January 7, 2022
This is MUST READ for Single Women! When the men in our "Love In Later Years" Facebook group were asked, "What do women do or say that scares (or turns) you off?," 29+ men responded and this is a summary of what they said. We hope a lot of women followed what the men said in their comments about what scares or turns them off. We don't want any woman to feel hurt or demeaned. It can be helpful for both men and women to understand the other's perspective and the fears they are dealing with. Here is a summary of some of the main points that were repeated by more than one man:

1. Men don't like to feel judged by your experiences with other men, or to feel like you are seeing them through the lens of traumatic experiences with other men. A closely related theme was projecting negative generalities about men on to them. If you have a generally poor opinion of men, they pick up on that vibe and it is off-putting. (Incidentally, that is something we could help out a lot with in coaching.)

2. Gossip was a theme repeated by several men. They want to know if they confide in you, you will keep private things private, even if the relationship ultimately doesn't work out. They want you to be respectful of their reputations in the singles community, even if the two of you didn't work out for one reason or another.

3. Criticism was another big theme. Sometimes women are invested in having things a certain way and become critical and even demeaning if you don't cooperate perfectly. A number of the men commented that it was a "red flag" if a woman was always speaking negatively of a former husband or boyfriend. Negativity in conversation in general was a closely related theme. It seems like many men want to be with women who are positive, encouraging, and uplifting. I would suspect that the same is true going in the other direction. One thing that women ought to understand, however, is that men and women experience shame differently. At least in our culture, men mostly feel shame if they are seen as weak or incompetent. Constantly nit-picking your man with criticism or instruction is going to feel emasculating. So think carefully about how you show up in this relationship and what kind of a girlfriend or wife you want to be.

4. Dishonesty was another big theme, not only in telling outright lies but in misrepresenting oneself to gain favor. Both technical and emotional dishonesty were themes several men mentioned. They want to be able to trust you.

I'll give you a little hot tip about this. If you have a problem or question about the guy you are dating, talk to him. Be kind and gentle, but talk to him. Don't puzzle it out with your girlfriends or on your Facebook wall. Solving things together builds trust. Trying to manage or go around each other does not.

A few other interesting comments included being overly flirtatious and talking excessively about other "guy friends," financial immaturity, and irresponsibility for their own actions.

Women, I think there is some wisdom to be gleaned from these observations. I hope they do not come across as implicitly disparaging women. I did not get that sense from most of the comments. Most of the comments were constructive and fairly specific. I made this post in an effort to help women better understand the fears men have about dating and relationships and the experiences that created those fears within them. I do understand that the fear exists inside the individual and does not come from someone else. However, If we complain less and seek greater understanding instead, we can connect a lot better.

To the men who participated in my earlier post, thank you for being vulnerable and putting your thoughts out there.
Women, I will be making a similar post in the next few days where you will have a chance to comment on the things that scare you about men. Be looking for that.
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