God’s perfect timing = hamster food?

25 Apr

One of the most difficult explanations to counter in churchly circles is that of “God’s will,” a.k.a., for dating/marriage purposes, “God’s perfect timing.”  See, if God is all-knowing and all-powerful while you’re just a broken, measly human with sinfully compromised reasoning capabilities, then pretty much no explanations, short of outright contradicting Scripture, can disprove “God’s will.”

But is God’s perfect timing just fancy hamster food?  In a recent Boundless article, Candice Watters answers a reader who sounds like a typical Christian beta girl.  Reader writes:

I’ve never had a boyfriend. To love a man with the love God has given me for others is one thing I desire above all else. But I’ve yet remained “invisible.” Is something wrong with me? Every person I know tells me “Oh, you’re the sweetest person I know,” “You’re so loving,” and so forth. From others’ compliments I don’t think I’m hard to get along with, and I think I’m average looking.

I try to get myself involved with different social circles and activities, but I’m invisible. And the guy friends that I’ve thought, Maybe there is something here, end up dating other girls. I’m happy for them, but it makes me wonder what’s wrong with me? What is your suggestion for shaking this feeling of “something-must-be-wrong-with-me” syndrome that I seem to be struggling with?

Now, if Watters were a member of the manosphere, she would probably first congratulate the girl on keeping her virtue intact because everyone knows that even a pretty ugly girl can go out and extract sex from some random dude, so isn’t it a miraculous accomplishment that this girl hasn’t turned into the vilest of slutty slut sluts yet, not that anyone believes truly virtuous girls actually exist.  Then Watters would probably tell Reader to lower her expectations, not to get promoted at work, and become wildly sexually attracted to someone she’s not that attracted to, because 30 is on the horizon and the mewls of the cats are getting louder.  Tough love, you hear.

But that’s not, of course, what Watters does.  Instead, Watters launches her own story of how it was not her chubbiness during her 20s that kept her from finding her husband — it was actually God’s will.  Watters says:

Boy, can I relate to your question! I was sure something was wrong with me. Being overweight in college and for most of my 20s, I was certain that if only I could lose 30 pounds, I’d have a boyfriend. That feeling was intensified by all the “you’re such a great gal; some guy is going to be very lucky to get you,” comments I heard from older, married Christian men. I could almost hear the subtext I assumed went with their complements: “You’re a great gal, though a bit on the chubby side, but you sure are nice and have a pretty face.”

Ugh. The longer I went with failed dieting attempts, the more frustrated and lonely I grew. If all that was keeping me from a good man and a godly marriage was a smaller dress size and if I lacked the self-control to lose weight, then it was my own fault for being single for so long.

Thankfully, there was a lot about that “what’s wrong with me?” way of thinking that wasn’t true. Yes, I was overweight. And I suspect there were guys who may have found me attractive and asked me out if I’d been thinner. Maybe. But even more important in my getting married was God’s timing.

So Watters admits that her weight was likely the reason that men weren’t finding her attractive, but she refuses to accept that that ultimately had anything to do with her finding a boyfriend and getting married.

She then goes on to talk about how each person is God’s special creation, which is par for the course for this sort of advice, but she then discusses how we all have a role to play in getting married.  Among the resonsibilities are “striving for sexual purity; being a good steward of your time, talents, and treasure, as well as of your opportunities and your fertility; seeking out and actively participating in Christian community; and waiting to date someone who is spiritually mature (being equally yoked). In short, you’re called to discipleship (2 Peter 3:18).”  But…losing weight isn’t a part of that, when every woman knows deep down inside that thin women are more attractive to men?

Watters then issues her St. Crispin’s Day speech:

Do you think you’re too fat? Too thin? Too tall? Too short? Too shy? Too outgoing? Too ugly? Too pretty? Too blonde? Too old? Too spiritual? Too something? Or maybe you think you’re not enough. Not funny enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not spiritual enough. Whatever it is that you think you’ve identified about yourself that’s keeping you single, it’s not the whole picture. There may be some areas where you need to mature, and if you’re persisting in sin, then certainly you must repent and turn away. But it’s possible that it’s simply not time yet. This became clear to me when Steve started dating me before I started shrinking. I talked before about finally losing weight. And though I’m glad for that, I’m equally glad that our relationship took off while I still had weight to lose. Turns out there wasn’t anything wrong with me. It’s simply that before Steve, it was the wrong time.

It’s hard for me to make this kind of thinking jive with reality.  If there is no such thing as a soulmate, and you could conceivably have a decent marriage with any number of men, then how is something the “wrong time”?  Is is not possible that Watters could have found someone else to marry had she been thinner younger?  And that they could have had as good a marriage as Watters currently has with her husband?  Is it truly “not time yet” that keeps people from marrying?  This all comes off as pretty ironic, given Boundless’s consistent drum-beating that men have to get off the Xbox and hurry up and march down the aisle with one of the nice, available single Christian women in their congregations.

I mean, I believe in “God’s timing,” but I also think that God’s timing is often used as hamster food.  If no one is attracted to you, then you’re probably doing something wrong.  This goes for both men and women.  I mean, MAYBE in your case it’s God’s supernatural forces preventing anyone from being attracted to you until it’s “the right time,” but given that there are specific attraction factors for each sex, that tend to work regardless of someone’s character (the proof’s in the unmarried pregnant pastor’s daughters), it’s hard to believe that God’s timing is usually REALLY the reason nobody wants to date you.

But you can’t really bring this up to someone who believes in God’s timing, right?  Because if you say, “Well, it’s probably God’s timing that you can’t lose those 20 pounds,” you’re not going to have any more friends, AND you’re going to lose because the rebuttal to that is just, “Well, MY GOD is bigger than 20 pounds.”  And that settles that.  It’s not your fault.  It’s all in God’s hands.

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46 Responses to “God’s perfect timing = hamster food?”

  1. canecaldo April 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    But you can’t really bring this up to someone who believes in God’s timing, right? Because if you say, “Well, it’s probably God’s timing that you can’t lose those 20 pounds,” you’re not going to have any more friends, AND you’re going to lose because the rebuttal to that is just, “Well, MY GOD is bigger than 20 pounds.” And that settles that. It’s not your fault. It’s all in God’s hands.

    Your best bet is to recalibrate what you mean by “friends” and “lose”.

    Also: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Boundless isn’t church, but it springs from it.

  2. y81 April 26, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    It’s better to think of “God’s perfect plan” than “God’s perfect timing.” No doubt, God oversees your every move and has a plan for you–are you not worth many sparrows?–but it’s certainly possible that His plan does not involve marriage. Most American evangelicals find this thought incomprehensible because of their inability to distinguish the incidental attributes of their culture from the divine will.

  3. Nautilus April 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I read an article once that was titled: “Does God do your dishes?” This seems like a similar concept; if we aren’t doing all we can to “help” God get us where we want to go, we’re living a fantasy. We should be cautious to not let our impatience screw up His will by creating our own “Ishmael” ideas of His plan for our lives, but ultimately He can work around that for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28

    In other words…
    Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4 If we don’t believe that, we don’t trust in God and don’t think He has what’s best for our lives.

  4. Budsky April 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I agree with your skepticism re. this girl. This is partly why people roll their eyes when Christians start talking all spiritual. Here’s someone who finally takes matters that are entirely under her control and does the right thing. Loses the weight (maybe not all, but she was obviously moving the right direction), and gets a boyfriend. Then she attributes the fact she got the boyfriend entirely to God’s timing. Whatver. As if God wanted her to be overweight to begin with! The point is, there are things within our control and things outside our control. This girl thinks she’s being spiritual by “giving God all the glory” because SHE decided to stop being a glutton and get more exercise (which is the usual way of losing weight). And more to the point, she reveals a complete lack of understanding about men. Physical attraction is no small thing with most of us, but she seems to think that godly men are drawn mainly to inner beauty. I won’t deny there is something real about inner beauty, but get real. The most spiritual man is still just a man.

  5. Old Guy April 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    All cognitive dissonance can be removed with one added premise: It’s God’s perfect timing that’s keeping her fat.

    Glad to see you back, and writing like you did in the early funny ones.

  6. Free Northerner April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    This kind of thinking is simply hyper-Calvinism applied to relationships.

    http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/hypercal.htm

    “God’s perfect timing” is too often used as simply a rationalization to relieve people from any responsibility to improve themselves and act to achieve their, and God’s, goals for themselves and their lives.

    “Let go and let God” is a lot simpler than actually working towards what you know you need to do.

    Also, there areis the theological implications. “God’s perfect timing”, even if not taken to responsibility-nullifying extremes, is essentially Calvinist in nature, and if you called most of the people spouting “God’s perfect timing” out on their embracing of Calvinism (or hyper-Calvinism) they’d probably object to the label.

  7. Lucie April 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    “If no one is attracted to you, then you’re probably doing something wrong. This goes for both men and women. I mean, MAYBE in your case it’s God’s supernatural forces preventing anyone from being attracted to you until it’s ‘the right time,’ but given that there are specific attraction factors for each sex, that tend to work regardless of someone’s character (the proof’s in the unmarried pregnant pastor’s daughters), it’s hard to believe that God’s timing is usually REALLY the reason nobody wants to date you.”

    Agree, Haley. Because there are too many women single for decades for no immediately apparent reason – and I can’t see how their singleness is furthering God’s kingdom, so I’m not sure how He has a hand in it. But long-term singles, at least in some cases, simply have to believe that “it’s God’s fault” because the alternative is unfaceable.

  8. Mule Chewing Briars April 27, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    God works harder the less you weigh

  9. peggy_carter April 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Thank you, Haley!!!! I graduated from a Christian college and heard this argument used time and time again as an excuse for bad/lazy behavior. I’m glad someone else sees that (at times) this is used as a rationalization for irresponsibility.

    Also, as a side note: What do you think of those who use “God’s will” to begin/end relationships? I’d like to hear your thoughts (if you have any) on the matter. Thanks again, for sharing!

    xo

  10. jack April 29, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    As I have pointed out many times, the dating market is so fractured that many otherwise marriageable people fall through the cracks.

    The desire of both men and women to play the field for a sustained period of time means that it gives everyone a lot longer to cultivate their own unrealistic expectations.

    The dating market used to be a lot more efficient because most market participants were looking for the same product, which was marriage.

    Now, many are looking for flings, friends with benefits, LTRs, whatever. These discontinuities leave us with a lot of dating casualties.

  11. Smithborough April 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    “Then Watters would probably tell Reader to lower her expectations, not to get promoted at work, and become wildly sexually attracted to someone she’s not that attracted to, because 30 is on the horizon and the mewls of the cats are getting louder.”

    Yet somehow in the not too distant past people did bcome sexually attracted to people at roughly the same level of attractiveness as themselves. Today this doesn’t seem to be the case for quite a large number of women and even for many men.

    Before the sexual revolution most people got married and there were very frew divorces.

  12. Kimster April 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    I agree with your title… and the sentiments in general esp. re: God’s will and the excuses people generate using that. That being said, in reading the post – my understanding is this girl met her guy before she lost the weight. I hate to say it, but in a way the thought that it ‘wasn’t God’s timing for her’ in all the years before is a natural (although misguded) conclusion for her. Now, if she hadn’t met her man until afterwards… then you’d have a better argument.

  13. Dalrock April 30, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Another good post Haley.

    Then Watters would probably tell Reader to lower her expectations, not to get promoted at work, and become wildly sexually attracted to someone she’s not that attracted to, because 30 is on the horizon and the mewls of the cats are getting louder. Tough love, you hear.

    I sense a bit of dissatisfaction with the manosphere’s advice to unmarried women in this statement. I’m curious how your own advice would differ. I know we disagree on the question of a woman marrying a man she isn’t attracted to; I’m not looking to reopen that disagreement, so if that is the answer then I already understand it. What I’m curious is what advice (if any) you would have for a woman to either make herself attracted to the men who are attracted to her, or make the men she is attracted to attracted to her.

    One thing I don’t see in the woman’s letter is that she is looking for a husband who will lead her (she can submit to). She is looking for a husband she can love. Do you think this might be part of her problem?

  14. Hana April 30, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I think there could be a few different reasons why no one is (seemingly) attracted to this girl. She *could* be overweight, or she could be a normal weight and have an unattractive face. She could be really introverted and get passed by for the more outgoing, flirtatious girls. Without knowing what the “problem” is, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that the problem is within her control (ie. weight).

    Without knowing the girl, Candice can’t really give the girl concrete advice…not that she would, anyway, because she sticks to a doctrine of inner beauty and possible “sin” in a person’s life that might be delaying marriage. (Personally, I don’t think the secret sins of an attractive girl are going to prevent a guy from being attracted to her!)

    I think Candice has a reasonable point about “God’s perfect timing”, though. From what I gather, Candice’s husband wasn’t initially attracted to her enough to pursue her, but when she threatened to withdraw her friendship if he didn’t pursue her, he obviously concluded that she was attractive enough to date. The point is that all her perceived flaws didn’t matter when she found a guy who really liked spending time with her.

    We’ve all seen two unattractive and/or overweight people who find each other and appear to be in love, as well as two attractive people who appear to be in love after taking a little longer than the norm to “find each other”, and I think this illustrates the point about “God’s perfect timing”. You can attract more people by losing weight/learning Game, etc., but that doesn’t guarantee that any one of the people you attract will be a compatible long-term match (especially if you’re a Christian and are looking for someone with similar values to you).

    The way I see it is that a person can change things about him or herself to widen the net and attract more people in the search for a marriage partner, but finding a compatible person is still partly down to the luck of the draw (or, “God’s perfect timing”).

  15. y81 April 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I agree with Hana, that we don’t actually know enough to give the girl useful advice. But that has never stopped Haley’s commenters, or the blogosphere generally, so let’s keep going.

    I think I mentioned before, I knew my wife, sort of distantly, for several years before we started dating. Ironically, when we met, she was close to her modeling weight, which was too thin for me (equals no boobs). It pleased the Lord to work a number of events in order that we might find each other, but one of them was that she gained a few pounds. I’m not saying that is this girl’s problem, but you never know.

  16. Paul Murray April 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Also known as shooting an arrow at the side of a barn and then drawing a target around it.

  17. Peabody May 1, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    This story comes to mind, the four lepers at the city gates during a siege. Second Book of Kings, I believe. These guys decided to approach the enemy camp because they had nothing left to lose. If they approached the enemy, they might get killed or they might get food. If they stayed at the city gates, they would surely die. As they staggered towards the enemy, God made their approach sound like a mighty army with chariots and so forth. This so unnerved the besiegers that they panicked and deserted their camp – dropped everything and ran, didn’t even douse the cooking fires.

    One lesson I took from this is, God works when you give God something to work with. God can work miracles with me AS SOON AS I DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE MY SITUATION.

  18. Mark Slater May 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Hana said: “Without knowing the girl, Candice can’t really give the girl concrete advice…not that she would, anyway, because she sticks to a doctrine of inner beauty and possible ‘sin’ in a person’s life that might be delaying marriage.”

    I agree with many of the commenters here: we just don’t know enough about this young woman to make an accurate analysis. I have met a few women in this spot, whom others told her she was “a great catch” and would make some guy “very happy”.

    These same women wonder why they cannot find a man and are “clipped haired and mean faced” [h.t. Michael Savage] wearing sexually ambiguous fashions, and other mannish characteristics. I have seen this even among the churched women.

    Seriously, how much does an inexpensive make-up kit from K-mart cost?

    This may well be what is holding back this young woman. I simply do not know.

    I also tend to agree with Haley in Haley v. Dalrock: If a woman does not desire a specific man, either initially or by cultivation, she ought not consider “settling” for him.

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28

  19. Aunt Haley May 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    y81–
    No doubt, God oversees your every move and has a plan for you–are you not worth many sparrows?–but it’s certainly possible that His plan does not involve marriage.

    It’s possible, but I don’t think it is the plan for as large a percentage of people as currently remain single in the United States. God doesn’t give Adam and Eve a directive to “be fruitful and multiply” but to have their kids wait until age 35 to do so.

    Budsky–
    The most spiritual man is still just a man.

    BUT WHAT ABOUT INNER BEAUTY??????

    ha.

    Lucie–
    Because there are too many women single for decades for no immediately apparent reason – and I can’t see how their singleness is furthering God’s kingdom, so I’m not sure how He has a hand in it. But long-term singles, at least in some cases, simply have to believe that “it’s God’s fault” because the alternative is unfaceable.

    I agree especially with the first part, although how exactly might one define “furthering God’s kingdom”? I think most Christian singles, at least the women, often believe they are doing God’s work or “working on their relationship with God” but kind of top off at attending singles’ group activities. (Of course, there are the childcare/SS teacher spinsters whose love for babies and children greatly eclipses their love of someday having holy sex, but I don’t think that’s MOST Christian single girls.) One could certainly make an argument that women can best further God’s kingdom by getting married and raising Christian kids. Prov. 22:6 and all.

    Mule Chewing Briars–
    God works harder the less you weigh

    One of the most clever comments I’ve ever seen here.

    peggy_carter–
    Thank you, Haley!!!! I graduated from a Christian college and heard this argument used time and time again as an excuse for bad/lazy behavior.

    I think that a lot of young Christian women have been indoctrinated with the “inner beauty above all” line of thought, and it’s very hard to shake. Plus, everyone has a friend who has “beaten the odds,” and for most women, one outlier is enough to discredit a generalization wholesale.

    Kimster–
    That being said, in reading the post – my understanding is this girl met her guy before she lost the weight.

    You may not be aware of the entire story. Watters and her now-husband were good friends in graduate school, but he was not attracted to her. It wasn’t until Watters issued an ultimatum to end the friendship unless she and Steve began officially dating that Steve, after some time, agreed to date her. After they began dating, it didn’t take long for Steve to propose.

    Dalrock–
    I get irritated by men who complain that women aren’t attracted to them but don’t demonstrate any attractiveness traits to a degree that they are actually attractive. “Not being a criminal,” “being gainfully employed,” “being a stand-up guy,” “having an impressive IQ,” “not being a player,” and “wanting kids” don’t make a guy attractive unless he’s already attractive to a woman. But oh, let’s rue the woman who doesn’t froth at the mouth when she sees a nice-guy engineer who wears a clean button-down shirt and baggy khakis and likes to discuss Star Trek. Most 4s don’t demand George Clooney, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be content with Ned Flanders, either.

    One thing I don’t see in the woman’s letter is that she is looking for a husband who will lead her (she can submit to). She is looking for a husband she can love. Do you think this might be part of her problem?

    Most women have been raised to look for a partner, not a superior.

    Hana–
    Good post.

    Peabody–
    God can work miracles with me AS SOON AS I DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE MY SITUATION.

    God, being God, can work miracles any time He pleases. However, you’re more likely to see results if you’re working at something because it is the desire of your heart.

    Mark Slater–
    I have met a few women in this spot, whom others told her she was “a great catch” and would make some guy “very happy”.

    This is the worst kind of back-handed insult a woman can receive. The only people who tell women these things are (a) other women not in sexual competition with the girl (older women, married women, prettier women), (b) older married men whose fires light in the presence of any young woman, and (c) male peers of a sex rank so much higher that they would never date the girl in question herself.

    Seriously, how much does an inexpensive make-up kit from K-mart cost?

    I think a lot of non-makeup wearing women have psychological hangups about makeup and what it means. (Also, Kmart, even for cheap makeup, is a little downmarket, don’t you think?)

  20. Mark Slater May 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Aunt Haley said: “I think a lot of non-makeup wearing women have psychological hangups about makeup and what it means.

    I didn’t realise there was a psychological component to it or “meaning”. I figured that the women were too lazy or unmotivated; or didn’t fully appreciate how men (this one, anyway) loves feminine women, enhanced by cosmetics.

    (Also, Kmart, even for cheap makeup, is a little downmarket, don’t you think?)”

    Okay, Penney’s then. You seriously expect me to know these things?

  21. Franz May 2, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    “I get irritated by men who complain that women aren’t attracted to them but don’t demonstrate any attractiveness traits to a degree that they are actually attractive. “Not being a criminal,” “being gainfully employed,” “being a stand-up guy,” “having an impressive IQ,” “not being a player,” and “wanting kids” don’t make a guy attractive unless he’s already attractive to a woman. But oh, let’s rue the woman who doesn’t froth at the mouth when she sees a nice-guy engineer who wears a clean button-down shirt and baggy khakis and likes to discuss Star Trek. Most 4s don’t demand George Clooney, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be content with Ned Flanders, either.”

    Ah, but Flanders has the best body in Springfield!

    Sorry, Haley; I had to do that. :P Incidentally, this is just a friendly reminder, but there are good men who get passed over and dumped in favor of men who are inferior specimens in every respect. Been reading your stuff for a while now–Dalrock’s too, actually.

    Speaking for myself, makeup doesn’t mean much to me. She can decide not to wear makeup at all for the rest of her life, for all I care, as long as she maintains a good attitude. Even weight, though admittedly it is more of a factor than makeup in my book, is less important than the attitude. If I wanted to share my house with a slender pest, I’d open the window and let a wasp in.

    My question for Beta Girl: How hard is she trying? I realize that some men have said that “forwardness” suggests desperation on her part and therefore makes her unattractive, but frankly, I do not share their opinion. As a rule, the women I remember most fondly are the “desperate” ones who dared to be “forward” with me. Perhaps this term is a bit strong, but I spent much of my romantic life in a state of shell shock, so one of the surest ways to win me over is to take initiative and be persistent. Women toward I whom I have felt no previous attraction can become attractive to me by so doing. The woman who makes my “job” easier is sure to gain my favor, and the more “out of character” it is for her, the more her efforts will touch me. Having fought strong introverted tendencies to approach someone myself, I treasure that sort of courage very highly in a woman.

  22. bskillet81 May 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    But I’ve yet remained “invisible.”

    Based on my experience as someone in approximately the same age group as this girl:

    1) Either she’s ugly or
    2) She’s had lots of “dad material” beta guys show interest, but since they aren’t the “perfect man God has for me,” (in other words, the super-rich alpha male who looks like Tom Brady), they are totally invisible to her.

    Given that she denies #1 is the case, we’ll go with #2 just to play along. In this case, there are many good Christian men out there who would make excellent dads and husbands, but they aren’t “exciting” enough for her. She ignores them and their advances, all the while bemoaning the fact that she’s “invisible” to that hot rich alpha male guy who drives the Camaro.

  23. Hermes May 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    I wonder if all the guys on these Christian manosphere blogs are making one too many assumptions when they talk about these girls wanting a “rich” guy. I’ve seen way too many church hotties fall for the shaggy-haired, guitar-strumming, YWAM missions trip-going, youth pastor wannabees, while giving the cold shoulder to, say, doctors, to think that these girls care about money. Alphaness in the sense of social dominance, yes, which these youth-pastor types possess in spades, but as we know, in modern society social dominance is not at all correlated to a high-paying job.

  24. Aunt Haley May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    bskillet–
    She ignores them and their advances, all the while bemoaning the fact that she’s “invisible” to that hot rich alpha male guy who drives the Camaro.

    That’s a but of an exaggeration. Most college groups have an alpha male or two, and most college groups do not possess any members who even come close to offering the package of looks, athletics, and riches that Tom Brady has. (Is Brady the Clooney or Pitt of the under-25 set nowadays? Heh.)

    Also, what do these beta guys think “showing interest” looks like? “I stared at you across the room at that group dinner as I sat next to green shirt” isn’t showing interest. Nor is “But I talked to her for a minute that one time when I tried to make that joke about our college prof! How could she not see my obvious interest?!” Too often beta guys leave too much room for plausible deniability to save face.

  25. bskillet81 May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    @Haley

    There used to be this thing called courtship where a guy would begin by giving subtle signs of interest, like going out of his way to have a conversation with a girl. As she would reciprocate (demonstrating interest in him as a person would be a nice start), he would naturally escalate his signs of interest. Women, we’re told, are oh so good at reading these signs because they’re ever so intuitive. And like I said, this was the way things were done in a Marriage 1.0 environment. Where the betas share blame–and here I somewhat agree with your sentiments–is that they are still operating from the courtship/Marriage 1.0 paradigm their parents and grandparents taught them.

    Now, in contrast the Evangelical American Princess is taught that God has “the perfect man for you,” and that is what she expects–perfection. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this exact statement (or some similar variation thereof) in Christian female online dating profiles. She has been raised with “self-esteem” and “moxie” (which used to be called pride and arrogance respectively), and since she is a “daughter of the King,” she deserves/I> a perfect man. Since none of these “perfect” men have shown up–only boring betas whom she is too good for–she assumes she is invisible.

    It isn’t that betas have been too subtle. It’s that the beta’s advances aren’t even on her radar. They aren’t her idea of “God’s perfect man” and therefore she doesn’t give them a second thought.

    Or she’s just ugly.

  26. Franz May 3, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Looks…athletics…oh, if only it were that easy! I wasn’t rich–who *is* during his college days anyway?–but I’m pretty sure I had respectable looks and I *know* I had the athletic talent, even if it wasn’t pointed in the classic direction. I was a semi-professional dancer and had the body to prove it. Yet I seemed to have a sort of anti-Midas touch. My prospects sometimes looked beautiful when I was detached and/or suspicious, but whatever I touched turned to dust. Some rejections were more forgivable than others, but it virtually always ended in rejection and some were downright demonic in their cravenness and cruelty. I can scarcely begin to tell you what it feels like to be pulled aside by a student leader and told that the object of your affection– she in whom you had seen so much promise that you giddily confided in a friend that very night–has told him that she is afraid of you, and then get marched into her presence to testify before her.

    This leads me to what “showing interest” looks like. In my college days, I kept a sharp lookout for opportunities to converse with women in person, sometimes scraping together enough chutzpah to *create* opportunities when there were none and seek them out one-on-one. These were moments when I could gain partial victory over my generally strong introversion; I was not a natural schmoozer, so these conversations were often brief. I wrote them humor-laden emails and chatted with them on Instant Messenger. I danced for their entertainment, both in a group setting and for an audience of one. I copied music onto tapes for them. I read aloud a love poem I had been writing to my future wife, whoever she might be, in their presence. Yes, other men were there too when I read it, and that was by design, but how personal could I afford to be with *that*? With results like the episode I cited in the previous paragraph, it’s easy to understand how some might find it tempting to maintain plausible deniability. Indeed, it seems only prudent. Maybe my conduct was that of a beta and maybe not, but there it is.

  27. y81 May 3, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    “I wonder if all the guys on these Christian manosphere blogs are making one too many assumptions when they talk about these girls wanting a “rich” guy. I’ve seen way too many church hotties fall for the shaggy-haired, guitar-strumming, YWAM missions trip-going, youth pastor wannabees, while giving the cold shoulder to, say, doctors, to think that these girls care about money.”

    A lot depends on age. The 20-year-old co-ed who turns up her nose at the science geek and swoons for the funny guy who dropped out and spent a year traveling around the world, and is now deciding whether to go back to college, will when she is a 26-year-old marketing assistant be much more interested in the young resident and less interested in the guy who works in a used bookstore while trying to finish the novel he’s been working for four years.

  28. CL May 4, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    But oh, let’s rue the woman who doesn’t froth at the mouth when she sees a nice-guy engineer who wears a clean button-down shirt and baggy khakis and likes to discuss Star Trek. Most 4s don’t demand George Clooney, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be content with Ned Flanders, either.

    Yes, God forbid a below average woman ends up with a productive, smart man who wears clean shirts. What a terrible fate!

    If she would stop being so fussy and give geeks a chance she might actually find one who would give her tingles. But if all you give them is disgust, you close off options for yourself.

    I’ve always enjoyed talking to engineers; generally I find them easy to get along with and easy to please. Of course, if all you want to do is navel gaze and gossip, an engineer won’t be for you.

  29. 7man May 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

  30. 7man May 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    But there are advantages to dating an engineer:

  31. Samuel May 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I think your cynicism of the manosphere is causing your assessment to be off. We could likely help her with a quickness, and with truth, without such dismal and pathetic advice.

    Anyway, often-times, that voice in people’s head that they think is “God”, is actually just their hamster hard at work. Very handy. You can make any reality you like that way.

  32. Aunt Haley May 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    CL–
    I’ve always enjoyed talking to engineers; generally I find them easy to get along with and easy to please. Of course, if all you want to do is navel gaze and gossip, an engineer won’t be for you.

    Where would you like me to affix your Gold Star of Outstanding Merit?

  33. Badger May 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Jesuit-educated, I was taught that God made us with talents and then expected – nay, implored – us to go make something of them and give our unique contribution to the world. Snowflaking maybe, but they only let us be proud of our uniqueness to the degree we were actually expressing it. There’s also “God helps those who help themselves,” a phrase the Irish believe in as much as “God won’t give you a cross you can’t bear” or “may those who love us love us and everyone else can screw themselves.”

    One of the most cogent and intellectually gripping arguments of the atheist community among the intellectual class in America is that Christians treat God as Santa Claus or Aladdin’s genie. Paeons to “God’s timing” play into this criticism.

  34. Badger May 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    7man, did you get that Date With An Engineer clip from me? I’ve been trying to evangelize it.

  35. Badger May 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Haley,

    “I get irritated by men who complain that women aren’t attracted to them but don’t demonstrate any attractiveness traits to a degree that they are actually attractive. “Not being a criminal,” “being gainfully employed,” “being a stand-up guy,” “having an impressive IQ,” “not being a player,” and “wanting kids” don’t make a guy attractive unless he’s already attractive to a woman. But oh, let’s rue the woman who doesn’t froth at the mouth when she sees a nice-guy engineer who wears a clean button-down shirt and baggy khakis and likes to discuss Star Trek. Most 4s don’t demand George Clooney, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be content with Ned Flanders, either.”

    I think you’re getting at a good point here, that these guys don’t understand attraction or how to market it, so kudos for that. But backing up a second, I think you’re underestimating, as most women I read on this issue do, the degree to which men were taught, explicitly in many cases, that women WANT guys who are “non-criminal, employed, stand-up, smart, faithful, family-oriented” guys, that those things make guys “great catches” who get tittered about at the company water cooler. It was pushed on us in rom-com films that penetrated our consciousness, in religious admonitions to suppress our wild sides, and in the protests of innumerable girls that they “just want a nice guy who will treat her well.”

    Cf. here: http://alphagameplan.blogspot.com/2012/04/training-of-delta.html

    No distinction was made between desireable traits and raw attractive traits, nor were we told “girls want a guy who is attractive, and THEN they care about all these traits.”

    My point isn’t to whine and cry about it, just to note that most guys are really fighting an uphill battle between their upbringing and the empirical evidence they see. It can be very difficult to undo all of that cultural brainwashing, made tougher by the fact that we don’t want to believe our lying eyes about the reality of the situation. You yourself do a great service blowing apart the mendacities of nice-guy Christian media.

    Women aren’t bad people because they have a taste for dominance and men with an outsized sense of purpose, but those desires drive them to exactly the wrong, most dangerous men, if we suppress those traits in those greater-beta men who have the stuff it takes to grow into a gentle alpha.

    Most guys I know, and admittedly I run in a college-educated MUC community, have known women they’re interested in hook up with (and make excuses for):

    -Criminals
    -Guys without jobs
    -Abject morons
    -Cheaters
    -etc

    Sometimes it’s not this bad, they just date a guy who works a minimalist job and lives in a flophouse but likes to party and that’s how she gets her weekend rocks off. Sometimes the girls are lonely, not attracted to the Poindexters, and look to these guys for validation looking past their faults. Other times, and this is where the wisdom of Roissy comes in, these women are actively attracted to the man’s darker sides (women that smart guys should stay away from and let them destroy their own lives). Either way, it just doesn’t make sense to the good guys. They aren’t entitled, as that wench Amanda Marcotte likes to argue – they are fundamentally confused, full stop, why their traits aren’t bringing them attracted women, because they’ve been misled about what will make them attractive.

  36. Samuel May 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    @Badger- I think that’s a BIG part of it- The slackers who live in hovels and like to party will never make her face herself or push her to be better. They’ll actively ignore what a piece of shit she is- because they are too- and they get on with their beloved distractions of sex and drugs… The slackers will even celebrate how ‘great’ she is and confirm ideas like “f*ck all those haters who tell me I’m a nasty entitled slut”

  37. y81 May 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Badger: MUC? What is that?

  38. Badger May 7, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    MUC = middle upper class.

  39. 7man May 7, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    @Badger
    “7man, did you get that Date With An Engineer clip from me? I’ve been trying to evangelize it.”

    I found it by a search at YouTube and don’t remember your promotion of it. Often people’s beliefs and the evolution of ideas happens in parallel, but the cross pollination is also at work.

  40. CL May 8, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    @ Haley

    Where would you like me to affix your Gold Star of Outstanding Merit?

    You can affix it in one of my teeth, so it sparkles when I talk.

  41. Hermes May 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    A lot depends on age. The 20-year-old co-ed who turns up her nose at the science geek and swoons for the funny guy who dropped out and spent a year traveling around the world, and is now deciding whether to go back to college, will when she is a 26-year-old marketing assistant be much more interested in the young resident and less interested in the guy who works in a used bookstore while trying to finish the novel he’s been working for four years.

    I don’t know about the 26 figure. In my experience it’s not until they’re a year or two, max, away from 30 that they start getting more realistic. And the problem is, the 20 year old coed is “younger, hotter, tighter.” That’s what guys want to marry. A lot of guys don’t want to marry a girl whom they can tell would have spurned them 10 years ago. Not to mention that by the late twenties her fertility is already on the downslope. “If the kitten didn’t want me, I don’t want the cat” and all that.

    Besides, at least in some circles of the evangelical subculture, e.g. Christian colleges, a lot of girls do get married young, to young guys who don’t necessarily have a good future at the time. The phenomenon of couples getting married a week after graduation from their Christian college still exists. One of my friends and I often lament that many of the best-looking daughters of the church, girls pretty enough to land a doctor, lawyer, corporate ladder-climber, etc. with no problem, wind up married to some youth pastor in suburban Ohio. Whether those marriages ultimately last, I don’t know, but they do happen.

  42. Hermes May 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Forgot to add, the reason they wind up married to those guys is that those are the guys who give them the most tingles in the sheltered, immature, unrealistic world of their little undergrade evangelical college, rather than the ones who are going to give them the most tingles in adult life.

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