Life Advice



Ask Amy: Woman meets men who want to spar, not spark

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a divorced 52-year-old woman who is experiencing a disturbing situation. Men I meet for possible relationships have what I describe as argumentative personalities.

They are never agreeable with any topics that come up in conversation. The topics range from personal decisions to politics to differences between men and women.

These men come across as misogynistic, condescending, critical of everything around them, and yet they see themselves as decent, normal, good guys who know how to treat women. They couldn’t be more wrong.

They often present topics that are inflammatory and then say women can’t handle the conversations because we are too caught up in our feelings.

I don’t entertain these men for long, but I keep having these experiences. Just what has happened to the art of decent conversation?

After talking to these men for a short period of time the focus turns away from seeking companionship to sparring partners.


I don’t understand it and it is very frustrating.

What is this phenomenon?

– Missing the Art of Conversation

Dear Missing: At the risk of being accused of misandry, let’s state for the record that men undoubtedly also have a laundry list of gender-based frustrations with the women they are meeting.


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