Why don’t men talk to women about commitment and marriage any more?

Painting: “Courtship”, by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)

I saw this essay from a young woman named Jordana Narin who is explaining how she feels about not being able to talk seriously to a man she had sex with. She is a radical feminist and has a useless, easy degree in creative writing.

The essay was published in the radically leftist New York Times.

First kiss:

I met [a guy] at summer camp in the Poconos at 14, playing pickup basketball by day and talking in the mess hall late into the night. Back home we lived only 30 minutes apart, but I didn’t see him again until 11th grade, when we ran into each other at a Halloween party in a Lower Manhattan warehouse.

[…]Under the muted flashes of a strobe light, we shared our first kiss.

She spent her first kiss on a guy she barely knew at a party, with no relationship context.

And this is how they talked:

We stayed in touch for the rest of high school, mostly by text message.

[…]Every time his name popped up on my phone, my heart raced.

Still, we were never more than semiaffiliated, two people who spoke and loved to speak and kissed and loved to kiss and connected and were scared of connecting.

Where is this relationship going? This boy has no job and no savings and no proven record of steady work – and therefore he cannot marry anyone.


Two years after our first kiss, we were exchanging “I’ve missed you” messages again. It was a brisk Friday evening in our first semesters of college when I stepped off a train and into his comfortable arms.

He had texted weeks earlier on Halloween (technically our anniversary) to ask if I would visit. We had not talked since summer, and I was trying to forget him. We had graduated from high school into the same inexpressive void we first entered in costume, where an “I’ve missed you” was as emotive as one got.

Long gaps in between text messages – they have nothing to talk about, and there is no goal. Nevertheless, they are away from their parents, and so she had sex with him, losing her virginity to a man she was not married to.

And then:

Naïvely, I had expected to gain clarity, to finally admit my feelings and ask if he felt the same. But I couldn’t confess, couldn’t probe. Periodically I opened my mouth to ask: “What are we doing? Who am I to you?” He stopped me with a smile, a wink or a handhold, gestures that persuaded me to shut my mouth or risk jeopardizing what we already had.

On the Saturday-night train back to Manhattan, I cried. Back in my dorm room, buried under the covers so my roommates wouldn’t hear, I fell asleep with a wet pillow and puffy eyes.

The next morning I awoke to a string of texts from him: “You get back OK?” “Let’s do it again soon :)”

Yes. She had sex with him because of text messages, Facebook comments and because he “missed her”. Not because he had presented his resume and balance sheet to her father, dated her for many months, bought her an engagement ring, courted her for more months, bought her a wedding ring, then walked down the aisle with her.

Why is this happening?

There’s an interview that goes with it on the radically leftist NPR web site, but I saved a copy of the MP3 file here in case it disappears.

Moderate Christian Rod Dreher comments on the interview:

I wouldn’t have understood the full scope of what this young woman is saying in her essay without the interview, which is short. In the segment, Narin says that men and women in her generation don’t have actual romantic relationships anymore. It’s all casual, non-committal sex. “Nobody knows whether their own feelings are real,” she says.

[..]She tells the interviewer that there’s lots of making out and sex, but nobody wants to be emotionally vulnerable to anybody else.

[…]“Everyone in college uses Tinder,” she said, referring to the wildly popular dating and hook-up app. “You can literally swipe right and find someone just to hang out for the night. There’s no commitments required, and I think that makes committing to someone even harder, because it’s so normal, and so expected even, to not want to commit.”

In a different time, my grandparents, my great grandparents, they might have thought they were missing out on casual sex,” she says. “But since my generation has been saddled down with that, we kind of look to the past and say well, wasn’t that nice. I think both are optimal. I’m a huge feminist, and I think women should be able to do whatever they want to do. If a woman wants to have tons of casual sex, she totally should. But I think that there should be the option. And they shouldn’t be gendered, women and men. But there should be the option of being in a relationship.”

Right. Young women like her who have swallowed radical feminism hook, line and sinker don’t want to “miss out” on casual sex right now, but they want to get married “some day” – after they have a lot of fun traveling and doing exciting, fun things.

But what do they think marriage is?


Look at the lyrics:

You got that 9 to 5
But, baby, so do I
So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies
I never learned to cook

After every fight
Just apologize
And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right
Even if I was wrong
You know I’m never wrong

And know we’ll never see your family more than mine

Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright

This is what women today understand marriage to be. They expect to be pursuing their own careers, not supporting their husbands and raising children. Most feminists view the roles of wife and mother as demeaning. They aren’t interested in supporting or respecting a man who provides for them – they just want him to say yes to whatever they feel like doing – fun and thrills.

The woman singing expects to win every disagreement because, like the song says, she is never wrong. The lyrics also say that sex is conditional on whether the woman feels happy. When it comes to visiting family and holidays, she lets us know that her family is more important than his. And she is allowed to act crazy, which could involve a whole host of selfish, wasteful, narcissistic behaviors, (e.g. – skydiving, ziplining, surfing), and he is just supposed to celebrate and maybe pay for it. For the rest of his life.

How do men respond to these radical feminists?

Most men are not interested in committing to, or discussing commitment with, radical feminists. Men will have sex with a radical feminist, (not me, but other men), but they will never commit to them. Why not? If a man’s role is just to please the “huge feminist”, then there is no reason to commit to her. Radical feminists believe that relationships are about their plans and their needs. They are not interested in responsibilities, expectations or obligations to men or to children. But men, even secular men, understand that they must not marry a woman who thinks that relationships should impose no obligations on her. Men play dumb with women to keep the sex coming, but there is no way they would commit to such women.

Now there is one exception to this rule, and that’s young, naive men. If a woman is a “huge feminist” then she might be able to get attention from a doormat man without having to give him sex. Typically, these men have no work experience, no savings, are much younger, and are so desperate for attention that they do what Meghan Trainor says in the song: apologize, grovel, condone craziness and selfishness, etc. Although a woman may think she wants a man like that in the short-term, in the long-term, those men prove unattractive and unsatisfactory.

In order to be masculine, a man needs to be a good moral leader and a good spiritual leader. And that means that he needs to call a woman higher, away from her self-centeredness, so she can serve God and serve other people. He cannot just agree with whatever crazy, emotional thing that she thinks up that is fun, thrilling and bound to fail. A good leader has experience as a provider, protector and leader that he brings to bear on decision-making, and proven ability achieving and leading others to greatness. I think women with low self-esteem will be interested in men who are doormats, but that is not the solution to the commitment problem. A doormat man does not have what it takes to provide and lead a family.

18 thoughts on “Why don’t men talk to women about commitment and marriage any more?”

  1. The description offered in regards to feminist and radical feminists tend to describe my wife who I frequently describe as a “closet feminist”. She is NEVER wrong and it is, “her way or the highway”. For past 15-20 years touching, holding hands, hugs, real kisses, intimacy and sex have gradually become a reward for good behavior. She remarks she loves me but doesn’t respect me (not sure how that adds up). She has many female friends of all types and they love her. At 77 I may be trapped with this woman for life but it is compelling to start over even this late in life.
    I say all this because she did not exhibit any of these traits during the 5 years of dating.
    Be careful guys….they’re sneaky and smart.

    1. It’s very natural for women to love men and not respect them. I am not sure what happened but there seems to be an effort by older feminists to lead young women astray about how the world really works.

      1. I think you can minimize your chance of getting a wife who divorces you, makes you pay forever and never lets you see your kids if you look at the studies about when and who to marry. But if you can’t hit that narrow window, the risks do seem to be great. I don’t get the feeling that young women (who often want to put off marriage outside of the “ideal” window, and also dispense with the pre-marriage behaviors that make marriage stable, e.g. – chastity, weekly church attendance) want to do things in a rigorous way so that there will be no divorce. They want to be led by their feelings, but of course that doesn’t maximize the chance for a permanent union.

  2. Yeah, it’s sad but there really isn’t much Christian men can do about this even in their churches……yes I said “churches” just a moment ago.

    No, not as forward as the woman in this article…..but just as destructive. It’s come to the point of “acceptance” in my life that I will not meet a Christian woman. Sure, I’ve pondered the talk and attitude over the years…..but there really isn’t anything I can do now.

    So, yeah WK a lot men don’t want to talk about commitment and marriage anymore because there really is no reason to. You are not allowed to dare constructively talk to a woman about her behavior now. You have to endure “funny” but none the less belittling comments about men in church today. Men have to match the fantasy of that Christian gal’s “christian romance novels” or “RomComs” and he had better have the upper-middle-class lifestyle to back it up.

    He gets sex when he’s a “good boy” and does what the wife says or expects. In my men’s group I hear a lot of “my wife doesn’t want sex………what can I do?” and the comments / support are limp-less, spineless replies of “you have to make her your queen” or “Just because you are married it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pursue her…..you have to get to her emotions and serve her!” and “well, you just have to accept that sex takes two people, and she doesn’t want sex……obviously something you’re not doing is giving you this situation”

    Why oh why as a single man like myself would even want to discuss marriage or commitment at this point with a woman? It seems that these Christian men are in sexless, loveless, belittling marriages……….why would I pursue that at this point (and age) in my life now?

    1. I think the most frequent response I get to the sex-withholding phenomenon is that it’s the man’s fault. And that is terrifying to me. It’s like no one really expects women to believe the words she speaks in her marriage vows. And it is not something that can be promised on a whim. You can’t fix it by saying “I’ll never do that”. It has to be evident that the woman is accustomed to self-sacrificial love. What I am seeing is that they think that their obligation is only to do what feels good to them, and the relationship should exist on its own, without their self-sacrificial engagement in it. And if this is their view of marriage (common) then nothing the man does can fix it. Marriage isn’t fun and thrills and feeling good all the time. It’s hard work to keep a commitment.

      1. Men need to work at it, also. There are too many men who think their wives are there for their pleasure only, and who do not see her as much more than the porn images they “enjoyed” before marriage. They don’t understand that they need to actually love her and respect her as well, and that she is human and real, and not just there for their quick use and disposal. Porn might be a big part of the problem with these men. A woman rejecting being used, yet never loved, is a woman who respects herself and doesn’t let her husband do things that are wrong. It’s not always a bad thing, or only the woman’s fault, if the intimacy in a marriage is not what it could be.

        1. This is true. However, I believe what WK is referring to is a woman deliberately withholding sex in order to manipulate her husband.

        2. All I hear is that men ARE to blame in their marriages Susanne. In my church, my men’s group, on the Internet, on blogs. Why would a Christian man want to “discuss” marriage and commitment with a woman when all a single Christian man sees around him is men in unhappy marriages? When he hears belittling comments about men from the pulpit, by women in the church? The only “happy” person seems to be the pastor and he seems to be the one who only has the answers, and they all tend to be blaming men for the problems in the marriage.

          This can’t be the sole case. My parents were pagans (to use a Biblical term) and they had a solid, loving, good marriage for 44 years until mom succumbed to cancer in 2009. It makes me wonder at times, if Christian marriage is supposed to be a life-long striving before and towards God…….and so many Christian men and women are so frustrated and unhappy, let down, hurt, feeling not respected or unloved………

          There is a problem and it’s the secular world-view of marriage dragged into our church culture. It’s all about Jesus….but it’s all about a wedding day. It’s God first, but it isn’t. It’s all about VOWS before a risen Savior, but it’s really about happiness first and foremost………it’s about following, and submitting to the Cross…..but it’s really about a “comfortable” western-culture lifestyle……

          No wonder it’s so confusing….and no wonder it’s on the decline.

        3. The part you’re missing, Suzanne, is that when a man DOES engage a woman in a properly masculine and assertive way (that women so often say most modern men are lacking) while still being fully conscious of her state of mind, feelings, and running the full gamut of emotional and physical pleasures, etc., women often don’t return even a minimal amount of that same enthusiastic, passionate attention (i.e. they treat such behavior on his part as the “default” expectation for her simply existing in his life)… and that’s if they don’t cut him off at all. Sorry, but simply supplying a body to play with isn’t enough if you, as a woman, want to be more than a real-life version of a porn image… just because you cause a man happens to ejaculate while being in physical contact with you does not mean you came anywhere close to moving heaven and earth for him… in some cases its even possible that he’s actually still all but wholly unsatisfied. Contrary to popular (feminist) belief, men don’t need women for a physical release… we can handle that without you. The truth is passionate and enthusiastically engaged physical intimacy is by the far the biggest way that men derive emotional fulfillment (not the only way, men want respect, companionship, security, etc. as well, but sex is by a large margin the biggest) from women they love… and since women are more and more being told they don’t have to so much as lift a finger to take care of their men– in a way that’s meaningful to him– AFTER he commits to you, what possible reason can you possibly give that will incentivize men to care about commitment?

          Of course, all of that only addresses sexuality… there’s a whole world of other problems outside of that that generally deal with the polarizing balance between masculine and feminine energy as well as women and to a large extent society as a whole expecting men to take on many of the traditional roles they had pre-2nd-wave-feminism, while not holding women to the same standards (if not outright encouraging them to go directly against it– something that’s even reinforced by the egregiously anti-male family/divorce court system).

    2. @ seventiesjason

      First of all, I’ve never believed this thing of wives not wanting sex. I just don’t. If you are a follower of Christ and have lived a chaste life up until your wedding day, don’t tell me that you’re not going to be interested in that one thing that was off-limits to you for however long you were single!

      But more to the point, even if that were so, why would other people’s choices affect you? Just because some people (and again, I’d love to see how many people/couples we are actually talking about) are in a bad marriage, why does that mean YOUR marriage would be that way? That doesn’t make much sense. You’re not living their life, They are not living yours. Your choices and behaviors are your own.

      1. According to a friend of mine who works with mostly women, all but one of her co-workers is sex-withholding against her husband. This is really widespread. I’m a virgin (never married), so I’m not a victim. This is talked about in Dr. Laura’s book “Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”.

      2. I can’t find a woman to date. every woman is taken, too young, already married, or has two, three, four kids with different men and wants a “real christian man” who can re-daddy the kids and “provide” (cause that’s what men are supposed to only do) an upper middle class lifestyle.

        It makes really good sense actually. I see Christian men / brothers brow-beaten into sexless marriages with massive guilt, and pastors pushing Shaunti Feldman’s expertise about women on them:

        “she wants only an ’emotional’ connection with you” (without this connection ever even being described to what it means)

        Why would I even want that, and the women that surround me at my age right now in my Christian walk….I have nothing they want, need, or desire.

        I am a lifelong virgin as well.

  3. Marriage is dead. The younger generation of men don’t see why they need to financially support a woman if she decides, at her option, to jettison them from their households. Meanwhile, NOW is trying to preserve lifetime alimony statutes in FL (they failed in MA) and fight against rebuttable joint custody legislation.

    After hearing all their lives how wonderful and empowered women are, younger guys are wondering why Uncle Larry has to live in a van and only see his kids every other weekend. It just doesn’t add up.

  4. I have zero tolerance or pity for people who behave the way you’ve described in the article. If they want to slut around, that’s what you get!

    The people who really suffer are those who DO live the way God has ordained, but for whatever reason, still can’t find someone to marry and are forced to live their lives alone.

    THOSE are the people that deserve compassion, not these Tinder sluts, sleeping around with people they don’t even know.

  5. Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    *slow clap*
    It’s a mutual exchange of duties. I don’t know where the writer hangs out, but financially stable men are thin on the ground, and I think there is a Gen Y/Gen Z exception for flexitimers so they can actually get married, especially if the woman makes more (to contribute to the house, not her shoe collection).
    And those women are confusing men for their supportive girlfriends and/or a therapist cheerleader.

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