Single Again… What Is a Man?

By Kenneth Stepp

I am single… There, I said it. I swim in the same sea of singles that we all do. For 6 ½ years I have been meeting singles, interviewing singles, and writing about being single. I’ve interviewed about 220 women and over 45 men. I believe I can write about this now.

I’m a very safe person to share secrets and thoughts with. If something is just between us and we lose our friendship one day for whatever reason, you won’t see screen shots of our conversations being shared in any way with anyone. I believe others know this of me and for that reason, they open up about very private matters. 

The now hundreds of women I’ve interviewed have helped me learn so much about the fairer sex. First, I will always be fascinated by our differences. I’ve heard so many stories about dates that ended abruptly and poorly. Most, shocked me as I can’t imagine being so disrespectful to anyone. 

Times have changed, I’ve become a dinosaur in the singles community. There are men who “perfect” their stories to lure girls into vulnerable positions where it’s simply less complicated to have sex with them than not. I can’t believe how true this is. And if they are lucky, when they go home to shower, he hasn’t demeaned her one last time by blocking her on his phone and social media. 

Is sex with a stranger that important him? I can’t think of a reason other than it makes him feel like a conqueror. He manipulated someone for the win. He also just damaged someone who has probably been hurt enough already. Her decision to spend that moment with him was more than likely based on previous damage. It makes her a victim and him a sociopath. 

Have we as men lost our way? I titled this, what is a man? The date I described was a true story, and according to my knowledge, he is not a man. He may look like one and be slick enough to act like one temporarily. But he can’t walk that walk. He became a complex problem in the singles journey. And over time, he will leave a mess behind for a real man to help repair.

Intimacy is important in a relationship. Sex is a part of intimacy. When we take intimacy outside of a relationship, it seldom ends well. It causes damage whether we know it or not. As morals erode, so will our chances at a healthy relationship should it ever arrive. The thought of not finding forever, for me, keeps me disciplined enough to be the man my father raised.

To the men on this journey with me. Wake up! We have a role in society. We are providers and protectors. We are the knight standing at the door of the castle, or the lion protecting his lioness and cubs. Those inside are our responsibilities 100%. When we adhere to social norms that have changed so much that we walk away from our post, we are less of a man for it. And with less to give.

So in today’s sea of singles, what are the defaults we should live by inside a relationship or even dating? Honesty is key, even when we first meet and certainly it must be within the confines of a relationship. Transparency, no secrets, no omissions, no half truths or deceptions. And for the record, those are still lies.

Social media has changed dating so much that I hesitate to call what many do as dating at all. What am I wanting? The same thing most of us still want. An old school love affair that lasts. Yep, I said most of us and I mean it. Even though many have lost their way, they can regain their footing by changing how the approach dating. 

Honesty no matter what, it isn’t always easy. Integrity, or doing the right thing no matter the personal cost or discomfort, and being yourself, not using a scripted plan to get someone in bed. These are a great start to a new beginning. And if you are laying in bed, alone in the dark one night, remember this…. The right one will stay because of these changes.