The Great Love Debate: Are Women Scaring Men Off?

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I used to think I knew everything I needed to know about dating, that was, until I walked into the City Winery for The Great Love Debate this past Monday.

Since the tour’s debut in 2014, The Great Love Debate has come to Atlanta on nine occasions, and Atlanta’s dating scene, has drastically improved since then. According to Brian Howie, founder and host of The Great Love Debate, Atlanta used to be known as one of the worst cities for dating.

“There are plenty of men and a little bit of desperation in the air in Atlanta, so it doesn’t bode well. That doesn’t put men on their best behavior,” Howie told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. However, this year, he named Atlanta “America’s Most Improved Dating City.”

The show began with Howie introducing his panel of Atlanta’s best dating specialists ranging from trophy husbands to dating matchmakers. The panelists included, Ashley Chase, Chris Brown (not the singer), Whitney Miller,  Jonathan Sheer, Michele Russo, and Alex Jones.

He then began by asking the audience and panelists a series of questions about the ins and outs of dating and relationships. While there were a plethora of intriguing questions, the one that really got to the root of the dating problems was: “What’s the biggest challenge in dating relationships?”

While we all have experienced dating challenges, it seemed like no one could agree on what the biggest challenge was. The answers varied from lack of common interest, problems from past relationships leaking over into the current relationship, having a backup plan or as an audience member called it, “back burner bitches.” Some people said dating apps were the problem while others claimed it’s the classic lack of communication.

While these all seem like reasonable answers, the central debate for the night was based around the theory that, “Women simply do not need men anymore.”

According to Fortune Magazine, women are more financially independent than men. The idea being thrown around is that women hold themselves and men to a higher standard now. A majority of The Great Love Debate continued with demonstrations and discussion centered on how women are evidently “scaring” men off due to these new standards.

In order to expound on this “women don’t need men” theory, Howie asked many female audience members what they needed men for, and their answers were things like: killing spiders, fixing plumbing, sex, cuddling and companionship. Whether it be for simple repairs around the house or more intimate desires, it seems as though women are being more direct about exactly what they want from a man.

Touching on that theory, Howie talked about how women’s online dating profiles have been speaking for them. For example, women’s Tinder profiles list what they want in a man before they even swipe left. According to a male audience member, “That’s a lot of criteria, and if we need to meet all her criteria, you will be sitting there another 9-8 years.”

One of the panelists, Alex Jones from Love Jones says, “There is a difference between confident and independent.” While some men may be attracted to confidence in a woman, the independent women could be scaring off the men. Howie believes this could potentially lead to socially awkward humans, who turn to the world of sex dolls, seeking emotional stimulation.

But, should the real question be, “do women need to stop “scaring” the men, or do men need to learn to adapt to the modern independent woman?”

Howie discussed his idea for a solution which he called “The Re-masculation of the American Male,” on his podcast.  “You’re going to have to create an environment in your head and around you that gives you confidence,” said Howie. “Don’t rely on her and don’t rely on them. It’s totally on you. If you’re afraid of them, then you’re going to have to do whatever, just like jumping out of a plane. I am terrified of snakes, eventually I’m going to have to deal with a snake.”

According to Howie, “women want to feel special, sexy and safe, whereas men want to be admired, appreciated and needed.” So, what happens when the women feel special and sexy but don’t need men in order to feel that way?

The debate is far from over.

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