to settle down

“Albert Cameron once wrote: blessed are the hearts that can bend, they shall never be broken:  But I wonder, if there’s no breaking then there’s no healing, if there’s no healing then there’s no learning.  And if there’s no learning then there’s no struggle.  But the struggle is a part of life.  So must all hearts be broken?” (One Tree Hill 2008)

There is this unproven view that a woman finds a man, she consequently succeeds in making him change his male ways, she prevents him from seeing his male friends as much (or at all), and she basically changes him to the point where he is a shell of his former characteristic self.  This scenario is still common – a woman finds a good catch, she is at the stage where she desires to settle down, she believes rightly or wrongly that his friends will force him back down the single road or path, and she chains him to the four walls of the house where she has control.  If this is a familiar story, it is the man’s fault for allowing her to do this.  Little does he know that unless she is someone who can clearly do no better than him, she actually will not respect him in the long term for being such a puppet attached to her strings.

Whilst many men do fall into this spell, whether through a woman’s conscious or subconscious wish, it is a misconception that when a man does finally settle down with a woman, or he enters into a relationship with her, it is a burden to him due to it all being down to her necessities in life.  A man will often play the usual role of claiming he will be in the dog house if he goes out with his male group, or that he hasn’t got the money to do so because of his new commitments, but the truth is he is staying in with his girlfriend or wife through choice.  He is staying in because this is exactly what he wants to do, and it isn’t through any weak reasons or excuses.  It’s quite a luxury, as a matter of fact, as men out there are quite understanding in rationalizing this is just what happens in the cycle of a man’s life.  Once over, he is welcomed back to the homeboys gathering with welcome arms.  A woman isn’t always greeted back so fondly by her girl friends, and the ones that are welcoming are usually smiling in happiness that she is no longer in a happy relationship.

It took a girlfriend of mine at the time to convince me that some men were as supplicated and possessive as women.  Like most of my girlfriends, she was a typical “girl’s girl”, so I guess she spotted these kind of habits in men more than the typical serial dating girl would do so.  When I look back now, I’ll be the first to admit I needed her time more than she came across in similar terms towards me, so the evidence was right in front of my own eyes.  Looking at it objectively, I have seen dozens of cases involving friends who have acted exactly the same way.  Despite guys trying to act the whole “take it or leave it” or “she needs me” attitude, the reality is most men are beta males.  They are romantics at heart in being with that one woman, and they can become jealous of her even finding another man attractive.  Equally, some men can be guilty in believing she is selfless towards his emotional requirements.  Even if he doesn’t truly believe it, he strolls on with this belief in vain hope it is true.

So is this the only reason - this reason being that most men are beta males?  One major observation I have made over recent years, in comparison to ten to fifteen years ago, is the trend towards men no longer going out in larger groups but instead in typical numbers of two, three or four as a maximum.  In contrast, women traditionally went out in smaller groups, but I definitely see larger groups in today’s social circles.  Unfortunately, from a heterosexual male perspective, this has no correlation to an overall high female to male ratio from my observations.  Simply put, there are a lot more groups of men than groups of women out, but it is just that the male groups are smaller in numbers.  So maybe men have fewer friends than women?  If you have fewer friends then you have less social options.  The less social options someone has, the more inclined they are to be motivated to settle down.  And when a man does find the woman he feels he can fondly settle down with, the more beta orientated he becomes in fear of being alone or lonely again.

How do men reach the stage when they are highly charged to settle down?  In order to explore this, it is important to understand the differing emotions men encounter when they first start to go out on nights out with their friends.  Depending on puberty commencement, this could be as early as 16 or as late as 21, but somewhere in the middle is most likely.  There are three types:


These are confident guys, usually good looking (or believing they are good looking), and they receive a high amount of attention from naïve young women in the early days of their night scene lives.  Whilst never as many as he claims, it doesn’t appear there are a shortage of girls who find this kind of man attractive and who are willing to give him a short term sexual experience with little effort on his part in return.  Because of his immediate enjoyment of these experiences, even dry spells with women do not concern him, and he continues with the barrage of nights out and different women.  He’ll have the occasional time off when he does find the one girl who captures him a little more than the rest, but his boredom, or her knowledge of his concurrent sexual adventures, will bring about the end to the relationship.

Scale of desire to settle down:  Low

Generally these guys make no apology in being happy living this life, and they do not allow any one woman to stand out in their mind.  They are social people, and numerous networks are at their disposal.  Like anything, time passes, people get older, and friendships become distant.  Only then will this man see a life with one woman, and only one woman.

Female projected attraction onto him: High 

Most women - the especially younger, innocent and naïve.  As women get older, his attraction towards them is still there, but their desire to be with him dissipates, such is her increased level of insecurity and priority for a responsible male mate.

Never to be a bad boy

This guy is your traditional beta male, often average looking to below average looking by his own admission.  He isn’t blessed with confidence, and he is a natural follower within his group.  He almost knew he wouldn’t enjoy a male night out before he even tried it, but when it came about he detested it even more than the imagination.  This man is the type who would have watched numerous romantic films in his boyhood, and now his mind is brainwashed into finding this one woman who will repay his love to her with a magnitude of equality.  Even if you gave him a choice between the number of beautiful women knocking down his door or just that one special diamond, he would pick the latter every time.  If he never went out with his mates again, it would be too soon in his cynical view.

Scale of desire to settle down: Very high

Basically this is all he craves for, and it is pivotal to his overall happiness and satisfaction in life.  Friends aren’t even that important to him, and he holds needs to spend all his time with this one woman.  This is dangerous, as little is he aware this mentality can be counter-productive in maintaining attraction with most women.

Female projected attraction onto him: Limited. 

She is likely to be equal or less physically attractive than him, as often she will also have a lack of options.  This factor is complimented and combined with his shortage of confidence.  As women grow through the years, he could prove to be a better catch as she now thinks she needs a steady, loyal and faithful boyfriend.  Whilst not viscerally blown away by him, if he has a relatively professional career, some beautiful women will look fondly at him for a time, especially if she is going through an idolizing phase requirement in her life.

The In between emotive

Most men will fall into this category.  Despite the odd fantasy a man has in being the conductor of a playboy bunny orchestra, his fundamental belief and desire is to be with that one woman who makes him happy and who he longs to see at the end of every day.  Unfortunately, this kind of woman not only has to arouse him physically, but in order to be girlfriend material she has to be mentally stimulating.  Like a woman’s theory of there being no decent men out there, men will echo these same words about the shortage of women who tick both boxes.  So his primary aim is to go out with his mates, have a good time, but he also lives in hope a woman of this nature exists.  Very few successful relationships are formed from two unknown people finding each other in a bar or a club, so the vast majority of his nights out are taken up by half-hearted drunken make-out sessions - but mostly with takeaway food in one hand and thoughts of another wasted night.  Needless to say, as every Saturday night passes, the more frustrating this process becomes.

Scale of desire to settle down: Average. 

When he commences his nightlife adventure, his motive to find one unique girl will be low.  He will be too busy having fun and seeing inundated pretty faces.  However, this emotion doesn’t last anywhere near as long as it does with the players, but likewise, even when boredom sets in he isn’t desperate to settle down just yet.  His friends are important to him, such is his heavy dry spells, but he is aware that like him, every other guy in the group will leave once they have bitten the fruit of female beauty.  He may have the infrequent spell as a sexual predator, but in time he is more likely to replicate the role of the other extreme.

Female projected attraction onto him: Medium 

Even if this man is handsome, and some are, his character does not possess the high level confidence of the player.  With this in mind, women will detect his boyish looks, but will they will scratch their heads in disappointment over his lack of presence.  Good looking guys of this nature fail head on with this - they believe women will solely be drawn in by their looks and the rest will just happen for him.  This will be a constant mistake they make until finally facing the truth.  Furthermore, and the older a woman is, unless he has charisma, personality and interaction strategy, she will often reject him due to her insecurity of being with an attractive man.  Simply put, if he comes across as arrogant and aloof in order to disguise his lack of confidence, she will not warm towards him.  However, worse than this is when he tries too hard because of his worry that he will be the last of the group to find a girlfriend.  Women can sniff this desperation in a matter of seconds, and they will run a mile to the confident jerk out there.  Even the best looking of men can lose sudden appeal when a woman has a perception of male celibacy.

I always recall my brother and I being in Mexico, talking to a man in his mid 30s.  He was there with his wife and two kids, and whilst acting responsibly, it was clear to me that he had experienced his fair share of male nights out and holidays during his younger years.  I had just turned 24, whilst my brother was to turn 30 in two months time.  After discussing the trials and tribulations of settling down, he spoke the words of “well you’re alright for now at your age (pointing to me), but you (pointing to my brother) need to hurry up as all your mates will be settled and you’ll be left with nothing to do and nobody to see.  That’s why I’m with my wife and children.”

There wasn’t a mention of the fundamentals being because he loved her and that she gives him an unbelievable feeling to start each day.  I’m sure that he did love her, and she could give him good feelings.  I just thought it was a strange apparent primary reason to choose this direction of life.  Remember, a person can be alone but not lonely.  Another person can be lonely but not alone.


  1. I'm going to let this sink in.

  2. I've always found it an odd reason to get married just because your friends are too. It's basically getting married for lack of other social options or out of boredom. No matter your age, you can always find people to hang with, married or not. In fact, many married people relish the chance to get out of the house. I would hope just being in a relationship doesn't mean all other social contact is null and void. Although I do know many that fall off the planet afterwards.

  3. It's odd, my boyfriend has the "never to be a bad boy" personality, but good lucks. He hates going out and always has, he is an introvert with few friends and he just likes staying home and reading and watching South Park and wrestling and movies, but the few times I HAVE managed to drag him out, younger women were hitting on him.
    I find his personality so sweet and endearing but am a little puzzled by it in relation to his looks and wonder if he slept around a lot in college merely because drunk women seem willing to approach HIM.
    I guess I won the lottery.

    1. No, I very much doubt he was ever the guy who slept around. Good looking guys are, in the bizarre world we live in, often the most self-conscious and lacking in genuine confidence. Some will tray and fake it, but I can see right through it. In a strange kind of way, I was that 18 year old good looking kid once. It’s not a case of not knowing they are blessed with good looks, but looking in a mirror cannot ignite innate or even developed confidence and charisma. You either have it, or learn it, or you don’t. I fully expect you to fire back and say “well not in his case”, but, hey, you described him. I guess it’s a similar dynamic to the hottest of women, but women do not rely on other non-visual positive character traits to attract the opposite sex like men do, so they get away with it.

      The part I find a little confusing is that, based on my life of human dynamic observations, such a tiny percentage (<1%) of women actually approach men. Yet here you are with an introverted boyfriend who does get approached. This couldn’t be a little fib on behalf of self-promotion on your part, could it? Also, I thought, in the main, attractive women (your words, not mine) go for confident and out-going men? Something just doesn’t quite add up. In any case, don’t you worry. I’ve seen and heard it all before...

      Time to check my lottery numbers!

  4. Just so you know, becoming a bit of a shut-in to spend time with your S.O. isn't only a guy thing. I see my gf's less since we've found good guys and settled down and often when we DO hang out, it's with our SO's present. When we see each other alone, the nights tend to be cut shorter than when we were single, only we're honest about it, none of this "dog house" BS. We just say, "Gotta get home to my man. Good seeing ya, hun!" And they don't object because they understand.
    My man is my best friend, of course I enjoy his company most.

    1. Girls do it too? Thanks for telling me that, I’d never have known. Ok, that’s the only sarcasm you’ll get from me today (can’t promise that though). But yes, it is a good feeling to have both sides of life – gf/bf time and catch up with friends.

      It is good for both genders to stay in touch with their friends. So many, on both sides, let it all go in thoughts that their present relationship will last for father time. In an ideal world it would, but we all know most relationships do eventually end. I guess that was a big part of this post...most men are clingy because they feel they can do no better than the woman they are with. I pity the fools...