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5 Steps to a Relationship Commitment

The biggest problem in today’s sociosexual environment, from the perspective of women, is that many men are reluctant to commit to a relationship. Once you weed out the Fake Boyfriends, Dead End Boyfriends, and Boyfriends You Got on a Technicality, there are few observable, mutually satisfying relationships among 18-25 year-olds. Individual women can’t control the adverse cultural conditions that favor no-strings sex for males in their 20s. But a woman who seeks a meaningful relationship should have a strategy for managing new relationships, leading up to the inevitable “Talk.”

Your success in snagging the guy of your dreams will depend on many factors, including your taste in men, timing, geography, his view of relationships, and most importantly, how he feels about you. It’s crucial that you discover all relevant facts before you go getting carried away with your fantasies.

The 5 Step Plan for Securing a Relationship Commitment:


1. Conduct a realistic assessment.

It is what it is. It is not what your friends say it is. What does his behavior tell you? How does he treat you? What has he specifically said about his feelings for you? You need to take a brutally honest look at all of the feedback you’ve gotten directly from the source. Reliable or unreliable? Big effort, little effort, or no effort? Dinnertime or closing time? Secret or public? FWB or date functions? This is no time to be saying, “I think this could be something special.” Or “He has so much potential if only he would try.”

If he has said straight out that he isn’t looking for a relationship, stop reading, you’re done. Never think you know a man’s mind better than he does. If he’s all about having fun and isn’t curious about what’s going on in your head, he’s just out for a good time. If, on the other hand, you have been spending quality time together and you feel pretty sure that he likes you, proceed to Step 2.

2.  Be the best that he can do.

Men are skittish about committing if they think they can do better. Your job is to convince him via your actions that you are worth taking off the market NOW. To that end, you need to be:

  • your most physically attractive self
  • fun to spend time with
  • easy to get along with
  • independent, not symbiotic
  • highly sexually motivated and adventurous, with the promise to rock his world once you feel secure

Re the last point, Athol Kay recently wrote a post about the difference between falling in love vs. pair bonding in men:

In love = Dopamine based excitement / OCD like mental obession on person of desire. The addition of Game understanding is that Alpha Traits complement this process.
Pair Bond = Oxytocin / Vasopressin based emotional bonding and closeness.  The addition of Game understanding is that Beta Traits complement this process.

He concluded by saying:

Be advised to show cleavage and leave no question in his mind that you’re good in the sack. At the heart of things, this is what men want from marriage and how they experience love and pair bond to you. The rest is just details.

After you’ve consistently delivered the message that you are high value, it’s time to move on to Step 3.

3. Demonstrate relationship skills.

I left a comment on Athol’s post asking how women can offer enough value to get men to commit. (This is one of my favorite questions for men.) Another reader left a comment that Athol liked so much he made it a separate post. Slwerner says:

In addition to lots of great passionate sex, the thing that pops out to me is the loyalty and the way she has learned to “telegraph” her continued loyalty to me. I don’t think men always realize how much they actually value loyalty until it’s lost; but, given that women’s infidelity can lead to her bearing another man’s child, I believe that female loyalty has been highly prized by men since well before recorded history began.

He specifies that when other men are around and paying attention, his wife touches him, demonstrating her preference for him over everyone else. This makes all the difference.  Athol responds:

I think the loyalty observation is key here. Men want a highly sexual woman as a partner, but we also want a loyal one. I think we often get stuck with a viewpoint that either a woman is low sex and loyal, or high sex and disloyal.

Loyalty is the big one. Find ways to signal that you are really into this guy. Make him feel like the biggest man in the room.

Other important relationship skills that you should be consistently displaying are:

  • gratitude, showing appreciation for kind and generous treatment by him
  • kindness, consideration of his feelings
  • generosity, a desire to please him
  • flexibility
  • compromise, a willingness to negotiate problems as they arise, and a refusal to hold a grudge

If you’ve been consistently displaying all of the qualities in Steps 3 and 4, he should be responding with considerable interest. If, at this point, you are wondering whether he likes you, abort the mission. If, on the other hand, you feel sure that he likes you but is passively enjoying the lack of relationship definition, proceed to Step 4.

4. State your interest in a relationship clearly.

You need to ask for what you want. You need to state succinctly what you will and will not do going forward. Eric Charles at A New Mode says that guys will rarely change the status quo without inspiration:

If a guy won’t call you his girlfriend after a month (two months tops), then I would say it means that he’s enjoying the relationship exactly where it is and at this moment will not take it any further unless he is inspired to. To a guy, calling a girl is girlfriend is typically a huge pain in the ass and if the girl is making herself so available and so committed when he hasn’t committed to anything, why would he call her his girlfriend?

Understand that this is a cost to him, and a benefit to you. The following behaviors are absolutely prohibited during this conversation:

  • begging
  • whining
  • wheedling
  • pouting
  • sulking
  • refusing to speak
  • nagging
  • yelling
  • throwing a tantrum

In short, anything that conveys confusion, desperation or petulance is a dealbreaker. You’re just conveying that you’re going to be an especially high maintenance pain in the ass as a girlfriend. Keep it short and sweet. Speak from a place of personal strength. Listen carefully to his response. Proceed to Step 5.

5. Be gracious in victory and defeat.

Regardless of whether you got what you wanted, you need to demonstrate grace. If he agrees to a relationship right off the bat, congratulations, this is now you:

If he is ambivalent, or needs more time, you can reiterate your interest, but remind him that while he is deciding what he wants, you are a free agent. If he is not available for a relationship, you will remain on the market so that you are free to meet someone else who is. It is critically important that you communicate this without resentment or a desire for vengeance. The last thing you want to be saying is “I’ll show you!” But the thing you really need to do is show him. Show him how his life looks different when you pull back on the attention and companionship he has been enjoying. It’s probably a good idea to cool down the hooking up as well. Stay friendly, available, and accessible. To him and other men too.

If he says, “NO RELATIONSHIP,” you are going to pick up your toys and go home. You are going to stay cool and thank him for a fun playdate. You are going to say “no hard feelings” and you are going to mean it. You are going to hold your head high. No shame, no embarrassment, no weakness, no weeping, no anger. No insults or name calling. You are going to calmly exit the situation and proceed to your bed, where you will crawl under the covers and weep. But that is just for you and your loved ones to witness. He is not a loved one. He does not get to witness your pain.

Though I would not intentionally give any woman false hope, it’s also true that:

  1. Everything changes.
  2. You will be surprised.

Long-time readers of my blog know that I was in this third category with my husband. You own your feelings, the fact that they are not reciprocated, and you move on. You deserve someone who wants that with you. You owe it to yourself not to waste time on a dead-end street. You must not make drama, or give him any reason to sheepishly tell his friends the story, saying “Awkward….” Maintain your self-respect and dignity. Never give that away to anyone.

Keep looking. Wait. Reconsider your taste in men, if appropriate. Reflect. Learn. Try again. Hold out for a man with character.

This is the human mating process. It’s never easy, even when you get what you want. It will, however, go a lot better for you if you behave strategically, rather than blundering through drama and tears and heartache.

Decide what you want. Now go get it. Begin at Step 1. Repeat as necessary.

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  • Heather J. Lilac

    What about guys who may not neccessarily want to commit exclusively to you because they want to keep their “options open” in case someone “better” rolls in, BUT they are afraid of losing a good thing (you, me) just in case that “better option” doesn’t exist, and therefore they get you (me) to verbally affirm committment even though I keep saying, “let’s keep our relationship open”????

    It’s a case of HIM wanting to keep his door of oppurtunity open while closing all of MY windows!

    What do you make of THAT?

    • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

      Why does he get to keep the door open but you don’t?

      If he’s still looking you should be too.

      • Heather J. Lilac

        I am still looking. And everytime he bumps into me with another guy….. he sulks. Or gets angry. Or refuses to take my calls. Then we have another “talk” and resume dating. And then he sees me with another guy again, repeat cycle.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          Then my question is…why are you putting up with this?

        • Aldonza

          My response? Step up or step aside. If you *really* like this guy, then keep dating him, but do not stop *openly* dating other men until you have the level of commitment you want from him. You don’t have to be bitchy about it, but make it clear that your exclusivity comes at *your* asking price.

        • Nisie

          What’s the value you get out of this relationship? I don’t see any myself…

        • Heather J. Lilac

          Folks, I’m getting all the benefit and none of the headache out of this relationship. He’s handsome, smart, funny. We are not exclusive nor do I really want to be – at least not at this point. He said he didn’t want to be exclusive either. I guess he thought that meant he would date other women and I wouldn’t date other men because the second I started dating other guys he got all pissy about it. He’s not dating other women now not because he doesn’t want to but because;

          1. women don’t ask him out
          2. he doesn’t ask women out
          3. the reason for 2 is because he has not yet met any other women that he likes

          He just thinks it’s unfair that I’m meeting other guys that I DO like and dating them when he has not yet dated other women. I guess he expected me to follow behind him like a puppy dog or something.

          I even offered to set him up but he declined. He’s super picky. Another reason he doesn’t want to “lose” me.

          Anyway, I’m just curious about his mentality. Maybe a guy could explain it?

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

          OK, I’m getting the distinct impression that you hold all the cards in this relationship. Which leads to a question I have:
          .
          If you tell a guy you do not want an exclusive relationship, is he more likely to want one with you? Is that a reasonable ploy? I’ve never rolled that way, but I’d be interested to hear about others’ experiences. I suppose it could also make a difference if you really didn’t want one, as opposed to just claiming you don’t. Lots of guys don’t believe women when they say they aren’t looking for a relationship. They bail before a woman has the opportunity to start pressuring them for a commitment.

        • Aldonza

          In a word…it works. But, you can’t tell him that you don’t *want* an exclusive relationship, especially if you do. Men barely listen to what you’re saying anyway, especially if the topic isn’t some variation “boobs” or “LeBron”. You have to show him with actions.

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

          LOL, boobs and LeBron, it’s a wonder women and men ever find anything to talk about! Yes, talk is cheap. Not wanting an exclusive relationship looks very different than pretending not to want one. Heather is most definitely acting like she doesn’t want one, or at least doesn’t need one.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          Amazing – boobs and LeBron…i will rememebr that.

        • Aldonza

          I apologized to Esau below about that comment. It was a flippant joke. However, I have found that being able to talk about some topics (like current sports) gives me some common ground beyond relationships. I work in a male-dominated field and I’ve gotten used to listening to, and even participating in the male-bonding topics of friendly sports debates interspersed with esoteric movie quoting.
          .
          (No idea why geeky men like to quote old movies, but they do. And they love it when women can not only identify the movie the quote came from, but respond with another quote from the same movie.)

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

          Haha my husband and I started quoting Casablanca in the car on the way home from the 4th, taking turns and seeing who could keep it going longest. I think we came up with about 18 quotes in all. He won. It was really fun.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          I don’t think it’s too far off from the truth to be honest. I mean I talk sports with my buddies a fair bit cause I’m also a major athlete. And I agree on the movie quoting as well. Among other random things I’ve noticed – fart jokes, food, stupid things you did on a dare…etc.

        • Esau

          Men barely listen to what you’re saying anyway, especially if the topic isn’t some variation “boobs” or “LeBron”.

          .

          Once more unto the breach, dear friends….

          .

          This is, of course, an unfair generalization; but it’s also a particularly slanted one. There are men, and even boys, whose attention extends beyond boobs and LeBron, and who will actually listen to what you say; but, of course, those tend not to be the men (or boys) that you find attractive. Even though you might claim that a good listener is attractive, experience shows that the opposite is true — the aloof jerk who barely acknowledges you gets far more attraction than the sensitive type who actually wants to hear what you have to say.

          .

          So, don’t carelessly generalize about “men”, when in fact you’re specifically talking about traits in the men you pick and when there are plenty of men you never pick and who don’t have these traits. The true generalization is not about men who don’t listen, it’s about women who pick men who don’t listen, over those who will.

          .

          Why do I have to keep pointing this out? When are you ladies going to get the ever-lovin’ point? Negative generalizations about men aren’t generally true statements about men, they’re statements about the men that women pick to be with. For every lazy husband who won’t wash the dishes there’s another man who’d be glad to, but whom the wife never looked at. For every selfish and abusive boyfriend there’s a perfectly decent guy that the girl never even considered. And so on. Women’s lives are not shaped by men’s behaviors per se, they’re shaped by women’s choices of which behaviors to be next to.

          .

          For God’s sake, get it straight! I’m really getting tired of having to issue this correction over and over and over again.

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

          Esau, your point is valid, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the message truly getting through any time soon. The differences between the sexes are real and have always been a source of comedy. Not all blondes are dumb, but the stereotype persists. Besides, while quite a few men of good character probably couldn’t care less about basketball, I’d guess that all the straight ones do care about boobs. (They may be too polite to discuss boobs in mixed company, which is laudable.)

        • Esau

          Susan — I’m sorry not to have been clearer. My point is not that stereotyping is necessarily bad or needs to be avoided; my point is that indulging in stereotypes — saying “all X are Y” — has the effect of hiding/obscuring the role of one’s personal choice. And that’s a very important realization, specifically for the goals of HUS.

          .

          Nodding to the original topic of this post, imagine your imagined, (stereo?)typical young woman reader making one or the other of these two statements:

          .

          (I) “Guys are highly resistant to making a commitment.”

          .

          (II) “The guys I choose to be with are highly resistant to making a commitment”

          .

          These are essentially two different views on what could be the identical situation; but what a difference in perspective! In statement (I) she simply describes the world around her, as something immutable that must be coped with, like the weather [hot, where I am, these days]. In statement (II), by contrast, she recognizes her own agency, that the essential element in shaping her life is not the outside world but her choices within that world.

          .

          Agency, it seems to me, is the key concept at HUS; is it not? Here’s a useful little exercise, which I urge you, all your female readers and all your female commentators to get into the habit of doing. Whenever you write a sentence generalizing negatively about men, ie “All men are X”, make a copy of that sentence and then edit it to include the phrase “that I pick”, ie “All men that I pick are X”. Then look at the two sentences side-by-side. Can you really justify the more general statement, or do your personal choices play a leading role in what you see? What’s the evidence, really, one way or the other?

          .

          After careful consideration, you can keep whichever version you believe is more truthful (or not, depending on your goal). But the point is, it’s useful to get into the habit of seeing the role of your own choice, your own agency, in what the world immediately around you looks like. My objection to simplistic stereotyping is not that it’s necessarily bad or unfair in itself — as you say, comedy would be nowhere without it — but that simplistic stereotyping hides the role of personal choice, and so leads to a badly truncated view of the world.

          .

          This is not just a parlor game, but goes straight to the heart of real life. Problems with men are real for women: selfishness, abuse, infidelity, etc. are real things done by (some) real men in the real world. True stories of women who suffer these things abound. But, what is seemingly never, ever, ever pointed out is that in nearly every case the woman at the center of the story had a choice. For every bad man there was a better one she could have chosen, or at least tried for, but didn’t (yes, this is not _universally_ true, but it is commonly so); asking _why_ she chose that way is central to understanding the story, and yet it is essentially never done. It’s important to change this habit.

          .

          [I may as well add here in advance, since of course the objection will be raised: yes, the same exercise applies in principle to both sexes, but in practice it's much more important and relevant for women, since women are doing most of the choosing (this is implicit in the hypergamy construct, which you've agreed has some basis in reality).]

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

          Esau, I accept everything you say here. Women do have a choice, and I certainly accept the principle of female hypergamy. I will simply ask you and others who raise this point the most germane question:
          .
          How does a woman evaluate her choices? What is her responsibility to men? Should she not be expected to choose among her own intimate social circle? That’s certainly the easiest thing to do, and research shows that frequent proximity makes people attracted to one another.
          .
          Or does she have a responsibility to evaluate and choose from all the men in her classes, or on her campus, or in the workplace? Certainly, it may be in her best interest to do so. As you say, this is one of my primary messages.
          .
          But how to choose? Does she owe an audition, if you will, to all “comers’? Or is she obligated to seek out those men who do not purposefully make her acquaintance?
          .
          Let’s say she is physically attracted to a man who is a stranger to her. We can expect, based on biological realities, that she will attempt to flirt with him. She may make eye contact, smile, or linger in the hallway until he exits the lecture hall. If she is especially confident about her own attractiveness, she may even try to make a friendly remark. Will she ask for his number? Suggest hanging out sometime? NO WAY. Not gonna happen. Only the most sexually aggressive women will do this, and they are going to target the most sexually active men, not the nice guy in class.
          .
          I just read a post at OneSDTV where he asks male virgins to weigh in and explain. The vast majority describe themselves as anti-social, with low agreeableness and high neuroticism. Some of them, not all, want to have sex, but virtually none of them want a relationship.
          .
          I agree that women need to be responsible for their choices. But we need to be realistic and honest about the population women are choosing from. Women are not going to loiter in the engineering building (unless they’re engineering majors). There has to be neutral ground. The guys have to show up where women congregate, and they have to approach. There is no other way, no matter how open-minded women are.
          .
          I know you feel strongly about this issue. I am sincerely interested to know how you think this can be resolved.

        • Aldonza

          This is, of course, an unfair generalization; but it’s also a particularly slanted one. There are men, and even boys, whose attention extends beyond boobs and LeBron, and who will actually listen to what you say; but, of course, those tend not to be the men (or boys) that you find attractive.

          Of course it’s an unfair generalization. But if we omitted unfair generalizations from blog discussions, we’d all have nothing to say. In fact, your next sentence was an unfair generalization of me and all women because you have no clue about the men I choose.
          .
          I wrote that bit for comic effect. I could’ve found a better way to get my point across. But, my point remains: don’t *tell* a man (or anyone, for that matter) about your rules. Show him with your actions. It’s the only thing men (and all people) really understand.

          Negative generalizations about women aren’t generally true statements about women, they’re statements about the women that men pick to be with.

          Fixed that for ya.
          .
          I stand corrected for my flippant use of a comedic generalization to get a point across. Nobody here is helped by the extremist tactic of forcing the other gender into stereotypes that separate us further, and deliberately baiting the other side only obfuscates the message, rather than making it clearer. My apologies, Esau.

        • PJay

          Do you insert your request for a real relationship in between chatter about shoes, makeup and giggly speculation about his future earning capacity?

          Just wondering….

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

          I’m sure it’s been done. In fact, on that site Bro Bible one guy was bitching that girlfriends suck, especially in the summer, as they will try to get you to watch Gossip Girl while helping them with their scrapbooks.

        • Aldonza

          Offering to set him up?…whoa, major power move there.
          .
          If the relationship is sexual, then that’s probably your answer right there. He may be just enjoying the casualness of it and he doesn’t want to share, or for you to find someone else. If it’s not a physical relationship, then it’s possible he has feelings for you but he won’t commit because you won’t commit. Relationship standoff. Who will blink first.

        • PJL

          Heather,

          Until he gives a woman a ring, assume an honest and sensible man keeps his options open. This makes extra-marital sex a little more complicated, of course (for the woman, not the man as much); but the whole point of “waiting” was, at least, to force the man to make a public and social declaration of commitment before sex. One’s boyfriend cannot “cheat,” because “boyfriend,” however much we may want it to be so, is not a social position signifying commitment or exclusivity.

          At the risk of being ridiculed, I believe Miss Manners makes a good point. There are only three possibilities in courtship.

          “1. You care for the other person more than he cares for you. You are welcome to calling this being intimidated or, when he finds someone else, cheating.
          2. The other person cares for you more than you care for him…[E]veryone describes this as being possessive or crazy.
          3. The caring is mutual. This is what you will call The Right Man, for whom…you are holding out while making yourself available for others.”

          If I’m dating X and I meet Y, who is intriguing to me as well, I’ll begin dating her as well. Of course, I wouldn’t be angry if X or Y were doing the same. Of course, my views regarding physical intimacy prior to marriage should probably be classified under the alternate lifestyle section of the bookstore.

          To clarify, I’m not representative of “players.” But I do have a social life that involves attractive women–with some of whom there’s been mutual attraction. Sometimes, there’s been attraction that I haven’t returned (*smug laugh*). Of course, the reverse is true as well! So, classify this perspective however you will.

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

          PJL, let me get this straight. Are you saying that you don’t believe in monogamy prior to marriage? And if not, how do you ever get to marriage? Are you looking for an X who is willing to share you with Y? With the average age of marriage at 28 for men and 26 for women, that’s a long time to wait for a commitment, assuming you know each other for a while first.
          .
          I can’t make sense of that Miss Manners quote. Sex a little more complicated? She sounds like a man, and an early proponent of hookup culture! Further I would argue that nearly all boyfriends, and their girlfriends, would disagree with the statement that boyfriend is not a social position signifying exclusivity. However much boys may not want it to be so.

        • PJL

          “PJL, let me get this straight. Are you saying that you don’t believe in monogamy prior to marriage?”

          Not exactly. I don’t believe in monogamy in theory prior to engagement. In practice, I’ve stumbled into it a number of times. But, perhaps, I should amend my statement. Prior to meeting my father and my grandfather–in short the “alpha” men in my life–a woman ought not to presume to much about me or my intentions regarding her. It’s quite likely that my family doesn’t even know about her (in fact, at the moment I’ve never told my family about a single love interest).

          “And if not, how do you ever get to marriage?”

          Presumably by asking!

          “Are you looking for an X who is willing to share you with Y?”

          Not in marriage. But I don’t think it’s wrong to see multiple people prior to an engagement. Of course *I* think it’s wrong to be physically intimate with multiple people at once (as well as disgusting, but I’m borderline hypochondriac). This last claim is, however, my own moral idiosyncrasy. Other men do not share it; but they treat the so-called institution of being a beau similarly.

          “With the average age of marriage at 28 for men and 26 for women, that’s a long time to wait for a commitment, assuming you know each other for a while first.”

          Yes. But consider that I’m not being prescriptive. In large part I’m just describing reality.

          I can’t make sense of that Miss Manners quote. Sex a little more complicated? She sounds like a man, and an early proponent of hookup culture!”

          It because she is. *I* was the one who said sex makes things a little more complicated. I was deliberately understating the case to make the point that to have sex in a relationship that is intrinsically non-committal and then expect some “half-way commitment” to emerge is silly. Even if we take a beau as a strictly monogamous social role, the individual man fulfills it as long as it strikes his whim. Commitment based on whimsy means little. (Miss Manners is, so far as one can tell, critical of the hookup culture, although she’s interested in etiquette more than morals or prudence. She writes to the effect that the sexual revolution resulted in the absurd belief that one could make a physical connection into an emotional one rather than vice versa.)

          “Further I would argue that nearly all boyfriends, and their girlfriends, would disagree with the statement that boyfriend is not a social position signifying exclusivity. However much boys may not want it to be so.”

          Perhaps. Historically, however, the only interesting number there is the high age of women, although that’s somewhat a pedantic point. Two points. (1) Do you believe that your second sentence may contradict the first? (2) For a man the position of “boyfriend” is often one negotiated by his love interest. And, inasmuch as she outshines all other options he has, he’ll probably be happy to keep it that way. If a better, brighter star emerges, you can bet he’ll explore it if he’s smart. Like I said, I’m not a player; but you’ve got to have an ace in the hole, even if all this amounts to a number of flirtatious and suggestive friendships with girls on the side. Exploring your options is so much easier when you’re “taken.” I’m sorry; a boyfriend just isn’t a fiance. Heh, I’m laughing because I’m almost a stereotypically nice boy. How horrific these (commonsense) opinions must sound!

          For clarification: I believe lying to a woman and misleading her is wrong. But until I give her a promise of my own initiative, she should just assume that I don’t love her. And I’ve never once used that word to describe my feelings, when pressed, to a “love” interest. That being said, not every question needs to be answered.

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

          Phew, I was really alarmed until you put in the reassuring bit about honesty. Well then, I suppose women should be careful to learn your views on commitment before becoming emotionally invested, even slightly.
          .
          I think it goes without saying that monogamy only lasts as long as both people remain focused on one another and do not feel, (or, in the case of marriage, allow themselves to feel) tempted by someone new. Indeed, the high divorce rate demonstrates that marriage is now meant to last “as long as we both shall love.” The difference between exclusivity in cohabitation, say, or in the two years of dating prior to engagement, and in marriage has shrunk considerably.
          .
          Of course, one may eschew these innovations, and act like it’s 1930. Because I believe it’s been at least that long since men offered themselves in marriage prior to becoming monogamous.

        • PJL

          Ms. Walsh,

          I’m a little surprised that you disagree with me. I’m just saying in another form what you’ve been saying for a while about the sexual revolution. It gave men all the chips and made the non-committal type relationships more risky for women. As for the 1930′s comment: sometimes I paraphrase Game in my own mind as “act like a $(*&#@ man.” I was raised in a culture that had vestiges of patriarchy in it. In short, the desirable sort of man now, like then, simply will keep his options open. If you negotiate him into a “commitment” just understand the terms: it’s until someone better comes along. Of course, you can convince him of truth of the (probably false) premise–i.e. that he can do no better than you. Which leads to your next point:

          “Indeed, the high divorce rate demonstrates that marriage is now meant to last “as long as we both shall love.” The difference between exclusivity in cohabitation, say, or in the two years of dating prior to engagement, and in marriage has shrunk considerably.”

          While the high divorce rate is high, evidence suggests its only high amongst lower classes of people. See http://www.divorce360.com/divorce-articles/statistics/us/more-education-less-chance-at-divorce.aspx?artid=436

          If so, then marriage still has the form of social commitment denied to girl toys amongst the social circle of most of your readership.

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

          I don’t think we disagree about the current sexual marketplace, but we seem to have a fundamentally different idea of the way that dating should work, to the benefit of both parties.

          When you speak of dating x and also dating y, you are describing a mating model that is endangered, at least in the U.S. Real dating, with dinners out, and plans, and meeting friends, and perhaps ultimately family, still happens in the mid to late 20s and up, though it is changing as waves of kids with a hookup mentality graduate from college. In that tradition, it is certainly common sense to remain free to see various people until two people decide to commit to one another. I share your view that it is unwise, at least for women, to be physically intimate with more than one man at the same time. Therefore, it is in their best interest to insist on monogamy from the male they favor. As I say in the post, this is a cost to the male and a benefit to the female. The male does a cost/benefit analysis and makes his choice. If he refuses monogamy, he loses this particular female. Perhaps that is not important to him, perhaps it is if he has strong feelings for her. Few men choose monogamy without some sort of pressure, even if it is self-inflicted.
          .
          I can’t think of a single example in the modern era of a man proposing marriage and a woman accepting without a period of exclusivity first. In fact, I don’t understand how two people could even determine compatibility for marriage without the intimacy that arises from monogamy. Since marriage in our time is usually a love match, it’s hard to imagine two people being in love and still dating other people.
          The emotional connection should precede the physical one, but is unlikely to form when two people are dating around.
          .
          Because the period between puberty and marriage is 15 years, it makes sense that people will have relationships before they marry. Serial monogamy addresses that reality. Men may prefer polygyny, and those who can get it will probably enjoy it, but the women with the highest mating value won’t accept it. That’s why I suggest that women focus on men who are reaching the point in their lives where they are considering real commitment rather than halfway commitment.
          .
          As for your cultivating flirtatious and suggestive friendships on the side when you have a girlfriend? That is shady. If you don’t deceive your girlfriend, and she witnesses that and puts up with it? Well, then you’re dating a woman with low self-esteem. No wonder you’d be tempted to move on.

        • PJL

          I’m not saying be sleazy; flirting with the opposite sex is just normal social interaction. It’s called “social flirting.” It need not imply anything other than playfulness. Goodness gracious, I flirt with old ladies at Church. It doesn’t signify anything. All I meant was–there’s a way a man talks to a man and a way he talks to a woman. You don’t stop talking to a woman like a woman just because your in a relationship.

          Just consider that there’s been more than one bad marriage made because a man took his “commitment” to his girlfriend far too seriously. I’ve seen a LOT in my short life, which is incredibly frightening enough. (Each time, the guy married his high school girlfriend who was in no way good enough for him).

          Last point, consider my amended point in a post above in which I said that engagement probably was too far. Instead, I said, you can consider yourself in a committed relationship when he of his own initiative has you meet someone very important to him. I don’t mean friends. I mean his bro or (jack pot, ladies) his family. Until then, I just don’t see how a man has social face invested in the relationship. You can assume I care when you have indubitable confirmation that my father knows you exist ;-). A bit more flexible? A suitable gold-standard?

          Btw this–”I left a comment on Athol’s post asking how women can offer enough value to get men to commit”–is a very good question. No idea on the answer, though!

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

          Yes, I think we are now in perfect alignment! Btw, I absolutely adore how you revere your dad and granddad. That alone makes you excellent husband material, IMO.

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

          Haha, what a baby! I don’t know if you have the expression (you’re from the UK, as I recall?) but here we say, “Shit or get off the pot!” You are doing everything right, and he needs to grow a pair and take responsibility.

  • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

    Interesting points. And it is true that you need to be able to walk away gracefully when the answer is no. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard girls saying “Oh he’ll change his mind!” so they keep hooking up with him and what not. The cliche of why buy the cow when you get the milk for free comes to mind…

    I’d definitely agree with the loyalty – and the idea that loyalty and high sex drive appear to be mutually exclusive in the eyes of men. I know some of my guy friends feel that if a girl is putting out for them, she’s probably putting out for other people – especially if she continues to flirt with other guys a lot. The worst thing you can do is be super flirty with a guy’s friends. he wants you to be hot and wants his friends to be a bit jealous – but he doesn’t need you going overboard. Guys need constant reassurance that you value them.

    • Aldonza

      I agree that a lot of guys don’t trust a woman with a high sex drive. In fact, I’d keep that little fact under your hat until you’re in a committed situation as most guys will assume that any woman who wants sex all the time has been getting sex all the time. If you’re really good, you’ll give him most of the credit for your overactive libido.

      • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

        But then you see the tricky divide – if a guy wants to be assured of a healthy sex live will he commit not knowing for sure? So do you reveal it and hope that you’ve waited just long enough or do you hold off entirely until you’ve got confirmation of full blown commitment?

        • Aldonza

          You’re talking in absolutes. I’m not saying ice-cold virginal until the alter. I’m saying that selling constantly available sex is not the way to get a relationship. Selling constantly available sex is the way to be constantly available sex. But, if a man becomes at all emotionally invested in you, thinks you’re cool and enjoys spending time with you and *then* discovers that you’re a sexual dynamo? Guaranteed he’s thinking to himself, “JACKPOT!”
          .
          If you do have a high libido, you have to take extra care. Guys are just suspicious of women like that because they know if they were a woman with a high libido, they’d be the slut of the ages.

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

          I second this. I think one of the most powerful things a woman can do (and I base this mostly on what I’ve learned from male readers) is demonstrate that she is highly sexual at the same time she demonstrates personal sexual restraint. In other words, “I don’t put out for randoms, but if you are the right guy, I will be amazing in bed.” I think there are many ways to communicate this kind of sexuality without being explicit.
          .
          One thing guys have made clear in the discussion threads is that they appreciate a woman who delays sex for commitment, but ONLY if she has been consistent. If she has a history of putting out for alphas, then expects them to commit, they will balk, and who could blame them?
          .
          Consistently delaying sex for commitment serves to weed out cads/players and reassure good guys.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          True, but it can be hard to find that middle ground of when is the right time to flip that card over. I agree with Susan’s point that the girl has to be consistent in it though – that would likely give a different message.

          I feel like even women though have this perception that they can’t be both loyal and sexual because of the idea that sexual women are ‘bad.’ So you get the women who are super loyal but ice cold in bed. Although even some of the highly sexual women don’t always actually have a high sex drive – they just do it because it’s the only way they know how to hook a guy.

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

          If the Sexual Revolution has done one great thing for women, it’s that we can now enjoy sex without fear of looking like a slut. It’s just that we’ve learned the sexual double standard is a stubborn thing – so women are better off when they unleash their sexuality with a favored male, rather than some random.
          .
          That’s an interesting point re being highly sexual vs. acting highly sexual. I suspect that is one of the reasons guys get disillusioned with relationship sex – once they commit they get less of it. Of course, this is especially true of marriage.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          I think the double standard is still alive and well. although I have noticed a slight change in how the male slut is viewed by the opposite sex in recent years.

          But yeah – I’d say one of the biggest reasons guys are disillusioned with relationship sex is because sex does suddenly seem to disappear once they’re in a committed relationship. Girls know that sex is a way to hook a guy so they’ll keep doing it until they get what they ultimately want – a relationship. Then, once they have that, they don’t care anymore. Among my friends I long ago discovered that those long term couples that actually work have a healthy sex life together.

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

          Guys swear up and down that they can’t be made to commit for sex alone. That thinking you can hook a guy that way is dead wrong. For one thing, they like variety, so monogamy is a compromise no matter how good the sex is. I think a lot of girls who get the commitment by offering regular and steady sex, but the guy is not emotionally invested – that’s what a call getting a bf on a technicality.

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          Yeah – I agree. it’s a boyfriend on technicality alone. It might as well just be FWB for the amount of emotion being invested.

        • Aldonza

          Great term “boyfriend by a technicality”. I like it. It’s like FWB, only the lazy and dishonest version.

        • Robin

          See – I never quite understood that… I tend to hold back a bit sexually before a relationship commitment. I enjoy myself and have fun, but the gloves come off once there is a commitment… In past relationships, the sex has just gotten better and more exciting once it’s there. Silly women slimming the supply after getting him!

        • http://the-reformed-tomboy.blogspot.com/ reformed_tomboy

          I feel a lot of girls forget it’s not just for him, it’s also for her too.

        • Robin

          Bah – sex is all about me! LOL!!! Only partially kidding, but no I agree…

        • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

          There’s a very simple solution to this, girls…

          “You know what, honey, I’ve always been a three times a week girl, but oh my god! What is it about you? I’m horny all the time around you, and I can’t stop thinking about how good you make me feel. I feel like you woke up something that had been buried with other guys.”

          There you go. You communicated that you want to fuck all the time, and you don’t have to deal with any comparisons, or worries that you’ve been promiscuous in the past. Yeah, it’s a lie, but it’s a good lie that will make your man feel like a rock star.

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

          I always say that white lies are essential to a civilized society, and this one’s a beaut. The great thing about it is that it may even lead to behavior that makes it true.

        • Aldonza

          I disagree with the flat-out dishonesty tactic. Fact is, if you’re with the right guy, you shouldn’t have to lie. There are plenty of ways to make a guy know that he turns you on. In fact, just saying “you turn me on” as often as possible and then showing him works quite well. ;-)

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

          I wouldn’t call flattery a dishonesty tactic. It’s a rite of courtship, and it’s a way of saying that someone is doing something special and perhaps new for you. I think every woman’s dream (perhaps men’s too?) is to hear, “I’ve never felt this way before.”
          .
          I saw somewhere advice from a guy about complimenting your man’s penis. He said: “If it’s small tell him he is the perfect fit for you. If he’s average tell him he’s large. If he’s huge, he already knows it, but tell him anyway, he wants to hear it.”

        • Robin

          See – I’m open about the fact that I have a high sex drive personally. However, my story is unique in a way. I told the guy I’m dating up front that I did, as well as telling him that someone who could match me sexually was something that I needed due to having been in a 3 year relationship in which I could count on my fingers the number of times we had sex. I refuse to hide it… I did before and ended up unhappy and unsatisfied for a long time. I won’t make that mistake again – Perhaps that makes me a hussy, but I don’t care.

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

          No, I think that’s great! Seriously, if you endured bad/infrequent sex for three years, I think you’re smart to lay that down up front. I dated one guy who had a MUCH lower sex drive than I did. In college, our opportunities were limited, so it wasn’t until we went to Europe together and stayed in charming inns that I discovered he didn’t want to have sex four times a day! WTF? Who cares what Vienna is like – let’s f*ck! That was the beginning of the end, that trip.

        • Robin

          OMG Susan! You almost made me spit my wine all over my laptop!!! I dunno traveling Europe, I might personally cut it down to 1 – 2 times/day… :P

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

          HA! He was such a dud! I recall one night getting out of bed late at night in total frustration, and going for a walk around Munich. He was my one dumb jock, so I figured he would be good for sex if nothing else…After that trip he developed a PE issue. Just too little, too early most of the time. He made me feel abnormal, but he’s the only man I’ve ever known who turned down sex. Maybe he just didn’t like me :-/

        • Robin

          Ugh – totally feel your pain! My ex and I, the lead up was always great, but he had no follow through or it would be at inappropriate times, like waking me up when I’d already been asleep a couple hours after a huge long BBQ. But like you said, the one person who I have every met who turned down sex – though apparently low sex drive is more common than I would have thought according to various books I read trying to figure it out.

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

          Haha, I had to crack up at the BBQ bit. I guess you were in some sort of protein-induced coma.

        • Robin

          LOL – Nah, more like exhausted. I got up at 6 that day to prepare and get everything in order, spent hours over the hot grill (the grill is my baby) and then hours in clean up falling into bead at 2am only to be woken up at 4am… BUT fair is fair, since you almost made me waste a nice red :P Glad I could return the humor!!!

        • Robin

          Lol – Bed even… I swear it’s my 1st glass….

        • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

          Heh… In my experience, the thing that sucks most about varying sex drives is how little they have to do with sexual attraction or relationship compatibility. I’ve (sadly) only dated two women with the same sex drive as me. The irony of it is that I wasn’t attracted enough to either of them to make it work. The women with whom there’s been mutual attraction, there’s been a substantial difference in sex drive.

          Oh, and yeah, vacation to me is synonymous with “sex until I’m too sore and worn out for any more sex.” So I feel you about the European dud. I’ve been in the same position.

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

          Haha, Hamby, you’ve left enough evidence in the comment threads to make it clear that you barely let a girl come up for air. I suspect you are at least a couple of standard deviations above the mean. What about the woman with amazing Kegel control?

        • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

          When I can alpha my way to five times a week, it’s a banner week. Not that there’s anything horribly wrong with that number, but anything above 2 or 3 takes work and game.

          And yes, I’m pretty much two deviations above the mean. Have been since I was a teenager.

        • verie44

          Yeah, and this is another reason why men fear women who have slept with a lot of men / alpha males. They’ve probably had a guy who was better than you. Unfortunately, sex is important, but you only do it (at the most) an hour a day maybe 3-4 times a week. All that other time spent with the person is more important.

          To say that you want all the things you’re looking for in a man AND you want him to be able to give you triple orgasms like that one italian model you slept with for 2 months? Not going to happen. I’d personally rather not know what I’m missing & constantly feel disappointed or have to add that to my list of “requirements” and settle in another area.

          Just my own personal opinion — other people probably totally disagree & would rather compromise on something else like intellect or status or say they want someone who “has it all.” I say good luck to people in the last category — that woman who wrote about how she wished she had settled for mr. good enough was probably in that last category.

        • Aldonza

          I’m open about it too…when the time is right. I’m certainly not going to commit to a sexual dud either…even if he does have supremely gorgeous pectorals…but I digress.
          .
          Ahem.
          .
          In my experience, if a man is regularly turning down sex, there is either something wrong with the relationship, or something wrong with the man.

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

          It’s gotta be one or the other.

        • Mike

          In my experience, if a man is regularly turning down sex, there is either something wrong with the relationship, or something wrong with the man.

          I guess it depends on what you mean by “something wrong”.

          Due to circumstances beyond my control (absolutely necessary if I want to achieve a certain career transition and financial objectives) I am currently living under a constant state of extreme sleep deprivation. Along with that I have a high level of job anxiety. It has very much killed my sex drive to a level well below my GF.

          Another factor I would add is to modify an expression to familiarity breeds boredom, or at least not instant raging hard-ons at the mere mention of having sex. It just doesn’t work when you go to the bathroom, take all your makeup off, put your t-shirt and shorts and sweatpants on and then come to bed with a “OK, let’s fuck now”. First time or first month that would work, but after years together not so much.

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

          Most couples have periods where sex pretty much sucks due to one or both parties experiencing extreme stress. If women can beg off from sex when they feel the least bit tired, I guess you’re allowed to take a break when you are severely sleep deprived! It’s well understood that female sex drive nosedives when a baby is born. There’s the fatigue factor, but also the flood of oxytocin. Her body is focusing on tasks more important than sexual pleasure. Sounds like right now all of your waking energy is needed for work.
          .
          As for familiarity breeding boredom, this is of course very true. Women have to hold up their end of the bargain. I think we tend to fall into the trap of thinking a guy wants sex so much he’ll do it with just about anyone, even us when we don’t make an effort. It may be true to some extent, but it’s not going to blow his mind, and we should not be surprised if his interest wanes. This is something men can and should express – women should get a clue if you ask them to wear lingerie or something else that gets you going.

        • nothingbutthetruth

          As for familiarity breeding boredom, this is of course very true. Women have to hold up their end of the bargain. I think we tend to fall into the trap of thinking a guy wants sex so much he’ll do it with just about anyone, even us when we don’t make an effort. It may be true to some extent, but it’s not going to blow his mind, and we should not be surprised if his interest wanes. This is something men can and should express – women should get a clue if you ask them to wear lingerie or something else that gets you going.

          Well, of course, there are lot of women who fall in this predictable pattern of “I’m married so I am not going to worry much about sex anymore. I will only lay like a dead fish and I will wait for him to do his thing while I am thinking about the household chores”. And you are right when you warn them.

          But many times is not the woman’s fault. No matter how much lingerie you wear, how many role games you play, how much kinky stuff you practice with your husband. At the end of the day, it is the same body, the same smell, the same moves and you cannot fight biology.

          Men are wired to long for variety to spread their seed. And ten years sleeping with the same woman, it is like ten years eating only Big Macs. Even if you love Big Macs, it is impossible to have the same enthusiasm than you had when you were a teen and started eating at McDonald’s. In addition, women’s and men’s bodies get old.

          I guess many married men have sex with their wives only because this is the only option they’ve got (they may be honest men who believe in monogamy: you know, the kind of beta men that young women despise so much). The same way that, if a Big Mac was the only meal you can eat, you will eat it instead of starving. But nobody can ask enthusiasm about doing that.

          On the other hand, after being mothers, many women also start losing interest in sex.

          It is predictable that boredom sets in. It is the way biology tells you to stop worrying about making new babies and start worrying about taking care of the babies you have already made. Our parents never expected having mind-blowing sex after having kids.I think modern people are sex-obsessed, they seek instant gratification and they want to have the same level of sex and fun than they had when they were newlyweds.

          This is delusional and this is why many marriages are miserable: misery is the result of unrealistic expectations. Then divorce and a new partner seem the only option to get the fix of interesting sex.

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

          Hey, I have been wondering where you went, F, and now I realize you’ve been around using different names!
          .
          I agree that expectations are our worst enemy. I’ve heard doctors argue in the press that healthy men shouldn’t even be taking Viagra. If you can’t get it up at 80, well perhaps that is appropriate. We believe that we are deserving of mind-blowing orgasms throughout life. When we don’t get them we either try harder (males) or stop trying altogether (females).
          .
          There are some marriages where for whatever reason, the spark does not die. The couple remains in love and sexually attracted. If I recall correctly, researchers put that number at around 10%. Here’s a sweet example:

          http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdy1w8_nbc-today-show-meet-onlineys-yorigi_news

        • Robin

          If that was the case, I totally would have understood! I had a boyfriend who worked long hours and I only got it on the weekend. I was cool with that. My ex? Bah, low stress job and life. We never had sex enough to be bored with it…. Harrumph…

      • Heather J. Lilac

        I don’t recommend bigging a man up over his “skills” in bed. It really goes to their heads and fuels their egos like mad. It’s better for the woman if she keeps him guessing if he was “good enough” for her or “measured up” to her previous lovers. It keeps a man in the open, willing, eager student position. A very good position to keep a man in.

        ;)

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

          Oh, I have to disagree with that. I have had very good results giving ample praise, but only when deserved. Still, it can induce great loyalty. I will say that in my experience, the secret to giving a great BJ is worshipping that particular penis. If you can make a man feel that his penis is special and uniquely satisfying to you, he’s yours.
          .
          Of course, if the guy’s an asshole who already thinks that, you’re just perpetuating the problem. As always, character is king.

        • Robin

          I had a revelation tonight:
          Verbal praise is not needed. Let your boneless, glowing body say it for you. Guarantee if you can’t move, the slightest touch sets off aftershocks and your body is glowing head to toe that you will see a cute self satisfied smile accompanied by a chuckle. The man will know that he’s done his job and done it right and you can see the wheels turning in his mind as he thinks about how he’s going to achieve the same effect time and time again.
          .
          Now, I know that not every time will always have those results, and while I’m not a man I have a feeling that that will speak louder than any words ever would!!

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

          Haha, yeah, that post-climax moment is some pretty good feedback. Women should not hold back on this. I’m not talking about that awful porn-style screaming, but just totally going into the experience, and then coming back to look him in the eye.

        • Robin

          See, I’ll give praise when praise is due, but I never talk about things that I did with previous lovers with a current one. It’s none of their business. If a guy isn’t open to learning what I like in bed because of a huge ego, well then, he’s just not in my bed anymore…

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

          I think comparing men is very cruel. I have heard from many men who are devastated when women compare their penises to previous lovers. I don’t think women or men should EVER discuss their sex lives with previous partners. Ignorance is bliss in this matter.

        • Aldonza

          Most men have a built-in trigger about being compared to any other men by his woman. Not just sexually, but in any way.
          .
          Trust me on this one girls, just don’t do it.
          .
          .
          .
          In fact, it’s not a good thing to do with anybody. Kids in particular.

        • Heather J. Lilac

          I had a boyfriend who compared my LOOKS to HIS previous lovers. Sometimes favorably, sometimes not. When it was unfavorable, my stored-up, passive-aggressive penis comparisons surfaced. That sure as hell nipped his “attitude” in the bud!

        • Aldonza

          Sounds like a great way to make one another feel loved and secure in a relationship.

        • Aldonza

          Depends on the man. A true alpha? He doesn’t care, so don’t waste your breath. The rest of mankind? Most of them get off on knowing exactly how well they got you off. It’s part of manhood to be able to please your woman properly and the average guy will puff up like Mr. Incredible if you roll your eyes in ecstasy and tell him (truthfully) that he just rocked your world.
          .
          And I second Robin about a man who isn’t open to learning. Most men *want* to know. If he doesn’t want to know, it’s because he doesn’t care about your pleasure.

  • Robin

    *grins* Wow Susan, your timing is too funny… I’ve gone through 1 and 2, continuing 3, completed 4 and had the talk for 5! We’ve been dating for about 3 months at this point, he’s still a bit gun shy cause of his ex, but we both are interested and exploring the situation. Perhaps it will advance, perhaps it wont, but we both know were we stand – I am open to meet other guys and he’s cool with that. He’s open to meet other girls and while that would suck, I’m not worried about it – I’m confident that my best foot is forward :)
    .
    I do disagree however that 1 or two months is where one should start using the boyfriend/girlfriend titles. My last boyfriend we dated for 6 months before we started using titles and were together for 3 years. Right now, as I said, it’s been 3 and I’m comfortable with not using them since we’ve had our talk and are on the same page.

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

      I’ll agree with this. Timing is individual to couples. It can be affected by many things, including past relationship experience, whether the relationship is or has been long-distance at some point, and what each person wants at a particular time.

  • Sasha

    I like these 5 Steps!! I think they are very true to how maybe even relationships progress naturally!

    I think unconsciously I used these with my boyfriend I recently had (recently being he had to move back to America). As in this is what happened to us as a couple and what we went through step wise that progressed us to being in a relationship. However it was in a rather unconventional order.. We lived together as flatmates and that turned into us being hook-ups for a while then that turned very sour (as you can imagine), then became friends which turned into being very close friends (BFF was the expression he used) and then slowly that close friendship from his side turned into lots of flirting which then turned into an accidental relationship.

    I believe I stayed rather friend zone with him for most of the time that he was being all flirty and touchy feely – as in I had no idea that that was his way of showing me he liked me more than a friend now. So one night we were hanging out and messing around on the couch like normal although I think we had a few drinks and I believe he started tickling me when he leaned in for a kiss which I thought was rather abnormal for friends (totally oblivious) and then and there we had a talk about “us”. Which turned out he liked me and was prepared to be in an exclusive relationship with me if I wanted the same (which I did). And the last 2 and a bit months were history before he had to go back home!

    However he never really divulged to me (nor did I want to ask) why he decided that he wanted to be in an exclusive relationship with me then instead of at the beginning when we were hooking up. I remember asking him about it when we were hooking up and I believe his answer to me was he said “He wasn’t looking for anything serious” etc etc.

    I can imagine it had something to do with the building of a friendship and getting to know each other out of the bedroom that might of sparked him wanting one? But I mean once the hooking up had stopped initially I had honestly thought that would be it for us (see I really liked him heaps still after that had ended) because I was taught/told that once you’ve hooked up with a guy the chance of him wanted a mutually exclusive relationship were slim to none.. Yet he did. It wasn’t a secret, he was the one that wanted it, he was the first one to call me his girlfriend in front of all his mates etc.

    Is there any explanation for this? Because of this rather being an exception to most “rules” I found it hard to believe he really wanted to be with me for genuine reasons. Of course I never doubted him or his trust it was just my own insecurities and thoughts towards it. I loved the relationship and how much it was like all the good points Susan has described in many of her posts as to what a mutually exclusive and trusted relationship is and why they are the most fulfilling when it is with the right person! But again any help on why he would have changed his mind a good few months after being hook-up buddies turned sour?

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

      Sasha, that’s a really good question. I’m not sure how things went sour the first time around, but it sounds like he was avoiding a relationship and letting that determination drive his behavior. He was following the script that nearly every college guy follows.
      .
      Then when you pulled back, applying NO pressure, you guys found common ground and established a real friendship. It sounds like taking that kind of a break from sex helped him think about what he really wanted. Which was not a casual sexual relationship, but a relationship with meaningful sex. With you. In a way, it’s proof that hooking up too soon can make a real mess of things. It’s great that in your case, you guys were able to transition to friendship, which turned out to be a fresh start.

  • Kurt

    You have mentioned it in other posts, but you might also recommend that the women open their eyes to the 80-90% of men in their 18-25 age bracket that they automatically ignore. I think that a big reason why the guys those women are dating won’t commit is because there are many other women their age who also want to date them. Meanwhile, most of the guys are sitting around dateless.

    I wonder how many reasonably attractive women have difficulty dating when they are 18-25. A lot of them really don’t realize how good they have it until they age into their 30s and the attention quickly decreases for most of them (assuming they don’t get married first).

    • Kurt

      Those guys aren’t all weirdos. Some of them are good-looking but shy at that point in their lives but would make a good mate.

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

        Kurt, good to see you! I see you have been making your way through my archives, and I promise to get to all of your comments in time. I agree with what you say here. Actually, in this post, I did allude to this, though my approach was subtle in this case. This post is a roadmap for after you’re already sexually attracted to someone, but I do urge women to think carefully about who they’re going after when they get disappointed.
        .
        I agree that there are many beta males who are good-looking, super bright, and somewhat shy. I married one, my son is one too. These are the best long-term partners in my view. I will continue to find ways to incorporate that message here.

    • nothingbutthetruth

      Kurt, what you say is true but it is also impossible. In the current market, it is unrealistic for young women to stop ignoring the 80-90% of men.

      It comes to basic logic. When you are a 18-25 year-old woman, you are in your prime. You are surrounded by men who want to hit on you. Not having enough time or will to hook up with every one of them, you will have to choose so you need a selection criteria. And it is inevitable that the most attractive men will come first. Hence, you will ignore most men.

      The fact that the attractive men are also attractive for other women is only a lateral consequence. So you will end up having a few alphas having serial monogamy or harems and betas having loneliness and pain. This is the natural state of humanity as DNA studies proof.

      Our forefathers were very wise and, to avoid this, they used monogamy. If an alpha is only allowed to have one sexual partner in his lifetime, this forces other women to consider betas in order to escape spinsterhood. In monogamy, there is not an imbalance between the power of young men and young women so early marriages is the consequence.

      Divorce changed all this and there is no turning back. Young betas will have to suffer throughout all their twenties. But they will have their reward in their thirties when they will have more sex that they can dream of and they will be able to marry a younger woman. This “older man-younger woman” pattern will be the pattern from now on, like in any other polygamous society in the history of humanity.

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

        But they will have their reward in their thirties when they will have more sex that they can dream of and they will be able to marry a younger woman. This “older man-younger woman” pattern will be the pattern from now on, like in any other polygamous society in the history of humanity.

        I think this is very likely. From a HUS perspective, that means that younger women need to steer clear of attractive men their own age (alphas) and gravitate to attractive men 5-10 years older (a mix of alphas and betas). And of course, they need to be judicious in their sexual behavior, or they’ll disqualify themselves entirely.

  • http://FT.com VJ

    NB: Add to #1&2: ‘Try to conduct a realistic Self assessment’ along these lines. Over 35 perhaps? What to you really want out of a guy? LTR? FWB? Marriage? Kids? Poly/Bi with kids? Whatever version of your goals here? Make certain you’re more fully aware of them, know them well before you start your approaches. Then try to formulate a more realistic plan, incorporating the ‘lessons learned’ from prior failures & successes. This might necessarily involve some needed therapy sometimes. If you’ve not successfully ‘healed’ or addressed your painful past? You’re likely to make the same kinds of ‘mistakes’ over & over. And decades can go down the drain that way. More than buying a car or a house, this is about the most critical & vitally important decision of your adult lives. And for most of this? The sex is the ‘lure & attraction’, and it’s often the glue that holds things together, but it’s not the main structure of the deal. It’s not the be all & end of the the relationship. It’s a good start, yes. But it’s an ‘insufficient condition’ if the rest of the whole is going badly or was poorly thought out from the start (perhaps blinded by the ‘great sex’).

    Now all that’s really difficult to understand. The ‘great sex’ bits & the fortunately well matched ‘high libidos’ are tremendous assets to be certain. Still, alone they typically do not produce ongoing income, tell how you should properly raise & educate children, direct you where to live, instruct you how to live well & justly, or how to get along well with other people. Just some thoughts here. Even lovingly shared high libidos alone will not always garner you sex with your partner, strangely enough. Sometimes? That’s up to the vagaries of job demands, kids schedules, family obligations, and even sometimes simple home maintenance & other common nuisances, including personal health issues. And still? Most of the time you’re still not having sex, even if you’re doing it 4 times a day! (While on vacation or on ‘funemployment’). Cheers & Good Luck! ‘VJ’

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

      Then try to formulate a more realistic plan, incorporating the ‘lessons learned’ from prior failures & successes. This might necessarily involve some needed therapy sometimes. If you’ve not successfully ‘healed’ or addressed your painful past? You’re likely to make the same kinds of ‘mistakes’ over & over. And decades can go down the drain that way.

      This is so important. The tragic spinster tales we are hearing so much of seem to all reflect this failure to incorporate life lessons. Smart women doing incredibly stupid things over and over again.
      .
      In my view, any woman who is struggling with a string of disappointments can probably benefit enormously from therapy. I wouldn’t mind having a therapist permanently installed in my guest room. Sort of an au pair analyst.

  • http://www.marriedmansexlife.com Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life

    I love these five steps Susan. Very much appreciate the link love too.

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

      Yay :-)

  • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

    Great post! To reiterate a couple of things that you really nailed:

    1. Remember, this guy is talking to every one of his guy friends about you. If you go flaky, even once, all of his boys are going to hear that you’re a psycho. The bit about leaving gracefully… I can’t agree more. Nothing spells freak like throwing a fit when you don’t get your way. If you can walk away with dignity and pride (at least long enough to get into your own bed) then you stand a lot better chance of impressing guys in the same circle.

    2. Commitment is a minus for the guy and a plus for the girl — at least in the guy’s mind right off the bat. It’s all about giving enough to keep him coming back, but holding out enough to make him want more. And then don’t, don’t, don’t budge. As soon as a guy knows he can escalate and push you past your barriers, he feels like he can get everything he wants out of you without committing. Whether it’s frequency of sex, or not staying over, or what… you need to hold something back. (I once hooked up with a girl who always went home after sex. After a couple weeks of that, she looked me deep in the eye and said, “You know, one of my favorite things to do is wake my man up with my mouth. Lemme know if you decide you want to be my man…” And then she left. Powerful move.)

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

      Oooohhhh, I didn’t even think of guys in the same circle. That’s a good point – if the guy opted out of a relationship, he can hardly be telling his friends they can’t take a shot. This is likely to work best if the relationship has not already gotten too sexual, I think.
      .
      Women hate to hear that the old getting the milk for free adage is legit, but come on, it’s just human nature. We all respond to incentives. As we’ve discussed before, the trickiest part is what to give up when. This just has to be sorted out individually by couples. Wait long enough to build anticipation and reassure him you are LTR material, if an LTR is what you’re going for.

    • verie44

      I agree about the “same circle” thing. Guys definitely talk. I was dating one guy in a circle, let’s call him Andrew. And I currently have interest in one of his friends, let’s call him Michael. Andrew and I went out three times, we kissed, etc, but that was it. I always went home afterward. The fourth time, Andrew was an hour late for the date and ended up canceling entirely because he was tired. The next day he texted me asking if I would go to coffee. I told him I didn’t take guys seriously who cancel dates an hour after they were supposed to meet. Andrew responded that that was fair, and he might find it hard to forgive as well. He said he hoped I would forgive him. I said I would as long as he would be on time from then on (he had a habit of being late) and cancel in advance. No response from Andrew. So I made it easy for him: I texted “Andrew, although this doesn’t have seemed to have worked out, no hard feelings on my side. I still think you’re a very fun & nice person, I hope you’ll say hi if we see each other out & about.” He responded with “agree, have the same feeling on my end about you — there simply cannot be any hard feelings against a sweet person like you.”

      Fast forward — I am still friends with that circle, and Michael still invites me out to events & such. He definitely has dropped a couple of things that let me know Andrew told him we went out (since I didn’t say anything) — like pointing out a cab driver & saying, I think he’s Russian, I know you like those guys.

      I think the way you exit situations is important because guys do label the crazy girls. Even though Andrew was a dick & I could have been a bitch about it, the way things were handled allowed him to somewhat save face since he knew he was a douche & allowed me to still have access to his friend. Win.

      The only thing is that I hope Andrew didn’t insinuate to Michael that anything happened between us, but I can’t control that since I don’t kiss & tell. Actually, would there be any way to let people subtly know that? I couldn’t think of anything.

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

        I LOVE the way you handled Andrew. That farewell text was brilliant. It was generous and classy but also very clear and dignified. Well done.
        .
        As for the talk between guys, you’re right, women can’t control that. Even if you could bring it up, it wouldn’t come across well, I don’t think. If you and Michael get to the point where it might be an issue, it’s bound to come up. If he asks I would be honest that nothing sexual happened. That’s not kissing and telling – which implies sharing information that denigrates the other person. I think your first responsbility here is to yourself and your own reputation.

  • Anni

    Why do women have to work so hard just to get a man she likes (and who obiously likes her too, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending time together) to get into a relationship with her? It’s so unfair! Plus, I assume that most men want to have a flamily one day, so it really is in their own best interests to learn a thing or two about women. So that once they are married, it doesn’t end at first sight of trouble and the man getting these awful divorce laws unleashed upon him that everybody complains about. And by family I mean proper family, not accidentally getting a woman pregnant who will then end up being a single mother (or have an abortion). And the risk of pregnancy is always there when sex is involved.

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

      Anni, it is unfair, but it reflects the market conditions. For what it’s worth, there are lots of guys who are more oriented toward relationships. Identifying them and/or weeding out the players is a very important first step. It’s true that many people are not getting much relationship practice in their 20s. Time will tell if or how that affects divorce. Personally, I advise young women to try and date men who are > 25. I know that sucks for the guys who just graduated from college, but women don’t have time to mess around with guys who just want to sow wild oats. They can benefit from targeting guys who are starting to attend weddings, etc.

      • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

        Have I mentioned the statistician who crunched tens of thousands of numbers from most of Western Society and determined that the best age for people to get married is when the woman is 26 and the man is 32?

        FWIW, the best relationships I’ve had have been when I was 5-7 years older.

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

          Wow! I can see how that would truly be the “sweet spot” for marriage. And six years sounds like a good age difference too. Interesting.

      • Anni

        I think it’s good advice for women who are after relationships to target men who are at age when they are starting to get more serious. I actually have dated a few men who are considerably older than me. These men already have some experience with women and are able to impress a younger woman with their (career) achievements and life experience. However, in my opinion too big difference in life experience can create feelings of inequality. With peers there are more things in common and similar challenges in life. It’s great to talk about these with someone who is in a similar situation and understands. With someone older, I’d be afraid that I’m boring him or it could easily turn into an advising session.

        You have mentioned it before and I think that a lot of problems with getting into relationships comes from young people moving around a lot. Here I am, graduating in a year, after which I’ll probably move. I don’t really want to get into a relationship that has a deadline or “best before” date. Casual sex is emotionally painful. A relationship with no possible future just seems pointless. So what’s a girl in this situation to do? Have a lot of friends and a vibrator?

        • dragnet

          “Have a lot of friends and a vibrator?”

          Basically.

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

          Haha, lots of friends and a vibrator is probably a good call. I’ve always been more of a “what the hell” woman though – even if I know something is doomed I’ll go headlong into it anyway. You never know what may happen, and I just feel that life is too short to be putting myself on hold all the time. So in your situation I’d probably go for it if I met someone special, even knowing that the end was inevitable. That’s what Sasha did in the thread above – she fell for a student studying abroad, and had to say goodbye recently. Obviously, that sucks, but my guess is that she would do it all again if given the opportunity.

        • Anni

          Yeah, after a certain level of attraction has been reached the “what the hell” in people tends to come out. I did that recently too when on my holiday at home, with the internet love you told me to stop talking to, if you remeber him. Then I was (still am a bit) heartbroken. But I’m not sorry I did it.

        • Anni

          Which is not to say that the advice wasn’t good. I just couldn’t bring myself to follow it. What can I do, I’m only human.

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

          Well, I love it when I can prevent heartache, but the truth is that many lessons must be learned first hand. You needed to do that, and that’s cool. One thing I want you and all readers to know is that I never judge you. I’ll be blunt about your mistakes, perhaps, but I won’t question your goodness or whether you deserve love.

        • Anni

          Thank you, Susan. At least I think I managed to do the walking away with dignity. So something to be proud of.

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

          It certainly is. Even survival is something to be proud of. It didn’t kill you, and I’m sure it made you stronger.

        • Aldonza

          I’m glad you’re not sorry. I have a rule:
          Step 1: Forgive yourself for being human.
          .
          All other rules derive from that one.

        • Sasha

          Would do it all over again! I didn’t so much see anything ending because him and I were so close as friends before we became exclusive that we always planned to keep in lots of contact that way. The intimate and sexual relationship had and expiry date (naturally due to the 15,000km between us) but the talking, friendship and closeness part has never had one!
          I’m a bit like Susan and dive into things when having been specifically told to stay away – him being a good example – but sometimes you just have to go for something!

    • nothingbutthetruth

      Why do women have to work so hard just to get a man she likes (and who obiously likes her too, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending time together) to get into a relationship with her? It’s so unfair!

      Men have similar problems. Lots of beta guys who are hopelessly devoted to women who only regard them as “just friends” (emotional tampons) could say

      Why do men have to work so hard just to get a woman he likes (and who obiously likes him too, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending time together) to get into a relationship with him? It’s so unfair!

      When a woman complains about how hard is to get an alpha to commit, she is often not aware that it is even harder for most young guys (who are beta) to get a woman to give them a kiss or sex (which are lesser commitments than to have a relationship).

      So there are injustices but they cut both ways.

      • verie44

        This is true (except I personally don’t agree that sex is a lesser commitment than having a relationship).

        But because women are hypergamous, the alpha males aren’t having these problems that beta males are. Versus ALL women having issues getting men to commit. Beta males don’t really want average girls oftentimes / once they get one, want to be a “player” and have a harem. Hot girls who should be with the alpha males normally can’t get them to commit because average girls (and some hot ones) are giving them no-strings sex, and the beta males don’t approach them because they think they’re out of their league. Below-average girls are definitely screwed in this system, as they always have been (men are extremely visual & the omega males would rather play video games than have a girlfriend who is a 3).

        Every female gets screwed, although it’s probably true that average girls have the best shot & opportunities at finding a beta male who is a decent human being & doesn’t aspire to be a fake alpha male. Also, unless the hot girl can somehow be very approachable and nice to encourage the beta male, she’s f*ed too. This is actually harder to do than you’d think though — you look how you look for the most part, and carry yourself how you carry yourself. And I can’t tell you how many times my guy friends have told me not to approach guys — they said it would read really strangely and they’d wonder what was wrong with me that I chose to hit on guys despite being attractive. They admit to thinking that a girl who hits on guys is either crazy / a maneater (if she’s attractive) or has no options. Neither are great opinions.

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

          Verie, I agree with your summary of the problem facing women. The only distinction I would make is that someone is servicing these alpha males – and it tends to be the Girls Gone Wild – usually women in the mid-range of attractiveness. They’re attractive enough for one night, and they fall into the trap of thinking they can initiate a relationship even though the alpha wouldn’t even consider it. Or they just like the validation of being chosen by a dominant male, however briefly. So yeah, those women are getting screwed every which way, but they have only themselves to blame, and they’re making it much harder for the women who don’t play. This is where I think women need to come up with some way of applying intrasexual pressure. AKA slut shaming. It may not be PC to say so, and it may not be possible, but if they could be made to either stop, or be an unappealing option, there could be a shift.

        • verie44

          Yeah, I definitely slut-shame my friends, but I don’t do it in a judgmental way, I just tell them that their reasoning & stupid excuses to explain why a guy isn’t committing to them are not logical & what they’re doing isn’t working for them to get what they want. Coming at it from a logical angle usually works better than from a judgmental “you’re a slut” angle (even though they are) — because then you’re a bad friend.

          Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle & some friends just don’t want to hear it because it runs counter to everything they believe / have been taught under feminism. It makes me upset — believe me, I hate girls who are ruining it for me more than most beta guys do. I understand it’s partly not their fault for being raised in an environment that doesn’t really explain how things work, but it’s so effing frustrating to be penalized in a system you had nothing to do with that is set up to block your goals. It seems like girls on the whole always lose, which is actually in a blog that Vincent Ignatius posted on his website. I hate not being able to do much about it except wait (which is a steep cost for women as time is not on our side) & pray I meet someone nice instead of alpha assholes who just want to sleep with something pretty & aren’t looking for a commitment.

          “How to flip a player” almost worked for me in the past, but it was too much to deal with the constant games & setting standards, keeping on your guard, being sure you’re demonstrating value, etc etc. You can’t really be yourself when you’re trying to do this — alpha males don’t respect vulnerability & weakness. You have to be a much stronger version of yourself. And then once he was somewhat converted, I really tried but couldn’t forget all the bad things & his games up to that point (because I really had to teach him to change his behavior), so it wasn’t even worth the colossal effort it took. I think you need to have a pretty thick skin for that sort of thing, and I really don’t. It also pisses me off that I did all the work & the next girl he meets will probably find him to be the perfect mix of alpha/beta without any of the history & they may end up going off into the sunset together.

          I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this hard.

        • Mike

          I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this hard.

          I don’t think it has to be. Ultimately, it really is about standing out from the crowd of “princess/party” types and that #3 of demonstrating relationship skills.

          A guy who is forward thinking and has a high degree of future time orientation will commit. But it has to be about bringing more to the table then just sex. Guys with options aren’t going to commit and basically renounce their base drive for variety if the only thing being brought to the table is sex because that is not a scarce commodity, but an ample fungible one. But all that other stuff, loyalty, sweetness, generosity, supporting his goals, are pretty darn rare in my experience.

          I knew on my first date with my GF that she was different (together now 4 years) and 3-4 months into dating her I was faced with the choice of committing exclusively to her or playing the field. It was her relationship skills as described above in this post that sealed the deal. I’ve made this point before but I think it is critical to target the right age range. Older guys are going to be more willing to commit then younger ones. 20-25, forget about it. 25-30, better chance. 30-35, you’ll find a good number.

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

          The more I hear from men, the more I want to tell young women, just graduate from college, and then don’t spend time with guys under 25. Because people marry later and women have to think about fertility if they want kids, the worst thing a woman can do is get out of college and stay in that scene with a guy her own age. It’s 5 years of partying and NSA sex, and then you’re 26 and whoa, all the guys you know are still playing the field.
          The match between women 21 and guys 25+ is win/win. I know you and your gf are the same age, and she’s lucky. I mean, she’s great, but the truth is that you could probs be with someone considerably younger. Your character and values make you appreciate her (and I’m sure her looking great helps). But I think/know that you’re a rare guy. Not too many of you great guys around :-)

        • verie44

          And maybe my mistake was going with a guy who was 26 (I was 24 at the time) instead of older. But even if you do stand out from the crowd & you do successfully flip the player, my point was that it sometimes doesn’t work out even then because the process of flipping them sometimes damages the relationship beyond repair.

          And sometimes you can demonstrate all these things (loyalty, sweetness, generosity, support) and have the guy decide he’s not ready. Not every guy is as introspective as those on this blog and really sit down to think about which traits they want in a wife/girlfriend. You can’t make a man ready if they’re not finished playing around.

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

          it’s so effing frustrating to be penalized in a system you had nothing to do with that is set up to block your goals.

          I know. When men say, “You women made your bed, now lie in it” I want to say, “Blame me! Blame my mother!” Your generation is paying the price, but you had no role in creating this SMP. To be fair, no one predicted it, but the least we can do at this point in time is acknowledge it and its detrimental effect on women.
          Re flipping a player, you’re right. It’s a big job. You probably did prime him for some other woman to reap the benefit, and that stinks.

        • Mike

          This is where I think women need to come up with some way of applying intrasexual pressure. AKA slut shaming. It may not be PC to say so, and it may not be possible, but if they could be made to either stop, or be an unappealing option, there could be a shift.

          You are really going to bring out the ire of the feministing types with statements like this. :)

          I think the next 5-10 years are going to be very interesting in terms of how the dynamics of the sexual marketplace evolve, especially amongst women. I think for many women the light bulb is turning on as to the consequences of past socio-political action, and now the next question is “What is the response”? I don’t think men will be very publicly active in the debate. There will be an increasing schism between those who go ghost and accept a life of video games and porn, and those who learn game. I think the debate is about to amp up amongst women and get pretty heated as these questions move from the blogosphere to popular media. Can you imagine the backlash right now at suggesting highly promiscuous women should be “slut shamed”?

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

          Haha, yes I can! I’ll admit I don’t like the term, but honestly, women are capable of applying considerable social pressure on one another. They know how to do it by age 3. Just imagine how things would change if women started icing out those who put out for alphas every weekend. Some women would embrace the role of outcast, just as they always have, but many would be intimidated I think.

        • Mike

          And I can’t tell you how many times my guy friends have told me not to approach guys — they said it would read really strangely and they’d wonder what was wrong with me that I chose to hit on guys despite being attractive. They admit to thinking that a girl who hits on guys is either crazy / a maneater (if she’s attractive) or has no options. Neither are great opinions.

          This is true. But ultimately the approach is unnecessary. Women have a multitude of ways they can demonstrate interest without approaching that most guys except the very obtuse will recognize.

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

          I assume you are speaking about smiling and eye contact? Any other behaviors that signal interest?
          One young woman I know told me that in bars she just stares at guys relentlessly until they come over. She said it works 100% of the time. What I worry about there is how brazen that behavior is – I think it probably signals: DTF. As it happens, she is.
          :-/

        • verie44

          Yeah, my guy friend who literally just left my apartment told me not to stare or make eye contact either because it signals “DTF” as well, or that many guys will take it as such.

        • Robin

          See staring or making extended eye contact, that I could understand signalling DTF. However, I think some eye contact is needed or okay to show interest. I mean some guys might have the cajones to approach a girl that doesn’t signal at least some interest, but most need at least a clue that the girl is interested back. A glance then down and away with the barest of a smile works wonders with out staring a guy down.

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

          Absolutely! That is one of the key indicators of sexual attraction! What is key there is the “down and away.” In other words, eye contact first (3 seconds is the attraction threshold) then breaking eye contact because the intensity is too much. With a touch of demure shyness at the end. That’s Flirting 101. Staring relentlessly signals an aggressive intensity that women should be careful about advertising if they don’t plan to back it up.

  • Robert

    I love reading your blog and commenting on your posts because they are so goofy, a feminine trait I find very alluring.
    I really can’t understand why women have so much trouble understanding relationships. Every woman please grab a pen and write this down. Commit it to memory. Tramp stamp it to your butt. This is the secret to a successful relationship.
    Men want sex. If you sex him you will have a relationship. If you quit sexing him he will leave. As long as you are sexing him he will put up with a lot of abuse. He will be happy to do whatever you want as long as you sex him. He will happily comply with everything on your list as long as he is getting sex. This is not complicated.
    All the ministrations to the contrary is bullshit. 1% of men regard women as plentiful and easy. The other 99% are Omegas, Deltas, Betas, Herbs, etc. This is exactly how they behave.
    I suspect your entire article and all of your complaints are actually directed at the other 1% of men that comprise the former football players successfully selling used cars and banging their hot wives (we call them Alphas), and Sigmas (who would take a whole post to describe).
    With those men you are going to have to bring your A game. Sex alone will not be enough. You will have to be attractive, charming, delightful, interesting, intriguing, well dressed, hot, youthful … Well this could go on forever …. If you want a few moments with that man, quit whining and get to work polishing up your A game.

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

      Why, Robert, you make me feel like a young girl again. At first blush, I attributed this to your flirtatious ways, but with this comment I have become aware of your advanced age, which makes me an ingenue by comparison.
      .
      Apparently, you have progressed through several Stages of Man since you were a young swain at university. Dear Robert, at the risk of offending your delicate sensibilities, I feel compelled to tell you that the vast majority of college males express a preference for casual sex over relationship sex. I know, I know, many of them are not in a position to be choosy. Still, girlfriends and relationships are really not quite the thing these days. Even a beta male who gets lucky may place his entire bet on that bit of social proof, hoping to gain some leverage and “explore his options.”
      .
      Back in your day, it may be that large numbers of college men languished in the sexual desert, though I can’t imagine that number was ever 99%. Of course, that was before the Pill and Roe and feminism unleashed female hypergamy and provided a veritable feast of no-strings sexual encounters. Women’s earning power has risen considerably as well, further removing us from society’s harsh judgment.
      .
      In any case, it is simply no longer true that men will commit to women in order to gain access to sex. A generous man will commit to the price of a shot of Patron, perhaps, but even this is rare among the youngsters. Be he ugly, coarse, vulgar, rude and stupid, a young man may expect a steady supply of fresh flesh if he will consider becoming a Boyfriend. Hence that contemporary adage:

      Boyfriends are ugly.

      .
      However, Woman remains undaunted. Hear us roar. We will find ways to surprise and delight men. We will ensnare them with our strategems. We will certainly not complain, except amongst ourselves (you are an interloper, Robert! – though always welcome ;-)).
      .
      P.S. A gone-to-fat ex-jock standing around on asphalt acting eager? He doesn’t get women wet, including old Cindy Lou, having married her after knocking her up in the parking lot of the Taco Bell all those years ago.

      • Robert

        Susan … you must be insecure …you went for the jugular so quickly … sorry to bust your bubble … yes i am in my 60′s … i don’t think it is necessary to mention that every time i write a response on a blog … or any other time actually … but i have weird genetics …3 mds have told me i will outlive everyone i know … (that includes you) … (unless i am shot by a jealous boyfriend) … (so you are actually closer to death’s door than i am) … but we will all go there eventually … i am in exceptional condition … as you might guess … i crossfit … i compete athletically … and i outperform men 40 years younger … my iq still ranks above 160 … well above actually … i club … though i am not classically good looking i am regularly hit on by women of all ages … because you know who i am i will refrain from a description of my personal activities … but i am proof that in fifteen minutes it is possible to talk away your deficiencies and bed the Queen of England.
        By the way, i have checked out your photo and it looks like the dew has dropped off your lily as well. And i don’t find your thought processes nearly as attractive as i find my own.
        I am a very observant person, and everything i told you is the product of observation. I am not talking about the men of my age … the men of my age are more likely to man up … i am talking about the tatooed, weight lifting, skull wearing … unshaved men that frequent the gyms, bars, and where ever else they go. They act tough, but it is skin deep. Men of the last few generations do not the self esteem to withstand a slight breeze. It seems that you and other feministas have conspired to raise men as women, and it has worked in many cases. These men are now feminized, and women are now masculinized. They are living in an alternate universe. That is why things are so screwed up. Something you are not doing anything to rectify, with the drivel you post (meant in the nicest possible way).

        Nobody needed terms like alpha and beta to describe the men i grew up with … nor did women sit around whining about why they couldn’t form relationships.

        By the way, since you have taken the time to research me, there have been times in my life that i had a relatively high profile. I found it distasteful, and hope you refrain from scattering my personal information throughout the web.

        • Aldonza

          By the way, i have checked out your photo and it looks like the dew has dropped off your lily as well. And i don’t find your thought processes nearly as attractive as i find my own.

          I always find it odd that people take time out of their day to insult someone else. So many interesting things to do in the world, and they choose that.

        • Robert

          tit for tat, sweetie

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

          Apologies, Robert, if I bruised your ego. I was just trying to dish out some of that obnoxious attitude you found enchanting just a few short days ago.

          Susan … you must be insecure

          .
          I thought we’d established that I’m narcissistic! I’ve heard that gingko can help with early dementia.
          .

          because you know who i am i will refrain from a description of my personal activities

          On the contrary, I have no idea who you are. My comment was arrived at solely through the process of deductive reasoning. I do have access to your email address, but all that tells me is possibly your home state, and perhaps that you enjoy skiing?
          .

          i am proof that in fifteen minutes it is possible to talk away your deficiencies and bed the Queen of England.

          .
          That vixen! Apparently, her bucket list included bedding a man with an IQ twice her husband’s.
          .

          By the way, i have checked out your photo and it looks like the dew has dropped off your lily as well.

          .
          What a charming, antiquated expression. Actually, wait, I just googled it:
          To complete the act of urination by squeezing and shaking the penis; by extension, to urinate.
          How crass!
          Re my age, I’m 53 and quite open about that. Still sexy tho ;-)
          .

          That is why things are so screwed up. Something you are not doing anything to rectify, with the drivel you post (meant in the nicest possible way).

          .
          Ah, I thought you came to me via the Dark Lord in DC, but perhaps it was one of the MRA sites. In any case, since you consider my writing subpar, please don’t let the door hit your bony ass on the way out.
          .

          there have been times in my life that i had a relatively high profile. I found it distasteful, and hope you refrain from scattering my personal information throughout the web.

          .
          Distasteful? Well, now I’m intrigued! What scandals lurk in your dissolute youth, Robert? I’m going to have to get digging, but rest assured, I never share personal info.

        • Robert

          in regards to my bruised ego … if you don’t treat me with respect you can’t expect to be treated with respect in return … in addition, women deteriorate much more rapidly than men … women begin to deteriorate at age 23 … men basically never … if you are in your fifties, your attraction has dropped way below mine in my early 60s. Don’t start games you don’t want to play.

        • Heather J. Lilac

          “women deteriorate much more rapidly than men … women begin to deteriorate at age 23 … men basically never … if you are in your fifties, your attraction has dropped way below mine in my early 60s. Don’t start games you don’t want to play.”

          Pure Bullshit.

          Look at any well-kept woman in her fifties and I guarantee you she stands out in a crowd way more than any man. Men just sort of blend into the beige paint in the background.

          Plus, if they are American, they are usually boring as hell.

        • Mike

          At my old gym, there was a 50+ competitive natural bodybuilder who was one of the top in the nation over the age of 50. From the neck down, his body was better then 99.9999999999999% of 20-30 year old guys.

          No woman no matter how “well kept” will have the body, the tight skin, firm breasts in her fifties of a 20-25 year old. Physiologically impossible.

          If a guy busts his ass, doesn’t smoke or drink excessively, eats clean, works out religiously, maybe even a little testosterone supplementation he can stay much closer to a 20-30 year old male well into his 50s, maybe even early 60s. I’ve seen more then just the one example above.

          Your comment above reflects wishful thinking over a honest appraisal of reality.

        • Heather J. Lilac

          Mike, quite the contrary. How many men do YOU notice daily? Exactly. Now, how many women? This has nothing to do with being homo or hetero. I challenge you for the next 7 days, NOTICE the people around you. Take note of their general age range, how they are dressed, their hair (or lack thereof), their skin, their facial features, their physiques. Then come back and tell us who blends un-noticeably into the background more – men or women.

          “With ornamentation, every woman is a goddess” the ancients have told us.

          And this is truly a gift. Even a Plain Jane can stand out and turn heads with a flattering outfit, some dangling earrings, and french twist or some bouncy waves. Men just don’t have these options.

          Sure, some men with long hair stand out, and if it’s done right long hair on a guy can boost him a few points on the looks scale, but other than that, most White guys just blend into the background beige. Add to that their terribly bland personalities and NO, it’s NOT TRUE – men just DO NOT AGE BETTER THAN WOMEN NOR BECOME MORE “DYNAMIC” IN OLD AGE.

          Exceptions are always there – they proof the rule.

          Anyway, do my 7 day challenge of noticing people…..

        • Aldonza

          I beg to differ about women not being able to fight aging with exercise. I have a 45yo friend who is a competitive figure athlete. She looks better than 90% of women of *any* age due to a high protein diet and plenty of weight training. Fact is, it’s not that hard to look better than most young women today, thanks to junkfood and soda. Further, both my friend and your guy at the gym are statistical outliers. Average people who aren’t spending hours in the gym and eating nothing but chicken breast are going to age. Both get fat and wrinkled, men lose their hair and muscles, women’s boobs sag. But I’d also say women are more likely to be trying to fight it than men with beauty routines and fashion.

        • PJay

          Absolutely correct. Plus, a woman who looks hot in her 40s will likely be hot the rest of her life.

          It’s hard to gauge how someone will look in the future based on their 25-year-old appearance.

          They may head downhill quickly past 30, or stay hot ’til the end.

        • Mike

          I beg to differ about women not being able to fight aging with exercise. I have a 45yo friend who is a competitive figure athlete. She looks better than 90% of women of *any* age due to a high protein diet and plenty of weight training.

          I actually mostly agree with you. Whether male or female, regular weight training can significantly slow down the aging process. I’ve seen some really good looking women in the 35-45 range.

          That said…OK… I”m going to get a bit explicit. The breasts of a 20 year old versus a 30 year old versus a 40-year old. Those perky, full B/C breasts of a 25 year old turn to floppy pancakes in 20 years. No weight training can reverse that. I could go on with alot more examples.

          That said, it is not impossible to stay sexually attractive. Racquel Welch and Jane Seymore still look good. I could probably get an erection and as Roissy says the boner doesn’t lie. Sorry if this is too explicit but I think I needed to cut through the BS on this point.

          We know men are visually stimulated and women not as much. So a 50-year old man is capable of presenting a level of sexual attractiveness and sexual market value to a 35-year old woman that is simply not true in reverse.

          Fact is, it’s not that hard to look better than most young women today, thanks to junkfood and soda.

          Very true. I’ve seen so many 20-25 year olds that are just pudgy from all the booze they drink. They’ve collectively set a pretty low bar that is easy to surpass for the 35-40 year old who lives totally clean and works out religiously. I think she is closing in on 40 now:

          http://n.b5z.net/i/u/10045487/i/MONICA-BRANT-BIKINI.jpg

          But I’d also say women are more likely to be trying to fight it than men with beauty routines and fashion.

          I think this is true also because they have to (back to that visual thing again). Guys can compensate in other ways, although most are too lazy to at least get in decent shape.

        • verie44

          This argument is pointless. The point of insulting a woman’s appearance is to insinuate that she’s too ugly to get a man, therefore it’s most biting for single women. Susan is married — she already has a man who thinks the world of her so your opinion of her appearance is less than relevant.

          It would be like telling you you’re old (the point of which would be that you couldn’t get a young woman to like you). For you, you don’t feel that way and your lifestyle reflects that, so who cares whether someone says that or not?

        • Robin

          And this is why I love your blog Susan… Enjoy your wit!

    • Snowdrop111

      ” If you sex him you will have a relationship.”

      Then explain my ex.

      He broke out in hives when I tried to spice anything up–and spice up simply meant in another room, or me starting to give him a spontaneous bj. I swear the first time I started to give him a spontaneous bj he got nervous and said in a strange tone, “that’s enough” like I was doing something wrong. I was all about the silky, but not too bare, nice lingerie. At one point near the end, after three months with him working in another city, he didn’t want to have sex on the first or second nights back together. Meanwhile, all this time, he kept me in fresh roses and called every night saying “I love you” all the time, calling me Sweetie, Baby, and getting worried if he couldn’t get me on the phone. Unceasingly romantic, cuddly, and solicitous. Definitely didn’t want sex any other way than missionary position and stopped wanting much of that. By the way, he was a geek if it matters. I am not sure if he thought of himself as a geek. He said he had gone without sex for ten years before me. I am not sure if it was true. Finally he said he wasn’t sexually attracted to me anymore, after the three months apart and he came back. I found out he had an ad on Adult Friend Finder probably the entire time, interested in dominating and being dominated. Based on how he acted with me, I never would have thought he had that interest, although I would have participated, I think.

      I think he had to have sex be some kind of un-wholesome, anonymous, risky, not with the girlfriend, in order to get off, that’s what I think. For all I know he had to be wearing high heels and a tutu to get off.

      There goes your theory that if a woman sexes her man up, he’ll be happy…

      • PJay

        That’s a great anecdote, but for every one of you there are 100X husbands who are stuck with their frigid wives, who will lose kids, home, income, etc. if they decide they want to enjoy their lives.

        Overwhelming data points to women being the majority of low libido partners in relationships, not men.

      • PJay

        What’s your phone number?

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

          Damn, PJay, you really have the moves. You’ve done this once before as I recall.

        • PJay

          Hahahahaha!

      • Robert

        You had a relationship. You screwed it up. I doubt if the sex screwed it up, it was most likely something else. Can you really see yourself carrying the day with the argument that men don’t like sex? Do you women really talk to each other this way? That is exactly why MEN pay no attention to the silly things you say.

        • Robin

          You obviously didn’t read her story. She didn’t argue that men don’t like sex. I’m sure there are a few that don’t, but some men do have lower sex drives than the women they are with or in this case, different sex drives. It happens. It may be less than women who have lower sex drives than their men, but it happens. This is why there are books on it.
          .
          My ex is a good example. He enjoys sex… like 2x a year. The lack of sex did kill our relationship. There is this lovely pyramid – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Sex appears twice on it: At the bottom in the Physiological section and again in the Love and Belonging in the middle. He could not fulfill one of my basic needs and after 3 years, I couldn’t handle it. I cooked, I cleaned his house, I ensured he had clean clothes, I helped him whenever he needed it and I couldn’t get a basic human need met. So yes. Lack of sex killed my relationship. A relationship is a partnership where both parties should work to fulfill needs and he couldn’t fulfill mine so end of relationship.

  • Vincent Ignatius

    The biggest problem with monogamy from the perspective of a man with options, is that we don’t get what we want but the woman does. It’s not really a fair deal.

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

      In this market, you are entirely correct. When female sexuality is repressed, monogamy means access to sex for men. Fortunately for us, there are men who enjoy falling in love. That feeling doesn’t last forever, which is why Helen Fisher has said that human beings (both kinds) are probably best designed for serial monogamy, with each relationship lasting 3-4 years.

      • PJay

        When female sexuality is repressed, monogamy POTENTIALLY means access to sex for men.

        It also means a lot of frigid women, who otherwise wouldn’t stand a chance in the dating world, will end up hooking a guy for marriage, along with his concomitant obligations to her if he decides he can no longer endure a sexless relationship.

        Doesn’t sound like a positive place to me, as a guy

    • DJB

      Generally agree, but men do benefit from monogamy when they are older and have children. It is highly unwise for a young man, meaning early 20′s, to marry. I’ve seen some men roll the dice and come up with 7′s, but most men end up failing. No amount of Game is going to overcome the imbalance in sexual power that exists between a young man and a young woman. Most young Beta men would be better served by offering the possibility of commitment like a carrot for a short period of time then changing partners every year or so, before the level of investment begins to tilt relationship power to the woman’s side. When the average man gets into his 30′s, then he can begin to contemplate a more permanent LTR with the appropriate woman.

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

        Yes, children makes a huge difference. Monogamy is the only acceptable relationship for parents, in my view. I’ve read articles about the shared calendars of various polyamorous families, and I can’t even imagine the kids’ experiences.
        .
        The truth is that monogamy, at least in theory, prevails nearly everywhere in the world. One might reasonably conclude that it’s the most stable foundation on which to build a productive society.

        • PJay

          Totally agree – poor confused “Poly” children! And I would add that divorced parents invite a lot of hassle and instability into their lives by remarrying. The “Brady Bunch” blended family is rarely a harmonious household.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Very, very good steps. I especially agree with the objective assessment. If more women would do this, a lot of time and emotion could be spared.

    Always, always take the high road if it doesn’t work out. If only for you. But also because the world is always watching. Cry in your bed all you want, but keep your chin up when you go outside again. Respect yourself.

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

      High praise from the priestess of advice for women!

  • PJay

    Step 6: Remove all Cougars and Baby-Rabies victims from the immediate area to avoid sexual distractions….http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707152248.htm

    Ticking Biological Clock Increases Women’s Libido, New Research Shows

    ScienceDaily (July 7, 2010) — As more women wait until their 30s and 40s to have children, they are more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities to capitalize on their remaining childbearing years, according to new research by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin…..

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

      Interesting! That is David Buss’ research – and it doesn’t get any more legit than that. There’s also a big warning there for men who don’t wrap it up each and every time.

      • PJay

        Like gerbils, here in America, the old eat the young….

    • DJB

      Is this news? It takes a Ph.D. to prove what is obvious from casual observation? The horniest women are the married ones in their 30′s, before they have children. Most men would be better served by bucking convention. Marry women in their 30′s!

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

        Good point! Actually, talking about the follies of PhD’s, I often will find a study in my inbox, performed with a large sample and run through all sorts of regression analysis, concluding that men enjoy casual sex more than women do. Or some equally obvious conclusion. I hope the federal government isn’t paying for this waste.

        • GudEnuf

          A lot of what is “obvious” isn’t scientifically proven. Sometimes we need to do studies to check conventional wisdom. If the studies confirm it, people might mock them and say it’s a waste of money. But if they contradict it, it can make headlines and people think it’s the cutting edge.

          Plus, a lot of studies go deeper than what the media reports. For example, might tell you how much a woman’s preferences change with time would be summarized “women’s preferences change with age). Other times the science just goes over the public’s head, so the media has to dumb it down. There’s probably lots of studies that shouldn’t have gotten funded, but I don’t think it’s our place to decide which.

          (My dad is a scientist.)

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

          That’s a fair point, and what I usually assume when I see these conclusions. We can’t accept something as fact until it’s been studies, peer-reviewed, etc. It must be a drag for scientists who have to go through the motions of proving something that is obviously true.

      • Snowdrop111

        I beg to differ. I say the horniest women on the planet are the ones in their 40′s who just got divorced!

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    very good post, but if I may, and picking up on a theme I introduced recently, this is yet another instance where I say that the concept is somewhat alien to me. I say that because of the inherent neuroticism involved in this and many similar discussions obtaining here and elsewhere.

    But I want to point out that this isn’t just a “White” thing – it can be seen in Black society, too. At least insofar as Women are concerned. for example, there is an article going around the Internet by one Deborrah Cooper (yes, that’s the correct spelling of her first name), on how and why Black Women remain single, this time the culprit is the Black Church. Of course, what no one ever asks, is why Black Women from the lower classes don’t seem to have too much trouble getting Male company if they want it. But that would open the door to the neuroticism that is a part and parcel of being in the middle class and above world.

    I’ll leve off here. Feel free to holla back…

    O.

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

      Obs, where is the inherent neuroticism? Please explain.

  • Obsidian

    What I mean by that is, you just don’t hear the same level of handwringing in the lower classes along these lines. For some strange reason, the Women there don’t seem to have such trouble getting guys. See what I’m saying?

    O.

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

      Well, first of all, it’s in the lower socioeconomic population where marriage rates are the lowest, so I think we can be skeptical of the nature of commitment there. Second, I don’t know that those women don’t have trouble getting guys. In fact, I’m pretty sure they do. When Curtis Sliwa had his nighttime call-in radio show I was a frequent guest. His demographic is blue collar males 30+. Those guys were totally down to hook up, and the women who called in were singing the same blues women here are. I think different venues feature different voices. For better or worse, the blogosphere tends to draw a more educated/intellectual/literate crowd. And as I said in a recent thread, this is not about race either. Black women may have it even harder than white women, according to you. It is about culture to some degree – the more American, the more screwed up the SMP.

  • Robert

    You will look a long time before you find a scandal … i am who i am … but being high profile is nothing to joke about … everybody knows everything about you (thanks a lot for exposing my personal information) … the local newspaper writes editorials about you … or responds editorially to a speech you made … people assume things about you publicly … people like you or dislike you based on your public profile … when you walk down the street or go to the mall, everyone knows who you are … everyone assumes you are rich and berates your kids for being “rich.” Try that for a while and see how much fun it is. Some people thrive on it … some people make their living that way … I can live without it, thank you.

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

      ????? I am baffled. What personal information did I expose? You’re an older gentleman named Robert. You’re the one who claimed to have slept with the Queen of England. You’re the one calling attention to your profile, speechifying, being instantly recognizable on the street. Wait – you walk down the street and everyone knows who you are? Interesting. Robert in his 60s.
      Robert Goulet?
      Robert de Niro?
      Rob Reiner?
      Robert Redford?
      Nah, none of them come near 160. I’d guess Robert McNamara but he died last year. I’m stumped. How about a clue?

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    What I am saying is that you don’t have this culture of handwringing among the lower classes that you do with the middle classes and above, and it’s something that is both alien to me and yet oddly fascinating at the same time, because it’s strange watching people contort themselves into knots while other groups of folk somehow manage to get together at the end of the day. True, marriage is happening less among the lower classes, but no one here is in any rush to get married anyway, so it’s a moot point. And as I’ve noted, Black Women of a certain class aren’t all that different from their White sisters; these are the ones who handwring, too.

    Maybe, instead of all the checklists, books, blogs and films, it might be time to simply consider, if the whole approach is a just a weebit wrongheaded? Maybe the salt of the earth types just might know something here, that their ostensible “betters” don’t?

    Just a wild and crazy thought.

    O.

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

      That sounds reasonable. What do you think they might be doing right?

      • Obsidian

        Ms. Walsh,
        Well, for one thing, I think the more working classes don’t think things to death the way most folks online do. Everything is broken down to a flowchart or grid or graph or sliderule. There’s no spontineaty, no in the moment kind of feel.

        For another thing, I think folks who come from this world have simpler expectations. It’s going to be a heck of a lot easier to find a guy if you don’t expect a heck of a lot from him in the first place. This makes a lot of sense, because let’s face it, the vast majority of us are at best, a bit above average. Not much more than that. So why all the handwringing is done, is something that really cracks me up.

        Like I said, it all reminds me of that scene in the film Idiocracy, where the supposedly best and brightest wind up dying out because they spent all their time agonzing over choices and whatnot instead of you know, actually meeting people and making whoopee.

        O.

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

          HA! Was that flowchart reference a dig at my newest post? Actually, mine was done as humor – though it contains a lot of truth.
          .
          I think you’re absolutely right about expectations. It has a lot to do with narcissism, but in general I think a lot more than 3% of the population thinks it’s the top 3%. And even in SWPL circles, reality intrudes.
          .
          Btw, Game is an example of the same kind of expectations. The online blogs and forums certainly include a lot of hand wringing. In fact, Mystery was a sliderule kind of guy, so the people drawn to learning his method are going to relate to his analytical presentation of female psych.
          .
          We know that historically 40% of men reproduced. Today, men feel lied to and cheated when they can’t get laid. Well some of them are doomed to that fate, it would seem. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t owe us anything. We can only adapt behaviors that increase or decrease our chances of happiness.
          .
          That’s an analytical approach, it’s true, but meeting people and making whoopee is what many young women are doing today. Yet virtually all of the men on my blog and yours wouldn’t even consider a woman with a history of many (>6?) sexual partners. Women need a strategy – a way of staying off the carousel and seeking worthy men. If the cerebral cortex is going to win the battle with the hindbrain, it’s going to need some priming.

        • Obsidian

          SW:HA! Was that flowchart reference a dig at my newest post? Actually, mine was done as humor – though it contains a lot of truth.

          O: Actually, not at all; I just noticed it a sec ago.
          .
          SW: I think you’re absolutely right about expectations. It has a lot to do with narcissism, but in general I think a lot more than 3% of the population thinks it’s the top 3%. And even in SWPL circles, reality intrudes.

          O: Yea, but narcissism isn’t something that’s concentrated in the upper classes, it’s everywhere. The homegirls around the way think they’re just as all that as do their ostensible betters. The difference lay in the fact that the latter uses their brain in ways that account for all the handwringing, The former group, they don’t get down like that. I honestly think that being neurotic is part and parcel of being middle class.
          .
          SW: Btw, Game is an example of the same kind of expectations. The online blogs and forums certainly include a lot of hand wringing. In fact, Mystery was a sliderule kind of guy, so the people drawn to learning his method are going to relate to his analytical presentation of female psych.

          O: Absolutely. There’s a word for that – NERDS.
          .
          SW: We know that historically 40% of men reproduced. Today, men feel lied to and cheated when they can’t get laid. Well some of them are doomed to that fate, it would seem. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t owe us anything. We can only adapt behaviors that increase or decrease our chances of happiness.

          O: Tru dat…
          .
          SW: That’s an analytical approach, it’s true, but meeting people and making whoopee is what many young women are doing today. Yet virtually all of the men on my blog and yours wouldn’t even consider a woman with a history of many (>6?) sexual partners. Women need a strategy – a way of staying off the carousel and seeking worthy men. If the cerebral cortex is going to win the battle with the hindbrain, it’s going to need some priming.

          O: It isn’t hard at all, Ms. Walsh, and you know it. The problem is, that no one wants to make the tradeoffs that must occur in life in order to make anything happen.

          O.

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

          Well, let me ask you something. In the population you describe, are women being pumped and dumped by alphas? Are they going for betas? They just get down to business and make it happen? OK, fine – is that working? According to what standard?

  • Heather J. Lilac

    @Robert: “women deteriorate much more rapidly than men … women begin to deteriorate at age 23 … men basically never … if you are in your fifties, your attraction has dropped way below mine in my early 60s.”

    Pure Bullshit.

    Look at any well-kept woman in her fifties and I guarantee you she stands out in a crowd way more than any man. Men just sort of blend into the beige paint in the background.

    Plus, if they are American, they are usually TRITE and boring as hell.

    Susan, may I ask you and the others here a question that truly baffles me?

    Why in the world would a college student want an “exclusive, committed relationship?”

    I mean, women in college are thinking about their education, their degree and then starting a career, most of them are NOT thinking about having kids. Until and unless a woman wants to have kids – what is the point of chaining herself to just one dude???

    College is a time for meeting lots of guys and having lots of fun (I mean, in your spart time after studies of course!). Why on God’s green Earth is there a concern for “relationships” at this age?

    Is this some sort of new trend?

    I’m with PJL on this one — no commitment until a ring is on the finger!

    And a guy should not assume that just because he was my regular Saturday night date 4 weeks in a row that he will be the same come 5th week.

    We are young! Why spoil it by acting old???

    • Athlone McGinnis

      Heather Lilac: “Pure Bullshit.
      Look at any well-kept woman in her fifties and I guarantee you she stands out in a crowd way more than any man. Men just sort of blend into the beige paint in the background.”

      Athlone McGinnis: Why even bother arguing this?
      Maybe the other poster exaggerated, but I think its undeniable that men age better than women do. Yeah, maybe a woman with enough money can doll herself up and stand out more with the aid of shiny plastic at age 50 than a well maintained guy of the same age, but she can’t even reproduce! He’s got a good decade, maybe even two left with which to procreate. Biology is clearly on his side, not hers.

      The answer is obvious, can’t we all just accept the limitations and move on?

      HL:”Susan, may I ask you and the others here a question that truly baffles me?”

      AM: I’ll bite. I’m kinda bored anyway.

      HL: “Why in the world would a college student want an “exclusive, committed relationship?””

      AM: As a college student who for a long time has kind of wanted an exclusive committed relationship, I’ll go ahead and tell you why.

      I don’t like the modern dating scene. I can act and live with it if I have to, and if I get drunk enough and think about it hard enough(read: diligently practiced improving my game) I could probably get by and “have fun” like you suggest with many women.
      That being said, I don’t really want to. Its not my thing. I’m not that good at it. I’m a nester, its just who I’ve been and I don’t feel like changing it. A lot of it has to do with how I was raised, and I really had no say in that.

      I value things that I’m not likely to find outside of a committed relationship. I value knowing about her and connecting with her personally, aside from the whole sex thing. I value understanding her thoughts and ideas and she mine, and actually being able to talk about them and laugh about them. I like having someone to go to parties with and have a good time, as opposed to having to “sarge” every weekend and hope I luck out with some random chick whom I’m supposed to avoid calling afterwards. I think that double dates with friends would be fun.

      I value having somebody to study with who isn’t a bro. I value the intimacy that can only come with actually REALLY liking someone and taking the time(and making the commitment) to get to know them. I even value the silly little superficial things, like having a girl to give one of my jerseys to so she could wear it during my home games and everyone would know we were an item. Or that “facebook official” thing. Or making photobooth pictures together.

      I know there are plenty of downsides and drama in relationships. I’ve seen the fights, the yelling, the jealousy, the moodiness, etc. But I’ve seen enough to also know that, at least for most of my peers, the benefits of having had an LTR with someone they liked outweighed the negatives. And I wanted to experience these for myself at least once.

      To sum it up, there are a lot of things big and small that I’m sure I can’t find in hookups and that I’d like to find. That’s why I prefer commitment…

      …or, perhaps I should say “preferred” commitment.

      HL: “I mean, women in college are thinking about their education, their degree and then starting a career, most of them are NOT thinking about having kids. Until and unless a woman wants to have kids – what is the point of chaining herself to just one dude???”

      AM: Even college girls try to get guys to commit. This blog talks about that all the time. That’s female nature, they’re not going to stop whether they want kids or not.

      HL: “Is this some sort of new trend?”

      AM: No. Historically, people have married quite young. Girls were married and starting families at 18, 19 and 20, and guys were sometimes heads of the household by 23. Right or wrong, that’s how it was. This whole “do whatever you want until you hit 30 and then settle down” thing is the new trend, not the other way around. It is unprecedented in history.

      HL: “And a guy should not assume that just because he was my regular Saturday night date 4 weeks in a row that he will be the same come 5th week.
      We are young! Why spoil it by acting old???”

      AM: I mentioned above that I “preferred” commitment, as opposed to still preferring it. I suppose I should re-phrase that and say that, while I still may prefer the commitment thing its simply unwise for me to expect it. Quotes like this illustrate why. Too many girls think like you do now.

      Most girls I meet get creeped out by fellas who actually try to court them in a civilized manner. Oddly enough, it appears as though they’d RATHER be found and drunkenly swooped up in a frat basement by some bro as opposed to respectfully wined and dined. Hell, the closest that I ever came to getting somewhere with a girl was when I got wasted and tried to act like that drunken bro. But when I went up to them soberly and tried to court them? They wouldn’t even dance with me. Hell some of them wont even TALK to me after i took them on a date, almost as if the very act of trying to court them was somehow disgusting and illogical.

      Then, ironically enough, they’ll bitch later about how horrible guys are to them and how they want respect. This phenomenon is miraculous not only in its hypocrisy, but its sheer predictability. It almost appears to reoccur WITHOUT FAIL.

      This society, like it or not, just doesn’t respect the whole commitment thing anymore, at least not at my age. Dating is dead here. More importantly, girls who are worth committing to(read: girls who appreciate your respect and reciprocate it) are just too rare today, at least in this country. I can honestly say that 98% of girls I know don’t fit that profile, and every day I find evidence that one who I was certain DID fit actually doesn’t. They’re all…just like you, actually. They think commitment is silly, and I’m a fool(or, more likely a creeper/weirdo) for trying. Why bother trying to respect people who just dont want it?

      As for the other two percent of girls? Well they’re scared shitless of me. I’m large, I’m black and I play sports. They can’t shake the nagging feeling that I just wanna pump and dump like my lovely, respectful, phenotypically similar brethren over on BET and in the National Football League. Of course this is not the case, but I’m never quite able to convince them of this-my game isn’t good enough to frame it properly and put them at ease. Its a massive challenge for me and I’m starting to think its just a waste of time.

      So Heather, I’m gonna end this rant by conceding the point. I’m no longer going to seek a committed relationship in college. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be seeking one for a while after college either. Its not worth the time or effort, so why bother? If you prefer men who only see you as sex objects for short term gratification and value you for absolutely nothing else, you can have them.
      In fact, I encourage all young college aged males of a similar mind here to follow suit. I don’t see why they should waste their time either.

      Just one more thing, though. You’re blowing off guys now after the 4th date night and saying its ok at this stage in life(I’m assuming you’re of college age-correct me if I am mistaken). You would do well to consider the fact that the guys you are blowing off who actually wanted to be with you and valued your company do remember and feel the effects of your actions. They’re going to put two and two together eventually and realize that it was unwise to have gone on 4 dates with you to begin with. That mindset is going to stick for a long time, long after you decide fooling around time is over.

      When you decide you’re done fooling around and you want to settle down with a nice guy who’ll respect you(not unlike the guy you blew off after the 4th date in college), don’t expect any of them to still be there waiting for you to get to an age where its “appropriate” to seek a committed relationship.
      With your mindset you only selected for men who sought short term gratification from you and used you for physical pleasure only. They’re going to have a much harder time shifting that all around for you and committing after you’ve aged. The nice guys you burned aren’t coming back either.

      If you can accept the very real possibility of suffering from these consequences, then I’m fine with what you said.

      • Heather J. Lilac

        Actually McGinnis, you are wrong on 2 counts:

        1. Men may, with viagra and some sympathetic glances/hand jobs from their mates, be able to “reproduce” into old age – that does NOT mean they “look better” than women! They do not. And with in vitro and fertility treatments women are giving birth past 50 now (though God only knows why the heck they would want to…)

        That dude Robert above who says a woman is over the hill at 23 while some old geezer in his 60′s is in his “prime” is smokin’ some hi-grade sensimilia that I’d like to get a hold of for sure – seen?

        2. Whether long-term or short-term, exclusive or not, a man is expected to “court me” if he wants my romantic attention. I am currently in the throes of a great romance of epidemic proportions HOWEVER, because I do not want to marry or bear kids yet, I am not going to lead this guy on by saying I’m “his” in an exclusive fashion. That would not be fair to either of us. Supposin’ he was to want to marry and start a family within the next year or two. He should be free to meet a woman who wants the same and I should be free to NOT get married or bear a child when I don’t want to.

        Like PJL says – without a ring there is no binding contract. To take it to the next level – there is no binding contract without a binding contract.

        You are wrong that this “exclusivity” is an old thing and “dating” or “playing the field” is new.

        It has been common since the inception of dating in the country for young women to date a variety of young men or entertain a variety of suitors simultaneously. “Exclusivity” indicated “sexual activity” and was thus frowned upon by parents and guardians.

        Anyway, just because I refuse to become chained to just one guy right now does not mean I am devoid of courtship or romance or emotions or attachment or respect. I’ve got all those things going on in my life – but I have no need to chain someone to me or be chained to them.

        He’s my main squeeze, but sometimes I do go out on dates with other guys as well.

        He’s free to date other women but somehow he never does. His choice. Or maybe their’s.

        • PJay

          Stay strong, Sister!

          Resist the Patriarchy!

        • dragnet

          Women like Heather make men like Roissy necessary.

        • Heather J. Lilac

          How so?

        • ExNewYorker

          Because cads like Roissy teach the beta chumps (and I use that term kindly, since I used to be one) that such a woman is not worth pedestalizing and pining over for eternity, in addition to showing by example that there are plenty of fish in the sea…

        • Heather J. Lilac

          Roissy is an un-toned, Plain Joe who is old enough to be my father who trolls dive bars and lies about his age. There is absolutely no connection between him and I. There cannot be – it would go against nature and the planet’s axis would be thrown of kilter.

          I am an honest, straightforward, drama-free and low-maintainance female who any sane man would be happy to associate with – and indeed all of my boyfriends have given rave testimonials. (Other than that I won’t commit exclusively to them).

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

          Roissy is an un-toned, Plain Joe who is old enough to be my father who trolls dive bars and lies about his age.

          I’ve gone on record as saying Roissy is attractive. Not handsome exactly, but he has something. Actually, I think it’s kind of a tortured soul look, very much at odds with his persona. However, he is rather old to be trying to hit on 21 year olds.
          .
          True story: A young woman I know is working in DC this summer. Before she went I showed her photos of Roosh and Roissy. I said, “Do not, under any circumstances, interact with these men.” She recoiled in horror at the photos, first, because Roosh is just heinous and dirty looking. But I found her response to Roissy interesting. She said, “Um, that’s gross. He’s really old looking.”
          .
          Sorry guys, 42 does not cut it with a 21 year old. I don’t care how many weights you lift. Young women want young men, and they know the difference between young flesh and middle aged flesh. Men are not immune to the aging process.

        • Mike

          Sorry guys, 42 does not cut it with a 21 year old. I don’t care how many weights you lift. Young women want young men, and they know the difference between young flesh and middle aged flesh. Men are not immune to the aging process.

          Yeah, 42 to 21 is too big an age discrepancy unless this is a pure golddigger/sugar daddy relationship.

          A good formula is divide by 2 and add 7. It works well I think except at the extremes. So a 30 year old guy could go down to about 22 without an ick factor, but 19 might be problematic. I’m 36 so that gets you to a 25-year old. 40 year old could go down to 27, and a 50 year old down to 32. Interestingly, my GF’s sister who is 32 just got out of a relationship with a 50-year old and his age was never an issue for her.

          Not sure how much you can conclude from showing a picture to actual behavior. Again, we know women are not as visual as men and put a high degree of emphasis on “personality” where personality means very specific things. So yeah, you show a picture of a 42 year old to a 21 year old instinctively she will be like ooooh gross. Now go into the field and have him approach her. Assume he is the perfect combination of cocky funny, charming, shows social dominance, is the life of the room, says all the “right” things. In some cases, I’d bet the age difference would fade, but the larger the age difference the more the guy better have phenonemal game. But yes, no doubt, certain age gaps are insurmountable. A hot 22-year old is never in a million years going to regularly date a 55-year old unless it is purely for money.

          FWIW, my GF and I are both 36 (she is 2 months older) but we both get mistaken for late 20s, she can often pass for mid 20s.

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

          I like that formula, I think that’s an excellent approximation. It does a good job with the relative ages. When my daughter was 16, she was pursued very aggressively by a guy who was 24. It was beyond creepy, in my view. She thought he was really hot, but even she knew she was in no way prepared for that. Your formula says he can’t go lower than 19. Now she’s 20 and he’d be 28. It’s a much smaller age difference now. She is still a year too young according to the formula, but it’s not scandalous.
          .
          As for the in-person charms of Roosh and Roissy, I would imagine they’re considerable. But Roissy’s stories of scoring summer interns at film openings and such – give me a break. No freakin way. If he’s old enough to be her father, it is not going to work b/c it carries a whiff of taboo. As you say, the exception is the gold digger/sugar daddy pairing, a la Hugh Hefner.

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

        Beautifully said, Athlone. I think you nailed it.
        .
        Heather, here’s the problem with your approach: managing the sex. Back in the day, we dated in exactly the way you describe. Steve on Friday, Mark on Saturday, etc. We might kiss both goodnight, or maybe even make out in a car with two different guys the same weekend. That was fine, and expected. We were “shopping” and it was only after two people had voluntarily (and without consulting each other, usually) stopped going on dates with someone else for a period that they would have the “talk” (always initiated by the male) and “go steady.” That system worked pretty well at a time when the # of years between puberty and marriage was much smaller than it is today.
        .
        Now there’s a lot of no-strings sex. For those who do date, it’s sex on the third date (The Rules conservatively suggests holding out till the fourth – big deal) and there is much less incentive for men to “go steady,” as PJL has pointed out. So we quickly have a situation where both parties are free to do whatever they want without obligation to one another – that can mean having sex with more than one person in rotation. Sex with Steve on Friday, Mark on Saturday. Steve and Mark think this is fabulous, and hope to have other biddies lined up for their second night.
        .
        The problem is that very few women can pull this off and feel good about it. Women are biologically programmed to seek sex with a favored male. Can we enjoy casual sex? Yes. A steady diet of it with numerous partners? That is another question, and one that researchers are generally answering with a resounding no.

        • PJay

          Freed from the shackles of patriarchal mores, women are now finally free.

          And you, Susan, uber-antifeminist, want to put your Sisters back in their prisons.

          Never! Women will remain free to have sex on THE FIRST date if they want, and male and female feminists alike will fight to the death for their right to express their sexuality freely, equally, and proudly on par with that of men!

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

          Except that it really isn’t working all that well. There’s a critical mass of female voices basically saying this system sucks. They’re like the person who gets out of prison after 25 years, only to feel uncomfortable in the real world. They wish they could go back. Of course, they can’t go back, they must find a way forward. But they’re probably going to behave very differently than if they had never been in prison to begin with.

        • PJay

          Well, from the male perspective, it’s not that bad…maybe it’s time women started working full time in the office and eased up on the social/domestic reins here.

          The revanchist prose I am reading almost sounds as if a man were talking about how having women in the workplace isn’t working out that well.

          Maybe it’s time men ran the social dynamic sphere for a while, after all, look how poorly it has been managed by women: 40% rate of out of wedlock births, ~47% first marriage divorce rate, lopsided domestic violence, alimony and child support statutes that result in imprisonment of thousands of men annually and massive wealth transfer from men to women ($11 billion in 2008 alimony revenues)….

          If men ran the marriage/courtship sphere it couldn’t get any worse than it already has been, resulting in the women-managed mess we’re in.

          We can pick the women we want to have kids with, and send you off to the office, coal mines, battlefield, etc. to protect hearth and home.

          Time for a change all around, to dig us out of this female created social morass we’re in now…..

        • PJay

          Stay Strong, Sister! Don’t let the Victorian Dating Brigade drag you back into the drawing room for cucumber sandwiches and a cuppa Earl Grey!

          Wear your badge of hard-won freedom proudly!!!

      • verie44

        It was really nice to read what you wrote, AM. Very encouraging — I really hope you don’t give up, that you don’t stop looking for that relationship you’re seeking. There are girls out there who are just what you want.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Susan, I honestly don’t understand this mentality of wanting to “nab a man” and “take him off the market”. Perhaps when I am older, have my own place, my career is in the upswing and my life is on a solid track I will. In fact, I’m sure when I am ready to settle down and procreate I will “get it”. But right now I really don’t.

    There are just too many cute young guys out there who I want to get to know — while I can.

    • dragnet

      I honestly don’t understand this mentality of wanting to “nab a man” and “take him off the market”.

      With all due respect, Heather, this is precisely the point of this blog. Most women want to get a quality guy to commit early. You are one of small minority who do not.

      Which begs the question–what is your purpose in commenting on this blog? Your outlook and the advice that stems from it is obviously something that the people who frequent this blog wouldn’t really find germaine, if Susan is to be believed (and I think she is). So what’s the point in posting, really? Sure, it’s a free country, and you’re empowered and can do whatever the hell you want blah blah blah… but there’s a reason why I, a Gentile, don’t go posting on Jewish dating forums. My experience simply wouldn’t be relatable to what the vast majority of the readers are looking for.

      Give it some thought. Or not.

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

      Heather, when asked what women want (which I frequently am), I always say that in my year and a half of blogging, only one woman has told me she prefers having casual sexual encounters, and is not looking for anything more than that. As it happens, she was the sex columnist for UT – Austin. I also always qualify that by saying that women who want to have a ton of no-strings sex generally don’t find my blog engaging. In fact, they tend to find it enraging, and may be found in great numbers at some of the sites where sex-positive feminists hang out. That’s really what Dragnet is getting at.
      .
      As I said in an earlier reply to you, the problem is sex. In prior eras, one could date several people simultaneously and enjoy friendship. Usually courtship and romance was focused on one pair – women may have had several suitors, but they generally chose one. They didn’t date three men for a year, say. The whole dating process was one of shopping for a compatible match for mating. In any case, not until the 1960s did women even have the opportunity to have sex with hordes of men at once if she wanted to, at least not without enormous social stigma.
      .
      You haven’t directly dealt with the question of sex, so I don’t really know if you are promiscuous, sexually active or a virgin! If you are into no-strings sex with various guys – getting that itch scratched whenever you can, then I will now have to say that two women have told me that’s what they’re looking for. I think it’s great that you want to meet lots of cute guys. I’d be interested to know how many of them will wait even 2 weeks for sex.
      .
      In the U.S., the word “dating” means what used to be called “going steady.” It is a commitment. Young people who are hooking up are not dating. The average college student has been on less than two dates by the time they graduate at age 22. Perhaps we are talking circles around each other here because we’re defining the terms differently.

  • Mike

    heather is the perfect epitome of both projection and solipsism. her comments about the plain Jane standing out in a crowd with a few ringlets or dangling earrings is hilarious.

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

      I have to say I got a real belly laugh out of that one myself.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Hmmm… I’m not getting you guys’s beef with me. I’m young, smart, attractive and open to dating men who are the same. I’m too young to “settle down” right now and enjoy meeting people from various backgrounds for friendship and dating.

    Why do you guys think it’s neccessary for me to “commit” to someone at this stage in my life. I don’t get it. Please explain?

    • dragnet

      How do you get this:

      “Why do you guys think it’s neccessary for me to “commit” to someone at this stage in my life.”

      from this:

      “Your outlook and the advice that stems from it is obviously something that the people who frequent this blog wouldn’t really find germaine, if Susan is to be believed (and I think she is). So what’s the point in posting, really? Sure, it’s a free country, and you’re empowered and can do whatever the hell you want blah blah blah… but there’s a reason why I, a Gentile, don’t go posting on Jewish dating forums. My experience simply wouldn’t be relatable to what the vast majority of the readers are looking for.”

      If you take issue with something I’ve said, please blockquote it and directly address it. What I won’t have is you putting words in my mouth or reading in a motive that isn’t there. That’s dishonest.

      I don’t have a problem with you being the way you are. I have befriended, dated, and/or fucked women just like you. Believe me, there was a time when I needed women like you :-) My point was only that because the vast majority of women aren’t like that, then your advice and worldview wouldn’t really be germaine to them…which is worth noting because the entire point of this blog is to disseminate practical strategies for the majority of women who do want their men to commit early. If you’re going to address me, then you need to address the problem I’ve outlined directly instead engaging in strawmanship.

      And I do agree with Mike that your earlier post was rife with solipsism and projection.

      • Heather J. Lilac

        May I ask what all of this “early commitment” is for? Are they getting married, setting up house and having children? What’s the end result of this “early commitment”?

        How’s that workin’ out for ‘em?

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

          Heather, you keep mentioning friendship, dating, cute guys. WHAT ABOUT THE SEX? DOUBLE DIPPING? TRIPLE DIPPING? ABSTAINING? SEX WITH THE MAIN SQUEEZE, CHASTE HUGS WITH THE OTHERS? It makes no sense to talk about dating today without addressing the sex question.
          .
          Women want commitment so that they know their man is only having sex with them.

        • dragnet

          “Women want commitment so that they know their man is only having sex with them.”

          Based on what she’s written earlier, I would assume that this isn’t really even a consideration for Heather. She has indicated that she doesn’t mind a guy being with other women because she is definitely going to be with other men. I assume this means should would be sleeping with those guys if she so desired, and so wouldn’t be in any position to impose any prohibition on the sexual activities of her male partners…which once again means she would have nothing germaine or relevant to say to most HUS readers, as they are seeking to avoid precisely this arrangement.

          Heather, if I’m misconstruing your position, please correct me.

    • PJay

      ROCK ON, HEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

        You are truly incorrigible.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Susan, fair enough. However, PJL indicated that a woman should just assume if a ring is not on her finger that her boyfriend IS keeping his options open. Moreover she should not assume that he is “in love with” her. I agree. Garnering a “committment” from a young, good-looking person of either sex is a worrisome position. They will and do have options. Whether or not they capitalize on them is their choice. But why invest in any “drama”?

    I’m a simple, honest, low-maintainence and drama-free girl. I assumed men here would at least appreciate that about me. I don’t lead guys on nor do I try to manipulate them into “committment” that I myself am not ready for.

    As far as “sex” – it is not neccessary to have sex with every single person you date. Many times the “chemistry” is not there for that – but you may enjoy other aspects of being with them.

    Ironic enough though that despite my no-pressure-to-commit-policy, most of the men I have ever dated in my life DO NOT date other women while dating me. Again, that’s THEIR CHOICE (or perhaps predicament, although I only date 7′s and higher so I don’t know what’s up with that). Either way, it’s not my responsibility.

    Look, I hop on planes alot. Sometimes I’ve sat next to attractive passengers who have asked me out to dinner upon landing. If I was in a “committed relationship” I would have to turn them down and miss out on good conversation and making a new contact with possibly one of the most interesting people I could ever meet in my life. Why should I do that?

    Just so I can be “exclusive” in some sort of “committed short term relationship” that is NOT going to result in anything concrete like marriage, kids, home???

    I’m not ready to get married and start a family and I’m not going to pretend that I am OR lead guys on like that.

    These “committed relationships” that young people have are sort of like little kids “playing house” — there’s really no point and they don’t go anywhere. After 6 months or a year (at most) they will be with someone else anyway.

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

      These “committed relationships” that young people have are sort of like little kids “playing house” — there’s really no point and they don’t go anywhere. After 6 months or a year (at most) they will be with someone else anyway.

      This tells me that you have never been in love, or that you have been burned in love. The point is loving another human being, being absolutely besotted, and the intimacy of that. Research shows that when the “in love” switch is flipped in the brain, all thoughts of others flee, and one becomes obsessed with thoughts of the beloved. It is literally impossible to be in love and desire someone else. When that happens to you, you will happily go along. There is a point, and it does go somewhere. It’s a high point in the life of any human being. I hope you will experience it.

      • Heather J. Lilac

        ” It is literally impossible to be in love and desire someone else. ”

        Is this an irrefutable, scientifically proven, peer-reviewed and time-tested fact?

      • Snowdrop111

        Good answer.

        I find the pedal hits the metal when I’m sick and he brings over cans of soup and makes a pyramid out of them on my porch. I wouldn’t trade that for a handsome stranger…it took me so D*** long to find the caring part.

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

          Awww, he sounds like such a keeper. What a sweetie. Honestly, what good is hot sex if the guy isn’t in touch enough to know or care that you are sick?

    • Mike

      I’m a simple, honest, low-maintainence and drama-free girl. I assumed men here would at least appreciate that about me. I don’t lead guys on nor do I try to manipulate them into “committment” that I myself am not ready for.

      Well, I for one could appreciate it. If I were single (I’m in a LTR) and I was looking to put together a harem/rotation of girls, your type would be exactly it. And based on your comments you would have no problem with that. It would be win/win.

      That said, here’s the thing. You also sound like the type that it would be very unwise to invest even a shred of emotion into. Again, you may be totally cool with that……….now……but someday your desires/needs may change. And the thing is how you conduct yourself romantically/sexually/emotionally now may have ramifications for when you are 28-35 and ready to “settle down and procreate”.

      As far as “sex” – it is not neccessary to have sex with every single person you date. Many times the “chemistry” is not there for that – but you may enjoy other aspects of being with them.

      What is “sex”? Not sure if we are operating on the same definition here, but my definition would be if a d*ck is entering one of three holes, then that is sex. The rest of it is a very interesting non-answer answer to Susan’s question about managing the sexual dimension of dating multiple men. I’m assuming you are being purposefully evasive here. Again, I’ve got no beef whatsoever if you are having “sex” with multiple men. Again, you’d be the perfect type for part of a rotation. But I’m not sure you are fully aware that no quality guy will invest emotionally in a girl who isn’t sexually loyal.
      Sexual loyalty from the female is the price of emotional investment from the male.

      You seem like a smart girl, but I don’t think you know as much as you think you know, certainly not about the male mind (which is what my projection comment was about). I’ve got a buddy/co-worker closing in on 200. I’ve seen him in action. Very charming, alpha demeanor, gots the skillz but when it is just the guys talking it is “Yeah, I f**** that b**** in the @$$ cuz she was on her period”, “which slut do try to nail tonight”. I about spit out my water the other day at work when he called himself “The Pied Piper of Sluts”. Just hilarious. And no you wouldn’t have a clue he says those things or thinks that way. If you met him, you’d just think he was a cool, chill guy. I watched 3 waitresses at Hooters jockey for his attention when we went to lunch there a few weeks ago.

      • Heather J. Lilac

        “If I were single (I’m in a LTR) and I was looking to put together a harem/rotation of girls, your type would be exactly it.”

        It would have to be on my schedule. I own my own business, am extremely busy, find most American men terribly un-interesting, and have very high visual and conversational standards.

        Regarding your friend with Hooter’s waitresses lining up for him. I wouldn’t even TALK to a man who eats at Hooter’s, so no – the guys I date are NOT like him.

        I’m a member of a very exclusive, elite sub-culture.

        I realize I’m an outlier.

        So are the men I date.

        Let’s keep it that way.

        • Mike

          “It would have to be on my schedule. I own my own business, am extremely busy, find most American men terribly un-interesting, and have very high visual and conversational standards.”

          Just curious, how many times do you plan on specifically mentioning you find most American men terribly uninteresting. Appears to be included in every comment. :)

          Look, I think we are in basic agreement here if I am reading you right. Take a guy who meets your exacting “visual and conversational standards” who has ZERO interest in a committed, emotionally involved LTR. My guess is just about any guy who meets your standards would be more then happy to coordinate schedules, get together for some “stimulating conversation”, f*ck you real good, and then go about the rest of his day to day and week to week life without a second thought about you except for viewing you as the toy he’ll get to play with again next week, of course on your schedule. Again, if that is your preference, MORE POWER TO YOU. I’d echo the “ROCK ON Heather” statement.

          I think the overarching message and mission statement of this blog as I understand Susan is that most women (even in the 20-25 age range) want to find a guy who has some emotional investment in them, and doesn’t just view them as a f*ck toy, yet they find themselves consistently in that role anyways and aren’t happy about it. And what I am saying is simply quality men don’t get emotionally attached to f*ck toys or women who basically present themselves in that role.

          Regarding your friend with Hooter’s waitresses lining up for him. I wouldn’t even TALK to a man who eats at Hooter’s, so no – the guys I date are NOT like him.

          LOL, and you would know that how? Is that one of your standard opening questions, do you eat at Hooters? I just love it when a woman says I wouldn’t date a guy who does X, says Y, or believes Z when unless you are a mind reader you’d have no idea, or when she says I wouldn’t date/bang a guy LIKE him when that is exactly the type she would.

          I’m a member of a very exclusive, elite sub-culture.

          Ooooooohhhhhhhh…….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………I’m awed, “very exclusive and elite”.

          I realize I’m an outlier.

          So are the men I date.

          Let’s keep it that way.

          LOL. Still not sure what you deal is. Given what you just said, then obviously none of the advice here applies to you. Just keep on keeping on. I find this subject material interesting which is why I read and post here, and I think I can share an authentic, accurate male perspective on these issues instead of the things many women imagine in their heads are true but are not.

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

          I find this subject material interesting which is why I read and post here, and I think I can share an authentic, accurate male perspective on these issues instead of the things many women imagine in their heads are true but are not.

          .
          For the record, I find your perspective incredibly useful. You’ve taught me a great deal, and it’s information that can’t be easily found in any study. The guys who comment here are in some ways the lifeblood of this blog, and I am sincerely appreciative. Your insights into the male mind, combined with your acquired knowledge of the female mind make for very interesting discussion.

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

          Heather, as I read your comments I can’t help but think of the female lead in the film Up in the Air. Just in case you missed it, she’s a professional who logs many air miles per year. She establishes a relationship with a man who meets her exacting standards, i.e. George Clooney. When he falls for her, he learns that he’s a chump – she has a husband and young children. I saw that film in a full theater, and there was an audible gasp when he learned this. She was an outlier too. Waaayyyyy out. I did not find the character believable, but here you are channeling her with remarkable accuracy!
          .
          I share Mike’s amusement that you find American men boring. That’s a lot of boring men! I wonder how such a thing is even possible – that geographical boundaries determine personality. Perhaps in your work/travels you are exposed to a disproportionate number of men who exhibit incredibly boring traits, including being in a monogamous relationship already. What do you find interesting or exciting in a man? Just curious.
          .
          The very elusive, elite sub-culture remark? Like my kids used to say when they were little: That gives me an embarrassing feeling.

        • Asher

          Not sure why you’re posting then. In my experience, true outliers don’t even bother trying to communicate their circumstances, since they have multiply integrated factors differing from the mainstream resulting in a complete disconnect from the general population. If you truly are an outlier then your only reason for posting here is purely egotistical.

          Personally, I would advise the other posters to acknowledge this distinct possibility, and give you the proverbial grin and nod.

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

          Hey, Asher. Excellent advice there, I think you got it exactly right. No minds are going to change in this debate – Heather is just pugnacious and wants validation.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Heather Lilac: “Actually McGinnis, you are wrong on 2 counts:
    1. Men may, with viagra and some sympathetic glances/hand jobs from their mates, be able to “reproduce” into old age – that does NOT mean they “look better” than women! They do not. And with in vitro and fertility treatments women are giving birth past 50 now (though God only knows why the heck they would want to…)”

    Athlone McGinnis: Sorry, but judging from anecdotal evidence(read: what I see) I just can’t buy this. You can continue to believe that women age more gracefully than men, but the science(and common sense) isn’t on your side. I’m not going to waste my time on this point.

    HL: “2. Whether long-term or short-term, exclusive or not, a man is expected to “court me” if he wants my romantic attention”

    AM: Let me get this straight.

    You want to be courted in a fashion compatible with the romantic ideals associated with LTRs. In other words, you want men to approach and invest in you the way they would for commitment or an LTR.

    And at the same time, you don’t actually want commitment.

    This is what Dragnet was talking about. Your philosophy encourages men to value you for only short term sexual gratification and not much more. Men who realize this aren’t going to waste time courting you. Courting is a process that involves taking an interest in a woman beyond just short term lust. You have indicated quite clearly that you don’t want that, and you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

    HL: ” I am currently in the throes of a great romance of epidemic proportions HOWEVER, because I do not want to marry or bear kids yet, I am not going to lead this guy on by saying I’m “his” in an exclusive fashion. He should be free to meet a woman who wants the same and I should be free to NOT get married or bear a child when I don’t want to.”

    AM: Can’t you just be in a relationship? Nobody said you had to get married or have children. It seems like with you its either ride the vaunted alpha-carousel(read: screw around) to its fullest or chain yourself down into domestic life with kids. There is a middle ground. You’re not obligated to cheat on your boyfriend just because you’re young.

    If the free-for-all path is the one you want then fine, but I ust think you ought to realize that there are more than 2 choices.

    HL: “Like PJL says – without a ring there is no binding contract. To take it to the next level – there is no binding contract without a binding contract.
    You are wrong that this “exclusivity” is an old thing and “dating” or “playing the field” is new.”

    AM: Playing the field in a modern sense(read: screwing every alpha that moves) is a very new thing. Perhaps I should have phrased that a little more clearly.

    HL: “He’s my main squeeze, but sometimes I do go out on dates with other guys as well.
    He’s free to date other women but somehow he never does. His choice. Or maybe their’s.”

    AM: Roissy gets so much hate from people, and yet the more i read the more completely correct he sounds. This episode is a perfect example of it all.
    In the past, I actually WAS the chump you’re dating. The dutiful, loyal guy who would stick around through thick and thin and try to make it clear the he values you as a special human being, while expecting at least some sort of loyalty in return.

    And yet, just like Roissy said, this is unwise. In fact, its downright stupid and perhaps deserving of ridicule, just as Roissy does with his “beta of the month” contest. Men like that only open themselves up to be spit on by girls like yourself(who unfortunately are remarkably common). Their loyalty is rewarded by a woman who openly cheats on them, and doesn’t consider a monogamous relationship with them valuable in any meaningful way, a woman who in fact become defensive when it is suggested that she create an exclusive relationship with him.
    What guy in his right mind signs up for a one-sided deal like that?

    I’m actually really glad that I “saw the light” as they say or ‘”took the red pill” provided by the Roissysphere. I’d rather be celibate than be that chump again.

    The solution, gentlemen, is simple: don’t invest emotionally in women, especially when young. You’re probably going to run into a chick like this and it will suck for you. Just save yourself the trouble.

    “I’m a member of a very exclusive, elite sub-culture.”

    You are exactly like 95% of the young college-aged females you’d run into on the average American university campus. I’ve attempted to start relationships with girls who not only behaved just like you, but also had VERY similar philosophies. I didn’t even notice this connection until I started reading your comments and it all made sense. In fact, now that my hindsight is kicking in, I had one girl flat out declare her right to “youthful induglence and variety in college” as she rejected me, just as you do here on this blog. This mentality is not unique and it is not rare.

    You are not elite. You are not special. You’re an average western college-aged female with a very average western college-aged female mentality. Get over yourself.

    • Mike

      Athlone,

      You are one sharp knife. Don’t give up hope. Roissy is right about a great deal of things, but he will be consumed if not already by his cynicism and nihilism. There are good high-quality loyal women out there who would make great LTR partners. I know because I have one. They are a minority, but they exist. You just have to get real good at screening and differentiating them, and honestly it isn’t that hard. The narcissistic, princess, party girls are easy to recognize. Those you game real hard, keep purely sexual and never get emotionally attached to because except for a minority of guys celibacy simply isn’t an option. FWIW, I think you can tell alot about a girl by her relationship with her father. Doesn’t have one? Take a pass. Most likely will have major issues.

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

      Athlone, I agree with just about everything you say here, and Heather would be wise to pay attention to how men really feel about this issue. I do disagree with you claim that 95% of women are like Heather. I know it may seem that way to you, but don’t forget, you’ve been in that basement and probably covered some passed out idiot with sharpie writing. You have been hanging out with Heathers. I know the work required to meet/engage with other women is considerable, and I don’t think you’re wrong to have low expectations for a meaningful relationship in college. Many college women I know have resigned themselves to that as well. I still maintain you will have the last laugh – though older than you would like. At that time, none of the Heathers will stand a chance.

      • Athlone McGinnis

        Susan: ” I do disagree with you claim that 95% of women are like Heather. I know it may seem that way to you, but don’t forget, you’ve been in that basement and probably covered some passed out idiot with sharpie writing.”

        Athlone: Ok, fine. 90%, final offer.I still maintain that they are very, very rare.

        SW: “I still maintain you will have the last laugh – though older than you would like.”

        AM: Probably. So will a lot of other betas, I guess. I just hope that girls like Heather aren’t expecting us to wait for them. My understanding is that quite a few girls like Heather begin to seek such “provider” types once they hit a more advanced age and their physical peak has passed. The chumps they strung along in college grow up and start doing well by then, and suddenly they’re on her radar for more than just being teased and cheated on like disposable fools. These girls ought to be prepared for some of the consequences of their free-for-all.

        Real life isn’t like Sex and the City where you can screw dozens of men a year well into your late 30′s and somehow still snag Mr. Big. In fact, many of the guys you blow off now ARE the Mr. Bigs of the future. They aren’t gonna stand by and wait to get things going on your terms after you decide you’re finished partying and you are “old enough” for commitment.

        I mean, I’m sure that there are women out there who, somehow, have managed to emulate Carrie Bradshaw and snag Mr. Big after decades of screwing around. But why would any sane female human being take that incredibly huge risk? There is a 99% chance that you will not be her, and I don’t think that stat is even an exaggeration.

        If they decide they do want to take this risk then I say more power to them. I’m just hoping they don’t remain under any Carrie Bradshaw induced delusion.

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

          Agreed. I don’t understand the appeal of Carrie Bradshaw. Even at the height of SATC’s popularity, I shuddered at the thought of women ending up like her. At least the writers had the honesty to make her marriage to Mr. Big unsuccessful. I find it ironic that the author of He’s Just Not That Into You was also a writer on that show. It’s as if he knew his own character was a pathetic fool.

        • Snowdrop111

          My understanding is that the original author, Candace Bushnell, *meant* for her characters to be taken as pathetic fools. As usual, the public mistook shiny, pretty clothes and accessories for the desirable life, and missed the cautionary message of the original column and book.

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

          Really? I had no idea! That actually makes a lot of sense. How interesting for her – she got rich on a deliberate bastardization of her books.

        • Aldonza

          Actually, Candace wrote Carrie as her alter-ego. It was semi-autobiographical.

      • Mike

        I do disagree with you claim that 95% of women are like Heather.

        I agree with you. I don’t think it is anywhere near that high. Statistics 101, sample versus population. If you use the wrong sample, then you aren’t getting an accurate view of the overall population.

        If your sample for 18-23 is sorority girls, or for 23-30 is girls out at the bars/clubs 3-4 nights a week then yes the number is 95%+.

    • verie44

      “What guy in his right mind signs up for a one-sided deal like that?

      I’m actually really glad that I “saw the light” as they say or ‘”took the red pill” provided by the Roissysphere. I’d rather be celibate than be that chump again.

      The solution, gentlemen, is simple: don’t invest emotionally in women, especially when young. You’re probably going to run into a chick like this and it will suck for you. Just save yourself the trouble.”

      I agree with Mike. If you don’t invest emotionally in women, you might just run across one that you lump into a category with all the other “sluts” and try to game her / treat her poorly like everyone else. She’ll eventually catch on even if she really likes you, not be able to forget the way you treated her even though you now realize she’s very different from all those other girls, and leave. And you might have missed out on the best thing that happened to you. I would know because a guy I really, really liked did this to me. And he wouldn’t stop contacting me after I broke it off. His last words before I said, “STOP CONTACTING ME”? “I really wish I had known you weren’t like all the other girls.”

      Sometimes it’s too late.

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

        This is very true. There’s a huge opportunity cost to avoiding intimacy. It’s really not that hard to tell the entitled narcissists from the good women! What women and men both need to do is delay emotional investment until a friendship/relationship has stood the tests of character and intent. Just as women know, if they are honest with themselves, when a guy just isn’t demonstrating real interest, so guys should know when a woman is trying to make a chump of them.
        .
        It really is a pity when guys who actually prefer relationships avoid them out of the assumption that all women are adversaries.

        • PJay

          When the legal and cultural playing field evens out, maybe those smart guys who are aware of the risks will start entering into relationships.

          Right now, the risk/benefit ratio doesn’t make any sense.

          Would you invest in a company with a partner that had ~45% chance of failure, in which case, you would be on the hook for most, if not all the liability?

          Most people wouldn’t.

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

          No I wouldn’t. But if I got to know the partner really well and had an opportunity to observe the way they conducted business, I might conclude after a year that the chance of failure is 5%.

        • PJay

          5%? Not at all close. And there’s no due process in Civil (Family) Court.

        • PJay

          That would be great if you could set the terms of your contract, but the third party is doing that, and they don’t much like you – because you’re a man…

          If you’re a woman, it’s a great deal – the termination clause is very much in your favor.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Mike and McGinnis, you’d be right EXCEPT FOR the fact that the men I date do not use me in the fashion you are stating and keep me on some sort of rotation. Like I said, I make it clear that I am unable to “commit” right now and they are free to date others as well – BUT THEY NEVER DO. What can I say? McGinnis may insist that I’m just like every other average 20 something woman BUT I AM NOT. Perhaps that is why these men don’t want to date other women when they are with me?

    And by the way guys, when I say “elite sub-culture” I’m not trying to be stuck-up. There are specific reasons – associations, habits, lifestyle, beliefs – that I am indeed in a minority group, and all of the men I date are either in the same minority OR interested in it.

    And that’s how I know I’m not engaging in long conversations with people who eat at Hooter’s (unless they’re paying me to teach them how to kick the habit).

    • Mike

      Mike and McGinnis, you’d be right EXCEPT FOR the fact that the men I date do not use me in the fashion you are stating and keep me on some sort of rotation.

      How do you know this? Before I was exclusive with my GF, I had a rotation of 3 going. I’d bet my last dollar each one was completely unaware of when I was seeing another. Once, because I had always wanted to have sex with 2 different girls inside a 24 hour window, I set up the logistics so I had sex with one early Sunday morning (around 2-3 AM) and then had sex with the other later that evening. The evening girl had no idea I had just f*cked some other girl 15 hours earlier. And yes ladies, we guys, most all guys, set up all sorts of “sexual achievements/goals”. It is sort of the unification of our desire for sex, sexual variety, and achieving a goal.

      Like I said, I make it clear that I am unable to “commit” right now and they are free to date others as well – BUT THEY NEVER DO. What can I say?

      Well, either you are lying, or the guys you are dating are Beta chumps. Look, no quality guy who actually has options is going to pass on them for a girl who has no emotionall investment or committment in them. But losers with no options, yes they will. I know this because I’ve been on both sides of the fence. My first long-term GF who later became my wife, now ex-wife, offered me the prospect of dating other girls early in our relationship because she said she wanted me to get some additional experience if I desired (I lost my virginity to her). I passed not because of some noble reason, but honestly because I was a beta loser who would have had a tough time scoring other girls at the time. My guess is the guys you are “dating” are exactly the same. Probably guys without options so they’ll take whatever they can get from you and be happy with that rather then go hungry. BTW, a guy with great game once told me as I was learning “A hungry man doesn’t get fed”.

      McGinnis may insist that I’m just like every other average 20 something woman BUT I AM NOT. Perhaps that is why these men don’t want to date other women when they are with me?

      Again, either they have no other options, in other words they can’t get other women, or maybe the sex with you is incredible. I don’t know. Maybe you give the best BJ in the world? Again, in this entire discussion we continue to ignore the pink elephant in the room and that is the magnitude and degree of sexual activity you have with these various men. Again, you’ve been extremely evasive on this topic, artfully dodging it and speaking in code. Honestly, without knowing the real deal here it is difficult to know the overall dynamics with what these men might be deciding and why. But trust me, and you can fool yourself all you want, but these guys aren’t only dating you and passing on all other women if they do have choices because of your stellar personality and common “elite subculture”. Either you are sexing all of them real good, or dangling that carrot in front of them if they are more beta loser types. But you are delusional if you actually believe there is just something so unique about you, you are a 1 in a billion snowflake, that these guys are forgoing all other potential female company and not getting sex from you all for just the pure pleasure of your company.

      I am genuinely curious about your motivation. Are you trying to prove something here?

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

        Hahaha! You beat me to it on both the chumps and the snowflake!
        .
        It sounds like Heather probably has a verrrrrrryyyyyyy high number. I urge her to read the post where we had an excellent discussion of this issue:
        .
        http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/01/29/hookinguprealities/the-sex-risk-f…-to-talk-about
        .
        It’s very simple. Men want sexual loyalty. The only good predictor of that for the future is a woman’s sexual history. High number = high risk for future infidelity. Heather would do well to wake up to this reality before it’s too late, if it’s not already.

      • Sox

        Her sense of entitlement is nothing short of epic. Not to mention the fact that it’s all “me, me, me” and not once does she say what she GIVES these men other than the grace of being in her presence. With that outlook, I’ll be surprised if she ever finds love.

        People really seem to downplay how great sex is when you’re in love.

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

          People really seem to downplay how great sex is when you’re in love.

          I agree with this. One of the reasons I think this happens so much is that people guard themselves against falling in love. When they do, they are loathe to admit it, so they have sex feeling soooo into the other person, but also anxious. If people could just experience being head over heels and spending a whole weekend in bed, I think they’d be more amenable to relationships.

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

      If what you say is true, and you are indeed that unique and precious snowflake, then you are dating men who are chumps. They’re putting up with endless crap from you, something no self-respecting man would do. You did mention that perhaps these other men don’t date others because they are not able to attract other women. Whether that’s the case or not, there is one thing that your comments make clear:
      .
      You are not sufficiently attracted to any of the men you’ve got in rotation. When and if you fall for someone, you won’t want them dating or sleeping with anyone else. I’m afraid that what you’ve got is a romance of miniscule proportions. Nothing else is possible when you don’t give a shit.
      .
      BTW, I agree with Athlone re the whole commitment/marriage issue. In our time, there are 15 years between female puberty and marriage. The idea that women will forego meaningful relationships for that period of time is unrealistic. Making a commitment to date someone is not a commitment for life. It just means that “Right now I am really into you, and I want to pair off. I want the emotional intimacy that comes with a relationship. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m willing to spend the next bit of it, at the very least, with you.”
      .
      IDK – I think you and PJL are both from the UK. Perhaps dating works differently there? I’ve never heard this argument of yours until this week, but now it’s been made by two different people. In any case, if you’ve got a system that has only two options – promiscuity or marriage, yikes. That’s a hell of a choice for a 20 something, you’re right.

    • Asher

      I think we can break down this class of men:

      A) They have money. Women have an inbred instinct to demand being pampered by men. This is NOT the same as gold-digging. They do this so that they do not feel like trash. Being wined and dined is not about the free stuff but about whether or not the man is willing to be seen in public with the woman. It’s about public respectability.
      B) They are unsure of themselves. If they have socially valuable resources and a woman fine with casual relationships they would be managing concurrent relationships. Period.
      C) They have some residual “moral” constraints from a bygone Christian era, which keeps them from getting as much as they can from as many as they want.
      D) You have very specific class-based attributes, which makes you suitable to be seen with in polite company.

      I’m sure I could write an essay on this, but these items are just a portion of the list of which to identify the men with whom Heather consorts. They are outliers, as is she.

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

        Observation A is very true. When a man invites a woman over to “watch a movie,” at the start of a relationship, it feels demeaning. I don’t think it’s about money, I think it’s about effort. The same man could offer to make his grandmother’s pasta and the woman would be charmed. It’s the same with gifts. A small but creative loving gesture, e.g. love letter will trump a bracelet from Tiffany’s every time. Obviously, none of this is true for gold-diggers, who by definition have bad values and should be avoided.

        • Asher

          I suppose it depends on the man, but at least some encounters should be at a place where people in their social class frequent, because lots of men will make an “effort” in private for sex for a women with whom they don’t want to be seen in public. The reason for this is that women tend to judge a man’s dating value by the other women he dates, so if I get regularly seen with frumpy women with mediocre fashion sense other women will automatically rate me as low in sexual desirabiity.

          A story from my persona life should shed light on this. I had a friends with benefits arrangement with my ex, where she would not just come over for sex but we would go out dancing at a nice club, where “fancy” people played. Now I really didn’t need to spend much money on her doing this, we’re both light drinkers, so the issue was about respectability, not money.

          The bottom line is that a guy should be willing to show you off in public on his arm to others who are in his same general social class. If he’s not doing this within some reasonable time frame then he’s just passing time with you and getting some casual physical gratification. Also, don’t forget that lots of guys actually enjoy getting aroused, making out, etc. without going all the way. The caveat to this is that accomplished players have no problems being seen with a wide range of women in public, even frumpy ones, because they have already been seen with lots of hot women, so everyone around the two of you knows what you don’t know, which is that you are just a pump and dump for him. What I’m talking about here is a man who is not an uber-alpha.

          Lest all this seem discouraging, I would direct women to the adage, which I think I’ve seen here, that women are usually more desirable than they think. But, for God’s sake, dress well and be feminine. Oh, please be feminine.

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

          That makes total sense. That’s what I was getting at in the post when I talked about doing a realistic assessment – is the relationship secret or public?

          Also, don’t forget that lots of guys actually enjoy getting aroused, making out, etc. without going all the way.

          Is this true? I mean, I know that many times a man wants a woman to put on the brakes if he is considering her for a LTR. But are you saying that men can enjoy getting physical even if it doesn’t end in release? I always figured they get what they can and finish off alone later if need be. I do think there’s something to the idea that delaying gratification increases anticipation and can make sex, much, much more intense when it happens.

        • Asher

          I can’t figure some stuff out. I’m casually acquainted with a couple of decently attractive women who make out with a guy on the first night, signaling sexuality, and then never hear back from them. Also, there’s always the spectre of pregnancy and STDs, and some guys just don’t do well with condoms. Personally, I don’t find one-nighters fun, so, if it’s not a girl whose personality matches what I’m looking for I might have fun making out and not having sex. That being said, if a woman is really clear that she’s just looking for one-night and it’s clear that she’s a good lay I have no problems with that, which is probably not your blog’s audience.

          So, it depends on the mood, and I don’t think my experiences are typical guy experiences. Personally, I like weekend-long steamy sex with someone who’s really into me. I’d rather just have a girlfriend, or a wife, or a family.

          You are spot on about guys fear of waking up one day in a LTR with a woman who’s turned sexually frigid on him, though. But the other side of the coin is that there are a lot of men who are just not very exciting in bed and just don’t know what the hell they’re doing, so they wind up with an ever diminishing sex life.

          Your post on female narcissism really was spot-on, is quite relevant to this topic, and is exactly what I’ve been talking about for years. There has to be a strong element of giving to really, really great sex and too many people are just not giving at all. A female narcissist will use her sexuality to further her aims of self-promotion, of feeding her ego, so she is incapable of using it to further an emotional connection inside a relationship. Masculine men, even the moderately masculine, want a woman who surrenders herself to him, and that is the essence of deeply sensual feminine sexuality.

          Recently, I met a woman who I’m certain has that quality. One thing that irritated me, though, is that I have a comment I run by women as a test, which is just simply to tell them that I’m just not that special, they’re just not that special. She protested, but not adamantly so. She’s also not the girl who turns every head as she walks down the street, but she does meet my threshold of physical attributes, so that’s really not an issue.

          But she’s not a narcissist.

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

          Masculine men, even the moderately masculine, want a woman who surrenders herself to him, and that is the essence of deeply sensual feminine sexuality.

          This is very, very important and combined with your plea to women to be feminine, it constitutes excellent advice to women. Let the man experience conquest, even if you’re feeling the same way.

        • Rational Adult

          “Let the man experience conquest, even if you’re feeling the same way.”

          Sometimes. It has to be give and take. A compromise. Sometimes him, sometimes her.

          It’s not the 1950s and as rational adults we should cease pretending it is.

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

          Forgive me, Rational Adult, I sometimes get wistful and romanticize a bygone era. Actually, I think the best (and most exciting) relationships, do have some switching around of roles. Unpredictability can keep monogamy from getting boring after the early days. A women who is normally docile but who gets sexually aggressive suddenly is providing sexual variety of a sort. A man who can show his sensitive side and wallow in pillow talk from time to time will make his woman happy. The possibilities are endless.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/upyoursatan elizabeth

    susan, i applaud you and i applaud you and i love your blog. i have been going through agony trying to get my friend to see that a casual hook-up of hers, despite his midnight booty calls and drunkenly murmured “babys” and “i love yous” is not interested in her. it breaks my heart b/c i care about her so much, and i certainly have been in her position. but i learned from my mistakes, from bitter experience and from reading work like yours. you know how i knew the man i’ve been for 7 years now w/ was serious about me? he called me back. whenever he said he would. he didn’t lie to me. he wasn’t evasive. he put me first. other things weren’t “more important.” we didn’t just see each other when it was convenient or when (god forbid) i had money and was throwing myself at him. i didn’t agonize wondering about where i stood with him b/c he TOLD ME. it takes a strong and self confident woman to admit she was being used, made a lapse in judgement out of loneliness or desperation and can do better. the truth hurts. and as you said on another entry men are very direct creatures. they go after what they want and they say (or don’t say) what they mean. IOW, someone NOT SAYING, “yes i want to be w/ you let’s take this one step further” is just as revealing as them murmuring about how hot you are, taking you to bed, and then never calling you again. or even how much they “love you.” people who “love you” want to be with you and aren’t afraid to admit it. they DON’T leave you wondering. that’s what love is–security, faithfulness, DESIRE with intent. don’t put up with half truths and wishy washy-ness. i stopped doing it and started recognizing that *I* was the object of desire and the one who needed to be pursued and reassured. and i haven’t looked back or regretted it ever since. i wish you could do an entry about what to do to help people who you feel are being taken for a ride. b/c it is difficult to tell someone something they just don’t want to hear and certainly aren’t ready to admit.

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

      @Elizabeth
      Thanks for such a great comment! I’m glad you have found such a wonderful relationship – it’s not a coincidence that you have that because you wouldn’t have tolerated the kind of treatment your friend does. I’m not sure why some women don’t learn how to avoid heartache – they keep making the same mistakes again and again. I love your idea for a post about supporting friends, though. Watch for it!

  • Josephine

    I’m a few months late to comment on this poset, but….

    I don’t think enough time or “playdates” have happened for the “Talk”, but it’s very likely to be time soon enough. So, I need a bit more advice: what if you’re a virgin? In fact, what if you’re pretty much “pure” by nearly everyone’s definition of the word? In this situation, should the “Talk” happen before telling him of my lack of sexual history or after?

    Please note I am most certainly NOT opposed to participating in sexual activities with the guy in question – but I definitely need to know for sure he’s interested in me and not just in getting laid. And part of this can be done by establishing we are in an exclusive relationship.

    I just don’t want my virginity to scare him away – which might be a bit unexpected as I seem more worldly than I actually am. And, though I haven’t asked, he seems to have had a relatively robust sexual history. When should my virginity come up? And when I do finally have the “talk”, should i state explicitly that I actually really really want to have sexual, intimate relations with him but only when I feel secure in a relationship? Is it good to be this forward or is it repellent/a huge decrease in my mystery/making me seem easily conquerable?

  • http://hookingupsmart.com me

    I found this site by google searching the words “real reasons a man will turn down sex”. First I have to say I am attractive and have a nice body. Never in a million years thought I would ever be turned down for sex in a relationship, especially early on. This really bothered me a lot and the more I searched for possible reasons and asked him why, the worse it got. The thing that confused me so much was that when I first got together with him, he pursued me, he made it very clear he wanted to be with me night and day and could not be away from me and (red flag) said he loved me a month into it. So in the beginning, I invited his passionate feelings and reciprocated as best as I could keeping in mind this was moving a little too fast and the I love you thing was a bit too much too soon. I declined a few times he wanted to come over, being sensitive to his feelings while doing so, I added that I also wanted to spend some quality time with my son (which was true). This man laid it on so thick in the beginning, mentioning love and marriage and soul mates ect, that even though I was skeptical initially of his true motivation, I still was enjoying spending time with him and ultimately jumped right in (against my better judgment and intuition). I have always been the type that once I commit to a relationship, it is just that..a commitment, along with love, total honesty, respect, trust and working good and bad times. It’s work. Well, apparently he did not have the set of views, because 3 months into the relationship, just like a light switch he was cold as ice and flat refused sex with me. It was exactly at that time that I had lost my job and my residence because the residence/rent was included as part of my salary. Unfortunately I didn’t know anyone because I relocated for the job. I thought that either he was changing his feelings about me very quickly due to the job loss which would clearly indicate he was trying to play me or there was something I wasn’t doing right anymore. I addressed the issue with him after a few consecutive weeks of being turned down for sex, allowing him his own space. I did not address him in an accusing, bitchy or needy way, but let him know that this was bothering me. He immediately closed me off emotionally and physically and made it clear that this was not up for discussion, a simple “it’s not you, it’s me” was all he was willing to give. I did not want to be his charity case and was fully prepared to move home, he said he didn’t want to loose me over a job. With that being said, I thought this was just a phase and stayed..unbenounced to me, this was an on going issue for a year! He gave all kinds of excuses for not wanting sex much, periods as long as 2 or 3 months at times, things that I knew was a lie. No he was not cheating. But he did like porn and was sensitive about the issue. He would obviously pick fights with me, ALWAYS acted like he was irritated with me and like I annoyed him. He payed little attention to me, never talked to me, my opinion meant nothing, conversation was absent. The whole time this was happening, he somehow was successful at flipping it all on me, like I wasn’t giving him space, I asked to many questions, I didn’t trust him, I nagged, I complained, I never had anything positive to say to him. I had NEVER been rejected by a man sexually, especially in the 1st year and this drove me nutts. I was driven to get an answer and It got to the point where I wanted the truth no matter what it was. I tried everything, dressing sexier, giving him plenty of space, doing my own thing, offering to try different things and in the end it made me look like a fool. The most painful thing I had to realize was that I was allowing all of this to happen to me. Ultimately, I knew there was no relationship and I couldn’t fix it, or him. Unfortunately by this time my ego and self esteem was completely shot like I had never experienced. I justified in my own mind that he was just a user from the beginning. I think he saw a vulnerable single woman that had a good job with rent included and he could weasel his way to financial freedom or some sort of personal gain. At any rate I knew there some anterior motive he was after initially and realized he wasn’t going to get it with me. In my past relationships the man was always the main provider, it was never anything that was discussed or an issue. He made sure it was 50/50 and not a penny more, keeping tabs and making comments if he felt it was my turn to pay for dinner out. Uggh, that was a turn off for me and I did tell him towards the end how tacky that was. The night he threatened to leave and end the relationship, he paced the floors, looked at me confused and starred at me. I asked him why he was looking at me like that, he said, “your not going to say anything” “that’s it” …yes it felt good to finally say “I’m done, dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.” I will never allow someone to have this kind of power over me again. This man didn’t even make 1/4 of what my ex husband and former boyfriends made financially, much less any kind of future for me or my son. But I was in it for “love”. I am at a loss for words to describe the guilt I feel for having the misfortune of sharing a year of me and my son’s life with such a spineless pathetic existence of a human being. The only thing that gives me peace is knowing the serious karma this man will endure in 10 folds and for years to come.

    And I have to end this with 4 parting questions:

    1. I still dont know how it’s possible for a man to turn a pretty and slender woman down for sex…even when the relationship isn’t perfect?
    2. If a man isnt into the woman anymore, cant he find sex drive somewhere when a woman is offering herself…how can the man not physically get aroused enough to have sex at some level instinctively?
    3.why do all these sites talk about all the things a woman should and should not do in order to keep a man, land a man ect ?? I hear nothing about what a man needs to do to keep a woman.
    4. Are there any good men left? No one wants to work at it anymore, it’s easier to walk out and “hook up”.

    And one last statement:
    I enjoyed reading these stories and thanks for reading mine! :)

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