Why (Some) Women Might Consider Settling

Why (Some) Women Might Consider Settling
I got an email from my sister the other day. She was forwarding an article written by Lori Gottlieb for The Atlantic, called “Marry Him – The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough”. Actually, that’s not quite right. In fact, she was forwarding me a link to a gossip site called Jezebel, which was ripping the author for even posing the notion that settling was a reasonable idea. So first I read the criticism, then I read the article, then I read a post-article interview with Gottlieb, and then I watched Gottlieb defend herself on The Today Show.

It was very clear that Gottlieb was onto a hot-button issue. But why was she getting attacked from all angles? Why the seething vitriol at a single mother who suggests that it might be wiser to compromise at age 34 than to continue searching through a thinning talent pool at age 40? It was clear to me that the messenger was being shot for carrying a controversial message. But it wasn’t fully clear why. So I started talking with the very people who were upset about this piece – single women, 35-45. My clients.

They told me that the piece was offensive.

They told me that it speaks more about the author than it does of them.

They told me they were very happy being single and would sooner die alone than settle.

They told me that it’s unfair to single out women for “settling”. What about men?

Now, to be clear, I am very sympathetic to the plight of women looking for love. No, I’m not a woman, which inherently limits my understanding, but I am a dating coach who listens to the fears and complaints of women every single day. You’d be hard pressed to find a man more attuned to the frustrations of single women than I am. Yet from a coldly logical standpoint, I found Gottlieb’s argument virtually unassailable.

She didn’t say settling was ideal. She wasn’t saying that you should “settle” to the point that you’re miserable. She wasn’t saying that you couldn’t possibly be happy alone. She even admits that “talking about settling in a positive light makes people profoundly uncomfortable”. So what was she saying? To paraphrase:

If you DO want that traditional American dream of husband + house + kids who look like you, then your odds of achieving it are greater if you “settle” in your early 30’s.

If you want to have your own biological children with a quality man, your options are considerably greater when you’re 32 than when you’re 42. And if that’s the case, it might behoove you to settle for a “good” guy when you’re younger, rather than hold out for an ideal guy when there are fewer quality options available.

I’m not sure what there is to argue with. I mean, you can make the argument that you’re perfectly happy being single. Great. Stay single. You can make the argument that you’d be suicidal if you were to marry the “wrong” guy. Certainly, you shouldn’t marry under those circumstances. But if you DO want that traditional American dream of husband + house + kids who look like you, then your odds of achieving it are greater if you “settle” in your early 30’s.

Here’s why:…

1) If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values is on the hunt for a wife, he is most likely is going to be attracted to someone younger. Wait, don’t shoot! I’ve got an older girlfriend, and have long advocated for the wisdom and experience of thirtysomethings over twentysomethings. But youth and beauty have always been coveted by men, and wishing it away doesn’t change a thing.

2) If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values wants to be the biological father to his own children, he is mostly likely going to be searching for someone younger. It makes perfect sense. He doesn’t want to have to rush the relationship, much less get engaged, married, and pregnant in a year. Thus, all things remaining equal, most 40-year-old men with a choice will choose to date a woman younger than 35. It buys them time. Time that 35-40 year-old women don’t have IF they want their own biological children.

If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values wants to be the biological father to his own children, he is mostly likely going to be searching for someone younger.

And that’s the caveat that I need to emphasize more than Gottlieb did in her article. If you don’t want children, you’ve got no reason to settle. If you already have children, you’ve got no reason to settle. If you’re fine adopting children, you’ve got no reason to settle. But if you want to have your own kids, you have a far better pool of male applicants at age 30 than you do at age 40. It’s not that it’s impossible. Women in their late 30′s and early 40′s fall in love, get married, and get pregnant all the time. It’s just more difficult, that’s all.

Which is why this should not be taken as a judgment against women over 35. It’s merely an observation about the dating preferences of men. It’s not like women don’t know this. If they weren’t fully aware that men discriminated by age, they wouldn’t be lowering their ages to 29, 34, and 39 on dating sites across America. And what these women have surely realized – what they voice to me on the phone daily – is that the quality of their suitors is abysmal.

Are all the good ones taken? Not quite. But here’s a lot of what you’re going to get as a 40-year-old woman on Match.com: Commitmentphobes. Players. Financially unstable guys. Unattractive guys. Socially awkward guys. Much younger guys. Much older guys. Look in your in-box. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know….

So where are the tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old men with six-figure incomes and great family values? Searching for women 25-35, that’s where. And while some of those 25-35 women are getting married to these guys, many others are holding out for better men –younger, richer, cuter, smarter. Are they wrong for doing so? Hell, no. They’re following their hearts. They know what they’re worth. They WILL. NOT. SETTLE. In the meantime, they focus on their careers, their friends, their travel, and their homes, because that’s more rewarding than the tedious, maddening process that is dating. But occasionally, as these women near 40, things begin to shift. They find themselves lonely at holidays, or fed up with weddings, or feeling a biological pull that can’t be ignored. So, once again, they decide to gamely search for Mr. Right. But who’s left to choose from? Mostly (not exclusively), a parade of the “wrong” men on Match.com.

Given all that, I find it hard to disagree with Gottlieb’s assertion that, for women who want their own kids, it may be a better long-term decision to snap up Mr. Good Enough at 32 than to hope for Mr. Perfect at 42.

It sure ain’t romantic, but it is practical. People hate practical.

It sure ain’t romantic, but it is practical. People hate practical.

You may be reading this and getting upset. Maybe you’re upset at me for my take on this. Maybe you’re upset with Gottlieb for perpetuating the myth that women need men. Maybe you’re upset with men for wanting younger women. But mostly, I think what is most upsetting is that the article challenges our worldview that we can have it all without having to compromise. And the fact that a few people seem to have it all makes it all the more tantalizing. But when the high wears off – and, oh, it does – what do those people have left? Ask any older married couple. They’ll tell you about the virtues that have kept them together for forty years. Friendship. Loyalty. Patience. Values. Compromise.

So why do we single people so arrogantly insist that our elders have got it wrong? And if you’d rather be alone than compromise, why get so upset that other people like Lori Gottlieb have a different point of view?

 

 

 

Click here to read more:

Lori Gottlieb’s Article in the Atlantic: “Marry Him”

Jezebel’s criticism of Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb defending her article on The Today Show.

 

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Comments:

  1. 31
    smartcookie

    I was trying to read this article with an open mind, but then I saw this section line.

    “They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.”

    I felt like I was punched in the stomach…do women really feel this way?

    Wow-i just can’t swallow this. I mean, i don’t think we should hold out for perfection, but geez, it’s a little extreme. its almost like saying a man can give me a family and those children are going to make up for what I am missing in my marriage, in my life? That seems MORE dangerous because the children will pay the price…

    can companionship between spouses provide a healthy home life for children? is companionship what you want to teach those children to look for when it comes to marriage?

    this whole idea makes life seem so dull.

  2. 32
    Honey

    Thanks to my buddy Lance for turning me on to this thread. The comments seem to have taken their own turn, but here’s my take:

    1) As a friend I mentioned this to pointed out, if “settling” to have your own kids is what women are after, 30 is too late. Guys in their 30s are dating girls in their 20s. Guys in their 40s are divorced, have already had their own biological children, and don’t want to make any with you.

    2) A HUGE cause of divorce is the stress of child-rearing. Would you really want to undertake that with someone you knew wasn’t a perfect fit from the very beginning?

    3) This in the spirit of Evan’s blog, which doesn’t shy away from controversial issues. WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE THEIR OWN BIOLOGICAL KIDS ANYWAY? Seriously.

    Given world overpopulation, the scarcity of resources, and the number of unwanted children all over the world, I feel it is unethical to do anything other than adopt. I understand I can only speak for myself with any sort of authority, but not one thing about having children sounds compelling, interesting, or even rational to me. It does not sound financially responsible. It does not sound intellectually compelling. It does not sound emotionally fulfilling.

    Now, I understand that I’m in the minority, and that there are people out there who truly enjoy the company of children and are willing to make tremendous sacrifices in order to have the presence of children in their lives. However, I would argue that number is a FRACTION of the people who say they want children and/or who actually have them. And jumping onto that bandwagon uncritically or uninformed is a great way to end your romantic partnership, whether he/she is your “soulmate” from the beginning or not.

    IMO, people want to have their own biological children for the same reasons they hold out when they should, according to Gottlieb, “settle”: they overestimate their own value. In the case of having kids, they overestimate their value to the point that they believe their (potential) offspring are (or will be) smarter, better looking, or otherwise more deserving than any of the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of kids who already exist. If we’re going to talk about adjusting our priorities here, then that seems to be the place to start to me.

  3. 33
    Steve

    Bravo “Honey”!

    FWIW, the world replacement is slightly over 2 children per couple. If you have to have your own kids, think about the world your grand children will have to live in and limit your family size to 2 kids. If enough people do that, the fraction of the world replacement rate to the right of the decimal will let the world population slowly come down.

  4. 34
    Lance

    Honey, THAT’S the money comment of the week right there! I’ve had those same thoughts (maybe from talking with you) but I’ve never articulated as concisely as that.

    Why have kids? Seriously? To satisfy an internal craving? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Consider that, on average, over 357,000 babies are born daily. EVERY SINGLE DAY. One could argue that it’s not just foolish to bring more children into the world, but it’s irresponsible.

  5. 35
    A-L

    I have to say, I think this topic is far more universal than some of the people here are making it. This is not just about women, and not just about people who want their own biological children. It’s the question of how good does one’s significant other need to be in order to make a life-long commitment to him/her.

    Even for people who do not want kids, I think there’s still a strong desire to find someone. I think it’s part of human nature to want to share that companionship, trust, and intimacy with someone else. And no matter how great our friends and families are, and how happy we are being single ourselves, we’re still looking for that other person. Particularly since, statistically speaking, most people are going to get married and have kids. And if you’re the one left over, still single, you find yourself increasingly alone. Though there’s nothing wrong with being alone, most people want companionship, somewhere to share their hopes and dreams with, and accomplish them.

    So, that brings me back to my original question. How good does someone need to be to make a life-long commitment to them? I think Steve made a really good point. Settling, I think, in this context means accepting accepting Mr. Human instead of holding out for Mr. Knight In Shining Armor. Just make it a gender-neutral (or gender-inclusive) comment. Is it 98%, 90%, 80%, 60%, or 51%? I’m 27, and I’m aiming for 90%. I’m also hoping that it’s realistic, but high enough of a standard that there won’t be any regrets. I’ll just have to see.

  6. 36
    downtowngal

    I really don’t like all of this “oh, woe is me I’m a single woman who needs advice blah blah” stuff.

    I think this all has to do with how you define “settling”. Is it someone you really don’t love and might resent 5 years down the line while having an affair with the UPS guy? I have girlfriends who married in their late 20′s because they were afraid of being alone, only to divorce a few years later.

    As for 40something commitment phobic guys, I have news for you, these same guys were commitmentphonbes when they were in their 30′s and 20′s. I also think it’s a bunch of bullcrap that single guys in their 40′s all prefer women under 35; sure many do but I think it has more to do with the guys than with the women, as lots of guys I know that age prefer someone closer to their maturity level. I also know women in their early 30′s who have had fertility issues and women in their 40′s who got pregnant the old fashioned way. Fact is, most married people have kids within a year or two of marriage, regardless of age. And if a guy in his 40′s will only date women under a certain age, he’s also ‘settling’ because he’s seeking love for the wrong reasons.

    When I was in my late 20′s early 30′s I thought the idea of dating a guy 10 years older was creepy. Also, women outlive men, so why would I want to spend the prime of my life and sexual peak being someone’s nursmaid?

    The real message is about having realistic expectations about what makes a good relationship – a tall guy who runs a hedge fund but doesn’t always have time for you, or a short, bald guy who makes you smile and would move mountains for you, you and only you?

  7. 37
    Paul

    Americans tend to be spoiled idealists…we’ve largely got it all wrong in this society, and I think Evan is right by saying that there are way too many folks looking to “have it all”, and that just doesn’t exist. People immediantly jump to opposite extremes in their thinking…to compromise is not settling at all, it’s reality. It might be politically incorrect at the moment, but most things that are politically incorrect are just that…incorrect. This notion of finding “the one” is really ill conceived and there is nothing biblical about it AT ALL. I read in a book called “Keeping Love Alive” by Gary Smalley that the three most important things in a relartionship are 1) Honor (which would include respect, etc – try having a relationship without it), 2) deep levels of communication (to go past areas of conflict to get to deep levels of emotional intimacy), and 3) building each other up (mutually supportive). So it seems to me that compatibility is more important than chemistry, and just about any two people can have an extremely satisfying long term relationship if they continue to do these ‘right’ things stated above…meaning that it is not really a matter of finding Mr or Mrs right (or “the one”) anyway, but BEING Me or Mrs right. The bible puts it another way…”men love your wives, wives respect your husbands” (Eph 5:33) – BOTH are unconditional (key…women have a harder time with that concept then men do…respect should not be something that is earned…it is as unconditional as love) . In short, we are to do certain things as men and women in a relationship and if we do, we’ll be successful.

  8. 38
    Collins

    Right on, Lance! As recently as the 19th century, it may have been practical for couples to produce a lot of kids to make sure a few lived to adulthood. But in today’s world (esp. in the US, Canada, Australia & European countries) a couple can have just one child who most likely will live to adulthood. I for one am thankful that my family is doing its part to save the world just by staying small. I am the younger of 2; neither my sister nor I have ever married or had kids, or expect ever to do either. And just like verbosity, I’m concerned about the high risk of being divorced & incurring child support debt. In contemporary western societies, when a man fathers a child, he sows the seeds of his own financial ruin.

    But to get closer to the original topic, “settling” can apply to BOTH genders. For example, a man’s ideal mate might be a Heidi Klum or Tyra Banks lookalike, but if he’s realistic he’ll “settle” for the Plain Jane with a few extra pounds. I may picture myself attached to a woman with singing/musical talent, dark skin & thinly braided hair, but I can do without all that as long as she pulls her weight in the r’ship & accepts the equal responsibilities that come with equal rights. Looks may attract me initially, but attitude keeps me in the long run.

  9. 39
    Markus

    First, and I don’t know if this is permitted but the author was on “Talk of the Nation” the other day and it was fantastic. Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18952108

    And Honey, point number one is right on. I’m 38, had 2 kids by the time I was 32 and I am NOT getting this vascectomy reversed for anyone. And believe me, it costs me on the dating scene.

    Anyway, to everyone out there that isn’t getting this point: the point about settling is precisely that even if you find Mr. Perfect on his white stallion your buzz will not last and you will resent him anyway. We need to stop thinking that those feelings can last for the rest of our lives. 3, 5 years into any marriage, esp one with kids, and even with a solid man, you will feel like you’re settling. Book it.

    Peace.

  10. 40
    Steve


    downtowngal Feb 14th 2008 at 08:06 pm 36

    I think this all has to do with how you define settling. Is it someone you really don’t love and might resent 5 years down the line while having an affair with the UPS guy?

    It is those shorts, isn’t it? :)

  11. 41
    Steve


    Paul Feb 14th 2008 at 08:48 pm 37
    I read in a book called Keeping Love Alive by Gary Smalley that the three most important things in a relartionship are 1) Honor (which would include respect, etc – try having a relationship without it), 2) deep levels of communication (to go past areas of conflict to get to deep levels of emotional intimacy), and 3) building each other up (mutually supportive).

    I’m surprised he didn’t put money in that list. FWIW, I think an equitable distribution of housework is the Pearl Harbor of relationship killers…too many men, including relationship experts don’t take it seriously as a relationship stressor.

  12. 42
    Angela Crisp

    Smartcookie: I agree with you. It takes a powerful connection between a man and a woman to pull off a home life, much less handle the stress of even one child, biological or adopted. Settling merely strips back what could be a better situation for the couple and the child(ren). Its not about seeking an impossible ideal, it is about trying to get what is best for you for your own contentment. Waiting for contentment is worth it in my opinion, for the sake of myself, children or no. Thanks for reading and your kind response. A.C.

  13. 43
    Angela Crisp

    Paul: I would like to know why you believe women have a harder time with respect then men? In Biblical terms, if women have a harder time respecting men, do men have a harder time loving women, thus the injunction to each? I would say for me to stay with a man, I would ask him to earn my love and respect prior to any commitment. I would also expect to earn his love and respect, also called getting to know someone else and falling in love. Am I asking too much for a response like that from a man? I would be interested in knowing your thoughts. Thanks for reading and your kind response. A.C.

  14. 44
    ABF

    I think there is a real difference between settling and being open-minded and realistic about potential mates (this goes for both men and women). Nobody should “settle” for the mere sake of havinig a spouse and children. That merely breed resentment and discontent. Being open-minded, on the other hand, allows you to make a deeper connection with someone that you might otherwise never given a moment’s notice.

    As an aside to the alimony debate in this thread: the law is shifting towards a more equitable system. See http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202990186611

  15. 45
    Steve

    About having children.

    I remember reading some articles and stats that parents are not any less likely to spend their final years alone in convalescent homes. They are also not any less likely to die alone.

    It seems to me many people focus on having children without ever considering if they WANT to be parents or if they have TIME to be parents.

    You shouldn’t have kids, if having kids is just an item on your lifetime to-do list. They are human beings and not accessories.

    Ask yourself:

    - Do you really know what the day to day reality of being a parent is like?

    - If yes, do you want that day to day reality.

    - Do you have TIME to be a REAL parent or are your kids going to grow up in a day care center? There is a lot of research ( and yes, not from social conservative ) that shows that quantity *IS* quality time as far as children are concerned. Are you ready to come home after a long day of work and be enthusiastic about being with them?

    If you aren’t sure get an idea of what it is like having another living thing dependent on you. Babysit a small child for several weeks. Foster a rescued dog until you can find it a home.

  16. 46
    verbosity

    Good post, ABF re: alimony. I would like to point out a few things for readers in general.

    The law.com article shows that these are simply proposed legislative measures. They need to be approved by the legislative branches of each respective state AND then signed by the executive. Not an easy path.

    The article mentions the NY and NV proposal to provide ‘guidelines’ in place of judges’ discretion. In reality, they are one and the same as practiced. For Example, AZ has a 10+ ‘gudelines’ in determining an award of spousal maintenance. (shouldn’t we call it EX-spousal maintanance?). Judges have unlimited discretion in determining how much of these guidelines they are going to apply. For example, a judge might say to himself, “I’m going to weight the style and accustomed manner of living during the marriage 98% and the fact she has a college degree 2%” Thereby weighing his efforts (style of living) more than hers (her education). Judges do not write opinions detailing this thought process.

    It’s just like the use of the word ‘reasonable’ in law. What does it mean? Damn near anything. Same things with these ‘guidelines.’

    Contrast that with child support, capped by law in AZ to $2,500 max. That isn’t a guideline. There has to be major extenuating circumstances in existence for ANY deviation from this, and they need be well-documented by the parties and the court.

    I applaud MA’s efforts, but my God, isn’t it pathetic they’ve already made their system so to take earnings from a 2nd wife (in part) and give it to the 1st?

    But this whole thing regarding ‘guidelines’ is mere window-dressing, as it doesn’t limit judicial discretion (abuse) in any practical, meaningful way. It’s placation.

    It is positive, however, that more legislators are becoming aware.

  17. 47
    verbosity

    For the above post, it relates back to what men face if these women ‘settle’ for them, and later become unhappy. Lori Gottleib wrote, “So if you rarely see your husband but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear, and he provides a second income that allows you to spend time with your child instead of working 60 hours a week to support a family on your own how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?”

    The exposure to men for providing women the flexibility to have children and not work simply isn’t worth it the vast majority of the time.

  18. 48
    verbosity

    Lastly, the thought just occurred to me….if a woman is ‘settling’ so that she can have children, doesn’t this completely discount men’s role and value as incidental? He’s simply there to provide her with sperm for the child so SHE can be fulfilled, and to help with all of those other pesky things of life, like providing a home, its maintenance, child’s future health and educational needs, etc? He exists merely as an instrument to fulfill her child bearing desires. Doesn’t he deserve more?

    Food for thought…

  19. 49
    Honey

    Steve, unfortunately there is absolutely no evidence that the present 6+ (almost 7!) billion people is a sustainable world population. I googled around a little bit to try to find information on this, and many people are asking the question. There is an organization called Negative Population Growth that claims 2 billion is the maximum sustainable population. I have no idea if that’s true, but if it is, then we’re all in big trouble. But I hadn’t considered the issue before in terms of sustainability. Thanks for getting me thinking!

  20. 50
    Eda

    To Verbosity:

    Why do you visit this website? You don’t seem to like or respect women. You definitely don’t have any use for the institution of marriage. I’m not even certain that you think relationships are worthwhile. It just seems that all you ever want to do is state how divorce leaves men finanacially devastated and their ex-wives living high on the hog. Ok. Your message is loud and clear. Women are leeches; men who marry them are stupid ninnies.

    Can you now try something really wacky and different and provide constuctive and useful information for people who haven’t yet abandoned hope on a relationship or marraige?

  21. 51
    Li-Ann

    I can’t comment on the settling issue to have children, since I’ve never had children and my drive to meet someone had nothing to do with having children. I just was never the type of women who would squeal with glee when I saw a baby – but I know there are a lot of women out there who have an enormous drive to have a baby. I just wasn’t one of them. I also had friends tell me that once they had a baby, that baby became their everything, and really much more important than the man.

    I read the article carefully, and Evan’s comments. I give my two cents from the perspective of someone who went through their twenties never settling, and them married the “love of my life” at 33. Only to have it end in my 40s.

    The problem is that by the time one thinks about settling, it is really too late. There would be no way that I’d settle, right up to 33. I was always looking for the one. For me it wasn’t about money or possessions – it was a romantic ideal. Usually these romantically handsome and fascinating men were unemployed or barely employed. At that time, the only person pushing me to settle was my Mother. I didn’t listen. She’d say that in the end its going to be about the day-to-day – the housework, etc. She said that the euphoria will settle down with just about anybody, and it would be a lot better to deal with the stresses of marriage and at least have money than be broke.

    I married someone I felt the spark with. He had no job, no car. I looked after him. In the end, we parted when he finally got a decent job. No kids. I didn’t ask for any money, a clean break,. He did make the mean comment that in the end it will be easier for him to find someone new than for me. After all, even if we both were 10 years older- for a woman that’s a problem, and for a man, he said the fact that he has his hair, is 6 ft. tall, and has a job, is really all he needs. He used to laugh sarcastically about short men, and how he had such an ease in meeting women, even including when he had no money. I felt that was all so very unfair. It ends up being true. Once he had a good job, he wanted to get someone younger.

    Looking back, I probably would make all the same mistakes over again. The guys I rejected in my 20s might have been better partners. However, I bet I would have felt like I was missing something. The guy I was with, despite out initial passion, turned out to be abusive at times, and always taking more out of the relationship than he returned. I was really just like a maid. Many times I would think how much nicer it would be to be with someone who was at least kind hearted.

    So my feelings are mixed. Now that I think about it, there was a super nice guy back in my twenties that I rejected for being boring. Things might have worked out well with him. Still, I feel I need to have at least the slightest spark.

    Maybe I misread Evans intelligent comments, but it seems to send a not very hopeful message to women over 40. The advice seems to be summarized in that a woman should not be so picky in her twenties and early thirties, and take someone who would be a good husband. By your forties, the pool will be so small, that it will be almost impossible to find anyone, especially if you still wanted a family. I take that to mean I have a very small, maybe 5% chance or less, of getting someone now. And even that is probably with some heavy duty settling. I guess that’s pretty sad, because based on what I’ve just read, it’s all over for me.

    One comment that caught my attention in the original article was that men don’t need to settle – that there are more women who want marriage than men. Is that really how it is?

  22. 52
    Evan Marc Katz

    Men don’t have the same biological imperatives to have to settle. But even men price themselves out of the market if they wait too long to settle down after 25 years of confirmed bachelorhood.

    As far as this message not being hopeful, Li-Ann? I want to acknowledge that it’s not all rosy – especially if your goal is to find a man your age to be the biological father of your children. If you’re fine with adoption and fine dating older men, your picture is a lot sunnier. But to suggest that most 40 year old men are searching for 40 year old women is simply untrue and it would be irresponsible to say otherwise.

    So where does this leave you? Hopefully, vigilant about making something happen in your love life. Get online, start taking adult education classes, go to Meetup.com, hire a matchmaker, join a local singles adventure organization, go out with your girlfriends, attend parties, keep your eyes open in real life. All is not lost, not by a long shot. For as depressing as this outlook seems to be, I can tell you story after story after story of women finding love between 35-45. Your only hope is to stay optimistic and pro-active. And I only wish that the information you get here helps you in some small way.

    Have a great weekend.

    Evan

  23. 53
    verbosity

    To Eda:

    This is not about me, so don’t try to make it so. I do believe that as an institution the way it is constituted, there is zero benefit for men to marry. That is not to say that men and women are not or cannot have long and happy relationships. They can and should. They simply need not marry to prove that.

    That said, what is the resentment for me providing education to men in the dating/marriage arena? If after they know the risks, they assume them, so be it. It is not up to me to do something whacky and different and provide constructive information. I just think that, given the topic that women who believe they should ‘settle’ for ‘Mr. Good Enough’ need to sell why this is a good deal for men. So far, I haven’t heard anything bordering on persuasive.

    Someone, please persuade me.

  24. 54
    Steve

    Honey;

    I wasn’t talking about sustainability, but reducing the population. If most couples limited themselves to just 2 children ( hopefully less ) not enough people would be born to replace everyone. The world population would SLOWLY decline. Most couples are not going to adopt, go childless, or limit themselves to one child so I tell them the good news of the world replacement rate being slightly ( by a fraction ) over 2 kids per couple.

  25. 55
    Steve

    In reference to post #55.

    I hate to quote wikipedia ( not the best source ) but here is what I mean about a limit of 2 children per family being a good compromise between being responsible and going with the urges to be a biological parent:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility

    My apologies for the off topic post. This week I am on the patch for posting novellas. Next week I will work at staying on topic. After that I will work on limiting myself to 34 comments a day.

  26. 56
    Eda

    To Verbosity:

    It is about you — it’s about you and your agenda to dissuade men from getting married. Funny thing is, Verbosity, I actually have no desire to get married — I never have — probably because I have never wanted to have children and because I see marriage as being oppressive — for me. However, just because I don’t want to get married, I don’t try to convince other women that they shouldn’t want to get married either. Yet, it seems that every chance you get, no matter what the topic, you’ve got to point out that men should not get married because women screw men over when they get divorced. Yes, men do get screwed over, and plenty of women get screwed over as well. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT! So, don’t pretend that you are providing important information that is new news. Plus, if divorce is so horrible for men, why do men often get married a second time when statistics would suggest, that there is a very high probably that they are going to get divorced again? And, many times, men will get married again before their ex’s do. Clearly, men are getting something out of marriage that you don’t/can’t/won’t see.

    But what disturbs me even more than your anti-marriage stance, is your dislike of, and disrespect for, women — I notice that you didn’t deny that’s how you feel. And, if you do, again I ask, why are you on this website? I am sure there is at least one anti-woman, anti-marriage website where you can feel right at home.

  27. 57
    hunter

    to verbosity,

    ….you say there is zero benefit for men to marry?….hhmmmhh…one benefit that comes to mind,,,, if she is sexy,,,,, and you don’t marry her,,,,,, someone else will!…..LOL!……

  28. 58
    hunter

    To li-ann,

    ..a half a century has gone by right before my eyes,,,and it seems as if I meet more women my age, than when I was in my 20′s….

  29. 59
    Hadley Paige

    One Man’s view of women who are Settling

    If women follow the suggestion of the article and settle so that they can get married & have kids, does it not follow that conversely men are getting a women “out of their league”? If the woman settles w/o a philosophy & attitude adjustment (Namely: lowered expectations >> increased contentment vs. same higher level of expectations and entry into “settled” marriage >> increased discontent), I think for me this would not be good for my goal of a successful LTR.

    Why? I think settling leads to (IMHO) increased likelihood of divorce and leads me to conclude (as a man who is mindful of the effect of divorce on me [namely financial atomic bomb]), that I should choose a women as a wife who is not settling, but rather someone who is thrilled to get me, someone who perceives me as uplifting her.

    Note to responders to this post: I encourage you not to fall for the logical fault of discounting or dismissing facts or suggested inferences which you may not like. I am not attached to the above suggestion, nor does it necessarily appeal to me, but it occurred to me after reading the article on settling.

    Bottom line for me at this point is: I don’t think I want a women who is settling for me bc I think the likelihood of a successful LTR is diminished by that fact. Opinions ??? (not on whether you like this but whether you think it is likely true)

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