The Xbox "S" controller.

The Xbox “S” controller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trying to date men who are age appropriate in the roughly 35-45 age bracket it shocks me how many men in this category still exist.  We know them well, by their habits and ways…but what exactly is a “Man-Child?”

  • Age – at least over thirty
  • Occupation – usually something with no real career advancement but flexible hours
  • Economic Background – Any level but a man with a large trust fund can live like this indefinitely
  • Wardrobe – Dress like they are at least 10 years younger than their actual age – Aging Hipster
  • Bad habits – smoking, frequent heavy drinking, drug use
  • Almost always promiscuous – avoid commitment
  • No real plans for the future
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Lives cheaply or barely within his means – has no savings

Now if the man who I just described is 25 years old, it is no real cause for concern.  As a man under the age of thirty is trying to work things out.  The exception being an aspiring actor, writer, musician, or artist.  Anyone pursing a creative profession might have one or more lower paying flexible dead-end jobs while they pursue their greater passion.  But a man who does not have these ambitions, and is this unfocused past a certain age, one has to wonder about.

The typical pad of a Man-Child is either a tiny filthy studio or a large sprawling space with multiple roommates.  A large flat screen TV and Xbox will be the centerpiece, some secondhand furniture, while used take out containers line the room along with various porn DVDs.  The refrigerator will contain nothing but alcohol, and a bong filled with ashes will be strewn about the floor along with some smokey one-hitters.  Again, an apartment like this is not too alarming if the man in question is under 30 years of age, but once over 35 its a huge red flag.   The Man-Child usually doesn’t want to “tie themselves” down to one woman, so they are constantly on the hunt for new conquests.  I met a great example of this type the other day who said within five minutes of meeting me.

New York City is all about getting as much pussy as possible”

He claimed he was 36 years old but I suspected he was older.  His co-workers informed me that he has claimed 36 as his age for several years now.  They also told me to run, not walk away from him.  I obliged as I could practically feel the slime oozing off of him.   So what becomes of an aging Man-Child?  As I have entered my late thirties myself the prognosis is not so great.  The lifestyle of constant detached hook-ups, late night drinking binges and drug fulled parties gets more and more difficult to sustain.  A somewhat out-of-shape man over forty is not going to attract the same amount of women he did in his twenties, no matter how charming he might be, and especially if he is broke.  What I find most amusing about these men is their overwhelming fear of commitment.   As if they commit to one woman surely someone better will be just around the corner.  Even though with each passing day the likelihood of someone better showing up gets less and less.

So what is a gal to do if you encounter a man-child?  If you see a diamond in the rough, good luck to you.  Personally haven’t had the best of luck in transforming anyone but occasionally a dyed in the wool man-child will have a change of heart and turn into a full-fledged man.  But chances are you will just end up taking care of him, emotionally and possibly financially as long as you are with him.

Of course there is the female equivalent.  A woman who lives for the day, has no savings, no plan and spends all their time, money and effort trying to snag a man who will take care of them.  She might get lucky, but once past a certain age, her prospects will diminish.  Or maybe she is simply on the hunt for multiple sexual partners and wild times.  Not so surprising if in their early twenties, but rather sad once past a certain age.

New York city enables this behavior well past its appropriateness because the lifestyle here feeds off of the myth that living like a twenty year old is always sustainable.  In very few parts of the country can a person make the income off of a dead-end job as they can in New York.  Plus the New York City nightlife is dominated by others looking for a cheap thrill and those who make a profit promoting that lifestyle.  Unfortunately for those us who want to grow up, as the more stable and grounded people get married, the dating pool becomes filled with Man-Child types.  If you don’t want to end up being a surrogate parent to a man or woman who just wants to perpetually live like a child, then avoid these people like the plague.  After all, our late thirties should be a time of personal growth and professional advancement, not the time to take care of a deadbeat loser.

16 comments on “Dating After Divorce: The Man-Child

  1. Joe

    I think you may be onto something about this involving living as though a “wanton” lifestyle is sustainable. It’s a dance with each partner usually having given tacit approval to the steps involved. Seems a sad commentary on those folks unable to look honestly at themselves and the inhospitable means they have chosen to navigate life.

    1. julietjeske

      Wow exposing feminism? I don’t even know how to touch that. I am a divorced woman, so not exactly looking to catch anyone. If you read the rest of this blog I say all the time how I don’t want to re-marry. I also point out the female equivalent of a man-child. Or maybe you stopped reading at that point. I don’t want to take care of a man, financially or otherwise. I don’t care what you or anyone thinks of that. I don’t think people should rely on others taking care of them. Hardly radical a notion.

      1. Yes...It's big

        Radical feminism is horrible and gives the whole movement a black eye? How can you not see that?

        1. julietjeske

          Troll. If you comment one more time, everything you write will get deleted. This blog is not about feminism but about being divorced. The premise of this post was about men and women, which is obvious if you actually read the whole thing. I write about men, because as a woman that is what I encounter. I have also encountered sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying by men my entire life. One more comment…I delete everything. It’s my blog, and it is not a free speech zone. Promote your own blog on similar sites, not this one. It is just wasted energy.

    2. julietjeske

      And honestly this post is also in response to what a friend of mine confessed to me the other day. He is my age, lonely and miserable. He messed up the last decent relationship he had, and that woman gave him multiple second chances. He regrets a lot of what he has done in the past and a lot of his behavior. Now he just goes on bad awkward dates, and gets nowhere with anyone. By his own admission he has said these things. Not everyone wants to be a lone wolf forever. It’s all about choices and there is no one size fits all plan for all of humanity. But many men hit their fifties and wonder how they ended up alone. It’s not just women. Living like you are 20 years old is kind of pathetic when you are 40 or older for both men and women. I seriously doubt any of my regular readers are going to check out your blog, as most of them are fellow divorced men and women.

  2. Pamela

    I feel I’m going to die alone, had 3 men in my life since divorce. One was an old boyfriend, 3years and he wouldn’t commit. Then one who wanted marriage and kids after two months. On to bachelor number 3, great chemistry, he supports his kids school everything, has bills, doesn’t have time for a relationship after time has been vested. I’m so sure I will never find a good man. I can play video games with the best if them. I love that shit. I just don’t know what happened in the 15 years I was married.Did STDs get cured?

    1. julietjeske

      I know, it is hard. I have really lost faith myself. It seems like men who are looking for a wife want someone who isn’t divorced….or they are just a mess and that is why they are single. I wish I had better advice for you, but I struggle with the exact same problem. Hang in there, and don’t just settle for some asshole. You are always better off by yourself than with an asshole! HA! 🙂

  3. Ruben

    An Xbox 360 controller would have been more accurate.

    1. julietjeske

      I just used the part of the application on WordPress that shows me what images are available that are royalty free. They only included that one image. That was the best I could do. HA!

      1. Ruben

        Interesting! I’m just messing with you, though. I don’t think it makes a difference. I found the image to be very funny. I must admit, it was hard to read this post – being someone who fits this profile almost exactly. It almost makes one feel like a bad person but then, I don’t intend to live this way for too much longer. At 28, certain aspects of the single life are wearing thin and I definitely see myself as a family man one day. One thing that I’d like clarity on, if you’re willing to provide it, is what you mean by “…taking care of him, emotionally…” and the reason it is something to be avoided. Though there are several lifestyle changes I expect to come along with “growing up,” being emotionally taken care of (as well as being able to take care of someone else, emotionally) is not something I would ever want to live without.

        1. julietjeske

          If you are 28 then it doesn’t apply to you! HA! If you were 38…then I might look at some of your life choices. However, being a 38 year old who is pursing a creative profession, well they are sort of allowed to have strange day jobs forever, as pursuing a creative profession is ridiculously hard!

          No one should take care of you emotionally, and I strongly believe that to the core of my being. YOU should take care of YOURSELF emotionally! It is great to have a partner who is there for you, but it is too much to ask that she takes care of you. In fact, you will start to resent her if she becomes overly smothering or too involved in your emotional well being. It is no one else’s job to take care of your emotional well being. If I could scream that from the mountain tops I would. I took care of my husband too much and I suffered horribly for it, when that relationship fell apart. So I think it is great to want a strong emotional connection with a partner, and want a supportive and loving partner. But you should ultimately be responsible for your own emotional needs. After all if you give that responsibility to another, you may not like what they do with it. TRUST ME! But I am 39 yrs. old and divorced, so I know of where I speak on this one. I have meet too many bitter angry people who relied on someone else to make them happy and when that person left them…they fell apart. Some people never really recover from a nasty breakup. And then they try to find that happiness and fulfillment in someone new. It is almost like an addiction. The same people who can’t go more than a few months without a significant other, so they are always dating someone…and they aren’t exactly picky. So they usually end up in some tragic relationship situation. I would rather be single then end up like that. It sounds corny but the only person who can save you…is you.

  4. Will

    I find it amusing that older Ladies love to 1) screech over a video game despite their own ubiquitous penchant for reality (junk) TV, 2) feel an odd need to describe their male peers as “bitter” and 3) level some sort of insult toward men for not committing (to them).

    Let’s just be realistic Julie – you have no problem judging a man on his secular success as you elucidate in your post. That’s fine most men know and accept that women are attracted to markers of wealth and/or success. Perhaps you might likewise accept that men may just not be as physically attracted to a 40ish year old woman – an equally harsh assessment but nonetheless reality.

    Perhaps if you concentrated more on what *else* you bring to the table and leave your own condescending entitlement issues behind a guy would stick around rather than pursue a hotter younger babe. You come across as a baggage laden nag rather than a feminine breath of fresh air.

    Who’s the bitter one here Julie?

    1. julietjeske

      For starters Billy my name is not Julie. My name is Juliet. In fact, I suspect your name is not even Will. Anyway. Thanks for the comment. But I always insist my critics at least get my name right and you haven’t. It is JULIET JESKE. Juliet is actually on my Social Security card. So I find your comment to be quite amusing, but if you are going to criticize me at least get my name right! If you continue to post any more comments, I delete the lot of them. I do not tolerate harassment, you have said your peace. Good for you! 🙂 I’ll go and purchase some big Southern ball gown and walk around with a fragrant bouquet all to become that breath of feminine fresh air you so desire. WTF? Or maybe I will elucidate something…pretentious much?

  5. Joe

    While I realize this might be an emotionally-charged topic, it would be more than useful if comments were made in a more humanistic , fact-finding mode. This is not a contest to see who wins. It is a blog of one’s experience and comments thereupon and should be viewed as such.
    Let down the barriers, lower the defenses and just respond as human beings each trying to make sense of himself/herself without all the power thrusts.

  6. julietjeske

    Agreed, I actually feel sorry for Man-Children, I think they are miserable people, as I think their female counterparts are miserable too. And as I have said before in this thread, the piece was actually based on a male friend who was about my age and miserable. He realized he gave up on a wonderful woman in part because he didn’t want to face growing up. The older you get the less opportunities one has in the dating pool. People like these are to be pitied more than anything.

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