Are Extra-Relationship Crushes Harmless?

crushIn a recent discussion the subject of crushes came up – does having a crush on someone other than your partner constitute cheating? AuthorDr. Gary Lewandowski, author of the blog The Science of Relationships, has addressed this question in the post Is It Okay To Have A Crush On Someone Who Isn’t Your Significant Other?  Excerpts follow:

Is beingattracted to others while in a committed relationship… normal and unavoidable?

“There is reason to think that being attracted to others is unavoidable…We can’t really help making these judgments; it’s automatic. However, once we think about the other’s attractiveness more purposefully, we can revise our original reaction.

For people in committed relationships, those revisions are skewed towards making potential partners seem less attractive. This process, known as derogating alternatives, helps us maintain our commitment to our original relationship. Put another way, my single friends may think Anne Hathaway is hot, but since I’m married, I tend to think her big teeth make her unattractive.”

Arecrushes harmless if not acted on?

“I’m not sure that you can consider a crush completely harmless. After all, you are expending emotional energy towards someone other than your current partner. Wouldn’t it be better to spend that energy on your current partner rather than on someone else? You also need to consider how your partner feels about this. You may think an emotional bond like a crush is harmless, but your partner may consider it cheating.”

If you’re in a relationship and attracted to someone else, then…is something missing in your relationship…?

“There is some good evidence suggesting that this is true. Being attracted to someone other than your partner, or even being more inclined to notice attractive others is what psychologists call attention to alternatives. Research shows that those with greater relationship satisfaction and commitment pay less attention to alternative partners.

So is it normal to have a crush on someone other than your partner? It certainly happens. If it does happen, you probably shouldn’t ignore it. Rather, the important thing may be to take it as a possible indication that your primary relationship may not as healthy as it could be.”

 

Obviously, all people in committed relationships observe attractive people in the environment. What varies is one’s personal response to that stimulus. This will depend on a person’s character, personality traits, and satisfaction in the current relationship. Your partner’s satisfaction is at least partly your responsibility, but character and personality traits were set long before you came on the scene. How can you filter out potential cheaters? Experts weigh in:

1. A key predictor of cheating is the attractiveness of potential alternatives.

If attractive people envy you, your mate has options, and having options makes cheating more likely. In Predictors of young dating adults’ inclination to engage in extradyadic sexual activities: A multi-perspective study, researchers also identified three other important factors:

  • Satisfaction with current relationship: 

    “Respondents who reported that their relationships were “pretty happy” and “not too happy” were two and four times more likely, respectively, to have reported extramarital sex than respondents who reported that they were “very happy” with their relationships (Atkins et al., 2001).”

  • Number of sexual partners: high N indicates a “learned advantage” at recruiting sex partners
  • Level of dysfunctional impulsivity: the tendency to “leap without looking”

2. Individual attitudes towards cheating largely reflect attachment style.

People with an avoidant attachment style are less likely to name a particular behavior cheating, while those with an anxious attachment style are more likely to consider it off limits. The more dissimilar a couple’s attitudes towards what constitutes cheating, the more likely there will be relationship strife.

3. Sexual performance anxiety drives many men to cheat. 

For men, significant predictors of infidelity are personality variables, including propensity for sexual excitation (becoming easily aroused by many triggers and situations) and concern about sexual performance failure.

The latter finding might seem counterintuitive, Milhausen said, but other studies have also found this connection. “People might seek out high-risk situations to help them become aroused, or they might choose to have sex with a partner outside of their regular relationship because they feel they have an ‘out’ if the encounter doesn’t go well — they don’t have to see them again.

4. The emotional health of a relationship is the key predictor for female cheating.

For women, relationship happiness is paramount. Women who are dissatisfied with their relationship are more than twice as likely to cheat; those who feel they are sexually incompatible with their partners are nearly three times as likely.

for men, personality characteristics are so strong they bounce everything else out of the model. For women, in the face of all other variables, it’s still the relationship that is the most important predictor.

5. Hormonal factors play a huge role.

Paul Zak, a neuroeconomist and expert on morality at Claremont Graduate University, has developed a test for scoring men on their propensity to cheat

Dysregulated oxytocin release can be caused by either a genetic disorder or an insufficient amount of nurturing in the first ten years of life.

… A variant of the arginine vasopressin receptor gene was recently found to be associated with having an unhappy marriage.

… My lab has shown that high levels of testosterone change the brain’s cost-benefit calculation toward the current and self, rather than taking a long-term view that includes others’ needs.

a. Resting heart rate below 70: +1 point

Men who seek excitement like him tend to engage in all kinds of arousing events, including illicit affairs. These men have low resting heart rates. Bomb disposal professionals and parachutists also have low resting heart rates. These under-aroused individuals also commit more crimes–violating social norms gets them the excitement they crave. If your partner has a heart rate less than 70 beats per minute while resting, give him one point.

b. One point each for a longer fourth to second finger, more than average hairiness, and a long jaw.

c. Oxytocin malfunction:

How does your man respond to chick-flicks? If you spot a misty eye when the guy gets the girl at the end of the movie, or the little boy succumbs to cancer, he’s got an intact oxytocin system. If not, give him one point. If you have kids, does he dote on them? If not, give him one point. If you have a dog, how is he with it? Poor interaction with the dog earns him one point.

d. Failure to experience jealousy or mate guard: +1 point.

e. Interpersonal relationships:

If your mate’s dad cheated on his mom, he gets one point.

How often does he talk to his mother? Are they close? If not, he gets a point.

More generally, does he interact well with his siblings, cousins and friends? And your friends, too? Poor family relationships and few friendships suggest he may not be good at bonding to people, including romantic attachments.

6. Female hypergamy plays a role.

Women who wear the pants in the relationship are more likely to cheat:

The imbalance of power in the primary relationship has been associated with infidelity. Edwards and Booth (1976) found that wives who reported that they “get their way” more often during disagreements were also more likely to have extramarital sexual involvements.

An imbalance in education increases the chance of cheating:

…in a large U.S. national study of dating, cohabiting, and married women, Forste and Tanfer (1996) found that women who were more educated than their husbands were more likely to engage in sexual infidelity; but if the husband was more educated than the wife, she was less likely to philander.

7. Higher male IQ predicts higher value attached to sexual exclusivity.

Data from a large, representative American sample shows that more intelligent boys are more likely to grow up to value sexual exclusivity in early adulthood than less intelligent boys.  In contrast, childhood IQ does not affect girls’ value on sexual exclusivity in early adulthood.  The effect of intelligence on the value of sexual exclusivity is more than four times as strong among men than among women.

Satoshi Kanazawa believes this is a result of evolution:

Sexual exclusivity is an “evolutionary novel” quality that would have been of little benefit to early man, who was programmed to be promiscuous, he argues.

The modern world no longer confers such an evolutionary advantage to men who have several sexual partners – but it is only intelligent men are able to shed the psychological baggage of their species and adopt new modes of behaviour

Other “evolutionary novel” qualities that are more common among people of higher intelligence include liberalism and atheism, his study indicated.

8. Women are more likely to cheat on genetically similar men.

Since the Pill interferes with the female ability to suss out DNA dissimilarity, a man should never commit for life to a woman who has not been off the Pill for at least six months, according to Helen Fisher. 

I can think of no worse mating outcome than partnering with a cheater. Infidelity destroys lives. It’s worth dedicating 80% of your energy early on to evaluating the potential for it, and disqualifying anyone who appears to be a poor fit for monogamy. 

 

  • Hope

    I don’t actually consider having a crush on someone else by itself cheating. I would say cheating starts when they both strongly feel romantic attraction for each other, and are actively doing things to further that romance.

    That said, I haven’t had a real crush on anyone else since I fell in love with my husband. I do not form close friendships with any other guys, and I don’t even dwell on attractive men. My husband also does not form friendships with women. As far as I know, he hasn’t had a crush on another girl since we’ve been together.

    I try very hard to be the best possible wife I can be for my husband, and I think he is not likely to find the same level of rapport and connection that we have together. Likewise I haven’t even come close to meeting another man who is as awesome as him. Thus, no crushing on strangers.

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

    I wonder if SMV differential is a really good indicator of cheating incentives. If a woman’s SMV is greater than her partner’s by, say, 3 full points, we might anticipate that he would be less likely to cheat (it could still occur, of course, because cheating is a psychologically complex phenomenon), while she might be more likely to cheat. Common sense would suggest that she would be the relative SMP “star” of the relationship and he would be inclined towards mate-guarding and placating type behaviors.

    If the man’s SMV was that much higher, however, he would likely be exposed to casual sex offers with women of higher SMV than his partner had. The worst philandering I personally have ever witnessed has taken place when a couple married and then the man’s SMV trajectory took off while the woman’s plummeted for whatever reason.

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

      @BB

      I wonder if SMV differential is a really good indicator of cheating incentives.

      Since the availability of attractive options is so important, I would think an SMV differential would increase the chance of cheating by the higher SMV party, because presumably they would have options at their own level of SMV. You’d always be realizing that you could have done better, looks-wise.

  • Fish

    I would say that I am currently the subject of 2 “crushes” (one being a full on affair, the other being I guess more of an “emotional affair”). I would have to say that depending on the level, a “crush” is a symptom that all is not well with the relationship.

    The full on affair (we do not have sex regularly, but it does still happen), I have known since jr. high. She got pregnant while in high school and married the baby’s dad. As such, she never really had a chance to date as an adult, age 30 hit, we ended up in bed. (I was not in contact with her the whole time, but we reconnected around 3 years before the affair started). I guess her boredom/dissatisfaction was a predictor there.

    The “crush” is probably also a situation of dissatisfaction. I’ve known her for close to 6 years. We have very similar interests, get along very well, she lives quite a ways away now so there is no risk of actual cheating on her part. She began dating her husband shortly after we started talking, they JUST got married a few months ago. I would say they are not sexually compatible (her drive exceeds his) and communication is probably lacking (I can’t speak for this, but it seems that way from our conversations). She’s starting to have questions of “did I marry the wrong guy?”

    Both women I would not consider the “cheating type”, but i think there is a mindset of being locked into your present course and not seeing a way out that caused things. I think the brain has a way of turning a vast amount of information into a signal, and I think the signal that you’re into someone not your SO means something is wrong with your relationship.

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

      @Fish

      She’s starting to have questions of “did I marry the wrong guy?”

      Why did she marry him? Did they not have sex before marriage?

  • mr. wavevector

    [I’m copying my comments from the last thread here, where they are more germane.]

    My encounters with post-marital crushes were aided and abetted by blue-pill thinking, namely that we’re all rational adults who can exert conscious control over our mating instincts, so “platonic” friendships should be no problem.

    It’s not true. The limbic system is not under rational control and will cleverly subvert one’s conscious actions and motivations to its own ends. Platonic friendships in the presence of sexual attraction are at best a fiction, and at worse a self-rationalization to engage in an emotional affair.

    Unexpectedly experiencing that intense crush -“limerance” – for another person while in a committed relationship is like flying though the galaxy and suddenly realizing you’re getting sucked into a black hole. All you can do is put thrusters on max and hope you have enough power to reverse course before getting sucked over the event horizon. If that happens, it’s game over for your relationship. And it can be a hell of a battle to escape that attractive force if you got too close to it.

    Believing in “platonic friendships” is like flying around the galaxy and not believing in black holes.

  • Fish

    @BB
    I think sexual compatibility is more important than SMV in most cases. Even for well matched couples, if one partner wants sex 4x a week and the other 4x a year, there is going to be issues. I think an SMV disparity would magnify those issues, but given that most people match to their SMV +/- 2, SMV is less of a factor on average. Yes, if the guy goes from SMV 5 to SMV 9, his SMV 5 wife is going to have problems, but i think those cases are not the norm.

  • Fish

    @WV

    “Believing in “platonic friendships” is like flying around the galaxy and not believing in black holes.”

    I think its possible if you are secure in your relationship. I also think SMV does play a part there. Is it easy to be platonic friends with an SMV 5 chick, sure it is, no temptation. Is it easy to be friends with an SMV 9 chick, def not, especially if she decides she wants some no strings fun. However, I think the market self regulates there, I don’t see an SMV 9 trying to bust up my relationship and lets say my hypothetical wife is SMV 8, the reward isn’t worth it there.

    In short, I think friendships are possible when one or both parties has no interest in sex with the other party.

  • JP

    “Unexpectedly experiencing that intense crush -“limerance” – for another person while in a committed relationship is like flying though the galaxy and suddenly realizing you’re getting sucked into a black hole. All you can do is put thrusters on max and hope you have enough power to reverse course before getting sucked over the event horizon. If that happens, it’s game over for your relationship.”

    The first thing that I do when I become limerant is to immediately move to shut down any relationship that I’m already in, so it’s pretty much an immediate “game over”.

  • JP

    “I think its possible if you are secure in your relationship. I also think SMV does play a part there. Is it easy to be platonic friends with an SMV 5 chick, sure it is, no temptation.”

    I’ve personally never had any problems with platonic friendship in my marriage. I was never interested in dating any of my friends who were women. Had I been interested, I would really never have been able to become close friends with them in the first place.

    I’ve avoided all contact with my second college ex-girlfriend, however.

    Not because I worry about myself, but because I don’t need her obsessed with or stalking me.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Fish,

    I think its possible if you are secure in your relationship. I also think SMV does play a part there. Is it easy to be platonic friends with an SMV 5 chick, sure it is, no temptation. Is it easy to be friends with an SMV 9 chick, def not, especially if she decides she wants some no strings fun.

    I don’t think any amount of security in the relationship is a foolproof safeguard against strong sexual attraction. That’s a blue pill delusion that is mostly good to rationalize engaging in a crush rather than escaping from it.

    I agree with your point about SMV. That’s why I specified platonic friendships are impossible in the presence of sexual attraction. I’ve never had a problem being friends with unattractive women. It’s the young hot fertile ones exuding estrogen and pheromones that create those “black holes”.

  • Sai

    “I don’t actually consider having a crush on someone else by itself cheating. I would say cheating starts when they both strongly feel romantic attraction for each other, and are actively doing things to further that romance.”

    This

    “In short, I think friendships are possible when one or both parties has no interest in sex with the other party.”

    and this.

    If it looked really bad, I would try pushing the other person away.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Hope,

    I don’t actually consider having a crush on someone else by itself cheating. I would say cheating starts when they both strongly feel romantic attraction for each other, and are actively doing things to further that romance.

    I basically agree, but would rephrase it like this:

    I don’t actually consider having a crush on someone else by itself cheating. I would say cheating starts when they both strongly feel romantic attraction for each other, and are not actively doing things to terminate that romance.

    If you’re not fighting the black hole you’re going down.

  • JP

    “@Fish

    She’s starting to have questions of “did I marry the wrong guy?”

    Why did she marry him? Did they not have sex before marriage?”

    I was just thinking of the Pottery Barn rule as applied to marriage. (Another Iraq war special – you break Iraq, you own Iraq)

    Meaning that my college days attitude and belief was that although pre-marital sex was wrong, if you *did* have pre-marital sex (meaning your broke the rule) then you were obligated to marry that person (you buy it) and live with the consequences of your actions.

  • Fish

    @Susan
    They did have sex before marriage, from what she’s said, their pattern has been pretty consistent the past couple years. I think she felt locked in because they have known each other a while before they dated, her family approves, etc. I don’t think anyone gave her the “this is going to be a bigger problem later” talk.

    I have a really hard time time giving advice because I don’t want to give any that would appear self serving. Obviously the “crush” here is not one sided. . .

  • Fish

    @JP
    I don’t think its that, she has definitely had more partners than him (I don’t know an exact number because I don’t ask for that).

    I definitely dont think she felt compelled to marry him for that reason.

  • JP

    “@JP
    I don’t think its that, she has definitely had more partners than him (I don’t know an exact number because I don’t ask for that).

    I definitely dont think she felt compelled to marry him for that reason.”

    I know that one of my (very catholic) friends married the woman whom he knocked up.

    I still wonder about that one. Been married for a long time now.

  • Jonny

    Crushes are only harmless if they are one-sided and kept secret to him/her selves. Otherwise, they are dangerous. It is easy to assume rejection if you’re already in a relationship or marriage. The person can either be very confident and can handle rejection, or the person can be desperate and is willing to go quite far in a different way than a single person might behave. The boundaries are removed. The other person can easily tell the fling has little attachment potential and sometimes are willing to take the risk. There are so many ways this can go wrong that there is no way of saying crushes are harmless once exposed.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Lovin’ that Black Hole analogy, WV. Makes perfect sense. Gotta go full reverse thrusters to avoid that pull, and you’ll never see it coming if you don’t notice the signs wayyyyyy ahead of time.

    My heart rate is 45 beats per minute. Good times.

  • Hope

    Whoa Fish, bad news. I think you need to run away from that whole situation.

    Also, “In short, I think friendships are possible when one or both parties has no interest in sex with the other party.”

    What kind of definition of “friendship” are we using here? I consider a real friend somebody I can count on to give me a ride if my car broke down, if I had an emergency and the baby boy has to be taken care of, and if I had some really big life things that needed help. I can only think of a handful of people who fit that description outside of my husband/in-laws, and all of them are female.

    If there was a male outside of our family I’d trust enough to do that, that would be a rather unique situation. Even if he was totally “unattractive,” he might be harboring some unrequited feelings if he would do those things for me. That’s just not a scenario I’d want.

  • Hope

    Mr. Wavevector, “If you’re not fighting the black hole you’re going down.”

    Black holes have huge gravitational fields that can be observed from a distance. That’s why you stay far, far away from them to begin with, and to be honest if you have to “fight it” it’s probably already too late. The analogy fits relationships as well. Most of the time when it’s gotten that far, people don’t want to fight it at all. They want to be absorbed into the vortex of good feelings and are in the “fog.”

  • JP

    “If there was a male outside of our family I’d trust enough to do that, that would be a rather unique situation. Even if he was totally “unattractive,” he might be harboring some unrequited feelings if he would do those things for me.”

    I would certainly have done things like that back in the day with respect to some of my female friends. I often found my female friends much more fun to talk to than my male friends and much better friends, overall.

    The problems, however, wasn’t that *I* liked them, it was that *they* liked me.

    I even *like* all my ex-girlfriends and would gladly be friends with them now. There’s a reason why they are exes.

    I was generally the one who did the breaking up, the only exception being “death of my mother” girlfriend which was an anomaly.

    She’s the only ex I still talk to. The one who broke up with me. For which I was quite glad, since neither of us had any business dating the other in the first place.

  • JP

    “Black holes have huge gravitational fields that can be observed from a distance. That’s why you stay far, far away from them to begin with, and to be honest if you have to “fight it” it’s probably already too late.”

    What I’m calling “limerance” can be one quite one-sided (and I assume that if often is), though, so you can essentially try to fling yourself into the black hole and fail (meaning no date, no emotional connection, no physical connection, etc.)

    That’s was my result during college. Which is why I think limerance can be the most annoying thing in the world and is most similar to OCD.

  • Hope

    JP “What I’m calling “limerance” can be one quite one-sided (and I assume that if often is), though, so you can essentially try to fling yourself into the black hole and fail (meaning no date, no emotional connection, no physical connection, etc.)”

    Even if that were the case, and the result is guaranteed to be utter failure, would you really still want your spouse to be throwing themselves at someone else? And in doing so, making a fool out of themselves, and utterly humiliating you and your family?

    If nothing else, it definitely means something is majorly wrong with the relationship.

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

      Even if that were the case, and the result is guaranteed to be utter failure, would you really still want your spouse to be throwing themselves at someone else? And in doing so, making a fool out of themselves, and utterly humiliating you and your family?

      This is why Instilling Dread is a total bust. To create the anxiety, you have to throw yourself at someone else. If you didn’t need to do that, your spouse would already be well aware of your attractiveness and Instilling Dread would be unnecessary. And since you really are not that attractive, the object of your fake attention is likely to be skeeved out and repulsed. It’s really a terrible strategy, I do not know why these gross men think it’s effective. They appear to be deluded in thinking they’re not gross – maybe that’s the explanation.

  • JP

    “Even if that were the case, and the result is guaranteed to be utter failure, would you really still want your spouse to be throwing themselves at someone else? And in doing so, making a fool out of themselves, and utterly humiliating you and your family?”

    Of course not.

    Because it’s humiliating and stupid.

    However, I’ll take the black hole analogy one step further.

    It’s like reading about a black hole, dumping your girlfriend and never speaking to her again, building a spaceship and flying into space as fast as possible to get to the black hole.

    Once you are in space, you realize that you have no idea *how* to get to the black hole, so you turn around and return to Earth. Once you get back to Earth, you can’t even figure out *why* you just did what you did, so you simply try to forget that it ever happened.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Hope,

    Black holes have huge gravitational fields that can be observed from a distance.

    Only if you know what to look for, though. If your only knowledge of stars comes from reading astrology, you won’t have a clue. Likewise, if you think men and women are the same and gender is a social construct and emotions can be controlled by reason, you don’t have a clue either.

    That’s why you stay far, far away from them to begin with, and to be honest if you have to “fight it” it’s probably already too late.

    Having a relationship you value highly gives you powerful motivation for escaping the pull of the limerance. But it’s rough – it feels like it’s tearing you apart.

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

      Re black holes, I think Lewandowski makes good points:

      Being attracted to someone other than your partner, or even being more inclined to notice attractive others is what psychologists call attention to alternatives. Research shows that those with greater relationship satisfaction and commitment pay less attention to alternative partners.

      Also, that people who are committed to someone else engage in “derogating alternatives.”

      These strike me as preemptive strategies that would be very effective.

      Ignore alternatives.
      Derogate alternatives.

      In cases where I have been the object of attention from another man, I have refused to acknowledge his attention as special. I use a poker face for this – I don’t avoid him, I just don’t happen to notice what he’s up to. In other words, strictly professional at work, and total indifference in social settings.

      Some old bf’s have found me via this blog, and I have cordially replied, then neglected to answer any further communications.

      Watching other people fall into black holes and make fools of themselves while destroying their families is enough to keep me sending out “unavailable” signals – and always has been.

  • JP

    “Some old bf’s have found me via this blog, and I have cordially replied, then neglected to answer any further communications.”

    I actually don’t see the harm in this if the relationship was a dumb idea in the first place.

    My wife was always confused as to why I talked to ex-girlfriends after I broke up with them. It never occurred to me that you *wouldn’t* do this.

    I generally preferred to keep them as friends, since I already knew their personalities and generally got along well with them; I just had no interest in continuing a relationship with them and was not about to marry them.

    I even used an ex for a professional referral before.

  • bear

    This is interesting to me because, as a college student, I’ve become close friends with a bunch of guys in a particular fraternity. I’m in a very happy, stable relationship with my boyfriend (who I met three years after I met most of my friends) but I often wonder if it’s inappropriate or wrong for me to keep up my friendships with other guys. The way I rationalize it is that there is no flirting or deep emotional bonding going on with them–our friendships revolve around listening to music, going to concerts, watching TV/movies as a group, and general hanging out. I do not have sexual or romantic pasts with any of them, and I don’t maintain relationships with any exes. But at the same time, I feel like you don’t see most people in relationships running around with a bunch of friends of the opposite sex. It hasn’t caused any problems in my relationship, but I still wonder about it. I also wonder if it is something that just changes over time as relationships get more serious–it wouldn’t make sense for me to cut off contact with all guy friends every time I have a boyfriend, but I’m guessing it would (and should) just naturally change if I were to get engaged, get married, have kids, etc.

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

      @bear

      Welcome, nice to meet you! Thanks for joining the conversation.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “And since you really are not that attractive, the object of your fake attention is likely to be skeeved out and repulsed. It’s really a terrible strategy, I do not know why these gross men think it’s effective”

    Only men?

    “These strike me as preemptive strategies that would be very effective.

    Ignore alternatives.
    Derogate alternatives.”

    +1

    @WV/Susan

    I’ll admit that this is why WVs thought on flirting was surprising.
    It seems to be like walking directly into the black holes.

  • J

    While it’s certainly normal to feel attraction to people other than one’s spouse, putting emotional energy into those attractions is a distraction from the primary relationship. John Gottman, who is one of my favorite authorities on marriage, says that a couple should be “turning towards each other” consistently in order to maintain their relationship. Energy put into nurturing a crush is a turning away.

    My wife was always confused as to why I talked to ex-girlfriends after I broke up with them. It never occurred to me that you *wouldn’t* do this.

    I maintained platonic friendships with a few exes for years and years after break-ups. When I got engaged to DH, he insisted that I drop those friendships. I did, as it was not only important to him, it was time for me to move on. Those relationships were not compatible with my being part of a married couple.

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

      My wife was always confused as to why I talked to ex-girlfriends after I broke up with them. It never occurred to me that you *wouldn’t* do this.

      A guy who contacts me 30 years after we said goodbye forever is clearly searching for something. He has some need, whether it is to revisit his youth, kick up a frisson of attraction in his life, or even rekindle the relationship for real. Whatever his motive, I am not interested in providing any of those things.

      I read that facebook is a factor is a large percentage of divorces. Old flames reignited. Dangerous stuff.

  • Fish

    @hope
    Much like the black hole analogy, I am too far along the course to stop with either woman. I’m actually having lunch with ms affair tomorrow (just lunch, totally pg). The other called to tell me divorce may be imminent.

    Re: friends to watch your kid(s)
    I do have female friends for whom I’d do this/have done this. Both are attractive but I don’t desire to date either. It helps that I genuinely like their kids. The one produced possibly the cutest, sweetest little girl on the planet.

    I think its posdible to have friends of the opposite gender, even attractive ones. It just takes a good understanding of the relationship from both parties…

  • Sam

    Dangit you are good, Susan! I have just been bemoaning the Pill issue, hoping it could get more attention and awareness, and there you drove it home at the very last, hurrah!

    Helen Fisher may say they should be off for at least 6 months before committing for life, but I don’t even want to let it get that far. I can’t help but think the role of those mechanisms is equally or more important in the early stages of attraction and I don’t really want to start dating someone who is on already on the Pill (been there, tried that, didn’t work enough that I think its going on the filter list, too). Plus it takes a lot of investment of time and emotion to get to the point with someone that it is appropriate to approach that issue and find out the answer. Even when I’m getting really good signals and interaction from a lady its really making me hesitate. I really want to start asking more upfront but I think you will agree that that is a not a fantastic strategy, but definitely open for suggestions on dealing with this.

    I figure that just like any other filter criteria one can only press on, make the investment to find out and cut losses when criteria not met.

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

      @Sam

      Filtering for the Pill up front is a great idea, but I agree it’s very tricky. A high percentage of women take it. I can’t really imagine a way of broaching that subject in the early days that wouldn’t make you sound like a bizarro control freak. Once there is some emotional investment on both sides, I think it’s likely to get a better reception.

      Now that the AMA has endorsed the IUD as the safest and most effective form of BC, perhaps more women will go that route. After all, women have even more incentive not to take something that interferes with their ability to choose the right partner.

  • Fish

    @J
    Re: friends with exs
    I dunno, I’m friends with most of my ex’s, I dunno how just friendships could damage your marriage. One of my ex’s is married to a guy I used to play hockey with. I dated her for 6 months, they’ve been married like 6 yrs & have 3 kids. I’m certainly not trying to get back together with her, I like both of them. My experiences may differ as most of my relationships are 6 months or less…

  • J

    This is why Instilling Dread is a total bust.

    Some of the manosphere’s ladies auxillary seem to respond to dread and feel that fear and dread are a part of love. I don’t get it. DH’s intentionally trying to instill dread would just anger me, and he gets angry if he thinks (mistakenly) I’m trying to make him jealous. I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t see through such an attempt and not be pissed off.

    OTOH, life throws in enough naturally occurring opportunities for dread. A month or so ago, a man in my neighborhood literally just dropped dead. He was chatting with his wife one minute and dead the next. He was roughly DH’s age. This sort of thing scares the hell out of me.

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

      Some of the manosphere’s ladies auxillary seem to respond to dread and feel that fear and dread are a part of love.

      I think there’s some backwards rationalizing going on there. They’re married to assholes who have cheated, therefore fear and dread must not be incompatible with love. One of them even proudly proclaimed that her husband is Dark Triad – as if it were an accomplishment. It’s quite pitiable, actually.

  • Fish

    @Sam

    Filtering for women on the pill?!? A) isn’t that the majority these days & B) the pill is possibly the best invention EVER.

  • J

    It’s hard to explain, Fish. These were longer and very intense relationships. I had come close to marrying two of these friends years before. From DH’s perspective, they were threats. He felt that they had ulterior motives in still “hanging around” and were probably waiting in the wings for our relationship to fall apart. For my part, I really needed to close those doors. The lack of a clean break had really made it hard to for me to move on prior to meeting DH, and I needed to give my marriage my full attention.

  • Sam

    Oh also very recently ruminating on the extra-relational crush issue.
    When I get crush vibes from involved women the thought of any potential partner of mine exhibiting such behavior towards another makes me quite squeamish about it all. The magnitude of those IOIs can be quite uncomfortable and alarming, really. If they are from someone I would otherwise consider having romantic potential were they to exit their current coupling, I definitely ask myself, “if they are doing it to him, won’t they do it to me?”

    Granted I am out there trying to be as attractive as possible (and its apparently working), but it crosses the line. Best to just not give their eyes reason to wonder, because they will, oh how they will wonder forth boldly. I think it really does come down to like you are saying Susan whether or not the signals one is putting out are available or unavailable. If they are available, the relationship would be done in my eyes.

  • Sam

    @Fish

    yeah that would be the problem, that its almost everyone today. And no its not the best invention ever, I would argue it one of the worst, actually, but thats far too long and invovled to really discuss. To keep it simple, though, since it interferes with the proper attraction mechanisms, you may not exactly be setting yourself up for failure, but you are stacking the cards further against it than they already are, and thats no bueno if you really want a long lasting, quality relationship, so why waste the time and effort. But thats a personal choice we all get to make.

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

      To keep it simple, though, since it interferes with the proper attraction mechanisms, you may not exactly be setting yourself up for failure, but you are stacking the cards further against it than they already are, and thats no bueno if you really want a long lasting, quality relationship, so why waste the time and effort

      I read that couples therapists report seeing more and more clients where the couple decided to have kids, the wife went off the Pill, and suddenly felt like she was kissing her brother. It’s that powerful.

  • BuenaVista

    The deterministic nature of cheating propensity, as described in most of the sources here, is quite eye-opening. Opportunity indeed appears to presage downfall. It would seem a crush cannot be innocent, whether we wish it to be or not.

    I had one major crush over the course of a long marriage (I was monogamous and tended to work like a farm animal, limiting opportunity) and it was with my wife’s best friend, half of our best-friends couple. I saw her several times a week and it was excruciating. The rationalization I maintained was a kind of married man LJBF rationalization: we’re all ‘just friends’ here, she’s hot, this just gives us all a bit of a charge in the midst of expected, life-long monogamous marriages with spouses we would never betray. We would all have dinner together once a week, visit our beach houses together, etc. I was flying acro then and when I was done practicing I’d buzz my home so my wife knew to start dinner, and I might Immelmann-out after buzzing our friends’ place, just to say hi (yeah right) (see the post’s reference to men who seek risk).

    My ex- encouraged it though not for the reasons I thought she did, I think in retrospect. My crush-object would flirt with me in front of our spouses, kiss me on the lips when we said hello or goodbye, slap me on the backside, offer lingering conversation when I picked up son#1 at their place, etc.. Once, alone together, she said “You look at me like we’re fucking” and then stared at me for another five seconds. I’m quite sure I did. None of this bothered my ex-, and she appeared quite comfortable and encouraging of my ‘flirtation.’ (I conclude today that it gave her some license for activities I didn’t know about then, and I take her encouragement to be an effort at conscience-salving.) Once my wife and she simultaneously ‘wrestled’ me to the ground at Madaket Beach and I received a back massage by one, a neck and scalp massage by the other, while they chitchatted. While my brain was exploding I still just rationalized what was going on as the playful antics of sophisticated ‘friends’. Hey, the French acknowledge the inevitability of a side-liason, aren’t we the evolved couple, and there is no way I’m going to stop these two knockouts from whatever they want to do next.

    Now, as Mr. Bachelor, I am often sent these same signals by married women and even some clients. I interpret them in a radically different manner, and, having no interest in being a home-buster, carefully circumscribe contact with a married woman social contact or exec. More conservative social circles have ground rules that acknowledge the deterministic nature of infidelity. I think they’re smart rules. I stopped almost all of my interactions with my best friend’s wife in the midwest, for example, when she is alone, after the time I dropped off some tomatoes and she answered the door in her nightgown. At 11 a.m. The wives of both my a) business partner, and b) my oldest friend, went through spells when they would send me inappropriate emails; I had to dial-back my social interactions with both of the men and their wives, which frankly I resent, but believe to be the right thing to do.

    Today I regard the determinism of desire to be profound, and profoundly dangerous to committed relationships. It’s like the instability of hot, humid air confronted with a racing cold front; a level 5 thunderstorm *is* going to happen. And you just can’t fly in there. There are 200 mph updrafts and downdrafts in there. Eventually, the wings are going to get ripped off. This is just a long-winded way of suggesting that, in this way too, men and women really *can’t* be ‘just friends’.

    Returning to the marital flirting anecdote, both marriages were ended by the wives, who, it turns out, were acting on their crushing. (The object of my crush wound up leaving her husband and kidnapping their younger child and moving to Switzerland with her lover.) The children didn’t matter enough, in the end, to prevent all this. And the husbands weren’t smart enough to see a leading indicator when it was slapping them on the ass.

    Footnote: Hemingway details ruefully the impact of his serial crushes on his one lifelong love, Hadley, notably in A Moveable Feast and much more subtly in The Garden of Eden. One might say that this is his greatest theme. The Garden of Eden, in manuscript form, is 800 pp long, and he worked on that book for 15 years, far longer than any other project. He concludes, in both cases, that crushes happen, and opportunity is destructive.

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

      @BV

      Once, alone together, she said “You look at me like we’re fucking” and then stared at me for another five seconds.

      OMG!

      None of this bothered my ex-, and she appeared quite comfortable and encouraging of my ‘flirtation.’ (I conclude today that it gave her some license for activities I didn’t know about then, and I take her encouragement to be an effort at conscience-salving.)

      This is right out of an Updike novel.

      Would you describe these two women as “unrestricted” in their sexuality? I wonder because we know that about 20% of wives cheat at some point, and I wonder if that correlates with the top quintile of sociosexuality.

      I remember once having dinner with some close friends. They had/have a very strong marriage, and the husband is more attractive than the wife, IMO. After a few drinks on the deck, I felt his eyes boring into me almost constantly. I could tell that no one else noticed. I spent the next two hours studiously avoiding eye contact with him. Even that felt like DANGER.

      Come to think of it, he was also one who kissed hello and goodbye on the lips. We’ve lost touch with them.

  • BuenaVista

    In the end, Hemingway wives 2-4 are described by him as accidental crush-catastrophes, and his self-contempt emerges in an increasingly ugly fashion with Martha and Mary. In the end he would bring his favorite Cuban whore to La Finca Vigia, when Mary was there. And of course he fell in love with a 19 year-old Italian and brought her and her mother to Cuba for a long stay, as though it were possible to rediscover the boy who had fallen in love with Hadley and in a few short years produced his best work. Read the last letter he wrote to Hadley, in the 1950’s, 30 years after his infatuation with Pauline ended his life with her; he’s not a man at peace with his serial infatuations. Or read his remembrance of Hadley in his memoir.

    “I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her” he writes in the second (expanded) A Moveable Feast. “When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her. She was smiling, the sun on her lovely face tanned by the snow and sun, beautifully built, her hair red gold in the sun, grown out all winter awkwardly and beautifully, and Mr. Bumby standing with her, blond and chunky and with winter cheeks looking like a good Vorarlberg boy.”

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Bear,

    How would you feel if you were boyfriend were constantly running around with strippers, escorts, and scantily-clad clubbing girls?

  • Abbot

    “Sexual exclusivity is an “evolutionary novel” quality that would have been of little benefit to early man, who was programmed to be promiscuous, he argues…The modern world no longer confers such an evolutionary advantage to men who have several sexual partners.”

    If men are able to accept, then why are women unable and are in fact attempting to establish female promiscuity as the norm?

    .

  • Emily

    >> “Come to think of it, he was also one who kissed hello and goodbye on the lips.”

    Is that a thing that many adults do? I already hate situations where I’m expected to air kiss. >:(

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

      Is that a thing that many adults do? I already hate situations where I’m expected to air kiss. >:(

      I haven’t come across it in anyone else my own age, but some of my relatives, like great-aunts, used to do it and I always hated it! Those kisses always felt sloppy. Yuck. Basically I don’t want to experience anyone’s saliva except my husband’s.

  • BuenaVista

    @SW, #49:

    Actually, I wouldn’t say unrestricted (and certainly not in their own eyes). And they would certainly assert their virtue and near-chastity, and point to their serial monogamy and their resumed high social standing. They were both raised as ‘good girls’ in old-line American WASP families, the kind where no one has worked for a couple of generations. Neither ran around for most of their marriages, but then they ran around when they decided to terminate their families. So, situationally monogamous, spun up with some entitlement and solipsism, and the usual sexual curiosity of someone who married at 23. It’s a tic I’ve seen with a few women who tire of their husbands but are afraid to tell them. Perhaps, the thinking would go, ‘I’ll bang the episcopal priest and my husband will find out and leave me so it won’t be me pulling the plug.’ My ex- ramped up the misbehavior, which in retrospect was an obvious signal for me to stop being a good man, studiously overlooking the turning-40 crazies in the service of a planned 60-year betrothal, and start being good at being a man. The priest left for Florida, precipitously, and her other boyfriend’s wife now lives with a woman. She never knew that I knew what was going on, until she wouldn’t settle the divorce and we were headed for trial. So I sued for adultery and it settled in 24 hours, the public disclosure being so completely at odds with her narrative of chaste victimization.

    Her mother dumped her dad at the same age, and her sister dumped her husband and married her boss, at the same age. These things echo through the generations and they are b-a-d bad.

    She’s remarried now and will stay that way, I’m sure, to her sleepy beta husband who is an 85% scale model of me, a reliable sort who makes a good W-2, and would never bet the family’s net worth on a software invention or fly a plane upside down. Though she was flirting with me so much (“wow, are you lifting again?”) at the last blended family bullshit horror show her husband stormed out in the middle of lunch. Once again it was an adult acting about 12 and forgetting his or her responsibilities . The scene ruined son#1’s graduation lunch.

    The other (my ‘crush’) has disappeared. She was cast out of DC society, even before the FBI caught up with her in Zermatt and pointed out that it is a federal offense to take a child away from his father and flee internationally. The hypocrisy of this is quite stunning; I’m sure she was egged on by the people who later abhorred her. Ironically, my ex- is one of the casters, who declaimed that my crush’s behavior was unspeakable. Self-aware much?

    I guess I liken the whole thing to Light Years (James Salter), instead of Updike, where all that was good about two families was discarded by people whose egos and leisure denied them the maturity they owed their children; where all that was good is destroyed by all that is small. So restricted or unrestricted? Neither, as there was no ethical framework operating to support either behavior. Sort of an “it just happened” series of events, only with multi-generational consequences, and clearly enabled by the naivete of two husbands.

    So I’m a fan of ‘restricted’ mores in marriage, if only (at it’s lowest utility) to enforce a more dignified exit from troubled marriages. As Mr. Bachelor I don’t find it such a hard ethic to follow, and thereby limit my exposure to any situation that could lead to “it just happened”. The latent dishonesty in my last comment is that I might do either my ex- or my crush, given the right conditions. Opportunity can cut one’s IQ in half, in a nanosecond. No more delivering tomatoes at midday, to my buddy’s home-alone wife. I can still smell the perfume in my crush’s long hair, always the same Geurlain, as we exchanged “we’re just friends” hugs at the end of a long evening. I still recall perfectly the whoosh and sizzle of the enflamed brandy, finishing the au poive steaks and billowing throughout the kitchen, as my ex- prepared my last meal. I’m not really sure what “love” is, but I do know that it only begins in a crush.

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

      @BV

      I’m awed by the quality of your writing in that last comment. It’s informative as well, obvs, but it also stands alone as a short story.

  • BuenaVista

    Emily, the only place I’ve lived where ‘just friends’ kiss on the lips is NYC, and there only in boho circles. It’s seems to signify that we’re evolved far beyond the restrictive bourgeois villages, from which we spring. I do the Russian thing with three kisses on the cheek (LRL). It seems to grant a woman enough affection and formality to keep things sane.

  • Escoffier

    I am not in touch with any exes and would never be. Before I married my wife, but after we were dating, one of them got in touch with me. I did see her for lunch but that was it. She kept after me, however. I suppose she wanted to get back together although this was never said. I informed her of my impending marriage via email, she sent a cordial congratulatory note, and that was that. Never talked to her again.

    That GF, btw, had name that if you changed the pronunciation slightly sounded like a disease. My wife would always call her “Miss [Disease]” in a contemptuous voice.

    My college GF I am informed really hates me, or did some years ago when a friend of mine saw her. It is an article of faith in the manosphere that women get over break-ups with ease, and one counter example doesn’t disprove that of course, but … Anyway, no chance of talking to her.

    The others are nullities.

    My wife’s one BF pre-me was/is a brilliant but very strange intellectual. After she dumped him, he got together with her best college GF. (These intellectual circles can be very incestuous.) The two of them were coming through town once (grad school connection) and the girl got in touch with my wife, and the suggestion was made that we all get together. I said no way. Wife saw the GF but not him. She never saw him again.

    Although, this is slightly funny, he wrote an article that I found wrong-headed and so I wrote a letter to the editor politely pointing out what I thought was wrong. The published it and after that he sent me a wierd note saying how “exhilarating” it was to be “attacked in print.”

    Postscript to this is that the other GF also dumped him and married a very normal guy, who actually got a real faculty job at a legit university. The BF remains brilliant but alone, and half-mad I would say.

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

      That GF, btw, had name that if you changed the pronunciation slightly sounded like a disease. My wife would always call her “Miss [Disease]” in a contemptuous voice.

      This reminds me of Seinfeld. Do you remember Mulva Gipple?

      The more I hear about your wife the more I like her.

      The two of them were coming through town once (grad school connection) and the girl got in touch with my wife, and the suggestion was made that we all get together. I said no way.

      And this reminds me of Best in Show! Do you recall the scene where Katherine O’Hara’s ex asks if she remembers that time on the roller coaster, and if she can still do that thing with her legs? The look on Eugene Levy’s face makes it clear she is no vixen with him.

      Although, this is slightly funny, he wrote an article that I found wrong-headed and so I wrote a letter to the editor politely pointing out what I thought was wrong. The published it and after that he sent me a wierd note saying how “exhilarating” it was to be “attacked in print.”

      Was that tongue in cheek? Do you think he saw it as a revenge move?

      Your story sort of supports the quip that once you get into very high IQ territory, the odds are good but the goods are odd.

  • Escoffier

    RE: kissing and hugging, I don’t know when it became expected that one must hug and even kiss every random female of passing aquaintence but it drives me nuts. My own mother complains that it’s hard to get a hug out of me, so there’s no way some woman I see 4x/year should be touching me. I will literally pull back if someone tries to kiss me.

    Good lord.

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

      My own mother complains that it’s hard to get a hug out of me, so there’s no way some woman I see 4x/year should be touching me. I will literally pull back if someone tries to kiss me.

      Haha, you are such a curmudgeon!

      It’s funny, I am very physically affectionate with those I love, but I don’t enjoy touching other people. I dislike hugging friends, and often step back as I enter someone’s home – I guess I’m sending a signal that I need my space.

      One thing I really, really hate is when a man other than my husband puts his hand on the small of my back. I’ve never experienced this as anything other than a sexual move, and the men who do it are really sketchy. If I saw my husband do that, I’d be extremely alarmed.

  • Sam

    @ Susan 48

    Consider me validated, although my mind was pretty well set either way.

    @ Abbot 50

    Yes that is a good question.

    This is too funny, I especially love it at about 1:20

  • BuenaVista

    #56. I admire the backbone in nixing the reunion.

    I had an affair with a diplomat whose husband had left her and moved to Singapore before she gave birth to their son. (She gave birth alone.) The woman was my first post-divorce, so there are memories. The poor boy, during this affair, began to call me Da-Da. Then they couple reconciled and they now live in Australia. I have seen her a few times when she is in the States; once, when the boy was 5, he was with her. He’s now 13, and he made reference recently to that great evening the three of us had, getting ice cream. She made reference to his saying that, remarking on the impressions we make, and how sometimes they become indelible. I was extremely touched, and also alarmed. He shouldn’t remember me as I was then, and I would prefer not knowing that she remembers me in this way. There is no sexual component to our emailed exchanges (a few times a month), other than she is very blase about needling me as to what sorts of women I’m seeing — something along the lines of “and what are you doing these days to take care of your randy self?” But comments are made, and they are not of the ‘we’re just friends ho-hum’ variety.

    She wants me to visit them in Sydney — all of them. They now have three other children. And separated or not at the time the fact is that I cuckolded the husband. She’s going blind (macular degeneration) so there is a deadline, of sorts, in this invitation.

    I hope she finds a reason to get back to DC. Visiting them sounds like a very dangerous weekend, as though from a Woody Allen picture only entirely lacking in the humor and mordant irony. It sounds like it could go great, I could fuck up the boy, I could get my butt shot off, or I could get jumped by my friend — or some combination of the four. I’m really glad that I don’t have any customers in Australia at the moment. I think this is of a piece with avoiding mid-morning tomato deliveries. And probably puts the lie to my comment about finding it straightforward to avoid ambiguous relationships with committed women.

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

      And probably puts the lie to my comment about finding it straightforward to avoid ambiguous relationships with committed women.

      Indeed. I’m curious to know why you email with her several times a month, in light of the considerable validation you are getting elsewhere.

  • Sam

    @BV 53 & SW 55

    Indeed very thought provoking.
    “These things echo through the generations and they are b-a-d bad.”

    Susan, as someone who has bucked the trend of inheriting their parents’ relationship pattern, I’d be keen to hear some ideas on spotting those girls with less than ideal family histories who are determined not to repeat their parents mistakes rather than simply writing them all off. I meet so few women whose parents are actually still together I would seriously be looking for a unicorn in a woman who wasn’t on the pill and had married parents. As you say, though, better safe than sorry, so now or later sometime, how to judge and mitigate that risk?

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

      @Sam

      I’d be keen to hear some ideas on spotting those girls with less than ideal family histories who are determined not to repeat their parents mistakes rather than simply writing them all off.

      I hear you – I’m one of those whose parents had a totally effed up relationship while I was growing up. They didn’t divorce, mostly because my father was afraid of leaving us in the custody of our bipolar mother. So in that sense, along with the genetic component of mental illness, I was not a very good bet. Yet I can say that I have “done the opposite” in nearly every way with my own family, and that is true of my two brothers as well. (FTR, men are equally affected by family history.)

      I think you need to evaluate the apparent mental health of the person you’re seeing, regardless of their family history. Instability really is fairly easy to spot, as is the inability to be vulnerable, love another, etc.

  • Hope

    About the effect of the pill, yes it is very powerful. I had never been on it until a few months after having Aidan boy, and my husband and I both noticed that it was affecting me negatively. I was in this awful dark fog where I didn’t have interest in anything, like a chemically-induced depression. It was also the closest to being bitchy I was with my husband, and I had to try very hard not to snap at him for the smallest things. My husband joked that I was becoming like a “typical” woman. I immediately stopped taking the pills and never got the refill.

    Regarding affairs, yes there is definitely an element of mistrust, as in “if this person cheats with me on the spouse, what about cheating on me in the future?” My father was this type. He had a mistress while he was married to my mother, divorced her, and married the mistress. Well, he began cheating on his second wife, and now is divorced from her as well.

  • BuenaVista

    Sam, these things cut both ways. My parents have been married for 59 years, but my mother has been ill for 54 of them (debilitating schizophrenia). She is not a pleasant human being, lucid or otherwise. My father essentially sacrificed his standing as both a father and a professional and placed his wife above all others and all personal interests. Everyone says he’s a saint. Not his children, though. We think he’s just bullied by a chronically ill person, and few are as selfish as chronically ill people. I stay in a motel when I visit.

    Well, that was my behavioral model as a husband; it was the only one I knew. He was alpha at work, low-beta or delta or worse — often worse — at home. I could have saved my marriage, I’m quite sure, had I not adopted the frame that I can and will do “whatever it takes” to satisfy my ex-. I know a lot of intact families that have invested their children with self-handicapping pathologies. So I would discard the parental monogamy filter as a primary sorting tool. You just have to figure out what the pathologies are, if any, and after that, and your judgment in respect of the woman’s decision about those pathologies — you pays your money and takes your chances.

  • Zuckercorn

    Having never been in a relationship, I can only speculate as to how I would react to infidelity. Hopefully, when I do eventually meet someone for whom there is mutual attraction, she will appreciate how much I value honesty and understand why I would rather her leave me than cheat.

    Short of actual duress, I don’t think I would ever cheat. Even when the opportunity has presented itself, I was resolute not to facilitate cheating and turned down the wife of a friend.

    Then again, I’m a far outlier in many respects. How many 32 year old virgins have you heard of turning down sex?

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

      @Zuckercorn

      Hopefully, when I do eventually meet someone for whom there is mutual attraction, she will appreciate how much I value honesty and understand why I would rather her leave me than cheat.

      I’m with you. If my partner feels tempted to cheat, we need to do some work in the relationship. If my partner cheats, we’re done.

  • Escoffier

    I think his note to me was sincere, just as I think my wife’s suggestion that we all get together was innocent. In her view, that relationship was definitely over, she was not attracted to him any more, she was glad that her friend and he had gotten together, and since we were (are) all in the same intellectual cult together, there could be no harm. We would all place our common intellectual framework above any awkwardness, not that she felt any awkwardness.

    When I said ixnay, she was genuinely surprised. Looking back, I suppose that was an “alpha move” on my part. The idea of jealousy or that there might be a problem simply had not occured to her. I think it was in some ways a DHV, a sign of “manliness.”

    As an aside, I will say the attraction for her to that guy was purely mental/intellectual. He is extremely schlubby, unattractive, slumped, balding, strange voice, can’t look you in the eye, talks funny, just weird. Compared to him, I am Lord High King of the Alphas. So, fellas, if you are going to marry a girl with prior experience, this is the way to do it.

    I will also say that my wife has never again given me reason to feel jealous for even one nanosecond. I don’t think it’s something she has to be on the lookout and guard against, it’s just not anywhere in her character.

    Finally, I feel lucky that the coulpe we hang out with the most, while the wife is very charming and great to be around, I feel nothing for her at all “in that way.” Never have. Whew!

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Your story sort of supports the quip that once you get into very IQ territory, the odds are good and the goods are awesome.

    I prefer this interpretation a little more ;)

  • Sam

    Ah, so, I thought they had divorced, my mistake. Otherwise, yeah largely what I was expecting to hear, but the responses also make the important point that people remaining married does not mean an absence of infidelity or instability, &c. Come to think of it, some of those I know whose parents are still together are as unstable as any, haha, oh brother.

  • BuenaVista

    #67. “I’m curious to know why you email with her several times a month, in light of the considerable validation you are getting elsewhere.”

    I communicate with her because it’s meaningful — it’s rewarding to communicate with someone who has known one for 10 years, who is very intelligent, and who has high standards for me personally and professionally, and who’ll kick my ass if she thinks I’m backsliding or underachieving. This is a validation of the sort one receives if married or in a significant LTR, and I must miss it. (Continuity over time + richness of knowledge)*(safety in distance)=My rationalization.

    I doubt we would have this correspondence if she were still in Chevy Chase, but I don’t know. It would certainly be a test. If I have unresolved feelings after a breakup, with someone nearby, I now terminate contact.

  • JP

    “Then again, I’m a far outlier in many respects. How many 32 year old virgins have you heard of turning down sex?”

    This seems to be pretty normal behavior to me.

  • Man

    For women, relationship happiness is paramount… For women, in the face of all other variables, it’s still the relationship that is the most important predictor.

    Given that a relationship takes two people then I think that female hypergamy actually plays a major role with the common excuse of not being happy with the relationship, which is very convenient because it does not express ownership and responsibility.

    In other words, for one woman she might have a problem with the relationship because he drinks too much or is not emotionally present and concerned with the family/children and her, he’s cheating, etc. (she is not happy with the emotional health of the relationship).

    For another a problem in the relationship could something such as he not doing every of her whims and wishes, he not buying that new car she wanted, losing his job, having the firm going bankrupt, not being able to pay the mortgage and having to relocate to a cheaper house, not being so ambitious as she would like, not being so good in bed, etc.

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

      Given that a relationship takes two people then I think that female hypergamy actually plays a major role with the common excuse of not being happy with the relationship, which is very convenient because it does not express ownership and responsibility.

      I’m sure this happens, but I do think that many men shut down emotionally, or are not particularly interested in emotional intimacy, yet they see no reason to terminate the marriage, as they are having occasional sex and getting fed, laundered, etc. Research shows that it is common for wives to be able to cite very specifically why they wanted a divorce, while the husbands say “I have no idea.”

      I think women are far less likely to stay in a meh marriage.

  • Fish

    Re: the pill
    I can honestly say I’ve only slept with 2 girls who weren’t on it, one has an IUD. It seems to be really common. Ironically crush #2 is not on it (doesn’t agree with her body somehow). The only women I’ve talked to before & after were pregnant & there’s a crazy hormone cocktail going on there anyways. Maybe part of “normal” female behavior is because of the pill?

    I think its so prevalent that its almost impossible to filter for and its effectiveness as birth control makes it appealing…

  • Hope

    Not being on the pill means not suppressed ovulation, which means much stronger desire around the time of ovulation (fertile phase).

    My husband can tell when I’m ovulating, and he of course enjoys the attention I give him. It can feel like the euphoria from the beginning stages of our courtship. I would tell him how sexy he is multiple times a day.

    We still conduct ourselves like how lovers do, texting each other all the time at work, stealing moments while we’re out shopping, unable to keep our hands out of each other’s pants, etc. It has resulted in a few times people laughing about me sending him hearts via instant messaging as he’s giving a presentation at work.

    Also when I’m peaking in my desire for him, I think it makes him feel closer to me and more desirous of me. It’s a nice feedback loop.

  • Hope

    Buena Vista, I see a happy parental marriage as an ideal, and I’ve known several peers who are very wonderful people to come from intact families. With their parents’ relationship as role model, they never had to go through all the crazy stuff with relationships that us kids from divorced parents had experienced.

    They just naturally find a great mate and have a healthy relationship, no major struggles, because they are not attracted to dysfunction or negative stuff, and they don’t fall in love with the “bitch” or “a-hole.” Sure they experience disappointments and setbacks, but they’re like eternal optimists and lovers of people, and always smiling and ready to help. Consequently they are well-liked and have generally happy lives. You definitely don’t see them posting on websites asking for relationship advice though. The people I’m thinking of are too busy exploring the world, having fun and meeting friends.

    I think that’s the sort of ideal that people have in mind when they say an intact marriage is best for kids. If the marriage is barely staying afloat and holding on to tatters, with the parents staying together but loathing every minute of it, that is probably worse for the kids than a divorce and happier parents. I don’t really know for sure, as I don’t have any data on this excerpt anecdotes.

  • BuenaVista

    I agree completely Hope. In my experience, about 10% of marriages are the ‘ideal’ you describe. Given the bliss coefficient that such a relationship delivers, I’d say the risk/reward calculation fully justifies taking the leap.

    But of course, that leaves the offspring of the 40% of marriages that are Sysiphean, or maybe just pointless. (I repeat myself.) And the offspring of the 50% of first marriages that go kaput for reasons logical or trivial. Most of us are interacting with, or producing progeny from, the latter two cohorts. I have walked through doors 1, 2, and 3, and recommend door #1. Susan busted me on this, noting that I had a wife-like relationship with a friend on the other side of the world. What’s the point of that? Well, the point is, a few times a month it’s really great.

    However. Since 90% of 20-somethings have experienced at least doors 2 & 3, filtering for door #1 promises little. There just aren’t enough healthy 10 percenters out there for the X’s and Y’s. What troubles me are the men and women who experienced all three doors. It’s a parochial observation, because two of mine are just that. What do they know? Whom do they trust? Which behavior do they model at age 38? I worry that it’s choice-vertigo, at that point. We only mimic that which we’ve seen. Sometimes we’ve too many choices.

    As Mamet says, and Mamet is always right, when the shit hits the fan — and it will — we all revert to being the 10 year-olds we once were. It’s like a pilot with an engine fire: you don’t think about it, you just do as you were trained. This is tough in a world in which so many of us were trained to do the wrong thing.

  • Escoffier

    I wouldn’t say I have bliss–that is, not all the time, there are nice moments though–but I have to believe that more than 10% of marriages are basically happy.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I do not know how many marriages actually serve that ideal. My parents had a pretty healthy marriage until relatively recently, I guess, but they made some pretty big mistakes parenting and reaping what they sowed on that front.

    My GF’s marriage, lol-tastic. GF once stayed up for hours to make a picture book showing all their happy moments so they wouldn’t get divorced. The Dad has been traveling for many years, the mother is….hard to deal with.

    Quite honestly I think Dad prefers traveling because mom can be quite problematic.

  • Hope

    BuenaVista ” Since 90% of 20-somethings have experienced at least doors 2 & 3, filtering for door #1 promises little. There just aren’t enough healthy 10 percenters out there for the X’s and Y’s.”

    Not all of us who come from divorced families are irrevocably broken for relationships. With the Internet and better information transfer, even if we grew up with bad parenting, we can teach ourselves better. That is what my husband and I both did, and as a result we are very happy together. All of the lies that “men and women can be friends” is part of the ignorance that led to some of this. Since we (of the Internet generation) don’t have to navigate this minefield with blinders on, we can do much better at not blowing things up accidentally.

    Escoffier “I wouldn’t say I have bliss–that is, not all the time, there are nice moments though.”

    Yeah, I’m not going to claim bliss all the time either. We do have these amazing moments that I store in my memory bank, and take them out when times get tough. It helps that we are really compatible to begin with, and we don’t have too much baggage (like ex’s that are still pined after, as described by some in this conversation).

  • BuenaVista

    True, Hope. However, you are not a man. Marriage (family law, child services, custody rules, VAWA) presents practical impossibilities, today, to most men. That’s why they are on strike.

    Congrats on finding what you desire and need.

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

      That’s why they are on strike.

      Men are not on strike. Maybe 5% are on strike. Probably more like 3%.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    So what I have served up for the GF’s bday:
    -Friday Night: tapas restarunt. Lots of sangria
    -Breakfast in bed
    -Early morning Go Kart Racing (wanted to do horseback riding….no places around here… :( )
    -Mini-golf course
    -Roller skating, because we need something a LIL exercise-y
    -Saturday evening cooking class. It’s called Date night, can’t be that bad, right?

    There’s the meat. I’ll mention the spices a little later ;)

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Indeed, I think women are less likely to stay in a lame marriage because they are intune to the emotional health of it. Really need that kind of stimulus. Manufacture drama, etc.

    Guys, lot lower needs. Not that we don’t like the connections, if we didn’t then girl game wouldn’t work. But it isn’t strictly speaking “necessary,” and we are willing to stay in something that isn’t fantastic but workable.

    I have a feeling some of us guys wouldn’t tolerate that kind of arrangement, though. We are as complicated and emotionally demanding as the women-folk. High F types? Han strikes me as uch a man, and so does Hope’s husbad

  • Escoffier

    ADBG, don’t be too beta

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    LOL

    Needn’t worry about that. I have 6 pre-sealed envelopes, with very detailed “instructions” about what to do throughout the weekend ;)

  • Fish

    Damn beta!! Leave some room for future birthdays lol

    I’m sure gf will appreciate :-)

  • Man

    @Susan:

    Research shows that it is common for wives to be able to cite very specifically why they wanted a divorce… I think women are far less likely to stay in a meh marriage.

    So why do they marry? Do they marry with a fantasy? With the ceremony of wedding to show their female rivals that they have snagged a husband? With a dream? Were they really interested in the life of a wife or mother in the first place? My point is that they are unable to take responsibility for their lives. And sometimes this happens with some of the most dedicated husbands and fathers as well. By the way, the new generation doesn’t know so well how to cook and launder and most of them are not really interested in that.

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

      So why do they marry? Do they marry with a fantasy? With the ceremony of wedding to show their female rivals that they have snagged a husband? With a dream? Were they really interested in the life of a wife or mother in the first place?

      Andrew Hacker’s Mismatch: The Growing Gulf Between Women and Men covers this topic quite thoroughly. Women marry for all the right reasons, Bridezillas notwithstanding. The problem is that they have far higher expectations for marriage than men do. They want husbands to be soulmates, and they also believe that marriage should enable them to “grow as a person.” Men are much more likely to be happy with sex, companionship and three squares a day.

      Hacker cites many examples of negative influence from the culture – women don’t invent this fantasy – we raise them as girls to believe that is what a good marriage should look like.

  • Scoot

    I love WV’s black hole analogy. Spot-on. That is absolutely what it is, and what it feels like.

    I also can’t agree more with Hope’s thinking that if you’ve gotten to the point where you have to fight to get out of it, it’s probably too late. From what I’ve observed, 9 times out of 10, it is, and backpedaling is rarely successful.

    It isn’t exactly that I feel like having a crush is cheating, in and of itself. Sometimes, attraction does sneak up on you. However, I believe that even the slightest bit of escalation is 100% avoidable. I’m in a committed and excellent relationship, and I would not endanger that relationship or abuse my boyfriend’s trust for anything in the world. Therefore, if I ever felt even the slightest whisper of attraction for an acquaintance, it’d be time to cut the ties with that acquaintance. As gracefully as possible, but with finality and resolution.

    I’ve got male acquaintances who harbor feelings for me. Since they have demonstrated that they can’t keep those feelings to themselves, we do not see each other. I’ve harbored feelings for ex-boyfriends and other male acquaintances, in the past. Regardless of whether or not those feelings were ever expressed or reciprocated or explored, I don’t see those men anymore either. I’ve got plenty of solid friendships with other people in which this stuff is a total non-issue; why keep the complicated, potentially harmful ones? Even if you trust yourself not to make a mistake – it’s a damn slippery slope and I never understood why people insist on surrounding themselves with temptation and constantly testing their resolve, for the sake of – what?

    I’m also in the “I don’t like to be touched by people other than my partner” club. Growing up, my family was emotionally close but physically aloof, and I’m sure that plays a role in my current attitudes. Hugs were for when someone was seriously upset and needed consolation, not something that happened during every greeting. My elderly family members are the kiss-on-the-lips type and I can’t help but cringe. I don’t want to press my body or my lips against someone I’m not intimate with, and certainly not my family members. Seems bizarre. My friends like to tease me about it, and that’s okay.

    My boyfriend and I are getting close to the one-year mark, and we’re still goofy about each other. We, too, text all day and flirt constantly. We are playful with one another, always very excited to be together. Good sex, not a single real argument. This has made ignoring/stonewalling other potential mates nearly effortless.

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

      @Scoot

      My boyfriend and I are getting close to the one-year mark, and we’re still goofy about each other. We, too, text all day and flirt constantly. We are playful with one another, always very excited to be together. Good sex, not a single real argument. This has made ignoring/stonewalling other potential mates nearly effortless.

      Now that is what a great relationship looks like. No doubt its quality reflects your self-discipline and character wrt other men. Clearly, he practices the same behaviors. Congrats.

  • Gin Martini

    JP: “Meaning that my college days attitude and belief was that although pre-marital sex was wrong, if you *did* have pre-marital sex (meaning your broke the rule) then you were obligated to marry that person (you buy it) and live with the consequences of your actions.”

    Hah! We must have been the same person at one point.

  • Gin Martini

    On topic, it is simple – crushes are harmlessly, but don’t be alone with another person for extended periods, when there is any attraction present. Doesn’t matter how strong your relationship is, break that often enough, and something will give, eventually.

    I am the opposite of Susan/Scoot, as I was raised in a more physically affectionate house, while more emotionally aloof. I hugged my parents and siblings and relatives all the time, so, I’m perfectly fine with giving a friend a hug and (female) kiss on the cheek.

    However, I’m smart enough to read and respect people who don’t. In fact, I usually just arrange it so they hug *me*. It’s pretty easy body language to master. The people that don’t want to, won’t.

  • Sam

    @Fish
    On top of that the pill is prescribed for so many other female conditions, as well (yes, fertility and potential for conception is here momentarily considered a “female condition”). So duly noted, Fish, duly noted, however, I will raise the point of “all things not equal” between our samples. Even if our samples were equivalent, I would press on for a while and see what happens. The worst that could happen is I change my mind and make up for lost time as I would only be older and more attractive to the hypergamous instincts of the youthful, anyways.

    On another hand, if I can be so informed about the pill, so too can women, and one who is informed enough to decide on an IUD instead of the pill might just be the type of person I could get along with, or at least discuss human sexuality with for a while. At any rate, the universe tends to surprise me with things, not with what I’m looking for exactly, but occasionally it is a pleasant enough.

  • J

    @A Definite Beta Guy

    Your b’day plans sound like great fun. Pity about the horseback riding. A lot of women love horses. I do.

    Your story sort of supports the quip that once you get into very IQ territory, the odds are good and the goods are awesome. I prefer this interpretation a little more.

    I think Susan is half right. At really high IQs, some guys do get weird and ‘spergy. OTOH, while many people like to equate high IQs with weirdness, I think there is a societal tendency to overlook the different sorts of weirdness that comes with low IQs. When I worked at a psych hospital, a co-worker who was intimidated by bright people, would frequently point out the correlation between hospital admittance and high IQ. I once pointed out to her that stupid people go to jail instead.

  • BuenaVista

    High IQ and creativity do correlate with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. I recommend Jamison on this subject.

    ***

    Susan, I haven’t been around here long, but did you previously take down the Pew Study? Because I don’t know how one can say that unless one chooses to define “men” as privileged members of the cognitive elite — in any social context, a statistically irrelevant miniscule cohort, and meaningless in any social policy discussion. Pew, in multiple studies, show male interest in marriage in freefall. Presuming that you don’t mean men as a class, but only those men who scored 750 on their SATs, is the only way I can understand your dismissal.

    Men are 330% more likely to reject marriage completely in the 30-50 cohort, which is an astounding spread, and likely understated to boot as it may or may not account for gay male population:

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/02/13/love-and-marriage/

    At the same time marriage participation across the board is now 51% for the first time. That’s 29% lower marriage participation than 1960.

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/12/14/barely-half-of-u-s-adults-are-married-a-record-low/

    And at the same time young men are 29% less likely than women to value marriage as an important life objective, whereas as recently as 1997 there was parity between the sexes on this issue:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/young-men-and-women-differ-on-the-importance-of-a-successful-marriage/

    There is no support for your 3-5% figure in any of the Pew studies on marriage support.

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

      @Buena Vista

      There are numerous reasons I disagree with your statement about men being on strike.

      First, the SMP/marriage market is so bifurcated, that it is useless to discuss it as a whole. The split between those with a college education – hardly just the cognitive elite – and those without is stark. Pew discusses the divide by class, age and race:

      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/11/18/the-decline-of-marriage-and-rise-of-new-families/

      Second, the declining rate of marriage is driven by men and women together. In fact, Millennial men are more interested in marriage than Millennial women.

      http://www.examiner.com/article/millennial-men-are-more-eager-to-marry

      Women in lower SES groups who cohabitate and have children without marriage are choosing that strategy, in part because they want children but find men unmarriageable. It is typical for teens in impoverished communities to become pregnant early without any conception of the future role of the male as father – he is entirely dispensable.

      According to Pew, most people indicate they do want to marry, although many will delay marriage. Only 12% of respondents say they have no wish to marry.

      Americans believe that love is the main foundation of marriage. Most who never have been married say they would like to be at some point in their lives. However, statistics show Americans aren’t rushing to the altar, and the U.S. marriage rate is at an all-time low—only 51% of adults were married in 2011, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/02/13/love-and-marriage/

      Rather than a strike against commitment, the decline in the marriage rate may be largely economic:

      YOUNG adults with greater earning potential, who can afford the capstone celebration, are still marrying in large numbers, while those with poorer economic prospects are holding off. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, 88 percent of 35- to 44-year-old women with four-year college degrees have married, compared with 79 percent of those without high-school diplomas. In fact, young adults without college degrees are increasingly likely to put off marriage and have their first children in cohabiting relationships, sometimes years before they marry. Nearly all of the increase in childbearing outside of marriage in the last two decades is from births to cohabiting couples, most without college degrees, rather than to single mothers.

      The weakening link between marriage and childbearing is perhaps best explained by the hollowing out of the middle of the American economy.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/opinion/sunday/why-do-people-still-bother-to-marry.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      The 3-5% number is just my own estimate, not a published statistic, as it seems a reasonable subset of the 12% “no marriage for me” crowd.

  • Liz

    @Hope

    Not being on the pill means not suppressed ovulation, which means much stronger desire around the time of ovulation (fertile phase).

    Yeah no kidding. ;-) Took me a while to figure out what was going on. I’d been on the Pill while single, then BAM. (They should control for this in their studies on monogamy.)

    My husband couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back on the Pill after our child was born. I was already vaguely uncomfortable with altering my body’s natural function. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for family planning, and a single gal has to take responsibility for her own reproductive choice. But I didn’t see why the woman has to bear the brunt of birth control within a marriage.

    Oh well, went off on a tangent there. Let’s just say I look forward to my “rabid phase” every month. ;-)

  • mr. wavevector

    Your story sort of supports the quip that once you get into very high IQ territory, the odds are good but the goods are odd.

    My wife got a good laugh out of that!

  • Gin Martini

    Liz, you bear the brunt because you have all the legal authority over children, plus a large variety of safe, reversible birth control choices.

    Men can choose between sterilization and shitty condom sex. Whoo.

    My wife wanted off the pill and has been on an IUD. we never noticed the I think the claims or someon are somewha I think the claims are somewhat overblown.

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

      My wife wanted off the pill and has been on an IUD. we never noticed the I think the claims or someon are somewha I think the claims are somewhat overblown.

      This will vary a great deal by individual. Also, going off the Pill doesn’t mean you got it wrong when you chose your mate – you might have been fortunate to choose someone with dissimilar DNA in any case. And of course, even in a successful marriage, you still don’t know how you might have evaluated men differently had you been ovulating, able to detect pheromones and hormones, etc.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    What precisely are these young women’s expectations from men as a “perfect marriage”?

    And if they have such high expectations, why aren’t they filtering out the men early on? Especially since most men aren’t gonna be down with this whole “development” thing or whatever.

  • Lokland

    On physical affection.

    I dislike being touched by people in general. (I once worked as a waiter and an old lady latched onto my arm to get my attention. Almost hit an old lady.)

    Most of my family is the hug when meeting variety. I don’t think anyone has ever tried to kiss me which suits me just fine.

    I tend to reserve all forms of physical contact beyond the basics for my wife.

    @J

    “At really high IQs, some guys do get weird and ‘spergy. OTOH, while many people like to equate high IQs with weirdness, I think there is a societal tendency to overlook the different sorts of weirdness that comes with low IQs. ”

    I experienced a similar problem as yours when discussing the teachability of low vs. high IQ students.

    The audience was 8-9 people whom were at best average if not slightly below and then myself and one doctor. (Guess who argued with who :P)

    Essentially the argument was that low IQ people were better learners because they had to work harder than their high IQ counterparts.

    High IQ’ers were inherently lazy whereas low IQ’ers were not.

    My pointing out that this wasn’t inherently true and that many dull bulbs are also lazy while many brilliant people are workaholics just would not compute.

    Another;

    I pointed out that genetic variation probably caps a persons lower and higher IQ range with environmental factors controlling where one falls within their potential range.

    An upper limit was totally unacceptable to them (and most others I have pointed it out to.)

    Pardon, didn’t mean to make that an essay.

    @Sam

    “On top of that the pill is prescribed for so many other female conditions, as well (yes, fertility and potential for conception is here momentarily considered a “female condition”).”

    I’m not sure if there is any truth behind this but one of my female friends (when younger) claimed to have been prescribed the pill to control mood swings around ovulation/period time (not sure which).

    This was the same woman who when going off the pill (onto an IUD) dragged her boyfriend (whom she could no longer stand because he was ‘too nice’) into a foursome followed by a threesome (2 guys).

    The only way to provide enough dominance for her off the pill (at least for him) was to hit her. No clue what happened to them I hope they didn’t get married.

    @Susan

    ” Women marry for all the right reasons, Bridezillas notwithstanding. The problem is that they have far higher expectations for marriage than men do. They want husbands to be soulmates, and they also believe that marriage should enable them to “grow as a person.” Men are much more likely to be happy with sex, companionship and three squares a day.”

    Why are they the right reasons if said reasons are mostly unattainable or completely narcissistic?

    I’m as hardworking, beta provider as they come but if my wife started telling me I was to provide for her so she could grow I would find a new wife.

    I’m providing, she is nurturing. Personal growth is not what I hired her for.

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

      @Lokland

      Why are they the right reasons if said reasons are mostly unattainable or completely narcissistic?

      I don’t think women marry so that they can grow personally at the expense of their mate. I imagine they would say it is also important for the man to grow as well. IOW, their intent is good, but their belief system about what marriage means – a soulmate “merging” of two individuals – is rarely realized.

      It is narcissistic, which is hardly surprising given our cultural promotion of the individual.

      I’m providing, she is nurturing. Personal growth is not what I hired her for.

      Oh, you romantic, you.

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

    Re: marriage strikes. Anecdotal, but in addition to the very shocking Pew-type results that BV cited I have seen the “marriage strike” thing developing, albeit in a localized way, among the most theoretically-eligible male students in my classes. The prevailing attitude really does seem to be very cynical, perhaps even hostile.

    These guys are not necessarily against LTR arrangements; rather than all being wild players, they just seem to see the institution of marriage itself as deeply fucked up. Input factors probably include increasing female economic independence; widespread availability of pre-marital sex; obscene reputation of family law courts for anti-father bias; porn habituation; relatively low fertility rates among the UMC; being children of divorce or close to it; perception that life is about maximizing personal creative expression, adventure, and personal development; “paradox of choice” issues related to social media and mobility; concern that educated women still want expensive things and carry big student loans while men simultaneously face diminished economic prospects…

    The two major female camps—“Lean In” vs. “Neo-Traditional”—are also at odds on this, and it seems like the threshold for what is considered gold-digging or prostitution has now shifted because the work-obsessed “breadwinner” women use this accusation as their standard attack on the few women who are bold enough to state out loud that they want Provider husbands.

  • Lokland

    @GM

    “My wife wanted off the pill and has been on an IUD. we never noticed the I think the claims or someon are somewha I think the claims are somewhat overblown.”

    I imagine there is probably some natural variation with the outliers being made more normal whereas making a normal person more normal is less significant in degree.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ J

    Your b’day plans sound like great fun. Pity about the horseback riding. A lot of women love horses. I do.

    I think Susan is half right. At really high IQs, some guys do get weird and ‘spergy. OTOH, while many people like to equate high IQs with weirdness, I think there is a societal tendency to overlook the different sorts of weirdness that comes with low IQs. When I worked at a psych hospital, a co-worker who was intimidated by bright people, would frequently point out the correlation between hospital admittance and high IQ. I once pointed out to her that stupid people go to jail instead.

    Yes, the horse-back riding was a very big disappointment for me, too. There quite a number of places around here that do “riding,” but mainly as an instructional format, and there are no private instructions unless you are intermediate level or higher.
    Plus they want you to get all your own gear, and I am not sure what “breeches” actually are :P
    It’s on my list of things to do…then again, that’s a long list.

    Can definitely agree on the high IQ=weird, though. I just preferred to phrase things a little differently.
    Apparently this manifested at an extremely young age. I once went through my old report cards and found that my 2nd grade teacher had written a personal note to my parent’s asking them to control my enthusiaism.
    Reason? When certain topics came up in school, I would get really excited to learn, and this excitement would apparently alienate all the other kids…
    The goods are odd :P
    I’ve also written two full-length novels and one that is the length of a novel but only 1/3 finished. Since revising that is a pain in the ass, I am writing a shorter, 30,000 word novella and practicing my revision skills on that.
    Butttttttt, this also means I can write a story once in a while for the GF, and she seems to really enjoy them.

    The biggest issue? When you’re really smart, everyone around you looks like an idiot. Plus I got myself habituated to the easy pay-offs of video games and internet commenting, and sometimes have a harder time putting in work to get future pay-offs in other things.
    Might take a break from internet commenting soon to pursue other passions.

  • Man

    @Susan:

    Women marry for all the right reasons…The problem is that they have far higher expectations for marriage than men do. They want husbands to be soulmates, and they also believe that marriage should enable them to “grow as a person.”

    Right reasons? Enable “them” who to grow as a person, Susan? Sometimes I am under the impression that you make the same mistake as some of my women caregivers made, justifiably, of judging women in general by your own standards or standards of women such as your grandmothers. My grandmothers were very strong women. My mother is almost a saint.

    What our society is still failing to realize is that our culture does not teach women to take responsibility for their own lives and grow as a person. They are exempted from accountability and patronized all the time. Some of them just never grow or at least they take a lot of time to mature.

    I am not implying either that all women are like that and in fact there are a lot of mature and responsible women. I know some. I think that we can divide women nowadays in two groups: the ones with motherhood instincts and high EQ (they are more concerned about having a family, children, etc.), and the others who go with the cultural flow.

    Andrew Hacker seems to have authority to examine the issue and I should have a look at the book. But I am quite sure that grandmothers who are often forced to take care of their daughter’s children would quite agree with me. My guess is that the gulf will keep growing wider until the tension is enough to trigger mean reversion and a move in the opposite direction.

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

      @Man

      Sometimes I am under the impression that you make the same mistake as some of my women caregivers made, justifiably, of judging women in general by your own standards or standards of women such as your grandmothers.

      No, I generally form judgments only after learning everything I can about a topic. And I never indulge in judgments of the “these bad kids today!” or “women don’t take responsibility for their lives,” or “men will avoid commitment if they can get sex without it” variety.

      In addition to not finding gross generalizations useful, I also find that they set up an adversarial dynamic here. This is not the place for men to digest the red pill.

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

    Caveat: the guys don’t usually come out and explicitly say “Fuck having a wife—I am never getting married, period.” Yes, maybe 20-25% will say that, which is still shocking, and these are disproportionately higher SMV jocks/socialites/players who have been conditioned to think of marriage as being sexually unexciting over the long term (perhaps we should blame their parents for this—the people who had young, hyper-affectionate”hot” parents have tended to have a different view, but as marriage age goes up this % goes down and a lot of these college kids just don’t view their parents as attractive, sexy people).

    What I hear most of the “Most Eligible Bachelor” type young guys saying is that they will get married when they are approx. 38-45, after they have attended an elite grad school, climbed the Matterhorn, been fighter pilots, had a few bullfights and boxing matches, hunted in Africa and fished in Patagonia, had sex with starlets and Playboy models, made millions developing violent shoot-‘em-up video games, etc., etc. I do not believe that this Hemingway model of alpha masculinity is attainable for all but a fraction of a percentage, but many feel that there is at least a chance at it and so they apparently intend to try to knock out as many features of the list as possible.

    Before someone brings up extended adolescence, let me say that the early-20s women are just as bad in terms of spinning out these amazing life-accomplishment CV-badass goal lists. It seems that the difference is that these women may hit a biologically-induced baby-rabies urge in 8-10 years which radically shifts their priorities towards domesticity, while the young men will not go through such hormonal storms.

    I think that, in the past, a relatively homogeneous set of cultural expectations and life-script benchmarks caused the young guys to be more calibrated to the female reproductive window—i.e., “You are not a real man until you have done a tour of duty in the service, gotten married, obtained a good job-for-life at the ACME plant, and become an accepted member-in-good-standing of the local fraternal-service club (Masons/Kiwanis/Elks/whatever)”, but to be honest that set of social expectations seems to have significantly deteriorated as a variety of alternative lifestyles are now perfectly acceptable (and rightfully so, IMHO).

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

      I do not believe that this Hemingway model of alpha masculinity is attainable for all but a fraction of a percentage, but many feel that there is at least a chance at it and so they apparently intend to try to knock out as many features of the list as possible.

      How delusional.

      Here’s an interesting new study:

      http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/04/04/do-men-yearn-for-children-more-than-women/53416.html

      Hadley found that 59 percent of men and 63 percent of women said they wanted children.

      Of the men who wanted children:

      50 percent had experienced isolation because they did not have any children, compared with 27 percent women;
      38 percent had experienced depression because they did not have any children, compared with 27 percen women;
      25 percent had experienced anger because they did not have any children, compared with 18% women;
      56 percent had experienced sadness because they did not have any children, compared with 43 percent women;
      56 percent experienced jealousy of those with children, compared with 47 percent of women;
      69 percent had experienced yearning for a child, compared with 71 percent women;
      No men had experienced guilt because they did not have any children, compared with 16 percent women.

      While men do not face a fertility window constraint, they do face a bias against older dads among younger women. We might say their FMV begins to decline after their early 30s.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Oh, you romantic, you.”

    The application of economic terms in an abstract case does not prevent emotional connection in the personal.

    IOW, the biological reasons we are together are anything but romantic and we will only stay together so long as we remain useful to one another.

    That has nothing to do with how we feel about it.

    “IOW, their intent is good, but their belief system about what marriage means – a soulmate “merging” of two individuals – is rarely realized.

    It is narcissistic, which is hardly surprising given our cultural promotion of the individual.”

    Good intent and narcissism cannot go together. At least by my understanding of the two terms.

    “I don’t think women marry so that they can grow personally at the expense of their mate. I imagine they would say it is also important for the man to grow as well.”

    Expecting someone to change for you.
    Red flag, probably a common factor in divorce.

    Marry people for who they are not who they can be.

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

      Good intent and narcissism cannot go together. At least by my understanding of the two terms.

      I’m not talking about clinical NPD – the percentage of college students today with too-high self-esteem is at record levels. Yet I wouldn’t say they are bad kids, or a bad generation, or that they are incapable of doing good in the world.

  • Emily

    >> ” I once went through my old report cards and found that my 2nd grade teacher had written a personal note to my parent’s asking them to control my enthusiaism. Reason? When certain topics came up in school, I would get really excited to learn, and this excitement would apparently alienate all the other kids…”

    *Facepalm* I hate it how some teachers are hostile towards anything other than mediocrity.

  • JP

    @J

    “At really high IQs, some guys do get weird and ‘spergy. OTOH, while many people like to equate high IQs with weirdness, I think there is a societal tendency to overlook the different sorts of weirdness that comes with low IQs.”

    I’m fairly certain that a lot of this is whether the “high IQ” people grew up with people who were their intellectual peers or not.

    I suspect it’s a question of peer group.

    If you mishandle it, as parents, you will end up with a wackadoo kid.

    At least, this is my impression from randomly commenting on a gifted chat board and various reading on it.

    And yes, weird stupid people go to jail. I should know, since a lot of my clients with severe psychiatric problems often end up in jail. Because of their problems.

  • Escoffier

    I am not understanding the idea of “personal growth” after marriage, much less as a FEATURE of marriage. By all means, grow if you can, but don’t get married with the idea that it’s your spouse’s responsibility to support and enable your growth.

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

      @Escoffier

      From Hacker’s Mismatch:

      What husbands want:

      Men and women marry for different reasons. Both seek more of and from a mate than in the past. Men wants the benefits of companionship, but also a nest to which they can repair and relax with the domestic details in functioning order. It’s also a lair where men want to retain much of their freedom and independence.

      Men generally love their partners less because loving itself commands less of his life. They need to retain, not impair their powers to take on the world.

      Men are more satisfied in marriages than wives. They are getting what they want, for the most part.

      What wives want:

      Women want more from marriage; they are willing to relinquish more for love. And they expect that through marriage they will grow and learn more about themselves. Women are more prepared to alter their identity.

      This mismatch is not new, but women are now more likely to leave a marriage when they fail to get what they want.

  • JP

    “While men do not face a fertility window constraint, they do face a bias against older dads among younger women. We might say their FMV begins to decline after their early 30s.”

    One reason that I wanted to have children at a younger age was to compress the generations.

    I figure that 75-50-25-baby is a pretty good cohort for support, which is kind of what I think the ideal is.

    Over 25 years between generations, and you begin to experience problems of intergenerational support.

    I specifically argued this point with my MIL.

    MIL: “Why did you two have children so young? It’s a horrible idea!”

    Me: “Look, I gamed this out over several generations looking back. This is the best solution that I can come up with because it avoids a lot of problems that arise when the generations are too far apart. I’m trying to solve a problem here because nobody seems to think on any timeframe longer than 1 year. The timeframes I care about generally start at 10-20 years, and I’m thinking about 100-200 years out and I would care about 1000 years out if I could get any predictability at that level”

    Or something like that.

    I actually won the argument, surprisingly, which really surprised me.

  • Man

    This is not the place for men to digest the red pill.

    As I see it, you represent mostly women’s interest in your site. Quite natural and expected for, after all, you are a woman yourself with your own history and opinions and the site is mostly directed to girls. Having that in mind, I will try to give you a break.

    The “sphere”, as sociopathic as it might be, I think, is the only place where men have true freedom of speech and where their interests are more reliably represented, even though amidst all the confusion, paranoia and gross exaggerations. Not that I like this state of affairs, but that’s how it is.

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

      As I see it, you represent mostly women’s interest in your site. Quite natural and expected for, after all, you are a woman yourself with your own history and opinions and the site is mostly directed to girls.

      I would say I represent the interests of those interested in being in relationships, and I actively support those males here. Naturally, I understand more about my own sex than the opposite sex, and learn a lot from the male commenters here. What I have no use for is male commenters trying to teach me about women. I’ve already got that covered via impartial and reliable sources.

      The “sphere”, as sociopathic as it might be, I think, is the only place where men have true freedom of speech and where their interests are more reliably represented, even though amidst all the confusion, paranoia and gross exaggerations

      Then render unto manosphere bloggers what is theirs.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “the percentage of college students today with too-high self-esteem is at record levels. Yet I wouldn’t say they are bad kids, or a bad generation, or that they are incapable of doing good in the world.”

    Depends upon your POV.
    Thinking you are better than you actually are may be bad for both oneself, family and society. (Ie. SMV 5 woman trying for SMV 8 man –> hurts herself, any children she may have or future mates/children as well as hurting society.)

    Could produce similar example for people who think they are smarter, stronger, more deserving than they actually are.

    @Esc

    “I am not understanding the idea of “personal growth” after marriage, much less as a FEATURE of marriage. By all means, grow if you can, but don’t get married with the idea that it’s your spouse’s responsibility to support and enable your growth.”

    If you want to be a good husband one simply must be willing to water the flowers everyday.

    Its quite silly to expect someone else to prop you up while you undergo growth.

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

    Susan, I agree. I think they just don’t see it that way. One of the things that I do at the beginning of class is to hand out an index card that allows students to answer a few questions about life goals, expectations for the course, skillset they want for their careers, benchmarks, etc.

    Both sexes appear oblivious to any female fertility window. For women, marriage/kids is frequently described as something nebulous that “happens in there somewhere” in a hip, post-college urban-bohemian lifestyle bristling with friends and fun and perhaps even hipsters (consider what NYC’s SMP can do to this dream). It *seems* to me like there is a kind of mandatory merit badge collection after which a young woman can feel free to begin a provider search if she wants it.

    On the other hand, the young men who want to be married are stating that they want to be married later in life and are more specific in terms of stating optimal age ranges (sometimes the women will try to forcibly calibrate the guys to female biological windows by basically saying that men hit the wall at 30 and need to get married by then or they will never get laid again, but the guys absolutely laugh at this).

    When I have drilled down a bit with a few students, I have found that one reason for the stated male preference for a late 30s (approx.) marriage is that everyone is aware of the student debt load problem and now prestigiously-educated SAHMs are considered a very expensive partner, one that few men can afford. So guys respond by saying:

    1. “If I have to pay for both of us and she’s going to be leveraged to the hilt with (non-self-liquidating, apparently) student debt AND expecting a luxurious lifestyle, then prior to marriage I will need to have that MBA/JD + be well settled into my globe-trotting career in M&A + I better keep working out somehow so that I can look good + I better have some cool stuff behind me so that I am interesting”;

    or

    2. “Fuck hedge funds and investment banking, they are clearly soulless. I don’t want to end up like our 41-year-old bachelor professor with the sociopathic resume of a professional mercenary, I want to be a social entrepreneur or do something similarly chic and humanitarian in the not-for-profit philanthropy space. I have a social conscience, goddamn it! However, because of my “Change the World” Millennial idealism I just will not be able afford to maintain the lifestyle, family security, and debt of a woman who goes to law school or medical school and then decides that she really doesn’t want to be a JD or doc. So she will need to work in those jobs long enough to pay off her debts and put a little away for our future before I can be a provider, and I will need to have spent at least five years doing micro-lending and sustainable yield projects among high-end coffee co-opts in Guatemala and Ethiopia.”

    or

    3. “My wife is going to work her ass off professionally and make a lot of money, and so am I. Coffee is for closers, you goddamn slackers.”

    …and these are the guys who are interested in getting married.

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

      @BB

      I think the level of delusion in both sexes about their abilities and odds of spectacular success is captured by Twenge in her studies of narcissism. Today a rather high percentage of college freshmen indicate that they believe they are destined for greatness and will be extraordinarily wealthy, while at the same time indicating that college classes are too hard and professors expect too much. They literally believe they should get good grades just for showing up – the late teen version of every player getting a trophy even if your Little League team came in last.

      I see the same economic concerns among young people. In fact, I have been quite surprised to learn that many young people in excellent, high status jobs post college are not even tempted to go to business school. The cost + opportunity cost is staggering, and companies are indicating they will not value the MBA, and are certainly not willing to pay for it.

      In addition, the women are running the numbers and realizing that taking that two years, then beating the pavement as a newbie again delays their ability to start having kids.

      I asked my MBA women’s group if HBS is feeling the pinch, and they said yes. Naturally, they still get a lot of the best applicants, but the number and quality of applicants is declining overall, according to some of the women connected to the b-school.

  • JP

    “The “sphere”, as sociopathic as it might be, I think, is the only place where men have true freedom of speech and where their interests are more reliably represented, even though amidst all the confusion, paranoia and gross exaggerations. Not that I like this state of affairs, but that’s how it is.”

    The “confusion, paranoia, and gross exaggerations” mean that anybody who gets sucked into the orbis of the manosphere ends up twisted.

    Ergo, it needs to die because it has no business existing.

  • Sassy6519

    Since I don’t have any male friends, keeping such interactions in check during relationships is fairly easy.

    Male acquaintances are an entirely different ballgame, however. They have caused me the most problems, whenever I’ve been in a relationship. Some have hounded me to give them a chance, despite telling them that I had a boyfriend repeatedly. One guy even flashed his penis at me, and even he was already engaged.

    I also typically don’t trust the male friends of my boyfriends. I’ve had a few of those guys try to get involved with me, despite the fact that I was dating their friend. It all just seems like “snake in the grass” behavior to me.

  • JP

    “Susan, I agree. I think they just don’t see it that way. One of the things that I do at the beginning of class is to hand out an index card that allows students to answer a few questions about life goals, expectations for the course, skillset they want for their careers, benchmarks, etc.”

    I remember being in a class of people who thought that it was best that both spouses worked, etc.

    My thinking at the time, circa 1999, was that they they didn’t know what they were doing and they clearly were not playing the “long game” and that their children were likely to be much less “successful” in the long run.

    I wanted to create more of *me*. And in order to get *me* you had to have a SAHM, because that’s what created me in the first place.

    Without a SAHM mother, I do not think that I would have been supplied with the intellectual support that I needed to learn at the rate at which I desired to learn.

  • Man

    The “confusion, paranoia, and gross exaggerations” mean that anybody who gets sucked into the orbis of the manosphere ends up twisted.

    There is a lot of good, valuable information in the sphere and some high quality websites and blogs. As men have nowhere else to express themselves it won’t die. Very likely it will continue growing. I see the sphere as an expression of the collective male unconscious (a mix of hatred, revolt, fear, strength, valor, genius). To my mind there is no way to stop it. It’s a natural, unconscious reaction to feminism. Feminism needs to die.

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

      I see the sphere as an expression of the collective male unconscious (a mix of hatred, revolt, fear, strength, valor, genius). To my mind there is no way to stop it. It’s a natural, unconscious reaction to feminism. Feminism needs to die.

      I believe there is more than a little wishful thinking here. I see a lot of hatred, revolt, fear and anger. I see some genius, often misplaced, and often frankly dishonest. I do not see any valor, especially in the anonymity.

      99% of women and 75% of men recoil in horror at the cesspool of hatred that describes many of the comment threads.

  • JP

    “I see the sphere as an expression of the collective male unconscious (a mix of hatred, revolt, fear, strength, valor, genius). To my mind there is no way to stop it. It’s a natural, unconscious reaction to feminism.”

    I can discern and I am certain that much there is completely rancid. It’s best to drain swamps, not swim in them.

    And I have as much love for the Dark Masculine as I do for the Dark Feminine (which is what you seem to be calling “feminism”), which is to say none at all.

    I’m simply pointing out what I see.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Emily

    *Facepalm* I hate it how some teachers are hostile towards anything other than mediocrity.

    Don’t disagree with you, but one little clip here…
    It is not the responsbility of teachers to create exceptional young people.
    I’ll put again in big quotes, so everyone can read it…
    If you are relying on teachers to turn your children into the most they can be, you deserve whatever the school system spits back at you
    “Teacher” is a specialized role in an industrial society to educate children in the skills they need to participate in an industrial society, so parents can also go out and perform their industrial-society jobs to earn an industrial-society living.
    That’s what they do.
    Developing the character of your child and nurturing them is your job, as a parent. It is not the teacher’s job. The school cannot, and shouldn’t even attempt to, provide all the skills and training and knowledge and encouragement and love necessary to create a fully developed child.
    “It’s so hard to invest energy in my child after a full day of work”

    Yes, this is why the manosphere wants stay at home moms. ;)

    These teacher movies where Edward james Olmos saves a group of underpriviliged youth are pretty damn dangerous…that’s not what teachers should be doing, that’s not what we should be asking them to do.

    Although, for the most part, my teachers actually did a halfway decent job by the time I rolled into high school. I was very smart and got some extra goodies, like lots of free tickets to conferences and Council on Foreign Relations, etc. Met a lot of interesting people along the way, was there at Obama’s ’04 election night party, etc.

    My parents, on the other hand, had absolutely no idea what they were dealing with. They are perhaps the ur-example of standard middle class American values: do your homework, study hard in school, go do sports, get a summer job, drive big gas-guzzling cars, steak and potato dinner every night, watch TV and movies and play video games.

    Good for producing the back-bone of American society.

    About as useful in producing outliers as it is in surviving nuclear winter.

  • Man

    And I have as much love for the Dark Masculine as I do for the Dark Feminine…

    There is no love lost between the “Dark Masculine” and the “Dark Feminine”. You’re either being delusional or you have relinquished power. The “Dark Feminine” wants to be loved, without loving. Wants commitment, without committing. Wants investment, without investing. It can drain all of your psychic, emotional and financial resources, much like a parasitic organism. Once the parasite has found a host, the host has to stop the negative flow of energy or otherwise it will die/suicide, etc. I only love the “Divine Feminine”. :)

  • Escoffier

    Susan, that sounds kinda, well, dumb, as in unrealistic and a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t think my wife went into marriage with any such expectation. In fact, she often says that one benefit to getting old will be when she can kick out the children and start doing her own stuff again. She “grew” a lot through education but since then she has either worked or mothered. Working helped us build assets as DINKers. The assets helped by a nice home and enable her not to work when kids arrived.

    No doubt there is “growth” in both but I suspect that not’s the kind of growth that these people mean. I suppose that I have grown more than her, what with culinary school and all, but hey, at least she gets to eat the results!

    Neither one of us is reading the Great Books with the same level of intensity that we did in grad school, it’s just impossible (for now).

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

      @Escoffier

      I share your view re marriage and growth. I see myself as responsible for my own self-development, and I pursue it independently. I don’t understand why it should occur as a result of my marital status. Personal growth helps keep my marriage fresh and interesting – not the other way around.

  • Emily

    I can agree with this, although I do think that there are some teachers that actively discourage the bright kids. ie. how Susan’s son got told off for reading stories to the other students. (Not all teachers are like that and some teachers are wonderful, but it does happen.) If it wasn’t for the whole social skills thing, I’d be seriously tempted to homeschool.

  • Escoffier

    “Today a rather high percentage of college freshmen indicate that they believe they are destined for greatness and will be extraordinarily wealthy”

    I think some of this is explained by what others have described as our increasingly “winner take all” economy. E.g., to maintain the standard of living that I grew up with in Northern California, one must today earn mutltiples–even after adjusting for inflation–of what my parents earned. The regular middle class is nothing to aspire to anymore and the UMC lifestyle, while quite attractive, is super expensive.

    Also, the UMC is more and more really the valets of the Davos class and being in close proximity to and taking one’s bearings from such Masters of the Universe all the time increases envy and/or fires the ambition that “If I don’t become one of those, I am nothing.”

    It’s quite a stupid way to run a society, yet we move more and more in that direction every day.

  • BuenaVista

    BB #111:

    “I do not believe that this Hemingway model of alpha masculinity is attainable for all but a fraction of a percentage, but many feel that there is at least a chance at it and so they apparently intend to try to knock out as many features of the list as possible.”

    This stands to reason, in my view, given that half of the boys were raised by a woman while their fathers (in the best case) were reduced to friendly uncles, 90% were educated in anti-boy school systems run by women, had their hours of unsupervised physical activity largely removed, had gym classes removed, had the option of a paper route or other pre-teen and teen years working experiences removed, navigated the college sexual harassment minefield, etc. Basically, none of them had a boyhood, through a Boys Life or Hardy Boys prism. I think it’s healthy that they want to break out and test themselves.

    I view this new Twain-esque ‘light out for the territories’ attitude to resemble the emergence of the Beat ethic in the face of smothering post-WWII middle class culture.

    That and a footnote: a Stephen Crane/Mark Twain/Jack London/Hemingway/Irwin Shaw/Ken Kesey/Robert Stone-derived model of masculinity probably seems quite exotic, given that the the literature they produced is only addressed in a gender-studies context, where the model is reviled. Or, as literature, “it has no business existing.” Previously, one simply said about such behavior, “Well, yeah.” But the Esquire of today serves metrosexuals, whereas the Esquire of Arnold Gingrich took you out on the Pilar for a few days of drinking and fishing.

  • Man

    Then render unto manosphere bloggers what is theirs.

    Yes. I have to acknowledge that they are generally right about a lot of things.

    Naturally, I understand more about my own sex than the opposite sex…

    Of course. And it’s not reasonable or natural to expect a woman to defend men’s interests as sensible and impartial as she might try to be.

    I see some genius, often misplaced, and often frankly dishonest. I do not see any valor, especially in the anonymity.

    I know one who is not anonymous. He’s a genius. But he had to take all the necessary precautions not be severely punished by the legions of feminazis and their submissive manginas who are continuously trying to shut them down. I think that their anonymity is quite justified. We’re living in a dictatorship of the politically correct. There is no freedom of expression for them. Their valor resides in doing something to fight for what they feel is right in a world of submissive manginas.

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

      Then render unto manosphere bloggers what is theirs.

      Yes. I have to acknowledge that they are generally right about a lot of things.

      Ha, that is not what I meant, and I disagree. In this case, I meant render your attention, readership and commentary to them instead of HUS if you think they do a great job addressing the things you are concerned about.

  • BuenaVista

    “Today a rather high percentage of college freshmen indicate that they believe they are destined for greatness and will be extraordinarily wealthy”

    We’re all faux-celebrities, now, I guess. Just ask Zuckerberg.

    Christopher Lasch may be the most important social historian of the second half of the twentieth century. It’s remarkable how prescient Culture of Narcissism proved to be.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, I don’t think it’s fair to hold anonymity against the sphere. The fact is, whatever you think of them at their worst, simply saying something at 10% of the level one typically reads in the sphere will get a man into deep trouble in this society. Hell, many of the things 90% of us agree about on HUS are enough to cause problems for a guy.

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

      Susan, I don’t think it’s fair to hold anonymity against the sphere. The fact is, whatever you think of them at their worst, simply saying something at 10% of the level one typically reads in the sphere will get a man into deep trouble in this society. Hell, many of the things 90% of us agree about on HUS are enough to cause problems for a guy.

      Even if that’s true, it can’t be said to be valorous, as it is neither brave nor courageous nor bold. That was my point. Valor is not required to write anonymously.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Emily
    True, I think there are a few. For the most part, eh, it’s just them doing their job, and you can’t expect them to act like personal nannies.

    You want your kid to be exceptional? You gotta do the work to make it so.

    I am not necessarily against home-schooling. Should be some ways to socialize them. Sunday school, YMCA Basketball leagues. Plus you can get them socialized with a social circle that’s wider than “these kids are my own age and happen to live in the same area, therefore I should socialize with them.”

    For the most part, social evolution works a lot like biological evolution: no moral purpose, just change, and we slap together something and say “good enough” and it perpetuates itself until the environment changes, and then it collapses.
    The idea of actively looking forward and shaping it, welll…..that’s difficult ;)

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

    I can give you a case in point re: anonymity. A fellow international affairs/econ faculty member opined that it is reasonable to expect that SAHM types will be more effective at childraising and domestic administration than will busy working moms. It was an impassive economic argument based on specialization, standard 15% learning curves, etc. He was practically crucified by both student activist groups and other faculty (particularly the sociologists).

    Now consider what this does to a young man’s decisions. While we are at it, we should try to calculate the monthly nut for servicing two typical private college student debt loads + graduate school debt (perhaps for both parties) + typical UMC lifestyle expenses that the wife would expect (which may now include domestic staff) + ubiquitous foreign travel + costs to raise children in the modern UMC household (now extremely expensive).

    How many young guys will make enough to carry that expense load comfortably? How hard will they have to work? Where will they work? Can they afford to take risks and strike it out as entrepreneurs? How old will they be when they can afford to be Good Provider Males? What if they discover that they don’t like finance and would rather breed premium German shepherds in the country?

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

      He was practically crucified by both student activist groups and other faculty (particularly the sociologists).

      And yet if he’d failed to speak up then his ideas would not even be heard. I’m certain that there are plenty of people who read his work and agreed, but felt no need to protest. Obviously, he could not have written anonymously – one either speaks the truth and is held accountable for one’s views, or one shuts up, or one speaks off the record to greatly diminished reception.

  • JP

    “I know one who is not anonymous. He’s a genius. But he had to take all the necessary precautions not be severely punished by the legions of feminazis and their submissive manginas who are continuously trying to shut them down. I think that their anonymity is quite justified. We’re living in a dictatorship of the politically correct. There is no freedom of expression for them”

    Standard issue religious test.

    Genius just means intellectual amplitude. It really doesn’t mean anything more.

  • JP

    “For the most part, social evolution works a lot like biological evolution: no moral purpose, just change, and we slap together something and say “good enough” and it perpetuates itself until the environment changes, and then it collapses.”

    Mind is on a higher plane, so to speak, than life.

    This means that there is more freedom and so, you have to increase your focus on values.

    Cultures arise. They aren’t “slapped together”. They grow.

    You can use the biological evolution model to describe one type of cultural evolution, but all types of cultural evolution cannot be applied to biological evolution because there are more models to choose from.

  • JP

    “A fellow international affairs/econ faculty member opined that it is reasonable to expect that SAHM types will be more effective at childraising and domestic administration than will busy working moms. It was an impassive economic argument based on specialization, standard 15% learning curves, etc. He was practically crucified by both student activist groups and other faculty (particularly the sociologists).”

    He should know better than to argue with people about their religious beliefs.

  • Escoffier

    I’ve said before and I will say it again, if you get into grad school (not professional school, grad school) without full funding, it means you didn’t get it. Anyone who takes on debt for an academic grad degree is an idiot. Call it a form of adverse selection.

    The schools that allow that are predatory and borderline evil.

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

      @Escoffier

      I don’t think business, law or medical schools fully fund anyone, except perhaps on the basis of need.

  • Escoffier

    didn’t get IN

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Yes, but Escof, because college is something everyone has, graduate degrees are now expected to be TRULY UMC.

    Much like household staff is expected to be TRULY UMC

    And sending your kids to expensive schools is expected to be TRULY UMC

    And foreign travel is expected to be TRULY UMC

  • angelguy

    I’ve had crushes on Women who were in relationships. They were not married by any means, but involved. I never went out of my way to tell them that, only because I felt the dynamic between us would change.
    I’ve made the choice to drift away and keep a healthy distance.

    There were times where I did get the impression that the feeling was mutual. But, again, they were involved.
    It was easy to understand why they were already in a relationship, compared to their other single peers, who were alone.

    This makes me wonder after a couple breaks up, how one would go after people they secretly have a crush on, or vice versa?

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    JP,

    I find it more useful to describe some cultural change in terms of evolutionary aspects, because it provides some useful illumination on certain key concepts:

    1. How institutions develop: “who came up with slavery? Such a stupid idea!” Well, it is a system that evolved over time, by tiny little choices that all seemed rational at the time
    2. Cultural institutions that often serve a positive role until they are gone, IE, patriarchy
    3. related to above, why revolutions often suck, IE trying to tear down a society and rebuilding it is akin to ripping apart a fish and trying to re-design it. hard enough to make trains run on time, GF’s Dad spent years and got paid big dollars to do that
    4. path-dependence in general, IE, you cannot make like the US look like Sweden because we changed in different ways. You cannot bring the French health care system to the US period
    5. how precarious society in general is, leading to…how small unexpected changes can lead to total collapse. Rome was doomed when it sent armies overseas and then the soldiers came by and saw that their land, unused, was taken by “squatters,” IE rich people who approriated it for the real estate. It just took a few centuries for the system to decay long enough for the barbarians to topple it, but that’s when it was doomed

    There’s more to it than that, and obviously it isn’t absolutely true. We can think and ideology plays an awfully crucial role. Plus, the existence of institutions, means that certain influential people can emerge to control those institutions and change the fate of everything.

    But the alternative that gets taught in school is crap. It’s culturally hegemonic progressive nonsense. You get the impression that the US is some singular force for liberalism and individual rights and all of society is on an upward struggle for said individual rights, against the collective tyranny of religous, racial, and class oppression.

    Thinking of society as something subject to constratints, competitive pressures, with a genetic “code” that mutates on occassion, is a decent way of breaking people out of that nonsense.

  • Man

    Genius just means intellectual amplitude. It really doesn’t mean anything more.

    Whatever it is sure better than having a narrow view of the world.

    gen·ius (jnys)
    n. pl. gen·ius·es
    1.
    a. Extraordinary intellectual and creative power.
    b. A person of extraordinary intellect and talent: “One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius” (Simone de Beauvoir).
    c. A person who has an exceptionally high intelligence quotient, typically above 140.
    2.
    a. A strong natural talent, aptitude, or inclination: has a genius for choosing the right words.
    b. One who has such a talent or inclination: a genius at diplomacy.
    3. The prevailing spirit or distinctive character, as of a place, a person, or an era: the genius of Elizabethan England.
    4. pl. ge·ni·i (jn-) Roman Mythology A tutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place.
    5. A person who has great influence over another.
    6. A jinni in Muslim mythology.

  • JP

    “1. How institutions develop: “who came up with slavery? Such a stupid idea!” Well, it is a system that evolved over time, by tiny little choices that all seemed rational at the time
    2. Cultural institutions that often serve a positive role until they are gone, IE, patriarchy”

    I suspect that many cultural institutions don’t serve a positive role at all, because they are inherently parasitic.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com HanSolo

    @BuenaVista

    That’s an interesting article about the % married falling from 72% in 1960 to 51% in 2011.

    Interesting part that there are far more 30-50 y/o never-married men that never want to marry than there are women (though majorities of both still want to marry).

    “But among never-married adults ages 30 to 50, men (27%) are more likely than women (8%) to say they do not want to marry.”

    Sounds like women hold the upper hand in getting marriage in their 20s but start to lose that as they go into their 30s.

  • JP

    “Whatever it is sure better than having a narrow view of the world.”

    Not necessarily.

    A broad view of the world is only valuable if you use it properly.

    The Unabomber is a genius.

  • Anacaona

    “My wife wanted off the pill and has been on an IUD. we never noticed the I think the claims or someon are somewha I think the claims are somewhat overblown.”
    Likewise. But then again I’m not hormonal me having my period me no having it, or being pregnant or not the same person. It most be a body chemistry thing.

    I think Susan is half right. At really high IQs, some guys do get weird and ‘spergy. OTOH, while many people like to equate high IQs with weirdness, I think there is a societal tendency to overlook the different sorts of weirdness that comes with low IQs. When I worked at a psych hospital, a co-worker who was intimidated by bright people, would frequently point out the correlation between hospital admittance and high IQ. I once pointed out to her that stupid people go to jail instead.
    Had read or watched Watchmen? There is a point where Dr Manhattan stops wearing clothes because it doesn’t make sense to him. I think for people really smart a lot of societal conventions are just illogical so they don’t do it. Not sure how much is a conscious choice or how much is inability but I do think high IQ need to find logic in a lot of situations because “everyone does it’ just doesn’t cut it, YMMV.

    If it wasn’t for the whole social skills thing, I’d be seriously tempted to homeschool.
    I plan to supplement their education with teaching at home critical thinking and trying to make sure they have their eyes open to societal pressure and their origin. It worked for my brother and me.

    I share your view re marriage and growth. I see myself as responsible for my own self-development, and I pursue it independently. I don’t understand why it should occur as a result of my marital status. Personal growth helps keep my marriage fresh and interesting – not the other way around.

    Likewise.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com HanSolo

    Also, it’s interesting how the article Susan linked to shows that men 21-34 are more desirous to marry than women of the same age.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/millennial-men-are-more-eager-to-marry

    But a lot of the 30-50 y/o men (27% in the Pew poll and obviously a different cohort than the millenials except for a little overlap) that stayed single to that age never want to get married.

    So we probably have a few things going on.

    Many of those men who want to get married while in their 20’s (even early 30’s) did so, increasing the proportion of “never wanting to marry” never-married men left over in the 30-50 y/o never-married category.

    Perhaps a few that wanted to marry in their 20’s but didn’t then changed their mind by the time they got older.

    Is there any data showing what the 30-50 y/o never-married cohort wanted when in their 20’s? Likely not, since it would be mixed with many who eventually did marry.

  • Fish

    @Susan
    “In fact, I have been quite surprised to learn that many young people in excellent, high status jobs post college are not even tempted to go to business school. ”

    100% agree with you. If you can get an excellent job without it, there is no point to go. However, a lot of young people make mistakes early in life and it is a good opportunity for a “do-over”. I believe, like anything, if you do enough research and find a good fit, there is still value to be had.

    Re: Manosphere
    There are portions of it I agree with. Divorce laws are ridiculous and they don’t appear to be changing anytime soon. However, most discussions I have read devolve into “don’t do it, use women for sex until you can’t anymore.” I guess that works for some.

    I really believe a lot of the concepts from this blog work for both genders: filtering, valuation, scientific studies why things are what they are. I think starting with the assumption that everyone has an agenda leads to faulty thinking and is probably more damaging for the person with that mindset. Are there gold digging women out there looking to latch onto a guy for all he’s worth. Hell yes. But lets be honest, the SMV 10 hottie would be totally out of your league if you didn’t have $$ so that is a filtering problem on your end. The best way to shut down gold-diggers: filter. Don’t date them.

    I think there is a level of hypocrisy out there from both sides. Men can’t expect to derive the majority of their MMV from $$ and then whine about being taken to the cleaners. Shallow, uninteresting but hot women shouldn’t complain about getting used for sex. Up your game people! That is at the heart of what this blog is. Recognizing weaknesses and fixing them, not making excuses why it sucks that you’re not succeeding doing the same things over and over.

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

      @Fish

      Recognizing weaknesses and fixing them, not making excuses why it sucks that you’re not succeeding doing the same things over and over.

      Yeah, I’m only concerned with strategy. That’s why I’m not very interested in how many women are actually slutty, or whether marriage is in decline. Either way, the strategy is the same. It’s pointless to debate something like whether men or women lie more. Who cares? Stop whining, recognize things are not working for you (not you personally) and figure out how to change your results.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com HanSolo

    @Lokland

    Ie. SMV 5 woman trying for SMV 8 man –> hurts herself, any children she may have or future mates/children as well as hurting society.

    It’s interesting to think of the converse of this. A male 5 trying for a female 8.

    The female 5 can sometimes get casual sex and possibly pregnant from the male 8. (Arnold and the housekeeper come to mind.) So female 5’s going for 8’s actually results in sex and kids, from time to time.

    What happens when the male 5 goes for the female 8? Nothing! Absolutely nothing. (Okay, once in a very blue moon it might happen.) She doesn’t have sex with him and so no pregancies, plus if he’s solely going for 8’s then he never will be covorting with 3’s and 4’s, thus reducing the amount of promiscuity in society! :D

  • http://www.justfourguys.com HanSolo

    @Bastiat

    Interesting comments on what you’re seeing in your students. What kind of background and SES do they come from?

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ JP

    I suspect that many cultural institutions don’t serve a positive role at all, because they are inherently parasitic.

    Of course.
    As Adam Smith once said, there is a great deal of ruin in any nation.
    Adopting to this a communist perspective, there is always an oppressive class.
    Adopting to this a capitalist perspective, there is always a rent-seeking class
    Adopting to this a political scientist perspective, equilibrium is always aligned to the interests of certain interst groups and not others
    Adopting to this a biological perspective, there will always be social disease
    Adopting to this a feminist perspective, well, I am not sure how we can do that because the answer is always “Blame Men” ;)

  • Escoffier

    ADBG:

    I don’t think so. In turn:

    1) Graduate degrees are not required for standing as “UMC.” College definitely is, and on the coasts and in the blue cities, they have to be elite colleges. Even that is a generational thing. E.g., the ruling class of men in their 50s–C suit types, undersecretaries and so on–are maybe 50% from elite schools, 50% not. With another cohort who went to a school like Georgetown or Notre Dame that is elite now but not when they went. However, the 20-something generation MUST have an elite degree even to get an interview in the same companies/industries. Also, even if their parents did not go to an elite school, the parents have their own identities wrapped up in their kids going to one. Unless there is some personal loyalty at work, e.g., dad is fanatically devoted to State U football so he wants junior to go there and pledge the same frat.

    Grad school is becoming more important to economic success but only one partner in the marriage absolutely has to have it. Susan said that B school is declining but I don’t see it. From my perch it seems essential today anywhere in finance.

    What is “nice to have” but not “essential” (esp. for girls) is a froofy grad degree. However, the elite BA is a necessity.

    2) Totally disagree. Household staff is one of the iron dividers between UMC and upper class. There is in fact a prejudice AGAINST household staff for ideological reasons, and owing to the fact the people no longer have the necessary “keep up appearances” aristocratic mein to be able to live with servants around. It’s tiring to never let anyone see you at your worst and to embarrassing to let it all hang out so better to just not have staff. I know rich people who truly could afford it who don’t. At most they have someone come and clean once a week. But nobody in my own “snack bracket” has staff of any kind.

    Now, I can hear you protesting “Nannies!!” but not so fast. Nannies are, for these people, not a luxury-status symbol, something on which to spend money as a positive good, but a regrettable necessity. They are for couples in which both parents MUST work or else UMC status cannot be maintained. Hence a very simple calculation is made: Wife’s salary minus Nanny’s wages = differential. If the differential buys you into the UMC, you get the nanny or you don’t have kids. Or, better, you find a hubby who earns enough to let you stay home. If it does not, then you may be UMC by temperament and taste, but you cannot support the lifestyle.

    3. Yes, sort of, with the addendum that buying into a nominally public but so-expensive-it-might-as-well-be-private school district also works. This affects the initial home price, but also (and especially) the property taxes, which in effect serve as tuition.

    4) Foreign travel is just a nice-to-have not a necessity. Most in the UMC will pour whatever excess income they have into “enrichment programs” for kids, home improvement, or a vacation home (or long term rental) in that order before foreign travel. The peer pressure also falls in that order. That is, there is stigma in not spending lavishly on your kids, not on toys and stuff but on “educational and enriching experiences.” There is some stigma in living in a run-down home but less, if it is in the right place. And at the upper reaches of the UMC you might hear some sniggers if you don’t have a good answer to “Where are you summering this year?” but only in the upper reaches.

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

      Susan said that B school is declining but I don’t see it. From my perch it seems essential today anywhere in finance.

      No, they much prefer the employee stay put and get a CFA. (I know about a dozen kids working in IB, PE, buy side research and sell side Trading – all report this to be the case, at least in Boston.) Also, the old “up and out in 2 years” programs are mostly discontinued. When one young person announced he was leaving research at Fidelity to go to b-school, the rumor went around that he’d been canned.

      Management consulting firms still have 2 year associate programs, and don’t let non-MBAs consult, so if you start out there you pretty much have to go get one.

      As has already been mentioned, it is a good, albeit expensive way to change careers. That’s why I did it.

  • Man

    @Fish:

    …filter. Don’t date them.

    Men are only able to filter what they are able to discern through their own experience and the shared knowledge and experience of other men (and perhaps sometimes their mother). Many didn’t even have the presence of a strong and respected father who could orientate them properly. If they are mislead by the culture into believing that every choice is a good choice, and his preferences and he himself are inherently bad/controlling, how could they filter properly in the first place? That said I agree with your views about HUS take on relationships. I just think that you won’t find much valuable information to do your filtering here. There is more valuable “filtering” information for women/girls (from women to women), even though there is some good advice about relationships in general for men too and the hostess and some female commenters are very sympathetic to men’s needs and opinions.

  • JP

    My wife absolutely rejected my idea of getting a Harvard MBA, however, she would have no problem with me getting a M.D. if I ever feel like it.

  • JP

    “I think for people really smart a lot of societal conventions are just illogical so they don’t do it. Not sure how much is a conscious choice or how much is inability but I do think high IQ need to find logic in a lot of situations because “everyone does it’ just doesn’t cut it, YMMV.”

    Conscious choice definitely plays a part.

    I think at some point before the end of my life, I’m going to build a time machine, go back in time and find myself, and beat younger me to a pulp with a baseball bat for thinking this way.

  • Anacaona

    Conscious choice definitely plays a part.

    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    1. On the degree thing, I can only tell you what I am seeing. I can definitely say “elite” recognition is absolutely 100% required for the big name jobs (sometimes even the middle-ranking jobs). Been told as much from the recruiters and the hiring managers.
    I can also report an extremely high number of people pursuing graduate education. Among my group of peers, and we are drawn from UMC but not uber-elite, I am in the minority by not presently pursuing either graduate education or a CPA certification.
    Actually, in my group of close-knit friends, I am the only one, besides my best friend. Everyone else is either in graduate education or has graduated from graduate education.
    I’ll do a sampling of Facebook friends and see what I pull up…right now I am struggling to think of ANYONE who has a bachelor’s degree and says “welp, I’m done!”
    Literally.
    Not one single person.

    2. We may be defining household staff differently. I don’t mean live-in help necessarily, but almost every single UMC household in this area takes care of 0 of their landscaping needs and a sizable percentage have maids that visit…to me these both still scream decadence.
    I had a live-in nanny, but her name was Grandma.

    On the subject of international travel, again, cannot think of a SINGLE person, not ONE, not a single solitary ONE that has not gone overseas. I rememeber upon graduating, one girl took a European trip and charged it all to her credit card, under the assumption that credit card debt didn’t matter, but she would never have the chance to go to Europe again.
    And I didn’t attend some public Ivy, I went a mid-to-high level state school and just hung out with reasonably succesful kids that managed to graduate.
    Obviously I have a self-selected social group, but this is definitely what I am seeing as “expectation” amongst UMC.

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

    Han, student base is mostly UC/UMC mix.

  • Escoffier

    RE: travel, I guess I misunderstood, yes everyone has gone overseas at some point, on M&D’s dime typically. What I thought you meant was routine, yearly trips by families with school-age children. That does not happen. If you have the money for that, you are not really UMC anymore. That’s big time.

  • JP

    “RE: travel, I guess I misunderstood, yes everyone has gone overseas at some point, on M&D’s dime typically. What I thought you meant was routine, yearly trips by families with school-age children. That does not happen. If you have the money for that, you are not really UMC anymore. That’s big time.”

    Huh?

    That’s really not that expensive.

    Can’t be more than$5,000 or so.

    Is it?

  • JP

    “On the subject of international travel, again, cannot think of a SINGLE person, not ONE, not a single solitary ONE that has not gone overseas. ”

    Don’t most public high schools give you the option of school trip “week to England” or “week to France”.

    I did Mexico and England/Ireland in high school. And this was farm-opolis.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Ahhh, yes, true. There are few people that I know of that are making annual trips. However, as far as I can tell, international travel is an expected part of “normal life.”

    Never occured to me. Not my family dynamic. We never left the country. Never went on a winter vacation. Never left school for a day for vacation.

    Suggesting this was border-line treasonous!

  • JP

    “Never occured to me. Not my family dynamic. We never left the country. Never went on a winter vacation. Never left school for a day for vacation.”

    I can’t talk my wife into going overseas again.

    Apparently, spending a semester in Wales and then wandering across Europe satiated her need or desire to ever leave the United States again, mostly because she really likes it better in the United States.

  • Laurel

    Back to crushes for a minute…there are crushes and then there are CRUSHES. I think of a serious, heavy crush as when you’re fascinated with someone, at least a little obsessed with them, and idealize them a certain amount….I guess that’s what they call Limerence.

    When I’ve been in relationships I’ve often had male friends I really liked…and a couple of times there’ve been guys I’ve been powerfully attracted to physically, to the point of frequent fantasies…but there has only been one time I’ve had a capital-letters crush like I described it above.

    I think when that does happen, it means you’re finding something in the crush-person that’s important to your vision of what the other sex should be and that you’re not getting from your current relationship person. Which does NOT automatically mean your relationship is bad and should be ditched, because no one is likely to fit your perfect image in ALL ways.

  • Escoffier

    I really don’t know what it would cost to take a family of 4 to Europe, in non-trashy style, for a week or two but $5k sounds too low (based on my last, solo, trip to Italy, which cost me a bundle).

    If $250K/year is the baseline for the blue city UMC, and given all the other “necessary” expenses that entails, then, no, “most” UMC families cannot afford to go to Europe regularly.

    Overseas travel for the UMC comes primarily in the following forms:

    1) M&D send you on a school or youth trip for which they pay. Accomodations are OK but cut rate and you are only one person, so they can afford it.

    2) You go when you are young, have no fixed expenses, and bum around as cheaply as possible.

    3) You go WITH M&D who pay your way.

    4) Perhaps when you are older you will go on business.

    5) Perhaps when you are single you will combine expenses with a S/O, or when you are married and DINKing, you go with your spouse.

    6) You wait until your kids are grown and gone and you have free cash and go with your spouse (or alone if you are divorced and have any left over after alimony).

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

      I really don’t know what it would cost to take a family of 4 to Europe, in non-trashy style, for a week or two but $5k sounds too low (based on my last, solo, trip to Italy, which cost me a bundle).

      The airfare alone is $1200-1500 per person.

  • JP

    “That does not happen. If you have the money for that, you are not really UMC anymore. That’s big time.”

    I’m 100% certain I can do this and I’m not making six figures.

  • JP

    “I really don’t know what it would cost to take a family of 4 to Europe, in non-trashy style, for a week or two but $5k sounds too low (based on my last, solo, trip to Italy, which cost me a bundle).”

    OK, up it to $10K.

    Still doable.

    Impact on my lifestyle? Zero.

  • Escoffier

    You can take a family of four to Europe annually on a family income of less than $100K? Really?

    So, you own your house outright, pay dirt low property taxes, and use the public schools? Even then it sounds like a stretch. If any one of the above is not true, it is impossible unless you live like an aescetic in every other way to pay for this trip.

    I just had to buy tickets to take a family of four to California, where I will stay and mostly eat for free, and that alone ate up about half your budget. Airfare to Europe would be more than 2x that, possibly 3x, and accomodation and food, forget it.

  • Escoffier

    JP, so, really, you can spend 10% of your pre-tax family income on one trip every year and not have it impact your lifestyle?

    I ask, please, to be given a break.

  • JP

    “If $250K/year is the baseline for the blue city UMC, and given all the other “necessary” expenses that entails, then, no, “most” UMC families cannot afford to go to Europe regularly.”

    What are these people spending money on?

    Once I got done paying off my student loans and paying off my house, I found that it only costs about $2,000 a month to actually live.

    I generate cash puddles.

    The fights I have with my wife about money are normally about what investments/savings vehicles.

  • JP

    “JP, so, really, you can spend 10% of your pre-tax family income on one trip every year and not have it impact your lifestyle?”

    I only spend about 35% of my pre-tax family income every year.

  • Escoffier

    Then you

    A) Live somewhere incredibly cheap

    B) Don’t have kids

    C) -or- use public schools

    D) Pay nothing in property taxes; and

    E) Are basically ascetic

    All very commendable no doubt, but an extreme outlier for the rest of what passes for the UMC in the USA of 2013.

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “Also, going off the Pill doesn’t mean you got it wrong when you chose your mate – you might have been fortunate to choose someone with dissimilar DNA in any case.”

    She wasn’t on it when we met… heck, I paid for the prescription. We just never noticed any desire change going through the various methods.

  • JP

    My kids walk to the local public school. It’s a whopping half-mile away.

    The local public high school was good enough to let my BIL into Harvard, so I’m not seeing a problem here. My wife did not like going to the local private academy, so she’s not interested in sending our kids there.

    The endocrinologist down the street and his pediatrician wife walk their kids to the local public school. I live across the street from anesthesiologist.

    It’s definitely more expensive here than it was when I lived in south-central PA. The housing is pretty expensive (to me).

    If your definition of “ascetic” includes annual (sometimes bi-annual) trips to Disneyworld, then I’m ascetic.

    This is standard-issue suburban red-state and I think that lots of people live this way.

  • JP

    @Escoffier:

    If the average UMC family does not generate enough free cash to take an annual family trip to Europe every year, the average UMC family is never going to retire because they will not have enough money to retire.

  • Hope

    GM or OTC, is your wife generally larger in size than say, 107lbs and 5’3? I suspect part of the issue is that the pill is formulated for a larger body mass than what I have, and that the amount of hormones simply overwhelmed my system.

    I don’t know if natural levels of hormone balance have anything to do with it either. Anacaona says she has no issues normally with the cycle, but my cycles have always been very noticeable and symptomatic, with the crazy peak like Sassy has mentioned. She apparently also did not respond well to birth control pills.

  • JP

    “The median family in the top 10% of household income in the United States in 2010 earned $205,300. At that point, half of the people in the bracket earned more, half earned less. That is $17,100+ per month in pre-tax income. Obviously, simple math tells you that is the cut-off point for the top 5%, as well.”

    So, the hypothetical “UMC” household that make $250,000 a year is well into the *TOP 5%* of Americans.

    That doesn’t sound very MC to me, U or otherwise.

    http://www.joshuakennon.com/a-look-at-household-net-worth-and-household-income-by-age-group-from-the-2010-survey-of-consumer-finances/

  • Escoffier

    wrong, the average UMC family is maxing at least one and often two 401ks and then saving well beyond that. To the extent that they are not, you are right, they won’t be able to retire they way that they think. But those of us who are so prudent indeed do not have the cash left over to take a $10K trip once/year.

    The prudent also maintain cash reserves for emergencies, layoffs and so on. These have to be dipped into even when one is not laid off. I take it nothing in your house ever breaks and you never have to make capital expenditures on it?

    The vast, vast majority of the UMC also cannot possibly own their homes outright. In a coastal city, forget it. I also forgot homeowner’s insurance, which is a big part of the monthly. That plus taxes are basically a small mortgage even if you don’t have a mortgage.

    So, living UMC on $35K/year, I don’t see how or where that is possible. No cars? Hence no gas or insurance? Utility bills in the east are brutal. I never set my thermostat above 64 in the winter and I wear a big woolly cardigan around my chilly house and the bill is still a whopper. I guess yours is not?

    I also take it you never eat out (not that we do that much, but with four of is, even the sports bar/burger joint is >$50). And then when you eat at home, you can’t be all that extravagent. (I am quite extravagant here, I admit.)

    In other words, I could do what you are suggesting (and still save), but that means everyone else in the house has to go without all “luxuries” to pay for that one trip every year.

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

    These calculations (top X %) really need to be adjusted for local cost of living conditions, which needs to include both taxes and the usability of the public schools. Someone living in a nice mid-sized town in, say, Iowa or Georgia and making $170K may well be “richer,” in the sense of disposable/saveable income, than someone making $250K in the NYC or SF area.

  • Hope

    Escoffier, my husband and I live in a red state on equivalent of UMC income in a coastal city. We could easily afford to drop 10k a year on a family vacation, and we’re not yet 30. This year we did drop that much already on expensive toys for my husband plus a major house project, plus got another vehicle.

    This is only possible however because I am working full-time. Sometimes I do feel bad about leaving our baby boy in daycare, but honestly my husband turned out fine, and my mother-in-law worked full-time as well throughout his life. My husband had told me that he prefers that I work.

    I never aspired to the elite UMC lifestyle, and I wouldn’t be trying to get our kids in elite schools. I did attend Northwestern for undergrad, but I came out with a very small student loan that was paid off years ago. My husband’s undergrad and grad degrees were from a state school. On the other hand, his cousins’ daughter is going to Princeton, so I guess there’s some indicator that we’re sort of on the periphery of the elite crowd.

  • JP

    “So, living UMC on $35K/year, I don’t see how or where that is possible. No cars? Hence no gas or insurance? Utility bills in the east are brutal. I never set my thermostat above 64 in the winter and I wear a big woolly cardigan around my chilly house and the bill is still a whopper. I guess yours is not?

    I also take it you never eat out (not that we do that much, but with four of is, even the sports bar/burger joint is >$50). And then when you eat at home, you can’t be all that extravagent. (I am quite extravagant here, I admit.)”

    No, I live in a coastal city. We have beaches.

    I got a pizza for $6 last night for the family; granted our daughter is at camp, so there were only three of us and it was take-out.

    Dinner out with the kids at a kid-friendly place runs about $20. I do normally take my lunch to work, but it tends to be fruit/nuts. I go out about once a week with the office for $10 (for me). Prices have gone up here lately.

    If it takes me 10 minutes to get to work, that means that the traffic was heavy. We have two cars. I’ve been driving mine for about 10 years and it has less than 100,000 miles on it.

    I’m in the sub-tropics – electricity bills run about $80 per month.

    I’m not very extravagant at home, but that’s because neither I nor my wife likes to cook.

  • JP

    I also have my kids in scouts/church groups/gymnastics/swimming.

    In addition, I bought a summer pass to the local tennis/swim club. Which is about 0.1 miles further than the school.

    Once you get rid of debt, you realize that life is pretty cheap.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Laurel,

    I think when that does happen, it means you’re finding something in the crush-person that’s important to your vision of what the other sex should be and that you’re not getting from your current relationship person. Which does NOT automatically mean your relationship is bad and should be ditched, because no one is likely to fit your perfect image in ALL ways.

    I think this is perceptive. No partner is perfect. No-one satisfies all your needs, and no-one shares all your interests. So you may find someone you really connect with in some limited way more than you do with your SO. This is what initiated my crushes – a connection with a woman over some creative endeavor I was passionate about but my wife wasn’t.

    I never thought my crushes would make better partners for me than my wife. What I really wanted was a platonic friendship with them, not a romance. Unfortunately I learned I don’t do platonic well. My lizard-brain still wants to impregnate fertile women, Plato be damned. I try to find male friends to share my creative passions with now.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “@Escoffier

    I don’t think business, law or medical schools fully fund anyone, except perhaps on the basis of need.”

    “Duke Law School awards three-year scholarships to entering law students. All scholarships are based in part on merit, defined broadly to include academic excellence as well as a range of other personal accomplishments and experiences.”

    http://law.duke.edu/admis/financial/handbook/sec2/

    I only got $20,000 out of them. Which amounted to a year’s worth of tuition at the time.

    Lots of partial scholarships available.

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

      @JP

      I stand corrected!

      I did get some merit money when I went to b-school, but it was provided by various companies. The school itself did not fund based on merit.

  • Gin Martini

    JP’s life is interesting. Can’t do that here with food and housing costs. I suspect he can turn water into wine and feed a thousand people with a loaf of bread, too.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, valor is not defined as “rash”, in fact it is the mean between rashness and cowardice. So, it really is unfair, and untrue, to imply that it is cowardice not to sacrifice one’s livelihood.

    Socrates never openly stated his full doctrine (and they killed him anyway). Would you call him a coward? Aristotle fled Athens rather than also be executed. Ditto?

    These are ancient examples but the principle is the same. What Machiavelli called the “golden time when each could hold and defend any opinion he wishes” is rather rare in human history. In most places, most of the time, there is a dominant body of opinion and going against it results in persecution of one form or another. Impaling oneself on the spike of that persecution is not valorous, it is simply stupid.

    Beyond this, it does indeed take intellectual courage simply to think through and stand up to the dominant (false) body of opinion. And it also takes a certain amount of courage (mixed with prudence) to take on that opinion anonymously since you will make enemies, who will try to unmask you so they can persecute you fully.

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

      @Escoffier

      So, it really is unfair, and untrue, to imply that it is cowardice not to sacrifice one’s livelihood.

      I didn’t say that. I just said that writing anonymously is not a valorous act. You’re claiming it is not cowardly, which is a very different claim.

      Beyond this, it does indeed take intellectual courage simply to think through and stand up to the dominant (false) body of opinion.

      Pish posh, what is intellectual courage?

      And it also takes a certain amount of courage (mixed with prudence) to take on that opinion anonymously since you will make enemies, who will try to unmask you so they can persecute you fully.

      If I could trace IP addresses to specific street addresses, I would not hesitate to out all my enemies. Sadly, I would need a subpoena for that.

  • Escoffier

    JP, the %s are meaningless. What matters is, what standard of living can this or that amount buy you in this or that locale? In the blue coastal cities, $250,000 is about the baseline for a UMC lifestyle for a family with school-age children. In the three markets I know the best–SF Bay Area, DC, NYC–that is the floor. Note we are talking UMC, not MC, so the topic itself ASSUMES a certain level of affluence above the basics.

    And the figure is not mine, it is Obama’s. That’s the number he used in both campaigns. Why? To refrain from terrifying his core constituency, the urban-suburban liberal professional class, who are most of his donors, volunteers, activists, opinion-makers and high priests. That number is thus not merely descriptive; its descriptive power is all the greater because it was chosen out of self-interest which derives from self-knowledge.

  • Anacaona

    Anacaona says she has no issues normally with the cycle,
    My only issue was that was really irregular when I was younger and sometimes I crave sugar more than usual but that is one out of three. They are also really sort of short (27 days), but yeah aside from the occasional cramp I don’t have hormonal changes affecting my mood.

  • JP

    “What matters is, what standard of living can this or that amount buy you in this or that locale? In the blue coastal cities, $250,000 is about the baseline for a UMC lifestyle for a family with school-age children. In the three markets I know the best–SF Bay Area, DC, NYC–that is the floor. Note we are talking UMC, not MC, so the topic itself ASSUMES a certain level of affluence above the basics.”

    Everybody thinks they are middle class in the United States.

    It’s kind of a joke.

    I can’t convince my in-laws that they relatively wealthy (given the ownership of multiple houses, and part-ownership of various properties). They simply refuse to believe it.

  • BroHamlet

    @Escoffier, Susan

    I am not understanding the idea of “personal growth” after marriage, much less as a FEATURE of marriage. By all means, grow if you can, but don’t get married with the idea that it’s your spouse’s responsibility to support and enable your growth.

    I have read both of your comments on this and I completely agree. It’s interesting how in a society where a common meme is not needing a man or a relationship to be happy, that the expectation of growth seems to be a common theme among the women you are referring to? Where does that come from?

    Further, wouldn’t it be good to advise people to sit down and REALLY talk about what they expect out of a relationship? I mean, a really, really deep discussion. Frankly, I’d rather break off an engagement or just have her leave that hour, than have my married life go south years later when some need that was never articulated causes her to pull the trigger on a divorce. Susan, is there any precedent for marriage counselors in getting women to really be open about this need BEFORE the knot is tied? I was raised to believe that you are the only one that can architect your own happiness, so I’d be keen to make sure most of the wants on both sides are clearly articulated, and that we believe the same thing in that regard. Sounds unromantic, but it’s a conversation that seems like it should be had.

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

      @BroHamlet

      Susan, is there any precedent for marriage counselors in getting women to really be open about this need BEFORE the knot is tied? I was raised to believe that you are the only one that can architect your own happiness, so I’d be keen to make sure most of the wants on both sides are clearly articulated, and that we believe the same thing in that regard. Sounds unromantic, but it’s a conversation that seems like it should be had.

      Not that I know of, but all the signs should be there before marriage. This is really the soulmate myth – and women who expect this do not flip a switch after the wedding. They will treat the relationship this way. I think a lot of men put up with it, or even share the feeling in the early days, when limerence is present. But because men are more focused on getting physical needs met, and women are most focused on getting emotional needs met, couples are likely to diverge over time.

      I’ve heard a couple of horror stories this week about people showing their “true colors” once an engagement was announced. A woman who got very controlling and a man who suddenly became prone to angry outbursts. Clearly, both parties were hiding their true selves up to that point. Breaking an engagement is no fun, but it can and should be done if red flags like that pop up.

  • JP

    I’m not sure how I managed to turn this comment section into a debate about the UMC. However, it’s apparently 15% of the population.

    “Sociologists Dennis Gilbert, Willam Thompson and Joseph Hickey estimate the upper middle class to constitute roughly 15% of the population. Using the 15% figure one may conclude that the American upper middle class consists, strictly in an income sense, of professionals with personal incomes in excess of $62,500, who commonly reside in households with six figure incomes.[1][7][14][17] The difference between personal and household income can be explained by considering that 76% of households with incomes exceeding $90,000 (the top 20%) had two or more income earners.[14]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_middle_class_in_the_United_States

    This appears to be different than what I suppose we could call the “Escoffier UMC”, or the “Obama UMC”.

    Which appears to be the LUC (lower upper class) in denial.

    Because the LUC wants to think that it’s really the UMC.

  • Escoffier

    $62,500 is a ridiculous figure that shows the corruption of our intellectual discourse.

    I am not upper class in any sense. If I lost my job, I have a while until my reserves run out and then it’s over. If I can’t get another job at this level, then my SES goes away forever. I have my fancy education, which some consolation, and I might be very happy as a beach bum quoting Socrates on Pacific Avenue, but forget about supporting a family or anything else.

    If you don’t have assets you can live on, you are not upper class.

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

      If you don’t have assets you can live on, you are not upper class.

      There’s also the “millionaire next door” factor. A lot of those folks are actually small business owners with working class backgrounds. I once had to find and interview 20 Canadians with net worth over $50 million for a consulting project. Only four of them were high flying types in Toronto skyscrapers. The rest were in little industrial parks – with businesses like manufacturing wooden pallets or wire hangers. These guys were very rough around the edges – many were not formally educated.

      We put so much value on appearances, when the driver of the Range Rover might live in a dump, and the driver of the crappy old car may be worth a lot.

  • JP

    “If I lost my job, I have a while until my reserves run out and then it’s over.”

    If I lost my job, I would have to start my own practice.

    That would probably cause my income to increase.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I still do not understand the “growth” dynamic. What do women mean by that? Am I supposed to sit down and play piano with them?

  • Escoffier

    Intellectual courage is being able to see the failures of the dominant discourse and think through why it is all wrong. Some minuscule percentage of people alive at any given time are able, or willing, to do that. To even question received opinion alone in one’s head requires considerable courage.

    The second thought you annunciated is rather Stalinist and I would like to think that you don’t really believe it.

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

      Intellectual courage is being able to see the failures of the dominant discourse and think through why it is all wrong.

      I see that as ability, not courage.

  • Escoffier

    RE: B-school, it’s not like that in NY. You have about five years to screw around in lower level finance jobs. After that, if you want to move up, the MBA is required.

  • Man

    Valor is not required to write anonymously.

    They are doing what is right. Only idiots would expose themselves fully to be persecuted by the dominant body of opinion at this stage. Certain ideas cannot be discussed openly without incurring into severe judgement social reprobation. Other ideas can and are being discussed openly. There are already several books exploiting and exposing some of the sphere’s topics. Everything starts in the realm of ideas/thinking. Thinking is not forbidden.

    Using the same rationale, there is really no valor on part of women in fighting for women’s rights in countries where they already have and sort of always had a lot of power and freedom. If feminists formed troops of women and went to fight Taliban in Afghanistan or misogyny in certain African and Muslim countries they would show great valor. But no: women only show “valor” and “courage” where it’s most convenient for them, i.e., in countries where they actually enjoy the most freedom, so as to grant even more “rights” and no “duties”.

    And it also takes a certain amount of courage (mixed with prudence) to take on that opinion anonymously since you will make enemies, who will try to unmask you so they can persecute you fully.

    +1 Dominatrixes hate everyone who defies their ideas (or ideals) and delusions of grandeur and total control.

    Either way, the strategy is the same.

    You’re continuously teaching girls how to filter out cads. Guys need to know who’s sluttier and more superficial to filter out sluts. The strategy is the same indeed.

    If I could trace IP addresses to specific street addresses, I would not hesitate to out all my enemies.

    Are you so pissed off and I’ve become your enemy because I challenge your assumption that girls are always victims who are pining away for commitment, with the right guys and for the right reasons? Their body, their choice. My body, my choice. Doesn’t it look so egalitarian?

    In this case, I meant render your attention, readership and commentary to them instead of HUS if you think they do a great job addressing the things you are concerned about.

    Sure. There are some good information in your website too which is good for men and women who are seeking relationships.

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

      @Man

      Using the same rationale, there is really no valor on part of women in fighting for women’s rights in countries where they already have and sort of always had a lot of power and freedom.

      Exactly right. No valor.

      Are you so pissed off and I’ve become your enemy because I challenge your assumption that girls are always victims who are pining away for commitment, with the right guys and for the right reasons?

      What? I wasn’t referring to you, I was referring to fellow bloggers.

      You mischaracterize my assumptions, as I do not use the words “all” or “always” here.

      You’ve become progressively more snarky recently. I don’t understand why you comment here. You seem more interested in bashing feminism (and women in general) and campaigning for men’s rights – there are blogs far better for that than HUS.

      As I’ve already stated, I prefer to write for people who want to improve themselves, not people who want to play the blame game and incite gender war.

  • Escoffier

    It is courage. Ability may be used, or not used. To use it when the consequence may be alienation from the beliefs of everyone around you takes courage. Most people will recoil in horror at the idea that received opinion is wrong. It takes serious courage to think through “forbidden thoughts” with an open mind.

    The specific term for this is “probity,” but that has been abused. Explaining why would take us way OT.

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

      To use it when the consequence may be alienation from the beliefs of everyone around you takes courage. Most people will recoil in horror at the idea that received opinion is wrong. It takes serious courage to think through “forbidden thoughts” with an open mind.

      I disagree. The net aggregates a high concentration of individuals who take particular pride in attempting to demonstrate that others are wrong. It’s not courageous, it’s narcissistic. That narcissism is fed by attracting a following of like-minded individuals, and then rather than actually undertaking any productive measures to foster change, they just sit around and bitch all day long.

      I call them cowards.

  • Escoffier

    You may be right about a lot of commenters but about the “original” thinkers, I give them more credit.

    Also, change is not always possible but exposure of the fallacies of the ruling class has value even when change is not possible.

  • Man

    That narcissism is fed by attracting a following of like-minded individuals, and then rather than actually undertaking any productive measures to foster change, they just sit around and bitch all day long.

    This is likely true to a number of sphere writers. But actually there are some of them who are not there just sitting around and bitching. They are doing something to foster change: thinking and sharing their thoughts. Complying and submitting to status quo won’t change anything either.

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

    @Man

    Ah I see the problem. You are actually not welcome to argue against my posts here, having judged them as misinformation. That is not
    debating in good faith.

    Having worked hard to rid HUS of excessive red pillability, I will not allow
    any pimping of that here.

  • Man

    Well, as you claim that you are giving strategic advice for men I think that you are unwittingly or not welcoming/inviting men to judge whether your posts contain valid information or not. But I do understand your concern with excessive red pillability, which I have always thought that it’s indeed excessive at HUS and is alienating your main target/audience.

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

      @Man

      But I do understand your concern with excessive red pillability, which I have always thought that it’s indeed excessive at HUS and is alienating your main target/audience.

      Agreed, and FTR ending a compliment with “for a woman” qualifies as excessive red pillability, aka misogyny.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I once had to find and interview 20 Canadians with net worth over $50 million for a consulting project. Only four of them were high flying types in Toronto skyscrapers. The rest were in little industrial parks – with businesses like manufacturing wooden pallets or wire hangers. These guys were very rough around the edges – many were not formally educated.”

    Rofl, sounds like my father.

  • Fish

    Re: B-school
    Funny you bring up Fidelity, I wasted a large part of my career with them. They are VERY anti-career advancement unless you come there already with MBA in hand. CFA or CFP, fine, as long as it’s on your own time and doesn’t impact work.

    My experience (I’m starting MBA this year at a well known outside top 25 school), schools do give full rides. My MBA is almost entirely funded by the school, I’m just paying living expenses and a small amount of fees. My experience is that if you want MBA paid for, a school in the tier just below where you would qualify to just get in will give funds. Obviously fit & competition play into this. I know people who got full rides to top 25’s. H/S/W probably not. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see people at NYU/Michigan/UVA/Duke on a full ride.

    I think in our current climate, an MBA (or some graduate degree) is necessary to even get your foot in the door to upper level positions. Unless you get lucky someplace or you get a manager who really likes you and will push you up the ladder (which I’ve seen), smart educational planning is the only way to really reach UMC. For some people that’s not even a goal. I never said “man, I want to bring home 200k a year.” However, realistically an MBA will almost double my pre-mba salary.

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

      @Fish

      My MBA is almost entirely funded by the school, I’m just paying living expenses and a small amount of fees. My experience is that if you want MBA paid for, a school in the tier just below where you would qualify to just get in will give funds.

      I’m glad to be proven wrong about this! If schools are willing to pitch in, that obviously changes the calculus. Congrats on the sweet deal.

      My MBA is almost entirely funded by the school, I’m just paying living expenses and a small amount of fees. My experience is that if you want MBA paid for, a school in the tier just below where you would qualify to just get in will give funds.

      Thanks for correcting me on this – I’ll defer to you and Escoffier, and figure the kids I know are either naive or that the Boston climate is a bit different. In finance, I do see kids preparing to take the CFA exam.

  • JP

    I never said “man, I want to bring home 200k a year.”

    Apparently, that’s my Projected Mid-Career (Median) Salary(TM).

    “The best school if you want to get paid well is Stanford Law School, which tops our list with mid-career median pay of $236,000. Stanford beat out Duke University School of Law, which ranked No. 2 with median pay of $221,000.”

    I wonder if I can manually lower that by adding my information to Payscale. Now there’s something to try. I might just do it.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2011/03/08/the-best-law-schools-for-getting-rich/

  • J

    Had read or watched Watchmen? There is a point where Dr Manhattan stops wearing clothes because it doesn’t make sense to him. I think for people really smart a lot of societal conventions are just illogical so they don’t do it. Not sure how much is a conscious choice or how much is inability but I do think high IQ need to find logic in a lot of situations because “everyone does it’ just doesn’t cut it, YMMV.

    Makes perfect sense. How many of the bitterest guy in the ‘sphere complain abot the lack of logic in human relations? High IQ and low EQ are a difficult combo of traits to navigate the world with. High IQ and high EQ people, in contrast, are unstoppable.

  • Anacaona

    Makes perfect sense. How many of the bitterest guy in the ‘sphere complain abot the lack of logic in human relations? High IQ and low EQ are a difficult combo of traits to navigate the world with. High IQ and high EQ people, in contrast, are unstoppable.
    Yeah I’m not that smart but before modeling I was a total dork. I managed to learn to play the ‘sexy girl’ game but trust me I was bored to tears most of the time and the moment it became annoying I got off and even though I have a better appearance now. I adapted to a low maintenance style, keep weight down, use flattering colors and cuts, spent as little as possible in ‘crap’. Just how I like it :D

  • SayWhaat

    Guy at work is into me like whaat?

  • Liz

    @Bastiat Blogger

    …perception that life is about maximizing personal creative expression, adventure, and personal development;

    Hmmm… sounds like “personal growth” to me.

    Susan’s view:

    I see myself as responsible for my own self-development, and I pursue it independently.

    A totally reasonable approach. I think when we say we want our spouses to “support” personal growth, we don’t mean financing or taking charge of it. (Please, guys, not all our desires come with a price tag.) We mean taking an interest in the process or at the very least not feeling threatened by it.

    I think the real fear is that a wife will start to drift away from the all-consuming life of the newlywed phase and then child-rearing. Or perhaps jettison her career for something less lucrative. I think men are much more ambivalent about a partner’s “outside interests.” Perhaps there’s good reason for that.

    I know in my marriage I grew while my husband, if anything, regressed (the sad trajectory of alcoholism). The incredible minefield of trying to communicate and handle his behavior forced me to grow or die. I suppose both parties have to be devoted to growth, but in some cases it will never be possible.

  • Emily

    >> “Guy at work is into me like whaat?”

    Tell us more! :D

  • Man

    Agreed, and FTR ending a compliment with “for a woman” qualifies as excessive red pillability, aka misogyny.

    I have stated before that it’s not reasonable for a man to expect a woman to defend men’s interests for some obvious reasons (she understands better her own needs, self-preservation, etc.). Anyway, it’s very kind of you to explain why you deleted. Thank you.

  • SayWhaat

    @ Emily:

    Came out of nowhere. This guy starts chatting me up at work the other day and next thing I know, we’re flirting up a storm at happy hour.

    I don’t normally mix work and my personal life, so this is a bit confusing and tricky…

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

      @SayWhaat

      Came out of nowhere. This guy starts chatting me up at work the other day and next thing I know, we’re flirting up a storm at happy hour.

      I don’t normally mix work and my personal life, so this is a bit confusing and tricky…

      As long as he’s single, this is not only harmless, but a positive development! (As long as you find him attractive.)

      Already flirting at happy hour! a;lkdajs;delfkja;sdkfj;asdlkfj;fasdljk

  • Hope

    SayWhaat, I actually know a couple who met at my work and got married. The guy no longer works at the same place, but the girl still does, and she just gave birth to an adorable baby girl! It can happen. :)

  • Emily

    Congrats SayWhaat! Like I said in a previous post, very few Millennials end up staying at the same workplace for long. If you think it could be twu wuv, then I think you should go for it! :D

  • SayWhaat

    Lol, he is very much single. However, it remains to be seen whether we have much in common besides work. In the meantime, there’s another OKC guy I’m meeting tonight for a second date.

    We’ll see, I’m content to just let things “happen” and see where it goes for now.

  • JP

    “SayWhaat, I actually know a couple who met at my work and got married. The guy no longer works at the same place, but the girl still does, and she just gave birth to an adorable baby girl! It can happen.”

    Is this the right place for me to tell the story about the very nice and kind woman partner who dated an associate, properly told the partnership about it, and then watched the associate get canned in under 3 seconds?

  • JP

    “Like I said in a previous post, very few Millennials end up staying at the same workplace for long. If you think it could be twu wuv, then I think you should go for it!”

    Yeah.

    Except in law, it’s a bit different, because each move you make may reduce your salary.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Hope

    I don’t know if natural levels of hormone balance have anything to do with it either. Anacaona says she has no issues normally with the cycle, but my cycles have always been very noticeable and symptomatic, with the crazy peak like Sassy has mentioned. She apparently also did not respond well to birth control pills.

    Yeah, hormonal birth control threw my entire system out of whack. I too suffered with symptoms of depression while I was on it. It was by far the moodiest/most somber I have ever been. I stopped taking it after being on it for about 1-2 months. After I stopped taking it, I regained my normal disposition.

    I plan on getting an IUD at some point, that’s for sure.

  • Sassy6519

    @ BroHamlet

    Further, wouldn’t it be good to advise people to sit down and REALLY talk about what they expect out of a relationship? I mean, a really, really deep discussion. Frankly, I’d rather break off an engagement or just have her leave that hour, than have my married life go south years later when some need that was never articulated causes her to pull the trigger on a divorce. Susan, is there any precedent for marriage counselors in getting women to really be open about this need BEFORE the knot is tied? I was raised to believe that you are the only one that can architect your own happiness, so I’d be keen to make sure most of the wants on both sides are clearly articulated, and that we believe the same thing in that regard. Sounds unromantic, but it’s a conversation that seems like it should be had.

    I agree.

  • Apple

    I only have crushes on famous people, dead people, and fictional characters. (true story). I have a serious crush on Lewis Carroll. I like that man’s mind. He’s been dead a very long time so I don’t think Mr. Apple has anything to worry about.

  • http://manangbok.wordpress.com/ Aida

    @ Fish

    “I really believe a lot of the concepts from this blog work for both genders: filtering, valuation, scientific studies why things are what they are. I think starting with the assumption that everyone has an agenda leads to faulty thinking and is probably more damaging for the person with that mindset. Are there gold digging women out there looking to latch onto a guy for all he’s worth. Hell yes. But lets be honest, the SMV 10 hottie would be totally out of your league if you didn’t have $$ so that is a filtering problem on your end. The best way to shut down gold-diggers: filter. Don’t date them.

    I think there is a level of hypocrisy out there from both sides. Men can’t expect to derive the majority of their MMV from $$ and then whine about being taken to the cleaners. Shallow, uninteresting but hot women shouldn’t complain about getting used for sex. Up your game people! That is at the heart of what this blog is. Recognizing weaknesses and fixing them, not making excuses why it sucks that you’re not succeeding doing the same things over and over.”

    I couldn’t agree more!