Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Men can’t stand to be alone after a break-up or divorce

The title of this blog has been borrowed from a 2012 NYT article: Why men can’t stand to be alone after a break-up or divorce. It’s a female perspective. Nevertheless, I think, feel and believe that her statement is valid. At least, it was for me. It’s no longer valid for me, although my dating efforts might suggest it still is. Why? I love my solitude.

In 2010, I informed Joan that I would be divorcing. I had expected her to be happy about it. She advised me finding my independence first and then get back to her. I was flabbergasted and annoyed by her “cold” response. We broke off our contact for many months. In the meantime, another Possibly Maybe had entered my world. She and I were together for 5 years.

In 2016, Joan and I talked about her 2010 decision in the weeks before she died. I recall she was less sure about her 2010 decision. I think we both agreed that she was right and wrong at the same time. She let someone slip away whom she wanted and lost until mid 2014. In 2014, she was eager not to repeat her 2010 “mistake”.

Unfortunately, my 2014 break-up was hurting me much more than my 2010 divorce. The acceptance of my 2010 divorce had been the result of a thought process that had lasted for some 10 years. There was no shadow of a doubt in my mind whether the decision was right or wrong.

My 2014 break-up was, however, due to a nasty discussion that ended badly. The break-up came as a surprise and wasn’t planned or staged – at least not by me. In those circumstances, meeting someone “new” is asking for trouble because your mind is still occupied with the break-up.

The ‘why’ in the 2012 NYT article is interesting. In my view, men often become dependent in a relationship. Perhaps, men even like it that way: “I like that she takes care of me”. However, being dependent changes the quid pro quo in a relationship and affects the balance of power in a relationship.

Being dependent is, however, just a state of mind. Hence, you can change your mind. Actually, it’s easier than you would assume. I’m the living proof that a once “dependent” man can become independent. Moreover, you can always subcontract the household chores that you don’t fancy doing. Any independence comes at a price.

I can think of 2 reasons why some men have less willpower to change. Both relate to my concepts of (i) Needs, Wants & Beliefs and (ii) Faith, Beliefs & Willpower. Being dependent may either be a Want (ie, “I want to be taken care of by a woman”) or a Belief (ie, “Any woman should take care of her man”). There is, however, no Need for a man to be taken care of by a woman.

A Man Needs a Maid (1972) by Neil Young

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

My life is changing in so many ways 

I don’t know who to trust anymore 

There’s a shadow running through my days 

Like a beggar goin’ from door to door 

I was thinkin’ that maybe I’d get a maid 

Find a place nearby for her to stay 

Just someone to keep my house clean 

Fix my meals and go away 


A maid 

A man needs a maid 

A maid

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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