During the course of normal banter back and forth between men and women on GAG (and everywhere else) one recurring theme I see is that women complain "men won't invest in the relationship". Please note, when I say "men" I am excluding the top 10% Chad Thundercocks who don't invest in a relationship simply because he doesn't have to. Chad plays by different rules than 90% of men and Chads exploits are a topic for a different "My Take". I am talking about the regular fellow who would make a good husband, provider, protector, and father.
First, we need to have some definition about what "investment" looks like for a man. To me, a man's investment in a relationship includes:
-Time. Making her the center of your time outside of your work world. Coordinating with her any time consuming events (i.e. weekend trips, going out after work, vacations).
-Money. Using his financial resources to help or impress her. This might include regularly taking her out to dinner dates, buying her gifts, or perhaps helping her with school tuition, student loans, credit card bills, etc.
-Emotional. The man ceases contact with other women, forgoes sex with other women, stops surfing dating apps, is not opposed to listing her as his significant other on social media and in person. Accepting her for who she is and working to establish the mutual emotional bond with a goal of a successful long term relationship.
-Marriage. Making a formal, public, and LEGAL commitment to her; an enforceable legal contract with very real penalties for termination.
-Children. Agreeing to have a child with her (in or out of marriage).
Of course there are other "investments" one can make but I think the preceding cover the majority.
A significant percentage of young men (and young women) grew up in homes headed by single-mothers and have not seen a successful relationship. Many of the single-mothers openly criticized the father directly to the son, which not only confused the young boy it also gave him a negative view of himself as a future man. Often the young man has seen his single mother roll through a variety of men through the years, none of whom "measure up" to his mother's standards. This young man might have bonded with some of these men only to see them disappear, with his mother saying something like "Oh, he's gone".
This boy, who is now a young man, enters the dating market and begins to date women, only to be very confused about the "rules" which seem contrary, arbitrary, and utterly confusing. This young man just wants a decent relationship with a compatible girl, but finds it beyond frustrating. He dates and girls show interest, but disappear, go back to their ex's, say they like him as a "friend", cheat on him when he thought they were exclusive, or otherwise act in a way he cannot understand. Being a reasonably handsome and fundamentally good guy he is great at getting a girls attention and she is more than willing to go and have coffee with him, be a text buddy, talk on the phone, but nothing more. He listens to her complain about how Chad treats her so badly, but she stays with him or moves on to the next Chad, all the while he is thinking "WTF, why don't you want me"? He is at a loss about what he is doing wrong but is determined to fix it.
Continuing, this young man gets advice about how to act with a girl when in a relationship (not friend zone) such as "show your vulnerable side", or "be persistent and tell her how you feel about her". He tries this advice and finds that women are repelled in horror and disgust.
Every women this young fellow has dated has found some shortcoming in who he is, what he says, does, or how he acts. Not too long after he starts dating a woman she ejects, taking with her a piece of his pride and confidence. The above is a regular experience for the majority of young men in the dating world.
So, ladies, to put this in perspective, let me paint a picture.
Imagine you live in an apartment without a lease agreement, that is you are free to leave at any moment. Each morning you wake up and wonder if you should stay in this apartment or move on to a different apartment. There is nothing holding you back, there are unlimited apartment options online and you regularly scroll through them "just to see what's out there". Additionally, there are literally thousands of landlords who want you to move to his "apartment", and they are willing to let you move in right away, today! Who knows, if you find something clearly better you will make the move, right? Why not?
Why don't men invest? Correctly or incorrectly, men are convinced that women have one foot-out-of-the-door, given the vast array of options she has. No matter what she says, our young man has heard it before, only to have his "tenant move out" without warning. Leaving him a deep distrust of new "tenants". Yes, women will counter with "men do this too", and I agree, but not nearly to the degree that young women do. The reality is young women have all of the dating power and dating apps and social media have amplified this power.
A young man of average appearance and wealth cannot hope to compete with "the internet" when it comes to women, and he knows it.
What can you do about it ladies? Easy. YOU will have to be the one to make at least an equal amount of investment in the relationship. This includes deleting dating apps, stopping contact with your "friend zone bench" and ex's, make your relationship public on social media, defend your man publicly and let him know you have his back, stop centering your dress and social media presence around drawing attention (risque pictures and dress). Does this sound crazy?
Although women hold the keys to dating and sex, clearly, women have forgotten men hold the keys to marriage. Your time as a girlfriend is your audition for "wife" and "mother of his children" (notice I didn't say "baby daddy").
Ladies if you want men to "step up", YOU will have to "be the change you wish to see".