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Are men and women growing apart generally?

(333 Posts)
Lifeisntbad Mon 30-Oct-17 08:46:09

Just had a chat with a friend about this. My male and female acquaintances sometimes (with some exceptions) seem so different in outlook that I wonder about this. Obviously they are different from each other as well.
In my immediate circle of 40 /50 somethings the women are generally resourceful independent sociable and open. Many (not all) of the men are depressed, with no enthusiasm, slightly isolated and in some cases a little bitter.
While in one way gender differences seem to be blurring which can only be a good thing, in other ways men and women seem increasingly on different paths, coming together perhaps for having children and then diverging again.

W0rriedMum Mon 30-Oct-17 08:52:57

Hmm interesting question.

Personally I have fewer male friends than ever but think this is my age and the fact that women will make an effort to meet for a coffee or drink.

But generally I do think that as women continue to soar professionally and personally, men do seem to be left in their wake somewhat. Most of my female friends' careers continue to rise, where many of the mens' peaked in late 30s/early 40s.

TheNaze73 Mon 30-Oct-17 08:53:09

The only depressed men I know are in terrible relationships where there needs aren’t being met.

ZepellinBend Mon 30-Oct-17 09:01:15

I have noticed in my friendship group that the women bear the most responsibility when it comes to raising children. If they find themselves single it's generally difficult to find time for another relationship so appear to be happy enough being alone and getting on with things. The men on the other hand are always looking for a partner and have time to date.

I have dated both men and women. Although I hate to draw comparisons as everyone is an individual, on the whole I find women easier. They are more open emotionally.

Lifeisntbad Mon 30-Oct-17 09:34:59

Very interesting responses. Agree with W0rried about women being more career successful for a longer time. You'd have thought some men would have worked out how not to get personally and professionally left behind though. It actually makes me sad to see TBH.

PuertoVallarta Mon 30-Oct-17 09:48:22

I think men and women are growing apart, too. We tend to have different interests and different styles of communication, and maybe the internet and social media facilitates this?

I work with a lot of young people and the men all want to shag around and the women all want a boyfriend. It's depressing stuff because I think the men are winning. Just an hour ago, I was in the ladies room and a young woman was having a cry to her friend. She said, "He told me it's not cheating if he's honest about it. I love him so much. Should I wait for him to choose me?"

None of my business as I didn't know them, but my heart was breaking as her friend said that of course she should because he was just being a normal guy.

I'm mid-40s and things are slightly better. Men still seem interested in relationships for the most part. Of course, a lot of them watch a lot of porn which I wouldn't touch a porn user with a barge pole.

MephistophelesApprentice Mon 30-Oct-17 09:54:58

In my generation men don't seem to feel as obligated to fall into a traditional 'family man' role. This does appear to be creating a divide, but I think it's a positive thing to see the old gender roles dying.

I suppose that in preceding generations, to which the OP is referring, there has been a lot more freedom for women, but men are still trapped in the expectations of the old roles with no benefits from them whatosever. I could imagine this leading to bitterness.

NikiBabe Mon 30-Oct-17 09:56:35

The only depressed men I know are in terrible relationships where there needs aren’t being met.

Trust a man to say that.

What are these men doing to meet the needs of their wifes / partners.

Sitting back expecting them to do it all Id wager.

Junebugjr Mon 30-Oct-17 09:59:10

This is just my opinion, but women from my acquaintance seemed intent on looking for a partner/husband in their twenties, myself included.
Lots of upset when the men of the same age seemed reluctant to commit, lots of weddings with those 'help me' messages on the grooms shoes hmm
Around late 30's, early 40's, there's been a lot of divorces, with the women seeming far happier on their own, and the men realising that marriage has benefitted them hugely, are keen to get another long term partner for domestic services to resume.
It feels to me, we want different things at particular ages.
This is a massive generalisation of course grin

Lifeisntbad Mon 30-Oct-17 10:36:22

Maybe it's not entirely a bad thing in a way. I think in Japan there has been some talk of a "post sexual society" and very large numbers of adult men and women are choosing to remain single and in some cases celibate.

dogfish1 Mon 30-Oct-17 10:56:57

As a bloke I can say I have zero interest in providing for a woman financially. Or in having her iron my socks, cook my meals or sacrifice her career for mine. It's great that these traditional roles are fading. But not needing each other can make us all lonelier.

HandbagKrabby Mon 30-Oct-17 11:02:07

There really hasn’t been more freedom for women than men in preceding generations!

If I found myself single I’d keep myself that way. The positives to living with a man would be vastly outweighed by the negatives as I look around at the various men of my acquaintance. My female friends are much less work and far easier company.

upperlimit Mon 30-Oct-17 11:04:28

I don't recognise this. I think that women seem more weighed down by responsibility, for both their children and the well being of their parents and men seem fill the vacuum created by not caring equally for children and parents with, erm, hobbies.

I'm not certainly not seeing a surge of happy succeeding women and sad men left in their wake grin

TheStoic Mon 30-Oct-17 11:05:17

I think they’ve always been apart.

I think they come together to breed, stay together (hopefully) to raise kids, and the minority are together because they genuinely like each other’s company.

mindutopia Mon 30-Oct-17 11:19:53

I would say I definitely don’t see this in my social circles. Most of my friends are in their 40s and we socialise freely and it’s very mixed and very equal. But I imagine it depends on the sort of company you keep. I don’t know anyone really (like friends I mean) who ever subscribed to traditional gender roles. I don’t know any couples where the man has a traditional ‘provider’ type career with a wife who is a sahm. Or miserable divorced older men. They seem to be coupled up and happy and both pursuing things they enjoy and traveling and the like. But I can imagine there are less social supports for single older men, so I can imagine that could be more difficult if they lose their partners and never had many male friends.

Lifeisntbad Mon 30-Oct-17 11:29:30

A variety of experiences then. Obviously it's not compulsory to be with someone nor is there anyone keeping score of how well you do career wise or financially. Maybe the dissatisfaction in some of the men I see is them thinking theyd be a roaring success and have massive careers etc now facing disappointment they find difficult to process where the women have had a get on with ot attitude and are now reaping the rewards.

BossaDad Mon 30-Oct-17 12:49:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HadronCollider Mon 30-Oct-17 12:56:15

Afraid I don't see gender differences blurring as a good thing. At. all.

juwayriyyah31 Mon 30-Oct-17 13:00:20

I know if it comes from a man bullets will be shot at him lol, so as a female I do know of guys who are depressed because they have problems with the marriage and are pretty stuck as they have kids together. There's is nothing wrong with women being more professional than man and working. I work myself but it's to ensure that both parties know each other's place and have love and respect for each other. Also I think society plays such a big part in how we think. I was thinking the other days how the celebrity are so f*** up and yet our growing youth looks up to them because that's how the media portrays them to be such inspirational people ,really we the general do a much better job than them at being good human beings and role models.
Sorry pretty much went of the topic

jeaux90 Mon 30-Oct-17 13:01:49

Not sure we are drifting apart but as a financially independent woman I think a lot of it is now down to need. I don't need anything from a man. I'm a single mum, with a live in nanny and I have a lovely relationship with my partner where we don't live together.

I think that the pressure to adhere to social norms (or as I call is asset control) is what makes a lot of people miserable.

I'm as happy in my current situation as I was when I was single and celibate for a few years.

I think the issue is the way we are conditioned and continue to condition our kids to comply to "expectations"

And yes, naze is right. Most miserable people I know are in shit marriages.

ThisMeans Mon 30-Oct-17 13:33:56

Interesting question.

It does seem like some kind of "social contract" is being broken.

One negative effect of sexual liberation is that women have become more more sexually disposable, and worse are increasingly encouraged to act like the "porn star" the guy has seen online - I find this development particularly upsetting. Women should be guiding their daughters to resist this. The whole thing creates for the sad, crazy scene Puerto describes, which has been around for decades of course. But the intensity of women needing to find a mate in this climate now has reached Jane Austen proportions, but without the self-respect.

btw, has anyone heard of MGTOW movement? Apparently these guys "have vowed to stay away from women, stop dating and not have children". In some ways I can understand why.

jeaux90 Mon 30-Oct-17 14:05:25

Thismeans but men are even more disposable we don't even need them to have a kid now in the sense of actual contact. We just need a sperm bank and our own careers, I think that's a powerful message to our daughters smile

PinkTiger Mon 30-Oct-17 14:11:31

I don't think it's gender based. I think the world is growing apart in western society because everyone is behind or on an electronic device 90% of the time.

ThisMeans Mon 30-Oct-17 14:22:37

Agree in principle, jeaux. As long as you don't decide to have children. Having children on your own (I've done it btw) is financially, practically and emotionally hard.

ThisMeans Mon 30-Oct-17 14:23:00

And yes to what PinkTiger said.

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