Companionship vs. sexual attraction.

6 Jun

Hana recently made a provocative statement (at least, for this corner of the internetz) at her blog:

…close friendship, where two people share common interests, a compatible sense of humour, and similar intelligence, etc.   When a man and a woman are close friends in this way, the importance of sexual attraction seems to fade.  Sexual attraction is still present…Still, sexual attraction becomes less important when a man and a woman are truly close friends.

She then made an even more provocative statement:

As long as you’re somewhat attracted to him or her, why not marry your best friend?

This seems like a pretty far cry from Dalrock’s and Badger’s insistence that a woman feel “head over heels” for any potential spouse, but in my opinion, it seems like a good recipe for a stable, enduring marriage.  If women are able to grow in attraction to a mate and will feel more attracted and more attached to him once they have sex, and the woman at least meets a man’s minimum physical attractiveness requirements, and there is a preexisting emotional/intellectual bond and the two enjoy each other’s company, then that sounds like pretty solid grounds for marrying (assuming there are no red flags in other areas).  God willing, you’re both going to be old and achy a lot longer than you’re going to be young and hot, so it’s worth investing in someone who will still be fun when your collagen production has reached its nadir and you can’t see each other clearly up close without bifocals anyway (not that you would necessarily want to, due to the wrinkles).

Speaking anecdotally, I had a friend who fit this description.  We attended the same church and got along swimmingly.  It was very easy for us to have lengthy conversations, and our senses of humor meshed well.  We weren’t superclose friends, but I could tell that we were on the same wavelength.  After knowing him for a couple of years, I started to think that if he hadn’t been married with kids, he was someone I probably could have married.  I didn’t feel “head over heels” for him.  I didn’t even have a crush on him.  I wasn’t physically attracted to him (but whatever my minimum standard of physical attractiveness was, he met that, because I wasn’t repulsed by him).  He was just someone I got along with really, really well.

When you consider that when you marry someone, you’re signing up to wake up to that person’s face every day for the rest of your life, and when you come home there’s no escaping that person, getting along really well becomes a pretty important consideration.

A picture is worth a thousand words!

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214 Responses to “Companionship vs. sexual attraction.”

  1. Badger June 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Unreal. This one is all over the place. (Thanks for the link love btw).

    At its core is an unbalanced feminine-centric view of marriage as an institution of emotional and structural stability. That’s certainly part of it, but that’s not all a spouse provides; that’s a BFF and you can have those without ceremonies or licenses.

    “As long as you’re somewhat attracted to him or her”

    Why would I bond myself for eternity to someone I was “somewhat attracted to?” Marriage is no longer a social or economic necessity; it’s a lifestyle choice (and one with massive costs for failure). As such, I’m not signing up for marriage to someone I am “somewhat attracted to.” I want a woman who (among other things) I’m interested in having sex with early and often, and who is in the same ballpark as me on that.

    The standards have changed. It’s clear a man can’t be a provider and a father anymore, he needs to provide regular dopamine rush or the Mrs will eat-pray-love her way out the door. Well it goes both ways – men have every right to, and should, expect a sexually full marriage. Men shouldn’t settle any more than women should.

    And it’s clear from science and pop culture that women are just as sexual as men, so why should women consider marrying men they aren’t attracted to? What audience are you speaking for here, Haley?

    Now I sense a strawman in this post, the idea that expecting a wife to be sexual (or expecting a husband to be attractive to his wife) is just too much to ask so why even try, just marry someone who will help you fold the sheets and be done with it.

    “you’re signing up to wake up to that person’s face every day for the rest of your life”

    Yes, and that’s why I want to marry someone I can imagine (pardon my French) porking every day for the rest of time.

    “you’re both going to be old and achy a lot longer than you’re going to be young and hot”

    So sexuality is something you only exhibit when you are “young and hot” (and of childbearing years, I assume?)

    “I wasn’t physically attracted to him (but whatever my minimum standard of physical attractiveness was, he met that, because I wasn’t repulsed by him).”

    And to think what a favor you could have done him by marrying him! What an honor it would be to have a wife who wasn’t repulsed by her husband.

  2. Badger June 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    To make my comment above shorter and simpler, you need both companionship AND sexual attraction. If either one is missing, you don’t have a marriage. You have either a fling or a roommate relationship (hetero-lesbian bed death).

    When I was younger, in my beta days, I used to downplay sexual attraction in my relationship wants list (being a man, my list was very short). Then I got into a few LTRs, and discovered that without sexual attraction, something was missing. I had overvalued companionship because I lacked it in my life (my desperation for getting into an LTR in the first place), but I had come to an unbalanced optimization strategy.

  3. Aunt Haley June 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Badger–
    Somewhat = NOT ZERO. I didn’t, and Hana didn’t, recommend marrying someone sexually repulsive.

    Also, you’re making it sound like you will never increase your love for your spouse after the wedding ceremony. Love matches are a pretty recent development in human history. It is very hard to imagine that the vast majority of all of the arranged marriages in history were cold and loveless and that the spouses never grew in affection for each other over time.

  4. jack June 7, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    Of course the less time a woman spends either riding the carousel or even lusting after it, the easier it will be for her to develop attraction for her husband.

    This is not too realistic, of course, because all of America is just one big sexual-consumeristic burlesque show designed to convince women that they are missing out on, well, everything.

  5. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 7, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    Marriage is a sexual relationship first and foremost.

    It’s the sexual connection that creates the long term bonding, not companionship. Why the hell would anyone marry into a marriage likely to immediately head into a LBJF zone?

    There’s a tragic number of marriages that turn sexless within a year of the wedding because of nonsense like this.

  6. namae nanka June 7, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    “Still, sexual attraction becomes less important when a man and a woman are truly close friends.”

    Friendship is between equals, sexual attraction is about inequality.
    companionship != friendship
    Familiarity only breeds contempt if you don’t nip it in the bud. But the same vagina does breed boredom.

    “I started to think that if he hadn’t been married with kids, he was someone I probably could have married”

    and then gone eat, pray and love?

    “Love matches are a pretty recent development in human history.”

    No, just no.

  7. Kathy June 7, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    “Yes, and that’s why I want to marry someone I can imagine (pardon my French) porking every day for the rest of time.”

    Spot on Badg.

    It’s the reason I married.. Didn’t marry to have kids. I married because I loved my husband to be and I wanted SEX.. We did of course end up having kids.

    But, I WAS head over heals in love with him.. Still am..

    Your problem Haley, is that you want too much, and you over analyze too much.

    Love just happens sometimes.Don’t be so critical of the way a man dresses, or looks.

    “just marry someone who will help you fold the sheets and be done with it.”

    Lol Badger. right on the money.

  8. OhioStater June 7, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    Athol Kay, that was harsh. Ideally, best friends would marry, but that would eventually work against the guy if the woman did meet a man she was sexually attracted to.

  9. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    This is an unworkable model for a marriage. The woman gets all the benefits, the man all the burdens.

    A man marries to have sex. Lots of sex. Chances are he was beta or had lots of beta traits, and did not have lots of sex before marriage. So in his marriage, he has given the commitment in exchange for regular sex at reasonable intervals. He’s up front with her about his expectations. But she’s not been honest with him — she’s taking a big gamble, and demanding that he gamble his assets right along with hers.

    That’s why marrying someone you aren’t head over heels in love with is unfair to the other partner.

    Here’s what happens in this model. Woman marries best boy buddy. Things are fine for a few years, maybe there’s a child now. The sex was OK at first, but has dwindled to maybe once a month when she’s really horny. He can’t figure out what’s going on, but hey, he’s at work taking care of his wife and kid like society (and his wife and kid) expects him to. He’s invested his time, money and resources, and has foregone other opportunities. He has held up his end of the bargain.

    But now she feels … different towards hubby buddy. “I don’t know, I just… it’s a problem that has no name… I just… I’m not physically attracted to you.”

    Now she’s finally come clean.

    Truth: hubby buddy doesn’t tingle her and never did. Before the wedding she watched too many Disney or Lifetime emotional porn fantasies in which the hero-protagonist falls in love at the end with her best boy buddy, and she realizes her one twue wuv was right in front of her all along. Her hamster rationalized herself into this and misled her into believing she’d love him eventually. But it didn’t work, and now she’s conflicted, unhappy and dissatisfied, and she can’t quite put her finger on why. But, she’s got her eye on that good looking 35 year old guy in accounting with whom she’s had a couple of lunches, amd….

    you get the idea.

    So when wife finally tells the truth, here’s what hubby buddy hears: “I don’t love you. I never have loved you. I married you because I really, really liked you. Besides, without both our incomes, I couldn’t afford that dining room set I really liked.”

    The basis behind head-over-heels to marry is that anything less isn’t fair to the other partner. Haley and Hana’s posts advocate a roommate/financial partnership marriage model that confers all the benefits on the wife, while casting all the huge risks and heavy burdens on the husband. What man will knowingly sign up for this?

    This won’t work in today’s society and in Marriage 2.0.

  10. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Her gamble is that she married her best boy buddy hoping she will fall in love with him once they start living together and sleeping together.

    He’s in the dark about all this. He thinks she loves him. After all, the mainstream media hammers into men that women are intrinsically monogamous (false) and that women’s motives are always pure (also false).

    But she’s not tingling. She gambled with both her life and his, and lost. But she’s not going to lose, oh no. In the divorce, she’ll take half the property plus the house plus alimony plus child support.

    Her gamble. His loss.

  11. Badger June 7, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    “If women are able to grow in attraction to a mate and will feel more attracted and more attached to him once they have sex”

    This is erroneous. Women are able to grow in pair-bonding/attachment through sex due to the oxytocin release, but I’m not aware that attraction increases via sex.

    “Also, you’re making it sound like you will never increase your love for your spouse after the wedding ceremony. Love matches are a pretty recent development in human history. It is very hard to imagine that the vast majority of all of the arranged marriages in history were cold and loveless and that the spouses never grew in affection for each other over time.”

    Actually, modern “choice” marriages have so much sexual dysfunction it may have been even worse in the arranged-marriage societies…although on the other hand the blanket expectation that the couple is going to have sex as part of the deal probably got a lot of people in gear wrt figuring out how to enjoy it.

    Again you are conflating *affection* and *attraction.*

    I think it’s time you out with it – why do you have so many posts trying to justify marrying someone you aren’t really “in love” with? Do you find the men in your vicinity that unattractive? Are you out of their league? Are you not that interested in sex? what motivates all this preemptive rationalization?

  12. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Maybe part of what we have here is differing ways men and women view sex (or at least differing ways the media says men and women view sex).

    The OP seems to accept the incorrect notion that men view sex as more important than women do. Probably 50 to 60% of the women in the world meet a man’s minimum physical attractiveness thresholds. For women that figure is probably 10 to 15% (and that might be overstating it). But the fact that a woman meets the minimum physical requirements and is a friend doesn’t mean she’s marriage material.

    But the flaw is that women are as sexual as men. When a woman’s trigger is tripped, she is as sexual a being as any man is.

    Why should anyone sign up to be married to someone he or she is “somewhat” attracted to, as Badger says?

    And why would any man knowingly sign up to marry a woman who’s only “somewhat” attracted to him?

  13. Leon Battista Alberti June 7, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    @ Haley – To be fair, what you (and Hana) said did sound a tich like what was said in this article – http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2075201_2075195_2075196,00.html

    It also sounds like what you (and your friend) are describing is “companionate love” in Sternberg’s triangular theory of love. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love. When I studied this is college years ago, my professor claimed that companionate (intimacy + commitment) and fatuous (passion + commitment) were stable arrangements. However, they were not as stable or satisfying as Consummate Love (intimacy + passion + commitment).

    So I get why Badger responded the way he did. Same with Athol.

    Let’s look at this from the perspective of our faith. Marriage is a sacrament, i.e. a “sacred reminder” of the sacrificial and steadfast love of the Father and the Son. A man and a woman (the two complementary halves of God’s image) and bound through the bond of marriage (commitment) and are solidified through intimacy and union through the enjoyment of the sexual act (passion). From this love springs forth a child just as the love of the Father and Son manifests the Third Person, the Holy Spirit. The family is a reflection of the Trinity in the flesh.

    I’m not going fully in depth here but this is not the forum for it. But summing up, the sexual urge is a yearn driven by something higher than itself, is driven by the transcendental reality of seeking union with the Triune God. Same with the drive for intimacy and secure commitment.

    So you see, our faith shares quite a bit with Sternberg’s triangle. Perhaps your soul craves intimacy before union but what of your potential husband? The statement by your friend, “As long as you’re somewhat attracted to him or her, why not marry your best friend?” is a very selfish statement because it does not ask “What are the needs of the other person?” It isn’t sacrificial and therefore it isn’t love for the other.

    When Dalrock and Badger wrote that you need to be “head over heels” for your future spouse, I viewed it differently. “Head over heels” is viewing love as a pure emotion and not as an emotion AND CHOICE. If you feel love for the other, great, but can you and he continue to choose love even when you don’t feel it any longer? Because “head over heels” could just be the chemical cocktail that lasts for about 3 years and then fades if not renewed in some way. When you feel love, you tend to choose to perform actions of love. Know that if you do the reverse, it tends to create the emotion of love.**

    While I don’t like using personal anecdotes, I think this can give some though. I know three Indian Christian couples, all of whom were arranged marriages. In each instance, they met their future spouse a few months or weeks before the wedding for the first time. All three, presently, have very happy marriages that contain passion, intimacy and commitment. How? Because they chose to. As Christians, we are called to love everyone (and to show that love by “serving” them, a foreign concept nowadays).

    So I understand your sentiment but try to see why we saw your expression of it as self-centered. You need to recognize the feelings and needs of the other. I’m sure you meant that but it did not come across that way.

    God bless you.

    ** Actors have two approaches to reaching emotion on stage and in film: inner-outward and outer-inward. The first is finding a similar emotional experience (or if you have high empathy, imagining you are in this emotional experience) in your life and letting that come to the surface. Thus the emotion generate motivates the physical action that conveys that emotion. Fun note for the readers here, most female actors prefer this method.

    Outer-inward is mirroring the physical actions of the emotion to solicit the emotion within you. Thus the actions generate the emotion from within, thus making the actions look legit. Do the physical actions of crying and you will cry and feel sad. Smile and you will feel happier for no good reason.

    Since love is a chose, does it make sense why actors, when acting in romantic roles, tend to fall for one another?

  14. Martini June 7, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Haley, this idea sounds good in theory but it’s taking an idea from different
    cultures/histories and assuming it can successfully be transplanted to
    contemporary Western lifestyles and sensibilities.

    No way, Cabernet!

    If your marriage is starting out in such total blandness (I’m not attracted to him really, but at least I’m not repulsed or anything!) the outcomes will be divorce
    or living separate lives. I do know one woman who went this route and she and her pseudo-husband are still together after 20-some years; there’s no cheating, no kids (obviously!), no fighting and they behave as adult roommates who get along for the most part and share chores/expenses, and do a few activities together. I’ve never observed one ounce of couples chemistry between them.

    Sound like something you’d want?

  15. Hana June 7, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Thanks for linking to my post. :) You guys are funny. Everywhere else, you (at least some of you) complain ad nauseum that the culture has given women unrealistic standards for “tingles”, and they should develop a taste for beta providers who are more in their league. Now you all declare that everyone should marry someone they are ragingly attracted to.

    Here’s a little anecdote: I know someone who, if not an alpha, is as close to an alpha as I’ve ever seen. He married a very beautiful girl who, several years later, left him…for his sister’s husband. She wasn’t a Christian when they met; she claimed to have become one, but obviously the conversion was only surface-deep.

    Not long after they divorced, he married a Christian woman who is demonstrably less attractive than his first wife, though not unattractive. He seems very happy and, judging from his behaviour, attracted to his second wife. But I bet that if you had put the two women side-by-side when he was younger, he would have gone for the woman who was more attractive (his first wife).

    The point I’m making is that you don’t have to compromise attraction completely – you just have to factor in other things (in this case, character), because they are what keep your relationship strong for the long haul.

    As for the difference between “affection” and “attraction”, I think with women, attraction can actually grow with affection (to a point). And for the record, “somewhat attracted” does not mean “unattracted.” No one should marry a person they are not attracted to at all – I agree that would be a recipe for a miserable marriage.

  16. Dalrock June 7, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    @ Haley
    Love matches are a pretty recent development in human history.

    True. But it is not as recent as child support, divorce theft, EPL, and Oprah.

    Your thinking is entirely wrong here. You keep only thinking about what is good for you. This isn’t a marriage mindset. Your friend is very fortunate that he met a woman who is attracted to him and loves him before you came around and decided you might have done him the honor of marrying him. Otherwise you would have stolen his and his wife’s chance at happiness. Why doesn’t that bother you?

  17. Dalrock June 7, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    @Hana
    You guys are funny. Everywhere else, you (at least some of you) complain ad nauseum that the culture has given women unrealistic standards for “tingles”, and they should develop a taste for beta providers who are more in their league. Now you all declare that everyone should marry someone they are ragingly attracted to.

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I have been very consistent on this issue. See the link in the OP to a post I wrote nearly a year ago for reference. I’ve written a good amount on why this is terrible advice since then. It frequently ends in divorce. I’ve shared anecdote and statistics on my own blog. My most recent post on the topic Why we need to stop telling women to settle. includes statistics and links to my other posts.

    Don’t you feel just a little hesitation in giving advice which sets women up to sin, and which damages the institution of marriage while it is teetering on the edge?

    Here’s a little anecdote

    Funny isn’t it that in the anecdote you described it was the woman who divorced the man. This isn’t a coincidence. Moreover, it is farcical to offer women advice about human nature based on what would work for a man.

  18. Julie June 7, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    I agree with Hana–of course, a woman should not marry someone she is unattracted to, but it is unrealistic for most of them to hold out for someone they are intensely passionately attracted to. There are too few men who evoke that level of passion. Sorry. I don’t know what the answer is.

  19. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    @Hana:

    I’m not sure you are using the term “alpha” as the manosphere understands it. I don’t believe the man in your anecdote is an alpha. The fact that he married a very beautiful woman who then left him tells me he’s not an alpha or even close to it.

    The fact that he might be very good looking does not mean he is an alpha.

    To expand on Dalrock’s comment above: Men are “somewhat attracted to” lots of women. For a man, that’s enough of a spark to get us on the road to being head over heels in love.

    But conversely, most men don’t even show up on most women’s radar screens. Thus, a man who is only “somewhat attractive” to a woman is not marriage material for that woman, full stop. That’s just not enough. If he’s only “somewhat attractive” to her, he is de facto beneath her and she’ll eventually lose respect for him, leading to the eventual destruction of the marriage.

  20. Julie June 7, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Sexual attraction can grow though, at least for women. I am a lot more attracted to my husband now than I was when we got married.

  21. Eumaios June 7, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    The problem with the Haley-Hana Buy Now Pay Later model is, as Martini indicated, that it does not and cannot work in the World that Is. Whether it actually ever worked in the World that Was is probably indeterminable. The high penalties and lack of opportunity to commit divorce or adultery constrained the behavior of women; this has an unmeasurable but significant effect on what women say about their behaviors and motivations.

    I do think that, in an oikumene where a man has a secured right to his wife’s person and reproductive capabilities, a wife’s natural complacent affection for an inoffensive husband can embiggen and transmute into knee-weakening sexual attraction. But it requires that the man rule. If nothing else, a kind of Stockholm Syndrome can emerge, or something like the love of a Katarina for a Petrucchio. A woman’s attraction for a man will grow simply because he is in charge of her.

    But. But. In the present, incipient matriarchy, you will rarely find a home where the man can be said to be in charge of his wife. Where you do find this, it is necessarily because of special qualities or virtues of the wife. Not merely loyalty, for that cannot make a woman feel possessed, captured. Imprisoned, perhaps, but that’s hardly what we want.

    As best as I can tell from my own experience, the virtues of a captured wife are willing fertility, honest and intentional submission, and a healthy hatred for matriarchy.

  22. Tim June 7, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    A lot of disgruntled males here. Women control the means of reproduction, full stop. Evidence can be seen in the length of the comments: men write essays, women write one or two lines.

    But you don’t marry your best friend, Haley. You co-habit. Trust me on this one. You cannot defraud the institution of marriage.

  23. jz June 7, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I’ll quibble on the issue of libido. Badger mistakenly wishes, “and it’s clear from science and pop culture that women are just as sexual as men.” Detinennui32 mistakenly concludes, “But the flaw is that women are as sexual as men. When a woman’s trigger is tripped, she is as sexual a being as any man is.”

    Libido in both sexes is, to some extent, driven by testosterone. The average male testosterone level is 10-15 times that of the average woman’s. When a woman’s trigger is tripped, she will never have the sustained libido of her partner.

    And Haley, I have no idea what your picture worth a thousand words is supposed to inform us.

    [It's a graph that represents the point Hana made in her blog, except I didn't have to use so many words.]

  24. Tim June 7, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Sexual attraction can grow though, at least for women. I am a lot more attracted to my husband now than I was when we got married.

    You’re orbiting Venus, then. This is an impossibility for men; once we’ve conquered, our job is done. Sexual attraction cannot grow for men within a marriage over time.

  25. jz June 7, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    @Tim, “sexual attraction can not grow for men within a marriage over time.”

    would love the wisdom of other long-term married men on that statement.

  26. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    “@Tim, “sexual attraction can not grow for men within a marriage over time.”

    would love the wisdom of other long-term married men on that statement.”

    Tim is right. We need to be sexually attracted. For men. after marriage sexual attraction can only wane, not wax.

    I’ve been married 15 years, known my wife 17 years. I wanted to have sex with her the first time I saw her. The sexual attraction from me for her has always been the same since I first saw her: intense, intoxicating and mind-clouding.

  27. terry@breathinggrace June 7, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Love matches are a pretty recent development in human history.

    That’s not entirely true, as any Biblically literate Christian would know. Not only is there Song Of Songs, a pretty erotic book by almost any standard, but there are stories in the Bible of men who passionately loved their wives. Abraham, Jacob, Samuel come to mind.

    I think the fact that most men and women are sexually experienced before marriage really wrecks the chance to find and meet someone they have true chemistry with.

    Hana is right that this corner of the ‘net is unusually hard on women who follow their ‘tingles.’ I also agree that character is of utmost importance when choosing a husband or wife. But this notion that “love matches” and “chemistry” are somehow lesser issues when choosing a spouse is overblown here.

  28. detinennui32 June 7, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    @ jz: “When a woman’s trigger is tripped, she will never have the sustained libido of her partner.”

    I disagree. Women are driven by the imperative to get the best man she can. Once she finds him, the woman’s prime directive to reproduce kicks into overdrive. That makes a woman very sexual.

    Hypergamy also dictates this. The manosphere is replete with stories of women married to or in relationships with men who they consider beneath them. When they cheat or find a man they are really into, they display ravenous sexual appetites. The stories report women engaging in sex acts they would not even consider with their husbands or LTRs.

  29. Hana June 7, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    detinennui –

    “I’m not sure you are using the term “alpha” as the manosphere understands it. I don’t believe the man in your anecdote is an alpha. The fact that he married a very beautiful woman who then left him tells me he’s not an alpha or even close to it.

    The fact that he might be very good looking does not mean he is an alpha.”

    You could be right. He wasn’t (he’s middle-aged now) just good looking, though – he is also very intelligent, confident and socially dominant. He may not have been alpha in how he related to his wife after he married her, though. I don’t know.

    Anyhow, I think there’s just a difference between how men and women perceive attraction. I know the men here are saying a woman should never marry a man she’s somewhat attracted to, because that leads to resentment, divorce, child support, etc. etc., legions of bitter beta ex-husbands…I guess I just think it’s rare for a woman to be *intensely* attracted to her husband – unless he’s an alpha. I agree with Julie.

  30. Brendan June 7, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    The problem here is one of risk, primarily.

    Under the current culture of “hedonic marriage”, basically unless both are quite fulfilled in the marriage, chances are one of them is going to walk. That’s just how marriage is these days — for Christians too, by the way, regardless of theology. So the question becomes one of risk management, in terms of trying to reduce the risk that things will be unfulfilling enough to encourage someone to walk.

    It’s a very difficult equation to solve, unfortunately, given how female attraction works. On the one hand, Dalrock is quite right in asserting that for a woman to marry someone to whom she feels only so/so attraction is taking a risk — or, more appropriately, foisting a risk on the *other* person against his will. Now, she may grow more attracted to him during the marriage, or she may not. But she already is starting at a lower baseline of attraction than she has already for other men — the issue being that these men are unavailable for some reason or other (out of the league, attached to others, etc.). This means that if she doesn’t really grow in her attraction during the marriage, that risk of her so-so attraction coming back to bite her husband is substantial. So on that score, I agree with Dalrock.

    The problem arises, however, because women are just not “head over heels” attracted to most men. There just aren’t enough “head over heels” generating men around for all the women. We can argue whether this is 10%, 15%, 20% or 25%, but if we’re being honest, it isn’t much more than that. The rest of us are so-so at the very best. So if a woman is to exclude men with whom she is not “head over heels” in love with, there’s a good chance she won’t marry, period.

    In prior eras, this happened less (probably, we don’t know, really) because the male pool was much smaller. That, coupled with parental involvement in mate selection, community disapproval of serial monogamy and pre-marital sex, and harsher social mores and legal rules around relationships and so on created a different environment in which female mate selection played itself out – in effect, it was restricted in many ways to a smaller group of available, parentally and socially approved, men. Now, we don’t know how many of these women in prior eras were happy in their marriages — some may have been discontent, but then again, expectations were also quite different in these eras. Now, the male pool is huge, and people are encouraged to optimize, to engage in pre-marital sex to judge the sexual chemistry as early as possible in a relationship (so as not to waste time developing a relationship if that is sub-par compared to other partners one has had), and so on. So in the current era, with our current expectations for marriage (which are more or less the same for Christians as they are for everyone else, when it comes down to brass-tacks, rather than pie in the sky stuff), the reality is that most women won’t find “head over heels” men to marry them, and many will be dissatisfied by marrying other men to whom they are so-so attracted. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles here.

    For that reason, I think Dalrock’s idea reduces the risks of divorce (especially for men) at the expense of lowering the marriage rate. Haley’s approach raises the marriage rate somewhat at the expense of increasing the divorce risk for men significantly in our cultural context. It’s an insoluble equation, and one, I think, that men and women will evaluate differently, because the risks are different for each of them, and tend to play *against* each other here.

  31. jz June 7, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    @detinennuie32,

    you have presented an argument for hypergamy, but not for differential gender libidos.

  32. jz June 7, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    agree with Brendans’ risk management analysis. Perhaps there are no practical social, religious policies to sustain marriage. Financial and tax policies could work.

  33. Julie June 7, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Brendan, you just have a way of getting to the heart of the matter.

    Further complicating things, it seems to me like a lot of alphas who would have married in previous eras are not marrying now. I can think of several I knew in my 20s, and from what I can see on Facebook and the like, they are still unmarried in their early 40s. They are Christians, so I don’t know what’s up. But that even further reduces the pool of alpha men available.

    As for risk, I don’t think my husband took a risk that I would walk away from the marriage. My feelings of chemistry for him were not optimal, however, they were not absent. Have I felt higher chemistry for other men? Yes. Would I leave him at some point due to this knowledge? No. I got married late enough that I know two things very well. I couldn’t keep an alpha then, I would have much less chance now. Secondly, many alphas have other characteristics that make them undesirable to me as mates. Oh and thirdly, having dated alphas, I know that even chemistry with them wanes.

  34. y81 June 7, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    “sexual attraction can not grow for men within a marriage over time”

    I don’t think that’s true. When I first met my wife, about 22 years ago, I didn’t feel anything special. A few years after that, a particular set of events, in which she played an aggressive role, led to our starting to date. A very strong sexual attraction developed. Since we got married, about 18 years ago, we have had ups and downs, but it certainly isn’t a ratchet or a one-way street. In particular, since we became born-again, as opposed to nominal, Christians, about 14 years ago, I would say that our level of attraction has mostly grown. (The first few years of our marriage were very stressful.)

    I’m not sure where in that 22 year saga the peak of sexual attraction occurred, and even if I knew, that wouldn’t prove that everyone else would have the same experience.

  35. modernguy June 7, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    So Badger and Dalrock, you’re saying that Haley should wait until she finds someone who is successful and has a good character, is bold and will seduce her (remember, women are not attracted to meek, dithering betas) and since this is a Christian marriage, also a virgin? Should he secretly be a billionaire too?

    It’s easy to say that women should marry men they’re in love with, but who are these men, why aren’t they already taken, and how long is this feeling supposed to last?

  36. Julie June 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Has anyone else ever noticed that most of the women who write books on Christian marriage are/were married to alphas? Ex. Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity.

  37. Tim June 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Do you mean ‘rich’ when you say alpha?

  38. Julie June 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    No, I don’t mean rich. Jim Elliott wasn’t rich. To me, being alpha has nothing to do with being rich.

  39. jz June 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    I’ll suggest one metric for measuring “head over heels” lust. A couple should have spent at least one weekend nonstop exhausting themselves sexually prior to marriage. If so , they’re good to go. This only applies to those without religious constraints. Perhaps someone could describe an equivalent for those with religious constraints.

  40. Eumaios June 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    “Perhaps someone could describe an equivalent for those with religious constraints.”

    Trial spanking.

  41. Julie June 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    “I’ll suggest one metric for measuring “head over heels” lust. A couple should have spent at least one weekend nonstop exhausting themselves sexually prior to marriage. If so , they’re good to go.”

    OK, that sounds great. However, the man in this scenario is almost certainly very attractive to many women. Thus marrying him will be a risk for the woman. She’s head over heels in love, that’s good. But she’s also far likelier to be cheated on than if she married someone she felt more moderately attracted to.

  42. Tim June 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Do you mean tall?

  43. jz June 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    @Julie, well, no. Actually, he was not particularly attractive to many women, he was not a cheat-risk to me, and I’ve not been cheated on in 28 years. Wrong, Wrong.Wrong. I think it’s a useful metric to gauge lust.

  44. The Man Who Was . . . June 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Brenden is right. Most women aren’t going to find men that they are head over heels in love with and most men aren’t going to find women that are head over heals in love with them. So, what do we do now? Are we going to advise everyone except the few really attractive men and women to remain celibate? Or are we going to advise women to offer themselves up as pump and dumps for the few really attractive men. Neither of the above is a particularly good solution for men as a whole.

    BTW, having sex with a woman is a very visceral form of preselection, you have just demonstrated your ability to get a woman into bed. So, unless you really suck in bed or there is some other reason for her becoming turned off by you, of course her attraction for you goes up. Especially if she doesn’t have any previous alpha lovers to compare you to too.

  45. Brendan June 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    So, what do we do now? Are we going to advise everyone except the few really attractive men and women to remain celibate? Or are we going to advise women to offer themselves up as pump and dumps for the few really attractive men. Neither of the above is a particularly good solution for men as a whole.

    There isn’t really a good answer, which is why, I think, the marriage rate continues to fall for other than the most “alpha” couples in the upper tier educationally and financially (who tend to assortively pair off in a fairly stable way … whether they are heel-kicking happy, is another question, but they do divorce less).

    This is an equation that has no society wide solution that is practical, really. The best advice for men is obviously to be as attractive as they can be, but most guys are still going to be below the radar screen, most of the time.

  46. Tim June 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    One other point: this is not just an American problem; it’s universal. Marriage rates and total fertility is tanking everywhere: Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, Korea and on and on.

  47. Eumaios June 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    The Man Who Was … “Most women aren’t going to find men that they are head over heels in love with and most men aren’t going to find women that are head over heals in love with them. So, what do we do now? Are we going to advise everyone except the few really attractive men and women to remain celibate? Or are we going to advise women to offer themselves up as pump and dumps for the few really attractive men. Neither of the above is a particularly good solution for men as a whole.”

    It’s a nightmare. I propose we find and execute all the Sundays.

  48. Julie June 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Perhaps we need to place less importance on people being “head over heels” in love. How many marriages throughout history were based on this? Marriage serves many purposes for people–companionship, a safe place to raise children, an economic partnership, and a place to have sex. What we really need is for the divorce rate to lower, perhaps by churches speaking out more? Then neither gender would face so many risks with marriage. We’d have more marriage and at an earlier age. Women would feel less like they need to have their economic “ducks in a row” before getting married, as there would be much less fear of divorce.

  49. jz June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    People respond to financial incentives, just as we respond to sexual incentives. With our children in mind, we could alter tax and entitlement incentives to strongly promote marriage. Ex. 1) no entitlements unless married and living together. 2) Increased tax rates for divorces or not living together.

  50. Old Guy June 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Leon Battista Alberti said something really interesting and important at **. William James once said something like “You don’t run because you’re afraid, you’re afraid because you run.” Paradoxical as it sounds, this turns out to be right: people are no better at attributing emotions and attitudes to themselves than are other observers of their behaviour. You can, surprisingly, decide how you’re going to feel about someone by treating them accordingly.

    One of the things therapists will tell people in couples therapy to do is to simply treat the other with affection and respect rather than contempt and cruelty, and their emotions will, astonishingly, begin to repair themselves.

    LBA’s description of a difference between how actors and actresses are best able to evoke emotion is consistent with my statistically insignificant experience, although I hadn’t thought of it as a sex difference: Guys do seem more able to choose an emotional road much more easily than women, or, at least, the guys who might find themselves in couples therapy are better able to this than the women they find themselves in couples therapy with. One woman of my acquaintance said, on the occasion of defenestrating the father of her children “They told us to do that. Couldn’t make myself. Couldn’t even begin to try.”

    LBA: If this is a genuine sex difference, it’s worth thinking about a lot more. Good catch.

  51. Tim June 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I googled Jim Elliot, read a little wikipedia on him, and have determined he was omega to the core.

  52. JM June 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Question: Is alpha an absolute trait (or collection thereof) a man possesses, thus leading to the possibility (at least in theory) that a good proportion of men could be alpha? Or is it relative, and women will only be attracted to a small proportion of men regardless of whatever traits any one man may or may not have?

  53. Julie June 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    “I googled Jim Elliot, read a little wikipedia on him, and have determined he was omega to the core.”

    Why’s that?

  54. jz June 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    @JM, to my thinking, most men could be alpha, they could inspire respect, confidence, and awe in some group of women. They could be leaders in their own domain. Once committed, women *want* to believe that their husbands are important and worthy. It takes many disappointments for a women to finally feel she is tethered to a lesser man.

  55. Tim June 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    By current standards. Perhaps in the 50′s he was alpha, but today certainly not.

  56. Tim June 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    I suspect you think he was alpha because he had “goals” and a “mission”, which supports the theory that women desire a relationship wherein they are the first officer and the husband is captain.

  57. Dalrock June 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    @Modernguy
    So Badger and Dalrock, you’re saying that Haley should wait until she finds someone who is successful and has a good character, is bold and will seduce her (remember, women are not attracted to meek, dithering betas) and since this is a Christian marriage, also a virgin? Should he secretly be a billionaire too?

    Haley is welcome to create whatever list of “must have” attributes she wants. If she is attractive enough to pull a man with those attributes, fantastic! Don’t blame her expensive tastes on me though. Haley sees the vast bulk of men as beneath her (see the post directly before this one). As Hawaiian Libertarian explains on his post defining hypergamy this will cause her to not be attracted to almost all men:

    Hypergamy simply means women’s base sexual nature is attracted to a higher status in relation to herself. In other words, if she does not “look up” to a man in some way, she will not be attracted to that man.

    She has three valid choices, none of which involve tricking a man into a loveless sexless marriage and putting their future children at great risk of growing up in a broken home. This is serious business, otherwise I would mind my own. She can:

    1) Remain unmarried until or/unless a man she is able to be attracted to proposes marriage.
    2) Increase her “marriage market value” enough to make option 1 come true.
    3) Recognize that she has overvalued her own attractiveness and therefore wrongly sees herself as above the vast majority of men. This last one is very hard though, because it would obviously be very painful.

    But until she stops trying to convince herself and others that she would be following God’s plan by marring a man she doesn’t really love but “isn’t repulsed by” she can’t begin to address the real issue. Those enabling her to hold on to this fantasy are doing her and her future husband and children a grave disservice, even if they intend to be kind.

  58. Eumaios June 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Dalrock: “[Haley could] Recognize that she has overvalued her own attractiveness and therefore wrongly sees herself as above the vast majority of men.”

    Key.

    But take it further. Apart from the ability to conceive, bear, and nurse children, women are incompetent compared to men. Almost any given man will be more broadly competent than a woman, will not require externally imposed constraints to stay on task, and generally upholds civilization rather than whimsically chipping away at it. Men suffer emotion more strongly and accordingly have learned to manage it better. Women are the weaker vessels. All men are above all women.

    That they have forgotten and denied this obvious truth goes far toward explaining the misery of the feral females like our hostess.

  59. Julie June 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Jim Elliott: great-looking, man with a vision, bold in pursuit but hesitant to commit, strong = alpha male

  60. Aunt Haley June 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Re: the friend I mentioned in the original post:
    This friend was married with kids at the time I met and got to know him. I respect him and we definitely click on an intellectual level. It’s easy to be around him, and I always enjoy the time I spend with him. After I had known him for a while, I knew he was the kind of person that, if he had been available, maybe we would have tried to make a go of it and let things develop. I sensed that the same had occurred to him. But the thing is, he’s MARRIED. I’m getting accused in the comments of not being head over heels for a man I can never have, which is ridiculous. It would have been easy for me to try to push the limits and be the type of woman Athol often writes about, initiating “harmless” contact. But I didn’t, and thank God that I wasn’t so inflamed with lust that I would try to bring down another man’s marriage, or be so wrapped up in “feelings” that I would constantly be at war with myself and in anguish.

    It’s true that I’ve never felt butterflies for him and that I don’t feel any strong sexual attraction to him. But we have never interacted in a way that would cultivate those feelings. If circumstances were different, I would definitely be open to see if we would be as good a match as I think we could be.

  61. Tim June 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    great-looking, man with a vision, bold in pursuit but hesitant to commit, strong = alpha male.

    Negative. You omitted what he was peddling. Does that not count? Why would you want a Missionary to also be the King Big Balls? Jim Elliot: great-looking, man with a vision, bold in pursuit but hesitant to commit, strong = clown.

    *alpha males need the cooperation of beta males*

  62. lifeinlonglegs June 7, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    What is lasting in a marriage? — whatever you focus on and put effort into. If you want companionship, you can find that with your spouse if you focus on building time and companionship, doing things together. You can build this with a spouse that is also attractive. If you want intimacy, that comes only with committment. You can focus on intimacy. If you want passion and a great sex life – choose someone you are attracted to, and WORK ON IT. Sexless marriages are unbiblical:

    “Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” 1 Cor 7:5

    Depriving your spouse is disobedience to God.

  63. Eumaios June 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    “But the thing is, he’s MARRIED. I’m getting accused in the comments of not being head over heels for a man I can never have, which is ridiculous.”

    I think Halo’s on something approximating the right path with this particular example. It was a thought experiment, in a safe and constrained situation, to suss out whether she might be happy living married to a man who didn’t raise the tingles. I’ll stand by my earlier comment, though, that the Buy Now Pay Later plan only works when you cannot return the product and get punitive damages.

  64. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Haley – what you miss is that whatever man you marry that you aren’t into sexually, will become utterly miserble in the marriage. Men marry in a reasonable expectation that their bride wants them sexually and a life time of sexual pleasure awaits.

    You have to imagine your friend married to you in quiet agony, regret and despair…

    …the conversation strained and painful. Forever.

  65. Aunt Haley June 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Athol–
    A lot of women aren’t attracted to a man until he begins to pursue them. In the case of my friend, since he hasn’t pursued me (thank goodness), I haven’t developed much sexual attraction to him (thank goodness again). But IF the option to pursue were available, I think sexual attraction could develop. There has to be a base level of potential, though.

    For most women, sexual attraction to a man has to be grown. It doesn’t just exist, unless the man happens to ping most or all of the woman’s subconscious ideals. For example, a few months ago I was grocery shopping and saw a guy with his cart. Almost instantaneously I thought, “‘That guy would be really fun to have sex with,” and it shocked me because that sort of thing almost never happens to me.

  66. Badger June 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    “A lot of women aren’t attracted to a man until he begins to pursue them. ”

    HA! What a bunch of hogwash. Tell that to the millions of betas who got abject LJBFs from women they “pursued.”

    Pursuit doesn’t generate attraction unless she’s already attracted to him. Literally millions of men will speak to this.

  67. Aunt Haley June 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Badger–
    There’s a difference between having a preexisting crush on someone before he finally makes a move, and not noticing someone until he makes a move. In the latter case, if the guy is too beta, he’ll be rejected. If he’s sufficiently alpha, he’ll be accepted. But in either case, he wasn’t noticed until he made a move.

  68. Hermes June 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    You guys are funny. Everywhere else, you (at least some of you) complain ad nauseum that the culture has given women unrealistic standards for “tingles”, and they should develop a taste for beta providers who are more in their league. Now you all declare that everyone should marry someone they are ragingly attracted to.

    I agree with this. I can’t believe Haley is getting ripped to shreds over this post, especially since she got ripped to shreds after the previous post. She writes a post essentially encouraging women to be realistic, and the manosphere–those stalwart defenders of average beta males–respond like a bunch of feminists: “no, girls, hold out for that alpha who sweeps you off your feet!” As others have noted, it’s rare for someone of either sex to feel “head over heels” for someone and for that feeling to be requited by that same someone. Do you guys advocate that the vast majority of people never get married? Oh, sure, you say, in this age of no-fault divorce and Eat, Pray, Love, it has to be this way–but I notice you’re not advocating a return to the old system either.

    BTW, I read Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot’s book about Jim’s death, and it was obvious to me that Jim had a martyr complex: he wanted to be killed by those tribesmen. I’d be interested in knowing whether any others got that same impression.

  69. modernguy June 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Dalrock:

    “3) Recognize that she has overvalued her own attractiveness and therefore wrongly sees herself as above the vast majority of men. This last one is very hard though, because it would obviously be very painful.”

    Even so, like we are always reminded, “attraction is not a choice”. I don’t think Haley’s problem is that she thinks she’s above most men. Maybe she does – but even then it’s only in an abstract sense. Roissy had a good post a while back about how women will make up elaborate lists with endless bullet points enumerating the traits of their ideal man. But in real life when a more or less average guy (admittedly not the kind who turns his underwear inside out) with a little confidence and charm comes along they fall for it like they would for any ideal ‘alpha’. Women are made for love, they are always waiting around for it to sweep them away. The thing that complicates it here is that she has to be prudent too, since a marriage is supposed to last. The thing that is missing in Haley’s life is not so much a super alpha Christian virgin, but actually just a normal guy with some confidence and charm that can make her feel special and has a little something going for him. Most women know more or less where they stand on the scale of attractiveness.

    How would a woman even change her expectations? It’s not like they guide themselves by a model of the world in their head that needs to be adjusted. When it comes to personal interactions, they react, based on feelings, it’s the only thing they trust. She could tell herself that average men are great a hundred times a day, but if that average guy doesn’t create the right kind of romance it’s not going to change anything.

  70. Lavazza June 8, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    A lot of good comments from the bloggers I follow here. A wise man will only commit to a woman (especially in Marriage 2.0) who is attractive AND who becomes attracted to him without much effort on his part (but who at the same time signals discernment and self control). Haley must have been meeting wise men. I hope she (or any woman with the same ideas) will not meet a man without a clue.

  71. Aaron June 8, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Haley, I heard you are looking to settle and I wanted to offer you some advice:

    1. I think settling is bad. I know a lot of people want to have families but it is not enough to just have kids, they need to grow up in a stable two parent home and only a strong marriage can provide that. By settling you are saying that I’d rather have a marriage with a good chance of becoming unstable than no marriage. This isn’t fair to the children that you would have.

    2. Have you considered dating outside the church?

  72. Aunt Haley June 8, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Aaron–
    Have you considered dating outside the church?

    Why would I become “one flesh” with a man whose eternal destiny is different from mine and who would not be committed to teaching, modeling, and raising our children (if we had any) with Christian beliefs and values, or leading our marriage with such? The church is full of sad women whose husbands don’t believe.

    If a woman wants her children to follow in the faith, they will have the best chance if the husband believes and is the spiritual head of the household.

    Lavazza–
    A wise man will only commit to a woman (especially in Marriage 2.0) who is attractive AND who becomes attracted to him without much effort on his part (but who at the same time signals discernment and self control).

    Well, considering that most women don’t notice most men, this doesn’t make most men’s chances for marriage sound too good.

  73. Aaron June 8, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    “The church is full of sad women whose husbands don’t believe.”

    OK, I thought I would just put that out there. There is the possibility of bringing him to your church but you certainly shouldn’t bank on it.

  74. Aaron June 8, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Athol Kay:
    You have to imagine your friend married to you in quiet agony, regret and despair…

    …the conversation strained and painful. Forever.

    LOL. To riff on George Orwell:

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a married beta, spanking it — forever.

  75. Julie June 8, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    And yet, men can be rather harsh in their judgment of women who have trouble controlling themselves sexually in relationships. I even had a guy back off from me after we kissed passionately–I guess I didn’t seem chaste enough.

    Maybe rather than placing the passionate woman in the “slut” category, especially if she is careful not to actually sleep with someone she’s not married to, men should place her in the “green light” category because she is clearly attracted to him.

  76. The Man Who Was . . . June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    1. Nobody is saying that a woman should marry a man who she is not at least a little bit sexually attracted to. Even marrying a man that you feel neutral towards sexually is a bad idea.
    2. All else being equal, a woman will become more attracted to a man once she has slept with him.
    3. However, all else is not necessarily equal. The man can lose what attractiveness he has by being bad in bed OR letting himself become too betaized as the relationship goes on.

  77. OffTheCuff June 8, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    A wise man will only commit to a woman (especially in Marriage 2.0) who is attractive AND who becomes attracted to him without much effort on his part (but who at the same time signals discernment and self control).

    I have to cosign this and I think it is consistent with Haley’s view here. A regular guy won’t be visible or attractive until he approaches so she can feel his personality; until then, he’s probably neutral. Only a high alpha (“Mr. Big”) is going to sufficiently own the room such that she notices him without him doing anything directly towards her.

    However, once that guy pays attention and starts flirting, attraction should be immediate. If it takes a few days to “develop” and you have to think “well, maybe he’ll do something that’s sexy”, do yourself a favor and walk away. The idea of him getting close should be enough. That goes both for men — if you can’t detect attraction to you quickly, get out. Women, ideally, if you don’t feel some sparks, get out — but I doubt they’ll do that, so it’s more important that men learn the signs as a more realistic way of handling this. And sparks is just that: sparks, not “overwhelming lust and obsession”.

  78. The Man Who Was . . . June 8, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Pursuit doesn’t generate attraction unless she’s already attracted to him.

    Badger is completely wrong on this one.

    Haley is right that this can work, but there are a couple :

    1. She has at least a neutral impression of him.
    2. She hasn’t interacted with him enough for that neutral impression to set.

    Then once he starts pursuing her, of course he needs to demonstrate value.

    This is how it works in a lot of social circles.

  79. The Man Who Was . . . June 8, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Companionate marriages have a much better chance of working among higher IQ, more conscientious people, where both partners are more capable of rationally looking at their situation and making their peace with the necessary compromises.

  80. Badger June 8, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    “”Pursuit doesn’t generate attraction unless she’s already attracted to him.”

    Badger is completely wrong on this one.”

    I think we are talking about two totally different things. You are talking about approaching, creating a social impression on someone, before any actual romantic overtures take place. I don’t expect a woman to find a man attractive if he hasn’t even talked to her. The whole point of PUA game is to figure out how to create attraction effectively on approach (or approach-like tactics, like proximal preselection).

    When Haley says pursuit, I am thinking of asking a woman out, going on dates, requesting an escalated relationship, etc. Those things generate tingles if she’s attracted – they set off “creepy” flags if she’s not. And then there’s the argument of women, which is not without merit, that men should be able to read their signals and know when an invitation will be welcome and when it will be creepy.

    I agree with you and Haley when it comes to approaching, not when it comes to pursuing in the sense of escalating dating. A man who escalates without commensurate attraction is making a major game error; ideally he’d simply get rejected and they’d move on, but we don’t do women any favors if we tell them to just gloss over escalating attraction because “it will develop if you’re friends with your mate.”

    There is something to be said for longtime friends all of a sudden getting a “spark” and it turning into true love quickly, since they already have the friendship part laid down. But as examples here and at Dalrock have shown, these are cases where the romantic relationship did not begin until the attraction became established. There are NOT cases of the Hollywood-plotline of two friends who decide to get married because there’s no one else left, and through their trials come to be hot for each other.

  81. The Man Who Was . . . June 8, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Badger:

    Then you misread Haley. She said that women are often not attracted to men until those men pursue them, not that merely pursuing someone was enough.

  82. y81 June 8, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    “Why would I become “one flesh” with a man whose eternal destiny is different from mine and who would not be committed to teaching, modeling, and raising our children (if we had any) with Christian beliefs and values, or leading our marriage with such?”

    The second point is legitimate, but not the first. The children of this world marry and are given in marriage, but not those who are raised to eternal life. Luke 20:34. So your husband will not be your husband in the Kingdom.

    Our pastor alluded to this once, and my wife said (afterward), “Does that mean my husband will be seeing other women in Heaven?”

  83. Tim June 8, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Companionate marriages have a much better chance of working among higher IQ, more conscientious people, where both partners are more capable of rationally looking at their situation and making their peace with the necessary compromises.

    Yes this is true, but there is one caveat: my sister and her partner live like this, and they are cohabiting. My sister is 39 and her partner is 50. There won’t be any children. So yes, companionate relationships work…for white, aging, educated couples who do not want children.

  84. Paige June 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    “But take it further. Apart from the ability to conceive, bear, and nurse children, women are incompetent compared to men. Almost any given man will be more broadly competent than a woman, will not require externally imposed constraints to stay on task, and generally upholds civilization rather than whimsically chipping away at it. Men suffer emotion more strongly and accordingly have learned to manage it better. Women are the weaker vessels. All men are above all women.”

    The prisons, mental-wards and homeless shelters have far more men than women. You can say there is some discrimination at work here and I won’t argue but I don’t see what evidence the average man provides the average woman that would so strongly suggest that he is so much better than her? You say the truth is obvious. What makes it obvious?

  85. Eumaios June 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Paige asks: “what … the average man provides the average woman that would so strongly suggest that he is so much better than her”.

    The answer is civilization. Industry was created by men. Office jobs exist because of men. Liberal arts degrees exist because of men.

  86. Eumaios June 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    My answer to Paige was indirect, and a little skewed. To be clear: all men who are not incapacitated by physical or psychological disorders are capable of civilization-building behaviors for which women are not equipped.

    As an example, I offer justice. Few women have any sense of it. Those who do understand justice understand it intellectually, and through mental discipline. Most women operate not on justice, but on their sense of fairness, which is a form of sentimentalized indignation. See Kipling’s “The Female of the Species”, which is actually more laudatory towards women than otherwise.

  87. Tim June 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    sentimentalized indignation

    LOL!

    That’s a keeper.

  88. Paige June 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    While men may be better at creating the systems that govern people that doesn’t mean that they are inherently better at being GOOD….which is the only Christian measure of a persons value. I don’t see where civilization-building characteristics are given inherent value in the Bible.

    I could be convinced that men are better if I can be convinced that men are inherently less prone towards sin. I see men and women as being equal in that regard. Neither seem to have a monopoly on vice or holiness.

  89. lifeinlonglegs June 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Paige, it seems appparent your understanding of Sin is ‘doing bad things’ or morality.
    Sin is not doing bad things – it is a condition of separation from God inherent in man from the Fall onward. See Victor Shepherd of Ontario for more information.

    “being GOOD”… has nothing to do with the Christian measure of a persons value.
    In fact, the only Christian measure of a person’s ‘value’ is how God values them – enough to die for them.
    = all people are inherently valuable, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.

    There is a whole world for you to discover!! :) I’m excited for you and hope you investigate further :)

  90. Aunt Haley June 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Aaron–
    There is the possibility of bringing him to your church but you certainly shouldn’t bank on it.

    I understand the sentiment behind your suggestion, but in general it works better if the man goes to church because he wants to. I don’t believe in missionary dating, anyway; it’s too easy to let emotions confuse motivations. If a man converts, it should be because he is repenting and giving his life to God, not because he thinks that going to church with a girl is what he has to do to bag her.

    OfftheCuff–
    However, once that guy pays attention and starts flirting, attraction should be immediate. If it takes a few days to “develop” and you have to think “well, maybe he’ll do something that’s sexy”, do yourself a favor and walk away.

    That’s still pretty harsh. Maybe the guy is nervous and isn’t on his best game. I think most guys around here would be glad to be cut more slack instead of rejected when the woman doesn’t feel tingles in the first five minutes.

    y81–
    I was referring to going to hell.

  91. Lavazza June 9, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    “Well, considering that most women don’t notice most men, this doesn’t make most men’s chances for marriage sound too good.”

    Doesn’t matter. The alternative (marriage 2.0 with any other type of woman) is worse.

    The time, resources and freedom spared by not marrying any other type of woman can be put to much better and rewarding use.

  92. Lily June 9, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    I just got a newsletter from Evan Marc Katz & it reminded me of this conversation, it was the word repulse I think. Here it is below, apologies for length, I can’t find it on his website to post the link.

    _______

    As a dating coach, I hear all sorts of stories about men and what’s wrong with them.

    As a man, I don’t take them too personally.

    After all, there are definitely a lot of weirdos, freaks and pervs out there and I would never suggest that you’re being too judgmental if you pass up a second date with one of them.

    However, I do tend to get some version of this feedback all the time…

    “So you’re telling me that chemistry can be really blinding and that I shouldn’t be too intoxicated with the guy who makes my knees weak. I get that – sort of – but what does that leave me with? I’m supposed to go out with a man who is fat, sweaty, toothless and repulsive just to give him a chance?”

    Um, how did we go straight from “10 chemistry” to “-5 chemistry”?

    Naomi recently told me about a guy who, on the first date:

    Told her that her undergraduate university was lame.
    Admitted that he was five years older than his Match.com profile
    Said that he hadn’t gotten laid in two years and was starting to get restless.
    Now do you really think that your dating coach is going to say: “As long as he has a job and a pulse, you should see him again.”

    Of course not.

    If you get a real negative, aggressive, painful vibe after spending 90 minutes over drinks with a guy, then absolutely do NOT see him ever again.

    You’re not doing him a favor and you’re certainly not doing yourself a favor.

    Some men are not capable of making any woman happy and these poor guys may have to toil for a few more years to learn why they’re such big turnoffs.

    That’s not your problem.

    At this point, I hope you can see two things that maybe you haven’t seen before.

    You CAN’T tell if it’s right on a first date. Chemistry, as you’ve seen, doesn’t mean that you’re at all compatible in the long-term.
    You CAN tell if it’s wrong on a first date. If you have a BAD time with a guy and are really uncomfortable around him, it’s OVER.
    This leaves one big category in the middle: the 50% of your dates where you had a decent time but you weren’t completely turned on or completely turned off.

    For your entire life, you’ve convinced yourself that if you didn’t have butterflies, there was no reason for a second date.

    For your entire life, you’ve convinced yourself that if a guy said something bad about an ex, didn’t reach for the check right away, or was a little nervous, there was no reason for a second date.

    These are the assumptions I’d like to challenge.

    As long as he’s decent looking, somewhat attractive, and you had FUN with him, give him a second chance to impress you.

    Not simply because the butterflies guys have always gone bust – but because this is exactly what you’d want a guy to do for YOU.

    Imagine that a man enjoyed your company, found you attractive, but didn’t SWOON over you. You think it’s right for him to pass up on you in favor of his Angelina Jolie fantasygirl? I sure don’t.

    Sometimes, you gotta give a guy a break, so he can reveal what he’s made of.

    Soon you’ll notice that he writes flirty emails, follows up regularly, has interesting things to say, and that you can BE YOURSELF around him.

    Ahhhhh, that’s how it feels when you give a guy a chance.

    Easy. Safe. Fun.

    No anxiety. No drama.

    Nowhere is your rush to judgment more apparent than in online dating.

    Believe me, I know why you’re resistant to online dating, but I would also point out to you that you’ve never done it MY way before.

    So please consider what it looks like if every man judges you the way you judge him.

    Divorced? She must have baggage.
    Kids? She must have serious baggage.
    Over 40? She must be desperate.
    Over 50? She must be too picky. Probably losing her looks.

    We can go on and on with this, but if you dissect every man who makes less than $75,000, spells something wrong in his profile, and writes something generic, you’re being just as unfairly discriminating as the men above.

    And if you think I’m being touchy just to make a point, hear me closer.

    This is exactly what would have prevented ME from meeting my own WIFE online.

    She was 38. Above my max age criteria.
    She was Catholic. I’m a Jewish atheist.
    She was moderate conservative. I’m liberal.
    She lived in North Hollywood. I lived in the center of LA.

    I would have passed her up online. And I am suggesting to you – very strongly – that you’re doing the exact same thing right now.

    You’re looking at the 25 youngest, cutest guys in your area and holding out for them.

    Big mistake.

  93. NMH June 9, 2011 at 4:34 am #

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Haley. With the obesity epidemic, sexually attractive women are now as rare as sexually attractive men (the “alphas”), especially when you get past 40, as women’s SMV on average falls much faster then men’s. At 47, I simply do not have a lot of good choices for women. I can either date someone that I am very turned on by and endure a difficult personality, or I can date someone that, because she was never hot, has a pleasant personality. The reason why hot women are difficult, almost without exception, is because they have a strong sense of entitlement that as probably been satisfied by guys desperate for affection and sex. There really is practically no middle ground.

    Of course, the optimal situation is to find someone that you have great chemistry with and are the best of friends. While I think that maybe possible when you are young, after 40 you will be looking a very long time to find someone that fills that bill. In some areas, where the obesity rate is higher than normal and the mancession is worse, this crash in good prospects for “having it all” will happen at 30.

    We have been telling women that they cannot have it all. I think Haley is accepting this, and men have to accept this as well.

    There are concerns that if you marry a guy you are not turned on by, or a woman you are not turned on by, that you may end up in the arms of an alpha or a hottie. As time passes, even if you had this desire,
    this will become more an more unlikely as most women become obsese and most men suffer changes in job status.

    If you are in a relationship where you have strong sexual attraction and great companionship, you are one of the lucky few. But the rest of us have to make the best of an increasing bad situation.

  94. Lavazza June 9, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Women have many rights and few or no obligations in Marriage 2.0, whereas men have many obligations and few or no rights. Even marrying a young hot virgin who is head over heels in love with you will give you no guarantees, only lower risk. Therefor what is making the best out of a bad situation is totally different for men (mainlu GTOW) than for women (mainly fooling men into loveless mariages).

  95. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    “Paige, it seems appparent your understanding of Sin is ‘doing bad things’ or morality.
    Sin is not doing bad things – it is a condition of separation from God inherent in man from the Fall onward. ” No it is you who are wrong. lifeinlonglegs.

    . THE DEFINITION OF SIN

    1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121

    1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125

    1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.

  96. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Wrong. If you don’t want to dinglebop the funshine out of that person every day, it’s going to fail, “common interests” or not. End of story. You have your girlfriends for “common interests”. I’ll never be interested in pro-wrestling, my bf will never be interested in poetry (unless I wrote it) – oh what are we to do?!? Oh yeah….

  97. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Heh heh heh heh heh.. Great comment Shag. ;)

    Yeah, it ain’t rocket science..

  98. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Hey, you could always marry your best girl – you’d double your wardrobe too! Win win!

  99. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    By George, I think you’ve got it!!!

  100. NMH June 9, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Thag, you are lucky to have found someone that you want to dinglebop the funshine out of and (hopefully) get along with. Most people are not that lucky.

    I think a great example of a man’s limited options may be exemplified by the Spearhead founder Bill Price. He has mentioned that before he met his wife, he was in a relationship with a woman that he was not turned on by very much, which he ended by moving to China.

    Then when he returned, he met another women whom he married whom presumably he had great chemistry with, and was then taken to the cleaners emotionally by in a horrible divorce.

    As I recall, he said the best relationship was with the former woman.

    Sexually attractive women are simply too dangerous to date for beta’s like me. I agree that I need to find someone who is head over heels in love with me, but my relationship will probably survive if I do not feel the same with her, as long as I pork her every once in a while. I reap the benefits from her not by a hot sex live but her pleasant personality and common interests, which more than compensates for the missing hot sex.

  101. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    NMH… don’t be so pessimistic. Pork her once in a while.??..Would you really be happy with that?

    It won’t work.. You will become very frustrated..

    It wouldn’t work for me and I’m a woman..

    The more you have sex with your wife the more she will want you.

    Porkin’ once in a while?

    Recipe for disaster.

  102. Paige June 9, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    NMH- If you can get it up for a chubby then thats your best bet for finding a woman who can tolerate betaness. Almost all the thin women get hit on a lot even if their faces are ugly. Chubbies still get hit on but by less attractive men and much less often. Occasionally you find a chubby with ridiculously high self-esteem but I don’t think this is the norm. None of the chubby women I know have high self-esteem.

    Thag is thin and based on her descriptions of herself she is quite pretty. I imagine she has her pick of men.

  103. NMH June 9, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    My gf is free to dump me if she wants. However, we both know that there is a large fraction of adults in our age range that DO NOT have bf’s or gf’s, so not only they are missing hot sex, but ANY sex, ANY affection like cudling, coffee and conversation, dancing, or companionship.

    Ill take a relationship minus the hot sex with a woman with a pleasant personality over dating a hot bitch or being dateless anyday.

    And as time passes, you will have more and more relationships fall off the concept of perfection as our society becomes fatter, poorer, and more entitled.

  104. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    NMH, I think a sexually happy woman is much less likely to divorce you in the first place and you shouldn’t have to settle for an occasional mediocre pork. You can be very attracted and hot with her but not make her your total reason for being alive, KWIM? I’ve seen it said around these part that you should build a life and invite her into it, so that you’re not building a life totally around her, and that seems like sound advice.

  105. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I guess I can only speak from my own experience.

    I have been married for fifteen years, two kids. The sex has only gotten better.. The more sex we have the better we both feel. That’s how it works.. Less disagreements, less tension, less stress.

    Deep connection and bond as a result. Wouldn’t trade it for a million bucks.

    Reach for the stars, NMH. Don’t be so resigned to your circumstances. Spice things up a bit.

    Just today I sent my husband a few risque text messages..

    He came home for lunch ;)

  106. NMH June 9, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Kathy and Thag, I am happy for you both. Again, the optimal situation is to have someone you are really turned on by and who you are great companions with. But that match is exceedingly rare in light of the current social millieu of female obesity and entitlement. Also, the “reach for the stars” meme can push people expectations for a relationship beyond the reasonable. Many in the manosphere have complained that women, because they “reach for the stars” and “never settle”, reject good men. Men can have the same attitude and reject women that are not hot with great personalities. I am not going to dump a good prospect simply because she doesn’t turn me on all of the time, and because I don’t want to have sex with her every day.

    If there was not an obesity epidemic, I, and a lot of other men, would have more options.

  107. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    A chubby who will tolerate betaness? WTF? If a woman is such a bitch that she sneers at a decent guy, she’s not worth your time to begin with. Shirley there are some slender women who aren’t bitches – I can’t be the only one.

    I don’t know if I have my pick of men, seeing as I’m 39 and have two kids. I do look younger and have kept in decent shape, but the facts are the facts. I think at this stage the men checking me out are just after a P&D with a cougar, but maybe I’m mistaken since everyone seems to think I look anywhere from 26-30.

    The man I have is not perfect (and neither am I!), but we seem to like each other and are able to overlook things that we find annoying as well as making few demands of each other (which I think is key). No, he is not super alpha with a Lamborghini; we’re both “poor” and probably more or less losers by worldly standards but who gives a funshine about that? At least we’re good looking losers. ;)

    NMH, don’t sell yourself short, OK? How old are you, btw? Maybe your experience is different, but I find that in my experience, hot sex goes a long way to helping with overlooking faults and minor disagreements. Mediocre sex only increases the minor irritations to the point that they become big blow-ups and eventually, bust ups.

  108. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    NMH, you do have a point though about all the people who have no one, which is why at some point you do have to be realistic. It depends on what you’re willing to forego I suppose, and I’m not willing to forego the sexual element. I’m a bit of a loner by nature I guess and figure if I end up single and older, I’ll get a dog for companionship rather than have some guy I’m not attracted to. I totally get your point about other adults you see who don’t even have cuddles; which is also why I figure that although my bf and I don’t have a lot of common interests (we look terrible on paper, really), at least we are less lonely this way and we seem to find each other a relief to be around, as we are both introverts/loners and understand that about each other.

  109. NMH June 9, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Thag, I don’t want to derail this thread with my personal life, but I am 47. My GF is slender and attractive but with genital herpes and her confidence is often weak. I am continuing to work on the relationship in an attempt to increase my desire for her. I accept this responsibility and will keep trying. End personal discussion.

    Completely agree with the hot sex helping to lessen the significance of other problems. I have been in a relationship where the sex was extremely hot so I know, but meeting a woman like her again will be extremely unlikely given the obesity where I live (Ohio Valley, USA). I have to work with what I got around me.

    There are a lot of incredibly lonely people out there because they have absolutely no one to share life with. Many could find some happiness if they could lessen their standards and date others that they are not always turned on by. The reward is companionship, cuddling, laughter, which I have with my gf. Its great. Hot sex would be icing on the cake for myself and others but is NOT NECESSARY, IMO for a great improvement in the happiness of others with the addition of a non or marginally-sexy partner in their lives.

  110. Kathy June 9, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    When I say reach for the stars, I mean within the context of the relationship that you are in NMH.
    Get out of that rut, try something new.. Some years ago things were stagnating in our relationship. I had two young children(one autistic) and my husband was working long hours to establish his business. So.. I made that extra effort to re connect. Sent suggestive text messages.. Gave my husband a backrub when he came home..etc.. The sex increased, things got better… Much much better.. Our relationship was back on keel..Been like that ever since..

    Oh, we still have our ups and downs, but it all blows over so quickly once we are in one anothers arms. :D

  111. Eumaios June 9, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    Paige said:

    While men may be better at creating the systems that govern people that doesn’t mean that they are inherently better at being GOOD….which is the only Christian measure of a persons value. I don’t see where civilization-building characteristics are given inherent value in the Bible.

    I could be convinced that men are better if I can be convinced that men are inherently less prone towards sin. I see men and women as being equal in that regard. Neither seem to have a monopoly on vice or holiness.

    Goodness is irrelevant to this discussion. A porcelain tea cup is still a weaker vessel than a rusting steel chamber pot.

  112. Langobard June 9, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Let’s all remember one very salient point when it comes to relationships and sexual attraction: People often work not from the choices they (often think) they want … but from the choices they have.

  113. Martini June 9, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    NMH: Get yourself and your ladyfriend to dance class – salsa, ballroom, TANGO!
    Americans are very sexual (orgasm obsessed) but we tend to not be very sensual; learning to really connect with each others bodies will take you both to some new places. There’s a wide range between
    “dinglebop the funshine out of each other” (no offense, Thag) or a dull 1-2-3 humps and done!

    Really, try it.

  114. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    No offence taken, Martini. :) Dance classes would be fun – one of those things I swear I’ll do some day!

  115. NMH June 9, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    BR dancing is something Ive done for four years (including tango) and I can write a full article about how relationships can improve or fall apart due to dancing. In short, if you have a couple that are romantically involved and they are learning how to dance, it is best if the man is a quicker learner and more competent of a dancer than the woman. If this condition is met, her hypergamy is satisfied and it can strengthen the relationship, she will be more turned on to the man. If the woman is a better dancer than the man, than that can weaken the realtionship because than man may look weak and incompetent to the woman.

    In my case, the former is applies. Her hypergamy is satisified, but she is not a good dancer, never will be, and this is not the kind of thing that will turn me on about her. However, IT IS a FUN activity we can do together and improves are relationship.

  116. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Here’s something about “blah” marriages… The examples in the article he links to all sound a bit depressing to me, but there you go.

    http://www.patheos.com/community/diaryofawimpycatholic/2011/06/09/wanted-tales-from-blah-marriages/

  117. The Man Who Was . . . June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    The examples in the article he links to all sound a bit depressing to me, but there you go.

    The question though is one of alternatives. Is celibacy or being a pump and dump any better? That will depend on the person.

  118. Thag Jones June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    The man who was…. Indeed. While I’m pretty sure I’d just get a dog for companionship and enjoy the solitude, someone else (especially an extrovert) would undoubtedly find that option torture. Some might prefer the “blah” marriage to either single alternative.

  119. NMH June 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Here’s another about Blah marriages:

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/are-you-stuck-in-a-semi-happy-marriage-2494292/

    Certainly beyond the age of 30 all of the alpha’s and hotties are out of the LTR market. You can make do or you can be celibate.

    I can’t really hold it against a guy or gal which way they chose.

    Darlock and Badger I think are being unreasonable on this issue; they seem to in essence want a woman to be “head over heels” in love with a man they don’t feel a strong tingle for, which is like asking me to fall madly in love with a woman who is well past her prime years. Badger is critical of a woman that is addicted to dopamine rushes generated from an alpha, but insists a woman have a constant rush to get married. Yet women dont get rushes for betas. This is inconsistent to me.

  120. Julie June 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I wonder if men have higher expectations these days of what their sex lives should be, based on prior experience and/or porn?

    I don’t envy betas, but as a Christian woman, I envy alphas. They really do have their pick. I think of men I knew with all kinds of immaturity, flaws, bad behavior, but these were overlooked by so many quality Christian women. Whereas as a single Christian woman, I felt like I needed to be practically perfect–and got dropped for things like not always being perfectly pleasant, not being as spiritual as Elisabeth Elliot, kissing too passionately, etc.

  121. Tim June 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    I wonder if men have higher expectations these days of what their sex lives should be, based on prior experience and/or porn?

    It isn’t higher expectations, it’s just a more expansive meat market. Not long ago you’d marry someone from your village and carry on with the farm. Now we fly to exotic locales and dinglebop the funshine out of the locals, sampling various different cuts of meat.

    I don’t envy betas, but as a Christian woman, I envy alphas. They really do have their pick.

    Precisely. This is the alpha male/beta female nexus. Alphas have a harems, and as Brendan once wrote, under the current dispensation they reap all the sexual benefits. The biggest losers are beta males. The beta females who they would have normally married are sport-dinglebopping alphas throughout their entire twenties, and even thirties, leaving beta males wanking into a kleenex. Sometimes a beta female will recognize a beta male who is in possession of alpha male potential and she will marry him in the hopes the children can be groomed for alphadom.

    I’m in the same boat as NMH. The female beauty trajectory is so short it boggles the mind. At the height of their attraction, in their 20′s, many are simply stunning and beautiful. But then when you see them at 37 or 40, they look like Jabba the Hut. Fertility is all but gone, leaving a dry, acidic husk of a woman. Slim pickings for men over 40. Women have been riding the cock carousel for so long their labia and vaginal walls are stretched beyond normal. I’m not sure if my plan will work. I wanted to wait until I could marry and dinglebop the most delicious piece of meat I could find, but in all honesty, women are a total investment; a life and soul-sucking black hole from which there is no escape.

  122. Julie June 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I agree that most women hold out for alphas, but most Christian women are not sleeping with them. It’s more like enduring years and years of being dateless, in hopes they will someday marry an alpha. I know there are exceptions and some sleep around, but I felt like I was in a nunnery throughout much of my 20s.

  123. Langobard June 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I don’t envy betas, but as a Christian woman, I envy alphas. They really do have their pick. I think of men I knew with all kinds of immaturity, flaws, bad behavior, but these were overlooked by so many quality Christian women.

    You know, that is very unfortunate Julie, and it shows just how sinful so many women are if they really do respect, and worst of all envy, men who are often immature, irresponsible and yes even sometimes criminal dirtbags as well.

    If it wasn’t for the so-called ‘betas’ (at least the way you speak of them) we wouldn’t have the Civilization that most of us grew up in, a Western Christian Civilization that is surely dying before our very eyes due in no small part to scummy, loser men and their equally loser fangirl females destroying the Western family with their selfish, narcisisstic impulses and desires in chasing after the ‘tingles’.

    Ye shall reap what ye shall sow.

  124. passer_by June 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    @Lango

    Wow. Talk about misinterpreting and/or overreacting to someone’s post. Sheesh

  125. passer_by June 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    @Julie

    “I felt like I needed to be practically perfect–and got dropped for things like . . . kissing too passionately, etc.”

    What’d you do? Bite him?

    “Hey, Jim. Why did you break up with Julie?” “Oh, she just seemed too passionate towards me. I was afraid that if we got married I’d get too much good sex from her. I always grew up dreaming about a sexless marriage where I had to jerk off in private while she read the bible in the other room.”

  126. Dalrock June 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    @NMH
    Darlock and Badger I think are being unreasonable on this issue; they seem to in essence want a woman to be “head over heels” in love with a man they don’t feel a strong tingle for, which is like asking me to fall madly in love with a woman who is well past her prime years.

    I think you have misunderstood me. I’m not saying either of you need to do any such thing. What I am saying is if you can’t be attracted to and truly fall in love with someone in your own league, don’t marry.

    If I were saying you need to marry, then I can see where you could make this case.

  127. Julie June 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    I’m happily married–so I think I have reaped well. I wouldn’t say I respected alphas when I was single–some I did and some I didn’t. But it did tend to be who I was attracted to, and they seemed to have more options than I did.

    The guy who I kissed passionately was someone who had made a vow to God that he wouldn’t kiss until he got married. I think this was based on his past mistakes, ie, he was not a virgin. So the fact that we kissed at all made him feel guilty, the fact that it was passionate probably made me the evil temptress.

  128. terry@breathinggrace June 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Haley,

    These past couple of posts of yours have opened quite the cans of worms! My honest suggestion to you would be to stay away from any manosphere site not authored by a happily married man. There are a few (Athol, Dalrock, Hawaiian Libertarian to start). Why take advice and guidance from men who have no idea what it is to be married and love a woman through childbirth and the related changes children bring to both the marriage and a woman’s body? Not to mention the trials and ups and downs of life and growing old together while still seeing the beauty in their woman.

    Most of the guys have nothing constructive to offer by way of advice for a woman who is looking for what you say you’re looking for. The jaded and overtly wordly view of men who frown on marriage isn’t the kind of thing a young Christian woman who desires marriage should be filling her head with. No wonder you’re growing disillusioned! So much of your commentary on love and marriage seems mostly devoid of any hint of a Christian worldview. That doesn’t bode well for your future union if you do marry.

    That’s just my .02. It’s not that there aren’t suggestive ideas in the manosphere that could be helpful, but you have to be very discerning and always keep heart and mind open to the possibilities of Divine intervention. Otherwise, why be a Christian?

  129. Eumaios June 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I’m a happily married man, and I have nothing constructive to say to Halo. One must clear rubble before one can rebuild.

  130. Aunt Haley June 10, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Terry–
    It seems to me that most single Christians are expecting divine intervention in their love lives. A lot of Christian advice certainly seems to support this; there’s a lot of “God is the author of your love story,” “God can provide you with a love miracle,” “Jesus loves you more than any man could,” etc. out there. It’s good for people to have hope that you’ll be the exception, but I haven’t seen much evidence that Christian mating patterns differ significantly from secular mating patterns. Maybe more Christians manage to abstain from premarital sex than non-believers, but the general trends that are discussed on manosphere blogs tend to prevail in Christian communities. Part of the reason I started this blog was just as a reaction to the type of advice that Boundless specializes in.

    Also, in real life, I know a LOT of single Christian women, both women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, as well as confirmed spinsters. It’s rare for any of these women to have dates, much less a boyfriend. The number of single men in the church is much smaller than the number of women. Realistically, not every Christian woman is going to be able to find a Christian man that she’s “head over heels” for, which I guess dooms many to spinsterhood. A lot of these women will have to make the choice between being alone for life, and having enjoyable companionship but maybe not a burning hot sex life. Because of the ticking biological clock, at some point perfect becomes the enemy of good; women don’t have a lifetime to search for the best guy. That’s basically the premise I was starting with in this blog post. That some readers put their own spins on what I wrote and reacted in the extreme is something I can’t control.

    Julie asked in an earlier comment whether the ubiquity of porn had caused men to have higher expectations for their sex lives. I think that’s definitely true – I think if my mom knew what most young men now think is de rigeur for sex, she’d have a heart attack. But I also think that porn has hurt young women, too, because young women now measure themselves against porn actresses, or at least what they believe young men expect, both in performance and looks. It just leads to both sides having issues with insecurity, confusion, resentment, and entitlement.

  131. Aaron June 10, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Haley, I can’t exactly speak for all men but I don’t think I’m too far off base when I say that men would much rather have a real girl in their own league than look at images of porn supermodels. They only turn to porn for lack of real life girlfriend. This critique of porn seems to come up a lot but I don’t think it is an issue at all. There are very good reasons why porn is a bad habit, but as far as comparing porn women to real women I think is barking up the wrong tree. I think most guys understand that real women > porn women.

  132. Lavazza June 10, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Haley: “A lot of these women will have to make the choice between being alone for life, and having enjoyable companionship but maybe not a burning hot sex life. Because of the ticking biological clock, at some point perfect becomes the enemy of good; women don’t have a lifetime to search for the best guy.”

    Again, Marriage 2.0 means a lot of responsibilities and few or no rights for men. Therefor “perfect” is the new “good” for men, whereas “good” is close to assured disaster. This skewing due to laws and culture means that few women (5-10 %) are suitable for marriage and most men are suitable for marriage (60-70 %). There a lot of men who do not know this, so chances of duping a man are quite good, but an honest, moral woman should not use this fact to her advantage.

    This is no law of nature. It is quite possible to imagine a time or a part of the world where the law and culture are such that the figures are inversed.

  133. Aaron June 10, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    WRT the porn thing again, I can’t help to smell a whiff of rationalization fuel here: men do X, therefore me and girlfriends are going to do Y.

  134. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 10, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Echoing Haley – there’s just not enough Christian men for Christian women. If God has a wonderful for everyone’s life that involves marriage, he is terrible at Math and needs to repeat the Second Grade.

    Frankly the entire situation just seems like cruelty to say Divine Intervention will play a role in fixing things. I’m pretty sure Christian women have prayed themselves to teary sleep for husbands for several decades now.

  135. Thag Jones June 10, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    If there is a shortage of Christian men, how about dating some non-Christian men? Consider it an option before you dismiss it immediately. You could marry a Christian who winds up abandoning his faith, you could marry a non-Christian who converts (although don’t marry someone with the intent of converting him – that’s the job of the Holy Spirit, not you). Life doesn’t offer guarantees or certainty no matter how well you plan. Eventually you just have to dive in.

  136. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 10, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Thag – they see marrying someone that doesn’t share their faith as a sin.

  137. Dalrock June 10, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    @Athol Kay
    Echoing Haley – there’s just not enough Christian men for Christian women. If God has a wonderful for everyone’s life that involves marriage, he is terrible at Math and needs to repeat the Second Grade.

    Frankly the entire situation just seems like cruelty to say Divine Intervention will play a role in fixing things. I’m pretty sure Christian women have prayed themselves to teary sleep for husbands for several decades now.

    Part of the problem as I see it is these Christian women getting this advice aren’t really all that traditional when you get down to it. They want degrees and careers where they compete with men, but they also expect a very 14th century outcome when it comes to finding a husband. If these were Amish women it would be a very different story. I’m not saying women need to eschew education or careers, but they need to be aware that if they create a problem for themselves in the process they need to fix it. By the same token, these women are choosing feminized churches where manly men aren’t welcome and the men who stay are taught to act like women. Fine. That is their choice as well. But they can’t blame God when it turns out there are a shortage of manly Christian men for them to marry. Creating a brave new world is fun and exciting, but it comes without the built in protections and guidance that the old way had by virtue of hundreds of generations of trial and error.

    The whole thing also reminds me of what a wise blogger once said: Trust in God but tie up your camel.

  138. The Man Who Was . . . June 10, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    The blogger Pi ran the question of the sex ratio at church among the 20 and 30 something college educated through the GSS and found no difference between men and women. If there is a skewed sex ratio, it is among the lower and working class, which are not Haley’s demographic anyway. This matches my perception too. Among the college educated it is about equal.

  139. Kathy June 10, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    “You could marry a Christian who winds up abandoning his faith, you could marry a non-Christian who converts (although don’t marry someone with the intent of converting him – that’s the job of the Holy Spirit, not you)”

    Totally agree, Thag.. There are no guarantees.

    My first husband was a good man… Not a Christian.. The problems (which I have mentioned before on other blogs) had nothing to do with religion..
    When I first met him I was attracted to him.. I fell for him pretty hard…I never asked if he was religious. Perhaps that was a fault. I dunno.. Mind you I was only seventeen at the time.

  140. terry@breathinggrace June 10, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Haley, I’m nothing if not a realist. I get the sexual differences between mena dn women. I get the biology of the thing, and I get that women in the church and out of the church are generally attracted to the same thing. I wasn’t a Christian when I married my husband and my dad was none to pleased with me bringing home a guy who already had a kid. I’d almost finished college. He ws still deciding if he wanted to go or not. Obviously things worked out for us. I admit I was hardly rational about him, which is probably why your post bothered me. I hate the thought of any person being married to someone who isn’t at least a little crazy about him or her.

    @ Athol: I wasn’t implying that God is gonna drop Haley or any other woman a husband from the sky if they pray hard enough. That wasn’t my point. My point, however badly expressed, is that it makes no sense for a woman who is a Christian to view the sexual “marketplace” and dating scene purely through the prism of what she reads in the manosphere.

    I agree with Dalrock’s comment 100%. Truly masculine men are inherently attractive but many churches are telling them to tone it down, don’t be a chauvinist, etc. Men who might have at one point been great catches for a single Christian woman now look like weak men, and who wants that? True, there are more single women than men in many churches, but is the discrepancy so great that at least most of the women who want a husband can’t get married? I doubt it.

    Too many women want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have it both ways, like Dalrock said. You have to make concessions. How many men have crossed Haley’s path that she might have been able to build a real connection with were passed over because they looked like they bought their shirt at Kohl’s?

  141. Julie June 10, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    One reason I don’t like the Boundless advice to marry early is that people do change quite a bit. I could have married the Christian boyfriend I had at 18—might have been a good match at the time. We stayed friends after we broke up, and so I know that he became a promiscuous, marijuana smoking, atheist.

  142. y81 June 10, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    “Part of the reason I started this blog was just as a reaction to the type of advice that Boundless specializes in.”

    This site is certainly much more amusing than Boundless, which I find unreadable, but the hostess has, in fact, no actual good advice. It seems that the choice is between fatuous, feel-good, Jesus-and-flowers nonsense and cynical, albeit it witty and sometimes insightful, despair.

    Obviously, between those two, I choose the funny one.

  143. Double E June 10, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    This is a great website addressing some of these issues. It completely destroys all that Boundless nonsense.

    http://thegiftofsingleness.blogspot.com/

  144. OffTheCuff June 10, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    I wonder if men have higher expectations these days of what their sex lives should be, based on prior experience and/or porn?

    You’d have to explicitly state what those expectations are. Body image? Frequency? Techniques? Enthusiam?

    Guys know that porn “actresses” are models, and it’s silly to expect every woman to look like that. But still, porn has a lot more realistic curvy bodies than the typical stick-figure cover of your Cosmo or Glamour magazine, so go figure.

    However, the one thing women fail to recognize is that women porn are doing one thing – they are acting like they are turned on by their man, and everything they do follows from that. When a guy is turned on by lingerie, women might say “He wants me to dress/act like a prostitute! How disgusting!”, which is totally backward mode of thinking.

    Prostitutes and porn starts are paid to *pretend* they really are turned on by their man. They are paid to act/dress/talk/move/look like what a sexually enthralled woman would do for FREE to a chosen man. Porn reflects life, not the other way around.

    So, no to body image — I’m not a model and neither is my wife. But YES to having an enthralled wife and all that naturally entails – dressing up at times, being sexually adventurous, and ravenous.

    I can say without a doubt that wife & I have learned *mutually* satisfying techniques by watching videos.

  145. Julie June 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Maybe–IF the woman was really into the man and IF she had a high comfort level with sex and IF she had a very high sex drive. I think porn portrays women as if they were more like men than they are.

  146. Aunt Haley June 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Aaron–
    It’s not the women’s looks that are the issue, it’s what they’re expected to do in bed.

    Thag and Athol–
    Part of the problem is also that Christian women are taught that the man ought to be the spiritual head of the household. Even among men who attend church, it’s usually the women who are the more devout. A lot of Christian women won’t marry a man whose faith seems markedly weaker than her own. Also, just because someone is a Christian doesn’t mean that their practices and beliefs will be compatible with everyone else who calls themselves a Christian.

    Additionally, most people will become more like their spouses and adopt their spouses’ beliefs. It’s easy to say, “Oh, just marry a non-Christian and he’ll come around,” when the reality is that it’s much more likely that the woman will become a less devout Christian if she marries a non-believer. (See: Athol’s wife.)

    terry–
    You got lucky. A lot of women do what you did and have the complete opposite outcome. (And then people in the manosphere berate them for it.)

    Julie–
    I could have married the Christian boyfriend I had at 18—might have been a good match at the time. We stayed friends after we broke up, and so I know that he became a promiscuous, marijuana smoking, atheist.

    The Boundless answer would probably be that had you married him and exerted prayer and Christian influence over him with your godly femininity, he might not have become a promiscuous, marijuana-smoking atheist. Enjoy your guilt! :D

    OfftheCuff–
    Porn reflects life, not the other way around.

    So now porn is the standard against which a normal woman’s sexual behavior with her husband is judged?!? If she doesn’t respond to her husband the way a woman in porn would, he’s going to feel justified in being disappointed and wondering if his wife actually has any sexual attraction for him? Wouldn’t it be better for both in the couple not to have experienced porn at all and figure out for themselves what works, free of expectations and feelings of inadequacy?

    Here’s a question since the romance novel comparison is so often invoked in these parts – I doubt any of the men here would say that romance novels reflect real life and that more men should act like romance novel heroes. Why is it okay for porn to demonstrate to women how they should act for their husbands, but no women should ever read a romance novel for fear of elevating expectations beyond what an average man is capable of?

  147. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Additionally, most people will become more like their spouses and adopt their spouses’ beliefs. It’s easy to say, “Oh, just marry a non-Christian and he’ll come around,” when the reality is that it’s much more likely that the woman will become a less devout Christian if she marries a non-believer. (See: Athol’s wife.)

    The same argument would suggest that the non-beliver would start to believe.

    For the record I was a beliver when I married, I stopped belief during the first year of our marriage.

  148. Badger June 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Haley, this is getting ridiculous. Now it’s porn’s fault that evangelical women don’t have husbands? GMAFB. Anything to make it someone else’s fault.

    “So now porn is the standard against which a normal woman’s sexual behavior with her husband is judged?!? If she doesn’t respond to her husband the way a woman in porn would, he’s going to feel justified in being disappointed and wondering if his wife actually has any sexual attraction for him?”

    You are almost shirley intentionally misreading what OTC is saying. He is saying that porn is entertaining and arousing in large part because the women in the films are INTO IT. It’s not just what they do, it’s how they do it, that being with great gusto and excitement. Of course it’s acting, but it’s acting out what men really want from their partners.

    On the bigger picture: what’s inappropriate about this discussion is women trying to apply Marriage 1.0 standards to the Marriage 2.0 environment. Back when social and economic necessity dictated universal marriage, hitching to a guy who had a middle-class employment and could help you do the dishes was a good deal. He won too, because he got a companion and someone to have children with and maybe some sex. I am not going to engage in historical hagiography and pretend that most old-school marriages were much more than that, although we all probably know an old couple who served as a model of starry-eyed romance for us.

    But now marriage (as propagated by culture and enforced by the courts) is a lifestyle choice, a contract that can be walked out on by unilateral request. That means both sides are justified in asking a lot more out of the deal in the moment. Women have led the charge over the past 40 years of walking out on their husbands who were too boring for their taste; I find it funny how women are now screaming that men are asking too much for their wives to actually feel in love with them.

    You’re asking that Marriage 1.0 be used to judge the morality of your marriage. If you want that, sign a prenup that waives all of your rights to destroy your husband in the event of divorce (of course you believe you’re never going to divorce, so what’s the harm in signing it?) and make it clear up front that this is a utility arrangement, he’s swell to watch movies with but that you’re not actually all that jazzed thank you very much.

    Think though about what it says about YOU – it says that the label of “I’m married” is more important to you than what the marriage actually stands for. Dalrock is making a moral argument that it’s wrong to deprive a man the opportunity to marry a woman who really loves him, and you and Julie and others are responding with your own expediency – “but it’s just too haaaard to find that and I need to get maaaaarried!”

    That’s just as shallow, selfish and materialistic as Christianity accuses the Western world at large of being.

  149. Badger June 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Julie,

    “I even had a guy back off from me after we kissed passionately–I guess I didn’t seem chaste enough.”

    When you first wrote this, I imagined a response of the following: kissing is a form of fitness testing of mates, testing the hormonal cocktail, and perhaps his hindbrain simply judged you non-compatible.

    But after reading your comment about his chastity, it’s clear he really did have a major sexual hangup. Someone like that shouldn’t be dating or seeking marriage at all until they’ve got this issue sorted out.

    I’m not advocating carousel riding, but I think it’s quite literally insane to downgrade somebody who passionately kisses someone they are dating. Not to mention he’s in the wrong to project his past moral failings onto you in that way. He did you a favor getting out.

  150. Badger June 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    “So Badger and Dalrock, you’re saying that Haley should wait until she finds someone who is successful and has a good character, is bold and will seduce her (remember, women are not attracted to meek, dithering betas) and since this is a Christian marriage, also a virgin? Should he secretly be a billionaire too?”

    I said nothing of success, money, virginity or seductive prowess. I said women defraud the institution of marriage and harm men when they marry men they aren’t in love with.

    As Dalrock noted in a follow-up post to this one, the hypergamy meme has been overplayed to the point we are led (by both male writers and EPLers) to imagine that women can’t possibly be attracted to guys who aren’t on the top rung or going there.

    It’s a huge load of bunk. People fall in love all the time, and often not with top-flight alphas. It’s spoilage, not hypergamy, that drives a significant portion of the “no man is good enough for me!” hand-wringing. They need to get over themselves so they can build a loving relationship with a man they didn’t reject on first sight because Jesus was their boyfriend.

  151. Badger June 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    “OK, that sounds great. However, the man in this scenario is almost certainly very attractive to many women. Thus marrying him will be a risk for the woman. She’s head over heels in love, that’s good. But she’s also far likelier to be cheated on than if she married someone she felt more moderately attracted to.”

    This is a crazy calculus – a woman who can catch and keep a sexually attractive man should return him to the store to trade down the risk other women will find him attractive and thus he might cheat? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    “Far more likely to be cheated on”? Do you have any evidence for this at all? A woman in love with her man will create a much more pleasant home and bedroom life for him, which will drastically reduce his desire to seek comfort elsewhere. Only a sociopath or a narcissist goes out for hamburger when he has steak at home.

  152. Badger June 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    “I doubt any of the men here would say that romance novels reflect real life and that more men should act like romance novel heroes”

    Actually, in Athol’s book he directly cites romance novels as evidence that women are indeed attracted to strapping men, and enjoy a dominant male sexual partner.

  153. Foo June 11, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Here’s another quip to think about. When the sex is good it makes 10% of the marriage. When the sex is bad it makes 90% of the marriage.

    The idea that women marry men they are not attracted to is a recipe for marital disaster. I know you have friends who married thus, and they tell you that all is well, but have you talked to their husbands? You might get a different story.

    My wife married me with the same attitude (although she was not upfront about it until recently). We have compatible personalities, shared goals, shared faith, shared values. We were good friends at one time and are still good communicators, etc. etc. etc. We are not perfect but we have a stable relationship and can rely on each other. She thinks our sex life is normal. I on the other hand think about divorce a few times a month.

    Occasionally the issue comes to a head; there is arguing, crying, long and serious talks, and then a flurry of sexual activity for a few weeks. The end result is the same though. She goes back to doing her sexual chore every four or so weeks and I resent the day I ever met her. It’s working alright for her now; we’ll see how it’s working for her after the divorce.

  154. terry@breathinggrace June 11, 2011 at 4:15 am #


    You got lucky. A lot of women do what you did and have the complete opposite outcome. (And then people in the manosphere berate them for it.)

    Oh yes, I know I got lucky. And I know that my story is one that is often grist for the manosphere fodder mill. Neither my husband or I would advise our daughters to do what we did, but we (I) also learned that there’s more to people than the surface. Of course, I don’t think it’s possible for anyone male or female to be perfect. Manosphere types often think any womanly imperfection is proof that we’re all unworthy of anything good. Of course, I’ve been happily married for 17 years so I have that and it speaks for itself.

    But my story wasn’t all luck. I was blessed that a lifelong friend who loved me, whom my father loved and trusted, vouched for the guy who would be my future husband. He was a good man. Just one who had been raised with the world’s standards on some issues and his life bore the fruit (literally) of those standards.

    That’s one of the reasons I think whenever possible, people should date someone whom they can find a track record for. Someone that knows someone they know and someone they know, and so on. I think that helps.

    And Athol is right that spiritual conversion can go both ways.The reason not to marry an unbeliever is because our faith is one that teaches it’s a sin to do so.

    @ Badger:

    “and since this is a Christian marriage, also a virgin?”

    No, not necessarily a virgin. Christianity is a faith of conversion. It is possible to be a devout and chaste Christian after conversion and a perfectly suitable marriage partner despite a sinful past. In fact, better she marry a devout Christian who isn’t a version than an atheist who is.

    I’m sure she’s open to secret billionaires, :)

  155. terry@breathinggrace June 11, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Sorry Badger, the last part of my comment was addressed to you, but I made a mistake. I know you were simply responding to someone else’s comment.

  156. Kathy June 11, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    “She goes back to doing her sexual chore every four or so weeks and I resent the day I ever met her.”

    Really feel for you Foo.

    “My wife married me with the same attitude (although she was not upfront about it until recently). ”

    I can only imagine how angry, frustrated and cheated you must feel..

    Maybe counselling would help?

  157. y81 June 11, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    “I doubt any of the men here would say that romance novels reflect real life and that more men should act like romance novel heroes.”

    On the contrary, I think the second part of that statement is pretty much the message of “game”: that a man should portray himself as a high status bad boy, that being the usual object of desire in romance novels (pirate captain, moody landowning widower, charismatic mercenery). So be the well-built, successful guy who disappears mysteriously at times, calls then doesn’t call, etc. (Obviously, this isn’t my style, because I’m not looking for a romance heroine.)

  158. Aaron June 11, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    Settling: Ugh… OK, I guess you’ll do.

  159. Julie June 11, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    I think many Christian women feel very very lucky to find someone to marry with whom they feel a moderate chemistry. That’s far and above what she feels with most men. So it’s not intense, that’s not her ideal. But the fact that someone wants to marry her, and she does have a fair level of attraction for him, feels like a relief.

  160. Julie June 11, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    “This is a crazy calculus – a woman who can catch and keep a sexually attractive man should return him to the store to trade down the risk other women will find him attractive and thus he might cheat? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

    Yeah, I guess it is crazy. But I suppose my point is that often, the man who can inspire huge passion in a woman can often have dangerous traits. Women have to be prudent, they can’t just always go for the man who attracts them most. I know from experience that alphas are prone to cheating (yes, more so if their marriage is unhappy but not always!), not always as emotionally available, etc…

  161. Aunt Haley June 11, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Badger–
    Now it’s porn’s fault that evangelical women don’t have husbands? GMAFB. Anything to make it someone else’s fault.

    I never said this.

    I’m not advocating carousel riding, but I think it’s quite literally insane to downgrade somebody who passionately kisses someone they are dating.

    Well, your moral standards aren’t as high as that guy’s. What makes you the arbiter of what is acceptable sexual behavior in a dating relationship? There are a lot of Christians out there who have committed to not kissing until their wedding day.

    This is a crazy calculus – a woman who can catch and keep a sexually attractive man should return him to the store to trade down the risk other women will find him attractive and thus he might cheat? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    “Far more likely to be cheated on”? Do you have any evidence for this at all?

    Badger, isn’t the reason obvious? A man who is ultra-sexually attractive to a woman has all the power and will have other options whether or not he is looking for them. As Julie mentioned, he also will probably have some negative character traits that aren’t good for marriage. Most women ultimately make a trade-off between sexual attraction and stability, giving up a certain amount of sexual attraction in order to gain stability.

    Actually, in Athol’s book he directly cites romance novels as evidence that women are indeed attracted to strapping men, and enjoy a dominant male sexual partner.

    I can only imagine the shrieking and howling that would ensue if a woman suggested that she and her husband read a romance novel together to learn new exciting lovemaking techniques, because romance novels “reflect real life.”

    Foo–
    This is where Athol jumps in to tell you to buy his book. :)

    y81–
    (Obviously, this isn’t my style, because I’m not looking for a romance heroine.)

    Most men ARE looking for romance novel heroines, though. The typical romance novel heroine is young, beautiful but doesn’t know it (or is plain-pretty), completely sexually inexperienced, curious, and completely overwhelmed by the hero. Sometimes they’re “fiesty.” Chick-lit heroines are the ones who tend to be neurotic career girls.

    Overall, I think a lot of men are overreacting and projecting their own spin onto the idea of a woman not marrying the man she is MOST sexually attracted to. There’s a very wide gap between not having ANY attraction for someone and wanting to tear that person’s clothes off at all times. Most women fall somewhere in the middle with their husbands. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their husbands or never want sex or aren’t open to having sex when the husband wants it.

  162. OffTheCuff June 11, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    So now porn is the standard against which a normal woman’s sexual behavior with her husband is judged?!?

    No, I’m saying that being sexually enthralled with your spouse a good thing. It can certainly be a goal for you as a couple to be as enthralled with each other as possible. I’m saying that this state of being enthralled, as depicted in porn, is descriptive — it’s not some impossible fantasy dreamed up by a bunch of dirty old men, and never actually happens in real life, and not only when the women are forced/abused/remunerated.

    If she doesn’t respond to her husband the way a woman in porn would, he’s going to feel justified in being disappointed and wondering if his wife actually has any sexual attraction for him?

    Again you have to be very specific, but if you mean enthralled, then not really. There’s a big difference between “wildly enthusiastic” vs “openly enjoying it” vs “merely tolerating it” vs “dead fish”. I say the *standard* should be “openly enjoying it”, never accept “merely tolerating it”, and as a shared goal for you both, aim to get to “wildly enthusiastic”.

    Figure out for themselves what works, free of expectations and feelings of inadequacy?

    That’s fine as long as you both are committed to improvement to get to that enthralled stage. That improvement is GIVING to the other person. Without that, you will have stagnation. That eventually turns into a sexless marriage, at which point it’s over.

    Here’s a question since the romance novel comparison is so often invoked in these parts – I doubt any of the men here would say that romance novels reflect real life and that more men should act like romance novel heroes. Why is it okay for porn to demonstrate to women how they should act for their husbands, but no women should ever read a romance novel for fear of elevating expectations beyond what an average man is capable of?

    I think romance novels are fine, actually, since it is just female porn, and I’m not anti-porn. As such, it has realistic and unrealistic parts that a functioning adult should be able to discern.

    It’s unrealistic to expect your existing husband to now be a multi-billionaire ex-Navy Seal with a 12″ dong, a collection of priceless ancient warfare artifacts, and who moonlights as an underwear model. It’s doubly stupid to expect to find a such a single guy and then expect him to drop his harem of models for the gritty, unfeminine, foul-mouthed butch New York Cop who was sexually abused as a child and doesn’t like to date all that much, and so he patiently wears down her barriers for year until… barf.

    It *is* reasonable to want your husband to be a strong leader of the family and not be a wimp. It is reasonable to openly express his desire for you and chase you a bit, after you’ve had a few kids, gained 50 pounds, and gravity has taken over. It is reasonable that he keep himself in good shape and even not shop at Target, if that’s important to you. In other words, he should have some Game, even if it’s not going to bring him a fresh 20-year old. It’s his commitment to you to give you what you need.

  163. Thag Jones June 11, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    It’s easy to say, “Oh, just marry a non-Christian and he’ll come around,”

    Ah, but I specifically said that marrying a non-believer in the hopes of converting him is a bad idea. You’re dismissing what I said with something I didn’t say.

    That’s fine as long as you both are committed to improvement to get to that enthralled stage. That improvement is GIVING to the other person. Without that, you will have stagnation. That eventually turns into a sexless marriage, at which point it’s over.

    This is very true. You have to want to please each other, not just yourselves.

    (I always have a song for everything…)

  164. Julie June 11, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Exactly Haley. Also, I think to many women (most), sex is important, but not AS important as it is to men. If it’s a great match overall, she may accept a good-enough sex life and not hold out for an amazing one. Especially if that’s unrealistic, given her own level of attractiveness.

    I was once in a group of women who were talking about sex–almost all of them talked about their desire being less than their husband’s. There was one exception–the woman who talked about being really into her husband was plain looking, overweight, and before marrying him, had children from another marriage. So her SMV was probably less than his by a lot–maybe that explained it.

  165. April June 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I’ve been trolling around to a lot of these sites (male and female) the past few weeks. It is fascinating, though somewhat depressing, to watch men and women blame each other for the disappointments and failures that are part of life. Always have been, always will be.

    While feminism/sexual revolution have certainly transformed the dating scene, I think another important factor is the entitlement culture. In the past 40+ years, the middle and upper classes (and lower classes) have gotten used to a lot of creature comforts and a standard of living that our ancestors would be amazed by. Both men and women think life should be fairly smooth. But it’s not. There is no magic formula.

    Fortunately, true alphas, male and female, are a tiny part of the population. Everyone else is a mix of traits, and most importantly, an individual. For this reason, I find the bell curve to be helpful. Most of us, for most of our traits, are in the middle. Personally, I try to go to the right of the curve to find men with character. Nothing else is very important to me. I really admire people with high character and in the case of men, it’s a major turn-on. Other women feel this way too. But I remember that both men and women are in a small group on that part of the curve ;-)

  166. lifeinlonglegs June 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Kathy – systematic theology. Sin = condition of separation from God. Little s “sins” = disobedience to His will, a direction away from the Spirit of God if that makes more sense. The presence of God delivers us from these sins – our obedience ONLY made possible through the conquering of Sin and Death on the cross.

  167. lifeinlonglegs June 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    ‘sin’ isn’t morality or goodness.
    I can be morally ‘good’ and still be living under the Law – not receiving the righteousness of Christ and living now by the New Convenant.

    I can do the right thing for the wrong reasons – a person can be morally good and still be ‘sinnning’ [little S, the result of my separation from God in Sin] our condition in Sin [big S, separation from God] in the Fall means that even our WILL is bent in on itself; corrupt, completely falliable. We cannot ascend or “do good” our way back to God, that’s why he had to come Fully God and Fully Human to fulfill Israel’s half of the Convenant with himself for us. I highly recommend Donald G. Bloesch for further reading, or http://www.victorshepherd.on.ca/Course/course.htm

    If it’s just doing good every person of every faith can just conquer sin on their own without Christ. Every person who listens to an Anthony Robbin’s personal power tape could attain eternal salvation – it is MUCH MORE!! :) This is good news!

  168. Brendan June 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    LILL –

    Kathy is a devout Catholic.

  169. Dalrock June 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    @Julie
    Exactly Haley. Also, I think to many women (most), sex is important, but not AS important as it is to men. If it’s a great match overall, she may accept a good-enough sex life and not hold out for an amazing one. Especially if that’s unrealistic, given her own level of attractiveness.

    Wonderful! Problem solved!

    But still I get this nagging feeling something is missing here. I’ll bet Foo can help us solve the riddle.

  170. Badger June 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    “It’s working alright for her now; we’ll see how it’s working for her after the divorce.”

    So are you really moving forward with it? Sorry to hear that if you are.

  171. Old Guy June 12, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Foo: Whether with this wife or the next, you’re eventually going to have to figure out what you should or could be doing differently, so you might as well buy Athol’s book and hit the gym while you wait for it to come in the mail. (You can piece together what you need to know yourself by reading his and other websites — I expect the two of you aren’t going to bed at the same time — but it sounds like you’ll want to get up to speed in a hurry.)

    If you have kids, and you think through what your alternatives really are, you’ll realize you don’t have any, so change what you can change.

    If you don’t have kids, you’ll still faced with the fact that a woman (whether this one or the next) can’t become or remain sexually responsive by force of will. What seems to you the easy and obvious remedy just isn’t something she can do. And “arguing {we’ll assume she’s doing the crying] and long and serious talks” are a DLV with bells on. Negotiating is something you do with a guy.

    Despite Haley’s objections, being a woman isn’t a character defect.

  172. Julie June 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    “Wonderful! Problem solved!

    But still I get this nagging feeling something is missing here. I’ll bet Foo can help us solve the riddle.”

    Is Foo’s wife totally unattracted to him? I’d have to know more about it.

    I don’t know what the solution is. If the majority of men cannot cause a woman to fall head-over-heels in love, and the majority of women cannot attract one who does, are all these people supposed to stay single and childless? I know from experience that even attraction for an alpha can wane as a relationship becomes familiar. And women have so much less testosterone than men–this is what really kicks a sex drive into high gear. The ironic thing is that the women with the highest sex drives don’t tend to be the ones men want–the ambitious, career driven women who probably did slip up sexually in the past for lack of self-control.

    I guess this is probably why men in the past had concubines, or dalliances on the side.

  173. Dalrock June 12, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    @Julie
    I don’t know what the solution is. If the majority of men cannot cause a woman to fall head-over-heels in love, and the majority of women cannot attract one who does, are all these people supposed to stay single and childless?

    You are trying to make this out into a mutual problem both men and women face. But the examples Haley and Hana both used show it isn’t an issue of men who couldn’t get anyone to be attracted to them and fall in love. If Haley had married Mr. not repulsive, she would have ruined his life and taken a potential husband away from the woman who married him.

    Some women are being deceitful, and you approach this is a failing of men for not being attractive enough.

    But to answer your question, if a man can’t cause a woman to fall in love with him and be attracted to him, yes he should stay single. And if a woman lacks the ability to love and be attracted to men in her league, yes she should stay unmarried. You can’t just sweep this stuff under the rug and hope for the best.

  174. Julie June 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I agree with you that a woman shouldn’t marry a man she merely finds “not repulsive.” I disagree that she should not marry until she is absolutely head-over-heels in love. I think being attracted is sufficient.

  175. Lavazza June 13, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Julie: That is because you do not care what this means for the man in question.

  176. Julie June 13, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Yes, I suppose I see it more from a woman’s perspective.

    But if you think about it, the man is getting the prize of marrying someone he is very attracted to. Most women don’t get to have that. She is giving up something too, and perhaps it is a greater loss.

  177. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Julie, but then a man has to live with a wife who doesn’t find him all that attractive – how do you think that makes him feel? The sexual chemistry increases where there is desire from both sides. This idea of marrying someone you’re not very attracted to…. from the man’s perspective those sex bots are starting to look like a better bet if he’s going to live with a cold fish anyway.

  178. Badger June 13, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Julie,

    Your replies get more selfish every time. The one thing you haven’t shown at all is any empathy for why a man gets married or what he has a right to expect in a wife who is worth the title.

  179. Julie June 13, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    But I am agreeing with you that she should not marry someone she is not attracted to. Attraction is a continuum, right? If 1 means I’m repulsed by you, and 10 means I am head over heels for you, isn’t it a good ending to be at a 7? It might not be the absolute ideal, but I think we have already determined that the absolute ideal is unlikely to happen for most people.

  180. Julie June 13, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Every quality you’re looking for in a mate could be plotted on a similar continuum. Should people hold out for someone who is a 10 on every one of them? Compatibility, character, spiritual maturity, sexual attraction, vision? Now that’s really getting unrealistic. Instead, people might think, “We’re a 9 on spiritual compatibility, an 8 on similar vision, a 5 on shared hobbies, a 7 on sexual attraction…” They should love that person, and feel like God has led them to each other. It’s a much more multifaceted sort of analysis than simply reducing it to whether or not your sexual attraction to that person is off the charts.

  181. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    A 7 on your scale, Julie, seems a little more than “not repulsed”. What do you mean by the “ending”? The wedding? The end of the marriage when someone dies?

    I don’t think it’s about the “absolute ideal” but not being so picky about things that don’t matter in the long run. My view is that attraction/chemistry is not the thing to compromise on. You could be great on just about everything else but if the sexual attraction is low, unless the two of you have very low sex drives, it’s just not going to work. On the other hand, if the sexual compatibility is high and you are both very attracted to each other, it gets surprisingly easy to over look other differences. Shared hobbies? Who gives a shit about that? Find someone else who shares your hobby – that’s what knitting circles are for! The only worthwhile “shared hobby” is that of wanting to bang each other silly. ;) A lot of you girls seem to be looking for a BFF with baby batter and a pay cheque.

  182. Lavazza June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Julie: You do not understand the difference in what a man and a woman are guaranteed (or at least safely assume) to get out of a marriage. The woman will get her big day, she will be provided for, so she can have children, and if she is not happy when the hardest child rearing years are done, she will get the house, the kids, CS and alimony. A man has no legal guarantees and can safely assume very little. A hot, young, non-promiscuos woman who is head over heels in love with you is not a perfectionist day dream, but a necessity to have a chance at marital bliss at all.

  183. Martini June 13, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    “The only worthwhile “shared hobby” is that of wanting to bang each other silly. ;)”

    LOL – Thag, you are a lusty beastmistress! ;)

    Skip that damned foreplay, talk schmalk, on to the shagging!!

  184. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Well, Martini has me pegged. :P Talking gets old, yo. Blah blah blah blah……

  185. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Seriously though, I’ve been in relationships where I sacrificed the attraction for security and it SUUUUCKKED! Don’t do it. I’m pretty sure it SUUUUCKED for the guys too. Duty sex is a pile of shit. You really want to sign up for that? Lie back and think of England? Or do you people have no passion or fire?

  186. Julie June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    What also sucks is when you prioritize chemistry and end up with an emotionally distant alpha with a roving eye… Just sayin’…

    Yes, I think a person needs to be much more than “not repulsed.” If people want to hold out for absolutely head-over-heels, go ahead. I think being attracted to someone who shares your faith, connects emotionally, and is your best friend, is winning the lottery.

  187. Julie June 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Lavazza, yes I do get it. There are ideals (of which you have described the male version) and there are realities. Everyone has to make compromises of some sort. I am pro-marriage, pro-children, and very anti-divorce. I think it’s absolutely wrong for women to divorce for frivolous reasons, and I can see why men are scared of that. I don’t know that stratospheric sexual chemistry is what keeps the woman with you though–chemistry ebbs and flows, especially during the childbearing years. If she’s staying with you because she feels high chemistry, what happens when she’s not feeling it? You have to screen for emotional maturity and the determination to stick it out when things are hard.

  188. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    What also sucks is when you prioritize chemistry and end up with an emotionally distant alpha with a roving eye… Just sayin’…

    This isn’t the only possible outcome – don’t be silly. And pretty much all men have a roving EYE, it’s whether or not they can keep it in their pants that counts, and if he’s getting great sex at home – as well as a wife who treats him nice – he’s less likely to want to mess that up for more or less nothing. Are you saying the only one any woman can feel that chemistry with is an emotionally distant alpha with a roving eye? Hmm….

    I don’t know that stratospheric sexual chemistry is what keeps the woman with you though–chemistry ebbs and flows, especially during the childbearing years. If she’s staying with you because she feels high chemistry, what happens when she’s not feeling it? You have to screen for emotional maturity and the determination to stick it out when things are hard.

    Sure it ebbs and flows a bit – and there will be times when sex isn’t wise (such as immediately after childbirth) – but it shouldn’t go too long. “I’m just not feeling it” can lead to months of no sex and that’s not going to go down well with anyone. If there at least has been a time of “head over heels” and hot hot loving, then there’s at least something worth the effort of recapturing. If it was always a bit lukewarm, when it ebbs it’s going to ebb further and further and the effort required to get back to lukewarm isn’t going to be worth it.

    You can keep having these little theories about being sensible, or you can listen to people who have BTDT and not dismiss out of hand what they say. “I don’t know” are the operative words there aren’t they.

  189. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Also, take notice of what the guys on here say. Don’t dismiss them and then just repeat what you’ve already said. Sex may not be important to you (or you’re doing a good job of fooling yourself that it isn’t) but it’s pretty damn important to most guys.

  190. Julie June 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Don’t forget, I am speaking from the position of being happily married, so I know sex is important in marriage.

    People can do what they want–I guess it comes down to what your “worst case scenario” is and what you’ll do to avoid that.

  191. Kathy June 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-larson/picking-the-wrong-mate_b_873044.html

    Just marry an unattactive ugly man says Vicki Larson.. Lol..

    “The more financially independent women become, the more they prefer good-looking men. But they don’t just want their partners to be hotties; they want them to be masculine, physically fit, loving, educated, a few years older and making the big bucks. Oh, and they also have to really want to be a hubby and daddy.”

    No wonder men are shying away, from American women.If this what they truly
    want?

    “Shared hobbies? Who gives a shit about that? Find someone else who shares your hobby – that’s what knitting circles are for! The only worthwhile “shared hobby” is that of wanting to bang each other silly. ;)”

    I’m with Shag on that one! Lol..

  192. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Look what else Vicki Larson says:

    And while 61 percent of men aged 45 to 55 say a good sex life is a critical part of a healthy relationship, just 47 percent of women in the same age group agree. That’s a big gap, but not necessarily surprising considering about 80 percent of columnist Dear Abby’s female readers once told her that they’d much prefer to have a meaningful conversation with their partner than a good romp.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-larson/sexless-marriage-and-divo_b_868953.html

  193. Aunt Haley June 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    I think the comments in this thread are boiling down to “what works for me should work for EVERYBODY!” and the quibbling is now over the degree of sexual attraction that should be present in a marriage. No one is saying that there should be NO attraction.

    Also, for the record, “not repulsed by” means “neutral.” It does not mean “never in a million years.”

    One other thing – maybe Thag doesn’t care if she and her husband have anything in common other than sex, but for a lot of other people, especially more intellectual people, it’s important, even crucial, to be able to connect in other ways. Just because it’s not important to you doesn’t mean it’s not important to anyone or that it has no legitimacy. No one is saying that the other person has to be the opposite-sex clone of yourself.

  194. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Talk about not getting it – must be the superior intellectual capabilities or something. “Neutral” is not very good. This isn’t quibbling over degrees but trying to make clear that “neutral” sexual attraction sounds like a recipe for disaster unless the two people are asexual. What I’m saying and I’ve said before elsewhere is that mutual interests can be cultivated more readily than chemistry. “Fake it till you make it” might work in some instances, but it’s probably not the best point at which to start a marriage. That article I posted the link to, although it’s from HuffPo, has some interesting stats, don’tcha think?

    I guess it comes down to what your “worst case scenario” is and what you’ll do to avoid that.

    Yeah but it’s not just YOUR worst case scenario, is it?

  195. Thag Jones June 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Why don’t you go back and re-read what Foo said, if you want to see the results of “neutral” sexual desire but great everything else.

    http://haleyshalo.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/companionship-vs-sexual-attraction/#comment-4646

    You don’t have to believe those of us who are telling you you’re wrong, of course.

  196. Kathy June 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I cosign what Thag says. Now I must get some coffee for Hubby, am at the markets, and he is home in bed today got rained off the job.. Gotta make tracks kids are at school so I want to hurry home to Hubby. Thought we might be able to engage in some deep intellectual conversation….roflmao.

  197. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Gotta bump the /facepalm on the “not repulsed by = netural” thing.

    It’s just not enough. The guy could have married someone who actually loved him.

    Plus at some point in your marriage, someone who will love him will come along and present herself in his field of vision.

    And sometimes love conquers all.

  198. The Man Who Was . . . June 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Haley, trying to restore sanity to this thread is a lost cause.

  199. Aunt Haley June 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Athol, why are you facepalming? I already said this guy was married at the time I met him and subsequently identified him as possible marriage material, i.e., maybe someone I could become more sexually attracted to. I’d say that’s pretty complimentary towards him considering he never acted in a way to try to make me attracted to him. It’s not like he tried and failed but I was still deigning to consider him. Like I said before, if circumstances had been different, I would have gone out with him to see if there was any potential.

  200. OffTheCuff June 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Sure it ebbs and flows a bit – and there will be times when sex isn’t wise (such as immediately after childbirth) – but it shouldn’t go too long. “I’m just not feeling it” can lead to months of no sex and that’s not going to go down well with anyone. If there at least has been a time of “head over heels” and hot hot loving, then there’s at least something worth the effort of recapturing. If it was always a bit lukewarm, when it ebbs it’s going to ebb further and further and the effort required to get back to lukewarm isn’t going to be worth it.

    Word! It’s comments like thise that make me realize my comments are usually totally superfluous, other than that now I’m going to crush on Thag now for a bit.

    On-topic: srsly, don’t get married if you are sexually neutral to this ONE person, unless you are sexually neutral to EVERYONE. Fine, have an asexual marriage if you are an asexual person and into that. Some people hate sex. Don’t set yourself up to be picked off by a hotter guy and then have Mr. Bland-o take the fall for it.

  201. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life June 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    It’s not about him in specific Haley. Your concept is wrong.

    Unless you have a clear sexual impulse for a man, marrying him will break his heart.

    He will want you. But you won’t want him.

  202. Lavazza June 13, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    Julie: Thag has given about the same answers I would like to give you.

    “Lavazza, yes I do get it. There are ideals (of which you have described the male version) and there are realities. Everyone has to make compromises of some sort. I am pro-marriage, pro-children, and very anti-divorce. I think it’s absolutely wrong for women to divorce for frivolous reasons, and I can see why men are scared of that.”

    And since there is no way for a man to make a woman legally/sanctionally responsible to not divorce for frivolous reasons no amount of screening will do. Only marrying a woman that you call “ideal” and I call “of necessary quality” will give a man something to take away, even if things don’t go the right way. A woman will get a lot of things that she wants to take away, even if she marries a less than ideal man.

    A young woman will give the man her best years and give the man time to evaluate her qualities during a time when their influence/power is more evenly matched, which is before marriage and especially before having kids. THAT is something for the man to take away, even if things don’t work out in the long run. I am not saying that it is enough, I only say that it is much more than Haley and women like her have to offer, and that less is definitively not enough.

    Men who have found that less is enough are welcome to chime in.

  203. Thag Jones June 14, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    I’m thinking this is a lost cause. Time to move on.

    All lies and jest,
    Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…

  204. Julie June 14, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Well, Lavazza, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    However, I am reminded of a couple I knew here in my city. Both were Christians, both fell “head over heels” and they married within the year. I knew the woman especially well and she was absolutely gaga over him–no question. Everyone could see it. They had a big wedding, and seemed happy in their newlywed days. Until one day, she started to seem sad and upset. And then, she moved out, about 5 months after the wedding. And stopped talking to him. And now they’re divorced.

    I can’t tell you exactly what happened–she didn’t want to talk about it with Christian people, understandably. But clearly, both being Christians, and both being head-over-heels in love is no guarantee of anything.

  205. Lavazza June 14, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Julie: As a young man I found what I was looking for. A hot, young virgin who was head over heels in love with me. What I got was her monogamy through her best years (22-37) and a good relation after divorce (50-50 custody, no alimony, no CS, but I gave her about 500 000 dollars for her part of the house). Still, even though I love my kids, I am not sure if that was worth the effort, compared to dumping her in her late twenties and enjoying my increased SMV through my late twenties to late thirties, or something like that. I would never start a new family with a woman in her late twenties or early thirties, and it is hard to find a woman under 40 who will give up having kids. But I have a friend who is a 60 YO twice divorced grandfather who pulled that off, albeit only with a 39 YO woman. ;-)

  206. Julie June 14, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    The tricky thing is that it’s impossible to predict with certainty how another person will act in the future, or whether another route taken would have worked out better. I guess your story illustrates that we are all talking from our own experience. Reading between the lines, sounds like the problem was a woman who considered infidelity to be acceptable. Ugh. I can’t stand the rampant infidelity and acceptance of divorce that is making marriage such a risky thing these days.

  207. Lavazza June 14, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Julie: No infidelity as I am aware of. Just the old story of marriage and kids having a beta effect on the man. Before that I was in more control/more alpha.

  208. Dalrock June 14, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    @Julie
    But clearly, both being Christians, and both being head-over-heels in love is no guarantee of anything.

    I presume if we were discussing the necessity to lock your doors and windows you would offer an anecdote about someone who was robbed, etc. after having done so.

    And it would be of just as much value as your last anecdote.

  209. Julie June 14, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    That’s fine, Dalrock. You clearly see through one lens and I see through another. You seem to think that off-the-charts sexual chemistry is what holds a marriage together. I don’t. I’m a thirty something married woman, and when I look at which of my friends’ marriages have lasted, and which haven’t, chemistry has not been the critical variable.

  210. Dalrock June 14, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    @Thag
    A lot of you girls seem to be looking for a BFF with baby batter and a pay cheque.

    Nailed it.

    If there at least has been a time of “head over heels” and hot hot loving, then there’s at least something worth the effort of recapturing. If it was always a bit lukewarm, when it ebbs it’s going to ebb further and further and the effort required to get back to lukewarm isn’t going to be worth it.

    Nailed it again.

    @Julie
    You seem to think that off-the-charts sexual chemistry is what holds a marriage together. I don’t.

    Nonsense. Show me where I ever suggested such a thing. It should be rather easy given how much I have written on the topic.

    As for your objection to “head over heels”:

    1) It isn’t realistic. If something isn’t broken men and women should both be able to truly fall in love.
    2) It is an effective BS detector for those who want to fudge on the issue. Note how quickly those arguing against “head over heels” move to “not repulsive”.

    I’m a thirty something married woman, and when I look at which of my friends’ marriages have lasted, and which haven’t, chemistry has not been the critical variable.

    I’ve shared multiple anecdotes and stats on this on my own site (30% of divorcées knew they were making a mistake going in), but if you are looking to match your own anecdotes to the statistics, look for women who suddenly realized that “they didn’t love him anymore”. Some of that will be the social push to betatize men after marriage. But much of it is from women who never really felt it for the guy in the first place.

    @Thag
    All lies and jest,
    Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…

    Very true. We won’t change (m)any minds here. But the women who move forward with this kind of charade anyway will at least remember how desperately they fought for this each time they lay back and think of England, each heart rending fight (see Foo’s comment above), and ultimately when they rob their kids of the benefits of either a loving example of marriage they can emulate or even worse the kids only get to see their Dad every other weekend and the occasional holiday.

    They will own it all.

  211. Dalrock June 14, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Typo: “1) It isn’t realistic.” should be “1) It isn’t unrealistic.”

  212. Aunt Haley June 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Okay, I think this dead horse has been beaten enough. Closing comments.

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