The Cohabitation Blues

June 19, 2013

Wilcox illoShould you move in with your boyfriend? That depends. Do you know he’s “the one?” Does he feel the same way about you? If so, and your engagement is just a matter of time, I think it can work very well. That’s what Mr. HUS and I did when we both moved to NYC after business school. An engagement would have felt a bit rushed, but we knew it was coming, so we lived together for a year first. In fact, we pooled all our resources from the start in joint accounts, and never looked back. It worked beautifully, and it was a great way to start our life together.

Studies show that living together before marriage is correlated to a greater likelihood of divorce, except in cases where the couple has already decided to marry.

The belief that living together before marriage is a useful way “to find out whether you really get along,” and thus avoid a bad marriage and an eventual divorce, is now widespread among young people. But the available studies on the effects of cohabitation are mixed. In fact, some evidence indicates that those who live together before marriage are more likely to break up after marriage.

Within the last few months I have witnessed two very messy breakups between couples living together, and in both cases the loss was much greater for the woman. Why? Because both couples had lived together 5 years or more, originally as a trial run to assess long-term compatibility, and because sharing expenses looked appealing.

Ultimately, however, the men decided they did not want to marry their roommates after all. Now in their early 30s and quite successful in their careers, they have seen their sexual market value rise considerably in the last five years. The women, both 32, are well past their peak fertility and now feel at a serious disadvantage getting back out there. Both had been expecting a ring at any moment, in a far too common cocktail of denial and delusion. Both were devastated.

In All Over But the Lease, Natalie Kitroeff at the  New York Times highlights some horrific breakups between couples living together in the city. Moving in together in NY is often expedient:

With rents that can bring a checking account to its knees, living together can seem the only sensible option. But if the relationship goes sour in the middle of the lease, that decision can turn out to have been a wild gamble after all.

… In New York, where people platonically share windowless rooms with strangers in a trade for subway access, cohabitation and commitment do not necessarily go hand in hand. Living together is often driven as much by practicality as romance. And when the relationship unravels, one or both parties have to walk away from an apartment as well as a lover. 

It’s also a risky highwire maneuver. Here’s how it unfolded for one couple:

Ms. Seale said Mr. Byhoff came home one evening and announced, without much fanfare, “I’m no longer attracted to you.”

With that, lovers became just roommates, with a hefty helping of history between them.

…“It was definitely awkward,” Mr. Byhoff said. “It’s just like, you’re in the bed facing a different way. There is nothing else you can do.”

They continued living together in what Ms. Seale described as a “weird purgatory” for a month before she moved out and he took over the lease.

During that time, said Ms. Seale, who was freelancing as a writer and acting, she would walk the dog they had bought together for eight hours a day, to avoid being in the apartment. 

Breakups rarely coincide with lease renewal, so the crisis of unexpected disruption seems inevitable. In the cases I witnessed, one man ran out on the lease and stopped paying rent, while his ex scrambled to find a new roommate in a one bedroom apartment. Definitely awkward.

In the other case, the man owned the condo, and had been collecting rent from the woman for 5  years, though of course the equity appreciation was all his. He’s sitting pretty, she’s out of luck. He gave her 30 days notice and crashed on a friend’s couch during that time rather than endure and perpetrate painful ending scenes. She was spared that humiliation, at least.

Ivana Tagliamonte, an agent with Halstead Property, says she has seen so many breakups that they almost seem a rite of passage for young New Yorkers. “It’s a life cycle for a lot of young couples in their early 20s,” she said. “They move in together, sign a lease together, and then the relationship doesn’t work out.”

Nor is it surprising that when the young and in lease fall out of love, shared real estate sometimes becomes a weapon. Ms. Tagliamonte said the worst case she had dealt with involved a couple who were sharing a studio for which only the woman had signed the lease.

Toward the end of the lease, the rent payments were so far behind that Ms. Tagliamonte, on behalf of the landlord, went to evict the couple. But when she got there, she noticed that the closets contained only men’s clothing. She realized that despite being the leaseholder, the girlfriend had moved out.

It’s not necessary to set up house together to “find out if you really get along.” There were no surprises or major discoveries when I moved in with my future husband – we already knew each other very well and had long ago agreed that we were highly compatible. Living together as a “trial run” offers little reward for a woman who is able to support herself. She removes any incentive for marriage when she skips Lover and goes straight to Wife. Don’t forget the #2 reason men delay marriage, according to the National Marriage Project:

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

There are several other risks associated with living together:

1. Relationship Inertia

Couples who would not otherwise have married “slide” into marriage as a result of living together. It’s harder to end a relationship when you’re living with your partner.

2. Sunk Cost

“People may have a harder time cutting their losses when they think about all the time, energy, and money they put into the relationship, even cutting their losses will save them more heartache in the future.”

For women entering their 30s after years of living together, doubling down often feels like the only hope, even when hope is futile.

3. Opportunity Cost

It’s harder to meet someone new, and impossible to pursue someone new (or should be).

I highly recommend living together once you are both sure you’re on the road to marriage. I strongly advise against living together to see if you’re meant for one another. Take care of that before setting up house – otherwise you’re stacking the deck against marriage. Separating after cohabitation can feel a lot like a divorce. All pain, no gain.

 

 

 

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Anacaona

    Ohh this one will be popcorn worth it. Maybe some Nachos an a coke.

  • BuenaVista

    My fantasy is an LTR with a non-marriage minded female. Who owns her own house, about 50 meters away. In sickness and health, but not for lunch, if you please.

    The arguments about moving in together to ‘save money’ don’t work for me, as anyone who is contemplating marriage should be functional enough to afford a studio, or social enough to find a same-sex roommate or two.

  • Tummies

    The sad thing is these cohabiting couples never had a time frame for getting married. It was an endless living arrangement that went nowhere. At minimum, she should have gotten pregnant. This is against my moral and religious beliefs, but they already lived together for 5 years!!! They needed a motivator to get to the next level. Nothing wrong with getting a quicky Las Vegas or courthouse wedding as the whole relationship is non traditional. Going beyond 2 or 3 years without a date should be the red flag.

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

    Susan, do you know what happened that triggered the male desire to break off the relationships after five years?

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

      @BB

      Susan, do you know what happened that triggered the male desire to break off the relationships after five years?

      In one case, he fell for his subordinate at work, who is 23. While his gf was on business trips, he started spending the night at her place. Eventually, he opted to dump the gf and take up with the subordinate. She changed jobs, he got his own place. They’ve been dating for real since October.

      In the other case, the guy was feeling discontented for a while. I think he just wanted to get back out there. He is significantly better looking than his ex – I can only assume he got hotter while she gained weight. The sad thing there is that he felt so badly about it he kept delaying the breakup. I think he knew a couple of years ago that he was not going to marry her. He started flirting outright with other women, and when she complained, he accused her of trying to mark him as her territory. Why wouldn’t she, they lived together! In the end, he got into a pattern of misbehaving, then balking at her being upset. He picked fights, hoping she would leave him. She didn’t, so he finally ended it, but not until he had an affair in full swing with another woman he met at the gym.

  • J

    Great post, Susan. With the possible exception of women who are SURE that cohabitation will lead to marriage, I think it’s a crappy deal for women. I myself have never done it. I did not want to have to tear up roots for the sake of a relationship that might not work out.

    My friend’s narcissist ex has a live-in gf who moved in with him after an acquaintanceship of five months. She is also divorced and dragged her two kids into the situation, months before his divorce became final. They attempted three days a week and every other weekend to play “blended family” despite the fact that he was still legally married to someone else. In the meantime, the lives of four innocent kids have been disrupted, and the gf and the narcissist aren’t getting along anymore. She gave up her home to move in with him, so essentiallhy she has to either tow the line or go through a break up that will be nearly equivalent in financial and emotional impact to a divorce–more dislocation for the kids, yet another new school in a new neighborhood, re-establishing another home, etc. What a mess!

  • J

    Susan, do you know what happened that triggered the male desire to break off the relationships after five years?

    Obviously I can’t speak about this particular couple, but I think that when people don’t have the commitment that marriage is intended to give, there’s just not a big incentive to fix the problems that inevitably arise between two people.

    Five years is also a bit past Helen Fisher’s famous four year mark. The hormonal rush may have fizzled out, and without a marriage at stake, it may have been easier just to end things than to try to build an attachment.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/?p=52 HanSolo

    @Susan

    Good post!

    Ultimately, however, the men decided they did not want to marry their roommates after all. Now in their early 30s and quite successful in their careers, they have seen their sexual market value rise considerably in the last five years. The women, both 32, are well past their peak fertility and now feel at a serious disadvantage getting back out there. Both had been expecting a ring at any moment, in a far too common cocktail of denial and delusion. Both were devastated.

    This speaks to how important it is for women, especially, to filter well while in their peak years of attractiveness and fertility, the time when they can attract the highest value man they can and still have ample time to have kids (assuming they want them, which most women do).

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

      @HanSolo

      This speaks to how important it is for women, especially, to filter well while in their peak years of attractiveness and fertility, the time when they can attract the highest value man they can and still have ample time to have kids (assuming they want them, which most women do).

      I agree, but the thing is, one can filter appropriately and move in with a really good guy. That still reduces the chances that all will end well with marriage. As outlined in the post (via the Psychology Today article), there are risks inherent in cohabitation that are just a normal by-product of human nature.

  • J

    This speaks to how important it is for women, especially, to filter well while in their peak years of attractiveness and fertility, the time when they can attract the highest value man they can and still have ample time to have kids (assuming they want them, which most women do).

    This reminds me of Doug1. He once advised another commenter to lock down a young woman by moving her in during her most fertile years and then leveraging her sunk costs into her signing an unfavorable pre-nup before marriage. Women do indeed need to be cautious.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/?p=52 HanSolo

    @J

    My advice to women to filter well reminds you of Doug1? lol Or just the part of pointing out that women do have peak years of attractiveness and fertility? The latter sentence is not just an opinion, it’s fact. FWIW, the wall metaphor is too extreme, women’s SMV is more of a rising hill in their teens, then basically a plateau from 18-20 to 28-30 and then a declining hill. And the exact shape of the plateaud-hill will vary from woman to woman. And men have a hill too, it tends to both rise and fall at a later age than women, though.

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

    J, I know several guys who have been in this position. What happened in each case was that the sex basically fizzled out and the daily grind took over. The guys assumed that this was an accurate representation of what marriage would be like over the long haul, so they bailed.

    Each man felt that an extended co-hab had helped him dodge a bullet in the sense that if the sex and fun had similarly fizzled in a married scenario, the man would have been less likely to just take it on the chin because of the family law system. He might have had to just endure it indefinitely.

    Personally, I was always advised me to co-hab first because you “don’t want to make a long-term decision based on a short-term euphoria”. Guys still tend to make this mistake, though.

    I guess that the case for co-hab from a male perspective would be that you need to make the decision to marry only after you have seen true “day in the life” representations of what marriage to this person will entail (i.e., played house for awhile).

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

    Sorry, meant to say that if the guy was married he might have been MORE likely to accept the deteriorating sex…

  • Tummies

    Women are NOT filtering men before cohabiting. It is the opposite. You’re letting the living arrangement do the filtering, which is why it should be obvious that the filtering “worked” when the man or woman bailed. However, that wasn’t what they expected! Yes?

    Women and men should both be filtering for marriage prospects. Then do it when both desire marriage. Less time wasting. But society doesn’t work this way anymore.

  • Hope

    I agree with all of this, Susan.

    I would add… Separate bank accounts, with one joint for household expenses, or both contribute out of their own accounts.

    Oh and sort out chores.

  • BuenaVista

    I really can’t think of anything I learned about my ex-, while living in sin with her for 18 months, that I didn’t know anyway. I don’t see what the point is, other than love and fun, unless one or the other parties is convinced that the mere act of living together advances a marriage agenda. And evidence suggests that there is a negative correlation between cohabitation and marriage achieved and enjoyed. The money thing in expensive cities is just a red herring. If you’re that poor you shouldn’t be getting married.

    I do believe that design is fate, so I do wish to know a girl’s living arrangements and household practices. I don’t have to share a bathroom in order to learn those things.

  • Jesse

    J, I know several guys who have been in this position. What happened in each case was that the sex basically fizzled out and the daily grind took over. The guys assumed that this was an accurate representation of what marriage would be like over the long haul, so they bailed.

    Or you could just set the rules that you will get a satisfactory amount of sex or else she can pack her bags.

    Right?

    I don’t like this ‘passively wait and see how things develop’ business.

  • Hope

    Bastiat Blogger, both the man and the woman need to work to maintain the fun, excitement and sex in a LTR. If they all just assumed they’d get the same amount of sex as the initial period while living together without doing anything proactive, then no wonder it fizzled. As Jesse said, the man should be setting his expectations upfront, like how often he would like it, how much he wants her to initiate, etc.

    My husband and I make sure to take time and talk via texting, cuddle before sleeping, go on dates and eat out, etc. Plus I enjoy it a lot with him and am very attracted to him. If that was not the case, I wouldn’t have married him. Having a young baby does put constraints on us, plus the fact I’m not on the pill and we don’t want another so soon. My period still hasn’t started yet, due to pumping milk. I’ve taken several pregnancy tests already just to make sure I’m not.

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

      Bastiat Blogger, both the man and the woman need to work to maintain the fun, excitement and sex in a LTR. If they all just assumed they’d get the same amount of sex as the initial period while living together without doing anything proactive, then no wonder it fizzled.

      +1

      If guys think that sex is something they should be able to get by turning on a faucet, they’re going to be disappointed. For every couple where female interest declines, I’ll wager male effort has declined. The male displays, and the female chooses. If males stop displaying, females don’t have the opportunity to choose.

  • Anacaona

    My period still hasn’t started yet, due to pumping milk. I’ve taken several pregnancy tests already just to make sure I’m not.
    Oh you went into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactational_amenorrhea
    Neat! Me too I keep taking the pill just in case but supposedly we should be safe for a year in a half or so.

  • JP

    “Bastiat Blogger, both the man and the woman need to work to maintain the fun, excitement and sex in a LTR. If they all just assumed they’d get the same amount of sex as the initial period while living together without doing anything proactive, then no wonder it fizzled.”

    Part of the problem is that what got them into the cohabitation in the first place, crush+fun+new+exciting, no longer works. With that person. So, the easiest solution is to…find a new person.

    Plus, at that point, they are faced with actually knowing who their fellow co-habitor is as a person, meaning personality, etc., which they didn’t have to worry about during the fun.

  • Escoffier

    Where the logic seems to break down, it seems to me, is that if these people are certain they want to get married, what point is there in not at least being engaged?

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

      @Escoffier

      Where the logic seems to break down, it seems to me, is that if these people are certain they want to get married, what point is there in not at least being engaged?

      That’s a really good question. In our case, it felt premature to get engaged in Philadelphia in advance of moving to NY, not really wanting the burden of planning a wedding at the same time we were starting new jobs in a new city. It felt overwhelming and we’d just been together a year. Why rush it? By moving in together, we got to spend a year acclimating to a new life, and by the time we planned our wedding (which was in NYC), we knew our way around and had a good sense of what we wanted.

      It was absolutely the right thing to do, in our case. But it would not have felt like the right decision if we’d been unsure we wanted to be together for life.

  • Gin Martini

    I agree with BB. Except, the “daily grind” took over and the sex didn’t fizzle out, and we still got along well — so getting married seemed fine to us. Sex good, life good… all cleared for marriage.

    I’m not sure I buy the “greater risk, but just for women” idea though. I understand the messier break up, etc., but not the “fertile years”. That’s a feature of monogamy, not cohabitation. If a couple dates for 5 years and breaks up, what does it matter if they are living together? Those “prime fertile years” (which, BTW, assumes children in wedlock) are “wasted” whether they live together or not. Perhaps living together accelerates an inevitable break up in the first place, in which case it could actually increase those prime years!

    Then again, by the time we moved in, we were well past the “crazy” phase, as she was still in college and I was working. Perhaps we could argue that cohabitation is less of a problem, if you delay it by a few years.

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

    @Escoffier
    ” what point is there in not at least being engaged?”

    I was thinking the same thing. I don’t want to move in with anyone unless we are engaged. I can’t see why I would.

    Susan, I was puzzled when you said “your engagement is just a matter of time”. I don’t see any reason for it being postponed other than doubt. Postponing an actual wedding is fine, even if it is small and intimate, there is still some effort and planning involved. But an engagement is really just about popping the question and getting the ring. You want to be certain marriage is happening, and an engagement is given.

    I am not sure why the advice to young women is simply not “wait till engaged”?

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

      @Anne

      I am not sure why the advice to young women is simply not “wait till engaged”?

      That’s fine advice. It happens not to be the way I did it, but I would not fault any woman for waiting until then.

      In part, my flexibility on that issue also reflects reports I am hearing that couples view moving in together as a precursor to getting engaged, which of course is a precursor to getting married. It is perhaps a feature, or consequence, of delayed marriage.

  • Fish

    I have 3 points on this.
    A) i wonder if all geographic areas are not created equal here. I.E. NYC gives more incentive to move in prematurely than does the midwest.

    B) Arent opportunity cost and sunk cost an issue in LTR’s where there isn’t cohabitation?

    C) Aren’t the women at the same spot as if they had been engaged and the wedding broken off (my personal case, although we werent together 5 years and she was 20 something when we broke up). As an addendum to this, if the couple do get married and then divorce, the sunk and opportunity cost do not improve she just may get some kind of financial compensation out of it.

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

      B) Arent opportunity cost and sunk cost an issue in LTR’s where there isn’t cohabitation?

      Yes, but the cost is much lower.

      C) Aren’t the women at the same spot as if they had been engaged and the wedding broken off

      That’s even worse, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The lesson there is don’t ever get engaged to someone with commitment issues.

  • Fish

    Completely as a side note, I know a gay couple who may break up after living together. It is really painful for me to watch. I have talked to the one who was my friend first (I’m sure you guys know how it is with couples, you become friends with both, but always show a preferrence to your original friend). I listened to a lot of the issues they were having and it just makes me sad.

    I find it ironic my friends all want relationship advice from the guy who is never in one.

  • Paul

    I must agree with Bastiat Blogger.

    I moved in with a girl who I thought I was on a marriage track with, only to find that marriage (to her) was not as appealing as I thought it would be. Her divorced mother started visiting and getting involved in our lives way too regularly. Sex stayed fairly regular but became mundane. After 3 months I knew it would be over.

    I have no complaints, though. I dodged a bullet. I learned a lot more about what to look for in a marriage partner.

  • http://uncabob.blogspot.com/ Bob Wallace

    I know a woman who was with her boyfriend for six years. The last year they lived together. Right before the wedding announcements were to be printed he said he didn’t want to get married.

    I don’t exactly know why, but after that no man ever asked her to get married, and now she’s an early 50’s spinster who lives in an apartment with a cat, and is one psychiatric medication – antidepressants, I believe.

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    “Or you could just set the rules that you will get a satisfactory amount of sex or else she can pack her bags…Right?”

    It just doesn’t work like that. When I first got together with my ex fiance, we had a TON of sex. upwards to 15x a week. A while after we moved in together, we were down to about 4-5x a week. Sex WILL decline in a LTR. I think the important thing is being reasonable about “acceptable levels.” I’m sure people don’t think “I’m gonna move in a stop putting out, mwah ha ha.” There may be people with that train of thought, but they are statistical outliers. I tend to be of the mindset that when sex declines in a relationship, it is either a symptom of problems with the relationship or the two people have mismatched sex drives (I.E. gay friend told me they haven’t had sex in a REALLY long time)

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

      @Fish

      When I first got together with my ex fiance, we had a TON of sex. upwards to 15x a week. A while after we moved in together, we were down to about 4-5x a week. Sex WILL decline in a LTR.

      Not in our case. We didn’t miss a day until I had a c-section. Once kids arrive, sex declines. If you can’t live with that, don’t have LTRs. In fact, based on what you’ve said here, I think you should carry a warning label that you come with negative long-term side effects and should not be imbibed for more than 2 months tops.

  • Fish

    @Paul
    “I have no complaints, though. I dodged a bullet. I learned a lot more about what to look for in a marriage partner.”

    This is exactly how I feel. Well, assuming that any marriage is not marked for impending doom. . .

  • Johnycomelately

    Both cases seem to be about women punching above their weight, they seem to be the type that is afraid to give the marriage ultimatum speech because they are afraid of the answer.

  • J

    @Han

    My advice to women to filter well reminds you of Doug1?

    Kinda. You are rightfully advising women to avoid something Doug 1 actually advocated as a mating strategy. It just strikes me as perversely funny that something most people might regard as a random occurence (a guy losing interest and leaving a woman in the lurch), Doug actually advocated as a tactic. No snark at you intended.

  • J

    @BB

    I guess that the case for co-hab from a male perspective would be that you need to make the decision to marry only after you have seen true “day in the life” representations of what marriage to this person will entail (i.e., played house for awhile).

    I’m not sure that one gets a true “day in the life” representation from playing house. Over the course of the years, marriages ebb and flow. I’ve said before that about 5 years into my marriage I woke up one day, looked at DH and asked myself, “Who is this man?” If there had been no commitment, I could have left that day–and missed the entire fabric of our marriage, including the births of my kids. I doubt that I’d really know my husband if we had lived together over the last 25 years the way I know him now–if for no other reason than we would not have been playing for such high stakes.

  • J

    Hope and Ana,

    Lactational amenorrhea is dependent on how much a baby feeds and if the baby feeds at night. It often stops at about 6 months if the baby eats a lot solid food, but it’s possible to keep it going on for much longer. I had a year of it with older son, less with younger son as he was a good eater of solids and slept through the night.

    I used it to control my endometriosis, but I would not have used it as a contraceptive.

  • Anacaona

    I used it to control my endometriosis, but I would not have used it as a contraceptive.
    I’m still on the pill just in case. I just commented because it seems that is not that common anymore. I got a couple of friends telling me that I might have a problem since my period has lasted that long without returning. Hence I investigated and found the info and I fill all the requisites for it. William doesn’t really like anything but breast milk I feed him a bit daily but he is still not an eater per se. And I started when he reached his 6 months.
    BTW
    How it was when it returned? It comes back like a normal period or accumulates several months and is coming back with a vengeance?

  • JP

    @Ana:

    “How it was when it returned? It comes back like a normal period or accumulates several months and is coming back with a vengeance?”

    IIRC, it’s normal.

    (Not sure why I’m answering this question, but I figured I might as well, being that I possess actual information here.)

  • Anacaona

    (Not sure why I’m answering this question, but I figured I might as well, being that I possess actual information here.)
    So you have been pregnant before? NEAT! :D

  • Jesse

    Fish,

    It just doesn’t work like that. When I first got together with my ex fiance, we had a TON of sex. upwards to 15x a week. A while after we moved in together, we were down to about 4-5x a week. Sex WILL decline in a LTR. I think the important thing is being reasonable about “acceptable levels.” I’m sure people don’t think “I’m gonna move in a stop putting out, mwah ha ha.” There may be people with that train of thought, but they are statistical outliers. I tend to be of the mindset that when sex declines in a relationship, it is either a symptom of problems with the relationship or the two people have mismatched sex drives (I.E. gay friend told me they haven’t had sex in a REALLY long time)

    Yes, but you’re talking about infatuation. There is no plan when you’re head over heels – you’re just tumbling through life with an insatiable appetite for your partner. Then one day you realize the music’s stopped. I’ve no interest in being a victim of circumstance like that. Did you have a plan that you had been working to put in place, or were you standing there one day wondering why things weren’t quite to your liking any more?

    I’m talking about taking charge and setting the tone from the beginning. I don’t know how naive this is, but I like to think that you meet an appealing marriage prospect, and you start courting her towards marriage from the beginning. I’m not saying that you hear wedding bells on the first date, but your words and actions should work to create the kind of relationship and expectations you’re looking for. You don’t all of a sudden have a talk one day with your woman about not getting enough sex, because that means you haven’t been doing your job.

    You need to gradually but deliberately make it clear what kind of behavior and ‘services’ you will provide, and what you expect from her in return. I realize that sometimes there are genuine compatibility issues, but I’d think you should be working to sculpt the kind of relationship you’d like almost from day one. As a matter of fact, that might help identify compatibility issues sooner, because she’ll either happily go along with the way you want things or she’ll resist – that’s better than being blinded by infatuation for a few years and not liking the picture when the exhilaration has worn off.

    I’m obviously not speaking from a position of authority here, but I think too many people just go with the flow. You should devote some thought to the kind of relationship you’d like, try to develop a plan, and work to realize that plan as your relationship develops. Take an active role. It should be crystal clear to both parties how the relationship is going to work by the time you walk down the aisle. The wedding should be a pleasant formality.

    …and that concludes this lecture on things I don’t actually have any experience with!

  • Jesse

    Title of this post reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kQUkDOPeHA

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    “Did you have a plan that you had been working to put in place, or were you standing there one day wondering why things weren’t quite to your liking any more?”
    Things were never not to my liking, we were together over 2 years. We really only had 1 bad sexual encounter which was my fault for being a little too vigorous on vacation. I didn’t need a plan. I identified early on that we had good sexual chemistry, we were very affectionate.

    “I don’t know how naive this is, but I like to think that you meet an appealing marriage prospect, and you start courting her towards marriage from the beginning.”
    I can’t really speak to this because this isn’t how I operate. You can read my comment on the other thread. However, whether I’m thinking about marriage at all comes and goes. I’s got issues.

    “You don’t all of a sudden have a talk one day with your woman about not getting enough sex, because that means you haven’t been doing your job.”
    Actually, in my experience, being able to have open communication in a way that is not accusatory is the single best tool you can have in a relationship. I think the “my wife is going to stop putting out once the ring is on” is a fallacy. the only time I have seen couples’ sex life diminish is due to differing drives (and this goes both ways, crush #2’s husband has a WAY lower drive than her) or problems in the relationship. healthy couples communicate and have regular sex.
    “…and that concludes this lecture on things I don’t actually have any experience with!”
    LOL. i’m only barely more qualified than you having never been married.

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

      a little too vigorous on vacation

      What the hell does this mean?

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    “because she’ll either happily go along with the way you want things or she’ll resist – that’s better than being blinded by infatuation for a few years and not liking the picture when the exhilaration has worn off.”

    2 more points.
    A) I’ve never known the infatuation phase to last that long. I’d say 3-6 months is more reasonable. I have heard of people getting a second infatuation phase post marriage or stretching it out if the marriage is quick.

    B) I’d be careful about putting sexual expectations and ground rules in too quick. You can tell when a woman wants as much sex as you. I don’t know how many partners you have had, but you do tend to get into routines. With my most recent ex we pretty much religiously did it once when I got there, once later that night and once in the morning after before she left for work. Once you’ve gotten your routine down, you can have a conversation about how much and new things.

    I do sometimes talk about sex before doing it to gauge what a girl is into. But these conversations are way more exploratory. You’re getting a feel for the person more than “my way or the highway.” Also, once women become emotionally invested, they generally become more open to things. my ex fiance tried anal twice. It didn’t work, I never asked again, but she made the attempt. I am not saying to manipulate, but if you are wifey shopping, women (especially younger, low N women) generally want to please.

  • Jesse

    If males stop displaying, females don’t have the opportunity to choose.

    This is exactly why I walk around the house without pants so much.

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    Ok, I’m blowing you up here. . .

    One last thing about enough sex. When I was in my 20’s, i wanted sex like 4x a day. I dated women who could keep up with me. Now, 2-3x a day a couple times a week is fine. As I’ve aged, I just can’t have as much sex as I could when I was younger.

    I don’t know how old you are, but as you get older and have less free time and more responsibilities, sex isnt as all consuming. When I was 24, I played video games, worked out, had sex. That was my whole life. Now i have a lot more going on. Things just change as you get older, its the nature of life (and now I feel old, yeesh, i’m 33).

  • Desiderius

    Nine months of dating, three weeks (so far) of cohabitation. All signs point toward marriage by the end of the year. She’s the best person I believe I’ve ever met.

    Thanks, Susan.

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

      @Desiderius

      Nine months of dating, three weeks (so far) of cohabitation. All signs point toward marriage by the end of the year. She’s the best person I believe I’ve ever met.

      Congratulations! That is wonderful news. Thanks so much for stopping by with an update. I’m very happy that you got what you wanted!

  • Fish

    @Susan
    ” In fact, based on what you’ve said here, I think you should carry a warning label that you come with negative long-term side effects and should not be imbibed for more than 2 months tops.”

    Ouch, but point taken. That probably contributes to my high N.

  • Fish

    @Susan
    “What the hell does this mean?”

    We were having sex (regular P in V from behind), I got a little too into it, went too hard and hurt her & made her bleed. I thought she was getting into it, she was crying. Not good times.

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

      We were having sex (regular P in V from behind), I got a little too into it, went too hard and hurt her & made her bleed. I thought she was getting into it, she was crying. Not good times.

      That’s the downside of a big peen.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/?p=52 HanSolo

    @Desiderius

    Good to see you! And congrats on the serious gf (I’m sure she has a sense of humor too ;) )

    Not to spam too much but I always enjoyed your comments before so feel free to stop by a new blog that I’m writing for.

    http://www.justfourguys.com

    (Susan, I hope you don’t mind me posting that to Desiderius)

  • Fish

    “That’s the downside of a big peen.”

    There really isn’t much upside besides occasional ego boosts.

  • http://manangbok.wordpress.com/ Aida

    “This speaks to how important it is for women, especially, to filter well while in their peak years of attractiveness and fertility, the time when they can attract the highest value man they can and still have ample time to have kids (assuming they want them, which most women do).”

    Filtering well requires that one should know one’s values and what he/she really wants out of life. We learn that skill while growing up, depending on how we are raised by our parents or parent-surrogates.

    If there is a decline in people staying together in their relationships, (and maybe this is how statistics in the US are right now) I think that reflects on the parenting culture in the country. Your parents may not have valued long-term relationships (high divorce rates etc) and those values were passed on to the next generation.

    The question is: if the parents were like that, would this generation perpetuate those same values?

    I am not American, I don’t live in the US so I have no idea. :)

    Great blog Susan W!

  • Anacaona

    There really isn’t much upside besides occasional ego boosts.
    My brother seems to be on the big side and he used to complain that short girls felt like a ‘delicate flower’. My sister in law is the tallest girl he dated. Me thinks he didn’t had his choice of mates out of his size. So yeah size does matter in many, many ways.

    @Desi
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    @Susan you might need to add a “successful HUS stories” section. Cooper got laid. Bells got a boyfriend (where is she? BTW) now Desi. Is good publicity me thinks ;)

  • Fish

    @Ana
    I couldn’t tell you if there was a correlation between height & ability to handle larger guys. I’m 5’9, I’ve only slept with 2 girls above 5’7. I wonder how tall Sassy is.

  • Gin Martini

    HUS Lake Wobegon strikes again!

    Everyone is SMV 9, plus now, has sex 3-4x a day at first, despite the average being something like 2 or 3x a week, and go down to merely daily when they get bored and old.

  • Fish

    @GM
    I never claimed SMV 9, I’m probably closer to a 6. In my 20’s I had really high testosterone levels. When in relationships i have a lot of sex. I am probably an outlier in a lot of things sexually quantifiable here. . .

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Desiderius, way to go! :)

  • Gin Martini

    Fish, I don’t doubt you, I’m just admiring on how awesome we all are. We’re an elite bunch here (except for me).

  • Anacaona

    We’re an elite bunch here (except for me).
    And me.
    I think ADBG might want to join us in the average crowd, but I suspect he is a Sigma in Beta’s clothes :P

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Well, I may have a genius-level IQ and I once restored a man’s faith in democracy, but since these attributes do not improve my SMV, I am indeed but an average Delta.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, I guess I don’t see the necessary (immediate) connection between getting engaged and wedding planning. Though, admittedly, my own was haphazard and we weren’t even going to have a real wedding but my mother insisted and she did all the work.

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

      Susan, I guess I don’t see the necessary (immediate) connection between getting engaged and wedding planning.

      We did all our own planning, as neither of our parents was in NY.

      I think it’s really a matter of personal preference, not policy. Personally, I wouldn’t want a long engagement, more than a year. That means thinking about the wedding time and taking off a year. In our case, that was a full year out when we graduated.

      In any case, I see a definite trend among college graduates living together before getting engaged. They cohabitate at a much lower rate than lower SES groups but that percentage is increasing.

  • JC

    My experience obvious an outlier

    Me 35 her 15 years younger – worked together. Accidently discovered she had dropped out of a unusual STEM area I had done (nothing to do with our then work area) Rare occasion when I went to the pub with the crew and had to leave (drop off a spray gun at my local pub) got outside to find her “I’ll come” and basically moved in. She left that job to do a (semi-related) STEM degree

    Married after 10 years when kids were a requirement. Sex limitation is really only me now being 65

    Probably have to look at drugs (spam filter would object to the name)

  • angelguy

    There are a few things in the article they don’t address in co-habitation before marriage. Some of the reasons that some couples live together besides finances is to escape their current living situation.
    There are many people that live with family and have never lived on their own. They are dating someone, and decide to leave home and move in together, thinking that they are in love.

    I mention this because in some parts of the world, you have full adults living with their family. Both Men and Women.
    It is one thing to love someone, it is another to live with them if you haven’t worked on yourself first.

  • Escoffier
  • JP

    @ADBG

    “Well, I may have a genius-level IQ and I once restored a man’s faith in democracy, but since these attributes do not improve my SMV, I am indeed but an average Delta.”

    The problem with democracy is Dunbar’s number.

    I also suspect that my SMV/MMV is something like ♃.

    And having a SMV/MMV of ♃ is going to cause all kinds of problems going through life.

  • Jesse

    Fish,

    Actually, in my experience, being able to have open communication in a way that is not accusatory is the single best tool you can have in a relationship.

    I didn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate. I suppose what I meant is realizing one day that things aren’t working in a way means you haven’t been communicating enough. (I was also writing in more broad terms than just sex.)

    When someone (like BB’s friends) says, “Things were good, but then they got boring and stagnant, so I bailed” it just doesn’t sound very proactive.

    One last thing about enough sex. When I was in my 20′s, i wanted sex like 4x a day. I dated women who could keep up with me. Now, 2-3x a day a couple times a week is fine. As I’ve aged, I just can’t have as much sex as I could when I was younger.

    I don’t know how old you are, but as you get older and have less free time and more responsibilities, sex isnt as all consuming. When I was 24, I played video games, worked out, had sex. That was my whole life. Now i have a lot more going on. Things just change as you get older, its the nature of life (and now I feel old, yeesh, i’m 33).

    I’m 21.

    I guess, as long as it isn’t that your T is falling off a cliff.

  • Jonny

    When a couple lived together for 5 years and broke off, it should be clear that regardless of actually getting married, it was a common law marriage. The losing end of the relationship might feel badly about not getting a commitment, but they miss the obvious. It was a commitment. They were exclusive for a time. People living together should do the proper thing and not hold back. Many people don’t.

    There are more women having out of wedlock births. If these women feel they were cheated out of having kids, they were waiting too long to have babies. The wedding certificate that gives license to have kids no longer exists. As some have claimed and it is probably the truth, marriage is no longer about having kids anymore.

    Also, women cause the majority of divorces. So the relationship didn’t make it. Were they expecting something different? Like you said, “living together before marriage are more likely to break up after marriage”, yet this doesn’t mean marriages don’t break up even under the best circumstances.

    People are not marrying as much these days. Why not just live in the moment that this is as good as it gets.

  • angelguy

    “There are more women having out of wedlock births. If these women feel they were cheated out of having kids, they were waiting too long to have babies. The wedding certificate that gives license to have kids no longer exists. As some have claimed and it is probably the truth, marriage is no longer about having kids anymore.”

    @Jonny

    I don’t exactly understand this trend. I asked a young woman about this at my work, who is living with someone, but doesn’t have kids.

    She has the same concerns as what you mentioned, afraid of being too old to concieve. She is 27 now, and hasn’t had the question popped, but is in the process of buying a home with her SO.

    The only reason she hasn’t yet is because of finances. It is expensive to have children now.
    But there are many that have children without being married.

  • Jonny

    @angelguy: She may be afraid to have kids because it is expensive, but it really isn’t as much as she thinks. Certainly, the hospital bill will be high especially if you don’t have insurance, but don’t let that stop her. Heck, she is already buying a house with her “SO”. What a laugh.

    Children are inexpensive to raise in the early years. By her mid-thirties, she isn’t as fertile, but she’ll be more capable of affording her kids the stuff they need or want.

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    “When someone (like BB’s friends) says, “Things were good, but then they got boring and stagnant, so I bailed” it just doesn’t sound very proactive.”

    Well, you’re right, its not. Its kind of that sexual arms race I was talking about. If you’ve had 10 partners, someone cracking your top 5 is super easy. Even easier if you’ve had 5 or less. Now think about having 25 or 50 partners. I have had crazy porn star sex (not with actual porn stars mind you). So what might be A+ for you might be B for me. The more people you have been with, the harder it is to be satisfied by sex when there is no emotional component.

    I liken it to an arms race because it’s very unlikely that you will “win” in that mindset. There will always be bigger, better faster (or in this case, hotter, kinkier, higher drive). It is likely that you could always do better (or think you could). The mindset itself is flawed.

    As I’ve said in the past, I am the guy who has to make mistakes himself and learn from them. Do you want someone who performs at a certain level? Sure. But I would figure out what you NEED and what you can live without. I.E. “I will never marry someone who will not have anal sex with me” (Not saying thats true in my case, just an example). Prioritizing sex was a mistake in my case. I see why i did it, but I’d advise you not to make the same error.

  • Fish

    “I guess, as long as it isn’t that your T is falling off a cliff.”

    I was not particularly pleasant to be around at my peak “High T” phase. I’m not in as good a shape currently (I’m still pretty fit by reasonable standards) but I’m a lot more fun now.

  • Fish

    @Jonny
    “Also, women cause the majority of divorces. So the relationship didn’t make it. ”
    Lets not confuse initiation with causation. In any relationship with two people, I don’t think you can ever lay blame solely at the feet of one person.

  • Jonny

    @Fish: “Lets not confuse initiation with causation. In any relationship with two people, I don’t think you can ever lay blame solely at the feet of one person.”

    Yes you can. Instead of working things out, she wants out. That’s why she is the cause of the breakup. Another problem is the nature of the breakup. Many men think their relationships are going well. They don’t know their relationship might be on sinking sand. By the time the woman decides the relationship is over, the man had no chance of repairing the relationship.

    I wonder why this has to be argued. Men already think marriage is a bad bet. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-smith/8-reasons-men-dont-want-t_b_3467778.html) Marriage, even cohabitation, is at a woman’s discretion and advantage. They initiate the majority of the breakups and then the properly laid blame is dissipated. Most breakups have nothing to do with the suggested good reason like infidelity. They are trivial.

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

      @Jonny

      Yes you can. Instead of working things out, she wants out. That’s why she is the cause of the breakup.

      The examples in the post are all of men wanting out and causing breakups, often in a way that further injures the other party.

      Most breakups have nothing to do with the suggested good reason like infidelity. They are trivial.

      Do you have some data on that? I ask because I have researched this question exhaustively and found only one study, ever, to look at the reasons for divorce.

      I’d be interested to review any source material on this question.

  • Travis

    Not sure if anyone’s posted this yet, but…

    http://news.menshealth.com/sex-and-marriage/2012/01/26/

    “If you liked it then you should have . . . just continued living together? If she moved into your apartment sans a ring, you’re better off than married folk in the happiness department, new research suggests.

    The study, which followed 2,737 people for 6 years, found that cohabiters said they were happier and more confident than married couples and singles.”

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

      @Travis

      Thanks for that link. Apparently that study used survey from the late 80s, which is really strange. Cohabitation and marriage have changed dramatically in the U.S. since then, with the former going way up and the latter declining.

      I also found this:

      A group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and Columbia University published a study in 2004. Using data also from the National Surveys of Families and Households, the study focused on the happiness of men and women in cohabitation and marriage. Married and cohabiting females did not differ in happiness. But married men were more likely than cohabiting men to be happy. Existing literature is consistent with the results of the study, that marriage is more beneficial to men than to women.

      A second finding from the above study was cohabitors were more likely than married couples to choose the moderate or middle category on a happiness scale. Both men and women who were married were more apt to choose either extreme happiness or extreme unhappiness. Moreover, married men were more likely to report extreme happiness than cohabiting men.

      I’m quite surprised to see that men appear happier in marriage than in cohabitation.

      One key is that cohabiting couples have fewer children and higher median income than marrieds:

      For college-educated partners, cohabitation was an economic way to combine incomes and a step toward marriage and children. For adults with no college degrees, cohabitation was more likely to be a parallel arrangement to marriage complete with two incomes and children, but at a lesser economic level.

      Approximately 60 percent of the group of adults who cohabited planned to marry

      http://hdnews.net/society/community/caprez061713

      From the author of the study you linked:

      Our data show that the positive effects of college on marriage and the negative effects on
      cohabitation are concentrated among those with the highest propensity for college.

  • Fish

    @Jonny
    Your argument sounds much like someone who gets fired from a job. “I did my job, I have no idea why they fired me.” High performing workers rarely get fired because there is a high cost to companies to replace them (usually).

    Another way of phrasing your argument is “all catholic priests molest little boys.” Do some? Yes, and they have been documented. Do all? Probably not. The way you are phrasing the argument is statistically impossible.

    Looking at the data, if you are a low N, restricted person (male or female) and you are educated, odds are you won’t get divorced. If you are high n or unrestricted, have at it. However, don’t then say that the failure of the relationship was “the woman’s fault.”

    All men are not just interested in sex. All women are not out to sponge off a man, pop out babies, and live off of a man for the rest of their lives.

    Absolute statements will usually be wrong because in every group there will be outliers. It is even worse when you start confusing the outliers for the majority (something I have been guilty of)

  • Jonny

    @SW “The examples in the post are all of men wanting out and causing breakups, often in a way that further injures the other party.”

    You shouldn’t be using two anecdotes as your sample size.

    There are plenty of books on the subject. I did read some in a bookstore (an outdated place). Not sure where to direct you.

    @Fish: You do have to look for the reasons for divorce. The stats are women demand 2/3rds of divorce and this is true. In these cases, the injured party is male for the simple reason that men are legally injured by the legal system.

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

      You shouldn’t be using two anecdotes as your sample size.

      First of all, I’m not conducting a study. Second, both the NYXs and I featured cohabiting relationships ended by men, which makes sense, as men have greater incentives to avoid commitment.

  • Jonny

    @SW: Also, the breakup examples are of cohabiting couples, not of marriages, which is the subject I was talking about. To get from cohabiting to marriage is already difficult. When you move from one side of cohabiting, where men have the advantage, to marriage where women have the advantage, the breakups will be up to the party that has the most advantage.

  • Travis

    @Susan,
    No problem. I didn’t really look into it too much. My mind is already made up on what I feel is best for me personally, regarding co-habitation. So studies one way or the other don’t mean much to me as far as my situation goes. I was just over at Roissy’s and happened to notice that he had posted a twitter link to the article. Then I headed over here and noticed that your new post was on the same topic. Figured you guys might find it relevant to the discussion.

  • Fish

    @Jonny
    “The stats are women demand 2/3rds of divorce and this is true. In these cases, the injured party is male for the simple reason that men are legally injured by the legal system.”

    Again, you’re mistaking initiation for causation. You’re still clinging to this “they fired me so it’s their fault” mentality. You’re taking one data point and saying “ergo A = B.” Your point proves that women initiate 2/3 of divorces, period.

    If you want to claim that marriage may be a bad deal for some men, have it at. there is plenty of evidence where that is the case. Does the legal system need to change? Probably. But i still don’t understand how this contributes to “fault.”

  • Travis

    @Jonny,
    Good point. As hard as the breakup might be for the woman in a cohabitating couple, I have a hard time believing that it’s going to be nearly as rough on her as a divorce is going to be on the guy.
    Susan has convinced me that her advice is probably best for women. But there’s no doubt in my mind that cohabitating before marriage is the best bet for men. I’d advise every guy I know to know what he’s getting into, and to get a taste of what living with her for the rest of his life is going to be like before he walks down the isle. The penalties for making a mistake are just too big.

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

      Susan has convinced me that her advice is probably best for women. But there’s no doubt in my mind that cohabitating before marriage is the best bet for men.

      That may well be. Sounds like another SMP standoff. :)

  • Jonny

    @Fish “Again, you’re mistaking initiation for causation. You’re still clinging to this “they fired me so it’s their fault” mentality. You’re taking one data point and saying “ergo A = B.” Your point proves that women initiate 2/3 of divorces, period.”

    You’re an idiot.

    Marriage is a contract where either one can withdrawal from the agreement. If one leaves, the contract is broken. It’s not about firing anyone. Its about the dissolution of a marriage contract.

  • Fish

    @Jonny
    “You’re an idiot.”

    You’re arguing fault not function.

    See my previous comment:
    “If you want to claim that marriage may be a bad deal for some men, have it at. there is plenty of evidence where that is the case. Does the legal system need to change? Probably. But i still don’t understand how this contributes to “fault.” “

  • RT

    I’ll just leave this here:

    http://news.menshealth.com/sex-and-marriage/2012/01/26/

    From Dr. Helen’s red pill plagiarism article:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-smith/8-reasons-men-dont-want-t_b_3467778.html

    2. You’ll lose out on sex. Married men have more sex than single men, on average – but much less than men who are cohabiting with their partners outside of marriage, especially as time goes on. Research even suggests that married women are more likely to gain weight than women who are cohabiting without marriage. A Men’s Health article mentioned one study that followed 2,737 people for six years and found that cohabiters said they were happier and more confident than married couples and singles.

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

      @Rollo

      I don’t know if you’re lazy or just not very bright, but we’ve already covered that study in this thread. What they found is that married men are happier than male cohabiters, and married women are less happy than female cohabiters.

      Don’t waste my time.

  • J

    @Desi

    Nine months of dating, three weeks (so far) of cohabitation. All signs point toward marriage by the end of the year. She’s the best person I believe I’ve ever met.

    Wow! I am so happy for you.

    @Han

    Congrats on the blog if I have not congratulated you before.

    @Fish

    Congrats on the equipment if I have not congratulated you before.
    ;-)

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

      Congrats on the equipment if I have not congratulated you before.

      LOL!

  • J

    @GM

    We’re an elite bunch here (except for me).

    Nah. Between the three way and your wife’s O capacity, you are the most elite of us all. ;-)

    @Han/Hen

    Sorry about the typo above.

  • szopen

    I cohabitated with my wife for quite a long time; One her farther family member once said that she does not respect herself and most likely we will never be married. The said family member is now on a way to divorce now, while we are slowly approaching 15th anniversary (just one year to go and I will be eligible for veteran status B-D ). Anyway, my wife gave me ultimatum – she at one time said she does not want to waste time if I wouldn’t make myself clear on my intentions, she said she wants me to think about that. Since I am a cold, cold fish, I did the thinking and I proposed. But I am not sure whether such tactics: cohabitating and then after some time ultimatum – would work for others.

  • Man

    Another very good post/advice for women. I have made a comment myself in another forum which sort of converges with this one and also answers some questions of the alpha female sisterhood (click here).

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    I couldn’t tell you if there was a correlation between height & ability to handle larger guys. I’m 5’9, I’ve only slept with 2 girls above 5’7. I wonder how tall Sassy is.

    I’m 5’6.

  • Bully

    33 is generally too early to have your T falling. The unavoidable decline starts at around 55+.

    FWIW over the 5 years of lifting I mentioned in the other thread my T increased dramatically. I went from below average to well above it.

    I’m curious to see how long lifting/paleo keeps my T above average as age takes its toll. I figure if need be later in life I’ll probably do the Stallone thing and supplement it. Health detriments be damned; if it takes a few years off my life I doubt they’re years I’d want anyhow.

  • J

    I just commented because it seems that is not that common anymore.

    Probably because of early introduction of solids, supplementary bottles/ not producing enough milk and lack of night nursing.

    I got a couple of friends telling me that I might have a problem since my period has lasted that long without returning.

    No, it’s perfectly normal with William nursing as heavily as he is. Early return of menses, though avaerage in our society, is what’s biologically unusual.

    William doesn’t really like anything but breast milk I feed him a bit daily but he is still not an eater per se. And I started when he reached his 6 months.

    There’s no real reason to start solids before 6 months. William is about nine monthe now, right. Some babies still prefer to murse at nine months. My older son did. I used to mix his cereal with breastmik in order to get him to eat it.

    How it was when it returned? It comes back like a normal period or accumulates several months and is coming back with a vengeance?

    I had some spotting one month, then light periods that eventually became normal. I never had a gusher.

  • J

    This is exactly why I walk around the house without pants so much.

    I lol’ed.

  • J

    Anyway, my wife gave me ultimatum – she at one time said she does not want to waste time if I wouldn’t make myself clear on my intentions, she said she wants me to think about that.

    I wouldn’t call that an ultimatum as much as I’d call it laying down appropriate boundaries. She was smart. I think a lot of women are afraid to tell a man they want marriage because they are afraid he’ll flee.

  • Escoffier

    Sassy, I’m kinda bummed now, I picture you at around 6′ 1″

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/?p=52 HanSolo

    @J

    Thanks. It takes a lot of work to respond to people. I still owe Escoffier one. ;)

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

      It takes a lot of work to respond to people.

      If your blog gets big, you could easily put in 12 hour days. Some bloggers barely respond for that reason. It depends on whether you enjoy the interaction or not.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Escoffier

    Sassy, I’m kinda bummed now, I picture you at around 6′ 1″

    Haha! Nope, I’m only 5’6.

    That’s actually one thing I wish I could change about myself. I’ve always wanted to be around 5’9 or 5’10 instead of 5’6.

    At the same time, I realize that my current height is an advantage to me. According to some studies, ideal female height is between 5’4 and 5’6. That height range is considered the most attractive for women to be in, but I would pay good money to be 5’10. One of my best friends is 5’10, and I find her absolutely stunning. She does often complain, however, about how it’s harder for her to find a guy who is taller than her, especially when she wears high heels. She wears 3″-4″ heels, and she towers over almost everyone at that point.

    Despite those problems, I’d still prefer to have 3-4 more inches of height.

  • Gin Martini

    Heh, not even close, J, those antics don’t raise my SMV one point. I’m still just a MC douche-refugee from Long Island with a public education. Despite that, I’m smart enough to make my low standards work for me… much like SayWhaat’s omega pulling mad tail, ‘cept I didn’t have the status to go to NYU.

  • J

    I dunno, GM, SMV is more likely a function of what you can pull than where you went to college.

    DH and I went to public colleges as well, BTW. We were WC kids, so it was a big deal at the time.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/?p=52 HanSolo

    @Susan

    I do enjoy the discussions and find I learn a lot from them. I like to have other sides of the argument brought up to see what I might be missing in order to form a more accurate view.

  • Anacaona

    I’m 5’6.
    That is my SIL height. Dominican women are usually really short. My brother is 6’2″.

    No, it’s perfectly normal with William nursing as heavily as he is. Early return of menses, though avaerage in our society, is what’s biologically unusual.
    That is why they probably got worried. That is how I found the info.

    There’s no real reason to start solids before 6 months. William is about nine monthe now, right
    8 months 1 week. He ates around 1/2 tablespoon of squash, or carrots, or yogurt or sweet potatoes daily. He gets bored of chewing and wants no more. I read that until a year eating is more about learning and fun that about nutrients. I do hope he is eating by the time I visit home or I will get all levels of crap for spoiling him too much.

  • Gin Martini

    I like to talk about class and SMV, because of how strongly it correlates. Driving into Boston is an exercise in feeling disgusting, I’m glad I don’t live there.

    But, with a 140 IQ, as you posted in the other thread, he was kinda slumming it, eh? Maybe your awesome SMVs is what lifted you out of the WC?

    My parents were WC/LMC… My dad is a machinist and mom is a nurse.

  • Jesse

    Fish,

    There really isn’t much upside besides occasional ego boosts.

    Check this out: http://howlongismyschlong.com/

    I’d go first, but with the pubic hair fiasco I think I’ve exceeded my TMI quota for the year.

  • Hope

    I didn’t get my period back, and I am only pumping twice a day at this point, getting around eight ounces each time or sixteen ounces total.

    Aidan loves solids and is a very happy eater. Just before he started on solids at six months, he was drinking like forty ounces per day and still seemed hungry. The solids have really helped him feel satiated. Different kids are different I think.

    He’s around 19lbs and 9 and half months, tall for his age but apparently skinny. He is not malnourished I don’t think… I stuff him all the time, but he burns it all off since he’s incredibly active.

  • Jesse

    I forgot to add a :P

    I’m active on some forums where the sarcasm/deadpan can slice you to ribbons. Joking emoticons are never used. I think it’s generally funnier when you can do it that way, at least if people get that you’re joking, but I’ll try not to let it bleed over here too much.

  • J

    I like to talk about class and SMV, because of how strongly it correlates.

    It can certainly. The UMC can afford better food, health care, orthodontia, good clothes and other things that help them to look good. They tend to be better educated about health and have better habits. And there are possibly some other genetic factors that make people look good while conveying other types of fitness simultaneously. When I was placed in GT classes, I expected that my new classmates would all look like scrawny, myopic little poindexters. They were in fact, as a group, much cuter than my former WC peers. There there were fewer fat kids.

    But, with a 140 IQ, as you posted in the other thread, he was kinda slumming it, eh?

    Well, he had no father in the home, his mother didn’t give a rat’s ass and came from the sort of background that often leads young men to jail rather than to college. He began supporting himself at 14. He paid for a good chunk of his private high school tuition by doing janitorial work in the school. Later, he worked in restaurants and bars. He was tardy everyday and wasn’t a great student because he was generally exhausted. Under those conditions, public college was an achievement.

    Maybe your awesome SMVs is what lifted you out of the WC?

    Nah, I’ll go with smarts, hard work and pure nastiness.

    I don’t really perceive myself as having an awesome SMV. It’s one of life’s more pleasant surprises that men still pay attention to my menopausal self, but I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder what the big deal is. I was an ugly duckling; you never really get over that.

    My parents were WC/LMC… My dad is a machinist and mom is a nurse.

    My dad was at various points in his life a boxer, a hod carrier and a factory worker. My mom was a supermarket checkout clerk. Neither finished high school. My FIL was a teamster; my MIL was a secretary.

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    Check this out: http://howlongismyschlong.com/

    98.27%!?!?!? I’m seriously not packing a monster truck down there. . .

  • J

    @Hope

    I didn’t get my period back, and I am only pumping twice a day at this point, getting around eight ounces each time or sixteen ounces total.

    That is unusual, but everyone is diffferent. It’ll come back eventually.

    Aidan loves solids and is a very happy eater. Just before he started on solids at six months, he was drinking like forty ounces per day and still seemed hungry. The solids have really helped him feel satiated. Different kids are different I think.

    Yeah, they are. Even within families. I started both kids on solids at 6 months. My older son had to be tricked into eating and is still picky; the younger son immediately chowed down and is still a big eater.

    He’s around 19lbs and 9 and half months, tall for his age but apparently skinny.

    I don’t completely trust the growth charts. They are not really calibrated to deal with ethnic differences or mixed ethnicity. My pediatrician constanly obsessed over my sons being stuck on the 50 %ile for height. One day I asked to see the chart for 18 year olds. DH and I were at the 50 %ile for height and are typical of Mediterrrean types. I couldn’t see what the problem was.

    There was an Asian women with a white husband in my La Leche group whose pediatrician also worried about her kid’s height though her relatives thought he was big for his age. He was in fact midway between average white and average Asian height–which is sort of what you’d expect if you thought about it.

    He is not malnourished I don’t think… I stuff him all the time, but he burns it all off since he’s incredibly active.

    I’m sure he’s fine. I would guess he has your husband’s height and your slight build.

  • J

    @Jesse

    I hate emoticons because I feel it’s like jumping up and down and saying “Look at me. I’m trying to be funny.” But, I do find that some people don’t get my humor, also usually sort of deadpan, unless I do.

  • Anacaona

    Yeah, they are. Even within families. I started both kids on solids at 6 months. My older son had to be tricked into eating and is still picky; the younger son immediately chowed down and is still a big eater.
    I had been thinking that William might not like eating because I put him on the tall chair so he register that food as play time since he also plays on the tall chair and he is used to being fed close to my body, warm, heartbeat…. Do you think it could help if I sat him on my lap for feedings?

  • Fish

    @J

    I can’t type or text without emoticons. i am particularly guilty of ;-) and :-P

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    Check this out: http://howlongismyschlong.com/

    unrestricted female friend (who has seen my naughty bits obviously) confirms that site is broken. She puts me closer to 66th percentile.

  • JP

    Sometimes I feel very sad.

    This requires the use of the sad emoticon, so that people know that I am deeply unhappy.

    I feel sad when people say mean things to me or hurt my feelings and make me feel like I have been really hurt inside where I am squishy.

    :(

    Sometimes, the Internet is so mean to me that I shed a single, solitary tear. I never burst out into tears. It’s only ever one tear. But it happens when something has used so many mean words that the squishy part of me is torn.

    :(

    I think that if I didn’t use an emoticon, people would continue to hurt me and say mean things, so the sad emoticon is very important to me.

  • Gin Martini

    I was talking about your younger self, not your current. We’re all obsolete now.

  • Jesse

    124 made me laugh.

    Fish, you’re what, 7.5 inches ballpark? That’s a big dick. That site uses three different studies that peg the average penis size at about 5.5 inches.

    I don’t believe your friend. Ain’t no way 7+ inches is in the 66th percentile.

  • Fish

    @Jesse
    Yes, sir 7.5″ maybe my unrestricted friend has been with larger on average dudes?

    Obviously, my only experience with erect male dicks is porn and i look about average there (well in that area, I don’t have a mustache or tattoos, so I could never be in a porn lol).

    I’m not really concerned. We all hit the genetic lottery in different ways. . .

  • Jesse

    Apparently what you gotta do is learn to hit the anterior/posterior fornices.

    Go just in front of the cervix and try to rub the front wall, or go just behind the cervix and rub the back wall. Drives some women absolutely crazy.

  • Jesse

    J,

    I feel like they’re often a sort of copout. You go for the zing, and then you back down and say I’m just joking.

    It takes the punch out of it. Either people need to get your shtick or you have to have enough balls not to care when people wonder what the hell you’re on about.

  • Fish

    @J
    i dunno, I think they make some things better.
    examples:
    i like whipped cream
    I like whipped cream ;-)

    I’m sore from last night
    I’m sore from last night ;-)

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    Yes, sir 7.5″

    Well, well, well…………

    *walks seductively past Fish*

  • Fish

    @Sassy
    *walks seductively past Fish*

    You don’t like growers lol but I did say i thought we’d enjoy each others’ company ;-)

  • JP

    @Sassy and Fish

    By the powers vested in my by myself, I now pronounce you to be Internet STR Buddies.

    You may now do whatever exactly it is you do when this happens.

    Congratulations!

    (Note: There’s no word in the English language that means precisely what I’m trying to say by “Internet STR Buddies”. There may be one in Japanese, but I don’t speak Japanese.)

  • Gin Martini

    Sassy filters out growers. That means she prefers a bird in the hand, over two in the bush.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Gin Martini

    Sassy filters out growers. That means she prefers a bird in the hand, over two in the bush.

    I prefer showers, but I’m happy overall if a man is packing 7″ or more. The final length matters more than the initial starting point. :)

    @ JP

    By the powers vested in my by myself, I now pronounce you to be Internet STR Buddies.

    You may now do whatever exactly it is you do when this happens.

    Congratulations!

    Hahahahaha!!

    @ Fish

    You don’t like growers lol but I did say i thought we’d enjoy each others’ company

    Oh, I bet we would. ;)

  • Fish

    @JP
    “By the powers vested in my by myself, I now pronounce you to be Internet STR Buddies.”

    But no pixel babies. We can have fun, but I expect any future digital offspring be deleted :-P

    @Sassy
    “The final length matters more than the initial starting point.”

    See, now we’re on the same page and I’m guessing you wouldn’t need the bunny slope to get warmed up ;-)

  • Mireille

    @Sassy & Fish,

    Get a thread!

  • Fish

    @Mireille
    We did, we took over this one, it wasn’t being used otherwise ;-)

  • Anacaona

    I’m opposed to Internet STR! Only virtual kisses, hearts and emoticon until there is interchange IP addresses. Virtual slutting up only leads to Viruses and Control-Alt-Delete :P

  • Fish

    @Ana
    Its OK… No one said virtual P in V. Sassy just wants a big P to play with, and then she’ll control + alt + delete me. And I’m OK with that…

  • Fish

    And my registry is clean, I run anti-virus weekly ;-)

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    And my registry is clean, I run anti-virus weekly

    Hahahahaha!!

  • Fish

    @Sassy
    If i gave you a virus, you might not want to go near my hard drive again.

    Safety first right?

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    If i gave you a virus, you might not want to go near my hard drive again.

    Safety first right?

    Haha, true.

    Random question, but have you ever owned a cat before?

  • Fish

    @Sassy
    I currently own 3. Gift from ex fiance. They are good boys. I love them.

  • Fish

    By gift I mean she moved in with me with a pregnant cat who had kittens, so i’ve literally had them their whole lives.

  • J

    @Ana

    I had been thinking that William might not like eating because I put him on the tall chair so he register that food as play time since he also plays on the tall chair and he is used to being fed close to my body, warm, heartbeat…. Do you think it could help if I sat him on my lap for feedings?

    I think that’s possible, try it and see. OTOH, you may want to break the assoociation between you and food altogether. My kids didn’t want to eat in the high chair for me. When saw me, they wanted to nurse. The first time my kids ate nicely in the high chair was either for DH or my aunt.

    Conversely, you may want to place him in the high chair with some finger food like Cheerios or small bits of banana in the tray. Sooner or later, some of them will find their way into his mouth. That’s sort of low pressure way to get him to eat in the high chair.

    So that’s three different ideas. Try them all and see what works.

    @Jesse

    It takes the punch out of it. Either people need to get your shtick or you have to have enough balls not to care when people wonder what the hell you’re on about.

    It does take the punch out, I agree. There are a couple of people here who don’t get irony though, so I use them.

    @Fish #130

    LMAO

    @GM

    I was talking about your younger self, not your current. We’re all obsolete now.

    Weirdly enough, my younger self was much less popular than my current self.

    I was pretty bookish and lonely in high school. College was somewhat better because there were more smart kids, but I was far from feeling like I had a high SMV. In retrospect, I wish I had valued myself more highly.

  • Emily

    JP (124)

    LOL!

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    I currently own 3. Gift from ex fiance. They are good boys. I love them. By gift I mean she moved in with me with a pregnant cat who had kittens, so i’ve literally had them their whole lives.

    My e-ovaries just exploded.

  • Fish

    @Sassy
    “My e-ovaries just exploded.”

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It sounds like a bad thing. . . but no pixel babies for you. . .

  • Sassy6519

    @ Fish

    That is a GREAT thing. I like men that like cats. My e-ovaries couldn’t handle the desire overload. ;)

  • Anacaona

    So that’s three different ideas. Try them all and see what works.
    Will do. Thanks for the advice :)

  • Fish

    @sassy
    I’ll bet your e-ovaries could handle me ;-)
    I got really lucky with my cats. they are social & super affectionate. Im going to miss them while Im at school (my friend is keeping them for me).

    You can tell the character of a person by how they treat animals, kids & wait staff…

  • J

    Will do. Thanks for the advice .

    Glad to be of help. Keep me posted.

  • Justin

    I live with my girlfriend (we’re both early 30s) and I gotta say, it’s pretty sweet. I get as much sex as I want, she cooks and cleans and launders, I do some projects around the house (she owns it, and what I pay her in rent is way less than my last apartment), and we have a great time hanging out. Also, I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and there is little or no pressure to do anything related to family or any other social obligations. She can never really put the screws to me about anything since I could leave and it would suck for her to be back out in the single world. I do think about dating younger girls from time to time, but my girlfriend is pretty great so she has me for now. I won’t marry her unless she can really convince me that she’s the best deal out there, which she hasn’t done yet.

    And why would I otherwise? She has several married friends and the guys in those marriages are yoked men with little or no freedom and loads of obligations. She also tells me about their sex lives (the wives are blabbermouths) and it’s mostly pretty bleak. Also, most of the married women are pretty chubby, even the ones without kids, and all of them look at least 40 despite being in their early 30s. And these are all modern, liberal, urban types.

    The few married friends I have are similar, they seldom socialize outside of family events and their wives are also fat and short haired. I don’t envy any of the married guys I know and I pity several. I literally cannot think of a single married guy whose life is something I aspire to.

    Why would any of us guys get married? All the benefits are attainable without it and we avoid all the downsides.

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

      @Justin

      Your girlfriend is an idiot and a fool. If she had any sense, she’d run away from you as fast as possible, and find a man more suited to commitment that grows from emotional intimacy.

  • purplesneakers

    Seriously thinking/hoping Justin is a troll. Its post hits every point too much not to be.

  • Emily

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • Fish

    “Seriously thinking/hoping Justin is a troll. Its post hits every point too much not to be.”

    Yeah, I cry bullshit, unless his gf is damaged goods and somehow thinks she snagged this gem.

    I’m starting to think the smart move for women is either be engaged with a date or at minimum a 1 year ultimatum with girl only on the lease. That way if he doesn’t propose, its hit the bricks, you’ve got 30 days.

    However, thats like girls not engaging in casual sex. It only takes a few to upset the market.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I am not sure what’s going on. You observe a large quantity of low quality women in low quality relationships, you observe that you really enjoy living with your girlfriend.

    Your conclusion is not that your girlfriend is high quality or that those other relationships have problems, but that the threat of you leaving is keeping her in line.

    This implies that the girl is staying with you out of fear…that does not seem like a long-term stable relationship, which makes it seem, to me at least, that you do NOT have “all the benefits” of a marriage.

  • Gin Martini

    We just had 300 posts from Apple using the word misogyny about 300 times and every feminist talking point in a single thread… I really can’t fault Justin for one pro-cohabitation post. If his GF is getting shafted, then she should ask for what she wants.

    My recently-divorced friend, who is cohabitating with my friend, has now changed her tune from “never marry” to setting a wedding date. He hasn’t asked yet and, quite solidly will not be cajoled into it. (As was I.) This will be interesting to watch play out.

  • Sai

    For me this is another one of those gamble-type matters, and I don’t do too well at games of chance… so I will make sure to never do this.

    @Desiderius
    Congratulations!

  • MARY

    “Ultimately, however, the men decided they did not want to marry their roommates after all. Now in their early 30s and quite successful in their careers, they have seen their sexual market value rise considerably in the last five years. The women, both 32, are well past their peak fertility and now feel at a serious disadvantage getting back out there. Both had been expecting a ring at any moment, in a far too common cocktail of denial and delusion. Both were devastated.”

    Ageist that I am, still I think even I have to recommend that women like this date men who are even as old as 8 years elder to them.

    That way this whole, “Now in their early 30s and quite successful in their careers, they have seen their sexual market value rise considerably in the last five years.” …. thing can be avoided.

  • Justin

    I don’t understand how I am a “troll”. From what I understand, a troll is someone who says off base, inflammatory things just to get a reaction.

    I’m not doing that. I’m just talking about my situation, which I’m not sure I want to make permanent. I get the benefits of marriage with none of the downsides, just like Susan says. If I feel like getting married, I will, but I’m not sure that will ever happen. If I feel like I can do better, I will. But for now, she’s got me and I like living with her. If she can convince me with her words or actions that she deserves my permanent commitment, then she’ll likely get it. Women employ a similar strategy with men all the time, why am I so bad? Just because I’m honest and straightforward?

  • Ramble

    Justin, they are saying that you are a troll because your story seems too “perfect” (in the HUS world).

    However, Susan, I would only say that his gf is an idiot if he communicated these things so bluntly to her.

    could very well be saying to her, “I am really enjoying our relationship and living arrangements” or something like that.

  • JP

    “We just had 300 posts from Apple using the word misogyny about 300 times and every feminist talking point in a single thread… ”

    Apple was quite entertaining.

  • Justin

    I’ve never told her anything that I’ve written here, and we’ve only lived together for less than a year. I’m just saying, I have no real incentive to get married, and what guy does if he lives with his girlfriend? I am the one with the higher SMV in this situation, and that gives me a bit more power. If we were in our early 20s, she would be the one with the higher SMV and she would hold most of the cards.

  • Justin

    I’d like to know WHY these guys lost their attraction. Did she gain weight? Stop dressing cute? Stop being feminine? Poop in front of him?

  • MARY

    “I’d like to know WHY these guys lost their attraction. Did she gain weight? Stop dressing cute? Stop being feminine? Poop in front of him?”

    That last one is actually a fetish so nope, it would cause lack of attraction but make him even more attracted.

  • MARY

    ” it would cause”

    NOT. it would not cause…..

  • Jayn Rand

    “Millions of men have gotten vasectomy’s”

    Good! I totally support that and hereby affirm that millions more should.

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