Girl Talk: What The Hell Is Happening To 30-Something Guys?

If every time I met a cute, funny, smart, nice, emotionally stable, 30-something man with a girlfriend an angel exploded into a fireball and someone gave me a nickel, I would have enough money to buy a fancy angel graveyard with marble headstones. That is how frequent — and how tragic — this experience has become.

The only type of 30-something guy I meet more than the cute, funny, smart, nice, emotionally stable and totally taken type is the cute, funny, smart, nice, emotionally unstable, completely single, and totally confused type. Taking the #3 spot is the single douchebag, but we don’t care about him (unless I get desperately horny and then I might sleep with him). All kidding aside, I’m really bored by the dudes I am meeting. When I meet a cute, funny, smart, nice, and emotionally stable guy, there’s this sweet limbo period where I don’t know whether some awesome gal has snatched him up already. I can toy with the idea of flirting with him and getting to know him better. I can say to myself, “Hey, this guy is awesome! We’re vibing! How fun!” and get a little excited to be making conversation with a member of the opposite sex that doesn’t skeeve me out, is a relative, or is just a friend. But then he finally drops the “g” word, or a mutual friend will give me a look that says, “Oooh, he’s taken,” and I’m like, “Bummer.” My friend saw the silver lining in this situation: “At least cool women are dating these guys.” She’s right. The only thing worse than a cute, funny, smart, nice, emotionally stable and totally taken man is one who’s single and just wants to play the field. What. A. Waste.

Unfortunately for me, New York — hell, probably everywhere — is overrun by all of these types of 30-something guys. I know because I keep meeting them. Last night, I met the very best type of rad 30-something guy — the recent transplant. I have been advised by nearly every person I know that if I want to meet someone awesome — and I do, if I’m being honest; I am not interested in casual dating, really — I need to keep my eye out for someone new to New York, who hasn’t been sucked in by the lure of the city and its many tempting vices for singletons. So, what, I need to start trolling youth hostels and the U.N.? Please, I have my self-respect.

Anyway, last night I went to a friend’s birthday party and got there early, because I always am, and got to talking with another early bird, a friend of the birthday girl who just moved here from the West Coast. He was cute! Genuine-seeming! Funny! Why had my friend kept him a secret? Oh wait. He must be … yup. Seriously involved. Girl boner gone limp. Oh well, good for the girl who got him.

On the flipside, recently I had a little “thing” for a guy I know through some friends. My first impression was that he was cute, funny, smart, and nice, though it was too early to determine his emotional stability (I need a couple weeks for that). Best of all, he was single. Hallelujah! Unfortunately, “single” in this case meant “dating a couple people unenthusiastically,” implying confusion and a general sense that he “doesn’t know” what he wants. Oy, not again. I was sad-faced about it for a little while, but then, you know what, I realized I’m decidedly turned off by indecisive anyway.

You see, he’s just one example of a larger issue that I’ve encountered again and again since becoming single. Otherwise pretty rad dudes reach their 30s without “settling down” — and by that I mean finding a serious girlfriend they could potentially see marrying or being with forever — and suddenly it’s like they regress to teenage boyhood. There’s some kind of bell curve, where guys get more mature and then they peak, and if they’re not in a stable relationship at that point, then they dip back down to the emotional maturity of 15-year-olds. Suddenly relationships give them that same sense of confusion that choosing between playing Super Mario Land or TP-ing the math teacher’s house used to. I know I’m generalizing here, but for the most part, it’s true. If you’re a 30-something dude and this doesn’t describe you, congrats! You’re likely one of the other generalized types I mentioned — somewhere on the spectrum between single douchebag and taken demi-god. However, if you ARE a single 30-something demi-god, email me. I would like to interview you about how you plan on fighting the threatened extinction of your species.

Photo: iStockphoto

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