Guys, isn’t it great that you live in a world that provides you with a restaurant every 10 feet? The modern world exists so that young men no longer have to grow into adults by learning to take care of their own damn self. Permadolescence is a fantastic lifestyle built on the shoulders of the greatest achievement of the 20th Century: Adolescence. There is a caveat though, since Permadolescence is co-opted by marketers of low-value high-margin goods and services, it can be quite expensive. Permadolescents are a new demographic, and they have a lot of gripes with the real world and much of it has to do with the convoluted process of finding a replacement mom-type enabler. One of these constant gripes is the process of dating, that is taking a woman out to dinner. In the 20th century it was common for men to take women out to dinner in order to get to know each other. Men who have achieved adulthood still do this, because they understand how the world works and how this ability is still a gift of modern efficiency. It’s also the very least they can do.

I find it laughable to read countless whining on the Internet about how it is awful that men are expected to pay for a woman’s dinner. This is a true sign of toxicity if I ever saw one. First of all, one MUST initiate a meal invitation before being expected to pay for said meal. If a man does not want to buy a woman dinner, he can simply wait for a woman to ask him to dinner. Problem fixed. There is another way to fix this problem which I will get to later.

When you ask a woman out to dinner, at a restaurant, you are attempting to provide her with a pleasant experience in the hopes of raising your profile and perhaps, being considered ‘intriguing’ so that she might consider the possibility of spending more time with you. The entire world has come together to allow you to do that, without ever having to disclose that you are a loser who cannot cook a decent meal for yourself or anyone else. Isn’t that fantastic?

Restaurants are kind of expensive. If you cannot afford the thoughtfully assembled convenience of a restaurant meal, you can life hack the shit out of this by becoming a competent human being. Basic human competencies are quite varied and becoming rarer by the minute, in our convenience society, but they usually cost nothing but your own time to acquire. And did I mention they are rare? You of all people should understand the value of rarity. I do… I never got a tattoo so that by when the 21st Century arrived, I would be considered different and rare, and it took zero effort on my part! There are literally dozens of internet tutorials available to help you adult the fuck up in every aspect of life. At this very point in time, if you are not a competent human who can take care of yourself, it is a display of willful failure to raise yourself above childhood. And I am not talking about paying your way through permadolescence so that people never find out you are a useless tool, I am talking about developing basic human skills like cooking, hygiene and health, sex ed and basic interactions with other humans. Ideally, you should also know how to fix you stuff, defend yourself and McGyver some shit together. These sustainable skills are the building blocks of a larger life experienced through meaningful moments. The thing is that none of these skill sets are particularly gendered, they are basic human skills.

While you were seduced into a cushy life as a permadolescent, women took this whole living thing to the next level. It took a while though… Throughout the late eighties and early 90s there was an immense backlash against the perfection of Martha Stewart. This disdain was led by women who had to join the workforce because consumerism warped the idea of the basic American lifestyle. Your grandparents were social engineered into a lifestyle that was not sustainable. After the American Dream started to crumble, their daughters, discovered the second and third shifts. If they did not maintain the home, cook and care for the children, the whole family would die of neglect or pizza poisoning. This is a constant struggle and source of stress for married women and mothers. All that Martha Stewart brought to the table in the early 90s was a reminder that three jobs was not enough to have The American Dream of their parents.

However, something interesting happened to their own children. A generation of young women, often teenagers, consumed Martha’s Omnimedia and all the lifestyle gurus that followed. They developed immense knowledge of everything related to beauty, design and lifestyle in general. While lifestyle gurus aim their message at women, they teach the building blocks of life skills such as the ability to cook for one’s self! We saw a huge rebirth of the DIY movement among women and it can be quantified through their use of social media. Most women led businesses have to do with lifestyle skills and enhancing the quality of life. When I look at young women today, I see graduates of the Martha Stewart University.

During all this time young men were offered two of the greatest gifts bestowed on humanity: Video games and free internet porn. As such they were able to spend their day living vicariously through characters who have guns and super powers. While this can be incredibly fun, it doesn’t directly translate into real world skills unless you want to become like your favorite stereotypical TV show anti-hero: The man who gets away with murder. Also, porn is generally produced to make sure you never graduate from it. It is very low on the life skill and emotional nutrition scale. During this time the people who started co-opting femininity and masculinity in the late 20th century continued to weaponize these identities, pitting these two social constructs against each other and dragging these boxes apart further and further. If you arrived in the world 15-20 years ago, you may have bought into “This Artificial Life” hook line and sinker. Today, if you tell a guy to “Be a man”, he is more likely to think you are telling him “Don’t be a woman” rather than “Don’t be a boy”. The math is all fucked up in all aspects of life.

There has never been greater chasm between men and women than there is now in modern society. All societies that force gender segregation abuse the potential of their young men and women to be happy together. In this respect, in the West, women cope by developing their “bachelorhood” and are building a world that will allow them to achieve all their goals outside of having to pick up a second or third shift. If they have the ability to pay the bills, they are opening the door for men who are less interested in the rat race and more interested in using life skills to turn money into quality of life and raise kids.

Women will adopt all lifestyles invented by or for men. Today, on top of becoming lifelong bachelors, it is only normal that they also adopt the permadolescent lifestyle. The biggest area of innovation in business are women wellness products and services. At one point you have to accept that women don’t really need you and that you will have to become the kind of person someone WANTS to be around. But that is not even as important as becoming someone YOU like to spend time with. You will have to spend a lot of time with yourself in the future, regardless.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to harvest other people’s work to impress a woman by taking out to dinner, than do that. However, if you learn to make your own damn sandwich, you might one day be able to make a meal that will not revolt a potential romantic interest. Or at least, you will have the skills to make every single day of your own damn life more tasty.