I’m 34 and Want Children. Should I Marry a Good Man Who Doesn’t Satisfy My Soul?

I’m 33 and in a 2-year relationship with a guy who is stable, kind, dependable and attractive. He’s much less educated than I am but that doesn’t bother me in the least as he’s a hard worker with his own personal goals in life. He and I argue frequently about social issues (he’s insensitive and I’m sensitive, he’s conservative, I’m liberal). I respect his views are different than mine and he does the same, but we never seem to be on the same page.

I think I might want children someday and, given I’ll be 34 in a few months, it seems I have a choice to either go all in and make things work with this great guy (who may not be that great for me but would be an amazing father) jump ship, knowing it might mean never having children, or meeting a man who I “click” with but who lacks my current partner’s many admirable qualities.

it’s just not a soul-satisfying love

I do love this man I’m with, by the way, it’s just not a soul-satisfying love and I’m not sure it ever could be due to the fact we don’t see the world the same way, leading to a lack of that feeling of “connection”. (We are aligned on money, family, religion and life goals – we never argue about these things). What is your advice for women my age who feel the pressure to choose between love and the chance to have children? It’s a taboo subject, I know, but I think it’s a real dilemma that women have faced throughout time and I feel the same pressure now. It would be nice if we could address it openly.

Jan                                                                     

I’m not going to touch the politics of your question. I’ve done it before, but the truth is, your question isn’t really about politics. It’s about compatibility and the definition of settling.

It’s not my place to tell you if you’re settling, only to hold up a mirror so you can see yourself more clearly. So, Jan, what would you say to a friend who told you this about her boyfriend?

  • He’s insensitive.
  • He may not be that great for me.
  • I don’t “click” with him.
  • It’s not a soul-satisfying love and I’m not sure it ever could be.
  • We lack a feeling of “connection.”

You don’t need to be a dating coach to point out that perhaps this isn’t the best foundation upon which to build a marriage. That doesn’t negate that he’s a decent person and has the potential to be a good husband and father. That only acknowledges that, in this scenario, the only question that matters is whether he has the potential to be a good husband and father for YOUR family.

“Connection” is hard to measure, but it’s a real thing that matters a LOT

“Connection” is hard to measure, but it’s a real thing that matters a LOT. Your connection is what will sustain you through financial hardship, bring you joy when you’re tired with a toddler, and buoy you when your sex life starts to dwindle. Connection, to me, is different than chemistry; it’s less about a dizzying passion and more having a partner who feels like home. Despite different backgrounds and interests, my wife and I have that connection, and I would hesitate to recommend that anyone marry without it.

The fact that you’re 34 and want kids may be what drove you to ask this question, but it’s a smokescreen for the fact that you’re in a two-year relationship with someone who doesn’t fully make you happy. In other words, take away the fact that you’re 34 and want kids and you would know exactly what to do in this situation.

So, unless you want to be another statistic – either part of the 35-40% of those who get divorced or part of the 2/3rds of unhappily married couples – I feel it would be a mistake to march down a path that doesn’t feel good. Life is a really long time. Better to find your true love at 38 and figure out how to create a family together than to dive into a marriage that already feels wrong. Best of luck to you. You’re brave for asking the question and braver for taking the action that brings you the most long-term joy.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Clare

    I, like most people, know numerous couples who married because it seemed like the right thing to do, or because they wanted children or the status and stability of marriage, but who lacked connection with their partner. Ten years later, these couples are on the brink of divorce or trying to convince themselves that it’s worth it to stay together. A life of quiet desperation is the phrase which comes to mind.

    I’m 36, so a little older than the OP. And I might have missed my chance to have children because I turned down men whom I couldn’t connect to. Hell, I left my ex-husband who had absolutely everything going for him and was a great husband to boot, because I honestly felt desperately lonely in my marriage. It was like we were on two different planets, and he was incapable of validating or understanding me. I could have had children with him… in fact, it was the conversation that split us up. He wanted to start trying for a family and I knew I could never tie myself for life to someone I couldn’t really connect with. I would have felt trapped.

    Luckily for me, motherhood was never as important to me as it is to some women, so I didn’t have too many regrets. But I will say that I think the best environment in which to raise children is one in which the parents are in love with each other and support and understand each other… not an environment of resentment. And I think the OP is headed for resentment of her partner, if she is not there already.

    Unfortunately, you can’t rush the search for the right person. And the timing is different for each person. It takes as long as it takes. That’s hard when you feel like you have a biological clock that’s ticking, but I will say that women are having children until later and later, and if the OP leaves her bf now, it will give her more time than if she left in a year or two.

    Just from my own experience, my ex-husband was a wonderful man, and he is a wonderful father to the two children that he has now. But I could never have gone down that road with him, and I’m eternally grateful that I didn’t. I think of marriages as being a lot like careers. They often sound so much better on paper and as an idea than the reality proves to be.

  2. 2
    Eugenie

    Look at it from the flip-side: would your boyfriend want this half-hearted connection if you offered it to him? He sounds like, given his qualities, he would be able to find someone better-fitted to him; if you can’t provide that to him, ot’s unfair to waste his time.

  3. 3
    cabs

    The phrase I often use is, “Just because two people are awesome, doesn’t mean they are awesome together.” You can have two perfectly good people be a couple, but if they just can’t click, then you can’t force it once you’ve given it a fair shot. Two years is more than fair.

    I’m in my early 30’s and wasn’t initially attracted to my current bf. He was date 10 out of about 20 dates I went on through online dating. I didn’t have the “spark” with him as I did with a couple of the other guys. However, after my gut said “give him a chance, it’s still early,” I ended up weeding out (and I also got weeded out by) the handful of guys I DID have “sparks” with, and my current beau was last man standing (and actively still pursuing). Boy, am I ever happy he was! It took a couple of months for the “clicking” and “connecting” to happen, but that’s when we started letting our guards down and opening up and doing the internal debates of “Is this a deal breaker? Can I live with this?” It wasn’t the smoothest of beginnings, but we very much click now and are completely comfortable with each other. We are best friends. We still have our little moments where we remind each other we’re still getting to know each other, but in a way that sets us up for long-term success. Point being, I gave my guy his shot, and within a short time frame I knew that my feelings had grown and that my chemistry and connection with him grew too. If 1 year passed and I didn’t, then I would have likely moved on by then.

    Overall, what I’m trying to say is that YES, there is confusion about what your priorities should be as a woman (having kids vs kick-ass relationship) when you start getting older. YES, it seems as though there’s different info being lobbed at us: “Just settle if you want kids for Mr. Good Enough;” “You can have everything!” “Oh boy, you better make a choice…” I definitely want kids, but I also know I want to raise them in a loving household where both parents are together. If the trade-off means I might meet the guy later, then so be it.

    Evan’s wife was in her late 30’s and now they have a great marriage. The timeline sped up a bit due to them being older, but if both you and your guy are good people who have similar values and goals (both individually and as a couple) and you connect well, then you can work from there. You’ve still got time. Don’t waste your time and his time if you’re just not feeling it. Kids are a lifetime commitment and make relationships HARDER. Don’t bring someone into the picture that you aren’t 100% confident will be the best partner-in-crime for you.

  4. 4
    S. (with a period)

    I wonder if Evan’s advice would be different if she was 39 or 40. Jan actually does have some time. Some people don’t, especially if they want biological kids. Also, I hear from women here on this board that they are glad they had their kids when they could even if they divorced their husbands.

    I don’t think the OP should stay with this guy. She does have time. But time or not, she might not find that connection in the next four years and she may miss her chance at kids. That doesn’t mean she should stay, but is just a possibility to acknowledge for herself.

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      My advice would be the same. The idea of getting married and pregnant, knowing, full well that you’re going to be unhappily married, get divorced and become a single mom (even though you’ll get your biological baby) is not a life path that I think most women want to follow. I’m consistent: marry well and figure out how to build a family together; don’t marry someone you see yourself breaking up with.

      1. 4.1.1
        S. (with a period.

        I agree if you know full well in advance it won’t work out.  True.  But the ”figure out how to build a family together” part isn’t what most people envision or really think about. Most women who want biological kids envision themselves having one that way, one way or another.

        I’m personally good with your advice. 🙂 Don’t know what other women here think.

        I wish Jan luck!

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I couldn’t think of too many things more disgusting than marrying a man to get his sperm so you can get your biological baby, forcing him through a foregone conclusion of divorce, alimony, and child support.

          The fact that you don’t reflexively cringe at the unhinged selfishness of how such a decision affects the man speaks volumes.

        2. S. (with a period)

          I was thinking she actually cared about him and was just unsure.  I didn’t think of it as cold and calculating.  Again, it’s not what I would do or what I would advise. The women who have commented here have said things like, “I’m glad I had my kids.” I don’t think they were cold, either.  I think people just aren’t sure in the beginning or the love changes.

          I don’t think Jan is coldly planning to get pregnant and somehow take a man’s sperm without his input. I thought of it as she would try to make her peace with less connection and enjoy life with him as best she could.

          Maybe I’m not being clear or something.  I was just suggesting that she acknowledge that she might not have a biological child, I didn’t suggest that she marry someone she doesn’t love to get one.  Most women don’t really envision infertility treatments, adoption, blended families, etc. when they want biological kids.  But no, they also don’t coldly get pregnant on purpose just for a child.  Most single parents I know (including my own) loved the father of their children in the beginning.  Very much.  But sometimes things don’t work out.  They usually don’t expect that, either. But it happens.

          The OP says that she loves him.  I don’t recommend it, but if that’s her choice I hoped for the best for them. She speak of him in such glowing terms I can tell she really cares about him and sees him as a good person.  Would it be selfish? Yes, especially now that she has your advice. But if she chooses to ignore that, I still hope that it would work out for them.

          That’s what I meant anyway.  Again, not what I would do or advise.  And most people don’t really plan this at the outset, things just happen.   I do see the selfishness if you know for certain and proceed anyway. But I don’t think people actually really know.  Which is why they write in.

      2. 4.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Evan

        The idea of getting married and pregnant, knowing, full well that you’re going to be unhappily married, get divorced and become a single mom (even though you’ll get your biological baby) is not a life path that I think most women want to follow.

        Yet, the dating sites are littered with divorced women in their mid-forties to early fifties with children age 6 or younger that are their only children.  It is almost like they married a husband of convenience, popped out a child, and then got divorced leaving the poor schmuck to pay alimony and child support.  A woman who wants a child that badly should just use the services of a sperm bank.

        1. Lorena

          And you will have to see how littered dating sites are with all of those men and the ones with a baby mamma. Most have very difficult exes to deal with.

        2. sylvana

          YAG,

          eyeroll. Once again, that goes both ways. The dating sites are also littered with married men looking to get laid while their wives are home, pregnant with their children. And cheating fathers and husbands. And, as Lorena said, men who have one or more baby mammas.

          Being a woman who does NOT want children, I can assure you it’s darn near impossible to find a man who does not want any either. Despite the fact that women are always “blamed” for wanting children, men assert a ton of pressure on women to breed for them. Even the guys who originally claimed they were ok with not having children later on expected me to change my mind and breed for them.

          So men are not the innocent victims when it comes to wanting children you make them out to be.

          I think the majority of people have honest intentions and try to make it work. Oftentimes, it just doesn’t. And that goes for women as well as men.

    2. 4.2
      Chris

      Given how fickle female fertility can become after about age 30, I’m not sure if she has much time. Marrying this guy may be out of the question, and there is no guarantee she will find Mr Right within the next couple of years. Perhaps she should consider single motherhood. That is a hard road to follow though of course. Someone else mentioned egg freezing, but that is very problematic and nowhere near as successful as its proponents claim.

  5. 5
    Nissa

    I’m genuinely confused by this letter. She says so many contradictory things:
      He and I argue frequently about social issues  [We] respect [each other’s] views  but we never seem to be on the same page. We don’t see the world the same way. We are aligned on money, family, religion and life goals.
    I don’t quite see how they could be ‘aligned’ if they argue frequently, are not on the same page and don’t see the world the same way. While it is certainly important to open one’s horizons and date people who are not clones of us, the level of friction here sounds painful. It’s not that they are different per se, it’s that they are arguing frequently about it.

    I think that we have to choose the differences we can negotiate. Meaning, we accept that our partner believes differently, and consider both opinions equally valid. For example,  I might be vegetarian and my partner eats meat, but he agrees to do it on guy’s night out or at lunch so that I don’t smell it in my kitchen. Or for those that don’t want kids, consider dating a man who wanted kids in his life in such a way that the participation is minimal. If he wanted to coach a team, be a big brother, buy toys for his nephews, etc – those are all ways he can satisfy his desires in a way that does not compromise the relationship.

    It’s not necessary for our partner to 100% agree with us, if they treat those differences as equal and valid. This really seems like just another aspect of needing our partners to fill our needs instead of being responsible for ourselves. It’s great if they want to do it, but demanding someone else be different or act different in some way to accomplish it is off the mark. What is so hard for people to understand – if you want to do it, do it. If you don’t, don’t. If your partner can’t accept it that way…that person probably shouldn’t be your partner.

    1. 5.1
      Clare

      I am genuinely puzzled by partners who spend a great deal of time debating issues that they already know they butt heads on.

      I can understand revisiting political/social issues once in a while, or asking your partner’s opinion on things which crop up in the news, but I don’t understand discussing these things to the point that it leads to an argument or makes you upset, if you already know you disagree.

      Personally, having someone who has different political and social views from me is not a dealbreaker for me, but that is because I plan to spend very little time discussing those issues in a relationship. For me, a relationship is mostly about what you do together on a day-to-day basis. I’m wondering whether the OP is someone who needs other people to agree with her or who likes to spend a lot of time debating with other people and then gets frustrated by it?

      I’m just battling to see how being conservative vs being liberal, and insensitive vs sensitive can lead to a lack of connection unless he is disrespecting her and disregarding her feelings and opinions.

  6. 6
    Abigail

    Great article. I am 38, and in a similar situation. I have a long term on and off relationship with a guy who seems right – he is serious, committed. Hard worker, runs his business. Smart. Not ugly. Not a cheater. Wants family, does not have bad vices. He is clean and can cook! So what is the matter? He does not ever make me smile. He is so serious, usually critizicing everyone else. He is really not fun at all. And in life, you need a little humour to get thru the rough patches. There is a lot more to my story but I would also say, set the guy free to a girl who would love him. Because let’s face it, you do not love him, you just tolerate him. Do not be me, do not drag this out any more than you already have.

  7. 7
    Kai.

    I’m always curious on how people carry on life knowing that the person they’re with isn’t exactly what they want. And then tell themselves that because everything else fits it may work or maybe I should stay, or because my biological clock is ticking and I’m getting older maybe I should stay or settle. I always tell myself if the make its don’t align then I know I’m settling. And that’s usually what I do, tolerate the person for the time being. I’m very quick to pick up on these things so it would never get past 2 years or even months. That’s just wasting someone’s time and mines. I’ve learned in the past few years no matter how perfect the guy is or think he is, how much money he makes, how tall he is, if something is off ie values, morals, connection, etc then it’s a no for me. I try to give it time to make sure I’m seeing it right. I had a guy swear I was his perfect fit after a few talks but very very much dispised the religious beliefs I believe in and when I explained to him it wouldn’t work he couldn’t understand why and felt he was superior to men who shared the same beliefs as me because he had goals and was a good guy. Not to mention he didn’t believe in marriage because it sort of related to those religious beliefs for him. This example was very obvious for me to walk away. People settle so much and I wish they would wake up. Maybe I’m the only one that’s bothered by this, but why as women do we consistently worry about our age and having kids. Maybe I’m biased because I have a six year old daughter running around. But having kids is not something that drives my motivation to get married soon or settle with a person that isn’t for me. Wanting a child is not something that should be in the front of someone’s mind when they’re trying to decide if someone is for them. Or the convincing factor to stay with someone they know isn’t right for them. And if so poor future children if the adults can’t get it together. You don’t want to bring children into an environment like that. It may be dandy in the beginning but what about when everything collapses.

  8. 8
    Selena

    @Nissa #5

    ” For example,  I might be vegetarian and my partner eats meat, but he agrees to do it on guy’s night out or at lunch so that I don’t smell it in my kitchen.”

    Um… if t 2 people are living together, wouldn’t it be THEIR kitchen? Why should the meat cooker/eater have to do it away from his/her own home? Perhaps the vegetarian should be the one to leave the house for lunch/dinner if they find it so offending.  Sheesh.

     

     

     

    1. 8.1
      Nissa

      You missed the point. The point is for the partners to negotiate and find a path that is mutually amenable.

  9. 9
    L

    Bravo for asking the 1 million dollar question!  And….remember….your child/children will learn about love from you and your interactions.  This is the biggest reminder that being true to yourself and dreams affects the lives of your children in every way. Please honor yourself and your future offspring by doing what will benefit you both the most.  You will be able to truly show them love and help them in their own paths growing up by finding someone right for you.Finding love can be a huge challenge, but you can do it!  Please don’t settle!Wishing you love, light….and strength.L

  10. 10
    Suz

    This made me reflect on a conversation with my daughter last evening.   About how ten years ago all she and her circle of friends were all about  engagements,  weddings,  and baby showers.  Now, divorce and custody battles.

    Any doubt or deceit  will erode  a relationship that is not fundamentally  honest.

     

  11. 11
    Tron Swanson

    My (justified) grumpiness re: women is well-known, but I have to stand up for them, here.

    One of the things I absolutely hate is when women like the OP are pressured or scared into making a rash decision, giving up something they want, or doing something they don’t want to do. “Uh-oh, you’d better not go to college and have a career, you’ll miss out on the chance to have kids!” “Wow, you’re getting older! You’d better stop focusing on all this other stuff and just find a man!” Basically, trying to scare them into a more traditional lifestyle, whether they want it or not. It’s usually men who do it, but not always. Even though it’s technically true that women are working with limited windows of time, that’s still a cruel, manipulative thing to do to someone, IMHO.

    I’ve also been on the receiving end of the whole “You’d better live your life this way, or you’ll be in trouble!” crap from traditionally-minded parents and girlfriends…it wasn’t fun at all, and that was without the biological clock issue to deal with. (Not because men don’t have one, as we apparently kind of do, but because I never wanted kids.)

    People should just live their lives the way they want. Sometimes, that will mean missing out on something, but it’s the individual’s choice to make. There shouldn’t be a chorus of people trying to use the situation to scare them.

    1. 11.1
      S. (with a period)

      People should just live their lives the way they want. Sometimes, that will mean missing out on something, but it’s the individual’s choice to make.

      This is such a nice thought. Not just about finding the right love, but about staying true to your love for yourself first.

      Thanks for sharing that thought.

       

    2. 11.2
      Clare

      Tron,

      For once I agree with you.

      When I was in my 20s and a lot more impressionable than I am now, I made a series of decisions that went against the “traditional” grain, and I had no shortage of people telling me that I was making grave errors in judgment, that I would regret it and basically all-round venting their unhappiness that I wasn’t doing things the way they thought I should.

      Those decisions were: turning my back on a career in law after getting my law degree, leaving my ex-husband, and deciding that I was fine with not having kids.

      People thought I would bitterly regret all 3 of those decisions. Yet here I am, 7 or 8 years later, still not longing for kids, incredibly glad and grateful that I found the strength to leave my marriage, and working from home in a job that I both love and which gives me a wonderfully flexible, stress-free life.

      I was honestly extremely annoyed that people would try so hard to influence the decisions which I made when I was so impressionable. Those decisions would have trapped me in a life which might have been socially pleasing but would have made me miserable, and I wonder what it is in people which makes them think they have the right to interfere to that extent and make people doubt what they know is best for them.

    3. 11.3
      Tom10

      @ Clare.
      “I wonder what it is in people which makes them think they have the right to interfere to that extent and make people doubt what they know is best for them”
       
      Hear hear Clare.
       
      In fairness I found the majority of people are decent reasonable beings and will live and let live and/or are too preoccupied with their own problems to pass comment. Occasionally, some ignorant people think its their place to pass comments on how others should live their lives; however, one can be consoled with the knowledge that it’s not personal and likely such a person will be sticking their nose into everyone’s business.
       
      @ Tron Swanson
      “One of the things I absolutely hate is when women like the OP are pressured or scared into making a rash decision, giving up something they want, or doing something they don’t want to do. “Uh-oh, you’d better not go to college and have a career, you’ll miss out on the chance to have kids!” “Wow, you’re getting older! You’d better stop focusing on all this other stuff and just find a man!” Basically, trying to scare them into a more traditional lifestyle, whether they want it or not. It’s usually men who do it, but not always. Even though it’s technically true that women are working with limited windows of time, that’s still a cruel, manipulative thing to do to someone, IMHO”
       
      I agree to an extent that men are guilty of contributing to this societal pressure. But that’s because it’s to their benefit isn’t it? So that women like the OP and Gala will be forced to compromise and choose between “a connection” and having children rather than having both, whereas the guy gets to have his ideal woman and children. Win-win for him. As long has he realizes he’s massively increased the risk of things going pear-shaped once the children are born.
       
      However, some coupled women are equally guilty of contributing to this pressure as it’s also to their benefit; it elevates their coupled status which validates all the compromises they made in order to achieve said status.
       
      Then again, some people are actually genuine in that they can see the dating mistakes some people keep making over and over and altruistically want to help. Such advice never goes down well though so they’d be better off just smiling-and-nodding when their buddy goes and does it again.

      1. 11.3.1
        Sandra

        However, some coupled women are equally guilty of contributing to this pressure as it’s also to their benefit; it elevates their coupled status which validates all the compromises they made in order to achieve said status. 

        This is especially true.  Can come equally from well-meaning, but traditionally and sometimes narrow-minded friends and older women family members.  “Better snag a man now or else,” or “what were you expecting, a prince?”

      2. 11.3.2
        Clare

        Tom10,

        People give advice and exert pressure for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, like you said, it’s altruism. Or to validate and make themselves feel better about the choices they have already made. Sometimes it’s narrow-mindedness. Sometimes it’s an inability to conceive of different ways of being happy.

        There are still people, in this day and age, who think that the only way to be happy is with a white picket fence in a suburban neighbourhood, having respectable careers making good money and married with two and a half kids. This is great of course, but it should go without saying that this is not everyone’s ideal life. Even if it is your ideal, a person should not have to compromise significant contributors to one’s happiness in order to achieve it. In other words, being told to compromise is all very well, but those compromises should add to your overall happiness, not detract from it. When I turned my back on my marriage and a career in law, it was because they were actively making me miserable.

        Sometimes, people get so fixated on the goal (marriage, kids, house, successful career) that they lose sight of why they are doing it (happiness). Until, years later, they are miserable and depressed and have no idea why.

      3. 11.3.3
        kenley

        @Evan

        To use a double negative like our President, I don’t disagree with you.  I believe that you have helped thousands of people.  And, I am sure you will help thousands more before you close shop.  However, the honest question I have is this…at what point do you stop?  When you have tried everything and nothing works, why keep going?  Just because you want it isn’t a good enough reason to keep trying for anything else that you suck at.   Why is it for a relationship?   The unending disappointment and failure begin to take such a toll on you that the promise of a great relationship is not enough to offset the pain and frustration you feel.  Importantly, I am not blaming men for the lack of a relationship, but I’ve also stopped blaming myself.  Please note that I am not suggesting to other people on your blog that they should stop looking.  I am heartbroken for people who really want it and can’t find it, and I am genuinely thrilled for those who do.

        1. sylvana

          Kenley,

          that’s a very good question. But I think the only one who can truly answer that question is the person debating on giving up. Only that person will know when the negatives outweigh the positives to a point where it is no longer worth it.

          Personally, I’ve given up years ago. And while my life is not necessarily happier for it, it is tremendously less stressful. And I’ve finally found a sense of peace and well-being.

          I’m naturally not feminine at all. Just trying to think/act/behave/dress like a woman in order to please a man was incredibly stressful, since I cannot relate to women at all.

          Then there is the fact that even if you do find a partner, you’ll be in competition with other (hotter, skinnier, more beautiful, younger) women for the rest of your life.

          But the biggest reason I have given up is that I finally realized that I cannot have the kind of relationship I truly want.

          And that the one that I can have is absolutely NOT worth all the sacrifices I would have to make to sustain it.

          I think that is the biggest deciding factor whether to give up or not. To see if what you’re chasing is  a fantasy that can even be had in reality.

          If you read this blog, you’ll get a very good understanding of what men are truly like. Then you can decide if a relationship could actually bring you the happiness you seek. Or if the negatives would outweigh the positives.

          But, as I said, I don’t think anyone else can give you an answer to your question. It all depends on what exactly it is that you want. And whether it is even possible to obtain it.

          And even if you’re ok with what reality has to offer, only you can decide whether the effort of achieving it is worth it to you. If the emotions associated with it are nothing but negative, it might not be worth pursuing anymore either.

           

           

    4. 11.4
      Emily, the original

      Tom10,

      So that women like the OP and Gala will be forced to compromise and choose between “a connection” and having children rather than having both, whereas the guy gets to have his ideal woman and children. Win-win for him. As long has he realizes he’s massively increased the risk of things going pear-shaped once the children are born.

      Why, in all these threads, is it assumed that the woman is knowingly manipulating a man she is using just to have kids while the man is this poor sod, deeply in love, who has no idea? Maybe he’s settling, too. Maybe he’s completely aware of what’s going on. Maybe he’d like to have kids, too, and he sees this as his opportunity. Geez … There are plenty of people who marry for practical reasons. Not JUST women. How many guys marry their “ideal” woman? Thomas …

      1. 11.4.1
        Gala

        These are very good points. I think, in a any working relationship each side is getting something out of it, something that is important to them that makes them stay. There’s always a bargain going on. And, if one side “settled” the other side is by definition getting to be with a person out of their league, because the settling person basically decided to sell themselves short. It’s like getting an expensive item you can’t afford on a close out sale at 50pc off. They should be happy, while it lasts anyway.

        1. Jeremy

          Oy.  This is infuriating.  And so, so wrong.  The woman wants a man to give her children.  The man wants a wife to be his lover and friend into the future.  Once she has her goal she leaves, thinking he also had his equally.  He didn’t.  The fact that a higher SMV woman deigned to be with a lower SMV man to get what she wanted from him is not doing him a favour!  She is using him.  He isn’t using her, because he thinks she loves him back.  Doesn’t realize she doesn’t.  Doesn’t realize she might not even like him, like the OP’s poor sap of a boyfriend.  The OP basically states that she doesn’t even like the guy, wouldn’t even consider being with him if she wasn’t so desperate for a baby.  What do you think she’ll do once she gets it?  What do  you think you’ll do, Gala?  Do you think your BF will see it as even-Stevens?  Do you think the child is what he wants as much as you do?

          I had a distant relative who is the most selfish woman I’ve ever met.  She married a man she believed was her inferior in terms of SMV and literally told him that as soon as their kids were old enough, she’d leave him.  She said it audibly at parties to others.  He thought she was joking, couldn’t comprehend that a person would behave that way.  Sure enough, youngest kid turned 15 and she filed for divorce, taking him for the most permanent alimony and child support she could get.  Was cheating on him the entire time.  Do you think he felt he got an even exchange because he got to be with a pretty woman?  Do you think he’d have gone for the exchange had he known how she really felt, what she really wanted?

          While it may be true that each of us is responsible for our own welfare, it is irresponsible at best and evil at worst to play with people’s hearts to get what we want.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          There are the people who get it, Jeremy, and the people who don’t. I see little purpose in engaging people who can’t see any other perspective but their own.

        3. Tom10

          “The fact that a higher SMV woman deigned to be with a lower SMV man to get what she wanted from him is not doing him a favour!”
           
          I disagree Jeremy. He gets to have kids with a higher-quality woman. Therefore, by extension, his kids will be higher-quality. Win for him. Elevated status is a secondary goal.
           
          He’s using her just has much as she’s using him. They’re both benefiting from the deal. Otherwise the deal wouldn’t happen.
           
          Ignorance of the fact that he’s the sap doesn’t absolve his guilt; his ignorance is on him.
           
          Every man in the world is free to choose and marry lower SMV women who will be devoted and never walkaway. But nooo….we still chase after the hotties…
           

        4. Tom10

          Aargh; apologies for the bold font.

        5. Jeremy

          The lower SMV woman isn’t necessarily less likely to be a user, Tom.  Whether or not someone uses another does not depend on their SMV but rather their intentions.  Did they ever intend to give their partner what their partner wants, or do they not really care what their partner wants, assuming the partner wants only what they do?  Do they assume that because their partner’s genes should be satisfied in a Darwinian sense, the partner should feel less used in a personal sense.

        6. shaukat

          I disagree Jeremy. He gets to have kids with a higher-quality woman. Therefore, by extension, his kids will be higher-quality. Win for him. Elevated status is a secondary goal.

           

          Lol, I’m sure this is a real consolation for the guy when he’s heart broken and alone–‘oh well, my kids now have superior genetics, so it was all worth it!” First of all, you’re equating ‘quality’ here with extremely superficial attributes (height, sex appeal, facial symmetry, etc).

           

          Secondly, I’ve noticed that you like to take Darwinian processes of evolution and natural selection and apply them to human affairs in erroneous contexts. Once consciousness evolved, it became impossible to shoe-horn such a formula to homo-sapiens’ behavior.

           

          Finally, you have to explain how the guy is supposed to be ‘aware’ of this deal. You can’t simply say ‘SMV’ unless it’s clear that it was a blatant cash transaction in exchange for sex and companionship. SMV is still partially subjective.

          I’m actually starting to realize that a lot of these theories about men, women, sex, and relationships were more mythology than rooted in nature. The last four dates I went on all ended in hook ups by the second date, and all cut it short after that, despite my interest in something more permanent. It’s easier for me to get laid with a strong 7/10 than to get into a relationship with one.

        7. kenley

          @Jeremy

          The example you gave of your cousin is yet another illustration of each gender having different standards for the behavior of their gender.  If your cousin told this guy what she intended, why in the world didn’t he believe her? Why is she the villain while he is the victim?  Remember when we were discussing the Aziz issue and so many people said that Grace knew what she was getting into/she knew what Aziz wanted so why didn’t she just leave?  Isn’t what you described with your cousin fundamentally the same thing?  You might argue that because the stakes were higher for your cousin’s husband that his situation is therefore different.  I would say however if the argument is that you can’t be a victim if you know upfront what a person wants, then the stakes shouldn’t impact that judgment.  If Grace wasn’t a victim, then neither was your cousin’s husband.  One thing I will ad, however, is in my experience, some men just have a hard time believing that if they are happy in the relationship, how can their woman not be happy.  This phenomenon has happened to me in all of my long term relationships.  I told the gentlemen I wasn’t happy.  I told them what I needed.  They tried for a week or month to give me what I requested (nothing outlandish, by the way) and they couldn’t.  So, I left and EVERY SINGE ONE of them were SHOCKED that I was leaving because THEY were happy.  So, when men say that they were blindsided when their wives or girlfriends leave them, I always wonder if that’s really true.

          Finally, I really believe that both you and Evan and your spouses are just not like most people.  And more importantly, I don’t know if most people can actually have relationships like you do no matter how many books or blogs they read, classes they take, podcasts they listen to, or seminars they attend.  The thing is we live in a culture that constantly tells us that everybody can do anything if they put their minds to it.  And the fact is, that just is not true.  Everybody can’t do everything.  Maybe some people just can’t do good relationships.  You are Evan are two of the lucky ones who can.

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          “Maybe some people just can’t do good relationships. You are Evan are two of the lucky ones who can.”

          That’s partially true, but not totally true, Kenley. The proof of concept is my career. Yes, I may come from a secure background with a largely functional family and be 100% honest and ethical and marriage oriented. Yes, I have studied this for 15 years and put it into practice. But that only explains why I am a professional. MILLIONS of people are happily married without my background and I’ve helped tens of thousands more women who are growth oriented and don’t want to give up on the possibility of a good relationship. So can EVERYONE achieve what I have in love? No. Not everyone can be a millionaire either. But shouldn’t stop those who want it from trying until they get it.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Tom10

          Every man in the world is free to choose and marry lower SMV women who will be devoted and never walkaway. But nooo….we still chase after the hotties…

          While most men admire hotties, not all men chase after these women, at least not men with common sense.  Most men chase women who are SMV +/- 1.  Why?  Because most men are risk adverse when it comes to rejection, and chasing a woman who is significantly better looking is a sure fire way to learn a painful, but often necessary life lesson. It is kind of like getting burned from placing one’s hand on a hot stove. Most people do not do that a second time.  Also, unless a man is a complete narcissist or extremely naive, alarms bells usually go off when a woman with SMV +2 or higher is interested. The former gets what he deserves.  Hopefully, the latter learns the important life lesson before it is too late because he deserves better.

          As far to marrying a lower SMV woman, well, there is no guarantee that she will be devoted and never walk away.  That only happens in movies and when a woman is financially dependent upon a man.  Trust me, I married a women with a lower SMV and things were not as you claim. My family all said the same thing; namely, “We love her, but she is not your type.”  That was a kind way of saying that I normally dated more attractive women.

          At this point in my life, I believe that the best pairings are between people with equal SMVs, especially when both partners are over the age of 35.  By that age, most women have a realistic view of their own SMV because they have learned that if a really hot guy is interested, it is usually because he only wants sex.  Guys tend to skew a woman’s view of her SMV when she is younger because men date down for easy sex.  Guys still do it at my age, but women are no longer naive to that reality.

        10. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “Lol, I’m sure this is a real consolation for the guy when he’s heart broken and alone–‘oh well, my kids now have superior genetics, so it was all worth it!”
           
          Haha. Yes. Pretty much. I’m also chuckling here at the scenario. I guess it could be worse; he could have married a lower SMV woman who then walked away. Then he’d be heart broken, alone and his kids would have inferior genetics!
           
          But my point stands; from an objective viewpoint he did get something from the deal. He just doesn’t see it.
           
          “First of all, you’re equating ‘quality’ here with extremely superficial attributes (height, sex appeal, facial symmetry, etc).”
           
          I’d also include intelligence, self-awareness, talent etc. as attributes directly obtained from our genetic heritage. And I’d argue that those attributes *aren’t* superficial and actually fundamentally embody who we are.
           
          Even so, it’s a fair point. How is “quality” to be measured? Do generosity/character/kindness contribute to how we assess “quality”. I guess they do.
           
          How would you define “quality” Shaukat? Do the characteristics you mentioned not form part of your definition of quality?
           
          “I’ve noticed that you like to take Darwinian processes of evolution and natural selection and apply them to human affairs in erroneous contexts. Once consciousness evolved, it became impossible to shoe-horn such a formula to homo-sapiens’ behavior.”
           
          Hmm I’m not sure about that.
           
          I’ll admit that there is still much to understand about the purpose/role of consciousness in the human condition, however, on an instinctual level it’s likely just a high-level development of the same processes in order to…you got it…better the chances of our off-spring. It didn’t just evolve out of nowhere.
           
          If homo-sapiens are immune to the vagaries of evolution due to their “consciousness”, as you claim, *why* do we still have chumps being taken for a ride?
           
          “you have to explain how the guy is supposed to be ‘aware’ of this deal. You can’t simply say ‘SMV’ unless it’s clear that it was a blatant cash transaction in exchange for sex and companionship. SMV is still partially subjective.”
           
          Well that’s the point. He’s choosing not to be aware of the deal as he’s only looking at what he has to gain and not properly assessing the risks in doing so.
           
          He wants it both ways. He wants to marry a higher SMV woman and have no elevated risk of her running once she’s got what she wants. It doesn’t really work like that.
           
          Just like women who sometimes get burned after casual sex; they want it both ways. They want to sleep with the higher SMV man and with no risk of him running once he got what he wanted. It doesn’t really work like that.
           
          So, who’s at fault when one party is “unaware” of the true dynamic of the deal and is taken for a ride? Depends on your politics I guess.
           
          To be completely frank I’m astonished at how anyone over, say, 25, can be taken for a ride and doesn’t realize how these dynamics work.
           
          “I’m actually starting to realize that a lot of these theories about men, women, sex, and relationships were more mythology than rooted in nature. The last four dates I went on all ended in hook ups by the second date, and all cut it short after that, despite my interest in something more permanent. It’s easier for me to get laid with a strong 7/10 than to get into a relationship with one.”
           
          Well Shaukat, the obvious response to that is that you’re clouded by subjectivity; I’ll generously offer to objectively rate both you and your last four dates by your photos and try analyze what’s going on.
           
          Post a few pics there and I’d be more than happy to help…
           
          Only buzzin 😉

        11. KK

          Tom 10 & Jeremy,

          I think you are both right. Tom, from the higher SMV female point of view and Jeremy, from the lower SMV male point of view.

          If we remove the small amount of people who are trying to manipulate one another, and only look at the people who are sincerely trying to navigate a relationship, I think we need to keep a couple of things in mind.

          (1) Typically, men are the initiators…

          Therefore, when a lower SMV guy is trying to woo a higher SMV lady, he will put out a lot of effort to win her over. Some of these relationships start out with the guy being friend zoned until he wears her down and she gives him a chance. Happens all the time. She grows attached to him and can even fall in love with him, but she’ll never lust after him.

          Neither is at fault. She sees herself as a good person giving a good guy a chance, even though he doesn’t ring her bell. He sees her as a great catch and feels like she finally sees what a great catch he is too. These relationships can last for quite a while. He doesn’t yet know she settled and she doesn’t yet  know that she is cheating him from someone who truly adores him.

          (2)Hedonic adaptation…

          After a few years of putting one on a pedestal, one will grow weary. I think you have mentioned this before Jeremy, when you said that your relationship with your wife was out of balance, meaning you gave way more than she did. While that’s true, imagine having someone dote on you day in and day out, and then that person suddenly starts doing much less for you. You feel less appreciated, less special. Now add to that the fact that he starts wanting more while giving less. Not a fun position to be in for either of them.

          My 2 cents: marry within your own league. If you both don’t feel lucky to have each other, ultimately, it won’t last.

        12. Gala

          @Jeremy:

          Basically, what Tom10 said. I completely agree with everything that he said.

          Just want to clarify one thing

          “She is using him. He isn’t using her, because he thinks she loves him back.

          No, they are using each other, Jeremy. What he thinks and whether she loves him, and what love even means in this context is completely irrelevant. No man ever did me a favor by being with me. No man ever did anything for my sake. They used me just the same, and whenever they did something for me, or for the relationship, it was because it benefited them, not because it benefited me. So why would I feel bad for acting in exactly the same way?

           

        13. shaukat

          How would you define “quality” Shaukat? Do the characteristics you mentioned not form part of your definition of quality?In terms of personal preferences, yes, they do, but you were framing it in terms of reproductive success and evolutionary advantage. Intelligence is far more important in that sense than those other attributes; in fact, studies show that standardized tests for general intelligence correlate strongly with life outcomes across numerous dimensions. Yet, there is not a strong correlation between IQ and SMV (think Hawking and Einstein). If the man wanted to procure the best possible outcome for his children, he’d marry a highly intelligent woman with less emphasis on those other attributes.If homo-sapiens are immune to the vagaries of evolution due to their “consciousness”, as you claim..I wasn’t claiming that. I was suggesting that some of the behavior/preferences you would likely attribute to genetics are in fact the product of environment/society (for example, do you think the Barbie doll version of beauty is universally accepted everywhere?). Humans evolved during the Pleistocene era, thus the traits that would have given us a survival advantage, that potential mates would have looked for, would have been strength, agility, overall physical health. Not necessarily relevant to your SMV. Also, biologists don’t know how or why consciousness evolved. Some argue that it would have been impossible in an environment of competition, and that cooperation was a prerequisite, and others suggest it might have been the by-product of language. However, yes, I do believe that once it evolved certain impulses became irrelevant or not fully dominant. I’ll generously offer to objectively rate both you and your last four dates…Ha, but what purpose would that exercise serve? Either way, wouldn’t it put a hole in your theory? If you’re implying that they were less attractive than my rating, then shouldn’t they have jumped at the chance for a potential relationship with someone after casual sex? And if you’re implying that I was less objectively attractive than them, doesn’t that nullify your theory that it’s men who date down for sex? My point was that modern dating has unleashed a primal instinct in all, and so fewer people fit into your dating formula. Also, not sure I trust your judgment. When I linked you that blog of that couple that were unmatched looks wise, you rated the guy a 6 and said he had potential, whereas I would have rated him a 4:)    

        14. shaukat

          They used me just the same, and whenever they did something for me, or for the relationship, it was because it benefited them, not because it benefited me.This is a very one-sided and simplistic way of looking at the situation. If you love someone, you do things for them partially because it brings you happiness and satisfaction knowing that you’ve pleased them (in which case, it benefits you), and also because you genuinely want to make them happy (you want your actions to benefit them, and the knowledge that it did, again benefits you). It’s not mutually exclusive. Humans are social creatures, emotional bonding is necessary for good mental health, and such bonding can benefit both individuals simultaneously, in a reciprocal fashion.  

        15. shaukat

          Ah, sorry for no paragraphs, Tom. Not sure how that happened.

        16. S. (with a period)

          The OP basically states that she doesn’t even like the guy, wouldn’t even consider being with him if she wasn’t so desperate for a baby.

          This is so interesting.  I don’t believe anyone deserves to be used.  Doesn’t matter what the SMV.  Everyone deserves a loving partner.

          I can see one thing that I may be missing.  I interpreted the OP’s situation very differently.  Jeremy says in the part I have quoted that she wouldn’t even consider him.

          I thought the point of this letter is that she is considering him.

          And before I go on let me be clear.  I am holding out for LOVE.  The real thing, passion, true connection, my best friend.  I want it all and I know I will find it.  I’m 45 and have no kids. I would never use a man for kids. I made my choices about children and am good with that. I decided the right romantic partnership was more important.

          I’m clear on that.  But I’m not the OP.  Here’s what I saw in her letter.

          a guy who is stable, kind, dependable and attractive. That sounds good to me.

          do love this man I’m with, by the way, it’s just not a soul-satisfying love It is still love, though!  I was thinking here that she’s confusing chemistry with connection.  Chemistry you can compromise a little on (like from 10 to 8, on a scale of 1-10).  Connection you can’t compromise on.

          Is it the kind of love-of-her-life love the way I’m looking for and what I believe everyone deserves? No.  But some people have happy marriages without that.  Not in our culture, no.  Who am I to judge? I didn’t really want kids in this way. I didn’t really feel that pressure that the OP feels.

          He’s a good man, she respects, and loves him. The main flag is that they don’t see the world the same way and may never.  It’s a huge flag!  But I don’t think the OP saw it that way.

          I tell you I’m always trying to compromise.  Always hopeful for change.  So I was optimistic for them.  But people don’t really change and if she says they will never see the world the same way that could be disastrous later on.

          I read these letters and people here in comments and in the OP letters do things I’d never do in my life. I try not to judge any of these folks.  Evan can because they are asking him to. Fair enough. He gives good advice.  But as a commenter who has never met them, only has a few words on a screen, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are good and they have integrity.  That they are not like Jeremy’s relative.

          Does that mean I’m missing the point? Does that mean I agree with trying to use a man for a child? Does that mean I’ll never get it?

          I am trying to understand here.  It’s interesting that I saw hope in her letter and some commenters just see the possible disaster.  I may be too hopeful, too naive.  I don’t have any bad intentions by it. And again, these are words on a screen to me.  I would never marry a man who I didn’t love full all the way in.  Nor did any of my friends.  So it’s just me giving a person I don’t know space to have more of a story than I see here and their own agency.

          Btw, I have been on the other end of this once. On a first date after a few hours of talking, a man expressed a desire for another child asked me if I was still menstruating.  This was a few years ago. I was and still am.  But yeah, I don’t think it’s right to use anyone because you’re desperate for a child.  I didn’t see in his question as terrible, though. Just the awkwardness and a lack of tact that (with other things) crossed him immediately off my list.  I didn’t think of him as selfish, just a bit desperate.

          Maybe I should have.  Maybe I should judge people more swiftly or harshly. I just try to see the positive.  But I am trying to understand.

        17. Jeremy

          Gala, I’ve told you before that I empathize with what happened to you in your marriage, how you were used by your ex without regard to your own needs and wants.  I understand why you feel the way you do, exactly the way so many men on the manosphere do toward the women who used them.  The sad cycle where the used become users need not propagate.  There is another way.

        18. Jeremy

          KK, I know you and I have had this discussion before.  And you know I don’t agree with the notion that the woman who suddenly finds herself receiving less than a totally disproportionate amount of effort from her husband along with an expectation of reciprocation is somehow hard-done-by, or somehow equally affected by her decision to marry a guy she just isn’t crazy about.  With this in mind, the conclusion I’d draw is different from yours – not so much to marry within your SMV, but rather not to marry someone you don’t love as you’d want to be loved.  Regardless of your SMV or theirs.

        19. Emily, the original

          KK,

          My 2 cents: marry within your own league. If you both don’t feel lucky to have each other, ultimately, it won’t last.

          I don’t know if I agree about leagues (I get tired of debating them on this site), but I agree that both parties have to be equally invested and feel they made a really good match. One can’t be constantly chasing after the love and affection of the other.

        20. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          “I don’t know if I agree about leagues (I get tired of debating them on this site), but I agree that both parties have to be equally invested and feel they made a really good match.”

          Like many things, to deny that there are leagues is to deny that our plant is round. The best matches usually occur between two people with comparable attractiveness and educational attainment levels. As has been mentioned many times on this blog, dating is an exercise in assortative mating. I have finally reached a point I have an SMV-based acid test before asking a woman out. My acid test is do we look like we belong together? Unless the answer to that question is an affirmative “yes,” I pass on asking a woman out, even if I find her to be interesting. Not only do unequal attractiveness levels generally not work over time, couples in which one person looks after his/her appearance while the other does not do not last. Does anyone remember Lyle Lovett and Julia’s Roberts marriage? Anyone who was paying attention knew that that one was not going to last.

        21. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Like many things, to deny that there are leagues is to deny that our plant is round. The best matches usually occur between two people with comparable attractiveness and educational attainment levels. As has been mentioned many times on this blog, dating is an exercise in assortative mating

          You’re the biggest perpetrator of all, actually. You go on and on and on about SMV. But what’s so inherently frustrating (and frankly exhausting) is that people mate/marry their equals, even if they’re not aware of it, even if they deny it, in terms of attractiveness, education level, social standing, mental stability, etc. You did it, too, when you married. We attract and mate with ourselves. Which is why a discussion of men reaching up or down to date or woman getting higher SMV guys for quick sex is IRRELEVANT. You’re going to end up longterm with yourself. Unless you make some changes but again that will be reflected in who shows up.

        22. KK

          “We attract and mate with ourselves.”

          Emily, Sometimes true. Sometimes false. In my little enclave alone, I can think of 5 couples off the top of my head who are complete opposites. Husband, 7 to 15 years older, SMV -2 to -5.

          I have an acquaintance that I’ve known for many years. She is the definition of flakiness. Unreliable, scatterbrained… Wonderfully fun, lively person, great intentions, but for lack of a better description, she’s very much a ding bat. Her husband, on the other hand, is the definition of stability. Complete opposites, but they balance each other out.

        23. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Sometimes false. In my little enclave alone, I can think of 5 couples off the top of my head who are complete opposites. Husband, 7 to 15 years older, SMV -2 to -5.

          Is there money involved? Money or extreme success can skew assortative mating, but the other partner is usually compensating with something else (youth or beauty).

          Otherwise, if you look at the Engagements section of the NYT, most couples even look alike. Sometimes like brother and sister.

          Wonderfully fun, lively person, great intentions, but for lack of a better description, she’s very much a ding bat. Her husband, on the other hand, is the definition of stability. Complete opposites, but they balance each other out.

          But he was attracted to her. Something in him wanted flaky, so that says something about him. Not good or bad, just reveals who he is. I used to think my stepmother was nutty, and I couldn’t figure out why my father married her. He had issues, for sure, but he was by far the healthier of the two. It took me years to finally admit he was as nutty as she was.

        24. KK

          Hi Emily,

          I think we’re talking past each other. Earlier, you said, “We attract and mate with ourselves”. If this is your belief, and that it always holds true, you’ll look for the facts to make it so. I agree that some people do in fact marry themselves, but that there are plenty of people who don’t.

          Surely you’ve known couples where that didn’t seem to pass the litmus test. And if it doesn’t, do you simply think… well there must be something there on some deep level that has pulled them together. Abandonment, childhood trauma, whatever. While I think this does and can happen, I don’t believe it’s true for all couples.

          I had a pretty idyllic childhood. Not perfect, but close, in many ways. My parents were happily married until my father passed. When my ex and I started having serious issues, one of my first thoughts was… OMG, I don’t even know this person. What is it about ME that attracted this into my life?!?!?

          After months and months of marital and then personal counseling, I was able to answer that. Nothing. I did nothing wrong. I simply chose very poorly. In hindsight, I should’ve asked more questions, analyzed inconsistencies, etc. At worst, I have some co-dependent tendencies. But no, there are no childhood wounds I was subconsciously trying to heal or hidden abandonment issues I needed to recreate.

        25. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Surely you’ve known couples where that didn’t seem to pass the litmus test. And if it doesn’t, do you simply think… well there must be something there on some deep level that has pulled them together. Abandonment, childhood trauma, whatever. 

          Actually, yes, that’s what I think. People are drawn to each other for subconscious reasons, and from what I’ve read, we attract the parts of ourselves that aren’t healthy. At least when we’re really into somebody. Those people who make us feel “meh.” Not so much. It’s another cruel joke from the Creator! 🙂

          I suppose people with happy childhoods, as you said you had, are fairly well-adjusted and are attracting other, well-adjusted people. I just haven’t known too many people who’ve had happy childhoods. But maybe it’s confirmation bias.

      2. 11.4.2
        Tom10

        @ Emily, the original
        “Why, in all these threads, is it assumed that the woman is knowingly manipulating a man she is using just to have kids while the man is this poor sod, deeply in love, who has no idea?”
         
        I don’t actually maintain this position.
         
        Rather my over-arching theses over the last few months has been that humans are mere puppets in a game run by some mysterious (or rather, not that mysterious) forces. I believe that, at its core, male and female sexual “meta-goals” are only partially aligned which is the ultimate source of all the dating friction you and I love to debate.
         
        That said, your quotation above did succinctly summarize Gala’s position in comment 16:
         
        “after dating a bunch of high-fliers with whom I had an amazing “connection” for the last 3 years, I had to now settle for a guy with whom we are aligned on values, habits, lifestyle and family goals, but the deep soul-to-soul connection is missing, and I know for me it will never be there with this guy”
         
        I wonder what his position/viewpoint is?
         
        “Maybe he’s settling, too. Maybe he’s completely aware of what’s going on. Maybe he’d like to have kids, too, and he sees this as his opportunity. Geez … There are plenty of people who marry for practical reasons. Not JUST women.”
         
        All true.
         
        I’ve been watching a lot of nature documentaries lately Emily, and love studying animal behavior as a proxy to understanding ours.
         
        Of particular interest is the idea of the evolutionary arms-race; where different organisms are eternally pitted against each other in struggles to survive/prosper. Once one side gets an advantage the other develops a tool to neutralize this advantage and vice-versa. Ultimately both parties benefit from the struggle.
         
        The classic example is the cuckoo v other species of birds. Japanese giant hornet v honey bees is another. As one discovers an advantage the other counter adapts. Ad infinitum. It’s fascinating.
         
        I think human behavior is an extension of this behavior; the rules of the game have been set so that men and women are sometimes pitted against each other with the ultimate goal of continuously improving/spreading the species.
         
        All of the above comments can equally be applied as equally to young men who go out looking for sex; are they “manipulating a [wo]man [s]he is using just to have [sex] while the [wo]man is this poor sod, deeply in love, who has no idea?.”  
         
        Depends on your viewpoint I guess.
         
        The Op’s question is neatly encapsulates the nexus of where these forces meet. I don’t think most people are nearly as nefarious as comments here suggest; rather that they are simply following their nature. Fancy way of saying “don’t hate the player, hate the game”.
         
        “How many guys marry their “ideal” woman?”
         
        I have no idea.
         
        Off the top of my head I’d say maybe 50%? The other 50% either drop out or marry for a few years, then divorce, become bitter and post vindictive comments on dating websites. *Not mentioning any names*. Lol.

        1. Emily, the original

          Tom,

          I think Gala summarized it well in an earlier post on this thread:

          That having a true soulmate who also checks all other necessary boxes AND wants you back is akin to winning a lottery. It is not a given. 

          Rather my over-arching theses over the last few months has been that humans are mere puppets in a game run by some mysterious (or rather, not that mysterious) forces. I believe that, at its core, male and female sexual “meta-goals” are only partially aligned which is the ultimate source of all the dating friction you and I love to debate.

          Totally agree. The Creator didn’t like us. Gave us this “thing” to chase after indefinitely but also made it a curse. Also, impossibly hot gay men.   🙂

          You know, I was thinking, too, that even if one party is more invested, both parties are pretty aware of that very early in the dating process. It’s no secret. Men and women are not sirens being lured to their doom, with no knowledge of what is happening.

          Off the top of my head I’d say maybe 50%?

          Really? That surprises me because Megan Fox is already married.  🙂  Ah, you gotta love that, even at her height (because I KNOW you’ll say you prefer the Megan Fox of 10 years ago), she was with an unremarkable guy who lived off his syndication checks. Ah, the humanity. I find it funny.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          That’s the difference between me and you and Gala, Emily. You think a happy marriage is akin to winning the lottery. I think it takes learning, openness, effort and humility to create a happy marriage.

          Anybody can have it. But not if they harbor false beliefs, have unrealistic expectations, can’t empathize with the opposite sex, or are closed to change (either yourself or your choice of men). Gala has pretty much told us all that she’s selfish. You’ve pretty much told us all that you have a weakness for hot guys. If you were to both look in the mirror and do something differently, you, too could have a happy marriage. It’s not a miracle, no more than someone who works hard to get to the top of her industry. Some people do it. Some people can’t. Some people won’t.

        3. KK

          “And you know I don’t agree with the notion that the woman who suddenly finds herself receiving less than a totally disproportionate amount of effort from her husband along with an expectation of reciprocation is somehow hard-done-by, or somehow equally affected by her decision to marry a guy she just isn’t crazy about”.

          Lol Jeremy! I know you disagree, because you lack imagination in this particular area. 😊

          Hypothetical… You’re single, never married, late 20s early 30s… You meet a woman that’s meh as far as looks. But… She seems like a great person, intelligent, kind, good head on her shoulders, lots of positive qualities. You hang out as friends. You enjoy spending time together. Things evolve. You know she’s crazy about you so why not? You sleep together. Sex is amazing. She worships you, makes you feel like a hero in every way.

          You get married. A year or two in, after having amazing sex every day, she says, “Jeremy, I’ve been thinking. I put way more effort into our marriage than you. This isn’t fair to me. From now on, we’ll have sex once a month and you will need to start taking me out to 5 star restaurants at a minimum of once per week. Instead of complimenting you all the time, I’ll save those compliments  for special occasions when I feel you’ve really earned it. By the way, you should probably clean out the garage and take better care of the yard too. Then, I’ll feel like we’re equal”.

          You really wouldn’t be bothered or feel this was a bit and switch? ☺

           

           

        4. Jeremy

          KK, for all my many flaws, one thing I do not lack is imagination.  Agreability….well, that’s another matter.

          I recall a conversation you and I had a while back.  You had asked me about the difference between “effort” and “work” in a relationship – you knew that relationships require effort but shouldn’t be work, and you weren’t sure what the difference was.  And what I had proposed to you was that the difference was….reciprocation.

          In your hypothetical, the marriage is a shambles because the power balance is all askew.  The woman pedestalized the man and so gave him all of her power in a flow of uni-directional adulation. How could it possibly have lasted?  I would have been a fool to enter such a marriage.  Because power tends to balance out in long-term relationships, regardless of respective SMV.

          In a good marriage, if only one spouse provides most of the effort, they will inevitably see that effort as work.  And your corrective swing of the pendulum is equally disproportionate because how could the theoretical husband not be offended?  The problem is not the desire for reciprocation – which is only fair! – it’s the fact that your proposed reciprocation is so imbalanced.

          Revisiting your hypothetical, if I had married such a woman and after a disproportional stream of WORK on her part she approached me and said, “Jeremy, I feel like I’m not having my needs met in this relationship.  I’d really like you to take me out to a restaurant or on a date once per week, I’d like YOU to compliment me the way I compliment you, and I’d like you to take care of the garage and yard while I take care of the house,” I’d think – yes, that’s only fair.  Of course, knowing me, KK, I’d likely already be doing all of that.  Not a bait and switch at all, as long as the power balance is fair.

          Entering into a relationship with an inherently skewed power balance is asking for trouble.  You can only use a person so much before they begin to notice.

        5. Jeremy

          Revisiting this for a moment, KK, I know your intention was to get me to imagine a situation similar to the one you went through.  Where the man who worshipped you pulled a 180 and swung the pendulum too far the other way (among his other flaws and misbehaviours).  Certainly I could see how you’d see it as a bait-and-switch, but my point is that what makes marriages like that collapse isn’t just the over-swing of the pendulum, it’s their initial state.  Because, after all, the initial state had the pendulum over-swung the opposite way.

           

          It’s never wise to marry someone that worships you unless you are a deity.  Because that worship fading to plain old love is a best-case scenario, and not the most common.  My brother married a woman because he thought she worshipped him.  He told me, before their wedding, that the reason he was marrying her was because she would do anything he wanted.  Go anywhere he wanted, live any way he wanted.  That’s the way it had been throughout their 5 year courtship.  I asked him whether he thought it would continue and he stared at me blankly.  Why wouldn’t it continue, he asked.

        6. KK

          Jeremy,

          I get it.

          Your brother’s worst crime was his naivete. It’s funny. Women are told all the time not to marry “potential”. Marry what is. So when we do and it eventually goes south, we’re told we should’ve known better.

        7. Jeremy

          No, my brother’s fault was not his naïveté, it was his narcissism.  His belief that having a relationship where his partner mostly gave and he mostly took was ok because he was somehow “better” than her.  I don’t think that most people in this situation are aware of being users – especially if the relationship dynamic was their partner’s idea, not theirs, and they just went along with it.  But underlying it, on a conscious or subconscious level, is what Gala wrote above – that they believe themselves to be giving something away at a discount, for which they need to be compensated.

           

           

          We often discuss the concept of love languages on this blog.  And while I think the notion that each of us receives love differently is important, the truly brilliant part of the concept is a different application. It’s understanding that if you want to know how a person receives love, look at how he/she gives it.  Because the way we give love is usually the way we want to receive it.  The person who receives love through words offers love through her words.  The person who receives love through acts of service offers acts of service.  And the person who offers love through unceasing adulation….well, what do you suppose he wants in return?  And how well will that mesh with the attitude of the partner described in the first paragraph above?

        8. sylvana

          Emily,

          impossibly hot gay man! Oh, my, did you ever nail it with that one!

          And not just the young, muscled bound ones. What kills me is that some of the most masculine looking and acting men are gay. Especially once you get into the over 35 age-range.

          Honestly, I’d have to say I find more masculine gay men than masculine straight men. From young, hot to rough and primal, it seems the gay world has an ample supply of irresistible, attractive men.

          We used to joke that if we were in the mood to see some serious eye candy that night, we’d have to go to a gay bar. It’s no longer a joke, because it has proven true time and again. All age ranges, all types. No matter what your taste in men, a woman is likely to find a few in a gay bar.

          Kind of makes you wonder what the heck is going on with straight men. Sure, there are a few young, hot ones. But the rougher, scruffy, masculine variety is definitely lacking.

           

           

        9. Emily, the original

          Slyvana,
          We used to joke that if we were in the mood to see some serious eye candy that night, we’d have to go to a gay bar. 
          My best friend when I was in my 20s was a gay man, and we’d split the night between gay and straight places, and the best-looking men, by far, hands down, without a contest, were in the gay bar.

      3. 11.4.3
        Selena

        Jeremy:

        “I had a distant relative who is the most selfish woman I’ve ever met.  She married a man she believed was her inferior in terms of SMV and literally told him that as soon as their kids were old enough, she’d leave him.  She said it audibly at parties to others.  He thought she was joking, couldn’t comprehend that a person would behave that way.  Sure enough, youngest kid turned 15 and she filed for divorce, taking him for the most permanent alimony and child support she could get.  Was cheating on him the entire time.  Do you think he felt he got an even exchange because he got to be with a pretty woman?  Do you think he’d have gone for the exchange had he known how she really felt, what she really wanted?”

         

        She told him how she felt, what she really wanted. He apparently ignored it for as long as he could. For his own reasons.

        An even exchange? I wouldn’t  think so, but WHY your relative put up with this for so many years is a question for him. Has HE ever articulated about why he did? Has he ever seen a therapist to explore why he did?

        1. Jeremy

          To clarify, she didn’t tell him right at the beginning.  She told him after their kids were born.  He married her thinking she loved him.  By the time she told him, he was well and enmeshed.  And he couldn’t believe she was serious.  He definitely has low self-esteem issues, but that’s no excuse for her behavior.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          “To clarify, she didn’t tell him right at the beginning. She told him after their kids were born. ”

          That is called entrapment. Women have been doing it for eons to secure a well-heeled man. Thankfully, there is less reason to do it today than there was in the past, but it still occurs.

    5. 11.5
      sylvana

      Tron,

      wonderfully said!

  12. 12
    Kat

    I have a similar story to OP. But I went ahead and married the guy, had two kids. We divorced after 18 years of a mostly rocky marriage. I would tell my younger self not to have married a man who I knew wasn’t completely right for me before we walked to the altar. But I was desperate for kids and also fertility challenged. Now I’m another middle-aged divorcee where dating is even more difficult.

    Everyone-wait for the right one. Don’t settle. We’re living longer, and reproductive technology keeps improving—one exciting development that is still new is successfully delaying and even reversing menopause in some women, restoring fertility long enough to conceive and have a baby. So there is hope for those who want biological children but worry about how long they have to do so.

    Be true to yourself. If you have to question if someone is right enough for you, especially on a blog with commentary from strangers, then you aren’t with The One.

  13. 13
    Kristin

    I’m 47 and I’d say I’m still wanting the man who is perfect for me NOT perfect as a man …That does NOT exist …  I have dated and broken a few hearts and had mine broken BUT I STILL BELIEVE … Its timing and it’s two worlds coming together under the Best of circumstances … There is a lot of Brokenness today in our world and life has to be lived w Someone who gets you …who can be your person when the times are tough or crisis occurs …  I’d rather WANT someone I don’t have THAN have somebody I Don’t want … You can be terribly lonely with the WRONG someone who doesn’t feed your soul … I get it ! It’s a fair assessment by EMK …

  14. 14
    MilkyMae

    He’s much less educated than I am but that doesn’t bother me in the least as he’s a hard worker with his own personal goals in life.

    Sounds like someone who is “much” bothered by less education.

    1. 14.1
      Stacia

      I was thinking the same thing.  Why even mention it if it’s truly not an issue?

  15. 15
    Noquay

    When I lived in Montana years ago, many of my peers did just what Jan describes; married much less educated, men incompatible in many areas so they could have kids before it was “too late”. The tension in those households was incredible and affected the children who are much more perceptive than we realize. The men became either angry, sullen, or hurt and baffled because they didn’t understand what had happened to the marriage. No child should be forced to live in a household full of anger and really think, Jan, if his values are so incompatible, how would you feel about him modeling those values to your children?

  16. 16
    Gala

    I am 36 so have been in the OP’s shoes so to speak just a couple of years back. I would strongly recommend that the OP freezes her eggs now (and banks a sufficient amount of them, which is to say close to 30). That will help alleviate her anxiety about having children and she will be seeing the situation much more clearly (and it only takes 2 weeks to do it and really not that big a deal).

    Secondly, yes she has time, especially if she does the egg freezing, but it would be a mistake to count on somebody better showing up and sticking around. The OP may find herself with the exact same position only she’d be 3 years older.

    In my case, this never happened for me. After dating a bunch of high-fliers with whom I had an amazing “connection” for the last 3 years, I had to now settle for a guy with whom we are aligned on values, habits, lifestyle and family goals, but the deep soul-to-soul connection is missing, and I know for me it will never be there with this guy. Personally I just got tired of going through the endless “sex and the city” marathon in my own life. Sometimes we just have to accept that we can’t have it all. That having a true soulmate who also checks all other necessary boxes AND wants you back is akin to winning a lottery. It is not a given. Personally, I would rather have my own bio children than spend the next few years chasing the dream of finding a perfect guy for me, and focus on my kids, career and family. The OP may want to consider this before breaking up with this guy. And, if she decides to stay, I wouldn’t wait too long to have kids. If that’s what she wants its better to get it done, get it off her list as soon as possible. Having children is very disruptive for one’s career and life in general, have it done now so that in your late 30-ies you can enjoy life a bit

  17. 17
    roxanne

    evan have you covered difference between chemistry and connection? cause I am having a hard time telling the difference. is lack of connection like 0 chemistry? I know decent amount of chemistry is important (not to be over valued but you need some)

  18. 18
    Aly

    i don’t know how important politics or philosophy is to you, but would you be okay with him raising your son to be similar to him education and poltlitics wise? If you were to divorce would you be okay with him raising your children 50% of the time?  I agree with Evan on the connection part. 

  19. 19
    Suzanne

    I honestly thought this was a “Mr.  Good Enough” scenario.

  20. 20
    Marika

    Are non-Jewish people allowed to say Oy? If so, I second your Oy, Jeremy.

    The lower SMV woman isn’t necessarily less likely to be a user, Tom.  Whether or not someone uses another does not depend on their SMV but rather their intentions. 

    Couldn’t agree more. It shows a very limited understanding of human nature if someone can think that apparently all of a person’s behaviour in their relationships & how they treat the opposite sex can be explained by something as inane as SMV…really??

    My ex-husband was 11 years older than me with three kids. I was in my 20s when we got together, with no kids and no debt. He was in his 30s with both. I get told a lot that I look like Kirsten Dunst. While I wouldn’t win any lookalike contests, I can see the resemblance. By every objective measure of ‘SMV’, mine was higher. Did he treat me like gold? No. Did it cheat-proof our relationship? Absolutely not. Why? Myriad reasons: I’m more anxious, he’s more avoidant, his values were more self-focused due to his upbringing & experiences, he had a much more challenging upbringing and was less trusting, I was more naive, too trusting and overly idealistic/stubborn..the list goes on. Nothing to do with our SMVs.

    YAG has talked about how he married ‘down’ SMV-wise to have children with a stable woman. She still denied him sex for years. According to the SMV-mentality, she should have been gagging for it.

    If your takeaway from other’s bad experiences is to marry down so your partner will adore you – that’s a pretty risky move. And also pretty selfish.

    I also disagree with this ‘people don’t change’ idea. I know many men who treated their first wife/serious relationship like a queen, then felt burned and vowed never to be so patient, understanding or generous again. I’m sure women do it too, but I hear this mentality through my dating experiences (and those of friends) quite often. One guy I dated told me that he used to be very willing to hear the woman’s perspective and would nod and smile etc., over every little thing to placate her. But he said that now “I don’t want any more drama. I’m happy with my life. If relationships get too hard, I’m willing to walk away”. People, especially people of a certainly mentality, get drained by dating/relationships over time, especially if they don’t work out. And their priorities change. At some point, the hot, crazy, high SMV woman (or man) is less appealing.

    With our friends and other people we care about, we can see that a range of motivations influence their behaviour. Somehow, in dating, we want to distill people down to things like SMVs, dehumanising them and acting like the opposite sex is some ‘other’ you can easily put in a box. It’s not like that. Let’s try to treat our dates as fellow, complex humans.

    1. 20.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      I wanted to give a standing ovation to your post.

      I heartily endorse everything you’ve said, especially this: “With our friends and other people we care about, we can see that a range of motivations influence their behaviour. Somehow, in dating, we want to distill people down to things like SMVs, dehumanising them and acting like the opposite sex is some ‘other’ you can easily put in a box.”

      I don’t subscribe to the SMV theory of dating and frankly, I find it absolutely nauseating. Like you, I know of many men who married women who were of perfectly average SMV, worshipped and adored them, and got taken for a big ol’ ride and treated like shit by them. I just know of so many, many relationship stories which defy this SMV crap.

      I don’t subscribe to it, for all of the reasons you have set out, and also because human connection and attraction is so much more complex than that. This ridiculous SMV theory seems to posit that you should be pining and panting after someone who is supposedly of high SMV. In truth, connection and the way you feel with someone is much more important. For instance, right now, as we speak, there is a gorgeous guy whom I met out one night as a friend of a friend. He’s an engineer, university educated, very intelligent and successful, comes from a wealthy family. He’s 36. He is incredibly keen on me and dying for me to go out with him. But I just have no interest… and not in an arrogant way, I just feel no connection and would rather go out with someone who maybe wasn’t as impressive but whom I felt more comfortable and happy with.

      Emotions and relationships are complex and people are worth getting to know on their own merits. There are so many different reasons why people do what they do.

      Furthermore, as I have pointed out before, attractiveness or “SMV” is by no means universal. It is very subjective. Even if there might be a woman, for instance, whom 9 out of every 10 guys in a room would find beautiful, her ideas of what she is attracted to will be complex and different. When you factor different people’s complex ideas of what makes them feel attracted, comfortable and connected into a giant matching matrix, you are left human relationships and behaviours that are by no means predictable or resemble this SMV theory.

      1. 20.1.1
        Marika

        Thanks Clare 🙂

        I feel like it shouldn’t even need to be said and yet, somehow, it does!

        I like the way the very sane and happily married Karl R described it: your partner will be better than you in some ways and you’ll be better in some ways. You may be more intelligent, they may earn more. You’re better at budgeting, they’re better at planning spontaneous dates etc. It’s about balancing each other out, having fun, feeling attraction (of course)..but that’s ONE element.

        NOT planning and hatching a scheme to marry someone based on a set of criteria and numbers..+/- SMV to the power of…

        I.do get that these are short hand terms to describe things, but some people get so caught up in their value and significance. Then I try to remember…such people are single. And don’t seem especially happy.

        I hope what you wrote doesn’t mean things took a bad turn with your beau..?

        1. Shaukat

          I agree with your overall point, Marika, but not your statement that when certain people use such terms it’s a symptom of being single and/or unhappy. First of all, as a rough approximation, DMV and leagues do exist. Exceptions exist, but you won’t often see someone who looks like Jennifer Aniston with George Costanza. And people like Tom may overuse it, but he does not at all strike me as someone who is unhappy or spiteful.

        2. Clare

          Thanks for remembering about my relationship, Marika 🙂

          I’ve decided to put the brakes on until his divorce is finalised. He was in fact separated and not completely divorced and still finalising financial and custody issues with his ex. Luckily here is South Africa these things don’t take as long as they do in the U.S., but the stress of these things was starting to bleed over into our (new) relationship. He was complaining of depression as well and so I’ve also decided to give him space to heal and get more fully past what has happened.

          Frankly it was a lesson well-learned about getting involved with a someone newly divorced or just finalizing the last aspects of their divorce and the time they need to be a bit more ready to date. So things didn’t take bad turn and nothing bad actually happened between us… we’ve explicitly left the door open for later. So we’ll see.

          I feel like it’s the right decision. Common wisdom and everyone who knows us both feels it’s the right decision too.

        3. Clare

          Egh, sorry for the typos.

    2. 20.2
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      You said, ” I’m more anxious [attachment style]”

      You also made another comment in a previous post about how you are now a master kung fu panda level dater; very skilled (though I am not sure why that worried you).

      So knowing what you know now about yourself from an anxious perspective and being a grandmaster dater (^_^), how do you know when something is wrong because of the other person’s bad or disrespectful behavior verse you taking something out of context because of your anxious attachment style?

      For example his not calling could be because he isn’t interested or it could be because he is legitimately busy but you are feeling insecure. Or as we spoke about a while ago, his perceived lack of enthusiasm though he always ask you out, your logical side tells you he must be into you or he wouldn’t keep asking you out but your anxious side tells you that his lack of (or what you perceive as a lack of) excitement when you are together means he’s not that into you.

      How have you learned to differentiate between what is really going on and what your insecurity is causing you to see?

      Of course I’m sure your attachment style like mine only kicks in when it is someone you really like and want to be with, the other 99% of dates I go on I can easily read their moods and body language without doubting if I’m right.

      …   …   …

      On a different topic I would like you opinion on something I saw earlier today. I read an article about a matchmaking service that cost $500.000 and they only introduce you to 2-5 women, nothing else just introctions.

      I assume this is for supper rich people and I remembered that you said that you are the personal assistant of a Big time CEO or something… I just remembered you said that because of who you work for most guys are intimitated by your success.

      So here is my quesiton, with the people who pay that much for so little return and no garentee; why do you think they do it? Back in college in my economics class we learned that people actually think that the more something cost the higher value it has-even if that is not true.

      We see it with free vs pay dating sites as well as the studies that show that women should play hard to get people because it makes the man assume she has more options and a higher value.

      Anyway I’m getting off track, so why in your opinion as someone who is use to being around very wealthy people all the time would a person pay that kind of money for just basically a blind date?

      1. 20.2.1
        Marika

        Hi Adrian

        How have you learned to differentiate between what is really going on and what your insecurity is causing you to see?

        Short answer: I haven’t! I continue to struggle with this, and especially when I really like them (as you say). It’s what keeps coming me back to this blog 🙂

        In terms of your other question, you’re confusing me with Malika. That’s her job.

        But I can understand a busy professional, who has neither the time nor patience to sift through dating websites and thinks a matchmaker has more experience, cache and the quality of dates will be higher (all perception in my view), would like the idea of this. They’re used to outsourcing – why not outsource finding dates too? 🙂

    3. 20.3
      Cathalei

      Adrian, 

      The SMV term is not merely descriptive, it fails to gauge whom would be attracted to whom based on what. Beyonce and Gal Gadot might have hundreds of thousands of admirers, but there might be and are plenty of attractive (hot or beautiful) ladies out there who don’t have the same fame, so we are likely unaware of their existence. That doesn’t detract from their looks one bit. Besides, attraction is far more than just good looks. There are many good looking people out there but we are not attracted to all of them equally. The term SMV is used in prostitution networks to determine the price of a certain prostitute.

      Marika,

      True, being “hotter” doesn’t guarantee that your partner will treat you well. We hear many stories to the contrary. Hotness is easily replaceable in many social stations as well. It’s easy to trade one hottie for another, besides just because one is “below” you in that (because another might very well give her/him a higher rating based on another criteria) doesn’t mean they ate dopes who can’t get that your condescension towards them and that is a quick attraction killer unless they have dependent personality disorder. They desire to be valued for what they apparently bring to the table just like you. In fact, the feelings of being taken for granted can cause resentment and perhaps cheating. If you look at cheating spouses, they often talk about not feeling valued in their marriage even if they might still love their spouses.

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