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I rarely write about dating. I always think someone else could do it better although I suppose that’s true of pretty much anything I write about. But Trading War Stories is a column about dating horror stories, told mostly by women in their own words. (Well mostly in their own words, I try to keep the site worksafe.)

Why women?

I remember dating. I haven’t got any illusions about it at all. I have met some of the most wonderful people in the world in my opinion, people that, frankly, were too good for me. But that was a minority.

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Most of the time I felt like I was surrounded by women that kept trying to use me or lie to me. I felt like I had to spend all my time staying a step ahead of them. I watched as women tried to use me for money, so they could live a lifestyle they couldn’t afford. I watched as they tried to involve me in drama, trying to talk me when they obviously were currently in relationships, not caring if their actions put me or their man in danger. I understood the women that needed all my attention, (and everyone else’s) when it was obvious that there was never going to be enough of it satisfy them. And most of the time I relaxed my guard I got burned for it.

It makes you really appreciate a good woman.

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I got lucky. I’ve been married for five years. But I still remembered the game. And then at some point everything changed.

I wasn’t the only one to notice it. I got with other guys around my age and they’d seen the same thing. The standards had changed. They weren’t perfect before, in fact they were rather shallow. But things were out of control.

Somehow you were surprised that he turned out to be a bad father.

Somehow you were surprised that he turned out to be a bad father.

I’m thirty three. Growing up, when men became of age, they had to WORK to attract women. It was like National Geographic out there. Grown men generally had to: live on their own, have a car, be either in reasonably good shape or decent at a sport, dress well, handle yourself in a fight and more importantly than anything else, they had to be able to carry a conversation. Not everyone had these qualities, but not having them exposed you to a degree of mockery (ask me how I know!) and limited your options with the opposite sex.

Calvin!

And then we started seeing women trot out losers. And no one was clowning them. It’s one thing to be out of work, (unemployment for black males is usually double the national average) but these guys were looking for a job about as hard as Bush looked for Bin Laden. And they had a girl on their arm. And the girls were decent. Somehow the universe had shifted, and women were now going after guys they never had before, mostly because they interpreted their ill manners and ruggedness as masculine. The relationships were going to go bad. And they did mostly.

Even worse it jacked up the single most positive quality that women have. Women have the gift of seeing what you could be instead of what you are. They do it for everybody, their friends, their kids and their men. And nothing motivates you like your woman believing in you. Men are cut and dry. When I look at a woman, I decide if I want her or not. Most of the time, I don’t really want her to change at all. But thankfully, women don’t look at me that way. They give me the benefit of the doubt.

But these losers burned them out. They wasted that support and goodwill, and that left a lot of angry, bitter women that wanted better relationships, but were too scared of getting burned again to make them work. It was a vicious cycle.

Trading War Stories is a column that shows you why women are burned out. (And it’s an old Tupac song!) To be honest with you, once I started collecting stories I was stunned. I handpicked the women I wanted to talk to. They are unusually attractive, intelligent, and the sort of women we fought to get back in the day. They work; in fact most have excelled in their careers. No one is perfect, but I did my best to pick a pool of people that have mostly everything going for them. It’s a diverse pool of awesome.

And as impossible as it seems, they’ve been taking a beating.

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