Both of you guys are right on target, at least from what I've experienced regarding women.
Before I hit puberty I was living in sort of a dream world. Until then my highest ideals were enjoying atmospheres (e.g., the tropical beach atmosphere of palm trees, coral reefs, fish nets, sea shells, etc.), advancing humanity (especially through science), having close friends and family, and maybe some religious ideal that no one could describe to me clearly enough that I could clearly and directly pursue it for myself. My happiest moments at that phase of my life were trips to the beach (especially with girls), going on school field trips to oceanographic places, and watching underwater movies. I had some extremely happy times in that phase of life, though. After puberty females became about 50% of my life. They brought me the biggest highs--incredible emotional highs, higher than in pre-puberty--but also the biggest lows--depression so bad that I wondered if suicide would be better. This is actually typical of adolescence, from what I've read: big highs with big lows. After about my third heart break, that one in adulthood, I wished I had never even met that last lady: the emotional pain from the breakup was so bad that it could never be compensated by anything we had done or could ever do together. I did still try a few different routes with ladies after that, very cautiously, such as older women, physical relationships only, friendships only, but nothing worked. Finally after more awful experiences, in real life and online, I realized that women are absolutely lost, and that they would never be able to relate to me. I could relate to them, but only if I dumbed myself down by going into 1950s mode of doing nothing more with my life than working a steady job and reproducing. Maybe some men can handle that direction in life, but not I.
Where I stand now is I will make one exception with dating if a certain lady from my past becomes available, but no one else. Even that specific lady is objectively deceitful scum, but emotionally I'm still hooked and she was so important in my life that I could overlook the things she did. That relationship might be constrained to a light romance, though, if it ever did happen. Light romance is a compromise and the only way I can see that a long-term relationship is viable for most couples, assuming that there exists any kind of viable couple relationship at all: If you go for a lighter relationship (friendship only), she'll fall in love with someone else and her husband will forbid her to communicate with you. If you go for a heavier relationship (love and babies), it will usually just end in misery for both people. Marriage just doesn't work; the feelings of love are just a biological trick via chemistry to get people feeling committed and having babies, but only for 2-3 years at most. It's a clever biological trick to keep humans reproducing but once you realize it's just a trick, then you realize it's ridiculous and if you fall for it, you still won't be able to keep the lady in many cases after she gets what she wants (children). The last thing the world needs now is more babies, anyway, so what's the point? (Most women either don't look that far ahead, or else do look that far ahead but don't care, as long as they can reproduce as they dreamed of doing ever since they started playing with dolls.) By the way, both ladies I mentioned above got divorced and remarried after they had children. The last one even tried to convince me that she'd *never* get divorced, that that possibility is something her family just doesn't do. Fortunately for me, by then I knew women better than they knew themselves, and my prediction of her divorce--after she cheated on me and married somebody else--came true. For men who get so obsessed with women that ignoring them creates a bigger problem than going with the biological flow, my advice would be the same as the Bibilical advice: better to marry than to burn, but ideally--if you can--leave women alone.
I'd absolutely love to experience those ecstatic highs of adolescence again, but now I know it's just not worth it. Love is like using crack: it brings you extreme highs that you could never experience otherwise, but the long-term price is just not worth it. (https://www.youtube....h?v=KAdRPrXdXTU, https://www.youtube....h?v=OtCVLtcfLi4)
I hope that helps. Maybe my experiences and conclusions will save some men some years of their lives.