The Grim Beeper

December 15, 2011

Today’s post is a Trifecta of Doom.

I. Marriage continues its steep decline.

Today’s Economix blog at the New York Times covers the latest study on marriage from the Pew Research center in Older to Wed, If They Marry at All. Using the 2010 census, researchers found that the average age at marriage has risen again, to 26.5 years for women and 28.7 years for men. This is not unique to the U.S. In the last thirty years, the average female age at first marriage has increased in 75 of 77 countries that were studied.

The number of marriages is also down significantly, down 10% in the last two years:

It’s not just a matter of delay either. Check this out:

Some have claimed the economy is the culprit but Wharton economist Justin Wolfers had this to say in 2010:

 You’ve probably heard the latest marriage narrative: With the recession upon us, young lovers can’t afford to marry.  As appealing as this story is, it has one problem: It’s not true. In fact, the marriage rate appears amazingly insensitive to the business cycle.

There is a rise in cohabitation that could well be related to the Great Recession, because couples are trying to save money by living together. Many of them eventually will marry.

The biggest drop has been in the 18-24 age group, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The mid-20s is the sweet spot for the lowest odds of divorce, according to some researchers.

Late professor Norval Glenn of UT Austin, in his published study drawing from five different American data sets,
explained:

The greatest…likelihood of being in an intact marriage of the highest quality is among those who married at age 22-25. The findings of this study do indicate that for most persons, little or nothing in the way of marital success is likely to be gained by deliberately delaying marriage beyond the midtwenties.

Paul Amato of Penn State explains further:

Once people enter their early to mid-twenties, the risk of divorce is reduced. Indeed, people who postpone marriage until their thirties face a dwindling supply of potential partners – a situation that may increase the likelihood of forming unions with partners who are not good marriage material. In other words, marrying “too late” may increase the risk of having a troubled relationship.

W. Bradford Wilcox at UVA agrees:

Couples who marry in their mid-twenties tend to do best, when you combine a consideration of quality and stability.

II. The college sex ratio predicts a dramatic erosion in marriage rates over the next generation among the educated.

At first glance, the news is less alarming for the college educated, if not for society as a whole. The share of college educated individuals currently married is 64%, down 16% from 1960. In contrast, only 47% of those with a high school education are currently married, down 35% since 1960. Marriage has been a more stable institution among the college educated population. 

That cannot last. The current sex ratio nationwide in American colleges and universities is 57% female, 43% male, and the gap is widening. This means that among today’s college graduates, 25% of women will not marry college educated men. Let me say that again.

Among today’s college graduates, 25% of women will not marry college educated men.

 

That estimate is actually rosy because it assumes that men will want to marry in equal numbers to women. The data was not analyzed by sex, but in an era of misandrist family law that’s a dubious claim.

Of course, women may choose to marry men with less education than themselves, but this seems unlikely to happen in large numbers for several reasons:

  • Women generally prefer men with equal or higher status.
  • Men generally prefer women with equal or lower status.
  • Society is stratified by socioeconomic status. 

III. Tick Tock Biological Clock

Despite progressive sex ed curricula in most areas of the country, adult women today are seriously misinformed about the state of their ovaries. 

During a recent story that aired on NPR one infertile woman in her early 40s couldn’t understand it. She insisted that she works out regularly, does yoga, even has a personal trainer. She eats well and is healthy. She never knew that her ovaries were becoming less productive in spite of those measures.

A recent survey found that women dramatically underestimate how much fertility declines with age. They estimated that a 30 year-old had an 80% chance of getting pregnant in one try. The real likelihood is 30%. They also thought a 40 year-old woman would have a 40% success rate, while those odds are less than 10%. 

Women are surprised to learn this information and they’re angry about it. One woman had this to say about her 10 year struggle to conceive:

 I just feel like it’s something else that they lump onto women that we have no control over. You tell us, “Oh, your fertile years rapidly decline in your mid-20s.” Well, if I’m not dating anyone, and I want to have a family, what is that information going to do for me?

Barbara Collura heads the National Infertility Association. She says the first thing women say is “Why didn’t anybody tell me this?”

Let’s be honest, women don’t want to hear that they can’t have it all. We can have a great job, we can have a master’s degree, we don’t need to worry about child-bearing because that’s something that will come. And when it doesn’t happen, women are really angry.

 So why aren’t women getting the message? How can women with master’s degrees have such a poor understanding of their own bodies? Three guesses, the first two don’t count.

“A decade ago, a campaign by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine sparked a vicious backlash. Ads on public buses in several big cities featured a baby bottle shaped like an hourglass, to warn women their time was running out. But women’s rights groups called it a scare tactic that left women feeling pressured and guilty.”

So now they’re feeling barren and depressed instead. 

The prognosis for marriage is grim. We need to take our heads out of the sand and speak the truth about this issue. It’s too late for the generation of women in their 30s and 40s today. Those of you in your 20s can have marriage and a family if you want it, but you can’t have it all. My generation of feminists lied to you about that.

You have some tough choices to make. What’s more important, career or family? When you think about graduate school, are you considering the full range of costs and benefits, including potentially delaying marriage into your 30s? Are you open to meeting your life partner in your early 20s, and filtering out men you know aren’t husband material?

There are no easy answers. The climate for marriage is hostile. If you know you want to marry and have a family, you must plan for it. Husbands and babies don’t fall from trees.  

  • Thrasymachus

    The news is not entirely disappointing. As you have pointed out on more than one occasion, marriage appears to be in much more robust shape among the college educated. Brad Wilcox confirms this in a post today:

    http://familyscholars.org/2011/12/14/marriage-disappearing-only-if-you-dont-have-a-college-degree/

    Incidentally, the (late) University of Texas professor cited was named Norval Glenn, not Glenn Norval.

    • @Thrasymachus

      Thanks for that link. Wilcox is probably the best marriage researcher in the country. Whoops on Glenn. I’ve been reading that backwards for three years now.

  • deti

    My thoughts:

    1. The poor economy seems to be driving down the divorce rate. Many family lawyers say when times are tough, couples who would otherwise divorce stay together because they know divorce would financially devastate them both. Quite simply, they can’t afford to divorce.

    2. Most of the women I knew who married and are still married decided to marry as young women, before reaching age 25. This seems to have held true regardless of whether in school, grad school, employed or unemployed, educational level or socioeconomic status. Those women put finding a mate at the top of their priority lists. They also either didn’t ride the carousel, or decided to get off the carousel early.

    3. College education means better paying jobs. More women in college means women will have more earning power on average than men. Women marrying men with less education and less earning power means more unhappy marriages on average, increased societal dysfunction, and more divorces. And it’s likely that most of those women who divorce won’t remarry.

    4. In retrospect, the problems Susan points out so well have been at least 40 years in the making. It will take at least a generation or two, if not longer, to turn it around.

  • deti

    5. It looks like among those college educated women who married men with college educations, the divorce rate is probably lower — a lot lower.

  • Malia

    Thank you Susan for speaking honestly about fertility. Too many women want to use rare celebrity examples of “advanced maternal age” (most assisted with modern science) to show that they can have children later only to be forced to confront the truth when options are most limited.

    There is no perfect answer but at least young women can make informed decisions of the trade offs they are making.

  • Mike

    Just saw something on AC360 last night about marriage rates having dropped 5% from 56 to 51% in America.

  • deti

    Malia:

    True. Most women who aren’t celebrities can’t afford the extremely expensive treatments those older women used to get pregnant. Those treatments also tend to result in multiple births. Triplets at 40?!

  • I thought the “trifecta of doom” was the three charts showing marriage decline.

    Then I realized you were only 1/3 done.

    • @GudEnuf

      Ouch. It is depressing, I know. But it’s just no good being in denial. Men have more time, but women who want to marry and have children should be working toward that goal once they graduate from college, IMO. (Nothing wrong with doing so before then, it’s just not easy in the contemporary culture.)

  • “Of course, women may choose to marry men with less education than themselves, but this seems unlikely to happen in large numbers for several reasons:

    Women generally prefer men with equal or higher status.
    Men generally prefer women with equal or lower status.
    Society is stratified by socioeconomic status. ”

    Are you implying that women would be happier if men had the majority of the high status jobs?

    • Are you implying that women would be happier if men had the majority of the high status jobs?

      No, they certainly wouldn’t say so if the question were phrased that way. However, when you think about all the women in their 30s, quite accomplished in their careers saying, “Waaaah, waaaah, there are no good men left!” then you see how they are voting with their feet.

      Women want high status jobs, and they want men who have even higher (or equal) status jobs.

  • Ramble

    Susan, please allow me to yell one thing from the rooftop:

    The average girl in America gets married AFTER her fertility has started to decline.

    After the age of 26, the fertility and likelihood of a healthy birth to a healthy child already starts to go down.

    I can not think of more than 2 or 3 girls in my entire life who would have wanted to hear that. For the average young, educated cosmopolitan girl, it throws a huge monkey wrench into their plans.

  • Isabel

    Deti,

    Those treatments also tend to result in multiple births. Triplets at 40?!

    That’s because the doctors have to use 12+ eggs per cycle due to womb hostility, and if one egg does make it, there’s usually division failure resulting in twins. Hello? How many more signs do you need from Mother Nature to GTFO? The sad thing here is that naturally infertile young couples have to fight tooth and nail to receive treatment on the NHS, whilst “voluntary” single mothers get all sorts of financial aid and encouragement. It’s disgusting.

    I don’t get the college ratio thing btw. Is it because the men are actually earning less than their hypothetical wives or is it just because they don’t have the piece of paper?

    • @Isabel

      I don’t get the college ratio thing btw. Is it because the men are actually earning less than their hypothetical wives or is it just because they don’t have the piece of paper

      In the U.S. men just aren’t going to college in the same numbers as women. Women represent nearly 60% of current students. Fast forward five years and there will be a huge imbalance in the sex ration wrt education.

  • Ramble

    GudEnuf, could you possibly rephrase your question?

    “Does the average girl hope to find a large supply of high status males?”

    That high status does not need to come from a college education…especially when you consider how popular “artists” and wanna-be rock stars are with girls.

    How those wanna-be rockstars will pay the mortgage is another question, but their status, if only for a while, would be there.

    • That high status does not need to come from a college education…especially when you consider how popular “artists” and wanna-be rock stars are with girls.

      Yes, but those types don’t marry as much. Or if they do, they’re not monogamous. There are exceptions of course – Paul McCartney, Ringo, Sting, Bono. Their wives essentially won the lottery in that regard.

  • Isabel

    Division failure even? I meant just division. 🙁

  • Ramble

    Something else that should be noted in all this:

    26.5 is the average age of women who get married. Lower socioeconomic females get married younger and wealthier college educated women get married later. For them, lets make the average, oh, 28.

    Let’s say some poorer girl get married at 23 and divorces 5 years later, she is back on the market at 28.

    A 28 year old woman who gets married and divorces 5 years later is now 33.

    We all know what the SMP is like.

    IOW, it is not a great idea for a marriage minded female to get divorced after, say, 5 years if she marries later in life.

    • IOW, it is not a great idea for a marriage minded female to get divorced after, say, 5 years if she marries later in life

      Good point!

  • Yeah, the fertility thing sucks. I’m 27, almost 28, and I am scared that I won’t be able to have a healthy baby. This year I had a stillbirth almost at term and a miscarriage due to chromosomal issues. This kind of news is very depressing. At least I am happily married though.

    I think the denial comes from the fact that you can’t necessarily “feel” your fertility dropping. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs, not on any prescription medication, exercise, eat healthily, 19 BMI, no risk factors, no family history of miscarriages, and so it’s hard to hear that my chances are much lower than just 5 years ago.

    • @Hope

      I had my kids at 30 and 32, and had no difficulty getting pregnant. Those with fertility issues are in the small minority at your age. It’s important to keep this in perspective.

  • Ramble

    Women want high status jobs, and they want men who have even higher (or equal) status jobs.

    Just like Lake Wobegon, were all of the kids are above average.

    • Just like Lake Wobegon, were all of the kids are above average.

      Exactly. Women will compromise, either by relaxing their demands, or remaining single.

  • Ramble

    In the U.S. men just aren’t going to college in the same numbers as women. Women represent nearly 60% of current students. Fast forward five years and there will be a huge imbalance in the sex ration wrt education.

    Susan, it is actually worse than you think when you consider that many schools actively fight the trend. That is, they are admitting more guys who are not qualified for their respective schools.

  • Ramble

    Yes, but those types don’t marry as much.

    Susan, you do understand that that is part of what makes them high status.

    That accountant who went to the local State U and comes from a “nice” family and wears Izod shirts…not so much.

    Just think of those older Apple versus PC commercials.

    • Yes, but those types don’t marry as much.

      Susan, you do understand that that is part of what makes them high status.

      Hmmm, I don’t think so. I think men with options have less incentive to get married. I don’t believe that men who declare they will never marry gain status.

  • They need to make college far tougher. It used to be that someone with a college degree got a great, rigorous, very well-rounded education. My mother was very smart, graduated college in the late 70s, and was versed in advanced math, physics, sciences, world history, literature, Latin and the medicines. Nowadays the general requirements are extremely easy, and lots of (I hate to say this) dumb people are graduating with a piece of paper. That’s why a graduate degree today is needed where the college degree used to suffice.

    Is this what happens when college education turns into a profitable industry?

  • deti

    @ Isabel:

    “That’s because the doctors have to use 12+ eggs per cycle due to womb hostility, and if one egg does make it, there’s usually division failure resulting in twins. Hello? How many more signs do you need from Mother Nature to GTFO?”

    I’ve known a couple of women over 36 who tried this. For most, a couple of rounds and $2o K later, no viable pregnancy. It’s very sad, really. And high risk, and high expense. At that rate she’s better off trying to adopt.

    “The sad thing here is that naturally infertile young couples have to fight tooth and nail to receive treatment on the NHS, whilst “voluntary” single mothers get all sorts of financial aid and encouragement. It’s disgusting.”

    That must be in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. In the US, most insurance plans do not pay for infertility treatments or procedures. A $15K IVF procedure is all out of pocket. Most people in the US can’t even come close to affording that, and for most it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

    As to the college ratio, in the US fewer men attend college. When I went 25 years ago it was more equivalent almost 1:1 men to women. Now it’s approaching 60% women. I gather there are a lot of reasons for this: a lot of men either don’t see the value in a college education, or don’t succeed at it when they try, or can’t afford it, or see bleak economic prospects whether they attend college or not so they simply don’t put forth the effort. It’s still true that people regardless of gender earn more with a college degree than without. So if women have more education and the resultant increased earning power, that puts most of them at higher status than most of the men they come in regular contact with.

  • Ramble

    From deti:

    I gather there are a lot of reasons for this: a lot of men either don’t see the value in a college education, or don’t …

    How about:
    Sit Still!
    Be Quiet!
    Memorize this!
    Regurgitate it back to me!
    Why can’t you behave better, like your sister?
    That’s it, special ed for you (and more special ed funds for us…and yes, they get more money per special ed student than for regular students…it literally pays to put “misbehaving” children in special classes)

    Deti, Susan has covered this before and how her daughter and son got treated differently.

  • Ramble

    Hope,

    Is this what happens when college education turns into a profitable industry?

    It has been “profitable” for non-profits for a pretty long time. Harvard has over 25 BILLION in cash. Billion, with a “B”.

    Post-WWII generations and their various programs simply opened the floodgates.

  • deti

    @ Ramble:

    “Does the average girl hope to find a large supply of high status males?”

    “That high status does not need to come from a college education…especially when you consider how popular “artists” and wanna-be rock stars are with girls.

    “How those wanna-be rockstars will pay the mortgage is another question, but their status, if only for a while, would be there.”

    Yes, but I think it depends on where you live. By orders of magnitude there are fewer of those high status “artists” and wannabe rock stars in the midwest, where I live. Most of those artists and garage band dudes have low status day jobs at subsistence wage levels. Those men aren’t the marrying type and most recognize them as unmarriageable. Most women flock to them for tingles, not marriage — which, of course, seems to be part of the problem.

  • Höllenhund

    “Among today’s college graduates, 25% of women will not marry college educated men.”

    Not if polygamy is legalized. I can actually see that happening in the next 10 years.

    “I just feel like it’s something else that they lump onto women that we have no control over. ”

    Huh, WTF? Some women are so deranged it makes my head spin. Well, actually it doesn’t anymore, I’m used to it.

    • @Hollenhund

      Not if polygamy is legalized. I can actually see that happening in the next 10 years.

      I’ve read that this could happen based on the precedent set by gay marriage. If it does happen on a technicality that doesn’t mean any but a few outliers will embrace it. More might embrace polyamory, which at least has the potential to be equitable.

      I just feel like it’s something else that they lump onto women that we have no control over.

      Huh, WTF? Some women are so deranged it makes my head spin. Well, actually it doesn’t anymore, I’m used to it.

      Yeah, that’s some serious feminist programming right there. Who are “they?” What are they “lumping” onto women? Does she mean God and aging?

      Excuse me but I find it so lame that you periodically have these girl talks about Roissy being some deranged psycho

      In the words of George W. Bush, when confronted by a Democrat suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome:

      Who cares what you think?

      Roissy simply has better cognitive abilites than most men, that’s it.

      Agreed, that’s why I describe him as brilliant and perceptive.

      You speak to me nonchalantly about women’s rape fantasies and fascination with Twilight and then expect me to be shocked and disgusted by a man who likes rough anal sex and degrading women,

      I’m speechless that you would equate the two. One is fantasy, one is acting out violence.

      it’s common knowledge that tons of women yearn for degrading rough sex?

      You might want to dial back the porn consumption.

  • John G

    What no Schadenfreude yet?

  • Ramble

    Yes, but I think it depends on where you live. By orders of magnitude there are fewer of those high status “artists” and wannabe rock stars in the midwest, where I live. Most of those artists and garage band dudes have low status day jobs at subsistence wage levels. Those men aren’t the marrying type and most recognize them as unmarriageable. Most women flock to them for tingles, not marriage — which, of course, seems to be part of the problem.

    Deti, I was not trying to lay out the solution, but help paint the picture, as it were.

    Susan was, in that instance, simply talking about girls wanting high status males. Being able to get him to lock it down is another matter. Personally, I think that they would be better off spreading their legs for accountants.

  • deti

    @ Ramble:

    “Deti, I was not trying to lay out the solution, but help paint the picture, as it were.

    Susan was, in that instance, simply talking about girls wanting high status males. Being able to get him to lock it down is another matter. Personally, I think that they would be better off spreading their legs for accountants.”

    Agreed. I think we’re both fully aware of what the picture looks like and what the optimal solutions are.

  • Ramble, the obedience, being quiet, memorization annd regurgitation, etc. is how education is in most other countries, and actually a lot stricter and more regulated. When I moved to the US, I was struck by rowdy and chaotic school classrooms were, and wondered how any learning actually happens.

    However, in other cultures, young boys are praised to be more intelligent, more capable and simply better than girls, and the expectations are different. Boys also tend to be better at STEM subjects which are more prestigious in other places. There is a lot more emphasis on competition, which is a more masculine style. Test scores and grades are publicized, and the low achievers are shamed for being bad and told to work harder. Boys form hierarchies based on academic achievement instead of sports.

    At least, that is the case when I was growing up in Asia.

  • Joe

    @Hope

    They need to make college far tougher.

    The education establishment has done a pretty good job of prolonging adolescence and delaying adulthood. Odd thing, though. We *asked* them to do just that.

    What “we” (as a society) wanted was to protect our children by preparing them better. It didn’t work out that way. Wrapping children in swaddling clothing only protects superficially and then it makes them dependent.

    Good job, educarats.

    Good job, parents.
    [/snark]

    Now that too many are unprepared for adulthood even as their bodies are aging, we perceive a crisis. It’s not here yet, but it *is* time to wise-up. If there was ever a time to take personal responsibility, this is it. Those whom we left in charge of our lives have let us all down pretty badly. We should have taken charge of our own lives instead of letting them give us this fake sense of security, because it was never real.

    Okay, rant off.

  • Ramble

    Ramble, the obedience, being quiet, memorization annd regurgitation, etc. is how education is in most other countries, and actually a lot stricter and more regulated.

    Who says that America should be like Indonesia (as just one example).

    Most Americans love our slight Cowboy spirit. (Please do not OVER read that statement. Please do not take it to some stupid extreme.)

    Free thinking, energetic, creative, etc.

    Having a bunch of energetic, physical, hands-on, experience driven, rambunctious boys attempt to sit still and memorize facts about Beowulf is not the answer.

    For some, yes…but not for all.

  • 29 Höllenhund December 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm wrote:

    “Among today’s college graduates, 25% of women will not marry college educated men.”

    Not if polygamy is legalized. I can actually see that happening in the next 10 years.

    You may be right, but I think that this is not happening. I have seen some suggestions about it, but I do not think that it is on the (political) map.

    On many sense it only does situation worse.

  • deti

    I doubt polygamy will be legalized. If it is, it’ll take more than 10 years.

    1. It’s just not supported by culture. It doesn’t seem to enjoy the same kind of cultural acceptance that gay rights and gay marriage have. And even that has taken 40 to 50 years.

    2. Most men can barely support one wife financially, let alone more than one.

    3. Polygamy would be optional and only the top alpha men who even want to marry would exercise the option. But polygamy doesn’t fit the optimal mating strategy for men: a rotating harem. Of alphas who marry, they tend to gravitate toward a wife/regular sex partner with a series of ONSs and flings on the side. The apex top men who can do this and want to do so, do so now regardless of legal or social conventions.

    • Of alphas who marry, they tend to gravitate toward a wife/regular sex partner with a series of ONSs and flings on the side. The apex top men who can do this and want to do so, do so now regardless of legal or social conventions.

      As we so painfully learned in a recent thread.

  • susan,

    this was a very well written essay.

    it is an essay written by a women in her 50s, giving sound advice to women in their early 20s. it properly blames the first generation of feminists for lying to the second generation, and warns the third generation to hurry up and to make big decisions before they run out of time.

    it even does the right thing and mentions “misandrist family laws”, which made me proud 🙂

    so anyway, i figured since you were doing such a great job, i would stop by and help you out and solve this issue for all your young female readers in their early 20s.

    it’s an easy answer, but one not mentioned in the essay, and here it is:

    marry a guy 10 years older.

    it doesn’t surprise me that this solution isn’t mentioned in your essay — still haven’t checked the comments, but wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t mentioned there either. it doesn’t surprise me because the feminists have done such a great job of shaming men when want to marry “significantly” younger — and of persuading women that these types of men are dangerous and disgusting — that the terms “pedophile” and “pervert” are thrown around frequently and without remorse.

    but that IS the answer. the feminists are wrong, once again.

    i’ve said it several times. a young women of 22 — or say, 24, to be more realistic — who is ready to stop playing the cut throat SMP game, and is seriously looking to get married and start a family, she should DEFINITELY look to date men in their early 30s, cause that’s when a lot of THEM are getting tired of dating and playing around, and nothing will persuade a 34 year old man to want to “settle down” quicker than the prospect of banging a hot, young 24 year old girl exclusively, by law.

    whether he SHOULD marry her, in america, with the current laws, that’s another issue, but regardless, as far as your female reader are concerned, it’s PROBLEM SOLVED.

    always here to help!

    rivelino

    • @Rivelino

      I don’t have any problem with your advice. I generally suggest that women focus on men five years older the minute they get out of college. Ten is also fine, but tbh most women don’t want that much of an age gap. If that’s the answer, that’s the answer, and we’ll probably see more of it. However, as has been discussed here before, quite a few guys express a desire to have sex with 21 year olds, but not to marry them or even date them seriously. Guys seeking an LTR or even a wife want someone whose life experience is a bit closer to their own. It may be that once a woman is out of school for a couple of years, she’ll be fine – 24—–>34. I don’t know. I know a bunch of young women doing OKCupid right now – all 21-23, and they’re getting a ton of responses from guys 23 and 24, but very few from guys 30+. I do think guys self-segregate to some degree on this.

  • Ted D

    “There is a lot more emphasis on competition, which is a more masculine style”

    And THAT is key. In the U.S. the schools simply punish boys for being boys instead of finding ways to take their natural state and use it to help them learn. I can’t speak to other countries as I have no experience with their school systems. I can say that what I see here is a lot of boys being treated badly for wanting to act naturally. I was a quiet kid, so sitting still all day reading and writing didn’t throw me off. But most of my friends got in trouble a lot in grade school. And frankly, those early experiences pretty much turned them off from school for the rest of their lives. They felt like they were unfairly treated, and since the school wasn’t “fair” and they had no chance of “winning”, they gave up playing the game at all.

    the “game” I’m talking about is actually participating and learning in school, instead of doing what most did: just enough to get by. If we are going to make school so terrible for young boys, why are we so surprised when they grow older and have no desire to try?

  • Joe, I don’t think that education is necessarily coddling. At least, it shouldn’t be. There are people who graduate college these days who can’t even spell properly. The smartest aren’t being challenged, and the mediocre slide through the system and graduate with the same piece of paper.

    Ramble, I do admire American creativity and free-thinking spirit. Some great innovations have come from this country. But would you disagree with the following statement? Most people are not creative or free-thinking. They do well in structure, tradition and clear boundaries. That is also a critique of sexual liberation, letting young people’s sexual imperatives run wild.

    A lot of foreigners work inside the US in top, cutting-edge fields of research and technology. In order to innovate in a lot of those fields, they need a lot of smarts, but also hard work and rigorous training, which does mean sitting quietly through studies — not of Beowulf, though. Most of them probably didn’t read Beowulf.

  • Ramble
    IOW, it is not a great idea for a marriage minded female to get divorced after, say, 5 years if she marries later in life

    Good point!

    That one, I got from Roissy.

    From Moe the bartender: The older they get, the cuter they ain’t.

  • Ted D

    I have to say Rivelino makes sense. And I know that most of the women here don’t want to hear it, but there it is. Maybe not 10 years older, but I would say a woman that is mid to late 20’s should be looking at men in their early 30’s. My current SO is 8 years younger than I am, and I honestly have no issue with relating to her. I mention this because I hear a lot of women saying things like “what would a guy that much older have in common with me? What would we talk about?” Well unless you are an immature and shallow person, by your mid to late 20’s you should have plenty to discuss. Politics, religion, science, art… Look, if you are a well rounded (and well read) person with another well rounded person, 10 years is not going to make a bit of difference. And, as you both age, the few differences there are will fade.

    Yeah, it is likely that he will die before you. So what? If you spend most of your life with him in a happy and loving relationship, spending the last few alone isn’t a bad trade-off. Besides, I read somewhere that married men tend to live longer than their single peers. So just being with him will extend his time with you. 😉

  • Ramble

    Those with fertility issues are in the small minority at your age.

    Susan, do not perpetuate bullshit.

    If you are implying that “real”fertility problems are not likely to show up, for the average woman, until, say, 35 and later, then, I understand.

    But fertility is not the only issue. Likely health problems for the child are also a major issue.

    And these things have simply not been investigated as much as they could have been.

    On the harsher side:
    Autism
    Birth Defects
    Birth weight
    Un-descending Testes
    etc.

    On the “lighter” side:
    GIRD
    Allergies
    etc.

    Whenever these discussions come up it is only fertility that gets mentioned and rarely anything else.

    Girls simply don’t want to get pregnant, they want to give birth to a healthy baby.

    If yours were healthy, wonderful. But, so far, the stats for the general population are not lying.

    Also, older women tend to be heavier and heavier women tend to give birth to children that will have weight problems. How much of that is nature versus nurture is another issue.

    • @Ramble

      Susan, do not perpetuate bullshit…If you are implying that “real”fertility problems are not likely to show up, for the average woman, until, say, 35 and later, then, I understand.

      This is exactly what I said. Now you’re introducing birth defects, which are more common in older mothers, but something entirely outside the scope of the post. I have no idea if maternal age of 28 is correlated with low birth rate, autism, un-descended testes and all the other stuff you listed, but I doubt it.

  • “If you know you want to marry and have a family, you must plan for it. Husbands and babies don’t fall from trees.”

    I have been brewing a theory that most women (and men, probably, though that’s another matter) really only get two or three shots at a guy they could marry.

    Sure, plenty of guys would make good husbands, but the intersection of attraction, compatibility, lifestyle overlap and the right time in life (e.g. someone’s not moving away imminently or dating someone else), plus the long time it takes to get to the point of engagement and marriage, which costs you time you could spend with other partners, is the confluence of a lot of chance events. That means that you need to strike when the iron is hot.

    So a woman in her 20’s can’t afford to be “nexting” too many guys or she’ll miss her needle in the haystack. This sets up a paradox of “abundant scarcity” – you have to be ready to walk away from the wrong person, but willing to put the health of a good relationship ahead of your own self-interest. This is a tough tightrope to walk.

    A while back I got flaked on by a woman who by most accounts seemed like a very good match for me and vice versa: interesting, intelligent, liked sports, well-read, genial – we had lined up the second date and the morning of she backed out, making some noise about “a weird thing with my ex” (if you’re still fucking him, he’s not your ex dear).

    In addition to being upset about getting blown off, I thought “she probably just burned one of her chances.” Attractive intelligent guys who are DTLTR are a declining breed.

    Susan is absolutely right – guys who are good for you are not growing on trees, if you have one in your vicinity you are going to have to take some actions to catch him and keep him and that may not jive with your life plan to date.

    Which brings me to my last point. One of the things I see in young urban women that hamstrings their life is hardcore addiction to expectations and a lack of tolerance for the fact that life takes strange turns, which follows from them being taught their whole lives that they are going to have it all and if they don’t it’s someone else’s fault and by gosh we’re going to make them pay. A recent Forbes article about “millenial women burning out” had this fatuous undertone, that young women were angry and exhausted that they weren’t having the “awesome” life they’d been promised and how wrong it was that they’d been duped. (Contrast this with stories about men’s struggles that tell them to “man up” and “get up and go to work.”)

    A large pocket of young educated women lack a good sense of opportunity cost and discipline of sacrifice, and this costs them dearly in the cutthroat husband market. If I even hear the word “fabulous” out of a woman’s mouth I assume I’m dealing with one of these types.

    Kate Bolick is a classic example – she had a guy who wanted to marry her, and dumped him because it didn’t fit her idea of the lifestyle she “should be” living at that age. Ten years later, it turns out that was her “game over” moment.

  • Ramble

    Exactly. Women will compromise, either by relaxing their demands, or remaining single.

    Until that moment, it is “Tell em lies, tell me sweet little lies“.

  • Ramble

    Hmmm, I don’t think so. I think men with options have less incentive to get married. I don’t believe that men who declare they will never marry gain status.

    I am not saying that.

    I am saying that those guys that are likely to choose the wanna-be rockstar/artist route are likely to be seen as higher status even if they are harder to lock down. And, their status may be tied to the idea that they are harder to lock down.

    “I married the lead singer from “

  • Ramble

    That should read:
    “I married the lead singer from [insert bullshit band here]“

  • Amonymous

    @deti:
    As to the college ratio, in the US fewer men attend college. When I went 25 years ago it was more equivalent almost 1:1 men to women. Now it’s approaching 60% women.

    Not necessarily true. I understood it’s more about the overall amount of college-admissions exploding – where women have just increased their relative amount more than men. People get more education than ever before (and colleges graduate people with “less skills.”)

    Take a look to the short overview @ http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/11/college-has-been-oversold.html . There are more seats in communications, journalism, visual arts, psychology, humanities, business etc. faculties. Those have long been female dominated. Then again, “Male-dominated” STEM-faculties have had pretty stable intakes.

    It’s not hard to see a picture of Y-generation women actually having it way, way worse than just by looking at the SMP problems. For many of those so called “career women”, the future without a provider is unstable at best. I suspect there’s a fair amount of (educated) women for whom finding a stable marriage is genuinely becoming a last resort. I’m troubled…

    • @Anomynous

      That’s an interesting point about college majors. Unfortunately, the end result will be the same – women with a college degree, no matter how useless, are likely to want to marry a man with one.

  • indyguy77

    Ramble December 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm:
    From Moe the bartender: The older they get, the cuter they ain’t.

    Just how do you confuse Moe with Patty & Selma?

  • Ramble

    Oh shit, did I quote the wrong person?

  • Ramble

    Indy, I just looked it up, sure enough…mea culpa.

  • dragnet

    @ Susan

    “I’ve read that this could happen based on the precedent set by gay marriage. If it does happen on a technicality that doesn’t mean any but a few outliers will embrace it. More might embrace polyamory, which at least has the potential to be equitable.”

    In practice, embarcing polyamory means embracing polygamy—polygyny being many more times common than polyandry.

    I don’t think polgamy will become sanctioned as a matter of law, but I think we will definitely begin to see more de facto polygynous arrangements—with one guy living informally with a few women and his/their children.

  • Rivelino and Ted, the problem with a girl in her early 20s looking 10 years older is that a lot of men who are going to get married are already married by then. Weren’t you both already married in your early 30s? Thus she’s left with a higher proportion of men who specifically don’t want to marry, or who are very picky because they can afford to be. If he happens to be a great catch, and no other woman had snagged him yet, AND he’s willing to propose to her in a short time, then good for her. I just find that more unlikely.

    I would suggest that girls look at the nerdy men of their same age group before they look at men who are 10 years older. Out of the girls who are married or in a LTR and post here, a huge proportion are to a nerdy / STEM guy. We are obviously self-selected, but it does say something.

  • dragnet

    This post is a pretty good summary of where we are currently at with regards to this particular set of social phenomonen. I think it’s also good you mentioned “misandrist family law” as an real reason that actual, real-life men would have to not get married.

    The more I learn about this, the more I think Dalrock is onto something: the current trends don’t portend the disappearance of marriage—only that marriage is about to become so scarce that it will become a status symbol in itself. I think women are going to learn to actually value the men who deign to bless them with long-term investment, because so few men are willing to do so. The landscape will be littered with cautionary tales—struggling single moms, cougars who played the game just a little too long only to get washed up—and sooner or later women will begin to take this to heart and engage in smarter reproductive decisionmaking at younger ages, when it counts most.

    Not in my lifetime though, probably.

  • Ramble

    Hope, btw, previously I had referenced Indonesia as an example when I really meant to reference someplace like Singapore. Yes, I know that they don’t have that much in common, nor are they all that close to one another. My mistake.

  • deti

    “I have been brewing a theory that most women (and men, probably, though that’s another matter) really only get two or three shots at a guy they could marry.”

    Let me add to that: Most women (and men, probably, though that’s another matter) really only get two or three shots at a guy they could marry, who would marry her, and would be a compatible spouse.”

    Either way you look at it, it seems to ring true. Looking back over my dating career of about 12 years, I count three women (including my current spouse) whom I could have married, who (probably) would have married me, and who would have been compatible with me.

    Seems consistent with my observations of my siblings, my best college friends and my fraternity brothers. My sister: two men. My younger sister: one man. Most of my wife’s friends: none more than three men.

  • A.

    “Among today’s college graduates, 25% of women will not marry college educated men.

    That estimate is actually rosy because it assumes that men will want to marry in equal numbers to women. The data was not analyzed by sex, but in an era of misandrist family law that’s a dubious claim.”

    Another thing it assumes is that if a college educated man wants to marry, he would necessarily want to marry a college educated woman. This is probably not true.

    I have a college education, but the woman I’m with does not, and not only does it not bother me in the slightest, I can’t even imagine why it would. Chalk it up to another example of men being different than women.

    • Another thing it assumes is that if a college educated man wants to marry, he would necessarily want to marry a college educated woman. This is probably not true

      That seems like a valid point, but I do think you’re in the minority. People tend to marry within their own education bracket, possibly because they tend to run in social circles with similar others.

  • dragnet

    @ Susan

    “However, as has been discussed here before, quite a few guys express a desire to have sex with 21 year olds, but not to marry them or even date them seriously.”

    Only because we have culture that has render 20-21 year old girls completely useless and immature. There are plenty of guys who would consider marrying these girls if they weren’t reading Cosmo, glued to their iPhones, slutting it up, and able to hold a decent conversation about something other than their last shopping trip.

    Guys would be more serious about these girls, if we raising girls to be serious at shit at younger ages.

    • @dragnet

      Guys would be more serious about these girls, if we raising girls to be serious at shit at younger ages.

      OK, but we also now have academics formally revising the definition of male adolescence to age 26. For every girl reading Cosmo, there’s a guy doing something equally unproductive, if somewhat less culturally repulsive. It’s pretty clear that young people in general are maturing much later than they did a generation ago.

  • Ramble

    I have no idea if maternal age of 28 is correlated with low birth rate, autism, un-descended testes and all the other stuff you listed, but I doubt it.

    I do not have the references on hand at the moment, but from what I have read, the fertility/healthy-baby combo starts going downhill after 26. It is not rapid, but significant enough that,
    1.) It should be mentioned, and
    2.) it keeps getting worse each year after 26.

  • ” “However, as has been discussed here before, quite a few guys express a desire to have sex with 21 year olds, but not to marry them or even date them seriously.””

    I think feminism’s shaming of age-gap relationships is at least partly to blame here. Mid-20’s guys have been brainwashed that if they desire a younger woman they are dirty and patriarchal. It’s a shame, because a lot of those couples could be successful marriages if one or both of them got past the false idea that their relationship is wrong.

  • Mike

    @Susan 59

    It may be that once a woman is out of school for a couple of years, she’ll be fine – 24—–>34. I don’t know. I know a bunch of young women doing OKCupid right now – all 21-23, and they’re getting a ton of responses from guys 23 and 24, but very few from guys 30+. I do think guys self-segregate to some degree on this.

    There are filters on okc that state up front what age range you’re looking for. most girls in their early 20’s only go up 5-7 years tops. I know.. i’m one of those dirtbags looking for young girls HA. anyways.. once you see you’re not in their range, you can still try and send a message, but it will warn the receiver that the sender does not match her current filter criteria and she may delete it without ever reading it.

    just an fyi.

  • deti

    @ dragnet:

    “Only because we have culture that has render 20-21 year old girls completely useless and immature. There are plenty of guys who would consider marrying these girls if they weren’t reading Cosmo, glued to their iPhones, slutting it up, and able to hold a decent conversation about something other than their last shopping trip.”

    How things have changed. Twenty years ago, the 21 year old women I knew were college seniors, getting ready to graduate. Most had jobs lined up. Many were engaged to be married. They were serious about life (their careers, mostly). This was also in the era before cellphones, texting, the internet, Facebook and the ubiquitous Louis Vuitton handbag.

  • #45 ted,

    people in relationships need common VALUES, but not really common interests or shared life references. so i grew up watching family ties, and she didn’t — who cares. those are all just excuses created by the feminist agenda, and if we stop to think and think for a moment, the fact that they are just excuses becomes quite obvious.

    #58 hope,

    you are right, of course. take a STEM nerd, give him a cute girl, and he is downright READY to settle down. he doesn’t know any better.

    you are also sharp to observe that a lot of girls posting here are with STEM men — and in fact, one of my sisters is married to a STEM guy, and he is a great husband.

    so yeah, maybe that is the “best” answer — except it goes against SO MUCH of female instinct, it really does fight the female natural tendency to “go alpha”. not that all STEM men are beta, but you know what i mean.

    and finally, i also think you are right, many of the “good” or at least “better” men are already married by their early 30s — but that is the current generation. i think that for the new generation, this won’t be the case. i think the whereas the “best” men of my generation got married at 24-28, the best men of the next generation will get married at 28-32, something like that.

    #59 susan,

    if it is self selection, i think that mostly comes from the feminist shaming which is incredibly strong in our society.

    however, i am also guessing that these women aged 21-23 put on their profiles that they wanted men aged 21-28 or so, i doubt that they clicked the box for men in their 30s — thinking of course that these men must be gross and perverted — so that is much more likely whey these girls didn’t get replies from older men.

    actually, now that i think about it, these girls — including your daughter, right? — you should do a quick survey and ask THEM their thoughts about dating a man ten years older. their candid, unfiltered, instant reactions to this proposal.

    it would be VERY interesting to hear their thoughts.

    • @Rivelino

      actually, now that i think about it, these girls — including your daughter, right? — you should do a quick survey and ask THEM their thoughts about dating a man ten years older. their candid, unfiltered, instant reactions to this proposal.

      it would be VERY interesting to hear their thoughts.

      I do have one tidbit I can share. My daughter, who is 22, was recently asked out at a college alumni event by a 34 year old guy. When she told me I thought it was great, but my husband disapproved. He thought it was too vast an age difference, and that a man that age should be looking for women closer to his own age. So I guess Mr. HUS has bought into the feminist shaming.

  • Ramble

    It’s pretty clear that young people in general are maturing much later than they did a generation ago.

    Exactly how mature do you want those guys to be?

    That is, a guy who is more likely to be admonished by teachers for being “disruptive”, less likely to be admitted to a 4 year college, less likely to be employed at 22, more likely to be laid off if employed (i.e. the Mancession), more likely to make less money at that age if employed, more likely to be raped in divorce court, more likely to lose custody of his children, more likely to…well, you get the idea.

    Men, as far as I can tell, are reacting to an environment. But, attempting to lead a life that would make marriage a possibility at 25 is simply not going to happen for most in this environment.

    Susan, what kind of home could some 25 year old guy afford in Brookline or Washington DC? And, if DC, could he or would he raise a child in that neighborhood?

    • @Ramble

      Exactly how mature do you want those guys to be?

      I don’t want them to be anything. I have no agenda on that score, and am not intending to shame men. I’m simply observing that for a variety of reasons, apparently, both sexes are maturing into weighty responsibilities later than they once did.

  • Olive

    Ramble,

    Whenever these discussions come up it is only fertility that gets mentioned and rarely anything else.

    The good news is I took a graduate-level seminar in Maternal and Child Health this past semester, and we talked about the risks you mentioned quite a bit! The seminar seemed to focus a lot on global health, so we also talked about the risks of giving birth when you’re 14 (rather common in some developing countries). But you are correct. That’s actually the number 1 reason I’d prefer to start having babies in approx. 5 years… I don’t want to try to have kids after 35, when the risks for birth defects significantly increase. I also want to have 2 or 3 kids, so starting when I’m 32 and trying to have that many kids in 3 years would be ridiculous.

    Unfortunately I was born with some birth defects (hearing loss, 2 thumbs on my left hand, slightly deformed ears, another more serious defect that I’d rather not mention) sooo having a kid will be a medical risk for me, period. Thanks genes.

  • Ted D

    “quite a few guys express a desire to have sex with 21 year olds, but not to marry them or even date them seriously. Guys seeking an LTR or even a wife want someone whose life experience is a bit closer to their own. ”

    The issue here is maturity. Guys in their 30’s are not looking for drama and fashion tips. They want a women that can have intelligent conversations on topics other than pop culture.

    I for one become VERY interested in a women after she demonstrates that she thinks about more than Jersey Shore and the latest fashions. In fact, for me it adds at least one point of SMV value. Nothing gets on my nerves as much as a young woman (or man for that matter) that can’t converse about important (or at least current/relevant) topics other than media fed crap.

    Take away? Ladies, please please PLEASE read. Not romance novels either. News, current event, politics, religion, etc. And after you read, form an opinion. You don’t have to become an expert at all, just know enough to talk a little. If you find a guy that is passionate about a specific subject, he will likely LOVE being able to “educate” you if you only know the basics. In fact, it will go a LONG way towards making those early awkward conversations (in early dating) much less so.

    This is exactly how I handle sports. I know enough to be able to participate in those “manly” football conversations, but I spend most of my time listening and adding commentary. Of course, it helps that I live in Steeler country! (sorry, had to plug the home team!)

    • Take away? Ladies, please please PLEASE read. Not romance novels either. News, current event, politics, religion, etc. And after you read, form an opinion.

      I will happily second this.

  • Prost

    “It’s pretty clear that young people in general are maturing much later than they did a generation ago.”
    and hitting puberty at younger ages?

    • “It’s pretty clear that young people in general are maturing much later than they did a generation ago.”
      and hitting puberty at younger ages?

      Yes! Earlier physical development, later emotional development.

  • J

    Those of you in your 20s can have marriage and a family if you want it, but you can’t have it all. My generation of feminists lied to you about that.

    Hi Susan–Respectfully speaking, this is a little ironic coming from you, a woman who, if she doesn’t have it all, still has most of it. You have two kids, a loving husband, what you describe as a lovely home in a UMC neighborhood and a Wharton MBA (?, if I recall correctly.) You’ve pretty much achieved the “feminist” dream of our generation.
    As you may remember from when I used to post here often, I had quite a struggle with infertility and miscarriage, but I still ended up with a family situation that is pretty similar to yours. If this dream was all a lie, you and I are living it..and as far as I can tell, enjoying it. At least I am.
    While IRL I do tell young women my infertility story as a cautionary tale, my happy ending also belies the point I am trying to make. The very presence of women in my community who continued to practice law or medicine while raising two or more kids further belies the point. (Hell, even at this point in MY life, I envy those women their ability to balance it all.)
    Young women need to know the facts about declining fertility, but the negative rhetoric that surrounds this issue is counter-productive. The truth isn’t that you can’t have it all; try and you’ll end up a childless cat lady. It’s more like not everyone gets it all, and most of us don’t get it all at the same time. A very fortunate and hardworking few do “get it all;” many more get most/ a lot; some get a little; a few get nothing. Some lucky breaks and lot of careful planning and awareness will get you quite a bit. It’s when people try to say something different that honesty about the number looks like a “scare tactic.” Hence the backlash.

    • @J

      Good to see you. Let me clarify. When I said “have it all” I meant family and career. In fact, I left the workforce in 1989, never to return. I did so because my son was not thriving or happy in child care. So I went with family. My husband and I made the decision together and I have no regrets. That Wharton MBA was an unwise investment as it turns out.

      As it happens, I broke with the feminists when I made that choice. It’s no secret that most feminist activists today are not mothers, much less wives. They really aren’t invested in women’s family responsibilities. That’s why real information about fertility has been suppressed. It is more important to feminists that women work than raise a family. Much, much more important. When Stevenson and Wolfers found that women are much unhappier than they were in 1970, the feminists were all over them with accusations, but it’s very clear that women in our generation who tried to have big careers and raise children wound up forfeiting one thing or the other. They either stepped off the track, as I did, or hired someone else to raise their kids. I wasn’t surprised when, at my 25th Wharton reunion, the female heavy hitters were mostly unmarried and none had kids. The female grads with families were all doing interesting things, but of their own design, like I do here. The same is true of the Harvard Business School women’s group I’m in. Out of two dozen women, only 3 women with kids at home are working full time. Do the women lawyers and doctors you know work full time? Because I know a bunch too and they’ve all gone independent, scaled back from the ER to a college health office, or something along those lines, finances permitting.

      Young women need to know the facts about declining fertility, but the negative rhetoric that surrounds this issue is counter-productive.

      But that’s the problem. Young women don’t know the facts. We have sex ed programs that introduce fisting, but we don’t tell women what their reproductive cycle is. The backlash is from a special interest group that wants women in boardrooms instead of maternity wards.

      As for negative rhetoric, Ms. Collura explained how very angry and betrayed infertile women feel. Key information about their health was hidden from them.

  • Ramble

    J,
    Sometimes, the grass on the other side really is greener.

  • Escoffier

    “From Moe the bartender: The older they get, the cuter they ain’t.”

    Actually Aunt Patty.

  • Ted D

    @ J – “The very presence of women in my community who continued to practice law or medicine while raising two or more kids further belies the point. (Hell, even at this point in MY life, I envy those women their ability to balance it all.)”

    For one, Susan doesn’t work and has been a stay at home mother for some time. So, she “doesn’t have it all” because successful career (no dig Susan) isn’t on her list.

    And, just because some women “balance” life and work, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a cost. Someone has to be with the children. If mom and dad work, and other family cannot be there, then childcare gets “outsourced” to strangers. Do you truly believe that a stranger taking money has your child’s best interests at heart?

    I still believe that no one (man or woman) can have it all, nor should they even try. Instead, both should look at their possible choices early in life (I’d suggest before wasting money on a useless degree) and decide what they want to be “when they grow up”, and then work toward that goal. In short, we need to stop allowing childish behavior to linger past the late teens. AT 22, you should be know what you want out of life and be well on your way to getting there. You should also realize by then that you will NOT get everything, and to even get some of it you WILL need to compromise.

  • Olive

    Of course, it helps that I live in Steeler country! (sorry, had to plug the home team!)

    LOL it’s hard to live in Steelers land when you’re an Eagles fan. And yes, the BF has already made fun of the Dream Team’s terrible losing record this year several times to my face. 😛

    Re: Marrying an older guy
    I’ve actually thought about this quite a bit, and I’ve decided if I was ever back on the market, I’d go for guys in their early 30s. My BF is quite a gem, very mature and level headed, but most guys my age seem like they’re still stuck in freshman year of college. There’s this 25-year-old guy who works for my dad, and he disgusts me. He doesn’t talk about anything except banging chicks, drinking, and smoking. Yes, even around his boss’s daughter. Not attractive.

  • Isabel

    Deti,

    I’ve known a couple of women over 36 who tried this. For most, a couple of rounds and $2o K later, no viable pregnancy. It’s very sad, really. And high risk, and high expense. At that rate she’s better off trying to adopt.

    That’s sad. Especially once you consider that simply making marriage a priority before 26 could have redirected that lost 20K towards her would-be sons and daughters. The adoption system is ridiculously rigged too so I wouldn’t bank on that either. A few weeks back, there was a whole fuss about A+ host families who were barred from adopting for being “too white”, “too middle-class” or for smoking once in the garden during a visit (passive smoking … derp derp).
    So, on the whole, I think there’s little to no leeway for childless, unmarried women over 40. They are all pretty stuck. That said, I noticed that a lot of the girls I know are splitting themselves into visible camps now. Some are doing career then kids whilst the smaller group are opting for kids and then, possibly, a career after.

    As to the college ratio, in the US fewer men attend college. When I went 25 years ago it was more equivalent almost 1:1 men to women. Now it’s approaching 60% women. I gather there are a lot of reasons for this: a lot of men either don’t see the value in a college education, or don’t succeed at it when they try, or can’t afford it, or see bleak economic prospects whether they attend college or not so they simply don’t put forth the effort. It’s still true that people regardless of gender earn more with a college degree than without. So if women have more education and the resultant increased earning power, that puts most of them at higher status than most of the men they come in regular contact with. them at higher status than most of the men they come in regular contact with.

    Yikes. Well, that’s just the way it will have to be then. Unless I’m missing something, all the possible solutions are not exactly what I’d call equitable or kind.

    Rivelino,

    but that IS the answer. the feminists are wrong, once again. i’ve said it several times.

    How? You do realise that pre-feminism, most women still married within or near their age group? And that one look at historical records (biggest one being WWI) and town halls would disprove this feminist machination to deprive men of young fanny? They called it assortative for a reason. Anyway. A man who deliberately avoids and dodges marriage in favour of the carousel for over a decade isn’t really a man to prioritise. Particularly ones who go into matrimony solely for the prospect of “exclusively banging a hot 24 year old”.

    The cream of the crop is gone by 30.

  • Escoffier

    Yeah, “balance” is a joke. If you have to work because it’s that or starvation, that’s one thing. But doctors and lawyers with husbands almost certainly never face this. They are doing it because they want to for whatever reason. That means they have to outsource the raising of their children in very large measure.

    So, no, you cannot “have it all” if that is defined as high powered UMC career + being primary caregiver (i.e., mommy) to your kids.

    Sorry.

  • Ted D

    Olive – sorry about your luck this year. 😛

    I agree. I haven’t talked about men’s lack of maturity, but I think it is pretty well established. That being said, I don’t see a lot of incentive for guys to improve. I mean, the real goal of “growing up” is to get a great job (good luck in this economy), find a wife (we know this isn’t easy since we are all here…), buy a house (prices are great, but without a job not easy to attain), and raise a family. (that we all know can be easily destroyed by divorce) So unless a young man wants to achieve these things for himself, he has little incentive to do anything at all other than exist.

    Give men a reason to care and the security to know his investment will pay off, and you won’t find so many 25 year old men acting like college freshmen.

  • jlw

    One group for whom this is not bad news is omega males, the single largest segment of the population that no one has ever studied or written about. Shut out of the market for women they can feel attracted to, they dwell in a stratum far below the drama described above. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • deti

    @ Susan:

    “Of course, women may choose to marry men with less education than themselves, but this seems unlikely to happen in large numbers for several reasons:

    Women generally prefer men with equal or higher status.
    Men generally prefer women with equal or lower status.
    Society is stratified by socioeconomic status. ”

    Women basically are attracted to confidence and dominance. You’ve also said, Susan, that women’s attraction triggers are malleable. Maybe women will have to learn to be attracted to male attributes other than educational level, income and SES.

    It looks like your theory is about to be tested in one huge experiment on a grand scale, with the unmarried US population under age 30 as the test cohort.

    • @deti

      Maybe women will have to learn to be attracted to male attributes other than educational level, income and SES.

      I think they will have to. I expect this to be reflected in the culture. We’ve already got Kate Bolick getting a TV show. I can already see the sitcom where the Pulitzer prize winning journalist marries Joe the Plumber.

      It looks like your theory is about to be tested in one huge experiment on a grand scale, with the unmarried US population under age 30 as the test cohort.

      Yes. What remains to be seen is whether the next generation of women will have more self-awareness and future time orientation than the current one.

  • Ted D

    Isabel – That may be the case in recent history, but as time goes on you will find more men in their 30’s that have not yet married. And, although right now that group may not be the best to choose from, as the ranks grow selection will be much better.

    Unless my son finds a real gem, I’m going to suggest he puts off marriage until his late 20’s or early 30’s and then look for a younger but mature woman to start a family with. My thinking is: He will be in a much better position once he is established to select a better mate. That is provided all the remaining women are not carousel riders… And THAT is why I will suggest he find a younger woman: to snag her before she rides too long.

  • dragnet

    @ Susan

    “OK, but we also now have academics formally revising the definition of male adolescence to age 26. For every girl reading Cosmo, there’s a guy doing something equally unproductive, if somewhat less culturally repulsive.”

    Yes, but men are putting off maturing because women are. In previous iterations of Western society, boys didn’t suddenly decide to “man up” at age 20, get a job, get married and take care of a family just because. They did this because the girls were getting married young and they had no choice. Once this stopped happening, there was no reason for men not to extend their adolescence.

    I’m not totally blaming frivolous women for this–a lot of this can be chalked up to the pill and the wonderful economic cushion particular to being raised in an advanced industrial democracy. The point is that the choices women as a demographic are direct predictors of the choices men will make as a demographic.

    For these reasons, I can’t buy your argument.

    • @dragnet

      The point is that the choices women as a demographic are direct predictors of the choices men will make as a demographic.

      Yes, I can see this. At least, it makes me think of the sex cartel – when women en masse weren’t putting out, men got married much sooner.

  • Ted D

    I agree Dragnet. I’m not sure which is chicken and which is the egg, but I’m pretty sure that men will not step up until women do. Frankly, they don’t have to.

  • Olive

    Ted,
    Yeah I actually agree with you. I don’t think guys my age were always so immature. To be honest I think Rivelino is recommending girls marry older guys because HE wants to get with a 24 year old and he’s 36 if I remember correctly. So. His reasoning is based in his own self-interest most likely.

    That being said, my dad is 12 years older than my mom and it really seems to have worked out for them, and they married back in ’81. So who knows, maybe it’s a good idea.

  • J

    Hi Hope,

    A second pregnancy loss? I am so terribly sorry to hear this.

    I am scared that I won’t be able to have a healthy baby. This year I had a stillbirth almost at term and a miscarriage due to chromosomal issues.

    I can surely understand your feelings, but don’t give up just yet. Miscarriages like yours happen very frequently, even among younger women. If I remember a conversation that I had with my infertility doc, something like 2/3 fertilized embryos do not result in live births due to chromosonal issues. Most spontaneously abort before mom even realizes she’s pregnant. So much can go wrong that it’s a miracle that any of us are here. Baby Liam’s death, so tragic, seems sort of random to me, not like something that would repeat itself.

    I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs, not on any prescription medication, exercise, eat healthily, 19 BMI, no risk factors, no family history of miscarriages, and so it’s hard to hear that my chances are much lower than just 5 years ago.

    Your chances are lower statistically but not necessarily individually. If I weere to read a year from now that you had a healthy baby, I would be completely unsurprised. All the positive things you list are still working in your favor and since you have gotten pregnant in the past, I would assume that you still can.

    At the time I had my older son, I had a history of social drinking, was a former smoker, was dependent on two prescription medications including thyroid hormone–the lack of which affects fertility, exercised sporadically, ate somewhat unhealthily, had several risk factors related to age, and a history of miscarriages and of endometriosis (like Grerp). The odds were really against me, but today I have two healthy and (dare I say) gifted soms whose birth bracketed my 40th birthday. It was a long hard slog, but I did it. I’d say that your odds are considerably better than mine were, so I have little doubt that you’ll eventually have the family you want. It just isn’t always pretty getting there.

    FWIW, my heart goes out to you. It’s horrendously tough, but hang in there.

  • Susan said: “but you can’t have it all. My generation of feminists lied to you about that.”

    At least someone admits it finally. An apology would be nice.

    It has been unfashionable for Millennials to admit that they desire marriage. Especially for boys. I don’t think I have ever heard a guy in my age group express a desire to marry (with the exception of Mormons). I have heard the phrase “I never want to get married.” more often than I can count. Some girls won’t admit it no matter how desperately they really want it, I think, because of the anti-marriage posturing they don’t consider it a possiblility. By the time boys our age finally come around, we’re too old. I’m 26 and it doesn’t look like the boys my age are coming around anytime soon.

    Personally, I’d love to be married and grow old with someone. (and it freaks me out to admit that.) Fortunately, I have a bit more time since I don’t ever want to be pregnant.

    • Susan said: “but you can’t have it all. My generation of feminists lied to you about that.”

      At least someone admits it finally. An apology would be nice.

      FWIW I’m sorry. But it’s actually my generation that learned the hard way – our mothers (and fathers) were the ones who had high expectations for our intellectual and professional development.

  • Olive

    Deti,

    Women basically are attracted to confidence and dominance. You’ve also said, Susan, that women’s attraction triggers are malleable. Maybe women will have to learn to be attracted to male attributes other than educational level, income and SES.

    Yeah especially as the education gender gap widens, women will really need to start considering men who aren’t as educated. I have a friend in grad school who’s dating a guy who didn’t graduate high school. Dunno how that relationship will work out, but so far it seems to be going well.

  • Ramble

    Some girls won’t admit it no matter how desperately they really want it …

    Christ, I have been saying that forever.

  • Ramble

    So I guess Mr. HUS has bought into the feminist shaming.

    Well, he married a ONS, does not ask you about your past, raised an independent daughter and a beta son and now this, so…maybe.

    • Well, he married a ONS, does not ask you about your past, raised an independent daughter and a beta son and now this, so…maybe.

      Haha, I think I’ll toast his next birthday with this!

  • Olive

    Susan,

    When she told me I thought it was great, but my husband disapproved. He thought it was too vast an age difference, and that a man that age should be looking for women closer to his own age.

    That’s pretty funny, it reminds me of my dad. When I was around 18, I always used to joke I was going to bring home a 30-year-old (that’s how old my parents were when they started dating) and my dad was like “yeah, over my dead body.” He also used to say that my mom’s parents were crazy for letting her marry him. It’s pretty funny, IDK if it’s buying into feminism or if it’s just a father’s reaction to the idea of his daughter dating an older man. It seems to be the latter in my dad’s case, since, I mean, he DID bring home a teenager at the age of 30.

  • Chris_in_CA

    Ahh. Pardon me, but this sort of news just brings a relaxing smile to my face.

    “If you know you want to marry and have a family, you must plan for it. Husbands and babies don’t fall from trees.”

    Some good advice there. Let me contribute a few cents.

    Ladies, some other things to keep in mind if you are marriage-minded:
    –“Trapping” a man is despicable and you will be left alone anyway. (Just heading off that mindset before it rears its ugly head.)
    –Your job is made much more difficult due to divorce laws, alimony laws, and false accusations. Be aware. A flippant NAWALT assurance is not enough to wash those away.
    –Be also aware that that 12% who say they “don’t want to marry” – is growing too.

    @Ramble

    The average girl in America gets married AFTER her fertility has started to decline.

    Damn straight. I’ve heard a childless 38-year-old woman talk about “having a baby in 1 or 2 years.” So deluded it’s laughable.

    I’m glad this sting is being felt now. Frankly, I hope it gets worse. Then my nephews might – MIGHT – have a chance at a decent relationship in 10+ years.

    P.S. – Ted D @76 is bang-on point too. Some of the topics “discussed” in a social group I attend are boring to the point of walking away. Grown women, college-educated, talking about movies or fashion.

    • Who was looking for schadenfreude? It’s Chris at 4:07 pm

  • deti

    Olive:

    A man’s education, income and SES connote higher status, but also the ability to provide.

    We already know that women are attracted to male physical appearance, talent, outward displays of confidence and dominance, and other “alpha attributes” triggers for sex and the “tingle”.

    Query whether women will find these sufficient to sustain an LTR or marriage with possibly the women as primary breadwinners and, at the very least, having to continue working and contributing to the family income. The initial returns weren’t very promising (for example, read Sandra Tsing Loh’s articles and her references to her husband as a “kitchen bitch”; and women’s loss of attraction at having househusbands).

    Like I said, this is about to be tested on a grand scale, I think.

  • J

    Hi Ted/Escoffier,

    Susan and I go back a ways, so we are familiar with each other’s life goals and patterns. And mine is so similar to hers, including a long hiatus from career to be a SAHM, that I’m sure she knows that I wasn’t criticizing her choice.

    Interesting that both of you jumped to that though, especially since my original comment referenced that she and I were coming from roughly the same place…

    As to full time professional moms being poor moms, I’ve known some great professional moms and some rather self-absorbed ones, but I’ve also known women with no professional aspirations who spent more time on their soap operas than their kids. Good and bad moms come in many varieties. I do envy the competence of women I see who can keep a lot balls in the air. I just knew that, at the advanced age I had my kids, I wasn’t going to be one of them.

  • deti

    @ SW: “My daughter, who is 22, was recently asked out at a college alumni event by a 34 year old guy. When she told me I thought it was great, but my husband disapproved. He thought it was too vast an age difference, and that a man that age should be looking for women closer to his own age ***”

    Hmmm. It’s just a date. No harm, really.

    You didn’t say if she wanted to go. Did she?

    • @deti

      You didn’t say if she wanted to go. Did she?

      She was open to the idea. She thought he was attractive. She did want to know if he’d been married already, though. She didn’t want to date someone who had been divorced. Hardly surprising at her age.

      In the end, though, it was all moot, because after making all his smooth moves and getting her number she never heard from him. So she dodged a bullet. I’d bet he was pure alpha cad.

  • Olive

    It has been unfashionable for Millennials to admit that they desire marriage.

    Yeah I heard the most outrageous story the other day about one of my classmates who’s had the same BF for 5 years. She said she won’t marry him for the next 5 years because she wants to work for a few years first and keep living off her parents’ moolah (they currently pay her rent). I was like wtf? If I was that dude I wouldn’t stick around. Especially the parents’ money part screams entitlement.

  • Escoffier

    J, it’s just a fact that, in a 24 hour day, you are going to sleep for roughly 8. That leaves 16. If you work, kiss goodbye to at least 10 more and for a UMC career woman, 12 and up is not uncommon (when you factor in morning primping and commutes).

    So someone else has to be with your kids. You physically cannot. Now, in the time that you have, you can be good with them or not on a sliding scale. But the brute fact is, someone else is delivering the bulk of the care. In a decisive sense, that someone else is “mommy.”

    The only way to fix this would be by manipulating temporal mechanics to allow you to be in two places at the same time. Geordi LaForge and Data could spend decades on that project and not come up with a solution.

    • The only way to fix this would be by manipulating temporal mechanics to allow you to be in two places at the same time.

      More women are becoming small business owners and working at home. My kids are grown, but I could definitely write this blog with little ones. Not as intensely perhaps, but I could do it. What I did some over the years was freelance, working as a subcontractor when the opportunity arose.

  • Olive

    Query whether women will find these sufficient to sustain an LTR or marriage with possibly the women as primary breadwinners and, at the very least, having to continue working and contributing to the family income. The initial returns weren’t very promising (for example, read Sandra Tsing Loh’s articles and her references to her husband as a “kitchen bitch”; and women’s loss of attraction at having househusbands).

    Like I said, this is about to be tested on a grand scale, I think.

    Yeah it’s a really interesting issue. I’m about to have a higher level of education than my BF (dual masters degrees, while he’ll only have a bachelors when he graduates in May), so we’re about to test this out too. He’s actually said he wouldn’t mind being a stay at home dad. I don’t find that idea revolting, the only problem is I’m the one who has to carry the babies in my womb, so he’d certainly have to work during my pregnancy if we end up getting hitched. Also that puts the pressure on me, I better not just have a shitty social work job or we’ll have trouble. I don’t have any qualms about his ability to provide, though. He’s very hardworking, very smart, says he might consider grad school in applied statistics in the future. We’ll see, we’re both still kids in many ways, so nothing is set in stone.

  • Here’s my take on the college gender disparity:
    http://theprivateman.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/how-will-they-find-husbands/

    • @Private Man

      From your post:

      Here’s a thoroughly revolutionary concept: Keep the dames out of college. Yeah, I said it.

      That final bit caused quite a stir among some women in the blogosphere. I was on board until then, but yikes, eliminating the competition to get men into college is not going to fly in a global economy, even if I didn’t find the suggestion sexist.

  • J

    He thought it was too vast an age difference, and that a man that age should be looking for women closer to his own age. So I guess Mr. HUS has bought into the feminist shaming.

    In the past year, I have had opportunities to discuss arranged marriages with both a Hindu woman and a Lubavitch Chasid. Both told me that an age gap of more than 10 years in generally avoided in matchmaking and that the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote the Jewish equivalent of an encyclical opposing large age gaps. Some very traditional cultures agree with Mr. HUS.

    My parents were 9 years apart. My dad’s final years and eventual death were very hard on my mom. She probably died 5-7 years earlier than she might have had he been alive and healthy. It seems like marrying a much older man is virtually signing up for that.

  • Ramble

    We’ve already got Kate Bolick getting a TV show. I can already see the sitcom where the Pulitzer prize winning journalist marries Joe the Plumber.

    Wouldn’t the sitcom be better if Joe liked the “accomplished journalist”, but married her younger, hotter niece?

  • Isabel

    I doubt that, Ted. The only way that could ever become the norm is if something catasthrophic happens to society, and fathers are forced to marry their daughters off out of necessity. It’s just disingenuous to say that it’s due to feminist propaganda or whatever because it is historically inaccurate. 20 year old unmarried women were considered old maids and it would have been highly shameful for a man to unmarried at 30-35. Girls married after the first two years of menarche to 19 year old “men” and that was that. Also, present non-feminist countries still engage in peer-matching. The age gap arose primarily – if not exclusively – out of the female inability to provide for themselves. If we’re talking about women currently out-learning and soon out-earning men, then it simply loses ground. So I hope you can see why I’m wary anyone who claims otherwise without proof.

    Unless my son finds a real gem, I’m going to suggest he puts off marriage until his late 20′s or early 30′s and then look for a younger but mature woman to start a family with. My thinking is: He will be in a much better position once he is established to select a better mate. That is provided all the remaining women are not carousel riders… And THAT is why I will suggest he find a younger woman: to snag her before she rides too long.

    Fair enough. Am I allowed to point out that something 20-30% of young women are still virgins and that another goodly chunk is still relatively chaste? And that we don’t all worship at the heeled feet of St. Kartrashian?

    Fml.

  • Ramble

    Yes, I can see this. At least, it makes me think of the sex cartel – when women en masse weren’t putting out, men got married much sooner.

    Which is why slut shaming was so important to previous generations of women. It was good for themselves and their daughters (and sons).

  • Chris_in_CA

    @Susan

    Yep, saw that too. John G, it looks like.

    Figured I’d get a little in at a low level, since the discussion is vibrant. Wanted to contribute to it, not accidentally derail it.

    • @Chris in CA

      Yeah, it’s fair. I have personally derived great enjoyment from schadenfreude over the years. I can’t in all good conscience blame men for feeling it.

  • #82 olive

    “Re: Marrying an older guy. I’ve actually thought about this quite a bit, and I’ve decided if I was ever back on the market, I’d go for guys in their early 30s.”

    smart girl.

    #83 isabel

    “How? You do realise that pre-feminism, most women still married within or near their age group? And that one look at historical records (biggest one being WWI) and town halls would disprove this feminist machination to deprive men of young fanny? They called it assortative for a reason.”

    let’s see data. i find that hard to believe. a man was supposed to provide for his wife. much easier to do if he is significantly older.

    “A man who deliberately avoids and dodges marriage in favour of the carousel for over a decade isn’t really a man to prioritise. Particularly ones who go into matrimony solely for the prospect of ‘exclusively banging a hot 24 year old’. ”

    isabel, you don’t understand men. i am a man. you should listen to me if you want insight into the male psyche.

    a man can want to fuck a lot of girls in his 20s, and then find a girl to adore in his 30s. completely normal. healthy, even.

    #91 olive

    “To be honest I think Rivelino is recommending girls marry older guys because HE wants to get with a 24 year old and he’s 36 if I remember correctly. So. His reasoning is based in his own self-interest most likely.”

    very true, i just wrote the same thing on my blog. i have a massive crush on a 24 year old girl right now, and i am 36, and i keep on having these stupid crazy idea of marrying her and running off with her.

    so i definitely have “an agenda” when i recommend this, but i believe in this case, my agenda only proves my point.

    #95 susan

    “So I guess Mr. HUS has bought into the feminist shaming.”

    i think you’re right! i think you should press him on this subject. maybe he can even write a blog post about his thoughts.

    #100 ramble

    “Well, he married a ONS, does not ask you about your past, raised an independent daughter and a beta son and now this, so…maybe.”

    exactly.

    and yeah, what was your DAUGHTER’S reaction to being asked out by a 34 year old man?

    • isabel, you don’t understand men. i am a man. you should listen to me if you want insight into the male psyche.

      Ha! Isabel, be warned, that is one complicated male.

      i think you’re right! i think you should press him on this subject. maybe he can even write a blog post about his thoughts.

      How beta would that be? That’s not going to happen, Mr. HUS qualifying himself here. Unh unh.

  • Malia

    … how very angry and betrayed infertile women feel. Key information about their health was hidden from them.

    In my experience I don’t find that key health information is “hidden”, rather I find that women aren’t listening. Feminists may have a vested interest in suppressing knowledge, but gynecologists do not. I find that all the information is there, and is readily accessible, and also there are women (and doctors) who will honestly tell you (as you are) but that a lot of women just.do.not.want.to.hear.it.

    Should I count (like the previous poster) the number of mid-to-late thirties women that I know who want “more than one” child who have no child currently AND no boyfriend/husband. Or the approaching 40s who still want kids and think because they are in good shape (i.e. thin) that they will just be able to “have it like that”.

    I’m not buying it. It’s like when obese people cry “no one told me that fast food was this bad for me.” Like really? Some people just don’t want to be held accountable for not taking control (and accountability) of choices they made, that have long term affects. It’s easier to play victim, innocent, or ignorance.

    Modern women have a vested interest in living in fantasy and fairy tale.

    I’m not throwing any shade at women who grappled with infertility, but I’ve found that “I should have paid more attention to this (taken it more seriously)” is the more truthful sentiment than “this was hidden from me”.

    • @Malia

      That’s a fair point. Every woman sees her OB/GYN annually (or should) – all she has to do is ask the simple question. I think part of the reason they don’t want to hear it is because like the woman in the article said, if you find out that you’re reaching an age when your fertility is waning, and you’re not even done with medical school or whatever, one feels powerless. It’s already too late. We need to get this information out to college aged women. The tick tock should be audible for women the moment they finish college, and it should inform all of their choices if they want to have a family.

  • #117 susan

    “She was open to the idea. She thought he was attractive. She did want to know if he’d been married already, though. She didn’t want to date someone who had been divorced. Hardly surprising at her age.”

    yeah, at 22 i can see her wanting “fresh new love”, but divorced men truly are the best bet as far as “older men” go. past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. if he was such a romantic that he got married before, it is much more likely that he will want to get married again.

    obviously, kids would be a deal breaker.

    and yes olive, i say that because i have no kids 🙂

    so susan, let’s talk more about your daughter. she is single i take it?

    • Rivelino said:

      yeah, at 22 i can see her wanting “fresh new love”, but divorced men truly are the best bet as far as “older men” go.

      Is anyone surprised that Rivelino is a protege of Doug1?

  • deti

    “In the end, though, it was all moot, because after making all his smooth moves and getting her number she never heard from him. So she dodged a bullet. I’d bet he was pure alpha cad.”

    Heh. doesn’t matter. Dad said no, so that’s the end of it!

    .

  • #129 susan

    “Isabel, be warned”

    yeah isabel, watch out. i am a bad and i am dangerous. you DEFINITELY do not want to get to know me.

  • Olive

    very true, i just wrote the same thing on my blog. i have a massive crush on a 24 year old girl right now, and i am 36, and i keep on having these stupid crazy idea of marrying her and running off with her.

    so i definitely have “an agenda” when i recommend this, but i believe in this case, my agenda only proves my point.

    Haha I saw that, and laughed a little. Maybe it’s because you live in Spain, but I’d argue that most 23-24 year old American girls are not mature enough for a guy in his 30s. Though from your writing, if I didn’t know you were 36, I’d guess you were in your early 20s (i.e. you kind of remind me of a kid sometimes), so maybe it would work out for you. 😛

    Also see Susan’s comment at 117:

    She didn’t want to date someone who had been divorced. Hardly surprising at her age.

    Yeah so I said I’d maybe go after guys in their early 30s, but did not say I would go for divorced guys in their early 30s. If I only knew that a guy was divorced, but didn’t know the specifics, that would set off serious alarm bells for me. Having said that, I know the story of Mike’s divorce (sad friggin’ story) and I have no trouble recommending he go for a younger girl in her 20s (he’s 35). So, depends on the circumstances.

  • ” Here’s a thoroughly revolutionary concept: Keep the dames out of college. Yeah, I said it.

    That final bit caused quite a stir among some women in the blogosphere. I was on board until then, but yikes, eliminating the competition to get men into college is not going to fly in a global economy, even if I didn’t find the suggestion sexist.”

    No more sexist than affirmative action quotas used previously to get more women into colleges. It’s just flipping the gender narrative, nothing more.

    Of course that final comment caused a stir, it’s because its’ a valid policy to adopt – affirmation action for men to restore the gender balance in higher education. What’s wrong with that?

    I strongly suspect that college admissions officers are having a conniption of this gender imbalance so there is likely an ad hoc form of affirmative action going on behind closed doors during the application review process.

    • @Private Man

      Of course that final comment caused a stir, it’s because its’ a valid policy to adopt – affirmation action for men to restore the gender balance in higher education. What’s wrong with that?

      Actually, nothing, IMO. The private schools already do it to a certain extent (if they can) and perhaps the public universities should consider it too. Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning. It sounds like you don’t think women should go to college, period.

  • Olive

    and yes olive, i say that because i have no kids

    And what does that have to do with me? I already knew you had no kids.

  • Zach

    A couple of comments:

    As for women dating older men, I’ve given OkCupid a shot (granted, over a year ago), and almost all the women there are “looking for” men who START at their age but go up to 8-9 years older than they are. As in it’s very common to see “looking for” 24-32, 24-31, etc. I don’t think that women not marrying older men is as big a problem as it’s made out to be. Although I do know one 23 year-old girl who is dating a 38 year-old man, and it’s honestly pretty creepy. He’s balding, divorced already, and every time he shows up while we’re going to bars people start asking “who invited their uncle?”. However, I know quite a few girls dating guys 5-6 years older, and it’s not an issue or a problem.

    Another thing I see all the time, especially at nice restaurants, is gorgeous 20-something women with average, but loaded, 40-something men. The problem is that this dynamic leads most successful older men (30+) to have grave reservations about the motivations of any younger girl he is dating. How does he know she’s not just after his money? Gold digging is not uncommon and most older guys who have money are worried about it. So while older men will date younger women, this reservation will make them think 4 or 5 times before marrying (and potentially losing half their assets) to them.

    Lastly, marriage and kids are expensive! I have lived in NYC my whole life, and want to live here for the rest of my life (or another major city, maybe SF or Chicago). However, doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, to live with 2 kids in private school in Manhattan, and live comfortably, you’re looking at $350,000 pre-tax income minimum, more likely $400,000. Not many (in fact none outside of finance, and these days not even there necessarily) 25-28 year olds are going to be pulling down that kind of money. Even if you work in management consulting/law/medicine, the three highest paying professions outside of finance, by 35 you’re doing very well making $300,000+ a year (for lawyers and consultants, making partner happens around then, but is not guaranteed). Even if you plan on relying on 2 incomes, that’s still $175,000/spouse, not chump change, especially given that many highly-educated women still go into fields like fashion, PR and marketing that don’t pay all that much. So the financial reasons are very strong (at least for men, who are still expected to be the primary provider) to wait until you’re nearer peak earning power to marry and have kids. The (rough) plan in my case is to marry at 33-35 to a woman 27-30, and have the first kid at 34-37, when my financial situation will likely be strong enough to support it.

    • Although I do know one 23 year-old girl who is dating a 38 year-old man, and it’s honestly pretty creepy. He’s balding, divorced already, and every time he shows up while we’re going to bars people start asking “who invited their uncle?”.

      It is a little creepy that a man that age wants to barhop with kids right out of college. I would expect a very young woman dating an older man to enter his social scene.

      Zach, I think you’re dreaming if you think you can get a nice apartment and private school in Manhattan for two kids on 400K a year. That reminds me of Sherman McKoy in Bonfire of the Vanities going broke on a million dollars a year. And that was in 1988. There is constant pressure to donate, socialize and participate in various very expensive extracurriculars, etc. If you marry a professional woman making the same you can probably pull it off.

      This was actually the key reason my husband and I relocated to Boston. It’s not exactly cheap, but we could get a nice home in the city for a lot less money.

  • tvmunson

    Americans just don’t place a high a value on plumbers, mechanics, elevator repairman etc. So the option for a college educated woman with a position commensurate with her educational level marrying a tradesman type, while theoretically possible, is not realistically plausible. Picture a cocktail party; an assemblage of the usual suspects, smatterings of mid-execs, a few lawyers, doc or 2. And a guy who jerks wrenches for a living.We all want to be “classless and free” (J. Lennon)-we ain’t. He’d feel an ostracism, a chill. even if it wasn’t there.

    But the good news is as the middle class dissolves like the Fizzies Susan and I reminisced about, so will the upper middle class. The assemblage described above would have been upper middle class in my time; now, they’re really middle middle class. But it’s more than money; educated people are exposed to so much more than even they are aware of, plus they have a lazy confidence (I’ve never even seen a copy of Moby Dick, but can bullshit my way through a discussion of it so you cant’ tell plus I know even the Yale people read the Cliff’s notes; Melville’s writing was literary Tourette’s Syndrome (see!)) that someone without an education cannot attain.

    On another vein, I’m struck by something I read decades ago about the black community. a college educated woman was talking about her prospects in the neighborhood (not the ‘hood). She ticked off all the barriers to meeting the “right” black man and concluded “there can only be so many winners.” When Moynihan decried the black illegitimacy rate in the 60s, it was 40%, white was 10%. Now, black is 70+%, white is 40%. And the lack of enough “right” white guys just may be a tracking phenomenon like the illegitimacy rate-whites are catching up to something that has been going on in the black community for decades.

    Everything supports that proposition. “Play’ahs” been a feature in the black community since Moynihan spotted them. You may be surprised to know as an old white guy I’ve been aware that on black college campuses women have been complaining about datelessness for years. (I’m surprised too).

    So whites are going where blacks have already been. The synthesis of the two threads of written is that marrying “down” will not work, and the supply of eligibles is going to continue to dwindle.

    BTW I’m not saying “marrying down” won’t ever work. I just do not know, nor have I never met, in my peer group, a couple that fits that description. Susan, at the soirees you’ve attended , how many Bryn Mawr graduates and their home-pesticide-spraying husbands have you met? Honestly-we need absolute truth here. Sugar coating sweet dream bedtime stories are for your (now grown) children.

    • @Munson

      I have never known a couple where either party was college educated and the other was working class. It happens – Matt Damon married a cocktail waitress. But I haven’t known any. I have known high powered women who have married writers, artists, etc. Remember that Bain consultant who married Clark Rockefeller? I know one HBS grad who married a librarian. But it’s unusual, and I’m not at all sure it works very well. I have the sense those men wind up cheating with other “sensitive” souls.

  • J

    Good to see you.

    You too.

    Let me clarify. When I said “have it all” I meant family and career.
    This blog isn’t a new career for you? I see it as a small business as well as a service. You have advertisers, so I assume there’s some income.

    In fact, I left the workforce in 1989, never to return. I did so because my son was not thriving or happy in child care. So I went with family. My husband and I made the decision together and I have no regrets.

    I’m feeling you there. As you may recall, I quit work becasue the thought of leavng my kid with a sitter was breaking my heart. I went to too much hell to have him to leave him with soomeone who obviously wasn’t love him like do. No real regrets on my part, just some admiration for other’s achievements.

    That Wharton MBA was an unwise investment as it turns out.

    Really? I suppose that you could have gone on to be a CEO somewhere had you wanted it, but I think we all have the choice of doing what we want with our educations. I’ve worked out of my original field and taken a lot of time off, but I don’t feel my education was a poor investment. Also, I would have thought that yourbusiness background plays a big part in the success of this blog. Not a criticism BTW as I anticipate some of your readers might interpret it. I’ve always admired how you’ve applied your business acumen to this blog.

    As it happens, I broke with the feminists when I made that choice….

    You know, I’m never really even sure what the word means anymore. When we were young, feminism was about equality and choices; things have changed. But I think you’ll agree that our educational path when we took it was perceived as feminist and that we benefitted from it. There are some who would argue that leaving the workplace was also a feminist choice, but I don’t care to get bogged down in that. The F word shuts down more honest discussion than it promotes.
    it’s very clear that women in our generation who tried to have big careers and raise children wound up forfeiting one thing or the other. They either stepped off the track, as I did, or hired someone else to raise their kids.

    A few, as I said, mananged to “have it all.” Most of us indeed needed to make choices. I’m happy to have had choices to make. I think my life, including what I have in terms of personal strengths, is better because of that. I bet you can say the same.

    The female grads with families were all doing interesting things, but of their own design, like I do here.

    Exactly. Me too. That’s why I’m grateful that I had the opportunities to develop myself that I did.

    Do the women lawyers and doctors you know work full time?

    It varies with their age, age of children, husband’s occupation and other factors.

    Because I know a bunch too and they’ve all gone independent…

    All? Really? I know a wider variety: full time lawyers with older kids, a divorcee with little kids, lawyers who’ve never practiced to lawyers changed careers but still use law in their careers, a doctor with a house husband, one with a limitied practice, a lawyer who shares a practice with her husband, etc.

    Young women don’t know the facts. We have sex ed programs that introduce fisting, but we don’t tell women what their reproductive cycle is.

    It’s a problem, but one that predates special interest groups. I could have been diagnosed with incipient endometriosis as a teenager, but a (male) doctor told my mother I just wanted to get out of gym class. You know how girls are? 😉 At any rate, I DO agree–as I said in my original post–that women have to be informed, but the cat lady talk from the commentariat is counterproductive. It causes young women to turn off and gives women with current issues bad information that may not apply to them.

    • @J

      This blog isn’t a new career for you? I see it as a small business as well as a service. You have advertisers, so I assume there’s some income.

      It is, sort of, and that’s quite unexpected. I never planned to start a small business at 52, lol. As I said in another comment, I couldn’t devote this kind of time to a blog with kids at home.

      Also, I would have thought that your business background plays a big part in the success of this blog.

      That’s true. And of course, I met my husband in b-school, so I don’t second guess it. It all worked out fine. I think it would be a stretch, however, to say I’d used my MBA throughout my life.

      the cat lady talk from the commentariat is counterproductive. It causes young women to turn off and gives women with current issues bad information that may not apply to them.

      Fair enough.

  • pvw

    Susan:

    “I just feel like it’s something else that they lump onto women that we have no control over. ”

    Huh, WTF? Some women are so deranged it makes my head spin. Well, actually it doesn’t anymore, I’m used to it.

    Yeah, that’s some serious feminist programming right there. Who are “they?” What are they “lumping” onto women? Does she mean God and aging?

    My reply:

    I read it to mean that women are quite often blamed for their single status. For example, the woman stated after that quote something which provides context: “Well, if I’m not dating anyone, and I want to have a family, what is that information going to do for me?”

    Not all women who want to be married are finding partners to date and marry them; so are they being blamed for not being married and for their biological clock winding down?

    In her mind, that is what is sounds like. If anything, that is what is arguably pushing single women towards the fertility specialists, and for some of them, even when they are of the age to be married and start a family! If dating is a battlefield, they would rather remove themselves and focus on what they can manage, fertility through the sperm bank.

    • @pvw

      Yes, that makes sense. I guess I depart from her POV because women do have control over their lives, if only they will exercise it in a timely way. I’m not saying women should give up their dreams of achievement, and I’m not saying it’s easy. I think the least we can do is let women know that they’re facing tough choices.

  • deti

    My sister married a man one year older than she. He has an associate’s degree, later apprenticed and became a journeyman in a trade. She has a master’s degree and worked for a while, but then when her first child was born she started working part time as a substitute teacher.

    But I remember she specifically wanted him to finish a bachelor’s degree before they married. He told her he didn’t want to. She married him anyway. I guess it did not matter all that much for them; as they’ve been married 14 years and are doing quite well. I don’t think this is the norm, and they live in the midwest. Moreover, let’s just say this wasn’t her “ideal” situation.

  • Thank you J. I hope you are right. I have tried as much as I could to “up my chances,” so to speak. I am rather fastidious about research and have read enough medical information to scare me for quite a while, so some of my doom and gloom is also about that. I’ve been hearing the tick tock of the biological clock since I was around 23! Maybe I’m just weird. I had been taking prenatals and omega-3 for at least 3 years. Anyway, I hope I’m just unlucky, not broken.

  • J

    Hi Escoffier–

    it’s just a fact that, in a 24 hour day, you are going to sleep for roughly 8. That leaves 16. If you work…

    Are we cross-posting? I thought it was clear that I have been a SAHM. You are preaching to the choir here, though I do respect the women I know who have accomplished great things.

    BTW, I used to be a regular commenter here and elsewhere in the manosphere. I tend to drift in and out based on what else is happening in my life and how perturbed I am by the general tone of discussion. I followed you over to Dalrock’s to see the dust-up and thought you did a fine job of defending a reasonable position that was guaranteed to rile up his commenters who are even more rilable (if that’s not a word, I want credit for coining it) than I remembered them. As Ali G might say, RESPECT!

  • “yeah isabel, watch out. i am a bad and i am dangerous. you DEFINITELY do not want to get to know me.”

    Is that a quote from Twilight?

    • “yeah isabel, watch out. i am a bad and i am dangerous. you DEFINITELY do not want to get to know me.”

      Is that a quote from Twilight?

      Jamie, you are hilarious. Honestly, you provide at least one belly laugh on every thread.

  • #135 olive

    “I’d argue that most 23-24 year old American girls are not mature enough for a guy in his 30s.”

    olive, this is an excellent comment, because it is a comment i can work off of.

    like i was telling isabel, let me tell you what men TRULY want — and yeah, it’s similar to the dave chapelle joke.

    a man wants a girl who is:

    1. pretty and sexy
    2. kind, caring, feminine and delicate
    3. fun to be around
    4. with many shared values
    5. and some shared interests

    the phrase, and the concept “not mature enough” — what does that exactly mean? what are we talking about here? i know that other men have been commenting about not liking girls who reading cosmo, or who watch jersey shore, etc — but don’t misunderstand what they are really saying.

    a man does not want a girl who is ANNOYING, VAPID and BORING. but a girl can watch the real housewives, read us weekly, and listen to celine dion — as long as she loves to cook, loves to fuck, and isn’t annoying and vapid — then who cares what she reads?

    some guys might say that reading us weekly MAKES her vapid, but that’s not true. us weekly is like sports illustrated for girls. all of us have a slightly frivolous, shallow side. and plus, nobody wants to be around someone who only thinks about very heavy stuff all day long, like nixon, kissinger, jfk — that kind of stuff can get really depressing.

    i guess my point is that maturity is just another one of those vague words that often doesn’t have much meaning. if a girl is 24 but wants to fall in love, and wants to live for real, and not just pretend, then that is 80% of it right there. if she still hasn’t read war and peace, i forgive her. i haven’t read it either.

    PLUS — and this is my last point — a girl at 24 will more often be fresh, lively, vulnerable and trusting — and that is something that a man really loves and values. this falls under her being “delicate” and “feminine”, and is second in importance only to her being pretty and sexy.

    a girl in her 30s is often much more jaded, and bitter, and sour.

    hard to fall in love with a sour girl.

    really hard.

    #136 zach

    “The (rough) plan in my case is to marry at 33-35 to a woman 27-30, and have the first kid at 34-37, when my financial situation will likely be strong enough to support it.”

    what’s your story? you sound like you kinda overthink things, especially when it comes to dating. how much yohami have you read. i recommend you read as much as you can find.

  • Olive

    Is anyone surprised that Rivelino is a protege of Doug1?

    LOL there’s something slightly endearing about Rivelino. Probably because he tries to be all big bad alpha and then he totally develops oneitis anyway. It’s interesting to watch him alternate.

    Meanwhile Doug1 just pisses me off sometimes. Like that crappy advice he gave Anna on the forum? I was so annoyed I initially removed myself from the conversation because I didn’t want to deal with another argument.

  • pvw

    Susan:

    That Wharton MBA was an unwise investment as it turns out

    My reply:

    But was it, really? You were in a social environment tailored for you to meet men who were going to be of a socio-economic background to support a family whether or not you became a stay-at-home mom. It was your insurance policy, so to speak. You got the degree which enabled you to become high-earning yourself and meet men who were going to be high-earning. It seems like a win-win.

  • Passer_By

    I have some premium quality spare sperm going to waste if any of you gals are feeling the need to get knocked up after this post.

  • @Zach on cost of living and having kids. We live in Utah where the cost of living is not high. It also has the highest birth rate in the nation, though not most number of births. It’s really a good idea to start trying to have kids at mid-20s. They are only as expensive as you make them.

    It’s been very depressing for me to talk about fertility and babies though. I may have to remove myself from this topic for a while.

    • It’s been very depressing for me to talk about fertility and babies though. I may have to remove myself from this topic for a while.

      I’m sorry, Hope. I almost didn’t include the fertility piece because I didn’t want to upset you. In the end I decided I owed it to women to be honest about it. I apologize for bringing up a painful subject.

  • J

    Thank you J. I hope you are right.

    I am; it happens every once in a while. 😉

    I am rather fastidious about research and have read enough medical information to scare me for quite a while, so some of my doom and gloom is also about that.

    OMG. Stop that. I drove myself, my DH and several infertility doctors nuts doing that. But if you can’t stop, just try to remember that stats are only stats. The chances of a 40 year old with my history having two kids are virtually nil, but I have a 100% chance right now of having to pick up a kid at an atheletic practice and a 100% chance of attending a piano recital on Sunday.

    I’ve been hearing the tick tock of the biological clock since I was around 23!

    There is a drop in fertility at 27, but it’s comparatively minor, and I think the stats are influence by a high rate of pelvic scarring in young women. I doubt that you need to worry about that. The big drop due to aging is at 35 or so. Your worries are premature here.

    Maybe I’m just weird. I had been taking prenatals and omega-3 for at least 3 years.

    That’s a good idea for anyone who is having sex actually. My second pregnancy was sort of unexpected, but I was still taking vitamins, etc.

    <i. Anyway, I hope I’m just unlucky, not broken.

    Unless there’s some other unidentified, underlying problem you aren’t broken. You’ve had some truly hellacious luck though. I’m sure it will get better.

    Gotta go. My son just called for a ride. Take good care.

  • Olive

    Rivelino,
    Clearly you haven’t spent enough time with 24-year-old American girls. Watch this:

    a man wants a girl who is:

    4. with many shared values
    5. and some shared interests

    Ok, so far she must have values and shared interests.

    a man does not want a girl who is ANNOYING, VAPID and BORING.

    You just described my college roommates. Good job.

    i guess my point is that maturity is just another one of those vague words that often doesn’t have much meaning. if a girl is 24 but wants to fall in love, and wants to live for real, and not just pretend, then that is 80% of it right there. if she still hasn’t read war and peace, i forgive her. i haven’t read it either.</blockquote
    Cool, I haven't read it either. But most girls my age probably couldn't have real discussions on this blog, because they probably can't write in coherent sentences. Not kidding, I had to help my English major roomie develop a paper on Emily Dickinson once, because she didn't know what the poem was about, and didn't have any coherent thoughts about the poem.

    Oh also, my roomie was a B student. Wtf is with grade inflation, professors.

    I mean cool, if you want a GF who only talks about Jersey Shore and Twilight, by all means, go for it. Those girls are all over the place. But, like I've said, my BF hates girls like that, and when I started becoming like that (hung out too much with those roomies), he called me out on it.

    PLUS — and this is my last point — a girl at 24 will more often be fresh, lively, vulnerable and trusting — and that is something that a man really loves and values. this falls under her being “delicate” and “feminine”, and is second in importance only to her being pretty and sexy.

    Erm, most American girls are neither “delicate” nor “feminine.” They’re bitchy, even aggressive. Dunno about Spanish girls though.

  • Olive

    Boo. Blockquote fail.

  • J

    Escoffier–I see one of my posts regarding being a SAHM is in mod. No wonder you didn’t see it!

  • pvw

    PLUS — and this is my last point — a girl at 24 will more often be fresh, lively, vulnerable and trusting — and that is something that a man really loves and values. this falls under her being “delicate” and “feminine”, and is second in importance only to her being pretty and sexy.

    My observation:

    Perhaps that might be why some of the younger women might be wary of the men who are much older (more than 5 years) interested in them? Some older dude who thinks that because they are young, they are to be preyed upon as being young and naive? They or their parents worried that their vulnerability might lead them to be taken advantage of?

  • Isabel

    Rivelino: I’ve already told you which census to look at upthread and I’m still not buying it! The average life expectancy was 40-45 for most people for most of human history. It still is in some countries so you’re having a laugh if you think men regularly married at 30-35+.

    isabel, you don’t understand men. i am a man. you should listen to me if you want insight into the male psyche. a man can want to fuck a lot of girls in his 20s, and then find a girl to adore in his 30s. completely normal. healthy, even.

    First things first, I know that and I’m not silly enough to deny it. And I might not be a man, but I am still attracted to them and so, I think I should be allowed to pipe in on what’s optimal for girls my age. As it happens, I see Hope’s suggestion as the most practical and sustainable here so far. That is, foregoing the finished product in favour of the unfinished but promising young beta. He might not have the capital or confidence (yet) but it’s hardly the end of the world tbh. Quite frankly, I can think of worse things to lack in a partner.

    Anyway. That’s what my mum did and I was one of four or five out of a class of 30 whose parents rocked up together every year to parents’ evening. So YMMV.

    You guys, imo, are encouraring an even more inequal system.

    • That is, foregoing the finished product in favour of the unfinished but promising young beta. He might not have the capital or confidence (yet) but it’s hardly the end of the world tbh. Quite frankly, I can think of worse things to lack in a partner.

      Not only that, but the journey is wonderful to witness. You grow together. And he will repay your loyalty in those early days with loyalty as you age. That is the time-honored (now often dishonored) contract between men and women.

  • Ramble

    In my experience I don’t find that key health information is “hidden”, rather I find that women aren’t listening. Feminists may have a vested interest in suppressing knowledge, but gynecologists do not.

    Malia, I had to do a lot of refined searching to find out really accurate info on specific ages at which female fertility and ability to have a healthy baby go down.

    Much of the info that is easily available will simply talk about what a 30 year old woman might expect relative to a 40 year old woman. To this day, I can not find out data concerning 18 year old girls, even though there must be tons of data out there.

  • pvw

    And thinking about maturity, male of female, I have an example that just says a lot.

    I have sat on my schools board that hears allegations of disciplinary violations.

    We recently heard some cases, one which just blows my mind at the recklessness and immaturity.

    A young man (20-something) is in one of the more demanding graduate majors here at the school. One afternoon he was studying with some friends, when they took a break. They were on youtube looking at videos when they found a hilarious one, a consultant who rapped. Crazy sounding, but it is what it is.

    So what do these group of young men do? They discover that the consultant is for real. One of them then goes to the on-line form and impersonates a colleague in their program, using ebonics and making claims that he suffers from alcoholism and has all sorts of other “issues,” and that he is looking for a job. He uses the colleague’s real name and school email.

    The consultant then sends an email to the one impersonated. The victim has no idea what it is about, but is shocked. He posts to myspace or something like that; the perpetrator calls and apologizies. Other students bring charges against him before the honor board.

    The young man has no explanation of why he did it; he was not drinking, he has had no real dealings with the victim, so forth, and so forth. He had no animosity towards him. But he was there, sniveling and crying that he is a good person, this is not really him.

    Beyond disgraceful. He is going to be reprimanded; this will be on his college record.

    The mindset it takes to do something like that is beyond me. Normal people see a youtube video and laugh. This character takes the time to do something so crazy, as though it will not be found out and traced. And he never sent another post after the first disclaiming it.

    • @pvw

      Oh, I have a story for you. A college girl got mad at a classmate and here’s how she got revenge. She called the girl’s home, and when her mother answered, asked for the daughter. The mother explained that the daughter was away at school. The girl said, “Please tell her Planned Parenthood called. The test was positive and the window for termination is about to close.” The poor mother couldn’t reach her daughter so she got on a plane and surprised her daughter with this message. It was brought to the disciplinary board and the girl was reprimanded.

      Another one: a female college student got a hysterical call from her parents saying that she was on a porn site. Family friends had called to make them aware – I have no idea who spotted her first. Her boyfriend of two years had been filming their sexual encounters and uploading it to sites without her knowledge. It took her weeks to find all the sites and get the videos taken down. He was suspended for a semester.

      In both these cases, the students blubbered with apologies, but I don’t think they were sorry about anything except getting caught.

  • JimKhan

    @Susan;

    “Yes, but those types don’t marry as much. Or if they do, they’re not monogamous. There are exceptions of course – Paul McCartney, Ringo, Sting, Bono. Their wives essentially won the lottery in that regard.”

    The are not exceptions. Of the four mentioned, Macca, Ringo, and Sting have all been married multiple times. Macca’s on his third wife, having only had to pay out £24.3 million + £35,000 per annum for child support to get rid of the last harpy before he went and got married again. Only Bono married one woman and stayed married. I suppose you’re correct in that all of their wives won the lottery, but sadly, with the exception of Bono, the rest have had to pay out the equivalent of a lottery to make those women go away having made the mistake of marrying those women in the first place. Hookers would have been a far cheaper option.

    FYI, if Americans think divorce laws are punitive for men in the US, they’re absolutely draconian in the UK.

  • Isabel

    Riv,

    yeah isabel, watch out. i am bad and i am dangerous. you DEFINITELY do not want to get to know me.

    Eh. Bring it. Tudors just started and I need something to do inbetween the ad breaks. >:]

    • Tudors just started and I need something to do inbetween the ad breaks

      Is that the new season? The first season had more gratuitously naked breasts than I’ve ever seen anywhere.

  • tvmunson

    @Susan #124

    “Little ones”-I’ve only heard parents say it that way. Mine’s arriving from Seattle in a little over an hour. Your phrase took me back to when he was. (BTW Susan just called; he missed his flight(?!)).

  • Malia

    @ramble

    I don’t know why it was hard for you to find maybe you don’t understand what to look for. I only say that because you question the lack of studies of fertility at 18 when my thought is why would there be a vested interest in studying the fertility of teenagers when it’s not considered the optimal age to have a child?

  • Ramble

    And thinking about maturity, male of female, I have an example that just says a lot.

    PVW, this is the kind of thing you see a lot from young men?

  • Anacaona

    Not romance novels either.

    This one again?! Really this is like asking for a man that never looked at porn. All my married friends are avid readers of romance novels, no cheating, no frivolous divorce in fact that one I mentioned that cheated on her husband doesn’t even read magazines, let alone novels. Stop with the meme that all your problems with women reside in one genre,sheesh…

    Geordi LaForge and Data could spend decades on that project and not come up with a solution.”

    kissinthecheek, two of my favorite star trek TNG boys are always welcome 🙂

  • Olive

    As it happens, I see Hope’s suggestion as the most practical and sustainable here so far. That is, foregoing the finished product in favour of the unfinished but promising young beta. He might not have the capital or confidence (yet) but it’s hardly the end of the world tbh. Quite frankly, I can think of worse things to lack in a partner.

    Cosign. I have found a promising young beta and it seems to be working out so far. Rivelino’s not a fan of that plan because he was a beta and basically got screwed by his ex-wife. Which is why the ladies need to do some serious introspection if they really want LTRs/successful marriages.

  • Ramble

    I only say that because you question the lack of studies of fertility at 18 when my thought is why would there be a vested interest in studying the fertility of teenagers when it’s not considered the optimal age to have a child?

    Teenagers get pregnant all the time. Women in their late 30’s (and earlier) have difficulty all the time. They both are treated by doctors. You are telling me that the difference between the two would not be of medical interest?

    Either way, that is not the point. The point is this: if all you cared about was some basic information on fertility for a woman in, say, her 30’s, then, yes, that should have been easy enough to get. But if you were a 22 yer old girl wanteing to get a really good idea about what her ability/likelihood is to have a healthy baby at 22, 25, 28, 31 and so on…that information is really hard to find.

    If all you are saying is that many girls do not want to know, you will get no argument from me. But if you are saying that information like the bit I just mentioned above is easy to find, I am saying it is not.

  • #162 olive

    “Rivelino’s not a fan of that plan”

    i LOVE the idea of the engineering nerds getting laid by all the cute girls on campus. i love it.

    trust me, you won’t find a more adoring, appreciate, dedicated, and loving husband than the shy, nerdy man who was constantly passed up and ignored by the girls in favor of all the loud and cocky show offs.

    that reminds me, my sister had a theory, she called it her “quiet man” theory — how both of my sisters went for the “quiet man”, because he had more substance than the loud, obnoxious man.

    there is something to that.

    so i love that idea.

    i just worry that eventually, a woman’s intrinsic nature will have her walking all over this shy, kind beta husband — and eventually she will lose her attraction for him — and eventually, she will cheat on him.

    so maybe shy, quiet STEM man + athol’s book + roissy’s XVI stapled to his forehead = the answer to all of susan’s female readers

    plan b: look for the older, established man who has fallen in love before, and wants to fall in love again, with a young, fresh, optimistic girl a decade younger than him.

    • plan b: look for the older, established man who has fallen in love before, and wants to fall in love again, with a young, fresh, optimistic girl a decade younger than him.

      This is hilarious – shameless self-promotion! Riv, you missed your calling. You should have been in sales.

      “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”

  • #149 olive

    “I had to help my English major roomie develop a paper on Emily Dickinson once, because she didn’t know what the poem was about, and didn’t have any coherent thoughts about the poem.”

    well i think you are right about girls — and the new generation overall — being more shallow than previous generations. chris hedges writes about this in his book “empire of illusion”.

    he has this great quote in this youtube video:

    “You look at my son’s generation, who are texting and twittering and listening to music, and it has the capacity to destroy thought. Thought is done in solitude and silence. We live in a culture where we fear any kind of solitude. We have created such powerful systems of technology and most of us are halicuting. We are completely disconnected from the real. We have created a virtual reality which we mistake for the real.” -Chris Hedges

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EpeF1fcji0

  • pioneervalleywoman

    And thinking about maturity, male or female, I have an example that just says a lot.

    PVW, this is the kind of thing you see a lot from young men?

    My reply:

    What I have noticed is that on this committee, it seems as though it is primarily young men who are doing things that get them before the honor boards: blatant cheating, plagiarizing, or doing silly things like impersonating someone in the fashion I described.

    Is it that girls are not doing these things too? I would never say that, but it seems as though the young men are the ones who are so obvious in their behavior and as such they are easily discovered by their peers.

    Is it male rambunctiousness that leads them to this, ie., act first and then think later? Perhaps. Whatever it is, it is not being rewarded.

    And some of my male colleagues do similar sorts of thing too, say all kinds of crazy things in emails when it would have been better to be silent or to think before they hit the “send” button. I can’t think of any of my female colleagues creating the kinds of messes some of my male colleagues have created in this fashion.

  • #144 olive

    “LOL there’s something slightly endearing about Rivelino. Probably because he tries to be all big bad alpha and then he totally develops oneitis anyway. It’s interesting to watch him alternate.”

    actually i am working on my secret formula:

    80% big bad alpha
    20% vulnerable romantic idealist
    = 100% pounding ass like it’s my job

    • Rivelino your Comment Luv entry is really creeping me out.

  • Malia

    @ramble

    Yes I am telling you that there is no vested interest in promoting the fertility of teenagers just as you see it trail off at the upper ages. There is a social consensus on what is too young and too old to have children and there is no vested interest in making it more likely to happen.

    As a female the gyn talk is pregnancy prevention up to a certain age and while teens get pregnant all the time it is still considered and unfortunate end result that needs to be diminished as much as possible.

    As far as where to get the info at a young age yes a GYN. I haven’t met one yet that wasn’t a straight shooter through and through. I havent met one that sugar coated the truth though I am sure a few do.

    When I was younger I would even advise my friends to have that convo with their gyn instead of other girlfriends and they refused to do so. Why not go to the source? When you dont want to hear the truth.

  • Ramble

    What I have noticed is that on this committee, it seems as though it is primarily young men who are doing things that get them before the honor boards:

    pioneervalleywoman,
    As some have noted before, taking risks is alpha/sexy. Of course, a young mans ability to figure out the sexy risks versus the stupid ones is not always all that great.

    • As some have noted before, taking risks is alpha/sexy. Of course, a young mans ability to figure out the sexy risks versus the stupid ones is not always all that great.

      It’s not a question of sexy vs. stupid. What that guy did was cruel and racist. What a jackass. If you want to call him alpha, go right ahead, it just proves the criticism of alpha traits.

  • Olive

    Riv,

    i just worry that eventually, a woman’s intrinsic nature will have her walking all over this shy, kind beta husband — and eventually she will lose her attraction for him — and eventually, she will cheat on him.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought you would say, which is why I said you’re not a huge fan of the beta plan. IDK how much truth there is to the losing attraction theory, we were discussing on another thread whether beta traits actually attract a girl’s instincts. I know they attract mine, they seem to attract Susan’s. Maybe we’re weird, or maybe girls have just been led down the wrong path. I know some of it’s animal instinct, but we’re also products of socialization. For example, I still think Mike’s wife left him because she was stuck in Disney Princess land. That ain’t biology.

  • Olive

    Riv,
    Good luck with that. You’ll get the girls who go for big bad alpha, aaaand I still think you’re more than 20% vulnerable romantic idealist, so you might be unhappy with the girls you end up with. They’ll constantly test your boundaries, like Yohami’s GF does. Just a thought.

  • pioneervalleywoman

    In this instance today, one of the grandfatherly members of the comittee really called him out. I said to my colleague afterwards, perhaps this young man might have needed to hear that sort of thing from his dad, ie., what is appropriate behavior in a young man. Or as my other colleague mentioned, young men together can act stupidly, and so the young man never told his dad what he did. But I’m sure he will have to tell him eventually. It was sad, though, that he allowed himself to be dismissed and stereotyped; none of us had ever met him before, but colleagues who knew of him saw him as nothing more than a dim bulb, not too bright, pretty stupid.

  • Ramble

    Yes I am telling you that there is no vested interest in promoting the fertility of teenagers just as you see it trail off at the upper ages.

    Understanding fertility and promoting it are two different things. However, it is very possible that the reason why it is so difficult to find the information i mentioned is because the “powers that be” might see it as a promotion of the idea that younger women should be getting pregnant.

    As far as where to get the info at a young age yes a GYN. I haven’t met one yet that wasn’t a straight shooter through and through. I havent met one that sugar coated the truth though I am sure a few do.

    But I am guessing that very few ObGyns are telling there 22 year old clients that they should start having babies before, say, 27. Right?

    When I was younger I would even advise my friends to have that convo with their gyn instead of other girlfriends and they refused to do so. Why not go to the source? When you dont want to hear the truth.

    Here, you will get no argument from me. I believe it.

  • Sassy6519

    Meanwhile Doug1 just pisses me off sometimes. Like that crappy advice he gave Anna on the forum? I was so annoyed I initially removed myself from the conversation because I didn’t want to deal with another argument.

    I did the same thing Olive. I wanted to respond so badly and to tell her not to listen to Doug1’s advice, but I knew I was going to end up arguing with him again. Nothing is more of a deterrent than the impending doom felt by the prospect of talking to a brick wall.

    Aside from that, I think this is another great post Susan. Much to the bewilderment of some of my friends, I have always been LTR/marriage oriented when it comes to interacting with men. I recently reactivated my Okcupid account (I deactivated it before because I was frustrated with the prospects), and I will keep you updated with any interesting experiences or knowledge learned from there.

  • Olive

    I did the same thing Olive. I wanted to respond so badly and to tell her not to listen to Doug1′s advice, but I knew I was going to end up arguing with him again. Nothing is more of a deterrent than the impending doom felt by the prospect of talking to a brick wall.

    In case you haven’t checked back, Susan was pissed and deleted some of his advice (esp. the shit about the implants and FWB being good when you have already dated the guy… wtf was that shit anyway lol). I have since started giving Anna advice about her sister and called Doug out on his terrible advice. He’s been participating minimally, so very few arguments so far. In case you want to jump in, you probably have some pretty good stuff to say as well. Esp. since you fall into the female alpha range in terms of SMV and I don’t. I have no idea what to tell her about which guys to look for.

  • Malia

    But I am guessing that very few ObGyns are telling there 22 year old clients that they should start having babies before, say, 27. Right?

    I would not make that assumption. Also I come from the perspective of someone who has always had private insurance (I have no idea what goes on at planned parenthood and the like). Usually the talk goes like this:

    1- are you sexually active
    2- STD talks
    3- do you want children/more children
    4- let’s talk realistically about the answer to #3

    Now if a woman says she doesn’t want children, or doesn’t want them anytime soon, no the GYN usually doesn’t push (although some will especially if they deal with a lot of fertility issues), because that’s a social issue. But if the woman ASKS, as I said before, or talks about wanting children, I’ve never met a GYN who wasn’t a straight shooter.

    Because…

    Delivering the bad news is devastating. Most women presume fertility. And not only do they presume fertility, but they presume optimal fertility (in the absence of medical or genetic condition which are widely known to affect fertility). They don’t even think about high risk pregnancies or things like pre-eclampsyia, gestational diabetes, ectopic pregnancy, etc., or they presume that’s for old/fat/unhealthy people only.

    Infertility usually doesn’t become an issue until someone has been trying to conceive and has not. Young women, quite frankly, often don’t bother to ask (because they presume that they can, without incident, when they want to).

    Now as far as your concerns about the availability of the information, I would also presume I’ve spent far more time in the GYN’s office (or as they call it, the “women’s health center”) than you have and you’ll just have to trust me that no one is hiding it.

  • I suppose you’re correct in that all of their wives won the lottery, but sadly, with the exception of Bono, the rest have had to pay out the equivalent of a lottery to make those women go away having made the mistake of marrying those women in the first place.

    Exquisitely put. I’d like to know what percentage of the ‘Do You Want To Get Married?’ pie chart were male…

    Riv,
    Good luck with that. You’ll get the girls who go for big bad alpha, aaaand I still think you’re more than 20% vulnerable romantic idealist, so you might be unhappy with the girls you end up with. They’ll constantly test your boundaries, like Yohami’s GF does. Just a thought.

    You are wise beyond your years, young padawan.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Olive

    In case you haven’t checked back, Susan was pissed and deleted some of his advice (esp. the shit about the implants and FWB being good when you have already dated the guy… wtf was that shit anyway lol). I have since started giving Anna advice about her sister and called Doug out on his terrible advice. He’s been participating minimally, so very few arguments so far. In case you want to jump in, you probably have some pretty good stuff to say as well. Esp. since you fall into the female alpha range in terms of SMV and I don’t. I have no idea what to tell her about which guys to look for.

    Yeah, I saw that Susan refereed that thread and I think she did a great job of it. I read your advice to Anna too, and I think it’s solid. As far as giving her advice myself , I’ll probably pass on that unless something she says really strikes me. I think you and Susan summed up everything I was already thinking anyway.

    Although I do fall into the female “alpha range”, I don’t chase/pursue alpha men. The advice you gave is pretty much what I would tell her too. I like and prefer beta males. If my preference was for alpha males, that would be a different story.

  • Chipps

    @Badger 47

    I couldn’t help but applaud what you said here.

    I will admit, I’m planning on walking that tightrope you referenced. I want to be independent for the most of my 20’s. Im only 22 now, but after college I plan to live abroad for a few years and then come back for graduate school. Lets just say I don’t plan on having kids until I’m 30 at least.

    That being said I wouldn’t be opposed to marriage at all during my time abroad or during graduate school. You’re absolutely right, people need to recognize the ideal partner is extremely rare. I’d snap that right off the market if given the chance. Though, I find it irresponsible to start a family without financial backing so I wouldn’t have children until that was possible though I’d plan for that fact early on, hell I’m thinking about it now.

    I think this should be put into a pamphlet and handed out at high school graduation and then again during freshman year of college. Women really need to realize this. Its a shame more don’t.

    I can’t say that I identify with that “drive” to reproduce. At least not as much as a lot of other people do. If I get married, great. If I have kids, great. A part of me might even regret it, but I accept that too. BUT, I would be just as happy adopting or foster children because there are too many in the world without parents. I think this is because I would rather pass my ideas and thoughts to my children rather than my DNA.

    Great post Susan and Badger.

  • Michael of Charlotte

    [q]They estimated that a 30 year-old had an 80% chance of getting pregnant in one try. The real likelihood is 30%. They also thought a 40 year-old woman would have a 40% success rate, while those odds are less than 10%.[/q]

    So this will be incredibly harsh but, as a man in his 30s who is looking for kids; from a probability standpoint, I should pretty much ignore every woman who is 30 or over? Right?

    That’s real sad…

    • @Michael of Charlotte

      I should pretty much ignore every woman who is 30 or over? Right?

      Well, it’s important to keep it in perspective. Remember, the numbers refer to getting pregnant in one try. In my life I’ve known four or five women well who have suffered with infertility, and dozens who have had kids in their 30s without difficulty. Are the odds better with a younger woman? Yes. I feel fortunate that I had no problems.

      My advice would be to go after the youngest women you can attract. There may be a tradeoff there between age and looks.

  • Jennifer

    “It looks like among those college educated women who married men with college educations, the divorce rate is probably lower”

    That’s great! Education and potential are indeed vitally healthy for both sexes.

  • pvw

    Susan:

    In both these cases, the students blubbered with apologies, but I don’t think they were sorry about anything except getting caught.

    My reply: I agree, that was probably the motivating factor here, that he might have gotten kicked out of school.

    Susan:

    What that guy did was cruel and racist.

    My reply:

    One of my colleagues mentioned that it seemed that way; the irony, though, is that neither of the young men were black!

  • Cbear

    The sad thing is that some of us in our early 30’s didn’t necessarily CHOOSE career over marriage. It just happens that I haven’t found someone that I want to marry, not that I chose my career first. I am well aware of the fertility issues that women face but I also can’t have a child just because I’m at the age where I have a better chance or when society tells me I should. Again, not having children yet has nothing to do with my career goals. I haven’t met the right guy that I’d want to take that step with. I don’t think it’s so easy to say you’re picking one thing over another, I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. Hopefully, when I’m finally ready for children, I’ll still be able to have them but I can’t rush it, especially when I’m not ready for that step.

    • @Cbear

      Thanks for leaving that comment, I appreciate your honesty. You’re right – no strategy is guaranteed. In fact, a woman might actively choose family over career, decide not to go to medical school, for example, and then not meet a man she wants to marry. To some extent, we’re all placing bets and hoping things break our way. The best we can do is pursue our dreams to the best of our ability, understanding that we may not get everything we want, and can still lead a good and productive life in spite of that.

  • Ramble

    Now if a woman says she doesn’t want children, or doesn’t want them anytime soon, no the GYN usually doesn’t push (although some will especially if they deal with a lot of fertility issues), because that’s a social issue. But if the woman ASKS, as I said before, or talks about wanting children, I’ve never met a GYN who wasn’t a straight shooter.

    OK, thanks. I am glad that I was wrong.

  • Hope

    It’s okay Susan. I have done enough research into this subject to traumatize myself already. 😛

    But the whole a woman at 30’s chance of getting pregnant in one try being 30% stat? Guess what, that’s the same for ALL couples, including younger people in their 20s.

    http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-long-it-takes-to-get-pregnant_1813.bc

    An 80% figure in one try is impractical even for healthy 20-year-olds. So that particular piece of information was misleading.

    Okay, takes deep breath, back to distracting myself with other things.

  • Oh and not sure if others have seen this, but here’s the graph on the effect of age on fertility:

    http://www.babycenter.com/0_chart-the-effect-of-age-on-fertility_6155.bc

  • lovelost

    @Sassy6519 #175
    Aside from that, I think this is another great post Susan. Much to the bewilderment of some of my friends, I have always been LTR/marriage oriented when it comes to interacting with men. I recently reactivated my Okcupid account (I deactivated it before because I was frustrated with the prospects), and I will keep you updated with any interesting experiences or knowledge learned from there.

    My best wishes are with you. Good luck and enjoy your time on Okcupid.

  • lovelost

    @Susan #188

    You grow together. And he will repay your loyalty in those early days with loyalty as you age.

    Also referred to as wishful thinking in the current SMP.

  • Ceer

    @ Rivelino
    marry a guy 10 years older.

    This just shunts the burden of wifelessness a half generation down the line. The thorough answer is to educate women properly about their choices.

    @ Ted D
    And THAT is key. In the U.S. the schools simply punish boys for being boys instead of finding ways to take their natural state and use it to help them learn

    This is my experience. Where I am from, there is an organized group of tutors who teach math and science. They exist in parallel to a robust private school system because the public schools can’t seem to adequately educate the students. Boys particularly.

    I tutor this one child whose grandmother was worried about how he was learning in school. She was surprised to find out the teacher never called him up to the board to work problems in front of the class.

    @Hope

    They need to make college far tougher…. Nowadays the general requirements are extremely easy, and lots of (I hate to say this) dumb people are graduating with a piece of paper.

    Yes and no. Typically, your engineering and science based programs are rigorous enough to prevent people who can’t do the work from graduating. But that has to be balanced with skilled instruction, or you get a system that doesn’t graduate enough skilled professionals.

    I would actually promote more job based learning because the current education system is corrupt and has no real competition. Schools are stuck in the position where they have to guess which skills are in demand and which are not. Companies tend to allow managers who can’t train employees to lead many teams because they’re going to be taxed to pay for someone else’s training anyway. The workarounds we have today with co-op programs and companies paying for college training for some employees are a start, but there’s an obvious need for something more widespread.

    Yeah, the fertility thing sucks. I’m 27, almost 28, and I am scared that I won’t be able to have a healthy baby.

    That you’re worried now is a good sign. If you’re diligent in trying to conceive, I’d still put your chances at “pretty high”.

    @Susan
    I’ve read that this could happen based on the precedent set by gay marriage. If it does happen on a technicality that doesn’t mean any but a few outliers will embrace it.

    There is one way to hold that back at its source. Make clear to the culture at large that the purpose of sex is to maintain the bond between a man and a woman and to have children. Holding this as a first principle allows you to properly parry complaints from people who want to change marriage.

    “You speak to me nonchalantly about women’s rape fantasies and fascination with Twilight and then expect me to be shocked and disgusted by a man who likes rough anal sex and degrading women…” — Hollenhund

    I’m speechless that you would equate the two. One is fantasy, one is acting out violence.

    “Likes” is the key word here. It’s really different from “takes part in”. From what I see, he’s talking about the nature of the person, rather than the actions.

    • @Ceer

      “Likes” is the key word here. It’s really different from “takes part in”. From what I see, he’s talking about the nature of the person, rather than the actions.

      In that case we were discussing Roissy’s having taken part in the actions, and written about how much he enjoyed himself. The degradation of the woman was what got him off.

  • Ceer

    [quote]quote test[/quote]

    because I failed in the last post.

  • Zach

    @Rivelino

    I don’t read any “game” blogs. The reason I read/comment on this one is pure interest in the topic of the SMP, as a man living it today. I’ve never seen the need to read any. I’m 6’4, in shape, good looking (although that may sound narcissictic I have much independent confirmation), Ivy-educated, and have a prestigious, highly remunerative job. I’m also very confident and witty naturally. Again, this all may sound egotistical, but I have never, ever had the slightest problem with women (maybe what you call a natural alpha). However, I have quite a few good friends, both guys and girls, who do suffer from the current SMP, and as a naturally analytical person I find Susan’s approach to looking at the current situation very appealing.

    I said that’s my “plan”, but I’m fully aware that things may not turn out that way. I’m going to get my MBA starting next fall, and who knows what will happen after that. That is merely my ideal scenario, at least financially.

    Hopefully that explains why I don’t spend my time reading Yohami’s or other such blogs, although I do find his comments interesting and often correct.

    • @Zach

      I’m going to get my MBA starting next fall, and who knows what will happen after that.

      If you already know that, congratulations are in order!

  • Ceer

    blockquote

    /blockquote

  • Escoffier

    ok, i have now gone out three nights in a row in the heart of my big blue city. This is unusual for me.

    I was able to observe the single manhattan career wench in her natural habitat. upper age let’s say 45, lower end 27 (i don’t go to dance clubs).

    These gals are, at least outwardly, having a PHENOMENAL time. They love every minute. They may be dimly aware in their hindbrain that it’s all going to screech to an abrubt, head-smash-against-the-steering-wheel halt sooner or later. But for now, they do not care.

    Bartender! A Viogner for my girlfriend and I’ll have a … oh … how about a Scarlett O’Hara? Do you know how to make that?

    Hmmm … that guy at the end looks like an i-banker … you flirt with him and let’s see if we can get him to pick up our tab …

    • @Escoffier

      Re your account of Manhattan wenches…that sounds exactly like an episode from Sex and the City. They were always having a wonderful time and then it was “woe is me” when they were alone sipping their Mimosas at brunch.

  • Zach

    @Susan

    Brooklyn before Boston any time. Not to get into my specific situation, but I agree 400k is a minimum, and there may be struggles. It was meant more as an illustration of how difficult it is to achieve kids/family in some areas at a young age. However, one point to make is that estimate is based on renting; buying a home in Manhattan, based on rent/buy ratios, is suicide in any market, up or down. It’s by far the highest ratio in the country. Your generation grew up with a fixation on home ownership; I’m banking on not falling into that trap.

    • @Zach

      Mike C, who is an investment pro and comments here a lot, agrees with you about home ownership. That might indeed make a huge difference.

  • OffTheCuff

    Hope, have some hope… things may change. We went through a few years of fertility treatment when Mrs. C was younger than you. Our first was finally conceived via IUI. Since we went through 3 years of infertility, we figured didn’t need birth control anymore.

    Wrong! She was pregnant 3 months later. Barely recovered from the C-section.

    Then, our third was conceived the one and only time I ever attempted “pulling out” as a form of birth control. A drip is all it takes, apparently.

  • Escoffier

    400K/year you can (possibly) get 1500 sq ft. on the far, far West Side (aka Hell’s Kitchen) and still afford an OK private school for ONE kid. UES or UWS, forget it. Two kids, hahahaha.

    Figure drops by 1/3 in the close-in ‘burbs, 1/2 when the commute stretches to >1 hour.

  • J

    It is, sort of, and that’s quite unexpected. I never planned to start a small business at 52, lol.

    And that is so cool. I’d love to have one of my hobby interests turn into something that generated income, but I don’t have a business background.
    I wouldn’t know where to start.

    As I said in another comment, I couldn’t devote this kind of time to a blog with kids at home.

    Most of us can’t. I’ve worked flex-time at jobs I had passion for once the boys were in school, but I wasn’t even going to try to handle full-time, just “anything that paid” work and kids. My jobs often dovetailed with my family life or gave my kids opportunities that they might not have had–like subbing at their private school or coordinating educational travel. Still a few super organized, super energetic women do handle huge careers. I just wasn’t one of them. I don’t cry nights over it, but I’m impressed by women who do it.

    That’s true. And of course, I met my husband in b-school, so I don’t second guess it. It all worked out fine.

    Yeah, and as much as the manosphere loves to say that sex appeal is more important than anything else, can you imagine your DH married to someone less intelligent, competent or educated than you are? I can’t imagine my husband with anyone much different from me in that department. He likes sex and a hot meal as much as any guy, but he likes some intelligent conversation to go with it.

    I think it would be a stretch, however, to say I’d used my MBA throughout my life.

    Why do women have to use a particular degree on an everyday basis? I know plenty of guys with one degree or another that has nothing to do with their present employment, including many male JDs who have