75-Year Harvard Study Concludes: Happiness is Love.

75-year harvard study concludes - happiness is love

I’ll admit it. I don’t get the anti-love people. I mean, if you’re married to your career, if your friends are your family, if you love your pets like children, good for you. Go on with your bad self. But guess what? You’re missing out.

In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history.  The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.

In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love.  Full stop.”

If you’re married to your career, if your friends are your family, if you love your pets like children, good for you. Go on with your bad self. But guess what? You’re missing out.

You can truly love a dog. You can truly love a platonic friend. I just find it hard to compare such platonic relationships to the kind of love shared by a couple who created a family and lived together for fifty years. The author talks about having “Warm Relationships,” which, in theory could encompass friendships. But, in truth, I would suspect a majority of happy 75-year-old men have one best friend – a wife – as opposed to a bunch of high school buddies who still talk with him every day.

Full article here. Let me know whether you think that:

a) Friendships are equal to romantic relationships and b) Whether you’re happier when you’re in love. Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sunflower

    I don’t think friendships are equal to romantic love and yes, I do believe you are happier when you have “love” in your life regardless on whether that’s from a romantic partner or not.  The main take away from the article was that “Happiness is Love….Full Stop.”  I am currently not in a romantic relationship, but I have such quality (warm) relationships with my family, friends and son, that imagining myself any happier than I am right now, seems unreal.  Besides that, the article did mention feeling a greater fulfillment in your later years……I’m 52 and agree most heartedly with that assumption.

  2. 2
    Dora

    Yes,Happiness is Love. I have Love – a lot of it- from 4 legged. Love from a man is a Myth and useless thing to pursue. There are Not many good men- there are many bad ones. ..or otherwise said – 95 % of men are not good, the 5% left are of course taken and if they are lucky to have what they want in life – they will never become available..Good for them,not for us..In support of this, I heard a saying – “Good woman can do it All on her own. A good man – won’t let her” (do it all on her own). Where I am coming from – there are No good men Left out in this world  free floating and waiting/wanting to meet those good women.
    So, yes- I am Very Happy and Very loved and I do really Love back with all my being – my horses and dogs and animals. And I am Happy, because I am in Love with them all.
    And Yes – friends are much better to love and be loved from. They do Not let you down,they do accept you as you are,they do really care about you,you really can count on them and not be stubbed in the back.Friends are not equal to romantic relationship – they are Better,when they are true friends, much better.!!! They do not try to control you or tell you what to do,they listen and take part in everything you “trow” at them. Relationship with real friend and with loving animal is Easy and natural. and how it should be with a  “man”. So it is much Better.!!!
    The old men talked about in the article -are Rare find – not a rule. If happiness between  people in marriages and relationships was so great and so true, there would not have divorce rates increasing,would not have domestic violence, substance abuse,mental illness etc… Everyone would be paired up and happy!!!! Where I am,more and more women are living alone and turning toward their animals – why is that..? And I am not talking about 20+ years old, I am talking about women in their 50s,60 and even 70s…- the “Good” women,the experienced ones.. Human race in general goes to decline in every way,but men account for more of this,in my opinion.

    1. 2.1
      Henriette

      Last I checked, the divorce rate was actually in decline.

  3. 3
    JennLee

    I think this should be shown to young people. I am coming to the conclusion that relationships are best when you meet when younger, marry, and then stay together through thick and thin. Then, when you are 70, you have all of those memories to make an unbreakable bond. Many men and women are messing this recipe up. Waiting too long to get serious about finding one person to love. Bailing out of marriages for the smallest things, that we make into big things. Being angry, having a closed heart, demanding, hateful, unforgiving, gossipy, etc, and then we wonder why we are unhappy. We don’t allow ourselves to have those many years of bonding to keep us warm when we are much older. I fear that the younger generation is going to have it even worse because of the way they are using so much technology to replace face to face interaction.

    1. 3.1
      Julia

      People who marry younger are the ones who get divorced. I am marrying later and yet I am very happy. But I am of the younger generation you speak of,  use technology, I wish that you wouldn’t degrade the way we communicate or question the quality of our relationships. I have good relationships with many friends that I am able to keep up with thanks to social media. I met my fiance via online dating. My relationships are not worse than your because they are different.

      1. 3.1.1
        Cathy

        Julia, Thanks for your comments. I regret that I was not able to commit to my long time boyfriend in my 20s. Since then, I have had just one real opportunity. The rest – including the last one over 4 years – are with people who can’t commit and then I try to make in work. Hopefully I have learnt my lesson. And I am reading your comments as a sign of hope that something meaningful can still be built later on in life (am in my early 50’s). 

      2. 3.1.2
        twinkle

        Firstly, Julia, have some mercy. How is anyone supposed to focus on reading with that ridiculously-adorable raccoon as your avatar??
         
        Also, congrats on your finding a good fiance. :) While hopping round this blog, I saw a comment from you saying u’d met 50 guys in 2 years thru online dating, which is terrific. I think a person really should meet many dates before deciding on a potential spouse. I’m happy the effort paid off for you (and for him).
         
        I have also just started online dating, as I work in a teeny office which never has more than 5 employees at a time! Online dating is a godsend for people with limited opportunities to meet new people. Hopefully I will meet a good partner like you. :)

  4. 4
    D'Anna

    Evan, I get a lot out of your writings and have purchased your material.  But I have to say that not everybody finds the perfect partner.  I was married young and divorced fast.  In my mid-40’s I placed an ad and met a man that I actually am embarrassed to say I told myself, and a few close friends, I believed was a “gift from God” because I never thought I would meet someone so wonderful after decades of serial monogamous relationships. Others did not see him as wonderful, he was quite eccentric.  But he was “my eccentric.” Twelve years later that “gift from G-d” turned out to be such a p*tz, that if I never hear his name again I will be a happy woman.  How people can be fooled, and fool themselves.  And I’m talking about lies and dishonesty here, not just incompatibility or boredom.  Full on “I’m not who I said I was.” 

    That said, I pulled myself together, dated other men, left with kindness when I knew it was the right thing to do.  I immersed myself in my community, volunteered, continued to love and be loved by the kids in my family – nieces and nephews – and other family members, yes, had a dog ;o) and I have super friends, longstanding and newly made.  This is how I live a good, happy life. 

    I have been in a relationship for 15 months with a good, sometimes difficult, getting over his own issues, divorced man (22 years married, 7 years divorced).  Is he the love of my life?  I have no idea.   But I don’t worry about it because … I have a basis of support and love and interests in my life to sustain me if we break up.  You are 5 years, I think, into your marriage, Evan, and I wish you 100 more loving years.  But … not everybody gets that in life — so it is important, I think, to not make marriage and children out to be the “be all and end all” of a life well lived – some of us, out of necessity, find happiness elsewhere.  Peace.

    1. 4.1
      JoeK

      Yes, D’Anna, not everyone is fortunate enough (or desires) to find a wonderful partner.

      But the whole purpose of Evan’s site is for people who *want* to find that partner, and are trying to figure out *how* to do it.

      So sorry that you were misled by the partners you had, I’d venture we ALL have our own stories we could tell. But we’re here trying to figure out how to do it better than the last time.

      If you aren’t looking for a partner, or how to improve your relationships, (or contribute knowledge/insight), why are you even on this site? 

      That would be like commenting on a Nascar site that racing is dumb if you dislike racing!

      Just go away, negative nellie. 

      1. 4.1.1
        starthrower68

        If Evan blocked her, then I’d agree, but in the market place of ideas, the best way for the ones you don’t like is to allow more ideas and let everyone decide for themselves.  I’ve said before and will say again that Evan’s advice is often good for people skills in general, not just romantic situations even though that’s the focus.  This blog is is very useful for finding out how others from all walks of life think.  I have found this an excellent resource to learn about people in general. Evan says his blog is for smart, successful women looking for love, most likely with men. Should we tell you to get lost or conclude you’re looking for a man? 😊

  5. 5
    Noemi

    As one blogger eloquently described, “Pets can’t answer back with sarcastic comments or moan about the state of the house so it’s easy to have a blissful relationship with a pet, which can’t always been said of human relationships.” I love my dog because he is always so happy, and does not have the voice to complain about or criticize what I do or don’t do…alas, I may need to find a better boyfriend.

     

  6. 6
    Amy

    I believe nothing equals romantic love, there just is no substitute!  But, even though one is happier when in love, the potential for great pain is also there. That pain is less likely to occur in friendships, love for family members, pets, etc. But the risk of pain is worth it.

  7. 7
    shellbell

    Great article, and I agree with you sunflower, about being happier later in life. I’ve had a pretty happy life, despite the difficulties, but find that being 41, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been right now. I’m currently in a romantic relationship right now that has been going on for just a little over a year, but still feel that even if it doesn’t work out, I’m still going to be ok and happy.
     
    I’ve said this many times, but I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s or early 30’s for anything!

  8. 8
    Rebecca

    I truly love my closest friends and I am closer to them than to blood relatives, but my closest, most intimate friendships were with my husband and with the man I was in love with before I started dating my husband.  I love my career and it feeds me; and I adore my cats, although not the way I am wholly given over to people I love; but I was definitely was happier when I was married.  I’m grumpy about the ultimate status of a 50 year relationship with the man I created a family with, since that is no longer an option for me.  But yeah, a big duh to the idea that happily married people are happier.
     

  9. 9
    Noquay

    I fully agree with Rebecca, I was far happier when married. My biggest regret in life was the breakup of my marriage and yep, my ex and I are still friends.  I have many pets, farm animals, a small but quality circle of friends, high end career, live a very full life. However, I truly miss physical touch, being with
    someone who shares my values, doing things together. Maybe it is because there is no family anymore, not that I ever had family support, but the alone-ness, trying not to be so negative when the few compatible
    men I meet winds up being already attached,
    the problem men wind up harassing/stalking me, really has eaten away at my psyche and I struggle daily with not being negative, even wanting to just end it at times due to the complete lack of hope. Then many blogs tell you to be happy with being alone, or to settle with someone who doesn’t work for you. These things are completely counter to who we are biologically; highly social primates who literally wither and die without meaningful contact, physical and emotional, with our own kind.

  10. 10
    starthrower68

    I can believe that most people are happier in a strong, healthy marriage (I did not say perfect); but because there are no guarantees of having such in live, we have to purpose to be happy without it as well. Because the alternative is not good.

  11. 11
    Erin

    Happiness is absolutely love, and vice versa. There is actually nothing I want more in this universe than to find a man to be in love with.  I have a great life – awesome family, wonderful friends and a dog I adore more than anything.  However, I am lonely.  I am also at an age where all of my friends are married with kids, and I am constantly the 5th wheel, which is exhausting.  Despite my best efforts to find love (actively dating a few times a week, following all of the commandments of EMK 101) I am single.  I am coming into the acceptance phase of the knowledge that I am most likely going to live the rest of my life as a single woman.  The holiday party season is coming up, and I am most likely going to decline the invitations.  I can’t handle being the only single person at these parties, the constant questions why I am single/where is my date, and worst of all – being forced to chat up some over 40 loser who I am fairly certain lives in his mom’s basement and spends his time playing World of Warcraft.  Think I will stay home and watch HGTV with my dog and a glass of wine instead.  
    Btw – Harvard, with your prestige and brain power, are you really just learning the NSN (no s*it news) that love is happiness? Really? Mmmmkay. 
     

    1. 11.1
      Ruby

      @ Erin: If all your social activities revolve around married couples, maybe it’s time to start hanging out more with other singles doing activities in social groups like Meetup. You might even meet someone you like.  At least you’ll be having fun, and not feel like the 5th wheel.
       
      Would most of us like to be happily married? Sure, but how many people actually attain that? So I don’t think that most people not in relationships are anti-love, maybe just burned out. They also want to avoid divorce, something that many divorced people did not concern themselves with so much or they might not have married. Finding a quality partner gets more difficult as you get older, especially for women. Almost all of my younger friends are in relationships or married.
       
       

      1. 11.1.1
        Chaka

        I HAD to reply to this!  :-)  After my fiance died just over two years ago, I was alone and bored.  I didn’t want to date.  I never imagined I would love again.  But, I wanted to be around people.  A year after my fiance’s death, I started my own Meetup group. Nearly a year after that, I am in the happiest, most joyful, healthy, functional, satisfying relationships I have ever been in — with one of the members in my group.  So, I second this suggestion by Ruby!  :-)

    2. 11.2
      JennLee

      Erin, I think Ruby gave wonderful advice. Go to singles functions. For one, it will also alleviate some of the pressure you will feel to have a guy who measures up to the scrutiny of your friends. Ever consider that the loser in his mom’s basement playing WoW is just there because like you, he gave up on finding somebody? They do get out, and some are tired of playing games. Of course you can operate on the assumption that unlike you, those over 40 guys, and even some under 40 guys are single for a reason. Will some of them look at you and assume that you are single for a reason? Since you mentioned over 40 guys in a derogatory fashion, I assume you are very early 30s?

  12. 12
    Erin

    @JennLee and @ Ruby,
    Thanks for the advice, but attending “singles” events is not really a legitimate idea. I live in the tech center of the world, and single men outnumber single women by a huge margin.  However, we are only talking quantity, not quality.  Many of these men are so highly educated and so intelligent that they are simply unable to have a conversation or have lighthearted fun over a glass of wine.  Or these men are just getting out of long marriages that were arranged when they were 20.  They have limited social skills, and on top of being in unhappy marriages for so long, they just don’t really know how to move a potential connection along.  These singles events usually end up with a group of single women wondering when the quality men are going to show up. 
    I called out the over 40 set because I have been casually set up with a  few fanny pack/Bill Cosby sweater wearing guys at parties – simply on the basis that we are both single.  Joy.  I am 36, and I have done my share of rehabilitating men to be social in pleasant society (getting algorithms out of the vocab, throwing away the Bill Cosby sweaters, message tees and diaper butt khakis, etc.).  These men have all shown promise at the beginning of the relationship, but things have gone sour for one reason or another, and totally unrelated to their wardrobes.  
    My ideal man is somewhere in the 40s, and I don’t care at all if my friends love him or hate him.  It just seems like all of the quality men are taken.  I’m so tired of feasting on scraps. 

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Just logically, how could it be that “all the quality men are taken”. I mean, just think about it. The ONLY quality single people on Planet Earth are women? Really? What about all the guys who get married between the ages of 36-45? None of those men are quality either?

      Go on a site for guys and they’ll be lamenting the lack of quality women. So instead of saying something that is patently ridiculous, how about you realize that dating is frustrating for everyone – and you may have to go on 100 dates before you get it right?

      1. 12.1.1
        Joe

        It’s always the same hyperbole.  It’s not that all the quality men (women) are taken.  It’s that people have ridiculous expectations from being fed a steady diet of movies and TV.  And the Lake Wobegon Effect at work.

    2. 12.2
      J

      I actually would stay away from  events geared specifically towards ‘singles’ and instead focus on activity meet ups- running, biking, co-ed sports. Or if that’s not your thing then movies or book clubs. Maybe even start your own meetup group geared around your interests.
       The goal isn’t just to meet men (though if you did that would be great) but to meet people- you can make friends with women and some of them are
      bound to know men you don’t or, at the very least, you may meet other single women to hang out with.  

      1. 12.2.1
        Noquay

        J
        I fully agree. Here, any singles, or any local event will have, as available singles, those same desperate folk you’ve been doing your best to avoid. Participating in something that aligns with your interests and values means that even if you do not meet anyone suitable, you still will be doing something you enjoy. This past weekend, I volunteered at a very large high school athletic meet. Yep, most of the parents were younger than I but there still were a lot of healthy, fit older men around, coaches maybe. Though most of them had wedding rings, it was a great opportunity to work on making eye contact, flirting, approaching, making light conversation, plus doing something positive for our community as well.

    3. 12.3
      EmeraldDust

      Erin @ 12 – I am 36, and I have done my share of rehabilitating men to be social in pleasant society (getting algorithms out of the vocab, throwing away the Bill Cosby sweaters, message tees and diaper butt khakis, etc.).  These men have all shown promise at the beginning of the relationship, but things have gone sour for one reason or another, and totally unrelated to their wardrobes.  
       
      It was probably related to you treating men like a do-over project.  I wouldn’t stay with a man who told me how to dress or talk.

    4. 12.4
      Julia

      Erin, first I want to say I understand your situation. I changed my career and now work in tech, 98% of my coworkers are males. Most of them fall under the category of “nerd” some of them have nerd rage, wear strange clothes, have questionable hygiene and are either painfully shy or completely indignent. That being said, some of them are swell.

      Most of them fall under what is referred to as “beta” here. I would say they are mostly nice but shy guys. Many of them are cute but wear tshirts and tattered shorts all the time. I think you have to look past that surface and get to know them as people. You might find that there is a treasure trove of very thoughtful, kind, sweet men out there with less than stellar social skills. Most of the men I work with are happily married, stable men. The ones who are not are mostly single because they don’t quite get how to approach women. You might need to be a little more forward when you see one of these cute nerds at a social event. 

  13. 13
    Aika

    Of course, no VP position, no palazzo, no friends, no dogs/cats/cows, etc. will substitute love between a man and a woman. Even your own kids cant make you feel happy if you do not have a loving man. People just try to enjoy what they have staying lonely for years and distracting themselves at work, with kids, friends, relatives. It s sad and sometimes, you simply do not have time and energy to look for someone, or dont know where to find Him. If it were really easy to find true love…

  14. 14
    Jen

    Few of us are “anti-love”.  We just aren’t finding quality, compatible people to enjoy it with.  Unfortunately, I find few men attractive (physically or otherwise), even at my own age and then I am told I must go up ten years from there to have a chance.  This is not to say that women are better, just that my standards are apparently hard to meet and the men I would want seem to have standards that would rule me out.

    I will keep an open mind on what might come along but to tell myself I can’t be happy without something I can’t find after an extensive search, seems ridiculous.  It seems equally ridiculous to lower my standards and expect that I would end up with something that would add to my life instead of degrading it.  I consider myself 90% happy, and I would love to have the extra 10%, but if not, life is still pretty wonderful.

    What I think makes many of us sad in life is the ideas that are marketed to us about love, lifestyle, our physical attributes, and all the things that we just can’t quite get and why we don’t measure up.  And if we just pay more for the right things or the right advice or the right service, we will be happy.  I have ignored all the dating sites for the last 6 months and I feel a lot better. 

  15. 15
    EmeraldDust

    Jen – “This is not to say that women are better, just that my standards are apparently hard to meet and the men I would want seem to have standards that would rule me out.”
    This is exactly what I am running into.  And a lot of the advice (not necessarily from here) seems to be to just accept any man who wants you (without regard for if you want him)  My fruitless search for love seems to follow this pattern, I meet a man,  he’s really into me, I just don’t feel it for him, the next man, I’m really attracted to him, he either doesn’t feel the same way (or he isn’t interested in a r’ship, just wants a booty call).  The next one is a case of mutual dis-interest.  That’s pretty bad when the BEST outcome in my search is mutual dis-interest.  (because at least no one got hurt.) Still looking for that sweet spot, a guy I like, who likes me back !  But apparently, wanting to like the guy who likes me, puts me in the “too picky” category.
    Someone posted something in their FB status (don’t remember who, it just showed up in my newsfeed.)  Don’t remember the EXACT quote, but something along the lines of women “complaining” about wanting a “nice guy” and then one comes along she turns him down.  Well what about men ?  They complain about “no good women”, and you can’t tell me that THEY never rejected a “good woman” due to lack of attraction.  I would never expect ANYONE male or female to embark on a relationship with no physical attraction.  (and NO, I’m not saying to get into a relationship based on P.A. alone either) 
    I would just like to meet a good man, and have our feelings of attraction, affection and compatibility be MUTUAL.  
    I will keep an open mind on what might come along but to tell myself I can’t be happy without something I can’t find after an extensive search, seems ridiculous.”
     
    This is pretty much where I’m at.  And quiet frankly, I’m tired of all the conflicting messages all over the place that say you have to be happy in your life withOUT a relationship, before you can find a relationship, and then the other side of the coin is that you can’t POSSIBLY be happy without a relationship. 
     
    It seems equally ridiculous to lower my standards and expect that I would end up with something that would add to my life instead of degrading it.  I consider myself 90% happy, and I would love to have the extra 10%, but if not, life is still pretty wonderful.
    I agree, I have that 90%, and the missing 10% just seems to elude me.  But on the other hand, most people have a 10% they struggle with.  Perhaps they are 90% happy, and have their love life locked in, but they suffer from health issues.  Or they struggle with under-employment.  And no matter what health regimen, medical interventions, etc they try, they still struggle with health issues.  Or no matter how polished their resume, how impressive their education, how many leads they have followed up on, they still can’t find satisfying, sufficiently paying employment.  And of course theirs a whole chorus of voices of people saying that whatever your issues are (health, unemployment, etc) it’s ALL YOUR FAULT !!!!!!   You don’t eat enough green vegetables, you don’t exercise enough, you have poor job interviewing skills, you picked the wrong field to go into to begin with, etc. etc. etc. 
     
    “What I think makes many of us sad in life is the ideas that are marketed to us about love, lifestyle, our physical attributes, and all the things that we just can’t quite get and why we don’t measure up.  And if we just pay more for the right things or the right advice or the right service, we will be happy.  I have ignored all the dating sites for the last 6 months and I feel a lot better. “
     
    Yeah, just gotta love those relationship gurus who tell you they have the secret plan that they “accidently” discovered when they were struggling to find love, and that this plan allows you to find love while being completely yourself.  Then the plan consists of hours of videos that contain EXACT word for word scripts for supposedly every situation that could ever come up in your love life.  Yeah right, you can’t be yourself and someone else’s sock puppet at the same time.  Or trying to follow some EXACT body language pattern.  Or play some stupid game with someone else’s emotions.  (specifically, I am talking about “The Rules”  worst book ever in the relationship advice Universe as far as I am concerned)  
     
    And yet here I am . . . On a relationship advice board that I swore off 6 months ago . . . Why ?  Because there is no reason for me to go to a career advice board, or a suffering from a particular disease support board, because I have a stable job (so far) and I enjoy great health.  Yeah, that missing 10% is what keeps me here.
     

    1. 15.1
      Jeremy

      @emeraid dust

      First of all, I hear you and have compassion for your situation.  And I wish you luck in your search.

      Having said that, I’ll tell you what I read into your comments as an outsider.  It’s all about sexual market value (SMV).  We hate thinking about it or admitting that it exists, but it does.  And the kicker about SMV is that it is set by the OPPOSITE gender, not by us and not by our same gender friends.

      When I hear about a man falling head over heels for a woman and her not being interested, chances are that he is hunting out of his league.  Same is true when a woman is interested in a man but he only sees her as a booty call.  She is hunting out of her league.  

      It offends our our sensibilities to think this way.  After all, contemporary culture encourages us to have self esteem and not judge ourselves.  But reality is harsh, and our SMV is not determined by what we think of ourselves.

      i am not telling you to lower your standards.  You will continue to be the judge of what is important to you.  But I will ask you to consider how realistic your current standards are.  So many people (and especially women) want so much from a spouse – social status, electric chemistry, emotional availability, faithful monogamy, parenting aptitude, good looks, etc etc  and as evan will tell you, this would take more than one man.  What is realistic?  What compromises need to be made to BE realistic?  If our standards are so high that nobody qualifies (except people who don’t want us back), are our standards realistic?

      And just as a minor point, no man wants to hear that a woman is 90% happy being single and only needs a man for 10%.  Men need to be needed by women.  It’s how we derive emotional satisfaction from relationships.  Why would a man want to be with someone who only sees their relationship as 10% of her life?  women are attracted to men who don’t need them overtly.  Men are attracted to women who do.  It’s another way in which our own concepts of SMV are not set by us, but by members of the opposite gender. 

      1. 15.1.1
        EmeraldDust

        Jeremy – I have heard all about SMV, and as a 59 year old woman, even in good health, and fairly attractive, I know that I am considered a piece of crap by most men.  Even by men much older, much heavier, and less attractive than I.  So I get that.
        However, if wanting a man I feel physically attracted to is “unrealistic” then so be it, I will live a life at 90% contentment.  Why should I downgrade my life to 100% miserable just so a man I am not even attracted to will feel needed ? Doesn’t work anyway.  Emotionally healthy men don’t want women that can ONLY be happy with a man in her life. I can be happy alone, I would be happier with a man, but I’m not 100% miserable being single.
        BTW, what is said on this board is not said to men that I date.  Do you honestly think I tell men “I’m so glad that I met you, you are the missing 10% of my life that I am looking for” ?  I often comment on this board in my PJ’s and fuzzy slippers, but I never wear my PJ’s and fuzzy slippers on a date.  Why assume that what I say on this ADVICE board is what I tell men that I date ?
        And if coming off as a person with a good life (financially stable, good friendships, a loving son, good health) turns a man off, then that is a GOOD thing.  I don’t care what his SMV is, if he feels the need to rescue women out of a miserable life, he’s not the man for me. If he can’t be happy to ENRICH an already good life (and have me enrich is his already good life)  then so be it. 
         
        And don’t tell me that men “can pick up” what is said on this board telepathically.  I hear over and over again that men “aren’t mind readers”.  So I don’t believe for one second that any man I date rejects me, because my life is insufficiently miserable without him, because he “picked up” on my estimated 10% figure somehow. The only way a man will know about what I post on this board is if he hacks into my computer. And a guy who would do that, isn’t a guy for me either.  
        And don’t tell me that men can “pick up” this up through general osmosis.  I am way different IRL than on this board.  (Because my real life isn’t spent 100% in a circle with other people discussing relationships & how I don’t have one)  Men can BARELY understand women when we directly tell them our wants and needs.  (that’s why there is a multi-billion dollar industry telling women EXACTLY how to communicate with men so they can understand us)  Men often times don’t pick up on subtle hints or even OBVIOUS hints.  So I doubt that if I am out on a date one week from now, laughing over a glass of wine, that this man will get an incoming message from the Universe saying “EmeraldDust only needs you for the missing 10%, she posted it on a message board last week”.
        I still believe that wanting MUTUAL attraction is NOT unreasonable.  It IS unreasonable to expect a woman to choose a relationship with a “nice guy” she’s not attracted to over being single.  Being single might not be the HAPPIEST experience one can have, but it isn’t the WORST.  You know what the WORST lifestyle is ?  Being in a relationship with the wrong person. BTDT, won’t do it again. Rather be 90% happy than 100% miserable with the wrong person.
         
         

        1. Jeremy

          No one is suggesting you downgrade to 100% miserable to be with a man to whom you are not attracted.  No one (and certainly not I) suggests that you compromise to make yourself unhappy.  You mentioned that you felt you had high standards.  I only suggested examining those standards and considering which (if any) are things that wouldn’t really stand in your way from being happy.

          Regarding your 90% comment, of course I don’t think you are telling this to your dates. And I agree, most men won’t pick up on this until well into a relationship.  But it does contribute to your attitude toward those men.  The happier one perceives oneself as single, the more choosy one will be about men.  If you only need a man for 10% of your happiness, you don’t really need one at all.  So why settle for less than perfection?  And because perfection doesn’t exist – or if it did, such a man would be even more choosy than you – the likelihood of finding someone realistic becomes more distant.

          i am not saying that men need a woman who can’t be happy at all on her own.  But any real man wants a woman who wants him and needs him back – enough to overlook his flaws as he will overlook hers. Not major flaws, not deal breakers, but the imperfections in SMV that we all have.

          One can be 100% happy with a person who is not 100% perfect, as long as ones expectations are realistic.

      2. 15.1.2
        Pat

        @Jeremy:  You need a ‘like’ button for your comments – they are really great. Thank you.

        1. EmeraldDust

          Pat, What is so great about a strawman argument ?  I never said I was looking for 100% perfection but his whole rant is based on something I NEVER said, and I certainly don’t feel that way. And he is ASSUMING that I am holding out for “perfection” because I am not attracted to men who are attracted to me.  
          Wanting to be attracted to a romantic partner is not wanting a partner who is perfect.  What is so hard to understand about that ?

  16. 16
    EmeraldDust

    Jeremy – Jen said she had high standards, and I quoted her.  And responded to her quote.  I never said I had high standards, you misunderstood my post.
    I don’t think wanting to be attracted to the person I’m with is a “high standard”, it’s a reasonable standard.
    I don’t have particular height or income standards.  Just no one flat broke or financially irresponsible. Oh yes, I guess my one “unreasonable standard” is that I don’t want a smoker.  I really can’t stand the smell. So I guess that’s my one “unreasonable” standard.
    I am not attracted to any of the men who seem to be attracted to me.  It’s unreasonable for anyone to tell me I should give them a chance because he’s a “nice guy”.  My lack of attraction would be apparent and he would get hurt and a nice girl doesn’t lead a man on if she’s not interested.
    The men I am attracted to are not 6 feet tall rock star millionaires, although I have been accused of holding out for that on this board. (I’ve never said anything remotely like that, but that’s the accusation that was thrown in my face with no proof what so ever)
    That’s how strong the societal message to women is.  You should accept any man who wants you, without regard to your own attraction.  If you aren’t attracted to any of the guys who like you, then the only valid explanation is that you are demanding a millionaire George Clooney look alike.
     
    When men complain that they can’t find any good women, they say it’s because Western women are rotten to the core, and they are advised to go overseas and get a mail order bride.
    I would rather be alone, than to be wincing and cringing every time the “nice guy” I settled for touched me.

  17. 17
    EmeraldDust

    Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy – Just because I am satisfied with 90% of my life now does not mean that if and when I find a man to share it with, that I will only spend 10% of my time with him, or only have him be part of 10% of my life.  You are being hyper-literalist & drawing false conclusions.
     
    If I had a man in my life, that part of my life would expand and he would become more and more a part of it.
     
    But since I DON’T have a man in my life at the moment, it only makes sense to find other ways for a fullfilling life.  I am going to Europe next summer to take art lessons.  I do volunteer work, . I have a big circle of friends. I organize Meet-ups. If I had a man in my life WE would be doing some of those things together, he would be going with me to my friends gatherings,  I would be doing some things that he does, together with him, and some of the things I do now would fall by the way side. 
    Creating a happy single life does not spell doom for creating a happy coupled up life. I’m looking for a man to expand my life, not to rescue me from a miserable one.
    People grow, change, adapt and expand their lives with their changing circumstances.  I went from being a single woman who owned her own home, to a married  stay at home mom. Then I went from being a stay at home Mom back out into the work world when my son went to school.  I could go from being a 90% content with her life single woman, to 100% content coupled up woman without relegating a man to 10% of me.  With a man who is less than 100% perfect.  I just have to be somewhat attracted to him.  That’s a far cry from demanding 100% perfection as your post suggests. And once again, I will re-iterate, it is not unrealistic for a woman to want to be attracted to a man she chooses to couple up with.
     
     
    It doesn’t make sense for me or anyone to try and figure out what percentage of their life a man would be part of if they had one, and then choose to be miserable that same percentage of time until I get my man.
     
    You totally don’t grasp what I am saying AT ALL, and I am tired of having to defend things I don’t feel and never said because you misinterpret what I said.
    I never said I wanted someone is 100% perfect.  I’m not 100% perfect.  No one is.  But once again, I am being accused of holding out for someone 100% perfect, when that is the damn farthest thing from the truth.
     
    That ball park guestimate of my level of happiness as a single was part guestimate, and partly MY adaptation to single life.  OF COURSE if I had a man in my life, I would gladly adapt again to being part of a couple. I wouldn’t be living as single person anymore, I wouldn’t expect a man to stick around for 10% of me.  Should a single woman really choose to be miserable 85% percent of the time as a single woman, because she figures that if she has a man in her life he will be 85% of her life ????????

    1. 17.1
      jeremy

       I hear you, Emerald Dust.  And no, I don’t think you are being unreasonable for wanting to be attracted to a potential mate.
       
      I have always found the results of that OK Cupid study interesting – you know, the one that found that 80% of women are only attracted to 20% of men visually, and find the remaining 80% of men to be “Below average” in looks.  That is fascinating strictly from the perspective of evolutionary biology.  After all, this means that 60% of women must eventually partner up with men whom they don’t find attractive (at least, visually attractive from the get-go).  
      Interestingly, for all of society’s comments about unrealistic expectations of how women should look, the OK Cupid study found that men generally find most women at least somewhat attractive.  It was the reverse that wasn’t true!
       
      Now, logically, 80% of men can not be “below average,” simply by definitions of averages.  But if expectations are distorted to become unrealistic (based on the fantasy of how men SHOULD look rather than how they DO look), then the vast majority of men become un-attractive.  So which is it – are 80% of men actually ugly, or do 80% of women have un-realistic expectations of how men should look?  If it is the former, men need to hit the gym, wear make-up, and get plastic surgery.  If it is the latter, then individuals need to take a good long look at their expectations and consider whether they are based on reality or fantasy.  And if expectations are based on reality, the chances of finding someone who meets our expectations are much higher.
       
      And, Emerald Dust – none of this may apply to you.  Your expectations may be totally realistic, and the men in your area may simply be low quality.  My comments here are more on a societal level than personal level, since the problem you describe seems to be a common complaint.
       
       

      1. 17.1.1
        Alice

        That sounds pretty much in line for any female in any species.

        Most females whether it be bonobos or finches or humans find a small number of males attractive. Many species tend to be polygynous for that reason amongst others.

        In studies female birds have been forced to be monogamous. It actually caused them physical stress to be with these males they found unattractive. They also bore less offspring than the females with attractive partners. Just thought that was interesting.

        I think part of the issue is that its easier to be soft and feminine looking than hard and masculine looking. I agree that to some extent men can help themselves by working out more. I live in an area with a lot of obesity, which makes it hard to find men im attracted to. If I lived in Cali, that would probably be different.  

        I hate to say this, but sometimes a man just wants a sex partner. Her looks, personality, etc do not matter. I want to like a man on some level if im having sex with him.  

    2. 17.2
      starthrower68

      Emerald Dust, this really resonates.  I’m not sure a single person can structure his or her life around the possibly of that changing because well, what if it doesn’t which more likely it won’t.  I mean, unless you are sure that a relationship and/or marriage is imminent, it’s more pragmatic to live life as if one will stay single.  That doesn’t mean one is not open, or expects a partner to settle for table scraps if someone comes along.  But it’s just common sense to learn to be content where we are while on the way to where we want to be, whatever that is.  What you said about attraction is so spot on. There are so many tangible and intangible factors that come into play that we don’t often know until it presents itself to us.  I am like you in that them men that the men who have contacted me are not those with whom I have found a mutual attraction.  By the same token, the ones that do it for me are probably not what the coveted 20-30 year old 10 female would go for.  I am not attracted to Mr. GQ.  As a matter of fact, Millionaire Match has become a guilty pleasure not because I want a millionaire, but partly because it confirms why I don’t.  I’m not going to go into the type of guy that does get my attention. I am never going to attract the coveted successful rich alpha male, but I am also not a low life.  But the things I consider to my assets are not the things men would.  So single and unattached is where I’m at and I am determined to make the best of it for as long as I’m here, because I don’t think the alternative is better.

  18. 18
    EmeraldDust

    Hi Jeremy at 17.1
     
    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/
     
    Is this the study you were referring to ? I also found it interesting.
     
    What I found interesting was that difference between how women rated men, and who they actually messaged.  Men fared better when it came to what women actually DID, not how they answered a rating question.  (Maybe because once women had more to go on than JUST a photo, their perception changed ? )
    I find the OKC site to not be very scientific.  They build personality profiles based on answers to questions that any OKC user can make up and submit to be asked.  These personality tests are not designed by psychologists and I wasn’t even aware that OKC was building a personality profile on me based on my answers to the questions. The personality profile they built based on a handful of scattered questions in scattered categories was laughable.  The “rating” system I participated in  (don’t know if it related to the study above)  was just them flashing me 2 pics at a time and asking which ONE I would go out with.  Sometimes the 2 pics, I wouldn’t go out with either, and some I would go out with both.  Well not really, I was only shown pics, I would have to look at the profile, e-mail and phone, in order to decide if I would go out with someone,  but I figured they were getting at, which do you find better looking ?  Sometimes the pics weren’t even clear.  They were far away pics of guys on a ski slopes, faces with ball caps and sunglasses, etc.
    And for what it’s worth, I thought the 4 guys they showed as all being “below average” were anywhere from pretty cute, to pretty damn hot !  One reminds me a lot of my ex-husband and/or son (they look very similar), so my unbiased opinion on that picture is that he is pretty darn cute !
    Anyway, the men didn’t make a much better showing either, and I don’t think this OKC survey reflects the real life of the public at large.  I think many men cling to this unscientific study because it supports their world view that everything that is wrong in the relationship universe is the fault of women.
     I would be more interested in more details of how they came up with these figures.  Were ALL the guys who were considered “below average” considered below average by 100% of the women ?  (The answer might be buried in the article, but math and stats are not my strong suit) 
    I am guessing that I am only considered attractive to about 20% of men.  And I am guessing that I only am attracted to 20% of the men who approach me.  (Many of whom are only “attracted” to me for sex, not a real relationship)  So I guess that sweet spot of mutual attraction is still possible.  (Then we can spend a few years trying to parse out mutual compatibility & goals) 
    My guess is that very few people are considered attractive (enough) to more than a minority of the opposite sex Universe.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I have a friend who I joke with that she and I will NEVER break friendship over rivalry for a man.  She and I have COMPLETELY different ideas about male attractiveness.  We both are probably attracted to about 20% of men, but a different 20%, so between the two of us, 40% of the men are considered attractive. 
    Also, I don’t consider most of the men I am not attracted to, to be “low quality” but just “not my type”.  Unless they are an a-hole, I think all the men I have let go, will find someone.  In fact, I dislike terms like “dump” or “kick to the curb”, because that is what we do with GARBAGE. And I don’t believe in treating people like trash, just because they aren’t my cup of tea, romantically speaking.  I let them go, I free them up to find a woman who thinks they are a dream boat.  I release the guys I am not attracted to (sometimes it is based on something other than physical looks)  so that they can find a girl who thinks they are terrific.  What other people call “giving someone a chance” I call leading on.  I did that recently when I thought there was a small chance that I would grow to be attracted enough to someone.  I didn’t.  He was terribly hurt.  I HATE that feeling.  I don’t like being the disappointed one either, but I can’t control that. And in a way, I would rather be the disappointed one than the disappointer.  Usually men disappoint me by disappearing.  There is no action needed on my part for that.  If I have to disappoint a man, I usually have to DO something, like tell them, as most men will continue to call and communicate until they are given a clear “we are not a match” message. It’s pretty hard to disappear or do the slow fade on an interested man, they usually persist.  If a man disappears on me like “poof”, I just let it go.  I don’t send a text, I don’t call “just to say hi”.  I consider his silence to be my answer.  (Most men won’t take silence for an answer)
    I really dislike the mean spiritness and hostility that has permeated the relationship universe via the net.  The denigrating remarks (low quality) about people to whom we are not romantically attracted.  Just because I’m not attracted to a guy for a relationship (which could be due to a physical feature such as looks, voice tone, or it could be an intellectual disconnect or an inability to have relaxed conversation)  doesn’t mean the person is low quality.  Just not my type.
    I know you probably didn’t mean “low quality” quite that way, but the language of the dating advice, dating forum universe is laced with disparging remarks, and I think we  ALL (myself included) use them and are  becoming rather immune to the callous nature of the remarks.

  19. 19
    jeremy

    Sorry in advance for this rant.
     
    Whom do we find attractive?  I would posit that, if we have a healthy, realistic view of the world, we find people who have an SMV equal or higher than our own to be attractive – or at least, attractive enough.  Thus, if we are “7s” we should find people of the opposite sex attractive if they are 7’s or higher.  If we are 4’s, we should find 4’s and higher attractive.  This would be logical, and would lead to realistic expectations of what we can realistically expect out of relationships.
     
    Of course, this view presupposes a few factors, which are not always true:
    1) That we have a realistic view of our own SMV, as seen by the eyes of the opposite sex.  And, so often, this isn’t true. 
    Case in point – the “strong, independent” woman who is attracted to strong, independent men – and considers that men should be attracted to strength and independence as she is – and they aren’t.  Strength and independence are sexual qualities in men, as seen by women.  They are not sexual qualities in women, as seen by men. 
    Similarly, the fallacy of the “nice guy.”  Men are attracted to emotional availability in women, and often mistakenly think that women are attracted to the same in men.  Thus, men will try to attract women by being extra ‘nice’ and available (as they would be attracted to in a woman), only to discover that women are more attracted to men who are not overtly needy and emotional.  Thus, we mis-estimate our own SMV by conflating what WE find attractive versus what members of the opposite sex find attractive.  We think we are 7’s and go after 7’s who think we are 5’s.
     
    2) That we have the emotional maturity to realize that it is unlikely for people of much higher SMV to commit to long-term relationships with people of lower SMV, even though they once dated them.  We may have dated 8’s in the past, but they eventually broke up with us.  We hope to date 8’s again, but this time emotionally-available 8’s…….but none of those people seem to want us (because WE are not 8’s in their eyes).
    The chubby, balding guy sitting in his parents’ basement may only be attracted to women who are 9’s and 10’s, but his is unlikely to land one.  No one can force him to “lower his standards”, but those standards are unrealistic for his SMV and are making him less happy rather than more happy.  He can keep his standards and remain alone in the basement, or create realsitic standards and hope to find love.
     
    3) That we realize that healthy relationships can be imperfect and still increase the value of our lives.   Many single people eventually find companionship from a pet.  I am assuming that they don’t find their dogs sexually attractive (though, to each their own).  Dogs are a lot of work, and provide a lot of comfort, even though one does not have electric chemistry with their dog.  It is very basic binary thinking to state that either a relationship is great or terrible.  Most are somewhere in between and fluctuate.  But there is a lot to be said for a warm hug at the end of the day.  A companion for life’s many ups and downs.  A person to share with, complain to, travel with, have a family with, tend to us when we are sick, laugh with us at a movie, and yes, touch us at the end of the day.  A person who values us, and puts our happiness on par with their own.  How many of those things require “chemistry?”  If we can’t find someone with high chemistry are we really better off with no one?

    1. 19.1
      EmeraldDust

      I generally go for people I find as attractive as myself.  And since I NEVER initiate, I don’t “chase” men out of my league.  I pick from those who pick me.  If a guy who is obviously waaaaaaaaay out of my league writes to me online, I check his relationship goal and sure enough “casual sex” is on the list.  (sometimes they list “casusal sex”, “new friends”, “short term dating” “long term dating”.  So if Mr “dating down” for easy booty, picks me for his next target, I ignore him. 
      “A person who values us, and puts our happiness on par with their own.  How many of those things require “chemistry?”  If we can’t find someone with high chemistry are we really better off with no one?”    Yes we are.  You know what someone once said about sex ?  That it’s only 10% of a relationship, but if it isn’t good, than it messes up the other 90%


      I don’t think we need high chemistry, but a reasonable amount of chemistry. Yes, if I am going to be cringing at someone’s touch, we are BOTH better off without each other.  Maybe neither one of us will find someone else, but to be with someone with either low or non-existent chemistry OR someone with whom I am highly incompatible, then yes, a solitary life is better. 
      I can honestly tell you that I HAVE NO CHOICE in whom I find attractive.  I can choose to act or not act on it, but no matter how many “rants”  and tantrums people throw that we should just “learn to love” someone, it’s not going to work.  I am smart enough to NOT act on the attraction I feel for someone who will not be a good fit for me, or an obvious user.  I am kind enough to NOT try and force an attraction to someone I am not attracted to.  Believe me, I wish there was a magic button I could push, and just feel something for someone who is head over heels for me.  OR make someone I’m feeling it for, feel it back.
      I think pheremones must play a big role.  I had a HUGE crush on someone during high school (un-requited)  I had it real bad.  He was all I thought about.  In my early 20’s, I met someone who looked JUST LIKE HIM.  I don’t mean a slight resemblence, I mean he looked my crush’s twin separated at birth.  Same long hair, exact same facial features, same long lanky build, and even a very similar way of talking.  He seemed interested in me, but I just didn’t feel attracted to him.  (I went out with him twice thinking that I would, but I never did) It was a no hard feelings parting.  I just couldn’t believe I had an opportunity to be with my HS crush double, and I didn’t want it.  Go figure.
      I have read that as we age, we aren’t producing as many chemical attractants, and our ability to detect pheremones decreases.  Makes sense to me, the whole purpose of sex is procreation, it only makes sense that Mother Nature will be offering the 50 + crowd no assistance in the mating game. 
      I see a lot of 50+ people of all levels of attractiveness having difficulty finding a mate.  I don’t believe it can be 100% attributed to “hunting out of their league”.
       
      I considered my ex and I to be EXACT matches on the scale of 1 – 10.  Initially he thought I was “out of his league” and was pretty much my secret admirer for a year before he asked me out.  (I thought it was ludicrous that he thought I was out of his league, because I certainly did NOT think he was beneath me)  We had a long marriage, about half of it happy, then followed by peaks and valleys, then it fell apart.  (D was his idea, not mine,  I wanted to mend the marriage, he refused) 
      So believe me, I KNOW that equal attractiveness is a better place to start than trying to force someone out of your league to commit. (or for a 6 to try and force themselves to be attracted to a 3 or a 4) 

  20. 20
    jeremy

    “A person who values us, and puts our happiness on par with their own.  How many of those things require “chemistry?”  If we can’t find someone with high chemistry are we really better off with no one?”    Yes we are. 



    That is your answer and your personal truth, Emerald Dust, and I respect it and your reasons for it.  But I am not sure it would be my answer.  I am not sure I would be 90% happy alone (but then, statistics show that men are less likely than women to be happy alone as they age). 
     
    Can a woman start by being unattracted to a man and grow into attraction?  Maybe, depending on the woman, the man, and the situation.  I once dated a woman and thought things were going well.  After a couple of months, she told me that she wasn’t very attracted to me and wanted to break it off.  I (unwisely) pursued her and she changed her mind.  After 9 more months, I eventually ended the relationship due to incompatibility.  I found out years later that it had taken her years to get over our relationship, and that she eventually married a guy who could have been my physical twin.  This is NOT to toot my own horn – I’ve been on the other end of angst and break-ups as well.  But rather to say that I’ve seen and known some women to grow into attraction, though not everyone can or will.  And that this is more likely if the situation starts off as simple physical indifference, rather than physical revulsion as Emerald Dust describes. 
     
    I don’t think that this is a subject where one can posit a universal truth.  I think that each person’s truth will necessarily be subjective to their own desires and experiences.  And I think that my suggestions would be more apt for someone who is not happy alone, whereas yours are better suited for someone who is.
     

    1. 20.1
      starthrower68

      Jeremy, I agree with several things both you and Emerald Dust said.  My opinion on the whole SMV thing is, I don’t care about it. I’ve never considered myself very high on that scale and never had any illusions that the “top” men would be interested in me.  I would be very suspicious if one did.  That having been said, I am comfortable in my own skin and and don’t believe my life would be better or worse if I had any SMV.  I do agree, that by and large, most folks are probably happier with a partner, provided it’s a healthy, mature relationship.  We are relational creatures.  I also agree that for the most part we cannot say our experience is *the* bar for all experiences, we can read the posts here and see a lot of similarities.  Where as Emerald Dusts experience tends to resonate with me, some of your points do as well.

    2. 20.2
      EmeraldDust

      Jeremy said – “Can a woman start by being unattracted to a man and grow into attraction?  Maybe, depending on the woman, the man, and the situation.  I once dated a woman and thought things were going well.  After a couple of months, she told me that she wasn’t very attracted to me and wanted to break it off.  I (unwisely) pursued her and she changed her mind.  After 9 more months, I eventually ended the relationship due to incompatibility.  I found out years later that it had taken her years to get over our relationship, and that she eventually married a guy who could have been my physical twin.
       
      Thanks for sharing your story Jeremy.  Sounds like this was probably a long time ago, since this woman gave you months, not simply 3 or 4 dates, to try and “learn” to be attracted to you.  She tried to break it off with you, but your pursued her, then you DUMPED her a few more months down the road.  No wonder it took you her so long to get over her.  She initially wasn’t attracted to you, she “gave you a chance” for a few months, then tried to call it quits.  You would not be deterred, and you continued to pursue her, she eventually DID become attracted to you and BAM, you dump her on the grounds of incompatibility.  Believe me, it hurts to be dumped by anyone, but when a woman has  allowed a non-attraction to grow, endured months of no attraction, gave the guy she wasn’t  even initially attracted a chance, when he begs for another chance, and then when he wins you over, HE suddenly decides that that you guys just aren’t compatible.  It smacks of a “revenge dumping”.  It smacks of of loving the thrill of the chase, and nothing more.  It feels like being played for a fool.  For a woman it is HUMILIATING.  Not as humiliating as being dumped by a guy whom she was ALWAYS crazy for, and perhaps thought was out of her league, but by the “nice guy” that she gave a chance to (at his insistence, because she tried to break it off) .  No wonder it took her years to get over you.  She probably felt like she was seduced, played, and betrayed BIG TIME. You might not have meant to “revenge dump her” and you might not have thought it was merely the thrill of the chase, but considering it took her years to get over a man that she wasn’t initially attracted to, that could be how it felt to her.
       
      Anyway, I think the reason some women commit to a man they aren’t really attracted to, could also be a way of avoiding a  heart break. You know what they say, “Someone can’t break your heart if you don’t give it to them to begin with”  Some women CAN do that.  (I actually know a few who have)
      I CAN’T and sometimes wish I could. 
       
      I think men may have shot themselves in the foot with the demanding that things get sexual by date 3 or less (or at first sighting).  Let’s take the example of the last man who I had to hurt, and felt really terrible about it.  I’ll give him the pseudonym of Mitch.
      I liked his online profile, but he did put up an old picture and lied about his height.  (I’ve come to grips with the whole lying about height thing, I get it.   Some women lie about their age and weight, men lie about their height and income)  The phone convo’s were light & easy & we laughed alot.  He wasn’t gorgeous, but he was easy to look at, sort of like a short George Carlin. When we actually met face to face, it turned into an all day affair.  We kept “extending” the initial meet up with an additional activity.  All very fun.  That could be considered date 1, it could be considered date “0” since it was the day we met, or it could have been considered 3 dates in one, since we went to 3 different places.  He acted very smitten with me the whole time.
      That night or the next (I don’t remember) I went back on POF, because my inbox said I had some new messages, and I went back online to check my msgs.  I get an e-mail from him that said “The website stated that you were on here. Are we still on for tomorrow ?”.  Well, that made me go “hmmmmm”.  He had my personal e-mail, my phone #, why didn’t he shoot me a text or an e-mail at my personal e-mail asking if we were still on for tomorrow or call me to firm up.  I felt a little weirded out by the his e-mail saying “I know you are on POF” when HE is on there too. It almost seemed like he felt like he “caught” me doing something.  I was tempted to say something like “You are on here too”, but I just instantly replied back, “Yes, we are still on, you have my personal e-mail, right ?”  He replied back affirmative. So I just wrote back, “Ok, see you tomorrow, let’s e-mail at my personal e-email or send me a text”. 
       
      The next night, he started stammering on about how “Yeah, I noticed you were on POF”, and I just smiled and said something along the lines of “Yes, because you were there too”.  He started laughing and said “Gosh, I don’t know what I’m trying to say but, but, but”.  Then he told me was ready to get off and he would like me to get off too.  OK, I thought it was way to soon to decide to be BF/GF but I DO like to just date one person while I am exploring the POSSIBLITY of being BF/GF.  So I told him that it would be OK if just agreed to see only each other while we explored weather or not we want to be a couple.  I was still kinda on the fence about him.  I liked his personality, he was widowed and he told me he took care of his wife for several years before she passed on, and I took that as a sign of good character.  I felt “cuddly” toward him, but not super turned on, but that’s how it all started with my 2nd ex hubby, so I thought, to myself, let’s see if I can grow this.  So I wasn’t dying to rip his clothes off at that moment, but I could see myself snuggling, cuddling kissing etc. and I knew I had a solid base to grow on.  And he seemed to like me. 
      Well, I’ll skip over the details, but several bunches of flowers and  home made cards later, and wanting to make public declarations of our coupling, (and this was in a very short time frame)  He tried to escalate the physical stuff.  I wasn’t even getting turned on by the making out, but when his hand started burrowing up towards 2nd base, my body froze.  I felt queezy.  I just pushed his hand away as a knee jerk reaction.  And then I realized that the attraction wasn’t going to grow, it was going to fizzle, turn to revulsion.  If a guy is trying to grope & fondle me, even if I’m not ready to go to that level, I shouldn’t be REPULSED at the action.  I should be RESISITING. Perhaps holding his hand, interlacing my fingers and moving his hand elsewhere, but continue kissing.  Saying something like “Not yet Romeo, but I’m really enjoying this”.  But my stiffening body and my GASP pretty much revealed the truth about my attraction to him.  Perhaps (and this was the 3rd time we had been out together, if you count that first 3 in one date as one date) if he had just kept it at kissing for awhile longer,  I MIGHT have been OK and could have grown in attraction,  but since the 3 date rule seems to be in full force, and guys expect to at least have some half naked petting if not full on sex,  well that just doesn’t give us slow to grow into attraction people much of a chance now does it ?  He apologized profusely, which just made me feel WORSE.  I told him that he didn’t do anything wrong, that what he did was natural, and that I just wasn’t ready, but everything felt weird after that.  We did see each other one time after that, and based on how much he fawned over me, I just had to tell him that it just wasn’t going to work.  He was very upset, and I felt terrible hurting him.  He tried to talk me into giving it more time, promised to slow down, said he probobly moved too fast, etc., etc.  But at this point, I just really felt like I would be giving him a chance when he really didn’t have one.  After the guilt wore off, though, I knew that if I had given it time and “learned to love” him, that he very well could have been the one to dump me after I had fallen for him.  In my previous single lives, I have had men all smitten and head over heels for me instantly, then  decide we are “incompatible” or some such things weeks or a few months after that.  So my guilty feeling subsided, because there is no guarantee that if I returned his feelings that he wouldn’t have just had a change of heart himself. 
      Now I know, that some men will take this as proof that I, and other women, just really want to be treated like crap.  Well NO, not like crap, but don’t put us up on a mile high pedestal either.  Mitch said a few really “pedestal” things to me, that just wierded me out.  Put me way up there on a very shaky pedestal,  like I was some sort of Diva, which I am not.  I am however, a nice down to earth girl, with flaws like everyone else, just looking for love. 
      EMK says don’t put someone on a pedestal because the other person will automatically be looking down on you.  But there’s ANOTHER reason why I don’t want to be put way up there on a mile high pedestal.  I can’t sustain that fantasy.  Sooner or later my human-ness will be revealed.  That’s a long way to fall.  I don’t want to be toppled down from some mile high shaky pedestal.
      BTDT.  My second ex hubby started off thinking I was “out of his league” and ended up looking down on me with contempt.  I never wanted to be up so high above him (and didn’t really think I was) and I never wanted his anger when he discovered that I was just a flesh and blood mortal woman and not some angelic being.  
      I don’t want to be treated like dirt, but I don’t want to be up in the clouds on a pedestal either.  Really, is a down to earth relationship, between two flawed human beings so hard ?

  21. 21
    Mickey

    Love? What’s that?

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