Do All Men Make You Mad? (FemiType #5: The Bitter Woman)

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In an effort to help you understand the man side of this midlife dating experience, I’ve introduced you to The Princess, The 18 Year Old, The Scaredy Cat and The Wow-Me Woman: all FemiTypes* that send good men running.

Today I’m going to talk about perhaps the most challenging of all FemiTypes: The Bitter Woman. She is a little scary, a lot angry, and all about being a victim. Not only does she scare and briefly traumatize the men she meets, but her bitterness probably seeps into all areas of her life.

So buckle your seat belts; this may get a bit bumpy. The good news is that you will probably not recognize yourself here – though I’ll bet you have a friend or someone else in your life who is The Bitter Woman. (These are not women to talk to about your search for love, btw.)

Who hasn’t had periods of feeling bitter? Whether you’ve been passed over for a promotion, had a crappy childhood, or had a man do you wrong, by this time in your life you’ve taken a fair share of hits.

A grownup woman accepts that life does not always go her way. The Bitter Woman does not. She marinates in her victimhood and anger, making most anyone who crosses her path pay for her disappointment. (Especially the men.)

Not coincidentally, The Bitter Woman constantly meets bad men who piss her off. She may start with “He’s great!”, but she will always get to “He’s a total asshole.” When it ends (and it always does), she is even more convinced that all men are jerks. Her toxic anger then reignites, and she is ready for the next target.

When it comes to assigning blame for her crappy love life, she is all about pointing fingers and never about looking in the mirror. It doesn’t occur to her that the lack of a great relationship in her life has anything to do with her. It’s all about lousy men and bad luck.

Perry’s Story

“I actually met her in the grocery store. She was attractive and I liked her spunk, so I asked for her phone number. We had a good phone conversation, and at the end I suggested we meet for coffee. She said something like “Oh…you don’t take women you meet in grocery stores to dinner?” I told her I thought coffee would be a good start, and if we wanted to we could move on to dinner.

I could tell within minutes after we met that she had a chip on her shoulder about me not taking her to dinner. She made a couple of snarky comments about it. And the rest of the time she was bashing her first husband and all her online dating experiences. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! And then she had the nerve to email me wondering when we were going out to dinner. She was scary. I can’t imagine any guy making that woman happy.”

Perry was a nice enough guy. He was making an effort to get to know her. She knew next to nothing about him yet was already assuming he was a cheapskate or a jerk…and he knew it. I’m guessing that she was telling herself something like “here we go again…another one just like the rest.”

He was put off by her demanding, negative attitude and then relieved when he escaped before dinner. In the end he feels he dodged a bullet…and he did.

Bitterness to Self-Awareness

The Bitter Woman has created this hard shell that protects a wounded heart. Her irony is that she just wants someone to love and accept her. (Don’t we all?) But she is the least willing of all the FemiTypes to reciprocate that open acceptance.

She feels damaged by the men in her life. She may have had a nasty divorce, a cheating spouse or boyfriend, or a messed up relationship with her father. (You don’t need to be a psychologist to figure this as a possibility.)

Whether it was one man or many, she hangs on the experiences and uses her anger like a protective shield. That use of blame prevents her from taking responsibility for the relationships in her life, especially with men. She is afraid, but anger is her go-to emotion rather than dealing with what she’s really feeling: fear, insecurity, sadness, etc.

The Bitter Woman careens between self-pity and self-righteousness. She says things like “Those jerks never even give me a chance!, the unsaid being: So there’s nothing I can do about it!

Her self-righteousness comes out as bullying: “What…dinner isn’t good enough for me? Are you cheap or something?” And voila! She creates her own negative reality. (Is anyone having fun yet?)

I admit that The Bitter Woman is challenging. Her transformation begins with taking an honest, sometimes painful look in the mirror. Seeing and accepting that she is the common denominator in all her bad relationships is her first step toward freedom. (If you’ve read my eBook, you know that this was an epiphany that changed my life forever.)

Create a New Reality

Another part of the journey is uncovering your beliefs and assumptions about men, dating and relationships. Men are only interested in sex. Relationships mean giving up your dreams. Men don’t want a woman like me. All the good men are taken. My man has to be/has to do xyz or he doesn’t really care. Dating is scary and you have to protect yourself. Go on…write it all down.

Next, start to validate your beliefs. You have a choice: focus on the guy(s) who did you wrong (at least that how it looks now) and assume they’re all like that OR start gathering new evidence.

Look for the good men around you. Maybe it’s your brother, neighbor, best friend’s husband, chiropractor or co-worker. I’ve never met a woman who couldn’t identify some men in her orbit who were kind and a good partner to someone. Are there really NO good men? Anywhere? Really? And look at their partners. Is it true men don’t pick women like you?

This is part of the work we during Step 3 of my 6-Step Find Hope and then Find Him System: I’m Fabulous So What’s the Damn Problem? We uncover your negative patterns and deep beliefs that have been guiding your interaction with men…probably for a very, very long time.

What you Believe is your Truth. If you see any Bitter Woman in you, you can choose to take personal responsibility for creating your new truth.

I know, because I did this work myself. It took some serious work for me to get past my “Men Are” nonsense. This was stuff I had believed since junior high school. And when I exorcised those demons, all of the sudden I saw good men all around me.

Eventually the One was right in front of me. The old me would have scared him away. The new me attracted him like a magnet. Score!

Thankfully, the vast majority of you rockin’ ladies take your lumps in life graciously. You’ve had your share of disappointments and hurt with men, but you don’t hang on like The Bitter Woman. You know it’s okay to get pissed off, vent for a while, and have a pity party.

Eventually, though, you move on with hope, determination and an open heart. That is the way to find meaningful and lasting love – and peace of mind.

I know this is possible for you: a devoted man, a peaceful heart, and some sweetness in your life every day.


* If you haven’t already, I recommend you read What Dating Is Like for Men (Oh…ya think you know?).

After talking to countless men, I’ve identified the Six FemiTypes: The Princess, The 18 year old, The Scaredy Cat, The Wow Me Woman, The Bitter Gal and the Sex Pot. I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you to help you understand and appreciate the men you’re meeting. This empathy will surely lead you to become a more grownup, compassionate and HAPPY dater and, ultimately, life partner.

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  1. KayNicole says

    This may be an old post but I’m just reading. I don’t think I’m bitter. I think that I’m angry as hell. You mentioned that the woman should look in the mirror. I don’t care how long I look in the mirror, nothing is going to make me blame myself for being repeatedly cheated on BEFORE I found out and no telling how many AFTER a marriage proposal. That’s nonsense. I had an awesome relationship with my father. He passed was a teenager. Have you experienced childhood traumas? It’s easy to say get over it when it’s not you.

    I don’t jerk men around. I don’t deal with them at all. Once thing is for sure, yes, we all want love and to be love and equally return it. Well, I did. I’ve come to the conclusion, that the best way to not have your heartbroken is to not give it away.

    We all have flaws. No one is perfect. It’s makes me sick to read post that are quick to tell someone to run from the bitter person, or leave the person with a mental illness as if they aren’t deserving of the same love and care. Why can’t someone come along that would love the ‘bitter’ person on the days when they aren’t strong enough to love themselves? No. That’s asking too much.

    Just so we are clear, I think that women are just as shady and full of it as the men. I’ll save that for another time.

  2. D says


    Unfortunately, it is “my norm”. Welcome to dating in my area of Texas. But I am in an area that is heavily populated by retirees and families, so there is not a large population of singles. If I don’t do internet dating, I don’t get any dates. It is tricky to find singles in my age group of either gender who have time available for friendship or to go out -though there are lots of seniors and widows who have befriended me.
    Thank you for your well wishes and please keep writing your helpful articles!

  3. D says

    Thanks for the reply, Bobbi!

    I don’t have any “he done me wrong” stories, so I am not bitter. I like men and love my father and have several married men friends, so I highly esteem men and thus am not interested in “male bashing”. I expect the internet dating men to like me when I meet them and am surprised when they tell me (if they do) that I am not what they are looking for or that we have a deal breaker and they do not want to get to know me farther/be friends (or even meet if we haven’t yet).

    What I said in my previous post is what I meant. After meeting lots of men, I have noticed SOME after only a couple of emails or phone calls seem to have a ‘fantasy vision’ of me in their heads. They tell me they are certain they will love me when we meet because they think I am so intelligent, so sweet, and my photo is so nice. Then they find out about something or a deal breaker and don’t even want to take the time to meet me or get to know me- apparently because I didn’t live up to their ‘ideal’. It sounded like what you had written about with the “Wow Me Man”.
    I am really glad you are going to be doing the articles on the Man Types because dating is so new to me. What I have learned in the past year is that mid age men have their own issues and baggage too, and if they drop me cold, disappear on me, or stand me up for a first meet, I don’t need to beat myself up or constantly question what I said or did because his action might not have had anything to do with me. And if I constantly second guess myself, I only end up wounding my self-esteem.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading the Man Type articles (and all of your articles actually) as the only men types I have been warned about are the men that don’t want to work and the wife beaters.

    • bobbi says

      “What I have learned in the past year is that mid age men have their own issues and baggage too, and if they drop me cold, disappear on me, or stand me up for a first meet, I don’t need to beat myself up or constantly question what I said or did because his action might not have had anything to do with me. And if I constantly second guess myself, I only end up wounding my self-esteem.”

      You said it perfectly! Thanks. Though I hope you’re not getting all that crappy treatment. With my experience and that of the countless others I’ve worked with, I can tell you that it is not the norm.

      Stay out there and have some fun. Hugs..

      • lm says

        ” I hope you’re not getting all that crappy treatment. With my experience and that of the countless others I’ve worked with, I can tell you that it is not the norm.”

        I’m not sure how vast your client base is that you’ve worked with, but as another woman who’s been through a lot of what “D” has been through (and we don’t know each other) — as have a fair number of my girlfriends and acquaintances — I think “the norm” is changing.

  4. D says

    Interesting stuff on the “types” of women. How about doing an honest article on the “types” of men we should avoid and the warning signs? It would sure help me as I am new to dating (and I am 44.)
    In the past, I have not understood why I would go on a first meet and never hear from them again. But after reading the few lines you wrote about the “Wow Me Man”, I thought that could have been what I had run into. –It seems some of these men really get a ‘fantasy image’ in their heads of who you are after only a couple of emails/phone calls, and when you meet (or if you explain yourself more on the phone/email before meeting,) and they realize you are not going to live up to their fantasy, they move on. They really are not interested in trying to see who you really are. (The way they express their disappointment can be really ugly too.) At first it was quite startling, but I am used to this now.

    • bobbi says

      Hi “D”.
      Thanks for your comment.I feel for you because I remember those days. I went on over 100 first dates. I remember arriving and instantly thinking he didn’t like me because of the way I looked. I know there ARE guys who won’t go near an overweight gal. (That was my “thing.”) But if you’ve read my ebook I have a section called It’s Not the Size of Your Thighs. In my case I learned it was more about (what I call) my Wall of I Dare You. It was about my ‘tude.

      I’m not saying you’re doing the same, but I would encourage you to be conscious of how you show up to your dates. Are you being positive and friendly? Or are you (like I was) closed down because you’re expecting to be rejected and mad at all the guys before him? It’s really difficult to mask — men are more observant that we may think — and it makes for a bad impression. Just sayin’.

      That said, I”m definitely going to do ManTypes. (Or some such thing.) There are some real losers, bores, superficial non-committals out there, for sure. Here is an article on one type: The Pinger. But here’s why I started with FemiTypes: because we have control only over our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. And what I eventually learned was that I was the common denominator in all my bad experiences. I am committed to helping single women over 40 (who want to) find love, and I know it has to start with them.

      I’m so glad you’re here, D. But if you’re looking for someone to commiserate with about how awful guys are you won’t find it. There are good guys and not-so-good; just like us. But I’m a proud man-lover. I hope you can join me.

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