Tiger Mama Susan Patton’s Ineffectual Marriage Strategy

April 1, 2013

Last week saw the eruption of a battle between traditional Princeton Tiger mom Susan Patton and the feminist women firmly planted throughout the mainstream media. Patton, a Princeton alum, wrote a rather impassioned letter to the women of her alma mater, which was published in the student newspaper. In it, she exhorted women to “forget about” their careers entirely, and instead:

Find a husband on campus before you graduate.

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

The kerfuffle continues, and today the Daily Princetonian website went down. 

It turns out Patton has a dog in the fight -

I am the mother of two sons who are both Princetonians. My older son had the good judgment and great fortune to marry a classmate of his, but he could have married anyone. My younger son is a junior and the universe of women he can marry is limitless.

Limitless! And yet his mama is trying to scare him up a date. Ouch.

When given a chance to explain, Patton backpedaled significantly, and in doing so made several valid points:

I’ve said the same things many times myself – a woman who wants marriage and a family should keep an open mind. Her fertility is limited. She also points out the very real fact that very smart women (such as those at Princeton) will want very smart husbands, but will have to compete with bimbos for them. While her claim that Princeton women have “almost priced themselves out of the market” is ludicrous – most of them will indeed marry very smart men – her general point is valid. 

It is also true that Patton did not write this admonishment to American women everywhere – her letter is addressed to the studious and intellectually elite women of one of the top universities in the world. 

James Taranto writes in the WSJ that Susan Patton Told the Truth:

Patton, after all, isn’t telling girls to abjure college. Far from it. She is advising young women already in college to think seriously about their sexual and romantic choices, and to take advantage of the simultaneity of their own peak nubility and their presence among an abundance of suitable mates such as they are all but certain never to encounter again. Contrary to her detractors’ caricature, she is not claiming that marriage is a now-or-never proposition for Princeton women, only that now is far more opportune than later is likely ever to be.

Taranto misses the boat by a mile here, because he has not dealt with the other half of the equation: most college males, even at Princeton, are not marriageable today, nor do they wish to be. College students are in the process of becoming adults. Today, psychologists define adolescence as lasting until 26, with good reason. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson’s life stages provided a transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood by age 18. 

Each of the eight stages was characterized by a task that had to be accomplished in order to move successfully on to the next stage. The task of the adolescent was to find his or her Identity, to discover who he or she was as an individual, separate from his or her family of origin and as a member of a wider society. Once this Identity task was completed, the transition to Young Adulthood occurred around age 18 with a new task: Intimacy. This stage involved finding mutually satisfying relationships, primarily through marriage and friends; starting a family; and  becoming self-supporting. 

In the late 1980s, psychologists and sociologists began to note that the transition between adolescence and young adulthood was not occurring on Erikson’s schedule. Young adulthood wasn’t starting at age 18. Susan Littwin, author of The Postponed Generation: Why American Youth Are Growing Up Later, noted with concern that many adolescents were taking a decade longer to assume adult responsibilities than prior generations. Adolescence was being extended, and young adulthood postponed. 

Littwin believed that there is often an innate element of fantasy in the emerging adult’s approach to life, resulting in a discrepancy between his or her expectations and reality. This element of fantasy was amply illustrated in a 2000 national survey of entering college freshman, where a whopping 73.4% rated “being very well off financially” as their most important goal. Such apparently necessary steps as “becoming an authority in my field” was important to only 59.7%, “becoming successful in a business of my own” caught the eye of only 39.3%, and “having administrative responsibility for the work of others” garnered only 36.9%.4 Today, Arnett identifies self-focus and the accompanying sense of fantasy not as a developmental problem but rather as one of the identifying features of emerging adulthood.

Certainly, a key feature of hookup culture is the deliberate avoidance of emotional intimacy – whether this is the cause or the consequence of delayed maturation is anyone’s guess.

Similar research by Twenge exploring the soaring levels of narcissism in college freshmen today highlights that they’re more likely to cite a goal of becoming famous rather than achieving real expertise.  

The narcissists described by Twenge and Campbell are often outwardly charming and charismatic. They find it easy to start relationships and have more confidence socially and in job interviews. Yet their prognosis is not good.

“In the long-term, what tends to happen is that narcissistic people mess up their relationships, at home and at work,” says Twenge.

Narcissists may say all the right things but their actions eventually reveal them to be self-serving.

How can we advise 18 year-old women or men to circumvent the process of maturation by focusing on marriage,  a life stage two jumps ahead on the board?

We tend to think that the marriage age has risen steadily over time, but that’s not true. In fact, men today marry just two years later than they did in 1890. While the rate has been climbing since 1960, that historic low followed a post-WWII boom that created strong incentives for early marriage.

 

marrying_later_va

 

Taranto continues with a comment on the female strategy of life splitting, or less drastically, delaying commitment:

But it is a strategy developed in response to exogenous factors–to wit, contemporary society’s expectation that young women be at least as career-minded as young men, the male preference for uncommitted sex and sexual variety, and the low sex ratios on campus, which empower men to set the terms of relationships.

Indeed, all of these factors are real “market conditions.” Even if women threw away their ambition in lieu of dating for marriage in college, they’d still be faced with the male preference for delaying commitment, as well as the 60/40 lopsided sex ratio at American colleges. From whence these marriageable winners?

Taranto:

Herewith, then, is a disinterested older gentleman’s advice for Patton’s bachelor son:

Don’t be in any hurry to get married. Assuming that you inherited your mother’s self-confidence and that you develop a professional career worthy of a Princeton man, your marriageability will only increase for at least the next two decades. And that’s a conservative estimate.

All of which is to say that because of the biological differences between the sexes, the Rosin play-now-marry-later strategy is as perfectly suited for high-status men as it is dysfunctional for women. That’s especially true when the Rosin strategy is prevalent among women, for if women followed the Patton strategy instead, high-status man would face greater pressure to commit and a smaller pool of playmates in college and prospective wives later on.

No worries, James, I think guys got the memo. For confident Princeton men with a promising future (maybe 90% of them?) locking down a life partner now is folly. And women know it; they are able to deduce that men who have 15 drinks in one night are not contemplating marriage and family. These boys just wanna have fun!

If Princeton women followed the Patton strategy, it wouldn’t matter, because those men won’t begin to focus finding a life partner until they are well into their 20s. In addition to Taranto’s observation that guys can snag a hotter, younger babe by waiting, the National Marriage Project found support for the claim that men today are “commitment phobic” and are “dragging their feet about marriage.” In their study of men aged 25-33, they found that the men were in “early adulthood,” a time of “insecure job and residential attachment.”

Their list of the Top 10 reasons men today wish to delay marriage:

1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.

5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.

6. They are waiting for the perfect soulmate and she hasn’t yet appeared.

7. They face few social pressures to marry.

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.

10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.

Add in the rising incidence of college debt, and the real disincentives mentioned by Taranto, and the picture is clear. When men are asked at what age they do hope to marry, it’s obvious they’re in no hurry. In the annual AskMen survey, 74% said age 28-30, 21% said age 35, and 5% said age 40. That leaves 0% for the under 28 crowd.

Gallup has also found that beliefs about marriage have changed. USA Today reports, “In a 1946 Gallup Poll, most found the ideal age to be 25 for men and 21 for women. Sixty years later, in a Gallup telephone poll of about 500 adults, the ideal age had increased to 25 for women and 27 for men.”

A study conducted by BYU found that college students overwhelmingly do not feel ready for marriage:

One study of 788 college students ages 18-25 from five campuses across the country analyzed marriage readiness by asking “Do you think that you are ready to be married?” Most weren’t: 60% of men and 67% of women answered “no,” and only 9% of men and 5% of women said “yes.” Almost one-third of men and 28% of women said “in some ways yes, in some ways no.”

In another study, parents were even more anxious to delay marriage than their kids were:

The other study asked young adults and their parents about the best age to marry. The sample of 536 students from the five campuses said 25 was ideal, while parents — 446 mothers and 360 fathers — said 26 was better.

I think that both women and men should keep an open mind. It’s possible to find your life partner while at college, and though I don’t believe many of those couples will be anywhere near ready to tie the knot at 21, they may stay together during the years when they experience Young Adulthood. 

As a strategy, though, Susan Patton’s exhortation makes little sense. There simply is not a market for young brides on college campuses. The boys see that as a project for later. Way later. 

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW (from the other thread)

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

    Difficult to come by. Anecdotally, I know of maybe 3 (same as high school sweethearts). It’s certainly gone down over time:
    http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2007/01/24/fewer-college-couples-marry-post-graduation/
    According to a 2004 study he [UT Austin sociology professor Norval Glenn] cited, almost 40% of married or divorced women who graduated from college in the years leading up to 1955 met their first spouse in college, but that number has dropped to just over 15% today.

    I’m willing to bet it’s more prevalent at 4-year state universities than the elite institutions. Same with married college couples (12% of undergraduates, 40% of graduate students). Not a lot of 18-22 year-olds in that club (only ~5%), and there’s probably some overlap in the “met in college, married after college” and re-entry students. But it’s a sizable minority, maybe 25%?

    But you’ve reported on college attitudes towards marriage and monogamy before. Guys are less likely to want a serious relationship, less likely to even admit they’re in one, let alone have marriage on their minds. All the more reason for marriage-minded young women to snap them up when they meet ‘em. The only useful item I take away from the Susan Patton fiasco: it’s probably not a good idea for men or women to seek a spouse who’s demonstrably superior or inferior to you in all categories…

  • JP

    I haven’t even gotten to the identity step.

    I’m also not sure *how* to get to the identity step.

    “to discover who he or she was as an individual, separate from his or her family of origin and as a member of a wider society. ”

    What does this even mean?

    Seriously.

  • Jonny

    Just like there are women who want to marry, there are men who want to marry. Thus, we are talking about people who have the same mutual interests. Instead of saying the woman is unrealistic, women who aspire to hypergamy should attract the high status men who are looking for wives. Don’t force the very eligible men to look for bimbos. That’s the alternative nightmare scenario.

    “How can we advise 18 year-old women or men to circumvent the process of maturation by focusing on marriage, a life stage two jumps ahead on the board?”

    To whose benefit is it to figure life out in stages when life should be enjoyed to its full potential. Life doesn’t always happen in stages. Ambition or happenstance occur simulateously. Girlfriend, marriage, babies, career, jobs, education happen all at once or expectedly in different orders. It’s a mistake to think you can put your life on time schedule. Life will be very cruel to the women who delay marriage and babies and have few alternatives to fall back on.

    As with your parting statement, men take the cues from women. It is women that are delaying marriage, thus men behave as expected and think they should do the same.

  • JP

    “She also points out the very real fact that very smart women (such as those at Princeton) will want very smart husbands, but will have to compete with bimbos for them.”

    What intelligent man on God’s Green Earth wants to marry a bimbo?

  • SayWhaat

    What intelligent man on God’s Green Earth wants to marry a bimbo?

    The ones who say smart women are bitchy and too much of a hassle. :P

  • Joe

    JP, that’s an interesting question. My suspicion is that it’s the same question as “Are you ready to take a leap of faith?” It mean the same as “Are you ready to do something when the consequences are unknown? Is that who you are?”

  • http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/ Stuart Schneiderman

    How would the attitude and behavior of college males change if women started looking them as potential husbands and not as potential hookups? After all, men seek sexual success and women are the gatekeepers– might not men be willing to adapt to changing circumstances.

  • Joe

    @SayWhaat

    The ones who say smart women are bitchy and too much of a hassle.

    It’s not about who men prefer to marry so much as who they prefer to spend some time with. Right?

    Even outside of this calculation, marriage has been devalued for everyone.

  • Toz

    Susan, I think you’re neglecting some parts of the equation.

    First, men earn more and save more after they get married: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49713774

    So for intelligent men, this is obviously an incentive.

    Second, not every college age male is an alpha male with a harem. Many are almost too willing to get married and get that part of life taken care of. This is obvious since many college men in fact, do get married right after graduation or even during college. Many, especially the religious, don’t want to participate in the hookup culture and would rather get married than go down that path.

    Third, the same thing that makes it exciting to be single for some people make it actually unattractive for others. Obviously, this depends on personality and prospects, but there are many men that would rather not get rejected 20 times for the one girlfriend.

    Obviously, to each his own, but there are many reasons why this woman’s advice may be good for some women.

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

      @Toz

      Second, not every college age male is an alpha male with a harem. Many are almost too willing to get married and get that part of life taken care of.

      That is not what the data shows. When men are asked how they feel about marriage, they respond as outlined in the post. The apex fallacy does not apply here – the research is not geared to “top males.”

      This is obvious since many college men in fact, do get married right after graduation or even during college. Many, especially the religious, don’t want to participate in the hookup culture and would rather get married than go down that path.

      Yes, religious people are the ones already doing this. Since Susan Patton describes herself as a Jewish mother, and since Princeton is not a college that draws large numbers of religious students (though there are some, see Anscombe Society), one wonders who at Princeton benefits from her advice.

      there are many reasons why this woman’s advice may be good for some women.

      The problem with her advice to snag a husband while at college is that while it may be good for some women, she offered her advice as applicable to all Princeton women. That’s clearly an error on her part. In any case, the advice is useless unless there’s an effective strategy for carrying it out. My point is that there is not one.

  • Richard Aubrey

    JP. I think she means that it will be hard to get his attention while he’s banging a succession of bimbos for practically free.

    I got out of college in the late Sixties. I knew a number of folks who were dating a particular woman consistently and the two were generally considered an Item. Had a fraternity reunion some years ago and about ninety percent of the guys there–classes of about 64-70–were married to those women. But, and here’s the elephant in the room, about the same percentage had served.
    I know half a dozen women from that era who married right out of college and five of them were divorced within two years. From what little detail I have, it was a bad-match thing. Go figure.
    Why the diff? Maybe my bros were better than average in maturity and general good-guyness.
    Could be small samples. But, with one exception, the divorced women’s hubbies were not military or ex-military. The exception was a woman of such outstanding qualities–physically, mentally, artistically, business acumen, that only a narcissistic butthead had the guts to approach her. Then he got drafted. My opinion only.
    However, for a long time, say from 1940 to about 1975, we had a standing military of about 3 million guys except for when it was 15 million . About half the guys in the relevant age cohort are not qualified for service by virtue of mental, moral, or physical shortcomings. So the standing military was recruited–drafted–from the other half. The better half.
    Service matured guys faster than the normal round of mid-twentieth century growth. It also generated an artificial labor shortage, 3 million young guys not looking for jobs, which meant practically anybody else, including those just discharged, could get a job.
    So whether you served after college, or high school, several things happened, one of which was that some women wanted to see the discharge papers along with the ring.
    If you got out of the Army and got a union job in the shop–good pay in those days, and good benefits–you were pretty much a finished product. Ditto for college grads. Mature, been around, hired.
    Unlikely to see a Princeton man in the Infantry. The grunts have their standards, after all. (sorry)
    Point is, we have a vastly different world than we used to, and factors which impacted youngsters reaching potential marriage age were different.
    I’m not sure much can be learned from comparing trends, if circumstances vary considerably over the period measured. Except that circumstances probably have an effect. Which isn’t much use.

  • JP

    “It’s not about who men prefer to marry so much as who they prefer to spend some time with. Right?”

    In college (and high school), I preferred to spend time with intelligent women.

    However, I certainly wasn’t going to marry them because I wasn’t attracted to them and often found them physically unappealing.

  • JP

    “JP. I think she means that it will be hard to get his attention while he’s banging a succession of bimbos for practically free.”

    If he’s doing that, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  • tilikum

    the ones who marry hot girls are the ones who can. everything else is leftovers and it’s been that way for eons.

    the only saving grace is that hot girls are just not worth it in 2013, and as men mature women just get old. why marry a hot b@*ch who is gonna a hit the wall regardless and just stay bitchy? answer- you might do it once but not twice!

    so the discriminating man looking for quality looks for …..wait for it….nice. Attractive enough, but not to hot to maintain long term and nice nice nice. kind, pleasant, devoted. kids “maybe” if she is very, very kind. a woman under 23-26 for a guy 35-43 is about perfect. smart enough to stay interesting to each other but she doesn’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar. just kind. She doesn’t need a job past Starbucks, just kind.

    Get what I’m driving at?

    or be 35+ and single an miserable. accountability isn’t just for the boys :)

    Great Blog Sue.

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

      @tilikum

      a woman under 23-26 for a guy 35-43 is about perfect.

      You and Taranto are definitely on the same page. Nice work if you can get it.

      Great Blog Sue.

      Haha, I’m starting to get the sense you say this to pacify me…

  • Joe

    @JP

    In college (and high school), I preferred to spend time with intelligent women.

    You bet.

    I’ve complained here before that I was nobody’s idea of a catch. I had no business rejecting anyone. Still, there were two young women, back then, that I just couldn’t spend more than one date’s time on. Both had nothing intelligent to say about anything.

    I wasn’t looking for a genius, but intelligence does count for a lot.

  • J

    @JP

    As one of those gals whose IQ threatened to price her out of the market, I can say that smart guys do eventually marry smart women. They will however spend a big chunk of smart women’s most fertile years screwing bimbos while smart women look on and bemoan their fate.

    @SW

    I don’t see Patton as backpedaling as much as I see her as being less shrill and choosing her words more carefully. When she wrote the original letter, she was having a rant. She doesn’t want to look like a crazy lady on TV.

    As a mom of boys, I agree with the rest of your post. Yes, the current situation leaves many educated women with their biological clocks ticking away and women should be aware of the consequences of that. OTOH, the extension of adolescence into the mid-20s, mostly I think as a consequence of college becoming de rigueur for a greater number of people, makes it unlikely that women will find willing spouses while still in college. And I don’t think that’s really anything new. Senior co-eds with engagement rings on their fingers haven’t been common since the early 60s, which is also about the last time I heard anyone say “co-ed.”

    Nonetheless, I think that Patton is correct when she says that young women will never again be among so many eligible guys once college is done. I tell my sons the converse, but it doesn’t seem to matter to them. The problem is that no one is “ready.”

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

      @J

      Nonetheless, I think that Patton is correct when she says that young women will never again be among so many eligible guys once college is done.

      What a cruel twist of fate that the goods are good when the odds are bad.

  • JP

    “Nonetheless, I think that Patton is correct when she says that young women will never again be among so many eligible guys once college is done.”

    I liked my choices in middle school and high school much better than the choices in college, where I encountered a grand total of three girls who were actually intelligent and attractive enough for me to want to date.

  • J

    That’s surprising, JP.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/6139615b1025fddd287fc36f95cdb4c5.png Mireille

    It’s all fine and all but I probably have met only one guy in my whole life for whom I thought “I’d like to have his babies”. All the rest were just useless or bad matches. It is bad because even interesting men wait very late to have kids. A guy friend told me his ideal age to get married was 36 (and he was already balding at 28!!!). I thought he was crazy but didn’t tell him because most men think that they don’t have that biological clock thing pushed down their throats and if you tell them they’d think you’re projecting. To each its own but it really shows that even the men in your SES/Age group still wait and therefore as a 30 year old woman you now have to look at 40 year old men as viable partners even when you truly think that 40 is already too old for a man to be a father.

  • JP

    I still view middle school as one of the high points of my life, which is probably even stranger.

  • HanSolo

    Nina Bahadur from HuffPo says,

    I’m just not sure this is what we should be telling young girls, that they should be looking for in their college experience.

    Please! College girls are adults, not “young girls.” A young girl would be like 5-10 years old. A girl could be used to refer to older girls and even young adults, but you can’t call 18-22 y/o women “young girls.” Enough of not only the extended adolescence but now extended childhood!

    She goes on to say that it’s really important that they learn who they are and what the want.

    Okay, well, what if they want a spouse? What if they want that early? Or what if they want an LTR in college that might just turn into a marriage down the road? Nope, that is not acceptable. It’s not about what women want. It’s only about what is permissible by radfems for women to want. And so you see the Atlantic article pointing out how these young women are being told not to have relationships.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/women-in-their-20s-shouldnt-feel-bad-about-wanting-a-boyfriend/273737/

    Why? Because the radfems want career and power for women above all else. So even reasonable voices like Susan Patton that say you should keep your eye open for a partner (assuming you want marriage and kids) while pursuing education and career have to be argued with and shot down.

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

      @HanSolo

      Please! College girls are adults, not “young girls.”

      Agreed, that’s ridiculous. I actually thought she did rather poorly. She sounded like she was winging it.

      You are also correct about the radfem response – total idiocy and they all take refuge in snark and sarcasm rather than the merits of the strategy. That’s a shame.

  • J

    Please! College girls are adults, not “young girls.”

    The trouble is they are “young girls” in the same sense that college “boys” are still boys. No one wants to grow up these days.

  • JP

    “The trouble is they are “young girls” in the same sense that college “boys” are still boys. No one wants to grow up these days.”

    Because adulthood is like living in a bleak colorless world full of aimlessness and boredom?

  • JP

    “Why? Because the radfems want career and power for women above all else. So even reasonable voices like Susan Patton that say you should keep your eye open for a partner (assuming you want marriage and kids) while pursuing education and career have to be argued with and shot down.”

    I think that this is self-correcting, being that if you don’t have children, your organization doesn’t get to continue into the future.

  • HanSolo

    @Susan

    The AskMen survey is only from readers who respond so it’s not representative of the overall US male population (or the college-age portion).

    The fact that 0% say under 28 in the survey is in stark disagreement with the actual behavior and presumable desires of the many men who marry before 28.

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

      @HanSolo

      The AskMen survey is only from readers who respond so it’s not representative of the overall US male population (or the college-age portion).

      Oh, I know that! Actually, my biggest concern is that some of the data isn’t limited to college educated males, which is obviously the population Susan Patton is discussing.

      There is a dearth of data on the topic – I present what there is, take it for what it’s worth. Personally, I think the AskMen data is interesting, especially because it has a very large number of respondents – more than 50,000 men. The readership is males 18-34, and I’m sure most of them are single.
      Any way you slice it, 0% is a pretty low number for such a large sample of single men.

  • JP

    “What a cruel twist of fate that the goods are good when the odds are bad.”

    It’s not a cruel twist of fate.

    It’s something that we did to ourselves because we made bad choices.

    When you make bad choices, you get bad outcomes.

  • HanSolo

    @J

    I can stomach calling them “girls” but calling them “young girls” is absurd.

    Even calling them girls sends the wrong message though and extends adolescence.

    I’m also all for 18 y/o boys to be treated as men once more and expected to live up to it.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    I think that both women and men should keep an open mind. It’s possible to find your life partner while at college, and though I don’t believe many of those couples will be anywhere near ready to tie the knot at 21, they may stay together during the years when they experience Young Adulthood.

    That’s essentially what I’ve been saying. But, again, I have to disagree with characterization:

    No worries, James, I think guys got the memo. For confident Princeton men with a promising future (maybe 90% of them?) locking down a life partner now is folly. And women know it; they are able to deduce that men who have 15 drinks in one night are not contemplating marriage and family. These boys just wanna have fun!

    I think you’re really falling prey to pluralistic ignorance and the apex fallacy here (focusing on the unrestricted 20%).

    Obviously college students don’t have the same responsibilities or immediate ambitions as people 5 years older…. but I’d still say it’s a small minority who are “wanting to have their fun” and pounding 15 beers on a regular basis. But then, those are usually the ones who aren’t lacking for options.

    And just on a tangent… I get a chuckle with this idea that Princeton is a 24/7 bro fest. Admittedly, I’ve never been there… but I have been to a few other Ivies and top level schools, and they were definitely closer to the nerdy end of the spectrum than the bro end.

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

      I think you’re really falling prey to pluralistic ignorance and the apex fallacy here (focusing on the unrestricted 20%).

      Then how do you explain the data, which strongly indicates a preference for marriage at 28, at the earliest? The research results seem pretty consistent. PI may be a factor – if college guys are ashamed to say they want to marry asap or right after graduation, because they know that’s way earlier than average.

      but I’d still say it’s a small minority who are “wanting to have their fun”

      I disagree. College students have enormous expectations for four years of fun. The four-year, on campus American college experience is something kids fantasize about throughout their teens. The start of hookup culture and binge drinking can be traced directly to the abolition of in loco parentis and the establishment of coed dorms. The minute kids got freedom, they went crazy.

      And just on a tangent… I get a chuckle with this idea that Princeton is a 24/7 bro fest.

      I think it’s the nerdiest of the Ivies. It’s a bifurcated student population – socially it’s feast or famine. The eating clubs are a total bro scene – the equivalent of frats and sororities, though coed. There is also a large population of extremely serious Asian American students, and 11% of the student body is foreign – also extremely academically focused.

      Still, the Daily Princetonian has had more articles than most over the years bemoaning the hookup culture on campus, and Princeton recruits athletes with much lower qualifications than its regular students. Sports are very big at Princeton.

  • Resident Comedian

    General Patton is a real hard a**, isn’t she?

    Soldier on!

  • tilikum

    Sue I don’t say anything I don’t mean. You get holistically closer than anyone I read, I just disagree sometimes how you get there.

    :)

  • HanSolo

    Feminism is supposedly in part about empowering women but far too often it actually does the opposite and tries to instil a juvenile mentality that avoids hard facts and personal responsibility.

    Yes, you need to have an equal playing field but that’s been accomplished in the US (and perhaps then some) for women. And that’s only part of the equation.

    The even more important part of empowerment is to learn/teach the truth and accept/demand personal responsibility. Referring to young women as young girls doesn’t deliver a message of empowerment and independence. It delivers a message of radfem-maternal patronization to these very women who should be strong and independent.

    Radfems really don’t want free choice. They don’t want truth being told to women. They obfuscate and shame to try and keep them on the “straight and narrow” path of career uber alas and few or no children.

  • HanSolo

    @JP

    If they can’t have kids that are born into the “faith” and indoctrinated then they’ll try to get converts, as many radfems have done in the past.

  • J

    What a cruel twist of fate that the goods are good when the odds are bad

    It’s worrisome.

    @Han

    It’s a problem that extends to both genders. It’s the fault of my generation and the one immediately after it. We raised our kids by wrapping them in cotton wool. My own personal kids are fairly mature in contrast to the neoghborhood kids, but even they are far less ready for adulthood than DH and I were at 18.

  • JP

    “College students have enormous expectations for four years of fun. The four-year, on campus American college experience is something kids fantasize about throughout their teens.”

    You know, I fantasized about bringing moral order to the complete depravity of the campus population.

    I was always very angry that the population wasn’t being arrested and incarcerated for their crimes.

    So, I kind of wanted a police state. I wasn’t into fun.

    Fortunately, I’m somewhat more laid back now.

  • Resident Comedian

    Get married in your senior year of high school and then attend the same college together. Get preggers in your last year of college.
    There. All settled.

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

      Shut up, PJ.

  • emmanuel

    Happy easter everybody!
    I hope that this Patton lady is in no way related to general Patton, or is she? Not that it would matter anyway :-)
    Maybe too much insistance is put on what the media said last week, or yesterday, or the week before, or whenever and / or whatever.
    Does this lady have any clue about what love and long term relationships mean, in a heartfelt way, out of her class dominated hypocritical boundaries? Has she ever wandered out of her self protected circle… Has she ever felt “the slightest kind of the beginning of the start of something called physical pleasure” from her legit man…. Yawn.
    Susan, you mention those tiring people ad nauseum, and, well, “god knows” they have a loud enough, ignorant mouth in the states and elsewhere. However, there must be other open minded people there who surely have a desire to contribute to the debate in a more sincere way in the medias as well as on your blog. Anyway, always a funny debate to find anew whenever I come back.

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

      @Emmanuel

      Does this lady have any clue about what love and long term relationships mean, in a heartfelt way, out of her class dominated hypocritical boundaries? Has she ever wandered out of her self protected circle… Has she ever felt “the slightest kind of the beginning of the start of something called physical pleasure” from her legit man…. Yawn.

      No, and it’s even worse than that. She recently got divorced, and she is very bitter. She attributes the failure of the marriage to his having gone to a “no name” school forty years ago. She also claims that he prevented her from keeping in touch with her beloved alma mater, because he was too threatened by her Princeton degree. If so, that big red flag would have been readily apparent before marriage. I believe she is an “unreliable narrator.”

      Susan, you mention those tiring people ad nauseum, and, well, “god knows” they have a loud enough, ignorant mouth in the states and elsewhere. However, there must be other open minded people there who surely have a desire to contribute to the debate in a more sincere way in the medias as well as on your blog.

      Guilty as charged. Americans tend to polarize into two groups. Conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, guns or no guns, feminists and anti-feminists, the thinking elite and the great unwashed. Honestly, I’m sure there are moderate voices out there, but they tend to get drowned out. I would describe myself as moderate, but feminists call me a pearl-clutching blogger. In general, I think Americans take a stance of “you’re either with me or against me.”

  • JP

    And I’m certain that I picked up some of this from my father.

    He absolutely loved the entire punishment aspect of running a school district, drug dogs, police, the raids etc. Sadly, he never realized his dream of being an FBI agent.

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

      He absolutely loved the entire punishment aspect of running a school district, drug dogs, police, the raids etc. Sadly, he never realized his dream of being an FBI agent.

      I never know whether to laugh or cry at your comments, JP. This one cracked me up. Your story sounds almost as colorful as Jackie’s.

  • HanSolo

    @J

    I agree.

    I think kids are too pampered and they have no real responsibilities that they have to do to survive. And that makes them not grow up. I’m not saying they should go back to the coal mines but I just don’t think people do well when nothing is expected of them in order to meet their basic needs.

  • JP

    “I’m not saying they should go back to the coal mines but I just don’t think people do well when nothing is expected of them in order to meet their basic needs.”

    Part of the problem is that scholarships are offered.

    So, by hyperfocusing on the academic side, you do save money, you just end up with a non-functional adult.

  • Mike M.

    Susan, there’s one other factor in men delaying marriage. It takes longer to get a career started. If you’re a STEM professional, you are looking at 5-6 years to get through college (MSs are common these days). Find a starter job. Find an upgrade position. Get the debts paid down. You aren’t really in a position to marry until you are 27-28.

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

      @Mike M.

      If you’re a STEM professional, you are looking at 5-6 years to get through college (MSs are common these days). Find a starter job. Find an upgrade position. Get the debts paid down. You aren’t really in a position to marry until you are 27-28.

      That makes sense. Also, STEM guys are probably the guys who see the biggest bump in SMV during those years. I saw strong evidence of this at b-school, where 30% of the students were engineering majors. Three years out of college, a lot of those guys read as attractive and well on their way to successful careers. Taranto is right – it makes little sense for a guy with a promising future to marry early. When he does reach his mid-20s, he’ll have the ability to date women his own age or younger. One of the smartest things a recent female college grad can do, IMO, is try and date really smart guys in their mid to late 20s.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Of the people who dated in college, there were two subsets of people:

    1. I could see myself marrying this person someday, POSSIBLY. Not right now
    2. Psychopaths (I think you would call them unrestricted)

    Anyone who was “restricted” in college did not immediately rule out marriage with the people they were dating.

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

      @ADBG

      Anyone who was “restricted” in college did not immediately rule out marriage with the people they were dating.

      All of the college women I’ve known in relationships have claimed they would marry their bf’s one day. Out of about a dozen relationships, only one remains intact, and I believe they will marry. Frankly, I’m surprised – I would have bet on 0.

  • JP

    “Anyone who was “restricted” in college did not immediately rule out marriage with the people they were dating.”

    I definitely ruled out marrying the people I was dating at the time I *started* dating them in college.

    Granted, I wasn’t exactly the initiator in these situations. And one of them was a test case of “can I date someone who I find physically unappealing.”

  • Abbot
  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Well, JP, I think you might have a category definition there ;)

  • JP

    “Well, JP, I think you might have a category definition there.”

    Yeah, the category of “people who are too shy to approach the people they want to date and therefore only date people in whom they have no initial interest.”

  • JP

    He really wasn’t as bad as a superintendent as he was during the 1970’s as an assistant principle in charge of discipline.

    He loved to play DA and get the students to rat each other out.

    That was also the era when he would get on the roof and spy on the adulterer across the street.

    He couldn’t be an FBI agent because it wouldn’t have been a stable life to raise a family. :(

    Fortunately, he had enough authority as a school official that he was sometimes able to live out some of his dreams.

  • JP

    I did once get to go on a raid against a small group of students who had the temerity to utilize school property to play some sort of game with a ball.

    The police pulled up, guns drawn, and boy did that group of ner-do-wells hit the ground in a heartbeat.

    He certainly knew how to protect his territory from any form of youthful rebellion. He was always on patrol with his eyes open for the slightest sign of trouble.

    And yes, this was a rural district where the greatest danger came from wayward cows.

  • http://beyondblackwhite.com Jamila

    “In it, she exhorted women to “forget about” their careers entirely,…”

    You have a lot of women trying to get famous right now and cash-in on writing something Anti-Lean In, which goes to show just how popular and influential Sandberg’s book has become. I expect a lot more of these screeds in the next few months to be written by women who think they are saying something revolutionary by telling women to “get a man, any man, as fast as you can!”

    Women at institutions like Princeton are the cream of the crop intellectually, these women SHOULD be placing academics as their number #1 priority. Yes, if they find a great great then that is even better, but academics should definitely be numero uno, or else they are wasting the resources and the opportunity that they have been given to accomplish something truly great by attending such a prestigious institution. Any woman who attends an institution like Princeton and makes getting a husband her number one priority should drop out and let a more deserving, more academically dedicated women (or man) take her place.

    There is plenty of time for women to find husbands. 1 in 5 relationships begins on line. Another huge chunk of romances begin at work. Professional, physically attractive women are the cream of the crop, and thus they will have plenty of men to choose from once they graduate.

    ” She also points out the very real fact that very smart women (such as those at Princeton) will want very smart husbands, but will have to compete with bimbos for them.”

    And where are all these men from Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford who are marrying “bimbo’s”? The men I know with MBA’s and PhD’s and JD’s and MD’s behind their names are marrying equally accomplished women. True, those women may one day allow their careers to take a back seat to their husbands’ careers, but still. I don’t see the cream of the crop men dating women who could even remotely be characterized as bimbo’s

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

      @Jamila

      It’s been a while, good to see you!

      academics should definitely be numero uno, or else they are wasting the resources and the opportunity that they have been given to accomplish something truly great by attending such a prestigious institution. Any woman who attends an institution like Princeton and makes getting a husband her number one priority should drop out and let a more deserving, more academically dedicated women (or man) take her place.

      Agreed. Patton’s advice, which she didn’t follow in her own life, is bizarre in that she ignores the value of a Princeton education, and focused only on the value of marrying a man with a Princeton education. It really is very retrograde.

      True, those women may one day allow their careers to take a back seat to their husbands’ careers, but still. I don’t see the cream of the crop men dating women who could even remotely be characterized as bimbo’s

      I was speaking in hyperbole there. Patton points out that men generally are happy to marry women less intelligent than themselves. Many men here have said that as well. My own community is very much made up of people who have mated their intellectual equals, so I won’t disagree with your assessment. I do agree with Patton that women do not want to marry men less intelligent than they are.

  • JP

    “The men I know with MBA’s and PhD’s and JD’s and MD’s behind their names are marrying equally accomplished women.”

    Getting a JD isn’t an accomplishment.

    These days, it generally means that you:

    (1) Have a pulse

    and

    (2) Are willing to go into massive debt for a 50% chance at a a $50,000 a year job in which you likely have little to no interest.

  • JP

    Here’s a great MetaFilter post on law school vs. nursing school.

    It’s pretty funny.

    http://ask.metafilter.com/238366/Law-school-or-nursing-school

  • JP

    And here’s a comment from a T14er…(which is a Duke-level school):

    “Do not go to law school unless, as empath noted, you’re going on a full- or near-full ride. This holds whether or not you are going to a T14.

    The job market is misery and the kind of job you have to get to pay down the mountains of debt you will accrue is a soulless, heart-eating time-suck of a job that you absolutely do not want to do. Go to nursing school.

    I’m in my last semester of law school at a T14 and I would not do it again, even though by law-school standards I’ve been a successful student.”

    Pure comedy!

  • http://spootville.blogspot.com/ Tim

    I like the advice from Patton and thoughts from Taranto. If a man gets married before his peak attractiveness or before he becomes successful, financially or other wise, then he would be happy to have a supportive wife and would, I suspect, be more likely to think very highly of his wife who helped him get to where he got.

    If a man waits to get married in his thirties, when he should be more attractive, accomplished, and when his is successful, then a wife should be much easier to come by. And if she is not helping him to accomplish his goals then her value to him will be similar to getting something like a sports car. If she isn’t going to help him grow, and help during the difficulties that will occur in his life, then a girl will just be another asset and/ or liability.

    I would think that the optimal strategy for a woman who wants to get married would be to either: pick a guy with good potential and convince him to marry when you are both young or focus on being as attractive as possible.

    Young men may not be inclined to get married, but shouldn’t it be the task of women to convince men to marry?

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

      Young men may not be inclined to get married, but shouldn’t it be the task of women to convince men to marry?

      No thanks. No woman wants to twist arms to get a reluctant groom to the altar, though plenty do it. I chose a man who wanted marriage and children, and was open about that. All I had to do was convince him I was the mother of those kids.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Susan, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see if they all ended, either. I haven’t followed up on all of those college relationships. I can say that the restricteds definitely had a different way and aura about them than the unrestricteds. The restricted seemed more real and were trying to make things work, the unrestricteds were more…disposable.

    I never did the college relationship thing. To me, my strategy wasn’t “keep an open mind,” but “if you are definitively ruling this person out as a marriage candidate, don’t even date them.”

    The restricteds did seem to follow that mind-set. Unrestricteds not so much.

    I dunno, I’m just shootin’ the shit here :P

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

    Susan…”College students have enormous expectations for four years of fun. The four-year, on campus American college experience is something kids fantasize about throughout their teens.”

    There was a documentary…on PBS, I think…about life on an aircraft carrier. The narrator asked a young seaman if he wouldn’t rather have gone to college. The reply was something like “Yeah, I’m sure I would have enjoyed 4 years of sex and drinking, but I’d happy doing what I’m doing on this ship.”

    Plenty of opportunities for drinking and maybe even some sex while the ship is in port, I’m sure, but the story supports your point about the perception of college among teenagers.

  • JP

    “There was a documentary…on PBS, I think…about life on an aircraft carrier. The narrator asked a young seaman if he wouldn’t rather have gone to college. The reply was something like “Yeah, I’m sure I would have enjoyed 4 years of sex and drinking, but I’d happy doing what I’m doing on this ship.”

    Plenty of opportunities for drinking and maybe even some sex while the ship is in port, I’m sure, but the story supports your point about the perception of college among teenagers.”

    College and aircraft carriers are both kinds of prisonhouses.

  • JP

    Granted, I think that work is kind of like a prison, too.

  • OffTheCuff

    Excuse me, but I think the techincal term is “dafuq”?

    Is this an April fools joke?

    J: “As one of those gals whose IQ threatened to price her out of the market, I can say that smart guys do eventually marry smart women. They will however spend a big chunk of smart women’s most fertile years screwing bimbos while smart women look on and bemoan their fate.”

    So, only stupid people marry young?

    Sue: “Then how do you explain the data, which strongly indicates a preference for marriage at 28, at the earliest?”

    As han said in 27, this “preference” obviously means jack shit, because they obviously get married before then, since the average age of first marriage is less than 28. Haven’t we discussed revealed vs. stated preferences before?

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

      @OTC

      As han said in 27, this “preference” obviously means jack shit, because they obviously get married before then, since the average age of first marriage is less than 28.

      Actually, the mean age for men in 2010, was 28.5. It would be helpful to know what the median is. It would also be helpful to know the distribution of marriage within the population. For example, MA has the highest age at marriage and the lowest divorce rate. In NY, RI and MA the average age for men is 30. Conversely, the average age in AK and OK is 26, and they have some of the highest divorce rates in the country. This is correlated to a lower rate of college attendance.

      Marrying over the age of 25 reduces the risk of divorce by 24%. Making 50K/yr. (vs. 25K) reduces the risk of divorce by another 30%.

      http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2012/06/13/relationshipstrategies/your-chances-of-divorce-may-be-much-lower-than-you-think/

      My guess is that the number of Princeton grads marrying before age 25 is close to zero, and the mean is higher than 28.5.

  • HanSolo

    http://blogs.vault.com/blog/workplace-issues/why-are-women-lawyers-unhappy?&utm_source=WCU_Letter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=03_27_2013&referer_ID=7778

    Interesting survey on why female lawyers are unhappy. Apparently some are realizing they can’t have it all:

    “There is certainly a belief among women associates that you can either have a family, or be a partner—not both.”

    “A disproportionate number of the female partners are childless. It seems extremely difficult to be a female with a child and make partner.

  • http://spootville.blogspot.com/ Tim

    “No thanks. No woman wants to twist arms to get a reluctant groom to the altar, though plenty do it. I chose a man who wanted marriage and children, and was open about that. All I had to do was convince him I was the mother of those kids.”

    While I can appreciate that, I would have liked game not to be necessary. What we want and what we get aren’t always the same. I was suggesting persuasion not arm twisting, in any case.

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

      @Tim

      I was suggesting persuasion not arm twisting, in any case.

      I guess the romantic wedding proposal is a tough fantasy for women to let go of – we grow up dreaming about that special moment. The idea of having to persuade a man to marry is very depressing, at least to me. Now, if you mean persuade by being a great mate and match, that’s different. But nagging a man to marry? No!

  • Doc

    At my office, this came up and I was singled out as “being the problem” since all of the women there see me dating women in their early 20’s when I’ve just hit 50 a few months back. Many of them are practically apoplectic that – “you don’t want an American woman” – I’ve never made it any secret that I see marriage in the US as a “sucker’s game” which is stacked against you. All I say to them is, “you created the rules ladies, I just play them to my advantage”.

    Every few months it seems the same discussions crop up. Yet, most of them are divorced raising kids, after having taken everything their husbands worked so hard for… Of course, they see nothing wrong with that statistic…

  • Anacaona

    Guilty as charged. Americans tend to polarize into two groups. Conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, guns or no guns, feminists and anti-feminists, the thinking elite and the great unwashed. Honestly, I’m sure there are moderate voices out there, but they tend to get drowned out. I would describe myself as moderate, but feminists call me a pearl-clutching blogger. In general, I think Americans take a stance of “you’re either with me or against me.”
    I though I was the only one that noticed this, so very sad but true.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/6139615b1025fddd287fc36f95cdb4c5.png Mireille

    The problem I see with all that chastisement of smart women pursuing careers is that when women make the deliberate decision to prioritize their families over achieving professionally, you only need one generation to revert to opinions on whether women are actually “smart” enough to occupy whatever positions, “mature” or “rational” enough to engage in certain fields of industry. This is what really bothers me. I wouldn’t like people to think that I simply relied to my default setting, making babies, and didn’t actually make a choice in this matter. Even smart women who are conscious of their desire for a family find themselves in a position one day when the husband doesn’t really appreciate the contribution they brought in the family by sacrificing their careers. I have seen that with my own mother who dropped a promising career in education to follow the pater in his international positions never to work again and hear rubbish as “he is the one really contributing to this family and probably the smartest one.” I think another anecdotal TV example is the blonde one “Linette” in Desperate Housewives, who was obviously smarter and performed better than her husband (at home and at work) and decided to stay home and sometimes suffered the ungratefulness of the husband.

    I don’t really share the belief that women can’t have it all; however, I really think the workplace, especially in the US abuses the workers, men and women together, that it isn’t even viable for men, let alone for women who have reproductive duties on top of all that. One would think that if we had better laws for the work place, there could be something to win for men and women where they can provide for their children and actually spend some time with them.

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

      @Mireille

      The problem I see with all that chastisement of smart women pursuing careers is that when women make the deliberate decision to prioritize their families over achieving professionally, you only need one generation to revert to opinions on whether women are actually “smart” enough to occupy whatever positions, “mature” or “rational” enough to engage in certain fields of industry.

      I have never thought of this, but I’m sure you’re right. I can hear the ‘sphere already – saying that the experiment of feminism was clearly a failure – look how many women couldn’t hack it in the real world and had to retreat to being SAHMs and living like parasites off their husbands!

      It gives me the chills.

      Even smart women who are conscious of their desire for a family find themselves in a position one day when the husband doesn’t really appreciate the contribution they brought in the family by sacrificing their careers.

      I feel very fortunate that my husband does not feel this way. Perhaps it is because we discussed the issue thoroughly at the time and he was appreciative of my willingness to stay at home. I was never a woman waiting for an opportunity to exit the work force and play tennis.

      In guilty moments, I fret about having contributed too little to our income over the years, and my husband is very quick to tell me that is ridiculous. I appreciate that.

  • Californio

    “the soaring levels of narcissism in college freshmen today highlights that they’re more likely to cite a goal of becoming famous rather than achieving real expertise”

    Isn’t there a television show about this ? I think it is called “Girls”……. starring the children of celebrities………..

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

      @Californio

      Isn’t there a television show about this ? I think it is called “Girls”……. starring the children of celebrities……….

      One of the things I like best about Girls is its heartless portrayal of the incredible narcissism of each of them. Lena Dunham, in her post-episode interviews, frequently discusses Hannah’s over the top narcissism, lack of empathy, etc. The amount of navel gazing those women do is really over the top. But unlike Sex and the City, which glorified such behavior, Girls portrays this as arrested development, a very unhealthy way of entering adulthood.

  • J

    Shut up, PJ.

    I would really appreciate it if PJ would/could only post under one name.

  • J

    So, only stupid people marry young?

    No. I’m saying that many smart men will spend their 20s and 30s messing around with average women while the biological clock is ticking away for bright women in that same age range. Bright women are often in the same position that beta males complain about. They are waiting for members of the opposite sex to become mature enough to appreciate them.

  • Emily

    Great post! As somebody who tried (and failed) to implement Patton’s strategy during my undergrad, I can co-sign everything that you’re saying.

    IME, grad school and the years immediately after college are the best for finding a mate because: 1. Your male peers are more mature and ready to settle down. 2. You’re also more likely to meet older guys (as in guys who are in their late 20s-early 30s).

    Maybe it’s because I went to a very secular uber-liberal west coast school, but in my experience guys like Cooper and INTJ were like unicorns. I think if you do find somebody in college then you should definitely lock it down, but there’s no reason to panic if you don’t.

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

      @Emily

      IME, grad school and the years immediately after college are the best for finding a mate because: 1. Your male peers are more mature and ready to settle down. 2. You’re also more likely to meet older guys (as in guys who are in their late 20s-early 30s).

      Exactly. Sure, it would be nice if at 24 you were on a piece of real estate with thousands of those guys to choose from, but there is a very vibrant social scene post-college, and the matches are much more likely to stick, for the two reasons you mentioned.

  • biff

    Dunno about Princeton, but at Dartmouth around the turn of the most recent century, we were told that almost half our class would likely end up marrying fellow alums. Don’t know if that’s accurate, but I’d say it is probably a big number (maybe between 30-40%). If I had found the right girl, I would have liked to have married in college. That said, I was one of those religious types who wasn’t keen on premarital sex. I think that type of guy won’t be reading AskMen very much, but he exists. The majority of folks I know who got married right after colleage (mostly with the religious bent) seem to still be happily married…

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

      @Biff

      The majority of folks I know who got married right after colleage (mostly with the religious bent) seem to still be happily married…

      Religious affiliation reduces the risk of divorce by 14%. Add in college and adequate income, and my bet is that very few of those couples divorce.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “No. I’m saying that many smart men will spend their 20s and 30s messing around with average women while the biological clock is ticking away for bright women in that same age range. Bright women are often in the same position that beta males complain about. They are waiting for members of the opposite sex to become mature enough to appreciate them.”

    Just to point out what seems inherently obvious but if they are screwing around with those average women those women are also having their biological clocks wind down.

    The only real complaint you can have is that they were not screwing around with you. Your biological clock was moving at the same speed and ended up with the smart guy.

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

      The only real complaint you can have is that they were not screwing around with you. Your biological clock was moving at the same speed and ended up with the smart guy.

      It is precisely the same feeling that beta males have when they perceive that alpha chasers suddenly want them, with their new and improved SMV. Smart women are repelled by the idea that men rutted with inferior women and only looked their way as they began to contemplate their genetic legacy. Just as you don’t want to be chosen for your provisioning ability alone, we don’t want to be chosen for our wombs alone.

  • Lokland

    “My own community is very much made up of people who have mated their intellectual equals, so I won’t disagree with your assessment. I do agree with Patton that women do not want to marry men less intelligent than they are.”

    This isn’t a realistic possibility amongst my circle of friends.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “It is precisely the same feeling that beta males have when they perceive that alpha chasers suddenly want them, with their new and improved SMV.”

    I was under the impression women do not change tracks?

    “Smart women are repelled by the idea that men rutted with inferior women and only looked their way as they began to contemplate their genetic legacy.”

    Yes and notice that none of the men have uttered a word of complaint, unlike the previous thread in which the sexes were reversed.

    “Just as you don’t want to be chosen for your provisioning ability alone, we don’t want to be chosen for our wombs alone.”

    I agree and made the point for exactly this reason.
    Why is it okay for woman to do not want this but not for men to do the same?

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

      @Lokland

      I was under the impression women do not change tracks?

      beta males have when they perceive that alpha chasers

      This is a perception shared by many smart women (beta females?). It is certainly not true in most cases, perhaps not even in the majority of cases, but the perception remains.

      Why is it okay for woman to do not want this but not for men to do the same?

      It’s OK for anyone to choose a mate on whatever basis they like. I don’t expect men to like waiting until women have “matured,” nor do I expect women to enjoy waiting their turn. It is what it is.

  • Abbot

    “It is precisely the same feeling that beta males have…Smart women are repelled by the idea that men rutted with inferior women and only looked their way as they began to contemplate their genetic legacy”

    Repelled by the “idea” but not the physical visceral wretch felt by nearly all men, especially at levels of mind-boggling N. Thus, it is not the same feeling.

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

      Repelled by the “idea” but not the physical visceral wretch felt by nearly all men, especially at levels of mind-boggling N. Thus, it is not the same feeling.

      I agree, it’s not enough to make women feel sick, perhaps. It would be enough for me to DQ a guy, and I bet a lot of smart women feel the same way.

  • JP

    “No. I’m saying that many smart men will spend their 20s and 30s messing around with average women while the biological clock is ticking away for bright women in that same age range. Bright women are often in the same position that beta males complain about. They are waiting for members of the opposite sex to become mature enough to appreciate them.”

    Eventually I just gave up trying to find an extremely intelligent woman.

    Mostly because I had already failed in middle school/high school/college and I was just tired of it.

    I mean, I’d been trying to basically form a permanent emotional connection since about age 13.

    By 24, you are just sick of failing each and every time you try. It became clear that I was never, ever going to get what I wanted.

  • JP

    “Smart women are repelled by the idea that men rutted with inferior women and only looked their way as they began to contemplate their genetic legacy.”

    My wife certainly got annoyed when I criticized her genetics given the lack of intelligence in our children (meaning scoring in the 96th percentile rather than the 99th +), since I had really wanted someone who could completely sandblast their peers intellectually.

    Then we got into an argument about where the stupidity came from.

    I acknowledged that it could be my own fault, given the lack of intelligence in a portion of my family (my sisters and father).

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

      @JP

      My wife certainly got annoyed when I criticized her genetics given the lack of intelligence in our children (meaning scoring in the 96th percentile rather than the 99th +),

      Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m quite fond of you, but I think your wife must be a saint.

  • roltn

    I watched Patton on TV last night and I think the female-universe (especially feminists) miss her point 100%. They hear one sentence and their emotions and anxieties rob them of any logical assessment.

    All Patton says is that women at Princeton should take advantage of the opportunity right in front of them. No female college co-ed at Princeton will ever be in such close proximity to a large quatity of single, smart, upwardly-mobile and high-status men as they are at Princeton. Period.

    She goes on to state more truths; women who spend their 20’s focusing on career have a lower probability of finding a high-quality mate after age 30. Many of the potential guys will be married and the quantity of available, high-quality single men will be fewer to date.

    Duh.

    Unless she is working on Wall Street for an Investment Bank or Law Firm, the “pool of candidates” in any company or social circle will be smaller when compared to Princeton or Harvard. That is a mathamatical fact. Those schools possess natural filters other schoold do not have. Not just anyone can go there.

    Patton stands her ground because she is right. I bet if you polled all of the single women who read this blog about how many available, high-status men are available darte in their social and professional circles, they will all tell you that the numbers are small in comparison to the quantities that are unavailable or considered not up to their standards.

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

      @roltn

      You are undoubtedly right about the numbers of high status men at Princeton. But it’s like inviting someone to drink a fine wine years before it’s ready. Those men do not show any inclination whatsoever to marry early. Why should they? As Taranto points out, their stock is rising and will continue to rise for some time. If they head to NYC after graduation, it will be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Women are not the only ones using their 20s for self-development and exploration. It’s very clear from the research that men are in no hurry to marry.

  • JP

    I know what caused me to first panic about marriage in college.

    It was explained to me that the only way to operate in the adult word was to be part of a couple because that’s how adult society operated.

    Granted, it made me angry, since I clearly wasn’t able to connect with anyone at that point.

    However, it made me quite willing to seriously compromise on actual compatibility and take what I could get because time was running out.

    (I think this was about the same time that I was beginning to develop my long-term strategic life plan and thoughts about my ultimate legacy)

  • JP

    Every time somebody says Tiger Mom, I think of the party I was at at Amy Chua’s house.

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

      Every time somebody says Tiger Mom, I think of the party I was at at Amy Chua’s house.

      What was that like?

  • Zach

    @Susan 37

    Having gone to what some people call “the Social Ivy” (and your MBA alma mater), I can say that your “feast or famine” description of the social scene is very on-point. At my school there are ~2500 undergrads per year. About 35% of them are in the Greek scene, and for that 35% it really is a party. Most students in that scene (and athletes to some extent) are out 3-4 nights a week, drinking 15 beers, hooking up, etc, etc. However, the other 65% or so literally lock themselves in their dorm rooms for 4 years and don’t emerge until graduation. On a given night senior year, any person in the Greek scene would recognize 90% of the people at the biggest on-campus bar. However, there are a few traditions which focus on getting the whole senior class out to that bar on certain nights. Among the Greek “regulars”, I can’t count the number of “who ARE these people?” conversations that were had when observing those crowds. It’s just a completely separate crowd. And before people get into “well the Greeks just end up paying for the partying blah blah blah”, it’s actually not true. Greeks have higher GPAs than the rest of the school.

    With that aside, I agree with your post almost entirely. There is little to no incentive to marry young for men in my socio-educational-economic group. It’s very clear to us just from experience in the field that our marriageability is just going up the longer we’re employed. My friend and I get a big kick out of the way most girls faces light up when he tells them “Goldman Sachs” (side note, as a guy who wants a relationship, he tries to avoid mentioning that until as late as possible). It’s like the famous craigslist poster said, we’re appreciating assets. Up to a certain point, which could be as high as 40, our status and earning power only increases, more than offsetting any decrease in our physical appearance (plus, I’ve heard a lot of girls say that guys peak in looks around 28 or so). Also, for men making the kind of money we’re making (or will be making), divorce is a very scary prospect financially.

    On a personal note, I’m actually looking forward to bschool in the fall as a potential market to meet a girl (not necessarily a wife but who knows). While bschool is 65% men, I’ll be with 5,000+ other grad students, all of whom are very intelligent. As someone who wants to be with a smart girl, I view it as a great pre-screening mechanism for me.

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

      @Zach

      Haha, whenever someone tells me my description doesn’t match with their experience at all, I think to myself, “Where’s Zach? I need Zach!”

      Seriously, I appreciate your feedback because you’re a straight shooter and it helps to have the perspective of someone with your recent college experience.

      Congrats on b-school! I recall that at Wharton, we women were fairly disgruntled that the guys seemed more interested in students from other graduate programs, but at the same time we could hardly blame them. There weren’t enough of us, and quite a few of us were aggressive ball busters anyway (not me, I hope).

      I found b-school to be quite social in addition to being challenging. That too was a feast or famine scene, but those of us who chose feast had a great time.

  • JP

    “My friend and I get a big kick out of the way most girls faces light up when he tells them “Goldman Sachs” (side note, as a guy who wants a relationship, he tries to avoid mentioning that until as late as possible). It’s like the famous craigslist poster said, we’re appreciating assets. Up to a certain point, which could be as high as 40, our status and earning power only increases, more than offsetting any decrease in our physical appearance (plus, I’ve heard a lot of girls say that guys peak in looks around 28 or so). Also, for men making the kind of money we’re making (or will be making), divorce is a very scary prospect financially.”

    There is a significant chance for another round of major financial dislocation in approximately 24-36 months depending on how QE-inifinity goes.

    (I really, really wish that I had gone into the financial sector.)

  • JP

    ” I don’t expect men to like waiting until women have “matured,” nor do I expect women to enjoy waiting their turn.”

    I’m not sure that it’s an issue of “liking to wait”, it’s more an issue of a window of opportunity.

    For example, I was most interested in finding someone between the age of 14 and 19.

    After that, I stopped even finding people with whom I might be compatible because there was simply no longer an easy way for me to connect with people like there was then.

  • Rocky

    “most college males, even at Princeton, are not marriageable today, nor do they wish to be. ”

    I will go along with “most men aren’t marriageable” equation if you validate male mate selection criteria in the same way this judgement defacto validaes female marriage criteria. If it is ok for a woman to deem a man unmarriageble based on class/status/ambition factors (factors she herself may not posesess), than we can deem a woman unmarriageble based on her BMI. With a 60% overweight rate, most women are unmarriageable. I am not sure why female attractiveness standards are fair and obvious, but male ones are unfair and oppressive. Women have “status hypergamy” and men have “looks hypergamy” and if men are becoming losers as fast as women are becoming fat, we have a problem.

    The problem, then, isn’t that most men aren’t marriageable, it is women ask for more in what the expect of men than what women bring to the table in what men expect of them. If you are a doctor, we men don’t care. If you have a BMI of 30 (and you aren’t Ms Olympia!), we certainly do. Women at Princeton need to learn that your wealth/status/ambition is a neutral factor in how we judge your attractiveness and it is no more nor less fair than your desire fo these traits.

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

      If it is ok for a woman to deem a man unmarriageble based on class/status/ambition factors (factors she herself may not posesess), than we can deem a woman unmarriageble based on her BMI. With a 60% overweight rate, most women are unmarriageable. I am not sure why female attractiveness standards are fair and obvious, but male ones are unfair and oppressive. Women have “status hypergamy” and men have “looks hypergamy” and if men are becoming losers as fast as women are becoming fat, we have a problem.

      I have no problem whatsoever with your considering an overweight woman unmarriageable. Although I dispute your stat wrt the college crowd. And my guess is that the percentage of overweight women at Princeton is under 10. There are more anorexic and bulimic women than overweight women, I’m sure.

      The problem with Princeton men is not that they are “not good enough” for marriage – the primary issue is that they have no wish to marry.

      Is anyone actually reading the post?

  • Mike43

    As an ex-military guy, I served with many service academy graduates. Now, many of them had June weddings at their schools. Indeed, it was almost a rite of passage. Graduate, marry, of to serve in a military unit.

    Granted, this is a fairly conservative subset but still…

    I wonder if the number of weddings at service academies has increased, decreased or remained static. I bet there’s some data out there.

  • JP

    “Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m quite fond of you, but I think your wife must be a saint.”

    There are many times, depending on my mood, where the only right solution is to keep my mouth shut until I can say something that isn’t completely stupid.

  • JP

    “What was that like?”

    I don’t remember much of it, honestly, except that it was a nice house and I appreciated that she was having a party.

  • Emily

    >> “My friend and I get a big kick out of the way most girls faces light up when he tells them “Goldman Sachs” (side note, as a guy who wants a relationship, he tries to avoid mentioning that until as late as possible). ”

    Haha the bankers that I’ve met in London always seemed to work it into the conversation as soon as possible. I find it kind of lame (#specialsnowflake), but I can see why it works.

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

      When my husband interviewed at Goldman Sachs, the partner said to him. “Look out there on the floor. That will be your family. And this family will come first. Just about all of us are divorced. If you can’t put the firm first, you’re not Goldman material.”

      It sounds like a line Michael Douglas should utter in a movie.

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

        So I’ve just been invited to discuss this tomorrow morning on Minnesota Public Radio. A show called the Daily Circuit. Does anyone know it?

  • Emily

    >> “Every time somebody says Tiger Mom, I think of the party I was at at Amy Chua’s house.”

    When I saw “Tiger Mama” in the title, I thought this post was going to be about her. But then I was like “hmmmm…. Patton isn’t a very Asian last name…”

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

      When I saw “Tiger Mama” in the title, I thought this post was going to be about her. But then I was like “hmmmm…. Patton isn’t a very Asian last name…”

      Princeton’s mascot is the tiger, and their colors are orange and black. That’s why she’s a Tiger Mama.

  • http://BeyondBlackWhite.com/ Jamila

    @Susan

    “It’s been a while, good to see you!”

    Hey! I lurk all the time. I virtually never comment though because your blog is so damn popular and the other commenters are so prolific and thoughtful that by the time I get here someone has already put forth the gist of what I would have said.

    “Patton points out that men generally are happy to marry women less intelligent than themselves. Many men here have said that as well.”

    I think that men are just looking for a woman of average intelligence–someone who isn’t so smart that she’s intimidating but not so sub-par intellectually that she is an embarrassment to be with. The one man I met who went on and on and on about how intelligence was the first thing he looked for didn’t even have a college degree and the girl he later started dating and had a baby with was just of average intelligence and accomplishments. So basically, yeah, mean give very wide latitude to the intelligence question.

    I think that women just don’t want to be with a man that she deems to be dumber than herself–she wants an equal or a better.

  • Zach

    @Emily

    It’s the same here almost all of the time. He specifically doesn’t do it because he doesn’t want to date a girl who is more into his job than into him.

  • JP

    “When my husband interviewed at Goldman Sachs, the partner said to him. “Look out there on the floor. That will be your family. And this family will come first. Just about all of us are divorced. If you can’t put the firm first, you’re not Goldman material.””

    Organization like this need to be unmade and shattered into a million pieces.

    They are worse than useless.

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

      Organization like this need to be unmade and shattered into a million pieces.

      You wouldn’t get an argument from me. It’ll never happen though, no one holds GS accountable.

  • Joe

    @Susan

    @Mireille
    The problem I see with all that chastisement of smart women pursuing careers is that when women make the deliberate decision to prioritize their families over achieving professionally, you only need one generation to revert to opinions on whether women are actually “smart” enough to occupy whatever positions, “mature” or “rational” enough to engage in certain fields of industry.

    I have never thought of this, but I’m sure you’re right.

    Ack! Really? How so?

    This sounds so anti-historical, I’m starting to believe that we have two or three generations of mis-educated people here. Watching movies from “the golden age” of Hollywood gives an accidental and sometimes vivid look at life before Leave It To Beaver, and one thing that stands out is that women were firmly in control of just about everything that wasn’t Wall Street. That was a male ghetto, especially after 1929. Check out Nora Charles, Nick’s wife.

    Seriously, women choosing to be housewives and choosing not to be railroad workers (or “sanitation engineers” or Gunnies for that matter) is NOT a regression. It is a return to agency. NOT raising children when family is desired is giving up agency to propagandists that didn’t exist until June Clever got under their collective skin for some unknown reason.

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

      @Joe

      Seriously, women choosing to be housewives and choosing not to be railroad workers (or “sanitation engineers” or Gunnies for that matter) is NOT a regression.

      I agree with you 100%. My fear is that the PR may play out a little differently though, and that the hated feminists, who are often mistaken as being representative of all women, will be deemed “failures” because women couldn’t cut it in the corner office – they picked up their balls and went home. I have no trouble imagining this line of argument.

  • Anacaona

    Repelled by the “idea” but not the physical visceral wretch felt by nearly all men, especially at levels of mind-boggling N. Thus, it is not the same feeling.
    Watch it Abbot you know some exceptions right here.

    I think that men are just looking for a woman of average intelligence–someone who isn’t so smart that she’s intimidating but not so sub-par intellectually that she is an embarrassment to be with. The one man I met who went on and on and on about how intelligence was the first thing he looked for didn’t even have a college degree and the girl he later started dating and had a baby with was just of average intelligence and accomplishments. So basically, yeah, mean give very wide latitude to the intelligence question.

    I think that women just don’t want to be with a man that she deems to be dumber than herself–she wants an equal or a better.

    A good rule of thumb is that a man of can go down a few points in intelligence if the looks and the niceness make up for it, while a woman will never get down and go from her own level to more points but never down, barring the guy being really high status for some other reasons,YMMV.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “This is a perception shared by many smart women (beta females?). It is certainly not true in most cases, perhaps not even in the majority of cases, but the perception remains.”

    Ohh you are sneaky.
    Beta female = tier 2 female in looks, intelligence irrelevant.

    Most of the hot smart women I knew were in relationships. Most of the ugly smart women I knew were not in relationships.
    Most of the hot smart bitchy women I knew got bounced around quite a bit but always managed the girlfriend title for awhile.

    ——

    “Haha, whenever someone tells me my description doesn’t match with their experience at all, I think to myself, “Where’s Zach? I need Zach!””

    *Facepalm

    I’ll be sure to start recounting the experiences of my super hot model friend and then using those to show why average people are wrong from now on.

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

      @Lokland

      *Facepalm

      I’ll be sure to start recounting the experiences of my super hot model friend and then using those to show why average people are wrong from now on.

      Zach is a great reporter of the college scene as he experienced it – namely, the Greek scene at an Ivy, a very unrestricted crowd. I’ve never claimed that Zach can tell it like it is for the average college guy. I have plenty of sources for that feedback. In addition, input from guys in college or just out of college is generally useful. I’m more likely to listen to their accounts than to listen to a guy in his 40s tell me how college women behave in 2013.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Two thoughts.

    Women raising children in the past, did they really spend that much time with each kid, or did they tend a lot to housework and chores? The idea that kids have to be stimulated all the time by mommy seems off to me.

    People married older in the past, or young marriages were arranged by parents. What if the soaring divorce rates were partially due to the fact that people started marrying younger, without the guidance of parents, as seen in the charts of lower age of marriage in the 60s?

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

      @Hope

      What if the soaring divorce rates were partially due to the fact that people started marrying younger, without the guidance of parents, as seen in the charts of lower age of marriage in the 60s?

      Interesting question! It’s generally attributed to the Women’s Movement and the Sex Rev, as many couples began to experiment sexually and women threw off the chains of marriage. However, as you say, that would have included many couples who married when the age was at its lowest.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I read her open letter and I’m not sure if she actually meant to marry in college or rather try to find the man that you will eventually marry while in college. The latter seems like pretty good advice.

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

      @Jason

      The latter seems like pretty good advice.

      I’m sure she didn’t mean get married while still in college. But she clearly does mean making a lifelong commitment while in college. Is that something you would have been open to doing yourself?

  • CMC

    For me, her penultimate line jumped out:

    In speaking about how women relate to men in their class (their age group or cohort), she wrote: “Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?”

    If that isn’t a passive-aggressive critique of co-education and the ill effects of having males and females compete against each other’s age group all through their lives, I don’t know what is.

    “[Back in the 70’s-80’s] [t]here weren’t enough of us, and quite a few of us were aggressive ball busters anyway (not me, I hope).”

    Now there are –more even. What effect?

    I think she’s talking –complaining really, about more than just dating and finding a spouse. I think she’s critiquing the whole co-educational project.

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

      “Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?”…I think she’s talking –complaining really, about more than just dating and finding a spouse. I think she’s critiquing the whole co-educational project.

      I think she’s pissed that no girls were nice to Young Squire Patton his freshman or sophomore years.

  • Jason773

    I like the advice from Patton and thoughts from Taranto. If a man gets married before his peak attractiveness or before he becomes successful, financially or other wise, then he would be happy to have a supportive wife and would, I suspect, be more likely to think very highly of his wife who helped him get to where he got.

    If a man waits to get married in his thirties, when he should be more attractive, accomplished, and when his is successful, then a wife should be much easier to come by. And if she is not helping him to accomplish his goals then her value to him will be similar to getting something like a sports car. If she isn’t going to help him grow, and help during the difficulties that will occur in his life, then a girl will just be another asset and/ or liability

    I’ve thought about this a lot and it worries me. My own male hamster has the idea of this “ride or die” wife who is willing to stick things out when the situation isn’t optimal and help me achieve my goals, rather than a wife who just gets in while the gettin’ is good, not experiencing any other that relative hardship.

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

      @Jason

      My own male hamster has the idea of this “ride or die” wife who is willing to stick things out when the situation isn’t optimal and help me achieve my goals, rather than a wife who just gets in while the gettin’ is good, not experiencing any other that relative hardship.

      She’s likely to make at least as much as you do, so she may not view it as an economic deal. I agree with what Zach said – males peak physically at 28, just when they’re likely to marry.

      A woman who is 23 will have no trouble attracting a 26-28 year old male. That’s the best strategy for females.

      Also, I wonder if you are interested in sticking things out when her situation isn’t optimal, to help her achieve her goals?

  • Benton

    There is one other part of the Patton’ speech that deserves mention (quoting from her):

    “…one of you asked how have Kendall and I sustained a friendship for 40 years. You asked if we were ever jealous of each other. You asked about the value of our friendship… At your core, you know that there are other things that you need that nobody is addressing. A lifelong friend is one of them.”

    I think Patton is 100% right on this point. Young adults need to learn how to be friends with each other. Real friendships involve understanding, empathy, and self-sacrifice, and those characteristics are what separates well adjusted people from narcissists. Friendship, and the skills required to develop friendship, makes every other aspect of life better, even if someone remains single. And if someone does decide to marry, they will be a much better spouse too.
    That is my biggest concern with hookup culture. It fosters a sense of competition and rivalry, instead of real connections.

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

      @Benton

      That is my biggest concern with hookup culture. It fosters a sense of competition and rivalry, instead of real connections.

      This speaks to the point about maturation. If the Young Adulthood stage is about fostering intimacy in relationships of all kinds, then it’s a given that this stage no longer begins at 18. Extended adolescence is real, based on the behaviors we’re seeing among students.

      Hookup culture may be said to be infantilizing. It prevents individuals from maturing, taking responsibility or fostering real connections.

  • Erik L

    The funniest reactions I have heard to this haven’t been about the advice, but about the notion that one would be surrounded by people of higher average intelligence at Princeton than in the outside world. This idea makes some people angry. Reading comments on this thread, I get the impression there are a large number of geniuses having great difficulty finding other geniuses with whom to mate. Sad.

  • Lokland

    @Jason, other

    “If a man waits to get married in his thirties, when he should be more attractive, accomplished, and when his is successful, then a wife should be much easier to come by. And if she is not helping him to accomplish his goals then her value to him will be similar to getting something like a sports car. If she isn’t going to help him grow, and help during the difficulties that will occur in his life, then a girl will just be another asset and/ or liability

    I’ve thought about this a lot and it worries me. My own male hamster has the idea of this “ride or die” wife who is willing to stick things out when the situation isn’t optimal and help me achieve my goals, rather than a wife who just gets in while the gettin’ is good, not experiencing any other that relative hardship.”

    If I may interject.
    I’ve had the own thought of trading up cross my mind occasionally. My value has started increasing exponentially in comparison to the value it was when I met my wife.

    I’ve had some hotter options send attention my way.

    I tried to do a thought experiment awhile back in which I hypothetically took that option (and yes I was very tempted to do exactly that.)

    I got the point of imagining my wife’s reaction and I literally could not stomach the thought of causing her so much pain. I could actually envision her face and couldn’t take it, I had to stop.

    I think there is a point at which she has given so much in loyalty and love (now I should not that both in action and on paper she is what we defined as perfect; 0 history, 0 times ever causing doubt etc.) that hurting her has become so inhuman that it is nearly impossible (excluding some great hurt done to me obviously).

  • http://beyondblackwhite.com Jamila

    @Erik L

    “Reading comments on this thread, I get the impression there are a large number of geniuses having great difficulty finding other geniuses with whom to mate. Sad.”

    At the top schools the intelligence is highly concentrated. Virtually everyone there is as smart as, if not smarter than, you.

    When you go to a state school (or don’t go to school at all) there are still plenty of high intelligence/ambitious people that you encounter every day (at work, in class, at a friend’s house) but those people are more spread out. The smarty-pants people are sprinkled in among the dumb, the average, the above average, and the average/hard-working.

  • http://beyondblackwhite.com Jamila

    @Jason773

    “My own male hamster has the idea of this “ride or die” wife who is willing to stick things out when the situation isn’t optimal and help me achieve my goals, rather than a wife who just gets in while the gettin’ is good, not experiencing any other that relative hardship.”

    And women fear being that “ride or die” chick that stays with a man through his rough patches, does everything she can to help him and be supportive, only to be left for a trophy wife once the guy gets to be successful.

  • Anacaona

    Women raising children in the past, did they really spend that much time with each kid, or did they tend a lot to housework and chores? The idea that kids have to be stimulated all the time by mommy seems off to me.
    Kids learn by imitation. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205102433.htm
    The mother stimulated them just by her mere present and actions.
    Also children help with the chores and the housework so its not like you lock the kids in a room and don’t let them out till the house is spotless. They help with easy tasks like carrying water, cleaning the dishes that are not breakable, sweeping the floor and so on. You learn to count, names and colors and to negotiate. Then usually there is supervised play by your mom or/and the other mothers because you were supposed to entertain yourself for some periods of time. So there was not that much separation between housekeeping and childrearing back in the day at least in my culture, YMMV.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @Jason

    I’ve thought about this a lot and it worries me. My own male hamster has the idea of this “ride or die” wife who is willing to stick things out when the situation isn’t optimal and help me achieve my goals, rather than a wife who just gets in while the gettin’ is good, not experiencing any other that relative hardship.

    Ditto.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Jason, the analogy to what you are saying is a girl who was an ugly duckling and had a guy stick by her, then got much hotter and is grateful for his loyalty. That doesn’t happen a lot for either side.

    But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It’s just that the differential has to be made up somehow. People tend to mate assortatively, and if one party rises too high, or another falls too low, there is inherent instability. For example, if I gained 50 lbs, that would not bode well.

    I think what the guys want is to know that the girl they’re with finds him attractive on a fundamental level, where the floor of attraction is met without needing monetary success. That shouldn’t be difficult for guys with knowledge of game.

    Also, and I’m saying this because I’ve been married three years now, there are tons of hardships to come in the future for any couple. If you think she isn’t the type to stick it out through inevitable issues, that is not good for the long term. Character is key.

    I met my husband when he was just applying to grad school and was making very little. I fell in love because of who he was, not his success or lack thereof. But I would have limits to what I would put up with. If he was a lazy guy or was prone to extreme anger, I would not have stuck it out. Being loyal is not the same as being a doormat.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @Susan

    The problem with Princeton men is not that they are “not good enough” for marriage – the primary issue is that they have no wish to marry.

    I have to respectfully disagree.

    Again, I’m not completely up on Princeton’s culture. Maybe it really is a completely different animal than most other colleges…

    Sure, the guys might not want to get married right then and there. But I think there’s a very large percentage who would be open to meeting their future wife in college.

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

      @Jimmy

      But I think there’s a very large percentage who would be open to meeting their future wife in college.

      As I commented earlier, all the college couples I have known have discussed marriage and felt certain they would marry later. None has stayed together, for a variety of reasons, including distance – young people do not have a lot of control today over where they live and work, and most of the relationships went through an LDR period that was ultimately the undoing of the relationship. Of the one couple still together, and I’m sure they will marry, they’ve visited one another every weekend between New York and Boston for nearly three years. Very, very few couples can make it that long.

      Some stats may apply:

      73% of male college students say they would like to be in a relationship.

      There is a phenomenon of College Marrieds, students joined at the hip 24/7. I imagine they are likely to marry.

      47% of college students report being in a relationship. 12% live together.

      http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2012/12/21/hookinguprealities/doing-an-end-run-around-hookup-culture/

      There’s not much info on college sweethearts marrying but I found some:

      United States census data indicates that the average age at which people get married has risen consistently over the last several decades for both men and women, which could explain why the percentage of people who meet their spouses in college has steadily declined in the same time period, University of Texas at Austin sociology professor Norval Glenn said. According to a 2004 study he cited, almost 40 percent of married or divorced women who graduated from college in the years leading up to 1955 met their first spouse in college, but that number has dropped to just over 15 percent today.

      ..Glenn, who co-authored a 2001 report entitled “Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Dating and Mating Today,” said there has been a definite decrease in marriages between college students who met at school, in part because most current students are simply not ready to think about matrimony. Glenn said that judging by the women he interviewed for the report, who mostly came from northeastern universities, including Yale, students generally approach college relationships as “recreational.”

      Andy Davis ’09, who has been dating Laura Rapin ’09 for over a year, said his experience has been that relationships at Yale with long-term potential are the exception rather than the rule, although people do not necessarily actively avoid them.

      “It maybe happens, maybe doesn’t,” he said. “But at least among the male population here, there are few guys out there who are seeking the relationship status.”

      Also, this is interesting. It implies that men may be delaying marriage in order to select high-earning women more accurately:

      Recent research also indicates that increasing numbers of college graduates are marrying partners with similar education levels, which could be because college-educated men have begun to look for a spouse with high earning power, Yale sociology professor Julia Adams said.

      http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2007/01/24/fewer-college-couples-marry-post-graduation/

      Finally, a report on Marriage in America found that 14% of people had met their spouse in college:

      http://www.smartmarriages.com/nms.pdf

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Ana, thanks for the article. I was not raised by my mother until the of 10, so I guess I am still trying to figure all of this out. Regardless I think the fact that I turned out ok is proof that mothers not being around doesn’t cripple children. I remember playing by myself almost all the time with zero adult supervision. But no I wouldn’t do that to our baby. :p

  • HanSolo

    FWIW, I did my PhD at an Ivy school and there were quite a few students (though certainly a minority) that arrived with a cohabiting gf/bf that they had met in undergrad and many of them eventually got married. These were very-high achieving students that either went to top-tier/ivy schools for undergrad or were big fish in little pond schools. Most of these guys were fairly beta and seemed quite happy to have a gf so I don’t buy the idea that many men aren’t open to finding the right one in undergrad (especially during jr/sr years).

    So, I think Patton’s advice to keep your eye out for someone in undergrad is spot on and a hell of a lot better advice than the radfem’s advice to wait til after 30.

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

      So, I think Patton’s advice to keep your eye out for someone in undergrad is spot on and a hell of a lot better advice than the radfem’s advice to wait til after 30.

      So Patton says find a husband between 18 and 21. Radfems don’t want women to marry at all.

      I say keep an open mind, certainly, but the most likely route to finding your life partner is in the post-college 20s. Most people perceive, rightly or wrongly, that dating does not exist in college, and that relationships are rare. Most of the women I hear from have essentially given up. I generally encourage them to keep an open mind while realizing that they may well find that things pick up after college. So far, that has been very much the case.

      One of the main reasons is the loss of Pluralistic Ignorance, and the fact that people can start fresh. When you meet someone at the age of 23, you really can’t pigeonhole them very easily. College social status seems distant and irrelevant at that point. And guys acting like douchey bros at 25 are just an embarrassment.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @Susan

    But it’s like inviting someone to drink a fine wine years before it’s ready. Those men do not show any inclination whatsoever to marry early. Why should they? As Taranto points out, their stock is rising and will continue to rise for some time. If they head to NYC after graduation, it will be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Women are not the only ones using their 20s for self-development and exploration. It’s very clear from the research that men are in no hurry to marry.

    This is completely based off my personal experience, with no numbers or studies to back it up, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt…

    But most college aged guys I’ve known through the years would gladly give up the future all-you-can-eat-buffet if it meant finding a girl in college they really loved and would marry one day.

  • HanSolo

    Actually, this advice might be good for men too.

    You’ll probably never be in an environment with such a good female-to-male ratio, when women are at or near their peak looks, with so many years of good looks to enjoy ahead, with women that are not as likely to divorce as non-college-educated women, so keep your eye out for a good gf that you can marry eventually.

  • HanSolo

    I wished I would have gotten married in or soon after college. But I was one of those outlier Mormons and was too picky in some cases and too much anti-game in others so it didn’t happen. ;)

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @HanSolo

    You’ll probably never be in an environment with such a good female-to-male ratio, when women are at or near their peak looks, with so many years of good looks to enjoy ahead, with women that are not as likely to divorce as non-college-educated women, so keep your eye out for a good gf that you can marry eventually.

    Agree 100%

  • HanSolo

    By outlier, I mean that I was one of the supposedly non-existent men that wanted to get married in college. Yes, in! Not even after.

  • Bells

    But most college aged guys I’ve known through the years would gladly give up the future all-you-can-eat-buffet if it meant finding a girl in college they really loved and would marry one day.

    The fact that men desire to enter into long-lasting relationships in college is a surprising perspective that clashes with the preconceived notion that men won’t consider serious relationships until they are more established in their careers.

    Also, a potential kink in the system would be the effects of graduating. My college attracts people who come from all over the US to attend and after graduating people split up to pursue different avenues such as grad school, work, moving back home, travel, etc. So how would one account for the strenuous effect of graduating? Also how can we women be assured that this isn’t just wishful thinking of older guys who’ve grown tired of messing around with girls, but rather a legitimate decision/step?

  • Emily

    Hope,

    My parents were classic helicopter parents. I turned out alright (I think), but I personally plan on hovering around less when I have kids. I just think that it creates too much unnecessary stress for the parents, and I’m not entirely convinced that it’s all that great for the children either.

  • pennies

    @Susan

    So I’ve just been invited to discuss this tomorrow morning on Minnesota Public Radio. A show called the Daily Circuit. Does anyone know it?

    No, but congrats!! :D

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

      Bah, got bumped off of MPR. The segment was overbooked, I’m sure I was low on the list. I hope they didn’t turn me down for Amanda Marcotte. :(

  • JP

    “The funniest reactions I have heard to this haven’t been about the advice, but about the notion that one would be surrounded by people of higher average intelligence at Princeton than in the outside world. This idea makes some people angry.”

    I thought that was the point of Princeton and the like these days.

    You don’t really learn anything in college, but it signals to people that you are intelligent and therefore have the capacity to do higher level work.

    I look at an Ivy degree as a proxy for general intelligence.

  • HanSolo

    @Bells

    I think there are some players and highly-ambitious guys that don’t want commitment in college or soon after. But there are also a lot of guys that would be open to it. Part of it is also that many women don’t want it or at least have bought into the narrative that they shouldn’t want it (see the Atlantic article linked to above) and so they shoot down guys that want LTRs and so that is sending out the market signal that commitment-seeking men are not rewarded, so the guys stop trying.

    As to how do you manage after college? Simple, the couple puts their relationship/LTR/future-marriage/marriage first and makes compromises on the job front if needed. OTOH, if career is most important then compromises, including breaking up, are made on the relationship front.

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

      Simple, the couple puts their relationship/LTR/future-marriage/marriage first and makes compromises on the job front if needed.

      It’s the rare college student who is selecting from among multiple offers. I’ve known college students who had little choice but to move to Iowa, Indiana and Dallas (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). It wasn’t what they hoped to do at age 21, but they had student loans to pay, and they needed a job.

      My husband and I decided to both work in NY after b-school so that we could be together. It should have been easy for both of us to find great jobs there in finance, but it wasn’t. It came down to the wire.

      For many couples, having a LDR is the compromise.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Very cool Susan! You’ll have to let us hear you on the radio show!

    Emily, I want to try for a balance between to much attention and not enough. But of course being a working mom means some of it is out of my control.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @Bells

    The fact that men desire to enter into long-lasting relationships in college is a surprising perspective that clashes with the preconceived notion that men won’t consider serious relationships until they are more established in their careers.

    The fact that it’s surprising is exactly why I’m doing what I can to correct what I see as pluralistic ignorance.

    The “feasters” are giving the rest of guys a bad name.

    Also, a potential kink in the system would be the effects of graduating. My college attracts people who come from all over the US to attend and after graduating people split up to pursue different avenues such as grad school, work, moving back home, travel, etc.

    I’m in a similar situation. But to be honest, I don’t think our experience is typical. From what I’ve seen, most students go to school in-state, then move to a major city in that state. Again, these are average people with average goals and aspirations. They’re not looking to be among the elite.

    Also how can we women be assured that this isn’t just wishful thinking of older guys who’ve grown tired of messing around with girls, but rather a legitimate decision/step?

    If its wishful thinking from older guys, I would think that’s all the more reason to give younger guys a chance.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    @HanSolo

    I think there are some players and highly-ambitious guys that don’t want commitment in college or soon after. But there are also a lot of guys that would be open to it. Part of it is also that many women don’t want it or at least have bought into the narrative that they shouldn’t want it (see the Atlantic article linked to above) and so they shoot down guys that want LTRs and so that is sending out the market signal that commitment-seeking men are not rewarded, so the guys stop trying.

    That’s how I see it too.

  • Anacaona

    Ana, thanks for the article.
    Glad to be of help! :)

  • Lokland

    @JM, HS

    +1 to all of your arguments.
    They coincide with my experience (and I was one of those guys who met my wife in school, grad for me, undergrad for her.)

    My friend groups showed similar patterns.

    I think there is a huge difference between being open to meeting ones wife (group I was in) and wanting to get married tomorrow. I suspect most men would be unwilling to admit it due to fear of shame. I know 3 mo’s prior to meeting my wife I was professing my desire to never get married.

    —-

    @Susan

    Congrats on the radio show.

    Also, one the average age of marriage (28.5 yrs).
    I’m never seen the numbers but the median is likely lower.

    Why?

    Assuming that average number is representative of all men getting married in a year there will be a natural skew towards the higher numbers (similar to average N vs. median) because there is a low point under which no marriage occurs.

    Ex. A 50yo is 21.5 yrs above the average marriage age, 21.5 years below (a natural counter balance) would be would be 7yo. I don’t know many 7 year olds getting married.

    So its possible to have outliers on the top end that are not counterbalanced on the bottom end leading to a right skewed distribution (in exactly the same way N is).

    (I’m not sure if 28.5yo is representative of all male marriages or just first marriages which would be helpful, though I think it would still apply even to first marriages.)

    —–

    Another solid point is that men will lie about what they want. I mentioned above about lying about wanting to get married but I think the advice my buddy gave me when starting undergrad encapsulates the mindset perfectly:

    “This isn’t high school anymore man, you can’t ask them on a date first, you have to meet them at a party and work from there.”

    I’m not saying those men don’t want to get married now but simply that being in a serious LTR with marriage at the end is probably common but unspoken.

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

      @Lokland

      I know 3 mo’s prior to meeting my wife I was professing my desire to never get married…I’m not saying those men don’t want to get married now but simply that being in a serious LTR with marriage at the end is probably common but unspoken.

      This is exactly what I mean when I say that 80% is at cross purposes! Who knows what women heard you say that and figured, “Oh well…” Both sexes are talking themselves right out of relationships. It can only happen if someone takes you by surprise. Imagine how many more people would fall in love if they threw down their guards!

  • Lokland

    @Bells

    “Also, a potential kink in the system would be the effects of graduating. My college attracts people who come from all over the US to attend and after graduating people split up to pursue different avenues such as grad school, work, moving back home, travel, etc.”

    This is more of an aside but I’ve noticed a difference in how graduation effects couples in the US vs. Canada.

    I suspect this might be in part due to our lower number of large cities meaning a higher probability of ending up in the same one meaning more of those relationships have the potential to stay together.

    In the US you have more cities to choose form than nearly anywhere else. I’d consider living in maybe 6 cities in Canada and thats being overly generous.

  • JP

    “In the US you have more cities to choose form than nearly anywhere else. I’d consider living in maybe 6 cities in Canada and thats being overly generous.”

    I’ve always hated large cities in general.

    In fact, I’ve never worked anywhere near a large city.

    I like my 7 minute commute to work.

    The downside is that I have no one who I’m actually friends with here because the more interesting people generally move to large cities.

    Which is really annoying.

  • Jason773

    Hope,

    I think what the guys want is to know that the girl they’re with finds him attractive on a fundamental level, where the floor of attraction is met without needing monetary success. That shouldn’t be difficult for guys with knowledge of game.

    Yes, this is crux. Even with game you never know 100% for sure, and though this is relatively easy to ‘get over’ compared to other things, it’s still something to think about.

  • Jason773

    Jamila,

    And women fear being that “ride or die” chick that stays with a man through his rough patches, does everything she can to help him and be supportive, only to be left for a trophy wife once the guy gets to be successful.

    True, and I understand this sentiment, but I think this stereotype is highly overblown. Men hold loyalty near the top of their values and reward said loyalty with loyalty in return. Of course, there are always those sociopaths who skew the results.

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

      Men hold loyalty near the top of their values and reward said loyalty with loyalty in return.

      Except for the 25% who commit adultery.

  • Cooper

    @Emily
    “Maybe it’s because I went to a very secular uber-liberal west coast school, but in my experience guys like Cooper and INTJ were like unicorns”

    Which was where again? :P

  • Emily

    >>> “I suspect most men would be unwilling to admit it due to fear of shame. I know 3 mo’s prior to meeting my wife I was professing my desire to never get married.”

    I can believe this, but how is a girl supposed to know whether a guy is serious when he says that he never wants to get married? She could end up wasting a lot of valuable time if she’s wrong. In the post-college years, the guys seem to be more open about wanting to settle down.

  • HanSolo

    @Jason, Jamila and Hope

    When I was in my PhD I had a gf. She was going to a good law school and planning on going into patent law. I was at an ivy so no slouch degree and with decent earning prospects but not high earning prospects if I stayed in physics. I was debating whether to continue in physics after graduating or look for work in consulting or finance. I sensed that she wasn’t so impressed with the potential earnings of physics-related fields. I kind of resented that but would have really responded well if I had felt she was standing by me no matter what. And in the end, I went into consulting and got the higher-paying job anyway. Her looks have since faded to where I wouldn’t even date her anymore but had we married her I really loved her and would have stayed with her and loved her deeply and rewarded her loyalty to me then.

    I do think that excluding the jerks that most guys do value and reward loyalty.

  • Bells

    @Hansolo,

    As to how do you manage after college? Simple, the couple puts their relationship/LTR/future-marriage/marriage first and makes compromises on the job front if needed. OTOH, if career is most important then compromises, including breaking up, are made on the relationship front.

    I imagine that career-orientated college-aged women would have trouble putting relationship over career. It seems a bit contradictory to work so hard on creating the best career opportunities possible and then forfeiting it for relationship compromises. It’d have to be a super serious relationship and not a half-baked one in order to make that high level of commitment! Personally, I know that I’m still struggling with the dual conflicting messages between the importance of career and relationships.

    @Jimmy Hendrix,

    I’m in a similar situation. But to be honest, I don’t think our experience is typical.

    If you don’t mind me asking.. so, how do you guys plan on dealing with this issue after graduating? I feel like more couples would split up upon graduation (or a short while after) rather than actually staying together.

    @Lokland,

    +1 to all of your arguments.
    They coincide with my experience (and I was one of those guys who met my wife in school, grad for me, undergrad for her.)

    I’m not opposed to meeting men in grad school at all, I’m just weary about college-aged men.

  • Bells

    @Emily,

    I can believe this, but how is a girl supposed to know whether a guy is serious when he says that he never wants to get married? She could end up wasting a lot of valuable time if she’s wrong. In the post-college years, the guys seem to be more open about wanting to settle down.

    Agreed! I have the same concerns

  • JP

    “I imagine that career-orientated college-aged women would have trouble putting relationship over career. It seems a bit contradictory to work so hard on creating the best career opportunities possible and then forfeiting it for relationship compromises.”

    I suppose if you actually felt like getting an education took effort, this might be the case.

    I could easily dump law into the trash can if I had something more interesting came along.

    It’s not like I actually had to do anything other than takes some tests to get these degrees. They basically handed them to me for just showing up.

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

      BTW, some people have been seeing the site with white text and white background on iphone. I’ve been unable to learn what is causing the problem – I don’t have it on my own iphone. I’ve activated the mobile app, and I’d appreciate feedback on whether this helps iphone users. Thanks.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I’m sure she didn’t mean get married while still in college. But she clearly does mean making a lifelong commitment while in college. Is that something you would have been open to doing yourself?

    Probably not, although it’s hard to say, but I do have 3 friends from college that are all currently engaged to their gf from college. Two of those guys are in med school right now.

    The strategy can work, but once again, like always, the filter has to act accordingly. The top males in college are not very likely to want to marry soon or make that commitment, but I think there are plenty in the middle 60% part of the bell curve that would. I understand the surveys touting evidence against those males wanting to marry early, but I think there is some heavy male rationalization there from the 60% (due to very minimal prospects while in college).

  • HanSolo

    @Bells

    Well, the super career-oriented women have to decide what their priorities are. Most of them can have all of one and a bit of the other but rarely can they have it all (uber-career and lots of time with children). See the link above I posted about the female lawyers knowing it’s very hard to both be a partner and have children.

    I just don’t see it as such a deal breaker to say you’re both going to go to whatever city, say NY, and both will find the best jobs available. But that only works when the relationship is more important than the career, where the career might only be as pursuable at a high level where one gets the awesome job in once city and the other gets it in another.

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

      where the career might only be as pursuable at a high level where one gets the awesome job in once city and the other gets it in another.

      There aren’t that many awesome jobs to go around these days. I heard a radio program that cited stats for three highly regarded colleges – at each more than 50% of the class of 2012 has not yet found a full-time job. Many are temping or working minimum wage jobs. My son temped and was fortunate to be hired by that firm in a good full-time position.

      I know quite a few very anxious seniors right now – they’ve got nuthin.

  • JP

    How do men handle making less than their spouse?

    It would definitely trigger the wonderful combination of competition and extreme jealously in me (probably since I wouldn’t be able to stomach the feelings of inferiority).

  • JP

    “That is my biggest concern with hookup culture. It fosters a sense of competition and rivalry, instead of real connections.”

    I know that one of the things that always drew my attention was the concept of Total War and the adulation paid to WWII.

    Meaning that the goal was complete physical and psychic annihilation of the opposition and it’s replacement and reconstruction with something that was more appropriate to what you wanted the world to look like.

    I kind of took this concept from statecraft and always wanted to apply it to interpersonal situations from a competitive angle.

    The goal wasn’t just to “win”, it was to make sure that at the end of the day, the competition was completely destroyed with no chance for any recovery into it’s former form so that it never threatened you again.

  • Cooper

    @Susan

    I’m on my iPhone 99% of the time..

    Are you referring to the ‘mobile view’ cause I don’t how I just got onto it, but upon refreshing it took me to the ‘mobile site’ which is very white..

    I always just scroll all the way to the bottom, and click return to full site, or exit mobile view, ect.

    Never seen white text on white background though.

  • Bells

    @Hansolo,

    Well, the super career-oriented women have to decide what their priorities are. Most of them can have all of one and a bit of the other but rarely can they have it all (uber-career and lots of time with children).

    Yeah, I guess you’re right. I think I’ve made up my mind that if anyone’s going to lessen their career greatly in order to care for the children better, it would have to be me because I love kids way too much and have a strong nurturing spirit. It’s just hard to fully accept the finality and implication of this decision after being primed all your life to be a high-achiever. It’s a factor that I continually mull over.

  • Bells

    @Susan,

    BTW, some people have been seeing the site with white text and white background on iphone. I’ve been unable to learn what is causing the problem – I don’t have it on my own iphone. I’ve activated the mobile app, and I’d appreciate feedback on whether this helps iphone users. Thanks.

    I was one of those who had the white on white text. I don’t think I have the mobile app set on the internet, but I can now see everything clearly on the website. The only thing still missing is the CNN video within the article

  • Abbot

    Feminists hate this mom for her views. They are now on the warpath. Here si some venting and ranting

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/magazine/how-shared-diaper-duty-could-stimulate-the-economy.html?hp&_r=2&

    They will do anything and say anything to get men to change…

  • HanSolo

    @Bells

    In most cases it’s likely the woman that will need to lessen up on a bit of the career. And that’s not just because the man is “demanding it.” A lot of women aren’t going to look up to their man if he isn’t out working (though some are fine with it) and at home with the kids. Also, some men aren’t going to like it. JP is an example, above.

    I personally have a high nurturing side so I would enjoy it but I would continue doing stock research and trading and have some other projects that require some free time and so I think I would love being a stay-at-home dad for maybe a few years. As long as my wife didn’t turn bitchy and look down on me then I would be quite happy to do that.

    I have a friend that basically married a woman who’s a point or two lower than him in SMV that said she would be the provider so he could stay at home with the kids and write. He also is a part-of-the-year flight attendant so he gets free trips all over the world that he sometimes just spontaneously takes. Even though she’ll earn more he definitely wears the pants in the family and because she basically adores him and is willing to do whatever to be together, I guess it works.

    So, there is probably a minority of men that would be fine with doing the lesser career path but they probably have to have a certain mindset or the marriage dynamic is going to suck real fast with the wife feeling like he’s not living up to his potential and that she can’t admire him anymore and he’ll feel unappreciated and hate her bitchiness.

  • J

    Just to point out what seems inherently obvious but if they are screwing around with those average women those women are also having their biological clocks wind down.

    True enough, but really relevant to what Patton is saying about the need for bright women to lock some Princetonian down.

    The only real complaint you can have is that they were not screwing around with you.

    Well, yeah.

    Your biological clock was moving at the same speed and ended up with the smart guy.

    I was pretty lucky. Ther”re were years though when I watched the dumb but hot” walk off with guys I felt should have been mine.

    Here’s a litle redpill story that I think the guys will like. An older buudy of my older son is getting married. This turned the conversation among a bunch of the guys to “What are you looking for in a women?” My younger son announced that he wants “someone too stupid to make her own decisions.” I looking forward to buying Dr. Suess books for my grandkids … when they are 25.

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

      @J

      My younger son announced that he wants “someone too stupid to make her own decisions.”

      This just about gave me a heart attack.

      Do not let your son discover the manosphere.

  • J

    So I’ve just been invited to discuss this tomorrow morning on Minnesota Public Radio. A show called the Daily Circuit.

    How cool is that!?

  • JP

    “How cool is that!?”

    A day late and a dollar short.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    And guys acting like douchey bros at 25 are just an embarrassment.

    Uhhhh…I must run in some different circles. My best friend is turning 27 this weekend. My close female friends describe him as “Jersey Shore.” We’re taking a limo to a club with some “ballers” and drinking until we pass out. A weekly occurrence for this group of people.

    By all means, it’s not necessarily sex ALL the time, but I was in a tent next to them during a camp trip, and my ears do not deceive.

    I do not believe they are routinely hooking up with “restricteds”…but…my GF’s best friend is a DEFINITE restricted type, of the sort that she has been dating the same guy a year and still hasn’t had sex with him, and she was definitely expressing some interest.

    I dunno. I only see what I see.

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

      Uhhhh…I must run in some different circles. My best friend is turning 27 this weekend. My close female friends describe him as “Jersey Shore.” We’re taking a limo to a club with some “ballers” and drinking until we pass out. A weekly occurrence for this group of people.

      And I’m filled with embarrassment just reading this account. I have no doubt that there are some women who want to ball Jersey Shore types. Obviously, any woman who wants to have sex with a blackout drunk 27 yo is not searching for a life partner. She is Hooking Up Brainless.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Bells, my career is not high achieving, and I work short days and can look after our boy better. I don’t think this is a bad thing.

    I’m curious…have you worked full time at a “real” job yet? If not, you might want to consider that when you actually work, you would prefer not to be so high achieving after all.

    Burn out happens to men, too, by the way.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I’ve known college students who had little choice but to move to Iowa, Indiana and Dallas (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). It wasn’t what they hoped to do at age 21, but they had student loans to pay, and they needed a job.

    My SO is presently living in a town with less than 20,000 people, because that’s who was hiring.

    I am working for the same company I was temping for, which definitely wasn’t in my initial plan, but, hey, they were the onle ones offering a job.

    Economy sucks and companies don’t like to take risks.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Burn out happens to men, too, by the way.

    Yes it does!
    October can’t come soon enough…vacation, vacation, vacation…

  • J

    A day late and a dollar short.

    Sadly, more often than you know……

  • Steph

    I have not read any of the comments, but the opportunities that a man has with girls if he attended and ivy league school are many. I was interested in a guy that went to an ivy league, but ended it as soon as I found out he was not interested in dating anyone seriously. He would go around our social circle saying he was single when in reality he was 26 dating an 19 year old.

  • J

    If not, you might want to consider that when you actually work, you would prefer not to be so high achieving after all.

    I was a huge overachiever as a student and when I first entered the work world. At some point though, a job is just a job, something you work at because it helps to support a family, which is IMO the most important thing.

  • JP

    “Obviously, any woman who wants to have sex with a blackout drunk 27 yo is not searching for a life partner. She is Hooking Up Brainless.”

    I’m pleased to report that I have the first report of “drinking yourself to death” by an under-40 from my dorm.

  • J

    Do not let your son discover the manosphere.

    LOL. I think he was just talking shit because I and a couple of other moms were listening and he wanted to get a rise out of someone. Interestingly, some of the guys laughed at him–not that he gives a damn if people laugh at him.

    I’m not too worried about it. He’s a lot like DH, which means in the end, he’ll probably end up with someone a lot like me. At any rate, a girl who isn’t a tough cookie will never survive him. And he’ll be bored shitless with someone who doesn’t push back.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Who knows what women heard you say that and figured, “Oh well…” Both sexes are talking themselves right out of relationships.”

    Actually the sadder part of it was this;

    I was saying it to a group of friends, one of whom I was interested in. (Whats even weirder is that I can remember exactly where I said it.)

    What makes it sad is that it worked. I got laid shortly after that by the women I was interested in after going on a couple dates.

    I was well aware that it would work but still its kind of pathetic where in pursuit of relationships I had to pretend to not be interested in relationships.

    —–

    On another note, my wife asked me if I was a player on our second date.
    Despite the insistence that women want relationships I’m still quite positive that they don’t want to know that you want one.

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

      @Lokland

      On another note, my wife asked me if I was a player on our second date.

      What response was she hoping for?

  • JP

    “I was a huge overachiever as a student and when I first entered the work world. At some point though, a job is just a job, something you work at because it helps to support a family, which is IMO the most important thing.”

    It was entering the world of work that made me realize that my life really did peak at about age 15.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    As I commented earlier, all the college couples I have known have discussed marriage and felt certain they would marry later. None has stayed together, for a variety of reasons, including distance

    Not very good evidence in support of the “College guys aren’t interested in commitment and are just interested in having fun until their late 20s” meme that we see everywhere.

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

      Not very good evidence in support of the “College guys aren’t interested in commitment and are just interested in having fun until their late 20s” meme that we see everywhere.

      But in the end those guys wanted out – several had already met someone else, some were ready to move on. I’ve always assumed that a young guy gives up more in a LDR because he’s getting very little sex. I don’t believe any of them are married yet – I bet they’ll marry their 4th or 5th girlfriend in their late 20s. And yeah, these are the ones who were willing to be in a relationship in college.

  • J

    It was entering the world of work that made me realize that my life really did peak at about age 15.

    Awwww, JP! That’s sad.

  • JP

    “It was entering the world of work that made me realize that my life really did peak at about age 15.

    Awwww, JP! That’s sad.”

    What’s even sadder was the amount of fun that I had during 2008 watching the stock market crash while chatting on a bear market board. Good memories.

    The stock market is so boring right now.

    Fed QE’s.

    Market goes up.

  • Jonny

    “Feminists hate this mom for her views. They are now on the warpath. Here si some venting and ranting

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/magazine/how-shared-diaper-duty-could-stimulate-the-economy.html?hp&_r=2&

    They will do anything and say anything to get men to change…”

    I think women are more interested in getting the woman to change. These articles go unread by men. Women of the feminist type want to convince themselves that traditional women are obsolete so they create a false narrative that men doing domestic work will solve women’s inherent problem of the work/domestic conflict.

    The problem is not men. It is women. Women must first marry and be willing to have kids. Unless they get beyond this point, men won’t even get to the domestic work.

    BTW: What stimulates the economy the best is the kid who grows up and contributes to society. It is even better if the kid maintains or increases the general population. The parents are already here and their presense makes no difference.

  • SayWhaat

    LOL. I think he was just talking shit because I and a couple of other moms were listening and he wanted to get a rise out of someone.

    Haha, I was about to say that he was probably just running his mouth. I visited some relatives last weekend and the questions about getting a boyfriend are becoming more insistent. So I started trolling them by saying that I wouldn’t marry an Indian guy (shock!!). When they asked me what kind of guy I wanted to marry, I replied that he should be black, Muslim, and ideally have a minimal prison record (FYI, this is South Asian nightmare fuel).

    They knew I was joking, but they didn’t press me after that. :P

  • SayWhaat

    By the way, the blasts from the past continue.

    Does anyone remember the story I shared about the Brooklyn guy I dated a couple summers ago? The guy who shouted “What the fuck?!” when I told him I was a virgin? Well, he randomly “liked” a picture of me on Facebook and then sent me a message asking me how the improv was going, “hope you’re doing well.” I just responded with a breezy, “Doing well, thanks!”

    Ugh.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    Except for the 25% who commit adultery.

    Not necessarily related to my point.

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

      Not necessarily related to my point.

      I thought it was. Why say guys are incredibly loyal when we know that a quarter of married men are disloyal? Clearly it’s not correct to make that general statement.

  • OffTheCuff

    J: “I’m saying that many smart men will spend their 20s and 30s messing around with average women while the biological clock is ticking away for bright women in that same age range. Bright women are often in the same position that beta males complain about. They are waiting for members of the opposite sex to become mature enough to appreciate them.”

    That’s different, with the addition of “many” to smart men. It read more like, men who are smart do this.

    —-

    On a tangent… my BBW friend (who is on the fitness site, remember) recently signed up for online dating. She was immediately besieged by email, took to texting 10 of them, and 4 asked her out. She just went out with one and had a crazy fling with one, first date, and everyone is cheering her on.

    Number of women cautioning her, chastising her or telling her not to: zero.

    I offered her some advice if she really wanted to attract a decent relationship, but after getting cheated on by her ex-fiancée and first boyfriend, she’s ready to have some fun… and I don’t blame her. She should enjoy herself.

    It’s a hoot to watch. Great kid. Your demographic, too.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan

    And I’m filled with embarrassment just reading this account. I have no doubt that there are some women who want to ball Jersey Shore types. Obviously, any woman who wants to have sex with a blackout drunk 27 yo is not searching for a life partner. She is Hooking Up Brainless.

    Quite, but I do suspect that there are still quite a number of us mid-20s that are hooking up brainless and that being somewhat of a douchey frat boy is not terribly damaging…

    Of course, my good friend, despite living this lifestyle to some extent (he’s toned down and doesn’t do it every weekend at 27..though his friends do), is not very promiscuous and has a N=2. He is also rather demanding of his women…never has dated one in the time that I’ve known him.

    On the other hand, that’s the social circle he runs in. That’s what he thinks is cool. That’s where he is at in his life right now, and because critical thinking is not valued by my generation, and only feelings, and major life changes only occur when you hit rock bottom or you see other people changing, such as it is, his life will continue this will.

    It will advance like a glacier until either he hits rock bottom…he finally decided not to drive drunk anymore after nearly getting caught and his friends getting arrested, for instance.

    Or…

    He will be like my OTHER friend, who decided she needed to get married because she had been dating the same guy for 5-6 years and that’s what people do after so long. Never mind that she wasn’t attracted, never mind that she had cheated on him so many times, she received the social cue “time to get married” and so it was.

    Or, like the woman I was eating dinner with at one of those Japanese sit-around the table things, who said that, oh, my friends are getting married, so now I have to think about getting married. As if this was the most logical thing in the world. Boyfriend did not seem psyched about this, though.

    I think a lot of people just respond to the external social cues and absorb the zetgeist.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    SayWhaat “I just responded with a breezy, “Doing well, thanks!””

    Eh I would have ignored something like that altogether. No point in being polite. That’s how those guys operate… on premise of your politeness.

    ADBG “oh, my friends are getting married, so now I have to think about getting married. As if this was the most logical thing in the world. Boyfriend did not seem psyched about this, though.

    I think a lot of people just respond to the external social cues and absorb the zetgeist.”

    I agree with this. Prior to being more aware, I was quite like this. I lucked out in absorbing more of the zeitgeist that I grew up with in a different country.

  • HanSolo

    @SayWhaat

    But you still have him as a “friend” on facebook, I take it? So, you must value keeping him more than removing him.

  • SayWhaat

    But you still have him as a “friend” on facebook, I take it? So, you must value keeping him more than removing him.

    Lol, no. I had completely forgotten we were still Facebook friends!

    Eh I would have ignored something like that altogether. No point in being polite. That’s how those guys operate… on premise of your politeness.

    Yeah. If something like this happens again, I will.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I’ve always assumed that a young guy gives up more in a LDR because he’s getting very little sex.

    Relationship with no sex? Yes, why would I bother with that, for years? That’s a lot to slog through.

  • Ted D

    “And he’ll be bored shitless with someone who doesn’t push back.”

    Wait a sec… There are women that don’t push back?!

    I’ll never understand why people put down bored so much. I prefer bored over crazy and exciting every day of the week. Besides, I’m rarely bored when entertainment is always at my fingertips. If there is no Internet, I can still read ebooks.

  • Ian

    Culturally, I grew up in a blue-collar town, then attended a semi-snooty prep school. I had a hard time grokking why college was so important to everyone, worth the $150,000+, when being a cop, teamster, plumber, etc., would put you closer to six-figures, right out of high school.

    It’d be interesting to quantify what part of the demand, and therefor price, of college is the hierarchical (and therefor sexual) status associated with it. Even distilled away from intelligence and earning potential, a college degree has some hex attached to it.

    I may have studied harder (or at all, in some cases) if I had known there was sexual status to merit-badged in the process…

  • SayWhaat

    I had a hard time grokking why college was so important to everyone, worth the $150,000+, when being a cop, teamster, plumber, etc., would put you closer to six-figures, right out of high school.

    Prestige.

    Even distilled away from intelligence and earning potential, a college degree has some hex attached to it.

    Prestige.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “What response was she hoping for?”

    Not sure but my deflection seemed to work fine.

  • OffTheCuff

    Roltn: “All Patton says is that women at Princeton should take advantage of the opportunity right in front of them. No female college co-ed at Princeton will ever be in such close proximity to a large quatity of single, smart, upwardly-mobile and high-status men as they are at Princeton. Period.”

    That was exactly my reading of this, which is why I thought the article was actually going to be HUS-approved, and why I was stunned that it was HUS-blasted. Something must’ve stepped a bit too close to some emotional third rail, and the response got entirely twatwaffled.

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

      @OTC

      The first thing Patton does is advise women to snag a husband instead of focusing on their education and how they’ll use it after they graduate. I would never support such advice.

      Secondly, she assumes that Princeton men want to be snagged into marriage, and that they are ready for marriage. Neither is true. Again, I have to worry if people even read the post. I give ample evidence that American men are delaying marriage. There is wide consensus on this, and James Taranto spells out exactly why they should. They have numerous incentives to do so, and few to marry early.

      Therefore, even if I agreed with Patton’s advice, I think her strategy stinks. The fact that only 14% of married college graduates met at school says it all. If it happens, great. Women should keep an open mind, remain open to the possibility. That’s a passive strategy requiring little effort. Going husband hunting on campus is an active strategy requiring a great deal of effort which would be better spent on the Princeton curriculum. And the odds of success are low.

      I really believe that Patton’s advice is a scold to all the young women of Princeton who don’t find her son attractive.

  • SayWhaat

    That was exactly my reading of this, which is why I thought the article was actually going to be HUS-approved, and why I was stunned that it was HUS-blasted. Something must’ve stepped a bit too close to some emotional third rail, and the response got entirely twatwaffled.

    Different message for different audiences.

    Women who thought they had all the time in the world to spare are being told to think twice.

    HUS women who pursued Patton’s strategy all along are reassured that the problem isn’t them, it’s the situation.

  • Bells

    @Hansolo,

    I personally have a high nurturing side so I would enjoy it but I would continue doing stock research and trading and have some other projects that require some free time and so I think I would love being a stay-at-home dad for maybe a few years. As long as my wife didn’t turn bitchy and look down on me then I would be quite happy to do that.

    I think the idea of a stay at home dad is still highly looked down upon in the US. My parents may have been in a hypogamous marriage but my mom would definitely not have respected my dad if all he ever wanted to do was stay at home and look after the kids! If you really want to become a stay at home dad, you should move to Scandinavia, especially to Sweden. There you’ll have a much greater percent of being a SAH dad :razz:

  • Bells

    @Hope,

    I’m curious…have you worked full time at a “real” job yet? If not, you might want to consider that when you actually work, you would prefer not to be so high achieving after all.
    Burn out happens to men, too, by the way

    I was in the process of applying to med school, so technically I’ve never had a “real job” in the field yet. But I have shadowed various doctors and worked several small jobs within hospitals. But actually, I’ve recently changed my career plans because of thoughts concerning stress, one-sided tradeoffs, impact on desired family life, etc. Now I’m considering a different alternate that I think should provide a more flexible lifestyle with lower trade-offs. We’ll see :/

    I was a huge overachiever as a student and when I first entered the work world. At some point though, a job is just a job, something you work at because it helps to support a family, which is IMO the most important thing.

    This is great advice and I think that you’re completely right. Lately I’ve also been re-evaluating my definition of success and it’s implication on my current and future happiness. It’s been tough letting go of my overly high standards. But I think I’m kinda getting there.

  • Bells

    @ADBG,

    Or, like the woman I was eating dinner with at one of those Japanese sit-around the table things, who said that, oh, my friends are getting married, so now I have to think about getting married. As if this was the most logical thing in the world. Boyfriend did not seem psyched about this, though…I think a lot of people just respond to the external social cues and absorb the zetgeist.

    Actually, I think it’s good to put positive social pressure for young adults to start seriously considering marriage (especially for men!). This has been going on across many generations and different cultures.

  • Passer_By

    @susan

    “I think she’s pissed that no girls were nice to Young Squire Patton his freshman or sophomore years.”

    I think you’re coming perilously close to adopting the feminist approach of attacking the messenger’s (or, in this case, her son’s) sexual appeal to discredit her motives.

    That said, I think this woman is just a bit too impressed with credentialism and her alma mater. No doubt a great school, and this lowly UCLA grad probably can’t compare. However, when I attended UCLA law, there were tons of ivy grads, including from Princeton, and I rapidly concluded that none of them were unusually bright. Not stupid, mind you. But nothing to write home about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of Ivy and Stanford grads who were extraordinarily impressive – I just don’t think it applies to all or even most of them, and I think a woman attending an Ivy will meet plenty of equally intelligent men after college – so long as she isn’t hung up on the Ivy credential.

    “She also points out the very real fact that very smart women (such as those at Princeton) will want very smart husbands, but will have to compete with bimbos for them.”

    While I think the intelligence of many Ivy students is overrated, there is still a lot of room between Princeton grads and bimbos. Also, out of curiousity, what has this woman actually done, other than graduate from Princeton and talk a blue streak when interviewed, that makes her think she’s so uniquely brilliant? “Executive Coach and PR Consultant”? Seriously?

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

      @Passer By

      I think you’re coming perilously close to adopting the feminist approach of attacking the messenger’s (or, in this case, her son’s) sexual appeal to discredit her motives.

      Well, the insult is not gratuitous – she chastises Princeton women for not being nicer to boys when they were still freshmen and assumes that as seniors they’re washed up. She also boasts that her son’s prospects are “limitless.” Finally, we don’t know anything about the son’s looks, but if he takes after mom…She admitted that she wrote the letter because she was being a Jewish mother. That means looking out for her own, not the “women of Princeton.”

      Re Ivy grads, I concur. There are a lot of legacy admits who are not nearly as bright as dad was – perhaps because Princeton dad married someone less bright back in the day. There’s also aggressive recruiting for sports, as I mentioned. I suspect the most visible males on campus – the highly social males – are not the most intelligent, generally speaking.

      I think Susan Patton is addressing the apex fallacy, she just doesn’t know it.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan

    But in the end those guys wanted out – several had already met someone else, some were ready to move on.

    Just because they decide not to marry the person they’re with, doesn’t mean they had zero interest in the possibility of marrying someone they met in college.

    Result =/= intent.

    In fact, you said yourself:

    As I commented earlier, all the college couples I have known have discussed marriage and felt certain they would marry later.

    Unless a guy’s a sociopath, he’s not going to have that conversation and come to that conclusion if he’s one of these supposed immature guys who has no interest marrying a girl from college, and would rather spend his 20s “having fun.”

    The fact that only 14% of married college graduates met at school says it all.

    What percentage of relationships AFTER school end in marriage? I doubt it’s much higher.

    And again, that 14% doesn’t include couples who gave it an honest try in college and it didn’t work out, or the people who would be interested on marrying someone from college, but couldn’t get a relationship.

    It hardly means 86% are against finding a spouse in college.

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

      @Jimmy

      It hardly means 86% are against finding a spouse in college.

      Of course not, I didn’t mean to suggest anything about intent. I am only speaking about results. The fact is that few college couples go on to marry. And there are a variety of reasons for this.

      You and I are largely talking past one another – you’re saying be open to finding your life partner in college and I have no problem with that. What I’m not recommending is marrying early, which is a different point. I know a couple getting married this summer, both 28, and they’ve been together since high school. Their odds of divorcing are probably close to zero. A couple who marries the summer after college graduation has a much higher risk of divorce. There are good reasons for waiting until one’s mid-20s to marry.

      I’m going to write a post about this.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Not saying you’re making that 86% claim, but I think a lot of people out there interpret the numbers that way.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Bells,

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing to use social cues to influence people. What I am saying is, that’s how people respond to the environment around them. Saying, don’t use social cues, don’t use shaming, is like saying, don’t use language, communicate through ass-farts and smoke signals.

    What I am saying is that a lot of our mating habits are being dictated by the zetgeist. We have already established that the college dating scene is not healthy and a lot of the hook-up culture is zetgeist defined by the unrestricted, for the unrestricted, by the unrestricted.

    And a lot of us sort of muddle along in it…

    I hear a lot of this “college” nonsense and “graduation” nonsense and “Long distance relationship” nonsense and I am at a loss. Who does this benefit?

    We know who this new paradigm benefits: the elite. Who have priviliged access to basically everything. For them, college really does make sense, it’s what allows them to network and signal. For them, it doesn’t make sense to tie yourself down so early in life. For them, it makes perfect sense to wait until being “established” in career and finances before going for a life-mate, because it’s so much easier for them to do, relative to the rest of the country.

    For 80% of us, this new world is devastating and gives us nothing. It’s just following a cultural zetgeist by the elite, of the elite, for the elite.

    Random musings, take with a grain of salt

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

      @ADBG

      We know who this new paradigm benefits: the elite. Who have priviliged access to basically everything. For them, college really does make sense, it’s what allows them to network and signal. For them, it doesn’t make sense to tie yourself down so early in life. For them, it makes perfect sense to wait until being “established” in career and finances before going for a life-mate, because it’s so much easier for them to do, relative to the rest of the country.

      For 80% of us, this new world is devastating and gives us nothing. It’s just following a cultural zetgeist by the elite, of the elite, for the elite.

      I’m totally with you on the first paragraph, but you avoid personal responsibility in the second. You just got done describing your fun “Jersey Shore” outings where people in their late 20s celebrate birthdays by hiring a limo and getting blackout drunk. That’s what you call a good time. No doubt plenty of elites do the same but they can afford it. Perhaps if your friend acted like an adult (at 27 he’s officially done with adolescence) and did’t shoot the wad that way he’d be able to get a leg up.

      I see a lot of railing against elites by people who are making very poor choices.

  • HanSolo

    Well, I don’t want to be. I just think it wouldn’t be so bad. Work is soooo way overrated. I should actually stop ragging on radfems and say, all you women can do all the work and be the CEO’s and everything and I’m going to enjoy life. Come to think of it, I guess a lot of the slacker guys are doing that already. lol

    I just think radfems ideology is so full of contradictions. Women shouldn’t have kids so they can work…well, then humanity dies out. Women should have top jobs but then can’t find men they admire.

    As to being looked down on for being a stay at home dad, I don’t care that much. I was a weirdo Mormon and dealt with that. I still don’t drink. I have a way too high N for the women on here but keep coming back anyway. Not that I’m not influenced by what others think but for better or worse I do march to the beat of the drum I have decided to listen to.

    My friend that is a SAHD alpha. He’s a charismatic “bastard” (meant in a praising guy way) and Mormon. At church he likes to stir up shit in the men’s group by telling them how it is so awesome to be a SAHD and that he has it so good and that he takes trips to anywhere in the world whenever he wants to with free airfare. He tells me that some of the guys come up to him and tells him they’re jealous. He’s an example of a guy that doesn’t care what society thinks and he’s amongst Mormons that really emphasize males providing.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “The first thing Patton does is advise women to snag a husband instead of focusing on their education and how they’ll use it after they graduate. I would never support such advice.”

    She’s advising them to get a Mrs. Degree and drop out? That is sad. Surprised.

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

      She’s advising them to get a Mrs. Degree and drop out?

      She certainly didn’t say drop out. What a terrible strategy that would be! Here’s what she says:

      Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out — here’s what you really need to know that nobody is telling you.

      When I was an undergraduate in the mid-seventies, the 200 pioneer women in my class would talk about navigating the virile plains of Princeton as a precursor to professional success. Never being one to shy away from expressing an unpopular opinion, I said that I wanted to get married and have children. It was seen as heresy.

      For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.

      This woman went to Princeton with no plans to apply her education in any formal way. She went for the MRS degree, and now she is advising women to do the same. Forget about career, forget about professional success, use this time to do what’s really important: find a husband. Your goal is marriage and family.

      I have a problem with that.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    What a cruel twist of fate that the goods are good when the odds are bad.

    They should go to Caltech. It’s the opposite there. :D

  • http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com/ Bb

    Hey Susan,
    The Princetonian website was down all weekend, but Patton’s original letter is finally up:

    http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2013/03/29/33188/

    I didn’t see anything that indicated that she thought women should focus on a husband instead of career. Where is the source for this? Is it from subsequent interviews she gave?

    I read her letter to the editor more as a reaction to her failed marriage—(information she gave in subsequent interviews) and not a plea at all for girls to date her son (which was Amanda Marcotte’s take on Slate). It seemed fairly clear that she thought that boys, including her son, had plenty of opportunities to date.

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

      @Bb

      I read her letter to the editor more as a reaction to her failed marriage

      I did too, and that’s part of the problem. She married a man who went to a “no name” school, and now she’s very upset to have been divorced. She believes that had she married a Princeton man the outcome would have been different. Obviously, that’s a ridiculous claim.

      She went to Princeton, admittedly with no other goal than marriage and family. Yet she did not find a husband at Princeton, despite being only one of only 200 women in the class, and perhaps the only one pursuing an MRS. Instead she married a guy whose education she did not respect, and severed all ties with Princeton for 30 years. Now she’s advising her son’s female classmates.

      Why should anyone listen to this woman? She didn’t get it right herself when the odds were overwhelmingly in her favor – when she graduated the average age at marriage was 21 for women and 23 for men.

      I don’t find this woman a credible advisor.

  • INTJ

    @ tilikum

    the ones who marry hot girls are the ones who can. everything else is leftovers and it’s been that way for eons.

    the only saving grace is that hot girls are just not worth it in 2013, and as men mature women just get old. why marry a hot b@*ch who is gonna a hit the wall regardless and just stay bitchy? answer- you might do it once but not twice!

    so the discriminating man looking for quality looks for …..wait for it….nice. Attractive enough, but not to hot to maintain long term and nice nice nice. kind, pleasant, devoted. kids “maybe” if she is very, very kind. a woman under 23-26 for a guy 35-43 is about perfect. smart enough to stay interesting to each other but she doesn’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar. just kind. She doesn’t need a job past Starbucks, just kind.

    It isn’t just the 35-43 guys that want to follow that strategy. ;)

  • Passer_By

    @Bb

    “I read her letter to the editor more as a reaction to her failed marriage—(information she gave in subsequent interviews) and not a plea at all for girls to date her son (which was Amanda Marcotte’s take on Slate). ”

    Ditto. It reeks of “Why oh why didn’t I find a Princeton man who would be worthy of me rather than having to suffer with that non-Ivy peasant for 30 years.”

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

      Ditto. It reeks of “Why oh why didn’t I find a Princeton man who would be worthy of me rather than having to suffer with that non-Ivy peasant for 30 years.”

      I see that Passer By beat me to it. I wonder how her sons feel about her dissing their father publicly in this way.

  • INTJ

    @ Emily

    Maybe it’s because I went to a very secular uber-liberal west coast school, but in my experience guys like Cooper and INTJ were like unicorns. I think if you do find somebody in college then you should definitely lock it down, but there’s no reason to panic if you don’t.

    That would make sense. All three of my closest friends at UT were looking to settle down, and were all single (they had all racked up several friend-zonings between them). But from my experiences at Berkeley, the guys here don’t seem to care much about long term plans.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    INTJ & Emily have me wondering how much regional differences are in play.

    Admittedly, most of my experience has been in the Midwest & South, and haven’t been on the coasts much.

    Maybe the cultures really are that different, even among college students.

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

      @Jimmy

      INTJ & Emily have me wondering how much regional differences are in play.

      I was thinking the same thing last night while trying to fall asleep. (Yes, I know that is totally pathetic.)

      We know there are large regional differences re marriage and divorce, so it stands to reason that would be evident at college age.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    I don’t believe any of them are married yet – I bet they’ll marry their 4th or 5th girlfriend in their late 20s. And yeah, these are the ones who were willing to be in a relationship in college.

    The research on this is a mixed bag. Some small studies have shown college men would prioritize relationships over career more than women, others have shown the opposite.

    I was searching around WRT marriage attitudes, and came across this article:

    http://articles.courant.com/2012-08-28/news/hc-poll-why-marriage-isnt-dying-just-changing-20120828_1_college-women-young-women-college-students

    Have you ever heard of Her Campus Media (Stephanie Kaplan)? She’s right in your own backyard. Despite the “youth-oriented” format on her website, I was impressed by the extent of her work and the surveys she’s done on relationship preferences on college campuses:

    http://www.hercampus.com/

    She’s been conducting relativelt large, random surveys that cut right to the heart of this issue. Here are some highlights:

    Female Survey (2,589 girls, age 17-23, from 677 colleges across all 50 states. Classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 were ~ equally represented. 66% were single)
    - Single women: 76.4% want a relationship, 23.6% are happily single.
    – Prefer to “hook up” with multiple guys? 7.1%. Prefer a boyfriend? 92.9%.
    – If you met the right guy right now, would you be content and stay together until marriage? Yes: 64.3%. No: 6.2%. Not Sure: 29.5%.
    – At what age do you want to get married? Under 25: 17.1%. 25 to 27: 46.5%. 28 to 30: 20.9%. Over 30: 3.3%. Already married: 0.6%.

    Male Survey (1,176 guys, age 18-23, from 350 colleges across 46 states. Classes of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 were ~ equally represented. 64% were single)
    - Single men: 65.1% want a relationship, 34.9% are happily single.
    – Prefer to “hook up” with multiple girls? 22.1%. Prefer a girlfriend 77.9%.
    – If you met the right girl right now, would you be content and stay together until marriage? Yes: 67.3%. No: 6.6%. Not Sure: 26.1%.
    – At what age do you want to get married? 22 to 24: 7.8%. 25 to 27: 43.2%. 28 to 30: 33.7%. Over 30: 11.1%. Already married: 1.2%.

    IMO, the discrepancies in relationship preferences wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that women outnumber men on most of these very same campuses where the surveys are taken.

  • OffTheCuff

    Jimmy: “Admittedly, most of my experience has been in the Midwest & South, and haven’t been on the coasts much.”

    I’m on the east coast and see what you see. Depends on the class. It’s a elite^H^H^H^H^HUUMC thing, which is why Zach is “in the field” more than you are, apparently.

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

      I’m on the east coast and see what you see. Depends on the class. It’s a elite^H^H^H^H^HUUMC thing, which is why Zach is “in the field” more than you are, apparently.

      WADR, OTC, you don’t “see” anything. It’s been many years since you socialized in college.

      It’s obvious that class plays a role – Jimmy has stated he is describing a population of kids at state schools unlikely to move away after college and pursuing “just average” lives. Zach has shared that he graduated from an Ivy two years ago, where he was very active in Greek life. Now he works and dates in NYC. They represent two totally different experiences.

      Susan Patton is speaking to Princeton students. Zach’s sense of the culture at Princeton trumps Jimmy’s in this case. It’s not personal.

  • Esau

    Emily at 78: “Maybe it’s because I went to a very secular uber-liberal west coast school, but in my experience guys like Cooper and INTJ were like unicorns.”

    Hmm, sorry if I missed the thread of this comment; but what do you mean by “like” here? ie what qualities of Cooper and INTJ are you thinking of that put them in the unicorn category? There may turn out to be unicorn paddocks and preserves, if you know well what you’re looking for.

  • Emily

    I meant guys who wanted to marry young. I think maybe a lot of the guys I met on campus were doing what Lokland was doing (taking about how they never want to get married even though they actually did). Cooper went to the same school as me, and he also saw a lot of conversations where people were like “Marriage? Blegh!”

    Admittedly there were probably a variety of factors at work (different local culture, more exposure to older guys, the English guys like my accent ;) …), but I had a much more active dating life in grad school. I met my boyfriend out here, and we’ve been together for almost two years now. :)

  • Johnson85

    “Well, the insult is not gratuitous – she chastises Princeton women for not being nicer to boys when they were still freshmen and assumes that as seniors they’re washed up. She also boasts that her son’s prospects are ‘limitless.’
    I think you’re taking her a little too literal here. It’s not that senior women are “washed up”, but they don’t offer anything that sophomores and juniors don’t and don’t offer anything that freshmen won’t offer in a year. While her son’s prospects may not be limitless, a male graduate from Princeton with any social ability is going to be fine. Even without any social ability to speak of, at worst, when he’s 35 to 40, somebody will set him up with a woman that didn’t understand the extent that her value in the SMP was declining and is now concerned about her biological clock. Not ideal, but a much better backstop than the average woman from Princeton will have. If she really wanted to reach the maximum number of people, she probably would have stated her case in a less controversial manner, but I’m guessing that for the women that aren’t actively avoiding the truth, the harshness of her message contributed to its effectiveness.

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

      I’m guessing that for the women that aren’t actively avoiding the truth, the harshness of her message contributed to its effectiveness.

      I don’t think her message was effective in the sense that it will alter female behavior. I think that many women at Princeton are open to having a serious relationship, and would love nothing more than to go off the market with a great, intelligent guy with brilliant future prospects.

      The problem is that she jumped the gun. It’s very clear from the interviews with Princeton students that they interpreted her message as “get married now, find your husband NOW.” Every single one I saw said, “Yes, I want that, but not at 19!”

      Her message was very effective as a lightning rod for discussion during a time when we’re all debating Sandberg’s book. In fact, she wrote this letter in response to Sandberg’s book: “Lean In, Shmean In.”

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    I see her advice as containing a golden nugget covered in a bit of shit.
    Fact of life, who you marry will play far more into your overall happiness than your career success.

    That applies to both men and women.

    Notice she said cornerstone of future happiness, not life or some such nonsense.

    I have massive plans for my career but I’m well aware my wife and children will give me far more happiness and make me far more content than any number of puzzles solved.

    I’ll concede going to school for the purpose of finding a husband is kind of stupid but selecting a good candidate from an available pool and realizing that it will play more into your future contentment is excellent advice.

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

      I’ll concede going to school for the purpose of finding a husband is kind of stupid but selecting a good candidate from an available pool and realizing that it will play more into your future contentment is excellent advice.

      I agree. The debate we’re having is: What is the size of that available pool? How many male Princeton students are interested in making a lifelong commitment now? I believe that pool of males is small.

  • Johnson85

    “She went for the MRS degree, and now she is advising women to do the same. Forget about career, forget about professional success, use this time to do what’s really important: find a husband. Your goal is marriage and family.

    I have a problem with that.”

    I don’t see her saying that at all. For many women, while they won’t admit it, marriage and family is at least co-equal if not more important than career goals. For some reason, that has become an unacceptable view, and there are few people willing to give advice to these women. All I see her saying is, (i) it’s ok to want to be married, even young and (ii) if you want to get married, start acting like it now, b/c you’re options do not get better as you get older. I’m not sure why that’s controversial.

    What’s really funny to me is that I think a majority of men actually would view marriage and family as co-equal to or more important to their career, except that they don’t have to think about it because (1) outside of some men with particularly demanding careers, a man advancing his career is actually complementary to his goals for marriage and family and (2) biology and the asymmetries of the dating market mean marriage is basically theirs for the taking if they take care of their career.

    How we’ve managed to all agree to the delusion that only weak women would place more importance on marriage and family than career is beyond me, but since we have, it doesn’t hurt to have some people give practical advice to women that feel similar to the way the majority of women have felt over human history.

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

      @Johnson

      All I see her saying is, (i) it’s ok to want to be married, even young and (ii) if you want to get married, start acting like it now, b/c you’re options do not get better as you get older

      I am totally on board with (ii), and I say that frequently. That’s the core of my message.

      I do not think it’s wise to marry young, and there is a plethora of evidence to support my position. (By young I mean < 24 or so.)

      I have no problem with marrying one’s college sweetheart in one’s mid-20s. There are many good reasons to wait.

      I’m surprised that the same men (not talking to you personally here) that strongly oppose Marriage 2.0 because of the risks to men are advocating marrying young, which dramatically increases the risk of divorce.

  • Lokland

    @Emily

    “I meant guys who wanted to marry young. I think maybe a lot of the guys I met on campus were doing what Lokland was doing (taking about how they never want to get married even though they actually did). Cooper went to the same school as me, and he also saw a lot of conversations where people were like “Marriage? Blegh!””

    Three things,

    My experiences on the ‘marriage bleh’ line of thought are identical to yours and Coopers and I was in he middle of the country.

    Which leads to he second point, despite wanting marriage/kids/LTR announcing such a blasphemy would be the equivalent of standing in a corner muttering to myself about the voices.

    Finally, despite these social sanctions against marriage/LTRs I’ve never had more than a handful of people react poorly to my early engagement.

  • JP

    “You and I are largely talking past one another – you’re saying be open to finding your life partner in college and I have no problem with that. What I’m not recommending is marrying early, which is a different point.”

    I’m pushing for the legal concept of “presumptive marriage”. Meaning that if you are a couple for 12 months and have sex, you’re married. Congrats.

    These people are running around *being* married without being recognized as married.

    I’m going to eventually solve this problem.

    I’m tired of people doing an end run around marriage.

    I mean really tired of it.

    People shouldn’t have the freedom to define their relationships, they should be defined as a matter of law/culture.

    (Granted, this is not that high on my priority list. It doesn’t annoy me quite like Goldman Sachs. Or Amish culture. I’m just really, really sick of unrestrained chaotic freedom.)

  • JP

    “I’m surprised that the same men (not talking to you personally here) that strongly oppose Marriage 2.0 because of the risks to men are advocating marrying young, which dramatically increases the risk of divorce.”

    I’m instituting a “divorce tax”.

    Get divorced?

    Well, you now have to pay double sales/income tax.

    Get divorced twice?

    Triple it.

  • JP

    “This woman went to Princeton with no plans to apply her education in any formal way. ”

    The purpose of education is to become educated.

    I’m certain that the fact that my mother had a masters degree helped to create me. Partially because I had access to all of her materials.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The debate we’re having is: What is the size of that available pool? How many male Princeton students are interested in making a lifelong commitment now? I believe that pool of males is small.”

    Actually we are having two separate debates which tie into that debate.
    One being whether or not the men would consider marriage to a college sweetheart later in life. Two being whether or not those men can/will become marriageable. I believe your wrong on both counts and that most men are willing to marry their college sweetheart if it works out (likely dependent upon social class, geographical location and job opportunities).

    Beyond that your not really fighting anything.
    The actions undertaken by the woman who wants to marry her college bf will be identical to those of the one who wants an LTR.

    They’ll get together, they’ll date and either make it through graduation or they won’t.

    Telling a woman to consider finding a husband in college is the equivalent of saying she should date and be in LTRs and be open to the possibility of it working out after graduation.

    Thats it.

    Also on the LDR thing.
    No sex sucks, horridly.

    However the single most stressing factor was my female friends (not hers). They were the ones actively encouraging me to cheat/break up and/or insulting me for being a loser in an LDR. (not all of them but a large minority).

    My male friends were practically as supportive as my own family.

    food for thought

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

      Telling a woman to consider finding a husband in college is the equivalent of saying she should date and be in LTRs and be open to the possibility of it working out after graduation.

      Patton said more than that – she said forget about professional success. Focus on finding a husband instead. I think that’s very bad advice. She rejects a Princeton education as worthwhile beyond finding a husband.

      It’s true that who you marry will play a huge part in your life happiness, but so will how you choose to exercise your mind. Patton attaches zero importance to a woman’s need to be able to support herself, and instead recommends putting all one’s energy into finding a provider.

      She’s not suggesting egalitarian relationships, she’s suggesting the woman put her own education and professional life on the back burner or ignore it entirely. I have never supported that view.

  • Lokland

    “I’m surprised that the same men (not talking to you personally here) that strongly oppose Marriage 2.0 because of the risks to men are advocating marrying young, which dramatically increases the risk of divorce.”

    We are not.
    I don’t think anyone has suggested getting married before their mid 20’s.

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

      I don’t think anyone has suggested getting married before their mid 20′s.

      I believe it was Mike C who early on interpreted Patton’s message as supporting “getting married in college or soon after.” That is where the debate originated. The goalposts have been moved a bit since then.

      Personally, my argument from the start has been against marrying very young, and against a highly intelligent woman’s blowing off the wish for a meaningful professional life.

  • JP

    “You just got done describing your fun “Jersey Shore” outings where people in their late 20s celebrate birthdays by hiring a limo and getting blackout drunk. That’s what you call a good time.”

    I think that my idea of a good time is hosting a Bonfire of the Vanities.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonfire_of_the_vanities

  • JP

    “I don’t think anyone has suggested getting married before their mid 20′s”

    Except for me.

    I want people married as soon as they have any sex at all.

    And yes, I’m talking to you, evangelical virgins.

    Time to face the consequences of your actions.

  • JP

    (And yes, I’m aware that this is another example of my gorgeous pathological perfectionism, only this time directed outward into the public/private moral sphere of others instead of directed inward to myself. Can you tell that I don’t make a good libertarian?)

  • Johnson85

    A couple of thoughts:
    –> “The problem is that she jumped the gun. It’s very clear from the interviews with Princeton students that they interpreted her message as ‘get married now, find your husband NOW.’ Every single one I saw said, ‘Yes, I want that, but not at 19!'”

    I’m not sure those interviews are representative. Of course a lot of people steeped in the idea that marriage is something for your late twenties, at the earliest, the idea of acting with an eye on marriage while you are in college seems ridiculous. But I’m not sure the people that took her message to heart would be itching to give a statement about it.

    –> Is there really an inflection point for marriage at 24 as far as divorce rates or satisfaction with marriage? I was thinking that while there was a huge difference between marriage at 18 and 24 (at least for divorce rates), the difference between marrying at 22 and 24 is minor. I wouldn’t advocate getting married at 22, but I’ve seen girls actually end relationships at 22 because they felt like 22 was too young to commit and they had reached a point where they had to commit to it (by say coordinating where they will move after college/grad school). I wouldn’t disagree that 22 is early for a huge commitment, but I’m not talking about major career sacrifice; just being willing to look in a different place for a job (when they didn’t actually have a job yet in the place they wanted to move to). Now it’s years later and their prospects aren’t good, and they wish they’d been open to a relationship after college, and don’t understand why nobody warned them of the danger of delaying marriage until some mythical perfect two year window between 28 and 30. I think the guys probably dodged a bullet, but it wouldn’t have been terrible for somebody to at least inform those girls that they were tradeoffs.

    –> We can all agree that she wrote in a more controversial tone than need be. You could interpret her message to be as stupid as “get married, NOW.” But I think the much more practical advice of “If you think marriage is important to you, act like it now, because fairly or not, women do have a limited window of time to marry and the hypergamous nature of most women only increases the difficulty of princeton women marrying successfully in that window.” That doesn’t mean get married quickly, it just means don’t act like preparation for marriage is something that you can only do starting after you are at least 28. But instead of actually doing something helpful for young women and providing context to her advice, people are busy having a hissy fit over it because it wasn’t presented in a pc manner.

  • JP

    “Personally, my argument from the start has been against marrying very young, and against a highly intelligent woman’s blowing off the wish for a meaningful professional life.”

    I’ve yet to encounter a “meaningful professional life.”

    Just kind of a vague sense of a need to achieve triumphant success followed by the realization that the goal of a professional life is to retire as soon as humanly possible.

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

      I’ve yet to encounter a “meaningful professional life.”

      Yes, that is a tall order. But a college educated woman needs to be able to support herself. The marriage rate is declining, and 1/3 of college women today will not marry a college grad. Those numbers are already cooked. Alimony is a thing of the past – a woman who does nothing with her education is a fool.

  • JP

    I mean, my psychiatrist brother in law has gotten himself down to three days a week.

    I think his ultimate goal is zero, or, in the alternative, to work as little as humanly possible.

  • JP

    I’m actually being more serious than not in the career comments, as opposed to my self-entertaining puritan reactionary riff prior.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “she’s suggesting the woman put her own education and professional life on the back burner or ignore it entirely. I have never supported that view.”

    But that is what must occur if these women want families. Either they or their husbands will have to put career on the back burner to take care of child rearing (unless they go 100% daycare).

    Its merely a restatement of the ‘you can’t have it all’ meme. You yourself became a SAHM and you said your husband took a pay-cut (or some such job change) so that he could be around the family more.

    You don’t get to be both the CEO and super mom.
    Same for Dad.

    “but so will how you choose to exercise your mind. ”

    This warrants attention.
    Careers rarely engage your mind. Most people, including those Princeton grads will end up pushing paper in one form or another (though it might separate corner office from cubicle…ahh leg room.)

    They will become repetitive almost by definition.
    Thats not to say that they cannot be engaging but assuming that career/education will be the most mentally engaging things one does in life speaks to how sad our culture has become.

    Living to work instead of working to live.

    Smart people will find things to engage themselves in regardless of the pay grade involved.

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

      You don’t get to be both the CEO and super mom.

      There’s a wide range of options between “MRS, the degree is wallpaper” and “CEO.”

      Most women will not be able to afford to stay home with children. It’s not a realistic option. It won’t even be possible for all Princeton women to make that choice, even if they want to.

      I was a SAHM but did work part-time while the kids were in school – I was self-employed. I know many other moms who worked part-time as well. There’s a huge increase in the number of web-based small businesses started by young mothers, and many of them are doing well. Furthermore, a woman who spends at least a few years working after college increases her earnings dramatically, establishes a professional skill set, and cultivates a network of professional contacts. Should she want or need to return to work, she will have the option, and she’ll do it at a far higher level than if she never used her Princeton degree.

      Most (male) employers would look askance at a candidate who married early and didn’t work after college. The degree would be worthless if a woman didn’t use it after graduation.

  • JP

    I’d probably provide my wife with alimony even if we got divorced, since it’s basically my job to do so.

    It’s not like she would spend it.

    It would just collect in a puddle and eventually go to my kids.

  • JP

    “Most women will not be able to afford to stay home with children. It’s not a realistic option. ”

    Again, it takes very little money to raise children.

    And again, I point out that, although I don’t have debt, I really don’t spend more than $2,000 a month for a family of four.

  • JP

    You know, now that I think about it, our monthly expenses will probably go up now that we purchased a clothes dryer.

    (I don’t like dryers because they destroy your clothing, not because I’m a vegan environmentalist. When I stopped using a dryer and instead hung them on a rack, they stopped disintegrating as quickly. I was honestly amazed. Seriously. It was amazing.)

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    “You just got done describing your fun “Jersey Shore” outings where people in their late 20s celebrate birthdays by hiring a limo and getting blackout drunk. That’s what you call a good time.”

    Friend. Not ADBG. You are, of course, free to judge by the company I keep, but ADBG does not spend his weekends getting black-out drunk with anyone. I’ve had that happen once in my life, the night before I dumped a girl. My ideal night consists of cooking a meal at home, with some home-made martinis, watching a good movie, dancing, and some good sex.

    Such as it has been since I was 18. No progression and no change. It wasn’t in the cards when I was 19, but when I have a choice, that’s how I spend most of my weekends now. THAT’S what I call a good time. Except I can play a guitar a little bit now, so I throw that in, too :P

    So don’t wrap myself too much in the lifestyle mistakes of my social group. They’re a group of dumbasses and I am going to make NO objections to that. They need to take some serious responsibility for their lives and make some serious changes.

    The thing is, they respond to social cues and overall zeitgeist, which is my point. People should be making good decisions, people should also live in a society that signals good choices are good and bad choices are bad. A lot of people eventually figure this out through “experience,” which is why, I suspect, you see the hooking up numbers drop from freshman year to senior year. They have to feel real, real bad about a life choice first, before they can break the zeitgeist.

    These people are not yet in that “totally fucked” state of mind. The zeitgeist, of course, doesn’t serve them. At all. This is painfully obvious, even if it isn’t to them.

    I guess what should have happened is that their parents should have raised them better. Their parents, of course, probably thought they were doing a good job. Get them into college and everything will be fine!

    Someone should have been giving THEM better advice.

    And the people responsible for giving THEM advice, and crafting beneficial policy choices are the “elite.”

    The social hierarchy exists, there is a group of people on top, if they are crafting an entire society based on their own interests and basically saying “fuck everyone else, I don’t care about them,” then you have a verrrrryyyy serious issue.

    Though most obviously you are going to see this in Europe, not America. The great European project….ahhh…how wonderful that situation is :)

  • Lokland

    “Most (male) employers would look askance at a candidate who married early and didn’t work after college. The degree would be worthless if a woman didn’t use it after graduation.”

    I specifically said that I am not arguing this point.

    Also, being married does not preclude one from working. Having children might but it is possible to get married and then wait for children. Thats all I can say on the early marriage argument. I think there is a disconnect in your reasoning against early marriage, not working is not co-incedent with being married.

    I think there is a lot of reason to not get married early but work experience and career choice is not one of those reasons.

    —-

    Finally to touch it back to my first argument. How does being aware that one cannot have it all mean being a SAHM?

    Thats as polarized as my super mom vs. CEO example.

  • Lokland

    are not on that list of reasons.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I agree. The debate we’re having is: What is the size of that available pool? How many male Princeton students are interested in making a lifelong commitment now? I believe that pool of males is small.

    I went to an elite university as well, and I disagree. If we are talking about the “alpha” top 20% in frats and sports then you have a point, but lets look at the middling “beta” 60%. I’d venture to guess that at least half of that 60%, so 30% of all campus males, would be open to finding a relationship that turns into marriage (and that number could be higher). 30% of all males on a college campus is not a small number.

    I’m skeptical of what the numbers and surveys say due to the situations of the guys taking the surveys. The 30% or so, by definition, are not the smoothest with the ladies and are not getting wasted every weekend trying to get laid. These guys have limited access to women while in college, and PI tells them that all the girls are hooking up with the top 20% anyways, so these guys take the stance of “well, I’m probably not gonna meet anybody soon, so yea, I’ll probably find someone and get married in my later 20’s after I establish myself. That sounds good”.

    The thing is, if these guys did have better access to women or had a woman who was willing to commit, they would snap take it.

  • JP

    @ADGB:

    ” People should be making good decisions, people should also live in a society that signals good choices are good and bad choices are bad. A lot of people eventually figure this out through “experience,” which is why, I suspect, you see the hooking up numbers drop from freshman year to senior year. They have to feel real, real bad about a life choice first, before they can break the zeitgeist.”

    One thing that I did get from church growing up was that “human culture is broken and needs to be ignored because it’s often worse than useless.”

  • http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com/ Bb

    “Patton said more than that – she said forget about professional success. Focus on finding a husband instead. I think that’s very bad advice. She rejects a Princeton education as worthwhile beyond finding a husband.”

    Wow, I didn’t get that at all. Her letter to the editor was a result of her participation in a Women and Leadership conference on Princeton. (If she didn’t care about professional success among women, I doubt she’d be running her own business, let alone attend a conference of this type.)

    She found that the girls “glazed over at preliminary comments about our professional accomplishments and the importance of networking,” and “clearly, you don’t want any more career advice. At your core, you know that there are other things that you need that nobody is addressing. A lifelong friend is one of them. Finding the right man to marry is another.”

    So she felt convicted to give advice about the other half of the equation—life outside of career—those women who are interested in marriage and a family.

    As to her own goals when she attended college—certainly she was interested in marriage, but I’m not as convicted that it was her only goal.

    As to whether or not people should get married young <24, there'll be a lot more discussion on it—Slate already has an article on it:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/i_married_young_what_are_the_rest_of_you_waiting_for.html

    and mark my word there'll be more coming.

    Marrying young can work, but only if both people are sufficiently mature…and the odds are against this today, sadly.

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

    Bb…”She found that the girls “glazed over at preliminary comments about our professional accomplishments and the importance of networking,”

    Maybe they didn’t find the professional accomplishments, or at least the stories that went with them, terribly exciting, and maybe they’d been lectured about the importance of networking until they’re sick of it.

  • JP

    “Maybe they didn’t find the professional accomplishments, or at least the stories that went with them, terribly exciting, and maybe they’d been lectured about the importance of networking until they’re sick of it.”

    They really needed a speech on “ulcerative colitis – how to know that your career in medicine is dissolving your innards”.*

    *(Source: Personal anecdote)

  • Jackie

    @Susan

    “This woman went to Princeton with no plans to apply her education in any formal way. She went for the MRS degree, and now she is advising women to do the same.”
    ===
    I think I mentioned this earlier, but her 2006 letter to Princeton (celebrating the acceptance of her son :-P ) before all this kerfluffle gives another viewpoint:
    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/plus/plus_021506parent.html

    Her parents found it “upsetting and shameful” that she wanted education instead of marriage at 18. “The explanation of how I would benefit from a Princeton education fell on their deaf ears and paled in comparison to their fear of the horrors that could befall me if, as an unmarried daughter, I lived other than under their roof.”

    To the point that she had to legally emancipate herself to go to Princeton. :( Not only was SP in the first class of women there, she was the President of the class! To do all that with no parental support –or, only parental detriment, rather– speaks to a very determined person. If she had wanted marriage then, she would have made it happen. (Whether it would have been a happy marriage is another story entirely.)

    From a larger viewpoint, the story becomes people who have overcome tremendous, unimaginable obstacles yet are blind to their own issues regarding happiness. Her parents were Holocaust survivors who made it through Auschwitz. I am trying to imagine how hard they had to fight for their lives.

    Yet they were unable to be happy for their daughter becoming part of an elite educational institution, and had only disdain (and a lot of implied fights).

    Patton also fought very very hard to succeed and thrive. Putting herself through with no support, on her own dime, while becoming the President and leader of the class. Yet she cannot see that her happiness does not stem from a husband’s pedigree, but rather his heart.

    I can’t hate on anyone in this story, it’s just too sad. These people are kind of throwing away happiness with both hands. :( I wish they could be happy that they are HERE and have done so much already.

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

      @Jackie

      Thanks for reminding us of the backstory, it had slipped my mind.

      Patton also fought very very hard to succeed and thrive. Putting herself through with no support, on her own dime, while becoming the President and leader of the class. Yet she cannot see that her happiness does not stem from a husband’s pedigree, but rather his heart.

      That is especially tragic in light of her own early motivation. What doesn’t make sense to me is how she got from arguing the value of an education to her parents, only to tell her fellow female classmates that she had no professional goals, only marriage and family, which she says they considered heresy.

      the 200 pioneer women in my class would talk about navigating the virile plains of Princeton as a precursor to professional success. Never being one to shy away from expressing an unpopular opinion, I said that I wanted to get married and have children.

      Here she states clearly that her education was not a precursor to professional success – by the time she was there, and President of her class, she has already made a choice to marry asap and forego a career.

      The story doesn’t add up very tidily, but I think what’s important is her message – and we don’t seem to have consensus on that. It is this particular statement that communicated to me that Patton is still dismissive of professional achievement for women:

      “Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out.”

      That statement urges women to abandon the search for work life balance. If one does that, one must choose work or parenting. She is making the case for women not planning to work, but to focus on finding a husband instead.

      I apologize for the pedantry – but I feel that there is a lot of confusion in this thread. When we look at exactly what Patton says, her message is actually pretty clear.

  • Anacaona

    I see a lot of railing against elites by people who are making very poor choices.

    I think this is the other side of ‘poor people cannot help being stupid’ so the elites should be better than us since they have money. This is the read between lines of the liberal message about lending a helping hand to people that are poor with material charities but not with addressing their poor choices. Growing poor it something I resent, not how it works having money doesn’t magically give you character, I do rail against intellectual elites though for different reasons, YMMV.

    However the single most stressing factor was my female friends (not hers). They were the ones actively encouraging me to cheat/break up and/or insulting me for being a loser in an LDR. (not all of them but a large minority).
    My male friends were practically as supportive as my own family.
    food for thought

    Mix of projection and envy. I hope you are not friends with this women anymore. They will very likely love to see your marriage burn and probably will try to help to sink it down. Intra sexual competition hates nothing more than a winner that doesn’t belong to their herd,YMMV.

  • Jonny

    “The problem is that she jumped the gun. It’s very clear from the interviews with Princeton students that they interpreted her message as “get married now, find your husband NOW.” Every single one I saw said, “Yes, I want that, but not at 19!” ”

    Why regard any advice for a woman at her peak fertility and attractiveness to consider marriage and domestic life to be inappropriate? It seems like everyone is hostile at the truth.

    So this woman is not the best model example, but who is? She is a Princeton graduate and a pioneering one as well. Is that wrong? She does have the credentials to prove it. She also was married and had kids who are now going to the same school. Its almost an ideal situation.

    For other reasons, I’m sure the kids don’t want to be married immediately. I’m sure they or their parents don’t want to waste their education by marrying so young. Their education didn’t come cheap and much personal effort was expended; however, we must also acknowledge that it is likely that the graduates won’t marry. We are merely encouraging women to marry and the likely result is moving the needle very slightly. Yet this is what cannot be done according to the feminist gatekeepers.

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

      Their education didn’t come cheap and much personal effort was expended; however, we must also acknowledge that it is likely that the graduates won’t marry

      Agree with the first part. Why do you say the graduates won’t marry? They are in fact highly likely to marry.

  • http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com/ Bb

    @david foster, I’ve no doubt! It’s boring being told to network. Much more interesting to just do it. ;)

    @Jackie, thanks for providing that source. I had read it in another article and couldn’t find to add to my previous comment.

    “Yet she cannot see that her happiness does not stem from a husband’s pedigree, but rather his heart.”

    Yes. Sad indeed.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    I was thinking the same thing last night while trying to fall asleep. (Yes, I know that is totally pathetic.)

    No it isn’t. It’s very nerdy. ;)

    Then again, one could argue that nerds are pathetic…

  • Jonny

    “Why do you say the graduates won’t marry? They are in fact highly likely to marry.”

    Using your statistics, at least one-third won’t marry. Is your definition of highly likely to marry referring to the two-thirds that do?

    Then there are other statistics that state that highly educated women are less likely to date men who are less educated. Going to an elite school makes male candidates that go to a less pretigious school less attractive, thus a smaller dating pool for the women.

    Finally, the people that are complaining about not marrying are referring to the two pools that are less likely to marry. Highly educated career women and uneducated unemployed men. I don’t think they will be paired together anytime soon.

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

      @Jonny

      Using your statistics, at least one-third won’t marry. Is your definition of highly likely to marry referring to the two-thirds that do?

      One-third of college educated women will not marry college educated men. They may marry men with less education. There is some early indication that this is already underway – there are more recent “hypogamous” marriages than “hypergamous” ones.

      Highly educated career women do marry:

      1.

      “Men now are increasingly likely to marry wives with more education and income than they have, and the reverse is true for women,” said Paul Fucito, spokesman for the Pew Center. “In recent decades, with the rise of well-paid working wives, the economic gains of marriage have been a greater benefit for men.”

      The analysis examines Americans 30 to 44 years old, the first generation in which more women than men have college degrees. Women’s earnings have been increasing faster than men’s since the 1970s.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/us/19marriage.html?_r=1&

      2. Study highlights historic reversal: Women with degrees more likely to wed than less-educated counterparts

      3.

      By 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to No. 5 on men’s ranking of desirable qualities in a mate. The desire for a good cook and housekeeper had dropped to 14th place, near the bottom of the 18-point scale. The sociologist Christine B. Whelan reports that by 2008, men’s interest in a woman’s education and intelligence had risen to No. 4, just after mutual attraction, dependable character and emotional stability.

      The result has been a historic reversal of what the economist Elaina Rose calls the “success” penalty for educated women. By 2008, the percentage of college-educated white women ages 55 to 59 who had never been married was down to 9 percent, just 3 points higher than their counterparts without college degrees. And among women 35 to 39, there was no longer any difference in the percentage who were married.

      …One reason educated heterosexual women may worry about their marriage prospects today is that overall marriage rates have been slipping since 1980. But they have slipped less for educated women than for anyone else. Furthermore, college-educated women, once they do marry, are much less likely to divorce. As a result, by age 30, and especially at ages 35 and 40, college-educated women are significantly more likely to be married than any other group. And according to calculations by the economist Betsey Stevenson, an educated woman still single at age 40 is much more likely to marry in the next decade than her less educated counterparts.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/opinion/sunday/marriage-suits-educated-women.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=The%20M.R.S.&st=Search

  • Jummy Hendricks

    @Susan

    Susan Patton is speaking to Princeton students. Zach’s sense of the culture at Princeton trumps Jimmy’s in this case. It’s not personal.

    FTR, I don’t disagree with this or take any offense to it.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan. Ref the apex fallacy and legacy admits at Princeton:
    These guys come from money, which, at least intially, covers for other issues. Like cheese sauce on brussel sprouts or something.
    People who come from that social circle usually–not always–have at leasat a veneer of good manners, which look something like consideration and concern for others unless they’re total buttheads. People with less polish look unpolished, which is different from somebody being a butthead.
    Good start for the legacy admit guy.
    My wife and I met in college in 1967. She didn’t want to get married until I was out of the Army. Didn’t want to come out of the church under an arch of swords held by my buddies who’d already been drinking. Plus, it’s a really bad idea to marry a grunt in war time. My mom did and my dad lucked out about a thousand times, unlike many of his friends.
    I was kicking around an idea for a short story about college dating and proposed my male character to my wife; good guy, has it going on, Viet Nam vet, cheerful, got a couple of bucks, mature, one hand shot off. Date prospect?
    My wife said, immediately, “Oh, no. We were all looking for husband prospects.”
    Now, my wife, and such of our female friends as we know from that era, all had careers. But most of them–those who weren’t divorced on account of not marrying really good guys or something–took time off entirely, or went to part time or combinations as the years went on, then resumed the career as the kids left the nest.
    I don’t imagine we’d see that so consistently if the women in question hadn’t anticipated it.

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

      @Richard

      Now, my wife, and such of our female friends as we know from that era, all had careers. But most of them–those who weren’t divorced on account of not marrying really good guys or something–took time off entirely, or went to part time or combinations as the years went on, then resumed the career as the kids left the nest.
      I don’t imagine we’d see that so consistently if the women in question hadn’t anticipated it.

      I’m a bit surprised at this – that women aspired to careers at that time in great numbers. Patton is ten years later than that – same year as me. I can tell you that at the no-name University of Missouri, women studied a major with the intention of working after college, whether or not they married soon. Even in my sorority, with the lavaliers and the pinnings, no one set out to find a husband in college. Though a few of my sorority sisters did marry their college boyfriends. (Results have been mixed – about 50% are still together.)

  • Mike C

    I believe it was Mike C who early on interpreted Patton’s message as supporting “getting married in college or soon after.” That is where the debate originated. The goalposts have been moved a bit since then.

    No, this is incorrect, and I even ***SPECIFICALLY*** clarified in a follow-up comment about taking a few years after college to see if the relationship still worked in the real world. In short, I pretty much agree a thousand percent with every single comment and every single word Jimmy H has written on this thread and my positions/thoughts are 110% in line with his position and thoughts. A number of guys on this thread (including Han and Jason) have echoed that more guys then you seem to think would be interested in the ***possibility*** of meeting a potential wife in college. I think there is some pluralistic ignorance going on here, plus the more introverted restricted have a tougher time meeting and pairing off, and yes I think there is some aspect of women either actively or passively focusing their energy and attention on those 20% of “top” guys for whom early marriage is most certainly off the table. I’ll save you the time of disagreeing with the last part as I know you probably already do…and I don’t want to respond on the point any further.

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

      @Mike C

      Here is your statement about what college men want:

      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 assume that by “type of guy” you mean “high status male.” You made this statement early in the debate, and it is this specific claim I have been disputing. I think the “type of guy” not considering marriage in college or soon thereafter is 99% of guys. That’s the crux of the issue – should women be working hard to land a husband in college if there are few men willing to sign on the dotted line.

      Please note that Patton is not recommending LTRs in college that may one day lead to marriage. She is not suggesting that women prepare themselves for the working world at all – she specifically says forget about that. Her recommendation is clearly to focus on snagging a husband by graduation day – just like the women of my mother’s generation did.

      If she had addressed the wisdom of getting into an LTR with a dad rather than a cad, why then she’d be me. That is not what she said, and the thread has gone far afield of her actual words.

  • JP

    “@Susan

    Susan Patton is speaking to Princeton students. Zach’s sense of the culture at Princeton trumps Jimmy’s in this case. It’s not personal.

    FTR, I don’t disagree with this or take any offense to it.”

    I’m personally offended by the culture at Princeton.

    Granted, culture is one thing that I’m often personally offended by.

  • Passer_By

    @Susan

    “Well, the insult is not gratuitous – she chastises Princeton women for not being nicer to boys when they were still freshmen and assumes that as seniors they’re washed up. She also boasts that her son’s prospects are “limitless.” Finally, we don’t know anything about the son’s looks, but if he takes after mom…She admitted that she wrote the letter because she was being a Jewish mother. That means looking out for her own, not the “women of Princeton.” ”

    Maybe, but I could just as easily conclude that she regrets turning down men at Princeton when she had that ratio, thinking that being one of the only women in the Ivy League would set her up with some business tycoon, aristocrat or head of state or some such thing. Perhaps she didn’t realize then, but does now, that men don’t value her credentials the way she values theirs. I’d be inclined to say she might have bitchy toward all of them (considering her speaking style), but that doesn’t jibe with being class president. So I’ll assume she just politely avoided any romantic overtures from them, and now regrets it.

    As to her looks, she doesn’t look great now – and her speaking style and personality knock her down a rung in femininity. But the picture that ABC briefly flashed during their segment on it suggests that she was ok looking back then. On the other hand, it was sort of a side shot, so it’s hard to be sure.

    So I’m going to give her sons the benefit of the doubt, and assume she regrets thinking she was too good for her classmates at the time. That said, if I were her sons, I would disown her for this, especially the way she disses their dad.

    As to assuming the women are washed up as seniors, she does no such thing. She just points out the obvious fact that their classmates will happily date the younger classes that come after them, while they won’t likely want to do so. The result is that as freshmen, they have numbers wildly in their favor and have all the mating power (assuming, of course, that there are men who want relationships, which is a brash assumption, I know). As seniors, there will be more women competing for few men. It’s no different than the SMP/MMP generally. Women hold all the power in their late teens early twenties because of all the men of various age ranges interested in them – and even a woman who doesn’t want an older guy still has a big numbers advantage because so many of her same aged peers are taken by older guys. Then the tables turn later when women find that men their own age are taken by or pursuing younger women. They hate that, but they never seemed to mind the huge advantage they had when younger.

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

      So I’ll assume she just politely avoided any romantic overtures from them, and now regrets it.

      That’s the weird part – that she would do this at Princeton after earning the ire of her female classmates by stating bluntly that she was in it for the husband and kids.

      As to assuming the women are washed up as seniors, she does no such thing

      There’s actually a popular term in college – SWUG. Senior Washed Up Girl. No boy wants a SWUG. I’ll be writing a post about that soon. That’s really what I was referring to.

  • JP

    I’m kind of confused as to why men *wouldn’t* want relationships (or at least deep romantic attachments), being that it was definitely one of my primary drives from early elementary school onward.

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

    I think Patton’s position would be viable if a young woman really did have the skillset and personality type to pull it off. If we unpacked this, it would likely mean for the girl to get into a serious college LTR and then to subordinate her post-college plans to support whatever her man was doing, with the condition that he propose in fairly short order.

    So the prereq here is that the girl be able to form an intense pair-bond with a suitable male under very difficult LTR mating conditions. She’d better have some Game. I would imagine that these prospects would increase with the religiosity levels of the students involved. I think this is a niche market, but it could probably clear if there were ways for parties interested in this lifeway to signal to each other.

    Is this so-called “splitting” strategy the main alternative for women? This is the one that I am hearing about in my classes, although some girls fear that they are just kicking the can down the road and hoping that mating conditions will improve in 5-6 years. They are worried that big cities may simply aggregate the same difficult conditions re: college sex ratios.

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

      @BB

      Ha, I was willing you to show up today! I really think I have supernatural powers. This happens all the time.

      . If we unpacked this, it would likely mean for the girl to get into a serious college LTR and then to subordinate her post-college plans to support whatever her man was doing, with the condition that he propose in fairly short order.

      Exactly! I feel like Charlie Brown. THAT’S IT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8SDztycKwY

      And this is why I object. The woman is expected to subordinate her own 4 year investment and hard work. A number of guys here have stated they want a woman who will choose them early, ride out the rough spots, and help them achieve their goals. But when I asked whether they intended to help the girl achieve her goals? Crickets.

      I think this is a niche market, but it could probably clear if there were ways for parties interested in this lifeway to signal to each other.

      Agreed, and that’s the 14% we see in the marriage stats. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s that low – I would have thought there were a whole lot more religious folks than that.

      Is this so-called “splitting” strategy the main alternative for women? This is the one that I am hearing about in my classes, although some girls fear that they are just kicking the can down the road and hoping that mating conditions will improve in 5-6 years. They are worried that big cities may simply aggregate the same difficult conditions re: college sex ratios.

      They are right to be concerned, based on the reports we hear about NYC and other large cities – the sex ratios continue to favor men in general, and there’s the college graduate sex ratio on top of that.

      Life splitting is a very risky strategy, especially if you want children. The problem with kicking the can down the road 6 years is that you’ll be competing with younger women.

      What I have always recommended to college women very discouraged with the scene is to sit it out until graduation (rather than hook up) then hit the ground running. Get your first job, move there, and start the process of searching for a life partner. Do it like it’s your other job. None of this “have fun in my 20s.” No getting wasted every weekend in bars. That’s the behavior that leads to women saying “WHaaaaaa?” at 30.

      I believe this strategy works quite well for many women, who date guys a bit older, and with some professional progress under their belts. (BTW, this has the added benefit of separating out the douchey knuckleheads who thought they were all that in college, but don’t have much to show for themselves three years later.) The “top 20%” in college includes an awful lot of posers.

  • JP

    Here’s a thought about the “looking for marriage” or “looking for long term relationship” issue in college.

    If I knew a woman was looking for marriage or looking for a long term relationship, it was literally impossible for me to figure out whether I was interested in her or not because having that information completely destroyed my ability to figure out whether I was interested in her in the first place.

  • pennies

    @Jackie,

    Thanks for the backstory!

    This really places her regrets in an entirely new light:

    “Patton also fought very very hard to succeed and thrive. Putting herself through with no support, on her own dime, while becoming the President and leader of the class.”

    I did not go to Princeton, but did attend a great private school that was branded as a haven for academic types. At times and wish I would have taken more risks in terms of forging friendships with the more innovative, ambitious guys. I was a bit too intimidated to do so. I was a working-class scholarship student and always was keenly aware that my educational background did not match up with most of my peers. It’s no accident that my boyfriend and several of my closest friends were also on scholarship and from working class families. It wasn’t until my junior year that I even felt comfortable speaking in seminars. The knowledge base wasn’t there and I was competing against students who had been digesting world affairs with their professor parents at the breakfast table since grammar school. I have, at times, imagined what my life would have been like if I had dated and become serious with one of the more worldly guys who tried to chat me up freshman year. Little did they know, I was hesitant because I felt completely outclassed.

    So I do hear her exhortation to young ladies to look around carefully at all the amazing young men in their midst. In hindsight, I wish I would have thought more about my long-term goals and proclivities and less about who made me feel comfortable in the now.

  • Passer_By

    @susan

    “There’s actually a popular term in college – SWUG. Senior Washed Up Girl. No boy wants a SWUG. I’ll be writing a post about that soon. That’s really what I was referring to.”

    Interesting. I never heard of that (not surprising, since I’m now an old fogey). I’m assuming that part of being a SWUG is having ridden the carousel as an underclassman, err, underclassperson.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    And this is why I object. The woman is expected to subordinate her own 4 year investment and hard work. A number of guys here have stated they want a woman who will choose them early, ride out the rough spots, and help them achieve their goals. But when I asked whether they intended to help the girl achieve her goals? Crickets.

    Depends on her goals. My goals are to have a family and nurture the kids and provide for them, and preferably the providing part would be through meaningful work that contributes to society. If her goals are the same, I’ll fully support those goals.

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

      @INTJ

      My goals are to have a family and nurture the kids and provide for them, and preferably the providing part would be through meaningful work that contributes to society. If her goals are the same, I’ll fully support those goals.

      Well then, you’re worth marrying early. ;)

  • Passer_By

    @susan
    “That’s the weird part – that she would do this at Princeton after earning the ire of her female classmates by stating bluntly that she was in it for the husband and kids. ”

    Actually, she told them that she ultimately wanted to get married and have kids. She didn’t say to them that she was at Princeton to find a hubby. I don’t think that’s a distinction without a difference.

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

      @Passer By

      Actually, she told them that she ultimately wanted to get married and have kids. She didn’t say to them that she was at Princeton to find a hubby. I don’t think that’s a distinction without a difference.

      Yeah, I think she did. Here’s what she said:

      the 200 pioneer women in my class would talk about navigating the virile plains of Princeton as a precursor to professional success. Never being one to shy away from expressing an unpopular opinion, I said that I wanted to get married and have children.

      The implication is clear that she was not concerned with navigating those virile plains because she wanted to get married and have children rather than pursue professional success.

      Also, my guess is that in 1977, of those 200 pioneer women, 190 would have said they wanted to get married and have kids someday. The conversation as reported by Patton seems to focus on how to prepare for life after graduation.

  • JP

    “Depends on her goals. My goals are to have a family and nurture the kids and provide for them, and preferably the providing part would be through meaningful work that contributes to society. If her goals are the same, I’ll fully support those goals.”

    I view these things as “fundamental requirement of being human” more so than goals. Meaning that they are obligatory more so than optional. Kind of like paying taxes. Or avoiding murder.

    However, once you actually experience this on a day to day basis, you realize that it’s really, really frustrating and annoying, so I can kind of understand why people who thought they had an option would choose to avoid it.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Ref. hypogamy.
    If we’re defining this as merely a college degree, we could be missing something.
    Some pretty sharp guys don’t bother with college, seeing a good career ahead of them in a skilled trade, sometimes opening their own business. Or going into the family blue-collar business.
    Currently, degreed guys have a hard time getting into good jobs, and they frequently have a lot of debt.
    They may have the degree, but if they can’t get a good career, their degree is either a matter of prestige or knowledge of something interesting but not remunerative.
    I enjoyed college, in a manner of speaking, and I am grateful I went. But I’ll be switched if I can think of a single thing I learned in a classroom that has helped me earn a dime.
    Exception is a good composition instructor, except I had an outstanding comp instructor in high school and I’m not sure I got much more out of the college class. I have been–rarely–asked to write reports for groups because of that.
    Period.
    Somebody up and coming in a hot blue-collar, dirty-hands field might be a better catch than a lit major who is barely qualified as a barista.
    OTOH, if the college women won’t take them, there are lots of women who will and we’ll see about whether the women need to work or can wrangle three kids while Dad puts substantial bread on the table.
    That’s dreadfully Fifties, but if it works, the angst-ridden college women fighting for the college guys who have decent jobs, or prospects may find themselves regretting their refusal to hypogamize.

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

      @Richard

      I agree, and as I say, it looks as if many women with degrees are marrying men with “some college” or “no college.” Also, FWIW, I know several guys in the trades who do have a college degree. These days you really have to get to know a person to see their depth of knowledge and skill. There really are many worthless degrees out there.

  • JP

    “I enjoyed college, in a manner of speaking, and I am grateful I went. But I’ll be switched if I can think of a single thing I learned in a classroom that has helped me earn a dime.”

    I learned about patents in undergraduate classes during a major Chem E project.

    So, that was certainly helpful when I started drafting patents for a living.

    I guess I did learn something in college.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “WADR, OTC, you don’t “see” anything. It’s been many years since you socialized in college.”

    WADR, you’re not the only person to get field reports, and correlate them back to your own experience.

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

      WADR, you’re not the only person to get field reports, and correlate them back to your own experience.

      When I report the experience of someone else, I make that clear. I do not claim to “see” what’s happening at frat parties. I rely on others for that information. There are some things, e.g. degree of obesity on college campuses, which I may be able to speak to, having observed it first hand in recent years.

      The problem with your claims of elitism is that FRs provide only a minor portion of my data, and I also assign less weight to it due to its anecdotal nature. The blog contains many posts that rely on numerical data gathered by a wide variety of institutions at many colleges. The data from last summer’s Definitive Sex Survey, for example, had a total sample size close to 100,000 students.

      I can’t explain why even this data doesn’t match what you “see” and what Jimmy sees. But it is not restricted to elite colleges or any particular geographic area.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: ” Zach’s sense of the culture at Princeton trumps Jimmy’s in this case. It’s not personal.”

    Yes, Zach’s observation of UUMC/elites does carry more weight in this case.

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

      Yes, Zach’s observation of UUMC/elites does carry more weight in this case.

      Yeah, because Princeton is an elite institution that closely resembles Zach’s alma mater. Sorry not sorry there are rich, brainy people who send their kids to the Ivies. I made clear in the post that Patton’s advice was addressed to a small, elite group of female students. I’m not sure what your beef is.

  • OffTheCuff

    There was a typo, it was supposed to be “saw”.

    Something’s got you spooked, Sue. I’ll find a different topic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “subordinating” a career to someone you love.

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

      Something’s got you spooked, Sue. I’ll find a different topic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “subordinating” a career to someone you love.

      There’s something wrong with the expectation that the Princeton woman should do that for the Princeton man. By definition, she’s one of the most talented women in the country. Why should she be expected to make no use of that education or her considerable brain?

      Also, as I said, women simply can’t afford to assume they’ll be taken care of or provided for, even if they wish it. A woman needs to be able to support herself or help supplement her family’s income. If she has the luxury of opting out later, fine. But opting out of the professional workforce at age 21 with a Princeton degree is insanity. If her husband ever leaves her or cheats on her, she’ll have no means of earning a living, certainly not one commensurate with her education. Bad, bad strategy.

      FTR, this topic is not personal to me at all. I don’t know anyone who has actually made this choice. I’m not emotionally invested in the debate. I just think it’s wrongheaded, at least for women. Maybe it’s good for men, IDK.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @OTC

    Something’s got you spooked, Sue. I’ll find a different topic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “subordinating” a career to someone you love

    Because lots of talking past each other in this thread. Susan is saying that you should pick LTRs in college and be open to marriage if that is a possibility afterwards. If you cannot find a LTR, do not engage in the Hooking Up Scene and develop internally.
    After college, there is still time to find a husband. Indeed, generally speaking, both men and women will be more amenable to finding a spouse after college than during college.
    It is also silly to assume that your college relationship will last forever, it probably won’t, so you shouldn’t make all of your plans around that college relationship. It’s a bad bet. Maintain the LTR, by all means, do not get married and do not change your entire life for something that in all likelihood will not last.
    I find it hard to begrudge Susan for this advice. Especially since she is correct, husband-hunting in college is going to be a difficult endeavor and you should not feel it is your JOB to find a husband in college.
    Most of the men here would probably not disagree with any of this.

    I think the biggest disagreement here is over what percentage of men in college are actually open to marriage, and on what timetable they are going to get married. It seems that the data in question that Susan is using implies that virtually no men are open to a marriage later than late 20s, which most of the guys find ridiciulous. Anecodtally, we know that guys should be open to serious commitments earlier on, because average age is 28, meaning SOMEONE is getting married before then.

    My GF’s brother was dating a girl seriously for several years. It was, apparently, his first serious girlfriend. I imagine many of the girls here would find him QUITE a catch, STEM, religious, non-promiscous, tall and handsome and muscular and snowboards. Runs marathons. Funny and can command a room very well.
    He and the girl broke up at the end of college, because they could not agree on where to live. He wanted to live in Denver, she wanted to go to school in Boston. She would subordinate her interests if she knew marriage was in the future…he couldn’t commit to that.
    So they broke up. End of story. He is now dating a girl that is still in college. He does not live in Denver because he could not find a job there, and, hey, gotta eat.

    It strikes me as remarkably stupid, in a way.

  • J

    I’m a bit surprised at this – that women aspired to careers at that time in great numbers. Patton is ten years later than that – same year as me. I can tell you that at the no-name University of Missouri, women studied a major with the intention of working after college, whether or not they married soon. Even in my sorority, with the lavaliers and the pinnings, no one set out to find a husband in college. Though a few of my sorority sisters did marry their college boyfriends. (Results have been mixed – about 50% are still together.)

    That is my experience as well, yet 10-15 years prior to our being in college, I’d say getting an MRS degree was the norm. I went to an urban, state university. There were loads of women returning to school during those years. They were finishing college while their kids were in high school.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    By definition, she’s one of the most talented women in the country.

    I must have the wrong dictionary, because mine doesn’t define “talented” that way.

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

      @INTJ

      I must have the wrong dictionary, because mine doesn’t define “talented” that way.

      My dictionary lists “gifted” as a synonym. Is that better? Intellectually gifted?

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Well then, you’re worth marrying early. ;)

    :)

    I suspect many of the male commenters don’t speak in favor of supporting the woman’s goals because most women have highly career or status oriented goals. I personally think that’s a moot point since the women who’re like that are not going to be interested early marriage in the first place. The ones who’re interested in marrying early are unlikely to have highly Type A goals, and the only question is whether they’re willing to be supportive partners in a relationship.

  • INTJ

    @ JP

    I view these things as “fundamental requirement of being human” more so than goals. Meaning that they are obligatory more so than optional. Kind of like paying taxes. Or avoiding murder.

    However, once you actually experience this on a day to day basis, you realize that it’s really, really frustrating and annoying, so I can kind of understand why people who thought they had an option would choose to avoid it.

    Well when I call them “goals”, I mean “goals” as in my purpose in life. I don’t see the point in living solely for enjoyment without any purpose or something to accomplish. I guess that’s what makes me a terrible candidate for MGTOW.

    And yes, I’m quite apprehensive about all the work and frustration that goes into raising kids. But all that hard work does come with its fruits: I enjoy playing with kids more than anything else. If I have to put in hard work all day to get to play with them for an hour, so be it. :D

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    If her husband ever leaves her or cheats on her, she’ll have no means of earning a living, certainly not one commensurate with her education.

    Pretty sure that’s what alimony and child support is for. It might have become unfair to men because of the whole no-fault thing, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with alimony or child support.

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

      @INTJ

      There is no more alimony to speak of. Where it still exists, it’s for women a generation older than myself. For younger women, there is sometimes a period of a couple of years where they get support if they’ve been at home full-time, but then they’re expected to support themselves.

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

        Disclaimer, lest the MRAs come running over screaming “Off with her head!”

        I have not made a study of the alimony laws in all 50 states, or in any state, really. I have read articles referring to it as a bygone practice. Where it does still exist, I believe it is being phased out.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “If her husband ever leaves her or cheats on her, she’ll have no means of earning a living, certainly not one commensurate with her education.”

    No means? I disagree that not working full time somehow makes you entirely unemployable, invalidates all education you’ve received, erases all talents you have, wipes out all communal property instantly, and makes one destitute. You can still live a pretty good life with the rest of us poor dunces.

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

      I disagree that not working full time somehow makes you entirely unemployable, invalidates all education you’ve received, erases all talents you have, wipes out all communal property instantly, and makes one destitute.

      Did I say that? Any of it?

      I can tell you from personal experience that working part-time reduced the value of my MBA by 75% or more. When your degree says “mover and shaker” and you haven’t been moving and shaking, you have to go to the Island of Misfit Toys and start a blog. I also would have enjoyed being a barista. I may still do that one of these days.

  • JP

    “@ Susan

    By definition, she’s one of the most talented women in the country.

    I must have the wrong dictionary, because mine doesn’t define “talented” that way.”

    I’m going to have to agree with INTJ here.

    What it means is that you obtained a Ticket to Greater Glory and Status.

    How you got that ticket doesn’t matter (meaning having talent, connections, wealth, etc.).

    Which is fine.

    However, it doesn’t *automatically* mean talented.

    I mean, I would love a Harvard MBA.

    But the reason that I want one would be because it’s a Ticket to Greater Glory and Status.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “@INTJ

    I must have the wrong dictionary, because mine doesn’t define “talented” that way.

    My dictionary lists “gifted” as a synonym. Is that better? Intellectually gifted?”

    Princeton is an admixture of giftedness and wealth.

    And some people at Princeton just aren’t that bright.

  • JP

    There is no more alimony to speak of. Where it still exists, it’s for women a generation older than myself. For younger women, there is sometimes a period of a couple of years where they get support if they’ve been at home full-time, but then they’re expected to support themselves.”

    I don’t think that the South works this way.

    Plenty of alimony here.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “There really are many worthless degrees out there.”

    We see this with IT certifications as well. We call them “paper tigers” and those of us in the field from before certifications existed (meaning you had to get a computer science degree or convince someone you were brilliant enough to hire on faith) really don’t think highly of them.

    “Why should she be expected to make no use of that education or her considerable brain?”

    You’re gonna hate me for pointing out the obvious here, but I’m that kind of asshole. Because men don’t give a crap about a woman’s credentials when they’re looking for the mother of their children.

    I don’t care how many degrees you have. I want to know if my children will be your highest priority, because MY highest priority will be providing for you and them. Did my ex work? Yes but only after both our children were school aged. Does my wife work? Yep but she brought with her two dependents that are only partially offset by child support.

    If I could support us all alone, I’d be more than happy with her decision to stay home OR keep working as our children are old enough as to not be so demanding of time. I’m not looking to crush her hopes and dreams. I do expect to be her highest priority after our kids, even if that means pulling the plug on her career. I can see that this might be a tough pill to swallow for some women, but I honestly believe its a fair trade for what I offer. At least two women have agreed. :-p (although technically one of them also changed her mind. LOL)

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

      @Ted

      Susan: “Why should she be expected to make no use of that education or her considerable brain?”

      Ted: Because men don’t give a crap about a woman’s credentials when they’re looking for the mother of their children.

      I’m not talking about what attracts men, I’m talking about the personal development and fulfillment of an intellectually gifted person. I disagree with you anyway, though. Princeton men are much more likely to marry a woman of their education and intelligence than anyone. UMC people marry assortatively. Since the mother’s intelligence predicts the sons’, a man would be wise to give a crap, assuming he doesn’t want dumb sons.

      If I could support us all alone, I’d be more than happy with her decision to stay home OR keep working as our children are old enough as to not be so demanding of time.

      But can you? Most women have no choice but to help provide, and there are more female than male primary breadwinners in the U.S. today. If you got laid off, would it be helpful if your wife could go out and earn a good salary, or would minimum wage suffice?

      It’s just not feasible or realistic for women to not prepare to work. They don’t have to aspire to the corner office, but they will probably have to do something. Why not something that pays well and provides some challenge?

  • JP

    I think that the general rule here is that you get it for 1/2 the length of the marriage if the marriage is less than 10 years, more if longer.

    Although I enjoy the alienation of affection/criminal conversion lawsuits more.

    “The tort of criminal conversation seeks damages for the act of sexual intercourse between the spouse and a third party. Each act of adultery can give rise to a separate claim for criminal conversation.”

    One of the local attorneys just got nailed by this one.

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

      From good old Wikipedia:

      The determination of alimony varies greatly from country to country and from state to state within the U.S.[4] Some state statutes, including those of Texas, Montana, Kansas, Utah, Kentucky and Maine, give explicit guidelines to judges on the amount and/or duration of alimony. In Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee, for example, alimony is awarded only in cases of marriage or civil union of ten years or longer and the payments are limited to three years unless there are special, extenuating circumstances. Furthermore, the amount of spousal support is limited to the lesser of $2,500 per month or 40% of the payee’s gross income.[20][21][22] In Delaware, spousal support is usually not awarded in marriages of less than 10 years.[20] In Kansas, alimony awards cannot exceed 121 months.[20] In Utah, the duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.[20] In Maine, Mississippi, and Tennessee alimony is awarded in marriages or civil union of 10 to 20 years and the duration is half the length of the marriage barring extenuating circumstances.[20] Other states, including California, Nevada and New York, have relatively vague statutes which simply list the “factors” a judge should consider when determining alimony (see list of factors below).[20][23][24][25] In these states, the determination of duration and amount of alimony is left to the discretion of the family court judges who must consider case law in each state. In Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee, for example, there are 135 Appellate Cases in addition to 47 sections of State Statute that shape divorce law. As a result of these Appellate Cases, for example, Mississippi judges cannot order an end date to any alimony award. In 2012, Massachusetts signed into law comprehensive Alimony Reform.[26] This law sets limits on alimony and eliminates lifetime alimony.

      However, in Georgia a person who has an affair that causes the divorce is not entitled to alimony.

      There are alimony reform efforts underway in many states.

  • JP

    Here’s a good alimony article.

    It’s pretty funny.

    “Many states have abandoned the practice of permanent alimony—or at least reformed the law—but it’s still going strong in states such as New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Florida. Permanent alimony was created in the days when women didn’t go to college and rarely had careers, instead tending to the kids and household. Then it was sorely needed. Now, opponents argue, those reasons for its being are long past.

    Debbie Israel, a 47-year-old college math teacher in Miami, is engaged but refuses to marry until permanent alimony is reformed in her state. She began dating her fiance, an engineer, in 2010 after their respective divorces in 2008 and 2009.

    After about a year of seeing each other, he proposed. She said yes. But shortly after, Israel was reading up on divorce and learned that in the state of Florida, her wages could wind up in the hands of his ex-wife, which led Israel to become a core member of the Florida Alimony Reform Group, which now has more than 2,000 members.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/taking-permanent-out-of-permanent-alimony-2013-1#ixzz2PRPdEMCA“”

  • Richard Aubrey

    “”I’m a bit surprised at this – that women aspired to careers at that time in great numbers. Patton is ten years later than that – same year as me. I can tell you that at the no-name University of Missouri, women studied a major with the intention of working after college, whether or not they married soon. Even in my sorority, with the lavaliers and the pinnings, no one set out to find a husband in college. Though a few of my sorority sisters did marry their college boyfriends. (Results have been mixed – about 50% are still together.)””

    Susan. I think the women in question as described by my wife–to my surprise, I’ll tell you true–were looking for husband prospects, but they didn’t marry until after graduation and the idea, if I get the thing right, was not to pass up a prospect in case you happened to meet one. Not that graduating without a ring was a failure.
    The only wedding I was dragged to in college included a senior girl and a just graduated man. I was on the aisle and could see pretty well. When the groom came in, my back hairs went up–at about twenty yards in dim light–and when this preening son of a bitch came down the aisle with his sneering smile and incandescent wife, I was strongly tempted to reach out and punch his head back up under that altar. Refrained. He really was an abusive asshole and they were divorced within several months.
    But the folks I was talking about didn’t marry until later, although to their college sweetheart.
    Lesson 1. Run your intended past Aubrey for a reading.
    Lesson 2. If your friends tell you he’s a loser, believe them.

    Except for the dating scene in the big cities, which do not include all of life, it’s hard to figure out where you’d find such large numbers of what we call in the sales biz “suspects” as a co-ed college.
    Might as well look pretty hard.
    Then, as I’ve said elsewhere, there was a lot going on and marrying somebody who was in or would shortly be in the military put some women off. There were weeks with a couple of hundred guys killed in SEA. Not to mention the number killed in operations, or accidents, or listed as “rolled his jeep” because what really happened didn’t really happen if you know what I mean. We lost a hell of a lot of guys in the Cold War with nary a Purple Heart between them. Some, it was a raw effort to keep the SEA casualty numbers down, but without that going on, the guys wouldn’t have been killed, one way or another.
    The delay, if there was one, to see what was up after college is surely understandable.
    Perhaps we’re regressing to the mean, if we allow for more women in college.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    One of your main arguments against early marriage is that it leaves a women defenceless if her husband later abandons her.
    The reason for this defencelessness is because she has taken herself out of the workforce.

    ——

    Your argument is either wrong or incomplete.

    Being married at 22, 23, 24, 37, 46 or any other age does not preclude that person from working.
    Believe it or not I still have a job after my marriage. Even more weird, so to does my wife. Strange world.

    Anyways awhile back you claimed that a woman needs to work because no employer would consider touching a woman who went straight from school to SAHM.

    I agree. I sure as hell wouldn’t hire her either.

    However where you lost me is this,
    Somehow you equated early marriage to being a SAHM with no work experience (and all the subsequent risk it entails).

    This is not true. It is possible to temporally separate (is that proper english?) babies and the wedding ceremony. Trippy I know.

    At this point it is possible for the women to work AND be married (I hear the guy is also married but thats just word-of-mouth nonsense and I’m sure he just plays X-box).

    ———

    So, I actually agree with your conclusion you’re (omg I noticed it!!!!!) just using the wrong set of premises to argue it.

    ———-

    Also, your original premise about being drawn out of the workforce for mommy duty is actually not caused by marriage but pregnancy.

    A single Princeton grad who gets pregnant and wants to carry it to term will be in the same position as one who is married (assuming the married one gets divorced later on).

    —————

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

      @Lokland

      Believe it or not I still have a job after my marriage. Even more weird, so to does my wife. Strange world.

      Did you read Bastiat Blogger’s comment? This latest discussion is in response to his assessment, which I agree with, that a Princeton woman wanting to marry a Princeton man would have to subordinate her own plans to accomplish that. She may have better prospects than he does, but she would still be required to follow his opportunities. I have never known a college couple to graduate and move to the city where the guy has a job offer. I have known several who have stayed together by doing the long-distance thing which generally lasts for 6-12 months. Young Americans are quite transient and mobile. Graduate school generally means another move. Many people do not settle in one place until their mid to late 20s.

      Also, your original premise about being drawn out of the workforce for mommy duty is actually not caused by marriage but pregnancy.

      I don’t have a premise about being drawn out of the workforce. We’re talking about women who choose to ignore preparing for professional success in order to focus on finding a husband by graduation.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Since the mother’s intelligence predicts the sons’, a man would be wise to give a crap, assuming he doesn’t want dumb sons.”

    Your overstating this.
    There is a higher correlation do to the overrepresentation of genes expressed in the brain being expressed from the X chromosome but it is by no means the entirety or even majority. Maybe a large minority of all brain proteins but certainly not all or even half.

    Reduction, most X chromosome proteins are expressed in the brain but most brain proteins do not come from the X chromosome.

    As anecdata, me, my sister and my father run mental circles around my mother like a flashlight messes with a cat.

  • J

    There is no more alimony to speak of. Where it still exists, it’s for women a generation older than myself. For younger women, there is sometimes a period of a couple of years where they get support if they’ve been at home full-time, but then they’re expected to support themselves

    A friend of mine just got divorced. She had been married for nearly 20 years and gave up a lucrative and glamorous career in the arts to follow her medical researcher husband all over the country, pulling up roots every few years. She has an autistic son who will probably never be able to take care of himself. Since his birth, her “career” has been managing his care and education. She is getting seven years of alimony, despite the fact that she gave up a lucrative career and many other opportunities for self-improvement so that her husband could follow his dreams. At his point in her life, she lives in an area where her former job skills are irrelevant and has no salable skills. Time to retrain herself is at a premium because the son is so needy. And she’ll never get out from under being responsible for the kid–whom Dad insists is normal despite medical proof to the contrary. And somehow SHE did not get lifetime alimony!

  • Mike C

    I can tell you from personal experience that working part-time reduced the value of my MBA by 75% or more. When your degree says “mover and shaker” and you haven’t been moving and shaking,

    Susan, you are absolutely correct on this. One of the quite perverse ironies of our corporate/economic system is that being unemployed for any length of time essentially makes you unemployable…at least at professional level positions. The more credentialed you are and the higher you are so to speak in the corporate chain, the more difficult it becomes to reenter at that same level if you take any appreciable time off. I had a really tough time landing a full-time professional level finance position after my time off, and with the time gap on my resume. Luckily, I was able to spin it that I had been trading for a living during the time gap (not entirely false but not the whole truth either).

    Recently, I was speaking to a headhunter and tossed out the idea of what it would be like to quit my job, try my business again full-time and reenter a few years down the road if necessary. She said forget about it. Don’t even think of quitting. Fortune 500 companies don’t even want to look at candidates who are not currently employed. Essentially, they only want to hire people who already have jobs. It is actually quite scary because it means there are people who potentially face years if not a lifetime of underemployment based on their educational level and past work experience.

    If you worked at McKinsey as a consultant or Goldman as an I-banker or even P&G as a mid-level brand manager and you take 3-7 years off, you don’t have a prayer of jumping back into the work force at that same level.

    you have to go to the Island of Misfit Toys and start a blog. I also would have enjoyed being a barista. I may still do that one of these days.

    LOL…this was really funny!

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I don’t have a premise about being drawn out of the workforce. We’re talking about women who choose to ignore preparing for professional success in order to focus on finding a husband by graduation.”

    “I can tell you from personal experience that working part-time reduced the value of my MBA by 75% or more.”

    What is this then?

    Also, most of the people I know who are married moved to the city of the person with the better job offer. Man or woman.

    Women are not the only ones who must compromise if they wish to marry early and not the only ones who do it on the job front.

    “Young Americans are quite transient and mobile. Graduate school generally means another move. Many people do not settle in one place until their mid to late 20s.”

    You’ve lost me again. Are we only discussing Ivy League grads to American grads as a whole?

    you went from one to the other in the same paragraph and expected me to figure out which you want to talk about.

  • Lokland

    @J

    If you know,

    Why did they divorce?
    How old were they when they had the kid?

  • Abbot

    “being unemployed for any length of time essentially makes you unemployable”

    Despite that, feminists are now one stop short of forcing men to work less.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/incentives-for-men-to-help-women-to-work/

    .

  • Anacaona

    Luckily, I was able to spin it that I had been trading for a living during the time gap (not entirely false but not the whole truth either).
    Question:
    So I had been running my small business of selling books in kindle in Spanish for almost 5 years now. I don’t make that much (Indie writer in Spanish is a very small market) but I do make some money out of it and had been number 1 in sales a couple of times, I do my own marketing, cover design and so on. Can I spin this in anyway positively in a resume when I’m ready to go back to formal work at some point after the kids are in school or is not going to trick anyone?

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

      @Anacaona

      Can I spin this in anyway positively in a resume when I’m ready to go back to formal work at some point after the kids are in school or is not going to trick anyone?

      Of course you can spin it, it’s fantastic experience! You’re an entrepreneur, a self-published author, you’ve reached #1, and you’re up to speed on the latest trends and technology in publishing.

      Any kind of experience can be spun into a positive, but you’ve got great stuff here to work with.

  • J

    Why did they divorce?

    She says that he became emotionally abusive to her after losing the grant that supported his lab. He says that she is a spoiled bitch who lacks “a point of view.” Both DH and I have always found him to be cold and narcissistic as well as prone to anger. He has been known to destroy property though not hit people.

    How old were they when they had the kid?

    Early thirties. He had some infertility issues.

  • Jackie

    Hey, here is the podcast of MPR’s “Daily Circuit” that had Susan Patton (and Amanda Marcotte, among others!) as a guest:

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/04/03/daily-circuit-mrs-degree

    @Susan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SH1j1luFOw

    Also, to earlier in the thread– I didn’t mean to contradict you or Patton’s letter. I almost wonder if she (like most people) can be an unreliable narrator at times. I’d be interested in what her classmates had to say about her college days.

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

      @Jackie

      LOL at Rudolph. One of my favorite Christmas specials as a kid. I quote it a lot. Whenever my daughter felt discouraged about boys she would say, “Nobody wants a “little Miss HUS” in the box…” And how about when Clarisse sings “There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true…” That gets me every time.

  • HanSolo

    @Jackie

    Interesting listen. Overall Susan Patton’s message of keeping your eye out for a partner while in college is a very important contrast to the wait-til-30 message that a lot of ambitious women are receiving. She says she wanted to get young women to think about all the things they want in life and not just cower to the feminist dogma of nothing but career before 30 or 35. She wanted to get the conversation going. She has succeeded in that and just having that message out there is a powerful and important contrast to the typical message.

    I do disagree with her dismissing online dating but her points about finding a high % of single and high-calibre achieving men while young is spot on.

    Lokland’s pointing out that marriage doesn’t mean no career are spot on. It’s having kids and wanting to be at home with them that is the limit on career.

    SP is suggesting a balanced mix, of including looking for a partner, as opposed to pure focus on career, and for that I applaud her.

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

      She says she wanted to get young women to think about all the things they want in life and not just cower to the feminist dogma of nothing but career before 30 or 35.

      I was glad that Kara pointed out that it’s not a choice between snagging a husband at 19 and spending 15 years on nothing but career. Patton kept repeating that dichotomy. Most married couples (75-80%?) meet in their 20s after college, and most women do find men they consider worthy.

      It was very clear that the female students feel far from ready to heed her advice. The student who opened the discussion said she has no time for dating, much less finding a husband.

      The convo is between Patton and what she called the “feminist orthodoxy.” Just another catfight.

      I was also disappointed not a single mention was made of what guys want. It’s as if men have no agency – they’re there to be scooped up for commitment, and women aren’t expected to do anything but select them. Patton repeated that the women will never again find so many men worthy of them.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Another thought about finding “high-caliber” mates while young and college dating in general.
    The thought is that college dating is more or less recreational dating. We prefer it to hooking up, but compared to the relationships that come afterwards, my impression is that college students are less willing to make compromises on lifestyle, location, etc. Partly because “it’s just college,” partly immaturity, part other options.
    VoxDay once said his relationship skills were on par with a 12 year old girl when he met space bunny, my impression is that mine were similar in many ways. Perhaps, if my GF were still in college at the time, she would’ve been less tolerant, as she had other things to accomplish, was less able to handle her stress, and many attractive men were around (as opposed to the town of 18,000 she is now in).
    Something to think about.
    Also, while I was surrounded by attractive girls in college, I had no idea how to capitalize on that. I talk to exactly two girls from my college days. I am sure that, if I REALLY pressed it, I could meet two new girls to date in a week without a problem, now.
    I just wasn’t in a position to capitalize on college environments, and the environment wasn’t as suitable as some people make it out to be.
    I do not believe I, or other Beta Men, are unique, or that this situation is unique to our gender…

  • Bells

    VoxDay once said his relationship skills were on par with a 12 year old girl when he met space bunny, my impression is that mine were similar in many ways.

    Did you also have trouble with your dating skills? Any examples showing how poor dating skills could have been easily translated as someone who’s just not interested in the girl at all? Because I don’t want to accidentally next a guy just because a date does not go smoothly/comfortably as expected…

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    I can tell you from personal experience that working part-time reduced the value of my MBA by 75% or more. When your degree says “mover and shaker” and you haven’t been moving and shaking, you have to go to the Island of Misfit Toys and start a blog. I also would have enjoyed being a barista. I may still do that one of these days.

    Perhaps that’s why the males here don’t value women having such degrees.

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

      @INTJ

      Perhaps that’s why the males here don’t value women having such degrees.

      My husband didn’t care that I got the degree, or whether I used the degree, but he cared very much that I was capable of earning the degree. He wanted a really smart wife, and smart women tend to pursue academic achievement.

  • Jackie

    @Capt Solo

    I thought it was pretty interesting, too! It definitely needed Susan, though. In the words of Gob Bluth: They just made a HUGE mistake.

    I agree with you, too, about online dating. Maybe online dating was the last resort of weirdos, fetishists and nerds 10-15+ years ago, but nowadays it has lost that stigma.The poor lady just got divorced, so (hopefully) she knows nothing nowadays about OKCupid, Match, etc, other than pre-conceived notions.

    I was also interested to hear Amanda Marcotte for the first time! I admit I know nothing about her, other than she inspires something less than love and affection! ;-)

    Actually, I have a theory about the presentation style of many 3rd wave feminists, that they are akin to classic disinformation agents. (I’m still formulating it. But if I was going to be the face of a movement, I would consider a very different way of presenting myself.)

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @HanSolo

    Interesting listen. Overall Susan Patton’s message of keeping your eye out for a partner while in college is a very important contrast to the wait-til-30 message that a lot of ambitious women are receiving. She says she wanted to get young women to think about all the things they want in life and not just cower to the feminist dogma of nothing but career before 30 or 35. She wanted to get the conversation going. She has succeeded in that and just having that message out there is a powerful and important contrast to the typical message.

    Didn’t mention it earlier… she really seems like an unpleasant bitch.

    With that said, I agree that there’s value in what she’s saying, that if nothing else, it gives a different perspective than the standard PC, feminist script that gets shoved down everyone’s throat. At least make people think about, and realize that there are other legitimate paths out there.

    I won’t deny that the “Wait to solidly establish your career before thinking about marriage” path has plenty of merit. Especially for ambitious, Type A people. The problem I see with it, though, is that the less ambitious, non-Type A people hear and absorb the message as well, even though it might not necessarily be in their best interest.

    After hearing enough of that message, they’re made to believe that they’re either an idiot or a waste if they don’t follow the script.

    As I’ve said earlier, I completely support everyone’s freedom to decide which path is best for them. What I fight against are these popular cultural memes that have become the de facto messages given to young people.

  • OffTheCuff

    J: “A friend of mine just got divorced.”

    A friend of mine got divorced. She now has no kids a few days a week, to have fun with her new boyfriend. She lives in the same house.

    Sue: “Did I say that? Any of it?”

    Yes, you said “unabled to support herself”. My mother in law married young, had NO college, ever lived alone, and no idea how to handle her own finances. She’d be in trouble. A Princeton grad would not, you would not. Most women would not.

    Sue: “I can tell you from personal experience that working part-time reduced the value of my MBA by 75% or more. When your degree says “mover and shaker” and you haven’t been moving and shaking, you have to go to the Island of Misfit Toys and start a blog. I also would have enjoyed being a barista. I may still do that one of these days.”

    So? You wouldnt be destitute. Not being rich is not the same as being poor.

    If I was a SAHD for the last 10 years, I could call up one of 50 people I used to work with, and have a job in a few days. Yeah, maybe at slightly less salary an seniority, than i get now, but not much. If my wife divorced me I’d have half HER stuff and be fine. But I am very fiscally conservative.

  • HanSolo

    Here’s a good take on the Patton letter and resulting feminist fury.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/feminism-article-1.1305920

    But what’s so subversive and “retro” about the idea of talented, ambitious young women finding a suitable partner from a pool of talented, ambitious — and geographically accessible — young men? Isn’t that what we do later when we try dating someone from work, dating within our social circles or finding someone online who meets our customized criteria of height, weight, hairline and income? How is that experience any less elitist?
    Patton wasn’t telling women to put marriage ahead of their careers, but just the opposite: to marry someone as smart as they are so that their careers and personal lives can both blossom.
    The idea of “marrying well” or “marrying up” may not be a conversation for polite, liberated circles, but Patton knows that whom a woman marries, if she decides to, is one of the most important decisions she will make. Trust me, it’s something that successful women (including many liberal women) like Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg and eventually even Gloria Steinem took very, very seriously.
    And when you dig a little deeper, what’s truly comical about the outrage over Patton’s comments is how steeped it is in a retro, 1960s, angry feminism that seems out of place in today’s modern, enlightened society — where, at least I thought, we try not criticize other women for their choices.
    But apparently for some, only a woman’s choice not to marry — or if she must, to marry another woman — is worth praising and celebrating as a righteous revolt against paternalism, parochialism and conservatism.
    Oh, and also: A woman’s right to choose an abortion, exercising her right not to start a family while not having to face the consequences of sexual activity. That’s also fantastic and fabulous and worthy of staunch defense.
    But passing on some motherly advice to young women that they find a nice young man who is intellectually compatible with them and worthy of their affection — this is a leap too far. This is a radical insult to womanhood that cannot be tolerated.
    As the rest of the country fights to expand marriage rights, this group of young women who think themselves so evolved and cultured are decidedly behind the times and stuck in the past. It is, ironically, Susan Patton, proud Princeton mom, who sounds more like the feminist of the future.
    Oh, how feminism has fallen.

  • HanSolo

    @Jimmy H

    That’s the thing that is really highlighted about feminism. They say it’s about a woman’s right to choose but it’s really not. It’s about using “choice” as the rhetorical device to get women to rebel against anything that can be remotely deemed patriarchal and then indoctrinate them into using that “choice” to only follow the feminist dogma.

    So, Patton presented a few unfortunate trees in her argument but the forest of it was spot on, “If you want to get married to a man of equal academic status then keep your mind open to the men around you while at Princeton. If you want to get married and have kids then thinking about it sooner than later will be more beneficial than only focusing on career until 28 or 30 and then doing a crash course search.”

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan
    I agree 110% that nobody should sacrifice their education to look for a spouse… but I think a lot of folks out there make it seem like those two things are mutually exclusive, when that’s clearly not the case.

    You don’t have to spend every waking minute of the day on academics to be a good student.

    Again, not saying you’re pushing those arguments…. But I see a lot of people out there who are indirectly making them.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    I actually got this exact advice from my own mother who was a bit of a gold digging narcissist. She told me to find a rich guy from the private school I went to, and at Northwestern where I went to college. While the intention is fine, it smacks of some degree of status mongering that I personally find distasteful.

    The overall message of looking for a suitable mate while young, I can totally get behind. But I question the taste of young women that age, partially because I had no idea myself back then and picked a not so suitable guy. I didn’t know what was what until my mid 20s. So I will say that if I had to go back to do it all over again, I would stay single and make as many friends and contacts as possible, instead of spending all my time in a relationship that was ultimately doomed.

  • Anacaona

    Of course you can spin it, it’s fantastic experience! You’re an entrepreneur, a self-published author, you’ve reached #1, and you’re up to speed on the latest trends and technology in publishing.
    Any kind of experience can be spun into a positive, but you’ve got great stuff here to work with.

    Heh sounds a lot more fancier than the way I see it on my mind! :D Thanks for the tip *kissinthecheek*

    He wanted a really smart wife, and smart women tend to pursue academic achievement.

    FWIW, Athol also had an article about how being the bored housewife is actually not as good safeguard for a good marriage as some might think it is.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    So? You wouldnt be destitute. Not being rich is not the same as being poor.

    If I was a SAHD for the last 10 years, I could call up one of 50 people I used to work with, and have a job in a few days. Yeah, maybe at slightly less salary an seniority, than i get now, but not much. If my wife divorced me I’d have half HER stuff and be fine. But I am very fiscally conservative.

    Very true, not being rich is not the same as being poor. If you have the option between choosing a good wife/husband and working a middle tier but stable job, or starting your relationship life from square one and keeping your awesome job (that will make it much more difficult to even FIND a good date), then the obvious choice is “middle class but good relationship.”

    However, for that to be a good trade-off, you need to be very certain that the man/woman you are giving something up for, actually has the chance of becoming a good husband/wife. Otherwise, you’re taking a 75% pay cut…for nothing.

    @ Jimmy

    I agree 110% that nobody should sacrifice their education to look for a spouse… but I think a lot of folks out there make it seem like those two things are mutually exclusive, when that’s clearly not the case.

    You don’t have to spend every waking minute of the day on academics to be a good student.

    Again, not saying you’re pushing those arguments…. But I see a lot of people out there who are indirectly making them.

    Ah, but they aren’t just doing academics. They are also treasurer of the finance club, secretary of the this club, President of the Don’t Do Drugs club, then they are working part-time, and keep in mind that these people are basically children and do not know how to handle all these life stresses, OR relationships.

    Obviously, not everyone is doing this, but there are so many expectations about what college “should” be among the high-achievers, and somethings gotta give. That normally means sleep and relationships. Precisely the two WORST things to give up on…but college students are not smart.

    @ Bells

    Did you also have trouble with your dating skills? Any examples showing how poor dating skills could have been easily translated as someone who’s just not interested in the girl at all? Because I don’t want to accidentally next a guy just because a date does not go smoothly/comfortably as expected…

    As if I dated at all ;)
    No, good question, and you’re right to speculate: I wouldn’t have been any better at dating than I was at relationships. Too little experience, too much discomfort.
    My guess is that you’ll have to flip the script a little bit. Just like girls that want to get shy guys to ask them out will have to be a little bit more aggressive in displaying IOIs, girls that want to DATE shy guys without a lot of experience will have to excuse the lack of immediate tingles. And, you know, the way the smooth guys make you feel comfortable? Yeah, that, but opposite.
    Something fun and physical to get both of you comfortable, then a nice conversation.
    The difference is that you will have to take a much more aggressive, leading role, which you might not feel overwhelmingly comfortable with. The reward is that he will be taking that role back from you quite quickly as he feels more comfortable with you.

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

      However, for that to be a good trade-off, you need to be very certain that the man/woman you are giving something up for, actually has the chance of becoming a good husband/wife. Otherwise, you’re taking a 75% pay cut…for nothing.

      Exactly and that works both ways. When you subordinate your professional development, you broke it, you own it. There’s no going back.

  • Ted D

    Susan – I wasn’t being snarky. You asked why a Princeton woman would be expected to sideline her career ambitions, and I answered because men don’t care about credentials when they are looking for a wife and mother for their children. Sure, a woman with an income is great, but it becomes more of a burden if it requires a hundred different co.promises to make it work.

    I told my oldest she should look for a job she can tolerate, that doesn’t pit her into much debt, and that is in demand everywhere IF she wanted to marry and have a family. Why? So that she will have tons of flexibility when kids arrive and/or her husband needs to move to further his career.

    Prior to learning how distasteful most women find “marrying down” I was all for couples supporting the career that made the most money regardless of who’s it was. Now I’m convinced it is in men’s best interest to do all they can to be the primary bread winner. Not to use it as leverage, but to help insure he remains attractive to his wife. As such, the husbands “career” will need to he the main focus for family income. And, any “career” his wife has will have to be flexible enough to work around his.

    I can and do appreciate the academic achievements of women in the general sense. But when the topic is marriage and family, IMO all that takes a back seat. A Princeton degree does make make a woman a better mother and wife, and if she has a career, she is much less likely to approach the task of wife and mother with the attitude that raising her family is her real career.

    That being said, I’ve never had ambition to be anything other than a man that can make a living. I fell into IT because I was good at it, and convinced someone to hire me for it. (I did not have a degree in 94 when I got my first “career” job). So I have a very difficult time understanding anyone with the life ambition to be something specific. To me, my career is simply a means to an end. I need more ey to love so I got a career. That isn’t to say people should wing it like I did today, but instead of spending your youth dreaming of becomming a high powered lawyer, why not simply look at where the opportunities are for work, and fill them. Trying to make a career your life’s ambition seems like a recipie for sorrow later in life. My ambition was to have a family and raise decent kids, which has nothing to do with how I make a living.

    Pit another way: my primary goals are all family oriented. I want a wife with the same priorities, even if it means some discomfort along the way. I would quit my job tomorrow if I could and never miss it. That’s how important my “career” is to me.

  • JP

    “So? You wouldnt be destitute. Not being rich is not the same as being poor.”

    I think that the point is that being “not rich” *feels* the same way as “being poor”.

  • Ted D

    “I think that the point is that being “not rich” *feels* the same way as “being poor”

    Well I’ve never been rich so I can’t say anything about how it feels to “be poor” from that perspective. But I’m sure its easy to understand why I have little sympathy for women that would get more a month in child support from her Princeton grad husband than I bring home working full time.

    Most young folks going to Princeton or any ivy league school likely comes from a family with deep financial resources. I find it very hard to believe that such a young woman would ever find herself “destitute”, which is why I find it funny that some here are implying she should not sidetrack her career ambitions for a husband and family. Would she be able to afford a 750k house on child support alone? Probably not. Bit there are plenty of houses for sale around my area for under 30k, and in the Pittsburgh metro area 100k will get you a very nice home in a fairely decent area. I’m pretty sure she would have to change her lifestyle a bit, but I bet her standard of living would still exceed mine.

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

      Most young folks going to Princeton or any ivy league school likely comes from a family with deep financial resources.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course there are rich kids at Princeton, just like there are rich kids at Michigan and Wisconsin. 60% of Princeton students have their tuition paid in full by the University, and receive other forms of financial aid as well. No student is expected to take out loans to attend.

  • JP

    @Ted:

    “Well I’ve never been rich so I can’t say anything about how it feels to “be poor” from that perspective.”

    I think that what I was trying to say is that if your goal is “steady upward advancement culminating in ultimate entrance into the upper classes” then not being rich = epic fail, just as much as being poor = epic fail.

    To me, it has little to do with lifestyle, rather it has more to do with goals.

    If you are on track to be “not rich” and that’s one of the key (necessary) components of your goal, then being “not rich” is precisely the same as being “poor”.

    In either case, you did not achieve your goal.

    (This analysis was to you using the mindset of a perfectionist overachiever)

  • Anacaona

    Most young folks going to Princeton or any ivy league school likely comes from a family with deep financial resources. I find it very hard to believe that such a young woman would ever find herself “destitute”, which is why I find it funny that some here are implying she should not sidetrack her career ambitions for a husband and family. Would she be able to afford a 750k house on child support alone? Probably not. Bit there are plenty of houses for sale around my area for under 30k, and in the Pittsburgh metro area 100k will get you a very nice home in a fairely decent area. I’m pretty sure she would have to change her lifestyle a bit, but I bet her standard of living would still exceed mine.

    Well Ted humans are wired to get used to better life rather fast and having a hard time lowering their living standards. I had a boss whose mother pretty much lost her mind when they had to go from rich to middle class due to some unfortunate business issues. I also think is easier for middle class to lose their luxuries than for low class to achieve them and there is a point when luxuries become needs. Not that it matters in the great scheme of things just adding the perspective that from their POV losing their status or lowering does feels for them like us losing our roof and having to live in the street, is just a different perspective, YMMV.

  • OffTheCuff

    75%??

    This must be a rich person thing.

    Starting salaries for some with my level of experience, minus 10 years, are probably 25% off what I make now. We just hired a kid out of college who knows his stuff and hit the ground running. Zero experience. There’s no way he earns 25% of me – that would have been my starting salary 20 years ago!

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Ted, to elaborate on Ana’s point, have you ever lived in a third world country? Or a developing country. Basically the upper classes in America view living in a lower class the way you might view not having access to clean water or heat in the winter. It’s more or less ridiculous, from the standpoint of luxuries vs. necessities, but it’s the same mindset.

    When I first lived with air conditioning, I definitely thought it was a luxury. Likewise with hot running water. It was like omg, hot water coming out of the faucet! And cars…you mean I don’t have to get rained on and get to places only with busses and walking? See, it’s all kind of relative.

    So yeah from my perspective, I’m lucky to be where I am and to have what I have, but someone from a more privileged background would strive for more than just, say, hot running water. This attitude was good for being with my husband when he was not making much money and just a grad student. But he also aspired to an upper middle class lifestyle, so he wasn’t going to be content with a girl who was from a too low socio-economic background. In my case I had gone to some more elite schools and had doctors as parents. Thus, it’s not that my credentials make me a better mate, but they did factor in my husband’s decision to make me his mate.

  • Anacaona

    Ted, to elaborate on Ana’s point, have you ever lived in a third world country? Or a developing country. Basically the upper classes in America view living in a lower class the way you might view not having access to clean water or heat in the winter. It’s more or less ridiculous, from the standpoint of luxuries vs. necessities, but it’s the same mindset.
    I recall that Ted is very skeptical of Health Tourism. He should try to imagine how he will feel if he had to go to a doctor in the third world for the rest of his life vs waiting to be married and have kids for a few years so he could afford treatments in his own country. Marriage under that circumstances doesn’t seem like an attractive choice.

  • JP

    “75%??

    This must be a rich person thing.

    Starting salaries for some with my level of experience, minus 10 years, are probably 25% off what I make now. We just hired a kid out of college who knows his stuff and hit the ground running. Zero experience. There’s no way he earns 25% of me – that would have been my starting salary 20 years ago!”

    I took a pay cut of 40% with 6 years of experience.

    My starting job was the most prestigious and lucrative that I’ve ever had.

    It’s basically been all downhill since then.

    So, as a lawyer, you often end up on the Island of Misfit Toys professionally, anyway.

    Once you are about 40, there’s really no place to go anymore, so you end up on the industrial scrapheap since no one wants you and you are no longer young and full of potential.

  • Ted D

    Ana – no one going to Princeton has to worry about third world.doctors. in fact, no one in the U.S. does either.

    We can either focus on the UMC folks or everyone, but there is no way to treat them the same.

    I completely understand the POV you and others are trying to show me, but we aren’t using the same “object” for that discussion. So again, a woman with a degree from Princeton is not likely to ever have to love without running water, whether she gets a husband or a career. It isn’t even likely to happen if she skips career and ends up divorced. Her hubby should be worth more than enough to secure some income from child support. If they have no kids? She should have worked on that career…

  • JP

    @TedD:

    ” So again, a woman with a degree from Princeton is not likely to ever have to love without running water, whether she gets a husband or a career. It isn’t even likely to happen if she skips career and ends up divorced. Her hubby should be worth more than enough to secure some income from child support. If they have no kids? She should have worked on that career…”

    A lot of Ivy grads are in real trouble these days because they aren’t on an appropriate career track and have gobs of debt.

    In many areas, if you step off or don’t get on the right track, you end up looking toxic to employers because your resume looks like you were essentially a failure.

    What really happens is that they end up living with their parents, rather than being homeless.

  • Anacaona

    I completely understand the POV you and others are trying to show me, but we aren’t using the same “object” for that discussion. So again, a woman with a degree from Princeton is not likely to ever have to love without running water, whether she gets a husband or a career. It isn’t even likely to happen if she skips career and ends up divorced. Her hubby should be worth more than enough to secure some income from child support. If they have no kids? She should have worked on that career…
    Is the same object. For a woman used to Princeton lifestyle living on child support and lowering the only standard of living is akin to someone like you going to a third world country and someone like me sharing a communal latrine again (I live in a house with 2 inside bathrooms now I’M RICH! :D). This one of those subjective thing that most people avoid, being worse of than when they started in life, YMMV.

  • JP

    ” For a woman used to Princeton lifestyle living on child support and lowering the only standard of living is akin to someone like you going to a third world country and someone like me sharing a communal latrine again (I live in a house with 2 inside bathrooms now I’M RICH! ). This one of those subjective thing that most people avoid, being worse of than when they started in life, YMMV.”

    I wouldn’t mind a communal latrine if I had a $10,000,000 in the bank.

    I think that it’s more the *potential* than the actual conditions.

    It’s *fun* to live in poverty-esque situations as long as you know that you don’t *have to* live in poverty-esque situations and that it’s your choice.

  • Anacaona

    It’s *fun* to live in poverty-esque situations as long as you know that you don’t *have to* live in poverty-esque situations and that it’s your choice.
    That was Marie Antoinette’s idea of fun as well…That didn’t worked out well in the long run for her.

  • Ted D

    “It’s *fun* to live in poverty-esque situations as long as you know that you don’t *have to* live in poverty-esque situations and that it’s your choice.”

    Well JP, if I ever hit the lottery (which won’t happen because I don’t play, lol) I’ll try it out and report back.

    If Ivy league degrees aren’t garnering good jobs, exactly what is the point of even going and paying the tuition? This goes to the point I’ve made before: if college doesn’t get you gain full employment, don’t waste your time and money. Stop trying to be whatever it is you think you should, and instead find something you can do well to make money and do it. Stop looking for fulfillment from you “career” and instead enjoy life.

    If being a lawyer is your life’s ambition, then do it. But don’t bitch when you find yourself dead ended at 40 with a miserable home life to boot. (Not picking on you or your profession, just lazy and your provided I forgot was there…) If you want a family, then put your focus there and just find work. I truly don’t understand why many people get so caught up on “what they want to be when they grow up.” Who cares? Make a living and be happy. I certainly don’t brag about being in IT as if it gives me some life’s purpose. But my kids? Yep, they are my purpose until they are on their own, and then my purpose will be to enjoy whatever years I have left on this planet.

    I suppose those goals are far to simple for UMC parent though. ;-)

  • JP

    “That was Marie Antoinette’s idea of fun as well…That didn’t worked out well in the long run for her.”

    Marie Antoinette didn’t know what she was doing in the context of what was happening.

    And Louis XVI didn’t even want to be king in the first place. He would have much preferred to be a locksmith hobbyist.

    I actually feel bad for those two.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “60% of Princeton students have their tuition paid in full by the University, and receive other forms of financial aid as well. No student is expected to take out loans to attend.”

    I stand corrected. But if 60% of the students aren’t incurring massive debt, then what is he problem with women not putting those degrees to “good use” all about? I mean, if it didn’t cost them anything but time, what exactly are they losing by instead focus sing on starting and raising a family instead?

    Personally, I would advise my kids to skip an ivy league degree even if it was free unless that degree could quickly and easily produce a job on the other side. Getting a degree for the sake of having one is a total waste of time IMO.

    If my daughter wants to be a CEO, I’m all for it. I would advise her to give up aspirations for a family though, since she would only be likely to truly succeed at one or the other, or perhaps do both half assed. If women in masse stop looking down their noses at undereducated/underemployed/SAHD’s, I will consider changing that advice. As it stands now, I still believe the husband should be the breadwinner at all costs to keep that distaste for lower class men from causing issues with their wives. I’m not gonna hold my breath for educated women to start locking down mechanics anytime soon, but time will tell.

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

      @Ted

      what is he problem with women not putting those degrees to “good use” all about? I mean, if it didn’t cost them anything but time, what exactly are they losing by instead focus sing on starting and raising a family instead?

      “Just” time? Four years of hard work and study, preparing to be a productive member of society is far more significant than the money.

      Why should these women use their brains? Because they can. Because their brains are big. Because they are capable of doing very interesting things. That doesn’t mean they can’t step off the fast track to have a family someday, but to backburner all your energy, talent and intelligence immediately following graduation? No. Just no.

      We obviously hold different opinions on this, but I would respectfully suggest that if you think Princeton women are going to line up for that deal you’re offering, think again.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course there are rich kids at Princeton, just like there are rich kids at Michigan and Wisconsin. 60% of Princeton students have their tuition paid in full by the University, and receive other forms of financial aid as well. No student is expected to take out loans to attend.”

    It’s actually another system that punishes savers.

    If you save money, you get docked by Princeton.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “When my husband interviewed at Goldman Sachs, the partner said to him. “Look out there on the floor. That will be your family. And this family will come first. Just about all of us are divorced. If you can’t put the firm first, you’re not Goldman material.”

    Capitalism is the bane of civilization.

  • JP

    “If being a lawyer is your life’s ambition, then do it. But don’t bitch when you find yourself dead ended at 40 with a miserable home life to boot. (Not picking on you or your profession, just lazy and your provided I forgot was there…)”

    I don’t have a life ambition, but I needed to do something for cash. Hence, lawyer.

    I don’t think that “lawyer” even matches my skill set or talents, to tell you the truth.

    However, everybody has to pick a career out of the career vending machine at some point.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “Patton points out that men generally are happy to marry women less intelligent than themselves. Many men here have said that as well. ”

    Bollocks. I’ll believe that the day I see a Princeton grad walk into Burger King and ask the pretty girl behind the counter to be his wife.

  • OffTheCuff

    Shut up PJ.

    Less intelligent might means slightly less, not vastly less and from a different social class on top of that. Even within a single school, there is a big range of intelligence. Could be a span of 300 SAT points in a single school easily.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    ““Just” time? Four years of hard work and study, preparing to be a productive member of society is far more significant than the money.”

    Uh, it’s Princeton.

    In 2013, that means that you don’t have to do anything except show up.

    The hard work is getting in.

    Also, you can come out of college much worse than when you went in in the first place.

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

      The hard work is getting in.

      That’s true of Harvard, but Cornell is a very hard school, and I think Princeton is probably second among the Ivies. Those kids work their asses off.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    I always felt bad for people who went to lesser ranked law schools, not just because they went to a lesser ranked law school, but because they actually had to attend class and do work.

    The better the school, the less work you have to do to graduate.

    My wife always wondered in amazement why I wouldn’t bother to go to class at Duke when I was paying so much for it.

    I explained to her that I wasn’t there to learn anything. Rather, I was there to get a Duke Law degree (and as a side benefit, not have to work) and the important thing was that I got in.

  • JP

    “Why should these women use their brains? Because they can. Because their brains are big. Because they are capable of doing very interesting things. That doesn’t mean they can’t step off the fast track to have a family someday, but to backburner all your energy, talent and intelligence immediately following graduation? No. Just no.”

    The economy is going to do this to a lot of them for the foreseeable future.

    Some might as well start families, since it’s probably the most interesting thing that a lot of them are going to do over the next 5-10 years.

    Granted, the forward economic projections could change, but for now, it’s going to be horrible for graduates.

    You may want to consider incorporating some of this into the data you are looking at.

    I’m not being snarky or taking Ted’s position. This just kind of occurred to me.

    Is anybody tracking this?

    What kind of jobs *are* they getting?

    I know that a Duke Law degree isn’t the insta-$$$ that it was when I graduated during the dot-com era.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “We obviously hold different opinions on this, but I would respectfully suggest that if you think Princeton women are going to line up for that deal you’re offering, think again.”

    LOL. I wouldn’t try to pull a Princeton girl even if I thought I could. She will likely be far too concerned with her career and status, and not enough on family and home life. But I think that’s been my point all along. Besides, she wouldn’t find my low class very appealing. ;-)

    I know many very smart people that don’t “use their brains” at work. Hell, I don’t use half of my “brain capacity” at work. I simply don’t use my career as a proxy for smarts. I’m in IT because I need to make money. Sure, I had to have some intelligence to get the job, but I’ve never once considered my work to be intellectually stimulating. I get that from reading HUS of course! Anyone that tries to figure out how smart I am based on what I get paid to do these days is going to likely fail.

    Of course, I don’t see it as a waste if a woman with an IQ above 130 is a SAHM instead of a researcher trying to cure cancer. We can discuss how bored she might be with that “career”, but that is an entirely different conversation that has to do with the fact that most people can’t amuse themselves these days…

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    ” That doesn’t mean they can’t step off the fast track to have a family someday, but to backburner all your energy, talent and intelligence immediately following graduation? No. Just no.”

    You’ve made the same mistake as you were previous.
    No one has suggested they back burner their brain power to raise a family. It has been suggested that they land a husband while the pickings are good, which is true. That is not mutually exclusive with utilizing ones brain power.

    Having a family (i.e.. kids) might be detrimental to it but being married certainly will not.

    As anecdata, I got married end of June/Beginning of July and went and spent some time in warm, cultured places.

    Then I went back to work. my work schedule is strangely exactly the same as it was prior.

    My wife finally got the Grade 1’s she’s always wanted but other than that her schedule is also pretty much the same.

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

      @Lokland

      No one has suggested they back burner their brain power to raise a family.

      That’s exactly what Ted said! Did you read his comments?

      FTR, I have no problem with people marrying and working and revisiting the whole issue when kids come along. That is what we did. That is not what is being discussed here. This latest tangent was a response to Bastiat Blogger – I suggest reading his comment.

  • SayWhaat

    Is anybody tracking this?

    What kind of jobs *are* they getting?

    Not that long ago, I called a graduate school about a program I was interested in applying for. One of (the many) questions I asked was where their graduates ended up, and what was the success rate of placing their graduates in full-time positions directly related to their field of study.

    Unsurprisingly, they did not have this data, and the guy half-jokingly, half-accused me of gathering information for a rival school! I mean, it wasn’t a question I really expected an answer for, I just thought there was no harm in asking. I think that going forward, graduate schools would do well to have this sort of information on hand. More people will be (or should be) asking these questions.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “This latest tangent was a response to Bastiat Blogger – I suggest reading his comment.”

    Just to clarify. You have all been discussing for 100 comments whether or not a woman should get married and have kids directly out of school?

    Instead of instantly dismissing it and moving forward into what would be a more reasonable median between that and trying to get pregnant at 35 after ball busting her way to CEO?

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    “Just to clarify. You have all been discussing for 100 comments whether or not a woman should get married and have kids directly out of school?”

    This was the model I used (granted, my wife did work for 24 months or something).

    Granted, this was over 10 years ago, so it may not be applicable to the Modern Financial Hypereconomy.

    One of the benefits is that you’re in your early 40’s when your kids hit 20.

    If you get your kids to do it to, you get grandkids in your late 40’s early 50’s.

  • Ted D

    Susan – I did say to Ana that if there are no kids involved she should be working on her career.

    So to be clear my stance is:
    Getting married young does NOT mean a woman has to back burner her career UNLESS they start having kids right away.
    A woman that wants a family should think VERY hard before they waste time, money, and/or effort on a degree if she will not be using it. (And nothing says they can’t start college in their 30’s once the kids are school aged)
    Any woman determined to have a prestigious career might want to write off kids. I’m sure she can find men that would love a high paying DINK marriage.
    Since women seem to dislike “marrying down”, they should be ready and willing to drop their career aspirations if they want kids. Otherwise she may lose attraction for her hubby when he is no longer “higher status” than her.

    As always, YMMV.

  • JP

    I mean, my grandmother had my mother when she was 40.

    My grandfather died when I was 3 and he was over 70!

  • JP

    I’m thinking “kids at 25″ is probably the ideal we need to be shooting for here to avoid the old age parent/grandparent outcome.

  • JP

    I’m not even 40 and I’m down to one parent, zero grandparents.

    The younger guy in the office just had his father die, as did my sister-in-law, who is also younger than I am.

    This is a major issue people need to think about.

  • Ted D

    JP – “One of the benefits is that you’re in your early 40′s when your kids hit 20.”

    My oldest is 19, and our youngest is 12. I’ll be 43 in July. I am so looking forward to the last one graduating from high school when I’m just creeping up on 50 I can’t describe it. Lord willing I will see grand kids AND still be young enough to do more than tell them stories from the good old days. :-)

    Plus, my parental obligations will be complete while I’m still plenty young enough to go have some fun.

  • Lokland

    @JP

    I come from a long lived family.
    My great grandfather was 96 and died after two weeks fighting pneumonia. No major illnesses and was out dancing with my great grandmother twice a week 3 weeks prior to his death.

    Y’all just need to live longer.

  • Anacaona

    Instead of instantly dismissing it and moving forward into what would be a more reasonable median between that and trying to get pregnant at 35 after ball busting her way to CEO?
    OUCH! I just turned 35 :(

  • Lokland

    “OUCH! I just turned 35 ”

    But your not a CEO, big improvement :P

  • Anacaona

    But your not a CEO, big improvement
    LOL! I shouldn’t find it funny but I do, maybe I’m in the spectrum too ;)

  • JP

    “Y’all just need to live longer.”

    My other grandmother just passed away at 99.

    The big problem there was that we had to put her in a nursing home at 96 and she would attack orderlies and the like.

  • JP

    My grandmother was barely born in the 20th century.

    Born in 1902.

  • JP

    Now, I *did* get quite a lot of stories about life back in the days *before* the Great Depression.

  • Martian Bachelor

    “there are a large number of geniuses having great difficulty finding other geniuses w/whom to mate.” (Erik L)

    “Women of genius are rare.”
    -Pierre Curie

    There was an interesting if very long article several months back in The American Conservative by Ron Unz detailing the admissions policies at the Ivy’s. It builds a case that Asians are the new Jews (or Blacks) – who were actively kept out way back when. If anyone is familiar with the ideas in Steve Sailer’s “Is Love Colorblind?”, it makes perfect sense that Asian males especially would be discriminated against in Ivy admissions as a way of making the environment better from a mating minded woman’s PoV.

    Patton is just pulling on the same oars. It’s the cultural SOP. Nothing new to see here.

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

    SayWhaat wrote:

    Not that long ago, I called a graduate school about a program I was interested in applying for. One of (the many) questions I asked was where their graduates ended up, and what was the success rate of placing their graduates in full-time positions directly related to their field of study.

    Unsurprisingly, they did not have this data, and the guy half-jokingly, half-accused me of gathering information for a rival school! I mean, it wasn’t a question I really expected an answer for, I just thought there was no harm in asking. I think that going forward, graduate schools would do well to have this sort of information on hand. More people will be (or should be) asking these questions.

    Departments may not have this information, but individual supervisors should. If you are going to grad school you should probably have a supervisor picked out beforehand. Supervisors often are called on to show that they have a history of successfully placing grad students in their grant proposals. You can also ask the supervisor to introduce you to their former students, especially if you have provided confidential reference letters yourself.

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

    JP wrote:

    In many areas, if you step off or don’t get on the right track, you end up looking toxic to employers because your resume looks like you were essentially a failure.

    Yup. You have to be good to be lucky. Often you get one shot at career success and if you don’t seize it you’re toast. It is of course brutally unfair and inefficient. People should be allowed to make mistakes.

    For all we bitch about the difficulty of relationships, they’re much easier to manage than high-flying prestigious careers.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “If anyone is familiar with the ideas in Steve Sailer’s “Is Love Colorblind?”, it makes perfect sense that Asian males especially would be discriminated against in Ivy admissions as a way of making the environment better from a mating minded woman’s PoV.”

    Fill me in. I’m not quite getting how discriminating against Asian males makes it a better environment for women finding a mate.
    The Asian men I’ve met are generally relationship, even family, oriented.
    Am I missing something here?

  • SayWhaat

    Departments may not have this information, but individual supervisors should. If you are going to grad school you should probably have a supervisor picked out beforehand. Supervisors often are called on to show that they have a history of successfully placing grad students in their grant proposals. You can also ask the supervisor to introduce you to their former students, especially if you have provided confidential reference letters yourself.

    I spoke to the director of the program…surely he should have had some idea? At any rate, I did request to speak with alumni, but he didn’t want to introduce me to any (something about the program only being a few years old). Luckily I already knew one alum, and had arranged to get coffee with her afterwards. :P

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

    SayWhaat wrote:

    I spoke to the director of the program…surely he should have had some idea? At any rate, I did request to speak with alumni, but he didn’t want to introduce me to any (something about the program only being a few years old). Luckily I already knew one alum, and had arranged to get coffee with her afterwards. :P

    Possibly. Researchers who have turned into bureaucrats are often simply those who’ve been put out to pasture, however. It may reflect laziness on the part of the insolent director, or it may be a warning sign. Generally speaking, the bigger and more grandiose the claims a group makes, the lower the quality of their work.

    Most supervisors will cut out the heart of the family dog as an offering if they think it will secure a bright student or post-doc. Good people are very hard to attract and harder to actually land. Ideally you don’t want to be the first student of anyone, because they will make the most mistakes with you. Someone in the middle of their career who still wheels and deals is often the best. As supervisors get close to retiring, they care less.

  • Goldman Sucks

    J, “She is getting seven years of alimony, despite the fact that she gave up a lucrative career and many other opportunities for self-improvement so that her husband could follow his dreams.”

    I’m sorry but anyone who does this is a dang fool.

    Marriage is a two way street. He gives up a bit of his oppurtunities for her, she a bit for him. But neither should be giving up all of their oppurtunities so the other can follow his or her “dreams” at the partner’s expense.

    And anyone who expects that from his or her partner clearly does not love them, never has and never will.

  • SayWhaat

    Thanks for the career advice, Mr. Nervous Toes! Will keep that all in mind. :)

  • Bells

    @ADBG,

    girls that want to DATE shy guys without a lot of experience will have to excuse the lack of immediate tingles. And, you know, the way the smooth guys make you feel comfortable? Yeah, that, but opposite.
    Something fun and physical to get both of you comfortable, then a nice conversation.
    The difference is that you will have to take a much more aggressive, leading role, which you might not feel overwhelmingly comfortable with. The reward is that he will be taking that role back from you quite quickly as he feels more comfortable with you.

    Interesting guy perspective. Now I’ll know how to approach things in order to get better results. I just hope that the leadership role transfers quickly enough because I hate being too aggressive. If not, the tingles will lay dormant forever.

  • Emily

    >> “I mean, it wasn’t a question I really expected an answer for, I just thought there was no harm in asking. I think that going forward, graduate schools would do well to have this sort of information on hand. More people will be (or should be) asking these questions.”

    Maybe they have the information but they don’t want you to know. (Recession and all that…)

  • Emily

    I think if Miss Princeton is going to be making major career sacrifices for her boyfriend, she’d better be damn sure that marriage is on the table. (And I don’t mean in a “Maybe-Hypothetically-In-Five-Years” sort of way.) Again, I’m skeptical about how many 22 year old guys would be willing to make that kind of promise.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “I think if Miss Princeton is going to be making major career sacrifices for her boyfriend, she’d better be damn sure that marriage is on the table. (And I don’t mean in a “Maybe-Hypothetically-In-Five-Years” sort of way.) Again, I’m skeptical about how many 22 year old guys would be willing to make that kind of promise.”

    The only type of “sacrifice” to be made for a mere “boyfriend” is, “ok we’ll eat at your favorite restaurant tonight instead of mine”.

    A career sacrifice is to be made only for a legally married spouse who has provided you with something of value, such as a child. Even then, be careful. As J’s friend described above is in an unfortunate situation because she relinqueshed all of her concrete oppurtunites for her husbands “dreams” and he rewarded her with a divorce.

    Cost/benefit analysis must be done.

    Watch your own backs, ladies!

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

      The only type of “sacrifice” to be made for a mere “boyfriend” is, “ok we’ll eat at your favorite restaurant tonight instead of mine”.

      A career sacrifice is to be made only for a legally married spouse who has provided you with something of value, such as a child. Even then, be careful. As J’s friend described above is in an unfortunate situation because she relinqueshed all of her concrete oppurtunites for her husbands “dreams” and he rewarded her with a divorce.

      Cost/benefit analysis must be done.

      Don’t shut up, PJ. When you’re on, you’re on.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Yes Emily I totally agree. When I quit my job to move out to Utah, my husband had explicitly stated that he wanted to marry me and have kids with me, but that we needed more time to get to know each other. We had only known each other three or four months at that point. It was still a difficult decision for me since the job I had was really good, and I had no guarantees of another job. Certainly I would not have done it if I didn’t think he was very serious about me.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Mr nervous toes, I second that for grad programs. My husband had a very good professor who is a bit known in the applied math field locally, and when he graduated the recruiters from the job he has now knew the prof by name and asked for his opinion as to whether my husband would be good. So I think people do have an idea of whether poor not their graduates go on to find work, at least for the first jobs after graduation.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “Don’t shut up, PJ. When you’re on, you’re on.”

    Bah. A compromise isnt a sacrifice.

    A career “sacrifice” would be abandoning your degree entirely, not moving to a different city and taking a second-prefence job that pays almost, but not quite as much, as the one you preferred.

    From the comments here, you’d think that doing such a thing would render a person instantly unemployable for life. I would think a Princeton grad would be able to write their own ticket wherever they go, no?

  • Goldman Sucks

    “When I quit my job to move out to Utah, my husband had explicitly stated that he wanted to marry me and have kids with me, but that we needed more time to get to know each other. We had only known each other three or four months at that point. It was still a difficult decision for me since the job I had was really good, and I had no guarantees of another job. Certainly I would not have done it if I didn’t think he was very serious about me.”

    You’re lucky it worked out Hope. However I would never advise any one else to do this. Even though your husband said he wanted to marry you he still said you “needed more time to get to know each other” and you had only known each other for a mere 3-4 months at the time.

    For the rest of us, quitting a good job and moving to another state so that we can “get to know someone better” who we have only known for 3-4 months is HIGH RISK BEHAVIOR.

  • OffTheCuff

    Are women really this insecure about their ability to earn a living by themeselves? Break up. Go get another job, or continue the one you have. Go back home.

    High risk is jumping out of a plane, not a break-up.

    Heck, marriage is a bigger risk – because then you lose half your stuff.

  • JP

    “I would think a Princeton grad would be able to write their own ticket wherever they go, no?”

    That only applies for the jobs right out of school.

    After that, they’re on their own.

  • JP

    @Emily:

    “Maybe they have the information but they don’t want you to know. (Recession and all that…)”

    No, they really don’t know.

    Worse than that, they don’t necessarily *want* to know.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    I knew I was good enough to get another job, so I wasn’t concerned about that. The chances of getting another job was over 90 percent, and another good job over 50 percent, while the chances of falling mutually in love with such an awesome man was under 1 percent. I took the path that was actually very much lower risk in the long term.

    Plus, as I have mentioned in the past, I had some very spiritual experiences around the time of meeting my husband that were strongly associated with him, and I felt like I had to pursue it with all my effort.

  • Goldman Sucks

    ” I had some very spiritual experiences around the time of meeting my husband that were strongly associated with him”

    A unique situation. Most regular folk are not in relationships because of spiritual experiences and thus need to proceed with even more caution being that they are mostly led around like imbeciles by their d*cks and va-jay-jays.

  • JP

    “A unique situation.”

    Yeah.

    Except for all the other similar situations involving synchronicity and the like.

    If Hope got the green light, Hope got the green light.

    I mean, I’m convinced that the universe is conspiring to help me.

  • Karl

    “it’s ALMOST impossible to get through all the screening tests to become an astronaut, therefore, I Susan advise college women to not even dream about it”.

    There are Alpha men who get what 99% of men can’t get, and there are Alpha women who get what 99% of women can’t get (the marriageable partner) in college..

  • Ted D

    “Marriage is a two way street. He gives up a bit of his oppurtunities for her, she a bit for him. But neither should be giving up all of their oppurtunities so the other can follow his or her “dreams” at the partner’s expense.”

    I agree with this 100%. I think the miscommunication here is this: you are assuming the husband is “following his dream” by pursuing a career. I’m not making that assumption. In fact, unless his “dream” is financially viable, I think he’s an idiot for following it at all.

    So, I would never ask a woman to “give up her dream” for mine. But I’d certainly ask her to give up her “career” so I could better mine. Because guess what? My dream was never to be in IT.

    Again, I do not understand the concept of someone’s “dream” being their career. Maybe an athlete or rock star. But most of the people I know are doing what they do because they need the money. I’d say a few actually like their jobs. None of them are “living their dream” at the office.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    To go along with an ongoing debate on this site…

    If a smart, successful, high-achieving guy would rather meet his wife sooner than later…

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to concentrate on girls of average to slightly above average intelligence, rather than very intelligent girls, on the basis that the former are more likely to be less ambitious, and more likely to go along with, and support his career aspirations?

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

      Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to concentrate on girls of average to slightly above average intelligence, rather than very intelligent girls, on the basis that the former are more likely to be less ambitious, and more likely to go along with, and support his career aspirations?

      If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.

  • INTJ
  • Mike C

    If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.

    Probably. I guess the trade-off is the potential for smarter kids versus having a spouse that is more agreeable and supportive to one’s goals.

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

      @Mike C

      I guess the trade-off is the potential for smarter kids versus having a spouse that is more agreeable and supportive to one’s goals.

      So lower IQ is positively correlated to agreeableness? Do you have some evidence for that claim? Let’s have some fun here!

  • Intelligent Husband

    If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.

    .

    Because of regression to the mean, the odds of two exceptionally intelligent, equally matched partners having a child with an IQ as high, or nearly as high, as theirs are very slim:

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2010/07/assortative-mating-regression-and-all.html

    It has been further pointed out that because of the variation found among the IQ of siblings, and the fact that very intelligent women tend to have fewer children, a high-IQ man wanting to maximize his chances of having highly intelligent offspring would statistically be right to favor mating with a woman who was slightly less intelligent but ready to have a larger family:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/01/regression-toward-mean-and-iq.html

    (…which is not to dispute the genuine pleasure of having a highly intelligent wife.)

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

      @Intelligent Husband

      Interesting stuff!

      At the lowest figure, the two 160 IQ parents’ children would average 120 and at the highest, 152. But, as my reader points out, for most values in the middle of that range, the implications he draws are still more or less true.

      Takeaway – twenty IQ points is a lot: 120 vs. 140 is a big difference and it will be by definition much harder to find a woman with an IQ of 140+ (one in 261) vs. one with an IQ of 120+ (one in 11) and it will be much more difficult to persuade your wife to give up IQ 140-career track (Fortune 500 CEO, Ivey League tenured professorship etc.) than IQ 120-career track (nurse, high school teacher etc.) for changing diapers in the middle of the night.

      While Sailer maintains”The best course of action is probably to find somebody you like talking to because you are going to be doing that for a long time,” he also points out that women with an IQ of 140 are only 1 in 262, while women with an IQ of 120 are 1 in 11.

      Clearly, a man with an IQ of 140 who wants a comparable mate is selecting from a small pool of potential candidates. He is much better off relaxing his standards if he wants to reproduce. In addition, theoretically, women with an IQ of 120 are going to find him more attractive than women with an IQ of 140, due to female hypergamy.

      I’m surprised by the regression to the mean analysis. I’d like to learn more about that. I think this is a more typical story, let’s follow the lineage of Barbara:

      Ancestors – IQ unknown, six generations ago church documents were signed with an X by all parties.

      Father: 145

      Mother: 122

      Brother 1: 150-160

      Brother 2: 130-140

      Barbara: 140

      Barbara’s Husband: 145

      Barbara’s two children: both 140-145

      Is this a case of essentially winning the lottery against very long odds?

      I also wonder whether if intelligence is regressing to the mean, is the whole world getting dumber? He demonstrates a rapid decline in IQ in three generations – from 160 to 113.

      This doesn’t seem to make sense. What am I missing? (I confess I didn’t spend more than a couple of minutes reading this.)

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.”

    Ouch. Who’s agnetic (is that the word?) now?

    The potential level of my potential kids’ intelligence factored precisely zero into my choice of love life, despite the fact my SAT was probably 350 points higher than my wife’s.

    And my sons are both in highest honors already. My middle kid was the ONLY ONE in the entire grade.

    I value work ethic and kindness far over raw IQ.

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

      Sue: “If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.”

      Ouch. Who’s agnetic (is that the word?) now?

      Isn’t planning for offspring the opposite of agentic? Women select men on intelligence precisely so that they can have smart children, as intelligence is a key predictor in accumulation of resources. Why wouldn’t men want to select carefully for that trait as well? A man who is intelligent will have a much easier time teaching his son, bringing him into the family business, etc. if his son is as intelligent as he is.

      Agentic is the narcissistic exploitation of others for personal gain. Selecting an intelligent mother for your children exploits no one and is for the gain of the next generation.

  • INTJ

    @ Mike C

    Probably. I guess the trade-off is the potential for smarter kids versus having a spouse that is more agreeable and supportive to one’s goals.

    Not to mention that smarter women choose to have fewer children. Not exactly a good bet to pass on your genes.

  • Goldman Sucks

    ” But I’d certainly ask her to give up her “career” so I could better mine. ”

    Why

  • Ted D

    PJ/GS – I’m not sure exactly what you are asking here. In my particular case, I make double what my wife does, so if one of us has to bug out, it won’t be me,

    In general? I already explained it. Women don’t seem to be thrilled with husbands that aren’t somehow seen as higher status than her. For the vast majority of average men, their best chance of having that status is his career. Sure, an artist or I structor might not make a lot of money, but they often derive status within their communities. Joe down the street? Unless being the champ of his bowling league really puts a gleam in his wife’s eyes, his best shot of satisfying her need for status is his career.

    I get that in the UMC status can be as simple as having the right last name. But for most of us, it’s all about how big your paycheck is. Which is we most of us aren’t living the dream at work. We work to get paid. And we’re happy if the job doesn’t give us ulcers or anxiety.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    “Not to mention that smarter women choose to have fewer children. Not exactly a good bet to pass on your genes.”

    A lot of smart men these days are choosing to not have kids at all.

    Having kids is a lot more than about passing on your genes. I’m not really sure how to describe the kind of chaos it brings to your life. Some people love having a huge family. My husband would absolutely hate it.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Also, r/k selection.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory

    “Traits that are thought to be characteristic of K-selection include large body size, long life expectancy, and the production of fewer offspring, which often require extensive parental care until they mature. Organisms whose life history is subject to K-selection are often referred to as K-strategists or K-selected. Organisms with K-selected traits include large organisms such as elephants, humans and whales, but also smaller, long-lived organisms such as Arctic Terns.”

    “In order to maximize fitness in a predictable environment, it pays to invest resources in long-term development and long life (K selection); in a risky environment, it is better to produce as much offspring as quickly as possible (r selection).”

    People have tons of kids in inner city ghettos, and upper middle class families have fewer.

    If you aspire to have ten kids, better either be Mormon or be having lots of baby mamas.

  • Lokland

    @Hope

    One thing, when our species initially developed we were likely f if not r selected. K selection wasn’t possible until the advent of weapons which was co-incedent with the out of Africa timeframe.

    ———-

    @Susan

    Your argument hinges upon two characteristics,
    1. The higher value of intelligence.
    2. The heritability of intelligence.

    1. Depends what is valuable. From an evolutionary standpoint # of offspring trumps individual intelligence unless high intelligence is associated with the production of more offspring than average.

    From a happiness perspective, I disagree with the notion that intelligence would be the most important personality trait. I’d much rather have someone who was sweet, kind and nurturing. I expect my wife to stimulate me but not intellectually.

    From a lifestyle perspective, not being top 1% intelligence is not the same as being poor. Nor does it mean one is a dunce incapable of original, creative or critical thought.

    2. Way more complicated than what you are letting on.

    Note: Before I get accused of dating bimbos, my wife (and all of my exes) fit on the far right of the bell curve. That was less to do with any attraction or inclination to search out intelligent women and more to do with being surrounded by smart people all the time.

    I will also so dating a woman who is smarter than you is incredibly nerve wracking. Horrid experience.

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

      @Lokland

      From a happiness perspective, I disagree with the notion that intelligence would be the most important personality trait.

      Heaven forbid! I never said such a thing. Under that belief, history’s worst evil despots might qualify as mates.

      I expect my wife to stimulate me but not intellectually.

      Of course you are entitled to your personal preference, and I’m sure your preference is not at all unusual. I am fortunate to be married to a man who enjoys intellectually stimulating conversation. I don’t mean discussing scientific research or economics, lol. But high intelligence translates to many other things – what books, music, and art you enjoy, for example. Or the ability to discuss important topics of the day in a way that does not limit the discussion and frustrate your partner.

      All of the very smart women I know IRL are married to very smart men who value their intelligence highly and state that openly.

      Of course, Vox Day once said that his wife wanted high IQ and he wanted high cheekbones. There are many different combinations that people choose. In fact, I daresay that there are some less intelligent but handsome guys who wind up with smarter women. Attraction triggers are very complex, and every individual brings a specific set of preferences and needs to mating.

      That was less to do with any attraction or inclination to search out intelligent women and more to do with being surrounded by smart people all the time.

      Yes, that is how much assortative mating occurs. Familiarity breeds attraction.

  • JP

    “Clearly, a man with an IQ of 140 who wants a comparable mate is selecting from a small pool of potential candidates. He is much better off relaxing his standards if he wants to reproduce. In addition, theoretically, women with an IQ of 120 are going to find him more attractive than women with an IQ of 140, due to female hypergamy.”

    That’s pretty much the only pool I was looking at.

    Meaning the 140+ pool.

    So, I generally found someone who I was interested in dating about once every three years.

    Anyway, here’s the current debate about genetic intelligence from the Davidson forum.

    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/152684/There_Isn_t_Any_Gene_for_Intel.html#Post152684

  • Lokland

    “This doesn’t seem to make sense. What am I missing? (I confess I didn’t spend more than a couple of minutes reading this.)”

    IQs are continually increasing but the standard is always reset to 100. Therefore the average IQ is always 100 but that 100 is not a set in stone spot.

    I think its called the Flynn Affect/Effect.

    Also, though intelligence is partially heritable (there are three components two genetics only one of which is heritable) there are also environmental factors environment.

    Look up broad vs. narrow sense heritability for a better understanding of how genetic factors are only partially heritable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability (Full disclosure, didn’t actually read it, trusting the gods of wikipedia.)

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

      IQs are continually increasing but the standard is always reset to 100. Therefore the average IQ is always 100 but that 100 is not a set in stone spot.

      Well then that totally negates the argument about regression to the mean, doesn’t it? Doesn’t that say that 120 is the new 140?

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    So lower IQ is positively correlated to agreeableness?

    Only if you use high physical attractiveness as a control. “Pretty, sane, or smart, pick two.” ;)

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

      Only if you use high physical attractiveness as a control. “Pretty, sane, or smart, pick two.”

      Actually, is there any research on this? I know it’s a popular quip, but I wonder what the correlations might be between beauty, intelligence and mental health.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Regression to the mean doesn’t happen on a societal level because of variance. While in general, the offspring of two parents will have a mean IQ roughly equal to the mean IQ of their parents, there will be variance in the resulting IQs. Thus, there will be a gaussian distribution, though the distribution might have longer tails than expected because of assortative mating.

    Here’s a post diagramming the types of equilibriums you’d get based on various levels of assortative mating (see the spoiler in the link). The post is about skin color, but it can just as easily be applied to any genetic thing on a spectrum such as intelligence. http://intjforum.com/showpost.php?p=2908835&postcount=4

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Well then that totally negates the argument about regression to the mean, doesn’t it? Doesn’t that say that 120 is the new 140?”

    No its possible to have a progressive mean while regressing towards it.
    Note: Actually it means 120 is the old 140 not vice versa as you suggested. People are getting smarter not stupider.

    How is it possible?

    We expect regression towards the mean from both directions. Both down and up. For this to occur it would mean that those on the lower end of the spectrum are moving more up than those on the higher up part of the spectrum are moving down.

    Ex. We have a line on the wall. People throw darts at it.
    The average is 100.

    6 new ppl show up, 3 low scorers (previous average of 20), 3 high scorers (previous average of 180).
    They score an avg. of 80 and 140respectively.
    Therefore both have regressed towards the mean but the new average is 110.

    If we consider IQ this is due to the increasing nutrition levels seen in modern society. Thats what causes more gain amongst the lower half than loss amongst the upper half

    Also, there will be those above the mean who go farther above the mean and those below who go farther below when reproducing.

    You need consider it at the population level to see that its possible to have an increasing mean which people both above and below regress towards.

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

      @Lokland

      Note: Actually it means 120 is the old 140 not vice versa as you suggested. People are getting smarter not stupider.

      Sorry, that’s what I meant. Got it.

      If we consider IQ this is due to the increasing nutrition levels seen in modern society. Thats what causes more gain amongst the lower half than loss amongst the upper half

      Makes sense. I know that first generation Americans usually get a height boost from nutrition alone.

  • Lokland

    Beauty and IQ have a .2 correlation for both sexes.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “Not to mention that smarter women choose to have fewer children. Not exactly a good bet to pass on your genes.”

    Hope, ” A lot of smart men these days are choosing to not have kids at all.

    Having kids is a lot more than about passing on your genes. I’m not really sure how to describe the kind of chaos it brings to your life. Some people love having a huge family. My husband would absolutely hate it.”

    Everything changes once you have a child. All these people who are concerned about having a wild and crazy, even regular, sex life throughout their entire marriage until they keel over at 90 can forget it if they plan on having kids.

    If that type of life is a priority for you, and if you don’t plan on making your entire life from wake to sleep (and the lack of sleep that comes with a child) solely about your child/children and not about you at all….
    then Roe vs Wade for men (vasectomy) is the way to go!

    Parenting, even more than marriage, is about self-sacrifice. Be prepared to lose your “identity” and do it joyfully, if at all.

  • Lokland

    @INTJ, Susan

    “Regression to the mean doesn’t happen on a societal level because of variance. ”

    This is kinda right.
    If no new variance was generated we would expect regression to the mean.

    However, variance is incorporated in multiple ways (mutation/dominance-epistatis/environmental differences).

    Consider it a tug-o-war between the addition of new variance vs. systems that act to remove it.

    Since there is always new variation we will never see a full regression.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    I was joking (sorta).

    I think the real point is that it’s a constrained-MMV optimization problem. Physical attractiveness, sanity, and intelligence all increase MMV. Each guy can pull a girl of a certain MMV (approximately equal to his own MMV). He has to decide how he is going to allocate that MMV budget when choosing a mate.

    So yes, in the ideal you can argue that looks, intelligence, and sanity are not negatively correlated (or perhaps even positively correlated), but such girls who satisfy all three criteria are out of the reach of the average guy. It’s simply a variation on the old apex fallacy.

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

      He has to decide how he is going to allocate that MMV budget when choosing a mate.

      Thank you for speaking in economic terms. I understand :)

  • JP

    “So yes, in the ideal you can argue that looks, intelligence, and sanity are not negatively correlated (or perhaps even positively correlated), but such girls who satisfy all three criteria are out of the reach of the average guy.”

    Which is why you ultimately have to settle for someone who doesn’t fit your criteria for the type of person who you actually want to be with.

    I’m not sure why “settling” seems to be such a bad word in the context of marriage.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “So yes, in the ideal you can argue that looks, intelligence, and sanity are not negatively correlated (or perhaps even positively correlated), but such girls who satisfy all three criteria are out of the reach of the average guy.”

    Really? There are not moderately attractive, smart and sane average women out there with moderately attractive, smart and sane average guys

    I call bullshit. I see such couples everyday. In fact, the majority of couples may be in this category.

  • JP

    “Really? There are not moderately attractive, smart and sane average women out there with moderately attractive, smart and sane average guys

    I call bullshit. I see such couples everyday. In fact, the majority of couples may be in this category.”

    No, you are right.

    I always forget that everyone isn’t a statistical outlier.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    “I think the real point is that it’s a constrained-MMV optimization problem. Physical attractiveness, sanity, and intelligence all increase MMV. Each guy can pull a girl of a certain MMV (approximately equal to his own MMV). He has to decide how he is going to allocate that MMV budget when choosing a mate.”

    I used to joke with my husband that I’m the cheap Chinese knock-off model of a top quality girl, and he got me at a good dirt-cheap price.

    “Parenting, even more than marriage, is about self-sacrifice. Be prepared to lose your “identity” and do it joyfully, if at all.”

    I never really cared that much about my “identity,” but yeah it’s hard work being a parent of a young baby, more so with multiple young babies. My joy nowadays is omg I got enough sleep! Mmmmm sleeeep.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “Women don’t seem to be thrilled with husbands that aren’t somehow seen as higher status than her.”

    Hmmm. SAHDs are on the rise, not the decline. I wonder how that dynamic works. I know a handful of couples like this and they seem to be happy but you never know what goes on behind closed doors. One couple has been married for almost 40 years now and the husband blames his slackerness on depression. When I say slackness its not because he doesn’t have a job but because he doesn’t do much work in the home either.

    Now another couple is a handsome, charming young man married to a woman who is also good looking but not as quite as he. And she is older by 5 years. She had a fetish for his particular ethnic stock since those were the only men she dated. Her friends all tell her how handsome her husband is. She works all day and he stays home with the kid and makes dinner a lot but he doesn’t do much else besides surf the net and toy with pyramid scams. He also drinks light beer all day long and says it doesn’t count because its “light”.

    Yet whenever a certain someone suggests he’s a slacker, she rushes to his defense like a she-lion defending her cub.

    All I have to say is he must be dynamite in the bedroom.

  • OffTheCuff

    Sue: “Women select men on intelligence precisely so that they can have smart children, as intelligence is a key predictor in accumulation of resources. Why wouldn’t men want to select carefully for that trait as well?”

    I guess I’m more romantic, and less rationally calculating. I value my wife for own attributes, far over the possible intelligence of some possible kids. If I wanted a super-smart wife, it would be for her, not for some possibly-smart-eggs.

    Just not for me. Though the window into the thought process of the top echelon is very illuminating.

  • OffTheCuff

    Troll:”Everything changes once you have a child. All these people who are concerned about having a wild and crazy, even regular, sex life throughout their entire marriage until they keel over at 90 can forget it if they plan on having kids.”

    Wrong

    Troll: “If that type of life is a priority for you, and if you don’t plan on making your entire life from wake to sleep (and the lack of sleep that comes with a child) solely about your child/children and not about you at all….
    then Roe vs Wade for men (vasectomy) is the way to go!”

    Wrong. I have three kids and life is not 100% about them. They are a huge part of my life, not my entire life.

    Troll: “Parenting, even more than marriage, is about self-sacrifice. Be prepared to lose your “identity” and do it joyfully, if at all.”

    Pix of you and your happy kids or GTFO.

  • JP

    @OTC:

    Why are you arguing with a troll?

  • Ted D

    GS – as with all of is, YMMV. The general sense is that women want a man higher up the food chain than her. Yes, there is evidence that this trend is changing, but its far too soon to tell if its an anomaly or a new standard.

    I’m of the opinion that many young women will try to deal with it, but many wont make it long term. I just don’t see the vast majority of women dealing well with being the bread winner and “head of household”. I’m sure there are women that are perfectly comfortable being the Captain (hat tip to Athol of course), but overall I’d wager those average women and certainly women with higher education will likely expect their husbands to be at least in the same social standing as they themselves are. And they’d probably prefer he have a bit more status.

    So, how does Joe down the street get “status” if not from his career?

  • OffTheCuff

    She’s been around too long. Sometimes you have to get her going so she can hit PeejCon 5 and get banned again. It’s a public service.

  • Goldman Sucks

    Susan, “Women select men on intelligence precisely so that they can have smart children”

    SOME women select for this. But IQ scores are not a common topic of discussion amongst most people. In the course of a normal dating life one gleans intelligence in other ways. And I’m not convinced that intelligence is the top thing women select for. I think most women select for relatability, as in having things in common. If we look around us sometimes the smartest men, the most intellectually bright men, don’t have a lot of women selecting them.

    Ted, “So, how does Joe down the street get “status” if not from his career?”

    I don’t know. I think it has to do with my point of relatability above.

    Everyone is living in a sub-culture. The two examples of SAHDs I gave were men who are thoroughly entrenched in two different sub-cultures. In one of them money and career are not coveted. Women are looking for men who fit in with the value system of that sub-culture and at some point I guess that now depressed husband did fit in.

    The other one, another sub-culture altogether. While being more career and money oriented, I mean the wife works a mainstream office job to support her family, the value system has a lot to do with ethnicity and looks. So her friends who also have a fetish for that particular ethnic type were always telling her how attractive her husband’s face and hair were. And he’s a personable guy who is able to mingle and make friends easily in their particular sub-culture.

    And he’ll look young well into his 50s I’m sure because his stock is like that. So she’ll be a 55 year old woman with a 35-year-old-looking 50 year old husband and really attractive kids.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,

    “If he doesn’t want to have above average children, that is no doubt an easier way to go.”

    Just logistically, due to less variance in the female IQ distribution, a guy on the far right side of the male IQ distribution curve is going to be searching forever if he wants equal or greater intelligence in a mate (the numbers are far worse than the 30% of college women who won’t be able to marry a college educated guy).

    Fortunately, guys are generally not hypergamous, so “>= ” intelligence is not as much of a requirement. Plus, between “above average” and “genius level”, there’s quite a bit of room to choose for other qualities that make for an enduring, affectionate marriage.

    The women who I’ve met who were on the far right of the IQ spectrum tended to be a little odd (I think VD mentioned similar experiences in past posts), plus they tended to be very male brained, and frankly, cuddling up to a female version of myself wasn’t particularly appealing. On top of that, throw in the “my career first, and I need to show off my intelligence” mentality, and it made dating such women quite an annoyance. Cast your lines out wide STEM guys! There’s a world of women out there!

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

      @ENY

      Just logistically, due to less variance in the female IQ distribution, a guy on the far right side of the male IQ distribution curve is going to be searching forever if he wants equal or greater intelligence in a mate (the numbers are far worse than the 30% of college women who won’t be able to marry a college educated guy).

      Yeah, I shared the stat that only 1 in 262 women are at 140, while 1 in 11 is at 120. That’s still well above average – even very smart guys, regardless of preference, are wise to expand that pool. Or cast the net wide, as you say.

  • Goldman Sucks

    “The women who I’ve met who were on the far right of the IQ spectrum tended to be a little odd”

    This is true of anyone, male or female, with extremely high IQ. They’re living in entirely different mental/emotional worlds than the average and somewhat above average IQers.

    Susan, IQ score just does not factor in mating selection for the vast majority of people. Did you ask your husband what his IQ was when you were dating him?

  • Ted D

    Well 2 out of four of my LTR mates had a higher IQ than me. I’m at 118 (online test. I’ve never done a real IQ test like in school). My ex and current wife have IQs in the mid 120’s. (I can’t remember the actual number but mid is close)

    I know that isn’t a huge difference. I’ll also add that although they bot may be “smarter” than I am, they would both quickly admit that I am far more “street smart” than they are. I tend to think I’m just better at applying my knowledge to real world situations than the average bear.

    I guess this means I’m OK with my wife being smarter than me. Honestly I could care less. I know beyond all doubt just based on the wealth of information I carry around that I know more than they do. I also know I’ve got them beat hands down on analytical type thinking and processes. They have me beat easily when it comes to dealing with other people, emotional intelligence, and social interactions.

    Truth be told, my wife and I shore up each others weaknesses very well. She is the public “face” of our partnership, and I keep things running smoothly and efficiently behind the scenes. I’m working on being just a bit more “public”, if for no other reason than to present the image that I’m not just along for the ride. Although the only person I really worry about knowing that is my wife…

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    When I think about it, much of the friction in the current marketplace could be due to everyone underestimating their own MMV, and thus making incorrect assumptions about constraint optimization.

    Consider what you say about the ideal man having a mix of beta and alpha traits, where beta traits constitute niceness, loyalty, etc., and alpha traits constitute confidence, strong-willedness, etc. Someone who underestimates her MMV might decide that she needs a certain level of alpha, so she budgets most of her MMV towards getting an alpha mate, and compromises on beta. Well, when a guy comes along, and acts nice to her (thereby displaying his beta traits), she assumes he doesn’t have much alpha. If he had both alpha and beta, he’d have much higher MMV and wouldn’t be going for her in the first place. This is why guys with inner game (i.e. the alphaness that isn’t immediately visible) fair so poorly if they don’t show any outer game (i.e. visible alphaness, and instead act nice.

    A similar thing happens when nice guys see a really hot girl. They assume she either has a bad personality or she’s out of their league (and nice guys value personality much more than looks, so they’d rather budget their MMV towards personality). Thus, they never try showing interest in the hot girl.

    Essentially, we have a market where people are clueless as to what the actual prices are and so we are seeing some ridiculous transactions occurring.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    INTJ “Essentially, we have a market where people are clueless as to what the actual prices are and so we are seeing some ridiculous transactions occurring.”

    This is interesting, but it makes some sense. My husband went for girls who had good personalities first.

    Though I would argue that the “nice girls” tend to think they need a certain baseline of beta first, and they’ll take any amount of alpha they can get after that. At least that was my line of thinking back in the day, so I dated guys who were very beta.

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

    INTJ…”Well, when a guy comes along, and acts nice to her (thereby displaying his beta traits), she assumes he doesn’t have much alpha. If he had both alpha and beta, he’d have much higher MMV and wouldn’t be going for her in the first place”….and “A similar thing happens when nice guys see a really hot girl. They assume she either has a bad personality or she’s out of their league.”

    Wasn’t it Groucho Marx who said he didn’t want to be a member of any club that would accept him as a member?

  • INTJ

    @ Hope

    Though I would argue that the “nice girls” tend to think they need a certain baseline of beta first, and they’ll take any amount of alpha they can get after that. At least that was my line of thinking back in the day, so I dated guys who were very beta.

    Hehe yeah. However, I would argue that, especially in today’s world where women are achieving financial parity with men, nice girls like you who require the beta more than they require alpha are less common than they used to be. Couple that with the fact that they’re usually introverted, and often even shy, and this makes them quite hard to find for their equally introverted nice guy counterparts.

  • JP

    “This is true of anyone, male or female, with extremely high IQ. They’re living in entirely different mental/emotional worlds than the average and somewhat above average IQers.”

    I’m pretty sure that the technical term is “weird”.

    However, I think that what this guy writes about might be part of the issue (I’m pretty sure that he’s a now deceased underachiever):

    http://www.triplenine.org/download/IQ_and_the_Problem_of_Social_Adjustment.pdf

  • JP

    @Ted:

    “Well 2 out of four of my LTR mates had a higher IQ than me. I’m at 118 (online test. I’ve never done a real IQ test like in school). My ex and current wife have IQs in the mid 120′s. (I can’t remember the actual number but mid is close)”

    I don’t think you’ve ever really lived until you’ve experienced a family argument involving who had the higher IQ.

    I’m just very happy that I was no where near the last one.

    I’m not a fan of standardized tests or IQ tests in general, unless you really are trying to deal with what’s known as twice exceptional these days – high IQ plus learning disability.

    And yes, they exist.

  • Holy Basil

    “However, I think that what this guy writes about might be part of the issue (I’m pretty sure that he’s a now deceased underachiever)”

    Yep, sometimes the super smart underachieve because they just don’t fit into the dominant culture. Suicide is also not unheard of amongst the super high IQers.

    ” unless you really are trying to deal with what’s known as twice exceptional these days – high IQ plus learning disability.

    And yes, they exist.”

    Believe me, I know.

  • MM2

    Patton makes excellent points and, really, I’m sick of these feminazis who later all complain about how hard it is to find “a good man” blah blah blah. It’s so Sex and the City: “I’m so independent and I don’t want to admit I want a mate and OMG, men are horrible, why can’t I find one?”

    As a woman in my early 30’s who never even thought much about marriage and children, I’m finding that now I’m thinking about it whether or not I like it and wondering where I’m going to squeeze in children if I decide to have them – all as I pursue a second Master’s degree.

    Patton is being realistic and honest, something that most women absolutely cannot stand – but then complain that their unrealistic expectations weren’t met.

    I’m all for having different experiences and dating different people, sure, live it up, but the reality is that we do have a deadline for baby making. And women seem to walk around like we’re too good for all the men we meet, certain that Mr. Prince Charming will come knocking on our doors and then when he doesn’t we come on sites like this to bitch about how we don’t meet any good men.

  • Cooper

    “Women select men on intelligence precisely so that they can have smart children”

    This is interesting. Do men select for children attributes? Or merely fertility to have children?

    We seem to rank looks very high. I don’t think we do primarily in order to have good looking children – and nor would it be the reason we select a smart wife. We select things, in a women, that we want in a wife.

    All the fertility cues that were attracted to are not to indicate the possibilty of good children, more to do with just the possibility of having them. (Ie were not looking to have children with specific hip/waist ratios, or lush hair – those indicate the possibility of having children)

  • Anacaona

    This is interesting. Do men select for children attributes? Or merely fertility to have children?
    Supposedly women looks are related to intelligence, health and all sorts of good stuff for the kids. So you select by default of course that doesn’t explain things like the bimbo.
    But my guess is that the bimbo is smart she just doesn’t need to use her smarts because her looks give her all the advantages she needs. Another possibility is that looks might not be related to other things like character, restriction and Alpha attraction cues. So you can have the hottie getting away with a lot of crap because no sane men will like to fall out of her grace for the chance of sex she can offer, YMMV.