Men in their 30s and the Peter Pan Syndrome. What is this dating epidemic and why is it a problem?

Men in their 30s are running around like children, sabotaging relationships and their lives without obligation or thought of consequence. Why?

About the author:

I am a woman in her 30s living in an exciting and lively urban area. I am successful, intelligent, fiercely independent, hard working, beautiful (by my own standards when I’m not PMSing), and multifaceted. I have a wonderful career, worked hard to pursue and complete graduate level education, and I am sane and stable (subjectively). I play various musical instruments, have an array of interesting and active hobbies, have loyal and loving friends and family, and my charm and wit entertain myself and others to no end. I am a catch. Not to mention, severely humble.

Despite all of my offerings, I cannot stop finding myself in the same rut of meeting men who are non-committal, emotionally unavailable, irresponsible on a 12-year-old level, and wandering through life lost and unaccountable for their actions. Moreover, I cannot stop finding myself meeting and talking to women who are also falling victims to this social epidemic. I meet women who are stunning on the inside and out, ambitious, independent, creative, talented, hard-working, and so forth. They are catches. And the presence of a real man evades their lives.

Why are women having a hard time meeting a good man?

After having so many conversations, repetitive and exasperating, I decided it was time to do some research. I furiously began to search for articles, books, and blogs hoping to dissect this phenomenon and how to deal with it. Surely, wikiHow would have a 12 step article on how to meet a nice guy (with pictures, of course). Rather than pay attention to the demanding and contradictory articles on wikiHow, other than for a good laugh, I was drawn more so to psychologically based articles about a syndrome that had actually been termed and was being examined. In fact, this term was even being used to victimize these men and deem them sufferers of this disorder. Seriously?

The Peter Pan Syndrome: What is it?

The Peter Pan Syndrome has its origins in work done by psychologist Carl Jung and was mainstreamed by author Dr. Dan Kiley (1912-1996). For more information on its origins you can read the Wikipedia article or you can buy Dan Kiley’s book.

Basically, it is a term that is given to men who do not grow up in one way, another, or all ways; however, they want all the benefits and accommodations of being an adult: love, relationships, success, money, friends, and a generally happy life. Instead of working for and deserving these elements of life, they want Tinkerbell to come spread her magic fairy dust around them and make it happen for them. I am paraphrasing here, but you get the jist. Poof! Magic! Here’s your happy, unearned life.

Dr. Dan Kiley victimizes those with the Peter Pan Syndrome, and he also gives notice to those who must deal with these men grown children. Empaths discuss the damage these males have sustained in their lives and how we must nurture them into being men. Other articles have urged women to take notice of these males and to stay away from them. I say we need to shine a bright, encompassing light on them and provide a full-length mirror in which they can take a cold, hard look at themselves.

Why is Peter Pan Syndrome as a dating epidemic a problem? Because:

    • Women who are deserving are being mistreated and (once again!) forced into subjugated roles by this male archetype.
    • Societal expectations of how women should function in relationships are incredibly high and, contradictory, put no responsibility on men.
    • Our generation is suffering from high divorce rates, unemployment rates, and exorbitant taxes that are being driven up by irresponsible adults who cost our system rather than contribute to it.
    • People who do not fulfill adult roles at some point in time in their lives become a drain on society and its resources.
    • We need admirable men for our children, economy, and society.
    • Women are working too hard for what they want while men just run around like entitled infants, literally and figuratively screwing all their opportunities away only to have them return and granted to them again.
    • Women and society are accepting this standard and nothing is changing, thus perpetuating a never-ending cycle of Peter Pans running around and, God forbid, reproducing.
    • It’s bull shit. Period.

What I would like to accomplish with this blog?

I want to bring a harsh light to this supposed “syndrome”. I want to discuss it with the anger and disappointment that I have heard from so many women and have felt myself. I will share stories of various traits and scenarios played out by these men and why it is a load of crap. I will more than likely vent, rant, and rave, in order to express the feelings that myself and others have experienced. I will do all of this for one bottom line reason: I want to create change.

Following, you will find blogs with titles that describe these males or the scenarios encountered while dating them (whether experienced by myself or through stories shared by others) and me ripping these actions apart without prudence or discretion.

In the following posts, you will find titles such as: The “I’m in my 30s and am emotionally unavailable”, The “I’m in my 30s and have never done my own laundry”, The “I’m in my 30s and am working a part-time, minimum wage job so I can be in three bands”, The “I’m in my 30s and let my girlfriend pay for everything”, The “I need a mommy”, The “cheater”, The “liar”, and many more compelling and relative titles. Please stay tuned.

End note:

If you are a man and you are reading this thinking, “What about all the good men?”, then I believe you should be a follower of this blog and continue the discussion of its content. It will only help to give value to your type.

If you are reading this thinking, “Oh my goodness! I know these idiots. I have dated these morons. I hate them”. Please, keep reading and feel free to contribute your own stories.

If you are reading this thinking, “Dude. This bitch is a crazy man hater. She’s a psycho, bro”, as you swipe through Tinder while your girlfriend is sleeping and your mom is texting you to remind you to pay your cell phone bill, then print out the transcripts of this blog and tape them to your wall then bang your head against it until you fall unconscious to the floor. Shame on you.
Let’s all hold hands together as we begin to escape Pan…

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4 thoughts on “Men in their 30s and the Peter Pan Syndrome. What is this dating epidemic and why is it a problem?

  1. Wow..sounds like you’ve truly been through hell and back to devote a blog to such an epidemic. Being a fellow same-age but male dater, maybe I can share some insight with you though. Are you simply attracting this type of douche-canoe guy? Are they fronting what you want but pull back once you’ve been on a few dates?
    On the contrary out of the 47 or so women I’ve met off dating sites, all in their 30’s, only 5-6 didn’t live at home with mommy, and I’ll also say less than half had a car – so you are not alone in this.

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    • Hello 30s dater. You have a few points that are interesting here which I would like to address. The platform of this blog is to address a social epidemic of men mistreating women in society as found through countless stories by myself and other women. For you to ask me what I am doing to attract these type of men (or what we are doing to attract these type of men) is asking us to blame ourselves for the mistreatment we have received from men. It seems a bit reminiscent of the “she was raped because she was drunk” argument. No one deserves mistreatment and no one (that I know of) would purposefully attract abusive and demoralizing relationships into their lives consciously. At least not myself or any of the people who have inspired the stories found within this blog. This blog is not meant to psychoanalyze what I have done wrong to attract terrible relationships into my life (I’ve spent much time on that topic).The point of this blog is to help society become aware of a certain type of male that is becoming prevalent amongst our generation so that we may discuss and help those affected by the relationships they endure with them.

      Secondly, you speak of women who are still living at home with their parents and do not own cars. I can see how that may be your way of saying that you are facing the same issues in the dating arena, but I would like to bring up one point: women have been oppressed and subjugated throughout the history of the Earth by men. You have all had access to the highest paying jobs, voting, and government. We, have not. Please read more about the historical oppression of women here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201208/why-men-oppress-women

      I suppose I feel like this would be me speaking of the mistreatment of minority races by the white race, and you comparing how minority races may or may not mistreat white races. Remember, when speaking from a gender or race of privilege towards a gender or race that is oppressed by your privilege, speaking of our assets, value, or income is yet another way for you to dismiss what has historically been denied to us. Besides; I’m not really speaking of a man’s ability to purchase a car in this blog.

      Thank you for your view point, and I look forward to continuing this discussion. I hope you’ll continue to read and I also hope you will be aware and sensitive to your own privilege as a male while you write about your experiences dating women.

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  2. I don’t even know where to start with this – but back to the beginning, no, I am not asking you to “blame yourself” for being attracted to douche bags, but doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results is the definition of insanity.
    This epidemic you speak of really isn’t one, change what you’re looking for and you’ll be better off on your journey of finding love.
    Yes I am white and make well into 6 figures a year and I worked very hard to get here – are you also pseudo saying its MY JOB to take care of a woman that hasn’t even managed to get a drivers license or a place of her own by 33? That is not a “mans fault” at all that she can’t lift off – and I also changed my dating criteria, no job or car – no meet! Getting better results already 😉

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  3. I’ve waited a while to respond to this because I wanted to make sure I am addressing what you are asking and saying clearly. I think you are missing the point of this blog. I also read through your twitter postings, and when I came across one where you talked about a woman’s body “Wow, she must have gained 60lbs between last night and today due to the alcohol I drank”, along with others, I realized we were on a different wave length.

    I believe that this is an epidemic. I believe there are many people who would vouch for me in this. I also believe there are studies discussing this generational shift among us as an epidemic and if needed I will pull and sift through those research articles. You say this is not an epidemic as if what you believe is fact?

    I believe that men mistreat women in various ways, and this blog is addressing the ways I have seen it. The point of this blog is not to discuss how or who you attract (although, hey that would be very relevant for another blog), but how to discuss these men in society and how to get women to understand who they are and to stay away from them all in the hopes that we can get these men to change and stop.

    And no, I do not believe that you should support a woman. I believe that you should realize you are a white, privileged male, and you should take that into account whenever you write about minority races or the opposite sex. Also, I would encourage you to read about the amount of pressure women face in regards to their bodies and the psychological impacts that are imposed on us daily as a result. Then, I would challenge you to consider how men talking negatively about women’s bodies through social media and just in conversation in general contributes to that.

    Thank you for your time in reading my blog 🙂

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