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Keep Trying

I gave you a lot of work to do in yesterday’s post on meeting new guys. From Jessica Hagy’s Indexed:

Something Valuable

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And while I’m at it, I’ll throw this in as well:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Samuel Beckett

  • Man

    Very good. You said it all.

  • Pip

    “We fight. Get beat. Get up. Fight again.”

    -Nathanael Greene

  • Jonny

    The more you try, the more luck you have.

  • mr. wavevector

    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

    Then you’ll be the best failer ever?

  • http://www.howyoucanfindlove.com Don @ HowYouCanFindLove

    “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

  • Joe

    This should be personalized just a little more. How about adding this – never call someone else a “loser”. It’s way too common an insult these days, and mostly not deserved anyway. Boycott it!

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

      How about adding this – never call someone else a “loser”.

      +1

  • Mary H.

    First time commenter!

    Susan, I’m having trouble reconciling this advice with other advice I get. On the one hand, posts like this suggest that you should always keep reaching, always keep trying to get someone better. On the other hand, books like Lori Gottlieb’s “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” suggest that reaching too much is problematic. So how should a girl go about reconciling being discerning in who she chooses to be her boyfriend with being realistic? How should she navigate the two ends of the spectrum, one of which is being too picky and the other of which is being too desperate? Thank you!!! :)

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

      @Mary H.

      I did not mean to suggest you should keep trading up. Only that if you fail to get what you want, you must keep trying. However, you raise an important question – how realistic are your standards? I think I’ll write a post about this.

  • http://redpilltheory.wordpress.com Red Pill Theory

    I’m against the death penalty, except in cases where people apply rigorous logical analysis to inspirational quotes.

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

      I’m against the death penalty, except in cases where people apply rigorous logical analysis to inspirational quotes.

      Did someone analyze the quotes? I missed that.

  • szopen

    @Mary H

    How should she navigate the two ends of the spectrum, one of which is being too picky

    What about triage approach? :D

    Prepare a list of things you like in men. Divide them into three groups: abolutely-must-have, good-to-have, nice-addition. Be rigorous about that. Groups should be roughly the same size.

    Prepare a list of things you don’t like in men. Divide them in three groups:
    absolutely-no-no, tolerable, would-be-nice-if-he-does-not-have-them.

    Date a lot, say ten or twenty guys. Choose the best guy according to the list above. Date some more and pick the first guy who is better than the guy you’ve chosen in the first 10 dates.

    Be honest with yourself. If you don;t like something in guy, ask yourself whether you are really want to live with that something for the next 10 years. People almost never change.

  • J

    How should she navigate the two ends of the spectrum, one of which is being too picky and the other of which is being too desperate? Thank you!!!

    Hi, Mary.

    Look into the concept of assortative mating; people tend to wind up with spouses similar to themselves. If a guy seems to be too good to be true for you, he most likely is. OTOH, if you seem to be too good for him, you probably are. Look honestly at yourself on a number of dimensions–looks, personality, intelligence, social saavy, popularity, wealth, etc. There may be trade-offs in various dimensions–an ugly but rich man may snag a poor beauty–but if things don’t even out over all, it’s a mis-match and probably won’t work in the long run.

  • Mary H.

    @Susan

    The four things I say that I insist on from any man are confidence, ambition, a positive outlook on life, and integrity/good moral character. My two external deal breakers are drugs (weed and beyond) and cigarette smoking.

    The reason I ask is because I recently rejected a guy who asked me to be his girlfriend after a few weeks of going in dates. I said no because I didn’t want to be his long-distance girlfriend for the whole summer after only a few weeks of dates. I also said no because he’s in his late 20s but hasn’t had a stable job, struggled with severe anger management problems for years (clinically), has no other friends in our city, tried to logically convince me to have sex with him sooner than I’d like to, and got upset that I didn’t want to be exclusive so soon. There are a lot of things I really like about him, but those negative things killed it for me.

    Did I make the right call? We’re my standards here unrealistic?

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

      @Mary H.

      I also said no because he’s in his late 20s but hasn’t had a stable job, struggled with severe anger management problems for years (clinically), has no other friends in our city, tried to logically convince me to have sex with him sooner than I’d like to, and got upset that I didn’t want to be exclusive so soon. There are a lot of things I really like about him, but those negative things killed it for me.

      Good call! He must be cute and charming – to offset that terrible personality! Your decision is mature and wise. And assuming he is confident, he’s only 1 for 4.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Mary

    We’re my standards here unrealistic?

    Hell no. At least not where character is concerned. Not being able to hold down a stable job WELL into your late 20s is a red flag, anger problems are a serious red flag.

    Where the unrealistic standards might come in are in the initial stages. What attracted you to this guy in the first place? was he seductive and charming? A guy with good character may not necessarily be so endowed with attractiveness, good dress style, and charm.

  • Mary H.

    Haha he’s actually only sort of average in looks (and objectively speaking, worse-looking than me). We did, however, have incredible physical chemistry despite that fact. Still, the REAL reason I was drawn to him is because he’s incredibly smart, and we have many of the same interests. Both of us are people who like to ponder and share our ideas about things – we have a love of Anna Karenina, magical realism in literature, philosophy, and politics in common. So, I kept dating him for that long because I A) liked making out with him given our chemistry and B) enjoyed the depth of the conversations I could have with him.

    See, but now I start adding to my list – I had 4 things on there originally, but I can’t tolerate a man who isn’t willing to ever engage me on that level, because so much of who I am is defined by that level. So now I have to add #5: Intelligence/Intellectual Curiosity to the list. I’m also fairly feminine and want the man to be the MAN in the relationship, so I also have to add #6: Masculinity.

    Is my list getting too long for my own good now?

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

      @Mary H.

      Is my list getting too long for my own good now?

      There are something like 14 female attraction cues. Female preferences will vary in terms of where they set their priorities, but your wants are not unreasonable, IMO. Just keep in mind that you can play a role in making a male feel confident, and also masculine. Guys who communicate that out of the gate are rare, and usually other women find them very attractive as well. There’s a lot to be said for identifying a guy with potential and helping him get there. That’s the “bargain” in the SMP.

  • Doji

    There are something like 14 female attraction cues.

    Could you post or comment on what these are.

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

      @Doji

      There are something like 14 female attraction cues.

      Could you post or comment on what these are.

      From David Buss’ The Evolution of Desire, some are combined, but this list is comprehensive:

      Chapter 2: What Women Want

      “The great initial parental investment of women makes them a valuable but limited resource. Reproductive resources cannot be allocated indiscriminately or dispensed to many men. Those who hold valuable resources do not give them away cheaply or unselectively. Evolution favored women who were highly selective about their mates. If a woman walked away from a casual encounter pregnant, she bore the costs of that decision for decades afterward. Today, the pill alters that cost. But sexual psychology evolved over millions of years. We still possess this underlying sexual psychology even though our environment has changed.

      Evolution has favored women who prefer men who possess attributes that confer benefits and who dislike men who possess attributes that impose costs.”

      1. ECONOMIC CAPACITY

      Females prefer males who offer resources:

      Resources have to be accruable, defensible and controllable by men.
      Men differ from each other in their holdings and willingness to invest them in a woman.
      Advantages of being with one man outweighed advantages of being with several men.

      2. SOCIAL STATUS
      3. AGE
      4. AMBITION AND INDUSTRIOUSNESS
      5. DEPENDABILITY AND STABILITY
      Undependable people provide erratically and inflict heavy costs on their mates.
      6. INTELLIGENCE
      7. COMPATIBILITY
      8. SIZE AND STRENGTH
      Women prefer men who display physical and athletic prowess.
      9. GOOD HEALTH
      10. LOVE AND COMMITMENT
      Given the tremendous costs women incur because of sex, pregnancy and childbirth, it is reasonable for them to require commitment from a man in return. Resources can be directly observed, but commitment cannot be. Gauging it requires looking for cues that signal the likelihood of fidelity in channeling resources. Love is one of the most important cues to commitment.

      “Because sex is one of the most valuable reproductive resources women can offer, they have evolved psychological mechanisms that cause them to resist giving it away indiscriminately. Requiring love, sincerity and kindness is a way of securing a commitment of resources commensurate with the value of the resource that women give up to men.”

  • Mary H.

    @Susan

    So can a woman ask for all of those things from a man? Or does asking for all 14 of those things qualify as “being too picky?” In fact, do men who possess all 14 of those qualities even exist?

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

      @Mary H

      All men reside somewhere on a spectrum for all of those things. Your guy was obviously low on ambition and industriousness, for example! You’re not going to get a perfect man, obviously. What you can do is prioritize what matters most to you on that list, then filter for men who get pretty high scores in those areas.

      BTW, I just wrote a new post inspired by your question. Check it out.

  • Escoffier

    Actually, I only count 10, but yes, they certainly do exist.

    The relevant questios for any individual woman are:

    1) Can you find one with the exact mix YOU are looking for?
    2) Does the mere fact that he has all those traits mean that, for any one or more of them, he has them in sufficient abundance FOR YOU?
    3) Do the traits that are more about personal taste than objective criteria jibe, in this case of this or that individual man, with YOUR taste?

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

      @Esoffier

      Excellent summation of the task facing all women, who are well advised to ask and answer those questions for themselves.

  • Man

    #20: The author is certainly talking about a high EQ woman. I think that women are not really good at this. They often talk about what they wish to “want” (projection – sort of telling the men they want that they should behave like that and deliver what they are asking). But very often most of them assume a very passive attitude to relationships and when they are not passive, they often go after the men who will deliver the opposite of the wishes they are projecting (that’s why there was the projection in the first, place). After, all, if #10 was so true would HUS have ever existed in the first place? :)

  • Doji

    Susan,

    Thanks for the Buss qoute. However, it strikes me that his 10 points are largely what the community would describe as “provider” traits. But the question rises, why are women having sex with cads in such volume? Why are women engaging in short term mating preferences; i.e. the “lover” traits? How exactly do they have evolutionary value? I mean is the asshole duschebag really the heir to the alpha male leader of the tribe that busted his ass to hunt, provide and protect? That guy wrestled down buffalo and boars for god’s sake.

    I really like this site and its message. However, as a man I can’t help but feel conflicted. I have been burned so many times that I could never be comfortable waiting more than 3 dates for sex, and really two dates is usually the safest bet. For every date over 2 the “LJBF” zone becomes more of possibility. Its a terrible dilemma the modern smv puts people in. It really is hard not to get cynical and go all “dark triad”. This blog’s message is a positive one. I hope it catches on eventually.

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

      @Doji

      But the question rises, why are women having sex with cads in such volume? Why are women engaging in short term mating preferences; i.e. the “lover” traits?

      They’re not, if by volume you mean number of women. It’s actually a small minority having sex with cads – 10-20% tops. There aren’t that many hard core cads, and there are sufficient STR-oriented women to keep them busy.

      I have been burned so many times that I could never be comfortable waiting more than 3 dates for sex, and really two dates is usually the safest bet.

      I really have to wonder who you’re dating. Of the two dozen women in my focus groups, at least 20 would be seriously put off by a guy expecting sex on the second date.

  • Man

    I really have to wonder who you’re dating. Of the two dozen women in my focus groups, at least 20 would be seriously put off by a guy expecting sex on the second date.

    Susan, I think that “pluralistic ignorance” plays a major role here. Women in general have internalized the concept that men only think about sex. They are also often insecure. So even if they might not want sex so fast, they are not secure enough to hold it. My 0.02, because I’m not a woman. :)

  • Doji

    They’re not, if by volume you mean number of women. It’s actually a small minority having sex with cads – 10-20% tops. There aren’t that many hard core cads, and there are sufficient STR-oriented women to keep them busy.

    Have you changed your view that 20% of men are sleeping with 80% of women? That was the view you expressed in your 10 minute video. I think you meant it for collage age girls but I wasn’t sure if you meant it for all single women. Incidentally, that is exactly the view that the Manosphere holds; essentially a Pareto distribution.

    I really have to wonder who you’re dating.

    A cross section of normal girls really. But EVERY time I’ve gone past 3 dates I have NEVER gotten the girl.

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

      Have you changed your view that 20% of men are sleeping with 80% of women?

      Actually, at the urging of some in the manosphere, I spent about 20 hours analyzing the data and the result was this post:

      Sex and the Pareto Principle

      Summary

      I. The numbers do not support the popular “cock carousel” meme, which says that most women ride the carousel with impunity through their 20s, then seek a sexually inexperienced male, i.e. chump, to settle down with. Rather, the data supports the idea that the numbers of promiscuous men and women are similar, though there are more promiscuous men than women. Most likely, this population is sexually active with one another. For the vast majority of Americans who do not have a high number of partners either lifetime, or within the last year, the numbers are also similar, though again, men are more promiscuous.

      II. The data does not refute or confirm the concept of female hypergamy, which is the desire of the female to pair with a male of equal or higher status than herself. Within the ranks of promiscuous males and females we may still conclude based on anecdotal observation that some women are more willing to have sex with the attractive men they would otherwise not have access to as a way of increasing their social status. However, that number is a minority, though perhaps higher than the 6.8% for all women aged 20-29 who had 3+ partners in the last year.

      III. Hollenhund gets it exactly right, or nearly so. Using the proxy of total unmarried acts of intercourse compared to married acts of intercourse, we find that 35% of sex in the U.S. each year is had by unmarried men, and 65% by married men.* This does not precisely measure the distribution of sex according to alpha or beta traits, obviously, but is the closest approximation we may make given the available data. His theory that a relatively small number of promiscuous men is having sex with a relatively small number of promiscuous women is also supported by the data.

      It sounds like I need to look at that video again. It may predate the analysis.

  • Doji

    Thanks for the link to your essay. I did not read that before. There’s alot there to take in.