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The Relationship Between Love and Commitment

“I don’t quite know

How to say

How I feel

Those three words

Are said too much

They’re not enough”

Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars


In my life six men have said those three words to me. I’ve always believed that three of them were full of crap and three were the real deal, which reflected my belief that love and commitment were inseparable. Specifically, love happens first, which naturally leads to a shared desire for commitment. Certainly this does happen, it’s the backbone of every romantic story ever told. But the longer I think and write about relationships, and the contexts in which they occur, the more I realize there are many permutations of that brew of sexual attraction, intimacy, lust, friendship, love, respect and commitment. When we say we want it all, this is what we’re talking about. We want the fireworks of undying passion, but also the loyalty of an old hound. And we want it now! Looking back, I can see that each of those men felt something different for me, but love was the word each of them used to describe it.

Very few of us have it all. Even in happy marriages, feelings surge and ebb. Passion goes out the window when a child is born. We may lose respect for our mate when they get fired or screw up in some way. Some periods feel more like friendship. Then, surprisingly, it can feel like dating again. Or you look at your partner sleeping one morning and realize how grateful you are to be tethered to this person. Those are the good marriages, those are the lucky people.

For most of us, getting to that kind of partnership is a journey that includes several stops along the way before we reach our final destination, and none of those relationships will look the same. The only ones who understand the nature of a relationship are the two people in it, and even then there’s often confusion. You can never look at another couple and make assumptions about their level of love and commitment. Heck, that’s true even if they’re standing at the altar. Recall my recent post where a young woman was being pursued by a handsome young guy whose Facebook pic was of his January wedding!

Although relationships are scarce on college campuses, they do exist. You can go to any campus and see a few couples holding hands as they walk around. Often these women are the envy of their frustrated female classmates. In truth, though, I hear from quite a few women in those relationships, and I’ve realized that many of them have commitment but not love. This calls into question the meaning or validity of any commitment that’s been negotiated. More often than not, it’s a relationship of convenience.

Trying to put some structure around all the components of love and commitment, I discovered the work of psychologist Robert Sternberg. He developed the Triangular Theory of Love (sorry guys, it’s not a threesome). The three sides of the triangle are Intimacy, Passion and Commitment:


As a managment consultant, I got paid the big bucks to come up with slides like this to puzzle CEOs with, but I find the following chart to be easier to comprehend:


Looking at this chart, I realize that of the six relationships where men told me they loved me, two were Infatuation, one was Empty Love, one was Fatuous Love, and two were Romantic Love (the other real deals). Only my husband and I had Consummate Love.  Viewing love and relationships through this framework has helped me sort out not only my own history, but the enormous complexity of relationships. The biggest mistake that most people make is thinking they’ve got Romantic Love, or even Consummate Love, when in fact they have something considerably less meaningful.

Empty Love

If you have gotten someone to agree to be exclusive with you, perhaps reluctantly, what you have is Empty Love. It’s a contract with absolutely no intimacy or real passion as collateral to back it up. In the past, when women found it necessary to marry a provider, there were many marriages of this nature. Arranged marriages fit this description in the beginning, but may change dramatically over time.

When you see a Player who has a girlfriend, this is almost always the nature of the relationship. Many girls will knowingly accept this deal happily for the social validation they feel in having flipped a cad. However, for her own physical and emotional health, she should be on high alert for cheating. And if it’s long distance with a Player? Fuggedaboutit.

Friendship

A very common error is mistaking intimacy for love, when in reality it is Friendship. Friends with Benefits relationships fall into this category, at least at the beginning. Occasionally, they can produce passion, which may ignite Romantic Love. Of course, if only one person is feeling it, you’ve basically got a ruined Friendship.

Guys often fall into the trap of mistaking intimacy for attraction. Because guys generally don’t invest great energy in platonic friendships with women (not straight guys, anyway), they fail to understand that girls absolutely love having a male BFF. The guy falls for her, finds a way to let her know, and he gets knocked back on his heels with the dreaded “Let’s Just Be Friends.”

Infatuation

Infatuation, or limerence, is defined as a strong feeling of attraction and preoccupation with another person. It’s a crush, and it’s a heady feeling, because all things are possible at this stage. It’s pure passion, and if intimacy develops, Romantic Love is achieved. If not, you’ve got a dead shark.

Hooking up will fall into this category if you’re lucky. That is, if you’re pursued by someone who likes you, instead of being viewed through beer goggles at closing time and dragged off for crappy drunken sex. It’s very common for the woman to nurture the intimacy, and for the guy to prevent her from succeeding. If you watch a college party closely, you will often observe a fair amount of girls and guys ignoring one another. That usually means they hooked up and it didn’t end well.

Fatuous Love

A relationship that starts off with great passion and intensity sometimes leads to a commitment, even though the stability of real emotional intimacy was never introduced. Most drama-filled relationships with crazies fall under this heading. This kind of relationship can be addictive, because it has all the excitement with none of the hard work. Of course, there’s hell to pay afterwards, but most people who go for this kind of relationship experience keep repeating the same mistakes. This is where the bad boys and psycho chicks can be found. There are no functioning LTRs in this category.

Most of us hope for a Romantic Love that grows into a Consummate Love. That’s a precious thing, and not uncommon despite all the bumps and heartache along the way. It requires great patience, and you must find someone to meet you halfway. The nature of relationships means that you’ve only got what the least invested person wants, so it pays to be honest with yourself about what kind of relationship you’re in, and what kind you want.

This leads us to the rather obvious conclusion that not all commitments are created equal. Most often, women feel ready for commitment before men do (shocker, I know). You can’t rush commitment, or wrangle it from a reluctant partner, and still have integrity in a relationship. Most women will need to seek men who are commitment-friendly. This can be determined early and easily by looking at a guy’s history and behavior, as I’ve detailed here.

If you’ve fallen for someone, and they’re commitment phobic, Rich Santos, blogger at Marie Claire, may be able to tell you why:

I can tell you that I do fear commitment. Commitment means that I’ve decided that the woman I’m settling down with is perfect and there is no one else out there for me. Commitment means I’ve found my soul mate, that I am completely secure with myself, and that there should be no going back. I don’t know about you, but all of that is pretty heavy. I think the old adage “Girls mature faster than boys” comes into play here. Commitment is a sign of maturity, and it just takes some of us longer.

11 Reasons Guys are Afraid to Commit:

1. He Still Wants To Play The Field

Once a guy commits, he will lose the right to date other women. Most guys try to hold on to this right as long as they can, especially when they are not sure what they are looking for.

2. Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys

“Committing” means “growing up” to some guys. And a lot of us guys don’t want to grow up, or we want to delay the process of growing up as long as possible. Commitment is a sign of maturity, and some guys are simply too immature to commit.

3. There’s Someone Else

It’s hard for a guy to commit to one woman if he’s got others on his mind– imagine trying to commit if you had a couple of guys on your mind.

4. He’s Got Other Priorities

In life, it’s tough to balance love, family, work, etc. If there are things in his life that demand more attention than his love life, he’ll commit to the other stuff and deal with love when he can.

5. He’s Got Baggage/Afraid of Intimacy

We all know my head is messed up from my crazy family, my terrible experiences, and all of my mental downfalls. Maybe he’s had a bad experience with a past girlfriend, or he’s a child of divorce. Unresolved pain in his past can prevent him from committing.

6. He’s Afraid It Won’t Work Out

Committing involves risk. You are essentially taking a plunge, and investing energy in the relationship. Some people feel that it’s not worth a try unless it’s 100% certain it will work out. But, you can never really be that sure of things, and that unknown keeps some people from committing.

7. None Of His Friends Have Committed

If you are able to get the first guy of his group of friends to commit, I commend you. Most of us guys want to commit eventually, but we don’t want to be the first one, and there is respect among guys for the last single guy in the group.

8. He’s Only In It For The Sex

Sadly, some guys are just out to conquer women. Keep a close eye on things so you’re not a victim. Usually, if you have a gut feeling that this is the case, you are right.

9. He’s Still “Selfish”

Committed relationships are acts of selflessness. We are giving ourselves and our time and energy to one another. I know that I’m still in a selfish period in my life: I’d rather wake up at 10 AM on Sunday and read about The Sex Pistols and Maryland History on Wikipedia instead of waking up at 9 AM and going to brunch with a girlfriend. Someday we all get less selfish with our time, but when that occurs differs for everyone.

10. He’s Not Into You Enough To Commit

Most of the reasons a guy won’t commit have to do with the guy. But he may see you as a fun person to date, but never thought of you as someone he’d commit to in the end. It’s tough to swallow when this is the situation, but sometimes it’s easier to resolve it in your mind this way and move on.

11. You’re Pressuring Him Too Much To Commit

If he’s going to commit, let him come to that moment on his own. If you continue to bring it up, he may become bitter and annoyed at the whole thought of it. You’d rather him come to the decision to commit naturally on his own, and not because he was pressured to do so anyway.

Let’s face it, none of these reasons are mutually exclusive. The fewer of these that resonate for you, the better your chances. Often it’s better to move on.

Do you recognize your relationship in one of these combinations?

Guys: What can women do to make you want to commit? Do men want Consummate Love as much as women do, and is it all about timing?

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Most Desis would balk at the idea of “commitment only” being regarded as “empty”.

    It is only from a place of commitment that true love can grow.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      That’s why I mentioned arranged marriages. When the commitment is the starting point, intimacy and passion can indeed grow, though it doesn’t always happen, obviously.

      In Empty Love relationships among young Americans, the “commitment” is usually the end point of rather tortured negotiations and ultimatums. True love is possible, always, but not likely in this scenario.

      • Michael

        That’s why I mentioned arranged marriages. When the commitment is the starting point, intimacy and passion can indeed grow, though it doesn’t always happen, obviously.

        In Empty Love relationships among young Americans, the “commitment” is usually the end point of rather tortured negotiations and ultimatums. True love is possible, always, but not likely in this scenario.

        The reason commitment is the end point is that we do not want to commit with the wrong person.

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    My two most recent committed relationships, I committed for different reasons.

    In one case, I was swept away. I loved the woman so much I didn’t WANT to be with anyone else.

    In the second, I commited because the woman treated me so well she won me over.

    Both relationships had different dynamics to them, but I was happy in both and wouldn’t rate one as being ‘better’ than the other.
    .-= dan_brodribb´s last blog ..Giving and Receiving =-.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    I had a man FORCE his commitment on me. I didn’t ask for it. It was a case of him being afraid of “losing a good one”. He came from an area where the only type of woman was one with 3 kids by 3 different men by the age of 23. He liked “hot looks” but all the “hot” looking women had major Baby Daddy Drama. I think I was the first non-promiscuous, childless, baby-daddy-drama-free women he had ever met in his life (outside of work, where those women wouldn’t have given him the time of day anyway). So he latched onto me like a newborn to nipple. I don’t think he was even initially sexually attracted to me at all. I think he CONVINCED himself to be so, to make being with me easier for him. But he wanted to be with me because I don’t think he thought it was ever possible for a man like him, from his background, to even meet a non-ho, what to speak of bond with one. So when he met one – he didn’t want to let her go.

    It took a while but I was finally able to disentangle myself from him.

    Now he’s with an older woman, who he managed to trick into committing to him by getting her pregnant. She married him to give the baby a stable two-parent home. She works hard all day and he’s Mr. Mom, at home with the baby, and the TV, and the internet, and the beer and the ganja.

    I wonder how long it will last?

    Funny, but I suspect it might last a long time because even though he’s poor, he’s “cute” looking, and she probably can’t get anyone else now that she’s a Mom.

    • Michael

      Funny, but I suspect it might last a long time because even though he’s poor, he’s “cute” looking, and she probably can’t get anyone else now that she’s a Mom.

      As long as it all works out in the end…

  • Ysabelle

    When it comes to commitment for men (if commitment is equated to marriage), there’s an interesting book that sheds some light on it. It has nothing to do with the woman per se, but when the men reaches the “age of commitment”. The cover of the book is really cheesy and sounds better off in the southern belle romance section , but it is actually based on empirical surveys of 2543 women and fiances in marriage bureaus.
    “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others: The Fascinating Research That Can Land You the Husband of Your Dreams”
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Marry-Some-Women-Others/dp/0446531138

    So basically the take away from this, if you believe the facts, is (1)seriously not stress out so much about finding a boyfriend during your college years because the likelihood they will commit is pretty low, esp if he is one of those “educated” types, or (2) find an older man, but which 18 yr old is about to connect with a 28 yr old? (3) the exception is somehow find someone that is serious which will propose right after college.

    Facts lifted from book:
    Most men who graduate from high school start thinking of marriage as a real possibility when they are 23 or 24

    Most men who graduate from college don’t start considering marriage as a real possibility till they’re 26

    When men go to graduate school it takes them longer to get into the working world, and they’re not ready to get married until a few years after that

    90% of men who have graduated from college are ready for the next step btw 26 and 33, that’s when they are most likely to consider marriage. This window of opportunity stays open only for 4 to 5 years, then the chances a man will marry starts to shrink

    Majority of college graduates btw 28 and 33 are in their high commitment years and likely to propose.

    Period for well-educated men in their best age of commitment lasts just a bit over 5 yrs.
    Once men reach 33 or 34 the chances they’ll commit start to diminish, but only slightly. Until they reach 37, they are very good prospects.

    When a man hits 42, he’s likely to be a confirmed bachelor.

    Exception: when man and woman meets in school and are series couple likely to get married right after school finishes.

    • Michael

      the exception is somehow find someone that is serious which will propose right after college.

      That would have been me, if there was someone to whom to propose.

      • Polyamorous Desi

        Sweet, caring, loving, loyal and compassionate women are out there Michael. However, they might not LOOK how you want them to look.

        • Michael

          Sweet, caring, loving, loyal and compassionate women are out there Michael. However, they might not LOOK how you want them to look.

          How might these women look?

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Some of them might be fat. Some might have acne or scars. Some might be cross-eyed. Some might have bushy eyebrows. The list goes on.

        • Michael

          Some of them might be fat. Some might have acne or scars. Some might be cross-eyed. Some might have bushy eyebrows. The list goes on.

          Fat women should lose weight.

          I am not fat, and I do not even need to keep track of my diet to avoid being fat.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Or maybe you should train yourself to be attracted to fat women.

        • Michael

          Or maybe you should train yourself to be attracted to fat women.

          Why should I want to have sex with a fat woman?

          If they want some men, they should lose the weight .

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Oh lordy, Polyamorous Desi and Michael seem to be in perfect sync here. I read PD’s comments – she’s pushing a bushy browed, cross-eyed woman with acne scars and Michael is earnest but less than enthused. Is anyone else finding this funny?

        • Polyamorous Desi

          No Susan, I’m not pushing anything or anybody. The thing is – men complain that women don’t want them but the women that MIGHT want them – the men might not want either, and all because of some superficial physical reason. See Esau’s recent comment and my reply to him as well. If men can be picky about looks, women can be picky about looks as well, or anything else they want to.

          If you want a loving and compassionate woman, they are out there. But you may have to compromise in another area – such as weight or skin condition.

          I’m just sayin’……………

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife….

          I actually agree with this point, though I do think you ask a bit much with those particular examples. Actually, I know a woman with severe acne scarring, and despite that she is the most elegant woman I have ever met.

          I often hear people say that a lot of men who aren’t getting laid are aiming way too high. I don’t have any idea if this is true. I know that men are looks-oriented, but seriously, both men and women need to do a realistic assessment of their market value and strategize accordingly. For this purpose, looking in the mirror is a terrible method. Counting the number of heads you turn is a more reliable gauge.

        • Violet

          I think the point is guys and girls need to stop being shallow and overlook some physical attributes.

          Of course, nobody wants to date somebody who looks a like troll (no matter if the troll is the kindest, sweetest person ever), but at the same time, if somebody who would otherwise make a good match has acne scars, are you going to say, “No way. I would rather go for the hot slut.”

          And weight? Oh boy, not even going to go there.

        • Michael

          And weight? Oh boy, not even going to go there.

          Weight can be lost (or gained).

        • Il Capo

          @ Susan: the trolls are feeding the trolls. I thought Michael was another persona of PD. I still do, actually. Even if IPs are diff, she (he? it?) could be using proxies.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Ysabelle, that’s interesting data – basically, it sounds like for men it really is about timing. Men want to a) sow their wild oats and b) have achieved financial stability in their careers.

  • GudEnuf

    12. He’s afraid you’ll change.

    Maybe you’ll gain wieght when you get older. Or perhaps you’ll change your attitudes about things that are important to him (ie. getting annoyed at things you used to be okay with).

    • Polyamorous Desi

      Change is inevitable. The only constant in this world is change. People who fear change should not be getting married.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I constantly hear this as a huge fear – will she gain weight? Will she let herself go? What does her mother look like? The truth is, the hot guy with washboard abs and visible inguinal creases is just as likely to have a beer gut and man boobs in the same timeframe. Yet you never hear women freaking out about this possibility.
      A word of warning to guys: if you EVER criticize or nag a woman about her weight, you deserve to be dumped on the spot.

      • mgambale

        It’s a huge fear for me, Susan. I’m very thin in my mid-twenties, which I’ve come to realize isn’t considered a plus-factor by many women my age. But perhaps they’d look on my body differently if they knew that both of my grandfathers are similarly thin and active in their nineties, and that at least one of my great-grandfathers walked to his hundredth birthday party. How many obese people do you know who even reached their eightieth? If any, how long were they active? I think it’s quite the opposite of shallow to dread being tethered to an infirm spouse during my golden years to the extent it can be avoided by virtue of sustained commitment to proper diet and exercise on her part.

        Also consider a few other qualities that some might call superficial, but which I view as manifestations of character traits and practices that I value. Healthy teeth and gums, for instance. Good posture and coordination. Although excellent genes may favor some women in these respects, my standards can be met with effort as well.

        I certainly wouldn’t expect my wife to be as sharp and sprightly as an eighteen-year-old for forty years — that would be shallow — but I shouldn’t have to nag her to brush her teeth, stand up straight, or take whatever steps are necessary to maintain a healthy BMI.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. It’s natural for both men and women to seek health and vigor in a mate. It seems to me that in general, you can tell a lot about a person’s prognosis for continued health by observing their habits when they’re young. A woman who is physically active and eats well in her 20s is unlikely to become obese later – she has already internalized healthy behaviors. Conversely, a woman who indulges in smoking, excessive drinking, junk food, etc. is almost certain to age poorly. Observing a person’s general tendency toward impulsiveness is another good way to gauge this.

          It seems to me that if you know someone well enough to consider committing to them, you already have a pretty good idea which group they’re in.

          By the way, women who have a disordered relationship with food, e.g. anorexia or bulimia, are far more likely to become obese later. They can’t regulate properly and tend to have large swings in weight over the years.

          FWIW, my husband is really thin. Our first year together I went to buy him a shirt for Christmas. The saleswoman asked me his size, and I said what he had told me: 15-35. She said, “Oh my, you got yourself a tall skinny fella!” He sure can wear clothes well, to this day. I imagine he’ll walk to his own 100th bday party.

        • mgambale

          I agree with everything you wrote, too. But I confess my insecurity on this point will only be relieved by extremely diligent investigation. When my judgment is impaired by emotion, it’s not going to be easy to tell the difference between discipline suffered for youthful vanity and discipline that’s going to make a girl happy for the rest of her life. Moreover, while I realize that disciplined young adults aren’t likely to let themselves go altogether, there are people whose genetic destiny is to sharply depreciate at a young age unless they sustain an ascetic lifestyle that would exhaust Superman.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Genetic destiny – that is a killer. Hence the suggestion that you check out her mother!

      • Il Capo

        “…if you EVER criticize or nag a woman about her weight, you deserve to be dumped on the spot…”

        Now, don’t get hasty. It can be done in a way which will make her take her health seriously.

        Let me try and use an analogous comment, and see how you react:

        “…if you EVER criticize or nag a man about his smoking, you deserve to be dumped on the spot…” Do you agree?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Hmmm, fair point. I guess it depends on what we mean by criticize or nag. As you say, it’s possible to express real concern for a loved one’s health while affirming your love for them. Here’s an example: A woman has a baby, and retains 15 lbs. of the weight. Her husband should not say a word for some period of time – say, 6 months. Why not? Because you’re not telling her anything she doesn’t know. It’s really hard, she is upset already, just let her gradually get herself back into shape while she’s caring for an infant, and make it clear that you desire her even with that extra 15 lbs. If six months goes by and she hasn’t lost the weight, she’s likely to be distressed about it. It would be constructive and helpful if you acknowledge her dilemma, and ask how you can help. You’d be willing to eat whatever she feels would be healthiest for her right now, etc. However, if the months are going by and she’s watching TV with Ben and Jerry it’s certainly legit and appropriate for you to express your concern about her health. Furthermore, if she asks you whether you find her less desirable, you can and should be honest.

          What I object to is any kind of ridicule or second guessing. “Are you sure you want to eat that?” “What happened to the girl in this photo? I guess your bikini days are over!” This is extremely common, and it’s also extremely unproductive. Also, it goes without saying that embarrassing a woman in public or at any gathering is completely unacceptable.

      • finsalscollons

        I constantly hear this as a huge fear – will she gain weight? Will she let herself go? What does her mother look like? The truth is, the hot guy with washboard abs and visible inguinal creases is just as likely to have a beer gut and man boobs in the same timeframe. Yet you never hear women freaking out about this possibility.

        Of course not. Susan, it amazes me that you disregard that physical beauty has not the same importance for men that women. Read any book about evolutionary psychology (for example, the Red Queen). Women prefer men with status and men prefer women who are beautiful. This is consistent IN EVERY CULTURE OF THE WORLD (statistics are available) and reflects the different sex roles (men seek fertility, that is beauty – women seek men who are able to invest in the offspring). This is wired and it is part of the human nature.

        (Of course, both men and women prefer partners with status and beauty but if a tradeoff must be made, men prefer beauty without status and women prefer status without beauty).

        The female equivalent of a woman gaining forty pounds is a woman who marries a man who is successful and then, the man decides onehandedly that he is going to stop working and live in their parent’s basement playing videogames. Which women would not feel betrayed by that and rightly so? If the man repplies “but you only want me for my money”, would this not be shaming language and unfair for the woman?

        Not that men don’t understand that you can’t have a 20-year-old body for the rest of your life. But many women who managed to be reasonably fit before the wedding, start gaining weight after very quickly. Wedding cake is the food with more calories in the world. This amounts to bait-and-switch. This story explain it better than I could with my broken English. http://www.seattlepi.com/hax/383866_hax20.html?dpfrom=thead

        A word of warning to guys: if you EVER criticize or nag a woman about her weight, you deserve to be dumped on the spot.

        This is really the worst sentence I have seen you write, Susan. Men need to see women pretty in order to be able to love them. It is not that we want to be this way. It is that we are wired this way by biology (Personally, I would prefer not to be this way, because this gives me problems).

        It is this trend that made our species successful. If you were born, Susan, is because your father found your mother physically attractive enough. Trying to shame men for being the way they are is only misandry.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          finsalscollons, I think you have misundertood my meaning, so let me clarify what I said, which was in response to a commenter that listed fear of a woman’s gaining weight at some future date as a reason to withhold commitment now.

          First of all, I do understand that men are highly visual and that a woman’s appearance is very important for sexual attraction. Second, I do not believe that anyone should have to date, commit to or marry anyone that they are not sexually attracted to. The article you linked to was a letter sent to Carolyn Hax, an excellent advice columnist. I have no problem with her telling an engaged guy that he was not obligated to go through with a wedding where his fiance had gained 45 lbs. and made it clear she had no intention of losing it. Apparently, she had gotten slim to attract a man, then lazily regained the weight once she had ensnared him. Clearly a case of false advertising.

          However, that is a far cry from men refusing to commit to a woman they care for because they worry that at some point in the future she might gain weight. At best, this is an overly cautious approach, and impossible for the woman in question to address. We may assume she is not currently overweight, she exhibits reasonable eating habits and self-discipline, yet the man she loves (and who may well love her) is saying that he just can’t take the chance that someday she might get chubby.

          I believe that level of fear is irrational. That level of fixation on a woman’s looks spells trouble for any relationship. Women go gray. We get wrinkles. Our necks get crepey. Our breasts sag over time. The skin on our slim thighs starts to look like corduroy over the years. We have c-sections if we’re unlucky (I’ve had two) and that leaves an indented scar. Our upper arms get jiggly. Most or all of these things will happen to every single woman, no matter how careful she is in her habits, or how beautiful she was to begin with. And yes, many women will put on some weight. In truth, most women look better with a few additional pounds when they reach middle age – otherwise they look gaunt and drawn. Women gain weight during pregnancy, and it can take several months or even a couple of years to take it off again. Will you find your wife repulsive after she has borne your child?

          What I object to is not men preferring a thin partner, or even expressing in a loving way that they are concerned about their loved one’s health, as I said to Il Capo above. What I object to is men who criticize or nag women, especially in public. Many men demean women in this way without a thought, have no idea how hurtful these off the cuff remarks can be. Here are some examples of remarks I’ve heard men make to women within the last few months:

          1. Girl bends over to pick up something she dropped at a party. Guy puts his foot against her butt and pushes, “Saying, whoa that ass is getting big!”

          2. Girl tells guy that she has to go to the gym before she can see him. Guy responds, “Good, you should be going to the gym every day.”

          3. Girl helps herself to food at a funeral buffet. Guy says, “You keep eating like that and we’ll be having one of these for you soon.”

          I don’t know where you’re from, but this kind of remark is extremely common from American men. Those are the men who deserve to be dumped on the spot, IMO. That’s my position and I’m sticking to it.

  • Michael

    The foundation for commitment is loyalty.

    Sadly, too few people learn this virtue of virtues.

  • Ysabelle

    just to comment: for the sample where couples were serious and got married straight out of college, it constituted a significantly small portion of the survey and the woman was the one to push and instigate for the marriage.

    Here’s a link to the summary of the book I found:
    http://bookoutlines.pbworks.com/Why-Men-Marry-Some-Women-And-Not-Others

  • Vincent Ignatius

    I take issue with #2. Females mature faster than males up to the late teens, but the females of my generation seem to have fallen behind men in maturity by their early 20s. I see an army of young women deluding themselves into thinking they can have Mr. Big, while the men are wising up to the reality that marriage is a bad deal for them. This applies to the Anglosphere. Latin American females seem to be more mature than their male counterparts at all ages, thought this is changing with the influence of North Americans.

    Guys: What can women do to make you want to commit?
    If commitment means no sex with other women, then the girl I commit to needs to have the ability to shape shift. No man is truly satisfied with the sex of one woman.

    Do men want Consummate Love as much as women do, and is it all about timing?
    Yes, but we’re far more likely to compromise and get 2 out of 3 with one partner and the missing element from another.

    By the way, there’s a PUA routine that uses the triangular theory of love.

    • Polyamorous Desi

      The polyamorous route might be best for you. You’d be surprised at how many women are open to the idea of “open marriage” and getting the “missing element” from someone else, relieving you of the burden to be SUPERMAN. They have websites and everything now.

      She’s out there.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hmmm – I want to make sure I understand this. Are you saying that it is immaturity that explains women wanting Mr. Big? Because I think that’s more related to personality traits and the natural tendency of women to want a dominant male.

      Are you also saying that men are mature if they realize marriage is a bad deal? Honestly, it sounds like you are spending a whole lot of time on the Dark Game/MRA sites. The truth is, 80% of men in their 20s intent to marry. That number is down slightly, but hardly indicates a widespread cynicism about marriage. Marriages that end badly tend to be a bad deal for men. Marriages that succeed significantly enhance happiness, satisfaction and life expectancy in men.

      When you say Latin American females are mature, do you mean that they are happy to bang repulsive guys like Roosh with no commitment? Because that’s what he’s all about, with his field reports from Brazil. If so, your definition of mature is rather unorthodox.

      You’re wrong about no man being satisfied with the sex of one woman. I know one who is, and I’m quite sure there are millions more like him. Uninhibited sex with someone you are totally in love with trumps all other sex, hands down. The brain is the most powerful and important sex organ, and it goes into overdrive with a beloved partner.

      I’m interested to hear about that PUA routine – I’m surprised that Game would even address love, as it is designed to “get beautiful women into bed” (Mystery).

      • Vincent Ignatius

        It’s immaturity that is causing women to think that they can actually have Mr. Big. A couple generations ago, 99% of grown women knew they weren’t good enough for Mr. Big so they settled for Mr. Good Enough, no shame in that. Women now think that because a dozen alpha males bothered to bang them, maybe even date them, that they can actually win one of these men for marriage.
        The NPV of marriage is negative for a man in the Anglosphere. Of course good = good and bad = bad, but weighing the probabilities, marriage is a bad investment for a man.
        I’m sure I’m right about no man being satisfied with only one woman for sex. The only way this could happen is if that man did not know about the existence of other women. Give the betaest beta the most beautiful woman in the world, and I guarantee you that after a year or two, he will want nothing more than to bang the cute girl who cuts his hair. This doesn’t mean he won’t settle for monogamy, but it’s not what he really wants. We all make compromises in life.
        I forget the routine exactly, but I remember it essentially involves explaining the love triangle and much of what you’ve explained here in a more emotional way.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I agree that monogamy is a compromise, which suggests that it confers benefits that mitigate the loss of sexual variety. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference. For the record though, you don’t get to slice and dice Consummate Love among a variety of partners, LOL! You can mix and match Empty Love, Fatuous Love, Friendship, Infatuation, but Consummate love = monogamy.

        • Dilithium

          “I’m sure I’m right about no man being satisfied with only one woman for sex.”

          Gotta disagree with you here, VI. Personal experience: my wife and I have been together 15 years, and everything just keeps getting better. Other women cross my field of view — we don’t live on an island, after all — but the main thing that happens is that, as time goes by all other women seem less and less interesting compared to my wife. Just thinking purely selfishly, why would I take up with anyone else, when it would mean taking a step down? Variety for its own sake is just not that strong a pull, especially when weighed against a fun and fulfilling relationship.

          You might forecast that things will change; but 1/3 or so of my life so far is a pretty strong track record. You might still be 99.9% correct, but I don’t think you can claim all the way to 100.0%.

        • Il Capo

          Yeah, I’m with you. I’ve been experiencing this effect for a while.

          Women get an alpha to pump and dump them, and they assume their attractiveness is enough to get the same guy to commit. The fact that they can’t doesn’t tell them that they are not good enough for those guys. All they think is that they’ve been unlucky or that all men they met were pigs.

          The end result is looks inflation. In the end, that means that if you are to approach girls you should better approach the better looking ones. The uglier ones will be as hard to game and the rewards will be much less.

          So: in room full of 7s and a 4.5s, go for all the 7s. the 4.5 will sh!t test as much and will reject you as much as the 7s.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Hint: If there are any 9s or 10s in the room, take your shot. You’d be surprised how many guys won’t risk the rejection. Men are always saying that the hottest women get hit on constantly, and it’s true, but it’s overtly sexual attention from cads.

        • GudEnuf

          I’ve heard that in large groups, the most attractive women actually get less attention the almost-the-most-attractive women. Men get intimidated by the hottest women, and compromise by going for next notch down. “Girls are like apples”, as they say.

          I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s what I’ve heard.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I personally know several young women that I would objectively rate 8 or 9, getting no love at all.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Why do you think that is?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I explained it two comments above.

        • Dilithium

          Which is “two comments above” is hard to figure out! with all of these nested lists growing all the time. Susan, your comments section is a great success, but is showing some growing pains as a result. Would it be possible to give each comment some kind of unique index or serial number? without giving up the nesting replies? Also, would it be possible just to have the comments appear in a horizontally wider space on the page, which would shorten everything vertically?

          ———–

          Now regarding this observation, “I personally know several young women that I would objectively rate 8 or 9, getting no love at all”,
          I don’t know what to make of it because I’m not sure what you’re encoding in the word “love” here. Can you possibly mean “attention”? Unless the laws of physics are different in Boston than in the rest of the world, I simply don’t believe that 8- or 9-class attractive women are not getting any kind of attention from men, assuming they haven’t locked themselves in a nunnery of some kind. If the result is not much “action”, ie dates, meetings, hookups, whatever, then it must be that these women are simply turning away all the attention they do get. I don’t necessarily blame them for being picky, but they should be willing to face the truth: if you reject everyone who approaches you, and you don’t do the work to approach anyone else, then, yes, you won’t get any “love”. Can you disagree?

          .

          Though I hate to harp on it, there may be a bit of unconscious solipsism going on here. Only a beautiful woman can turn down ten propositions in one day, and then in the evening lament “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me out?” When she says “I don’t get any attention” it really means “I don’t get any attention from Mr. Big, ie the top 1% of men that I really want.” I don’t know their situations in any detail, obviously, but I would be willing to bet heavily that these women you describe are exhibiting this exact behavior, even if they don’t realize it: they are turning down men in droves (refusing eye contact, brushing off approaches, etc) and not even remembering that they did it! And so their subjective impression is that they’re not getting any attention, while an objective video record would show otherwise, that they’re really just very picky. (As I said, I don’t think it’s wrong to be picky, but one should be honest about it.)

        • Michael

          Though I hate to harp on it, there may be a bit of unconscious solipsism going on here. Only a beautiful woman can turn down ten propositions in one day, and then in the evening lament “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me out?” When she says “I don’t get any attention” it really means “I don’t get any attention from Mr. Big, ie the top 1% of men that I really want.” I don’t know their situations in any detail, obviously, but I would be willing to bet heavily that these women you describe are exhibiting this exact behavior, even if they don’t realize it: they are turning down men in droves (refusing eye contact, brushing off approaches, etc) and not even remembering that they did it! And so their subjective impression is that they’re not getting any attention, while an objective video record would show otherwise, that they’re really just very picky. (As I said, I don’t think it’s wrong to be picky, but one should be honest about it.)

          And why, if they want to hook up with Mr. Big, do they not approach Mr. Big?

          Do they expect everything in life to fall in their lap?
          .-= Michael´s last blog ..Michael was tagged in this photo. =-.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Dilithium, first I want to thank you for the feedback about the comment system. I am thrilled with the level of discussion, but you’re right – it’s unwieldy. The comments do have serial numbers, next to the Delete option. Or perhaps those are only visible to me? I will investigate. Many blogs don’t even bother nesting, but I think it would be very difficult to talk to each other then. As for the width, I’m afraid that may be fixed due to the sidebar. DISQUS was the worst for this – this system isn’t great, but it’s the best I can find. One thing I could possibly do is permit fewer nestings. It’s currently set at 10 – I could set it at 5, then if people wanted to address someone specific they could open up a new comment underneath and either use the serial # or @Dilithium.
          As to your point: I actually meant “love” literally. I’ve written about this before. Extremely attractive women usually get approached by only the most hardened cads. Men who have almost no fear of rejection, in other words. They’re often disrespectful and blatantly sexual in their attention. There are quite a few women who find this extremely discouraging and off-putting. Occasionally, a guy with very tight Game will feign a long-term romantic interest, but it rarely lasts long.
          I’m not suggesting that beautiful women are open to dating anyone. As you say, they probably go through their day oblivious to all the heads they are turning, etc. However, I do think that many women don’t want to date cads, and are open to being chatted up or charmed by a pretty wide spectrum of men. I have witnessed a number of these couples, where the woman is significantly hotter than the man, by any objective standard. Yet the guy has won her over with other qualities, including a good character.
          The cads have overplayed their hand, and overused their d*cks, and women who perceive themselves as having a lot to offer won’t settle for them. So that’s a market opportunity for some men – that’s why I said, “take your shot.” The 8-10s are finding it lonely at the top.

        • Dilithium

          “The comments do have serial numbers, next to the Delete option.”

          Haha, you can be sure that the ordinary viewers do _not_ see a Delete button next to comments! And, we don’t see serial numbers either. I don’t have any more useful advice, but I would definitely vote for keeping the nesting even to a fairly deep level; one question is how to encourage/enable people to stay at the same level of nesting to continue an exchange, rather than having successive replies go deeper and deeper.

          —————-

          Lastly I’ll just mention that it hasn’t been my experience that beautiful women “are open to being chatted up or charmed by a pretty wide spectrum of men.” From what I’ve seen they apply pretty strong filters at all times, not at all what I would describe as “open”; though perhaps that’s inevitable? Thought for the day: perhaps more non-hardened men would be willing to risk rejection by beautiful women if those same women had been a little more accepting and a little less mean in times past, you know?

          Speaking for myself, even putting aside the displeasure and risk of rejection I would probably never try to date a super-beautiful HB 8-10 young woman even if I had reason to believe it were possible. The contrast would make me uncomfortable, and the relationship feel unstable: it would take a _lot_ to convince me that she wasn’t always looking for someone more in her own hotness league (cue Dr. Hook). Beta-ish, I know, but true nonetheless. Also, a lot of women stay in that range only with high maintenance: tons of exercise, beauty products, hair care, starvation diets, not what I would want my sweetheart to be spending her time on! So give me a solid 6-7, all natural down-home beauty — like my wife! — and I’ll be happy for life.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Haha, I didn’t think about that – heaven forbid you guys should get control of the Delete button.

          I hear you re the non-hardened men feeling wary of the beauties. As you say, they may have been burned in the past. It’s just a reality of life that extremely good-looking women have priced themselves out of the market, essentially. I know, I know, “cry me a river.” Still, a blogger recently said, “This is the era of the seven.” I’m inclined to agree!

          Dilithium, you raise another good point. The truth is, most people don’t want the headache of pairing with someone far more attractive than themselves. The threat of someone else poaching their mate is just too intimidating. I was always wary of extremely handsome men. Much better to find someone who’s a 7 on the outside, 10 on the inside.

        • Dilithium

          “This is the era of the seven.” I like that! Whom are you quoting from? Maybe there’s a lot to be gained from simultaneous de-escalation. If a lot of people, men and women alike, could agree that 8-10’s are “weird and high-maintenance” while 6-7’s are “natural and fun” — as I think was truer 30 years ago — then women would feel less insecure about how they look and men would feel less insecure about who they’re able to date. Both sides would gain from there being less craziness in the other, making it a big potential win-win.

        • Wookie wookie

          Wrong, it’s not immaturity that causes women to think that they can have everything. It’s a culture of narcissism, which is different. It a trait of the Millenial generation that’s been mentioned in many books about cultural trends.
          ..
          The Millenial generation grew up in the 90s and the dotcom boom, which were time of indulgence and the time when child-targeting advertisement really began to bloom. This is also the time when parental experts started promoting the idea that you should praise your child no matter how poorly he/she may have done. I could give more reasons/examples but the point is that as a generation, us Millenials have a tendency to believe that we deserve the best.
          ..
          When applied to the dating realm, it affects both genders but in DIFFERENT ways. Men have a list of what attracts them and until they mature, the only item on that list is beauty. Women on the other hand traditionally have multiple weighted items where they must re-evaluate occassionally to decide which factor is more important (sexiness, niceness, confidence, intelligence, etc). In today’s culture of entitlement, there are many women who believe that all factors are equally important and that their man must be tops on each.
          ..
          They way entitlement has affected man is they way many believe that they DESERVE to have sex whenever they want and with as many women as they want and most importantly, that they deserve to get it without bothering with messy things like feelings. If we look back at the so called “Greatest Generation” such behavior would have been frowned upon but with each generation thereafter it’s become more acceptable to the point that it’s the exact opposite.
          ..
          Also men are not becoming more mature by realizing that marriage is a dangerous game if things don’t work out. Knowledge does NOT equal maturity. The fact that more marriages are falling apart is partially a sign that American people are becoming more selfish.
          ..
          Where’s VJ? I feel like we need him to respond to some of this banter…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Haha, good question about VJ! I think I’ll send him an email – he’d like that.

          You are exactly right about narcissism and expectations. There really is an epidemic – I want to write more about this soon. My own generation is the one that ushered in the ridiculous self-esteem movement, which gave every single kid a roomful of trophies just for showing up. Consequently, praise became meaningless, and ever larger doses were required to keep shoring up “self-esteem.”

          I think women display narcissistic traits in more obnoxious ways, if you will, but you’re right about men. They do seem to feel entitled about access to sex. Many guys imply they’d rather go without than pick up a 5. Fine, but they should be realistic about their own charms, because some of them are 5s, even taking into account the variety of traits that women select for.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Many of them are LESS THAN 5’s. Like one of my male friends who has so many issues he might as well be a magazine. However, he tells me the other day that he prefers not to settle down with one girl because he “needs variety”. This from a dude who has NEVER had a girlfriend or even been on a date. I was like, “um, I don’t think you got anything to worry about…”

        • Vincent Ignatius

          No one wants to pay more than fair market price for a product or service.

          With all these girls giving it away for relatively little effort, a girl who demands more seems to be overcharging. Maybe 5% of the time she’s actually worth it, but the other 95%, she’s selling a mediocre product at at unfair price.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          AND THAT MY FRIENDS, IS HOOKUP CULTURE IN UNDER 100 WORDS.

        • Snowdrop111

          hahaha, the situation isn’t funny, but how you put it is.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    “For this purpose, looking in the mirror is a terrible method. Counting the number of heads you turn is a more reliable gauge.”

    Yep, and the guys who don’t turn ANY heads often want to be with women who turn many.

    They will pass up the acne-scared but sweet girl, the over-weight but truly loyal girl, in hopes of one day landing the local Megan Fox look-alike. (Personally I think Fox looks like a bartender, but she seems to be all the rage these days according to blogs. I had to google her image coz I don’t watch TV or go to the kinds of movies she would star in).

    As far as turning heads, it’s all superficial. When I wear form fitting dresses I turn heads and get whistles. When I dress regular-casual I don’t. I don’t like getting sexual attention from men so I rarely dress in a way that shows off what God gave me. I also would never consider getting with a man who whistled at me in the street. That’s just tacky.

    • Michael

      They will pass up the acne-scared but sweet girl, the over-weight but truly loyal girl, in hopes of one day landing the local Megan Fox look-alike. (Personally I think Fox looks like a bartender, but she seems to be all the rage these days according to blogs. I had to google her image coz I don’t watch TV or go to the kinds of movies she would star in).

      Why are you bringing up overweight girls again?

      Has it occurred to you or them that they should lose weight?

      • Rebekah

        Michael, to guys lik you it wouldn’t matter if they did lose weight, because then you just move on to something else that was “wrong” with them.

        • Michael

          Michael, to guys lik you it wouldn’t matter if they did lose weight, because then you just move on to something else that was “wrong” with them.

          That would depend on if there was something else wrong with them.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Michael, your comments here are not helpful. You aren’t engaging in conversation, you’re just telling everyone what to do. You pontificate, yet you lack wisdom. I’m sure you’ve noticed at least two other commenters raising concerns about your behavior here. Stop it or I’ll ban you. Final warning.

  • Sasha

    I think that most men and women want Consummate Love. Getting there is another story.
    I’ve recently started going on a few dates with guys who I’m not usually that into – thinking they were nice guys (I’m usually into the crazy ones or players). So I went on a few coffee dates and a few dinner dates with these “nice” guys only to find that most of them (aged between 20-24) were not interested in me at all as a person – except sexually. It seems most young men equate a date to a free pass to the bedroom. I think that the age bracket in college is correct most young men in my opinion don’t actually want a Romantic Love or a Consummate Love (note if they are even capable of either) and if in a relationship of any sorts are usually in an Empty Love relationship because that is what is expected socially or because that means sex on tap. So I think that most (not all though) of young men are not mentally capable of having what I think most women would consider a proper relationship where they are ready to fully commit to one person.

    • Polyamorous Desi

      Sasha, it’s not just young guys who expect sex after the first date. I have an Aunt in her 50s and practically every man she meets expects the same. I think porn has ruined everybody. These 60 year old dudes even want her to do “phone sex”. WTF????

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        PD, that is completely off topic and not helpful to Sasha.

        • Snowdrop111

          Well it touches on a topic I was going to ask when I get finished reading the comments.

          If I’m in my 50’s and boyfriend is in his 60’s, don’t you think Companionate Love is enough?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I think it’s great if it is enough for you. There are many couples who share this kind of love, and it can be wonderful. It generally excludes passion, as you’ve seen. I suppose this could mean a platonic relationship, or one where there is sex, but it is very comfortable rather than passionate. I think it’s fair to say that most elderly couples married for a long time are sharing companionate love. BTW, by elderly I am thinking 75+. I suppose it’s different for everyone, and a matter of compatibility.

    • Ysabelle

      Seriously Sasha,

      Ignore the hog wash about how your “scandalous” past have doomed you to attract no-good men. I think its great that you are trying to meet nice guys. The sad truth though is that really good men come in all shapes and forms, be it good looking or not. And really bad men can come in the shape of a nerdish twerpish guy. So what happened is in your attempt to find someone nice, you chose someone who on the appearance looked “nice” but was not really. That should not deter you from honing your skills to pick someone that is truly nice in and out. The same thing rings true for men, you just can’t judge a book cover. Sometimes bad things also happen to good people, so don’t take it as a judgment on yourself.

      I think I learnt this lesson in a harsh way a few yrs back. I had met two European men, one the image of debonair and cool and the other was a science nerd with no looks. In choosing between the two, I decided to date the science nerd because I reasoned he had a “great personality” and his lack of looks would not make him the usual European playa stereotype. In the end, this nerd was stringing on 3 women while the debonair “playa” guy has become a longlife good friend and despite his dashing good looks is a decent guy at heart.

      With time you’ll learn to discern the nice ones ready to commit to you in and out from the bad ones despite however they look. There are deeper criteria than that. There are great men in this world, and great women vice versa ;)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sasha, I really like Ysabelle’s comment here. This story is one I hear a lot, by the way. Women think that a guy who appears on the surface to have fewer options with women will make a good boyfriend, thankful for landing such a nice, attractive girl. Unfortunately, as Ysabelle has witnessed, looks and character are not necessarily related. It is true that an extremely good-looking guy will have so many offers that staying grounded may be difficult. But the reverse is not true, unfortunately.
      Recently a young woman took my advice and pursued a guy in class who was clearly a “beta male.” She is good looking and gets hit on, but she has no interest in dating a player (having been burned before). The beta guy acts surprised and super interested, and after about three weeks of her showing him attention, they wind up making out. She is ecstatic – good relationship material at last!
      Long story short, he ignored her completely after that. Crushed, she asked his BFF what the problem was. The answer: “He’s not looking for anything serious. He wants to explore his options.” The little sucker got greedy. Douchebag.

      • Sasha

        @Ysabelle – Thank you for your comment it’s definitely something that I am also learning the hard way as of late. I’m starting to realise that sometimes the ones that don’t have the looks of a stereotypical player can in fact be.
        @Susan – The same thing happened to me recently (in the last 4 months) I meet a really nice guy who I thought was a beta male had all the traits etc but then turned out to be one of the most greedy douchebags I’ve ever come across. I took it very slow with him, he was even the one that suggested talking about what we both wanted out of the relationship etc etc and he was the one who broke all the rules and then blamed me for allowing my emotions to get the best of me (which he said subsequently ruined the relationship) and that he too wanted to explore his options. Thanks to him though I am now very wary of guys.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe, and leaves before she is left. -Marilyn Monroe.

          That’s the only way to deal with men these days, so-called “nice guys” included. If he’s really into you, he’ll beg you to stay. Then you can let your guard down – a little.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Sasha, I’m sure you saw my recent post How to Make Sure You Don’t Fall For a Player. Seriously, it’s all about actions, what they do, not what they say. He sounds like he knew how to act like a really good guy up front – there’s no way to eliminate the risk, but you can reduce it a lot, and that can give you some security. In addition, be slow to give your heart away. But you’ve already figured that out.

        • http://ft.com VJ

          A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe, and leaves before she is left. -Marilyn Monroe.

          Gee PD, that’s fine & dandy & all, but didn’t MM die alone & bereft of most true friendship too? Something to think about before using her droll words to try & ensnare a man. And BTW? They might not even apply to your prototypical large, fat & hairy Desi, right? Again, using Your examples cited here. Cheers, ‘VJ’

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          PD used that Monroe quote in another thread, and I had the same response. The “leaves before she is left” part is the most chilling, given the manner of MM’s departure.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Susan, you just a day ago you recommended that some guy read The Mystery Method. Did you know that the author of that book, Eric Von Markovic, has attempted suicide multiple times? So, just because Marilyn was actually SUCCESSFUL at killing herself, her advice must be worth less than a man who’s multiple suicide attempts FAILED???

          Anyway, there’s been evidence that her death was a homicide, but that is beside the point. BEES STING, BUT THEY ALSO PRODUCE HONEY. We can sometimes get good adviCe from questionable sources. I don’t see the harm. As far as “she leaves before she is left”. If he really loves you he’ll beg you to return. If not, that means he was gonna dump you anyway, so better you be the dumper than the dumpee.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I’m not denying that Monroe’s quote has some wisdom, but in her case she gave advice that recommended not loving, not believing and not sticking around. I find it cynical and pessimistic.

          I think Mystery provided his insights on how men who are not very successful with women can develop themselves to improve that part of their lives. I find that hopeful and optimistic. His mental health is irrelevant. I did know he suffers from depression, but I had not heard he attempted suicide.

  • 108spirits

    Many guys out there want to commit (because they’re not the top dogs who have too many options) but it so happens that the same guys also struggle to get a date, and getting a girlfriend out of it is often referred to as “getting lucky”. The ones with a commitment-free attitude are often the ones getting all the female attention & sex. Clearly it’s a bad mating strategy to offer commitment, from a male perspective.

    Men are practical and logical. You can try to shame them into commitment with a numbered list all you want, but when men look at a pro-v-con list, what is in it for them? The ultimate expression of commitment is marriage and that’s working out real well for men, isn’t it?

    You want men to commit? Speak up when women in relationship or marriage badmouth their men undeservedly, or when women publicly display hatred towards men in general. Fight the feminists and change the law so that men don’t have to risk so much to commit. Create more incentives.

    If you’re going to ask why men won’t do those things themselves, realise that it’s women who want commitment so they have to work for it. Men are happy being commitment-free.

    Sasha, if you’re usually into crazy guys or players, you will have that “vibe”. Other guys (including nice guys) can read it and categorize you as such, i.e you’re the type they’d happily have a fling with but won’t get into a relationship with. This is a consequence of your sexual history and the guys are only responding to it. Don’t blame them.

    • Sasha

      @108spirits: Just because I say that I am attracted to “crazy” and “player” types doesn’t mean that I have gotten into bed with them. I am sexually attracted to them. Just as some men are sexually attracted to blondes. I would also point out that these “nice” guys that I am going on dates with have no idea about my previous sexual history or happen to know anything much about me (hints why they are going on dates with me – you know to usually get to know someone better). However again a coffee date/dinner date does not equate to a 2am booty call considering we haven’t gone past the friend stage.
      Also you can’t criticize others relationships from what you see as it is like judging a book by its cover. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors – and maybe those men deserve what is being said about them.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      108spirits, you are correct in stating that the sexual marketplace offers men sexual variety, reducing or even eliminating the incentive to commit. While your point about standing up to injustice is valid for society as a whole, it’s hardly useful advice for Sasha as a young woman looking for a relationship now.

      I’ve also noticed that a lot of men make rapid judgments about the moral character of women commenters whenever they admit to being attracted to dominant males. Give me a break – women like the bad boys. I’ve written about it pretty extensively, it’s a given. It does not follow, however, as Sasha has made clear that women fall helplessly into bed with those cads. I recognize this meme from Game blogs and I reject it. There are some women who can’t resist the players, and make bad decision after bad decision. They are in the minority, IMO.

    • Robin

      A bit off topic, but I have to say it.

      You say that if we want men commit that we have to speak up when a woman complains about her significant other. There is also the reverse – Men do the exact same thing about their current partner or ex. I met a guy once who tried to play a sympathy card telling stories about his insane ex – He had no idea I knew her and the whole back story. In this case, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want women to stop talking about men/relationships/marriage poorly, men need to as well.
      Along the same lines, if the men in our lives (or the women in theirs) acted better then there wouldn’t be anything to talk about, huh? Oh to live in a perfect world! :)

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Spirits108, the vast majority of men would LOVE for a woman to want them to commit. The complaint is not commitment. The complaint is that they go unnoticed.

    The guys who don’t want commitment are those who are either players OR guys who are happy living sex-free lives. Everyone else wants a LTR.

  • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com Hambydammit

    Susan, I wrote an article about love a few weeks ago that you might find interesting. It’s more geared towards responding to a theist argument (“You can’t define love, why should I have to define God?) but it still serves a good function for anyone who has trouble thinking about what their relationships mean.

    http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/what-is-love/

    Also, I’d like to add #12. (Sorry, I haven’t read all the comments in case this is redundant.) We’ve talked about it before:

    12. He’s getting everything he wants out of a relationship, so there’s no up-side for him to commit.

    This goes back to what I’ve said repeatedly about how girls should act in non-committed relationships. In general, figure out everything the guy wants, and give him less than that. You always need a bargaining chip if you want a guy to move to the next step. There has to be something in it for him.
    .-= Hambydammit´s last blog ..Pornography and Crime =-.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      In general, figure out everything the guy wants, and give him less than that.

      Yes, that is the Hamby maxim, and it’s a good one. When I was writing this post, I went back and reread your posts about Dating and Value, which were excellent. They were geared to a slightly different point than the one I was making here, but I’ve bookmarked them and will use them at some future point, I’m sure. I missed the post on love, so will check that out, thanks.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Alright, alright, y’all might be sick of my chanting the “India, India” mantra over here, but this IS relevant…. trust me. Here’s an article about the benefits of so-called “empty love” (commitment without intimacy or passion). The intimacy and passion grows later;

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/marriage-indian-style/Content?oid=878547

    And a qoute that I liked that addresses the issue of having too many past experiences (women/men) under you belt to compare your spouse to;

    ”The children are under no pressure to marry someone their parents find, and they are spared the dating rituals of the West. Moreover, says Shekhar, Vijay’s father, “Parents have so much more wisdom. They have seen so much more. What do children understand about love? To them love is making love. But the parents exercise their wisdom in examining the person.” Shekhar believes that not dating makes an arranged marriage work better. “Here a boy dates five girls and then marries one. There are all these comparisons sitting in his head. With arranged marriages, the first person you love, the first person you go to bed with, is your spouse. This is the distinct advantage of arranged marriage.”

    …………I would hate to say that one system is better than the other, or one culture “higher”, etc, only coz it ain’t PC to do so and I’ve got to keep up my street cred, BUT if the shoe fits……….

    (and I’m sure if my marriage to my Indian ex-husband had been arranged, we’d still be married today, but that’s another story)

    • Michael

      ”The children are under no pressure to marry someone their parents find, and they are spared the dating rituals of the West. Moreover, says Shekhar, Vijay’s father, “Parents have so much more wisdom. They have seen so much more. What do children understand about love? To them love is making love. But the parents exercise their wisdom in examining the person.” Shekhar believes that not dating makes an arranged marriage work better. “Here a boy dates five girls and then marries one. There are all these comparisons sitting in his head. With arranged marriages, the first person you love, the first person you go to bed with, is your spouse. This is the distinct advantage of arranged marriage.”

      And no doubt that parents in those societies train their children to prepare for marriage, just as they would train their children for other parts of life.

      Of course, for someone like me, who is more than 25 years old, there is little about arranged marriage that would benefit me, aside from wishing my parents arranged a marriage between me and a fair-skinned redhead over ten years ago. ;-)
      .-= Michael´s last blog ..Michael is now friends with Eldorado Restaurant lounge =-.

  • Chico

    Quite frankly, I don’t understand why people were ragging on Michael for disqualifying fat chicks out of the equation. It seems women have a laundry list of items for which they disqualify men from the relationship/sexual arena. Let’s see here…

    He must be:

    – (much) taller than me
    – (much) older than me
    – have great facial features
    – socially dominant
    – super confident
    – sexually experienced and ‘socially proofed’

    Am I missing anything? And oddly enough, it is much much easier to work on your weight and physical fitness than changing your height or changing who you are fundamentally to become more alpha.

    My philosophy is that you shouldn’t expect anything from a partner that you’re incapable of contributing yourself. Hence, the fat man should not be looking for a thin Vogue magazine supermodel. The shy or socially awkward girl should not be looking for the socially dominant male. The hot waitress should not be on the prowl for a sugardaddy with a 6 figure income. As for myself, I work out regularly and am in amazing shape, so why should I have to resort to a woman who I’ll have to swim for 30 minutes to find the G spot??

    Sure, I have my vision of what the perfect body on a woman looks like. An athletic build with a BMI just a little less than mine, an hour glass figure and well formed breasts (though not gigantic). But I am more practical than that and realize, from a relationship point of view, it is a good idea to relax a bit on some of my more superficial criteria.

    But everyone has a limit. I don’t see why a guy who runs half marathons and benches well over his weight should have to go for a woman with a 30+ BMI who has trouble climbing the stairs. Not looking for a supermodel, but I am looking for a woman who respects her body to some degree (and this also excludes drug addicts and alcoholics). If fat women want to be desired, they should go for fat men or they should start a regiment of healthy eating and exercise…if not for their sex life, then for their health in general. Like it or not, women who let themselves go are taking themselves off the sexual marketplace or severely diminishing their value.

    *for the record, my old username was LesserBeta. But due to some recent events, I think the name is outdated. :)

    • Polyamorous Desi

      Chico, I think you’re wrong about the “much older than me”. I’ve never met a girl or a woman who wants a “much older boyfriend/husband”…….within 5 years yeah, but 10, 15, 20? No, it’s not the *norm* to desire that. Teeny-boppers go crazy over “boy bands” and not Hugh Heffner for a reason. (And the middle-aged women who are “with” Hugh are with him for a rea$on).

      In fact, with the “cougar” and “black panther” phenomena, we can say that many women go for men YOUNGER than them. I know I do. Contrary to what men want to believe, grey hair and wrinkles don’t make them look distingquished – it makes them look “weak”. I am constantly shocked when I see photos of celebrities who, although looking decent for their age, like Brad Pitt or Simon Baker, look so much “weaker” now than they did in their prime (20’s and early 30’s). The vitality and vigor is gone!

      I’ll admit, I cross men over 40 off my list because I just don’t find them to have the vital looks and vigorous energy of men in their 20s and 30s. I see them as “uncles” who might be able to dish out advice about “life” or something…. but certainly not compatible romantic partners. That’s just “ewww”.

      Nevertheless, the rest of what you wrote rings true. You keep yourself to a certain standard in life and you would like a partner who does the same. That seems fair.

      What I’m talking about is guys who have serious issues in the looks, social or emotional/psychological department expecting to get with women who don’t have similar issues.

      • Michael

        What I’m talking about is guys who have serious issues in the looks, social or emotional/psychological department expecting to get with women who don’t have similar issues.

        So why advise me to date obese women, since I do not have that problem?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      OK, let’s clear this up right now. I regret letting Poly Desi and Michael highjack this thread and I apologize to regular readers. This whole weight thing started with Poly. Desi suggesting that men who are unattractive should settle for unattractive women. Chico, I think you’re exactly right when you say that you shouldn’t expect anything from a partner that you are incapable of contributing yourself. If everyone adhered to that standard, I suspect there would be a lot more people getting together.

      I don’t think it’s helpful to talk about what is attractive and what is ugly. That varies for each person. Chico, you say that women have a laundry list of disqualifiers. So do men. Each person has their own list of what’s a must, what’s nice to have, and what’s a dealbreaker. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Sexual attraction is not a choice.

      I reject any attempt on anyone’s part to say who someone else should be attracted to.

      What I do object to is harrassing someone about their shortcomings, especially in a way that is demeaning. I mentioned weight specifically because I have personally witnessed this sort of unkind treatment from many men. I don’t know what it is about weight, but men often seem to try and regulate their partner’s weight the way a farmer would eye a prize heifer. For what it’s worth, I don’t think women should demean their partners either, for any reason.

      Chico, don’t spend any time looking for the G spot. It doesn’t exist.

      • Polyamorous Desi

        Susan, can you explain that last sentence???? Has there been a new scientific discovery?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Researchers can’t find evidence for it, and suggest it’s a myth:

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8439000.stm

        • Chili

          It’s one of those things. If you think you have it, you probably do. If not, don’t worry, it’s in everybody’s head. Remember, many researchers thought, and many still think, that PMS and cramps are all in your head too. So, so false.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Why would some women have it and some women not have it? I definitely do not have it. It doesn’t seem to make sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

        • Chili

          Oh sorry, Susan, I realize that wasn’t clear. When I said “if you think you have it you probably do,” I meant you perceive that you do, and that is all that matters. It’s not necessarily a physical presence.

      • Snowdrop111

        I peronsally found the discussion about weight and also the discussion about how things are in India very interesting.

        I would just like to say there is middle ground between overweight and obese.
        Sometimes it sounds like there’s nothing at all between “bar hottie” and “obese frump.”

        I know a beautiful young woman with a great personality, positive can-do attitude, very talented, easygoing friendly nature, and has a HUGE rack, who is probably right around 165. Overweight but not obese and definitely has a shape. If I was a guy I would date her. I think she’s sexy.

    • Michael

      Quite frankly, I don’t understand why people were ragging on Michael for disqualifying fat chicks out of the equation.

      Because they are ignorant.

      And oddly enough, it is much much easier to work on your weight and physical fitness than changing your height or changing who you are fundamentally to become more alpha.

      One could pretend to be an alpha, and one only needs to keep up the pretense until intercourse is completed.

      Fat women can lose weight. My picture on my MySpace.Com page should be proof that obesity is not inevitable.

      you are right about not being able to gain height, though.

      Hence, the fat man should not be looking for a thin Vogue magazine supermodel.

      Unless PD thinks I am really a 400 lb. morbidly obese man who puts up pictures of a thin man on his MySpace, Facebook, and Match.Com, the above does not apply to me.

      The hot waitress should not be on the prowl for a sugardaddy with a 6 figure income.

      Except hot waitresses who work at the really high-class restaurants with dress codes with $30 appetizers.

      But you are right if this applies to waitresses working at Olive Garden, let alone Denny’s.

  • finsalscollons

    Susan, it has been a long time since I checked out your blog. But your last post has surprised me, not in a good way. I considered you one of the few women that “got it”: a breath of fresh air. Now I think you have become one of the vast majority of American women who don’t get it. This is the problem with American women: they make a bad analysis of the situation, so they make bad decisions and end up blaming men for their cluelessness. They prefer to live in a world of fantasy than in the harsh reality. This is why I am happy to live abroad and to be committed to a woman who gets it (yes, I am engaged and happily so).

    There are so many things in your post and comments that I disagree that it would be impossible to mention each one of them. Please feel free not to publish this comment if you find it offensive or inappropiate. But I would like you to read it with open mind, because I know you are a good woman, an honest thinker and willing to understand the male point of view instead of dismissing it with some shaming language. You are a leader between women who look for advice in you. You can influence in a good or a bad way the women who read your blog. So you can produce a lot of happinness or misery depending on your advice being good or bad.

    You mention 10 reasons why a man is not willing to commit. You missed the most important one. A man has nothing to win and a lot to lose when he signs a marriage certificate. Yes, yes, you heard me. What can a man win when he commits? Sex? Affection? Companionship? Children? A commitment is not required for this.

    Even more, a commitment is not a guarantee for this. Now there are laws about marital rape, so a married man is not guaranteed sex (the former “wifely duty”) which depends on the whim of the wife and can be used as a weapon. At least, when you are not committed, you have the bargaining power of possible commitment so a girlfriend who refuses to have sex knows that she can be dumped quickly. But a wife knows that having a divorce is much harder. Household chores? Even if the man works more hours outside the home and brings more money, the wife can insist in sharing household chores or making his husband’s life miserable if the man does not accept.

    What can a man lose when he commits? A lot. He gives up any other partner in his entire life (most men prefer variety in their sex life – not all men, Vincent Ignatius was exaggerating). He gives up the bargaining power of commitment. This is the only one he has because, once committed, the wife has no obligation towards her husband. She CAN refuse sex, affection, doing household chores, gaining 90 pounds, she can stop working, she can be unfaithful, she can do everything he wants and the only thing the husband can do is to divorce her (which means losing half their assets and giving up on being a real father for their children).

    If a man cheats on a woman, he can lose half their assets and contact with their children. This is fair enough. But if a woman cheats on a man, HE can lose half their assets and contact with their children. The guy can be subsidizing his ex’s lover through alimony and child support (which can be used by the wife as she sees fit).

    Marriage for men in America is putting half of your assets and your future happinness on a roulette when you have 50% of chances of losing (70% of divorces are initiated by women). What would you think of a car who has 50% of chances of having a fatal accident? When men refuse to marry, they are only BEING RATIONAL. The irrational thing for men in today’s America is to get married and it speaks volumes about men that they are still wanting to do it (although less and less).

    Women try to shame men rambling about commitment-phobia, as if being prudent, rational and refusing to participate in your possible self-destruction was some kind of mental disorder. It’s like shaming people who refuse to play Russian roulette of “roulette-phobics”.

    Of course, women are not reluctant to get married. They don’t have to. They can get married without thinking and, if things don’t work, they can get divorced, that is, get the money and the children and start looking for another partner. If men had these prerrogatives, they would be running to the altar in droves.

    Marriage has beem emptied of duties for the wife and of rights or guarantees for the husband. Furthermore, more rights have been given to the wife. Then women are shocked that men, for the first time in history, refuse to commit. Of course, as in any problem, modern women are unable to introspection or admitting something which is inconvenient to them because it is easier for them to blame men.

    The constant denial to admit that modern marriage is a good deal for women and a bad deal for men says very little of modern American women. You see women complaining and complaining about men not being willing to commit but, when you explain them the injustice of divorce laws, they dismiss the argument without thinking it and keep on complaining.

    Two more things:

    1. You equate willing to commit with maturity. This is really a wrong argument. Jesus and Budha didn’t “commit” and Britney Spears did. The hallmark of maturity is not being willing to commit BUT BEING WILLING TO HONOR THE COMMITMENTS YOU MAKE. Women rush to commit and then rush to divorce courts (70% of divorces are initiated by women). They are the real “commitment-phobes”.

    Recently I refused to commit to a second job because I knew I could not have the time to do it well. This is maturity. Honor the commitments you have and refusing to commit if you think you are not able to honor the commitment you are about to make.

    Many women rush to commitment. Many women only want a ring, a big party, to brag with their female friends and go to marriage without considering anything (they don’t have to because they have nothing to lose). Then they are disappointed that married life is not a fairy tale and start contemplating divorce. They are the real immatures and not men who consider the pros and cons of getting married in a rational manner.

    In reality, all the rambling about commitment is only shaming language for men, trying to depict them as inmature because they are not doing what women want (to get married). But men commit to their jobs, commit to their families and, when they are married, they commit to the marriage more than women do. All the rest is only shaming language.

    2. The worst thing is your comment about weight but I made the comment above.

    • Wookie wookie

      I’m of the Millenial generation so I have little first-hand knoweldge of how marriage responsibilities differed in the past, other then from what I’ve read/watched, but the feeling I get is that Americans are getting increasingly demanding and selfish and on the women’s part it’s leading to delusional expectations of what marriage will be like.
      ..
      I don’t want to heap all the blame on Disney but a lot of the fairy tale trends that it established seem to have persisted into existing chick flicks. Thus American women seem to be obsessed with finding “the one”, where things will magically click and they don’t have to do any legwork to make the relationship work. It doesn’t help that latter-day “feminism” argues that a woman should never compromise on anything with a man. This results in situations where women believes that men should heed their demands, no matter how outrageous. This doesn’t really work out while dating but like you said, once the ring is on, the relationship dominance flips.
      ..
      You might have missed my earlier post in this thread (Susan’s threads always get so long!) but I argued that today’s problems are the result of a society where the customer is always right and where anything can be customized to people’s wishes. American people are not used to not having things their way. Ideally a relationship should be about mutual giving but both genders seem intent on taking. I visit a lot of boards and there are just as many guys looking for a female slave as there are girls looking for a male slave.
      ..
      The point I’m trying to make is that I’ve seen a lot of guys who aren’t interested in pulling their weight in a relationship either. There are just as many guys who shouldn’t be in relationships as girls who shouldn’t be in relationships and in my opinion it’s a result of our demanding culture. It’s creating a massive-scale prisoner’s dilemma where neither side is happy with the other.
      ..
      Lesson of the day #1: robbing the bank is hard so find better accomplices.
      Lesson of the day #2: only second-rate supervillains rob banks the old-fashioned way.

      • Polyamorous Desi

        Thanks Wookie Wookie for pointing out that whatever fault women are at, men are similarly lacking. We hear so much about the “fragile male ego” and how women should cater to it. Well guess what? Women’s egos can be just as sensitive. If you know that we know that looks are important to you – how about complimenting us on our looks? I had one boyfriend who went out of his way to tell me I was not his physical type – he preferred women from other ethnic backgrounds. OK, fair enough. But then why get with a woman who from an ethnic background you never found attractive????

        • Chico

          The problem I see with stroking the female ego is that the guy could be seen as coming off as desparate, needy, and a “nice guy”. In other words, if we compliment a woman, she might hold it against us and see us as lower value. If you do this to a particularly manipulative woman, she’ll soon start thinking that she’ll be able to use you.

          Conversely, I’ve never heard of any case where a guy thought a girl was low-value because she complimented him on his looks. It’s a blatant indicator of interest and a pretty low-risk move for females.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Whaaaaaaaaat? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Your woman will start thinking you’re a “nice guy” if you compliment her? Hmmm. What do you want her to think you are, an a**hole jerk? Fine. If a man doesn’t compliment me, I’ll just find one that does.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          And PS to the above: men don’t have to run the risk of their property rights, voting rights and a million other rights being denied them if they compliment a woman. But women have been complimenting and supplicating to men millenia after millenia and the “thanks” they got was to be “kept in their place” without rights of ANY kind – century after century after century…. until the advent of Feminism.

          But you’re afraid of “getting used” in a small way if you compliment a woman? What are you afraid of – that she’ll make you pay for dates or something? What an injustice! Something must be done!

        • Chico

          You’re complaining about things you have no right to complain about. The 1950s are long over. You can vote, work, own property, and do pretty much whatever you want. If you don’t like the fact that the man is reluctant to pay for everything and give too much with nothing in return, get a job and start paying for things yourself! As I said before, I hate double standards.

        • Chico

          Where are the girls (in their early to mid 20s) who don’t view kindness as weakness? I wish I knew. If you’ve been taken advantage of enough, it makes you far more apprehensive about giving too much too soon. Better to try and be the one who is chased (i.e. the “bad boy”), not the chaser. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but there it is.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          The shy, nerdy girl with acne in the back of the class who never had a boyfriend will not view kindness as weakness. Are you willing to ask HER out????

          Where is the guy who upon getting compliments and nice treatment from a woman won’t start to think he has her “under his thumb” and is therefore safe to simulataneously test the waters elsewhere in addition to keeping her under wraps???

        • Chico

          Actually, I did ask the shy nerdy girl out before…turns out she wasn’t as nice as I thought. Actually, she was the worst.

          I personally would not do what you described in your second question. But it’s okay, you can choose not to believe me.

        • Michael

          The shy, nerdy girl with acne in the back of the class who never had a boyfriend will not view kindness as weakness. Are you willing to ask HER out????

          Who would ask her out if she did not attract anyone’s positive attention?

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Why not? She might be a diamond in the rough, just like you.

        • Michael

          It is rather unlikely to notice people who do not attract positive attention in some way.

          It is rather unlikely to pursue someone who is not noticed.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          And you’re “suffering” from virginity right? No one giving YOU positive attention? So you might try giving someone ELSE positive attention, whether they get it from others or not. Beggers can’t be choosers.

        • Snowdrop111

          Well, I think my boyfriend does not want to “test the waters” because I laugh at his jokes and that’s his drug. It took him long enough to find someone who laughs at his jokes. In my opinion, laughing at a man’s jokes = as great to him as it feels for us women to get complimented on our looks. Anyway, I don’t think all men would immediately want to “test the waters” if they got their ego reinforced. There are some men who supposedly stay because the woman makes him feel good about himself around her. I think women should not forget to make a man feel good about himself around her. This may not be the same type of man whose #1 concern is what other guys think about what’s seen on his arm in a club.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          And in the same token a man needs to make his woman feel good about herself. In the beginning of the relationship with one of my ex-boyfriends, when we were just getting to know each other, he made me feel WONDERFUL – with compliments and attention, etc. Then, after we became serious – the little “negs” started, the compliments waned, the romance dwindled, and I felt HORRIBLE and flirted with other guys to make him feel “jealous” and make him feel that he had a treasure (me), that if he did not appreciate, other men would. Strange enough, he did not really get jealous at all. And he made it clear to me that my ethnic background was not the ethnic background of women he found “hot”. Again, fair enough – but then WHY AREN’T YOU WITH SOMEONE FROM THE “HOT” ETHNIC BACKGROUND.

          In short, I feel he used me for comfort and security.

        • Wookie wookie

          Either your compliments are coming off as fake or you’re chasing the wrong women. If you’re going after women that see a compliment as weakness, you’re chasing crazy girls that have a perverse need for head games. That or she’s smoking hot and compliments are dime-a-dozen for her. Unless you’re in that specific dating scene for the thrill of the hunt, find a different place.

        • Esau

          The two categories “crazy girls that have a perverse need for head games” and “moking hot and compliments are dime-a-dozen for her” together probably include about 80% of the college-aged female population! so while it’s worth fishing in the remaining 20% pool, that is admittedly pretty small.

          More seriously, the phrase “coming off as fake” really describes a huge loophole. Whether something “comes off as” is really a function of the recipient, so if a compliment “comes off as fake” to a woman that’s really her perception, just as if a compliment “comes off as looking weak.” There are no objective standards for what looks fake or weak, it’s all the subjective judgement of the woman involved — and the original complaint was that women’s judgements are harsh, which your reply doesn’t really address.

          I think it’s useful to consider compliments as a kind of amplifier of what the person already thinks about you. If a woman already thinks that a man is attractive, then she’ll be pleased to receive a compliment from him and thus it will make him more attractive to her. But if she’s not attracted to him, then a compliment will seem like a supplication, which will in turn make him even less attractive to her. The caution, which Susan has written about elsewhere, is not to be too giving, of compliments or anything else, to a woman until her attraction is already secured. So the more exact statement of “compliments are interpreted as weakness” is “compliments given too soon are interpreted as weakness.” I don’t like it either! but I didn’t write the rules here.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          I’m talking about compliments from a man you are already in a relationship with . Not random men or first or second daters. This man and I were a couple and he made me feel seriously undesired. Funny though, everyone else thought I was dynamic and beautiful. So I milked that. After all, I wasn’t getting any butter from home………………………

          Guys; what you don’t give her, she’ll get somewhere else. If you’re “ok” with that, then no problem.

        • Wookie wookie

          You have a good point about “coming off fake”. It’s ultimately the woman’s decision on how to take a compliment. My intention was to say that in general, positive comments aren’t an “open sesame!” to the vagina (hilarious high school memories there).
          ..
          Yes, comments given too soon or given to someone who wasn’t looking for comments does come off as weak. It certainly played a factor in one of my friend’s early attempts.
          ..
          That 20% is small but hey, that’s what patience and observation are for.

        • Robin

          I think your a bit off base – I love men who are secure enough to compliment me! Women can be very self conscious about body image (Hence the ‘Honey do I look fat in this dress?’ question) and men hate if a woman digs for compliments, so compliments are a great way to show a woman you are interested so long as it isn’t your opening line at a bar! I think Wookie got it right when he said the only women that aren’t going to appreciate it are the ones who play mind games or those who it becomes second nature to get them, all though I do refer back to Susan’s post where she talked about ‘Do pretty women have it harder?’ as a qualifier on that.
          Now when I say compliments, I don’t mean the ‘Hey your ass looks good in those jeans.’ or ‘Dayum woman, you so fine!’ type of compliments, I mean the honest down to earth compliments like, “I love how you look in that outfit” or something along those lines that is said with SINCERITY!

          Not complimenting a woman can be devastating to a relationship – Look at PD’s comment. They stopped, she started playing head games to try to keep him. I was in a 3 yr relationship where he didn’t compliment me and while I didn’t do what PD did, my self confidence started to slowly wear away to the point that it took a friend verbally slapping me because I had become a shadow of the vivacious person that I once was to realize that the relationship was unhealthy because of this and other reasons.

          The guy I’m with now doesn’t do the flowery crap compliments you see in romances, but every once in a while, he’ll stop and look at me like he hasn’t seen me before, smile and say “You’re beautiful.” or use it as a pet name. I didn’t when I met him, and still don’t, view him as weak. If anything, I appreciate him more for it. Like I said above, it’s all about the sincerity as well because if it’s something that you do every say it starts to loose it’s meaning just as ‘I love you’ has with many teenagers nowadays!

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Robin, same thing happened to me. Read my latest comment just above your’s. Later I found out from other women that they would have NEVER TOLERATED their man not giving them compliments and complimenting OTHER women. Yep, my man complimented OTHER women – not to their faces, but to me. What bullshit. I’ll NEVER tolerate that EVER again. I won’t throw a hissy fit or anything. I’ll just quietly and calmly END the relationship and leave him guessing why. Zero Tolerance Policy.

        • Snowdrop111

          Same here. I remember three guys who threw up other women to me. I was quietly out of there immediately–no hissy fit, no discussion, a smart remark about “Go get her” on my way out the door that’s all. I figure the guy knew what he was doing and mistook me for someone who would take it.

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        Wookie, your point about popular culture is very important – this cannot be overstated. The thing is, the fairytales that Disney has marketed are not new. In fact, they are very old, having been told to girls for hundreds of years. However, a story being read aloud or told by a parent or trusted person can be discussed, interpreted, examined. There is likely to be some commentary around what’s fantasy and what’s real. In contrast, what we have today is an incredibly stimulating telling of the tale – colorful, musical, captivating renditions of happily ever after, with no reality check. The slew of chick flicks in the last 30 years is further fuzzy thinking about relationships.

        As I said above, I agree that America has a narcissism problem, where every woman is taught from the age of 3 that she deserves a perfect soulmate.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      OK, finsalscollons, I am now fortified with dinner and I have a glass of wine next to me, and feel ready to respond to this most harsh and unjust criticism! In any case, it’s good to see you, and I hope I can clear up this misunderstanding between us. Here are my thoughts in response to your concerns:

      1. I think I do “get it.” If you had concluded that before, how could you think after one particular post that I don’t get it after all? I stand behind a body of work. Some posts may rankle, some are controversial. I write to promote discussion and thoughtfulness, and ultimately to influence behavior so that more people can be happy in relationships. I don’t shy away from the tough topics.

      2. I am well aware of the way that American women are perceived in other countries. Still, please consider the potential offense of your coming onto my blog and starting a rant with “This is the problem with American women!” Not helpful.

      3. Congratulations on your engagement! I wish you both much happiness.

      4. I did not provide the reasons why men may not commit. I quoted a male blogger named Rich Santos. He writes for Marie Claire magazine, and is certainly one of the most popular men to write about relationships in the U.S. If you go back and read the post, I make it very clear that the information is straight from him. I offered this because frankly, I don’t know why men are so reluctant to commit, aside from the obvious reason that in a culture where casual sex is on tap for many guys, there is no incentive to commit to one woman.

      5. I did not define commitment as marriage. In fact, I am really only talking here about having an LTR, an exclusive relationship, though such a commitment can certainly lead to marriage. I am well aware of the risks to men in marrying, and will continue to speak out against unjust laws around divorce, custody and child support. I think most of your argument rests on this key misunderstanding of what I said.

      6. I did not link willingness to commit with maturity. I believe you must be referring again to the writing of Rich Santos. I did say that women are often ready to commit before men are, and the research bears that out very definitively.

      finsalscollons, as far as I can tell, you did not read my post very carefully before accusing me. If you have an issue with anything I said, that’s fair. I suppose it is also fair to criticize Rich Santos, and by extension me for including his view of the matter. In that case, I’d like to hear your views of why men may be reluctant to commit to a relationship with one woman – excluding marriage.

      • Polyamorous Desi

        “I am well aware of the way that American women are perceived in other countries.”

        If American women are not perceived well in other countries, it’s only by the American men who happen to be touring or ex-patting there. I’ve travelled all over the globe and believe me, the American woman is ADORED overseas by cultured gentlemen who know how to treat a woman like a lady.

        • ExNewYorker

          Ha!
          Google “Onion European Men Romantic” for a humorous look at how American women are seen overseas.
          During my travels in Europe, Mediterranean areas and South America, it was pretty common an opinion of American women. And I in some of those areas, I spoke the native language, so I got that commentary not just from America expats or tourists, but from the locals…

        • Robin

          LoL – Amusing and prolly all true! We American women do have a very moviefied view of European men!

        • ExNewYorker

          My cad younger brother speaks multiple languages and he would pull out that “European background” at times.

          I fondly remember our tour of the Greek isles, particular in Mykonos and Paros, where the Scandinavian and German women were his targets of preference (and boy, they could hold their liquor with us). But, if he had an off night, he’d settle for the Ohio State girl who thought he was an Italian stud…

          That was the point where I stopped thinking of my brother as a misogynistic jerk and started to think of him as someone who’d been trying to tell his older brother about the true nature of women…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Pretty funny – here’s the link for anyone who’s interested:

          http://www.theonion.com/articles/european-men-are-so-much-more-romantic-than-americ,11552/

          I think European men absolutely do feel that way, but have apparently stopped making even that minimal effort. American women studying abroad have told me the local men walk up to them and ask if they’d like to go have sex. They must be getting a few yeses to keep using that strategy…

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Well, I’ve travelled to almost 20 countries over the course of my life up til now and I’ve had EXCELLENT response from men overseas. They not only treated me like a lady and romanced me with flowers and the whole nine yards BUT… they also took me to meet their families who INSISTED I stay with them where I got treated like a long-lost beloved daughter. Nothing beats staying with the IN TACT family of a totally HOT and CULTURED foreign man. Good vibes all around and I even got a number of marriage proposals. They already knew I wasn’t rich and wouldn’t want to live in the US, so no use trying to play the $$$ or Green Card card.

          Go East, young woman. Go East!!!!!!!!

      • GudEnuf

        I did not define commitment as marriage

        Finsalscollons wasn’t the only one to misunderstand that term.

        Promising not to sleep around hardly sounds like commitment to me, since the agreement can be nullified at any time. Exclusivity would be the word I use.

        But it’s not my blog…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I agree that “promising not to sleep around” is hardly real commitment. In fact, usually it’s Empty Love, something I don’t recommend for anyone. However, in the framework that I wrote this post around – the Triangular Theory of Love, it’s very clear that commitment does not equal marriage, though you’re right that it is not explicitly spelled out. That’s a pretty interesting question actually – what do people mean by that term? Does this vary a lot among individuals? The sexes?

          Personally, if someone says they want to commit to me, this is what I hear:

          I feel attached to you, and that makes me happy. I want you to be in my life. I want to know you better, share experiences with you, and have sex with you. I hope you feel the same way. I understand that relationships are hard work, and I’m willing to do that work with you.

          Does this sound about right, or do you define it differently?

        • Snowdrop111

          Yes! To me “Commitment” means… besides sexual fidelity …

          When a problem comes up, I will work on it with my partner rather than throwing in the towel.
          When my partner gets sick, has a setback, or needs a little extra TLC I will be there without complaint and my partner will do the same for me.
          If my partner asks me to do or stop doing a behavior that bothers him or her, I will do or stop doing the behavior rather than whine, pout, and say the request is silly. (For example, an ex asked me to quit making fun of his record collection so I did.) I feel that a huge number of people are like “Take me or leave me; this is just how I am.” My current partner changed some non-deal-breaker behaviors for me and I so appreciate it.
          I will think of “us” when making decisions, not just “me.”

          Well those are a few. To me, “commitment” means you don’t have to worry they will stalk off and break up at the first sign of difficulty, or stop giving when it’s inconvenient.

        • Robin

          I think you hit the nail on the head and Snowdrop detailed it even further, however I do disagree to some extent that I would stop a behavior that bothers them. It has to depend on how much of a part of your personality it is.
          To give an example, one of the issues my ex and I had is that I love a good spirited discussion or debate, and will even play devils advocate, whereas he cannot stand it. Now, knowing that he didn’t, I wouldn’t do this with him normally (unless he was just wrong lol!), he didn’t even like being around when I did so and asked me to stop. Now this is a huge part of my family dynamic so I was not willing to change this behavior for him despite the fact that I loved him. I did however change little things that did not change or compromise who I am as a person because of our commitment…now if he had only done the same we might still be together!

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a man emphatically disliking debate (especially political) with their Sig. Other. Some people do enjoy arguing a point, and others find it unpleasant – personally, it makes me anxious. I am happy to discuss an issue and agree to disagree, but rarely try to convince anyone.

        • Robin

          It can be difficult to debate with a sig other, I’l def agree there and I’m more likely to agree to disagree with them – I just couldn’t stomach the idea that he wanted me to change how my family and I act around each other.

          I ask this tongue in cheek Susan – If debating a point makes you anxious, how in the world do you stand us? :D

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Haha, after I wrote that it occurred to me that it is a bit disingenuous. I mean, I am constantly trying to convince everyone to look at sex through my strategic lens. So scratch that.

          What I meant was that I’m not likely to enjoy a political brawl at a dinner party, and I generally don’t debate with my husband either, though that’s probably because after all this time, we’re in sync most of the time. We had some good Reagan vs. Carter debates back in the day.

        • Robin

          LoL!!! Nah, not at a dinner party, but at a family dinner? Oh lordy, I had to kick my uncle and father out of my kitchen so I could cook!

      • Ysabelle

        Disregarding the other themes he has raised, as an “international” woman from one of those fetishized countries, and as a young attractive woman that looks every inch the stereotype, I’m really sick of reading about American men (or men from developed countries), first criticizing American women and then rhapsodizing about some supplicating woman in non-America lands and then have to caveat with “I’m engaged to one of them and its all great!”

        listen up:
        – We international women have spirit,and we ourselves are fighting for our own liberties and freedoms. We look for better lives for our families and friends, cut the crap bout how gentle we are and how we just live to make our men happy.
        – The whole thing of us supplicating and making things nice and dandy for the man and fetching his slippers, is just that a dream.
        – There are strong matriachs in these societies that control the entire household.
        – Developed country men come over and take advantage of the economic situation and go with women 40 yrs junior to them. And guess what, the locals think you’re disgusting, me included. When you hit on me I think you’re pathetic, and your greenbills don’t carry much weight anymore especially because of the Asian economic miracle.

        in all this ranting bout “women have made it sucked for us”, there has been no thought put into one’s own faults, what have made one choose the wrong types of women, and about what Susan has talked about, Consummate love. That is, the love that makes a couple truly grow old together, and the joy this really brings through intimacy, passion and friendship. And with this mindset, you’re not about to.

        Just a little rant. If I hear another American man talk about how great international women are I think I will just kick him in the teeth and show some Asian kung fu. You don’t even like ME, you like an idealized fantasy of me fetching your slippers.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Wow, Ysabelle, your perspective is most welcome here. I know little of the sociosexual environment in other countries, but I have seen many men talk wistfully of expatriating and finding a nice supplicant woman who appreciates the American male. I’ve always assumed this was a very small number of men, but it sounds like you’ve witnessed a lot of this.

        • Michael

          I’m really sick of reading about American men (or men from developed countries), first criticizing American women and then rhapsodizing about some supplicating woman in non-America lands and then have to caveat with “I’m engaged to one of them and its all great!”

          The irony of American men criticizing American women for “defects” and then expecting foreign women to hook up with or marry them escapes those men without fail.

          Developed country men come over and take advantage of the economic situation and go with women 40 yrs junior to them. And guess what, the locals think you’re disgusting, me included. When you hit on me I think you’re pathetic, and your greenbills don’t carry much weight anymore especially because of the Asian economic miracle.

          And they expect these women to love them instead of just use them as a living green card?

          Just a little rant. If I hear another American man talk about how great international women are I think I will just kick him in the teeth and show some Asian kung fu. You don’t even like ME, you like an idealized fantasy of me fetching your slippers. You don’t even like ME, you like an idealized fantasy of me fetching your slippers.

          I have heard those rants on the PlentyOfFish.Com forums.

          Of course, I would ask something like, “If Americans are so inferior to internationals, why would an international hook up with you ?

          I actually asked that in the forums. Funny how that question never gets an answer…

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Ysabelle, as someone who has taken the time to research this whole “foreign women” issue extensively, I feel I should chime in.

          First, let me address three of your main points:

          “-We international women have spirit,and we ourselves are fighting for our own liberties and freedoms. We look for better lives for our families and friends, cut the crap bout how gentle we are and how we just live to make our men happy.
          – The whole thing of us supplicating and making things nice and dandy for the man and fetching his slippers, is just that a dream.
          – There are strong matriachs in these societies that control the entire household.”

          I have been on all of the most prominent blogs/forums regarding expatriate dating online. I am extremely familiar with all of their general views, partially because its something I’ve considered doing myself.

          None of them contest what you’re saying. In fact, your last point in particular is considered a common warning given by expatriates to would-be travelers. I learned from these guys that in places like japan, for example, your wife is going to control your finances, as most of them tend to do. The same is true in many other Asian countries where women have a lot of domestic power. The married expats who are there flesh out the domestic life pretty clearly so if you’re doing serious research this “myth” you’re talking about will be debunked quickly.

          To your first point, I was warned about this to. One often talked about country is the Phillipines.
          The men who are there make it VERY CLEAR that women there are out to better their lives in any way they can, that they all have goals and dreams. They warn would-be expats about this because if you’re a guy who goes there and remains blissfully unaware of this while maintaining the supplicating-fantasy in your head, you could easily be taken advantage of. There are plenty of warning tales out there about this.
          I don’t really see(judging from all of the reading I’ve done) how you can assume that these men are unaware of the fact that women overseas have dreams and freedoms or that matriarchs are common and strong. Most of these guys seem well aware of that fact, and accepting of it.

          You seem to be misunderstanding American men who wish to expat, so I want to try and give you an idea of what I feel they’re all about.
          American men don’t dislike American women because they wont do housework, nor do they dislike them because they all have this unrealistic fantasy about foreign women that you talked about.
          They go overseas because the dating dynamics of the west simply don’t fit them well. To try and put it simply, dating dynamics here do not favor a guy who is highly academically inclined, and reserved. There are a lot of young men here who are decent looking and may have a lot going for them(great school, good job, etc) but because they are relatively shy, polite, and generally reliable but unexciting(“nice guys”) they find zero relationship success here. Young women here in general(there are exceptions and some of them do post here) don’t care about how well a guy treats them, don’t value kindness in a partner, see politeness as a weakness(hence the evolution of “the neg” by men here) and play a crapload of games. You can be a great guy and a good partner, but if you can’t play these games you’ll never succeed here.

          What happens when these guys go overseas? Suddenly they can find a girl who doesn’t hold their reliable, decent nature against them, a girl who doesn’t look at their credentials and say “nerd”. A girl who looks at their academic/work accomplishments as a plus for their relationship value. They can be themselves and actually find a girl willing to accept that.
          This guy, who couldn’t get a 5 to talk to him in the US, can suddenly get a 6 or 7 to MARRY him overseas. Make no mistake, quite a large number of these guys are looking for commitment first. With American women(especially young ones) this is viewed as a weakness, and these guys dont find girls. In many countries overseas, however, these guys find themselves valued.

          There reasoning goes much, MUCH deeper than slipper fetching. In fact, quite a large number of expats who end up in places like Japan and Korea marry career women who are driven and successful. They make it clear that women in these countries work, have dreams of their own and are often extremely accomplished. Hell, Japan is arguably more feminist than the US is if you want to talk about female accomplishment. The only difference is that they’re willing to accept guys like the one I mentioned above for who they are. American women are much less willing to do this from what most of us can see.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          They warn would-be expats about this because if you’re a guy who goes there and remains blissfully unaware of this while maintaining the supplicating-fantasy in your head, you could easily be taken advantage of.

          Athlone, I recall that this really upset ATS, a Filipina, the last time you mentioned this. I don’t have a problem with your description of “nice guys” wanting to find women who appreciate their accomplishments and fine qualities. Here, though, you’re talking about something else – a fantasy of women who are essentially slaves to a man’s desires. What does it mean, exactly, when a man wanting this beautiful slave gets taken advantage of? How does a woman who wants to improve her life, having goals and dreams, take advantage of an American man? Are you saying that they get all the way there, only to find out that the women are just as shrewish and demanding as American women are?

        • Athlone McGinnis

          “How does a woman who wants to improve her life, having goals and dreams, take advantage of an American man?”

          If you’re not careful you can simply be used as a living green card like Michael said above. This is more commonly an issue in Southeast Asian, some Latin American and African countries.
          There are lot of girls in Thailand and the Philipines who are taking advantage of incredibly gullible western men with regularity. These men are often still overseas, and only communicate with them through webcam. The girl will often invent stories(“my mom is sick” or “I need more money for school”) and the guy will(because he’s so “nice”) fall for it.
          There are a lot of girls who string along 4 or 5 gullible men this way at one time. In the meanwhile, they will use the money to send their kid to school or educate themselves, maybe help their families out, etc.

          “Are you saying that they get all the way there, only to find out that the women are just as shrewish and demanding as American women are?”

          No. The mistake some men make is to take the fantasy as reality and ignore the truth. They go in with way too much idealism and forget that these women have minds of their own and aren’t willing to sit down and conform to whatever view your mind has of them just like that.

          Solving this problem is actually pretty easy. If you’re a westerner looking to expat to one of these nations, just don’t be a doormat. Once you make it obvious that you’re not going to be an easy meal ticket, keeping a girlfriend is easy. But if you run off to a place like Thailand and try to play “captain save-a-hoe”, willing and accommodating in every way, you’ll be in for a rude surprise.
          In other words, you’ve got to show some self confidence and assertiveness, otherwise known as rudimentary game. Running across the world will not let you completely escape this reality.
          The bar for successful practice of said game in these places, however, is much lower than it is in the US.

          “Athlone, I can’t help but be struck by the irony of your quoting a guy looking for romance when you found him on Roosh’s forum.”

          Well, why? How is that ironic? You think that most of the guys who end up following guys like Roissy and Roosh start off as hardcore players, jaded and ignorant of romance?
          I follow Roosh and Roissy pretty closely. I wanted an LTR with a decent girl, still do to this day. I’m not the only guy like that-many dudes like me end up turning to game because, as much as they want a fulfilling committment, they have no idea how to get it. Roosh and Roissy offer them a path towards the gratification they can’t find.

          Of course, the problem is that a lot of guys end up on the dark side at the end of the day. Roosh and Roissy’s advice does help these guys get going and start doing a little better with girls, but it doesn’t lend itself as well to LTRs. That doesn’t mean that every guy hanging out over there is an actual player.

          I hang out there all the time and, as you already know, I couldn’t regularly “pump and dump” if you paid me to. I’m not built for it.

          “The guy you quote might have loved the Canadian girl’s enthusiasm, but let’s not kid ourselves – he probably loves her willingness to be romanced because it makes his efforts at seduction easier.”

          Big assumption. Even the most hardcore of players have found themselves in LTRs, and often all it takes is a girl like this to bring out a players soft side and get him to go past the one night stand. Go through his archives and you’ll find that even the mighty Chateau himself has a soft spot. His average follower(who probably sounds a lot like the guy I quoted) will have a much bigger one.

          “If American women are cynical and jaded about romance, it’s not without reason. Men like Roosh perpetuate and exacerbate the problem.”

          Fair enough. It is a vicious circle.

          Then again, as a guy, I don’t see what I can really do about it, or what guys in general can. The sexual revolution changed everything-suddenly, it wasn’t enough to just be a good guy of good standing with a good career/future. Women wanted a lot more. They wanted men with game, men who could stand out. This, of course, is what gave rise to the hookup culture you and me spend so much time analyzing around here. Women who couldn’t freely engage in sexual activity before marriage suddenly actively started seeking it.

          Men saw it for what it was. You can’t be a “nice guy” and expect to do well with women. It just wasn’t enough anymore. We either learn this the hard way, like I did, or through anecdotal evidence.

          They responded with game, and we ended up with guys like Roosh and Roissy. Do these guys perpetuate and exacerbate the hook up culture? Sure. But they didn’t start it and, even if they abstained, how could they stop it? I mean what are their options? Women want what they want, and in this case that’s game. Its what they by and large tend to respond to.

          These guys could either accept that and go ghost(as you’ve said yourself, what good would this do them?), accept it and get angry about it(bitter betas), remain delusional and get played(becoming unhappy lesser betas like myself) or they can take the situation and just make the best of it(get laid). They aren’t going to change women’s minds and suddenly get them to reverse the very cultural trend they started 50 years ago. The hook up culture isn’t going anywhere soon. Young women aren’t going to suddenly stop sleeping with cads en masse. Women, in the process of sexual liberalization created these trends and Roosh and Roissy are the effects, not the cause. They respond to the market as it is.

          Women wanted game and they got it, for better or for worse.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Yup, I buy this. It is a vicious cycle, and it’s not the job of men to fix it. In fact, it’s impossible, as you say. As for good guys going over to Roissy and Roosh to read up, of course I understand why they go – they get information of value that gives them tools to attract women. That’s fair enough. Please just keep your eyes wide open and remember who you are.

        • Michael

          They go overseas because the dating dynamics of the west simply don’t fit them well. To try and put it simply, dating dynamics here do not favor a guy who is highly academically inclined, and reserved. There are a lot of young men here who are decent looking and may have a lot going for them(great school, good job, etc) but because they are relatively shy, polite, and generally reliable but unexciting(“nice guys”) they find zero relationship success here. Young women here in general(there are exceptions and some of them do post here) don’t care about how well a guy treats them, don’t value kindness in a partner, see politeness as a weakness(hence the evolution of “the neg” by men here) and play a crapload of games. You can be a great guy and a good partner, but if you can’t play these games you’ll never succeed here.

          What happens when these guys go overseas? Suddenly they can find a girl who doesn’t hold their reliable, decent nature against them, a girl who doesn’t look at their credentials and say “nerd”. A girl who looks at their academic/work accomplishments as a plus for their relationship value. They can be themselves and actually find a girl willing to accept that.

          Of course, this does beg the question.

          If these men go overseas to the Philippines or Estonia or wherever because they find American women have these character defects, then why would foreign women want to marry them instead of someone who grew up with a similar cultural background?

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Hey Michael. I’m surprised your question has not found answers-it isn’t all that hard to answer. I’ll do so in detail.

          Why would a foreign woman want to marry an American? Let me take the Phillippines as an example since so many men visit/expatriate there. What advantages do they have over the locals?

          1. Wealth-If you can muster a $20,000 a year income before expatriating you can live like a king in this country. I’m talking 3 room house, driver, maid, decent car, cable, internet, etc, etc. Not a lot of Pinoys are going to be able to match this income level(the per capita GDP is only around $3500).
          Don’t get me wrong, there are many wealthy pinoys, but as compared to the entirety of the nation’s population they are very much uncommon.

          Keep in mind, $20,000 a year is not a lot for a would be American expat to come up with in his 40’s or 50’s, especially if he is former military(their pensions are surprisingly generous).

          2. Ability to provide-This ties in with wealth. Pinays have a lot of dreams and ambitions, but they have a lot more standing in their way than their American peers do. By necessity, they tend to do a greater cost-benefit analysis when it comes to choosing their mates. Your education, stability and relatively high income level will help you out, even though many American girls could care less(unless you reach an extremely high level of income/education-the bar is necessarily set higher here).

          Note: This is not to say that you MUST HAVE money to get girls. That statement isn’t 100% true anywhere. In countries like this, however, having money and stability is a much bigger advantage than it would be here.

          Furthermore, Pinoys have a lot to deal with due to the state of their country, and this create some relationship issues. Illegitimacy is common, meaning lots of these young, poor girls are left with kids on their own and a father unable to provide much for them. Foreigners do this to, but the general perception over there is that a foreigner is more likely to support a pinay he knocks up and is also more likely to support any existing children a Pinay has upon entering a relationship.

          3. Status-Again, this ties in with money. Think about it-girls in the US enjoy being seen on the arm of wealthy, well-to-do men. Managing directors and real estate developers are the most eligible bachelors in major cities like New York. In the Phillippines, it is the same deal. Your relative wealth and stability make you the equivalent of desirable eligible bachelors over here.

          4. Exoticism-You are a foreigner. Foreigners are intriguing. Exoticism can give you an edge in a lot of places, and not just the poor ones. I know a number of Eastern European guys who clean up in the US during foreign exchange programs. There are a lot of American guys who seem to get a slight boost in places like Australia. Girls in countries like the Philippines aren’t all that different.

          5. Race- You’d be surprised at the role this factor plays.

          White Males: To put it bluntly, the world seems to love you guys. You are by farthe most preferred phenotype in Asia, as well as Latin America-both the most prominent continents for would-be expatriates.
          If you are a relatively fit white male, you are the object of MANY fantasies across the asian continent. If you happen to have a nordic phenotype(while still being relatively fit), you will kill over there. I’ve heard stories from these guys that make the playboy mansion seem tame. If your goal is just to find a wife, you will have a very easy time picking.

          Black Males: Still desirable, just in fewer places. The spread of hip hop helps, especially in places like Japan where an entire subculture exists dedicated to it.

          Hispanic/Asian Males: Same deal as blacks, just to a lesser extent since they don’t have the whole hip-hop culture to draw the youth of the world to them.

          To conclude this point, if you’re white in Asia, you already have a solid advantage over many locals given how desired your phenotype is.

          I can go on and on, but this post is already long so I’ll stop. The advantages I list above with regards to the Phillipines also apply with destinations like Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, China(sort of), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, much of Africa, and a few other parts of central and latin america.

          In more developed destinations, you’ll primarily have points 4 and 5 going for you which, as a lot of guys have shown, is more than enough.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          “This is not to say that you MUST HAVE money to get girls. That statement isn’t 100% true anywhere”

          Of course it’s true. And it’s 150% true in poor countries. A poor white American hippie slumming it in Asia will not get a wife if he can’t even support himself properly. Asian women are tough as nails and sticklers about being provided for. And if a few individual Asian girls are not like this – their FAMILIES will step in and tell you EXACTLY what they expect of a future son-in-law.
          Guys, don’t kid yourselves. Have your fanny packs full of green before your ass lands anywhere in Asia.

        • Michael

          Of course it’s true. And it’s 150% true in poor countries. A poor white American hippie slumming it in Asia will not get a wife if he can’t even support himself properly. Asian women are tough as nails and sticklers about being provided for. And if a few individual Asian girls are not like this – their FAMILIES will step in and tell you EXACTLY what they expect of a future son-in-law.
          Guys, don’t kid yourselves. Have your fanny packs full of green before your ass lands anywhere in Asia.

          Does this apply to girls too?

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Not in my experience.

        • Michael

          Why is that?

        • PJay

          It’s cultural across Asia. If you want to see the most materialistic, aggressive, beautiful women in the world, spend time in high end nightclubs in Singapore, Dubai or HK.

          The women can smell your business card and tell you to the penny what your annual salary + bonus amounts to.

          I used to work in Singapore and KL part-time. It’s an experience, let me tell you.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Ysabelle, I want to give you a couple of quotes regarding this subject, specifically from American men. This one comes from a guy on Roosh’s forum, and encompasses the situation perfectly IMO:

          “I just got a sweet email from a young girl I met the day before, from Quebec City. I got as far as giving her my email address, after she demanded mine, after having hung out with her and her friends. Logistics were bad and she left the next day, but God, it’s so refreshing. I wrote to a friend, I feel like I try so hard for so little in respect to American girls, and I’m talking about personality here. Fuck, I feel more romantic than they are – not in a needy way, but as if guys in general don’t mean shit to them, as if romance were nothing but something they see in a film and forget about. Thinking of this girl in particular, I feel as if all the deception and illusion prized by game would be unnecessary with such pure sorts. I wouldn’t be a tenth the misogynist I am if all girls were like this. Even if American girls haven’t slept with all that many guys, they seem emotionally, romantically oppressed, always on guard lest they fall for a guy, ever dependent on their friends to make the most personal of decisions.”

          A lot of these guys do want romance, not slipper fetching. As I said, a lot of them(particularly the ones the expatriate to developed nations like Japan or Singapore) marry career women. Its the issues outlined in this passage that form the real problem.

          “Developed country men come over and take advantage of the economic situation and go with women 40 yrs junior to them.”

          So? Rich men in the US do the same thing. Nobody hates on them here. Whats wrong with being 40-50 and wanting a relatively young woman? Can you really fault men for that? So long as they are good partners to these women I don’t see the issue.

          “And guess what, the locals think you’re disgusting, me included.”

          Eh, depends on the locals I guess. I know a lot of older guys overseas who are very happy in their communities and get along with the locals well.

          “and your greenbills don’t carry much weight anymore especially because of the Asian economic miracle.”

          Eh, that depends. In Japan, Singapore, or Korea? Sure. In just about all of Southeast asia? I can go over there with a steady income as low as $20,000 a year and live like a king. I know guys in the Phillipines living comfortably with a wife and children on $15,000 per year, which is poverty status in the US. Same deal with places like Jamaica(where I’m from). The dollar still carries more than enough weight. If you want to scare away American men, I wouldn’t harp on this point too much. Having done the cost of living comparisons many times on my own, I’ve only become more intrigued. ;)

          I know I sound like an apologist, and that post was long, but I feel it was necessary. Not all of these guys deserve the criticism you’re giving them.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Athlone, I can’t help but be struck by the irony of your quoting a guy looking for romance when you found him on Roosh’s forum.

          Roosh makes it clear that he is not looking for romance, and his advice is strictly pump and dump. Anyone hanging out on his forum would be hard pressed to convince me he’s looking for a LTR. The guy you quote might have loved the Canadian girl’s enthusiasm, but let’s not kid ourselves – he probably loves her willingness to be romanced because it makes his efforts at seduction easier.

          If American women are cynical and jaded about romance, it’s not without reason. Men like Roosh perpetuate and exacerbate the problem.

        • Ysabelle

          I’ve lived in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines and have traveled extensively to Japan and China. So I can give my two cents maybe about Asian dating practices and the whole dating someone from the West thing. Frankly, reading some of the messages made my blood boil, this is going to be my last response on this subject.

          I’m the first to say love knows no boundaries. For people located from any location who truly love each other in a equal partnership, I’m truly glad for them.

          “American men don’t dislike American women because they wont do housework, nor do they dislike them because they all have this unrealistic fantasy about foreign women that you talked about.They go overseas because the dating dynamics of the west simply don’t fit them well.” The author of this note goes on to explain how American women reject decent men while women overseas don’t.

          – This largely boils down to, its easier for a guy to get a woman overseas than in the West. Why? They are considered a loser in the West and not in Asia. Why are they considered a winner in Asia? Money and left over vestiges of a colonial attitude. For those in more developed country, the colonial attitude and the novelty makes them attractive. However, what takes you everywhere? confidence. The non-attractive man in the West is subconsciously MORE CONFIDENT in the East because he expects to be treated better there. He behaves less confident in the West, in turn making him less attractive. Due to colonial vestiages mentality and economic power, he may be able to get someone of higher status than in his own country. I also reject assertion there are no good non demanding American women. There are all types of women. What is making you choose the bad women over the good women? You’re taking the easy way out by going to another country, then just criticizing your own women in your country. Great comic strip example of this:
          http://www.chanpon.org/archive/charisma_man_01s.jpg

          “A lot of these guys do want romance, not slipper fetching. As I said, a lot of them(particularly the ones the expatriate to developed nations like Japan or Singapore) marry career women”
          – I beg to differ. When I date these guys, there is some kind of serious expectation or stereotype. From personal experience, there is an expectation that I behave in one way or another that fits their ideas how I behave as an Asian woman. I discussed with this with some other friends and because they look a certain way, they are expected to be sweet and serving. Once we dispel their expectation, these guys are seriously disappointed. The fact is, they assume “romance” being easier “ON THEIR TERMS” than having to maybe consider the woman’s wants. Romance without having to lift a finger. Below are some norms in Asian dating culture that you would balk at.

          “So? Rich men in the US do the same thing. Nobody hates on them here. Whats wrong with being 40-50 and wanting a relatively young woman? Can you really fault men for that? So long as they are good partners to these women I don’t see the issue.”
          – Yeah you don’t think Donald Trump gets judged for going with young women? We judge all these guys and their gold digger trophy wives. And you get similarly judged for going with a woman from a poor country for being a pervy old men. You mean “if the economic transaction works between the two I don’t see the issue.” Neither do I, but here we’re talking about consummate love, not a gold digging relationship.

          “Eh, depends on the locals I guess. I know a lot of older guys overseas who are very happy in their communities and get along with the locals well.”
          – As long as you keep your money. We still hate you and talk smack behind your back. Once you lose your money that’s it for you. Of course if you’re genuinely nice sure. But at the end of the day when we see old fat men or losers in their own countries going with OUR beautiful women because we can’t protect them enough at this pt of time to keep them from being exploited by you, we feel shamed and we hate you. But we will still talk smack about you.

          “Games” in Asian dating culture in more developed countries that Western guys can’t even fathom complaining bout all the demands their women want:
          – You must hold our hello kitty purses for us. You see the lines outside the toilet of boyfriends holding their hello kitty purses? Somehow I don’t see a Western guy doing that.
          – Even if I live 2 hours away from you the boyfriend is expected to see the girl back home before going home himself. Good old gentlemenly ways that somehow US guys lost along the way.
          – As a man, you have to pay for mostly everything on dates and there will be continuous presents. (One of my friend’s all of her belongings were given by her bf. Its jsut considered the boyfriend thing to do. On a more middle school level, I had a bf that would go eat macdonalds happy meals every week to get the week’s soft toy for me so I can have the entire collection.”
          – No making out unless you’re in a relationship. For some no sex before marriage. None of this useless debate on NSA and why can’t we have fun and why do women push for commitment so soon. No commitment no honey.
          – In some cultures romance is taken to extremes. Surprise birthday parties, holding a boombox in the pouring rain declaring your undying love – I think this the result of too many soap operas (Korea I’m looking at you).
          – Confidence is appreciated everywhere. If you’re the jock that used to play rugby in school and a rich businessman, you’re considered high status wherever you’re from.

          People who keep whining and not working on themselves, be it men or women will continue not being able to find consummate love.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          Ysabelle,

          You keep talking about consummate love. Regardless of whether or not a man is more confident in the East, the fact remains that his relations with the opposite sex improve immensely. If he is a guy actually looking for a relationship, as many of them are, then he has a much better chance of finding it there and turning it into the “consumate love” you keep talking about.
          Making that work here is more of a challenge.

          “I also reject assertion there are no good non demanding American women.”

          If you look closely at my post, you’ll see that I did not say there were none.
          I said that they were rather rare.

          “What is making you choose the bad women over the good women?”

          …the fact that the women we have quantified as good are outnumbered immensely by “bad” ones? They’re kind of hard to find and there is no guarantee you get one when you do.

          “You’re taking the easy way out by going to another country, then just criticizing your own women in your country.”

          Easy way out? So what? If you’re a guy who realizes his relationship chances may improve overseas, why wouldn’t you at least take a shot at it? Do you get a special reward for not taking the “easy way” and staying here struggling to make some sort of futile effort to attract women who find your demeanor repugnant?

          Heck, I’m not even really American. I have been educated here and thus have spent most of my adolescence here, but that’s really about it. I’m just describing the situation as I see it for what it is, and an objective analysis leads me to believe that a lot of guys who want to expat are not in the wrong.

          ” “Games” in Asian dating culture in more developed countries that Western guys can’t even fathom complaining bout all the demands their women want:
          – You must hold our hello kitty purses for us. You see the lines outside the toilet of boyfriends holding their hello kitty purses? Somehow I don’t see a Western guy doing that.”

          Done it.

          Not a hello kitty purse, but a purse. Never got past the first date with her.

          “- Even if I live 2 hours away from you the boyfriend is expected to see the girl back home before going home himself. Good old gentlemenly ways that somehow US guys lost along the way.”

          I already do this on every first date.

          It never seems to go over all that well. The reason this isn’t done often in the US now is because girls here consider it “needy”, “clingy” and generally unattractive.

          “- As a man, you have to pay for mostly everything on dates and there will be continuous presents.”

          I offer to pay in full on every date I take. Girls here expect to pay for half of everything at least. Some actually take offence when you offer to pay in full.

          “- No making out unless you’re in a relationship. For some no sex before marriage. None of this useless debate on NSA and why can’t we have fun and why do women push for commitment so soon. No commitment no honey.”

          This mentality is rare here. In many cases, guys are expected to make a move and do it quickly. In college environments here, hooking up is common and all of that is expected within hours of meeting, no commitment required. If you are a young guy and you adhere to this commitment behavior here, you’re at a disadvantage. Girls will call you boring or just put you in the friend zone and avoid dating you. The guys who get most of the girls here are the ones who are good at making out and handling “NSA” quickly.

          “- In some cultures romance is taken to extremes. Surprise birthday parties, holding a boombox in the pouring rain declaring your undying love – I think this the result of too many soap operas (Korea I’m looking at you).”

          I’ve done a few romantic things in my time. No boom boxes, but other romantic things.
          It doesn’t work.

          “- Confidence is appreciated everywhere. If you’re the jock that used to play rugby in school and a rich businessman, you’re considered high status wherever you’re from.”

          I play the equivalent of rugby in the US at the highest collegiate level at arguably the best Ivy League school. That status has yet to deliver me a girl.

          Anyway, you just proved my point. I’m talking about how guys like myself may fit better in other dating markets. You go on and list some traits you’re almost certain we don’t have and, guess what? They’re EXACTLY the habits/routines that get me and guys like myself in trouble with girls here. I’ve literally been able to apply everything on your list to my own past experience, and the responses have been overwhelmingly negative here.

          If the games you listed here really are part of the foreign dating game, then my point is proven: “nice guys” in America would fit perfectly in that dating market. Those “games” you listed come second nature to us.

        • Michael

          Easy way out? So what? If you’re a guy who realizes his relationship chances may improve overseas, why wouldn’t you at least take a shot at it? Do you get a special reward for not taking the “easy way” and staying here struggling to make some sort of futile effort to attract women who find your demeanor repugnant?

          Heck, I’m not even really American. I have been educated here and thus have spent most of my adolescence here, but that’s really about it. I’m just describing the situation as I see it for what it is, and an objective analysis leads me to believe that a lot of guys who want to expat are not in the wrong.

          What proportion of guys want to expat?

          One must list the challenges of expating to places like Malaysia, Nigeria, or the Ukraine, such as adapting to a new culture.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          I’m not sure about the proportion, Michael. That would be an interesting stat to find sometime.

          You’re right that there are many challenges to expatriating and getting the most out of the experience. Cultural adaptations are always big. In the Phillippines or Nigeria, an American will easily integrate language wise. In many other prime expat destinations(Brazil, Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea and China come to mind), you’ll want to learn the vernacular in order to get the full benefits of the experience. That obviously takes time.

          I know that with Brazil in particular, a lot of guys fly down thinking that their gringo status means instant flow of women. The fact is that its tough to get quality Brazilian girls(read: non-pro’s) consistently if you have zero understanding of Portuguese and don’t plan on staying for more than a couple weeks at a time.
          Some work is always needed.

        • Snowdrop111

          “In some cultures romance is taken to extremes. Surprise birthday parties, holding a boombox in the pouring rain declaring your undying love – I think this the result of too many soap operas (Korea I’m looking at you).”

          HAHAHAHAHA this is hilarious!!!!!!!!!

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I second that, love the Korea part!

          One of the best movie moments in history is John Cusack holding up a boom box playing In Your Eyes in the movie Say Anything. I adored Lloyd Dobler.

        • Polyamorous Desi

          Ysabelle, I only wish that more and more American men would marry Asian women. This Asian fetish has everything to do with the “submissive Asian wife” myth. Boy oh boy!!!!!! Asian women are ALL ABOUT THE $$$$ – in a good way. A man is expected to perform his “duty” of supporting his family, even if the wife also financially supports it, and if he slacks off in this regard to pursue some artsy fartsy hippie dream, as a lot of American men are wont to do – HE WILL CATCH HELL!!!!

          American women are much more likely to indulge a hippie lifestyle. Asian women? NOT A CHANCE!!!

          Good luck guys!!!!

        • Michael

          Ysabelle, I only wish that more and more American men would marry Asian women. This Asian fetish has everything to do with the “submissive Asian wife” myth. Boy oh boy!!!!!! Asian women are ALL ABOUT THE $$$$ – in a good way. A man is expected to perform his “duty” of supporting his family, even if the wife also financially supports it, and if he slacks off in this regard to pursue some artsy fartsy hippie dream, as a lot of American men are wont to do – HE WILL CATCH HELL!!!!

          American women are much more likely to indulge a hippie lifestyle. Asian women? NOT A CHANCE!!!

          Good luck guys!!!!

          And what about the reverse? American women marrying Asian men? How is the dynamic different?

    • Robin

      This is where making a correct decision and consummate love come into play.

      Are there unhappy marriages like you discribe where the man ends up unhappy? Of course, it happens.

      It’s all about making the right choice. If you make the right choice the situations you discribe are less likely to happen. My parents have been married almost 27 years and are blissfully happy (between the minor disagreements that happen in any relationship) together after all this time. Why? Because they had similar backgrounds and value structures. If there is any part of the article that PD posted on arranged marriages and why they worked that I agree with, it is the part about looking for a compatable spouse based on morals/values, background, etc.

      You mention that men have alot to loose – So do women now, especially when both parties work. Divorce laws and custody laws no longer state that the husband has to pay support – The Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional. http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/Spousal-Support-1423.html

      If a woman is the money earner in the family, she can end up having to pay spousal support for the husband. My grandmother’s divorce settlement required her to pay my grandfather alimony for 20 years after thier divorce because she earned more than he did and he was emotional abusive!

      If a man is concerned about the possible financial repercussions of a divorce, there are prenups, but IMHO unless you are extremely rich and worried about fortune hunters, you are just setting yoruself up for failure with one of them.

      Women have reasons to be concerned about committing as well – What if he ends up being emotionally or physically abusive? You bring up the fact that sex is no longer considered a wifely duty and that women can refuse men sex. While I agree that is should never be used as a barganning chip, sex should NEVER be a duty. Sex is pleasurable and should only be done because both parties want it.

      Question for you – Out of the 70% of divorces that are initiated by women, what percent of those divorces are initiated due to physical, mental or emotional abuse of the woman/child? How many are no fault because both parties decided that they were not compatable? You can’t put out a blanket number like that with out quantifying it in someway shape or form.

      The problem is not people being unwilling to honor committments made – The problem is poor choices being made in the 1st place. I resent your saying that men commit to a relationship more than women do in a marriage. That is your opinion as a man. It all depends on the person.

  • reformed_tomboy

    I’d say guys and girls can fall into the trap of mistaking intimacy as something more than just friendship. I know I’ve fallen into that trap a lot in the past few years – although I know part of the problem for me is that I’m used to having a lot of male friends so I have trouble distinguishing between the two. I get to be very close with my buddies and I know that they don’t look at me as more than a friend. Some it’s because they know I’m not a hook-up kind of girl and since they aren’t looking for something more than that they don’t waste their time. However, with others because they’re so used to my presence they just view me as one of the guys.

    Not to mention all my other female friends who will have male friends and start doing the same thing – even if they aren’t really “one of the guys.” Something as simple as a guy sending a text saying “Hey a bunch of us are going out to grab some food after the exam – thought you’d like to come.” Stuff like that drives girls up a wall because we’re told any sort of specific attention is important. But sometimes the guy is just a nice guy. Also – you don’t know if he just sent a mass text to 5 other people.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Ugh, texting! It both enhances and murders communication.

      It IS very difficult to interpret intimacy. A girl thinks she’s getting really close to a guy, that there’s something developing between them, and then he happily shares that the girl he likes has been flirting back. Or a couple is hooking up and intimacy develops – lots of affection and caring concern. The woman is certain the guy is getting invested, and then she learns that he “just wants to have fun.” Cuddling is fun, holding hands is fun, having sex is fun, but it doesn’t really mean anything.

      I will say that if a woman is sure that she’s being viewed as one of the guys, and she doesn’t like it, she needs to change things up. Do something different to change the way that you are perceived. It can be a small thing – act more feminine, don’t give any high fives or punch any biceps. Flirt a bit. Hold back, don’t always say what you’re thinking. When the guys are clearly having guy time, don’t join in. Try to hang with your guy friends when there are some other girls present.

  • Lavazza

    finsalscollons: Thanks for writing that post. You covered my thoughts in a manner I would never get through the keyboard.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Lavazza, in light of finsalscollons misreading of the post that I have pointed out, I’m wondering what you mean here. Did you also misunderstand that the 11 reasons were given by a man?

  • Chico

    Finsalcollins, you bring up a good point about the risk factor that marriage presents to men. I would never advise any man to rush into the institution of marriage for this reason.

    Which is why it’s all the more important that the man gets to know the woman realllly well beforehand and make damn sure she’s right for him. Above all, stay away from princesses and other self-centred types.

    I’m not sure why so many women on this site insist that a man needs to be committed right off the bat. It takes time to know if someone is right for you. Finding that special someone is difficult, but in the meantime, what’s wrong with having a little mutual NSA fun to keep your sanity? (and despite the theme of this blog, I know plenty of girls who just want to mess around while they’re young). But why would you want to fully commit to someone that you’re not compatible with? There’s a lot of risk involved in that, especially for men.

    Although I may get grilled for saying this, there are a large percentage of women out there who simply aren’t relationship/marriage material. I’m not referring to looks in this case, although it’s more often the better looking women. I’m talking about princesses who are incapable of handling a mature relationship because they are too used to getting their own way and have never had to compromise. They boss their man around and don’t have any consideration for him, yet they expect the world in return because they believe their _____ is paved with gold. Unfortunately, the less self-respecting of the male population will fall victim to their schemes and end up with half their property and income stripped of them, along with their dignity, once the woman decides to ‘trade up’. Sooooo…men, choose wisely and keep your guard up.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Chico,

      I’m not sure why so many women on this site insist that a man needs to be committed right off the bat.

      Could you please explain? I disagree with this. I don’t think most women on this site are looking for a commitment prematurely. However, they may choose not to engage in casual sex without one. I hope you understand why a woman would choose not to share her body with a man who doesn’t care for her?

      what’s wrong with having a little mutual NSA fun to keep your sanity? (and despite the theme of this blog, I know plenty of girls who just want to mess around while they’re young).

      There is nothing wrong with mutual NSA fun. Mutual being the key word. Fun being the other key word. The vast majority of women don’t find NSA sex fun or mutually gratifying. In fact, they orgasm only 18% of the time in NSA sex. However, if you are fortunate enough to be acquainted with a large number of girls who just want to mess around – PROPS!

      I won’t disagree with your claim that many women are not marriage or relationship material. Such women as you describe are certainly to be avoided. If you want a relationship or a marriage, it is your job to sensibly get to know a woman, including her character. Spoiled women incapable of being in a giving relationship show their true colors within a week or two. There is no reason any man need get caught in the trap of such a schemer.

      • Chico

        I’m a little confused as to the level of commitment some women expect before engaging in sex. Explicit statement of exclusivity? Engagement? Marriage? Is it enough to just like each other, let things naturally escalate to sex, and see where it goes from there? Speaking as a guy, that’s enough for me.

        I agree with your statement about mutual interests. I don’t think casual sex is morally apprehensive, so long as both parties are in agreement about expectations. I do, however, think it is wrong to mislead a woman and go around bragging about your conquest to the entire campus.

        I’m glad we see eye-to-eye in the issue of spoiled women. Unfortunately there are many in number…either that, or me and many of my friends are looking in the wrong places. I believe it’s important that, given all the bad talk about players, we recognized there is such a thing as the playette!!

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          The level of commitment as a prerequisite to sex will vary by woman, so it really depends on where you’re hanging out. When you meet someone you like, and you want to get to sex, you need to be attuned to her signals. Some women will escalate, making it clear they’re down for NSA sex. But if you think a woman could be LTR material, you should take it slower, IMO. Or at least be aware of her signals. Women are the gatekeepers – she will let you know what she requires to get to sex.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Chico, I don’t believe in committing right off the bat. But I rarely meet a man who is OK with being 1 of 3 in my rotation. I’ve had a man commit to me prematurely, unasked, just because he did not want me to date other men. I didn’t ask for his commitment OR offer mine, but he insisted that we should be exclusive – all because the thought of dating a woman who was simultaneously dating other men repulsed him. It was a long distance relationship and I told him that he should feel free to date other people in his area, because I certainly feel free to date other people in mine, and he WENT CRAZY.

  • Chico

    Polyamourous Desi, it sounds like the guy was a little on the desparate side and that’s why he tried to pull that fast one on you. I bet he wouldn’t think it was gross if he dated multiple women at the same time to see who was a good fit.

    Long distance relationships never work out. I can’t even comprehend why anybody would want one, unless they were already committed to each other for a long time beforehand. My best friend actually had one with this very attractive girl from Eastern Europe and she was looking at emigrating to Canada…in which case he would have had to marry her to grant her citizenship. I knew right away that this spelled trouble.

    Luckily, he found a girl here in Canada who treats him a lot better and now they’re in a healthy relationship. Once the other girl (from Eastern Europe) heard about the news, she freaked on him. “You know how many guys out here want to get with me?! You could’ve had me but you blew it!!” Classic princess attitude and classic case of an attractive woman abusing her power. I’m almost certain that, if he had married her and brought her over here, she would have divorced him soon after. I’m really glad that he took my advice and told her off. And as it turns out she was seeing other guys anyways.

    • Polyamorous Desi

      “I bet he wouldn’t think it was gross if he dated multiple women at the same time to see who was a good fit.”

      Well Chico, that’s just it. I KNEW he was attracted to women in his area and wanted to see if any of them would be a “better fit” than me, so I told him to go right away – but that I would be doing the same of course. He didn’t like the “I would be doing the same” part. You know – the old double standard where the man should be allowed to play the field while the good girl waits for him to “come around”. Pfffffffft! Them days are OVER!

      • Chico

        Fair enough. Your decision was a perfectly legit one in my opinion. I don’t like double standards either It all goes back to not expecting anything that you are yourself incapable of giving.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Jealousy is a powerful motivator. I’ve written about how it’s unethical to deliberately try to make a man jealous. However, if a man has no wish to be exclusive a woman is on the market. She is free to date multiple men, though I discourage having sex with more than one man at a time. If a man wants a woman to refrain from going out with other men, he has the option of asking her to commit to him. He may not choose to do so, in which case she is free to look for someone more relationship minded.

  • Lavazza

    Susan: I understood your post the same way as finalscollons and posted my reply without scrolling down to see your answer. My support for scollons post stands. You have written a lot of good stuff. This is not a big stain. ;-)

  • Lavazza

    I have always rightly or wrongly assumed that having sex with a woman who you do not find a “catch” is a sure fire way of inviting drama into your life.

    If there is a sluts and studs double standard, there is also a double standard of what is considered leading somebody on and toying with somebody’s feeling, where women have a lot more latitude for doing stuff like that to stroke their ego and the guy is called a loser, if he gets angry or disappointed.

    Only players will not get angry or disappointed, because they always have more women going on and will invest where their effort gives the best results, which will make the women work harder to keep the player happy.

    I guess women like players because they are safe. You know what you get. A non-player might either be too clingy or dump you, if you are not up to his standards in the non-sex departments. A player will never be too clingy and will not judge for you lack in the non-sex departments.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Lavazza, you are seriously ODing on Roissy et al. Do yourself a favor and take a break from that stuff. Women don’t think guys are losers for getting angry or disappointed if their emotions are appropriate to the circumstances. Acting crazy jealous or begging for a woman’s affection are certainly losing strategies, but one doesn’t have to be a player to avoid them.

      Women don’t like players because they are safe – they like players because they are dangerous and there is an element of risk, which produces a dopamine thrill.

      Most women want a loving relationship with a man, neither player nor loser. Surely a man needn’t be one or the other?

  • http://www.decoybetty.com Deidre

    From one of my favourite tv shows Mad About You:

    Paul: I can see staring at this face for the next 50 years.

    Jamie: Really?

    Paul: aboslutely

    Jamie: even if I get a double chin?

    Paul: I’ll love both of them.

    Jamie: if I get gray hair…

    Paul: mmhmm.

    Jamie: and wrinkles, even if I have false teeth, a moustache and I drool?

    Paul: Why you gotta push? You always have to push it.
    .-= Deidre´s last blog ..Who wants to read about my not very sexy dreams? =-.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hahaha! I love it! Sigh, Paul was wonderful.

  • Lavazza

    Susan: According to my reasoning women are using players the same way men are using hookers.

    • Michael

      According to my reasoning women are using players the same way men are using hookers.

      The big difference is that women do not have to pay for sex.

    • Robin

      You know – as much as I hate to type it, I agree with Lavazza to some extent. A friend of mine told me something that is humorous, but has a ring of truth to it. “An ugly woman can walk into a room filled with 100 men and get laid. A ugly man can walk into a room filled with 100 women and still end up going home alone.”

      • Michael

        “An ugly woman can walk into a room filled with 100 men and get laid. A ugly man can walk into a room filled with 100 women and still end up going home alone.”

        So women have it better than men.
        .-= Michael´s last blog ..Michael was tagged in this photo. =-.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          You’re projecting. Most women don’t want to walk into a room full of men and get laid. The correct comparison would be getting asked out on a date.

        • Michael

          Most women don’t want to walk into a room full of men and get laid.

          But they can get laid if they wanted to.

          For getting laid, the bar is much lower to non-existent for women than for men.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          Well, that doesn’t matter if getting laid has no value. That’s like telling me I can have liver and onions for free any time I want. No. I don’t like it. Offer me something else. I don’t care if you are crazy about liver and onions, it doesn’t interest me, so it has no value to me.

        • Michael

          Well, that doesn’t matter if getting laid has no value. That’s like telling me I can have liver and onions for free any time I want. No. I don’t like it. Offer me something else. I don’t care if you are crazy about liver and onions, it doesn’t interest me, so it has no value to me.

          Since when did women hate having sex?

          Do they really view sex as a chore instead of a fun activity?

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          No, not at all. Women love sex with “a favored male.” We prefer sex with emotional meaning. For women, walking into a room full of strangers is exciting because of the possibilities for romance, not sex. The sex comes after the romance, ideally. There are always exceptions, naturally.

        • Michael

          We prefer sex with emotional meaning.

          So do I.

          That does not mean that sex without emotional meaning is worse than no sex at all or being a virgin.

          Looking for nsa sex and looking for relationships are not mutually exclusive (although keeping a relationship is mutually exclusive with nsa sex.)

  • Josh

    Hi Susan. I sent you an email using form on the contact page. Did you get it? Just making sure.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Yes, I got it, and will answer within a day. Short version: she wants you. Question: Are you sure she’s worthy?

  • Lavazza

    Susan: Only dangerous in the roller coaster sense, but like roller coasters they are also safe.

    Women are using players to tie them over between relationships or when a relationship is dieing. They are a safe and reliable tool for that purpose.

    A non-player is much more dangerous. He might start off well, but prove to be boring, nervous, needy, bitter, angry or whatever. Or the non-player might on the contrary find the woman below his standard, because she does not have enought to contribute when it comes to non-sexual qualities or in the long term, which is very hurtful and which shatters the woman’s delusional world view.

    Some lazy women take the easiest way out and falls in love with a player, as a way to stay away from these two (frequent) pitfalls of mixing with non-players, and then accuses the player for fooling her.

    The same happens with some men and Thai prostitutes. Apparently mostly American men and never German men.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Confessions-Bangkok-Private-Eye-Stories/dp/981054832X

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If the women you know use players as a safe and reliable source of romance or sex then you need to start hanging around different places. Indeed, you specifically describe women who have little to contribute aside from sex. In the U.S. we call those women hookers.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Wow, this is a long thread, and to read it all, I feel like…well there’s a half an hour I’ll never, ever get back… But onward into the morass.

    I really liked this bit Ysabelle above ( I think):

    “women have made it sucked for us”

    It is ever thus, eh lads?

    Not an especially original thought, but one that must have birthed a nation of dissatisfied souls.

    But as an old one armed BU philosophy Prof was fond of saying, ‘This is nothing more than phenomenology of your own Embarrassment’.

    From the outside looking in? Few can understand any particular marriage, let alone the long complicated history of marriage in the West. I’ll leave you again with the premier historian of marriage in America, Prof Stephanie Coontz: http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/

    and of course the interesting recent social & political developments in same:

    Red Families v. Blue Families
    Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture
    Naomi Cahn and June Carbone

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/LawSociety/LawandSocialScience/?view=usa&ci=9780195372175

    So yes, each marriage is unique. Just as we might expect each Other Legal Contract to be so as well. Perhaps even broadly similar as a body of law, but each unique as a lived reality for it’s participants. Yes, these are still circumscribed by the state at the occasion of their dissolution or with respect to certain limited requirements for the raising of children, (that they not be starved, unduly beaten or abused, and that they be provided with some modicum of schooling), and the same with respect for spousal abuse (which should extend to all & every party, no matter their gender). But other than that? Hey dudes, it’s all up to you! You make it what you want of it. It’s a contract. It’s Yours, you OWN it. It’s only limited by your imagination & what the other party will see fit to agree to & with.

    So me, as a long happily married man, I always wonder about all the whining & caterwauling here & elsewhere about wives, prospective wives & ‘women’ in general. If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome? It might have been mentioned In the contract, up front, eh? Why not think of that? Well, it’s got certain limitations. It’ll only really work with a fellow cooperative party of a similar mind & inclination. Ergo there would be little need for the contract, right? Just like most other legal contracts! Everyone is supposed to live up to certain expectations and it’s only in their grossest breach that someone has to take the other party to court to have someone adjudicate if the contract was indeed willfully violated.

    So many of you reading this far might not know how operationally this might be done or what it might look like. Here’s the short version:

    1.) Chose the right person. The Non crazy, Non narcissist, Non Mommas boy/Daddy’s girl/ or otherwise the well known ‘entitled brat’ syndrome. I know this is hard. Some of them are quite ‘Hot’ and attractive looking prima donnas and are ever so tempting. Still they don’t make likely decent long term prospects, with few rare exceptions.

    2.) All things being equal? Chose loyalty over novelty. Wisdom over trivia. Reality over fantasy. Steadfastness over skittishness. Merely attractive over ‘raging beauty’ or ‘drop dead gorgeous. Always try for ‘normalizing selection’ with the stuff you can see with your eyes. The hard worker over the ‘show horse’. The quiet, steady plodder over the ‘flash in the pan’ then gone schizoid brilliance. Yes, that family sedan with the good mileage over the racy sports car!

    3.) Find the smartest person you can stand and who likes & appreciates you & tolerates who you are and where you want to go. Marry this with some serious common sense & everyday wisdom and a genuinely grateful attitude about life, and it’s an unbeatable combo. This alone is easily worth 2-3 pts on any objective ‘attractiveness scale’. This alone will likely eliminate 2/3 of all prospective divorces, as surely as higher ed will (Grad school will cut your chances of divorcee in half, actually).

    4.) (Gee I’ve not even mentioned Sex yet, eh?) So be it. The next most important factor in any marriage, spouse or LTR? An agreement or a concordance in styles with regards to finances, money & how to handle it. If one style or another, just that it can be made viable by some rational plan you can both agree with in the open w/o much argument. The 2nd Most Important Thing To Consider Before Any Marriage or ‘living together arrangement’. It’ll save your life & sanity one day.

    5.) Be sexually compatible with your prospective spouse and be willing to grow together as you age. And yes, you’ll likely both age. If you’re lucky. Come to some early agreement about the importance of same & all the above points as well, as well as the raising & begetting of children. Repeat as needed & necessary.

    That’s it. My nearly fool proof plan for marriage. I could go on, but I’ve got things to do still. Again, despite all the objections, Most guys today will eventually get married. I also think that marriage does benefit men who are are a party to it, not the least of which is for the raising of children in 2 parent families, and the benefit of same. So again, despite it all? Most will eventually marry & raise a family with children, (but not necessarily at the same time!) And even most can benefit from the arrangement if they chose carefully & wisely, and if they’re willing to yes, stand up & argue for their points In their marriages.

    Me? In my household it’s not at all uncommon that a question is answered with ‘Yes, sir & No ma’am’. That’s the way we roll. Mutual respect is our byword. Why this is so damn difficult to apprehend is beyond me. There are ways to ensure that you need Never divorce your wife, if that’s what you really desire? But in the end? Most see the wisdom of the course eventually. Sad but true.

    I’ll not make this longer by adding some qualifiers at the end here, I’ll wait for any follow ups, if any! Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      VJ, thanks as ever for coming in and setting us right with a big dose of common sense. Both sexes are guilty of this pursuit of the idealized partner – a mirage that dissipates every time one gets close.

      I heartily endorse everything you say, but this strikes me as critically important:

      Mutual respect is our byword.

      That alone can make a marriage work.

      Don’t date anyone you can’t respect. That alone will ensure at least the absence of abject misery.

  • Lavazza

    Susan: Tsk, tsk. A woman can have more to offer than sex and still just want sex from a certain man (attractive, available and non-possessive) and just want to offer sex to that man.

    A true story: A good looking highly educated young mother divorces her husband and start working abroad in a well paid job. At a cocktail party at work she meets a young handsome guy (attractive, available and non-possessive) in the same profession. They exchange contact info and soon he is her secret lover, coming by when the children have gone to bed and leaving after a couple of hours. Later she meets a less attractive beta provider (who is good new daddy material) and breaks up with her secret lover (who has been seeing other women on and off during the whole affair).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Ah, I didn’t realize you were talking about women looking to cheat. Yes, cheating will often be done with the alpha male, though not always. A woman needs not only motive, but opportunity.

    • Polyamorous Desi

      So? It’s not like this woman cheated. She was divorced when she took the hot lover and as soon as she started dating the Daddy material nice guy, she dumped the lover. I fail to see what she did wrong here.

  • Lavazza

    Desi: Thank you. My point is that the guy’s most important selling point is his availability, which is also his problem. If he becomes less available the women move on to other players who are more available.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Lavazza, I’m not quite getting the point. You are saying that the Daddy material nice guy should make himself LESS available so that women move on to other players instead of him?

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Dilithium, I think there certainly is a lot to be gained from simultaneous de-escalation. That is what I hope the “man slut fatigue” will usher in – the girls who only had access to him theoretically and for one night may turn once again to men who are more suitable in that they are a similar level of attractiveness. I know that those men who are a 6-7 don’t want a woman after she’s been used up by alphas – but it doesn’t require every woman learning this lesson from personal experience. Cautionary tales have a real place in shaping group behavior.

    As to the era of the 7, that came up between me and Obsidian. I think I may have posited that theory, and he agreed. He feels that 8-10s are “overpriced” and that guys, even with tight Game, are likely to lower the risk of rejection by going for the 7. A 7 is fine, gets you in there, and gets you respect from your peers. It’s the strategy with the highest probability of success, in his opinion.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    “I know that those men who are a 6-7 don’t want a woman after she’s been used up by alphas ”

    Do they have any choice?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Yes, they can:

      1. Have a sexual relationship without committing to a LTR.
      2. Expatriate.
      3. Go ghost.
      4. Seek out women who were busy studying and working when they were young – there are plenty of women who don’t go anywhere near the hookup scene.

      • ExNewYorker

        Those are options, each with issues:
        1) You can do this if you don’t get attached. Also, there may be a danger of STD’s, if the other person has been living la vida loca.
        2) Going outside the US might work, but some of the jobs for some of us are still primarily in the good ol’ USA.
        3) I went ghost my last year in grad school, and it sucks. But, depending on the alternatives, I suppose it could be the least bad option…
        4) This takes time, and patience. And you need some level of game and confidence and assertiveness, because even if your target is a good woman, you want to be the one choosing…at some level, every woman needs to know their man had options, but chose her…

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          As to #4, I agree, but it’s also true that they women in this group will not be throwing a million shit tests your way. Game helps, but these women are not “hardened” in the way that their sexually experienced peers are.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Which women are available for male 6’s and 7’s to have sexual relationships with? Remember now, female 6-7’s shoot much higher.

    Yes, they can expatriate. But few choose to do so for practical and other reasons. Going ghost? They won’t be missed, especially if women in their range don’t notice.

    Seeking out women who don’t go near the hook-up scene? Sounds good. However, if it’s a good strategy why don’t they already do that instead of creating blogs about how no “hot” women want them?

  • Lavazza

    Desi: No, what I am saying is that a player who is not available is not a player anymore. Once you have gone in to an exclusive LTR, especially if you have children, you have less freedom and resources to use to be available. A guy who goes down the player route has to stay on that route. A guy who has had a divorce has less money and time, and a guy who has had children has even less, and he has less credibility in playing the “money and children” card, because women know that he is reluctant to go that road again. In SATS they were called “toxic bachelors”. A woman has to gamble her youth and beauty on a guy who is “beneath her”, but who will rise above her in some years, to have a harmonic LTR. A woman’s value is depreciating every year, but a guy’s value will often appreciate. If a woman 8 will get together with a male 6, she might have a male 8 when she is a female 6. And he will remember her as the female 8 and appreciate her good judgment, if she chooses wisely. A woman playing it (short time) safe (hooking up with guys above her) will have her value depreciated until left with few options.

  • DJB

    Why would a man play along? He could simply acquire resources and status and become an 8 before entering into a LTR. The smart strategy is for a man to wait and enter into a LTR with a woman around his age, not younger. He needs the wisdom to choose wisely, and an older woman is less likely to trade up as she has less fecundity (and fertility). The problem with using a player for sex and then marrying a beta provider later on is that men are aware that women are apt to do this. Thus, they delay commitment until they are certain she is LTR material – no man wants to be the winner in a game of musical cocks. Thus, it is important to make each sexual experience have meaning. A man will not hold it against a woman if she has sincere relationships, but I can assure you most don’t like investing in a woman who views men as walking dildos. And if you have to hide your past, what does that say about your own ability to trust?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      DJB, I agree with your comment about what men are and are not willing to forgive. Certainly most men would consider a woman with an extensive sexual history as potentially cynical and jaded about relationships. They would also wonder about her character, and her ability to accurately judge the character of others.

      I know it’s very popular on Game sites to claim that women hook up with players, and then when they’re past their prime, they look to a beta provider. This generalization has never struck me as logical or true. For one thing, contemporary women have a lot of earning power – they don’t really need to marry a provider. Also, I think many women who make poor choices in their youth keep right on doing that into their 30s. They are drawn to the bad boys, and find beta males unacceptable – no gina tingles. Finally, many beta males come into their own nicely by their mid-20s, and suddenly find that they have higher mating value than ever before. Many of the couples I know socially are comprised of men who joke that their wives would have never dated them in high school. They turned into real catches over time, though, and went head to head with alphas to date the most desirable women. These women were not settling – they perceived that their mature beta was a total catch.

      • Polyamorous Desi

        Susan, I don’t think beta males really “come into their own” until 30ish or close to it. Mid-twenties is still young and they still act like teenagers, many of them. Also, I think that handsome beta males have an easier time than the average ones. So many men just blend into the woodwork. I call it the “beige effect”. I never give a guy a second glance unless his beauty stands out. And if he’s gorgeous, I don’t care if he’s alpha or beta, I’ll be attracted. Doesn’t mean I’ll date him – he’ll have to have brains and character for that – but the initial interest will be sparked. Looks count for a lot. It’s what gets us “in the door” so to speak.

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          I disagree. I went to grad school and had about 500 males in my class, most of whom were beta, and in their mid-20s (25 is the average age for a b school student). Granted, these were guys who had already demonstrated their intelligence and leadership, but honestly, many of them were highly eligible by that time.

          Personally, I think the sweet spot for men is about 28, but by the mid-20s most beta males already are demonstrating their potential. Of course, it depends on the woman too. I encourage recent college graduates to meet guys who are a bit older, but they’re not going to go for a 10 year difference. Even 5 years feels like a lot when a woman is 21.

  • Polyamorous Desi

    Wanna know if your boyfriend has potential to cheat or be faithful? Get his DNA tested!

    Susan, what do you think of this?

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/tracking-the-science-of-commitment/?no_interstitial

  • Poly Desi

    I would categorize “passion” as empty love and “commitment” as dutiful love.

  • Michael

    The women can smell your business card and tell you to the penny what your annual salary + bonus amounts to.

    And men from Asia do not care what women (native or foreign) make?

  • PJay

    No, they don’t.

  • PJay

    You’ve really got to discard all the feminist BS you’ve been fed all these years.

    “Equality” is a nuanced, nebulous term with little real meaning in the real world.

  • http://datingadvicecentral.com Johnny B

    I have only told a couple of girls that I loved them – and I had dated them for at least 2 months before I had said it – and I was never the first one to say those 3 words.

  • VERY TRUE SAYS

    it seems the women of today NEED TO GROW UP. it is the women that are at FAULT HERE, not us men. there are so many of us GOOD STRAIGHT MEN that are certainly looking for COMMITMENT today, but with so many VERY UNEDUCATED WOMEN that we have now, just makes it worse for us men. can’t BLAME MYSELF, since i am looking to meet a GOOD WOMAN for me, if there are any left.

  • Man

    Guys: What can women do to make you want to commit? Do men want Consummate Love as much as women do, and is it all about timing?

    I think men want consummate love as much as women do. But given the differences between men and women, it ends up being about timing and with the “right” person. Unfortunately I think that many people and couples don’t even make it. I know only a few couples which give me the impression of being a “consummate love”, even though the statement “the only ones who understand the nature of a relationship are the two people in it, and even then there’s often confusion” possibly applies here more often than I imagine.