The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for the post-divorce crowd

Never Go Shopping With Her, It’s a Shit Test

Shopping is all about the estrogen. During my first marital administration, I remember too many trips to the mall where my ex happily tried on shoes and outfits for hours (and hours and hours) on end. I was left holding the bag, her handbag. I went along with it, not knowing that every hour spent this way was another stone chip away in the creation of the divorce sculpture. She called it “retail therapy”. Note to guys, any woman who uses that phrase is a woman not worthy of your affections. You’re welcome.

If the woman of your affection wants to shop with you, say no. Always. Shopping is a time suck for men. It’s a way for women to beat you about the head and neck with a mindless and stupid activity that emasculates you. A mall is the antithesis to testosterone. It is a place where men go to quietly die. The only reason for a man to go a mall is to meet women, on his own. If he’s there with a woman, his balls shrivel up. Sadly, the women know this. Shopping is a shit test, one of the worst.

What makes shopping an even more terrible thing is at the check out counter. She might very well expect the man to take out his own credit card to pay for the trinkets, baubles, and shoes (flats?!) that she has selected for purchase. Worse, she has picked out prudish outfits that do nothing to accentuate her figure. You’re expected to pay for a pathetically ugly cardigan that she will wear on future dates with you? #Facepalm.

There are three cures for the shopping shit test:

1. Don’t go shopping with her. Ever. It can be that easy. Just say no. She’s going to buy stuff you don’t like. Why are you involved with that?

2. Go shopping for you with her in tow. That’s frame control. You’ve got to buy some new dress shirts or a new suit. She can come in handy for an opinion in this regard. Note, you’re not going to any store where she can get something.

3. Only go to stores to find shoes, outfits, and baubles that heighten her sexuality. That pathetic cardigan she wants YOU to buy for her? Nah. You’ll offer to pay for a stripper-like top that accentuates her figure. If it’s your money, you make the rules.

For women, shopping is a legitimate enthusiasm. I understand that. But that doesn’t mean I have to go along with that. Nor should any other man.

The Man’s Shed – The Australians Are Getting It Right!

A few days back, I wrote a post about the pathology of male loneliness and social isolation. Based on that post’s comments and emails, I clearly have addressed something that is rarely discussed amongst middle-age, post divorce guys. In reading the comments and emails, I was reminded of a social movement for men in Australia – The Shed Movement. In Australia and the UK, the shed is a like a detached outbuilding where men go to do projects such as fixing a lawnmower or restoring an old motorcycle. Such spaces are firmly masculine. The American equivalent might be a garage workshop or basement. The space is not for passive masculinity such as playing video games or watching sports. The shed is where a man can be productive in his projects. It is not necessarily a man cave.

The Australian Mens Shed Association (AMSA) is a very positive response to a public health issue that impacts men very directly. Here is the description of the AMSA from their website:

So what is so special about this new type of Men’s Shed? Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions. There has been little encouragement for men to take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help. Probably because of this many men are less healthy than women, they drink more, take more risks and they suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men find it hard to deal with on their own.

Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends and maintaining an active body and an active mind. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man that safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. And, importantly, there is no pressure. Men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa [cup of tea] if that is all they’re looking for.

Here’s the kicker that I found shocking. The Shed movement in Australia is funded by the government. Yes, there are private donations and patrons. However, the Australian government has recognized that the social well-being of men directly impacts their health. There needs to be spaces where men are free to be themselves without the sometimes negative impact of women. Of course the Shed movement is supposed to be open to women, but I suspect that few women want to be in a workshop where things are decidedly masculine.

The AMSA website has really nailed the problem with men, especially those over a certain age:

Because men don’t make a fuss about their problems, these problems have consistently been either ignored or swept under the mat by both our health system and our modern society. It’s time for a change and the Men’s Shed movement is one of the most powerful tools we have in helping men to once again become valued and valuable members of our community.

Here in North America, there really isn’t such a shed tradition nor would any politician have the stones to recommend something like this. Instead, men are turning to the Internet to share information and to discuss issues that are uniquely masculine. This is not a perfect approach. Digital connections can only go so far. Men must be able to be together doing things that interest them. The Shed movement is doing exactly that. I urge my readers to peruse the AMSA website and, in particular, watch their videos. This organization is directly addressing masculine social isolation. Granted, they do focus on retired guys but I think post-divorce guys could equally benefit from such an organization.

A large demographic cohort of retired men is going to have a profound impact on North American culture. There will be public health issues and political issues. If not addressed by our society, such issues will have serious negative impacts in terms of public policy and public funding. I know that my younger readers are not exactly keen on the Baby Boomer generation. It doesn’t matter their feelings on the aging demographics. Politicians will have no restraint when dipping in the wallets and handbags of the younger generations looking for more funding for an aging and still politically powerful demographic group. Wouldn’t it just be better to find a way to keep men healthier before their social isolation kills them slowly and expensively?

The Pathology of Male Loneliness

I write frequently about social isolation. It’s a huge problem for middle age men who retreat into their homes to stare at the television and computer monitors. Homo sapiens is a social animal. We need each other for so many reasons. Time Magazine (still relevant?!) recently reported on a study from Brigham Young University where researchers are sounding the alarm on what could be the next big public-health issue, on par with obesity and substance abuse.

The article is not real great on depth but does actually manage to understand the subjective, self-reporting nature of “feeling” lonely versus the objective observation of a person actually living alone. Also, I’m suspicious about the motives/funding of the study. This is a Mormon university so I can’t help but wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind that study.

“The researchers emphasized the difference between the subjective, self-reported feeling of loneliness and the objective state of being socially isolated. Both are potentially damaging, the study found. People who say they are alone but feel happy are at increased risk of death, as are those who have many social connections but say they are lonely. People who are both objectively isolated and subjectively lonely may be at the greatest risk of death, says Holt-Lunstad, though she notes that more data would be needed to know with certainty.”

This study is a harbinger of further research on the social pathologies that can cause real problems with public health. I see the problems with social isolation in the context of attraction and dating. Regular guys won’t leave the house except for work. Women tend to be more social and can’t find decent guys out in the real world. The players are happy to be social and approach women. Those guys also create soft harems of women that they date.
A regular guy can improve his chances by getting out of the house. Meetup.com singles groups are an excellent way to start.

Aside from the player aspect, there is certainly a public health issue to loneliness. Suicide rates for men are alarmingly high yet are given short-shrift in the media. The feminine imperative pushes back the emotional and physical needs of men. Divorce and men’s mental health is a major issue. Post-divorce men retreat emotionally and physically. When they emerge, if they do, the dating scene is one of confusion and frustration. Online dating is a minefield – more mines than field. I empathize, I really do.

For post-divorce guys, there is no magic cure. The young men have PUA. Us older guys can only gird our loins, leave behind as much emotional baggage as possible, and soldier on with all that makes us men, despite the complications of ex-wives, children, and the like. Yes, there are concrete things a man can do to increase his attractiveness. Those things take time, motivation, and effort.

For The Women – Girl Game

There was a relatively short-lived blog named “LaidNYC” that existed in 2013 and 2014. The blog is gone but the posts are still floating around the Manosphere in a variety of forms.  The original blog was primarily aimed at men. However, the post below was written for women. The advice is sound, if not a bit difficult for women to read. It’s worth it.

In game blogs, it is often asserted that women can’t have game beyond some gold-digging exceptions. I disagree. The problem is guys who make that claim are looking at it through the lens of ”guy goals” of money and sex. Sure, there is little a girl can do in that regard besides find a sucker and be a hot slut.

However, girls are more concerned with getting a man to bond to her on a deep level and acquire his love. For that, there are some things she can do.

Girls, Lets get two things out of the way first:

90 % of your appeal to men is your looks. If you don’t have the genes, this can suck but you have to do what you can: Stay thin, wear makeup, keep your hair stylish and dress to look good, not to assert your status to women.

Fear the wall. Do everything you can to delay or lessen the blow of the wall through healthy living, but know it is coming. Know that you will be gross and undesirable long before your male peers. This is not fair. This sucks. But you must accept it.

But enough about your looks, you shallow, superficial woman! What about your personality?

Act like the guys you aren’t attracted to. For example, a guy who brings gifts to a woman before sex will surely not to get laid. How about the other way around? A girl once brought me a little keepsake on our second date. ”I got this for you”, she giggled. It was a little painted figurine of something we had talked about on our first date. Nothing special or valuable. Yet I keep it in my ”girl box” full of memories of girls past, like slips of paper with phone numbers, birthday cards, panties, etc. I never slept with her (her choice), yet I still think about her sometimes.

Know how to compliment a man. For every time you call a man nice, sweet, and sensitive, tell him ten times that he’s confident, a leader, funny, charming, handsome, manly, ambitious, and athletic. Men instinctively know nice guys get cuckolded. The first girl to ever reject him probably told him he was nice. Being nice is bad. Even if he is nice to you, that is not how he wants to be defined. Show him you see him how he wants to be seen.

Leave cute notes for him to find. My favorite thing a girl has ever done for me was leave a note in my underwear drawer that said ”Roses are red, violets are blue, I like having sex with you <3”. It doesn’t even have to be a sexual note. A simple note reading ”I did your dishes babe, *muah*” gets the job done just fine. Girliness of handwriting counts. Write in pink or purple ink/marker. It is my educated opinion after years of dating that American girls need some serious work on their note-writing game.

To the guys: Steal this tactic. Girls I date now get lustful Post-it scribbles from me inside their panties and bras.

Girl up your voice. High, feminine voices are heart-melting. I have a voicemail from an old fling saved on my hard drive. She wasn’t saying anything special, just calling to make plans, but her voice was so sweet and girly that I can still listen to it and enjoy her essence. What if your voice isn’t high? If you smoke, quit. You sound like a gravely road. If you don’t smoke and your voice is not pure girl, consider some voice/singing lessons so you can better control it.

Let him do things for you, then show appreciation. The key: Have him do masculine things, not emasculating things. Ask if he’ll help check your oil or protect you from something. Don’t ask him to hold your purse or run to the store for you. He should feel like a protector filling masculine gender roles, not a servant doing a butler’s job. When he does something for you, show genuine appreciation. He’d prefer it be sexual in nature, but it doesn’t have to be. A sincere thank you is bare minimum.

Men want to be men, give him the opportunity.

Present authentic emotion. I once had the First Big Fight with a girl I had been dating for about four months. When it became clear to her that she was wrong and I really was considering leaving her, she kneeled in front of me, tears streaming down her face like a faucet, begging me not to leave her.
I saw passion. Deep emotional capacity. Modesty. Willingness to submit. Real fear of losing me. Until that moment, I really didn’t know I meant so much to her. I didn’t leave her. It brought us closer together.

Some might say ”she manipulated you by crying”. Nah. A man with enough experience can tell the difference. Not all tears are manipulative but there’s a reason women try to use manipulative tears: Men respond to real tears.

The corollary of course:

Cut out the fake tears. If you cry to manipulate and play the victim, you won’t respect the man who falls for it, and you will piss off the man who doesn’t.

Cook, clean, sew. Fill the feminine void in a man’s life. If he loses a button, you say I can fix that for you. You always have a new recipe you want him to try. You bake him and his friends chocolate chip cookies just because. Your first reaction when you go to his place isn’t to plop on the couch, it is to clean the kitchen.

Be sunshine. Brooding men are hot. Brooding women look infertile. Starting today, your default emotion is happiness. Your default facial expression is a smile. You treat people pleasantly and sweetly. You do not make sarcastic jokes. You laugh at other people’s jokes. You giggle. You don’t engage in serious or negative conversations. You are a ray of sunshine and you do not care if people who are less happy judge you for being happy.

Earn trust. There’s sexual trust, and there’s verbal trust. You need to earn both. For one, he needs to know you won’t sleep around on him. One way to show this is by not sleeping with him too fast. Men instinctively know that girls who spread their legs quickly for them spread their legs quickly for other men as well. He also needs to know you won’t spill any secret he tells you in confidence. This is, I believe, the rarest quality for a girl to have. I’m not sure I’ve ever fully trusted a girl in this regard, not even my own mother. If you are a trustworthy girl who does not gossip you are worth your weight in princess cut diamonds.

Avoid projection at all costs. Women are attracted to leadership, humor, status and ambition in their men, so some girls falsely believe they can attract men by being ambitious and status-driven. This does not work. The feminine attracts the masculine. To attract a man, do not act like a man.
I’m not just being hard on you here, girls. Men are guilty of projection as well. Beta males want girls to be devoted and emotional towards them, so they give out their emotions and devotion easily. Men are very attracted to looks so we end up with chest-shaving metrosexuals. Men are just as guilty of projection in this area as women.

A word on clinginess. If a guy thinks you’re ”clingy”, he’s just not that into you. Remember Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers alerting of a ”Stage 5 Virgin Clinger”? This was a problem because he wanted to fuck her and leave her as soon as possible. If your goal is to be fucked and chucked, then by all means present yourself as time-free pussy. If not, cling a little. Take some intiative in texting him. Give a little PDA. Show him you want to spend time with him.

I’m not saying become an obsessive stalker, but when a man is looking for a girlfriend, a little clinginess is much better than the alternative. Players don’t want the emotional commitment that clinginess signals. Boyfriend material does. The hotter a guy thinks you are and the more he wants to keep you around, the less of a problem your clinginess is.

Go forth and girlify.

Things I Hate

I’m normally a fairly optimistic and happy guy. I try to give good information to post-divorce singles about the tough experience of attraction and dating advice. I really do want singles to meet their relationship goals. It’s tough all around. I know this. I’ve been through this. So, sometimes optimism can get cloudy. This is one of those times.

Here it comes, things that I hate. Hate is a strong word but I stand by it. Do know that I follow cultural trends I see what is going on in our society so some of that will be in the list.

1. This. For obvious reasons.

2. Social justice warriors. These people are complete scum in the stupid way that all ideologues are complete scum. These people want anyone disagreeing with them to die. Thankfully, they are all mentally ill. They are all seriously mentally ill. I just hope that the world will realize that soon.

3. Human behavioral predictability. Complex western culture? Fuck you. I can say certain words and be guaranteed certain results [All. The. Fucking. Time.]. I can do certain things and be guaranteed the same thing through my actions. Damn… This is the worst of it. Bring on the extraterrestials, I’m bored.

4. Hypergamy. Yeah, this is real. But it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. I’m happy to offer affection, passion, and intimacy. But I can’t offer material and social provisions so I have to be the most charismatic man on the planet. That’s exhausting! And my dog needs to be walked. Good dog.

5. Willfully ignorant men who don’t understand that attraction to women has subtlety. Yeah, the green light guys can mostly do whatever they want to get their dick’s wet. But that’s the small minority. The yellow zone guys have to get their shit together in order to improve themselves. Unfortunately, they mostly don’t have a clue.

6. Women who demand too much from potential dates. Ladies, here’s the question that you despise: What do you offer that a man wants? Hmmmm, tough question, no? Call your local dating coach and you’ll be asked the same question. Here’s the catch, you’ll be charged cash money for that question. Oh, the irony!

EDIT –

7. White knights. These guys maintain women’s sometimes shitty behavior by protecting them from their own consequences. Theirs is the worst form of chivalry.

Small Town, Shame – Big City, Technology

I follow cultural trends that specifically relate to attraction and dating. I follow a great variety of forums and websites that relate specifically to these subjects. Of course I follow online dating trends. Reading my favorite motorcycle forum, I found this interesting scenario:

My brother in law had a years-long affair. Other than getting divorced, there have been no social or cultural consequences. Everybody in his office knew he was having an affair because she worked there too. They both still work there. His kids still love him. His family still loves him. I still love him. I honestly don’t even really give a shit that he had an affair. Nobody treats him any differently at all.

There were financial consequences because he made a lot more money in the marriage, but that’s all.

[His recent follow up to clarify some:] People were surprised and disappointed at first. My point is that after a few years, it’s barely a blip on the radar.

I have read a fair bit of contemporary American social history (fascinating stuff but not enough available material). Back in the day when a person committed a social transgression, the family and local community applied shame. It was a blunt but effective way of punishing the person for that particular transgression. Sometimes, actions accompanied that shame. Merchants would not extend credit and the local country club would rescind a membership. The social repercussions would last for a long time, perhaps even requiring the person to move away. Such potential shame served to keep individual impulsivity in check. It was crude, but effective. It also only worked in communities where there were strong social connections.

We’re city folks now. The social connections are far weaker and far more temporary for any kind of social shame to be seriously effective. As well, the current socio-political landscape is that of “never judge anyone for any reason!” Nice, that removes social consequences from one’s individual actions. That’s a bonus for PUAs and young women who are “sponsored”. For the rest of us, this presents a challenge in the attraction and dating landscape. We want to meet good people of good character but there are not enough community social connections to verify “social proof”. That’s a PUA term and is incredibly accurate here.

Online dating complicates everything even more. Profiles can be faked. Descriptions lied about. Words made up or completely ghost-written by paid professionals. Now there is “catfishing”. It’s madness because of the lack of social physical connections. We are being reduced to technological connections. But with dating, there has to be a transition from the technological to real life. After all, the purpose of online dating is to stop online dating. There is where reality gets, well, real. Married daters, mental illness, addiction, stalkers, criminal pasts, serious financial issues… all these red flags can be well hidden in a profile. Back in the day, the community knew things about a person and shared this information (even if inaccurate, sadly). It served as a good filter well before an actual date might even take place.

There’s the social connection disconnect that technology might be able to help with. Never forget that human beings are social creatures and we crave that connection, preferably in person so we can hear voices, see gestures, read body language. We are also incredibly judgmental about others, particularly those who might become an intimate partner. Is this how is should be? It doesn’t matter, it’s how it is.

Technology is not a panacea at all. There are enormous technological hurdles to surmount. Actually, the first problem is the issue of photos. Are they real? Are they recent? In a previous blog post I suggested some new technology features to online dating that might help with something as simple – and significant – as an accurate and recent photo. It’s number five in my list on the post.

Online dating businesses are put in an extremely precarious situation. Given all the lies and lies by omission, how could any company verify the profiles of millions of people who post up information in a profile? Certainly some algorithms could work on profile photos. And it’s possible to scan for marriage/divorce records in certain county court systems. But how is it possible to screen for mental illness or addiction issues before going on an actual date? Many laws appropriately protect privacy. But when the date actually happens, privacy is an enormous issue. Is the online dating company liable for lies and lies by omission on profiles?

While I’m not a lawyer, I can still imagine where a single, raving loon with an online dating profile could take down the entire industry with a single lawsuit from a victim. Worse, a class action lawsuit could be arranged and the punitive (and legal) costs would destroy online dating. Of course, the unintended consequence of that would be to force singles to meet each other the old fashioned way – in person. Anyone wonder why Meetup.com singles groups have grown so much?

The Special Snowflake Phenomenon

One of the key concepts behind Manosphere and Red Pill wisdom is that human behavior – especially as it deals with attraction and courtship – is incredibly predictable. Fundamentally, there are no special snowflakes when it comes to the species that is homo sapiens. If I want a woman to be more attracted to me, I praise her uniqueness as an individual. If I want to drive her away, I describe her predictable nature as a woman. This has never failed me. Ever.

However, there is an additional irony. If you describe her predictable nature, she will try even harder to be unique so as to attract you. But mostly, all she has is her sexuality and that makes her even more predictable. #facepalm. However, if a woman understood that femininity is a total package, she could do very well in the courtship market.

So here’s my advice to men: During the attraction phase, ease up on the generalizations about the astounding predictability of women. After all, she’s a special snowflake. When she starts to get too comfortable and attempt the inevitable pull-back, gear up on the generalizations about women because she will work extra hard to be your special snowflake. If you think this is too much work, get a dog and shut the hell up about your problems with women. Oh, and get out of the house. I’m tired of reading of middle age women making the effort of being social and only a handful of men are attending those events.

This advice is not about being emotionally manipulative. This is about understanding basic human nature and using it to meet your relationship goals. She’s doing it too, she’s just completely and utterly unaware of what she’s doing or even why. A smart man simply must learn this inter-sex dynamic and use it to his advantage. To not do so is the sign of a weak, supplicating, and obsequious man. Women loathe that even more than the generalizations about universal feminine behavior.

501 Blog Posts

Yeah…

Top that, motherfuckers!

[Inside joke…but still…]

P.S…. it’s my birthday… I’m now 53

And my dog is still ugly.

The Clooney Effect (Snort, chuckle, guffaw)

The good folks at The Atlantic recently typed this article about a study from Helen Fisher that was funded by Match.com. (Trigger warning: advocacy research). There is no mention of how the data was collected, there is only mention of the 5,600 that were surveyed. Is that the number of responses or the number of people who decided to respond to the survey.

Problem #1 – The study was funded by Match.com, part of a huge online dating conglomerate. It’s in Match.com’s vested financial interest to have data that encourages singles to sign up for new accounts or keep renewing their existing accounts.

Problem #2 – The people who respond to such surveys cannot be counted as a “norm”. People who decide to respond are of a certain personality type. Can we trust that the respondees be representational of the population of singles at large?

Problem #3 – There is no breakdown of age and location in the results presented. Are these boomers, Gen X or Y?, Millenials? The devil is in the details.

Fisher’s findings offer a solution to a classic problem in economic mating theory: Are men afraid of over-educated women?

Fisher offers a resounding “no” to that question, using pop culture as validation. In what she amusingly calls the Clooney Effect, Fisher describes the phenomenon of men wanting to marry women who were independent and self-reliant in relationships. “When even a lifelong bachelor like George Clooney settles down, you know things are changing,” writes Fisher of her tongue-in-cheek term, which recalls the actor’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin, an accomplished human-rights barrister.

Never use pop culture as an example. George Clooney is hardly representational of middle aged single guys. #Eyeroll. Clooney is a one-off. How about the millions of ordinary guys? The comparison to Clooney makes me believe that the study’s results are for a female audience hoping that a Clooney-type man will message them on Match.com and he’ll be her soulmate and rescue her from all her problems.

That women can be better educated than men in a relationship flies in the face of a demographic debate on marital sorting instigated by the late economist Gary Becker. In a chapter he wrote for a volume on family economics, Becker argued that men and women are more likely to be in relationships with their physical and intellectual peers, at least in theory. He believed that it’s economically advantageous for us to find our intellectual equal: The benefits are a long, healthy, satisfying partnership; the cost is a partnership that falls apart, separation, maybe divorce.

But this theory wasn’t exactly palatable to some critics, who found reality to differ from Becker’s ivy tower surmising. One such critic, William Goode, wrote in a postscript to Becker’s chapter,

… For a man with little education, a wife with very much education is not worth as much as one would suppose from her money value on the larger market. She is a less-fit wife for him … and he would be supported in this low evaluation by his social circle.

Becker’s theory of equality of spouses was perhaps ahead of its time. “Over-educated” females were often doomed for spinsterhood, as men were frightened and/or turned off by an intellectually superior woman. Women of previous generations had to choose between a husband or further education, and, until the Baby Boomers came of age and reversed the male dominance in higher education, societal expectations often made marriage the only palatable choice for females. Women, in other words, could not have it all.

Um, no one can “have it all”. That fairy tale keeps being repeated, especially when it relates to online dating. That fairy tale is nothing more than emotional pornography.
Men are not “frightened” by educated women. Men will boink ’em but are simply hesitant to commit to them. Women will not want to commit to them because of hypergamy.
Frankly, that survey is about the economics of dating, not the reality of attraction.

Fisher’s statistics are indicative of a social countercurrent, one that radically changes the gendered roles in traditional marriages and creates an altered image of what modern marriage is held to be. Women who are empowered, independent, and smart expect the same from their partner: 89 percent want a partner who is independent, 86 percent want a partner who is at least as intelligent as they are, 55 percent aren’t willing to support their partner financially, and 61 percent claim not being as intelligent as them is an automatic deal killer, according to the Match.com findings.

“When even a lifelong bachelor like George Clooney settles down, you know things are changing.”

What’s fascinating is the men’s responses to these questions gives credence to Becker’s theory, and then some: 87 percent of men would date a woman who makes more money, 90 percent like it when the woman makes the first move and asks them out, 87 percent would date a woman perceived more intelligent than them, 86 percent are turned on by a “confident” woman.

86% of men claim to want a confident woman because so many women claim to be confident. Men are not stupid. They market themselves to be more attractive to women. It’s a vicious circle and no one gets what they want in the attraction and dating game.

Why is it that men are more willing to have a smarter woman by their side and woman won’t settle for someone less than intellectually ideal? In short, women can demand more, and know it. The apocalyptic threats by old-school mothers of shortages of men as women crept towards their 30s have become less threatening. Men don’t desire damsels in distress, and women don’t want breadwinners. Modern marriage is a partnership, and both men and women expect their partners to be their equal intellectually and personally.

Actually, women do want bread-winners, they are just afraid to say it because of current social expectations and they don’t want to be perceived as gold-diggers. But I read the online dating profiles. So many women want a financially secure guy. They state it flat-out in their profiles. They also state that they are financially independent in the same profile! Cognitive dissonance much? Go ahead guys, lose a job. Watch how quickly a woman pulls back. Women demand security. This is why they insist on a taller guy. This is hypergamy. This is biology. This is how it works.

That’s not to say that Fisher’s Clooney Effect is flawless. Any psychologist will state that appearance is still the number one factor in bringing two people together, and that it takes more than a singular trait (in this case, intelligence) to create a strong, long-lasting bond.

Well, that’s right, to a point. Clooney is a good-looking and incredibly successful guy in the public spotlight. Good for him. His new bride is a good-looking and successful dame in her own right. But he’s higher up the social food chain. Again, this is hypergamy. This is all women. The  one you are dating is not a special snowflake. All women are like this. Every. Single. One. Once a guy with better prospects than you shows up, she’s gone and you’re done. Charisma works for a bit, to be sure, but if you can’t provide that security she demands then you’re useless to her.

Nevertheless, Fisher’s is a revolutionary view of marriage, one that for millennia has focused its attention on women as the objectified party with little to offer beyond children and caring for a household. Men, according to this study, want their wives—partners, really—to be able to take on the world, live their lives, and have an identity that doesn’t necessarily mean adopting their last name.

This is a study funded by an online dating company. In order to make money, the study’s results has to encourage those monthly subscription fees. Here’s the real secret – women want a successful, confident man. So, through the awesome power of psychological projection – they assume that men want the same in women. “I’m a strong and independent woman” reads the countless profiles. Men, not being stupid, write that they desire a strong and independent woman. Hey, that’s what all the dames are claiming. Consider this, the study indicates that 55% of women wont support a man, or so they claim. Damn, it’s not always easy to separate words from actions, but it’s possible.

After all, as the Clooney Effect’s name suggests, it’s George who gained from marrying the beautiful, smart, independent Amal. As a commentator noted on Time after the couple made their first post-marriage appearance at this year’s Golden Globes, “We always thought that she was the woman who finally snared George Clooney, but it’s the other way around. And we’re all better off for it.”

No, she gained. She married the most elusive bachelor on the planet. She married the man who no woman could lock down. Granted, he’s a fucking idiot of doing so but it’s her value that increased. She now has the ultimate bragging rights. And bragging rights are a huge part of what women want… every… single… woman.

TL, DR – In online dating profiles, men state that they want strong and financially independent women. That’s because women state that they are strong and independent. In the economics of attraction and dating, this is the current landscape.

Fuck, Marry, Kill (FMK) – The Game

This is a new parlor game and it’s not uncommon. As a parlor game, it serves to increase sociability amongst friends. The definition here sums it up nicely. I have never heard of straight guys playing this game but I’m sure it happens. The game illustrates quite nicely how the sexual market place (SMP) works and a person’s sexual market value (SMV). It’s a great insight into both how the feminine and masculine mentality works regarding the SMP and SMV. I am solely focusing on how women perceive and act regarding men in this context.

Here’s a video that shows a couple of chippies actually playing the game. The girls in the video is highly annoying so click on it knowing that tequila will be required afterward. Why is that young women are so annoying? Yeah, I’m old. Get off my lawn.

Here’s how it applies to how attraction works between men and women. The game is straightforward. Three names of the same sex are offered up. The person responding must assign a category of Fuck, Marry, or Kill. The Fuck category is fairly clear. It’s all about the sex. The Marry category gets a bit more opaque because a woman’s relationship goals are not fixed. A woman at 30 years old is looking at a man for more than just weekend of squishy passion. She’s thinking about father material. However, a woman at 45 and who has raised her kids may be looking back at the passionate weekend and consider the Fuck category more carefully. Hence, the “cougar” phenomenon. But a woman in her 50s might be considering the issues of financial and health security so is more concerned with the Marriage category.

As for the Kill category, these are the guys who have no chance at the other categories and so women would rather see them dead. Or, working invisibly to keep our culture running so that physical discomfort is avoided. Those would be your landscapers, sewer workers, miners, etc. These are also the guys with emotional of physical disabilities that render them totally unwanted by women. Short guys have this problem in spades. It works both ways. There are women in this category, as well. Seriously overweight women deal with this. But those women can lose weight. Short guys can’t grow.

In the graphic below (with fun captions!), I’ve summarized the FMK game and how it relates to the SMP. Note that are only 10% of men in the Fuck category. These are the green light guys. With looks, confidence, and charisma, they can plough (hehe) ahead with sexual conquests. The biggest category is in yellow, the Marry category at 70%. These are most guys. They tend to be safe, not particularly charismatic or affluent. They have child support to deal with, an insecure job to sweat over, and all the other stresses to deal with regarding ordinary life.

FMKGiven that attraction and dating is so challenging for so many after a certain age. There are things that both sexes can do to make it all a bit easier (this is aimed at the middle age crowd, you youngsters can go drink a Red Bull or something):

For men: Confidence, competence, charisma, and leadership. I know it sounds facile to just put this out there but these skills can be learned. To be put in the (Fuck) green category requires some seriously self-improvement. Physical and sartorial self-improvement is relatively straightforward. It’s the confidence and charisma that requires the most work. The purpose of such improvement is to move as close to the green category as possible. Bonus, this will also with life in general, including career. For the guys struggling with social skills, there’s a website for that.

For women: It’s much more easy. If a woman wants a man in the Fuck category, she has to be physically attractive… that’s it. That means appearing feminine and not being bossy and domineering. Flirty and pleasant women who are willing to dress the part can aspire to the green category. But there is one huge problem, the green category guys have options. They date younger women. Why? Because they can! No amount of shame or social expectation will change that. These are guys who do what they want with whom they want. The solution to that is to look more seriously at the guys in the yellow category. Here’s an excellent exercise for that. That requires effort and stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

I picked the colors for the graphic based on a traffic light. Green for go, yellow for caution, red for stop. I acknowledge that this is a very simply metaphor. I also acknowledge that when it comes to attraction and dating, humans can be very simplistic.

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