What is the most difficult age range in a man's life? (self.asktrp)

submitted by ldnsh001

We all strive to become our best possible self (inner happines + all the rest that follows: fulfilled career, purpose, women, etc) and yes, I know the process is always ongoing. However, what is the most difficult age range throughout the process according to you and why? What is your experience? Would be very interesting to learn, especially from the older members of the community.

Thank you

[–][deleted]  (24 children)


[–]ronsoness 13 points14 points  (17 children)

early 30s here. could you give examples of life repeating itself? i've always thought of life in progressive stages.

[–]randarrow 29 points30 points  (14 children)

In late 30s here, already starting to see this. The expression "same shit different day" starts to apply strongly. People really fit patterns and you see those patterns clearly. But, in addition to Groundhog Day esque repeating, you still don't know what to do about problems.

Example from work, my job is supposed to pay for outside training. Manager has us submit requests for training in January. Manager loses request in April we have to resubmit. Manager chooses cheapest, non work related training in May. Manager forgets to follow up for training and has to rerequest in July. Upper management loses request. In October no budget left for external training. In annual review I'm dinged for not completing external training. This whole process has repeated for last five years with three different managers. Repeat.

The whole women thing. I meet some flirty older woman at a party. We trade phone numbers. We meet for a date. She tries to turn me into some sort of tag along with her friends. When I ignore and keep pursuing she give me the let's be friends talk. I start avoiding her except when necessary, she thinks I'm pissed at her. Repeat.

I workout regularly, and have for seven years. See the same people in my life start working out, the brag and talk about how they are going to train for 5ks. Brag about how much they are doing at the gym. They get offended when people tell them to pace themselves. They hurt themselves, burn out, or get bored. Stop working out and do not work out for years. Repeat.

TV shows have patterns. Fads repeat themselves. People make same mistakes. And on and on.... lots of stories like this and jokes as well. "Same shit different day". "Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps" It's weird to watch family members fight over position of deserts on the table at thanksgiving. It's not bad, but hard not to become jaded. We have to choose whether or not to become the shitty old man, a recluse, or some sort of benevolent big brother.

The patterns can also be comforting and used to your advantage. You can count on there being a bear market about every seven years to present investment opportunities. If someone you care for disappears, you can count on someone else becoming someone you care for. If a TV show you love ends, you can count on a new one appearing. A game you want will be on sale in a year. You can look forward to changes, "Let's see what the disgruntled teens are wearing this year: OOOoh, this time it's purple hair!"

TL;DR You develop a quasi-useless sense of clairvoyance, Cassandra Complex applies.

[–]JackGetsIt 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Great examples, especially the working out one. It's hard to tell someone new to weightlifting or running that they need to dial it back not kick it up. They don't understand. They just continue to push themselves until burn out; they never plan to fail. This is why gyms are such profitable business ventures. Physical development is a marathon not a sprint.

[–]Zaorish9 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Random question since you seem to know about this, I've just started working out regularly, 3 weeks so far, and I've been going on a 20 minute jog at about 6 mph every single day. In addtion I've been lifting weights for 1h, 2x per week. Am I on track for a burnout or taking on too much at once?

I have a lot of little simliar quesitons but not sure paying for a personal trainer to answer them is worth it.

[–]ronsoness 0 points1 point  (2 children)

most important is to just have reasonable expectations. if your goal is to put on muscle mass, for example, you have to accept that you might be the skinniest guy at the gym at first. and maybe so for the next 6 months too. the buff dudes in the gym or the guys doing heavy power lifts go to the gym 4-5 times a week and have been doing so for years, maybe decades. those that don't have reasonable expectations feel like they aren't going anywhere or hit the end of the "beginner's gains" road and then they lose morale and quit... only to come back maybe at new year's.

also, it's important to push yourself more once you feel a bit of plateau. i've been playing basketball for a couple years now. i used to have sore legs for days after, but now, i can recover about mostly after 1 night's rest , so i try go harder.

[–]Zaorish9 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks so much for the advice! Yes, I have been telling myself that it may take 1 year to see any difference or get to those guys' level but at this point in my life, i'm 30, I've tried the neckbeard lifestyle in the past and it was not fun. I'm ready to commit to being healthier whether it gets me more women or not, just for the nice little feeling of pride that one has physically challenged oneself and overcome each day and each week.

I've been increaseing the weights slowly and slowly increased the pace of running as well.

[–]ronsoness 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the interesting thing is that if you eat enough, sleep enough, and do enough exercises (i would recommend circuit training on machines for maybe a month just to get your entire body used to weight training and then moving into a free weight program), you will definitely see some amazing gains in the beginning in terms of size and strength. these are called "beginner's gains" and are a great incentive to keep going. they do plateau after some time so you need to increase weights and change programs.

[–]JackGetsIt 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That would really depend on a lot of factors. Since you are just starting to workout I'd say it's perfectly adequate. Just remember that if life get's stressful you don't toss it all. Have a failure, 'I'm stressed out' contingency. It's better to show up and 20% deload or put in a light 20 minute session instead of not showing up at all.

Do you have monthly and 90 day goals? Those are really critical because making never ending pledges like 'I will jog everyday' or 'I will work out on weekdays' gets really monogamous. Set a simple but more measurable and time bound goal like I will hit the gym twice a week for an hour for 5 weeks with small once a week weight increases and then have an off week where I kick the weights down and create another 5 week goal set.

The cardio could have a pace increase or time increase goal. You can also measure heart rate, fartlek number/intensity, recovery time, etc. There's a lot of different goals to shoot for.

Lastly, don't swing the other direction and over analyze your workout plans. You can paralyze yourself by being to detailed. Pick a simple yet measurable plan and pick an end date that everything can then be re-evaluated; don't change horses in the middle of your plan. Take notes for when the end of the 5 weeks comes and then re-group and re-attack.

[–]Zaorish9 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks so much for the well considered response and especially the encouragement.

The meticulous workout planning is a little intimidating for me but so far I've found my routine challenging yet doable. My goal is to simply increase the weights whenever I can do 16 repetitions without struggling, and increase the cardio difficulty similarly, whenever i feel as though it's a little easy.

I will work on goals however as you advise.

Thanks again for really putting thought into something designed to help another person better themselves.

[–]Trumpanoly 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Diet > Workout.

It doesn't matter how hard you train at gym. Diet is by far the most important aspect to focus on when starting out.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Example from work, my job is supposed to pay for outside training. Manager has us submit requests for training in January. Manager loses request in April we have to resubmit. Manager chooses cheapest, non work related training in May. Manager forgets to follow up for training and has to rerequest in July. Upper management loses request. In October no budget left for external training. In annual review I'm dinged for not completing external training. This whole process has repeated for last five years with three different managers. Repeat.

it's obvious what's going on, they lie to you with full premeditation to save money

[–]randarrow 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Ah, but it's not necessarily a strict lie. People who lack self awareness about these cycles might genuinely believe what they are saying; the those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it thing. What sucks is when they blame me for not following up (do they want me to tell them how to do their job?) or when then inevitable decision time comes up about whether I put my foot down or not.

Is funny though when manager review questionnaires come up and they are shocked to find they are reviewed negatively. My manager got put on review this year....

[–]alpha_n3rd[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One of the patterns that really gets me is the whole 'war is peace' thing. I feel like we've always been at war with East Asia.

[–]ronsoness 1 point2 points  (2 children)

thanks for the long reply. very insightful. somewhat depressing to hear. reminds me of groundhog day + american beauty.

[–]randarrow 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Here you go. I also recommend watching the Beowulf movie done in 2007. Some would say you need to find a chaos generator, some use children for that; but even that eventually becomes a pattern. Some just drown themselves in drugs, alcohol, or stress.

Frankly, if you end up in this particular existential dilemma, figure out how to use the patterns in a pleasant way. You can not predict or time the future, but you can infer, prepare, and hedge your bets.

Ultimately, life has no meaning except that which we give it.

[–]ronsoness 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i appreciate the reference to beowulf. the fallible character of beowulf, who everyone admired, was really amazing. and a great depiction of history repeating itself.

[–]Il128 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Friends getting married, friends getting divorced, situations of every sort start to repeat. What you know about relationships, social interaction, work, kids, on and on.

While you are progressing you are also using wisdom more and more in your everyday affairs.

[–]alpha_n3rd[🍰] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

a fair number of men are working on starting family #2 in their 40's

[–]dadstartingover_com 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Wow... this really hit home. Read and digest this, boys. In my 40's, and it's eerily true.

I was in my late 20's.. tried and failed at a business. Got a regular J-O-B.. which royally sucked. Then got a divorce and kicked my life up a notch. Now I'm in my 40's and guess what I'm doing? My own business again. Back to the same crowd of pie-in-the-sky entrepreneurs and wannabe's who all swear their millions is out there waiting for them. Businessmen trying to take advantage of my kind nature and shaking every last penny out of my pockets.

I've learned a lot from my 20's.. not making the same mistakes again... but damn does this all feel very familiar.

[–]Eyes_Of_The_Dragon 5 points6 points  (0 children)

In my 40s. Can confirm.

[–]Bascome 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Almost 50 myself, everything is correct. There is a reason for the "mid life crisis" although that term comes somewhat short of describing the reality.

[–]BusterVadge 4 points5 points  (1 child)

As a guy in his 40's I totally agree with you. Most of my friends have lost the spark for life that they had in their 20's and are only a hollow shell of what they once were.

[–]Il128 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yep, you talk to them and they look like and act like this. You can see it in their faces.

[–]alpha_n3rd[🍰] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm not even 40 yet and I feel exactly what you describe. I'm old enough that people I know (older people mostly) are starting to die AND I'm old enough to see WHY which is part of why I'm here; lift + eat + sleep == health == wealth.

I feel like I need to jump to a higher level in my career (prob some kind of technical mgmt) or risk being left behind, not right now, but in the next 10 years.

I do feel like I'm going through the motions at work to some degree. I'm still pretty crazy so I'm not afraid to pick a fight with an exec if I feel strongly enough. But I def feel like a drone. Not liking it either, looking to jump ship for an earlier stage startup so I can have more control and a better chance at a payout.

I'm shooting for the strong finish.

[–]bowie747 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I would hazard a guess that it's mid 20s for the following reasons:

  • Teens and early 20s you have no responsibilities and can basically do whatever the fuck you want.

  • Mid 20s you have responsibilities, but usually not the financial security to take the freedom along with.

  • Mid 20s girls your age still have the power over you. They are still in their prime, while you are yet to reach yours.

  • Throughout the 20s most people don't really know who they are yet. This can lead to anxiety.

  • Late 20s men start to find their form, and become more comfortable in their own skin.

  • In late 20s and onwards there are more responsibilities, but if you've been living a life of self-improvement you will be in a good position to handle it.

  • Financial security, physical fitness and charisma are at an all time high and only getting better during late 20s to mid 40s.

[–]1Reddthrown 12 points13 points  (1 child)

I'm 36. It was all easy until I turned 13, then it went to hell until 23, and has improved every single year since then.

[–]BeyondDedication 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Exactly the same experience, 30 now.

Puberty changed things. Then at 23 finally acknowledging my balls had dropped 10 years ago and they serve purpose changed things again.

[–]Bill_Gates187 7 points8 points  (2 children)

was a study where it was around late 20s and early 30s i believe where you start having more negative thoughts.

[–]Imjustkidding 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm fucked then

[–]Bill_Gates187 0 points1 point  (0 children)

things drastically start improving as you get late 30s early 40s. Around 50s/60s is the best time, good social network, you don't care about others think, you have money and health.

[–]hawkeaglejesus 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I think Hollywood is a good reflection of how society views men and women.

The most successful and sought-after actresses are age 15-30. For men it's always 30+, so my answer is going to be 15-30.

Think of every succesful male actor in the past 5 years, how many are younger than 30? Jake Gyllenhaal (35), Chris Hemsworth (32), Ryan Gosling (35), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (35), Bradley Cooper (41), Michael Fassbender (39), Chris Pratt (37), Ryan Reynolds (39), Henry Cavill (33), Channing Tatum (36).

Even the older guys like Hugh Jackman (47), George Clooney (55), and Bradd Pitt (52) did not break through until their 30s.

Looking at Chris Pratt in particular, here's him in 2010 and in 2015.

It's like Aesop's tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Women are the grasshopper that will dance away during their summer's youth. Men are the ant that will work hard so that when the winter of maturity comes, you've set yourself up to live comfortably.

[–]Mudpielol 8 points9 points  (0 children)

for me, it was 14-20. Why? cause I was an extremely shy dude around chicks and you know where that leads.

[–]TankVet 6 points7 points  (4 children)

I think it was early 20s for me. Ambition, fitness, optimism but nobody takes you seriously.

Now, late 20s, I'm a successful professional making a lot of money. Life is so much easier.

[–]awalt_cupcake 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Ambition, fitness, optimism but nobody takes you seriously.

This is exactly my experience. I have the talent and credentials and yet everyone treats me like I'm a punk who is up to no good. So I said fuck it. I'll be that punk. Except on the low I'm starting my own business and building connections.

Basically all ambition, no support team.

[–]TankVet 0 points1 point  (1 child)

The funny thing that happens is that the same women who wouldn't give you the time of day when you were grinding and working and learning will totally disgust you when you start to be successful.

The difference now is that I have money and credentials to do whatever I want.

[–]awalt_cupcake 1 point2 points  (0 children)

lol they already disgust me. I just wanna fuck em and let them go back to their boyfriends.

[–]Imjustkidding 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How do I do the money part?

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I'm over 30 now

I'd say 14-18 is the roughest, then 18-22

[–]Louisie_steezy 0 points1 point  (2 children)

14-18? I mean im only 20. But that can't be as hard as it gets. No way

[–]awalt_cupcake 3 points4 points  (0 children)

lol no, spread your ass cheeks wide and hope you don't sound like a bitch

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

not in terms of responsibilities, but in terms of figuring out social dynamics and setting yourself up for success

if your parents weren't successful, odds are pretty damn good that you're going to be average at best during your high school years. families and schools don't know how to raise boys anymore. you just have to get lucky and grow up close with a friend group who was raised properly, or have a father figure who is worth a damn

[–]ockhams-razor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Any time period where you're married or have a dependent girlfriend. For me it was the late 30's.

Now that I'm 40 and divorced... I feel amazing... but we'll see.

[–]Eyes_Of_The_Dragon 4 points5 points  (3 children)

All of them.

At birth you get part of your penis chopped off without your consent.

As a child you're told that your natural urges are bad and you must be drugged.

As a teen you're taught that you're a rapist waiting to happen.

In college you are constantly reminded not to rape.

In your late 20s you are told to man up and have a wife and kids.

In your 30s you are divorce raped and told her boredom and refusal to communicate is all your fault.

In your 40s you are told to work long hours to cover your alimony and kids.

In your 50s you are told to work harder to pay for your kids' college education and ex wife's new boyfriend.

In your 60s you are told it's your fault you didn't save up for retirement, and your ex ran out of money, and it's your fault.

In your 70s and beyond your kids consider you a burden and can't wait for you to die because they want whatever you managed to save up.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)


    [–]awalt_cupcake 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    Did you not read his fucking post? Dying people in their 70's give out free shit! What's not to like?

    [–]Il128 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I can't think of another misandry trope to toss in!

    The guy must be a blast at parties.

    [–]alpha_n3rd[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It all depends on the person. I don't think there's any one range.

    Childhood was easy, I was a spoiled only child. High school was really hard socially probably because I was a spoiled only child. College was easy b/c I was surrounded by other fat nerd spoiled only children. After college was easy too. Even marriage was pretty easy at first.

    Now that I'm approaching middle age and trying to raise a relatively large family on one income with a crazy wife life has become harder than I ever imagined in every way. In hindsight I wish I'd waited a bit longer to have kids so I could have saved more money and married a better woman. But I'm confident that the worst will be over soon at least financially b/c I do have a pretty good career and I'm certain my income will continue to rise as it always has and my wife is starting to follow my lead (thanks TRP) so things are looking up overall. But I know I'm in for a long haul with my kids, rest of my life really.

    I see a lot of people who peak in highschool or college and just decline from there. Esp women. Loads of used up skanky yocal hick sloots around here. They were probably fucking the QB in high school now they're gro-o-o-ss. A lot of used up low class blue collar chumps too. They were the badass who got laid in HS, now they're either a fatso or a stick and they're pumping my gas or whatever and they look 20 years older than they are from smoking and drinking and living like shit. They're gonna die young and life will probably only get harder and meaner to them. I would say they are on a long decline. A lot of them do a lot of hard drugs AFAICT.

    [–]Nymdox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    [–]brooklynisburnin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I'm 27, so I'd say since my mid/early 20's it's has been a pleasure compared to my teenager years. Like I'm still struggling and grinding like a motherfucker, but now the purpose is clear and the results plenty.

    I think after mid 30's, early 40's I see my life tapering down, for multiple reasons, we'll see.

    [–]jsalathe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Every life is different. Some guys get married young to good women and have a glorious, long life (but they are not on MRP). Other guys have lifelong debilitating diseases.

    Some guys are High School superstars but burnout in their 20's and other guys are HS nerds and blossom in their 30's.

    In general though men do better in their 30's onward whereas women do better in their youth. On balance it is better to be a man.

    [–]PantsonFire1234 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Honestly I think every age range has shitty moments and it just depends on the guy your asking. I would say 15-18 because all the fun shit you get to do hasn't happened yet. Other than that my guess would be 40+ sucks because your really getting old and things get stale. But it's all relative in the end.