Do You Want to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too?

This week, I was on the phone with a client who came to me eight weeks ago with no dating prospects whatsoever.

But armed with a new perspective on dating, online dating, and understanding men (not to mention a new online ad campaign), this woman found herself in a new position: the object of desire to a thoughtful, considerate man.

Tara, 39, went out with Ted three times. Each time, he called her in advance, made the plans, paid for her, followed up the day after, and let her know that she was a priority in his love life. Without being over-the-top smothering, Ted made it clear that he wanted to be her boyfriend.

Yet even though Tara invested a lot of money with me to ostensibly find herself a boyfriend, suddenly, when confronted with the prospect of focusing on one man, she found herself pulling away emotionally.

You know that the guy who is casually “seeing” you once a week for three months NEVER becomes your husband.

Even though he’s a great guy. Cute, smart, successful, kind.

Even though he’s done everything right.

Even though she wants to be married one day and this man is on board – Tara just couldn’t help but feel that she needed more time being single.

“More time than 39 years?” I asked.

“It’s more that I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to HIM,” she continued. “So what I’d like to do is continue to date Ted casually for the next couple of months, put my profile up on Match.com, and see what happens from there. He IS a good guy, and I don’t want to throw things away. I just want to explore my other options right now.”

Hmmm.

Tara’s proclamation sounds eerily like the thoughts of the man who played with your heart in the past. Like your heartbreaker, she came on strong, she made a real connection, and now she’s silently backing away… sort of.

Because Tara – like your heartbreaker – doesn’t want to actually break up – she just wants to keep her distance and downgrade Ted from “future boyfriend” to “one of three men I’m seeing right now”.

Which means that, whether Tara likes it or not, Ted’s going to be on pins-and-needles, wondering where the spark and momentum went.

He’s going to be wondering what happened, what he did wrong, and how he can turn things around again.

Essentially, Tara wants to have her cake and eat it, too.

Not because she’s evil and malicious and doesn’t care about men, but because continuing to date Ted casually while exploring her other options maximizes her selfish desires.

So she gets to keep the door open for Ted, experiment with some exciting, unpredictable men on Match, and make her decision down the road.

Except that’s never how it goes.

You know that.

Because you’ve been in Ted’s position more times than you’d care to admit.

And you know that the guy who is casually “seeing” you once a week for three months NEVER becomes your husband.

How do you know this?

Because if he wanted to be your boyfriend, he’d have tried harder from the very beginning. His very indifference and ambivalence to you – shopping around for other women while keeping you in the loop – tells the entire story.

I don’t have to stick around to see the end.

Neither should Ted.

Every second you’re with the wrong guy is a second you’re not looking for the right guy.

And neither should you.

Your takeaway from this blog post should be twofold:

First, realize that men and women are no different. And although it’s easy to berate men for being selfish, for using you, for not telling you their true intentions, the real truth is: this isn’t a man thing, it’s a people thing.

I just told you Tara’s story, but I literally have THREE clients right now going through the exact same thing.

Three women with no prospects 8 weeks ago; now, all three are putting OFF having a boyfriend because they want time to date and explore and maximize.

I would probably quibble that they should consider the devoted guy instead of looking for a more exciting, unpredictable player on the Internet, but that’s neither here nor there.

All you need to know is that you have two choices: act with integrity and let your man go find a woman who’s into him, or give up on any sense of moral high ground that you might maintain when complaining about non-committal men.

You can’t have it both ways.

The second takeaway I’d like you to have is to internalize the idea that the guy who is keeping you at bay for more than 6-8 weeks is probably never going to step up to the plate to be your boyfriend.

So dump him NOW and go out and find yourself a man who is EXCITED about you.

Every second you’re with the wrong guy is a second you’re not looking for the right guy.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Ruby

    To me, 3 dates is enough time to know that you like someone and would like to keep dating them. It is probably too soon to take down one’s dating profile and forsake all others, and definitely too soon to know whether or not you are in love. How about 3 months, rather than 3 dates? What’s the big rush, especially if you are recently divorced?
     
    Tara’s situation sounds different than Jackson’s (#7), who was dating a woman who was ambivalent about him for several months.

  2. 32
    Joe

    This is really just a case of greener grass.  Tara has green grass, but she just can’t help wondering if there’s greener grass out there.

  3. 33
    Dizzyluv25

    Evan Evan Evan…..  I don’t write here, but I tweet you every so often.  Over the last 2 years of reading your blog and “Why He Disappeared”, my dating life has transformed. Right now I’m dating a guy that I wouldn’t have given the time of day before your pearls of wisdom.
    I’m compelled to write, because my really good male friend is Tara in this scenario.  He’s 41, never been married, no kids.  He’s been dating this great woman for the last 4-5 months with no progression to a relationship b/c he “likes it the way things are”.  He says he wants to be married and have kids.  I’ll be forwarding this post to him.

  4. 34
    Helen

    I don’t think Tara has done anything wrong here. If she and her man have been happy with each other for three dates, that is a great and encouraging start, but not necessarily a reason to forsake all others yet. She seems to be playing it wisely. Evan, did you stop dating other women after three dates with your current wife?  It would seem that seeing how things go for at least one more month is wiser than locking in to each other now.
     
    Rhetorically: I’m not sure the title is appropriate to what Tara’s doing now, but what’s wrong with having your cake and eating it too? What else are you supposed to do with the cake?

  5. 35
    Heather

    Jadafisk wrote:

    The difficulty with dating at later ages is culling. A higher and higher percentage of people who are older singles are going to be single by choice, due to chronic indecisiveness, or other personality traits that are fairly well established, difficult to modify and off-putting to many. People who are not in those categories get jaded running into folks who are and get less motivated to put themselves out there, in an increasingly fragmented social scene where people have to make an effort to find other singles over thirtysomething.

    Good point here.  I’ve been guilty of being pretty jaded about dating, and still am, somewhat.  Sure, we have to be responsible for our own behaviors and try to catch bad behaviors early.  But after awhile, it gets tiring, and especially if there are other things going on in your life.  For example, my Mom is battling cancer right now, so between that and the drama of dating, I would probably just take myself out of the dating pool right now, were I single.  It’s just too much, emotionally speaking.

  6. 36
    Senior Lady Vibe

    Perhaps it’s deja vu.  I recall a Ted and Tara story from last year.  

    Ted is a nice guy; following up and attending to Tara is a good indication of that.  But what happens when —  due to a sudden online dating “feast” — there are three first dates in a week, all nice guys, all following up?  Eight or nine hours into a relationship is still too soon for instant devotion from any of the men.  I’d be comfortable with getting to know them over a longer period of time.

    I like cake.  Not enough to make me sick but I’d appreciate a creamy-frosted slice or two…  

    BTW, women the age of Alyssa Milano and Jennifer Garner seem young to me… but then again, I’m ancient.  Are they really being culled out due to advanced age?  Really?

      

  7. 37
    Margo

    Sephor @23, I would agree IF she doesn’t tell this man her state of mine and let him go so he can do what’s right for him. It’s all about honesty and ethics. When a person starts putting their own self interests above hurting someone, then they are bad news.

  8. 38
    sephor

    Margo #39: I would agree IF she doesn’t tell this man her state of mine…

    Will she tell him? If she tells him, what will she tell him? Will she tell him that she does not see him as her boyfriend. but that she does think that he’s good enough (for now) to take her on dates? Will she tell him that she doesn’t “want to throw things away” with him, but there might be someone out there better than him, so does he mind waiting while she finds out? Will she tell him that he is only ”one of the three men [she's] seeing right now”?

    She knows he wants to be her boyfriend, and she knows that she does not want to be his girlfriend. If she stops seeing him, she can concentrate on finding the man for whom she does want to be a girlfriend.

  9. 39
    Ria

    I tend to agree on Johnny S on @1. It is a tricky road, thought, because should Ted suddenly turn around and cut it all off, she will be feeling not so secure exploring other options. Having said that, if she does not feeling it for Ted, she would not still be happy being with him. Honest would be probably to say it to him, how things are.

  10. 40
    Androgynous

    I respectfully disagree with Evan. This is NOT a “people” thing but a gender thing. Men don’t keep women around as “options”. They keep women around as booty calls – women they find attractive enough to want to sleep with, but not have long term meaningful relationships with. Thankfully they are not the majority of men, though a significant minority. Women, on the other hand, are opposite. They keep men around as truly “options”. Men they think they could have meaningful relationships with, but whom they are not madly deeply crazily attracted to, physically and sexually.  They want to have these men to fall back upon should things not work out (which they never usually do) with their hotter, more exciting prospects. Unlike player men, there are many many many women out there who are like this. This is not to say they are bad women, but they just normal women exhibiting normal self interested behavior.

  11. 41
    helene

    Tara said: “…..I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to HIM” ….

    This strikes me as totally reasonable after 3 dates, but I feel she’s tying herself in a knot because she’s forgetting there is another important option she could take apart from a)”committing to him” or b) dating him casually and seeing others as well. Her other option is: she could date him exclusively for long enough to actually DECIDE if she wants to be in a long term relationship with him or not. If, 2 months or 6 months down the line she decides he’s not right for her, THAT would be the time to put up her profile and explore other options.

    Choosing to date him exclusively and see how it goes is NOT “committing to him.” They are not getting married, living together, merging finances or even necessarily planning next years vacation.They are simply dating. I have to say I sometimes find it frustrating when people equate exclusive dating with some sort of onerous and binding committment. Finding someone you even think MIGHT be a good match can be really difficult, so for gods sake if you meet someone with whom you could POTENTIALLY form a long term relationship, at least give it your best shot! The idea that you are somehow passing up other options is fallacious – match dot com will still be there 8 weeks from now if you decide he’s not right for you. 

    Nor do I think deciding to date him exclusively when you’re not sure is “stringing him along” - any experienced dater knows that dating exclusively is the only way to actually FIND OUT if someone is right for you. That is precisely WHY people date in our culture, rather than simply marrying someone they have met once or twice! It should be obvious as well that much as this man likes her and apparently wants to “be her boyfriend” he cannot possibly have made up his mind either. Neither of them are stringing each other along, they are simply at a point where they can choose to invest some time in each other and explore what a potential partnership might feel like. It may seem to some people that you can do this just as well whilst simultaneously dating others, but in fact, I don’t think you can – dating is a bonding process, and other suitors disrupt the bonding process. If, after a few months, the bonding is not progressing despite dating exclusively, then that is when to pull the plug and put your profile back up.

    Just my 2 cents… 

      

  12. 42
    JB

    I dunno, for those of us over 45 like myself & Jane that have no time tables for anything 3 dates is a ridiculous number to ask anything of anyone other than “would they like to go on a 4th date” in my opinion. Call me crazy…..lol that’s ok I’ve been called it before.

    I guess for those gals that want to start a family they have to obviously make a decision quicker but date 3? I would love to know the statistics on Match for the percentage of couples who met and took down profiles after 3 dates or less. And believe me I KNOW it happens because I watched it happen to me a few weeks ago for another guy but it’s rare.

    Evan ends with “Every second you’re with the wrong guy is a second you’re not looking for the right guy.”

    Well the thing is with live visible online profiles you can be dating “wrong” people while your profile is still live looking for the “right one” so you can do both at the same time. I and many others I’ve seen have been doing it for years. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. It is what it is. Even long before the internet back in the bar scene days people used to say “every night you’re out with someone you’re not that into is a night you could be meeting someone you are into” and THAT was true before the internet. But now people come home from dates with people they aren’t that into and check their inbox for the BBD. Heck, these days people take their phone to the bathroom on a date and check it with the APP….LOL It’s happening somewhere right now. Welcome to 2012! :-)

  13. 43
    Laura S.

    Getting exclusive after 3 dates? I think not! That reeks of insecurity and potential jealousy, nothing I want in my life. I don’t even know the guy yet.

    Dates grow in bunches under the fronds of palm trees. That’s why they’re called dates. If I am boyfriend shopping, I want comparisons, price checks and samples to find the best product to suit me. It won’t happen if I settle on the first model that insists on being exclusive with me.

    If I haven’t had a date in a long time or had a boyfriend in a long time, I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Going exclusive with a guy after only 3 dates, I’m still not going to learn what I want in a guy.

  14. 44
    Sherel

    Three dates is way to soon to decide on someone in my opinion. Three dataes can happen in one week!! You realyl do not know someone well enough. I say continue dating him and keep yoour options open at this point. Down the road she can decide. And shes does not owe him explanation at this early stage . Both should just be enjoying and learning one another. (Married happily nine years and counting!)

  15. 45
    Margo

    Sherel, she DOES owe him something: honesty. She needs to be decent enough to tell him she has decided to date other people. I’ve grown sick of reading this thread because I’m tired of the “user” mentality that abounds.

  16. 46
    Tracy

    I agree with others here who’ve said 3 days is a little early to commit, but I can’t help but wonder how much online dating has affected Tara’s decision to explore her options. There was a recent study that indicated online daters were noncommittal because they believe they have an endless supply of options, so they never make a decision.

  17. 47
    Ruby

    EMK’s advice here seems to contradict all the other dating advice i read, which encourages women to keep their options open in the early months of dating. This isn’t with the intent of stringing anyone along; it is about not becoming too attached to someone you barely know too soon. After 3 dates, Ted could seem like a really nice guy, but there is still a chance that deal-breaker issues could arise, or
    Tara could met someone with whom she is more compatible. I’m not getting why she hid her profile so soon anyway. Was it just because Ted did it first?

    1. 47.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Ruby – No contradiction. The point of the post was twofold. And it’s summed up at the end of the piece:

      First, realize that men and women are no different. And although it’s easy to berate men for being selfish, for using you, for not telling you their true intentions, the real truth is: this isn’t a man thing, it’s a people thing.

      The second takeaway I’d like you to have is to internalize the idea that the guy who is keeping you at bay for more than 6-8 weeks is probably never going to step up to the plate to be your boyfriend.

      So any talk on these boards about how men are still worse misses the point. Any talk about how I think that a couple should “just know” in 3 dates misses the point.

      Tara has every right to take her time before committing to Ted. But a) she can’t be upset when a man takes his time when she’s sure and b) since she really is ambivalent about him and already did NOT see him as boyfriend material, she should simply let him go, instead of keeping him around as a safety school…which is what so many men do to women.

  18. 48
    Sherel

    Margo After three dates she owes him nothing but be a good date. If he ask her about dating other people, she should tell him the truth. Its not a user mentality at all. So many women are so unhappy in love because they fall immediately for a guy that treats them well on a few dates. WTH!!!!!! Everyone has to look out for themselves and at 3 dates everyone is an option. This goes for the guy as well!!!

  19. 49
    Katarina Phang

    Margo, they just started to date and there is no promise or talk of anything so non-exclusivity is ASSUMED at this point and UNTIL it is discussed and agreed upon. They both are adults and are responsible for their own feelings, choices and decisions.

    I forgot to mention three dates are indeed NOTHING. There is no way you can be sure or know someone within that time frame.

    I’ve been dating an 8-years younger full time student the last 2 months (we see each other twice a week on average) and still I don’t feel I know this man entirely and am still observing and processing things that I see. So we haven’t even discussed exclusivity yet, apart from that we agree at this point we will have fun when we are together and have our own lives when we are not and not getting nosy about what each other is doing when we are not together.

    I have married before (and so has he) and I want to make sure this time around I won’t rush into anything. Though chemistry wise we are great, I have reservations as far as compatibility goes considering his current transitional stage of his life. He pretty much admits as well that he’s not ready for relationship for his preoccupation with school which I totally understand and he feels he won’t be too available time-wise for any women at this point (and the fact that he has no money).

    Though we pretty much have our feelings known for each other (yes the ILY and stuff), at the end of the day timing is everything. You can’t force this. I really am on a fence, and he obviously is too for various reasons though undoubtedly the more we see each other, the more attached we will be emotionally but we will see what happens (I suspect he’ll be the one who is more attached as it takes much longer for a guy to do so -and he was cautious the first 8 weeks) and I pretty much have gone through “my peak” with him, so to speak :) ).

  20. 50
    Katarina Phang

    However, if he did ask to be exclusive with me, I’d definitely give it a serious consideration. It has to come from him though otherwise I’ll just waste my time.

  21. 51
    Paragon

    @ Michelle20

    “Self interest is NOT being selfish.”

    We all have self-interests, but where these self-interests *conflict* between individuals(which is *frequently*), they are the *definition* of selfish concerns.

    Quit splitting semantical hairs.

    “I wonder, how much dating has this women done in general? I’m thinking proably not much over her adult life since she’s hiring a dating coach and then at age 39?”

    Does not follow.

    Indeed, I think it is far more likely that an overabudance of relationship turnover in her past, has adapted her
    towards starting *new* relationships, rather than maintaing existing ones.

    In which case, more ‘experience’ of finding/starting new relationships is the *last* thing she needs(again, assuming a stable LTR is the goal).

    @ Nadia29

    “Kurt #15, there will be plenty of men who will want to date a 39 year old. You’ll see when you’re 39. Not everyone wants children.”

    And how many less men do you suppose will want to commit to her, in lieu of such a bonding investment?

    Sorry, but she *is* playing with fire, if a LTR is her goal.

    @ MilkyMae31

    “Tara seems to be self-absorbed in the decision process of picking partner rather than focusing on the building a
    relationship with someone. I’m of the opinion that a relationship is a goal to work towards and not some choice you make at the end of a month long taste test. You are always going to cold feet if you think it’s either 1, 2 or what’s behind door number 3.”

    Wow – someone(a woman?) actually gets ‘it’, lol.

    @ Jadafisk

    “Men in that age range also *tend* to have had children already if they had a strong desire for them.”

    Really?

    Only if they can find a willing partner(I suspect you are overestimating the ease by which males can achieve this, as a sex – especially in the prevailing mating landscape).

    “The difficulty with dating at later ages is culling. A higher and higher percentage of people who are older singles are
    going to be single by choice, due to chronic indecisiveness, or other personality traits that are fairly well established, difficult to modify and off-putting to many. People who are not in those categories get jaded running into folks who are and get less motivated to put themselves out there, in an increasingly fragmented social scene where people have to make an effort to find other singles over thirtysomething.”

    Absolutely – past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, and the longer someone remains single, the more maladapted they be assumed to be, with respect to certain long-term interactions.

    @ Androgynous42

    “I respectfully disagree with Evan. This is NOT a “people” thing but a gender thing. Men don’t keep women around as
    “options”. They keep women around as booty calls – women they find attractive enough to want to sleep with, but not have long term meaningful relationships with. Thankfully they are not the majority of men, though a significant minority. Women, on the other hand, are opposite. They keep men around as truly “options”. Men they think they could have meaningful relationships with, but whom they are not madly deeply crazily attracted to, physically and sexually. They want to have these men to fall back upon should things not work out (which they never usually do) with their hotter, more exciting prospects. Unlike player men, there are many many many women out there who are like this. This is not to say they are bad women, but they just normal women exhibiting normal self interested behavior.”

    Besides some early hair splitting, very astute observation.

    @ Helene 43

    ” Her other option is: she could date him exclusively for long enough to actually DECIDE if she wants to be in a long term
    relationship with him or not.”

    “dating is a bonding process, and other suitors disrupt the bonding process.”

    If a LTR is the goal, then that is very true.

    I would like to add that LTRs are *always* going to be about ‘settling’, rather than dreaming of greener grass just over the horizon(which is always going to be there, no matter how far you pursue it).

    And the single biggest difference between happily paired individuals, and those toxic singles rotting away in dating limbo, is that the former have learned to stop chasing day-dreams and invest in a sure(r) thing.

    I don’t think Evan is faulting Tara for being uncertain, but rather for jeopardizing a good prospect, in favor of chasing rainbows – which is an absolutely justified criticism considering her age(which is an indisputable liability).

  22. 52
    Selena

    @Helelne re: #43

    I find your post the most sensible one on this thread thus far.

    If Tara truly cares for Ted…why not just date him for another few weeks and see if stronger feelings develop? If they don’t, she can end it with a clear conscience, knowing she gave it a fair chance, and didn’t string him along so she could see what else was out there.

    Focusing on getting to know one person at a time is not making a “commitment” to them – it’s merely choosing to get to know them without dividing one’s time and energy amongst a stable of others.

  23. 53
    Ruby

    EMK #55

    Okay. But the fact that Tara definitely did NOT see him as boyfriend material wasn’t clear in the original piece; it sounded more like she wasn’t sure yet. And I do think you need more than 3 dates to know if someone does have long-term potential.

  24. 54
    Bill

    Heather

    But still, the thought ran through my head: “Well, maybe if guys experienced this, maybe they wouldn’t treat a woman like that, in the future, because they know how it hurts.”

    You have probably not figure out this but generally there are two categories of men. Ones who will do this and ones that will not. If you hurt a man who does not do this this will lead him to become that man you have squandered your time away.

    The men who do treat women the way they desire they will learn to avoid all women with these kinds of issues “unrealistic expectations”. It seems that women are way attracted to men with unrealistic expectations than men are.

    The ones that does do this often he is often with many women that you don’t even register if you did lead him on.

    At the end of the day. I have seen so many happy couples and so many unhappy couples. If you have been hurt many many times I would look at the kind of person you have been picking. Generally there is always a pattern.

  25. 55
    Catharine

    Great advice! I wish that I had had this info several years ago. Off topic, I would have never guessed you went to Duke. I’m a tarheel by birth, but a blue devil by choice.

  26. 56
    Jadafisk

    Paragon, I told you that the vast majority of middle-aged men, as they exist today – as opposed to the surge in never married adult men that you predict will manifest in the coming generations – have been married before. There’s marriage records, there’s census forms, there’s surveys. Marriage is generally deemed the socially prescribed opportunity to have children, and due to a combination of factors, both natural and societal, people who haven’t done so already make the choice to do so or to decide not to during that time. For many people, children are the primary reason to request or pursue a marriage at all. Now, there will be some people who wanted children, married a partner who discovered that they were unable to bear/adopt children and then eventually divorced, but they would compose a minority. Biology still compels people to err more often on the side of having children at times in their life that they regret having done so, as opposed to regretting not having had any by the time a quarter century has passed since initial fertility.

  27. 57
    Michelle

    #53 “Self interest is NOT being selfish.”

    We all have self-interests, but where these self-interests *conflict* between individuals(which is *frequently*), they are the *definition* of selfish concerns.

    Self Interest = win/win
    Selfish = win/lose

    These are 2 different things, sorry you can’t see that.

    “Indeed, I think it is far more likely that an overabudance of relationship turnover in her past, has adapted her…”

    You have no way of knowing this. I would argue the opposite since Evan said “Tara invested a lot of money with me to ostensibly find herself a boyfriend,”

    “Each time, he called her in advance, made the plans, paid for her, followed up the day after, and let her know that she was a priority in his love life. Without being over-the-top smothering, Ted made it clear that he wanted to be her boyfriend.”

    This is great, and I’ve had that happen plenty of times, ultimately, they weren’t the right man for me, and that was found out at early as 6 weeks, but no longer than 6 months. All of these actions in no way means he’s a good match for her. I think she’s the smart one in taking her time, and that’s 6 weeks to 6 months in my world.

  28. 58
    Karl R

    Androgynous said: (#42)
    “Women, on the other hand, are opposite. They keep men around as truly ‘options’. Men they think they could have meaningful relationships with, but whom they are not madly deeply crazily attracted to, physically and sexually. They want to have these men to fall back upon should things not work out (which they never usually do) with their hotter, more exciting prospects.”

    Can you name three couples (whom you know) where the woman, after keeping a man around as a fallback option, eventually decided that he was the right choice for marriage?

    While the motives for keeping the other person around may be different, the end result is the same. If the other person keeps looking for someone else to be their long-term boyfriend/girlfriend, they’re not going to suddenly switch to the person they see as a less-appealing option.

  29. 59
    Daphne

    @Michelle/60-
    I understand that she wants to take her time, but in that case pulling her Match profile and not dating others for the next month or two would be the right thing to do. Dating others while she’s deciding is a slap in the face.

  30. 60
    Paragon

    @ Jadafisk

    “Paragon, I told you that the vast majority of middle-aged men, as they exist today – as opposed to the surge in never married adult men that you predict will manifest in the coming generations – have been married before. There’s marriage records, there’s census forms, there’s surveys.”

    • In 2004, there were an estimated 67.8 million
    fathers and 82.8 million mothers ages 15 and over
    in the United States.

    • Overall, 61.7 percent of men and 70.3 percent of
    women 15 years and over were parents.

    – Ever-married men and women were almost equally likely to have
    had children (84.4 and 86.6 percent, respectively).

    – Never-married women were twice as likely as never-married men to have had a child (23.5 and 11.7 percent, respectively).

    (source – census.gov)

    We clearly have different standards for what constitutes a vast majority.

    In any case, I maintain that your argument is overestimating the ease by which a male can successfully reproduce.

    @ Michelle

    “We all have self-interests, but where these self-interests *conflict* between individuals(which is *frequently*), they are the *definition* of selfish concerns.

    Self Interest = win/win
    Selfish = win/lose”

    Actually no – where self-interests *conflict* between individuals(which, again, is *frequently* the case), it becomes a zero sum game, and thus a selfish equation.

    Sorry you can’t see that.

    @ Karl R

    “Can you name three couples (whom you know) where the woman, after keeping a man around as a fallback option, eventually decided that he was the right choice for marriage?”

    Not surprising, as I would expect that most such females rarely settle down to begin with, forever chasing their greener grass on the horizon(or riding the c. carousel, if you will).

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