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Are You Giving or Getting?

Give takeI’m a firm believer in focusing on giving rather than getting, especially in relationships. That’s not some warm, fuzzy platitude about being a good person, though givers are invariably nicer to be around than getters, or takers. Rather, giving is good strategy. There is a large body of research that shows giving makes people happy. Generosity and its twin Gratitude are infinitely more personally rewarding than Selfishness and its twin Want. The former reflects an attitude of continual abundance, the latter of perpetual scarcity. 

Consider the following phrases, all of which describe today’s mating environment:

  • Get a number.
  • Get IOIs (indicators of interest).
  • Get a date.
  • Get stood up.
  • Get the upper hand.
  • Get laid.
  • Get her jealous.
  • Get suspicious.
  • Get off.
  • Get a blow job.
  • Get LJBF’d.
  • Get some on the side.
  • Get an STD.
  • Get pregnant.
  • Get used.
  • Get taken advantage of.
  • Get dumped.
  • Take a break.
  • Take off.
  • Take control.

See how that works? Getting is all about You.

Now consider the opposite:

  • Give time and attention.
  • Give encouragement.
  • Give your number.
  • Give him a shot.
  • Give respect.
  • Give the truth.
  • Give consent.
  • Give appreciation.
  • Give hugs.
  • Give affection.
  • Give treats.
  • Give compliments.
  • Give support.
  • Give your word.
  • Give an orgasm.
  • Give trust.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt.
  • Give love.
  • Give yourself in marriage.

Giving is all about The Other.

There’s the constructive effort of making:

  • Make love.
  • Make a commitment.
  • Make a life.
  • Make a home.
  • Make a baby.

Making is all about We.

I can already anticipate your protests:

“When I give I just get taken advantage of.”

“No woman wants a doormat.”

“Chicks dig jerks.”

“I demand respect.”

Being a Giver does not mean getting shafted, provided you bestow your gifts on a fellow Giver. Where Givers most often go wrong is in trying to make things work with Takers. Let Takers get with other Takers – they can enjoy making one another miserable with their adversarial dynamic. Competition makes for very dysfunctional relationships.

Your best strategy, as always, is to filter aggressively to weed out Takers. When you find a fellow Giver, go all in. Give it everything you’ve got. The rest will take care of itself.

 

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

    Cosign this. 100000000000% :)

  • Lokland

    “I can already anticipate your protests:
    “When I give I just get taken advantage of.””

    Now what do I say?
    99% percent positive every time a guy mentions this he gets the ‘its her orgasm’ talk.

    Ohh look, I found something to criticize :P

    Nice post.

  • Lokland

    Should be a ‘give an orgasm’ in the middle bit somewhere.

  • J

    Great post. I particularly like the “making” part. It’s really all about what you can build as a couple.

  • Jon

    Since giving and receiving are two sides of the same transaction, how can one be better than other?

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

      @Jon

      Ah, but receiving is not the same as getting or taking. It is the acceptance of something given, it is passive rather than active. And it is not self-serving.

  • K.

    One of my favorite blogs writes a lot about happiness. This post in particular talks about how “other-oriented” people tend to be the happiest.

    Giving and receiving are two sides of the same transaction, yes, but it seems in the end, the increase in well-being experienced by the giver is greater than what was initially given.

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

      @K.

      I share your appreciation for Eric Barker!

      in the end, the increase in well-being experienced by the giver is greater than what was initially given.

      Well said. As I see it, the benefits are these:

      Gratification to the giver, derived from the act of giving.

      Benefit to the receiver.

      Investment in relationship between giver and receiver.

      Invitation for receiver to give back, and begin the cycle again.

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

    When Peter Drucker was very young, he worked as an assistant to a wealthy Dutch banker, who lived in a large house with his nine “wives.” The banker, who apparently didn’t believe in birth control, also didn’t believe it was healthy for a woman to have too many children, so when that N was reached, he’d divorce her, marry another, and they would all live (happily?) together in the same house. Drucker said he couldn’t tell the difference among them; they all seemed like the “regulation Dutch housewife” to him.

    The banker told Drucker that he had learned ***”the type of woman for whom I make a good husband”*** and saw no reason to depart from that pattern. Notice that he (the banker) did not say (at least as quoted) “the type of woman who makes a good wife for me,” but rather the other way around.

    I suspect a little Druckerian embellishment here, because there is a suspicious parallel to something Professor Drucker said about corporate acquisitions: that it’s not going to work, at least not profitably, unless YOU can add something to the company you’re thinking about acquiring. Nonetheless, the point is a good one in the romantic as in the business context: think about who you fit as well as about who fits you.

  • Sassy6519

    I sincerely want to give a man everything. I want to trust. I want to offer myself to someone unashamedly. I want to make a home with someone. I want to find someone to live my life with. I just feel so stuck right now. I can’t help but feel really bummed out right now. Although I’m on a dating sabbatical, I can’t help but be reminded of how empty my love life makes me feel. I’m actually in tears right now while typing this.

    My recent ex contacted me again over the weekend, begging me to see him again. I can’t bring myself to do it though. I was also propositioned for yet another threesome over the weekend, and I just feel really hollow.

    I’m damaged, and I admit that. I don’t trust easily. I have a hard time letting my guard down. As much as I would like to, too many bad experiences with men have left me skeptical and unsure. I don’t know how to break this stupid cycle.

    I want more than anything to be able to find a man that I can be my true self around. I always have my guard up, but I want to be able to tear those walls down. I let fear dictate my interactions with men, and I don’t know how to stop. I want to give, but I don’t have the faintest idea about how to go about doing it. I just feel really glum right now.

    I think true courage can be found in the ability to put one’s faith in another person, to trust them to love you and not cause you harm. I’m a fucking coward, and I know that. I don’t know how to trust, how to completely let go of past hurt. I want to learn how to give freely. Maybe with more time, I’ll learn how.

    You can delete this comment if you want Susan. I don’t mean to be a complete downer to this thread.

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

      @Sassy

      I’m sending you big hugs across the miles. I know what it’s like to type on this blog with eyes spilling over, and my heart goes out to you.

      If I may, though, I’d like to take issue with something you said. You have let your guard down with some guys – enough to think you might even want his children! I’m assuming you managed to convey that to build intimacy. If not, you know where the work is.

      You’ve also gotten some duds in the sack. That’s not going to work for you. The best thing you can do is filter people out as soon as you know they’re not compatible. I know it’s hard when the issue is sex drive.

      I would also respectfully suggest that your inability to trust and your desire for alpha are undoubtedly related to your relationship with your alpha father. That bears examining.

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

        @K

        From the post you linked, this is worth sharing:

        “Researchers… found that happy people are ten times more likely to be other-oriented than self-centered. This suggests that happiness is a by-product of helping others rather than the result of its pursuit.”

  • Jesse

    Sorry to hear you’re struggling Sassy.

    Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find a man who will see through to a good core, and he’ll give his all to help heal and nurture you. I’m sure there are men out there who would just love to extend a hand and help you overcome your struggles.

    I don’t have much advice to give, and I know it’s difficult, but I just wanted to mention that I think there are men who would love to build a strong emotional bond by taking the first step and showing you that you can in fact let your guard down around him, because he wants to love and help you, and pave the way for you to trust and bond with him. I think that would be quite a beautiful thing to behold.

  • Ted D

    “Researchers… found that happy people are ten times more likely to be other-oriented than self-centered. This suggests that happiness is a by-product of helping others rather than the result of its pursuit.”

    I have said over at MMSL that Athol has made me a disciple of sorts. Now that I’m happier with myself and my relationship, I find myself compelled to share that happiness. (And giving a shit about others in general,is a new development for me.)

    And FWIW I’ve always believed that happiness was the byproduct of living a good life. Perhaps it’s all part of a positive loop where being happy directs you to help others, which makes more happiness. All while serving others, which according to the Good Book is indeed living a good life.

  • Jackie

    @Sassy

    ((((Sassy))))

    Sassy, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through a rough time. I know what it’s like to have walls up and be terrified, at some level, of true intimacy. Even today I was talking with someone about my ex-fiance and was like, How do I *know* that I won’t be deceived and cheated on AGAIN? Loss is emotional devastation and it can be *paralyzing*.

    I think that you are very strong in acknowledging these difficulties. Think about that. Many (most?) people will either try to numb their pain with alcohol, drugs, promiscuity or turning their venom in at others. Or paper over it with their accomplishments or push themselves to a frenetic pace to avoid ever thinking about it.

    Instead, you are owning it and working through it. That’s HUGE. You are to be congratulated for taking the more difficult and very self-aware path.

    This is just me, but is it possible that it’s not a coincidence that you are in grad school for psychology? My therapist, most therapists, are in their jobs because they had to understand and work through their issues to highly refined degree.

    I’m not sure if you’re seeing anyone (a professional) right now, but maybe consider it. Pain doesn’t usually come with an OFF switch. Plus you are in a prime situation for low-cost, on-campus help, or your insurance may cover an outside agency.

    (Personally, I think anyone in grad school should be working with a therapist just to deal with the MASSIVE amount of work, stress and expectations.)

    The reason that I recommend therapy is that not only will a detached professional help you understand your issues, but can also give you direction for healthier alternatives.

    Healing one’s issues is the heroic quest of our lives. It is the story that each of us must both write and live, a chapter at a time. I wish you well, Sassy. Peace–

  • Jackie

    Also, this articles rocks!!
    :mrgreen:
    8-)
    :)
    :D

  • SayWhaat

    Hey Sassy,

    I’m so sorry that you’re feeling down. Sometimes things suck, and we want to fix it, but we don’t know how.

    But I want to point out something. A year ago, you were adamant against the very *thought* of having kids. Then, (IIRC) you examined yourself with the help of therapy, and behold – you met a guy who actually made you want to have his children! Sassy, that is huge! That is a lot of progress right there. And I think that if you continue on this path of self-exploration, you’ll find yourself in a place where you can let your guard down and reach over and find someone who really revvs your engine in a fantastic way. In a way, you are chipping away at your own walls and making it easier to find someone who can connect with you on an emotional and physical level.

    Like others have said, you’ve already made steps in healthier directions. We’re rooting for you!! :)

  • Sai

    @Sassy
    Seconding Jackie’s advice. Visit a professional therapist (and I’m not being mean, I went to do the same thing). It’s what they get paid for, so at least one of them HAS to be able to help you through this situation.

    I have to make sure I only let givers (a giver) in -I’ve long since had the “100% taker” shamed out of me and will consider others, but I don’t have fun giving and I do fear the shaft.

  • JuTR

    Hey Sassy, you can’t fix how you feel. I’ve been there, and I kept telling myself, “This too, shall pass.” Sometimes it is the struggles, the turmoil and self doubt that give us the character to eventually succeed.

    This SMP sucks. It’s not going to get any better. I do know there is some guy out there that will give you what you desire, and hopefully, what you need. Just get out there, and keep searching.

  • Richard Aubrey

    My situations, for good or ill, never looked like Sassy’s, so all I can do is offer sympathy.

    I do have a problem with the giver/doormat issue. Filtering famously, perhaps even accurately, involves shit tests. Is it possible that a woman who is a giver would be filtering for doormats and inadvertently dump a good guy who’s a giver?
    AFAIK, a shit test is about something minor, since the woman can’t afford for things to go her–supposed–way if it’s serious or has serious consequences.
    Can we picture a giver who, simultaneously, never, ever gives in to energetic requests to do something he thinks is a bad idea?
    Or would strong women who happen to be givers never do such a thing?

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

      @Richard

      You always raise very interesting questions.

      Is it possible that a woman who is a giver would be filtering for doormats and inadvertently dump a good guy who’s a giver?

      Of course a giving woman will filter for doormats, because we do not see giving and weakness as going hand in hand. It’s possible to be very giving and also strong, to be generous and still maintain strong self-respect.

      Can we picture a giver who, simultaneously, never, ever gives in to energetic requests to do something he thinks is a bad idea?

      Yes! Being a giver doesn’t mean that you give another person everything they want or ask for. You wouldn’t want a mate who was willing to abandon his/her own good judgment to placate you.

  • Society’s Disposable Son

    I once heard a quote that said you’ll never love like you did the first time.
    I think it applies here…

  • Sassy6519

    @ Everyone

    Thank you all for the words of encouragement. I’m feeling a lot better now than I was earlier. Sometimes a good cry is called for, and it helped to relieve some of my stress.

    I’m just going to take one day at a time. I can’t allow myself to become even more jaded/cynical than I already am. This SMP is brutal, but I can’t throw in the towel yet.

  • http://www.daykoons.com Danny

    The complete self-focus is very destructive. While maintaining your values and personal boundaries, you should be focused on your partner; showing love actively and being involved. The more an individual focuses on himself/herself, the less happy they are.

  • Jesse

    See, I get that it’s an important feature of a healthy relationship that each partner is quite focused on the other’s happiness. I buy into this.

    The thing is, it sets high standards. It defines ‘a relationship’ as something in which you devote time to supporting and helping the other person, and she does the same for you. If you are completely consumed by your own projects and work, this can seem like a tall order. You may only have 3-6 hours a week for dating or relationships. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “Gee, I might like a relationship, but I don’t know that I can meet that standard and give enough of myself to another person,” so what you’re left with is casual dating and relationships. You see that you don’t have time to make it to her recital or spend the day taking care of her if she’s sick, so you start to block off the idea in your mind of being able to have ‘a relationship.’

    I suppose this is all fairly straightforward, because in the end you have a certain number of hours in a day and your schedule will reflect your priorities. I’m just trying to spell things out for myself, and I suppose it’s logical that if you lead a very busy life you should expect at best fairly slow progress in the relationship arena.

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

      @Jesse

      The thing is, it sets high standards. It defines ‘a relationship’ as something in which you devote time to supporting and helping the other person, and she does the same for you. If you are completely consumed by your own projects and work, this can seem like a tall order. You may only have 3-6 hours a week for dating or relationships.

      You’ve just summed up what so many young people feel, and why they delay relationships and ultimately, marriage.

      I do think this concern gets magnified unjustly. When my husband and I got together in business school, we couldn’t take attention away from our projects and work. Some days, we were only together to sleep. Other days, we studied together. Sometimes, you can nurture a relationship and provide support just by being present.

  • Resident Comedian

    Forget Girls and the UMC SMP, here’s how the other half, or rather 2/3rds, of American women in their 20s are living;

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/03/marry_in_your_twenties.single.html

    Excerpt;

    “The picture of the twentysomething years painted by the pop culture—think Girls or The Mindy Project—suggests that young adults use their 20s as a kind of “odyssey years” to bridge adolescence and adulthood. Judging by Hannah, Adam, and Mindy, the 20s are about getting educated and established at work, enjoying drinks and coffee with friends, trying your hand at relationships, all before the press of adult responsibilities sets in.

    This picture is largely accurate for college-educated young adults as we show in our new report, “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America,” and it’s a picture that ends up relatively rosy, even if the 20s have difficult moments. These highly educated adults have embraced a “capstone” model of marriage that typically leads them to put off marriage until they have had a chance to establish themselves professionally, personally, and relationship-wise. This capstone model is paying big dividends to the college-educated: Their divorce rate is low, and their income is high. We find, for instance, that college-educated women who postpone marriage to their 30s earn about $10,000 more than their college-educated sisters who marry in their mid-20s.

    But one major and more dystopian feature of actual contemporary twentysomething life is conspicuously absent from small-screen depictions: parenthood. Hard as it might be for Hannah and Mindy—and their viewers—to imagine, most American women without college degrees have their first child in their 20s. These young women and their partners—who make up about two-thirds of twentysomething adults in the United States—are logging more time at the diaper aisle of the local supermarket than at the local bar.
    Advertisement

    This would not be such a big deal except for the fact that many of these twentysomethings are drifting into parenthood, becoming moms and dads with partners they don’t think are fit to marry or at least ready to marry. For instance, almost 1 in 2 babies—47 percent, to be precise—born to twentysomething women are now born to unmarried parents. In fact, twentysomething women now have the majority of children outside of marriage, which—given that 30 is the new 20—makes them the new teen moms.”

    {The author of the piece actually uses the term “carousel” in the next paragraph which I did not copy and paste here.}

  • Nordic

    i dont think this works very well as a general rule. it works very different for men and women i noticed.

    women can be, and should be, as giving as possible early on, it makes us invest easier and we get out of the strike mode. a bit like a twelve year old girl dropping a coin in front of a ticket machine, her protection value is so high you will immidiatly give her a new coin to help. a girl who shows she is for real and sweet early, makes us connect emotionally early on. she is not game material but too sweet. a girl who is acting out, and being a bit of a bitch is a very easy game target, we have no second thoughts around her.

    for men, its very different. we cant actually be that nice early on, even if it feels natural to us, and often it does. but we are just not allowed to. and should not try that. women will be angry reading this, and tell you over and over again, that they dont work like this, but they do. being to nice, buying a girl stuff and so on, will serve to lower your value in her eyes, and you may lower it to a point where you are now her friend. i know this sucks, coz we all want to follow our hearts, but it is just not the way girl works. after you already slept with her, you can buy her stuff and do whatever, and you should. but you need to save the nice stuff until sex is there, or it may never be there. mens most common mistake is to build comfort before building attraction. this is a huge mistake, start by building attraction, and often if the attraction is strong enough women dont even need comfort, but if they need, a small fraction of the time should focus on that.

    sassy. you need strong male friends. men who look after you and help you feel protected but without it being sexual, to show and make you feel valuable and safe. do you have any brothers?

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

      @Nordic

      Notice that nowhere in the post did I say “give gifts” or “give smothering love” or “give too much.” Of course there are times when it is inappropriate to give certain things. I’m not suggesting that giving respect or giving honesty and giving love and commitment should always apply, to all people. That makes no sense.

      In giving, as in any other form of communication between two people, it is appropriate to calibrate to the relationship, including the other person’s level of interest. For example, is the other person giving encouragement for a commitment?

      after you already slept with her, you can buy her stuff and do whatever, and you should. but you need to save the nice stuff until sex is there, or it may never be there

      This is a fallacy. Only women who are Takers will operate within this mindset. She has sex with you, now she expects gifts. You treat her like shit, now she can’t get enough of you. The biggest problem with this strategy is that is forces Giver males to become Takers. And there’s no turning back on that – it’s use it or lose it. The woman who wants the asshole never does want the comfort traits, and the woman who wants to see the comfort traits up front has no use for the asshole.

  • Robber

    Bloody hell. Susan I seem to find myself back here whenever I can’t sleep. Some lunatic has driven his car into a power pole on our street and the last hour has been flashing lights and sirens. Power was out for a while and I had to resettle my boy who got quite a fright.

    I 100% endorse your post. It was when I started to focus on the wellbeing of others that I pulled out of the spiral of grief after my wife died. Giving my time and talents to others instead of constant navel gazing.

    Giving has been a bitmof a theme for me lately. I’ve never been much of a volunteering type but I have managed to find some time to tutor a kid from our neighbourhood in maths. We met through a great local charity that pairs professionals with underprivileged kids for tutoring He’s the 16 year old son of a single mum Hispanic lady and he has been a real joy to teach once a week. He was really struggling but has been inspired by my talk of the cleantech work I do. His grades are picking up and he’s now talking about ambitions to study mechanical engineering. His confidence is picking up and he’s even teaching me some Spanish along the way. And hanging shit on me for my accent!

    In love well giving just seems to make everything more pleasant. Yeah you’re taking a chance but if I never took a chance then my son and I wouldn’t have made this big move to the US and I wouldn’t have met all these great people.

    Oh and I thought you’d like to know that Miss California is still on the scene. We have been separated by oceans recently as she’s doing work in Hong Kong but we talk most days. Lachie just adores her too which is great.

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

      @Robber

      I love your Field Reports! Honestly, you are an inspiration to me and you’re such a great role model for the young guys. If anyone has a right to wallow in bitterness and anger, it’s you. Yet you have chosen the opposite. I am so happy for you, and it’s wonderful that Lachie adores the woman you love. I hope she will be a stepmother soon! (I also take particular delight in the fact that she is a feminine and nurturing high powered attorney. That’ll show all the female lawyah hatahs.)

  • Annie

    @Nordic

    I think you can be nice to women without buying them things and declaring undying love when you barely know the girl. In my experience of men being extremely forward (I’m married now) it worried me when a guy I knew nothing about decided that I was his destiny, I was perfect and I was nicest woman he ever met. If a guy can fall in “love” that quickly what’s to say he won’t fall out of “love” just as quickly and isn’t suffing from lust.

    I don’t think you have to wait until you’ve had sex to buy a woman a present, but then I’m old-fashioned and think sex is for marriage only. There’s nothing wrong with gifts for the usual occasions and the odd trinket (and I mean trinket, like you go on a business trip to Belgium and you come back with a box of Belgian chocolates for your girlfriend – and a woman who thought you were being a beta chump for doing that would be an idiot). Just don’t show up for the first of second date with a bunch of red roses, it screams player – the only guy who ever did that to me, well it turned out he already had a girlfriend he had neglected to mention.

    Funny you mention that game doesn’t work on all women. That’s not what they’re saying over on Dalrock’s site at the moment.

  • Nordic

    mmm, annie, i am not sure you read everything way i meant it. i meant mostly that susan forgot to mention the enormous difference between what the two sexes can do in the absolute beginning of a hook up, when everything is still very new and unfamiliar. women have a lot to gain from being very giving here, while men are the ones responsible for the attraction. what women will call spark or chemistry. women will take very little rsponsiblity here and men are pretty much responsible for making sure theirs and hers attraction are high. women feel its enough to turn up be there, and then put themself in deciding mode:-) for men in this situation, lowering their value is a bad plan.

    “and I mean trinket, like you go on a business trip to Belgium and you come back with a box of Belgian chocolates for your girlfriend – and a woman who thought you were being a beta chump for doing that would be an idiot”

    mmm, you would be surprised how many smart women turn into idiots in this specific setting. men are sometimes as stupid though, which doesnt help either, but what you write in the beginning of your text is what we need to stay away from. this is, what we otherwise do, very naturally. why not, when you see a good looking girl, thats what you think, and then you like to tell her that. its natural. we need to learn what works, and that takes some time. women set rules for sex, without knowing it themselves and without knowing how complicated the rules seem to men, simply because women themsleves are not aware of the rules they have, they are inprinted into them on genetic level, and women just play them out in each new generation. they dont seem to change much though, so we can learn them, which gaming is trying.

    no game dont work on all women, probably works on many of the women who swear it wouldnt work on them though:-)

    i dont know who dalrock is. i am a swedish man living in london. i lived all over the world over the years, and women are the same everywhere though, so these things are not cultural in their basic nature.

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

      no game dont work on all women, probably works on many of the women who swear it wouldnt work on them though:-)

      This is another statement that doesn’t make much sense by itself.

      What is Game? Is it a display of healthy male dominance? Self-assurance? Avoiding shooting yourself in the foot by going “all in” within hours of meeting a woman? Or is it acting like an asshole? Having multiple concurrent sexual partners? Trying to make a woman jealous by exaggerating or lying about your options?

      The research is very clear – women value dominance highly in their male partners. They don’t want the most dominant males, nor do they want males who display little dominance. A man who figures out how to display dominance in the form of self-confidence and openness will appeal to many women. In that sense, Game works on most women. Once you start fiddling with the parameters though – Dark Game, lots of push pull, flaking, escalating for sex and walking away if you don’t get it early – then you’re shrinking the pool dramatically. There will still be women who go for it – there are women who like ‘em hot and mean. But you’re now selecting for women who want to be treated badly.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Sassy

    I’m damaged, and I admit that. I don’t trust easily. I have a hard time letting my guard down. As much as I would like to, too many bad experiences with men have left me skeptical and unsure. I don’t know how to break this stupid cycle.

    I want more than anything to be able to find a man that I can be my true self around. I always have my guard up, but I want to be able to tear those walls down. I let fear dictate my interactions with men, and I don’t know how to stop. I want to give, but I don’t have the faintest idea about how to go about doing it. I just feel really glum right now.

    I think true courage can be found in the ability to put one’s faith in another person, to trust them to love you and not cause you harm. I’m a fucking coward, and I know that. I don’t know how to trust, how to completely let go of past hurt. I want to learn how to give freely. Maybe with more time, I’ll learn how.

    It’s 6am and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been there. Years ago I felt the same way as you. I wrote this and was this way until at least my early 20s:
    http://www.rosehope.com/i-was-a-fool/

    It’s all related to damaged family dynamics, and unfortunately there is no easy way to get over it. Time is not sufficient. I had to actively deal with these issues, because the common denominator in everything was myself.

    By the way, I never did have therapy, but I have talked to a lot of very wise people and read a lot. I am not sure how you can walk out of the maze you’re in, since you are a very different person, but I think others have given some pretty good advice.

  • OffTheCuff

    Good luck, sassy. Everyone needs a pick me up now and again, you’re lucky that you can actually state your feelings openly, without getting crushed.

    Susan – the font is messed up on mobile again – white text on white background.

  • Angelguy

    I think the key word is judgment, how one evaluates who they give themselves too, or how much they give.

    You don’t really find out how a person is until you’ve spent some time with them. One should ask themselves, how much time they are willing to spend before they decide they are not a right fit?

    This makes a difference because the longer one stays, the greater the emotional attachment, and the hard it is to let go.

    I believe that giving does feel better than recieving, but I also think one has to think more about the “context” that it is applied.

  • Jason773

    Outcome independence is the key to all of this. Do something because you want to do it, not because you expect something in return. This leads to true confidence and an attitude that women absolutely eat up. This is the only way that giving allows you to receive in return.

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

      Do something because you want to do it, not because you expect something in return. This leads to true confidence and an attitude that women absolutely eat up. This is the only way that giving allows you to receive in return.

      +1

      Anything else is just contrived, i.e. giving in order to get something. That’s actually a form of getting.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    I think true courage can be found in the ability to put one’s faith in another person, to trust them to love you and not cause you harm. I’m a fucking coward, and I know that. I don’t know how to trust, how to completely let go of past hurt. I want to learn how to give freely. Maybe with more time, I’ll learn how.

    It’s never about time. Never. Why must you bare yourself when all the world will torment you for it ? Why must you go out for company when the warmest place is home ? Why must you dance in the sunlight when the landscape is frozen.

    You’re in a winter Sassy … and spring is coming.

    It’s never about time … it’s about seasons.

  • jack

    It would be great if someday we could return to a world like this. But it is very hard to teach a narcissistic culture like ours how to be givers and be sacrificial.

    I have a lifetime of experience on how being giving toward women gets you used or LJBF’d. You cannot please or attract a conquest-oriented female with unselfish behavior, because it is the opposite of the dark triad that attracts them so effectively.

    Why is this? Because modern women want to win the man, and part of winning a man is getting the bad boy that is willing to commit her her only.

    As far as being giving, I would say that until the attraction issues are solved first, a woman who is giving will only be taken advantage of by men who are interested in using her. Plenty of women are VERY giving to the 20% of men they find attractive enough to act that way toward.

    Unless and until women see the value in an honorable man, nothing will change.

    Women make the decision. Women enforce the hookup culture by making themselves available mostly to the 20%. Women are giving, and giving a lot – but only to the handful of men they see as worthy of it.

    Susan-

    Even the “give him a chance” is kind of a bit condescending, because it plays into women’s inflated egos, which are puffed up because they can get sexual attention from high-status men, and therefore think they can get a relationship from one.

    If I knew some girl was “giving me a chance”, I would end the date on the SPOT, pay my half of the bill and leave.

    YOU NEED TO REPHRASE that one.

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

      @Jack

      You cannot please or attract a conquest-oriented female with unselfish behavior, because it is the opposite of the dark triad that attracts them so effectively.

      Exactly. Which is why you need to avoid conquest-oriented females. It shouldn’t be hard.

      Because modern women want to win the man, and part of winning a man is getting the bad boy that is willing to commit her her only.

      There’s nothing modern about this. Jane Austen wrote at great length about the appeal of the bad boy, and her female characters were always tempted by him. It was strength of character, self-discipline and time that brought them to their senses.

      Women enforce the hookup culture by making themselves available mostly to the 20%. Women are giving, and giving a lot – but only to the handful of men they see as worthy of it.

      Right, but it’s only 20% of women who are doing so. Every way we slice the data, this is the conclusion. You can look at sexual partner stats, reams of data on college students’ behavior, infidelity stats, SOI scores, social dominance studies among adolescents…It all points to equal numbers of promiscuous men and women mostly getting with one another. The evidence for this is overwhelming.

      Even the “give him a chance” is kind of a bit condescending

      Every time a guy buys a drink for a girl, or says something friendly in line at Starbucks, he’s auditioning. I’m simply suggesting that women view each and every individual as someone worth speaking with for ten minutes. I’m not recommending that women go on dates with men they don’t like, and I’m certainly not recommending doing anything out of pity.

      FTR, I alternated male and female pronouns, because this post applies equally to both sexes.

  • jack

    Along those lines, maybe women should give themselves the gift of humility and realize that they are not quite the catch that they imagine themselves to be.

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

      @Jack

      Along those lines, maybe women should give themselves the gift of humility and realize that they are not quite the catch that they imagine themselves to be.

      The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them. They look around them and conclude (with good reason) that they are not perceived as a catch at all. It’s not uncommon for college aged women to tell me they fear being alone for the rest of their lives. They’re terrified, not cocky.

  • jack

    By the way, Nordic is right:

    What I would not give to be able to treat a girl well.

    But after taking the red pill, and discovering game, I have learned that keeping a girl right between sated and starved is the best move. Once filled, she will move on to other conquests.

    If you ever let her feel truly comfortable, she will pack up her caravan and move on to new challenges.

    It seems they prefer torment and drama to love and comfort.

    Regrettably, I must now supply this to them if I want female companionship. It’s sick, really.

    Oh, they will insist all day long they don’t like it, but the evidence proves otherwise. Girls dig jerks, and that’s the truth.

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

      If you ever let her feel truly comfortable, she will pack up her caravan and move on to new challenges.

      The problem with this strategy is that it means life spent with a total bitch. The sphere is full of men who have painted themselves into this corner. It isn’t pretty. Where they’ve had children, it’s downright tragic.

  • Escoffier

    “Girls dig jerks, and that’s the truth.”

    I don’t doubt this, but perhaps it’s just possible that WOMEN aren’t quite this bad. I know of at least one who “feels truly comfortable” and yet has not “packed up her caravan and moved on to new challenges.”

  • Angelguy

    “What I would not give to be able to treat a girl well.

    But after taking the red pill, and discovering game, I have learned that keeping a girl right between sated and starved is the best move. Once filled, she will move on to other conquests.

    If you ever let her feel truly comfortable, she will pack up her caravan and move on to new challenges.

    It seems they prefer torment and drama to love and comfort.

    Regrettably, I must now supply this to them if I want female companionship. It’s sick, really.

    Oh, they will insist all day long they don’t like it, but the evidence proves otherwise. Girls dig jerks, and that’s the truth.”

    This might work for some in the short term, but when you are trying to find someone to marry, it tends to work against you, especially if one is not a “jerk” to begin with.

    I think one has to make that distinction upon first meeting, whether you are going to be “mate” or just a friend. If I was attracted to someone and she just saw me as a Friend, i would end it right there.
    I don’t have to be a jerk about it.

    It is not about being bad, but separating mates from mere acquaintances.
    I say Acquaintances, because the word “friend” gets overused a lot.
    There is a huge difference between the two.

  • jack

    You’re both right of course, but you have to allow for the fact that MOST young women are not interested in committing early unless the guy is an obvious “great deal”.

    Most will keep you in the back pocket at best and play the field until her bio clock starts ticking.

    By that time, she’s probably had sex with a fair number of guys, and is now jaded about men, and rapidly turning into an alpha widow.

    The current college/marry late culture is incompatible with WIDELY-SUCCESSFUL marriage rates. Sure, many will marry into a good relationship. But many will not. A fulfilling Marriage, which was once available to most, is now becoming a luxury good.

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

      The current college/marry late culture is incompatible with WIDELY-SUCCESSFUL marriage rates. Sure, many will marry into a good relationship. But many will not. A fulfilling Marriage, which was once available to most, is now becoming a luxury good

      That’s the only population marrying and staying married. That’s not the issue. The problem is that they’re delaying children, and as a result having fewer.

  • Sai

    @Annie
    “a woman who thought you were being a beta chump for doing that would be an idiot”

    +1
    If she says no to free food from you, chances are you don’t need her.

    @Nordic
    “no game dont work on all women, probably works on many of the women who swear it wouldnt work on them though:-)”

    I guess it depends on which women you talk to. I can only speak for myself, but guys who tried bad behavior only got awkward/rude responses, and sometimes chewed out for offering nothing of value. But guys usually have more logic, so at some point anyone who wants to will encounter a chick who works the way you described.
    (Ironically, I recently had the joy of watching Dr. Crusher fall in love with the same ‘ghost’ who ‘loved’ all her female ancestors and even quit Starfleet for him, and I was all “NO BEVERLY WAT U DO” but in the end she snapped out of it and vaporized the man-tramp. So the ones you don’t expect… maybe, still, anyway.)

    @Susan
    “Yes! Being a giver doesn’t mean that you give another person everything they want or ask for. You wouldn’t want a mate who was willing to abandon his/her own good judgment to placate you.”

    +1
    Enabling mates are not helping mates.

  • J

    Gosh, Sassy…….I’m sorry to see you feeling so low, but I’m happy that you are feeling better for having gotten some of it out of your system. I agree with those who have suggested some therapy. It’s tough to find someone worth being with when you are working against your own background. I know that from personal experience. For me the breakthrough was finding a guy who had been through just as much crap as I had and who wanted to overcome it as much as I did. That’s hard to find, but I don’t know that I ever could have been open to someone who was simply a “nice guy” as those guys struck me as Pollyanna-ishly naive. I didn’t share their world view. Maybe some therapy could help you adjust your worldview and to be more trusting.

  • J

    {The author of the piece actually uses the term “carousel” in the next paragraph which I did not copy and paste here.}

    Yes, but in discussing a book called The Marriage-Go-Round, not in the manosphere sense.

  • Lokland

    @jack

    “I have a lifetime of experience on how being giving toward women gets you used or LJBF’d.”

    Congrats welcome to North America heres your hamburger.

    I honestly am not sure how a man can be LJBF’d. I may understand its occurrence but not the acceptance of such an action.

    Its really simple, if you don’t like it, stop doing it. Ie. As Susan suggested, stop giving to the takers.

    How would one describe used?
    Monetarily? Emotional tissue? Body shield?

    Much the same as before. Just stop doing it.
    Cheap dates. No cuddling and talking about her dog/ex-bf/father until your in a relationship. Just don’t be a tissue to cry into.

    Body shield. Duck.

    ——————–

    I was fed the same line of shit where the point was to give unconditionally. They all seemed to forget the second part about it being mutually reciprocal.

    Not sure if there is meaning in that I certainly hope not.

    So, one must not take. Taking is inherently wrong.

    Giving is good but so to is receiving. Giving without receiving is not good or moral its just stupid and chump like. (Note: referring only to giving within the context of relationships–> save the whales and poor people, ohh wait… and the planet).

    ——-

    I do agree with the ‘give him/her a chance’ that is a rephrase of ‘I am just soooooooooooo much better than you’ and removes one from the role of auditioning which is inherently what both people are doing.

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

      @Lokland

      Receiving is very good. It’s a way of accepting a gift.

  • OffTheCuff

    J, that’s why killing off male Pollyannaish naivete is so important.

  • J

    J, that’s why killing off male Pollyannaish naivete is so important.

    Well, I’ve never advocated that Pollyannaish naivete is a good thing. My own childraising behavior has centered on teaching a realistic, happy medium viewpoint–”as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.” As I’ve said before, I don’t feel a need to shove the red pill down my sons’ throats because I never fed them the blue pill.

    OTOH, in my owncase, I used to be very cynical as a result of my childhood hurts. There were probably many good men that I passed up because I viewed them as “too good to be true” or as foolish because they were optimisict and trusting. That was wrong in principle, and I screwed myself there as well because my own worldview was darker than necessary. I attracted a lot of men who were as hurt and embittered as I was; they weren’t good partner material.

  • J

    The problem with this strategy is that it means life spent with a total bitch. The sphere is full of men who have painted themselves into this corner. It isn’t pretty. Where they’ve had children, it’s downright tragic.

    +100000

    You hear stories about men marrying women they knew were not really attracted to them or marrying bi-polar strippers and then being surprised that things didn’t go well. Where’s the common sense?

  • Lokland

    “Receiving is very good. It’s a way of accepting a gift.”

    Yes which is not the same as taking.
    However, I would argue that receiving nothing while giving something is inherently wrong.

    I realize you might not agree with this and simply giving for the sake of giving is acceptable.

    I would also hypothesize that there is a divide along some magical line in the population that determines whether or not acts are reciprocated.

    So I suspect in group A, giving and receiving are intrinsically linked for these people. They have never been separated (or at least not for large periods of time).

    In group B, experience teaches that receiving and giving are not intrinsically linked and one must assure that it can/will occur. Or else one will be like a sponge, squeezed until dry.

    I suspect the reason for this divide is the environment where these people formed. I was surrounded by takers, my entire family, it requires constant and diligent effort to not be like them.

  • Tasmin

    I have no doubt that the internal orientation as a giver is more conducive to happiness, optimism, etc. IME (Sassy, perhaps consider a small dose of this) is that when we are feeling stuck, down, pessimistic, etc. that focusing our thoughts and energy on others can be an effective way to work ourselves out of those cycles of negativity and self-absorption.

    That said, I do think the orientation has its challenges within the SMP. As a man, I have no problem adhering to the mentality of a giver but I also must be keenly aware of how that orientation translate in terms of my actions. IMO it is unfortunate and true that, for men, those giving actions must have an active governor. For lack of a better description it plays out as bit withholding until I can sufficiently assure my position within the whole dominance-attraction dynamic and that I have filtered her into the giver camp as well.

    This very well may run counter to what being a giver is all about, but in context of the SMP – developing romantic relationships early on, a man’s giving nature must be more calculating and strategic. The challenge is that given the adversarial nature of the SMP it is too easy to slip into “what’s in it for me”, but just as easy in the eyes of women (even givers themselves) to be viewed as too eager, pleasing, and forthcoming. Much like emotional investment from men, the acts of giving – how we chose to employ that giver mentality must be demonstrated in ways that indicate strength, abundance with some level of restraint, and selectivity.

    Unfortunately, those giving acts have largely been marginalized and are thus translated by many women into indications of being supplicating, the tendency to put on a pedestal, and neediness – scarcity. In some ways it is similar to how chivalry has come to be a grey area at best. It is difficult to find the equity, the reciprocity in terms of that giving vs taking just as it is in terms of emotional and physical investment, so I caution men who are natural givers to consider the context and nature of their actions. Keep the giving mentality, but build awareness of how-when you demonstrate through actions/words.

    “…you bestow your gifts on a fellow Giver.”
    Yes, but its not so easy. Filtering for givers juxtaposed against the prevalence of the principle of least interest and those already tricky arts of confidence, dominance, and indifference is no easy task for most men. Demonstrating that giver mentality while establishing a position of strength all while men are being told to be more withholding in terms of emotional investment early on is just one more loaded minefield that men must navigate in order to satisfy the too often contradictory wants and actions of women within the SMP.

    My advice to men would be to maintain the giver orientation in terms of life in general. Think in terms of abundance and gratitude, be giving to friends, family, people in need, and the random kindness that wells up as a result is a good thing to incorporate into our daily lives, but it should be viewed as a world that she has to earn her way into lockstep.

    In the early stages it isn’t so much that you are a giver to her, but that you demonstrate that being a giver is your natural state and that if she demonstrates the same, you bring her into the fold with an open heart. That may sound conditional, but those conditions exist because we have devalued giving, servitude, and subordination of the self in favor of strength through leveraging others, self-promotion, and “independence”. Just one more outcome of the fight for “equality” at all costs.

    Women largely determine the SMP so they (and thus all) will benefit more from a concerted effort by women to focus on filtering for the giving mentality, shutting out the takers – no matter how attractive they might otherwise be, and demonstrating more actively their own capacity and willingness to put others needs first (read: quell the entitlement).

    They do not face the same downside risk as men do in being more forthcoming of their giving nature assuming they are already doing the dad vs cad screening. The majority of men find the feminine giving-nurturing nature attractive and desirable on all kinds of levels. The plus is that a big part of the ever-illusive female empowerment also comes from both giving and withholding: demonstrating a giving nature while withholding sexual intimacy until the man demonstrates his worth as a giver and commitment as a partner.

    The unfortunate trend is that too many women are giving away sex and withholding the other forms of giving to “protect” themselves. This needs to flip. And men who are natural givers are – out of desperation, frustration, and/or ignorance, adopting taker qualities in order to compete, accepting the free sex, yet withholding other forms of giving to protect themselves from being viewed as weak. And plenty of other men are crushed in the middle by giving inappropriately and getting neither sex nor other forms of investment from women, fostering more bitterness and polarization.

    Until women reclaim the value of sex as an intimate act of giving, the tendency to compensate by withholding their other natural gifts will continue to impede their ability to both receive the gifts from men they desire and enjoy the happiness that accompanies their own true giving. The fact that this is continually discussed as men “taking” sex – something that is basically free – without giving (whatever is expected) in return, is indicative of just how the giving-taking dynamic within the SMP is too often framed as the failings of men.

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

      @Tasmin

      For lack of a better description it plays out as bit withholding until I can sufficiently assure my position within the whole dominance-attraction dynamic and that I have filtered her into the giver camp as well.

      I’m not so sure this was ever very different. We can find many examples, some even ancient, that drive this lesson home.

      Much like emotional investment from men, the acts of giving – how we chose to employ that giver mentality must be demonstrated in ways that indicate strength, abundance with some level of restraint, and selectivity.

      Agreed, that is the challenge. The female corollary is the exact same approach wrt sex.

      Yes, but its not so easy. Filtering for givers juxtaposed against the prevalence of the principle of least interest and those already tricky arts of confidence, dominance, and indifference is no easy task for most men.

      Again, women face the same dilemma when the norm for first-time sex is date three and men are urged to bail rather than wait, and to cultivate concurrent sexual relationships.

      The plus is that a big part of the ever-illusive female empowerment also comes from both giving and withholding: demonstrating a giving nature while withholding sexual intimacy until the man demonstrates his worth as a giver and commitment as a partner.

      As you suggest, the PLI prevents this demonstration in many cases, even if the interest or intent is present in the man. It’s a classic standoff. I’m suggesting that the SMP will not improve, nor can we move forward, until both sexes abandon that principle.

      Until women reclaim the value of sex as an intimate act of giving, the tendency to compensate by withholding their other natural gifts will continue to impede their ability to both receive the gifts from men they desire and enjoy the happiness that accompanies their own true giving.

      Many women do this today. I know you’ve shared some whopper stats from your own crew, and perhaps this reflects the market for women in their 30s, IDK, but the truth is the data do not support the blanket claim that women do not value sex as an intimate act of giving.

      The fact that this is continually discussed as men “taking” sex – something that is basically free – without giving (whatever is expected) in return, is indicative of just how the giving-taking dynamic within the SMP is too often framed as the failings of men.

      I see continual discussion of women as gold diggers for allowing a man to pay for dinner without peeling off her panties in return. Increasingly men are demanding to know just what they’ll get for their money, and the trend is very much away from dating. As we’ve seen even guys in their 30s who set up first dates via online dating sites are increasingly likely to assume that “first date” is a 10 pm text suggesting meeting up late night.

      Basically, the worst players of both sexes are spoiling the whole scene. Neither will respond to pressure from society to curb their Taker stratagems. That leaves Givers two choices. They can either risk giving while filtering aggressively, or they can assume they’re dealing with a Taker in all circumstances. Personally, I think the odds of achieving true partnership are longer with the latter approach.

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

    (Ironically, I recently had the joy of watching Dr. Crusher fall in love with the same ‘ghost’ who ‘loved’ all her female ancestors and even quit Starfleet for him, and I was all “NO BEVERLY WAT U DO” but in the end she snapped out of it and vaporized the man-tramp. So the ones you don’t expect… maybe, still, anyway.)
    The only good thing about that episode is that my 90′s crush Duncan Regehr is the Incubus in the story. Duncan plays an adorkable Don Diego in the 90′s version of The Zorro, if you are in the mood for old series this was very good. Here is the intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxhud0q5FOE

  • Jonny

    How about “Give 100%” instead of “Give 50%”? Women should know the meaning of commitment does not mean doing 50% of the chores, or the expectation that the relationship is a 50-50 division of labor. When this happens, one person is 50% out of the door.

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

      @Jonny

      How about “Give 100%” instead of “Give 50%”?

      That right there is the secret to a great relationship, provided both parties do it.

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

    +100000
    You hear stories about men marrying women they knew were not really attracted to them or marrying bi-polar strippers and then being surprised that things didn’t go well. Where’s the common sense?

    Cosign this. Another thing that I had noticed is that SOME people (men and women) never learn from their mistakes. I have an Acquaintance that divorced from a very hot but crazy, entitled woman and like a year after the divorce shows up with new girlfriend that looked so much to the wife (looks and demeanor) that I though they got back together. Good thing that I asked someone else before screwing myself calling her by the wrong name. Does he really thing she will be any different if she is so much like his ex? It looks like, the same for some other people I know.

    So I suspect in group A, giving and receiving are intrinsically linked for these people. They have never been separated (or at least not for large periods of time).

    Had you read about Attachment Parenting? One of the principles as to use this technique is to teach the kid that her/his needs will be met and there is no need to raise DRAMA! to achieve this. My mother raised me attached and I think that helped a lot to turn me into a giver, but no doormat the moment I noticed I’m in the presence of a Taker I lose interest instead of getting more intrigued. You might want to check into that for when you become a father, just in case and as usual, YMMV.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan,
    WRT givers and doormats and filtering.
    With respect, you answered the question by reciting what should be.
    My question was whether it happens–possibly a significant percentage of the time–that a giver is wrongly filtered as a doormat. Or, from the other point of view, whether a giver is willing to go along with minor items he thinks are not a good idea. If he does not, how does that strike the woman? Hard-ass? Stubborn? Inconsiderate? Can you be a giver and be a hard-ass both from the get-go and still appeal to most women?

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

      My question was whether it happens–possibly a significant percentage of the time–that a giver is wrongly filtered as a doormat.

      I think this depends on whether the filtering is being done by a Giver or a Taker. It also depends on the nature of the Giving, and whether it is appropriate for the relationship at that time.

      Or, from the other point of view, whether a giver is willing to go along with minor items he thinks are not a good idea.

      Again, this will vary a lot by individual. I would say that in general, a woman will disrespect a man’s giving in a way that he is not comfortable with.

  • Angelguy

    Givers can be wrongly filtered as Doormats, but maybe that is a good thing, because it says more about the person doing the rejecting.

  • Ted D

    Richard – I think being a “hard-assed giver” sounds a lot like “benevolant alpha” in some ways. And yes, being a giver with a backbone and a strong set of ethics is probably very attractive to many women.

    I think the problem is: what does it take to create such a man? Making givers is easy enough, we have plenty to go around. (Although many of them are Nice Guys (TM) that are giving under a covert contract…). But a man with standards he sticks to and lives by AND gives unconditionally to those deserving of it are rare, probably because we do a piss poor job of teaching young folks how to give unconditionally. We create Nice Guys in droves because we teach that giving is what you do to take what you want, NOT because giving is its own reward.

    And to me having OI with regard to “giving” requires that the giver is doing it because they simply want to give. Not because they want to take and are attempting to make the “trade”equitable for the other party. Its the difference between giving for the joy of it, and giving because there is an expectation of receiving from it.

  • Resident Comedian

    “The current college/marry late culture is incompatible with WIDELY-SUCCESSFUL marriage rates. Sure, many will marry into a good relationship. But many will not. A fulfilling Marriage, which was once available to most, is now becoming a luxury good”

    Susan, “That’s the only population marrying and staying married. That’s not the issue. The problem is that they’re delaying children, and as a result having fewer.”

    Yeah and they are only 1/3 of the under 30 American population. According to this article, 2/3s of 20 somethings are having children without marriage.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/03/marry_in_your_twenties.single.html

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

      @Resident Comedian

      True. The Knot Yet report is full of interesting and alarming stats. For example, only 12% of births to college educated women are outside marriage, but for women with less than a high school diploma, it’s 82%.

      I started to write a post about it, but honestly, I have no idea what to say. Wilcox’s suggestions were well-intentioned but won’t make any difference at all. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

      For better or worse, I’m writing to that 1/3 of women. Even though they are still the women likeliest to get married and stay married, their marriage rate is decreasing as well, and this will get worse as we continue to educate more women than men.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    What the women are describing here is just a reformed Nice GuyTM who makes women demonstrate that they are worthy of trust and respect. I think the reciprocation principle is still a good guideline. Men have to initiate the relationship regardless, so we should definitely be looking for some gestures of good faith in return from the lady.

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

      we should definitely be looking for some gestures of good faith in return from the lady.

      Yes. You can be a Giver without giving equally to all! Honestly, I’d love nothing more than for men to be much more discriminating than they already are. Demand emotional intelligence and escalation in women. Don’t commit to women on the basis of hotness alone. Don’t settle for less than a woman who is clearly demonstrating a desire to direct her generous nature toward you.

      If both sexes got more selective on the things that matter for a LTR, the SMP would improve dramatically, and favor those who wish to marry and have families.

  • Resident Comedian

    Speaking of giving and taking. I shudder to think of the “values” the daughter of this woman is being raised with.

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/eye-candy-sugar-daddies-cougars-oh-my-nsfw-alyssa-royse/

    And the narcissism goes totally unseen or accounted for, by her and her audience.

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

    I started to write a post about it, but honestly, I have no idea what to say.
    Maybe finding the transferable traits college educated women have to share with the rest? Long term thinking, hope for a better future and things like that? I also think trying to get them to educate themselves in alternative ways that don’t involve college might help. Books clubs, online courses, intellectual groups and so on. Just my two cents.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Resident Comedian,

    Elephant Journal is just particularly insipid and naive branch of New Ageism. They’re all permanently glass-half full people who don’t value critical thinking, or the criticism that necessarily comes along with it. Waylon Lewis the owner and he basically suckers people into writing content for free that he then monetizes with his advertisements.

    These are the type of people who consistently and repeatedly fall under the thrall of the latest guru, get taken to the cleaners (or sexually abused), and then become bitter afterward. They never take responsibility for their own actions, the fault always lies with ‘the other.’ As such the cycle repeats over and over and over. I wouldn’t pay much stock in what you read there, just pity them and move on.

  • WomenAreGutlessCowards

    Funny how the article doesn’t mention the fact that MEN are the ones doing all the risk taking, MEN are the ones who HAVE to approach random women and get told to get lost, over and over again, MEN are the ones who are shamed by w0men if they call women out on their gutlessness.

    Perhaps Susan Walsh can explain to us all why she has never asked a man out in her life (I don’t mean a man you ALREADY KNOW, I mean go up to a complete stranger who has given you no reason whatsoever to think he wants you to talk to him)…

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • tilikum

    ^^^^^^ Because she doesn’t have to ^^^^^^^

    Go read Rollo for a while and understand the world.

  • JP

    “Funny how the article doesn’t mention the fact that MEN are the ones doing all the risk taking, MEN are the ones who HAVE to approach random women and get told to get lost, over and over again, MEN are the ones who are shamed by w0men if they call women out on their gutlessness.”

    I never did any risk-taking relationship-wise, so it never occurred to me that I was supposed to go talk to random women.

    I kind of missed that part of “Life Class”.

  • Nordic

    you are not reading his correctly susan. almost all my LTRs started with sex within hours of meeting the girl, thats real life, not theories.

    and you are mixing up two different things. i ended up at the same table as a woman called helen fisher at a conference in gibraltar. the gaming community was pushed there, coz it was made illagal everywhere else, and if these boys where ever gonna leave the cliff, they had to switch fields and internet dating was the obvious switch at the time. anyway, this woman is quite good, and works for one of the dating sites, forget which one. she presented a theory, and it is based in magnetic imagine of brains.

    in short. three systems for human sexuality. 1. sex 2.love 3. very long term binding. three separate systems with their own transmitors. 1) testosteron in men 2. oxytocin 3. vasopressin

    anyway. where you miss i think. is that you mixup the process of initiating a relationship with a woman, to having a relationship with a woman.

    i have met men who are very good at initiaiting them, but useless inside a relationship, and also the opposite, men who cant attract a woman initlaly but make fantastic long term partners for women.

    so these processes hae very little to d with eachother. now to make things complex, women have been made clueless about this distinction, they simply dont know the difference. so you cant logically explain this to them. men in category two (who are the ones we can help most easily just need to learn a few things).

    first thing to learn is exactly what youcan learn from these comments that you and other women make here. “no its alright, giving is fine, just be yourself, women really like that”. well, you dont. ypu think you do, so you are not lying when you say that. but you dont. thats what makes it tricky. its essential to learn to ignore what women say to learn how to get women feel what they want to feel.

    gaming is not about what you mention. i dont know what the kids today are doing, but what we did a generation ago, worked then in sweden, and is still working today on british girls in london. its about demontrating value, in a way that cant be negotiated with. and that needs to be done emotionally since women always lead with emotions and think afterwards, when they tend to rationalise what they did. so if you make a girl do something, she will come up with a reason for doing that, that fits and make her feel good. in the end 80s in sweden i used to stand on a girl foot. totally idiotic, but it works better than buying her drinks. the way that works is that she says something about it, and i would then reply that i know, its so you cant run away. now thing is, its a bad thing to do, but if a girl likes you that is the only thing that really matters, so if she likes you, she will forgive you that inital mishap, and then she will rationalise why she forgives it. not fully and out loud, but inside herself. like, oh i let him stand on my foot, i must like him. its the fastest way to explain to a girl that she likes you, and no words are needed. i did the same in london when i met K last autumn, she was with her friends and i wanted to leave so i poured her wineglass into the another girls glass, also completely without class at all. but she couldnt stop going on about how she had let me do that, and how that must mean that she liked me, that was the most potent proof. thing is, when you do these things, you play past the woman. you are assuming that she will react one way before she has a chance to decide. she will see happening and then decide after the fact. its very fast and ites ery effective, and if you miss, you didnt loose much time. women dont actually go for dominance or status as you think. women go for confidence, which they think is distilled from the other two, but it doesnt have to be, luckily this is something that women will never learn. so confidence it is. and anythign you do to subtract from that, however small, is going to hurt you in this process as a man. thats why being nice is a bad move.

    now, after attraction is established and proved, and the only proof that matters is the one the female feels, whch means there needs to be sex, coz when there is, she will rationalise having sex with you, as proof that she ito you, or she is a slut in her eyes (which she may be fine with, but then you need to eject a a man). so after sex is established, you can drop the attidude as a man, and start transforming into a real relaitonship with the girl, and here yes, you can give gifts, tell her how you feel about her, smell her hair when she satnds in front of you in a line, and ell her she is beautiful if that is what she is. you should not do any o those things, until sex is there though.

    class dismissed. bedtime here.

    oh, yeah, gaming. game works on all women. but it can be disrupted by the woman not agreeing to to play in the first instance. two lines of defence, that all pick up build on. initiating contact. logistic possibilty. refuse ontact, or refuse a logistic situation where sex can happen, and you are of course safe.

  • JP

    “True. The Knot Yet report is full of interesting and alarming stats. For example, only 12% of births to college educated women are outside marriage, but for women with less than a high school diploma, it’s 82%.”

    History is full of alarming statistics.

    For example, World War II is basically a ginormous alarming statistic.

  • Sai

    “The only good thing about that episode is that my 90′s crush Duncan Regehr is the Incubus in the story. Duncan plays an adorkable Don Diego in the 90′s version of The Zorro, if you are in the mood for old series this was very good.”

    I know I’ve seen that before! I think… I’ll find it one day.

    “we should definitely be looking for some gestures of good faith in return from the lady.”
    +1

    “Perhaps Susan Walsh can explain to us all why she has never asked a man out in her life (I don’t mean a man you ALREADY KNOW, I mean go up to a complete stranger who has given you no reason whatsoever to think he wants you to talk to him)…”

    Idea time!
    How about you tell us what it is about you that makes you worth the trouble of approaching, when you’ll probably dismiss anyone who does because she like every other woman is a “gutless coward” (which you have so far neglected to prove).
    Go on, tell us why you’re so special.

    “you are assuming that she will react one way before she has a chance to decide….oh, yeah, gaming. game works on all women.”

    Tell me why all it got was me irritated.

    “For example, World War II is basically a ginormous alarming statistic.”

    Like a boss.
    The documentaries really drive it home.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Susan wrote:

    Yes. You can be a Giver without giving equally to all! Honestly, I’d love nothing more than for men to be much more discriminating than they already are. Demand emotional intelligence and escalation in women. Don’t commit to women on the basis of hotness alone. Don’t settle for less than a woman who is clearly demonstrating a desire to direct her generous nature toward you.

    I’m still struggling with the advice in the post itself as it’s not consistent with that’s which as been offered before. “You broke it, you own it.” A man who initiates giving is in far too much danger of being perceived as trying to obligate a woman to him. The reactions in the comments make that crystal clear.

    My suggestion to women is that they use giving as a test. It’s an emotional escalation and you’re looking for reciprocity. If I try to kiss a woman and she keeps pushing me off, it’s three strikes and your out. The same can apply here: you play games, I leave; you give back nothing, I leave; you overreact and give back too much, I leave.

    The appropriate advice to men is, and remains, to give back 75 % (or less) depending on the context of the relationship. Men are always giving back in other ways, both in terms of physical contact — a little touch on the back, a knowing look — and helping to maintain a woman’s emotional consistency. Demanding equality from the masculine partner in terms of emotional giving won’t be a stable situation. The man will always be in danger of being perceived as a Nice Guy and sliding down that slippery slope. For the feminine partner to demand equality in the emotional status quo is self-defeating.

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

      @Mr. Nervous Toes

      I’m still struggling with the advice in the post itself as it’s not consistent with that’s which as been offered before.

      How is it inconsistent?

      A man who initiates giving is in far too much danger of being perceived as trying to obligate a woman to him. The reactions in the comments make that crystal clear.

      Sorry, again I am not sure what you mean.

      It’s an emotional escalation and you’re looking for reciprocity.

      Giving does not have to be emotional escalation. Respect, honesty, time, attention, your initial interest in having a conversation – all these are things people give in relationships, and not just romantic relationships.

      I think guys here are interpreting this as my saying they should shower a girl with unearned attention and commit to her immediately. That is not the case. It is essential to give in ways that are appropriate to the relationship, at the right pace.

      The appropriate advice to men is, and remains, to give back 75 % (or less) depending on the context of the relationship.

      Why is that appropriate? What woman in her right mind would sign on for a relationship with a man who is always striving to give less, keep her permanently unsatisfied, and perpetually chasing? No woman wants that. It’s strictly a short-term gambit to capture her attraction initially. You can’t build an LTR, much less a life with that kind of “getting” strategy.

      Men are always giving back in other ways, both in terms of physical contact — a little touch on the back, a knowing look — and helping to maintain a woman’s emotional consistency.

      How do a touch on the back or a knowing look constitute giving? What is generous about that? How do men help maintain a woman’s emotional consistency? Is this something the woman values and requests? Or is this a case of a man managing a woman like one might train a poodle?

      For the feminine partner to demand equality in the emotional status quo is self-defeating.

      Again, you’re missing the point by focusing only on the emotional. Men can actually give leadership rather than supplication, they can give by taking charge. They can be emotionally intelligent without being soft and weak.

  • Mike M.

    @Susan (@53)

    The fact that women are starting to worry does not surprise me. Though I suspect a lot could be done with articles on Fishing For Husbands 101 (use the right bait, cast your hook in the right spot, learn to recognize good Husbands from bait, etc.). One of the casualties of modern society has been the old places where people could meet. Especially if they weren’t into the bar scene.

    But the issue is going to expand. MGTOW may sound good to a man in his 20s, but when you are pushing 50, there’s not so much appeal.

    This SMP is pretty miserable. For everyone.

  • Resident Comedian

    Ha. I just came across this Facebook post by an alpha male.

    Carl E Stevens Jr · 2,159 like this
    March 17 at 9:35pm ·

    Women: If a man asks you how many partners you’ve had or what positions you’ve done sexually, either turn around and run like hell or just know he’s probably not going to make it over the long haul. He won’t be able to get the vision out of his head of you face down, moaning, while Tyrone is laughing and slapping and fingering that ass. It will haunt him like the ghost xmas past. I’m not saying he won’t try to fight it and make it work, but the fact that he asked the question to begin with shows he’s starting at a deficit. It’s nobody’s business what you do or who you do it with. If he insists, he’s not the one, guaranteed.

    Men: If you feel the need to know a woman’s history then seek counsel because you’re most likely not ready for a relationship and you’re stuck in the 1500s on the ‘virgin complex’. Additionally, you’re most likely too emotional to be with a woman. I’m not dissing, just keeping it real. We all know the jealousy will hit you at some point and it will affect how you treat her in the future. I got news for you, adults fuck and they do it all kinds of ways – shower, back seat, over the guard rail, 3somes, 4somes, 5somes, ride em cowboy style, anal, oral, swallow, gargle, ass eaters, face smear, movie maker, roll play, you name it. We all desire a variety of experiences so just assume it’s your ‘worst’ case scenario in terms of her history so at least you know if you really love her or are objectifying her to make yourself feel like more of a man.

    Another alpha male responds….

    H-Soul Watson-Ashemu
    Lol….bogus….I know how many men my mates have been with (and women) and I think it’s fine to ask IF you are secure that Tyrone can’t and don’t hold a candle to my magic wand (I don’t stop until she cums at least 3 times). I want to know what experiences my mate has had because I desire to expand them all!!!

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I think guys here are interpreting this as my saying they should shower a girl with unearned attention and commit to her immediately. That is not the case. It is essential to give in ways that are appropriate to the relationship, at the right pace.”

    I realize you intentionally switched he-she pronouns but if you go through and look at what each option the list applies to most of them are male and/or asexual.

    There are only 2 or 3 that apply to only women.

    At least it is so in the taking list.

    Sets up the wrong vibe right from the get go to explain the post as asexual when demonizing takers and then listing a mix of asexual and male characteristics.

    I ignored it and ‘gave you the benefit of the doubt’ but it is quite obvious.

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

      @Lokland

      Fair point. I went through and tallied them. 5 apply to males (only or mostly), 1 to females, and 14 to both. I think it reflects the very common use of the word get when men describe wanting sex. Women don’t use the word get so much in the context of relationships. For example, we say, “I really wish I had a boyfriend” rather than “I want to get a boyfriend.” We “have sex” instead of “get laid.” This may reflect the female tendency to be less aggressive and more indirect, IDK. In any case, I do not think it essentially changes the meaning of the post.

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

      I’m away for the next couple of days – just wanted you all to know why I won’t responding to comments.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan mentioned “giving” leadership or “taking charge”.
    Years ago, I saw a married couple I’d known for years having a “discussion”. She was trying to get him to do something that was impossible, and anybody with an IQ over twelve would know it. If she had said, “We’ll be late for the meeting but that’s okay,” she’d have had an arguable point.
    Instead, she was saying we can go to the mall and get back in time for the meeting. Stupid, as anybody who lived in the area knew. Hubby wasn’t buying. Good for him. If he’d agreed, it would have meant she nagged him into doing something he knew was stupid–instead of agreeing that getting to the meeting late was okay, which it actually was. But her point was they could make it to the mall and back.
    He eventually answered briskly and she left with a satisfied smile. He’d done his leadership duty.
    I didn’t know what this whole thing meant, as the folks were a pretty bright, grounded couple.
    Until I heard of shit testing.
    Men can “give” leadership, but apparently still have to undergo the regular annoyance of the quarterly macho check.
    A social worker in the marriage field told me of a case he worked on. Hubby had decided to let wife do whatever. Usually didn’t work out, that being one of the characteristics of the shit test.
    His view was that he’d rather be believed and followed because he knew what was what, as demonstrated when the wife did whatever the subject of the shit test was and it turned out badly. He figured after twenty or thirty thousand iterations, she might figure it out. He didn’t want her to do what he thought was a good idea because he was loud and obnoxious and pushy, but because she thought he knew what was going on.
    My social worker buddy told him–this is over a couple of meetings–that being loud, obnoxious and pushy (put more gracefully) was what was needed. Being right was irrelevant. Hubby had a problem with that.
    Point is, if “giving leadership” requires putting up with this, the woman in question had better bring a hell of a lot to the table in other areas.

  • Sai

    What if his boss reads that post?

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Fair point. I went through and tallied them. 5 apply to males (only or mostly), 1 to females, and 14 to both. I think it reflects the very common use of the word get when men describe wanting sex. ”

    I agree.

    “Women don’t use the word get so much in the context of relationships. ”

    Debatable.

    ——-

    Men cannot give in the formative stages of a relationship. At least not as much as the woman. This is what the language reflects.

    Within the context of an established relationship I would agree that giving is required.

    Women get relationships by giving. The surrender of control is what inherently makes a woman marriageable. That doesn’t mean she gives sex (at least initially).

  • bellacoker

    I have been thinking a lot about this and have come to the conclusion that this is exactly what is missing in our current concept of relationships, although, in my mind, I have been calling it “devotion.”

    A lot of times people get into a relationship and then think that they are done, being in a relationship was the goal, that box is checked, and then they become boring (and bored). But if you are in a relationship with someone you really like, which is everyone’s hope I would think, then it should be possible to set up a virtuous cycle of devotion, where we each think about the other when they are not there, saying Oh! Doing x would make my lover happy, and that would make me happy. While on their end they are doing the same thing.

    Too often it seems we do the opposite, storing up resentment from the times our lover made us unhappy and thinking that they knew what we didn’t like and did it on purpose. And once you start keeping a record of little slights and not looking at your lover’s actions through a filter of good will what hope is there for being happy and fulfilled?

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

    Lokland…”Men cannot give in the formative stages of a relationship. At least not as much as the woman.”

    What about the knight who slays the dragon, at great personal risk, to win the Fair Maiden? (And many other parallel stories in folklore)…doesn’t that represent a very significant kind of giving?

    Of course, the giving doesn’t always work out….El Llano Estacado

  • J

    But the issue is going to expand. MGTOW may sound good to a man in his 20s, but when you are pushing 50, there’s not so much appeal.

    Many men tend to discount that fact, but it’s very real. I have a few 50 something divorced male friends who look puppyishly at me and bemoan that all the good women are taken. They may be happy to have GTOW from their ex-wives, but they do miss not having a woman in their lives.

    One of them once said to me, in response to my question, “Just what the hell do men want anyway?” told me that as long as he had sex, a good dinner and a reasonably clean and calm house to come home to, he’d be happy. And frankly, if a woman can give a guy two out three–as long as one of them is sex–he’ll stick around.

    A lot of MGTOW (and WGTOW) is just sour grapes.

  • Lokland

    @david

    ” What about the knight who slays the dragon, at great personal risk, to win the Fair Maiden? (And many other parallel stories in folklore)…doesn’t that represent a very significant kind of giving?”

    Yes. Notice that white knights don’t get laid. Thats why they’re white knights.
    Killing a dragon to get laid is different than a man killing a dragon to protect his family.
    Men romanticize the first, women the second.

    @J

    “Many men tend to discount that fact, but it’s very real.”

    And women. Having a partner tends to be a general boost to everything.

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

    Yes. Notice that white knights don’t get laid. Thats why they’re white knights.
    Killing a dragon to get laid is different than a man killing a dragon to protect his family.
    Men romanticize the first, women the second.

    Wrong. Rescue Romance is probably the most popular way to have a couple stick together like crazy glue and is written by women almost exclusively.
    I don’t think all white knights don’t get laid though. God knows I have many liberal male friends in my Facebook that seem to want to compete for the “most feminist person who has a penis in the world” and all of them are dating/married.
    My guess is that the ones that don’t get laid are the ones that are not targeting rescuing an specific woman. They are not picking the right ‘monster to kill’ or they rescuing entitled princess that know that someone will rescue them because they are too fabulous for them not to find someone to do that for them. But rescuing a woman is usually a panty wetter if you do it right, YMMV.

  • Resident Comedian

    Sai, “What if his boss reads that post?”

    Remember I said he was alpha? He’s his own boss. Works for himself.

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    “Wrong. Rescue Romance is probably the most popular way to have a couple stick together like crazy glue and is written by women almost exclusively.”

    I’ll have to take your word for it but my knowledge seems to say romance centres around a woman saving a man from himself.

    I’m also curious if your saying that the fantasy of a stranger rescuing a woman is greater than the allure of her husband rescuing her?

  • Lokland

    “But rescuing a woman is usually a panty wetter if you do it right, YMMV.”

    How does one do it correctly?

  • Tomato

    There are also white knights who assist women and then think they are entitled to sex or other compensation, instead of those who assist women (and men) because it’s the right thing to do. The former tend to not get very far.

  • Joe

    @Ana

    My guess is that the ones that don’t get laid are the ones that are not targeting rescuing an specific woman.

    Ana, I like you and what you’ve said here over the years, but this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen you put to pixels.

    They’re doing it wrong? Look, the most devastating, obnoxious and unfair statement I ever saw in usenet (yeah, I’m that old) was from a woman to a man who complained that “women just hate men” (or something akin to that). Her reply was “No, women love men. It’s YOU they hate.” Her implication was that HE was defective, and no one else.

    The white knight *never* gets the girl. That’s the Hollywood trope made famous by Ronald Reagan movies and by Gene Autry on TV. I’m sure there’s more current versions around because it’s almost as much gospel as “girls like the bad boys.”

    Now you may not believe that yourself, but your words, with the implication “You’re doing it wrong!” say otherwise. You just pointed a finger at every white knight wannabe who ever struck out and said “You’re defective.”

    You didn’t really mean that, did you?

    Men really do communicate differently from women.

  • bellacoker

    To go back a little further than Ronald Reagan, the White Knight gets the Grail. That’s the trade off for purity, you get a super powerful, potentially fictional reward.

    Real relationships, and therefore sex, are not the Holy Grail, people who have them are not pure and perfect, but they are real and present.

    That’s the current trade off, get to know and learn to like people even though they are flawed and fucked up and becoming progressively less attractive or keep questing for some perfect, fictional thing.

  • Joe

    Bellacoker, that’s exactly right.

    And it points out the frustration of the White Knight Wannabe who is trying desperately to be “worthy” and even perfect, when “perfect” is exactly what the object of his attention doesn’t want or even admire.

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

    @Joe
    My guess is that the ones that don’t get laid are the ones that are not targeting rescuing an specific woman. They are not picking the right ‘monster to kill’ or they rescuing entitled princess that know that someone will rescue them because they are too fabulous for them not to find someone to do that for them. But rescuing a woman is usually a panty wetter if you do it right, YMMV.
    Did you missed that part?

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope
  • Richard Aubrey

    Rescuing a princess, or any other type of woman, is a stock device in fiction to bring a man and a woman together. The guy has demonstrated courage and competence, the woman is supposed to be grateful and all that.
    In the old days, the white knight didn’t get laid because, in those days’ fiction, nobody got laid. Kenneth Roberts’ historical novels usually involve some starving folks coming out of the wilderness and eating themselves silly on contemporary food lovingly described. IMO, substitute for sex.
    I have rescued women from assailants by the laying on of hands twice and by approaching a seemingly sweaty situation several other times and seeing it run down. Never got even a fake social smile. Being in real trouble is too traumatizing. Even remembering the Knight in question is to revisit the trauma. The whole thing will be dismissed, as it ought to be.
    OTOH, helping change a tire has scored me a big bouquet, a plate of homemade cookies, two nice formal notes, and a free lunch. That’s because the women in question weren’t traumatized by fear.
    Chances are, any wet panties will be directed at some other guy, somebody whose presence doesn’t remind the woman of the trauma. I don’t have a problem with that.
    Hanging on a romance novelists’ board some years ago, I found the idea was pretty much that the woman tamed the alpha. First, he had to rescue her. That’s how they got acquainted and the reader saw he was alpha. One editor said, “You have to admire her {the heroine}. She tames a man in a hundred thousand words or less. I’ve been working on my husband for twenty years.”
    I asked what happened if another alpha came along to encounter the happy couple–the heroine and her tame ex-alpha. “That’s another story,” they said, which led me to wonder about the benefits of being tamed.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @Lok
    “How does one do it correctly?”
    Being attractive, IE, having a bountiful amount of short-term attraction triggers. And not being overly mushy too early.

    Some kinds of advice are useful for some people and not for others. This kind of advice is useful for people who have options in the SMP and are not making good choices, because they are not properly filtering for character before forming attachments, and are trying to force relationships with poor quality mates because of improper filtering.

    IE, this is advice for your typical young girl.

    This is not advice for Nice Guys. Nice Guys can get Athol Kay. Unless they have been severely intoxicated by the Blue Pill.

    Then the Nice Guy gets Roissy.

    Different people need different advice.

  • Fifth Season

    @Sassy6519:

    I read in an older blog post here that you didn’t like having men say they didn’t understand why you would choose to be in a relationship with them. You didn’t give a reason for that; is it because they were always unsure about your reasons (even after giving them a good explanation) and this started to wear on you? I would think that this wouldn’t be uncommon, frankly, because men don’t normally get validation from women about their suitability as romantic partners very often.

  • Thinking Neanderthal

    “But rescuing a woman is usually a panty wetter if you do it right, YMMV.”

    Textbook exemple of the typical discrepancy between what women think they want (rationalization) and fantasize about, as opposed to what really turns their gear biology at work).

    Girls don’t want to be rescued ; they want to be defended.

  • J

    The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them. They look around them and conclude (with good reason) that they are not perceived as a catch at all. It’s not uncommon for college aged women to tell me they fear being alone for the rest of their lives. They’re terrified, not cocky.

    I’m not surprised at all by this. The many of the college-aged daughters of my friends say the same thing.

  • J

    And women. Having a partner tends to be a general boost to everything.

    Yes. I said as much in the last line if the post

  • Jesse

    Regarding giving, I will throw something out there. (I should probably read the comments more carefully before I do this , but…)

    Women obviously appreciate the resources and capacity (including kindness and generosity) to give, but they probably want it from a man who is not giving in order to curry favor or approval. Maybe the woman auditions to earn his generosity, similar to how a man auditions to earn her, um, vagina.

    The man’s demeanor can be perfectly cordial and pleasant while doing all of this, of course.

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

      Women obviously appreciate the resources and capacity (including kindness and generosity) to give, but they probably want it from a man who is not giving in order to curry favor or approval.

      Bingo. Giving should not be conditional to produce personal gain!

  • http://anabolicsandmesobolin.com/ Toya

    “Give time and attention.”
    That’s romantic phrase that I want to appreciate in love with my dear. All we can but but not time and attention. That’s means I give rest of my life too.

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

    Google Rescue Romance for the ones skeptic about how common is the trope.
    I will rephrase it to more common used terms. Why do you think dominance is attractive for many women? It sends the message that if she ever needs rescuing she will have a man that will do the job nicely because he can dominate the elements (mastery) and or other men (prestige). I think that was an agreement in this site. But like we also mention calibration is key and some women are just crazy. Is that a bit clearer?

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

    Thinking Neanderthal…”Girls don’t want to be rescued ; they want to be defended.”

    Perhaps it’s because I’m only halfway through my first cup of coffee, and mind is therefore not functioning at full capacity yet, but I can’t understand the difference between “being defended” and “being rescued.”

    Since you are a Neanderthal, you’ll probably have observed something like this: a cavegirl is being attacked by a hungry sabre-tooth tiger, and a brave caveman kills the beast or drives it away. Was she defended, or was she rescued?

  • Lokland

    @Susan, J

    “The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them. They look around them and conclude (with good reason) that they are not perceived as a catch at all. It’s not uncommon for college aged women to tell me they fear being alone for the rest of their lives. They’re terrified, not cocky.

    I’m not surprised at all by this. The many of the college-aged daughters of my friends say the same thing.”

    How does this square with the fact that most men want the same thing?
    Even if we conclude that the manosphere is entirely wrong and the blue pill would work but it is not. At least not to the same degree it once did.

    What are the reasons for this occurrence?

    I suspect you have two groups of equals who are mutually uninterested in one another.

    As for feeling unattractive, 95% of the N American population needs to lose 10-20 pds. They probably have good reason to.

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

      @Lokland

      I suspect you have two groups of equals who are mutually uninterested in one another.

      I think you’re half right. I think you have two groups of equals (80% of the population) who are not connecting very well, but it’s not that are not interested. It’s that they are flying below one another’s radar.

  • Lokland

    “Was she defended, or was she rescued?”

    You defend your wife, children and home. You rescue strangers.
    I asked and it went unanswered. Is it the first or second that is the female fantasy?

  • Jason773

    J,

    Many men tend to discount that fact, but it’s very real. I have a few 50 something divorced male friends who look puppyishly at me and bemoan that all the good women are taken. They may be happy to have GTOW from their ex-wives, but they do miss not having a woman in their lives.

    These are weak men who obviously can’t get women (or keep women) in the first place. Most strong men live a rather simplistic life and can be very happy in that simplicity. I can’t count the times girls I’ve dated have said “I can’t believe you don’t have {specific kitchen utinsel, cleaning products, toilitries, towels, decorations, adornments, some useless POS from Bed Bath & Beyond, etc etc etc}” and then proceed to buy me said item.

    Now, I appreciate the gestures, and they generally add some marginal value to my life, but truth be told, without them I would be perfectly fine and I would manage to live well. In this day men should be able to cook for themselves, keep a simple home/apartment relatively clean (note, not womenly clean) and keep themselves occupied with various activities. Women are great when you have a good one, but I guarentee that the biggest thing these guys are bemoaning is the lack of relatively easy access to sex.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Lokland.
    FWIW, presuming there is a difference, defending might extend to include preventing an unfortunate contingency from occurring, or fighting it off at some figurative distance. It would also include hauling an assailant off a victim.
    Rescue would only include the latter, if we allow for the fact that the damsel might be in a dungeon vile and have to be deconfined. Doing so by, say, lawsuit might not count.
    At some point of distance, the defending either geographically or in time–forestalling something not immediately apparent–is not going to be considered a Really Big Deal, irrespective of the competence and energy involved. So it’s not going to be in the romance novels.
    I reiterate, the damsels rescued from a really, really bad situation do not want much to do with their rescuers afterwards unless they were previously acquainted.
    In my experience, the reaction was a tight, completely unerotic, unromantic hug. Not even an attitude of gratitude. Just needed a hug, I guess. Then, nada. Which, as I have said, is fine with me, considering.

  • tilikum

    Sue @ 85

    But men CANT do that, thats the point. Its hard to explain but 80% of men just aren’t wired that way. I am but only by a fluke of nature (High t, INFJ).

    I can’t even talk to other men sometimes, and they don’t even understand the depth to which they don’t understand.

    Ultimately, men need to internalize hypergamy, and women need to stop looking for the emotional unicorn of their dreams. Less than 1% of men are iNFJ’s, another 1% are iNFP. How many of those are high T-attractive?

    Gotta deal with what you are handed, IMO.

  • J

    These are weak men who obviously can’t get women (or keep women) in the first place.

    No, not really. These are generally men who had been married for 20+ years, most with teenage or older kids. While they may have had issues with their ex wives, they did have some enjoyment of family life and miss it. Relationships are important to them; that’s not a sign of weakness. The desire for a relationship is a pretty normal drive in most people, especially the non-promiscuous. IThe desire to have a life partner goes way beyond the desire to have a woman buy you some crap from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I do not often agree with a Rollo-ite, but:

    But men CANT do that, thats the point. Its hard to explain but 80% of men just aren’t wired that way.

    I would suggest that this is quite right. This seems to be another case of picking out the perfect unicorn and saying “see, it IS possible!” without examining any sort of the underlying phenomena…
    Telling Lokland to be more like ADBG or telling ADBG to be more like Lokland is silly. Personality characteristics are not directly transferable like that. You might as well being telling Saudi Arabia to be more like France.

    But that goes back to “different advice for different people”

  • J

    I suspect you have two groups of equals who are mutually uninterested in one another.

    In part, but I also think it is hard for nicer young people to connect with each other than it is for sluts and cads to meet. There’s a lot of introversion involved, a lot of discomfort at being in the environments where people meet up. In the last few years, I’ve been making an effort to point young people in the direction of other relationship oriented young people. I really do believe that older adults can and should take a hand in vetting/introducing kids. A few weeks ago, my friend’s daughter became engaged to a guy who was brought to my friend’s attention by another woman our age. It wasn’t exactly arranged but more like, “My husband works with a young man whom your daughter might like.” I think that, in the past, people tended to meet through their social networks in low pressure ways.

  • Resident Comedian

    “Now, I appreciate the gestures, and they generally add some marginal value to my life, but truth be told, without them I would be perfectly fine and I would manage to live well. In this day men should be able to cook for themselves, keep a simple home/apartment relatively clean (note, not womenly clean) and keep themselves occupied with various activities. Women are great when you have a good one, but I guarentee that the biggest thing these guys are bemoaning is the lack of relatively easy access to sex.”

    Because the only value a relationship with a woman adds to life is sex and maid service. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  • Resident Comedian

    “You might as well being telling Saudi Arabia to be more like France.”

    Been to France lately? Its becoming more like Saudi Arabia. ;)

  • Resident Comedian

    “The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them. They look around them and conclude (with good reason) that they are not perceived as a catch at all. It’s not uncommon for college aged women to tell me they fear being alone for the rest of their lives. They’re terrified, not cocky.

    I’m not surprised at all by this. The many of the college-aged daughters of my friends say the same thing.”

    Question: ARE those women in fact unattractive?

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

      @Resident Comedian

      Question: ARE those women in fact unattractive?

      That’s a fair question! TBH, I usually don’t know. Of the women I know personally who have said this, several have been extremely attractive – 8-9 range. That group of women is priced out of the market in this SMP, so it’s not surprising. They want top males who will commit and they experience a lot of rejection. The rest have been in the 5-7 range – definitely attractive enough that they can get a boyfriend IF they choose wisely.

  • angelguy

    “Because the only value a relationship with a woman adds to life is sex and maid service. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.”

    I think this is a problem, if that is the reason Men get into relationships, the perception that Women would be both these things.
    In a marriage, there is a decline or absence of both these things.

  • Resident Comedian

    “I think this is a problem, if that is the reason Men get into relationships, the perception that Women would be both these things.
    In a marriage, there is a decline or absence of both these things.”

    Capable, non-disabled adults cook and clean for themselves.
    The sex life of a couple with disparate libidos must be calibrate.
    The purpose of marriage is pair bonding and/or children.

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

    Lokland…”You defend your wife, children and home. You rescue strangers.
    I asked and it went unanswered. Is it the first or second that is the female fantasy?”

    Not being female, I can’t say for sure…but don’t most of these fantasies END with marriage? Which would say that the defense of wife/children/home could not be the most popular one.

    But also, there is a range between “stranger” and “wife”, with a lot of space in between. I’d think a pure stranger wouldn’t work as well in the fantasy (because the hero couldn’t know enough about the heroine to know she was really worth rescuing/defending) as would a scenario in which the hero knows her well enough to appreciate her value, but is not yet romantically involved with her.

  • Jonny

    “The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them.”

    I wonder how much is this really true that no one wants to date them. Maybe they are not being assertive enough to give men the signal that they are available. They could also play a role in screening out men for arbitrary reasons.

    Women are the attractive sex. They attract men unless they are not. They can’t be unwanted unless they don’t want to be wanted.

    Body signs are important. Perhaps women should smile more. Don’t cross your arms.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “n part, but I also think it is hard for nicer young people to connect with each other than it is for sluts and cads to meet. ”

    Couple things;

    1. I agree.
    2. I suspect we would disagree on the number of young men and women that are ‘nice’ or for that matter any type of quality. relationship material. That doesn’t necessarily make them cads/sluts, one of the main ones being an over inflation of their own value (that applies to men and women equally).

  • epoche*

    i am writing a book entitled
    condoms are not romantic: essays on the tragic view of history

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    What makes a quality mate?

    Have you taught your children how to identify a quality mate?

    These discussions always intrigue me after a talk with the SO, particularly as I discuss her idea of how children should be raised. She is obsessed with this UMC notion of “well-rounded,” which, to you non-UMC people, means that children will be expected to play several sports, maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, have an academic activity, speak at least on foreign language, etc, or they will be seen as a “failure.”

    The GF used to identify fulfillment of this “well-roundedness” as “character.”

    This implies this guy has poor character:
    http://wallpapersus.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Captain-America-01.jpg
    What a loser! He never even graduated high school! He gets picked on all the time.

    And this guy is a shining beacon of awesome:
    http://static.bbc.co.uk/history/img/ic/640/images/resources/people/adolf_hitler.jpg
    Speak foreign languages, paints, nice to dog, strong opinions, doesn’t put up with bullshit, is a commander of man=AWESOME PWNZORO!

    I ask because it appears to me that many people confuse “achievement” with “goodness” and no one taught anyone how to identify a GOOD PERSON.

    I’ve had plenty of UMC brats call me the devil over the years and torture me for it. They are no more tolerant than the rest of the nation. My own best friend once told me I was immoral because I wasn’t religious, and this wasn’t even controversial (ignore all the stealing he does, because that’s JUSTIFIED stealing). I was told on numerous occasions I was also a loser for not wearing Y clothes and or doing X or being “well-rounded” enough, or living at home during college, or….

    And none of this is even remotely controversial or even questionable. Arguing it is like arguing whether the sky is blue. It is so patently obvious that it cannot possibly be argued with.

    I guess it is always possible I was low value…and I daresay that I was low value in terms of SMP…as a person? Bah. Fuck ‘em. Let them rot in their misery and I’ll piss on their corpses.

  • tsimmons

    “Right, but it’s only 20% of women who are doing so. Every way we slice the data, this is the conclusion. You can look at sexual partner stats, reams of data on college students’ behavior, infidelity stats, SOI scores, social dominance studies among adolescents…It all points to equal numbers of promiscuous men and women mostly getting with one another. The evidence for this is overwhelming.”

    “The women I hear from mostly feel unattractive and unwanted. They don’t want casual sex, and no one wants to date them. They look around them and conclude (with good reason) that they are not perceived as a catch at all. It’s not uncommon for college aged women to tell me they fear being alone for the rest of their lives. They’re terrified, not cocky.”

    Like Lokland, I am starting to think these are actually the same thing.

    Although it’s “only” 20% of men and women who are promiscuous, it’s the only 20% that counts. Even to the 80%. The 80% aren’t sitting out because of high self-esteem or moral virtue – they’re sitting out because they feel attractive and unwanted. They want SOMEBODY in that 20%, and can’t get them. They don’t notice their equals, and certainly don’t notice anyone below them.

    Every guy getting LJBF’d could just…pursue someone less attractive. But they don’t. They just bitch about how all women are equal. Because when they’re caught up in self-pity, “all women” is code for “the minority of women I am attracted to”.

    And the women you talk to who tell you no one wants them, no one will commit to them – “no one” means “none of the handful of guys I’d accept”. Everyone in the 80% is invisible to them. Their attention not only has no value – it’s not even visible. It’s not there. It doesn’t exist.

    The problem isn’t that these people can’t give. They’re desperate to give. They just want to give to someone in the 20%. They urgently want it, but aren’t permitted to. And anyone with a lower SMP score than the objects of their desire isn’t really a human being, so giving to them instead isn’t an option.

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

      @tsimmons

      The problem isn’t that these people can’t give. They’re desperate to give. They just want to give to someone in the 20%. They urgently want it, but aren’t permitted to. And anyone with a lower SMP score than the objects of their desire isn’t really a human being, so giving to them instead isn’t an option.

      I don’t doubt that there are some people caught in this trap – and my guess is more women than men. But there is also the very real effect of Pluralistic Ignorance – many of those in the 80% believe that they’re among just a few “have nots.” They perceive in fact that they are in the minority – the 20% that doesn’t have anyone. This makes people more introverted, less willing to risk, etc. It’s hard to appear confident and open when you feel like a failure.

  • tsimmons

    BTW I think college educated people who get married in their 30′s have a lower divorce rate primarily because by the time they figure out they’ve made a mistake it’s too late.

    If you get married at 21 and decide 10 years in that you want out, it’s feasible to get divorced and believe you can take another legitimate shot at a relationship.

    If you get married at 32 and decide 10 years in that you want out, you almost certainly will not and can not have time to remarry and have children. Unless you’re in the minority of men who can get someone 10 years younger than you to be your second wife. A 42 year old woman is screwed.

    So it’s not that these are oh so sagely wise and well-adjusted people entering perfect capstone marriages that’s responsible for their low divorce rates, IMHO. It’s that a certain number of people say, “Fuck it, this is clearly a run out the clock situation at this point.” Men in particular only get divorced if they can see an upside. “Great, I get to be 45 and move out of my house and pay alimony and child support, and maybe date other 45 year old’s!” does not sound like great upside to me.

  • Amanda

    You have helped me so much. You have no idea. I’ve been searching all over the internet for this kind of advice. Posts like “Beautiful women have to try harder” and “Women should blink first” (I think that’s what the posts were called) have helped so much in my love life. I get a lot of attention from men but I definitely implement the Rules and I know there’s more to looks in attracting men because well oftentimes I would fall flat after a few dates. Thank you so much! I will keep reading! You seriously saved my love life recently :).

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

      @Amanda

      Welcome! Thanks so much for the kind words, you have made my day! I hope you’ll return and comment again – we have some pretty interesting discussions around here!

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I think you’re half right. I think you have two groups of equals (80% of the population) who are not connecting very well, but it’s not that are not interested. It’s that they are flying below one another’s radar.”

    Yes but why are they below one anthers radar?
    I’ll +1 all of tsimmons posts as they are describing my thought process with more clarity than I can muster.

    I’ll also not that PI is having an effect.

    “They perceive in fact that they are in the minority – the 20% that doesn’t have anyone. This makes people more introverted, less willing to risk, etc. It’s hard to appear confident and open when you feel like a failure.”

    Two things,

    I disagree with the PC notion should be set so that it is achievable by X% of the population. Success should be based on achievement which should not be calibrated to the general population. Being mediocre should be a bad thing.

    20% of the people who cannot and will not get anyone constitute a large percentage of the population. A proportion that will likely be just as vocal as the rest but in the end totally hopeless.

    That does represent 1 in 5 of your readers.

    @ADBG

    +1

    Good=/= achievement or success.

  • J

    I suspect we would disagree on the number of young men and women that are ‘nice’ or for that matter any type of quality. relationship material. That doesn’t necessarily make them cads/sluts, one of the main ones being an over inflation of their own value (that applies to men and women equally).

    Actually, I wouldn’t want to guess at numbers. I do think that the promiscuous tend to both more visible and more extroverted.

  • J

    I ask because it appears to me that many people confuse “achievement” with “goodness” and no one taught anyone how to identify a GOOD PERSON.

    +100000000000000

  • OffTheCuff

    Shut up, PJ.

    Oh, and I am sick of SMV numbers.

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

      Oh, and I am sick of SMV numbers.

      Me too! Let’s declare a moratorium on them.

  • Abbot

    The next study will verify that men are far more inclined to seek long term passion with low-N women

    http://m.asr.sagepub.com/content/78/1/26

    .

  • J

    The study Abbott quotes concludes: “Results show that both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender display rather than marital exchange for sex between heterosexual married partners. ”

    I’ve seen this study cited all over the ‘sphere lately, and I think an important factor is being overlooked. There’s no magic about traditional roles that leads to more sex, nor is a guy vacuuming a panty dryer. IME, shared housework is more typical of dual income families and FAR LESS LIKELY where there is a stay at home wife. When both spouses work, then both work their 8+ hours/day and come home to a “second shift” of housework. That’s tiring for both parties and affects the libido.

  • J

    BTW I think college educated people who get married in their 30′s have a lower divorce rate primarily because by the time they figure out they’ve made a mistake it’s too late.

    I think there is some truth in this, but I also think that they make better choices in the first place.

  • J

    J: I’m not surprised at all by this. The many of the college-aged daughters of my friends say the same thing.”

    RC: Question: ARE those women in fact unattractive?

    J: No, typically they are at least average looking, often quite nice looking.

  • Resident Comedian

    “Oh, and I am sick of SMV numbers.”

    “Me too! Let’s declare a moratorium on them.”

    There’s only two numbers: 0 and 1

    1 means would fellate/eat out and 0 means would not fellate/eat out.

    :)

  • J

    OT but interesting: “Taking the Pill helps prevent pregnancy-and maybe breakups as well. According to one study, women who were on the Pill when they met their partners are more likely to remain in their relationships than those who weren’t. The reason? Researchers concluded that those not on the Pill tend to judge potential boyfriends by more superficial qualities-like how good looking and good in bed they are-causing those relationships to end quicker.”

    http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/6-weird-things-affect-relationship-172300873.html

    This IMO points to a couple of things:

    1) women go for beta traits while on the Pill
    2) beta triats in men contribute to a relationship being long-lasting.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan,

    “”Women obviously appreciate the resources and capacity (including kindness and generosity) to give, but they probably want it from a man who is not giving in order to curry favor or approval.””

    “”Bingo. Giving should not be conditional to produce personal gain!””

    Guy pays for the date. He has the capacity, including kindness and generosity, but is not that seen as currying favor? It’s expected, and I guess at least a modicum of gratitude is expected, presuming he’s not a complete butthead. No pay, no date. Thus, paying is for personal gain.
    That was more the case when I was dating, long ago, but the point remains; guy pays…gratitude? Woman pays…just keeping things even.
    Anyway, it seems like a gray area, a large gray area, unless we posit an existing relationship of some depth where giving is mutual and nobody’s “paying” for a date. And if it’s a marriage, most “paying” is out of the communal checking account, so nobody “pays” for something for the other person by money, but by deeds.
    Which is nice, but doesn’t address the question of the early stages when…no pay, no date. Pay for personal gain.

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

    I suspect you have two groups of equals who are mutually uninterested in one another.
    I agree partially with this. There is the ‘shiny’ factor playing in this but is not the only thing.

    You defend your wife, children and home. You rescue strangers.
    I asked and it went unanswered. Is it the first or second that is the female fantasy?

    Romance is like porn there are some sub-flavors in it. Most leads start of as single. Married romance readers and writers have their own specific fantasies or and insert their husband into meeting them again in different circumstances. Jane Austen never got married so her works are about finding the man. I would guess the fact that most romance end up in marriage and a bit part of them in kids and this books written by already married women means that they approve of the idea of the husband being there to help them out forever. I would guess that a married woman writing/reading too much about a married man proving again what he is capable of doing on her behalf a shit test. If she said ” I do” you are her hero already, YMMV.

    I really do believe that older adults can and should take a hand in vetting/introducing kids.
    Yeah totally agree with this, Problem is that I think most old people assume that they are offending anyone if they hook them up because ‘being single is perfectly okay. Grandma you are so out!” Politically correctness doesn’t know generational bounderies, IME.

    But also, there is a range between “stranger” and “wife”, with a lot of space in between. I’d think a pure stranger wouldn’t work as well in the fantasy (because the hero couldn’t know enough about the heroine to know she was really worth rescuing/defending) as would a scenario in which the hero knows her well enough to appreciate her value, but is not yet romantically involved with her.
    Yes most women are not going to gamble with a complete stranger the fantasy is the man showing some worthy it traits before the rescue happens. The original trope Perseus and Andromeda starts with his story before he rescues her, we know he is a demi God from the get go,YMMV.

    I think you’re half right. I think you have two groups of equals (80% of the population) who are not connecting very well, but it’s not that are not interested. It’s that they are flying below one another’s radar.

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

    Shut up PJ.

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

    J…”Researchers concluded that those not on the Pill tend to judge potential boyfriends by more superficial qualities-like how good looking and good in bed they are-causing those relationships to end quicker.”

    Two issues with this: First, it’s unlikely that a woman will stay on the Pill her entire life…there can be health reasons as well as pregnancy-desiring reasons for getting off, at least temporarily…so if someone chooses a husband based on those criteria that are only operative on-Pill…and then goes off-Pill…what is likely to happen? It probably isn’t good.

    Second, why would we define being “good in bed” as a superficial trait? Sexual satisfaction is an important thing to most people…also, a man’s goodness in bed is surely linked to other desirable traits, such as having enough empathy to engage in more than 30 seconds of foreplay and also to bother to learn what his partner likes.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ J

    This IMO points to a couple of things:

    1) women go for beta traits while on the Pill
    2) beta triats in men contribute to a relationship being long-lasting.

    It also points to:
    3. Beta Traits in men are negatively correlated to attractiveness, eg Boyfriends Are Ugly
    4. Women by and large will value Beta Traits more if their bodies think they are pregnant

    Ummmm…Alpha Fucks, Beta Bucks meme alert…

  • Resident Comedian

    “Researchers concluded that those not on the Pill tend to judge potential boyfriends by more superficial qualities-like how good looking and good in bed they are-causing those relationships to end quicker.”

    Natural women look for natural things.

  • OffTheCuff

    Your blog, call a moratorium if you like. I don’t want to be language police, then again, I don’t deny that some people are more objectively more attractive than others.

    I think it’s just almost pointless to try to apply it too much to your life at all. You really can find someone that you think is a 9 or 10, and pushes every dang button you have. But their SMV, everyone else might score them as a 10, or an 8, or a 4.

    It all strikes me as being too wrapped up in what other people think of your love. But who cares what they thinks, if they are yours?

  • OffTheCuff

    J: “I’ve seen this study cited all over the ‘sphere lately, and I think an important factor is being overlooked. There’s no magic about traditional roles that leads to more sex, nor is a guy vacuuming a panty dryer. IME, shared housework is more typical of dual income families and FAR LESS LIKELY where there is a stay at home wife. When both spouses work, then both work their 8+ hours/day and come home to a “second shift” of housework. That’s tiring for both parties and affects the libido.”

    Two things.

    I don’t disagree, but who cares whether it’s cause or effect? If you structure your life to have a better love life, and want one, then you can.

    It was also be interesting to know if stay-at-home DADS get laid as much as the traditonals. That would negate your argument that it’s just time.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    More generally, though, I don’t think “Alpha Fucks, Beta Bucks” works in general because Alpha-Beta distinctions are not so distinct in the real world. Much like restricted vs. un-restricted that OTC harps on.
    Humans will act restricted or unrestricted in certain contexts. They may be rare, but they will do it and those events may comprise a significant amount of their sexual experience.
    Humans may also judge others to be restricted or unrestricted, based on available signals. These are flexible and they may or may not change minds with time.
    Men will appear to be Beta or Alpha depending on the time period, or the context. Similarly, women will evaluate men as Alpha or Beta differently based on their experiences.

    To address Lokland’s point, you seem to be operating under SMP “libertarian” mindsets: if 80% men would find 80% of women attractive, and vice versa, then clearly they would find some way to interact with each other and date.
    If they are not, then, clearly, they are not attracted to each other. Market clearing, not a problem with the market clearing mechanism.

    I disagree. If most of the boys and girls get married to each other within a decade, the problem at hand may be the environment.

    In this market, practically every good is unique. There are no credible signals. And the buyers and sellers have no information. There is no uniform currency. There are no regulations. There are no refunds. There is no government. There are huge assymetries and transactions are costly and time-consuming. Contracts are constantly changed and tested.

    The SMP is basically the worst market you can imagine. Communism makes more sense than the college SMP.

    Predictably, bad results!

  • SayWhaat

    I think it’s just almost pointless to try to apply it too much to your life at all. You really can find someone that you think is a 9 or 10, and pushes every dang button you have. But their SMV, everyone else might score them as a 10, or an 8, or a 4.

    It all strikes me as being too wrapped up in what other people think of your love. But who cares what they thinks, if they are yours?

    +10000000000000000000000!

  • Jesse

    Mr. Aubrey,

    Guy pays for the date. He has the capacity, including kindness and generosity, but is not that seen as currying favor? It’s expected, and I guess at least a modicum of gratitude is expected, presuming he’s not a complete butthead. No pay, no date. Thus, paying is for personal gain.
    That was more the case when I was dating, long ago, but the point remains; guy pays…gratitude? Woman pays…just keeping things even.
    Anyway, it seems like a gray area, a large gray area, unless we posit an existing relationship of some depth where giving is mutual and nobody’s “paying” for a date. And if it’s a marriage, most “paying” is out of the communal checking account, so nobody “pays” for something for the other person by money, but by deeds.
    Which is nice, but doesn’t address the question of the early stages when…no pay, no date. Pay for personal gain.

    Here’s my take on this: First, before you take her on a date, you’d like to have some prior knowledge of the girl, and hopefully her of you. That is, you don’t go up to a girl you’ve just seen and ask her straight out to dinner. (To me the subtext there is either dysfunction or desperation, unless someone knows a better way than I do…)

    I suppose this condition can be met by being mutually aware of each other by dint of working or spending time in proximity, or perhaps through acquaintances.

    If you don’t know anything about her you’ll have to start from zero. Start chatting with her and see how it goes. Maybe go for a walk with her. If the chemistry is good you can take her out for coffee, like on a lunch break perhaps.

    (Now personally, I might rather pay for a not-even-date like coffee as well, but that is just the way I prefer to be and I can explain that away as just that – the way I like to do things, rather than somehow lavishing coffee on her. The point would be to take her out in order to talk to her more, and you’re just the kind of guy who prefers to pay.)

    To summarize, if you know a bit about her beforehand you can spend a little more time and effort on her off the bat without coming across as supplicating. Implicitly, it’s “Hey, we know each other (or I know you), and I’d like to go for a bite and get to know you better.” Maybe you don’t do a really proper date the first time out, but you’ve got a running start. If you don’t know the girl you’re starting from scratch, so you should probably start smaller, because you need to get to know her before you spend more time and effort on her. Start with something that involves next to no investment on your part.

    Anyway, this is the meat of what I’m getting at: Implicit in this type of gradual escalation is a fair bit of ‘dominance’ (quotes used because I don’t know the precise definition of the term used around here) because you are evaluating whether she is worthy of increasing investment on your part. First you chat with her, maybe go for a walk, then coffee, then lunch, and then maybe a proper dinner date where you pick her up and take her out.

    If you do it this way I think it really diminishes the ‘paying for personal gain’ aura in early courtship. You’re no longer some guy looking for a warm body to have a relationship with. You’re a man trying to discern whether a woman is worthy of your investment. (In a pleasant, completely unhaughty way of course.)

    This is just my tentative perspective. It makes a bit of sense to me, and I’ll have to see for myself how well it holds.

  • Jesse

    Regarding the pill, I have potential concerns about this. My understanding is that women on the pill prefer slightly more feminine men. I don’t think I’m very feminine, nor do I want to be, so that may not play to my advantage. Beyond that, without sounding like an opinionated dick I’m not sure I like the idea of any woman of mine taking pills to alter her hormones. It doesn’t sound good to me. Also, what, pray tell, happens if at some point she comes off the pill?

    (I also don’t think I’d want my girlfriend to have to spend a lot of money just so we can have unprotected sex. I think I’d feel bad if she had to shoulder such a burden just so I don’t have to wear a condom. I digress.)

    On a broader point, I don’t enjoy the alpha-beta definitions used around here. To me alpha means confidence, discipline, bravery, and the skills and achievements to undergird that confidence. Beta just means less of all of those things, so I don’t define it positively.

    I don’t see the need to have what I see as separate characteristics – honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, agreeable-ness, desire for emotional intimacy, desire for a family – on the same axis. Alpha is a strong man, beta is a weak man. That’s the way I prefer to see it. Actually, if anything I might say alpha includes more integrity and moral strength than beta.

    That’s enough digression.

  • Jesse

    +10000000000000000000000!

    That’s my SMV right there. Exclamation mark included.

    I amuse myself…

  • Richard Aubrey

    Jesse,

    I like that. However.
    The point remains; If the guy pays for anything, whether it’s the first date or the sixth, he’s paying to continue the relationship, which is to say, his personal gain. Eventually, the woman may grab the bill, or arrange something on her own so she’ll be paying by organizing, or putting up money, or something she does like…I dunno, cooking or a book she knows he likes. But that is seen as a gift from her, or evening things up.
    Point is, is anything the guy does to facilitate dating–restricting it to early in the relationship–not going to be seen, or at least see-able, as paying for personal gain?
    Fact is, the guy pays so she’ll go out with him.
    IMO, this conflicts with the idea that the guy should always give, if he does, without any indication that it’s for his own personal gain.
    No pay, no date, he loses.

  • Lokland

    @J

    This is an abstract on pill vs. non-pill women.

    “Relationship satisfaction and outcome in women who meet their partner while using oral contraception

    Author(s): Roberts, SC (Roberts, S. Craig)[ 1 ] ; Klapilova, K (Klapilova, Katerina)[ 2 ] ; Little, AC (Little, Anthony C.)[ 1 ] ; Burriss, RP (Burriss, Robert P.)[ 1 ] ; Jones, BC (Jones, Benedict C.)[ 3 ] ; DeBruine, LM (DeBruine, Lisa M.)[ 3 ] ; Petrie, M (Petrie, Marion)[ 4 ] ; Havlicek, J (Havlicek, Jan)[ 2 ]

    Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Volume: 279 Issue: 1732 Pages: 1430-1436

    Abstract: Hormonal variation over the menstrual cycle alters women’s preferences for phenotypic indicators of men’s genetic or parental quality. Hormonal contraceptives suppress these shifts, inducing different mate preference patterns among users and non-users. This raises the possibility that women using oral contraception (OC) choose different partners than they would do otherwise but, to date, we know neither whether these laboratory-measured effects are sufficient to exert real-world consequences, nor what these consequences would be. Here, we test for differences in relationship quality and survival between women who were using or not using OC when they chose the partner who fathered their first child. Women who used OC scored lower on measures of sexual satisfaction and partner attraction, experienced increasing sexual dissatisfaction during the relationship, and were more likely to be the one to initiate an eventual separation if it occurred. However, the same women were more satisfied with their partner’s paternal provision, and thus had longer relationships and were less likely to separate. These effects are congruent with evolutionary predictions based on cyclical preference shifts. Our results demonstrate that widespread use of hormonal contraception may contribute to relationship outcome, with implications for human reproductive behaviour, family cohesion and quality of life.”

    Summary,

    Pill

    Pros-longer relationships, less likely to divorce, like dad traits
    Cons- less sexual satisfaction, less attraction to partner, increased sexual dissatisfaction over time, if there is a separation (still less often than non-pill) she is more likely to initiate than the other way around

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Alpha and Beta are descriptors used to reference male social hierarchy and attraction traits. They are not and cannot be used to describe the full spectrum of human behavior, people are too complex to be defined into two or seven or even 11 categories and have it explain all interaction.

    People will present as Alpha or Beta or whatever have you under different circumstances and there are two active agents in this: the man and the woman, the man to display and the woman to perceive.

    Your discussion about the date and who pays just goes to show this. It’s really a discussion on Frame Control and how you are presenting the situation, and the ideal for man is to dominate and be in control and present himself as evaluating the woman.

    There is also a burden on the part of the woman to structure her perceptions correctly. Men will change their display responses to have an effect on women. If men are becoming more assholish, it’s the fault of women rewarding assholes.

  • Lokland

    A couple of my own thoughts,

    Pill cannot be taken continuously.
    Children make it impossible. (I believe Susan’s opinion is 6mo minimum off pill prior to marriage.)

    From a guys perspective, its a matter of what you want your spouse to find more valuable in you.

    On another,
    A women on the pill wanting you is the equivalent of the 60yo women pinching your cheek and saying you will be a great boyfriend.

    Neither is capable of having children which is the entire point of being in a LTR.

    Note: Wife has never been on BC.

  • Lokland

    @Richard

    “IMO, this conflicts with the idea that the guy should always give, if he does, without any indication that it’s for his own personal gain.
    No pay, no date, he loses.”

    +1

    Giving without expected reciprocation is chump behaviour (as Susan has suggested; or maybe Jackie.)

    The equivalent is the women having sex without going for the DTR.

  • Lokland

    On the no SMV scale.

    Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex.
    Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.

    Divorcing the two though warm and fluffy is not a realistic possibility in trying to advise.

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

      @Lokland

      On the no SMV scale.

      Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex.
      Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.

      It’s true that generally speaking the more specific the advice, the more helpful it can be. A beautiful woman will need a different strategy than a plain one to some degree, but not entirely. Most of what I write about applies equally to people of all SMV – the key is in using the strategies with people of similar SMV. My posts will work for 5 targeting 5s, and 8s targeting 8s, for the most part.

      However, online we have no way of tailoring advice to SMV. We can only respond to people’s self-reports, and we have no way of judging their accuracy. Even if we see a pic, as I sometimes do, no one is for all markets. The most attractive woman may be a bitch and get dumped frequently, while a less attractive woman may have a certain something that allows her to punch above her own SMV on a regular basis.

      I think we have become overly reliant on SMVs around here. It doesn’t apply equally to both sexes – it’s generally used to describe a woman’s level of hotness at first glance. But it doesn’t work that way for women – women may actually feel repulsed by a male with “high SMV” as determined by other males.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Lokland
    “On the no SMV scale.

    Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex.
    Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.”

    Indeed.
    If trying to impose the Alpha-Beta continuum on everything is trying to force a macro-theory on individuals, ignoring SMV is like considering a transaction between two individuals without considering the environment around them.
    As if they are entirely self-contained entities that simply sprung into existence and have no connection with the outside world.
    Utter madness.

  • Abbot
  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Abbot, it is not just feminists. It is the complete over-arching zeitgeist. The so-called “Marriage Premium” is becoming quite the kerfuffle in the econ blogosphere as well.

    A conservative pointed out that economists had a huge blind spot by recommending college because it increases wages, but not recommending marriage, because that also increases wages. And happiness. And all that stuff.

    The response was that there was no causal effect of marriage. Being married doesn’t make you earn more, people who are likely to earn more are more likely to marry.

    Then more papers.

    Now the discussion is that for women it is causal because evil men force women to stay home and raise kids which reduces their wages. The only effect on men is coincidental.

    Utter madness.

    I highly suggest we draft all the UMC kids and send them to fight a war in China or whatever. I’ll volunteer if you don’t mind a half-deaf guy around.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Lokland,

    How do you do birth control with your wife then? From what I’ve read, the IUD seems the best choice but this is an area where I have very little say.

  • Mike C

    @ Lokland
    “On the no SMV scale.

    Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex.
    Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.”

    Indeed.

    IMO, the idea of completely ignoring SMV in SMP related discussions borders on the preposterous. It is the elephant in the room, and many of the SMP “issues/dsyfunctions/inefficiencies” can almost always be traced back to some SMV issue. But hey if the object is simply “feel good” conversation minus any incisive analysis, sure ignore SMV as a variable.

    If trying to impose the Alpha-Beta continuum on everything is trying to force a macro-theory on individuals, ignoring SMV is like considering a transaction between two individuals without considering the environment around them.
    As if they are entirely self-contained entities that simply sprung into existence and have no connection with the outside world.
    Utter madness.

    I think often people confuse perfect theory with a useful explanation and if something isn’t a perfect theory than that means discard it as a useful explanation as well. I also think many people don’t have multi-disciplinary interests/pursuits to draw applicable parallels. For example, I understand why alpha/beta works in the SMP for the same reason I understand the “growth”/”value” distinction works in stock analysis.

    In stock market analysis, the distinction between growth and value stocks is actually false in a perfect theoretical sense but for the purpose of studying individual stocks, classifying them, and hopefully selecting winners, it is useful to classify something as a “growth” stock or a “value” stock because you need to evaluate different characteristics in each case (such as EPS revisions for growth stocks or balance sheet strength for value stockss).

    In any case, I understand the motivation behind wanting to separate any intellectual rigor from SMP analysis in favor of more chit-chatty feel good discussions.

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

      But hey if the object is simply “feel good” conversation minus any incisive analysis, sure ignore SMV as a variable…In any case, I understand the motivation behind wanting to separate any intellectual rigor from SMP analysis in favor of more chit-chatty feel good discussions.

      What an amusing remark from our chief proponent of self-reinforcing anecdotes in lieu of rigorous analysis by credentialed professionals.

  • Mike C

    On the no SMV scale.

    Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex.
    Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.

    Right. Step 1 in the formulation of any strategy is an accurate assessment of one’s SMV. From there, the two forks in the road, are work to improve SMV or run the appropriate strategy for your current SMV level. In this very thread, there was talk of women who feel like they are not getting any attention. Maybe that is true…IDK….but another possible explanation is overinflation of their own SMV leading to desiring attention from “out of their league” males while not trying to attract the attention of their same level SMV male peers.

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

      In this very thread, there was talk of women who feel like they are not getting any attention. Maybe that is true…IDK….but another possible explanation is overinflation of their own SMV leading to desiring attention from “out of their league” males while not trying to attract the attention of their same level SMV male peers.

      Precisely. And there’s no way you can know. You can only assume.

  • Mike C

    Abbott @ 174,

    Reading that article, reminded me of this quote:

    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    Arthur Schopenhauer
    German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

    Articles like that and the reaction tell me we are in but transitioning from the ridicule to violently opposed stage. Regarding the totality of all these issues the hardcore feminists will not go down without a fight and I expect the violent opposition to escalate. Time will tell, but I suspect when I am an old man in my 70s or 80s…I suspect many things hotly debated today will be seen as self-evident, although that could possible take even longer.

  • Mike C

    On a broader point, I don’t enjoy the alpha-beta definitions used around here. To me alpha means confidence, discipline, bravery, and the skills and achievements to undergird that confidence. Beta just means less of all of those things, so I don’t define it positively.

    I don’t see the need to have what I see as separate characteristics – honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, agreeable-ness, desire for emotional intimacy, desire for a family – on the same axis. Alpha is a strong man, beta is a weak man. That’s the way I prefer to see it. Actually, if anything I might say alpha includes more integrity and moral strength than beta.

    That’s enough digression.

    Jesse,

    I don’t want to resurrect any alpha-beta debates, but it clear to me you are operating from a flawed definition. In any case, anyone can prefer to see it any way they want, but useful discussion can’t happen if people are operating from different definitions.

  • Richard Aubrey

    LOkland

    IMO, this conflicts with the idea that the guy should always give, if he does, without any indication that it’s for his own personal gain.
    No pay, no date, he loses.”

    +1

    Giving without expected reciprocation is chump behaviour (as Susan has suggested; or maybe Jackie.)

    Precisely. Which is why I find a contradiction between the guy paying for the first few dates and being seen–which is to say, being seen as–giving for personal gain. To avoid that, what would one do?
    He pays, she shows up and smiles and she decides where it goes from there. If she likes him, off they go, but he’ll be paying for the next few dates as well.
    No pay, no date. Seems to me you can’t avoid looking at it as paying for personal gain.
    Now, if you could figure out a way to pay and make it clear to the woman in question, and probably everybody else in the zip code, that you’re paying for her opportunity to catch you, if she’s good enough, you could manage it. Luck with that.

  • Jackie

    @Abbot, Mike C

    Re: Comment 174 (article about the Princeton mom)

    After reading the tabloid (The Daily Fail) that references the letter, I found it to be somewhat reductive and took away a really different POV. I think there is a lot of truth in what she is saying– college *is* the time when you will have the highest concentration of singles around you. I wanted to find out more before commenting. As my Dad always says, Consider the source.

    Here is more psychological context to her letter:

    This woman, who was just divorced last month after a nearly 30-year marriage, wishes she would have married a man who went to Princeton. Instead, she regretfully married someone who went to a school with “almost no name recognition. A school that nobody has respect for, including him, really.” When she wrote about giving advice to the “daughters she never had” I felt that she was a very bitter, snobbish and wounded woman who was doing a TON of projection.

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/03/qa-princeton-mom-wishes-she-married-classmate.html

    Then I found this:

    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/plus/plus_021506parent.html

    When she wrote about being the child of traumatized Holocaust survivors who found it “an utter disgrace” of her going to college to learn, who found it “upsetting and shameful” that went to Princeton instead of getting married at 18, I felt … that poor woman! :(

    TL, DR: It’s great if people find the right person in college–that’s awesome!– but this woman has seriously significant issues and is clearly projecting.

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

      @Jackie

      but this woman has seriously significant issues and is clearly projecting.

      Thanks for doing the legwork to learn more about that letter. I knew she was projecting when I learned of her recent divorce.

      That doesn’t mean she does not include some useful advice in her letter, but she is clearly 100% ignorant re hookup culture. I don’t know anything about her sons, but I also wondered whether the younger one in particular is not particularly successful with girls. There was a tone of admonishing female students that they were not valuing her son sufficiently.

  • Mike C

    I think there is a lot of truth in what she is saying– college *is* the time when you will have the highest concentration of singles around you. I wanted to find out more before commenting. As my Dad always says, Consider the source.

    Hi Jackie…I hope your Dad is doing better!

    As I recall, you went round and round with Escoffier on this very point. My own view is I tend to prefer to evaluate a view/argument on its own rational merits rather then delve into the “who” of is making the argument and want their motivations or unresolved issues might be. Truthfully, I find that to be rather pointless and more about dismissing the person rather then engaging the argument.

    As I read it, there were two main points. Husband and family are likely to be more important to your happiness than anything else, and your best odds lie in college. The idea that any of that is controversial is simply an indication of how absurd things have gotten. The latter point is almost irrefutable. A college-aged woman will never be around as many single eligible guys as in college. Afterwards, the pool of suitable mates will shrink.

    Here is more psychological context to her letter:

    I’d agree she probably has some issues…the other way to look at it though is she believes she made a mistake and is offering up her a POV on how to avoid that mistake. I personally think educational pedigree isn’t that important in a mate, but for those who do think it is important there are obviously better and worse times to find someone of a high educational pedigree.

    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/plus/plus_021506parent.html

    When she wrote about being the child of traumatized Holocaust survivors who found it “an utter disgrace” of her going to college to learn, who found it “upsetting and shameful” that went to Princeton instead of getting married at 18, I felt … that poor woman! :(

    Jackie, you once advised me to consider the idea of winning the battle but losing the war so to speak. I’ve actually tried to consider that and in some cases let things drop where “victory” may not have been the best idea. I’m going to offer you something as well for consideration. We are all flawed, but that doesn’t invalidate what someone says. I think you need to focus more on the “what” of someone’s words and spend less effort and energy trying to investigate their various motivations and psychological states. You may end up dismissing something sensible simply because you’ve formed a negative perception of the person. As Ana would say YMMV.

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

      I think you need to focus more on the “what” of someone’s words and spend less effort and energy trying to investigate their various motivations and psychological states. You may end up dismissing something sensible simply because you’ve formed a negative perception of the person

      It’s impossible to assign value to a person’s remarks without understanding the context, including the motivation of that person. When we know people IRL, we have a context for interpreting their views. For example, you are more likely to credit an economic forecast from one of your favorite bloggers, than you are from the schizophrenic homeless man outside your building, even if he is saying the exact same thing.

      If everyone had equal credibility, we would be unable to distinguish among all the conflicting messages. Instead, we look to people who have earned the right to speak with authority on a topic.

      I doubt you would take seriously a Jezebel writer claiming that men don’t consider sexual experience when evaluating women for LTR potential.

      The writer of this letter has some credibility because we know that she is very smart, and was a student leader in her day. However, there are also indications that she might not be a good source of advice for college women:

      1. She is my age, and does not appear to understand that college culture has changed since 1977.

      2. For 30 years, she has avoided her own alma mater because it threatened her husband, a man who recently divorced her, leaving her hurt and angry. Today she advises women to marry “the opposite” of who she married.

      3. She is only qualified (perhaps) to say what doesn’t work, she has no idea if marrying a Princeton man would have produced a different result for her.

      4. Her claim that her son’s options are “limitless” suggests that she is a biased mother, as we all are. Because she writes as a mother, rather than an alum, the bias is problematic.

      5. The fact that she was shamed by her own parents for attending college is relevant to her discussion of what is good for smart women.

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

      A college-aged woman will never be around as many single eligible guys as in college. Afterwards, the pool of suitable mates will shrink.

      I disagree. It may be true that a woman will not ever have ready access to as many single guys, but I would argue that most of them are not eligible in the sense that they are marriageable. I cannot recall meeting a college male in the last 8 years who was ready for marriage. It’s simply not possible to judge MMV at that age.

      In addition, the hookup culture (and the effect of Pluralistic Ignorance) means that a lot of college people are sitting on the sidelines. Yet most of them will marry – clearly the bulk of the dating and relationshipping occurs between the ages of 22-30. That has been very true for my focus group girls, all of whom have found the post-college dating scene infinitely more rewarding. I think that’s because the men have matured, they have access to men a few years older, and there is a marked move away from hooking up and toward traditional dating. It’s not true across the board, but the woman who wants to go on dates will find that she can do so. Most of the girls, now in the 24-25 range, have long since stopped going to bars, and are booed up.

  • Jackie

    Hey Mike C,

    Thanks for asking about my Dad! He *is* doing better– lots o’PT, though. How is your Mom? I hope you guys have a good Easter (and maybe get to break the diet for 1 day ;) ).

    ” I tend to prefer to evaluate a view/argument on its own rational merits rather then delve into the “who” of is making the argument and want their motivations or unresolved issues might be. Truthfully, I find that to be rather pointless and more about dismissing the person rather then engaging the argument.”

    Mike, you raise an interesting point here. Something that is *very* hard for me is to accept the advice of someone who has not “walked the walk.” I mean, if this woman had a great marriage, I would definitely give her more credence. When I go round and round on something, what I am actually trying to figure out (though I am sure it is not coming across like this) is whether the points in her argument have merit or whether she is saying something in reaction to outside issues.

    Something very interesting, Mike C: I was talking with my sister, and we actually got in an argument. :( One of the things that came up was that I can be very poor at “reading” someone– a lot of the clues and indicators of a person’s text and subtext I miss.

    Imagine going through life being color blind, or not able to have the same quality of depth-perception. It’s kind of scary, actually. When I can look to something tangible (ie this person had a great marriage) I find congruence and that will affect me more strongly than anything else.

    This is obviously my issue to work through– we all have them. :-) Habits and ingrained patterns can be tough to break or even recognize, so thank you for pointing this out to me. :)

    Anyway, back to the article: I can definitely admit that, yes, she is absolutely correct about never being surrounded by more guys than when you are in college. (I think I may have mentioned this as well above?) I am not opposed to this woman and I would have LOVED to have gotten engaged to the right guy in college (instead of the wrong one).

    Thanks again, Mike C. :)

  • Abbot

    Here is Marcott’s prickly response to what Patton, the mother, wrote -

    “Casual sex is not something imposed by wily young men on young women too dumb to hold out for a ring. It’s often more a strategy young women use to delay commitments that they perceive as obstacles to their personal and career goals…Now we have further evidence that this is exactly what’s going on. Why else would Susan Patton, the mother of two Princeton-attending sons, direly warn young women in a letter to the editor of the Daily Princetonian that if they don’t snatch up the bright young men in college—men like her son—then they run a very high risk of being forever alone with their cats and their books?”

    Ah yes, with her mind in the gutter, Marcotte uses this letter to “prove” that women are manipulating the cock hop, now and for all their lives. Of course, she always fails to mention the small number of men who feel sooo used by this.

  • Lokland

    @Mr. NT

    “How do you do birth control with your wife then? From what I’ve read, the IUD seems the best choice but this is an area where I have very little say.”

    Ohh lord please let the power of the condom be strong….

    A mixture of pull out and condoms.
    Working on babies atm so no longer an issue.
    Did work for four years however.

  • Lokland

    @Mike C

    “I think often people confuse perfect theory with a useful explanation and if something isn’t a perfect theory than that means discard it as a useful explanation as well.”

    +1, very rarely (never?) is anything all or nothing but a mixture along a continuum.
    Describing a certain point on the continuum however is impossible without (a) reference point(s).
    Thats what alpha and beta are.

    “In this very thread, there was talk of women who feel like they are not getting any attention. Maybe that is true…IDK….but another possible explanation is overinflation of their own SMV leading to desiring attention from “out of their league” males while not trying to attract the attention of their same level SMV male peers.”

    I suspect its a mixture.
    Pretty much everyone is 10-20 pds overweight.
    If a person is evaluating themselves at what they could/should be then there is a problem.

    As it stands, most of the women I knew in college (and afterwards) who wanted boyfriends actually had them. (Ex. 5 female cousins in college- 4 boyfriends, nice kids, met them yesterday.)

    Most of those who didn’t fell into one overarching category.
    Not interested in SMV equals.

    As for women feeling like they will be lonely forever.
    The only women I’ve ever heard say such a thing is my friend I mentioned a few times, nearing 30 and single.

    She is the single most narcissistic person I have ever known (ex. back in the day she dragged a guy out for dates for free drinks at 5pm then met her actual date at 7pm. I remember meeting her actual date at a bar for a double date one time and being honest about her inability to disengage the other guy. Perhaps I’m a shit disturber :P

  • J

    It was also be interesting to know if stay-at-home DADS get laid as much as the traditonals. That would negate your argument that it’s just time

    Not just time–fatigue and resentment play into it as well.

    I think it would depend on how much the roles were truly reversed. Is the working wife coming home and doing housework after her day job is done? That is both tiring and would contribute to resentment. I do know two stay-at-home dads, the husbands of doctors. In both cases, the dads took over the entire “wife role;” they cooked, cleaned, did the grocery and clothes shopping, took kids to lessons, etc. I don’t know the details of their sex lives, but I’m talking about 20-25 year marriages. I do think though that had those guys been sitting on the couch drinking beer all day while the wives worked hard, they’d have been divorced by now. I do know one male social worker who quit to stay home with kids while his wife, also a social worker, worked. He mostly took drugs and repainted the walls weird colors every few months. She kicked him out, and he OD’ed. I would guess they had a lousy sex life.

  • J

    Marcotte is pretty full of shit as usual, but I don’t think things are as dire as the Princton mom paints them. It’s certainly true that once college is over a young woman will never be in the midst of such a large pool of desirable young men. Nonetheless, people can and do meet their spouses in grad school, at work, and through friends after college.

    I rather doubt my sons will marry immediately after college as I doubt that they will feel ready. In some senses, I think it’s just as limiting for men to leave that huge, open pool of desirable women without a future bride, but the honest–though perhaps regretttable–truth is they have no current desire to settle down in their early 20s.

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

      Nonetheless, people can and do meet their spouses in grad school, at work, and through friends after college.

      IIRC, Megaman provided a stat that 13% of marriages are between people who met in college. That’s just not the way people roll today. If you remove the evangelicals, Mormons, and others who adhere to early marriage norms, that number is probably halved.

  • J

    Two issues with this: First, it’s unlikely that a woman will stay on the Pill her entire life…there can be health reasons as well as pregnancy-desiring reasons for getting off, at least temporarily…so if someone chooses a husband based on those criteria that are only operative on-Pill…and then goes off-Pill…what is likely to happen? It probably isn’t good.

    I think the finding was not that women marry men they are not attracted to while on the Pill, but that the attractions formed while on the Pill tended to be more long-lasting since the attraction wasn’t the hot and heavy sort that fizzles out rapidly. It’s true that we are all going to be attracted the “shiny,” as Ana calls it, first off. Nevertheless, “shiny” types can quickly turn off others with their conceit, superficiality, etc.

    Second, why would we define being “good in bed” as a superficial trait? Sexual satisfaction is an important thing to most people…also, a man’s goodness in bed is surely linked to other desirable traits, such as having enough empathy to engage in more than 30 seconds of foreplay and also to bother to learn what his partner likes.

    The notion that being “good in bed” is a superficial trait comes from what I quoted and is not my opinion. I believe mutual satisfaction to be very important to a marriage. BTW, I would label “having enough empathy to engage in more than 30 seconds of foreplay and also to bother to learn what his partner likes” as beta-y goodness.

  • J

    Pros-longer relationships, less likely to divorce, like dad traits
    Cons- less sexual satisfaction, less attraction to partner, increased sexual dissatisfaction over time, if there is a separation (still less often than non-pill) she is more likely to initiate than the other way around.

    Good summary. The bolded parts still imply to me that Beta-y goodness is condusive to a long-lasting –though not necessarily passionate–marriage.

  • J

    Jackie and Mike C–Hope both your parents are doing better. Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.

  • Anacaona

    +1, very rarely (never?) is anything all or nothing but a mixture along a continuum.
    Describing a certain point on the continuum however is impossible without (a) reference point(s).
    Thats what alpha and beta are.

    I agree with his however the problem arise when the new Data is doubted. To use a silly example with Star Trek, Men wanted to be Kirk women wanted Spock. You don’t believe we want Spock in spite of the letters and fan clubs and the memoirs of everyone involved in the show. I mean the slutty unrestricted may be swooning over Kirk but since they are a minority they cannot be used as proof that we all want Kirk secretly. We don’t.

    Marcotte is pretty full of shit as usual, but I don’t think things are as dire as the Princton mom paints them. It’s certainly true that once college is over a young woman will never be in the midst of such a large pool of desirable young men. Nonetheless, people can and do meet their spouses in grad school, at work, and through friends after college.

    One of the reasons I got lucky finding my now husband single is that his college marriage failed. All his friends that got married did to their college brides. The ones that didn’t were single for a long time and some of them still are.
    When you add introversion, the jobplace strict policies about sexual harrassment and the lack of initiative of matchmaking from friends and family it really makes hard for a person to meet someone with the right mix of chemistry, attractiveness, compatibility, goals and dreams outside college. Just saying

    The notion that being “good in bed” is a superficial trait comes from what I quoted and is not my opinion. I believe mutual satisfaction to be very important to a marriage. BTW, I would label “having enough empathy to engage in more than 30 seconds of foreplay and also to bother to learn what his partner likes” as beta-y goodness.

    This is unrestricted projection, IMO. I had two friends whose husbands were fantastic in bed. But outside it they were a mess and they both almost got divorced until they added the tons of Beta they were missing. Fantastic sex =/= fantastic marriage, YMMV.

  • Anacaona

    Jackie and Mike C–Hope both your parents are doing better.
    The same sentiment from me.

    Unrelated
    HE HAS RISEN! :)

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

      Unrelated
      HE HAS RISEN!

      Haha, for years I woke my children for Mass on Easter morning by bursting in their rooms and excitedly shouting, “The tomb was empty!” Yesterday morning I texted that. :)

  • Lokland

    “Good summary. The bolded parts still imply to me that Beta-y goodness is condusive to a long-lasting –though not necessarily passionate–marriage.”

    Yay…glorified roommates.
    I don’t know whats worse, getting divorced because my wife can’t stand the sight of me or the touch of my hand or staying married to her while my wife couldn’t stand the sight of me or the touch of my hand.

    Marriage for the sake of marriage is only worthwhile until the kids leave the house.

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

      I was away for a few days, but I’m surprised that a very key point about the Pill hasn’t been raised.

      By preventing ovulation, the Pill removes a woman’s ability to do a “chemical reading” on men. Our reliance on scent and saliva to detect crucial DNA information and hormone levels is compromised by OC.

      Is the Pill Making You Choose the Wrong Men?

      The Pill is dramatically changing the way women and men experience sexual chemistry. It’s definitely changing how women sniff out potential mates, and it’s probably also changing the pheromones they’re putting out to guys. This is very important says Rachel Herz, PhD, author of The Scent of Desire and a faculty member at Brown University, “My own research says the way a man smells to a woman is the main determinant of sexual attraction.”

      Women are naturally attracted to men whose genetic makeup is dissimilar to their own.

      A man’s natural odor may be the most important information he can give a woman. “Body odor is an external manifestation of the immune system, and the smells we think are attractive come from the people who are most genetically compatible with us.” Much of what we vaguely call “sexual chemistry,” she adds, is likely a direct result of this scent-based compatibility.

      …The number of genes couples share corresponds directly with the likelihood that they would cheat on one another.

      Women who are genetically similar to their partners report being less satisfied in their sexual relationship with their partner — and seek more new sex partners — than women with genetically dissimilar partners. If a man and woman have 50 percent of their MHC (major histocompatibility complex) alleles in common, the woman has a 50 percent chance of sleeping with another man behind her partner’s back.

      In T-shirt-sniffing studies, women taking birth control pills seem to be attracted to the “wrong,” or genetically similar men.

      Many media outlets have dubbed the pill “the divorce pill” in light of these findings. Herz wouldn’t go that far, but she acknowledges that it’s a problem. ”It’s like picking your cousins as marriage partners. It constitutes a biological error.”

      As a result, explains Charles Wysocki, a psychobiologist at Florida State University, when such a couple decides to have children and the woman stops taking birth control, she may find herself less attracted to her mate for reasons she doesn’t quite understand. “On a subconscious level, her brain is realizing a mistake was made—she married the wrong guy,” he says.

      Men are more attracted to women who are not on the Pill.

      Men are sensitive to smell as well. The Pill distorts the signals a woman sends, making her seem less appealing to men.

      Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico and author of The Mating Mind, noticed the pill’s connection to waning male desire while studying a group of exotic dancers—women whose livelihoods depend on how sexually appealing they are to male customers. Non-pill-using dancers made about 50 percent more in tips than dancers on oral contraceptives.

  • Anacaona

    @Lokland
    I’m curious about something (well I’m curious about everything) but I had been doing some research on reproduction and I would like to bounce something around with you. Shoot me an email at hypatiaausten@gmail.com

  • Abbot
  • Abbot

    Clearly, this rant indicates and confirms that they are outnumbered and on the defensive.

    http://jezebel.com/5992479/if-i-admit-that-hating-men-is-a-thing-will-you-stop-turning-it-into-a-self+fulfilling-prophecy

    .

  • Jesse

    Mike C,

    I don’t want to resurrect any alpha-beta debates, but it clear to me you are operating from a flawed definition. In any case, anyone can prefer to see it any way they want, but useful discussion can’t happen if people are operating from different definitions.

    I guess I’m just used to an alternate definition that describes a different set of characteristics. I know some women can’t get enough alpha, which to them is only a positive thing and doesn’t include gratuitous asshole behavior.

    That definition may well be incorrect around here. No big deal.

  • Jesse

    Mr. Aubrey,

    I like that. However.
    The point remains; If the guy pays for anything, whether it’s the first date or the sixth, he’s paying to continue the relationship, which is to say, his personal gain. Eventually, the woman may grab the bill, or arrange something on her own so she’ll be paying by organizing, or putting up money, or something she does like…I dunno, cooking or a book she knows he likes. But that is seen as a gift from her, or evening things up.
    Point is, is anything the guy does to facilitate dating–restricting it to early in the relationship–not going to be seen, or at least see-able, as paying for personal gain?
    Fact is, the guy pays so she’ll go out with him.
    IMO, this conflicts with the idea that the guy should always give, if he does, without any indication that it’s for his own personal gain.
    No pay, no date, he loses.

    I may be missing something, but to me the question then reverts to whether you are the kind of man she would enjoy being pursued by.

    I mean, a man by definition pursues a woman for personal gain, does he not? I’ve seen it said, more or less, that women like the men who are confident enough to make it plain that they want her. It probably works even better if he has many other options to choose from.

    So maybe it’s, “I want you, but if you don’t I’ve got plenty of other women to peruse.” Then the man has made his interest clear without falling into the position of needing her approval. He wants her approval, because he likes her, but he doesn’t need her and he’ll leave to great reception elsewhere if she declines or vacillates.

  • Veri-Hata

    I can relate to this article in a very general way and in theory, but do not find this in practice (in the real world) of dating-n-relating. The obvious example is sex. Both parties hope to achieve something for themselves: orgasm that is derived partly by their partner but mostly from thier own mind (i.e. thier perception of the quality of the sex). I think that anything beyond that is simply stuff that society fills our heads with from a young age as things we “should” do, feel, or act. In real terms, we all have sex to experience one of the great God-given pleasures available on this Earth. This is a selfish need since we want our sexual needs satisfied.

    In the old days – the times before birth control and legalized abortion, I could argue that a woman has much, much more to lose from choosing a bad or “ungiving” partner. She is saddled with his offspring for at least 18-years. Today, on the other hand, women have birth control and legalized abortion. The costs for a bad choice are simply a trip to the Doctor’s office or Planned Parenthood – bad choice eliminated. In reality, a bad choice need never be made in the first place with birth control. Giving…ungiving – this seems to make little difference in terms of dating and/or “hooking-up”.

    Building a family unit still requires a “giving” partner and that you be “giving” yourself. Raising children is expensive and time consuming to put it very, very simply. Not the thing anyone wants to do solo – yet many do. I guess they “chose” wrong and shunned modern medical technology.

    What I would suggest to all young men and women is that you have fun and experience all of the sexual pleasures that this world has to offer (St. Augustine style) until you meet the correct spouse. Screw to your heart’s content – then marry someone you love and who will love you in return! I know that it is not impossible just improbable given the attitudes of the sexes towards each other these days.

    Women: there is no way that you can manipulate a man into loving you. No “game” that you play; “rules” that impose; playing hard to get; or even pregnancy will cause him to love you. The feeling is either there or it is not. You could make a man wait three dates of three years before sleeping with you – ain’t gonna matter! If you think he is hot: “do him”, see if it works out, then move on if it does not.

    Men: you ain’t “all that” and your “game” does not fool any women. They tolerate you and your B.S. hoping that you are worth the wait. Any woman who repeatedly tolerates your bad treatment is either a mental case or a door mat – not “wife-and-mommy” material. If you think she is hot: “do her”, see if it works out, then move on if it does not.

    Life is truly too short to be unhappy. Happy Easter!

  • Jesse

    I agree with Lokland. If she doesn’t get hot for me, it’s just not good.

    No reason I can’t have that spice and still bring along Dad traits.

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

      @Jesse

      No reason I can’t have that spice and still bring along Dad traits.

      You’ve already realized at 21 what men twice your age are still refusing to accept.

  • Abbot

    “improbable given the attitudes of the sexes towards each other these days.”

    What makes wanting to marry improbable?

  • J

    Yay…glorified roommates.
    I don’t know whats worse, getting divorced because my wife can’t stand the sight of me or the touch of my hand or staying married to her while my wife couldn’t stand the sight of me or the touch of my hand.

    Whoa, LL. You just made a huge leap that I really did not anticipate. I read that study to mean that while many women are not seeing stars with their beta husbands on a nightly basis, they are still involved in relatively warm and loving relationships with them. Not making hot monkey love three times a day after some years of marriage is not quite the same thing as being repulsed by a touch of a hand or staying together just for the kids. I’m not sure why you are making that jump.

  • OffTheCuff

    Lok: “On the no SMV scale. Thats like trying ti diagnose sexual disfunction without knowing the persons sex. Its intimately related to the strategy needed to be taken on by the individual.”

    I was not proposing making numbers verboten, just expressing frustration with too much of it. Of course SMV is real, and being low, vs. average, vs. high makes a difference; and of course, we should consider “leveling up”, if need be.

  • OffTheCuff

    Lok: “On another, A women on the pill wanting you is the equivalent of the 60yo women pinching your cheek and saying you will be a great boyfriend.”

    I think this idea is a bit overblown. Met my wife when she was not on the pill, went on it after a few months of sex. Had kids, switched to IUD. I’ve really never noticed any difference in her sex drive, despite multiple changes.

    Anyone else I’ve, uh, messed around with, were not on the pill either. Ok, maybe one was.

  • OffTheCuff

    J: “In some senses, I think it’s just as limiting for men to leave that huge, open pool of desirable women without a future bride, but the honest–though perhaps regretttable–truth is they have no current desire to settle down in their early 20s.”

    Red pill Chrisitan kids! Those are the best. They have a good chance of having their cake and eating too. Wish I went to that church back then.

    J: “Is the working wife coming home and doing housework after her day job is done? ”

    Right, but that really isn’t what I’d consider a SAHD, more of a child. My suspicion is that couples, given the *same* amount of free time, will find that traditional sex roles correlate to more sex, than the other way around. That’s what I’d want to see controlled for. But maybe not. It’s an interesting question to me.

  • Anacaona

    I think this idea is a bit overblown. Met my wife when she was not on the pill, went on it after a few months of sex. Had kids, switched to IUD. I’ve really never noticed any difference in her sex drive, despite multiple changes.

    I think this might be due to metabolism. I have a friend whose periods drive her off the wall as every single birth control method she tried till she got the depoprovera shots. She is also pregnantzilla. I think some women are more sensitive to hormonal changes than others.

  • Jesse

    Whoa, LL. You just made a huge leap that I really did not anticipate. I read that study to mean that while many women are not seeing stars with their beta husbands on a nightly basis, they are still involved in relatively warm and loving relationships with them. Not making hot monkey love three times a day after some years of marriage is not quite the same thing as being repulsed by a touch of a hand or staying together just for the kids. I’m not sure why you are making that jump.

    Without speaking from experience…

    The study was about women who meet their partner while on the pill. To me this gets to the heart of what attracted her to the man in the first place.

    I’d want the bedrock of the relationship to be carnal heat. Yes, you have to enjoy each other’s company when not having sex and you have to agree how to raise the kids and all those important things, but to me the foundation of it has to be heat in the loins.

    I understand that the novelty of love wears off after a couple of years, but this “long-lasting thought not necessarily passionate” stuff is anathema to me. If she doesn’t hunger for me I don’t want it. I think that having sex because you’re still neurochemically out of balance after one year together is a different thing from finding your husband to be a hot, sexy beast, and lusting after him, especially if that drew you to him in the first place.

    If she doesn’t feel hot for me, that just seems like a slippery slope towards… bad things happening. Don’t want to go there. I don’t want to wonder whether I have her complete attention.

  • Anacaona

    I understand that the novelty of love wears off after a couple of years, but this “long-lasting thought not necessarily passionate” stuff is anathema to me.
    The meme that refuses to die…
    I guess this is the male projection equivalent of something SOME women do back at home. Trying to tie down a man by becoming pregnant of him or trying to steal a man from his wife/girlfriend but assuming he will never cheat on her. It works as well as you would expect. My mother always told me that getting pregnant ties you to that man not him and that a cheater will cheat on you with someone else as soon as you become the primary partner if ever. Mom is a wise woman.
    The girl that places the permanence on the relationship and her loyalty in how hot you make her is also very likely to be wired to put out for any hot man in close proximity. The woman that took years to warm up to you it will take years to warm up to any man thus you will need a huge level of constant screw up in a daily basis for her to move on. And chances are she will notice her feelings for you waning and try to fix it somehow. No long time investor lets go of a relationship that took years to create that easily.
    The gambler and unrestricted doesn’t need a lot of move on. Issues at home that make her feel ‘unhappy’, little money, emotional crisis, boringness and their first solution is to find a fresh dick.
    Most of you are dreaming to be some woman’s mount Everest but no one climbs the Mount Everest more than once in their lifetime,YMMV.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “Whoa, LL. You just made a huge leap that I really did not anticipate. I read that study to mean that while many women are not seeing stars with their beta husbands on a nightly basis, they are still involved in relatively warm and loving relationships with them.”

    I think it was the part about being sexually dissatisfied to the point of refusing sex that made me doubt this.

  • Lokland

    @OTC

    ” think this idea is a bit overblown.”

    Why?

    A women on the pill and a 60yo women have equal opportunity to reproduce, why would their attraction triggers be dissimilar?

    We here all the time that as women mature they become much more accepting of beta traits.

  • Lokland

    @Jesse

    “I understand that the novelty of love wears off after a couple of years, but this “long-lasting thought not necessarily passionate” stuff is anathema to me.”

    Me and my wife have been together for 5 years. We still go at it a minimum of once everyday.

    The difference is that there is a level of comfort involved both during and afterwards. As a younger man I tended to finish then do the mandatory cuddle for a few seconds then go to sleep. Now I’m not as opposed to cuddling for an hour both before and afterward. (Though quickies are still an obvious requirement.)

    Hot kinky passionate monkey sex is not mutually exclusive with long lasting love.

  • Jesse

    Ana,

    But I don’t think I’m talking about restricted versus unrestricted. I’m talking about what she found appealing about me in the first place. It’s perfectly okay if things take a while to heat up between us – it’s not about going at it on the first date.

    It’s not that sex is the only thing I offer her. It just seems obvious to me that part has to be right bang-on in order for both of us to be satisfied. The way J wrote it, it just sounds like a woman who really likes her guy, she does, because he’s nice and caring and all, but he doesn’t really get her panties wet. I don’t want to be that guy, and I don’t see any reason I have to in a committed relationship.

    It’s pretty important to me that she’s thoroughly sexually satisfied, and I think there are ways of maintaining a fair amount of lust (which I think is different from screwing a lot in the early days just because you’re drunk on love) through the years with the right person. I suppose that’s all I’m saying.

  • JP

    There should be something happening on college campuses right about now, since we are 4 years out from peak cheap credit.

    I think that the moment of transition occurred in Fall 2009, so the next wave is now finally filling the institutions.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Actually MMs stat is that 13% of college students are already married before they graduate.

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

      @Lokland

      Actually MMs stat is that 13% of college students are already married before they graduate.

      Oh, well that’s not useful then. :P Thanks for clarifying.

      I’d love to see stats on how many marriages among college grads in the last 5 years were college sweethearts tying the knot.

  • JP

    I never liked Princeton.

    Basically, the interviewer really angered me when I was applying and I never even bothered to continue my application.

    I ended up being wait-listed.

    Granted, it was inconceivable to me that they would not want me, one of the greatest minds of my generation, the very benchmark against which the world should be measured.

    Apparently, I came built in with a somewhat unhelpful pathological sense of superiority.

    I never have been able to tell whether I put it there or my father put it there.

  • J

    Red pill Chrisitan kids! Those are the best. They have a good chance of having their cake and eating too. Wish I went to that church back then.

    Mot sure I’d use that description, but OK.

    Right, but that really isn’t what I’d consider a SAHD, more of a child. My suspicion is that couples, given the *same* amount of free time, will find that traditional sex roles correlate to more sex, than the other way around. That’s what I’d want to see controlled for. But maybe not. It’s an interesting question to me.

    It is an interesting question. I’m not sure current studies control for that, which was my initial criticism.

  • J

    I understand that the novelty of love wears off after a couple of years, but this “long-lasting thought not necessarily passionate” stuff is anathema to me. If she doesn’t hunger for me I don’t want it. I think that having sex because you’re still neurochemically out of balance after one year together is a different thing from finding your husband to be a hot, sexy beast, and lusting after him, especially if that drew you to him in the first place.

    The novelty/heat wears off inevetably. If you are lucky, it is replaced by a continuous warmth. Sex tends to ebb and flow in a marriage, and not solely because of the woman. A lot of things get in the way of keeping up a huge level of “heat.” In addition to the natural decrease in dopamine, there are job stresses and the need to deal with aging parents, with your own aging, with kids, with illnesses, etc. While sex is very important, it tends to be something that suffers where there are obstacles. To base a marriage on it is to ignore what marriage really is.

  • J

    I think it was the part about being sexually dissatisfied to the point of refusing sex that made me doubt this.

    I didn’t see that mentioned specifically. If it’s a finding of the study, I agree it’s a problem.

  • Resident Comedian

    “The novelty/heat wears off inevetably. If you are lucky, it is replaced by a continuous warmth. Sex tends to ebb and flow in a marriage, and not solely because of the woman. A lot of things get in the way of keeping up a huge level of “heat.” In addition to the natural decrease in dopamine, there are job stresses and the need to deal with aging parents, with your own aging, with kids, with illnesses, etc. While sex is very important, it tends to be something that suffers where there are obstacles. To base a marriage on it is to ignore what marriage really is.”

    Young narcissistic American men don’t think of any of this. Aging parents, kids, jobs and stress are not even supposed to exist, much less in their very own homes!

  • J

    It’s not that sex is the only thing I offer her. It just seems obvious to me that part has to be right bang-on in order for both of us to be satisfied.

    But in the course of a long life together it won’t always be like that. She’ll be overwhelmed by a new baby or you’ll be overwhelmed at work. She’ll have a hysterectomy or you’ll have a heart attack. She’ll be menopausal or you’ll get ED. Sometimes two people who love each other need to work around things not being “right.”

    The way J wrote it, it just sounds like a woman who really likes her guy, she does, because he’s nice and caring and all, but he doesn’t really get her panties wet.

    I think you (and Lokland) are misunderstanding me. I’m saying that “head over heels, hot monkey love” infatuation is bound to fade and that, when it does, you better be with someone you really care for. I also think that sex can get better through the years and through coming to know each other and growing together. It can be a big mistake to discount a perfectly lovely and compatible person because they aren’t the movie star hot person who immediately gets you hot and bothered.

  • Resident Comedian

    “Pros-longer relationships, less likely to divorce, like dad traits
    Cons- less sexual satisfaction, less attraction to partner, increased sexual dissatisfaction over time, if there is a SEPARATION (still less often than non-pill) SHE is more likely to initiate than the other way around.”

    How would separation be a “pro” if he were to initiate? Separation is a con any which way you cut it.

  • J

    Young narcissistic American men don’t think of any of this. Aging parents, kids, jobs and stress are not even supposed to exist, much less in their very own homes!

    Well, sadly then, the inability to get a hard on after a visit to one’s emaciated cancer-riddled mother will be a surprise….cuz, hey, shit happens.

  • J

    No reason I can’t have that spice and still bring along Dad traits.

    That’s a good balance.

  • JP

    “I think you (and Lokland) are misunderstanding me. I’m saying that “head over heels, hot monkey love” infatuation is bound to fade and that, when it does, you better be with someone you really care for.”

    I’m still not sure why everyone gets frustrated when I call this the “fun part” of the relationship.

    Granted, it was certainly a really good reason to get married at the time.

  • J

    Her claim that her son’s options are “limitless” suggests that she is a biased mother, as we all are. Because she writes as a mother, rather than an alum, the bias is problematic.

    She lost me there. I may be the one woman in the world willing to believe that hers sons’ options aren’t limitless. Everyone’s are–even if only by the limits of what is compatible. There are whole classes of women who would not be incompatible with my boys; I can accept that while still believing that they’ll be quite a catch for the right girls, who imagine will also be bound by their own limits.

  • Cooper

    ” It can be a big mistake to discount a perfectly lovely and compatible person because they aren’t the movie star hot person who immediately gets you hot and bothered.”

    +1

  • J

    I’m still not sure why everyone gets frustrated when I call this the “fun part” of the relationship.

    Oh, it is the fun part; it’s also the part most likely to blow up in your face.

    I enjoyed your Princeton story, BTW.

  • Tomato

    Eh, I’m wary of all these HBC studies because it looks like none of them randomized women to birth control before studying the effects. That raises a huge red flag for confounders – how did the study authors account for other differences between the pill and no pill groups?

  • JP

    “I enjoyed your Princeton story, BTW.”

    I hadn’t thought about that Princeton experience for years.

    One of my college roommates and I both had gotten into Dartmouth and would have been quite willing to go there except for the fact that neither of us wanted to pay the $100,000 to attend.

    And this was back in the early 1990′s.

    The Dartmouth interview was wonderful in comparison to the Princeton interview.

  • JP

    “I may be the one woman in the world willing to believe that hers sons’ options aren’t limitless. Everyone’s are–even if only by the limits of what is compatible.”

    I think that she was trying to say that because her sons won the competition, they should be able to pick out who they wanted to pick out.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I cannot recall meeting a college male in the last 8 years who was ready for marriage. It’s simply not possible to judge MMV at that age.

    Really? Not a single one? I know there’s plenty of knuckleheads out there, but I’ve known plenty of guys who were great marriage material in college. Maybe not “get married right this second” ready, but obvious that they had their shit together and were an obvious good bet. Granted, they usually lost out to the knuckleheads.

    FWIW, I think you could probably switch genders and everything I said would be equally true.

    I think one of the biggest aspects of pluralistic ignorance that hookup culture has created is that supposedly there aren’t any quality, mature people in college. In general, it seems like college guys get this worse than their female peers… getting roped in with idiot frat boys and lazy druggies, even though those groups are a small minority of campus.

    Things obviously vary depending on your location… but my experiences and travels tell me this prevailing idea that there aren’t marriage quality guys in college just flat out isn’t true.

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

      @Jimmy H

      Things obviously vary depending on your location… but my experiences and travels tell me this prevailing idea that there aren’t marriage quality guys in college just flat out isn’t true.

      I didn’t say guys are not marriage quality, I said that MMV is very difficult to assess at age 18. The female attraction cues include many characteristics that signal dedicated co-parenting. While plenty of students may show early promise, many have never been tested by real adversity. In addition, colleges see an increasing number of ultra – high achieving students dropping out after arriving. I know this has been an increasing trend at Harvard, for example. As is a rising rate of depression among students who feel incredibly pressured to keep achieving. These kids are literally still clutching their parents’ apron strings – going to college is the first thing they’ve ever done on their own, and even then many parents don’t let go. I’ve known college students who email their papers to their parents for peer editing and proofreading.

      The brightest, nicest guy on campus may be the least ready for marriage.

      The other half of the equation, of course, is the woman. At 18 I was not mature enough to make an intelligent choice with life-long consequences. We expect college students to change their majors twice on average, and we expect young professionals to change companies every three years through their 20s. Why on earth should we expect women to pick a guy for a 50 year relationship?

      Anyway, I just wrote a new post delving into this further.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    And Susan, I’m not trying to pick on you or anything. What you said seems to be the prevailing thought in society… I hear it a lot, and always try to push back when I do.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,

    “I cannot recall meeting a college male in the last 8 years who was ready for marriage. It’s simply not possible to judge MMV at that age.”

    I find that a little hard to believe, as Jimmy alludes to. Heck, I knew a bunch of guys in STEM undergrad who got married to their college gf’s. Now, they didn’t get married while in school, and typically it happened a couple of years after graduation…so you saw the first batch of weddings at 24 (post undergrad) and the second batch at 26/27 (post or during grad school). And 95% of those marriages are going strong (I got to know my wife at the wedding of one of these, so I benefited too). So, the individuals in these cases judged quite well about their future spouses, all while in college.

    It’s interesting to see how society is “pushing” this extended adolescence. But at the same time, career choices are being made, tremendous debt being racked up, but wanting to find a future marriage partner is seen as something to leave to much further down the road.

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

      @ENY

      Now, they didn’t get married while in school, and typically it happened a couple of years after graduation…so you saw the first batch of weddings at 24 (post undergrad) and the second batch at 26/27 (post or during grad school).

      Obviously, that’s earlier than the mean. (Generally, add 2 years in marriage age for a graduate degree.) It doesn’t surprise me that this happens, and I don’t know if STEM has anything to do with it. Perhaps two highly focused individuals with strong future time orientation can comfortably make this choice.

      As you may recall, my son has been with the same gf since age 17. She has stood by him during some truly knuckleheaded moments, frankly. He has come into his own, but it has taken a while. I think he will make a great dad and husband, but had they married even two years ago, I feel sure it would have been a disaster.

      As for society pushing extended adolescence, I’m not sure of the root cause of that. The prevailing belief among Americans, male and female, young and old, is that marriage in the mid- to late 20s is ideal.

  • OffTheCuff

    Right, XNY. I think it’s better to say that plenty of men are open to meeting someone who is wife material in college. We don’t generally want to get married until we feel like we are settled, and have a decent job, and able to build a permanent life somewhere.

    That’s the kind of future time orientation that you WANT, not the kid who impulsively gets married when a college sophomore and has an undecided major. But the same *age* kid who is living in a small town, working as a plumber, and plans to stay there because three of his uncles are plumbers and has a huge extend family within 20 minutes? Getting married seems smart to me. Those kind of people, I think, are just as smart as us college goofs.

  • JP

    “Right, XNY. I think it’s better to say that plenty of men are open to meeting someone who is wife material in college. We don’t generally want to get married until we feel like we are settled, and have a decent job, and able to build a permanent life somewhere.”

    It never even occurred to me that marriage was in any way related to being settled, having a decent job, and be able to build a permanent life somewhere.

    In fact, when I got married I had no idea what I wanted out of life or what my goals in life were.

    I was more interested in securing a permanent romantic entanglement.

    I think I viewed marriage as “permanent dating”.

  • Mike C

    “I cannot recall meeting a college male in the last 8 years who was ready for marriage. It’s simply not possible to judge MMV at that age.”

    I find that a little hard to believe, as Jimmy alludes to. Heck, I knew a bunch of guys in STEM undergrad who got married to their college gf’s. Now, they didn’t get married while in school, and typically it happened a couple of years after graduation…so you saw the first batch of weddings at 24 (post undergrad) and the second batch at 26/27 (post or during grad school). And 95% of those marriages are going strong (I got to know my wife at the wedding of one of these, so I benefited too). So, the individuals in these cases judged quite well about their future spouses, all while in college.

    Ditto.

    Really…the statement above is kind of a twist on the old apex fallacy plus the last part of the statement sounds a lot like “I want to wait for the finished product rather than go for potential”. I’m sure amongst a certain “type of guy” being interested in marriage in college or soon thereafter is the furthest thing from their mind. I think other guys are probably open to the possibility especially if they met the right girl in college. I’d also bet the restricted vs unrestricted paradigm plays into how interested a guy is in marriage at a younger age with more restricted guys being more open to marriage at a younger age.

    To be clear, I’m not talking about getting married while in college or the day after graduation, but considering the possibility that someone you meet in college isn’t just another shopping trip relationship with an expiration date but perhaps something possibly more permanent. One could always date another 1-2 years after college while living “real life in the real world” and seeing if the relationship still works outside college life.

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

      I’m sure amongst a certain “type of guy” being interested in marriage in college or soon thereafter is the furthest thing from their mind. I think other guys are probably open to the possibility especially if they met the right girl in college.

      There is no evidence for this. In fact, there is significant evidence to the contrary.

      considering the possibility that someone you meet in college isn’t just another shopping trip relationship with an expiration date but perhaps something possibly more permanent

      That’s a completely different statement. Is it marriage potential down the road or “marriage in college or soon thereafter?”

      One could always date another 1-2 years after college while living “real life in the real world” and seeing if the relationship still works outside college life.

      A very high percentage of college students haven’t even found permanent jobs a year after college. As a parent, I would never want to see my daughter marry someone who was not financially stable, even if she was.

  • OffTheCuff

    JP, were you self-sufficient? Or in school? Living at home?

  • JP

    I had just gotten a job as a lawyer – I think I had it for about four months.

    I got engaged when I was still in law school living on massive amounts of government debt.

    Fortunately, my 20 year old wife was able to supply a down payment for our house.

  • JP

    “In addition, colleges see an increasing number of ultra – high achieving students dropping out after arriving. I know this has been an increasing trend at Harvard, for example.”

    Well, duh.

    I still have college nightmares. Just had one last night.

    College was kind of like spending five years in hell.

    The result? A lifetime of anger, bitterness, and regret.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I didn’t say guys are not marriage quality, I said that MMV is very difficult to assess at age 18.

    I won’t disagree with you there. But at 20-22, I don’t think it’s difficult at all to tell who has their shit together, and who doesn’t.

    While plenty of students may show early promise, many have never been tested by real adversity.

    I agree that someone who fights through adversity is obviously a good prospect, but I don’t see why an absence of adversity should be a reason to DQ…

    Quite frankly, I think many of the best marriage prospects in their early 20s (Educated, stable, good family life/upbringing, etc.) probably haven’t had much real adversity, and might not for a long time… they’ve just spent their time being quietly productive, avoiding actions and positions that would lead to adversity, and maintaining a solid frame through the minor ebbs and flows that come in life.

    In addition, colleges see an increasing number of ultra – high achieving students dropping out after arriving. I know this has been an increasing trend at Harvard, for example.. As is a rising rate of depression among students who feel incredibly pressured to keep achieving. These kids are literally still clutching their parents’ apron strings – going to college is the first thing they’ve ever done on their own, and even then many parents don’t let go. I’ve known college students who email their papers to their parents for peer editing and proofreading.

    I’ll be honest… that phenomenon is a completely foreign concept to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years attending and being around colleges. Definitely not saying it doesn’t happen, but it just frankly doesn’t compute with me.

    My guess is it tends to cluster in the upper echelons of extremely selective colleges (which admittedly, I don’t have much knowledge of or experience with). I’m guessing it’s not as much of a problem with average kids at average state schools with average aspirations.

    A very high percentage of college students haven’t even found permanent jobs a year after college. As a parent, I would never want to see my daughter marry someone who was not financially stable, even if she was.

    I know you’re obviously speaking here as a parent, and from that perspective that view is perfectly reasonable… But I’ll be perfectly honest, I’d be pretty upset with a GF that had that attitude.

    From my perspective… either I’m already marriage material or I’m not. Either you believe in me, or you don’t. If a temporary setback is enough to scare her in spite of my legitimate ambition, industriousness, and other good qualities… I’d really question if SHE was marriage material. Like Mike C said, it likens to demanding a finished product, and not being willing to invest and grow. But again, I understand your perspective as a parent.

    Ultimately though, “Pass this last challenge and then you can marry me” isn’t an attitude I would appreciate. To me, it would be the same thing as me saying “I really want to marry you someday, but you’ve put on some weight lately… I don’t feel comfortable marrying you until you lose 5 pounds.” or “You have to be able to cook this recipe flawlessly… I can’t marry you until you can do that well.”

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

      @Jimmy H

      I don’t see why an absence of adversity should be a reason to DQ…

      It’s not a question of DQing, it’s more a question of “need more information to make an informed judgment.” Obviously, when a couple feels they have sufficient information to feel certain, there is no reason why they should delay marriage. FTR, I disagree with the notion that anyone should delay marriage to focus on career. There may even be some couples mature enough to marry before graduation, or immediately thereafter. But I think they are rare today.

      I’ll be honest… that phenomenon is a completely foreign concept to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years attending and being around colleges. Definitely not saying it doesn’t happen, but it just frankly doesn’t compute with me.

      The two pieces of data I have on this are a friend who is a clinical psychologist at Harvard, and having heard a college Admissions person (Princeton, as it happens) describe a disturbing trend they call “teacups.” (Beautiful, but fragile.) Very, very high achieving kids, basically perfect on paper, who get to college and fall apart. It goes along with helicopter parenting.

      I’m guessing it’s not as much of a problem with average kids at average state schools with average aspirations.

      I’m sure you’re right.

      From my perspective… either I’m already marriage material or I’m not. Either you believe in me, or you don’t. If a temporary setback is enough to scare her in spite of my legitimate ambition, industriousness, and other good qualities… I’d really question if SHE was marriage material.

      So you’re saying that you would propose to someone when you were unemployed, and be angry if she wished to wait until your finances stabilized? That is absolutely not going to work for most women. The instinct to want a provider is just too strong, and the idea of being the primary or only breadwinner is probably terrifying to most women. Again, I’m not saying DQ someone – I’m saying that a year after college graduation, if one or both of you has not been able to get on your feet financially, i.e., are able to support yourself, the timing is not right for marriage.

      Feeling that the guy would never establish himself would obviously be a dealbreaker. Which explains why Drive & Ambition, as well as Industriousness, and Reliability are all female attraction cues.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Missed this…

    We expect college students to change their majors twice on average, and we expect young professionals to change companies every three years through their 20s. Why on earth should we expect women to pick a guy for a 50 year relationship?

    I’d say about 75%+ of the people I’ve known through school have never changed majors. The ones who did were definitely in a small minority.

    And I don’t really see any intent to change companies through their 20s… sure, they know it could happen and they’d be open to it if the possibility arises, but the vast majority are very happy with their jobs and would be satisfied staying at them indefinitely.

    Again, maybe this is all just a disconnect with the type of people I associate myself with. Not saying I’m the norm by any means, but those perspectives you’ve posted are admittedly completely foreign to me.

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

      @Jimmy

      I’ll see if I can dig up the links re changing majors and changing jobs. I’ve read it, I didn’t just make it up.

  • JP

    “I’ll be honest… that phenomenon is a completely foreign concept to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years attending and being around colleges. Definitely not saying it doesn’t happen, but it just frankly doesn’t compute with me.

    My guess is it tends to cluster in the upper echelons of extremely selective colleges (which admittedly, I don’t have much knowledge of or experience with). I’m guessing it’s not as much of a problem with average kids at average state schools with average aspirations.”

    This is certainly true.

    If your goals are average, you won’t experience this problem because there won’t be overwhleming stress on you in the first place.

    Part of it is having your entire self-worth tied up in being much more intelligent than your peers, coupled with perfectionism. Meaning that you are only valuable to the extent that you can defeat your contemporaries on the academic battlefield.

    For instance, if your goal is to obtain a 4.0 and beat all of your competitors at the university, any single misstep will result in complete ruination because recovering from that is absolutely impossible.

    And once you lose, that loss is permanent.

  • HanSolo

    @JP

    Those perfectionists need to chill the fuck out! :D

  • JP

    “@JP

    Those perfectionists need to chill the fuck out!”

    You haven’t really lived until you’ve engaged in GPA/SAT/IQ/LSAT comparisons to determine another person’s inherent value as a human being.

  • HanSolo

    I used to engage in somewhat similar things like wh0 got the highest grades in my undergrad physics classes, or in high school.

  • JP

    Apparently, I crushed some guy’s dream of going to Duke law school because I got a higher LSAT score than he did.

    The sad thing was that I had very little interested in going to law school, but even less interested in being a chemical engineer.

    So, I probably really did crush his dreams for no good reason (since Duke was only going to let one person in from the school).

    I think I was just trying to avoid having to work for a living and an engineering scholarship seemed to fit the bill.

    I’m a living example of wasted social resources.

  • Jesse
  • JP

    “The two pieces of data I have on this are a friend who is a clinical psychologist at Harvard, and having heard a college Admissions person (Princeton, as it happens) describe a disturbing trend they call “teacups.” (Beautiful, but fragile.) Very, very high achieving kids, basically perfect on paper, who get to college and fall apart.”

    I did this! I’m a teacup!

    Granted, I nearly completely disintegrated in high school first.

  • Mike C

    I won’t disagree with you there. But at 20-22, I don’t think it’s difficult at all to tell who has their shit together, and who doesn’t.

    Yup. I think there is some additional maturation and wisdom that takes place from 20-22 to say 28-30 and even to 40, but a person is mostly who they are at 22. You aren’t going to see a radically different person at 28…of course there could be exceptions.

    I agree that someone who fights through adversity is obviously a good prospect, but I don’t see why an absence of adversity should be a reason to DQ…

    Yeah, a person could go a long time without ever really experiencing real adversity. I never experienced any real adversity until I was 30 when my first marriage ended and I lost a job in the same week. Up to that point, I had simply been cruising along having educational, financial, and career success. Sure, it would be nice to really know how someone will react in the face of real adversity…but the fact of the matter is many people will never have been tested.

    Quite frankly, I think many of the best marriage prospects in their early 20s (Educated, stable, good family life/upbringing, etc.) probably haven’t had much real adversity, and might not for a long time… they’ve just spent their time being quietly productive, avoiding actions and positions that would lead to adversity, and maintaining a solid frame through the minor ebbs and flows that come in life.

    I’ll be honest… that phenomenon is a completely foreign concept to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years attending and being around colleges. Definitely not saying it doesn’t happen, but it just frankly doesn’t compute with me.

    I think this is partially a generational thing. I’m a Gen Xer, and I can’t say I really encountered this at all. I think this is mostly a Gen Y thing raised by Boomer parents and probably mostly UMC where the kids were raised in a combination of a highly protective cocoon combined with insanely high expectations.

  • Mike C

    ***The instinct to want a provider is just too strong***, and the idea of being the primary or only breadwinner is probably terrifying to most women.

    I actually agree with you on this point, but this flatly contradicts something you’ve asserted over and over and over. Every time the “alpha fucks, beta bucks” meme comes up, you are quick to point out that in this day and age women DO NOT need a provider because they have their own careers with their own sources of income and therefore prioritizing male provisioning is not necessary. So which is it? Women have a strong instinct to want a provider or do not?

    Follow-up question….do you believe this “instinct to to want a provider” is equally as strong in a 19-year old versus a 29-year old?

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

      Every time the “alpha fucks, beta bucks” meme comes up, you are quick to point out that in this day and age women DO NOT need a provider because they have their own careers with their own sources of income and therefore prioritizing male provisioning is not necessary. So which is it? Women have a strong instinct to want a provider or do not?

      You’ve misunderstood. I’ve said countless times that Economic Capacity is a key female attraction cue – probably the most important one, along with Status, which is related. That is the case because women are wired to seek men with resources.

      Today, women do not need a man to provide for them, but they’ll still prefer a big earner to a low earner.

      What they do not do, IMO, is ride the alpha carousel in their 20s, hit the wall, and start hunting for a chump provider. That makes no sense – the woman with especially strong “provider wiring” would go for that all along, and the woman without it is unlikely to be make finding one a priority, especially since she can take care of herself.

      Follow-up question….do you believe this “instinct to to want a provider” is equally as strong in a 19-year old versus a 29-year old?

      The “instinct” will vary among women, but be consistent throughout life. It’s hardwired.

      Do I think that 19 year old women have different priorities than 29 year old women? Yes, and different than 22 year old women, 25 year old women, etc. Finding a husband is not a priority for a 19 year old woman.

  • JP

    “Yup. I think there is some additional maturation and wisdom that takes place from 20-22 to say 28-30 and even to 40, but a person is mostly who they are at 22. You aren’t going to see a radically different person at 28…of course there could be exceptions.”

    I’m 39 and I certainly don’t want to be me.

    At some point, I hope to actually figure out what I want out of life and accomplish something.

  • JP

    You know, adversity taught me that I completely lack any sort of resilience and I have no actual coping skills.

    I really do feel like college completely broke me as a person, so I kind of like the teacup analogy.

  • HanSolo

    @JP

    I think you need to join the marines or go on a survival camp for two weeks where you live off the land or come visit me and we can go mountain climbing or we can go take a boat up the Amazon and evade drug smugglers and pirates. :D

  • JP

    You don’t *evade* drug dealers and pirates, silly.

    You use tactical nukes to take them out.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    So you’re saying that you would propose to someone when you were unemployed, and be angry if she wished to wait until your finances stabilized? That is absolutely not going to work for most women. The instinct to want a provider is just too strong, and the idea of being the primary or only breadwinner is probably terrifying to most women.

    Obviously attitude and context is key…

    But yeah, I would be on the angry side if she had a “You must have x amount of job status before you’re worthy of marrying me” vs “I know you’re having a tough time now, but I also know you work as hard as anyone and will eventually get through it. I believe in you, and all that’s important is that we love each other and are both willing to make a lifelong commitment, regardless of the outside circumstances.”

    Maybe that’s just fantasy thinking. Maybe that’s too much to ask, and no girl is capable of having the latter attitude. I choose to believe that’s not true, otherwise I don’t think I’d ever want to get married.

    Full disclosure… I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t somewhat of a personal issue to me. I originally graduated right as the economy cratered in ’09, and spent a lot of time busting my ass working shitty office temp jobs before I went back to grad school.

    The thought that I’m suddenly marriage worthy now and wasn’t back then is ridiculous to me… I’m the same person with the same values, same work ethic, same sense of responsibility, etc. as I had back then. I’ve just simply positioned myself a little better. If that’s the difference between being a good marriage prospect and a bad one, maybe marriage isn’t for me.

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

      @Jimmy

      “You must have x amount of job status before you’re worthy of marrying me”

      Whoa, don’t move the goalposts. I’m talking about George Constanza here: “I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.” It worked for him! I’m sorry, I don’t think any unemployed person should be planning a wedding. That goes for women too. Why start a life together with financial worries looming over your heads? That would be an incredible strain on any marriage, much less a new one. Where would you live? With your in laws? I don’t know if you’ve thought this through, but it’s just not rational.

      Now, if you lost your job shortly before the wedding, of course that would be different. I’m talking about setting yourselves up for success in a new life rather than failure. Planning ahead.

      I’m the same person with the same values, same work ethic, same sense of responsibility, etc. as I had back then. I’ve just simply positioned myself a little better. If that’s the difference between being a good marriage prospect and a bad one, maybe marriage isn’t for me.

      You raise an interesting point. Is it “valid” (meaning within the bounds of good character, e.g. loyalty ) for a woman to fear and/or decline marriage to an actor in LA? Let’s say he is a great guy, incredibly hard working, very responsible in preparing for and going to auditions, etc., but he just has never managed to land a part in a couple of years of trying. He did get a callback for that Verizon commercial, and that would have paid residuals – maybe 10K in all. But they went with someone else. He wants his gf to believe in him, to know that he will be a huge success. But she feels uncertain – what if his fortunes do not improve? How would they live? How would they ever have a family?

  • Mike C

    Do I think that 19 year old women have different priorities than 29 year old women? Yes, and different than 22 year old women, 25 year old women, etc. Finding a husband is not a priority for a 19 year old woman.

    What do you believe is the priority for a 19-year old woman vis a vis male dating/romantic/sexual relationships?

    Follow-up question. You admit above that different ages will have different priorities.

    Do you believe that in ALL cases for the same women that they will equally prioritize short-term versus long-term mating considerations/attractors at ALL ages in their own life?

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

      @Mike C

      What do you believe is the priority for a 19-year old woman vis a vis male dating/romantic/sexual relationships?

      To have her first boyfriend, to know young love for the first time. The female equivalent of a guy wanting to have sex for the first time.

      Do you believe that in ALL cases for the same women that they will equally prioritize short-term versus long-term mating considerations/attractors at ALL ages in their own life?

      You should know by now that I never use the word ALL. I have also said many times that I believe that people behave both congruently and incongruently relative to their sociosexuality. The restricted bridesmaid may go for the ONS with an usher. The unrestricted party girl may want to hop off the carousel. Culture, peer norms and life experience may all contribute to changes in behavior or attitude. However, in general, sociosexuality is consistent throughout life, and most of the time people will behave in keeping with their natural orientation.

      I do not believe that women vascillate between short- and long-term mating strategies. However, I do think that the definition of long-term mating strategy changes as we age. In high school, an LTR is someone you know will take you to the prom. At 25, it’s someone you are seriously considering marrying. At 60, it’s someone to spend time with doing enjoyable things in the post-retirement years.

  • Mike C

    But yeah, I would be on the angry side if she had a “You must have x amount of job status before you’re worthy of marrying me” vs “I know you’re having a tough time now, but I also know you work as hard as anyone and will eventually get through it. I believe in you, and all that’s important is that we love each other and are both willing to make a lifelong commitment, regardless of the outside circumstances.”

    Maybe that’s just fantasy thinking. Maybe that’s too much to ask, and no girl is capable of having the latter attitude. I choose to believe that’s not true, otherwise I don’t think I’d ever want to get married.

    Jimmy,

    It isn’t fantasy thinking, and there are girls capable of having that latter attitude. I know this because I am engaged to one. When I first started dating my fiancee back in 2006, I was in hard times career wise and financially. I was unemployed from professional work, working as a bouncer for $10 hour, in credit card debt, and living with my parents. Fast forward to the present, and I work a professional white collar job that pays high 5 figures annually, have no debt outside student loans and a car loan that I’ll have paid off in 2 years, have my own business as well, and we have a nice place together. But I think she knew once she got to know me, that wasn’t my intended permanent lifestyle, and that better things were coming down the road both financially and job wise. Now if she had kicked me to the curb in the beginning, and then wanted back in once I was “successful” and “stable” I probably would have f*cked her and then told her to go f*ck herself. Now honestly, when we first met I think I brought some other stuff to the table beyond “economic capacity”….we met at the gym and at the time I was sporting a 6’3″ 240 pound 10% bodyfat body (I don’t look like that now…something has to give in priorities).

    FWIW, Jimmy, I was at the gym last night and the guy on duty is her personal trainer and they had a morning appointment today. We got to discussing morning stuff, and I mentioned some of the stuff she does for me in the morning and he said “You know Mike, you are a really lucky guy to have a girl who does all that for you”. I said I know, but that goes both ways. So yeah, there are women out there who will see you for who you are and your potential and want to do things to make you happy. A high value guy shouldn’t settle for anything less for marriage.

    The thought that I’m suddenly marriage worthy now and wasn’t back then is ridiculous to me… I’m the same person with the same values, same work ethic, same sense of responsibility, etc. as I had back then. I’ve just simply positioned myself a little better. If that’s the difference between being a good marriage prospect and a bad one, maybe marriage isn’t for me.

    Jimmy, you are 1100% right on this, and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

  • JP

    @Jimmy:

    “The thought that I’m suddenly marriage worthy now and wasn’t back then is ridiculous to me… I’m the same person with the same values, same work ethic, same sense of responsibility, etc. as I had back then. I’ve just simply positioned myself a little better. If that’s the difference between being a good marriage prospect and a bad one, maybe marriage isn’t for me.”

    I was thinking about this.

    If I got turned down because I was unemployed, my emotional reaction in this situation would be somewhere in the area of contempt/disgust for the woman in question.

    I would also be very, very angry.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Yeah, I don’t see how “I don’t want to marry because your job sucks” is going to induce any reaction other than anger.

    http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content09/neo-dodges-bullets.jpg

    Awwwww yeah.

    Then again, I don’t think I could propose to a girl unless I thought my job situation was stable, either.

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

      Then again, I don’t think I could propose to a girl unless I thought my job situation was stable, either.

      Thank you. We’re talking about marriage, not dating. I find it very interesting that the same men who have a long list of qualifications for a woman, and who constantly harp on the riskiness of marriage today, would be furious if a woman dared to question their ability to make a decent living.

  • Jesse

    J, thanks for writing. I understand your point; marriage is not all saucy bedroom action, and novelty does wear off and things start to get in the way.

    Maybe I’m just saying that sexual compatibility is important when picking a partner, and I’d be loath to marry someone who doesn’t fit me well in that regard. If things get in the way as time goes on, that’s just part of growing together I guess. (I realize I’ve been sounding a bit short-sighted here…) That being so, I can’t help but feel I’d enjoy non-sexual time together much more if I felt we meshed very well in the bedroom. So maybe the larger point is compatibility – feeling good about the person you’re with – rather than tearing each other’s clothes off twice a day.

    I have read some interesting accounts of how married couples into their second, third and fourth decades together have kindled or maintained a pretty high level of heat by transferring their bedroom dynamics to the rest of their lives, though.

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

      @Jesse

      Maybe I’m just saying that sexual compatibility is important when picking a partner, and I’d be loath to marry someone who doesn’t fit me well in that regard.

      FWIW, I think it is extremely important. In fact, I don’t think that one can have a great marriage without it.

  • JP

    “To have her first boyfriend, to know young love for the first time. The female equivalent of a guy wanting to have sex for the first time.”

    I though that the point of young love/sex was to get married.

    That was my worldview anyway.

  • JP

    “To have her first boyfriend, to know young love for the first time. The female equivalent of a guy wanting to have sex for the first time.”

    My view of this was always as points of failure.

    For example, attempt 1, fail. Was this my #1 choice? Of course it was.

    So, you didn’t get what you really wanted, so you find a replacement, which gets you to #2, which you are only going after because choice #1 (who you really wanted) you didn’t get.

    Another fail.

    By the time you get married, of course you are settling because you failed all the other times.

    It’s not your first choice, who you really wanted to be with.

    Which is why I get confused with the entire “young love” concept.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I don’t think any unemployed person should be planning a wedding. That goes for women too. Why start a life together with financial worries looming over your heads? That would be an incredible strain on any marriage, much less a new one.

    I’m not advocating it, and certainly don’t want to ever have to deal with those hardships. But if a marriage can’t survive those things, it had no business ever being a marriage in the first place.

    If I had a serious GF who I planned to marry, and she suddenly became unemployed, got sick, etc. and was having a tough time, I’d want to do everything humanly possible to help her out and get her through it. Even if that meant taking her in and supporting her until she gets back on her feet.

    I’m not saying proposing marriage would fix anything, but if I had already planned on it, I think it would be dumb to put it off under the premise of “We can’t get married, we’re poor/you’re sick!”

    I think “Being married to you is my #1 priority, we’ll figure out a way to get through all that other stuff…” is a much better paradigm for a relationship than “We should think about getting married once you have a job/get healthy again.”

    Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t think one piece of bad luck should overwrite the rest of the relationship.

    You raise an interesting point. Is it “valid” (meaning within the bounds of good character, e.g. loyalty ) for a woman to fear and/or decline marriage to an actor in LA?

    Ultimately, I think people are free to have what ever preferences they want without being labeled as bad people.

    In a case like this, I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all if she would decide up front that she doesn’t want to date guys with that kind of career/lifestyle. Perfectly reasonable.

    But what if she’s been dating him for 2 years, they have seriously talked about the possibility of getting married, he’s a great bf by all accounts, etc… but suddenly runs into a little rough patch getting parts/work. If she starts waffling and acting uneasy in the commitment talks, I think the guy’s perfectly justified to be pissed off, question her loyalty, and take a serious look at kicking her to the curb.

    Doesn’t sound like she’s very interested in honoring “for richer or poorer, better or worse, in sickness and in health, etc.” Nobody wants a fair weather relationship partner.

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

      @Jimmy

      if I had already planned on it, I think it would be dumb to put it off under the premise of “We can’t get married, we’re poor/you’re sick!”

      I said as much in my previous comment. I recall when Randall Munroe, writer of xkcd, wrote a series on cancer after he discovered his fiancee had breast cancer. Her prognosis sounded iffy. They married during her treatment, I think. I’d like to think that any two people in love would not let a setback derail their marriage plans, and I can imagine that illness might speed them up.

      but suddenly runs into a little rough patch getting parts/work. If she starts waffling and acting uneasy in the commitment talks, I think the guy’s perfectly justified to be pissed off, question her loyalty, and take a serious look at kicking her to the curb.

      I’m fairly certain you and I are on the same page here – I am NOT advocating bailing when the going gets tough. I’m simply advocating financial stability as a goal for all couples, and one that is ideally met before marrying. I know my own son has a goal in mind in terms of savings – he doesn’t want to marry until the two of them together can feel financially secure.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I find it very interesting that the same men who have a long list of qualifications for a woman, and who constantly harp on the riskiness of marriage today, would be furious if a woman dared to question their ability to make a decent living.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all if there’s a legitimate question of whether or not the person (male or female) has what it takes to make a decent living. But then, I’d ask why anyone was dating them to begin with.

    But if they’ve consistently proven time and again that they do have what it takes, and are just facing a temporary setback, I do think they’re justified in being pissed at the waffling from their partner re: marriage. It shows a lack of loyalty, and… wait for it… inability to deal with adversity.

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

      But if they’ve consistently proven time and again that they do have what it takes, and are just facing a temporary setback,

      Then of course the commitment should not be questioned. I agree with you. I made the comment originally to point out that a college grad who hasn’t yet found steady employment one year out may not choose that time to propose, with good reason. Two people can remain firmly committed to one another and decide to wait a bit longer until they’ve got some savings, or at least feel secure in their immediate prospects. Instead of rushing into marriage at 23, dating for two additional years while working then marrying at 25 strikes me as a more grounded and reasonable plan. I don’t see the advantage in rushing to marriage.

  • Lokland

    @Jimmy

    Simplest piece of red pill advice.
    Women are fickle.

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

      Women are fickle.

      Yeah, we generally freak out at the prospect of homelessness or destitution, especially with children in the picture. The only woman I’ve ever known to respond differently is Mrs. Micawber, and she was not real.

  • JP

    The problem with life is that severe illness would ultimately drain the joy and meaning from the relationship as the reasons that you got into the relationship in the first place (romantic love) were diminished to nothing.

    This would be true with cognitive dysfunction. If you were attracted to the person’s intelligence, what would be left if the intelligence was diminished.

    Hmmm.

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

      @JP

      This would be true with cognitive dysfunction. If you were attracted to the person’s intelligence, what would be left if the intelligence was diminished.

      One of my friends in NYC was seriously dating a smart and successful guy. One evening they were leaving a free concert in Central Park when scaffolding collapsed onto his head, causing serious trauma and injury. He was in the hospital and rehab for a year, and she stood by him. Ultimately, he was subjected to violent mood swings, confusion and cognitive impairment. It was just terrible. Ultimately, she ended the relationship. She felt such a sense of obligation, but the accident changed him so dramatically – she could not bring herself to contemplate marriage to him. I did not blame her then, and I don’t blame her now. It was tragic, though, and it broke her heart as well. The man she was totally in love with disappeared one day.

  • JP

    “I don’t see the advantage in rushing to marriage.”

    Well, you avoid being eaten alive by the chronic and relentless guilt of premarital sex.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    I think we’re on the same page here… I don’t disagree with any of that.

    But again, I still do disagree with the idea that you can’t figure out a guy’s MMV in college because you don’t if he’s suited for career success. I think it’s pretty obvious which people are well-prepared and on the track to success, and which people aren’t. It isn’t rocket science.

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

      I think it’s pretty obvious which people are well-prepared and on the track to success, and which people aren’t.

      It isn’t just about success. It’s about a wide range of life choices. One young woman I know decided after a semester in Africa junior year to make that her life’s work. Her boyfriend tried to be supportive, but in the end it just wasn’t going to work. My brother rejected a lucrative career opportunity because he was only interested in “pure” particle physics – he refused any practical application of interest to companies. He doesn’t care about material goods at all. His wife was fine with that choice, because she made a similar one. But it wouldn’t have been right for everyone.

      Marriage is about compatibility on so many levels – you have to want the same things in life. If you don’t, it’s not going to work. And often 18 year olds, and even 22 year olds, haven’t figured that out completely. The African relief worker knew at age 22, but my brother didn’t make a final decision until he was finishing his PhD.

      I’ve also known couples who separated, both miserable, because they realized as they got into their 20s that their religious differences were not going to work.

      In my view, it’s very naive to think that kids have this figured out by the time they graduate from college. I sure didn’t. I can only thank the gods who watched over me and prevented me from marrying my college boyfriend. My stomach churns just thinking about it, though he was good husband material. Just not for me.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “I think it was the part about being sexually dissatisfied to the point of refusing sex that made me doubt this.

    I didn’t see that mentioned specifically. If it’s a finding of the study, I agree it’s a problem.”

    I just posted the abstract.
    Basically women on the pill tend to think the sex sucks (to the point of actively refusing sex) but are more satisfied with the relationship overall.

    In man-speak;
    She doesn’t like your dick.

    —————-

    Also, the seperation rates were 25 and 33% (pill-non pill) with intiation of seperation rates of 83 and 73% (pill and non pill).

    Therefore, in 1oo (of each type) couples we would expect the man to be dumped:

    21 out of 100 times on pill
    24 times out of 100 off pill.

    The tradeoff for the guy at that point is a 3% decrease in breakup chance vs. a girl who really likes your dick.

    ——-

    My personal opinion is that the pill covers up actual preferences in much the same way the alpha fucks-beta bucks meme works but instead of a natural subconscious decision it is chemically induced and there need not be any alpha fucks prior.

    ——

    @Susan

    I knew that about the MHC switching from dissimilar to similar on pill. Was trying to keep it simple.

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

      @Lokland

      I knew that about the MHC switching from dissimilar to similar on pill. Was trying to keep it simple.

      But that’s a critical piece of information. If women on the pill are not selecting men erroneously with lower T, but instead, or in addition, are selecting men with incompatible DNA, that’s a very different story. That would explain a lack of sexual chemistry. Like kissing your sister, literally.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I know my own son has a goal in mind in terms of savings – he doesn’t want to marry until the two of them together can feel financially secure.

    I have absolutely zero issue with a couple making that decision. No question it’s the smart thing to do. I’ll probably do it myself.

    But what I think is dumb is that society tells us that it has to be a prerequisite for marriage. I also think it just reinforces the trend of marriage being for financially well-off people, and poor people need not apply (not saying you subscribe to that view at all).

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

      @Jimmy

      I also think it just reinforces the trend of marriage being for financially well-off people, and poor people need not apply (not saying you subscribe to that view at all).

      That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of that. If we want people to marry then we can’t afford to make marriage something only the well-off can hope to succeed at. I see that. I don’t think it totally applies here, for obvious reasons, but I think you raise a very valid issue about marriage in the U.S.

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

        @Jimmy

        I’ve been thinking more about what you said re marriage being only for the affluent, and I recall reading that waiting until everything is “perfect” is a key reason for delaying marriage. Both men and women feel that they need to have their careers successfully launched, debt paid down, etc. One of the reasons on the list from the Natl. Marriage Project was that men say they want to own their own home first??!!

        There’s definitely something to be said for doing those things with someone else, not as a prerequisite for committing to someone else.

        While I still think that 22 is awfully young to marry, there’s no reason people should delay marriage until their late 20s if, as you say, they have their shit together.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Yeah, we generally freak out at the prospect of homelessness or destitution, especially with children in the picture.”

    How would this explain the no college aged men are ready for marriage then?
    (My experiences mimic those of ENY, same age waves for marriages and all.
    Most of those wives are not STEM however which is anecdata against your STEM couples being more capable at a younger age.)

    For example, why is the student at 24 beginning his Masters not worthy of marriage but at the end he is? (Obviously not at 24, I do not mean get married tomorrow but in a will be there soon sense.)

    What are the expectations for the individuals for the in between times?
    You’ve refused the idea that they can be in a relationship leading to marriage so where are they and what are they doing?

    ——–

    I don’t actually disagree with you. I wouldn’t date a work in progress women losing weight.

    I would choose from an array of multiple finished products. Why waste time on a half finished product that may or may not pan out?

  • Lokland

    “In my view, it’s very naive to think that kids have this figured out by the time they graduate from college. I sure didn’t. I can only thank the gods who watched over me and prevented me from marrying my college boyfriend. My stomach churns just thinking about it, though he was good husband material. Just not for me.”

    Though it seems obvious to me, if you had made the choice you very likely would have made the best of it.

    We adapt to our situations and the ‘I couldn’t imagine doing/having done that’ is mostly for show.

    Double that if divorce wasn’t possible.

    Necessity breeds ability.

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

      @Lokland

      Necessity breeds ability.

      Exactly. But since it wasn’t necessary for me to marry that dimwit, I was able to escape before having his dimwitted children. And on the rare occasions I think of him, I’m extremely grateful I’m not stuck in a marriage with a man I surely would have come to hold in contempt.

      Since we live in the time of the love match, I think people should feel free to exercise their freedom to choose. By waiting an additional five years, I quintupled the quality of my marriage partner (at least).

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Hey, I completely support people filtering to whatever level they want for compatibility. I’m pretty picky, myself.

    Again, I just feel the need to dispel the urban myth “There aren’t any marriageable people in college,” because it’s clearly false.

  • Lokland

    “If women on the pill are not selecting men erroneously with lower T, but instead, or in addition, are selecting men with incompatible DNA, that’s a very different story. That would explain a lack of sexual chemistry. Like kissing your sister, literally.”

    Thats the problem.
    Delineating whether it is the lower T or genetic incompatibility is not easy.

    However when they go off the pill they tend to correct both of them. Selecting for both higher T and MHC dissimilarity.

    That means very likely that in nature either one alone would be a no-go or plan B at best.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    I didn’t say guys are not marriage quality, I said that MMV is very difficult to assess at age 18.

    Yikes! I guess when it’s your anecdotes, they stink and aren’t accurate, but when others opine, it must be the Gospel truth. I know how you feel…

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    Ultimately, he was subjected to violent mood swings, confusion and cognitive impairment.

    Ouch… that sounds like a modern day version of this guy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage

    Evidently, his personality changed dramatically after suriving an iron rod shooting through his skull back in the 1840s. He may have gotten better over time.

  • J

    The two pieces of data I have on this are a friend who is a clinical psychologist at Harvard, and having heard a college Admissions person (Princeton, as it happens) describe a disturbing trend they call “teacups.” (Beautiful, but fragile.) Very, very high achieving kids, basically perfect on paper, who get to college and fall apart. It goes along with helicopter parenting.

    There are loads of HIGH SCHOOL students in therapy because they can’t take the pressure to constantly acheive.

  • Jackie

    @J
    “There are loads of HIGH SCHOOL students in therapy because they can’t take the pressure to constantly acheive.”
    ===
    :(

    This kind of breaks my heart. :( Can’t they just tell their parents NO?

  • JP

    @Jackie:

    “This kind of breaks my heart. Can’t they just tell their parents NO?”

    Huh?

    That’s your entire identity.

    Meaning the being better and more than your competitors.

    In fact, I was never able to replace it with anything useful.

    Ergo, the teacup shatters.

  • J

    @Jackie

    “This kind of breaks my heart. Can’t they just tell their parents NO?”

    No, sadly, for exactly the reasons JP gave.

    An example, a friend of one of my son’s is aiming to get into an Ivy because the “worst thing that could ever happen” to him would be to disappoint his father. I fully expect that he will get into an Ivy…and then return home midway through the year for a brief stint in the hospital.

    @JP

    I sympathize with your situation with your dad. I had something similar with my mom.

  • Jackie

    @Mike C

    Mike, I hope you guys had an awesome Easter! And that your Mom had a nice holiday, too.

    I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about what you said. It actually came up, in a way less heated subject, with my Dad when we were talking over Easter dinner. We were discussing how a utilitarian (which sounds like your viewpoint, also, my brother’s who is ISTJ) is different from a contextualist (which is what I am closer to, ENFP btw :) )

    I’m not sure how familiar you are with Wagner’s music (if you youtube Ride of the Valkyries, you recognize it *immediately*). But the guy was notoriously anti-semitic. (Also an uber-player, who had a pretty insane harem back in the day!) Hitler used his music to champion his rallies and it is pretty inextricably intertwined with the National Socialist party of the 1930s. The guy was, basically, a Nazi icon.

    The Israel Philharmonic banned Wagner’s music for more than 50 years. Despite the “utility” of the music– which is among the greatest of the Western canon– the context was just too painful for people who still had numbers tattooed on their arms.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/16/arts/old-agonies-revive-israeli-philharmonic-to-perform-wagner.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm

    In the 1980s, it was first attempted, after the orchestra voted 39-12 to play Wagner’s music (with 7 abstaining). The article mentions that even within a few seconds there were “shouting matches, fist fights and shrieking” from the audience forcing them to stop. Wagner’s music is undoubtedly great, but you can see how context and utility were at war in this story.

    There were actually some other examples that came up during our discussion, but I thought you would find it interesting that utility vs context has played out many times in many circumstances. Even beyond our beloved HUS. ;-)

  • Jackie

    @JP, J

    :(

    These parents don’t sound very balanced. :( I used to get hella annoyed with my dad’s standards and expectations for independence and self-sufficiency. But I told him!

    I also used to frequently find articles about pregnant teens, drug addicts, people who made their parents’ lives HELL and discreetly scatter them around the house where they were certain to be found. Sometimes with a note, “See how good you’ve got it? Don’t push it.” ;-)

    In my dad’s defense, every time I would criticize him, he would never get angry at me. He would always say, You’re supposed to criticize me! I represent everything you’re supposed to rebel against! (How could I stay mad at that? ;-) )

    I think I would have gone kind of crazy from pressure. :(

  • J

    J, thanks for writing. I understand your point; marriage is not all saucy bedroom action, and novelty does wear off and things start to get in the way.

    You’re very welcome.

    Maybe I’m just saying that sexual compatibility is important when picking a partner,

    Oh, it definitely is, but it’s something that can be worked on if other parts of the relationship work well.

    I have read some interesting accounts of how married couples into their second, third and fourth decades together have kindled or maintained a pretty high level of heat by transferring their bedroom dynamics to the rest of their lives, though.

    Oh, it’s quite possible, even with the ebbs and flows, to continue to enjoy a healthy sex life together into old age if your health holds up. I’m interested in what “transferring their bedroom dynamics to the rest of their lives” means. Links?

  • J

    @Lokland

    I just posted the abstract.

    Ah, OK

    Basically women on the pill tend to think the sex sucks (to the point of actively refusing sex) but are more satisfied with the relationship overall.

    I wonder if that’s sex in general or just sex with men they choose while on the pill.

  • Mike C

    Thank you Jackie and I hope you had a good Easter as well.

    I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about what you said. It actually came up, in a way less heated subject, with my Dad when we were talking over Easter dinner. We were discussing how a utilitarian (which sounds like your viewpoint, also, my brother’s who is ISTJ) is different from a contextualist (which is what I am closer to, ENFP btw :) )

    Interesting…because that is exactly how I would describe myself very utilitarian. I am a big fan of this concept:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatic_theory_of_truth

    William James’s version of the pragmatic theory is often summarized by his statement that “the ‘true’ is only the expedient in our way of thinking, just as the ‘right’ is only the expedient in our way of behaving.”[2] By this, James meant that truth is a quality the value of which is confirmed by its effectiveness when applying concepts to actual practice (thus, “pragmatic”). James’s pragmatic theory is a synthesis of correspondence theory of truth and coherence theory of truth, with an added dimension. Truth is verifiable to the extent that thoughts and statements correspond with actual things, as well as “hangs together,” or coheres, fits as pieces of a puzzle might fit together, and these are in turn verified by the observed results of the application of an idea to actual practice.[2][3][4][5][6] James said that “all true processes must lead to the face of directly verifying sensible experiences somewhere.”[7] He also extended his pragmatic theory well beyond the scope of scientific verifiability, and even into the realm of the mystical: “On pragmatic principles, if the hypothesis of God works satisfactorily in the widest sense of the word, then it is ‘true.’

    I’m not sure how familiar you are with Wagner’s music (if you youtube Ride of the Valkyries, you recognize it *immediately*).

    Somewhat familiar with his stuff. I actually really like that piece quite a bit. I’ve gotten a lot more into classical music since I started dating my fiancee who is a classically trained singer. I can’t remember the piece now but she is having some off the charts difficult song being played for the wedding processional. She was so happy when the new church organist was like “Oh yeah, I can play that no problem”.

    The Israel Philharmonic banned Wagner’s music for more than 50 years. Despite the “utility” of the music– which is among the greatest of the Western canon– the context was just too painful for people who still had numbers tattooed on their arms.

    I can definitely understand that. That just cuts too close to the bone, but for me I can separate the man’s talent as a composer from other negative parts of him as a human being.

    One of my interests is American history and the Founding Fathers. I believe they were some of the greatest men in history for their role in the birth of this nation. Benjamin Franklin was an adulterer and really basically a cad. Thomas Jefferson was a slaveowner. Yet, I can see those imperfections and realize it does not invalidate some of the other great things they did, or spoke, or wrote about.

  • Lokland

    “I wonder if that’s sex in general or just sex with men they choose while on the pill.”

    Sex with men while on the pill.
    They asked women who had ex’d the guy(s) to compare past lovers.
    Universally those men dated off the pill were more attractive than those on the pill.

    Also, those actually in the relationships described their boyfriends basically as ugly and unarousing but other facets of the relationship were great!!!

    Man speak: She doesn’t like your dick.

  • J

    Sex with men while on the pill.
    They asked women who had ex’d the guy(s) to compare past lovers.
    Universally those men dated off the pill were more attractive than those on the pill.

    OK, but what I’m asking is if women choose less attractive men while on the pill or if they just have a lower libido in general while on the pill. It seems plausible to me that if the pill works by tricking the body into a state of pseudo-pregnancy, it just may depress libido in general. (I’ve never used the pill, so I don’t know from first hand experience.)

  • J

    @Lokland

    Sorry, I just realized that you answered the question. I’m half asleep and didn’t quite understand what you wrote.

  • JP

    ” Both men and women feel that they need to have their careers successfully launched, debt paid down, etc. One of the reasons on the list from the Natl. Marriage Project was that men say they want to own their own home first??!!”

    I got into an argument with my mother in law about this (as to why we had children so young).

    My point was time. I cannot control time and must adapt to the Old Bald Cheater.

    Economic stability is irrelevant.

    You don’t really have a choice because you are constrained by time.

    Surprisingly, I won the argument.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    Since we live in the time of the love match, I think people should feel free to exercise their freedom to choose.

    Don’t say stuff like that; young people don’t turn out too well. It’s a given that “hooking up” severely damages young women, just like serial monogamy seriously damages young men. The only legitimate choices are: only be sleeping with the person you plan to marry, or stay celibate until you meet said person. Of course, I’ve yet to see a consistent application of that hypothesis, around here anyway…

  • Lokland

    @MM

    “Don’t say stuff like that; young people don’t turn out too well. It’s a given that “hooking up” severely damages young women, just like serial monogamy seriously damages young men. ”

    You forgot option three;
    Feeling extremely pressured to hook up/be in a relationship/have a date aligned every Friday even though that persons value may make it an impossibility leading to extreme amounts of stress because they are expected to compete at NHL level competition while they themselves can barely skate.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @Susan
    Exactly. You get what I’m saying.

    And again, I don’t question anyone’s personal choices. My beef is with how our society turned it into the prevailing narrative.

    We can’t complain that our youth is immature or that their adolescence is extended too long, all while pushing them into that from every angle.

  • Cooper

    @Lokland

    So, I’ve been following the pill discussion for a few pages… I’m curious what your advice would be, to me, with dating a girl on the pill.

    To me, it sounds like women select more beta while on the pill, and more alpha while not. This concerns me, cause at the beginning I did question whether she still had a unsatisfied taste for alpha. (See: ONS wt jock – also on pill)

    Now, to the sex.. Not that I want to say there are any issues, but here I am.. She says she’s enjoy our sex more and more, each time – and I believe her. That said, I don’t feel as though her enjoyment is due to any overwhelming stimulation. (And I don’t really feel responsible for this, at all)
    I’ve tried communicating with her about ‘what feels good’ and even went as far as to talked her into getting a vibrator. (Which she says doesnt do anything for her)
    I’m kinda dumbfounded that she literally doesn’t ‘feel anything.’
    Could this have to do with her on the pill? Or me?

    It hasn’t become an issue, cause we’re both still figuring each other, and ourselves, out. And I do believe her when she says she enjoy our sex a lot, for other reasons… Still I can’t help but notice, that it shows, and I sometimes can tell that she has a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude in regard to sex (or another go), or that she could just stop in the middle.

    I’m not expecting too much enthusiasm, am I?

    (Like always, I’ve brought you guys the bad ;) – everything else seems good, and she seems crazy about me)

  • HanSolo

    @Cooper

    Her biggest sexual organ is her mind. How are things going in stimulating her mind sexually?

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Cooper, see if you can get her off the pill. It can really kill sex drive. That is probably the bulk of the issue right there.

    When I was on it I felt really foggy and down, with zero desire, and very different from how I normally am. My husband definitely noticed it.

    I was only on it for a month or so, and maybe if a woman has been on it a long time she has no idea what she’s missing…

  • HanSolo

    @Cooper

    You might like to get David Shade’s free CD offer at http://davidshade.com/

    There might be other people’s material you like better but his talk about the attitudes a man should have in the bedroom and how to talk dirty were very helpful to me coming as a virgin that kind of didn’t realize women love to be naughty and sexual, when under the right conditions.

    I read/listened to some of his material and applied the dirty talk and fantasy leading while stimulating a woman’s breasts or clit (with her pants on so not even optimal) when I was a virgin and was able to give women orgasms and lead their minds into very enjoyable sexual fantasies (both naughty and romantic) without physical sex. One woman volunteered to me that she came 4 times in about 30 minutes with the combination of mental, nipple and clit stimulation through her pantyhose…on a first date. I don’t think she was lying at all. One time a few minutes before cumming she kind of muttered out a couple times, “Oh god, don’t stop! Don’t stop!” And then went back to enjoying her ascent to climax.

    I think his philosophy of being the strong gentleman outside of the bedroom that she can respect and the naughty yet romantic badboy in the bedroom is spot on. This kind of mirrors how many men want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.

    A bit of communication about what her fantasies are at appropriate moments outside of the microscope of the heated moment and filing that away for use at a future time might also be useful. Finally, remember that all women are different so don’t compare her and you as a couple to other couples you’ve heard about. Just make sex the best it can be for you two.

    Bottom line: lead her mind into her fantasies (either ones she has or ones you help her discover) and unleash the often untapped sexual potential that many women have and ravish her in the way she wants to be ravished.

  • Cooper

    @Hansolo

    Well, what you’ve made me realize is that the real issue is how happy she is without situation, or climax. Like hope said, she’s doesnt even know what she’s missing.

    @Hope
    She’s been on the pill since 14, apparently it was initially to control abnormally intense cramps.

  • Cooper

    situation=stimulation**

  • HanSolo

    @Cooper

    I think that’s a good sign, that she’s really into you emotionally. I think that makes her a good candidate to really open herself up to you and be able to orgasm more easily at some point in the future.

    I think that adding the orgasms on top of her feeling happy, loved and close to you will really bond her to you even more tightly.

    What do you think about getting that free CD (or reading some stuff on his blog) and seeing what part of it you might be able to apply?

    What do you think of the concept of leading her mind and her body will follow?

    In the end, it has to feel right to you. But my personal testimonial is that it greatly helped me to have a more ravishing and dominant attitude in the bedroom and many women responded to it favorably. I’ve also had some moments where I was too wimpy and beta in bed and that was not so optimal.

    One ex-gf that I put a picture up here a while ago (my best gf ever and a wonderful and beautiful woman) told me later that I was the best she’d ever been with in bed. She actually hated me talking during sex because it made her think of her player/cad dad and brothers so I cut that out and just had to transmit the naughtiness and passion and love through my body, my tongue and my motions. But imagining all that stuff that I normally would have spoken and many women liked still helped create the right frame.

  • Jesse

    Her biggest sexual organ is her mind. How are things going in stimulating her mind sexually?

    Fingering her ears baby! I do it all the time…

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Cooper, I had bad cramps as well, but ibuprofen takes care of that effectively. It’s better than not having any desire!

    Also, if she’s been on the pill since that young, she probably hasn’t ovulated much at all. She has no idea what it’s like to be “in heat” so to speak.

    Hansolo, I don’t know that the body will follow the mind if the hormones are all off. Different women respond differently to the pill, so who knows.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Also maybe just anecdotal, but when I was on the pill briefly, and my husband was being dominant in bed like he usually is, I actually resented it. I was just not into it, nor did I actively want him sexually like I always did. I wanted him to do housework a lot instead, which I usually had no problems with at all. In short it was turning me into the version of a nagging wife who didn’t want sex, which I really didn’t want to be.

    So I went off the stupid pills, and everything is good again.

  • HanSolo

    @Hope

    Yes, the pill will lower libido in probably most women and there will be a variety of reponses where some aren’t affected that much.

    One naturally highly orgasmic woman was on the pill and she was still able to orgasm multiple times right in a row with vaginal and g-spot stimulation. I suppose her libido or orgasmic capabilities started off so high that the decrease due to the pill took her from a very high level to just high.

  • HanSolo

    Probably a good idea for Cooper’s gf to go off the pill but that’s not Cooper’s decision, it’s hers, though he can likely influence her.

  • Cooper

    @Hansolo

    Thanks for suggesting the material, I’ll give it some consideration.

    But, part of me still thinks that she has to be able to get herself off before I stand any chance of doing so. That’s partially why I’ve relieved myself of any responsibility. As much as I know I should “show her” how, I do think that it’s fair to say I can’t (very well) without her having the slightest clue herself.
    For instance, oral has been a completely lost cause, cause anything I try is met with a “meh, I don’t know” or “not really.”

    It could be a case of not enough “mood” or mental stimulation. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t she be able to masterbate then? (When she is setting her own mood?)

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

      @Cooper

      But, part of me still thinks that she has to be able to get herself off before I stand any chance of doing so.

      Agree! No woman who can’t orgasm via masturbation is going to come with a guy. After all, that’s sex with someone who loves her very much!

      The vibrator is something she should use when she’s alone, experimenting to see what feels nice. If she lacks sensation even in that situation, she should see her GYN, that is not normal. Whether it’s the Pill or not, it should be checked out. I know one young woman who learned that some of her skin had fused and she needed a small surgical procedure to expose the clitoris. Without that she probably never would have had an orgasm.

      I really don’t think it’s your job to solve this problem for her. Once you know she has had at least one orgasm, you can go to town making them happen.

  • SayWhaat

    @ HUS married ladies:

    What do you use instead of bc pills and condoms? I actually had this conversation with my engaged friend yesterday. I’d like to ideally stop using condoms when I’m married/engaged, but I don’t want to go on the pill for various reasons already outlined in the thread. I heard depo shots can have bad side effects for 2-3 months, and IUDs sound horrifying. What bc methods do you use?

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

      @SayWhaat

      Check out the IUD. Seriously. I think the AMA has declared it the safest and most effective form of birth control. I never wanted to take the pill, and had a great experience with the IUD. Today they’re even smaller and they’re totally benign – you can get one with zero hormones that is still extremely effective.

      My advice is to avoid hormones at all costs. Condoms are a drag for the guy, and they’re not even that effective when used alone. That leaves you with a diaphragm, not my favorite.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Pardon my misspellings and whatnot. We both just got new Samsung note ii phones, and I’m leaning how to type on it still. :p

    Saywhaat, we did the pull out method for about a year with no mishaps, then two months after we got married he stopped being as careful, so that was our first pregnancy. After that we basically have been trying to have another. Now it’s back to pulling out, which when combined with breastfeeding has been working for almost 7 months.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    I also tracked my cycles with an app and we generally were more careful around my ovulation times. But of course nature finds a way :p

  • Lokland

    @Cooper

    “To me, it sounds like women select more beta while on the pill, and more alpha while not.”

    That seems to be the gist of it.

    “This concerns me, cause at the beginning I did question whether she still had a unsatisfied taste for alpha. (See: ONS wt jock – also on pill)”

    You might be just a touch sensitive. Your still early on (weeks/month and a bit) into your relationship. Familiarity for women will breed better sex, thats true for hardened sluts and virgins alike. (Ex. it took my wife approx. 3 months to have a serious O co-incedent with ILU, and your not HS, extreme good looks + uber high EQ are not on your side).

    Now as for the issue of her ‘not feeling anything’
    -different positions for different women
    -emotional closeness
    You need to ask her for what feels good and be experimental.
    (Ex. My wife’s favourite position is me standing holding her thighs and her ‘riding’ me. It is now a requirement every time we have sex. We found this through random experimentation.)

    But more importantly, as Han has suggested is the mental-emotional game
    (I know women make no frickin sense, who the hell wants to have sex with their brain; ‘ohhhh…OHHH GOD….YOUR GREY MATTER IS JUST SO HOT :P <— notice the joking face).

    ——-

    Never heard of David Slade so I can't comment on the efficacy of his methods. I learned game from David DeAngelo's stuff. In one of his side book thingies was a fun technique which basically involved making the women beg for sex.
    Essentially take foreplay to the point of penetration then stop and say something along the lines of; 'your going to have to say please now' the response will likely be no.

    Continue building and then ask again and again etc.
    I personally like to draw it out (occasionally, tricks are only good when used occasionally) to the point of getting a please, then building it up into a word-for-word sentence.

    ——–

    Emotional intimacy is dependent on time. Trust is simply a matter of displaying congruent behaviour and the longer you do it the more trust you will have.
    Most men want to feel a woman is trustworthy wrt fidelity. Most women want to trust their man not to abandon them. Spewing words is a meaningless action. Talk is cheap, actions mean everything and actions take time.

    Assuming she likes the relationship this will only make the sex better for her. note: assuming your not a pussy whipped lil bitch of course :)

    —————

    As for my recommendation about the pill.
    I would recommend you choose whether or not she is marriage material now. (Not saying you will marry her now.)

    If not enjoy the relationship and don't worry about it.

    If she is or might be I would say take 6mo to a year after she is off the pill to make any large decisions (moving in together/engagement/marriage etc., which are all years out for you so no worries).

    It may or may not cause a problem. The effect will be variable dependent upon the women's own genetics/environment combo.

    If the relationship is working and your happy with your needs met I see no reason to throw it out because some random guy on the internet produced 1 study saying it might end badly.

    However, if it turns serious, get her off the damn thing and wait a minimum of 6mo's for her to return to her basal hormonal levels. Then re-evaluate the state of the relationship. (Personally I'd recommend a year after she's off it just to make sure.)

    —-

  • HanSolo

    @Cooper

    Good idea not to put any blame on yourself or her for that matter. She is, in the end, responsible for her own orgasm. I think that just enjoying sex and not having it be a performance review will be good. Just enjoy it. She’s enjoying it and I assume you are. Let her side of it gradually come along–pun intended! :D

    I think on top of the natural variation in orgasmic ability that women can also have mental blocks at times. In the Mormon community I’m from there were many women that repressed and thought sex was evil for so long, while single, that then when they were married and could do it “righteously” that they were so messed up sexo-psychologically that they couldn’t orgasm.

    As to her masturbating and setting her own mood, I know some women that definitely can and others who can’t at all, that they can’t get off on their own (for whatever reasons, be it thinking of it as a sin or thinking mast. is gross, or simply they’ve tried a lot and never could do it). Some women can’t or don’t want to get off on their own and need a man present so that it’s real sex and not “fake” sex.

    What are her thoughts and feeling about mast? Don’t answer if that’s TMI but does she feel guilt? Or she just doesn’t like it?

    I wonder if she’s stressing to much about orgasm and thus impedes herself?

  • Lokland

    “What bc methods do you use?”

    Me and my wife used condoms for years. After our marriage we are only doing the pull out method.

  • HanSolo

    Lokland 341

    +1

    Cooper, I think that’s some good advice there.

    And that’s not just because he agreed with me. :D

  • Cooper

    Thanks guys!!

    I have to say, switching to being in a relationship has quite interesting,

  • Bells

    @Cooper,

    She says she’s enjoy our sex more and more, each time – and I believe her. That said, I don’t feel as though her enjoyment is due to any overwhelming stimulation. (And I don’t really feel responsible for this, at all)….
    I’m kinda dumbfounded that she literally doesn’t ‘feel anything.’
    Could this have to do with her on the pill? Or me?

    If it makes you feel any better, one of my girlfriends has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for 3 years and she still can’t orgasm. She says that she always enjoys the experience but it’s just something that she is unable to do.

    Additionally, I know she’s also mentioned that she has self-conscious body issues (I personally think that this might be helping to hinder her ability to orgasm). Anyways, I think it’s a bit silly because she’s skinny and has lovely long legs. But she’s always complaining about not being curvy enough i.e she has small boobs and bum.

    So, maybe check out your gf to see if her issue is body-related?

  • J

    I used a combo of diaphragm, condoms and NFP. I didn’t want to use the pill, but it probably would have prevented my endometriosis.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Susan, I would probably do the iud after a second baby. The doctor mentioned that given my history it is safer after I am done having kids.

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

      Susan, I would probably do the iud after a second baby. The doctor mentioned that given my history it is safer after I am done having kids.

      That makes sense. It’s a little disconcerting that they aren’t exactly sure how it works – I guess it works just by irritating the uterine lining.

  • Lokland

    “It’s a little disconcerting that they aren’t exactly sure how it works – I guess it works just by irritating the uterine lining.”

    On an unrelated note, we don’t know how Pepto bismol works either. Actually, we’re not even sure what its chemical structure is :)

  • OffTheCuff

    My wife swears by the IUD. It’s great.

    And for pulling out? Did that. Once. Meet my daughter! What can I say, I have super-swimmers.

    Cooper, give it some time. If she’s never orgasmed with a man before, there’s a sweet spot between not trying enough, and trying too much. I know this isn’t helpful, but I prefer to “let things happen” through repetition, than try to get everything going immediately like you’d do for an STR. Take your time. That’s the whole point of an LTR.

  • HanSolo

    @OffTheCuff

    It sounds like they were flyers as well as swimmers. Maybe like fighter jets that can turn into submarines! lol

  • Bells

    Re: pulling-out method,
    I’ve read that pre-ejaculate can still contain trace elements of sperm. So yeaah.. I doubt the efficiency of that method

  • HanSolo

    Or cruise missiles that convert into torpedoes.

  • JP

    You know the best birth control?

    Pregnancy.

    Have you ever seen someone who is already pregnant become twice pregnant?

    Didn’t think so.

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

      Have you ever seen someone who is already pregnant become twice pregnant?

      Didn’t think so.

      When my friend’s son was small, he was very worried about getting giantism, and then giantism on top of that. He was afraid of being really, really big.

  • Lokland

    @Bells

    “Re: pulling-out method,
    I’ve read that pre-ejaculate can still contain trace elements of sperm. So yeaah.. I doubt the efficiency of that method”

    if performed correctly its ~95% effective. Otoh ~99% of people fuck it up.

  • Mike C

    Re: pulling-out method, I’ve read that pre-ejaculate can still contain trace elements of sperm. So yeaah.. I doubt the efficiency of that method

    Bells,

    Do you have a direct link where you read that? Some time back, I researched this as exhaustively as I could because we were using the pull-out method (BC pills were horrible in terms of her temperament and mood). I wanted to know with absolute certainty whether or not pre-ejaculate contained sperm. Amazingly, it was quite difficult to find authoritative medical research, but after lots of reading the final word was that pre-ejaculate did not contain any sperm. Obviously, there are some flaws/pitfalls. Most importantly, the guy has to have absolute control/mental willpower to pull out EVERY SINGLE TIME. No mistakes. Just takes one time. I can only speak for myself but there is a slight lag time between when you know for sure you are going to orgasm and when you actually start to ejaculate. It isn’t like .1 second but it isn’t that long either. I think on some level you are fighting natural instinct to pull out….I’d bet in the cases where it “failed” the guy started to ejaculate while still inside.

    The other issue is any round 2 or round 3. There could still be sperm left from the previous ejaculation if the guy hasn’t urinated prior to round 2. In that round 2, there could be sperm in the pre-ejaculate because it is still left over from the previous ejaculation and hasn’t been flushed out yet.

    If you have a solid link to medical info that refutes any of what I’ve said here I’d love to see it. This was a few years back that I researched this, but at the time I know I wanted to be absolutely sure there was no sperm in pre-ejaculate and I came to that conclusion.

    Re IUD….I’m a bit fuzzy on the specific reason but I know my fiancee couldn’t go on it either because she hadn’t had any kids yet, and they didn’t want it on someone who hadn’t had kids (might have had something to do with cervix being dilated) or it was a size issue with women of certain size not being able to use it.

  • OffTheCuff

    Maybe TMI, but I didn’t even come close to finishing inside, not even by a few minutes. I pulled out a good 5 minutes before, and we didn’t have any other sex around there. Soon later she missed her period, and bam.

    There is a small chance that it might have been some other time, a few weeks earlier plus a failed suppository, but, she doesn’t think so. She knows her cycle and I don’t!

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    My husband mentioned that he didn’t always pull out “properly” after we got married. But anyway, no method of birth control is 100% like abstinence is. Well, and maybe surgical procedures like vasectomies.

    Basically, not a good idea for a girl to have sex with a man who doesn’t love her enough that he’d stick around for the possible resulting baby.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Pulling out “perfectly” is as effective as condoms are with normal use, per RX List.

    But, you know, probably should pick a different method, cause if you lose that long enough, you’re taking a serious chance.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan

    “It doesn’t surprise me that this happens, and I don’t know if STEM has anything to do with it. Perhaps two highly focused individuals with strong future time orientation can comfortably make this choice.”

    Could be…in my experience, STEM guys seemed to be more toward the restricted side of the spectrum. And I’d not say it was “highly focused”, more like a reasonable measure of future time orientation made it clear that bouncing around the casual SMP (or even the medium term relationships with expiration dates) wasn’t particularly appealing.

    “As you may recall, my son has been with the same gf since age 17. She has stood by him during some truly knuckleheaded moments, frankly. He has come into his own, but it has taken a while. I think he will make a great dad and husband, but had they married even two years ago, I feel sure it would have been a disaster.”

    Yes, but ultimately this is perfect example of what I’ve seen…two people growing along together. Your son seemed to have chosen wisely, and he did so even though he was 17. That he might not have been “ready to marry” doesn’t negate that he still chose wisely while young. None of us is advocating marrying the day after graduation…more like using the opportunity of the college years as a good place to make the networks (in many ways) that can be useful later. None of the STEM guys I knew who married their college gf’s did so at graduation. The whole point was the college was a useful time to measure that long term compatibility with a milieu that allowed that to happen. Heck, that I met my wife through two college friends marrying is good example of that as well.

    Now, unfortunately, for your average STEM guy, this advice isn’t that useful due to demographics, and that a fair number of “educated” women have the issues you discussed in the “splitting” post. It’s actually more useful for women interested in STEM guys. If you’re a STEM guy, you will likely need to cast the net farther afield, but the networking is still useful.

    “As for society pushing extended adolescence, I’m not sure of the root cause of that. The prevailing belief among Americans, male and female, young and old, is that marriage in the mid- to late 20s is ideal.”

    Maybe it’s partially parents who don’t want to grow up themselves? :-) Boy, it seems only certain societal segments can sign up for that “extended adolescence”.

    Mid to late 20′s marriage is exactly the numbers I mentioned (24 and 26/27), so I don’t think we’re disagreeing.

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

      @ENY

      None of us is advocating marrying the day after graduation…more like using the opportunity of the college years as a good place to make the networks (in many ways) that can be useful later

      Yes, I totally agree with this. I think there is often networking that continues, and this is probably the source of a lot of “friends of friends” introductions that lead to marriage. While I was researching articles about college sweethearts marrying, two colleges – Yale and Michigan – had articles that said not so much from relationships that occurred during college, but that a lot of their married alums met up later, perhaps knew one another in college slightly, and hit it off in part because they had that shared experience in college.

      One of the things I advise all young people to do after graduation is participate in the nearest alumni group they can find. They have cocktail parties, outings and lectures – all good ways to meet new people, and the fact that you went to the same school is a great ice breaker.

      Obviously, a guy who went to a STEM college may not find this worth his time…

  • Mike C

    a

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12762415?dopt=Abstract

    But apparently newer info contradicts that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-ejaculate

    There have been several small-scale studies (sample sizes ranging from 4 to 23)[5] that conclude no sperm is present, and thus, pre-ejaculate is ineffectual at causing pregnancy.[1][2][3][4] A noted limitation to these previous studies’ findings is that pre-ejaculate samples were analyzed after the critical two-minute point. That is, looking for motile sperm in small amounts of pre-ejaculate via microscope after two minutes – when the sample has most likely dried – makes examination and evaluation “extremely difficult.”[5] Thus, in March 2011 a team of researchers assembled 27 male volunteers and analyzed their pre-ejaculate samples within two minutes after producing them. The researchers found that 11 of the 27 men (41%) produced pre-ejaculatory samples that contained sperm, and 10 of these samples (37%) contained a “fair amount” of motile sperm (i.e. as little as 1 million to as many as 35 million).[5] As a point of reference, a study showed that, of couples who conceived within a year of trying, only 2.5% included a male partner with a total sperm count (per ejaculate) of 23 million sperm or less.[13] However, across a wide range of observed values, total sperm count (as with other identified semen and sperm characteristics) has weak power to predict which couples are at risk of pregnancy.[14]

    If you Google and start skimming articles and studies you’ll see plenty of stuff both ways. Given the importance of this, I honestly find it bizarre that this hasn’t been tested on say multiple samples of thousands to really nail it down. I’m obviously not a medical person but I find it strange that apparently some men would have sperm and some would not and I wonder if it is something with the testing protocol. In any case, probably better safe th

  • Mike C

    Susan,

    Looks like you changed back to that very user unfriendly mobile format? You switched once before to it, and then switched back. There are two main problems with that mobile format. First, because it doesn’t default to 150 comments per page, it is completely impractical to load any post on a phone that has say 500 or 1000 or 1500 comments. You’d spend a hour waiting for the page to load and then scrolling to the bottom. Secondly, because of how it is set up copying and pasting text from a Gmail app into the comment screen doesn’t work well on the mobile app because it doesn’t save you info and the pasting and editing doesn’t work nearly as smoothly. I know you probably don’t care what I think, but I’m sure anyone else reading and commenting on a mobile phone has to hate the mobile app.

  • SayWhaat

    I’d rather have the mobile app. The site wasn’t loading properly for me on my phone, so this is much better.

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

      I can’t make everyone happy with the mobile delivery. Going to the mobile app appears to make the site work on an iphone, something that doesn’t otherwise happen. I don’t know what percentage of readers each day read this site on a phone, but I suspect it’s very, very high, and it’s my job to create as user-friendly an experience as possible.

      Personally, I hate going to the site on a phone with it’s tiny, tiny print. It’s unprofessional. I understand the comment section is unwieldy, and I don’t know how to correct that, as I don’t have the expertise to write an app of my own.

      For now, the voices complaining about the readability of the site are far more numerous than the two people I know prefer “no mobile” – Mike C and Emily. Anyone else should feel free to chime in.

  • ExNewYorker

    “Obviously, a guy who went to a STEM college may not find this worth his time…”

    It’s still useful for the guys career-wise. Just don’t expect it to be your place to meet your future wife (one has to cast further afield) …

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

      @ENY

      It’s still useful for the guys career-wise. Just don’t expect it to be your place to meet your future wife (one has to cast further afield) …

      True. From a networking standpoint, it’s a great opportunity. Especially since alums will give their time for a lunch, informational interview, or even to sit down with your kid and talk about internships. (I realize your kid is not ready for that yet. :) )

      My daughter got her job by contacting a fellow alum who she had never met. They spoke and he agreed to give her an internal referral, which bumped her to the top of the pile. It took three days and it was done. In contrast, 50 on campus interviews and callbacks yielded nada.

  • Mike C

    I’d rather have the mobile app. The site wasn’t loading properly for me on my phone, so this is much better.

    Just curious, what browser are you using, and I’m assuming you have a 4G connection?

    I’m running Firefox Mobile (for some bizarre reason Opera Mini hasn’t worked in many months) on a Samsung Galaxy S2 with only 3G access. I don’t know if there is a way to change the comments per page while retaining the mobile app look, but if you have 1500+ comments trying to load on a single screen on a 3G connection it could easily take 10 minutes to load the page. Now on Firefox Mobile to the best of my knowledge there is no rapid scroll down to the bottom…you literally have to swipe your finger down comment by comment so scrolling down through 1500+ comments could easily take another 10-20 minutes. Am I the only phone user having this issue? What browsers are people using?

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Susan, keep the mobile format. You can always scroll to the bottom and click “exit mobile” to go back to the regular site if you’re on a phone that supports it.

  • SayWhaat

    Just curious, what browser are you using, and I’m assuming you have a 4G connection?

    Chrome, iPhone, LTE

  • Mike C

    I understand the comment section is unwieldy, and I don’t know how to correct that, as I don’t have the expertise to write an app of my own.

    Isn’t there a way on the mobile app for you to set the number of comments per page so the appearance would be more readable yet you could break up the comments into something loadable. I’ve never had an Iphone so I’m curious it if it an IOS operating system versus Android system issue. I actually never had any problems with the readability the other way because it loads *EXACTLY* how it would on your PC. From there you can swipe the screen to adjust the size exactly right but I’m running Android. I’m assuming that functionality is not available on Iphone.

    Actually, I just tried Hope’s fix. That works perfectly. I didn’t see that before. So maybe that will work for Emily as well. I still think if possible limiting the number of comments per page would be helpful on the mobile app display. I really am genuinely curious….you other people, you have no problem loading a page with 1500 comments and scrolling to the bottom. How do you do it. I’d like to know if there is some easy fix/trick I am not utilizing.

  • Bells

    @Mike C,
    Re: sperm in pre-ejaculate
    I’ve primarily heard this phrase from different science professors. I haven’t done any extensive search on this subject. But a quick google search turns up with the same results that you had. Contradicting evidence saying yes or no. Either way, until the debate is officially settled, I think it’s much safer to avoid the pull-out method and rely on condoms and other BC strategies.

  • Passer_By

    “Susan, I would probably do the iud after a second baby. The doctor mentioned that given my history it is safer after I am done having kids.”

    Just tell the doc to make extra doubly sure that the wire used to take it out doesn’t extend to the outside of the cervix, even a milimeter. Man that’s unpleasant on the tip of the wiener. The doctor kept telling her that that wasn’t possible, and then he finally looked and said, basically, “Holy shit, he’s right! My apologies to your husband!” Thanks, bub.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I’ve primarily heard this phrase from different science professors. I haven’t done any extensive search on this subject.

    That’s what you get for listening to professors, especially to professors who are lecturing on disciplines that are not their subject area ;)

    Just imagine what else you have been told…that isn’t true at all…

  • SayWhaat

    I’m assuming that functionality is not available on Iphone.

    Nope, it’s there. The site loaded exactly as it did on a computer, but with banner ads. Those ads often got in the way, especially when copying and pasting.

    I really am genuinely curious….you other people, you have no problem loading a page with 1500 comments and scrolling to the bottom. How do you do it. I’d like to know if there is some easy fix/trick I am not utilizing.

    Scroll fast. :P

    The page loads fast on my phone so I don’t really have a problem. Someone else might have a better fix.

  • OffTheCuff

    The problem of white on white was Safari on an iPad 2, running iOS 5. There is no option to request a desktop site, and no workaround. Comments unreadable. I sent some pics via email.

  • Bells

    That’s what you get for listening to professors, especially to professors who are lecturing on disciplines that are not their subject area ;)

    Just imagine what else you have been told…that isn’t true at all…

    Hey, these were anatomy and biologically related professors! But, I suppose I would get more solid answers if I took a class with a prof that taught specifically about sex

  • Anacaona

    Fuck! Time to confess
    I use the pill. I’m not hormonal I’m the same person with pills, no pills, with period, no period, pregnant, no pregnant. My moods don’t change by hormonal influx I don’t even remember I have the period most of the time. Please don’t hate me :(

  • Abbot

    Clearly, women are not getting what they want or what they are being told they should expect. Then, isn’t it time to just stop?

    http://news.yahoo.com/6-ways-looking-college-hookup-culture-080000219.html

    .

  • Cooper

    @Ana

    Nice to hear the other side!

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    I was having the same issues on iphone too, especially earlier today. Also used to have the banner issues SayWhaat was mentioning… Everything works much better now on the mobile theme for me.

  • SayWhaat

    So I’m a tool and accidentally exited the mobile app setting while trying to view the forum. How do I get it back?

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

      Oh boy, I don’t know! Is there someone reading HUS on an iphone that can help SayWhaat out?

  • OffTheCuff

    It’s probably a cookie. Go settings, and clear the site data for HUS.

  • OffTheCuff

    For the record, it looks just like the desktop on Safari/iPad, which is fast, and exactly how I like it. The unscrollable banner ad on the bottom was killing the scroll speed.

  • J

    “As for society pushing extended adolescence, I’m not sure of the root cause of that. The prevailing belief among Americans, male and female, young and old, is that marriage in the mid- to late 20s is ideal.”

    I believe that the economy and the educational climate are working together to extend adolescence.

  • SayWhaat

    The page happened to load correctly for once, so I was able to find the link that allowed me to revert back to the mobile settings. Thanks!

  • OffTheCuff

    Saw the mobile version on my Android phone. It used to be like that YEARS ago and then went away for an extended absence. It’s good, but the pages are quite long, and takes a minute or two to scroll to the bottom.

    I have a “bookmarklet” called Scroll to Bottom which helps on the iPad.

  • Jesse

    J,

    Oh, it definitely is, but it’s something that can be worked on if other parts of the relationship work well.

    I’ve read of couples taking twenty years to fully click sexually. Sometimes they’re apparently quite compatible, but one or both might have issues or baggage to work through or they have to fully discover their preferences and those of their partner.
    It takes them a while to realize how well they work together.

    I wonder if any couples realize after twenty years of an otherwise good relationship that they aren’t compatible. That would suck. I have to think that there’s some link between how good your dynamic is outside of the bedroom and inside the bedroom. That is, if in a romantic relationship you mesh really well outside the bedroom it would be strange to me if you were innately incompatible in the bedroom. I’m guessing it’s not a strict divide. Which brings me to…

    Oh, it’s quite possible, even with the ebbs and flows, to continue to enjoy a healthy sex life together into old age if your health holds up. I’m interested in what “transferring their bedroom dynamics to the rest of their lives” means. Links?

    I recall reading about it at the Taken In Hand website. They have a wide range of viewpoints there, but there are one or two contributors I’ve enjoyed reading. I don’t recall any one article in particular, but if you like I can take a look to see whether I can dredge anything up. Anyway, I will try to tell you a bit about it:

    The premise is that if you enjoy a certain power dynamic in the bedroom, why not export that to the rest of your life together? Let’s say we have a woman who is sexually submissive and a man who is sexually dominant. They both enjoy it when he is in control during sex. What happens is that he takes more control of life outside the bedroom. She cedes control to him, or he takes it, depending on your perspective and how feisty the woman likes to be. The purest iteration of this, I suppose, is for the man to have final authority over everything in their life, full stop.

    This only works if the man is mature, responsible, and has her best interests at heart. If he’s an idiot and compels her to do stupid or dangerous things, it’s obviously dead in the water. She has to trust him completely, and he has to be worthy of that trust.

    I don’t think this arrangement means the man has to micromanage everything. He can delegate or leave her to do certain things. I don’t even think it means the man has to be smarter or wiser than the woman. Obviously it is nice if he’s smart and wise, but her intellect can be greater, and she’ll almost certainly know more about certain things than he will. If he’s got the right attitude he will consult her for advice if something is her forte, and at any rate her opinion and preferences should be very important to him if he’s got her best interests at heart. He has to be willing to ‘lose’ a discussion if her argument is superior.

    The point is that if he takes charge and responsibility for life in general, that’s supposed to recreate their bedroom dynamic and inspire persistent amorous desires between the two. I recall accounts of how women would feel these quivers of desire inside when their man takes charge and does something, or makes a decision, or makes his authority felt in some way. From the male perspective, emotionally I imagine there would be a profound sense of appreciation for the trust the woman places in him.

    I suppose there are variations in individual dynamics. For example, some women want to resist and be physically compelled to do things sometimes, while others don’t put up as much of a fight. (Some women want physical authority – not necessarily having anything to do with being disciplined like a child, but they just want to be pushed around (lovingly) a bit. They want to resist and be overpowered. Being told what to do isn’t enough for them. In fact I think some women really find it erotic when there’s an element of fear involved – not genuine fear for one’s safety, but just the thrill of a dominant man I guess. That’s probably a tangential topic.)

    For what it’s worth I’ve read a few pretty positive reviews of this kind of arrangement, and its long-term effects. From a man’s perspective I think it can really give full flight to his instinct to care for his woman, so it can probably bring them emotionally closer together, as well as having more and hotter sex. (This is not lazy-boy domination where he sits on the couch and orders her around all day.) I’ve read women’s accounts that their sexual desire increases when the man is in charge of when sex happens. (She can initiate too, if they like, but he has final authority either way.)
    For the right kind of man, having full control over your wife’s body speaks for itself.

    If the couple enjoys shifting power dynamics in the bedroom then it’s much less clear to me how this kind of arrangement would work. Maybe it would work for some, I don’t know. Anyway, the point is just that some people have found it silly to have an unequal power dynamic in bed and then to insist on strict equality outside the bedroom. It kills the spark for them. I think exporting the bedroom dynamic can cut way down on arguments and sniping as well.

    That’s the outline. Sorry it’s not an extremely well-written essay, but it should communicate the idea. Cheers.

  • Cooper

    ” The unscrollable banner ad on the bottom was killing the scroll speed.”

    Yeah you can close that

  • Jesse

    Speculation:

    If a couple has a newborn baby and the man, in his general bewilderment, disengages and peers on from afar as his wife is forced to take care of everything related to the baby, he’s an idiot.

    He doesn’t necessarily have to have good instincts for caring for the baby, but he should take a hands-on approach and discuss things with his wife and educate himself, and try to manage things so she’s not swamped by everything. It’s not so much about him having to do a lot of the work, but rather that he needs to engage and take charge, thereby relieving his wife of the burden of having to do all the work and manage the operation as well. Don’t stand there passively and watch her run herself ragged and get completely frazzled.

    I’m sure women are at fault for postnatal stress sometimes, but this may be where a lot of the ‘now my husband is like another child I have to take care of’ grumbling comes from.