The Importance of Dating, Part I

June 20, 2012

My favorite book in 1966.

In my recent post on the economics of the marriage market I quoted economist Betsey Stevenson, who explained the importance of dating as a part of socializing and maturing as well as shopping for a spouse:

Not all dating is about trying to find a spouse. There is a difference between what you might want in a date on a Saturday night when you’re 19 and what you might be looking for in someone to spend the rest of your life with.

I met my husband at 25, and he was my fourth boyfriend. I am certain that marriage to any of the first three would have been disastrous, though I am happy to say they all married and had families, and none have divorced. It was not that they were not suitable or good men, the problem is that we were not well matched enough to carry the ball for a lifetime. In my next post I will discuss what I learned from each of them, and why those relationships are in part responsible for my having been happily married for nearly 28 years to someone else. 

Today, though, I thought I’d provide a history of dating. It’s an interesting topic, as it intersects with American immigration, wars, and the mainstreaming of college education. While much has changed in the last 125 years, much of it is for the better, and most of it was inevitable. And there’s a surprise – our grandmothers shed their knickers while dating too.

A Brief History of Dating

According to Kathleen Bogle, author of HOOKING UP:  Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, dating became the norm during the large waves of American immigration. 

In earlier Western societies the process for most young middle and upper class people to find potential mates was heavily monitored by parents, their families, and their communities. 

This was known as the calling era. Gentlemen with the honorable intention of marriage would come courting. This tradition is exemplified by portrayals in 19th century works of fiction, such as the works of Austen, Eliot, and Trollope. Currently you may see it portrayed in the television sensation Downton Abbey. 

The practice required a comfortable sitting room in which to receive guests, as well as a population of gentlemen free to come calling during the day. Young women, whose education included learning to sing and play the piano, were often expected to provide the entertainment. In less wealthy populations men might “come a courtin'” on a Sunday, and perhaps be allowed a stroll or a chaperoned ride in the family buggy. Women had very limited say in who they might marry, and suitors were generally encouraged by the mother, who prioritized their daughter’s being well provided for financially. When marriages did happen, they were often between acquaintances or even virtual strangers.

The calling era did not work well for the lower and working classes.  They did not have the means or leisure to provide for such forms of entertainment while observing the proprieties. In early 20th century America, large groups of young people immigrated and sought rooms in boarding houses, women’s hotels, or with relatives. With families no longer present to control the process, and receiving rooms in short supply, young people began to meet up in groups to socialize. Often dances and other activities were sponsored by churches and other community organizations. 

Two people who took a liking to one another could only spend time together by pairing up at functions, and then by going out on a “date,” which often consisted of dancing, a movie, or sharing a meal. Often young dating couples did marry, but marriage was not an obligatory ending to the process of dating, and was not assumed.

College men were particularly interested in dating numerous women before committing to one for marriage.  Bogle:

Courtship involves people of the opposite sex getting to know each other en route to marriage. Dating is not true courtship because the intent is not to marry.  These relationships were prevalent in college because students, especially men, wanted to delay marriage until they graduated and were settled into careers.

Between the First and Second World Wars, dating became a source of status in the college environment, with a focus on acquiring the best possible mate as a marker. Willard Waller, a prominent early 20th century sociologist who studied courtship and coined the term “the Principle of Least Interest,” called this the “Campus Rating Complex.”

[Waller’s study] of Penn State undergraduates detailed a “dating and rating” system based on very clear standards of popularity. Men’s popularity needed outward material signs: automobile, clothing, fraternity membership, money, etc. Women’s popularity depended on building and maintaining a reputation of popularity: be seen with popular men in the “right” places, turn down requests for dates made at the last minute and cultivate the impression that you are greatly in demand.

As one sociologist put it, “You had to rate in order to date, to date in order to rate. By successfully maintaining this cycle, you became popular. To stay popular, you competed. There was no end: popularity was a deceptive goal.”

According to Bogle, “Both men and women did not want to date someone who did not rank.  Students went to great lengths to rank high on the dating scale. Women’s prestige on campus would decline once they were no longer a fresh face on campus, due to indiscretions, or if they were too readily available for dates.”

Now we know where “hard to get” and “flaking” originated – women were rewarded for it! After WWII, the man shortage appeared to spell doom:

In June 1945, New York Times Magazine predicted 750,000 women who wanted to marry would have to live alone. Around the same time Good Housekeeping captioned a photo of a bride and groom descending church steps with: “She got a man, but 6 to 8 million women won’t. We’re short 1 million bachelors!” 

It was no longer possible for women to date large numbers of men at once.  At the same time, the postwar boom made it possible for men to afford to marry sooner than they could in the previous era.  The median age of marriage dropped, and the number of children per family increased. Over time, young people were encouraged to begin the dating process earlier.

One sociologist wrote in a July 1953 New York Times Magazine article that each boy and girl ideally should date 25 to 50 eligible marriage partners before making his or her final decision.

“Going steady” became a key feature of the new dating. Beth Bailey, author of From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America, explains how it worked:

In earlier days going steady had been more like the old-fashioned ‘keeping steady company.’ It was a step along the path to marriage, even if many steady couples parted company before they reached the altar. By the early 1950s, going steady had acquired a totally different meaning. It was no longer the way a marriageable couple signaled their deepening intentions. Instead, going steady was something twelve-year-olds could do, and something most fifteen-year-olds did do. Few steady couples expected to marry each other, but for the duration of the relationship, acted as if they were married. Going steady had become a sort of play-marriage, a mimicry of actual marriage.

Going steady usually involved the gifting (or lending, to be precise) a token of the guy’s – a class ring, a letterman’s jacket, etc. The relationship might last anywhere from a few days to weeks or even years, much like relationships today. And 9 out of 10 people had premarital sex!

More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings. The study, released Tuesday, appears in the new issue of Public Health Reports.

The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people — about 33,000 of them women — in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer’s analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.

…Finer said the likelihood of Americans having sex before marriage has remained stable since the 1950s, though people now wait longer to get married and thus are sexually active as singles for extensive periods.

The study found women virtually as likely as men to engage in premarital sex, even those born decades ago. Among women born between 1950 and 1978, at least 91 percent had had premarital sex by age 30, he said, while among those born in the 1940s, 88 percent had done so by age 44.

Of course, the Sexual Revolution changed everything, though gradually. During the 70s when I was in college going steady was still the norm for most students. More than thirty years later, we find ourselves in the midst of this highly dysfunctional phase called hookup culture. The primary “innovation” of hookup culture is the reversal of the order of intimacy in dating. Physical intimacy now precedes emotional intimacy and is a prerequisite for further contact, though by no means a guarantee. Skip Burzumato, writing about the effect of current culture on young people:

[It] has caused cultural and relational vertigo — not knowing for certain which way is up or down, and not knowing in which direction to move. Do I date one person at a time or several people? How do I know when I’m going out with a person (meaning, dating them exclusively)? How do I talk to the other person about our relationship — in modern language? When do we have the DTR (defining the relationship) talk? And what about sex? What qualifies as sex anymore — only intercourse? How about oral sex — does that “count?” For many it’s utter confusion.

It is indeed. It’s not clear what the post-feminist paradigm will look like. There will be a correction of sorts, as so many young people are dissatisfied with the status quo. I think we’ll see a real bifurcation. Those who have rejected the hookup scene for the most part will return to more traditional forms of dating. I believe this is already happening post-graduation (though not on college campuses). Others will continue to pair off for brief flings and hookups, without fear of shame, for the most part. Some will move back and forth between the two groups, which means it will be extremely important for young people to filter for character and sexual history. 

  • J

    Happy to see a new thread up. The last one got pretty crazy.

    Oh, and even though I promised myself I’d never do this….First!

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

      Happy to see a new thread up. The last one got pretty crazy.

      I’m having an insane week, but I just had to move the focus off that thread! I know I’m doing something wrong when Hellhound and Ghost come to call.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com/ M3

    “More than thirty years later, we find ourselves in the midst of this highly dysfunctional phase called hookup culture. The primary “innovation” of hookup culture is the reversal of the order of intimacy in dating. Physical intimacy now precedes emotional intimacy and is a prerequisite for further contact, though by no means a guarantee.”

    When i broke contact off with the last girl and my coworkers saw me moping at my desk.. i half joking threw my hands up in the air and said

    “F*CK this… i’ve had it all backwards.. ive been looking for good women to have relationships with INSTEAD OF having sex first and then bothering to see whether she’s worth having a relationship with.”

    no word of a lie, they all got up and started clapping, with my mack daddy friend putting his hand on my shoulder and saying

    “You finally understand young grasshopper.”

    This is INDEED the world we live in now. My beta is perturbed. Time to throw it back in the trunk along with my gimp and enjoy being a little nihilistic for a while.

  • J

    More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

    Having had some honest conversations with older women–some in their late 80s now–I’m not surprised at this. I do think that those women tended to be older at first intercourse than today’s girls and to have had fewer partners, often marrying the first or second guy they had sex with, or not having sex until they were engaged.

    Those born in the 40s would have been sexually active in the 60s. Is it soo surpprising that they’d have had pre-marital sex.

  • Todd

    Interesting synopsis of the history of dating. The thing that jumps out at me off the top is how the post WWII boom changed the dynamics of dating in a way that heavily favored men for a long period of time. Killing off a decent chunk of marriage-age men in a war that both devastates the economic competition and lays the seeds for a massive economic boom will have even lame dudes looking good. I think in the same way many in the labor movement miss the old economy of the 50s, I think a lot of the guys around here miss the dating market of the 50s.

    Also noted is how the legal and social environment mandating segregation not only helped out certain groups economically, but it also created an environment where there was much competition. When having outsiders go for the women you’re targeting literally be an act of suicide, and the supply of outsiders from other groups strictly legally regulated, it cuts down on the competition a bunch. I wonder if men realize that the environment of the 50s is never going to come back. This isn’t to say what’s going on is ideal, but we’re only going partway home.

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

      @Todd

      The thing that jumps out at me off the top is how the post WWII boom changed the dynamics of dating in a way that heavily favored men for a long period of time.

      Me too! I wondered why the marriage rate would go up if men had more options. True, marriage was more attractive then for legal reasons, but it’s well known that when men have the edge they tend to delay commitment – and that’s true in every culture and country. I wonder if it has to do with those old-fashioned values like honor, duty, country. Or maybe it’s because married men did better in careers?

  • Emily

    Great post! I think this might be one of my favourites. I love the dating history stuff!

    Question: out of the sources you used, are there any books in particular that you would recommend? I’d love to have something fun yet educational to add to my Kindle. :)

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

      @Emily

      I am tempted to read the Beth Bailey book. I love the history too – I can remember listening eagerly to my mom’s stories of dating in the 50s. And even my grandmother’s stories from the 30s!

  • Carmen

    Hey HUS!

    I’ve been lurking around here for a few months now, and since my summer holiday just started I felt it was time to leave a comment behind!

    I’m nineteen years old and just finished my first year at university in England. I count myself very lucky that I found this wonderful website! It’s a true eye opener. I must say that having been at uni for a year now, I can relate to most of what the articles and commenters here are saying.

    From what I’ve seen myself, yeah, guys and girls are hooking up all the time, and in 90% of these cases the girl hopes the hook up will end in a relationship. The guys are usually just fooling around, trying to get sex with any girl who looks reasonable (although for some their standards will significantly lower as the Friday night progresses…).

    I’ve seen ONS ending in relationships and girls hooking up with the guy they are dating and truly fancy only to find out (when it’s too late) that he actually just wanted sex.

    I’ve never had a boyfriend, and only ever kissed one guy once. I’d like to have a boyfriend, be with someone a truly care about, but what’s a girl to do?! I can really relate to this article.

    I don’t really know what to do to be honest. Well, I know I’m not made for just hooking up with guys, that doesn’t appeal to me at all. So I should date guys first. But as all uni guys are very well aware of the hooking up culture themselves, they will expect me to quickly physically escalate with them, possibly before any emotional escalation, as this is expected from girls in this culture.

    Thanks to you Susan Walsh (thank you, thank you, thank you!), I am aware that I should be the one to initiate emotional escalation etc. but I can’t help but feeling a little hopeless…I don’t think a lot of guys (especially my age!) will hang around for long when they realise I want to have established a proper (emotional) commitment before I’m escalating physically…Which is why I feel ‘dating around’ isn’t really gonna work.

    Woops, sorry for the lengthy post! Summarizing has never been one of my strongest points… :)

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

      @Carmen

      I’m so glad you decided to leave a comment! Ah, you sound like so many young women do at 18 or 19. I’m not gonna lie – relationship-oriented guys are going to be in short supply during your uni years. Of course, some of the best guys are underappreciated – that’s definitely your best bet. All those guys you see hooking up? Don’t look at them. Look elsewhere, I promise you not everyone is into it. Otherwise, bide your time, have fun with your friends, and don’t go down that black hole of casual sex. The women in my focus groups who have been careful and are now out of college are finding themselves much better placed strategically than girls with more extensive sexual histories. And to my surprise, it isn’t even that their reputations are hurting them – they’ve moved away from college. The problem is them – they’re all messed up in the head re relationships, what guys want, why they’re attractive, etc. I really think casual sex does a number on most women.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy your summer break – we’ll be here so I hope you comment again.

  • Todd

    @Susan

    I wonder if it has to do with those old-fashioned values like honor, duty, country. Or maybe it’s because married men did better in careers?

    I think both of those are true. You had the largest military mobilization in the history of the country in terms of percentage of the population. Also, since men were more likely to have decent careers, taking that next step for the breadwinner’s wage paid a much bigger premium. Throw in on the flip side that marrying made more sense of a woman due to a lack of opportunity AND the income of even a mediocre man, and you have an environment ripe for marriage.

  • Herb

    @Susan

    Me too! I wondered why the marriage rate would go up if men had more options. True, marriage was more attractive then for legal reasons, but it’s well known that when men have the edge they tend to delay commitment – and that’s true in every culture and country. I wonder if it has to do with those old-fashioned values like honor, duty, country. Or maybe it’s because married men did better in careers?

    You mean when society subsidized something they got more of it and when they hampered it they got less? We have less marriage now than post-WWII even though the sex ratios are more balanced.

    Subsidies can be more than financial. In fact, I suspect other rewards are more effective for those above basic subsistence.

    @J

    I do think that those women tended to be older at first intercourse than today’s girls and to have had fewer partners, often marrying the first or second guy they had sex with, or not having sex until they were engaged.

    This is the crucial point left out of all the reporting on the studies. It compares pre-marital sex of “steady couples with a high probability of marriage indulging” to “drunken co-eds hooking up” without context. “See, 9 out of 10 did it then too so what you’re doing is okay” is the message.

    Hell, there is some evidence bundling in Puritan New England was a way to test sexual compatibility of a couple headed for marriage. Then again, the Puritans weren’t the prudes we portray them to be. There are recorded instanced of men being put in stocks for failing to have marital relations with their wives. Chew on that one for a while.

    We’d be much better off seeing them as people who saw the importance of sex with out under or over emphasizing it. Instead we call them prudes and congratulate ourselves on our liberation.

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

      It compares pre-marital sex of “steady couples with a high probability of marriage indulging” to “drunken co-eds hooking up” without context. “See, 9 out of 10 did it then too so what you’re doing is okay” is the message.

      But the lifetime number of sexual partners is still quite low for both sexes. I’ll see if I can dig up a comparison over time.

      The National Marriage Project studied the birth and wedding records of the Pilgrims and concluded that 50% of couples then had premarital sex. Where they found the privacy I have no idea, but they managed.

  • Todd

    @Herb

    You mean when society subsidized something they got more of it and when they hampered it they got less? We have less marriage now than post-WWII even though the sex ratios are more balanced.

    Well, the economy is a much different place now than it was then. Create a world where less-educated men can earn a middle class living again, and the incentives will change again. However, the days of a high school graduate doing well without a particular skill died out with the Carter administration.

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

      Create a world where less-educated men can earn a middle class living again, and the incentives will change again.

      That’s the real problem. The average age at first marriage during that period was 20 for males and 18 for females. Most didn’t have degrees but they could earn a living wage, and the woman could stay home. We’ve lost a lot of ground financially since then.

  • Herb

    @Todd

    You had the largest military mobilization in the history of the country in terms of percentage of the population.

    Yeah, people often underestimate how much of modern culture grew out of that.

    Motorcycle clubs in the modern sense got their start with men coming back but being unable to give up the adrenaline rush. Given the war was their framework for the rush the clubs had military structures including leadership.

    Much of modern gay male culture (although I get the impression this is changing and is less true of gay men in their 20s today than 20 years ago) owes a lot to the male bonding experience in the war. Gay men were more interested in continuing what they had experienced and brought similar structure to the bars.

    In one of the most interesting intersections, gay biker clubs spawned at least a significant part of leather culture (a subset of the S&M world) in the US (how much is an argument I’ll leave to those who care).

    Those are the ones I know, mainly through the last and as a consequence the first two. I suspect there are many more (there is some evidence swinging comes out of Navy and Air Force pilot communities).

  • Escoffier

    Yeah, I’ve seen that 90% claim before and it has to be qualified that a great many of those encounters were among engaged couples and/or led to shotgun weddings.

    It’s not really comparable to what we have now.

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

      It’s not really comparable to what we have now.

      I don’t think it’s meant to be, but I was surprised to learn that 90% of women had premarital sex then. There is a sort of mythology that women used to have great self-control and be chaste for their husbands. I’m not sure about only engaged couples having sex. Since dating and going steady was already the norm in the 50s, I would think that many couples were having sex with people they wound up not marrying. When I got to high school in 1970, the couples were definitely having sex in the back seat, and there was nothing “revolutionary” about it. What do you think couples did while parking in the 50s?

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Funny story.

    I was reading your story and it wasn’t until about halfway through that I realized dating and hooking up were not meant to be synonymous.

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

      I was reading your story and it wasn’t until about halfway through that I realized dating and hooking up were not meant to be synonymous.

      That is funny. You are a man of your time!

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Susan…”The National Marriage Project studied the birth and wedding records of the Pilgrims and concluded that 50% of couples then had premarital sex.”

    I have no idea if this is really true or not, but I’ve read that in some church that had been around a long time, it was noticed that the names of certain members from way back when had the notation “CF” written by them in the records. At first it was believed that this was some high honor…turned out it meant “confirmed fornicator.”

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

      @david foster

      At first it was believed that this was some high honor…turned out it meant “confirmed fornicator.”

      That’s funny – at least they didn’t have to wear it on their clothing like Hester Prynne!

  • Carmen

    @Susan

    I’m happy to finally join the conversations! I’ve spent hours and hours reading the comments sections lol. It’s has definitely provided me with some useful insight! Brilliant idea really, to start a website like this, just what I and many other girls need.

    Yeah, thankfully I’ve realised for years to avoid ‘hooking up guys’. I’ve been going to clubs and bars once/twice a week since I was sixteen (I’m from Holland where the legal drinking age is sixteen) and I think I’ve just been lucky to realise at a young age that casual is not for me :) The guys will try, but they realise soon enough that it’s just not gonna happen!

    Hmm, yes, I noticed relationship-oriented guys are in short supply.

    My ‘problem’ though is that I’m not sure how to screen for these guys as I think there are 3 ‘types’ of guys at uni:
    1) relationship-orientated guys (who wouldn’t go for casual sex at all…I’d say this is just a VERY small no. of guys)
    2) guys just looking for casual sex
    and (here comes the problem)
    3)guys who would love to have a relationship (so you could say they are relationship-orientated), but only with the right girl. Until that girl comes along they will just go for casual sex. From what I’ve seen and heard from male friends most guys fall under this ‘category’. I’d estimate this is 75% of all guys at uni.

    The reason I find this third category problematic is because if you fancy a guy like this and you’re not ‘the right girl’ for him, for the moment they’ll just pretend that you are and then dump you as soon as they’ve had what they were looking for. If you ARE the right girl, you’re lucky and it might be an actual relationship.

    But of course the girl (me) will not know whether she’s the ‘right girl’ for this guy or not.

    So the solution you suggest is waiting for sex until you’ve been dating for a while and commitment is made, right? But what if the guy you’re dating expects you to have sex with him before that? He will notice that other guys are hooking up (whether these are relationship-oriented guys or casual sex guys) and therefore to him, this expectation seems perfectly reasonable…

    Should I just cross my fingers and hope he finds me special enough to wait for sex?

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

      @Carmen

      So the solution you suggest is waiting for sex until you’ve been dating for a while and commitment is made, right? But what if the guy you’re dating expects you to have sex with him before that? He will notice that other guys are hooking up (whether these are relationship-oriented guys or casual sex guys) and therefore to him, this expectation seems perfectly reasonable…

      The guys here will tell you that a guy who likes you and sees you as a potential gf will actually reward your taking it slow and wait. He will only do that if you have not already been slutty with other guys, and you haven’t. You will need to make that very clear.

      It is true that sometimes guys wind up committing to girls they’ve been hooking up with just for sex, but as you pointed out earlier, those relationships are often just fancy FWBs. If you want the real deal – emotional intimacy – then you need to do your job as I outlined in the emotional escalation post, let him do his job at sexual escalation, and tell him that you cannot wait to go there but you need to know it’s for real. If he doesn’t respect that, he wasn’t in it for the right reasons.

      It’s a filter that will catch most guys, unfortunately. Women get very frustrated when they filter appropriately and no one gets through. :(

      But it’s better this way. You know that.

      FWIW, you’re better off with older guys. At uni, the older the better. In fact, keep your eye out for cute graduate students.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Carmen,

    Let’s talk serious for a second, shall we? I’ll talk to you as if I were a typical male college American.

    Now, sex is awesome. But it’s not everything in life. So you can delay sex, if you are strongly convinced that the girl you are with is something special. I’ve done this. I am pretty sure other guys have done this. I mean, a girl you can spend the rest of your life with?

    That’s weighty stuff. And stopping it over something like sex, wow…

    But that girl has to be special. She has to have potential to be a life partner.

    And did you read this article?

    You don’t have that potential. Period. You are not special. You are not worth waiting for, because you have zero chance of being my life partner.

    The only reason I would wait for you, is if I am really desperate to have sex, or all the other girls would make me wait too.

    Now there are a lot of guys like that. We call them loser Betas. You probably aren’t going to be attracted to many of them.

    And really, why should a guy feel special to be with you? You’re most likely going to leave him before college ends anyways, so you’re basically calling him a temporary boyfriend. Great. How in any way is that special?

    Again, this is the reality you are dealing with. This is not how I would approach a relationship in college, but it is absolutely how I would approach any girl who intends to date me without intention of lifelong partnership: she is not worth waiting for.

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

      The only reason I would wait for you, is if I am really desperate to have sex, or all the other girls would make me wait too.

      Now there are a lot of guys like that. We call them loser Betas. You probably aren’t going to be attracted to many of them.

      And really, why should a guy feel special to be with you? You’re most likely going to leave him before college ends anyways, so you’re basically calling him a temporary boyfriend. Great. How in any way is that special?

      Wow, ADBG, way to welcome the new female college student! Are you serious? This is rude, not to mention cynical. Don’t run asshole game here, it’s bad for biz.

      Carmen, ignore everything he says, he’s just in a very bad mood lately.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Carmen, glad to have a new commenter! :) My thoughts on your situation: You don’t have to give those guys all the power. So what if they don’t want to be your boyfriend? So what if they don’t find you special enough to be exclusive? So what if they’re too immature and only want to hook up? You don’t want them *anyway.*

    Concentrate on being a special girl unto yourself. Personally, I improved myself and made myself “the prize,” and guys wanted to be with me and asked me to be their girlfriend, and they knew my conditions for doing anything physical which was love and a genuine emotional connection.

    If the guy you’re “dating” expects sex before you’re ready, ditch him. There will be other guys. If he wants to hook up, let him do it with some other girl. You are not the type to follow “what everyone else is doing” anyway, so why get with a guy who is that much of a sheep and herd-follower? I know I wouldn’t even respect a guy like that. Get into the mentality of screening and filtering for that special guy, who isn’t like that.

    Remember, we create some of our own luck.

  • Abbot

    “we find ourselves in the midst of this highly dysfunctional phase called hookup culture”

    ..and a concurrent escalation in the effort by men to avoid sluts for marriage.

    Can both activities survive simultaneously for long?

  • Escoffier

    Well Susan we don’t have too many metrics to go by.

    However, we know that pre-birth control, teen pregnancy and OOW births in general were very rare. So there couldn’t have bee TOO much sex. We also know what the literature says about the time, and what people remember. It’s something I have sought to discuss with my elders all that often but on the rare occasions when it has come up they have all told me that they can’t believe how the SR changed everything and that in their day things simply were not like that.

    Obviously the picture of total chastity is a myth (to the extent that anyone ever really believed it) but my guess is that this claim that everybody was doing it is just a counter-myth, the purpose of which is to justify the mess we have now. Whenever some societal marker gets really bad you can always count on intellectuals to rush in and say the past was no better and perhaps worse except back then everyone was a hypocrite and isn’t it better now that we are all honest about how degraded we are.

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

      @Escoff

      However, we know that pre-birth control, teen pregnancy and OOW births in general were very rare. So there couldn’t have bee TOO much sex.

      Very true. And I agree that all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Oh, in terms of actual advice.

    I have absolutely no idea. My gut reaction is to tell you to skip dating, it’s a waste of time. Concentrate on your studies and learn.

  • GudEnuf

    Oh dear, I’m 23 already. I only have a couple more years before I get to the point where I need to meet a wife!

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

      Oh dear, I’m 23 already. I only have a couple more years before I get to the point where I need to meet a wife!

      No he was 27. You’ve still got time!

  • Emily

    Hi Carmen! I hope you stick around! :D

    >> “… bide your time, have fun with your friends, and don’t go down that black hole of casual sex. ”

    I agree with this advice. If a great guy comes along, then that’s awesome. But if not, don’t panic. And keep your clothes on until you’re 100% sure that you’re “the right girl”.

    >> “Should I just cross my fingers and hope he finds me special enough to wait for sex?”

    Exactly.

    I found dating a lot more difficult when I was your age, but my university years were still possibly the best years of my life.

    In the meantime, just focus on getting good grades and having fun with your friends. :)

  • GudEnuf

    Susan:The National Marriage Project studied the birth and wedding records of the Pilgrims and concluded that 50% of couples then had premarital sex. Where they found the privacy I have no idea, but they managed.”

    Women were also allowed to sue their husbands if he didn’t put it out. The husbands, being bigger and stronger, didn’t have to sue their wives for sex (if you get what I’m saying.)

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

      @GudEnuf

      Women were also allowed to sue their husbands if he didn’t put it out.

      I wonder if there were court cases where this happened. And I also wonder whether this mostly happened to gay men.

  • GudEnuf

    “Create a world where less-educated men can earn a middle class living again, and the incentives will change again.”

    You mean like Germany or Norway?

  • Dogsquat

    Esco said:

    “Obviously the picture of total chastity is a myth (to the extent that anyone ever really believed it) but my guess is that this claim that everybody was doing it is just a counter-myth, the purpose of which is to justify the mess we have now. ”
    __________________________

    No doubt. Grandma Phyllis’s 3 minutes of fun with the traveling Brylcreem salesman does not mean she thinks of sex like a handshake.

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

      Grandma Phyllis’s 3 minutes of fun with the traveling Brylcreem salesman does not mean she thinks of sex like a handshake.

      My grandma preferred the Fuller brush man.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    Carmen, I would suggest you do this:

    When (if) you find a guy you really want, who you genuinely think is different & special, take some time to get to know him, share some music, books, films etc. Talk a bunch of times, find common ground. If he starts making a move, or things just start going that way anyway, clearly express to him that you find him very attractive, you definitely want to be with him & he is in your thoughts all the time, but that you need to take it slow, as this isn’t something you generally do.

    I think most guys of the type you are looking for would be okay with that, at least for a little while, & in fact would quite probably hold you in higher esteem because of it, just as long as a) it’s true (& the rest of your behaviour bears this out) & b) they’re genuinely interested in you in the first place. Either way, it gives you a couple of weeks more time & space to observe him in a few different settings to see whether you feel right in committing to him, & gives him a deeper experience of you too.

    For me the key point here you may not have heard before is the clear expression of your attraction interest in him (usually once he’s expressed his interest in you). By doing that you are building sexual attraction & bonding, rather than just playing with him at arms length, or stringing him along. That’s my two cents, anyway.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    Then again, Beta-Guy’s take on this is highly relevant, too.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    “The husbands, being bigger and stronger, didn’t have to sue their wives for sex (if you get what I’m saying.)”

    That’s right, because all men are rapists (if I get what you’re saying.)

  • Abbot

    “this claim that everybody was doing it is just a counter-myth, the purpose of which is to justify the mess we have now. Whenever some societal marker gets really bad you can always count on intellectuals to rush in and say the past was no better and perhaps worse except back then everyone was a hypocrite and isn’t it better now that we are all honest about how degraded we are.”

    Now, just who are these “intellectuals” and why would they bother to rush in and say anything? Who is on the defensive here?

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    That’s right, because all men are rapists (if I get what you’re saying.)

    Thank you for calling onto this. Didn’t we had a lengthy conversation about how a healthy man doesn’t enjoy sex with unwilling women like less than a year ago?
    And as a fan of both porn and romance novels there is a lot more rape fantasies scenarios on the romance side than on porn, and I mean romance is one of the few genres writing for and by women, take that in any way you want to.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    My grandma preferred the Fuller brush man.

    What happened to the good old Milkman? Sex and calcium….a winning combo! :p

  • A definite beta guy

    My apologies to Susan and Carmen. It is not my intention to be rude. It is only my intention to paint the college smp as messed up.

    The only winning move is not to play.

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

      The only winning move is not to play.

      The college SMP is messed up, but I don’t buy your claim that 80% of the guys are unattractive to women. Most boyfriends on college campuses are indeed betas, so that’s a good strategy for Carmen. No need to assume she won’t like any of them!

  • Royale W. Cheese

    @Susan
    “FWIW, you’re better off with older guys. At uni, the older the better. In fact, keep your eye out for cute graduate students.”

    Hmm. Another revelation for me. My undergrad was not top-tier. It was an HBCU, and most HBCU’s do not have legitimate or well-populated graduate programs. Unfortunately for me “older” automatically meant non-college “locals” (bad news in Tallahassee, FL) or professors.

    An aside: I tried really hard in graduate school to land a commitment, but the only guy who made it past the filter turned rotten (alpha) months into the relationship, got another woman pregnant, then married her. He’s reconnected and apologized to me recently, but what’s done is done. From that time (age 27) onward dating was all down hill. I still look very young at 35 (I always get confused for a college student), but some how it seems like age is counting against me anyway.

  • SayWhaat

    The only winning move is not to play.

    BS. That’s the ultimate loss.

    There’s no reward without risk.

  • modernguy

    This is just utter nonsense. Every other post you make is a surreptitious push to reinforce a state in the mating market that is advantageous to women. Men really don’t care about “emotional depth” in a relationship. Men don’t want to “date”. Men hate dating. The only thing that we want out of serial dating and relationships is sex. That’s it. Nobody cares about finding themselves, exploring their sexuality or turning compatibilty into some mystical alchemical process. Those are hamster pellets. What men care about is fidelity, period. If we can’t count on that the rest is irrelevant, and living that lifestyle necessarily degrades your suitability for marriage in most men’s eyes. Your grandma’s sluttiness doesn’t automatically give you license to be the same. Only weak men think their women are wiser for all the extra dicks they’ve serviced.

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

      Men really don’t care about “emotional depth” in a relationship. Men don’t want to “date”. Men hate dating. The only thing that we want out of serial dating and relationships is sex. That’s it.

      …What men care about is fidelity, period.

      Well that would be a pretty high return on your investment of zero!

      Modernguy, you sound like a real catch.

      How a post about the history of dating with no editorial content might be construed as misandrist is a puzzle. I think you need to pluck that chubby rodent out of your own eye.

  • J

    Then again, the Puritans weren’t the prudes we portray them to be. There are recorded instanced of men being put in stocks for failing to have marital relations with their wives. Chew on that one for a while.

    Hah! I knew that. Did we see the same program on the Smithsonian Channel this week?

  • J

    There is a sort of mythology that women used to have great self-control and be chaste for their husbands.

    And considering that people married young, it would have been easier to hold off till marriage than it is today.

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

      @J

      And considering that people married young, it would have been easier to hold off till marriage than it is today.

      Good point. 60 years ago women menstruated at 13 and married at 18. Five year wait, and 90% didn’t make it. Today women menstruate at 11 and marry at 26 (28 for the college educated).

  • Royale W. Cheese

    @modernguy
    “This is just utter nonsense. Every other post you make is a surreptitious push to reinforce a state in the mating market that is advantageous to women. Men really don’t care about “emotional depth” in a relationship. Men don’t want to “date”. Men hate dating. The only thing that we want out of serial dating and relationships is sex.”

    I don’t quite understand your objection. What is Susan posting that is bad for men? Is seeking emotional depth disadvantageous to men?

  • J

    However, we know that pre-birth control, teen pregnancy and OOW births in general were very rare.

    But many first babies were big, heallthy and “premature.”

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

      @J

      But many first babies were big, heallthy and “premature.”

      Haha seriously. I can actually remember conversations among the moms having coffee, doing the math about so and so, and chortling in the realization of that exact thing happening.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan
    “The college SMP is messed up, but I don’t buy your claim that 80% of the guys are unattractive to women. Most boyfriends on college campuses are indeed betas, so that’s a good strategy for Carmen. No need to assume she won’t like any of them!”

    I don’t think it’s the case that she will never like any of them, but I am going to assume she is going to instant-DQ most of them, and various other factors involving lack of IOIs, lack of logistics, lack of male aggressiveness and game, etc, will take care of almost all the rest of them.

    I do wish Carmen all the best, but if I could go back to my college self now, it wouldn’t be to date more women: it would be, you are eventually going to find a place where the SMP is not so screwed up, and it doesn’t matter you’re not having a lot of success right now.

    But this is the only, only, only, only time in your life you are going to be able to learn like mad and gather new skills with the full support of college staff.

    So go focus on learning.

    @ SayWhat

    “BS. That’s the ultimate loss.

    There’s no reward without risk.”

    I absolutely agree, but what my finance classes impressed upon me was making sure the risks you take are INTELLIGENT risks. And my economics classes impressed upon making sure to value my labor and only apply it to tasks worthy of my time: there is a huge opportunity cost here.

    So my advice to Carmen is to TRY not to worry too much about boys. When she graduates university and is a few years out, she will be in a better SMP that is more in sync with her interests. I absolutely cannot promise her that she will find a good guy, but her chances are higher than she thinks, and delaying affection really isn’t that bad.
    She should instead devote her time to higher value-added activities with permanent payoffs. That would be her studies.

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

      @ADBG

      But this is the only, only, only, only time in your life you are going to be able to learn like mad and gather new skills with the full support of college staff.

      So go focus on learning.

      Cosign that. I think your advice to Carmen is excellent. And I’ve been at this just long enough to witness girls who were pretty miserable about boys in college come out and find a whole new world of good guys looking to date. The good guys were there all along, but after college the barriers to visibility seem to come down somehow. On the other hand, it’s harder to meet people in general.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Hah! I knew that. Did we see the same program on the Smithsonian Channel this week?

    There is an Smithsonian Channel!!!!??? Maybe cable TV is not a waste of money after all.

  • Jackie

    It squicks me out to speculate on my grandparents’ sex lives. But you know, I’d bet good money that my N maternal grandmother was seriously racy for that era.

    She talked constantly of her suitors and how we’d be lucky to hold a candle to her, how cute she was, how she danced every dance and never lacked a partner. Even when I was in my teens, she would stand both of us in front of the mirror and point my faults and her superiorities. Even in her 70s and working 80 hours a week, she would flirt shamelessly for tips. Then crow about how attractive she was, counting her money triumphantly, preening.

    Besides that, she had a weird false piety and yet, saw sex in EVERYTHING. She was constantly suspecting of me being too immodest, at 13! You’re just going to have to believe me when I say this was not the case! (This is getting way too gross already.)

    To top it off, she married my maternal grandfather, king of the alphas, and bragged about his pick-up lines to her that involved old movie stars. I think my mom rebelled by becoming the most wholesome person possible, to avoid my grandmother’s sordid ways.

    OK, I’m going to stop. Right. Now!

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

      @Jackie

      Your grandmother sounds like a real piece of work! One thing that people don’t realize is that the flappers were very promiscuous. They did a lot of bed hopping. I think that was just the privileged class though.

  • Mike M.

    Good Grief!

    My own assessment is that men want four things out of a relationship. Affirmation, Ass, Affection, and Aid.

    In that order. Men want affirmation of their status more than anything else. Respect from their wives/girlfriends. The respect of their fellow men. Kindly note that an attractive woman delivers on this point – a man who commands her affections must be respectable.

    Sex is high on the list, but I’d rate it at #2, with Affection a close third.

    I know there are grown men who regard women purely as self-propelled sex toys, but it seems pretty shallow to me. Sad. Depressing.

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

      My own assessment is that men want four things out of a relationship. Affirmation, Ass, Affection, and Aid.

      I don’t mean to pick on Mike, but this is the second comment that is completely focused on getting rather than giving.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    (slightly off-topic)..Susan, you and Bastiat have mentioned possible scary parallels with Weimar. I just put up a review of Hans Fallada’s 1936 novel WOLF AMONG WOLVES, which is set in 1923, in the middle of the Weimar hyperinflation. The book does an excellent job of giving the feeling of what it must have been like living in the middle of that situation, plus it is very good character development and storytelling. Also some interesting angles on gender relations.

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

      @david foster

      Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out! You sure do read a lot ;)

  • Herb

    @Susan

    I wonder if there were court cases where this happened.

    Yes, they happened in your backyard even.

    @J

    Hah! I knew that. Did we see the same program on the Smithsonian Channel this week?

    Nope, my jumping off point was a WSJ opinion piece circa 1992. I researched more after that. Plus, I lack cable.

    @J and Escoffier re: OOW births and healthy premature babies
    This was my point about long term couples heading for marriage indulging as opposed to hookups. Even now without hookups I suspect low N people are having more pre-marital sex. It might be with the same person but over a longer period. It is also more open. The later probably has raised the typical persons N by marriage by 1-3.

    @Susan

    The National Marriage Project studied the birth and wedding records of the Pilgrims and concluded that 50% of couples then had premarital sex. Where they found the privacy I have no idea, but they managed.

    Bundling. There are arguments that this and similar customs were a way to allowed controlled “test sex” for couples. I don’t know that there is proof and the official line is in the Wikipedia article: intimacy without sexual intercourse. Of course, depending on what counts as what a lot of the premarital sex could be something other than intercourse.

    Actually, could that explain similar pre-marital sex rates without lots of OOW births: sure, Mom had sex with three guys, two she blew and Dad, who himself got knobbers from three other women?

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

      @Herb

      It’s funny, young people often do a sort of bundling today. It’s very common for girls and guys to share beds without having sex, or even without doing anything. They often hang out very late, and then all crash wherever they can find a spot. Getting a spot in a real bed is a coup, but usually they really just sleep, or maybe cuddle and spoon. It’s very common. It’s also a common reason for couples to fight – one of them “bundles” with someone else, saying “It didn’t mean anything!” and the other gets upset about how it looks and whether some kind of hooking up really occurred.

      Re the Pilgrims, the premarital sex rate is extrapolated from the number of births that occurred less than nine months after the wedding.

  • Herb

    @Mike M.

    My own assessment is that men want four things out of a relationship. Affirmation, Ass, Affection, and Aid.

    In that order.

    I’ll agree on the desires, but I think the order is variable between men and even with the same man across time. I know Affection and Aid score much higher at 45 than Affirmation and Ass, but that was not always the case.

    In fact, the transition from Affirmation and Ass being 1/2 to Affection/Aid being 1/2 might be a sign of the ability to pick an effective life partner.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    I cosign Mike M’s statement at 58

    I don’t want a warm fuckdoll (although i do want a warm breathing woman that likes to fuck.. big difference)

    But i have to have a connection with a woman that is beyond the physical. I actually have to like her if i want to please her. If she’s a bitch, attitude, narcissist, crazy or toxic, it’s not worth my while even just to score the booty call. I want to retain my dignity (and remain disease free to boot)

    His order is pretty accurate. I think most guys lose out on the aid part. Once they show weakness and wish/require the woman to stand by him, a lot of women loose the tingle and start to look elsewhere. This is the crux.

    Behind every strong man there is a stronger woman. My ex didn’t want to prop me up through the ‘for better or worse’ part. That’s what stung the most.

  • Herb

    @M3

    My ex didn’t want to prop me up through the ‘for better or worse’ part. That’s what stung the most.

    I hear that. One of the biggest problems of modern American (Western?) women is that want commitment but aren’t big on giving it.

    If more women understood the value of aid, especially now that we’re marrying at 30, they’d be more successful. The gf drove from work (after complaining she couldn’t get it off to sit in the waiting room while I got cathed and in the room while I slept after) and spent the night, insisted on carrying things because I wasn’t allowed to lift more than 5# with my right arm (they can do the heart cath through the arm instead of the leg now which speeds recovery), and insisted on taking me to her place because I live in a third floor walk-up and she didn’t want me doing that for a few days (tonight is my first night home).

    Any bitch can blow me and swallow. But a woman who will take care of me is gold (too many I know would bitch about having to change Saturday plans because I wasn’t up to dancing or something).

  • http://www.easywebbackup.co.uk Chris Barker

    Hi Susan!

    Interesting piece you made here! Looks like someone did their homework! This is a refreshing topic, i never thought there is a fine line between dating and courtship. I thought they are synonymous or at least complement each other. In my own perspective though, dating is sort of compatibility test for me. Like what is said in this article of yours, dating is a way to get to know each other. Almost always, men would expect to get more than a kiss if the first date goes well. Which i think is great, but i think it would be meaningful if you take time getting to know each other before getting into any physical involvement. Believe or not though there are men that are careful with women’s feelings.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    @M3
    “His order is pretty accurate. I think most guys lose out on the aid part. Once they show weakness and wish/require the woman to stand by him, a lot of women loose the tingle and start to look elsewhere. This is the crux.”

    In addition to loss of “tingle,” I think another factor that might come into play is when women feel a bit resentful if they think they are giving too much without getting anything equivalent in return.

    It seems to me that few people ever learn the art of giving. Many people only agree with “give-get.” Giving is not the same as exchange, it’s just giving. When you give, you have to make a deal with yourself…that you will give so that you can thoroughly enjoy pleasing someone or helping them out, etc. You have to decide whether you can give and feel perfectly okay if you get “nothing” (equivalent) in exchange. You are probably actually getting plenty back, but that should just be appreciated fully in and of itself.

    This is a philosophy that my dad instilled in me.

    People tend to truly give pretty easily to children and pets, but less often to lovers, friends, relatives, elders, and strangers.

  • Carmen

    @A Definite Beta Guy and Susan

    Beta Guy, please don’t apologize, I don’t think you were rude, I think you sincerely want me to realize how messed up the college smp is. So I’d rather thank you :)

    I do think you misunderstand me though, because I haven’t been clear about what I want. I’m not looking for a temporary boyfriend, just for funs, who I can dump as soon as someone ‘better’ comes along. I’ve never had that mindset because I know a relationship like that wouldn’t satisfy me – if I get involved with anyone, I will give it my all and take it seriously. I’m not looking for a ‘fancy FWB’ relationship. Actually, if I’d have a choice, I’d meet my future husband yesterday.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the chances of me marrying my first boyfriend are nihil, I’m not living under that illusion. But I am looking for someone who could potentially be a lifelong partner. I’d even say I only want to have sex with a guy who I see as a potential future husband/father. If I happen to marry that person, that’d be amazing, if not, well, at least I didn’t waste time on pointless FWB relationships.

    So, now that you know I would date a guy with the intention of a lifelong partnership, do you still suggest me to entirely skip dating and ‘not to play’?

    Regardless of your answer though, I do already focus on learning and I take my course seriously, like you suggested. Luckily my parents have always told me to just have fun with friends and that I’ll meet the right guy when I’m older, so my focus has always been on my study, my friends and trying to improve myself (as in, I’m into yoga, meditation, healthy eating, sports, improving my appearance and relationships with people; life skills and personal development – I didn’t end up at HUS by accident). I realize I’m not gonna live forever so I’m trying to make the most of it.

    I don’t desperately stroll around bars looking for any guy that will do as a boyfriend. I’m not worried about guys, I understand that I don’t NEED a boyfriend. I’m the only person who can make me happy. It’s just that one day I would like to have a loving husband and a family. So atm, I’m just trying to figure out what I can do NOW to have that life in the future.

    “It’s a filter that will catch most guys, unfortunately. Women get very frustrated when they filter appropriately and no one gets through.”

    I can understand this frustrates women, I guess it hardly frustrates me because I’ve always been very picky on guys. Or rather, my friends call me picky, but now I think I’ve just been screening guys harsher than most girls do, so yeah, that catches most of them. I’ve always realized I’m not compatible with most guys (partly because I’m not up for casual sex/ casual relationships) –I guess you could say I’m looking for my ‘soulmate’.

    And like you suggest Susan, I’d prefer a guy at least 4/5 years older than me. Luckily my uni has quite a few graduate students :)

    “I don’t think it’s the case that she will never like any of them, but I am going to assume she is going to instant-DQ most of them, and various other factors involving lack of IOIs, lack of logistics, lack of male aggressiveness and game, etc., will take care of almost all the rest of them.”

    Sorry, I don’t understand this part. What is ‘instant-DQ’?

  • Carmen

    @Hope
    I love your blog! I always find our comments here valuable, had to say that first of all. :) I’m ENFJ, sometimes I tend to be more introverted, and I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying.

    I think it’s in my nature to always try and improve things, including myself, so I have been concentrating on this – I’m trying to figure out how to be a great ‘prize’.

    Yeah, you’re right, I try to focus on screening for a special guy and just let the hooking up guys pass. I’m a firm believer in creating (most) of your own luck!

  • Carmen

    @Emily
    “I found dating a lot more difficult when I was your age, but my university years were still possibly the best years of my life.
    In the meantime, just focus on getting good grades and having fun with your friends. ”

    Good to know dating might become easier one day! Oh yeah, I don’t doubt for a second that you had an amazing time at uni even though dating was difficult. There’s so much more to life! Like I already said in my comment to A Definite Beta Guy, I’m focusing on good grades and having fun with friends, and I must say, this year has been absolutely fantastic!!

  • Carmen

    @ Byron
    Thanks a lot for your comment, it’s great advice! :)

    I was thinking something along the lines of this, giving it all some time and taking it slow, but then I tend to get skeptical about whether guys will accept this ‘slowness’. But – like you say – the type of guy I’m looking for will probably be ok with that, and if not, he’s probably not the right guy for me anyway!

    I’ve been reading relationship/’game’ blogs aimed at guys and ‘taking the red pill’ for a few months, trying to understand things from a guy’s perspective better. Now I realize that your advice of clearly expressing my genuine attraction interest in him is very important to a guy. I wouldn’t want to mess up my chances with a guy by making him think I’m stringing him along!

    I agree with you that Beta Guy’s take on this is relevant. Susan might think he’s cynical, but what I’ve seen of the college smp myself, he makes some really good points.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    A few quibbles:

    – The idea that most of the changes were “for the better” and “inevitable.” This line is often trotted out by people who want to justify the anti-male bias in family courts, as well as the idea that men must respect women even when women treat them callously with no justification (Women, of course, have no obligation to respect men.) I know you’re better than this, Susan.

    – Women born in the 1940s would have been sexually active in the 1960s, so they’re not saying anything new. If the study said that women born in the 1910s or 1920s were less chaste, then common knowledge would be uprooted.

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

      @CrisisEraDynamo

      The idea that most of the changes were “for the better” and “inevitable.” This line is often trotted out by people who want to justify the anti-male bias in family courts, as well as the idea that men must respect women even when women treat them callously with no justification

      Wow. It’s getting really hard just to write a fun, chatty post around here without being attacked for misandry.

      Here’s what I meant by “for the better”:

      Courtship is no longer relegated strictly to the wealthy.

      Both men and women have the opportunity to make a “love match” rather than a quasi-arranged marriage based primarily on financial considerations.

      Both men and women have the opportunity to date, i.e. shop around, for a mate who is truly compatible and likely to go the distance in an era when people are not legally compelled to remain married.

      Here’s what I meant by inevitable:

      America is a nation of immigrants. Huge waves of new people arriving in the early 20th century, often separated from close family, meant that new modes of courtship were required. Churches and community groups took on the role of in loco parentis. Literally – they monitored the sexual activity of young women, and women running boarding houses also kept a close watch.

      Two world wars led to great changes in the American economy, and reduced the number of marriageable men. From a demographic/economic standpoint, change was inevitable and did occur.

      The Sexual Revolution has gradually led to the SMP we have today. You know how I feel about that.

      Would you like to take this opportunity to apologize for accusing me unjustly?

  • Höllenhund

    Let’s see if this blockquote stuff works or not…

    “I wondered why the marriage rate would go up if men had more options.

    The answer depends on what you mean by “more options”. If it means “being able to pump & dump random sluts for years and then decide to choose a marriage-worthy woman”, that wasn’t really on the table for average men 60 years ago anywhere. If it means “having more marriage-worthy women tho select from because sexual competition between men decreased due to wartime losses”, that isn’t really true either because the wartime losses of the USA as a proportion of the male population were minuscule in WW2. Compare that to the Soviet Union, where losses were so heavy women made up 55% of the total population even it the late ’50s.

    True, marriage was more attractive then for legal reasons, but it’s well known that when men have the edge they tend to delay commitment – and that’s true in every culture and country.

    When men have the edge, they don’t delay commitment, they commit – if a) they can find a worthy woman b) the benefits of marriage outweigh the costs and risks, in comparison to bachelorhood. Both a) and b) were available in the situation we’re discussing. Add to this that American men’s earning power increased massively after 1945, which was a huge boost to their mating value relative to women – which wasn’t bad to begin with – and voilá, the marriage rate increased.

    Marriage-minded men delay commitment when a) their sexual mating value is lower than women’s b) they observe their sexual mating value will rise compared to women’s as they age. This is the case today, but it wasn’t the case 60 years ago in the USA, or anywhere else for that matter, because female hypergamy was regulated and assortative mating was the norm.

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

      @Hollenhund at 7:04 am (sorry, I can’t see comment numbers)

      Thank you, that was an informative and helpful comment.

  • Abbot

    “They did a lot of bed hopping. I think that was just the privileged class though.”

    Like the male members of the harem today who are bestowed privilege only because women “consent” to have their bodies thrown into a cauldron from which they can never recover despite desperate claims to the contrary

  • Todd

    See, I go to sleep, and a reasonable comment thread breaks out.

    @Herb, you got it nailed with regard to the military and modern sex culture. As someone who was in the swing world, I can confirm a higher-than-average number of military folk, and I know about all the other connections. Good catch.

    @RWC, Strike Rattlers Strike! ;-) In all seriousness, being someone who went to a “majority” college with a brother that went to a HBCU, the dating dynamics are a lot different. While I do think there is some mythology about sex ratios at HBCUs, there is a definite sex inbalance in favor of the men. Throw in the fact that these places tend to have weaker grad school programs and aren’t in the toniest of areas, and you have a lot fewer older men with their heads around then a typical “majority” college. (FYI: A majority college is, generally speaking, any American university or 4 year college that isn’t a historical black college or university (a HBCU) or a Tribal college.)

    @Comments 58 & 62, you’re so right about affirmation and loyalty being the biggest things for a guy. That’s something I wish women would comprehend. What is also true is that it takes a guy a while to get that through his head (though you also don’t want a guy on that program at, say, 16 either). Any guy who thinks sex is the most important part of a relationship isn’t read for commitment, period. If you’re a girl looking for a relationship, and the guy you’re thinking of committing to think sex is the biggest thing in a relationship, move on. Get your girls, your fattening snacks of choice and your favorite pro-woman anthems, but roll out.

    This isn’t to say sex isn’t important to mature men either. It definitely is. A mature guy will also look for the bigger picture as well, and if giving up a bit on sex means a better tomorrow for him, well he can have sex tomorrow. :)

  • Ramble

    According to Bogle, “Both men and women did not want to date someone who did not rank. Students went to great lengths to rank high on the dating scale. Women’s prestige on campus would decline once they were no longer a fresh face on campus, due to indiscretions, or if they were too readily available for dates.”

    Somehow, I have a hard time believing that guys did not want to date that gorgeous, sweet, though quiet, girl.

    – beautiful face
    – tight ass
    – perky tits
    – sweet demeanor
    – seems intelligent

    Nope! Not good enough. If she ain’t hanging with the right crowd, I am not touching it.

  • Ramble

    Now we know where “hard to get” and “flaking” originated – women were rewarded for it!

    Yes, that is where it came from. It came from the 0.1 percent, 90 years ago. No wonder all of my friends sip brandy as they kick off their docksiders.

  • Ramble

    Susan, screaming from the mountain top that people were having sex before marriage in the 1950s does not say that much. Most people who care to think about these things, and not color their vision, understand that Beaver Cleaver did not marry a virgin.

    Now, if those people from mid-sized and small towns had racked up a high number of partners and diseases before marriage, now, that would be something interesting.

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

      @Ramble

      Susan, screaming from the mountain top that people were having sex before marriage in the 1950s does not say that much.

      Screaming? From a mountaintop? I think you are confused. I was not intending to say anything meaningful about premarital sex in the 50s and what that implies for today. I just thought it was an interesting tidbit, and that’s the way I presented it.

      If there is any meaning in it, I think it’s to remind us that when we look back with nostalgia, we wear rose colored glasses.

  • Ramble

    I think that was just the privileged class though.

    Only the privileged class could afford to be flappers.

    And only the attractive could afford to flatten their breasts, cut their hair short and wear clothes that did not accentuate their feminine form.

    Those attractive girls could “afford” to break down social norms. They were simply showing off their wealth while being progressive.

  • Todd

    @Ramble, my grandmother was a flapper, believe it or not, and she grew up poor as hell. (And yes, I mean my grandmother. My father’s parents had him when they were far along in years, and my dad did likewise with me.) On the flip side, it also helps that she was on the Lower East Side as a child. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Susan 76

    I don’t mean to pick on Mike, but this is the second comment that is completely focused on getting rather than giving.

    Don’t mistake the list for a get rather than give, instead view it as what is desired in return for the giving of the female needs. I discussed it here:

    http://whoism3.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/if-you-view-male-sexual-needs-vs-female-relationship-needs-a-barter-system/

    The image is an oversimplification and tongue in cheek but the drift is clear. Men really don’t ask all that much in terms of what they want compared to what’s expected of them.

    It isn’t about taking and giving nothing in return. I’m a really giving guy (in every way possible ;) ), as every Beta, even reformed Beta’s can attest to. It’s just that we like to see a return on our investment of giving towards the female imperative of relationship needs.

    I hope that clears it up.

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

      @M3

      It’s just that we like to see a return on our investment of giving towards the female imperative of relationship needs.

      Totally fair, I understand completely.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    “Men really don’t care about “emotional depth” in a relationship. Men don’t want to “date”. Men hate dating.”

    A Clarica adviser is in order.

    PUA’s and Players’ DONT care about emotional depth, only pumping and dumping.

    Most men DO care about emotional depth in a relationship. They actually want to care about the person they’re with and can’t do that if there is no connection.

    Having said that, sex is the higher part of the agenda when it comes to the initial attraction stage. And as we’ve all learned here, if you’re not head over heels with someone sexually speaking, all the emotional depth in the world won’t save it.

    As to why dating is so tedious. Men are driven to want sex by nature, but the social acumen for learning about someone before that happens means you may have to listen to a lot of gibberish you have no interest in in order to placate it. Unless the girl is really good and up to date with current world events, shows ability to introspect and is great as having philosophical debates, then dating is a horrendous bore of dancing around egg shells while listening to her ramble about pop culture BS, inane girl gossip and talking about her shopping trips, just in hopes of getting sexual access.

    Game teaches guys to bypass that chore and go straight for the sex, which a lot of women seem to give up quite easily, leading men to forgo bothering to try and connect emotionally.

    At least thats my take on it. I could be wrong. I’m not a psychologist. I only play one on TV.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Royale w. Cheese 64

    In addition to loss of “tingle,” I think another factor that might come into play is when women feel a bit resentful if they think they are giving too much without getting anything equivalent in return.

    It seems to me that few people ever learn the art of giving.

    You’ve obviously never been with a Beta guy have you ;)

  • Ramble

    marriage was more attractive then for legal reasons, but it’s well known that when men have the edge they tend to delay commitment – and that’s true in every culture and country. I wonder if it has to do with those old-fashioned values like honor, duty, country. Or maybe it’s because married men did better in careers?

    Or, marriage really was more attractive for legal reasons.

    Susan, as you know, and sometimes celebrate, most young men don’t actually want to play the field. They DO want to experience the bounty, but they don’t want to actually put in the work to get their game really tight.

    However, meeting some sweetheart and spending a lot of your free time with her sounds like a good deal to a lot of guys.

    You are the king of your castle with the girl next door by your side, life is good.

  • Ramble

    On the flip side, it also helps that she was on the Lower East Side as a child.

    Right, I don’t think too many girls from Topeka were flappers.

    And, Todd, if she was as poor as hell, how did she afford to spend time at those clubs?

    Or, was she middle class for the day, but poor by today’s standards.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    In fact read my last type (see link below) and if you want to avoid some of the crassness of the subject and see the point i was trying to make.. scroll down to the WHAT’S IN A CHORE? part midway through. You’ll see what i’m driving at.

    Giving is great and done without expectation of being owed. But if done too many times with no effort being returned, then you are being used.

    Reciprocation is not the same as being owed. Owed means you expect something of exact equal value in return for what you gave. Reciprocation means someone is showing you they appreciate what you have done and show it in a gesture great or small, where even a minor gesture may carry a greater value to the giver than what he/she gave in the first place.

    eg.
    You re-shingle the entire roof (5 hours, in the heat, sunburnt, dirty smelly, cuts, scrapes)
    She makes me a cold drink, wipes the dirt off my face, cuddles with me on the couch and thanks me for being the strong manly Holmes on Homes man and doing an amazing job.

    Make a da sense?

  • Todd

    @Ramble, without putting too much of my family history out there, my grandmother’s family caught the business end of the 1918 Flu Epidemic, and my grandmother ran with a…less than legitimate crowd in her teenaged years. They were a different kind of businessmen, if you get my drift.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    Thanks for explaining. I apologize.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    I didn’t mean to come off so harsh; it’s just that I thought you were praising the modern SMP as some sort of ultimate achievement. I do agree with you on the “desirable” portions.

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

      @CrisisEraDynamo

      It’s OK. I confess I’m feeling a bit beleaguered by debate the last couple of days, my fuse is shorter than usual. Also, I’ve written nearly 600 posts – I think my position on the dubious achievement of this SMP is pretty clear. So I guess I’m asking for the benefit of the doubt.

  • Scoot

    Seems like a good time for new commenters, so I’ll jump in!

    I’ve been reading for a LONG time, and I’ve been moved to comment before, but often the comment threads grow to miles long and become heated and unwieldy before I get a chance. Given that I rarely have time to really sit down and carefully read the thread (most of my browsing is done surreptitously during stolen moments throughout my workday), it can be hard to keep up. Still, these comment threads are often of equal importance/entertainment value to me as the original posts.

    I’ve long suspected – given stories told to me by older family members and friends – that the previous generations were nowhere near as chaste as we’ve often assumed (hoped?) they were. I can’t decide if that’s really comforting to confirm or not – I do occasionally enjoy getting caught up in fantasy and longing for a simpler time I never got to participate in. But at least the cultural rules of engagement were definitely more in line with my values (and those espoused here) back then than they are now.

    I’m 27 and female, single (for years now), living in a very big city and struggling with an increasingly disgusting sexual/romantic marketplace. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when I read the sort of almost-hopeless advice dished out to girls many years younger than I am. Still, HUS has largely been a port in the storm (except on rare-ish occasions when the comment threads become particularly depressing) and much of the advice given has been pricelessly helpful so far.

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

      @Scoot

      Thank you so much for introducing yourself. I appreciate your kind words and I’m glad you find HUS helpful. It’s true that the comment threads can get discouraging, but remember – it’s no holds barred here, pretty much. Everyone is speaking the absolute harsh truth. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but there is much to be learned, and some great insights from the opposite sex. I think it’s very important to be informed, and the worse the environment, the more important it is. Most people don’t want to face it – if you can, that knowledge will give you a competitive edge.

      I hope you’ll comment again!

  • Ramble

    Scoot, welcome aboard.

    Watch out for assholes.

  • Ian

    Today, though, I thought I’d provide a history of dating. It’s an interesting topic, as it intersects with American immigration, wars, and the mainstreaming of college education. While much has changed in the last 125 years, much of it is for the better, and most of it was inevitable. And there’s a surprise – our grandmothers shed their knickers while dating too.

    Different window. If your last post is right, there has been a brain drain, squandering of potential, neuroticism uptick, millions of violent crimes committed because of that change. Since there are advanced civilizations still practicing the archaic family-involved marriage, the changes were not inevitable.

    That it would seem better at all, I’d lay at the siren call appeal of free will; making it possible for women to say that things are better, while acknowledging that they’re, at the same time, less happy than their grandmothers were, and, at the same time, dissatisfied with the overall dating environment. Better = freer, no matter.

    That said, environments change people, not ideas. The pill, television, two-worker families, drugs, and economic expansion made the present. We had the same genes and drives 50, 100, 1000 years ago,

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    Scoot, welcome aboard.

    Don’t worry — I don’t bite. :)

  • Escoffier

    Susan I recall from (I think it was) one of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s social histories that flappers were not promiscuous by our standards, that is they weren’t having a lot of sex. However, they were considered promiscuous by the standards of the ’20s because they were having more sex than pre-WWI girls. But mostly it was because the flappers were much more willing to make out with guys even when marriage was not a clear prospect. That alone caused their parents a lot of heartburn.

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

      @Escoffier

      Interesting – I thought they were quite sexy as in having affairs casually.

  • Julie

    “Both men and women have the opportunity to date, i.e. shop around, for a mate who is truly compatible and likely to go the distance in an era when people are not legally compelled to remain married.”

    You hit the nail on the head, here. I have tried to express this idea, especially on websites like Boundless, a webzine for Christian singles that strongly pushes early marriage. True compatibility has never been more important. It was much less important when divorce was rare. Back when most people remained married no matter what, it was less costly to make a mistake, to marry before you were really wise and discerning. Now it is not outside forces holding marriages together, it is the actual strength of the marriage. It needs to be a really really good match in every way.

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

      @Julie

      If I’m not mistaken this is your first comment? Welcome to you too.

      One of the reasons we have so much divorce is that people, especially women, have very high expectations of what marriage can deliver. Women actually express in surveys that they expect to “grow as a person through my marriage.” That’s asking an awful lot of the institution, and the husband. We are living the curse of the “soulmate” marriage. On the other hand, 100 years ago, young women were often married off to 40 yo guys with a respectable business. Young guys without a lot of capital were at a distinct disadvantage.

      I think there’s a “just right” balance – women and men screen carefully for character and compatibility, then commit for the long haul. Take the vow seriously that you are not going anywhere, and stick it out.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Why bother dating and looking for marriage?

    Haven’t you heard.. marrying yourself is all the rage!!!!

    http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/shine-on/nadine-schweigert-marries-herself-self-marriage-becoming-international-204650564.html

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Just a question for the ladies here: why is being “friends with benefits” with a hot alpha male-type (I’m talking about a genuine, psychologically-stable friend you can occasionally have sex with, not a ONS artist) generally considered a poor alternative to an LTR and attendant “deep emotional intimacy” with a potential husband (who I will ruthlessly assume has lower objective SMV than the alpha f-buddy does)?

    Given that you know—in advance—that the probability of remaining with that soulmate person post-campus is very low, does this not create a greater risk of eventual emotional trauma? It’s like buying a puppy knowing that it is going to die in about 3 years.

    Is it the fairy tale principle of it all, the idea that this *could* be The One even if it almost certainly will not turn out that way…?

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

      @Bastiat

      The FWB with the hot alpha is a guaranteed one-way ticket to a broken heart. Of course, lots of women will do it anyway. But women focused on marrying and having a family are not seeking SMV alone, they’re seeking MMV. And any kind of FWB wastes precious time – one that careens into “putting out” emotionally as well can easily eat up a couple of years, psychologically speaking.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Julie…”Back when most people remained married no matter what, it was less costly to make a mistake”

    I think that’s only partly true. If you made a *minor* mistake, then yes, the social pressure to stay together would force you to work things out rather than splitting, and usually these situations probably worked out satisfactorily. But if you made a *major* mistake, and married someone really bad for you (or just plain really bad), then you were totally screwed, and not in the good way.

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

      @david foster

      You make a good point. Before divorce people stayed in very, very unhappy marriages and made each other miserable until they died. They endured cheating, abuse, a spouse’s substance abuse, irresponsible financial ruin, etc. I think that miserable marriages were very common. Both of my sets of grandparents were very unhappy together.

  • Ramble

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

    When you spend your free time focusing on the slums of Calcutta, suicide can seem like a reasonable option.

    When you spend your free time helping your neighbor, and friend, lay down pavers for his new patio, before you spend the night drinking, you think, “Damn, I hope this town gets more and more people like us.”

    Be careful about what you focus your attention on.

    The one can help create wealth (of all kinds) and energize the willing, the other can simply get you depressed.

  • OffTheCuff

    Carmen, you sound like you have your head screwed on straight, well done. I’d just like to say that the first category is not as slim as you think — there are a huge number of men in there. Truth is, this category is going to be full of substandard guys, as well as diamonds in the rough who just need a decent girl to get them over the hump. If you meet a lot of people from this category and quickly say “Sorry, this won’t work out” when it’s obvious, I am quite sure you will find a decent man.

    You will see me posting here that men should always aim in the third category (accept casual, while looking for a girlfriend). You could fish in this pond too, but I think it’s quite honorable and admirable if you decide not to.

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

      @OTC

      You will see me posting here that men should always aim in the third category (accept casual, while looking for a girlfriend). You could fish in this pond too, but I think it’s quite honorable and admirable if you decide not to.

      +1, this is a great comment.

  • Escoffier

    I don’t buy that we are wearing rose colored glasses about the past. The mere fact, if it is a fact, that pre-marital sex was common in the ’50s does not ipso facto make the ’50s bad or no better than what we have now. The context in which that sex was taking place is hugely important.

    Beyond that, I really don’t believe the numbers.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Ramble 105

    Be careful about what you focus your attention on.

    The one can help create wealth (of all kinds) and energize the willing, the other can simply get you depressed.

    hehe. no worries, i don’t take myself too seriously. your point about bigger probs in the world is well taken.

    i just like helping spread internet memes is all :)

  • Ramble

    Screaming? From a mountaintop? I think you are confused.

    Susan, I was simply exaggerating. I was responding to your exclamation point.

    It’s true that some think that girls, back in the 50’s, were all virgins on their wedding day, but, as far as I can tell, few who think much about these things are under that impression.

    But, as Escoffier noted, it was unlikely that they had numbers that were all that high.

    And, as Escoffier has already commented, I am not sure how many (of those that actually think about these things) looks back with rose colored glasses.

    I am sure that there is some tint to those back looking glasses, but not that much.

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

      Re rose coloured glasses, I think we tend to romanticize bygone eras. I know I do. Watching Mad Men (I’m exactly the same age as Sally Draper) is like a fun trip back in time for me, and I remember mostly the great parts. In reality, my childhood was about as great as Sally’s. Tons of TV, movies and musicals romanticize the 50s – Happy Days, Grease, American Graffiti. We think of Ozzie and Harriet, not some guy in a wife beater slapping his wife around because his beer is warm. Both are caricatures.

      The best example of this I’ve seen was a show on PBS a few years ago. They took an English family and put them into a “real” Victorian life for a few months. They lived in a nice house, and had one servant, I think. Monday was laundry day, and after one day the wife’s hands were bloody from the lye. I remember the challenge of washing out the period rags as well.

  • AnonymousDog

    Susan,
    Your dichotomy of old time courtship practices between upper class ‘calling’ and urban immigrants with no parlor ignores the fact that 125 years ago most Americans, whether of immigrant or ‘native’ stock lived on farms. Rural communities tended to have social occasions, dances, socials, husking bees, whatever, that were in large part intended to get geographically isolated single young into closer proximity with one another, so they could meet and court.

    From the modern perspective, it seems as if family and community ‘control’ of courtship was the main feature of old time courtship customs,
    but those customs also aided and supported individual efforts at courtship.
    Today, there is much less social control of courtship, but individuals are expected to find someone pretty much on their own with little support from the community at large.

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

      @Anonymous Dog

      Your dichotomy of old time courtship practices between upper class ‘calling’ and urban immigrants with no parlor ignores the fact that 125 years ago most Americans, whether of immigrant or ‘native’ stock lived on farms.

      To be clear, I didn’t write the dating history – I’m using the research of others in this post. Links are embedded.

      You make a good point about people living on farms. I found this chart:

      ur

      And of course you’re right about families helping out – that happened even in the cities among established families. In fact, blind dates set up by family members, friends of the family, even clergymen, were very common even when I was growing up.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Bastiat Blogger, there are women who go the f-buddy route with the “hot” alpha. If you are asking why the women who post here do not want to do that, there would be a myriad of personal, cultural and background reasons, which may be different for each woman. I cannot speak for them, but I can speak for myself.

    Personally, there is an instinctual reaction against being “used” as a “cum dumpster” or just a sex object for a guy. It is degrading and pathetic, and I treat myself with far more respect than that. I take care of my body, eat right, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and exercise regularly. A f-buddy arrangement is nothing more than to be the human equivalent of a “real doll” for some guy. I also have a deep aversion to risk, including STDs, and those risks increase exponentially with casual, uncommitted sexual activities.

    Also, female sexuality is much more complicated than mere hypergamy with regard to SMV. I can objectively see that a “hot” guy has high mass appeal, but he migtht have zero appeal to me. In fact the relationship is often inverse. I have unconventional wiring and am attractted to the niche guys whom other girls find nerdy. Conversely, the more preselection / popularity a guy appears to have, the less likely I am able to feel personal attraction.

    I require a deep emotional connection before I can feel the tingles for a guy, which could be a quirk of being an NF on the MBTI. The “hot” alpha is about as sexy to me as a brick wall. I feel nothing. I can count only a handful of times that a guy has made me “tingle.” Most of those times were during deep emotional conversations, or physical escalation only after such a connection has been established.

    In other words, I’m a “beta” female prone to oneitis and falling deeply in love with “beta” males. Only in my world, “betas” are the real alphas.

  • Ted D

    Ramble – “Be careful about what you focus your attention on.”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this is exactly why I’ve felt a little bipolar lately. As much as I’m very happy with my own life at the moment, it seems like much of the world around me is turning to shit. Some of that is true because of where I live and who my neighbors are, and some of that is my focus on the worst stuff happening around me. I have to make the effort to step back and look at all the good stuff happening too, or I start losing my sanity. The problem is, around here there isn’t much “good” happening while the “bad” just keeps on coming.

    But hey! The city has started to tear down abandoned buildings so they don’t crumble onto someone’s head! I just hope that doesn’t start pushing the “unsavory” types toward our little quiet section of the world. The recent vandalism around us seems to indicate it is…

  • Escoffier

    RE: #113.

    Exactly. And this was not merely present in rural or lower SES communities. In pretty much all communities, unmarried men and women had ample opportunity to see each other in social settings (never alone). It was not simply a matter of a woman waiting around at home for men to drop by. She could also see him in church, at dinners, at dances, on various outings, etc.

    Also, unless literature totally misrepresents the way things really were, it was quite common for women to have male friends whom they had no interest in marrying and vice versa. It only became a problem when the men’s behavior started to get overly flirtacious and then he declined to propose (assuming she wanted him to). Such men would indeed be considered cads. That’s why the young people were always watched. The adults could keep track of which men behaved honorably and which did not.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, according that source, the concept of “making out”–necking and petting short of sex–became widespread in the ’20s. Or, if not widespread, at least no longer exclusively practised by girls everyone would have considered a total slut. The parents were scandalized by it but the kids didn’t care.

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

      the concept of “making out”–necking and petting short of sex–became widespread in the ’20s.

      Interesting. Another development was “parking.” Probably as a result of the booming economy after WWII when people headed to the burbs and there was a car in every driveway.

  • Emily

    Bestiat (103),

    >> “Is it the fairy tale principle of it all, the idea that this *could* be The One even if it almost certainly will not turn out that way…?”

    It’s partly that. It’s also because, even if it doesn’t lead to marriage, a relationship is (or at least should be!) waaaaaaaaay different from a FWB situation.

    In a FWB situation, even if the guy likes you as a friend and is willing to sleep with you, there’s obviously *some* reason why he isn’t willing to make you his girlfriend. Most likely explanation: for whatever reason, he doesn’t think you’re good enough. And despite what Sex and the City tries to tell you, a girl will pretty much ALWAYS end up “catching feelings”. At least in a relationship these feelings will usually be reciprocated.

    A healthy relationship has more love and respect. I know there are a lot of girls who get turned off by these things (hence the existence of Dark Game), but for me those are absolute requirements.

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

      And despite what Sex and the City tries to tell you, a girl will pretty much ALWAYS end up “catching feelings”.

      A wise woman said to me when I first started blogging:

      In the end it’s always the women who get fucked.

      We can’t do it with no emo.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Susan…”100 years ago, young women were often married off to 40 yo guys with a respectable business. Young guys without a lot of capital were at a distinct disadvantage.”

    Indeed, it was common for men to live in boarding houses for quite a few years. Since few were happy with total celibacy, prostitution was a part of this ecosystem.

  • Travis

    Hope, every time you post I’m reminded of how appropriate your alias is from a guy’s perspective. Your husband is a lucky dude…

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Regarding the question of whether a woman would be better off having a no-strings attached college relationship with a hot alpha than an emotionally-deep relationship with a beta…given that neither is likely to be permanent…I’d argued that gaining experience with emotionally-deep relationships is valuable, even when they don’t last and even if the ending is painful.

    The above assumes a reasonable level of emotional strength/resilience…probably *not* true for those with especially fragile self-esteem.

  • Abbot

    “any kind of FWB wastes precious time – one that careens into “putting out” emotionally as well can easily eat up a couple of years,”

    And throw in the wretch felt by your fiance [victim?] upon bumping into “old flames” and you got a real winning strategy…

  • Jackie

    You guys! Read Hope’s comment @115. (Hope, you are awesome!) It’s absolute gold.

    So many guys think we are helpless before “alphas” that we will sacrifice a great guy with a truly good heart, for the potential to be some low-life’s receptacle for a few moments. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

    It’s actually incredibly insulting as well. Please believe us when we say we know ourselves and what we want. Especially when our words and actions have been absolutely congruent.

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

      Please believe us when we say we know ourselves and what we want. Especially when our words and actions have been absolutely congruent.

      Bravo, Jackie! When men say to me (and they do constantly), “Watch what a woman does, not what she says.” I think, great, because my actions are congruent with my stated preferences.

  • Jackie

    @Abbot

    And “fiancee” as well!
    (Wish I knew how to do a diacritic mark!)

  • http://eradica.wordpress.com Firepower

    @Susan

    You do understand, that these books and studies are from an America that no longer exists – and only apply to that era.

    Today is different; those old morals read like horsebuggy etiquette to today’s youth. It’s like talking about the excitement of Three Dog Night or Todd Rundgren LP Albums coming out.

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

      You do understand, that these books and studies are from an America that no longer exists — and only apply to that era.

      Of course. It’s a history. Just an interesting look back on the evolution of dating. I have found that one of the things my focus groups love to do is hear my stories about dating in another era. They find a lot of it hilarious, and of course they wish some aspects of it were still present today.

      I wonder what percentage of men and women today would say they are happy with their mating situations, relative to past decades.

  • Jackie

    @Susan

    “The best example of this I’ve seen was a show on PBS a few years ago. They took an English family and put them into a “real” Victorian life for a few months. They lived in a nice house, and had one servant, I think. Monday was laundry day, and after one day the wife’s hands were bloody from the lye. I remember the challenge of washing out the period rags as well.”

    Did you read “Girl With a Pearl Earring”? The same thing happened. They had 8+ children besides– laundry was basically a FT job. :(

    The really good PBS one is the reality show in the cabin. I can’t remember the name, but it should have been “Who Want To Be Laura Ingalls Wilder?”
    Those pioneers were TOUGH.

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

      @Jackie

      I loved Girl With a Pearl Earring! Even better when they made a movie and cast His Firthness.

  • Ramble

    Tons of TV, movies and musicals romanticize the 50s – Happy Days, Grease, American Graffiti.

    Tons of movies also show how racist and anti-gay and anti-Semitic and sexist they were.

    …not some guy in a wife beater slapping his wife around because his beer is warm.

    STELLA!!!!!!!!!

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

      STELLA!!!!!!!!!

      Haha, touche! When I was growing up my mother used to call me Blanche DuBois.

  • Ramble

    And of course you’re right about families helping out – that happened even in the cities among established families. In fact, blind dates set up by family members, friends of the family, even clergymen, were very common even when I was growing up.

    Yes, people cared a great deal about good people marrying good people, and then having those good people live near them.

    Weirdos.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Bastiat Blogger

    Just a question for the ladies here: why is being “friends with benefits” with a hot alpha male-type (I’m talking about a genuine, psychologically-stable friend you can occasionally have sex with, not a ONS artist) generally considered a poor alternative to an LTR and attendant “deep emotional intimacy” with a potential husband (who I will ruthlessly assume has lower objective SMV than the alpha f-buddy does)?

    I’ll toss in my two cents for this.

    I’ve come across quite a good deal of genuine alpha males. These men made women’s heads turn practically faster than the speed of light. These men were very attractive overall, and I’m sure that they did get offers for FWBs from women.

    The problem is that the good majority of women on this blog don’t want to settle for being some guy’s FWB. The idea of a FWB is just very unsavory to me. I’d rather just be alone than to have to accept crumbs of a man.

    There’s also the component of difficulty in keeping sex and emotions completely separate. I wouldn’t trust myself to have a continuous sexual relationship with a man without catching feelings. Catching feelings for a FWB kind of defeats the purpose.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Travis, thank you. I feel incredibly lucky to be with my husband.

    Susan, I think the tendency to romanticize is a trait that got us humans through all those tough times. There are many men and women still toiling like that today, in many places of the world. On the whole they feel quite happy and fulfilled, sometimes more so than those of us with “first world problems.”

  • Jackie

    @Ramble

    “…not some guy in a wife beater slapping his wife around because his beer is warm.

    STELLA!!!!!!!!!”

    Ramble, that’s hilarious! :D

  • Donkey

    Take any research the Guttmacher Institute does with a grain of salt. They were set up as the propaganda arm of Planned Parenthood by the former Planned Parenthood director back in the sixties. I think they are legally spun off as a separate non-profit now, but even recent research of theirs I have investigated I found highly dubious.

    In my limited opinion from the cursory investigation and reading of their studies I think the Guttmacher Institute took a page out of Kinsey’s book and publishes manipulated and unrealistic statistics as fact in order to push their political, social, and financial agenda. I have read at least one study of theirs when all the newspaper articles about the study are at complete odds with the underlying data actually published in the report.

    For example in that MSNBC article they claim that they interred the data from a CDC report, but a quick perusal’s of the CDC’s website shows an 85% premarital sex rate today. (And those studys oversample blacks and hispanics.)
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/abc_list_p.htm#premarital

    I would take time to go through the CDC NSFG data if people really care but a 90% premarital intercourse rate in the 1950s does not pass the smell test if premarital intercourse rates are at all time highs of 85% (even that is dubious) now.

    Although I don’t think I’ve read any of Finer’s papers I don’t trust anything the Guttmacher Institute publishes because several other times I’ve looked into their research and it has been misleading.

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

      @Donkey

      Thanks for the due diligence. I had no idea there was a political affiliation there.

  • Stephanie

    “I’d rather just be alone than to have to accept crumbs of a man”

    So true!

  • Escoffier

    Re: Rose colored glasses, the show you mean was called “The 1900 House.”

    Certainly by the standards of our day, their creature comforts were pathetic. But let’s try to stick as close as possible to apples-apples comparisions. The UK in 1900 was not a consumer society they way the UK of 2012 is. So, by one metric, life is “better” for people today if better is defined as more comfortable. I remember getting all nostalgic about some past era once and a friend of mine said, “Yeah, well, imagine going to the dentist back then.” Touche.

    However the UK of 1900 was a great power, really the world’s only superpower, controlled directly or indirectly 40% of the world’s landmass, was the richest society in the world, strongest navy, the pound was the global reserve currency, etc. Look at the poor blighters now. You can’t say it’s been all uphill. Materially they probably bottomed out in the post-war austerity years, and they’ve improved since but culturally, they seem not yet to have found the bottom. Their cultural markers today are almost across the board worse than ours.

    Anyway the real comparison is of one SMP to another. You may say that the SMP of 1900 England was horribly restrictive but the illegtimacy rate of Victorian Britain was less than 3%. There was basically no divorce. If a man wanted a wife, his biggest obstacle to getting one was whether he could afford her, not whether he could find someone who would have him and remain faithful.

    Similarly, whatever its faults, the SMP of the American 1950s is far superior to what we have now. The aforementioned intellectuals always want to make the argument about “progress” as if the wish to curb the excesses of our time means you want blacks at the back of the bus and women treated as property.

    But no. Surely history has shown that it is possible to improve certain things without screwing up everything else. Also, there is no linear progress. You can progress in one are and regress in another. Societies can fall as well as rise. Etc.

  • Cooper

    I don’t know if anyone would agre with me, but it seems that now-a-days with how physical intimacy proceeds emotional intimacy that a FWB-phase is almost inevitable in establishing a relationship.

    Not that I like it – I really don’t. But most of the couples that I’ve seen form during university and afterwards resemble something much closer to FWBs.
    And since many girls hang onto the hope that emotional intimacy will develop, in time, they’re willing to put up with it.
    I like some bizzaro-dude for feeling like there should be some emotional intimacy beforehand, otherwise one risks hooking up with someone that has completely different relationship-intensions. (which I have no interest in)

  • Ramble

    Watching Mad Men (I’m exactly the same age as Sally Draper) is like a fun trip back in time for me, and I remember mostly the great parts. In reality, my childhood was about as great as Sally’s. Tons of TV, movies and musicals romanticize the 50s – Happy Days, Grease, American Graffiti. >strong>We think of Ozzie and Harriet, not some guy in a wife beater slapping his wife around because his beer is warm.

    Speaking of Mad Men and romanticizing the 1950s, you might remember an episode of Mad Men where a client was considering placing a commercial in a tv show that mentioned abortion. That show was based on a real show called The Defenders which did have an episode about Abortion (as well as having episodes about other “highly charged” subjects). Well, while Leave it to Beaver never cracked the top 30, The Defenders made it into the top 20 on multiple occasions.

    They even went head to head for one season and The Defenders beat out Leave it to Beaver.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Leave It to Beaver faced stiff competition in its time slots. During its next to last season, for example, the show ran against The Defenders, a program examining highly charged courtroom cases about abortion and the death penalty.”

    I understand that you were not saying, “It was all Ozzie and Harriet…It was all Leave it to Beaver”, but, Americans in the 1950’s, who had just experienced the War, and before that, The Depression, and before that, massive crime increases from Mob violence, were much more connected to harsh reality than we sometimes give them credit for.

    Again, I understand that you were not necessarily saying otherwise, but I still think it is worth pointing out.

    Personally, my theory of the era goes like this:
    After World War I, Prohibition, The Depression, World War II and the decade of a poor economy and the recent memory of so many killed Fathers, Husbands and Sons, lots of lots of people wanted lots and lots of Old Fashioned Boring Normalcy.

    The more boring and the more normal, the better.

  • J

    @Herb/Ana

    Nope, my jumping off point was a WSJ opinion piece circa 1992. I researched more after that. Plus, I lack cable.

    Too bad. I think both of you would like the Smithsonian Channel. The History Channel, OTOH, is now more like the Fantasy Channel. There’s a lot of ridiculous crap on it. (South Park did a great Thanksgiving parody of the History Channel, BTW.) All my guys love the Military Channel.

    @J and Escoffier re: OOW births and healthy premature babies
    This was my point about long term couples heading for marriage indulging as opposed to hookups. Even now without hookups I suspect low N people are having more pre-marital sex. It might be with the same person but over a longer period. It is also more open. The later probably has raised the typical persons N by marriage by 1-3.

    Right, I was alluding/adding to that point.

    As to Puritan “knobbers, ” I have it on good authority (from my kids and their peers) that the BJ was invented by 15 yos is 2003, along with marijuana and pop music. None of these things should be discussed by those over 25.

  • Emily

    >> “I like some bizzaro-dude for feeling like there should be some emotional intimacy beforehand, otherwise one risks hooking up with someone that has completely different relationship-intensions. (which I have no interest in)”

    Ha! That would be nice, wouldn’t it. ;)

    I was actually thinking about your situation recently, and I think Hope was on to something when she suggested that your female friends are probably cock-blocking you. I think it could still be happening indirectly even if it’s not overt or deliberate.

    Your friend-group is mostly Alpha Males and Sluts, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the commitment-oriented girls see that, assume that you’re also a player, and stay away.

    Just for a comparison:
    I know that not ALL frat guys are total douchebags, but a disproportionate number of them are. So when dealing with a frat guy, I tended to be more wary of him. Although I’d still be polite, I still usually assumed that he was a douchebag until proven otherwise. Sort of a guilt-by-association thing.

    Maybe there’s something similar happening with you. I could be completely wrong here, but it’s just a thought.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Thank you all for the replies. I suppose that my confusion stems from a generalization or two that I can make about my undergrad students (I am a futures trader by profession, but moonlight as an economics and international affairs professor at a small, private liberal arts college).

    Confining myself to trying to restate what the female students (the males are another story) are claiming to want, I hear a lot about planned semesters abroad; interest in multi-month, independent “gap year” style backpackingtrips through European hostels and SE Asian beaches; plans for grad school programs and/or exciting, elite careers; hopes to live and work overseas at some point in the future; ideas about volunteer work for prestigious, resume-enhancing NGOs…

    Somewhere in all of this I suppose these women are going to fit in the search for a commitment-minded soulmate type, leading to an LTR that will, at some point, probably conflict with stated life plans. If these LTRs tend to end on a mutually acceptable note or, failing that, if the man initiates the heartbreak 50% of the time, then that’s one thing, but is this the case?

    My (irrational?) concern is that these college LTRs are going to become essentially pre-choreographed, ill-fated “training wheel marriages”, destined to implode in much the same way that failed marriages do, with the young women similarly initiating the endgame in the majority of cases. This of course would be the female equiv of the “pump and dump”: escape both sexual gulag and the emotionally-unappealing hookup culture during college, kind of/sort of use a man for emotional intimacy and support during these years (the men who would be willing to provide this are by definition more sensitive and vulnerable than are the wild, fun boys somersaulting through hook-up culture), and then cite irreconcilable career/distance/schooling/travel schedules as reasons for the eventual, emotionally-brutal breakup.

    What I see happening in my odd little anecdotal corner of the campus SMP is that the choices these ambitious, driven young women are presented with realistically converge on: 1) abstinence (“OMG, LOL”); 2) embrace hook-up culture and casual sex; or 3) lock down an equilibrium f-buddy arrangement of some kind. In each case, there is usually a plan to eventually settle into a determined soulmate/partner search once the life script has stabilized (late 20s).

    This is partially due to the sheer scarcity advantage that men enjoy (I average about 8 men and 18 women in class), of course, and its predictable results. But there is a more complicated dynamic in play: one could almost think that the women themselves are afraid to fall in love in college if doing so will cause them to end up moving with the guy post-college to follow his career path and begin the process of motherhood.

  • J

    I’m glad your gf is taking care of you, Herb. A couple really should have each other’s backs in that department. I would not consider a relationship with a man who would not take care of me when I was sick, and I don’t think guys should either.

    I have to say thought that people who are willing to do that must be becoming few and far between. My DH and kids were treated like kings when I was in the hospital, largely because the nurses and other personnel didn’t see concerned families as often as you’d think they would.

  • J

    <i<Good point. 60 years ago women menstruated at 13 and married at 18. Five year wait, and 90% didn’t make it.

    LOL. Sex is powerful drive; all of life depends on it.

    Haha seriously. I can actually remember conversations among the moms having coffee, doing the math about so and so, and chortling in the realization of that exact thing happening.

    Ah, the good old days….

    My dad’s sisters, who were fairly slutty for their day as young women and stupid to boot, would count off the months between a wedding and a birth on their fingers!!!! Young women who were related to us were plagued by prematurity; those not related to us were “who-ors,” as they pronounced the word.

  • J

    America is a nation of immigrants. Huge waves of new people arriving in the early 20th century, often separated from close family, meant that new modes of courtship were required.

    As I mentioned in an email, I believe that the mixing of white ethnic immigrants in school and in the workplace was a huge factor in the decline of arranged marriage. While the majority of whites at the turn of the last century immigrated from countries were arranged marriages were common, they were unable to continue that tradition here. Once Mary O’Leary ran off with Stash Kowalski from school or Mario Martino paid court to Esther Goldfarb from the sweatshop against the wishes of both their parents, arranged marriage fell prey to the American romanticism that says love can conquer differences.

  • Desiderius

    Susan,

    “I confess I’m feeling a bit beleaguered by debate the last couple of days”

    Don’t let the haters get you down, or, worse, defensive. That anger is the sound of minds changing. You’ve been consistently knocking it out of the park with this last series of posts.

    “The good guys were there all along, but after college the barriers to visibility seem to come down somehow. On the other hand, it’s harder to meet people in general.”

    Hmmmm

    “I think, great, because my actions are congruent with my stated preferences.”

    Was your husband unaware of his SMV?

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

      @Desiderius

      “I think, great, because my actions are congruent with my stated preferences.”

      Was your husband unaware of his SMV?

      I’m not sure what you mean???

  • J

    David Foster: But if you made a *major* mistake, and married someone really bad for you (or just plain really bad), then you were totally screwed, and not in the good way.

    SW:You make a good point. Before divorce people stayed in very, very unhappy marriages and made each other miserable until they died. They endured cheating, abuse, a spouse’s substance abuse, irresponsible financial ruin, etc. I think that miserable marriages were very common. Both of my sets of grandparents were very unhappy together.

    Yep, the good, old days. Being old enough to have vivid recollections of the tail end of that time period, I’m always astounded by commenters and bloggers who demand a return to “the good, old days.”

  • J

    I remember the challenge of washing out the period rags as well.

    As late as the early 1960s, women in Ireland could send out their period rags to be washed by their less fortunate sisters who had been placed at the unwed mothers’ home and needed something “to keep them busy” while they waited to give birth to kids that the nuns who ran the homes would then place for adoption often against the will of the mothers. The good, old days….

  • Ted D

    Susan/J with regard to the “good old days” – the thing is, back then the only people that suffered from being forced to stay in a bad marriage was the two married people and possibly their family. Now that misery is spread among all of is with increased single motherhood, increasing costs in public assistance, and a pretty messed up SMP. Call me selfish all you want, but I believe as a society we were better off when people had to stay in crappy marriages. It was the cost of their choice to marry, and they got to pay it mostly alone.

  • Desiderius

    Bastiat,

    “What I see happening in my odd little anecdotal corner of the campus SMP is that the choices these ambitious, driven young women are presented with realistically converge on: 1) abstinence (“OMG, LOL”); 2) embrace hook-up culture and casual sex; or 3) lock down an equilibrium f-buddy arrangement of some kind. In each case, there is usually a plan to eventually settle into a determined soulmate/partner search once the life script has stabilized (late 20s). ”

    Exactly. In number 3 they are very careful to avoid the kind of man they might want to end up marrying lest they end up tied down. Some will go for a spot in the harem of an alpha, others will choose a supplicating herb to continue providing the self-esteem fix they got hooked on growing up.

    Three problems:

    (1) The career plans are increasingly unrealistic in this economy, although less so for women than they would be for young men, given the AA boost and the female hiring networks.

    (2) They’re squandering the height of their sexual power – this is established by biology, good luck changing that. The pickings available when they get around to looking will be considerably slimmer for them.

    (3) The good men they would have gotten with in other generations are left out in the cold, with all sorts of deleterious effects.

    Young women taking themselves off the market is a net deadweight loss for societal happiness. Job one for a revitalized in loco parentis would be encouraging healthy options for getting them back in.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    “Americans in the 1950′s, who had just experienced the War, and before that, The Depression, and before that, massive crime increases from Mob violence, were much more connected to harsh reality than we sometimes give them credit for.”

    I think there’s much truth in this. Arthur Koestler wrote about what he called “the tragic and the trivial planes of life,” where “tragic” really refers to emotional intensity and “trivial” refers to ordinariness. The concept was well-explained by Koestler’s friend, the writer and fighter pilot Richard Hillary:

    “K has a theory for this. He believes there are two planes of existence which he calls vie tragique and vie triviale. Usually we move on the trivial plane, but occasionally in moments of elation or danger, we find ourselves transferred to the plane of the vie tragique, with its non-commonsense, cosmic perspective. When we are on the trivial plane, the realities of the other appear as nonsense–as overstrung nerves and so on. When we live on the tragic plane, the realities of the other are shallow, frivolous, frivolous, trifling. But in exceptional circumstances, for instance if someone has to live through a long stretch of time in physical danger, one is placed, as it were, on the intersection line of the two planes; a curious situation which is a kind of tightrope-walking on one’s nerves…I think he is right.”

    People who have of necessity lived on the tragic plane for many years may well find the trivial plane to be a necessary relief.

  • Emily

    Bastiat,

    IME the dumper/dumpee roles in “college marriages” tend to be split pretty evenly between the sexes. YMMV though.

  • Cooper

    @Emily
    Yeah, you’re spot on.

    I see how by-association I could be unintensionally projecting the wrong image to those unfamiliar with me, but why would girls that do know me wish to cock-block be? (when they’re probably familiar with the fact that I don’t sleep around casually)

    Damn, I would’ve thought that would have them suggesting me girls they know that want something more serious – cause I’m probably one of the more mature guys that they know.

    (you’ve got me thinking – cause I really don’t know)
    Maybe I’ve positioned myself to have the complete opposite of preselection working against me.
    Hmmm…. *thinking*

  • J

    I hear you, Ted, and I agree that people need to be responsible for their own bad choices. I also believe that time is an arrow that only points one way. It’s impossible to turn back the clock, but I’m hopeful that today’s problems will be ameliorated as we find modern solutions to them.

    As the MC becomes more resistant to paying for the mistakes of others (for example, as my high tax bill limits what I can do for my own kids) there will be fewer bail outs for the proletariat. They’ll either have to curtail their actions or suffer the consequences. I see signs of this already, BTW. As welfare to work programs have been instituted in my state, single moms have been having smaller families and embracing educational programs that will allow them to better support the kids they have. The pendulum swing has already begun.

  • Cooper

    @Emily
    On a side note: my group of friends were recently celebrating one of my guy friends 24th BDay, and we’d planned a party. The guy, who’s birthday it was, has a couple of girlfriends. (as in dating multiple girls) And he actually had to plan separate BDay parties so that he could celebrate with each of them. On the night our group was celebrating (which was a Sat. and I think had a party with Girlfriend#1 on the Fri. night) he actually was juggling having two girlfriends come by. One arrived with him and had to leave shortly and another was showing up later on. Not only did none of either the guys or girls speak out about this being uncool, but everyone agreed to keep their mouths shut about the other GFs when talking to another gf. Even the girls of my group had a kinda “atta-boy!” attitude to his multiple girls.

    Ever since frequenting HUS, I’ve starting noticing bizarre things like this. I’m was shocked that there was no shaming at all towards his behavior.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Cooper, girls tend not to play matchmaker to girls they don’t know. Ever heard of the expression “catty” girls? That refers to female-on-female sexual competition. The girls you know might think of you as “a friend” but would not want you to be happily paired off in a LTR with a cute, relationship-oriented girl.

    Jealousy and competition are powerful motives! Those girls want to play the field with alphas, have the social proof of having a good looking guy hanging around them (going by what you said about your looks), and not have other girls be your girlfriend. That would call into question their own choices and actions.

    BTW when I met my husband, his “social circle” was basically his immediate family and a few video game friends. Only one of them was female, and she was in a LTR of a few years with another guy, and that couple didn’t live anywhere near him. If he had been surrounded by a bunch of good-looking single women who were hooking up casually a lot, I would have been like WTF and never escalated with him.

  • J

    @Desi #159

    Cool link regarding having too many choices. It reminds me of the days in which my kids had four living grandparents and, as a result, way too much crap. They would have frequent meltdowns because they had “nothing to play with.” As a “punishment” for acting spoiled, I started to take things away. Surprisingly, that make everyone much happier. Eventually, I purchased a bunch of big Rubbermaids tubs that I filled with a variety of duplicate toys. Each tub contained a book, a car, an art supply, a plush toy, a ball etc. I stored away all but one tub. Every week or two, I rotated the tubs. It was like Christmas twice a month. Lots of novelty for the kids without the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Cooper, reading your descriptions of your social circle are like one facepalm after another, lol. What do you see in these people? Any smart, sane, relationship-oriented girl would see you associating with those people and run the other direction.

    Sorry if I come across as a bit harsh. I just always stayed far, far away from any group like that. In high school I hung out with people who were bound the elite colleges, the honors students who never partied. In college I hung out with fellow work-study students, dean’s listers and older folks who were married or in stable LTRs.

    I always evaluated the prospective guys very carefully. If the guy had any female acquaintance or talked to any non-relative female on a regular basis, I would want to know about her and what she was about. If she was the kind of girl you describe as being in your social circle, or if he was around a whole bunch of such girls, I would have been like, um, no thanks dude. Have fun with your hot girlfriends.

  • Cooper

    Hope, why would single girls, that are friends of mine, not want to see me in a relationship? That makes absolutely no sense. That’s like saying “I wish you the best, but I would never like to see you happy!”

    I do have other social circles outside of the city, which is where am currently living. Even though I’ve known those friends for probably longer they offer little to zero chances on meeting girls through them – they are more like the gamer friends you mention your husband having.

  • Emily

    Cooper,

    My guess is that they’re probably subconsciously cockblocking you. As in they might not even realize that they’re doing it. It could be happening in a couple of ways:
    * The guilt-by-association thing that I mentioned
    * They like the attention they get from you and as Hope said, they enjoy “the social proof of having a good looking guy hanging around them” and they might naturally fall into cockblocking behaviours without really thinking about it.

    Do they ever do things like giggle and pull you away when you’re talking to a girl, or suddenly start flirting with you when you’re in the middle of a conversation? If so, they could be cockblocking you. (In some cases this could work as preselection, but other times the girl will just assume that you and your female friend have a “thing” going and give up.)

    Also, I wouldn’t trust this group to find girls for you to date. Odds are that their friends will be exactly like them. Or at the very least, they’re more likely to nominate the friends that are most like themselves (it’s a female ego thing).

    You don’t need to completely abandon your friends, but you’ll probably need to look outside this group to find the right kind of girl.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Cooper, why would your female friends have YOUR best interests in mind? Really, sit down and think it through. Are they that good of friends?

    In my heart of hearts, I may want to be a bright-eyed idealist, but I know how the world works. People, for the most part, look out for their own best interests first and foremost. This is usually not a terrible thing, but you can’t expect others to come through with matchmaking services for you.

    Women even cockblock their own “best friends forever” from getting a boyfriend, so they can keep going out with their bestie to have fun.

    Use some NT logic! Why would your female friends pluck some sweet relationshipper girl from random somewhere and present her to you on a silver platter? :P

  • Cooper

    “Do they ever do things like giggle and pull you away when you’re talking to a girl, or suddenly start flirting with you when you’re in the middle of a conversation?”

    Lol, I DO know what cockblocking is; and would never put up with a female friend even attempting to sabotage, especially that overtly.

  • Cooper

    “Use some NT logic! Why would your female friends pluck some sweet relationshipper girl from random somewhere and present her to you on a silver platter?”

    Look, I’m not relying on them to be my dating service. But I don’t think presuming your friends would wish you well is too much to assume.

    I understand everyone hold their own interest first and foremost, but how is keeping my single to their benefit?

    “Women even cockblock their own “best friends forever” from getting a boyfriend, so they can keep going out with their bestie to have fun.”

    Well, that’s just down right crazy.

  • Emily

    >> “Lol, I DO know what cockblocking is; and would never put up with a female friend even attempting to sabotage, especially that overtly.”

    Haha sorry, I should give you more credit than that. There are just so many clueless guys out there that I had to make sure. Plus if it’s in a situation where there’s drinking involved, it’s very easy to make that kind of behaviour seem coincidental.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Cooper, keeping you single is to their “benefit” somewhat the same way that you hanging around these hot girls and looking at their fine appearances is to your “benefit.” It’s not a huge benefit, but it’s enough of one that you don’t want it to just disappear tomorrow. You are likely seen as a good friend, and if you got a serious girlfriend, the benefits of your friendship would likely greatly diminish or even disappear.

    When I first met my husband, I knew he was getting *something* out of talking to that girl, who was even in a stable long-term relationship. She was smart, sweet, and quite a valued member of that gaming group. I saw her as competition. Maybe that sounds catty of me, but she was providing at least some degree of friendship and emotional outlet for my husband back then. He even said so himself. When my husband and I got closer and closer, and more and more serious, he talked to her less and less. That’s the way things tend to go. If my husband was still talking about all sorts of stuff with her, I would have been quite jealous and unhappy, and it would have put the future of our relationship into question.

    The women you can really trust to have your best interests at heart and matchmake for you: your mother, your sister, and your female relatives. They truly want you to be happy. Most other women just want you to make them happy. If you ever meet a girl who genuinely, whole-heartedly, deeply wants you to be happy and want to make you happy, don’t let go of that girl. She’s a keeper.

  • Jones

    To the girls who don’t want to hook up, but are afraid they will simply lose all the men who are expecting them to do it: just draw the line and be who you want to be. You’ll find someone who respects that.

    “why is being “friends with benefits” with a hot alpha male-type (I’m talking about a genuine, psychologically-stable friend you can occasionally have sex with, not a ONS artist) generally considered a poor alternative to an LTR and attendant “deep emotional intimacy” with a potential husband (who I will ruthlessly assume has lower objective SMV than the alpha f-buddy does)?”

    It kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? Assuming that women have feelings, why would they enjoy being treated like shit? And, not to get all relativist, but what is “objective SMV”?

  • Tasmin

    @Jackie

    “So many guys think we are helpless before “alphas” that we will sacrifice a great guy with a truly good heart, for the potential to be some low-life’s receptacle for a few moments. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It’s actually incredibly insulting as well. Please believe us when we say we know ourselves and what we want. Especially when our words and actions have been absolutely congruent.”

    I completely agree with this position and believe that the perception of the FWB/Alpha playtime is overblown by many men. I would, however, call attention to your last sentence which to me is the critical caveat: “Especially when our words and actions have been absolutely congruent.”

    Determining whether or not there is congruence – or better yet, since we are talking about a continuum, the extent of congruence, is the most challenging (and often troublesome) part for me.

    There are the actions and words in my presence, the time we share in the get-to-know phase, but there is also that period between 15 y/o and say 25 or 30 when we meet that, at least in my experience, can put that continuum to task. And as I, and others here have said, it often has less to do with the alpha/beta issue and more to do with consistency in terms of desires and values over time. Which is why Susan’s advice young women to hone their dating focus early on for the type of man they view as marriage material is critical: it establishes that consistency and congruence early on, thus avoiding the (common situation in my experience) in which a switch is flipped and the values-words-actions shift suddenly at 30 or based on some other external factor.

    I contend that the challenge of underwriting those situations is quite similar to that of women who have to navigate that slippery subset of men who may very well be beta or whatever, but will occasionally indulge in casual sex while actually desiring a relationship, be it somewhere between actively looking or just open to the idea of a committed relationship. In both cases, we have to be a bit more aware, diligent, and even occasionally take a hard-line approach in order to hold our beliefs-words-actions congruent.

    In doing so, I have had to ‘filter’ women who have not given me enough to overcome those inconsistencies or lack of congruence, just as women often end up filtering out (potentially) good candidates because of where they currently choosing to participate in the SMP. We all have our own filters – tolerance levels, and that is just part of the challenge. And while I have never been filtered out for not waiting for sex because I value intimacy highly, but I have been filtered out because I was not aggressive/confident/tall/outgoing/enough at that critical moment of attraction. I guess how I see it is that we all are constantly filtering for all kinds of things; so why the agony over a guy who won’t stick around because a woman is delaying sex? Most of those guys would have been filtered out before even getting to that point if more attention were paid to his own congruence. But I suppose if he is tall/aggressive/confident/outgoing that initial filter tends to get pulled pretty quickly.

    And finally, I will go out on a limb and say that the actual number of relationship-oriented men who allow themselves to get filtered out because a woman holds her ground is inflated in many of the same ways as the alpha-chasing women them is. There are quality men who can manage that seemingly impossible task of not indulging in all of these (perceived) options for easy, no-strings sex – particularly in light of the fact that a relationship option is on the table, just as there are women who can manage the impossible task of not falling onto the alpha dick carousel.

    A guy that is unwilling to build a relationship to some level of mutual investment before sex is either not interested enough in you to begin with, not interested in a relationship with anyone to begin with, and/or is indeed some kind of alpha asshat with plenty of real options for free sex. As usual, most of the challenge is in the early stage of attraction. Which is part of where the ‘women can’t resist alpha’ comes from. It is just too easy for the invisible men to extrapolate what they see taking place around them into ‘all women…’. Women don’t need to go home with the alpha to perpetuate this belief, they need only respond positively to them in most settings and the male hamster runs wild.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    In other words, I’m a “beta” female prone to oneitis and falling deeply in love with “beta” males. Only in my world, “betas” are the real alphas.

    Can I steal that line and put on a T-Shirt? So true. Gold comment :D

    Monday was laundry day, and after one day the wife’s hands were bloody from the lye. I remember the challenge of washing out the period rags as well.

    I handwashed all my clothes till I was 15…I’ll pick going around naked to go back to that. I do like a sweet spot like modern technology with past social norms, but please washing machines I can deal with cold water and cooking from the scratch but someone needs to do the laundry also toilets latrine’s not good either.

    Susan, I think the tendency to romanticize is a trait that got us humans through all those tough times. There are many men and women still toiling like that today, in many places of the world. On the whole they feel quite happy and fulfilled, sometimes more so than those of us with “first world problems.”

    I still remember things like handwashing, cooking in a mineral carbon stove, making a cake with wooden spoon instead of a mixer (cake never got right though and mother stopped using the anafe because the heat was affecting her eyesight) and I still have relatives that do those stuff and they are really thankful for what they have and achieve, small things like buying their first CD players or first home computer make them feel happy and accomplished is so different from here…

    Too bad. I think both of you would like the Smithsonian Channel. The History Channel, OTOH, is now more like the Fantasy Channel. There’s a lot of ridiculous crap on it. (South Park did a great Thanksgiving parody of the History Channel, BTW.) All my guys love the Military Channel.

    I asked hubby if there is any custom made channel programing or something so we could get only those channels but sadly not…yet and really I wouldn’t like to pay for having 400 channels when I’m watching less than a dozen of them. Oh well I need time to write I guess.

    Susan/J with regard to the “good old days” – the thing is, back then the only people that suffered from being forced to stay in a bad marriage was the two married people and possibly their family. Now that misery is spread among all of is with increased single motherhood, increasing costs in public assistance, and a pretty messed up SMP. Call me selfish all you want, but I believe as a society we were better off when people had to stay in crappy marriages. It was the cost of their choice to marry, and they got to pay it mostly alone.

    I don’t think is cruel but people assume that people that stayed in bad marriages were made bad because of the marriage they are the same people that nowadays are slutting/cadding up and breaking havoc in the MSP their damage is more spread and for all to see. This is not any better.

    Hope, why would single girls, that are friends of mine, not want to see me in a relationship? That makes absolutely no sense. That’s like saying “I wish you the best, but I would never like to see you happy!”

    I think this is more a group think that a gender thing as explained before any woman expressing interest on foreigners in front of male friends get shamed and cockblocked I guess is instinct of keeping the group together and also a bit of a Plan B. If she/he doesn’t pair of and one day I feel desperate enough I might be able to snag her. This happens with some families too were if they see one of the members moving up too quickly and up they can start sabotaging him/her because they unconsciously want to keep the status quo and don’t want to feel bad about their own idiotic choices, YMMV.

    Women even cockblock their own “best friends forever” from getting a boyfriend, so they can keep going out with their bestie to have fun.

    I have a friend that is struggling with her weight and when mentioned to another friend that is slim or average and married how much it worries me and I try to support her efforts to lose weight she was like “but she looks nice like that” the girl I’m trying to help is almost 200 pounds at 5’6″ there is no way in hell she looks good. I think there is a bit of cattiness on wanting her to feel good about being fat so as to see her in a lesser light, which I don’t personally get but that is women for you. “If mama ain’t no sexy no one is sexy”, YMMV.

  • Emily

    Haha my new apartment doesn’t have a washing machine so I handwash my clothes in the bathtub. At least I don’t have to deal with lye. :P

  • Jane

    What a great story, thanks for sharing it with your readers! Brought back memories when my husband and I first started dating.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Carmen

    I am glad to know that I haven’t chased you off or offended you. I am sure I would get some sort of flak for that, not to mention feel like crap myself :P

    In response to your question

    “So, now that you know I would date a guy with the intention of a lifelong partnership, do you still suggest me to entirely skip dating and ‘not to play’?”

    Yes.

    You may have high MMV, but that’s not what the college SMP necessarily rewards. Remember, guys at your age are, generally speaking, not looking for, not interested in, not even capable of supporting, life partnerships. They are therefore not going to put in a whole lot of effort into securing life long partnerships, which may very well mean your core asset is significantly undervalued.

    And YOUR value isn’t determined by what YOU Think it is, or else I’d be a millionaire because I think I am worth a million dollars. YOUR value is determined by what OTHER people will pay for it.

    (Unrelated to you, skip this part. Preempting Abbott: This is highly relevant to sluts. YOUR VALUE IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE PAY FOR IT).

    Anyways, most of the men in your situation are not going to be very willing to pay a very high value for you, at least not for your long-term relationship aspects. Your attributes just aren’t that important yet. ADDITIONALLY, you have a LOT of competition, both from porn and from other women.

    Now, as men shift into a lifelong partnership mindset, they will get pickier about the women they date, because these women need to be lifelong partners. Note I do NOT say LTR, because LTRS ARE NOT MARRIAGES. I can absolutely date a girl and know that I am not going to marry her, which means I can accept certain attributes about her.

    For example, Escof recently talked about his experience with a girl who did not share his love of great books and just wanted to be a teacher in NC, whereas he wanted to move around. In college, this girl is fine. As a life partner, she is not useful for him. Different job attributes needed.

    Which also means a man doesn’t have to be as picky as college, which means your UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES are worth a lot less.

    So the only guys who are going to be willing to wait, are pretty much guys that have a hard time getting girls. Which there are going to be a lot of. But…there’s a REASON they can’t get girls.

    Which means you probably won’t like most of them, either, because you’re a girl. This is what I mean by insta-DQ. You will probably instantly disqualify them.

    Which is fine. I am picky, too.

    And even of the ones that do get through, you don’t really know if they are in the for the long haul, and they probably won’t be.

    So, I fail to see the point in the exercise.

    So, my advice is still the same:

    Stay away from boys for romantic entanglements, learn a lot instead. The only winning move is not to play. The boys will be there when you graduate college, and your hand and chance at getting a lifelong partnership will be MUCH improved.

    For whatever it’s worth, and it’s probably not much, that’s my advice.

    And that’s my advice to any college student:
    1. Try to attend most of your classes
    2. Make some friends and network a lot
    3. Get lots ofinternships
    4. Study something marketable

    Girls and boys are absolutely secondary considerations, and if you are a lifelong partnership minded person like myself, and I guess Carmen, there is little point in college dating.

  • http://www.postmasculine.com Zac

    It’s funny the importance other people can put on your dating life. It’s crazy that popularity could be decided by who it was you were dating. This shows a lot about people in general. It seems as though this phenomenon happens more in youth populations than it does in more adult ones.

  • Cooper

    @ADBG

    Am I understanding you correctly? You’re advocating celibacy for any lifelong partnership minded people.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Cooper
    “Am I understanding you correctly? You’re advocating celibacy for any lifelong partnership minded people.”

    I am advocating only entering into relationships that have a chance of being lifelong partnerships and that this effort is mostly wasted in college. So, yes.

    Celibacy is not that bad.

    This is based on the advice I would give myself if I could talk to 18 year old ADBG. Learn more, be a better person, girls aren’t that important.

  • http://eradica.wordpress.com Firepower

    Susan Walsh

    I wonder what percentage of men and women today would say they are happy with their mating situations, relative to past decades.

    I would venture to guess, that your generation – and previous ones – are happier than today’s.

    And, I will say that when today’s 20-year-olds hit 50, they will be greatly disappointed they didn’t live during your time.

    Fire

  • Cooper

    “Celibacy is not that bad.”

    I can testify to this. But does any woman tingle for a celibate-man? I fear not.

  • Richard Aubrey

    You can concentrate–as in boil down–some of the benefits of dating such as being around people who might be prospects if you are involved in activities not devoted to dating/hooking up/courting/mating which include numbers of men and women.
    First, you are in the presence of a number of folks of the desired gender without having to do the dating/clubbing/partying thing. IOW, very little social cost, depending on the activity. You see them dealing with the world, which is to say the object of the group which could be sports, food pantry, advocacy, or anything else. This gives you a view of their personalities outside the mating dance. Makes it easier to filter somebody if you’ve seen them losing it at some setback, or handlingit competently, and so forth.
    In addition, if you don’t find a good prospect, you’ve seen individuals of the desired gender in the real world, so you learn something about the group.

  • Mike C

    And, not to get all relativist, but what is “objective SMV”?

    Guy A – 6’4″, makes 100K in high status job, and has extended social network

    Guy B – 5’4″, works as cashier, and spends a ton of time playing video games at home.

    This is one of those things we could debate at the margin, but generally we know what traits are the SMV boosters so it is pretty simple to rank a guy across those variables. As a random side point, the one that surprised me the most in terms of its overall contribution to total SMV is height.

    And yes, I know different women will rank order different traits differently.

    Who has a higher “objective” SMV?

  • Mike C

    Tasmin, good comment

    A guy that is unwilling to build a relationship to some level of mutual investment before sex is either not interested enough in you to begin with, not interested in a relationship with anyone to begin with, and/or is indeed some kind of alpha asshat with plenty of real options for free sex.

    I’ll cosign this, and I’ll emphasize the first part about “not interested enough”….at least from a relationship perspective. The challenge for women who want to be strategic about this is they really have to suss out whether a guy is genuinely interested in them as a human being or whether the guy is like “eh, she is doable”. And a key element here is how much the guy wants to involve you in other parts of his life.

  • Mike C

    I have unconventional wiring and am attractted to the niche guys whom other girls find nerdy. Conversely, the more preselection / popularity a guy appears to have, the less likely I am able to feel personal attraction.

    Hope, I am genuinely curious. Do you literally believer you are in fact “hardwired differently” or do you think your preferences are more a result ot your experiences growing up. You seem to me to be very introspective so I am wondering if you literally rewired yourself through careful deliberation on what type of man would make the most loyal partner in the long-term?

  • Mike C

    Haven’t you heard.. marrying yourself is all the rage!!!!

    Haha. Can you even imagine a guy doing this? He’d be lampooned as the ultimate pathetic loser (deservedly so). So much going on here with this sort of nonsense. It is a narcissistic attempt to broadcast publicly “I don’t need a man” while ironically the very act itself is an admission of the insecurity of not being able to “land a man” for commitment. One of the “red pill” things that was one of the last I really understood and internalized is that the vast majority of women absolutely need the validation of a man being willing to commit to them. The public, vocal insistence to the contrary is an attempt to lie to themself.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Cooper

    “I can testify to this. But does any woman tingle for a celibate-man? I fear not.”

    No, but be careful about projecting your sexual history preferences onto women. You’re talking about an attraction mechanism: you can be attractive in other ways.

    Men look at this as a must-not, as in you must-not be a slut.

    Qualifier vs. disqualifier, totally different things.

    IME:

    I am N=1. There were still girls who found me attractive in college and there are many more girls now that find me attractive. I do not need to attract every woman in the world, I just need one that I also like and is commitment-worthy.

    HOPEFULLY I have found one, and that’s more than enough for me.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Mike C 192

    Haha. Can you even imagine a guy doing this? He’d be lampooned as the ultimate pathetic loser (deservedly so).

    Oh Michael Michael… haven’t you heard?

    http://whoism3.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/i-dont-want-to-live-on-this-planet-anymore/

  • Mike M.

    @Susan:

    I did not intend to imply that men are or should be in a “get-only” mode. Frankly, I was responding to some of the comments earlier that were very much in favor of regarding women as sex toys.

    I believe women also want the 4A’s from a relationship…but the priorities are different. The key is, of course, a relationship that is a two-way street.

  • Esau

    Jackie at 131: “Please believe us when we say we know ourselves and what we want. Especially when our words and actions have been absolutely congruent.”

    That cuts both ways, of course. If I can testify that, to an overwhelming majority extent, I have observed young women’s words and actions as not having been (at all) congruent, then you have to believe me when I say that women in general do not know themselves and what they want. (Exceptions exist, of course — NAWALT is true but that doesn’t alter the main conclusion.) It all goes back to evidence, hey?

    Besides, doesn’t Susan often admit, straight up, that young women in general don’t understand their own attraction triggers? That is, they’re undoubtedly aware of which men they find sexy, but when you ask them to describe why they do, their answers are often either vague or wrong.

    Now, some exceptions do exist:

    Susan at 146: “When men say to me (and they do constantly), “Watch what a woman does, not what she says.” I think, great, because my actions are congruent with my stated preferences.”

    Of course, this exact same claim will be made openly by people for whom, on any objective observation, it is plainly untrue. The truth is, that almost no one — very, very few people, men and women alike — is/are a reliable judge of whether their actions have really been congruent with their preferred self-descriptions. That’s why the concept of the “rationalization hamster” was codified, and rings so true: it describes the quite common habit of repressing an uncomfortable reality of desire and instead conjuring an alternative, fictional, socially acceptable explanation for desire.

    Of the regular female commenters here, for example, I would say that Hope and Sassy win the prize for honest introspection and self-awareness, so I’d be inclined to take their self-assessments seriously. But that’s only after seeing many dozens of heartfelt comments from them, and one certainly can’t grant the same credence to anyone’s first statement on first meeting them.

    Congruence is much better judged from the outside, either for a specific person or in the objective aggregate. There’s a great anecdote about self-reporting — I believe it’s in “How to Lie with Statistics” — where British people in the 1950’s were asked how often they bathed. The average answer was something like twice a day; but if you looked at actual water usage, it was clear that the average could not exceed once every other day. So if a group of four such Brits, randomly chosen, had all told you they bathed twice a day, then odds are very, very good that at least three of them would be lying. Just from hearing the answers one can’t determine who the liars are, in particular, but you can be quite sure that they’re there in force. Similarly, while I can’t dispute Susan’s claim in particular, I would wager a great deal that if the truth could actually be determined, then at least nine out of ten women who claim to be congruent in this way actually aren’t. (I can go into statistical numerics, for those who truly have nothing better to listen to.)

    So, sorry, no, I’m not buying it. When I was young, bright-eyed and bushy*-tailed, I reflexively believed, prior any evidence, that women generally spoke the truth about themselves and their desires. But a lifetime’s experience of observation, in parallel with many, many, many — thousands? of — other men’s testimonies, now forces me to conclude otherwise. I’m sorry if you think that’s rude; but in the end it’s all about the evidence, and the evidence here is simply overwhelming.

    * That’s a joke, of course.

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

      @Esau

      That is, they’re undoubtedly aware of which men they find sexy, but when you ask them to describe why they do, their answers are often either vague or wrong.

      I’m glad you stated this, it is correct. We do know whom we are attracted to, even if we don’t know why. Most claims I hear in the manosphere claim that women do not know who they want. They say they don’t want the asshole, then they go and bang the asshole. I’m sure some women do that – perhaps they are coy, sheepish about their low taste in men. Or perhaps they are especially slow-witted.

      In general, though, we know what makes us tingle. We’ve read enough books, seen enough movies and TV shows, and known enough attractive guys that we know our weak spots.

      The why is indeed more complex. In fact, I still couldn’t tell you why I knew I wanted to marry my husband the first time I saw him. I truly have no idea.

  • J

    But does any woman tingle for a celibate-man? I fear not.

    I’ve seen women fall in love with Roman Catholic priests.

  • Jackie

    @Esau

    Hi Esau,

    I think my remark makes more sense when you consider it in context: Earlier BastiatBlogger asked why we would prefer a relationship with a beta type to a FWB with an alpha. The tired trope of “5 minutes of alpha.” My post #131 is a response to Hope (#115).

    “So many guys think we are helpless before “alphas” that we will sacrifice a great guy with a truly good heart, for the potential to be some low-life’s receptacle for a few moments. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

    It’s actually incredibly insulting as well.”

    I would wager each of us can be an unreliable narrator at times– maybe even you, Esau. :) And I am sure there is a huge swath of behaviors, triggers and responses that I am wholly unconscious of.

    But nothing about that negates my words and actions in regards to an “alpha FWB” situation, which only fills me with revulsion. If years of consistency in actions and words (in regards to this context) aren’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what will.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Haha. Can you even imagine a guy doing this? He’d be lampooned as the ultimate pathetic loser (deservedly so).

    Maybe no if he was gay…and hot. ;)

    I’ve seen women fall in love with Roman Catholic priests.

    That happens a lot on catholic countries too, the difference is that some women won’t try to be “occasion of sin” while others would see it as a challenge and well God shouldn’t had made it this hot if he wanted him for himself…. But oh boy the priests have their fanclubs’s alright.

  • Mike C

    But nothing about that negates my words and actions in regards to an “alpha FWB” situation, which only fills me with revulsion. If years of consistency in actions and words (in regards to this context) aren’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what will.

    Jackie, FWIW, I think you are in the same group with Hope and Sassy in terms of what you say matches your behavior. At least to me, when you read a a great number of comments from someone you start to get a sense of whether they are A. Earnest and B. They know thyself. You seem like that to me.

    I don’t think Esau was trying to refute you personally but speaking more generally about the consistency of what is verbalized versus actual behvior with regard to many women. As always, NAWALT.

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

      Re the congruence of HUSies on this thread:

      Sassy: Likes alphas, dates alphas

      Hope: Likes nerdy guys, married one.

      Anacaona: Likes beta guys, married one.

      Susan: Ditto.

      Emily: Likes nerdy guys, dating one.

      SayWhaat: Likes beta emo types, dating one.

      J: Hmmm, not sure if DH is beta or alpha, but she’s happy with what she’s got.

      Jackie: Dislikes alphas, has always avoided and on occasion humiliated alphas.

      Iggles: Likes beta guys, looking for a beta guy.

      1 alpha fan

      8 beta fans

      1 unknown

      All congruent, all the time.

  • Esau

    Jackie, notice two things from your comment here, lined up together

    ““So many guys think we are helpless before “alphas” that we will sacrifice a great guy with a truly good heart….”

    and

    “But nothing about that negates my words and actions in regards to an “alpha FWB” situation, which only fills me with revulsion.

    In the first, you’re using “we”, which — since not otherwise qualified — indicates all women, or at least a large, representative majority of women. But in the second you’re using “me”, as to what fills you personally with revulsion. Don’t you see that there’s a substantial error, in making a statement about what women in general do or don’t like, but for evidence referring solely to your own preferences? Notice that in Hope’s comment at 115 she was very careful to delineate her own feelings in particular, saying “I cannot speak for them, but I can speak for myself.” You should strive to be as careful.

    Here’s another example of just this counterproductive ambiguity; when you write:

    If years of consistency in actions and words (in regards to this context) aren’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what will.

    are you declaring the “years of consistency” in the actions and words of women in the main, ie tens of millions of people, or just for yourself? In the former case I think you’d just be plain wrong; in the latter case, then of course as I described above I can’t gainsay you in particular. So in neither extreme does this line really have any meaning; what is is that I’m supposed to be “convinced of” is not well-formed, and so the whole thought is meaningless to the reader.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Esau

    Of the regular female commenters here, for example, I would say that Hope and Sassy win the prize for honest introspection and self-awareness, so I’d be inclined to take their self-assessments seriously. But that’s only after seeing many dozens of heartfelt comments from them, and one certainly can’t grant the same credence to anyone’s first statement on first meeting them.

    Thanks man.

    I realized the other day that I’ve been commenting on this blog roughly 2.5 years now. It’s been such a crazy journey, for sure. I’ve changed and learned so much from reading this blog and talking to other people on here. HUS is like my second family, in a sense. I’ve become quite attached to the site and the commenters. It’s only natural to be so honest with everyone here.

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

      I realized the other day that I’ve been commenting on this blog roughly 2.5 years now. It’s been such a crazy journey, for sure. I’ve changed and learned so much from reading this blog and talking to other people on here. HUS is like my second family, in a sense. I’ve become quite attached to the site and the commenters. It’s only natural to be so honest with everyone here.

      This is so awesome! It’s only half an hour into a new day and you’ve made mine. Thank you!

  • j2
    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @j2
      Thanks for the link, I appreciate your watching out for me! I plan to read it and comment first thing tomorrow.

  • Mike C

    All congruent, all the time.

    Without parsing the names on the list…I take this to mean that you would bet your life and your childrens’ lives that ALL the women who claim to be “beta lovers/chasers” have never hooked up with or pursued something with a more alpha guy ONE SINGLE TIME?

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

      Without parsing the names on the list…I take this to mean that you would bet your life and your childrens’ lives that ALL the women who claim to be “beta lovers/chasers” have never hooked up with or pursued something with a more alpha guy ONE SINGLE TIME?

      I couldn’t possibly say. Even about myself! I recall saying I’d never gone for another alpha after my first bf in college, and immediately someone said, “you hooked up with a fighter pilot, that’s alpha.” I mean, IDK who was alpha and who wasn’t. I said the same college bf was the quintessential alpha but he was boring and dumb, and Escoffier said it isn’t possible for an alpha to be boring. Alphas are exciting.

      It’s practically meaningless at this point.

      But, if you’re asking did any of the women on this list go chasing a manwhore? I’d bet no.

  • Mike C

    And yes, I know that is hyperbole but I’d throw money on the table that at least some of the girls who comment here and are self-professed “beta” girls have an alpha dalliance or two in their somewhere.

  • Jackie

    @Esau
    Hey Esau,

    Thanks for your response– I appreciate your criticism and will strive to for greater clarity and articulation! I am only speaking for myself –and was not using the royal “we” nor am I pregnant, so I will, as you suggested, delineate my remarks as Hope did. Thank you again!

    Esaus, is it possible for you to imagine this:

    Being told repeatedly and vehemently that you are wrong about your feelings, and that strangers on the internet know you better than your own self, believe they can analyze you and believe that you should take this anonymous criticism as gospel truth.

    This seems to happen so often on blogs and, really, I find it quite offensive. How do you respond when this happens to you?

  • Esau

    Susan at 207: “All congruent, all the time.”

    Umm, how far back does “all the time” go? If all you’re saying, is that what these women appear/profess to prefer right now at this moment appears to be congruent with what they profess to prefer, well then I’d say that’s a pretty weak statement. If a woman describes herself — as, say, you describe Emily — as “liking nerdy guys”, then the only real, meaningful question is, what has the correlation been, historically, between guys’ nerdiness and her attraction to them? Just saying that the two match up at this particular moment doesn’t mean much IMO, as a lot of other things could be going on in any one single case.

    Also, I see you’ve completely missed the point about the fallacy of relying solely on self-reporting. Not to pick on Emily in particular, but how many nerds did she reject over the years, and why? And even if she told us her story, how are we to know the truth? Maybe she says it’s because the rejects had funny-looking noses, or some such thing, and not at all because they were nerds; but how do we, the readers, know that that’s not just some kind of rationalization? I know you want to be kind to the commenters, to give them the benefit of the doubt, and that’s sensible for your role here. But I stand by my previous statement: just like the British bathers, if all we have to go on is self-reporting then that’s not very trustworthy evidence at all. Though I cannot name the exceptions, I would bet heavily that at least some of the HUSsies on this list have a history of behaving otherwise (as Mike C also suspects).

    Like you, for example! Here’s your entry from the above:

    Anacaona: Likes beta guys, married one.

    Susan: Ditto.

    Was “likes beta guys” your sincere self-description back when you took up with your dumb jock BF for three years? (IIRC your description) Or was it something that evolved later, after you’d gotten all you could from the dumb-jock experience? It’s not hard to imagine you, or many young women in that same age and position, being heard to say “I don’t really put a lot of emphasis on looks, I’d really rather have someone smart” just before they spend their youth and beauty on the dumb, handsome guy. If I only had a nickel for every time I’d seen that happen in person, … well, I wouldn’t be rich but I could at least afford a nice lunch (not at Per Se, though).

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

      “All congruent, all the time.”

      I intended this as more of an advertising slogan – a joke, really. Re alphas, I think what Hope said is exactly right. I can observe and even understand that a hypermasculine guy surrounded by women is objectively attractive. But he leaves me flat. He doesn’t push the right buttons for me. It may even be that knowing he’s unlikely to commit on some subconscious level sends a “turned off” signal to my brain. Like I said, I don’t know why.

      Not to pick on Emily in particular, but how many nerds did she reject over the years, and why?

      Now you’re committing the fallacy. Liking a type doesn’t mean you like every guy in that type. But a woman who says she likes beta guys and has a history of dating beta guys means she selected from that pool. Who knows, maybe she even got burned by a cad and saw the light. The point is, it’s not settling if the sexual attraction is there.

      Sassy is the only HUSie I can think of who confesses liking alphas. Guys here think she’s just saying what most women really feel. I think she’s saying what she feels, and that other women here don’t share her viewpoint. Are there women going home with very dominant strangers for sex? Yes, obviously. But they don’t read this blog. And they’re a small minority. The rest of us are probably wired quite differently.

      Was “likes beta guys” your sincere self-description back when you took up with your dumb jock BF for three years? (IIRC your description) Or was it something that evolved later, after you’d gotten all you could from the dumb-jock experience?

      I had no clue until three years ago what an alpha or beta was. In my mind, there was no distinction among the guys I dated. I started dating the dumb jock at 17. The second bf was a total emo with long hair and super skinny jeans. I was trying out different kinds of relationships, different dynamics, figuring out what long-term compatibility meant for me. It wasn’t a case of being conquered by an alpha, riding him for alpha seed until I grew bored, and then looking for Oliver Twists to take pity on.

      Honestly, for all the talking and the reading and the practicing Game, I feel like a lot of men have a really solid understanding of about 15% of female psychology, and are clueless about the other 85%.

  • Esau

    * sorry, the first “appear/profess” should be “appear/demonstrate”

  • Jackie

    @Mike C
    Hi Mike C,
    First, congrats on your engagement and best wishes to the future Mrs. C! :D

    Thank you for the kind words and explanation, Mike. I responded rather emotionally — sometimes I wish I could be more like many of the commenters here, who are able to address points logically and methodically. Thanks again :)

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

      @Jackie

      I responded rather emotionally — sometimes I wish I could be more like many of the commenters here, who are able to address points logically and methodically.

      Are you kidding? If Just1X is Mr. Congeniality, you wear the women’s crown. I love the emotional verve you bring to the discussion.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Just to clarify my question about “5 minutes of alpha”: I wasn’t really wondering why a woman who had reached a point in her life plan that she was truly in the market for husband would prefer an LTR with Captain Commitment over FWB status with Stud King. That makes sense.

    I was really confining my question to the college environment, where an emotionally-intimate LTR with Captain Commitment would seem to, in the final analysis, pose an existential threat to the stated timeline and life trajectory expectations that *female undergrads* were themselves expressing.

    I know that plans can and will change, but these women are apparently interested in a 5-6 year post-college self-development excursion/career focus. This period will supposedly culminate in the creation of a stable bubble of affluent, stylish professional life—probably in a major city—during which the search for Mr. Right can begin.

    I know what some may be thinking: believe it or not, I’m not trying to poison the well for young beta males by persuading these women to want to work in refugee camps in northern Uganda, to move to France for MBAs at INSEAD, and so on; these are primarily their ideas. I will provide support and encouragement for any young adventurer, male or female, but I’m not trying to push a personal agenda on them.

    What I don’t hear mentioned: “I’m not sure what is next, because I’m in a serious LTR with a sweet, commitment-minded beta and I want to make sure that my future includes him. Serious compromises will be necessary.” The silence on this front makes me believe that A) the more aggressive, ambitious, and outspoken Power Girl types are dominating the narrative and setting the bar, B) that at least some of those involved in campus LTRs do not expect them to survive the post-college transition (which begs the question of what “commitment-minded males” actually means, since the desired commitment level appears to be capped); and C) that these LTRs are simply in short supply for a variety of reasons.

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

      @Bastiat

      I think that college women and college men both know that marriage is a long way off. Of the college relationships I’ve been aware of, several ended amicably, as the couple basically knew they’d reached the end of the journey. Several were ended by guys who were a year or two older and did not want to do the long-distance thing with a girl still in school. Personally, I don’t know any ended by the girl, but my sample size is less than 25.

      Some students do express a preference for casual hookups for the very reasons you mention. As it happens, kids from divorced parents are more likely to feel this way. But it is certainly rational to conclude that a close relationship in college makes no sense if marriage is not a possibility. There aren’t all that many relationships on campus compared to prior generations, and I’m sure that’s a big part of the reason.

      But research also shows that more than half of both men and women hope that a relationship will develop from a hookup. Some people are cut out for relationships, regardless of whether they can get casual. When I met my husband he was successful with women (was clearly preselected in our class) and he hopped into monogamy without looking back. I know guys are wired to like sexual variety, but I’ve seen guys with plenty of options go off the market. They like being part of a couple, and I think that happens in college too. Falling in love is a pretty awesome experience.

  • Jackie

    This is making me want to re-visit my dating history and see if perhaps I am completely blind to my blind spots! The things is, though, does *anyone* even have a clear definition of “alpha” and “beta” that is generally agreed on?

    For the record, Susan, you can put me (and probably Bellita?) as down for searching for a religious “beta” with titanium-strength character. (That’s the secret “true alpha” that nobody talks about– JK!) ;)

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

      does *anyone* even have a clear definition of “alpha” and “beta” that is generally agreed on?

      NO! It’s just a rabbit hole we go down again and again!

  • Esau

    Jackie: “Being told repeatedly and vehemently that you are wrong about your feelings, and that strangers on the internet know you better than your own self, believe they can analyze you and believe that you should take this anonymous criticism as gospel truth.

    This seems to happen so often on blogs and, really, I find it quite offensive. “

    And where did this happen to you? I don’t remember making any statement about your veracity in particular (though it is late, I may be mis-remembering); I’m mainly countering your statement as regards women in general. To be fair, this does make your short statements suspect and reduces your credibility, perhaps unfairly, simply by being a member of a group which has shown wide historical evidence of unreliability.

    You know, somewhere in Nigeria there probably is at least one widow of a high government official who really would like your help in getting her money out of the country, and who will give you your cut if you participate. But, what chance does she have of ever being taken seriously? And, what strategy can we recommend for her?

    More to your immediate point, if you don’t like the treatment you get at the hands of strangers on the Internet, then why do you offer up descriptions of your own feelings in public? What are you getting out of it, or hoping to get out of it?

  • Mike C

    I couldn’t possibly say. Even about myself! I recall saying I’d never gone for another alpha after my first bf in college, and immediately someone said, “you hooked up with a fighter pilot, that’s alpha.”

    We could parse this a million different ways to Sunday…but I think you overreached with the “ALL CONGRUENT ALL THE TIME”. As Esau points out, your college boyfriend is a completely different type from your husband. Now that people evolve, and grow, and change preferences so I see nothing wrong with that at all. But I think it is a stretch to say that all women always go for the guy that they say they prefer if asked.

    In fact,one crystal clear example of this that I have either seen or have heard of that it borders on laughable is when a 23 or 25 or 27 year old absolutely unequivocally insists she would NEVER date a guy over 30 or over 40, and with the “right” guy the age factor drops right off the map. Seriously, I have seen this many times.

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

      @Mike C

      In fact,one crystal clear example of this that I have either seen or have heard of that it borders on laughable is when a 23 or 25 or 27 year old absolutely unequivocally insists she would NEVER date a guy over 30 or over 40, and with the “right” guy the age factor drops right off the map. Seriously, I have seen this many times.

      Funny you should say this. One of my girls is 23, and has avoided dating older guys, for the most part. Of course, I keep saying, “Go five years up.” So she met a guy, figured he was 25 or 26. He figured she was 25 or 26. When she learned on their first date he was 32, and he learned she was 23, they were both taken aback. He said, “Now that you know, do you want to bolt?” She said, “No way, do you?” He said, “Hell no.”

      I have no idea what the long term is, but I get the sense she’d be psyched if he was looking for “the one.”

  • Mike C

    Thanks Jackie for the well wishes

    This is making me want to re-visit my dating history and see if perhaps I am completely blind to my blind spots!

    It is admirable that you want to do this exercise

    The things is, though, does *anyone* even have a clear definition of “alpha” and “beta” that is generally agreed on?

    Ha. No. I think who is alpha and who is beta is like debating how many angels dancing on the head of a pin. I think it is more useful to think in terms of “alpha” and “beta” traits. For example, cocky swagger is an alpha trait while its “beta counterpart” might be meek reservation. So imagine that on a spectrum. In my view, the extreme points are both undesirable but there is a happy medium point that maximizes attractive masculinity for MOST WOMEN. Some women might be utterly turned off by even the slightest hint of cocky swagger.

    But I’ll give you an example of the typical BS, and I’ll actually use my fiancee. We were having a discussion and she said “I don’t like eocky guys”. In my head, I laughed and thought you are full of shit, and I proceeded to rattle off a couple of TV characters she likes who epitomize cockiness. This is the disconnect men often see. I suspect women have some sort of blindspot where they hear cocky and think obnoxious while a guy recognizes cocky without obnoxiousness.

    Anyways, I could go on an on and on listing traits. Alphas are bold risk takers, betas take the conservative play by the rules route. Again, the extremes are bad. But there is a disconnect if you say you don’t like risk takers, and then date the guy who rides his motorcycle at 100 mph on the highway.

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

      @Mike C

      For example, cocky swagger is an alpha trait while its “beta counterpart” might be meek reservation.

      This is really interesting. It sounds like you take one trait, like “self-confidence” and see a spectrum with alpha and beta at either end.

      I see two different manifestations, not on a spectrum. For example, in my mind, the beta equivalent of cocky swagger might be quiet confidence. Or high EQ, great conversationalist and listener.

      I think this goes a long way toward explaining why “10 reasons to date a beta” makes total sense to me, and none to you.

  • Jackie

    Hi Esau,
    I meant the “understood you.” Esau, is it possible we are having two different conversations here? I find the treatment of women as a group personally offensive.

    I actually like sharing my thoughts and feelings with many of the people here. I probably share more on HUS than I do anywhere else. It serves several purposes: I learn a lot, can be honest about things cloaked in anonymity and like just about everyone here.

    It’s getting pretty late, so I better sign off. Thank you giving me a lot to think about, Esau. Best wishes and good night–

  • Jackie

    Oops, the last sentence, second-to-last paragraph is: *I* like just about everyone here.
    There are a lot of awesome, knowledgeable and generous people around HUS.

  • Esau

    One last word for Jackie, and then I have to turn in.

    “Esaus, is it possible for you to imagine this:

    Being told repeatedly and vehemently that you are wrong about your feelings, and that strangers on the internet know you better than your own self, believe they can analyze you and believe that you should take this anonymous criticism as gospel truth.

    This seems to happen so often on blogs and, really, I find it quite offensive. How do you respond when this happens to you?”

    I see that I didn’t answer the question of your last sentence here, and it certainly deserves one. The fact is, that exactly this happens to me all the time, even right here on HUS. I’ll say something like, “I have seen from a lot of up-close observation (ie not my own life, but people I’ve known) the direct correlation between a guy being decent and held unattractive because of it, and another being a sexist jerk and being held sexy exactly because of it”; and then I’m deluged with responses that I’m crazy, I’m biased, I must be missing something, I deep-down want to be a jerk and just want to have an excuse to be so, and so on. Susan herself has a list of equivocations as long as your arm, to explain why decent men being passed over for that reason can’t be held against women’s account. No, it must be that these men “aren’t showing up” or “don’t have any mastery” or they’re “spineless supplicators”, and so on and so on, anything to push the blame back onto the male, despite the fact that I know, and have repeatedly stated, that none of these equivocations apply in the cases I’m personally familiar with. Yes, it can get quite frustrating at times, though there are far worse venues than HUS, which is relatively sensible as these blogs go.

    So I’m not quite in the same boat with you, since it’s not my testimony about my own personal history that’s being questioned (since I never bring that up). But rather it’s my grip on the reality of what I’ve seen, and the logic by which I can extrapolate, that’s being denied, for essentially ideological reasons rather than factual ones; and I guess that this is a similar experience to what you’ve felt.

    Now to — finally! — answer your question directly, I respond by trying to stick to straight rationality as much as possible (admittedly this is my own subjective appraisal, and so necessarily limited in reliability). It’s not necessarily productive, but you might call it a coping mechanism. I focus on what people have said and written, without changing the subject to presuming their motivations, and see what I can argue just “logically and methodically” as you put it. As they say, your mileage may vary.

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

      Yes, it can get quite frustrating at times, though there are far worse venues than HUS, which is relatively sensible as these blogs go.

      The contrast between Esau’s praise and Sassy’s just gave me whiplash.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    And yes, I know that is hyperbole but I’d throw money on the table that at least some of the girls who comment here and are self-professed “beta” girls have an alpha dalliance or two in their somewhere.

    I can surely tell that my short dating story I never got romantically involved with anything resembling an Alpha. I have a real gut reaction to Alphas flirting like I would remove myself from a room, avoid eye contact and not even talk to him and I’m not beyond painting myself in the worst light so they will stop pursuing me and think it was their idea as to avoid getting killed or something worse. I think I also mentioned that my father, brothers and uncles were all Alpha’s I really get the “uncle smell” from them on I think there is some sort of incest protection from us girls cursed with the Alpha’s blood, so maybe I couldn’t help it but I still can assure that any Alpha interested back in DR on me probably thinks I’m a lesbian or something like it. Would you consider a warhammer, videogamer an Alpha? The funny thing is that given that manosphere reads Alphaness (got girls even if is only one) I’m sure hubby will get that label just out of the fact that he won me over, but given his dating story and how other women react to him, like so far only one has gone out of her way to flirt with him, he didn’t noticed I was going to choke a bitch, I think he is more likely to be beta.

  • Mireille

    Priests are hot (in theory), they’re the forbidden fruit … Or maybe just some type of fruit ;)
    That’s a pretty great post, really enjoyed the chronology of dating mores.
    I would like to come back on some points.
    I read people observing that the divorce rate was lower and that people usually lived unhappily together for years in spite of abuse, alcoholism/gambling and infidelity and that they deserved what came to them. We have to consider that if courtship/ dating were heavily/somewhat chaperoned, the longevity of the marriage was as well; communities would intervene or turn the blind eye regarding what was happening in the household. Your husband was cheating? “Boys will be boys!”; crazy angry ranting “he’s just showing authority”, etc… And so on, not happy times. And remember they didn’t have all those precious structures spouses can rely on to solve issues with equity and respect like we do today.
    Regarding the choices young people and especially women make when it comes to life after graduation; it might be hard to believe for some around here, but women want a FULL life, with the necessary experiences and challenges that come with becoming an adult. We’ve said it before, adolescence keeps being pushed further and further away. Why would women, in this state of affairs, chose to jump in a life-long enterprise when they don’t even know how to handle themselves? There was a time when all a woman could hope for was marrying early and marrying well; her whole universe would be the household. Failing at that was failing at reaching the main/single goal of her life. OTOH, men could live full lives, be awesome and admired at work, and come home and be an awesome dad as well (with a “little” help from the wife) so we had a 2 vs 1 situation. Today, women can get access to this full life, it doesn’t necessary means acing everything they’ll do and it certainly doesn’t mean sleeping around but getting a sense of self. Not just someone’s daughter, girlfriend or wife. I think that is important in one’s life, it makes you somewhat reliable and even keeled and in the end a better partner because you can carry your partner if needs be at some point.

    Just my two cents.

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

      @Mireille

      One of the biggest bestsellers of the late 70s was The Thorn Birds, about a young woman and priest falling in love in Australia. That was a great read! So sexy!

      Today, women can get access to this full life, it doesn’t necessary means acing everything they’ll do and it certainly doesn’t mean sleeping around but getting a sense of self. Not just someone’s daughter, girlfriend or wife.

      I agree. I would also add that in the period between age 21 and 25 I acquired experience and skills that allowed me to increase my standard of living significantly. I married the smartest, most talented man I ever dated, by a mile. If I’d married my college bf I would have been solving problems like “ring around the collar.”

  • Emily

    Alright Esau, I’ll bite. ;)

    I dunno… I’ve actually been pretty consistent on the nerd thing. At least 90% of the guys that I’ve liked have had an above average level of nerdiness. I definitely do favour the cuter nerds (girls are shallow too), but I’m pretty nerdy myself so that’s who I end up spending time with and who I’m most likely to “click” with. I remember I once instantly developed a crush on a guy because he brought up an interesting piece of random trivia early on in the conversation. (I already thought he was cute, but it was at that point that the little cartoon hearts would have popped up above my head.) That being said, I don’t think that “Useless Trivia Game” would work on most girls.

    As for Alpha/Beta, I like a pretty comfy level of betaness, although there is a limit. For example I appreciate beta comfort traits in a relationship, but platonic beta orbiting is an attraction killer. I don’t like douchebags, but supplication isn’t attractive either.

    I once had a drunk makeout session ages ago with a guy who I would probably describe as Alpha (sorry Susan!) Even then though, he was an honest alpha. ie. I told him all I wanted to do was kiss and he made very little attempt to escalate further (although I’m sure he would have taken sex if it was offered), didn’t lie about anything etc. Other than that though, I have a pretty good “record” of alpha-avoidance. And he has a PhD, so even my one “alpha” is pretty consistent with the nerd thing haha.

    Hope that helps. :)

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

      @Emily

      That pic is hilarious! Here is one of my favorite nerdy guys, he looks like the cute nerd:

      httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd_bVk3ajk0

  • Royale W. Cheese

    @Tasmin
    “Which is part of where the ‘women can’t resist alpha’ comes from. It is just too easy for the invisible men to extrapolate what they see taking place around them into ‘all women…’. Women don’t need to go home with the alpha to perpetuate this belief, they need only respond positively to them in most settings and the male hamster runs wild.”

    Thank you for articulating this.

  • Jason773

    Cooper,

    On a side note: my group of friends were recently celebrating one of my guy friends 24th BDay, and we’d planned a party. The guy, who’s birthday it was, has a couple of girlfriends. (as in dating multiple girls) And he actually had to plan separate BDay parties so that he could celebrate with each of them. On the night our group was celebrating (which was a Sat. and I think had a party with Girlfriend#1 on the Fri. night) he actually was juggling having two girlfriends come by. One arrived with him and had to leave shortly and another was showing up later on. Not only did none of either the guys or girls speak out about this being uncool, but everyone agreed to keep their mouths shut about the other GFs when talking to another gf. Even the girls of my group had a kinda “atta-boy!” attitude to his multiple girls.

    That’s pretty douchey. Hell, if a guy want to do this, just be congruent and upfront about it from the start. If his frame is strong enough the girls will accept it and no lying has to be involved.

  • Ramble

    In general, though, we know what makes us tingle.

    Susan, I would change this to:

    In general, though, we find out what makes us tingle

    Think of all those girls that do not realize how much dominance they appreciate until they really experience it?

    This can happen a number of ways:
    – started reading 50 Shades and got all excited
    – started dating some guy that exhibited some dominant behaviours and she really lied that part of him
    – etc.

    Think of how many girls who meet “alpha” guys that they are attracted to but then run their reasons for being attracted to them through the hamster mill.

    By the time they are done, they have convinced themselves that they were attracted to him because he “makes her laugh”.

    So, put me down as one more man who thinks that many young women (say, under 25) are not that aware of what really gets them going.

    If it makes you feel any better, I think that many guys are clueless as to why they date/marry girls. But, that is probably another post.

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

      @Ramble

      You are right – it is totally a learning process. Which reminds me, I need to get back to writing that post about what I learned by dating.

  • Esau

    Susan at 232: Not to pick on Emily in particular, but how many nerds did she reject over the years, and why?

    Now you’re committing the fallacy. Liking a type doesn’t mean you like every guy in that type.

    No, you’re — methodically? — mis-quoting me: I never said “every” or “all”, what I said was “correlation” (read again carefully at 213 above). Do I have to send you some literature on statistics now? Really, mis-quoting me as having set an extreme standard when I really said something else, is just a waste of both our times.

    But a woman who says she likes beta guys and has a history of dating beta guys means she selected from that pool.

    As per Emily’s testimony at 229, this _is_ evidence of correlation, but it’s really very weak evidence. As the comic Emily posted at 230 — good one!, E — suggests, there may be a great deal more going on, to the point where “I like nerds” is hardly the primary motivator in reality.

    The point is, it’s not settling if the sexual attraction is there.

    I agree with this, though it seems puzzlingly off-topic — who said anything to the contrary? But since you brought it up, I think that within HUSpace it’s worth reflecting on the fact that the two women here who seem (IMO) to be the most happy and fulfilled with their partners are the all-out, honest nerd lovers Hope and Anacaona. I wonder what young Carmen might make of this observation?

    Now, regarding the younger SW and her preferences:

    I was trying out different kinds of relationships, different dynamics, figuring out what long-term compatibility meant for me.

    Playing the field to learn how you and the world works is perfectly fine and even quite traditional (at least, for those pretty enough to have options). But the question is about congruence between actions and words. Apparently you didn’t have a particular “type” at that age, which is fine; but is that what you said to people in words at the time? If someone asked — as I guess your girlfriends did — “what kind of guy do you like?” did you answer “I don’t know, for now I’m playing the field to find out”? If so, then you were being congruent, props to you. But if you were heard to say, as might be typical of girls that age, “I really don’t care about looks” then you probably weren’t being congruent between words and actions.

    And, from 239

    The contrast between Esau’s praise and Sassy’s just gave me whiplash.

    Perhaps you should take time for some stretching exercises, before reading the blog so early in the morning. Just sayin…

  • Desiderius

    Susan,

    “When I met my husband he was successful with women (was clearly preselected in our class)”

    “For the record, these guys make great catches because they don’t know their own SMV.”

    Lot of great things about you, Ms. HUS, but “all congruent all the time” is a standard nobody reaches. Certainly not this commenter, and definitely not our illustrious hostess

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

      @Desiderius

      First, you may have seen my earlier comment that “all congruent, all the time” was meant as a glib tagline, Mad Men style. No one is congruent all the time – I assume this is impossible for mere mortals.

      Second, did I say that my husband was a great catch because he didn’t know his SMV? I daresay that would have been true of him right after college, when he was dating the crazy Sturbridge Village candlemaker. But he definitely knew it by age 27, at which point he had come into his own and I had to fight hard to attract and win him. It would have been much, much easier five years earlier.

  • Desiderius

    “Thanks for the link, I appreciate your watching out for me! I plan to read it and comment first thing tomorrow.”

    Princeton has some interesting dynamics. Another place with a lot going for it that falls pretty far short of all congruent all the time.

  • Iggles

    @ SW:

    Iggles: Likes beta guys, looking for a beta guy.

    Yep. Am dating a beta guy. We’ve been together about six months :)

    All congruent, all the time.

    Indeed. I didn’t know what my attraction triggers were when I was younger, but I knew what I didn’t like. I never chased after/hooked up with alphas. In fact, I skipped the whole hook up scene in college because it held no appeal for me. I’ve always been a relationship-oriented even though I spent many years single.

  • Mike C

    One of my girls is 23, and has avoided dating older guys, for the most part. Of course, I keep saying, “Go five years up.” So she met a guy, figured he was 25 or 26. He figured she was 25 or 26. When she learned on their first date he was 32, and he learned she was 23, they were both taken aback. He said, “Now that you know, do you want to bolt?” She said, “No way, do you?” He said, “Hell no.”

    I have no idea what the long term is, but I get the sense she’d be psyched if he was looking for “the one.”

    I’m not surprised. There is a lot to unpack with the whole “I’d never date a guy over 30 or over 40″ notion.

    First, I don’t think there is any biological, instinctual basis for it….it’s just an artifact of our current culture which strongly suggests roughly same age relationships are “correct”. I think that is the reason the age factor just completely disappears from the equation *IF* the guy is attractive otherwise.

    Second, there is 32 and then there is 32, there is 42 and then there is 42. What do I mean? Some guys just look older, and some guys can pass for much younger. And I think there is a mentality at play. I see this at work with guys who are +/- 5 years from me. The way a guy dresses, acts, talks, etc. If you check out my MP3 player, I’ve got a bunch of 80s songs on there, but I’ve also got Rihanna and Lady Gaga, not showtunes from the 20s or 30s. Some guys just act “older” and by older I don’t necessarily mean more mature but more of a fuddy-duddy.

    Anyways, when a girl says I wouldn’t date a guy over 30 or a guy over 40, there is a very clear image she has in her mind what that guy is like. If she meets a guy that age with a more youthful appearance and youthful vibe, the actual age goes out the door. When I was bouncing (31-32) I was getting interest and flirtatiouis interactions from 21-22 year olds and even some underage 19-20 year olds (sometimes underage girls are allowed in if they are really hot and the fake is good enough that it would pass muster).

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

      @Mike C

      Great comment, I think the mentality is a big piece of it.

      Some guys just act “older” and by older I don’t necessarily mean more mature but more of a fuddy-duddy.

      This cracked me up. It’s so true.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I’m not surprised. There is a lot to unpack with the whole “I’d never date a guy over 30 or over 40″ notion.

    I also think I would never date is an overused word. I prefer men less than 10 years older than me strongly but I never used the word “never” I prefer men some inches taller than me but I never said I would never date a shorter guy. I preferred men with jet black hair, hubby is a ginger, although of hair color red is my second favorite so that might had been just a tiny preference. I think this statements depend on the woman and how flexible she is I did said that I would never date a man in a relationship and I never did, I made sure to ask and investigate and bolted out in the light of any red flag that there was someone else and for a seasoned “cheater hater” this are easy to spot.
    Also if the guy asking or around her is blond she might be just saying that “I would never date a blond guy” to discourage any approach. I did that occasionally: find unchangeable physical trait to make sure the guy has a deterrent, it didn’t worked all the time but it did created a bit of a delay, YMMV.

  • Mike C

    This is really interesting. It sounds like you take one trait, like “self-confidence” and see a spectrum with alpha and beta at either end.

    YES, EXACTLY!

    I see two different manifestations, not on a spectrum. For example, in my mind, the beta equivalent of cocky swagger might be quiet confidence. Or high EQ, great conversationalist and listener.

    In my view, this is both inaccurate and problematic from the perspective of a guy doing self-assessment and trying to make adjustments. Once you create the either/or dichotomy, now you are forcing the issue of trying to box a guy into either the alpha or beta category. In your system, a “beta” guy cannot have any swagger at all, while an “alpha” guy cannot have any EQ. In my view, this is a self-limiting system for any guy to work from.

    With the spectrum way of conceptualizing you can realize that you are most likely off the mark at both extremes, and then it gets to one of the core concepts of calibration. I think this also does a better job of explaining female attraction in that any given woman is going to have a different calibration point that maximizes her attraction. For example, few if any women are going to want a totally submissive doormat but as you ramp up the confidence to the extreme of full-on braggadocio you are going to turn off more and more women.

    Really, this works for many traits and makes total sense when measured against real world female response. Another contrast might be complete indifference/aloofness on one extreme versus full on 24/7 every minute of the day emotional attentiveness. You’ve said yourself you’ve had guys writing in to you to you for advice, and it becomes clear they are too attentive, too emotionally invested too soon. In other words, they lean too much to the beta end of the spectrum. On the flipside, the extreme alpha side of the spectrum may leave a girl in a LTR feeling paranoid and insecure in the relationship. The “rules” you sometimes take issue with are really connected to where a guy is going to sit on that spectrum.

    I think this goes a long way toward explaining why “10 reasons to date a beta” makes total sense to me, and none to you.

    Probably. Because to me isn’t about dating an “alpha” or a “beta” but a guy finding the right part of the spectrum on these various traits.

    Now the reality is the vast majority of guys sit too far on the beta end of the spectrum. And I think there is little to no chance of some mass migration of guys to complete alpha assholes.

    Just my opinion…but think about how I am conceptualizing this here. I really believe it is the more accurate way to think about it, is more useful, and allows you to bypass the whole stupid question of is this guy alpha or beta.

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

      @Mike C

      Once you create the either/or dichotomy, now you are forcing the issue of trying to box a guy into either the alpha or beta category. In your system, a “beta” guy cannot have any swagger at all, while an “alpha” guy cannot have any EQ. In my view, this is a self-limiting system for any guy to work from.

      OK, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. I think you make a good point here. The problem, as I see it, is that cocky swagger absolutely precludes the possibility of meaningful conversation. Cocky swagger is a screen of sorts that hides all emotion, much less vulnerability. It’s designed to convey an attitude of “I don’t care about others. Everyone should pay homage to me.” Lots of great alpha leaders have not been like that at all.

      On the other hand, a timid guy in the corner who tells a stranger he knows he would never have a shot with her is so emotionally vulnerable and needy that women (and other men) will recoil in his presence. So the perfect blend of alpha and beta traits might include a warm, self-assured greeting, followed by conversation designed to amuse or entertain the person, but also to get to know them. Not “I own the room, bitch” but “You interest me, and I believe I can interest you.” That guy, the one I described as my idea of a highly attractive man of high value, is most likely to be high beta. He is a mix of alpha and beta traits, and he is the man I described in the 10 Reasons post. He is definitely not the alpha buck with all the swagger – no way. And I think he will be preferred by 75% of women.

      The very real problem is that as far as I can tell, most Game blogs, certainly the non-LTR oriented ones, promote the cocky swagger. In fact, the bloggers themselves have cocky swagger. It’s like a caricature, an online Brutus (from Popeye). Heartiste epitomizes this. I haven’t read Bang, but from what I hear Roosh’s style is more down to earth – there’s an element of false nice guy in there. (LADIES BEWARE!)

      I can see the spectrum – perhaps we just identify the ideal in very different ways.

  • Ramble

    Susan, the cover of the book on this post has a young woman wearing pants.

    I understand that you are not an expert on these things, but how common would that have been for books aimed at girls in 1966? And, how common would it have been for girls in, say, 1956? (Your best guess is fine.)

    I understand that she is wearing a glove and holding a ball, so context in this instance might be important, but I am still curious.

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

      @Ramble

      Sandy is a serious softball player, and she’s dressed for a game. Her “three loves” are softball, horses, and eventually, Tad. Even the names are so retro!

      Even at 10 I was a sucker for these little romances. I ordered that book through my school – we would place an order and a couple of weeks later the teacher would hand them out. I loved that! I recently went on Amazon and bought a used copy of this book, just to have around. It makes me happy to look at it.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Regarding women not knowing what we want…speaking for myself, I could see how my desires would garner that interpretation.

    I want love, loyalty, and compatibility with a happy, physically healthy looking man. I’ve never been good at boiling these down to objectively measurable traits. The closest I can get is “physically healthy looking”…straight-ish teeth, not obese, smells nice. So, my desires are kind if immeasurable and hard to interpret, and I have trouble finding them. As I flounder around the SMP, it may appear that I have no clue what I want.

    Aftreasons recent education on men and Greek letter rankings, I can say in retrospect I’ve dated betas and omegas.

    I can admit with 100% certainty that I have no idea what my own SMV is. I never have. Well, I know I’m probably higher than a 5.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    *aftreasons = after recent

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Mike C…Alpha and Beta…”Once you create the either/or dichotomy, now you are forcing the issue of trying to box a guy into either the alpha or beta category. In your system, a “beta” guy cannot have any swagger at all, while an “alpha” guy cannot have any EQ.”

    There is a model sometimes used in sales training in which people are categorized on two dimensions: assertiveness and responsiveness. These are not two ends of a spectrum, but two separate dimensions, and the idea is that the really good salesperson should be strong on both of them. (Responsiveness is pretty close to EQ.) Prospective customers can also be considered on the grid.

    The mix of assertiveness and responsiveness that most appeals to an individual woman is obviously going to vary from person to person, but it’s rarely going to be zero for either dimension.

    Maybe the assertiveness/responsiveness terminology could help get beyond oversimplification of Alpha/Beta.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Hope, I am genuinely curious. Do you literally believer you are in fact “hardwired differently” or do you think your preferences are more a result ot your experiences growing up. You seem to me to be very introspective so I am wondering if you literally rewired yourself through careful deliberation on what type of man would make the most loyal partner in the long-term?

    Mike C, I believe there are three different strands of influences on my “wiring.”

    1) The first is cultural, obviously. There’s an east Asian (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) stereotype about loving nerds and glorifying intelligence. It is a huge status marker since I was a little kid, and so that part was ingrained in me environmentally.

    2) The second is parental. My father cheated on my mother and left her, and he also wanted a son while I was a daughter. So my mother always talked about how men were unreliable and cannot be trusted. I did not want to be abandoned when I was older (middle-aged) with a daughter. I looked for men who were the opposite of my father’s type.

    3) The third is instinctual. I have heard other women talk about how they get turned off by “displays of weakness” in men. But ever since I was little (kindergarten age) I liked guys who displayed some sort of pain. There was a boy who had stomach aches frequently, and I had a huge crush on him. Likewise the guy in high school whom I never noticed until he broke his foot and walked around on clutches. When guys were emotionally opening up to me, it would make me significantly more attracted to them. This is a part of my wiring that I really had no control over. It manifested before puberty and continued throughout my adulthood. I still have to be very careful to NOT go too deep in conversation with guys and keep my distance, lest I find myself catching feelings for a vulnerable guy in emotional pain.

    Does that answer your question?

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Likewise the guy in high school whom I never noticed until he broke his foot and walked around on clutches.

    That reminds me the only friend that I develop a huge crush in spite of being “just friend” was after he cried on front of me because of a fight he was having with his brother. I felt myself melting it was like “So he is human after all and he needs affection. I have tons of those!” Of course I never said anything since he was totally uninterested but I did discovered that particularly weak spot, interestingly enough hubby’s had a family lost early when we meet and he told me how much he was crying I do wonder if that was what sealed the deal. I also think is because we don’t cry in my family maybe I’m just looking for something missing, do your family or your father cries Hope?

  • Joe

    @Anacaona

    Also if the guy asking or around her is blond she might be just saying that “I would never date a blond guy” to discourage any approach. I did that occasionally: find unchangeable physical trait to make sure the guy has a deterrent, it didn’t worked all the time but it did created a bit of a delay, YMMV.

    I understand why you did this, but I have to say, it’s really an awful thing to do. I don’t think that girls – women in general – know how devastating it can be to be rejected out of hand for something that’s so immutable and trivial as hair color or any of the various physical characteristics that you might pick out.

    The very guys you want to meet are the ones who believe you, who are generally trusting enough to believe your honest. They don’t believe you’re letting them down with a harmless little white lie.

    I really advise that no one, of either sex, follow this strategy.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I understand why you did this, but I have to say, it’s really an awful thing to do. I don’t think that girls – women in general – know how devastating it can be to be rejected out of hand for something that’s so immutable and trivial as hair color or any of the various physical characteristics that you might pick out.

    Well this might hurt the good ones the ones, the ones I did this went to pick on other women ASAP and got someone else. I’m sure they don’t even remember me or were butt hurt I just saved them time.

  • J

    J: Hmmm, not sure if DH is beta or alpha, but she’s happy with what she’s got.

    At the risk of opening up yet another debate as to what these terms mean, I see my DH as predominantly sigma with both alpha and beta traits. Many would see him as beta because he has a relatively low number, was an LTR guy, as opposed to a ONS guy before we met, and is absolutely faithful to me (just as he was to all his exes). A guy like that may not be an alpha is Roissyland, but, in my book, a guy who who grew up on welfare but ended up a senior executive is pretty damn alpha. Socially, he fits Vox Day’s description of a sigma as the guy who wins by refusing to play the game. Some call sigma a subset of alpha, but one of VD’S commenters linked sigmahood with being an INTJ, which is DH’s MB type. That lead me to do some reading about INTXs in relationships that really helped me to understand our relationship (and our parenting styles) better.

    I understand the need to use these terms in order to develop a shared vocabulary, but I’ll say it again–these terms are overly simplistic and reduce men to one dimensional stereotypes. I really refuse to think of my husband in that fashion.

  • Ted D

    J- sigmadom may be related to MBTI type? Looks like I have some Googling to do…

  • J

    @Ramble #251

    I think you’ve picked the wrong years to compare. Dresses were everyday wear in most of the US until the late 60s when hippie chicks started wearing jeans to college. High schools relaxed their dress codes around 1970. The working girl’s pantsuit came later. In 1966, slacks were still sportwear–hence the ball and glove.

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

      @J and Ramble

      I remember wearing maroon corduroy bell bottoms in 1968 and they were the height of fashion. Before then I think I mostly wore dresses to school. But definitely shorts in the summer. The book, btw, was written in 1955.

  • J

    @Ted

    Check out VD’s sigma post first, then read some M/B stuff.

  • Ramble

    Sandy is a serious softball player, and she’s dressed for a game.

    I understand that she was appropriately dressed for the occasion, but, I was still curious.

    Still, any thoughts on how common that was (i.e. pants on a girl for, say, a book cover)?

    I think you’ve picked the wrong years to compare. Dresses were everyday wear in most of the US until the late 60s when hippie chicks started wearing jeans to college.

    No, J, that is exactly why I chose 1966. I have a fairly good idea for, say, 1976, but, 1966 is a little harder.

  • J

    Sandy is a serious softball player, and she’s dressed for a game. Her “three loves” are softball, horses, and eventually, Tad.

    Horses, and eventually, Tad!!!! Hurray for horsey girls in love!!

  • J

    I don’t think that girls – women in general – know how devastating it can be to be rejected out of hand for something that’s so immutable and trivial as hair color or any of the various physical characteristics that you might pick out.

    Oh, IDK about that. Woman are acutely aware of how important looks are to men. I’ve often thought I’d have been a lot better off as tall, blue-eyed blonde than a petite, brown-eyed brunette. And I’ve seen plenty of girls rejected for being too fat, too tall, too flat-chested, etc.

    I also recall being fairly anxious about my looks until I was in my mid-twenties when I finally accepted that I had grown out my ugly duckling stage–which meant that by manosphere standards I was already past my peak by the time I had realized my power.

  • J

    @Ramble

    FWIW, I think we started seeing women’s trousers as sportswear in movies in the 1940s. The jeans on the cover of Susan’s book indicate, Id gues, that the heroine will find love and thus experience a transistion from tomboy to young women by the end of the book.

  • Jackie

    “I don’t think that girls – women in general – know how devastating it can be to be rejected out of hand for something that’s so immutable and trivial as hair color or any of the various physical characteristics that you might pick out.

    Oh, IDK about that. Woman are acutely aware of how important looks are to men. I’ve often thought I’d have been a lot better off as tall, blue-eyed blonde than a petite, brown-eyed brunette.”

    J speaks the truth. I remember one guy who flew me to Chicago to be his date for a work dinner, met all his colleagues, met his family over the weekend.

    2 weeks later: I change my hair color, from blonde to dark auburn. *insert ominous noise here* He gets upset and breaks it off because, “I wanted to be dating a blonde!”

  • Jackie

    Also: I have had several guys — including my ex-fiance– state that it was VERY important for me to stay a certain way (i.e. don’t you dare gain 10 lbs). At the time, I ran 5 miles a day and I remember him saying, You better keep running after we have kids.

    Yeah– running in *the opposite direction* from you!

    (I remember this because at the time, one of my mentor was put on Prednisone, as part of her medical treatment. For those not familiar, it’s a steroid that makes you gain a ton of weight. She gained like 40 lbs in less than 6 weeks. :(

    I remember her crying– for the first time in front of me, EVER– saying how she was afraid to go to [a social event] because people were going to make fun of her for being fat. That is when I made up my mind to never trash-talk heavier peeps.)

    The point of this digression is a remember feeling,–although I couldn’t quite articulate it at the time– OK, I better not get fat, sick, unattractive and if I need Prednisone I might as well throw in the towel.

    Luckily I have inner beauty. ;)

  • J

    Interesting link, j2.

    I think it shows how much things have changed in the last 40 years. We used to debate if a woman could work and be a mom. Now, we have two extremely high powered career women, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Hanna Rosin, discussing how to balance jobs that many would have argued women were incapable of. The point they make regarding women being able to work hard but needing a flexible schedule ring true to me.

  • J

    He gets upset and breaks it off because, “I wanted to be dating a blonde!”

    Yikes! What a loon! He did you a favor by breaking it off.

    The story about your mentor is tragic. It’s a very hard blow to realize how much the way you look influences the way you’re treated. And it does! A few weeks ago, someone complimented me on my sons’ looks. I replied, “Yeah, thank God!” They were truly surprised because it seemed like a shallow response, especially coming from me. I admitted that it was shallow, but the sad fact is that, fair or not, it’s a real advantage to be nice looking.

  • Iggles

    @ J:

    I don’t think that girls – women in general – know how devastating it can be to be rejected out of hand for something that’s so immutable and trivial as hair color or any of the various physical characteristics that you might pick out.

    Oh, IDK about that. Woman are acutely aware of how important looks are to men. I’ve often thought I’d have been a lot better off as tall, blue-eyed blonde than a petite, brown-eyed brunette. And I’ve seen plenty of girls rejected for being too fat, too tall, too flat-chested, etc.

    + 1

    Indeed, women aren’t immune to rejection. And as a black woman I’m acutely aware of how WOC can be dimissed as a dating prospect due to race, skin tone, hair type, or all of the above!

  • Iggles

    @ Royale W. Cheese:

    Aftreasons recent education on men and Greek letter rankings, I can say in retrospect I’ve dated betas and omegas.

    Ha! I think Alpha/Beta is a false dichotomy since there are men who are Gamma and Omega.

    My Ex was a Gamma. Knowing what I know now, there’s no way things could have worked out between us. We just weren’t a good match. I needed a partner with a higher level of dominance and confidence.

    I prefer the Captian/First Officer relationship model Athol talks about on his blog, MMSL. (With my Ex it often felt like I was the Captain and it was not a role I wanted or felt comfortable in!)

    Current BF is Beta and we’re a much better fit.

  • J

    And as a black woman I’m acutely aware of how WOC can be dimissed as a dating prospect due to race, skin tone, hair type, or all of the above!

    I’ve had this discussion with black and bi-racial women friends. It’s ridiculously hard on people.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Indeed, women aren’t immune to rejection. And as a black woman I’m acutely aware of how WOC can be dimissed as a dating prospect due to race, skin tone, hair type, or all of the above!

    Oh yeah. Is very interesting that seems that Joe finds it devastating when most people here agree that if you don’t like something about the other person that cannot be changed that is more fair that not liking a person for something they can change. I got plenty of “Too skinny” “No meat on the bones” when I was growing up in no polite terms and God knows I even though and drinking anabolic’s to force myself to gain weight and be more attractive. I also preemptively described myself as black on my profiles to avoid any suitor that might not like interracial dating.. But I never though it was their fault you like what you like.

  • Iggles

    J – Yep, I agree! It is what it is, unfortunately.

    When it comes to dating, focusing on people who don’t think that way is the best mode of action. I wouldn’t want to date someone who doesn’t accept/like/isn’t attracted to me because of my heritage/looks/hair/complexion/etc. *shrugs*

    My philosophy for dealing with things you can’t change —
    You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could scream. Curse the fates. But in the end you have to let go.

    (Yeah, I’m a movie nerd so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use that quote ;) )

  • Ramble

    I change my hair color, from blonde to dark auburn. *insert ominous noise here* He gets upset and breaks it off because, “I wanted to be dating a blonde!”

    Can you believe a guy would care about something like that?!

  • Ramble

    It’s a very hard blow to realize how much the way you look influences the way you’re treated.

    J, let’s say that situation had been reversed.

    Let’s say the mentor had run into someone who had just gained 40lbs (the mentor did not know why). Do you think that she would have been without judgement?

  • Jackie

    @Ramble
    “J, let’s say that situation had been reversed.

    Let’s say the mentor had run into someone who had just gained 40lbs (the mentor did not know why). Do you think that she would have been without judgement?”
    ==========
    Hey Ramble,
    My mentor is really cool. I think she would have remarked on it with concern. But not meanness or shaming. It would mean something is out of wack– depression, illness or using food as an anaethestic.

    Ramble, you will never see me arguing that men should be attracted to certain things. I *know* that attraction is immutable and unchangeable. As the wise Iggles remarked, It is what it is.

    Believe me, I know. Lots of times for [my profession], I’ve had calls where they will take pics of the girls hired, with the request you wear a black halter top or whatever. Then after the pics are approved, you get contracted.

    You can be ugly enough to stop a clock and still do this profession (which takes a LOT of talent, training and skill). But in the above situation, you could be the best in the world and never get hired. Especially if it was a higher-visibility contract.

    I am an optimist who lives in the real world. :)

  • Carmen

    @ A Definite Beta Guy

    “You may have high MMV, but that’s not what the college SMP necessarily rewards. Remember, guys at your age are, generally speaking, not looking for, not interested in, not even capable of supporting, life partnerships. They are therefore not going to put in a whole lot of effort into securing life long partnerships, which may very well mean your core asset is significantly undervalued.”

    I see what you mean now. Seems to be a very accurate observation, I have to keep in mind that 99% of the guys my age are not looking/interested in life partnership. I kinda noticed this myself now I’m at university, but this is a valuable reminder for me to always keep this in mind.
    “Girls and boys are absolutely secondary considerations, and if you are a lifelong partnership minded person like myself, and I guess Carmen, there is little point in college dating.”

    I take your advice to heart. As I mentioned before, I’ve always mainly been focused on other things beside guys, like my studies and friends. But you’ve made me realize that I should pretty much completely forget about “romantic entanglements” for the moment and focus on things that are more valuable for now. And trying to gradually increase my MMV for the SMP after university. So thanks for that! :)

    Since I think you give great advice so far Beta Guy, I might as well ask you what you’d suggest a girl does during university to increase her MMV for later? I’ve thought about skills like learning how to cook and taking an interest in (international) politics, but maybe you can give me some ideas on this that I can’t think of myself. :)

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

      I was clearly out of line when I chastised Beta Guy a day or two ago for being mean to Carmen. They’ve hit it off! Apologies all around.

  • Carmen

    @Esau
    “But since you brought it up, I think that within HUSpace it’s worth reflecting on the fact that the two women here who seem (IMO) to be the most happy and fulfilled with their partners are the all-out, honest nerd lovers Hope and Anacaona. I wonder what young Carmen might make of this observation?”
    I can see why nerds would make great partners. They tend to be introspective, introverted (so you won’t quickly see them flirting with other women), intellectual, long-term minded etc., qualities that would make nerds good husbands. However, I can’t help but wonder how exactly Hope and Anacaona qualify their partners as nerds? Is this by their hobbies and interests or by abstract qualities such as personality, status, social skills, and physical appearance (or both)?

    The reason I’m asking this is because I’m not a “nerd lover” myself, but I would like to be as happy and fulfilled with my partner as Hope and Anacaona are. I know Hope has described herself as being a bit of a nerd, and I know I am not a nerd myself, which is perhaps why I’m not a nerd lover – rather I’m looking for someone similar to me (I think).

    I’m trying to figure out the qualities that make Hope’s and Anacaona’s partners so great, qualities that are found in nerds but can also be found in “non-nerdy” guys (so guys I’d be attracted to) too. Perhaps (part of) the answer can be found in Susan’s article “10 Reasons to Date a Beta Male”?

  • Carmen

    @Emily
    “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand just for fun!”

    LOL! How true haha. Zooey Deschanel is extraordinarily beautiful though – she can get away with a lot!

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    However, I can’t help but wonder how exactly Hope and Anacaona qualify their partners as nerds?

    This is one of the mysteries that had puzzle philosophers and scientists through millenniums…not really.
    Mostly is a hobby and personality thing, IMO. Hubby likes anime, warhammer, board games and sci-fi . He also never had casual sex, is introverted, smart, caring, loving, sweet, hates flirting and dating, didn’t had a lot of girlfriends and his self worth doesn’t come from how many women he bedded or not, I don’t think he is the type of man that will make every woman in the room swoon, but I don’t think he misses or desires this level of attention from the opposite sex either, he is very critical of dumb women, gold diggers and women that have sex with men of low character or smarts, he loves to wear funny T-shirts and has a lot of preferences for obscure new things, Hey….that maybe why he liked me :p.

    Here is the definition of Nerd per wiki:
    “Nerd is a derogatory stereotype of a person typically described as socially-impaired, obsessive, or overly intellectual. They may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular or obscure activities, pursuits, or interests, which are generally either highly technical, or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities.[1][2][3] Other nerdy qualities include physical awkwardness, introversion, quirkiness, and unattractiveness.[4] Thus, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and is a social outsider. In the stereotypical high-school situation, they may be either considered loners by others, or associate with a small group of like-minded people. As with other pejoratives, nerd has been reappropriated by some as a term of pride and group identity.”

    And if you want to know you level of Nerdiness here is a fun quiz (short version promise last one I took was really long) http://www.nerdtests.com/ft_nq.php

  • Ramble

    My mentor is really cool. I think she would have remarked on it with concern. But not meanness or shaming.

    OK, I can understand that.

  • Cooper

    @Anacaona
    I scored somewhat nerdy. (nerdier than 57% of the test takers)

    Although I answered nearly everything periodic table question, the test didn’t give me a chance to flex my encyclopedic Star Wars knowledge.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    @Cooper
    Not a bad score
    I’m a supreme nerd and on the longest version cool nerd queen. My strengths are history and physics they mixed up physics and Math with chemistry so I didn’t got more points since I sucked at chemistry for some reason. Good to know you have a vast SW knowledge I’m more of Trekker than a Jedi and more of a Superman girl but the rest is Marvel comics. The test needs work for sure. I think I lost points also because I’m married like…seriously?! :p

  • Sassy6519

    I just took the nerdy test as well. I scored as a high nerd (nerdier than 83% of test takers).

    Hmmm.

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

      I got a 34 on the nerd test. I’m surprised it was that high.

  • pennies

    @Jackie

    “The point of this digression is a remember feeling,–although I couldn’t quite articulate it at the time– OK, I better not get fat, sick, unattractive and if I need Prednisone I might as well throw in the towel.

    Luckily I have inner beauty. ”

    You sure do! Jackie, I had a terrible colitis flare-up in my early-20s. I was prescribed prednisone and went from weighing 120 to 140 in two months. The skin on my face was stretched tight. I had acne and the hair on my arms grew dark.

    What I couldn’t understand is that my bf found me just as sexually desirable. We perhaps even had more sex because I was so moved that he didn’t mind. I would not have been insulted at all if he had wanted to take a break because I looked like a watermelon head. Love makes us blind if it’s a real connection. :)

  • Cooper

    “I’m more of Trekker than a Jedi and more of a Superman girl but the rest is Marvel comics.”

    Blasphemy! -2!

    I kid.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I just took the nerdy test as well. I scored as a high nerd (nerdier than 83% of test takers).

    Hmmm.

    Don’t be surprised. You are just a nerd trapped in a beautiful body. ;)
    For clarifications you can take the longest version it has more questions.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Jackie, my mother-in-law is on prednisone. It is a really harsh medication. :/ She struggles with it a lot, but she has incredible self-control and self-discipline, so she has actually lost a TON of weight after starting it. It is because the drug puts her body in a diabetic state, so she eats literally no carbohydrates or anything that could spike her blood sugar. She is on strictly protein, dairy and vegetables. Perhaps this can work for your mentor as well?

    Carmen, my husband and I met in World of Warcraft, so yeah it doesn’t get much nerdier than that. But I don’t think every nerd is cut out for marriage. :P I think the non-nerdy/hobby qualities that make my husband so great are the same ones that Susan often mention in her “why choose a beta” posts. He has high self-control, and conscientiousness. He is als positive, family-oriented, compassionate, loving, capable, and never flips out or gets overly crazy. A good marriage is about two people who are both responsible adults, emotionally mature and have their lives together. That’s incredibly important.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Also one of my favorites is Nerd, Geek or Dork from OKcupid. Is really good and finally makes a difference between the three terms. I hate when people mix them up!
    Is 40 questions but is really fun, here is the link http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-nerd-geek-or-dork-test

  • Joe

    Ack! Too many negatives.

    Is very interesting that seems that Joe finds it devastating when most people here agree that if you don’t like something about the other person that cannot be changed that is more fair that not liking a person for something they can change.

    Sorry, Anacoana. I’m having a hard time parsing this. What?

    But in any event, it seems like most missed my point completely. I absolutely agree that men make snap decisions about women regarding characteristics that no one can change. I also agree it’s uncool and bad.

    But one of the Js almost stumbled on my point:

    Indeed, women aren’t immune to rejection.

    …and neither are men. It appears that women here think (as Shakespeare put it) men don’t bleed, so they can cut them at will (and that’s what I reacted to originally, Anacoana). Sorry. We’re human too, even when we’re not allowed to show it.

    I’m hoping I mis-read (and mis-read *a lot* of posts). But that seems to be the message.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    …and neither are men. It appears that women here think (as Shakespeare put it) men don’t bleed, so they can cut them at will (and that’s what I reacted to originally, Anacoana). Sorry. We’re human too, even when we’re not allowed to show it.

    I will say that this is not a direct rejection I never told anyone to their face “you have the wrong hair color” I mostly made an statement as part of a conversation sometimes with a third party as soon as I could, to save some face for the sake of both. This is the opposite of nuclear rejection what I meant in my paragraph is that men here had said again and again that prefer to know if they have a chance sooner than later and not being led on or used for free dinners, validation or emotional tampons. But then to be fair tell us in your personal take what is the proper way of a woman that doesn’t find a man attractive to let him know?

  • Emily

    >> “I think that within HUSpace it’s worth reflecting on the fact that the two women here who seem (IMO) to be the most happy and fulfilled with their partners are the all-out, honest nerd lovers Hope and Anacaona.”

    To be fair, they’re happily married and pregnant. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a bit over a year and so far things are going really well. Give me some time, maybe I’ll get there. ;)

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    To be fair, they’re happily married and pregnant. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a bit over a year and so far things are going really well. Give me some time, maybe I’ll get there.

    We will make you a T-Shirt “I got pregnant reading Hooking Up Smart” :D

  • Joe

    I never told anyone to their face “you have the wrong hair color” I mostly made an statement as part of a conversation sometimes with a third party as soon as I could, to save some face for the sake of both.

    I’m certain you haven’t. I’ve no doubt that, what ever you tried to say, Anacoana, you were trying to be kind. Of course, I don’t know if you succeeded (I wasn’t there!) and I never will know.

    But I still contend that whatever women in general choose to tell men in general, a lie (even a little “white lie”) is not a good tactic. That works the other way around, too.

    What ever is said, honesty is called for. So is tact, but perhaps that’s a lot to ask of young people just starting out in the world (they should strive to learn it, though).

    This is the opposite of nuclear rejection

    Really? I don’t quite see how it would hurt any less to be blown off for a trivial reason (even if the reason given was meant to mask a more serious, real reason). That goes double if there’s nothing that can be done about it. If the guy is at all sensitive and believe the girl at all, he’s still crushed with an added dash of hopelessness thrown in for good measure. It goes a long way to creating a cad or a very bitter beta, I suspect.

    But then to be fair tell us in your personal take what is the proper way of a woman that doesn’t find a man attractive to let him know?

    Proper? That’s easy. Do it directly, honestly and with as much sensitivity as possible, just like you’d prefer to have it done to you.

    But I suspect that’s not the problem. I’m guessing that it’s when no real reason can be found, when you just don’t know why things don’t click that it’s a problem. Or sometimes it’s when the reason is clear but makes the issuer feel small and petty – that’s a problem.

    When (not if, but when – we all seem to be rejecting and rejected at times in our lives) we know that we’re rejecting someone “just because”, it doesn’t feel good, and we want to shrink from it. Understood. But the same rules apply. Being honest, direct and as tactful as you can is the only way. But the difference in this case is that the rejecting person should realize he or she is made a little less by the experience. It should be a little humbling.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Of course, I don’t know if you succeeded (I wasn’t there!) and I never will know.

    Some men can’t take a no for an answer they are just “too hot and successful with other women that how come someone skinny and not so pretty would say not to them for real regardless of what little defect they have”. Like Mike C says for men that had have experience with other women getting over some minor defect hearing something neutral doesn’t register so I say it worked like 50% of the time.

    That goes double if there’s nothing that can be done about it. If the guy is at all sensitive and believe the girl at all, he’s still crushed with an added dash of hopelessness thrown in for good measure. It goes a long way to creating a cad or a very bitter beta, I suspect.

    You are projecting I never said this to a single guy that showed interest, I was really hoping for someone without a girlfriend or a wife to find me attractive. I always say not to older married men or young men with girlfriends looking for a new addition to their harem. I doubt they would just waiting for me to “save them from their evil wives/girlfriends or penises” and really if I broke some married/committed man heart I really couldn’t care less: dating and picking up is for single people.

    Proper? That’s easy. Do it directly, honestly and with as much sensitivity as possible, just like you’d prefer to have it done to you.

    Actually I like clean cuts of feelings as much as they hurt if they told me, like they did many times that I was “too skinny or ugly” I could get over it easier and faster, so I picked what I though I liked to hear. Make sure I don’t get any hopes I really hate hopelessness.

    But I suspect that’s not the problem. I’m guessing that it’s when no real reason can be found, when you just don’t know why things don’t click that it’s a problem. Or sometimes it’s when the reason is clear but makes the issuer feel small and petty – that’s a problem.

    Projecting again read above there was a clear reason always I wouldn’t reject a man just because. The only single guys that actually showed interest were rejected because 1) He used to manhandle me (like he literally I was talking to someone and he drag me out of his presence no questions asked suposedly this should had made me tingle I just took my hand back and went back to were I was glaring at him all the way) and pick up fights with me and openly defying me God only knows why and I did told him that he was not being a gentleman to me and that I wouldn’t want to spent time with someone just to fight. Total truth and the other one I was interested in when I asked around was courting a mutual friend at work and when my friend rejected him he kind of tried with me and I was already meeting my now husband so I told him I was concentrating on a budding relationship that was going really well. He was okay with this he soon started dated a chinese girl who he was head over heels and was even at my wedding, so yeah…I think you are assuming that I was rejecting sweet Betas? Nerds or that I was some sort of heartbreaker (but then cheaters have no heart if you ask me) I was not. I really give my best chance to any single man that didn’t treated me like dirt that I could find sadly not that many in my social circle.

  • Joe

    Anacoana, wow! Apparently you hung out with people much different than the people I hung out with! ;)

    The majority were not jerks like the ones you described (and I’m sorry you met the jerks). And really, I was trying to address the generalities, not any particulars.

    I was stabbed last summer in a robbery attempt. That guy didn’t deserve common consideration either – I should have decked him before he got close. But the general rule still applies – most people deserve common consideration and decency almost always. That’s the situation I was speaking to.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Anacoana, wow! Apparently you hung out with people much different than the people I hung out with!

    My country has an 84% of men cheating…and I suspect the low class (that I belong to) is probably near 99%. I didn’t had a lot of choices to hang out.

    The majority were not jerks like the ones you described (and I’m sorry you met the jerks). And really, I was trying to address the generalities, not any particulars.

    I got that, I might be ugly but I’m not daft :p
    I had to add more details because this is a place were a lot of men read and if I let it hanging I’m sure someone will say at some point “Yes Anacaona SAYS she likes nice guys but she lied to a ton of them to get off the hook she is just another hamster wheeler entitled third world princess..” I don’t particularly mind but given the confirmation bias is better to clarify, we outliers need to have our position being heard. Sometimes I feel that no matter what men act like we don’t exist or matter, it might be true but at the very least if we don’t matter is not because we don’t talk at least that is my position,” better try and fail than fail for not trying”, YMMV.

  • Michael

    ”The college SMP is messed up, but I don’t buy your claim that 80% of the guys are unattractive to women. Most boyfriends on college campuses are indeed betas, so that’s a good strategy for Carmen. No need to assume she won’t like any of them!”

    This doesn’t make sense to me. In several of your articles you warn women of the dangers of getting emotionally or sexually involved with Alpha males. Not only you do not write about the dangers of the beta male, you came up with an article that encouraged women to date the beta male, trying to force women to feel attraction to the average/beta male, or at least to not be repulsed by the beta male.

    If the vast majority of men are beta males(80%) and if the vast majority are attractive to women – or can be attractive – why are you always taking the chance to put the beta male in front of you? And why are most of your threads and posts written on the mentality, personality, and on the strategy employed by Alpha males and PuA?

    If the majority of women fall in love with average men, if the majority of women would have casual sex with average men if they are horny(that demands the capacity of the beta male to make the average woman sexually aroused without using PUA gimmick or money or social status or height) why are you nudging Carmen to date the good guys who are invisible to the rest of women?

    You’ve made it pretty clear that the guys who are looking for sexy time for free are the Casanovas and the dudes who have the social status to pull it off.. Yet, you claim that not that many univ. guys are interested in getting serious with women.. How can that be when the vast majority of males are beta males, the dudes who constructed western civilization, and are far more likely to stay attached to their sexual partners and be present when their children need?

    You’re either putting forward the notion that young women are only attracted to men who have above average looks or..

    Are you implying that grown-up women are incapable of defending their sexuality, that as soon as an Alpha male smiles at them they start undressing ,or are giving validity to my suspicion that indeed, the vast majority of women cannot be attracted(women looking for marriage lower their standards considerably. I’m talking about sexual attraction, average women wanting to bang average men)

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

      @Michael

      In several of your articles you warn women of the dangers of getting emotionally or sexually involved with Alpha males. Not only you do not write about the dangers of the beta male, you came up with an article that encouraged women to date the beta male, trying to force women to feel attraction to the average/beta male, or at least to not be repulsed by the beta male.

      First, I have never suggested that women are naturally repulsed by beta males. That is pure projection on your part.

      Second, I warn women about the dangers of getting mixed up with players, not alpha males per se. I don’t believe I’ve ever written a post warning women about dating alphas. I have written posts about current research examining dominance and other “alpha” characteristics, most of which illustrates low emotional intelligence, low empathy, and high narcissism. For the most part, it speaks for itself.

      The main danger with players is that they run “false beta game” (as a male reader put it). They do the nice guy thing, “I really, really, really like you a lot.” They have their friends approach the girl to vouch for their character. Their mission is to convince a girl she is the one who can “flip” them – that they’re tired of the routine, would love to have “something real,” etc.

      Of course, there are guys who get girls just by acting like assholes – they don’t even bother to pretend to be good guys. I don’t really have much to say to women who go for those guys – they’re total headcases and they don’t read here anyway.

      my suspicion that indeed, the vast majority of women cannot be attracted(women looking for marriage lower their standards considerably. I’m talking about sexual attraction, average women wanting to bang average men)

      Nearly all betas get married. Clearly, they find women who are attracted to them. They’re not looking to amass a high body count, so comparing men on the basis of N is invalid.

  • Michael

    Cannot be attracted to the average male. What you do understand as a ”couple?” They spend time together? Their families spend holidays together? I have met many, many beta males who’ve been in relationships for years but without any sort of sexual interaction with their girlfriends.

    Heh, being called a boyfriend by an attractive lass or not does not make one a boyfriend. I’ve met most of the guys in my college and though many of them are in a relationship, the truth is that most of the beta males I’ve met in my life, with a girlfriend, have been with them for years but haven’t had any sex yet.

    No, they aren’t religious. I went to high school, you know. I’ve seen how young women change from ”having fun with Ken, the meathead quarterback” and, ” It’s college time, I must find myself a dude with a great financial future before I lose my looks or they, the young men, abandon their hormonal fog.”

    No, thank you.

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

      I have met many, many beta males who’ve been in relationships for years but without any sort of sexual interaction with their girlfriends.

      First, I find this to be a rather ridiculous claim, like many of your observations. You should know that most of what you’re reported here has never been observed or mentioned by a single other reader on a blog with hundreds of thousands of comments. Very strange.

      Second, why would any man do that? That’s pure chump behavior, and that’s on him.

  • Michael

    ”The very real problem is that as far as I can tell, most Game blogs, certainly the non-LTR oriented ones, promote the cocky swagger. In fact, the bloggers themselves have cocky swagger. It’s like a caricature, an online Brutus (from Popeye). Heartiste epitomizes this. I haven’t read Bang, but from what I hear Roosh’s style is more down to earth – there’s an element of false nice guy in there. (LADIES BEWARE!)”

    Gee, maybe those guys figured out women use men according to their current needs and wants and if men don’t watch out, they’ll end up married or at least in a long-term relationship with no sex and probably being cheated on because hes’ not ”Alpha enough” or his beta traits surpassed her requirement for betanesss, meaning shes’ not yet prepared to have children, and she’s still socially fighting other women for who has the most of Alpha boyfriends.

    An example I’ve witnessed was this 18 year old woman who had a great friendship with the woman who’s boyfriend was stolen by her. Both females were pretty, but the dark haired woman, the woman who stole the dude from his former relationship, put out as soon as he visited her to deliver her school project(the woman was sick).

    The guy sits on the couch, she says some words, bam! They’re having sex. The dude’s boyfriend has a key to the house of the dark haired chick and wants to check up on her, she opens the door, sees the boyfriend having a roll in the hay, leaves but not without making a scene.

    A self-respective woman would put a stone on that memory and move on. Nope. She fought for her boyfriend, the dude eventually stopped having sex with the dark haired girl – but moved on to a red-haired chick while having a relationship with the chick who fought with teeth and nails to secure her relationships.

    At the same time, I don’t see average women doing the same for the beta male.

    Do you honestly believe men are going to do the right thing after realizing how easy the Alpha male has it, that he doesn’t have to wait, nor is he the last in the woman’s list of potential boyfriends/FWB’S?

    In the same tone, do you believe women are going to stop putting out for free, offering money and other stuff, for the Alpha male just because red-pill women are giving them warnings? Biology cannot be changed, no matter what the consequences are, and independently of the fact that many, many, if not most of the women in their early to late 30’s are finding it almost impossible to find men who are keen on giving commitment to women, young women in their sexual prime will not relinquish the possibility of banging the Alpha male or the Herculean task of making the Alpha male/bad boy/Brad Pitt/High status male, commit to them.

    And lets us not forget that Hercules was defeated by his stupidity; he took at face value what his wife told him, with that in mind and with the vast majority of young men coming from broken homes, and with the vast majority young men baring witness to the majority of older men living in sexless marriages , paying for their wives because a woman can at any time stop working and he gets sued if he tries to kick her out, and you end up with a wonderful opportunity – for the Latin population in the USA and the Muslim population in Europe to overpopulate our continents and conquer us by numbers!

    Sweet, sweet dark ages of mine ;).

  • Mike C

    OK, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. I think you make a good point here. ***The problem, as I see it, is that cocky swagger absolutely precludes the possibility of meaningful conversation.***

    Only if that is the guy’s MO every single minute of the day 24/7

    Cocky swagger is a screen of sorts that hides all emotion, much less vulnerability. It’s designed to convey an attitude of “I don’t care about others. Everyone should pay homage to me.” Lots of great alpha leaders have not been like that at all.

    I’ll say again because I think it just so important. Everything is a matter of degrees and calibration. Too much emotion and vulnerability too soon is the ticket to loserdom. You know that. I could be wrong, but I think you’ve arrived at this point where when you hear alpha or cocky or swagger or whatever alpha trait, you immediately picture the most extreme caricature of those traits. I don’t think that is a good point for a guy to strive for or be at. Many of the things like cockiness, swagger, indifference, are best in smal measured doses.

    So the perfect blend of alpha and beta traits might include a warm, self-assured greeting, followed by conversation designed to amuse or entertain the person, but also to get to know them. Not “I own the room, bitch” but “You interest me, and I believe I can interest you.” That guy, the one I described as my idea of a highly attractive man of high value, is most likely to be high beta. He is a mix of alpha and beta traits, and he is the man I described in the 10 Reasons post. He is definitely not the alpha buck with all the swagger – no way. And I think he will be preferred by 75% of women.

    Maybe, not sure on the percentage. The guy you describe…I think just needs to be dialed up just a bit. Here’s what I think, and this is based on reading many, many comments over a long period of time. My sense is you obviously lean towards preferring a man with a more beta mix to his personality. You aren’t in the same category with say Hope or Anacoana but you lean more towards that side, and I think you probably assume your preferences are the baseline. I’m speculating, but I really do believe most women in their 20s lean a little more towards preferring the alpha side of the spectrum.

    The very real problem is that as far as I can tell, most Game blogs, certainly the non-LTR oriented ones, promote the cocky swagger.

    Well…right. Because the mission of those blogs is to help guys get laid, not find lasting meaningful LTRs. I think you’ve said yourself you believe the Game tactics probably work better on the minority of women who prefer short-term casual sex.

    I can see the spectrum – perhaps we just identify the ideal in very different ways.

    We are probably not as far apart as you think. Our ideals are probably somewhat different but not very different. The reason for that is our starting points are different. You are really only concerned with a guy being a good LTR candidate. My concern is a guy being able to have success in both an LTR and short-term casual sex whichever he happens to want at that moment.

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

      @Mike C

      The problem, as I see it, is that cocky swagger absolutely precludes the possibility of meaningful conversation.

      Only if that is the guy’s MO every single minute of the day 24/7

      Hmmm, a couple of thoughts here. First, first impressions are huge, and if a guy presents with a cocky swagger, he is absolutely telegraphing “casual sex only.” That is fine and fair if that is his strategy. But a guy who is really interested in getting a gf, as most betas say they are, is driving away women who avoid such men. Even if he doesn’t, there’s the problem of congruency. At what point can he stop the cocky swagger? And how will the woman respond to the change? The woman who tingled for his asshole demeanor is not going to appreciate Beta Boy when he shows up – false advertising.
      It strikes me as a case of using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re after.

      I could be wrong, but I think you’ve arrived at this point where when you hear alpha or cocky or swagger or whatever alpha trait, you immediately picture the most extreme caricature of those traits.

      That’s because I’m hearing some incredible stories with over the top asshole game. I think the guys who calibrate this really well are the natural alphas, to be honest. I think it’s very, very challenging for most guys to deliver just the right amount of aloofness, or push pull. They’re much more likely to cause whiplash – all mushy and boyfriendy on Saturday night, then they don’t answer texts for four days, then they booty call the girl. I don’t know whether this is alpha or beta or college knuckleheads, but this is the typical behavior of a male in his early 20s (who has some game).

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    Second, why would any man do that? That’s pure chump behavior, and that’s on him.

    Can’t recall the technical term.. i think it was called ‘starvation mentality’?

    If that’s all they think they can get because they were taught to be respectful and only deal with one woman at any given time instead of spinning plates, they’d rather suffer it out than risk being alone. It’s why girls can LJBF so many guys… they’ll settle for malnourished scraps rather than look for nutrient rich sustenance. They don’t know any better until they stumble upon Roosh or Le Chateau.

    It may be on them, but it’s because they weren’t raised by Game theorists, they were raised by feminism.

    But that supports Michael’s argument that the repercussions women face for being sluts is ‘on them’ because they’re the ones actively trying to lock down alpha’s by way of sex alone. Why would any woman do that? That’s pure whore behavior and it’s on them! We all know giving it up early is the quickest way to show unworthiness of commitment and an LTR flight risk!

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

      @M3

      But that supports Michael’s argument that the repercussions women face for being sluts is ‘on them’ because they’re the ones actively trying to lock down alpha’s by way of sex alone.

      I don’t disagree with that. I just think Michael, who describes 100% of women this way, is off by a factor of 10. :)

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

      @M3

      It may be on them, but it’s because they weren’t raised by Game theorists, they were raised by feminism.

      So a decent looking guy raised by a feminist is going to spend three celibate years with a woman who looks like she was drawn by R. Crumb?
      rc

  • Ramble

    The woman who tingled for his asshole demeanor is not going to appreciate Beta Boy when he shows up – false advertising.

    Susan, I understand what you were trying to say in this comment, but you are probably going to want to change how you say it.

    I mean, it is often communicated here that girls want a guy who has some beta and some alpha (and I completely understand that the alpha/beta dichotomy is way too simplistic). And, someone could argue that attracting a girl with some alpha swagger and then keeping her with goof beta honor could be a winning strategy. Not that it would be a perfect strategy, but that it is a place, for some, to start.

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

      @Ramble

      I mean, it is often communicated here that girls want a guy who has some beta and some alpha…And, someone could argue that attracting a girl with some alpha swagger and then keeping her with goof beta honor could be a winning strategy. Not that it would be a perfect strategy, but that it is a place, for some, to start.

      I think that a man needs to have that balance calibrated from the start. I’m not saying he has to be perfect, I’m saying that going from alpha swagger to goofy beta will be a FAIL every time. Believe me, I’ve seen it firsthand and heard of it countless times from women. They guy brings dominance in a bar or party setting, then reverts to pedestalizing needy behavior almost immediately. Or, as I mentioned earlier, he is on a push-pull roller coaster. Passion one day, hostility the next, then emo pillow talk, then a jealous rage, then ignores texts, then wants to “talk” all night with sex as the outcome.

      These approaches are completely incongruent, and women will recoil at that. We are wired to detect fakes. The only way a man can change his long-term success with women is to work on himself enough that he becomes that new and improved mix of alpha and beta. The “fake it till you make it” approach will get him some SNLs, but not an ongoing hookup or relationship.

  • Ramble

    good beta honor”

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

      “good beta honor”

      Ah, that changes the comment a lot! Sure, a woman who goes for the cocky guy who turns out to have good beta honor has won the lottery. I’d estimate that cocky guys and good beta honor are two circles that may overlap very, very slightly. That’s unicorn territory.

  • Michael

    ”First, I find this to be a rather ridiculous claim, like many of your observations. You should know that most of what you’re reported here has never been observed or mentioned by a single other reader on a blog with hundreds of thousands of comments. Very strange.”

    So? car accidents don’t happen if there’s no one around to see them?

  • Mike C

    Susan stated:

    The woman who tingled for his asshole demeanor is not going to appreciate Beta Boy when he shows up – false advertising.

    ______________________________ ______________________________ __________________________________________________

    Ramble responded:

    Susan, I understand what you were trying to say in this comment, but you are probably going to want to change how you say it.

    I mean, it is often communicated here that girls want a guy who has some beta and some alpha (and I completely understand that the alpha/beta dichotomy is way too simplistic). And, someone could argue that attracting a girl with some alpha swagger and then keeping her with goof beta honor could be a winning strategy. Not that it would be a perfect strategy, but that it is a place, for some, to start.

    What Ramble said.

    I’ll admit I’m perplexed by your comment above Susan. You’ve often said (correct me if I am wrong) that is the MIX of alpha and beta traits that is optimal. Well, I AGREE, especially that some degree of beta comfort traits are going to be necessary for a successful LTR. So I agree with Ramble that *some* alpha swagger to attract in the beginning, and then a transition to a little more beta comfort in the relationship stage. Again, I’m not talking about extremes here and two completely different people….just slight changes in calibration during different stages. Just a hint of swagger in the beginning his like a woman showing off some cleavage or legs to get some attraction, but one is certainly not going to expect her to walk around the house all day in lingerie. IDK. To me, these things are not either/or binary on/off things but matters of degree.

    To your point about the stories you are hearing, I can’t dispute that. I’m out of the game and scene so to speak so you are no doubt more attuned to what some women are maybe running into. I’m not surprised though. I suspect no kids hop on a 2-wheel bike the first time, and ride no-handed. I think there are a lot of guys that read about the Game mindset and particular tactics and then botch the execution. It isn’t easy when the burden is on you (guys) to do all the approaching and initial attraction generation. I suspect a lot of guys just sort of stumble and bumble the best they can, and instead of seeming smooth and congruent, it seems the like the “whiplash” you describe. Honestly, if I were thrust back into the short-term game tomorrow, having to approach and attract, I suspect it would take me at least 3-4 months to really get my bearings.

    Some of these guys you are referring to probably have years of beta programming to ovecome, and are probably just trying to fight through years of little to no success. I think there is probably a tendency to overcorrect to the extreme side of pendulum which is what you are hearing with the over the top asshole game. My inclination is to cut guys a lot of slack knowing most are just trying to figure out what works after perhaps a long time period of little to no success.

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

      Again, I’m not talking about extremes here and two completely different people….just slight changes in calibration during different stages. Just a hint of swagger in the beginning his like a woman showing off some cleavage or legs to get some attraction, but one is certainly not going to expect her to walk around the house all day in lingerie.

      Let me be clear. Women love a hint of swagger. We love cocky funny. But it is indeed a question of calibration. We’re looking for signs of humanity there – is the guy confident and witty or just smug? Does he tease or “neg” in a way that is designed to engage the woman, or is he just being mean?

      I heard a funny story the other day. A young woman was downtown, and found a coveted parking space. It was tight, so she had several failed attempts. At one point, she noticed, to her horror, that a cute guy was standing there watching her with amusement. When she finally got it in, and got out of the car, he asked her whether she had time for coffee or whether she’d already used her entire break parking badly. She had to laugh, they had coffee, she gave him her number. She says he is a really good guy (so far).

      I hear you re the beta programming. We’re all a work in progress. A guy’s results are going to improve over time as he internalizes a new mindset. Having said that, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I am not in favor of “destroying the beta.”

  • Ramble

    “…goofy beta…”

    Yeah, I tried to correct that spelling mistake. I meant, “good beta”.

    They guy brings dominance in a bar or party setting, then reverts to pedestalizing needy behavior almost immediately. Or, as I mentioned earlier, he is on a push-pull roller coaster. Passion one day, hostility the next, then emo pillow talk, then a jealous rage, then ignores texts, then wants to “talk” all night with sex as the outcome.

    Susan, I completely understand and I am not arguing with you. I am saying that since this site often pushes the idea of “some beta, some alpha” as a good solution, you will need to be careful in how you word these things.

    I understand that can be annoying, but, otherwise, it can seem like you are contradicting yourself.

    ==================

    Susan, right here, I think that you are on the verge of contradicting yourself:

    The only way a man can change his long-term success with women is to work on himself enough that he becomes that new and improved mix of alpha and beta. The “fake it till you make it” approach will get him some SNLs, but not an ongoing hookup or relationship.

    That so called, “working on yourself” often involves faking it.

    If you were raised to be a pedestalizer and supplicator, you might very well need to fake some of that Alpha before it is ingrained.

  • Ramble

    Sure, a woman who goes for the cocky guy who turns out to have good beta honor has won the lottery. I’d estimate that cocky guys and good beta honor are two circles that may overlap very, very slightly. That’s unicorn territory.

    Right, but a ton of “smart” beta guys can learn to turn up the volume on their Friday Night Asshole-ishness to increase the responding tingle.

    As you have said yourself, a beta guy who has got some Game can be great for a large percentage of girls.

  • Ramble

    Does he tease or “neg” in a way that is designed to engage the woman, or is he just being mean?

    Again, to be clear, teasing and negging are two different things. I am no PUA, but of this I am certain.

    Teasing should be playful.

    Negging calibrates, or adjusts the market value difference (i.e. gets her off her high horse)

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

      @Ramble

      Negging should be playful teasing. That’s what Mystery said, and he invented it. A good neg raises the man’s SMV by demonstrating he is not intimidated by a high SMV woman. Any attempt to “bring the woman down” by insulting her in a way that hits home – and causes a mini self-esteem crisis, is unethical, in my view. It’s also going to filter out all but the headcases. Of course, if a SNL is your goal, that’s the way to go.

      For example, Mystery teased women for having button noses – hardly something most women would be sensitive about. He asked them in their nails were fake – again, not really an insult. A woman with pretty nails will laugh this off and qualify herself to him. He did not tease women about their chubby thighs, unplucked eyebrows or acne-scarred skin.

  • Mike C

    I think that a man needs to have that balance calibrated from the start.

    Susan,

    I hope you’ll clarify this statement because I’m not sure exactly what you mean. It sure reads like a guy has to be born with this or oh well he is just shit out of luck.

    I’ll use the analogy of learning a foreign language. It is very well-documented and understood that young children can learn and pick up a foreign language orders of magnitude easier than an adult. I believe interacting with women has a similar phenomenon. Guys who are “naturals” and have that “balance calibrated from the start” are the guys who happen to just learn all this in their pre-teen and early teen years. They get off on the right foot, have success, and it just snowballs from there, and by the time they are 18, 20, 22, they just seem perfectly smooth. I think guys who have to learn this stuff in their early 20s or 30s or even later face a much greater uphill battle. There is more deprogramming to do, and then to layer the new behavior on top of it. It is just a messier process than getting it right in 6th and 7th grade.

    I’m not saying he has to be perfect, I’m saying that going from alpha swagger to goofy beta will be a FAIL every time.

    For sure, no doubt. But a guy has to start SOMEWHERE. I hope I am wrong, but I am getting the sense you aren’t appreciating the level of difficulty here, and that many guys are going to struggle with finding the happy medium.

    These approaches are completely incongruent, and women will recoil at that. We are wired to detect fakes. The only way a man can change his long-term success with women is to work on himself enough that he becomes that new and improved mix of alpha and beta. The “fake it till you make it” approach will get him some SNLs, but not an ongoing hookup or relationship.

    But that working on himself doesn’t come from standing alone in a room meditating, expecting the new and improved him to come down like ether into his body. It comes from interacting with real women in the real world, making a lot of the mistakes you mention, and hopefully recalibrating and getting better. It would be nice if it were just a matter of reading a few items, thinking about it for a day, putting in the blender, and coming out the next day with the perfect mix of alpha and beta traits with 100% congruency. Unfortunately ,that is totally unrealistic.

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

      @Mike C

      Re calibration, I did not mean to suggest that a guy has to be born with it, obviously. As I said in an earlier comment, guys learning Game are going to get better as they go along. In the beginning, when they’re more likely to do the whiplash thing, their results will reflect that, and hopefully they’ll learn.

      Part of what I am talking about is intent. One of the more common justifications for going “dark” is guys saying you have to go all the way to that place in order to come back to being benevolent in your sexual power. I guess this is the flip side of your view about hyperbole. I think “killing the beta” is a common manifestation of this as guys employ some pretty questionable tactics. I don’t support that. I would never encourage my son to do bad things now so that he can learn what it is to be a good man, with the justification that a man in the desert has to learn what a feast looks like. I believe that men can learn Game to go from starving to eating responsibly and not wasting food by needlessly killing prey you don’t really want.

      I am not talking about pursuing casual sex with willing partners who are regular practitioners of casual sex themselves.

  • Mike C

    Let me be clear. ****Women love a hint of swagger. We love cocky funny. But it is indeed a question of calibration.*** We’re looking for signs of humanity there – is the guy confident and witty or just smug? Does he tease or “neg” in a way that is designed to engage the woman, or is he just being mean?

    :) That is ALL I’ve been saying all along. What you just said here is my exact original point regarding cocky funny swagger.

    I heard a funny story the other day. A young woman was downtown, and found a coveted parking space. It was tight, so she had several failed attempts. At one point, she noticed, to her horror, that a cute guy was standing there watching her with amusement. When she finally got it in, and got out of the car, he asked her whether she had time for coffee or whether she’d already used her entire break parking badly. She had to laugh, they had coffee, she gave him her number. She says he is a really good guy (so far).

    Good stuff. You do realize there is a bit of a neg there, right? “Parking badly”. The devil is in the details, and intent and delivery (teasing versus mean-spirited) makes a world of difference.

    Having said that, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I am not in favor of “destroying the beta.

    Neither am I. I know you are skeptical of this, but you have to realize men tend to speak in hyperbole while women are more prone to nuance and subtlety. At least to me “destroying the beta” doesn’t mean exorcising every single remnant of beta behavior or going to the alpha extreme on the spectrum. For example, I still think of myself as fairly agreeable but I am also much more assertive now than I was say 10-15 years ago. I think it would be ludicrous to ramp up being disagreeable just for the sake of being more alpha.

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

      @Mike C

      That is ALL I’ve been saying all along. What you just said here is my exact original point regarding cocky funny swagger.

      Well, as usual we may be misunderstanding one another, but it was this comment that suggested something more than a hint of swagger (which is think is plenty for most women).

      I think it is more useful to think in terms of “alpha” and “beta” traits. For example, cocky swagger is an alpha trait while its “beta counterpart” might be meek reservation. So imagine that on a spectrum. In my view, the extreme points are both undesirable but there is a happy medium point that maximizes attractive masculinity for MOST WOMEN

      I think where you and I disagree is on the spectrum, and where the desirable point lies. In any case, I agree that extreme cocky swagger is an undesirable alpha trait, and meek reservation is an undesirable beta trait. However, that puts me at odds with 99% of the manosphere, which views alpha traits as strictly positive, and beta traits as strictly negative. The 10 Reasons to Date a Beta Male post highlighted several negative alpha traits, and there was a lot of pushback from men on that post. They will not stand for alpha=bad, in any form.

      You do realize there is a bit of a neg there, right? “Parking badly”. The devil is in the details, and intent and delivery (teasing versus mean-spirited) makes a world of difference.

      Yes, that is why I told the story – it illustrates a bit of cockiness with a playful neg perfectly. He got her to laugh at herself, and then she was much more open to his invitation.

      I know you are skeptical of this, but you have to realize men tend to speak in hyperbole while women are more prone to nuance and subtlety.

      I do realize that, actually. It’s just that here, where both sexes are speaking, we need to meet in the middle somewhere. That’s difficult when readers come in and quote Roissy or Roosh as literal gospel truth, assuming they don’t qualify the statement as hyperbole.

  • Ramble

    Negging should be playful teasing. That’s what Mystery said, and he invented it.

    “Nice nails, are they real?”

    This is not playful teasing. This is a neg.

    And when some guy tells a girl that it is cute that her nose wiggles when she laughs, I am betting that 9 times out of 10 he knows that he is making her more self-conscious. Do you want to call that “ethical”? Fine.

    Ultimately, this will devolve into an argument about semantics. But, there are instances when the guy is genuinely attempting to be playful and others where he knows, on some level, that he is affecting her self-consciousness. Which ones you want to categorize as being “ethical” is up to you.

    Any attempt to “bring the woman down” by insulting her in a way that hits home

    It is possible for negs to be insulting. It is possible for them to be hurtful, it is also possible for them to be open to interpretation.

    Either way, used “ethically” or not, I stand by my definition.

    (Hopefully, you will note that I am not making arguments in favor or against negs, just doing my part to help define them.)

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

      @Ramble

      You’re right about semantics. Ultimately, the results will tell the story. Does the guy do well with women when he jokingly refers to their muffin top? Or their “spray on orange tans?” Obviously, that depends on the guy, the girl, and the degree of actual truth in the neg. It’s up to guys to figure out what works for them. Personally, I know what kinds of negs would work on me, e.g. “Nice parking job, haha.” And which ones wouldn’t – “That’s a very, er, interesting outfit you’re wearing.” But I’m sure there are lots of girls who would eagerly attempt to qualify themselves depending on the guy’s hotness.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3

    “So a decent looking guy raised by a feminist is going to spend three celibate years with a woman who looks like she was drawn by R. Crumb?”

    YIKES!

    Wow. Well no, probably not with that ‘thing’. But if the girl is at or above his sex rank, beta boy will probably continue digging a deeper hole by utilizing what feminism drilled into him in supplicating trying to win back fair maidens heart.

    If he knew of game, he wouldn’t put up with sexlessness and show her the door confident in his ability to go out and find someone who will have sex with him. Further if he did have game, the whole issue would be moot because she’d probably be having sex with him and he wouldn’t be getting chumped.

    Causality.

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

      @M3

      Well, Michael’s description of his girlfriend of three years immediately brought R. Crumb to mind. Perhaps he is the male equivalent, IDK.

  • Ramble

    “Nice parking job, haha.”

    Again, this is teasing and not a neg.

    “You dress like my mom.” That is a neg. She can interpret it many different ways.

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

      “You dress like my mom.” That is a neg. She can interpret it many different ways.

      My son’s male 6th grade teacher said this to me. Because she was a well-known artist, I felt enormously complimented.

      I will confirm that I am not attracted to people who insult others, in general, and if I’m the target of their unkindness, I like them even less.

      Other women may respond differently.

  • Ramble

    Susan, your complaints could basically be re-phrased as, “If I am insulted, then I don’t like him.”

    Which is fine, but it is, basically, a tautology.

  • Ramble

    Because she was a well-known artist, I felt enormously complimented.

    Like I said, it is open to interpretation. Another might have been insulted.

  • Jackie

    @Ramble, Susan

    I think context would have a *lot* to do with it. In a romantic situation, being told “you dress like my mom” would bring up a lot of Oedipal weirdness, wouldn’t it?” Also, if he is referring to “mom jeans” in any way, shape or form, I sincerely doubt it is a heartfelt compliment!

    It would be a pretty high compliment on cooking, though: “Just like Mom used to make.” :)

    But really until you know about the guy’s relationship with his mom, it’s kinda nebulous and open to interpretation.

  • Jackie

    @Susan
    “I will confirm that I am not attracted to people who insult others, in general, and if I’m the target of their unkindness, I like them even less.”

    Co-signed, 100%. Remember Jessa & Whiny Guy’s wedding vows in “Girls”? Just the way they were mocking and insulting each other really seemed to not only hurt each other, but the ceremony and commitment itself. NOT GOOD.

    (BTW, I have heard that the actress who plays Jessa is expecting IRL. Maybe that’s why they married her off, for next season? It was in an interview with the Girls’ costume designer. [I wanted to see if they were dressing Hannah in the most unflattering outfits on purpose!]) If you’re interested, I can send you the link :) )

  • OffTheCuff

    “Kill your inner beta” doesn’t mean extinguish your humanity. It means reduce those beta traits, especially the negative ones, so they do not overwhelm your alpha ones.

    To a born-and-bred beta, this *feels* a bit like dying psychologically. Sort of an intentional partial suicide. Hence, the term “kill”.

    Maybe I am just rationalizing, but it’s how I have used the phrase.

  • Ramble

    …it’s kinda nebulous and open to interpretation.

    Exactly. She can’t assume it is an insult, but she also can’t assume it is a compliment. Well, honestly, she can assume whatever she wants. Either way, like you said, it is open to interpretation and not a direct insult. And, it is not teasing.

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