Mate Value and Slow Love

couple wearing black and staring at each other

For the uninitiated, “mate value” (also known as sexual market value) means, essentially, how many options you have in the relationship marketplace.

A man who is 6 feet tall, has a Masters degree, and makes six figures will have high mate value.

A man who is 5 feet tall, has a high school education, and makes 25k/year will have low mate value.

This does not remotely mean that the high mate value guy is a better man or a better husband; all it means is that he’s going to have far more dating options.

In general, people marry partners with similar mate values. In other words, you won’t see too many thin, rich, young debutantes marrying 55-year-old paunchy plumbers.

You won’t see too many thin, rich, young debutantes marrying 55-year-old paunchy plumbers.

Per a recent New York Times article by John Tierney, “It seems logical for people with high mate value to insist on comparable partners, and there’s some evidence that they do. By observing singles pursuing one another at online dating sites and in speed-dating experiments, researchers have found that people tend to end up with those of similar mate value.

That pattern also occurs in married couples: Attractive, well-educated, high-earning people tend to marry people like themselves. In fact,  economists say that this growing trend of “assortative mating” is a major cause of income inequality, because a household with two high earners makes so much more money than a household with two low earners (or only one earner).”

So, is this like a modern caste system, where we are resigned to stay within our stations? Not exactly.

In a study of couples that was  published online this month in Psychological Science,  researchers interviewed all sorts of couples – people who’d been married for 50 years and those who just started dating. “After being videotaped talking about their relationships, all were rated for physical attractiveness by a group of judges who viewed each partner separately.  When the ratings for partners were compared, there was a clear pattern based on how long the people had known one another before they had begun dating.”

Are you ready for this?

“If they’d begun going out within a month of meeting, then they tended to be equally attractive physically. But if they’d been acquaintances for a long time, or if they’d been friends before becoming lovers, then someone hot was more liable to end up with someone not so hot.”

Get a job working with those same people you pass up on Tinder  and you may just discover the love of your life – all because you took the time to get to know him.

This supplies credence to what we already observe in real-life. Sure, in online dating, you’re going to make snap judgments based on superficial attractiveness.

But get a job working with those same people you pass up on Tinder  and you may just discover the love of your life – all because you took the time to get to know him.

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Join our conversation (82 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Another good reason to have an active social life where you get to meet and interact with different people.(Meetup hikes etc) And I tell that to my single female friends but in an  age where Tinder etc rule, and there is an endless number of potential dates, it’s getting harder and harder to take that time.


    I only singled out my female friends because most of my male friends don’t have this problem. If a guy thinks you’re attractive and you’re nice. You’re good to go. Let’s just say the list for my female friends are a bit longer. Making their  available pool much smaller.

    1. 1.1

      Women who want a LTR make the mistake of judging a man by physical attraction in the first minute, instead of taking the time to judge his character, loyalty, and compatibility for a long term relationship.   Some women just get caught up thinking like a superficial Alpha male that wants hot women for one nighters.   Maybe they get caught up in the hollywood fantasy for a hot brad pitt lookalike.   Women waste more time trying to keep that cheating alpha male, rather than building a relationship with a loyal beta male.   Some women date the right way, by starting out as platonic friends first.   Women should try this slow dating approach to build trust and comfort with less-attractive men.   Men don’t use makeup to enhance their appearance like most women, so most beta men never look like brad pitt because they don’t try that hard to improve their appearance.   Without makeup, most women would gladly date and marry beta men, instead of trying to fool alpha men into staying in an LTR.   If a woman wants a committed LTR, then she really needs to slow down, have patience, and use the three day rule in judging a guy, instead of thinking like a alpha man.   She needs to worry about loyalty instead of physical attraction.

  2. 2

    That could be because they potentially have more to lose if things don’t work out, Morris.

    1. 2.1

      Very possible although it has already been pretty well documented, even on this site, that some of the laundry list of things aren’t really all that pertinent in finding the one. And to be fair men have a different set of problems. I was just referring to this specific issue of knowing your market value and your dating pool.(And knowing what the type of men you are looking for are looking for in return.)


      The issue in my circle of female friends usually revolve around around these facts.(These are in addition to being attractive, taller etc)


      There are 50% more women getting a college education. So if you require a college education and not just someone smart. You’re artificially making your dating pool smaller.


      If you’re successful and require someone equally successful. You’re artificially making your dating pool smaller.


      You add the fact that educated successful men don’t have these requirements and you start to see an issue. My friends seem to have a hard time understanding that a 30 year old attractive nice woman has  an better chance than an attractive, educated, successful but alpha woman. The women want a male version of them. The men want a complement to the strengths they already bring to the table.

      1. 2.1.1

        Meant to add 35 year old alpha woman to that last statement. They don’t get why successful men their age are with women a few years younger  and less accomplished.

        1. Ruby

          You are missing the point that people are marrying partners with similar “mate values”. As one of the articles states, “Over the past half-century, there has been an increase in positive assortative mating within the marriage market…People of similar backgrounds, such as educational attainment or financial means” are selecting each other. That is why “assortative mating is a major cause of income inequality, because a household with two high earners makes so much more money than a household with two low earners (or only one earner).”



        2. Morris

          No. I understand. I don’t think you appreciate what I am pointing out. If there are 50% more educated women. And people with similar educational backgrounds etc are marring. It’s pretty easy to deduct that the men are finding partners just fine.


          Everything else being equal I have no doubt a man would pick a woman with an education. But I know many men who don’t hold that against women. So at the end what is happening to all the excess college educated women???

        3. Morris

          To put in another way. Before women dominated college. Educated successful men found partners just fine.


          After women dominated college. Educated successful men found partners just fine.


          Even successful men without a college degree are finding partners just fine.


          And we constantly hear about educated or successful women having a hard time finding a partner. You see a pattern here?

        4. pat

          That’s similar to 40-something year old men not understanding why late 20s and early 30s women don’t want them, either.   You’re painting it as if only women were foolishly going after a population that didn’t value them – men do it, too!

        5. Joe

          Pat, I bet high market value 40-year old men don’t have trouble attracting late 20s-early 30s women.

        6. pat

          Joe:   more than 80% of men are not considered “high market” value to women (15-20% of men are considered “alpha,” whom women are naturally attracted to).   It’s a pipe dream for the vast majority of men.

        1. Morris

          Fair enough. They weren’t scientific publications. I hope that doesn’t mean you are implying men don’t have thicker, oiler skin. More collagen. More muscle mass. Denser bones. Don’t go through child-birth or menopause. Etc etc  and that those have no impact on aging.


          As for the college degree thing.  Your article isn’t very detailed and leaves a lot out. I was referring to the 60/40 number you read a lot about.(Well at least I do.)


          Degrees conferred by sex and race
          Percent conferred to females


          Associate’s – 62%

          Bachelor’s –   57.4

          Master’s – 62.2

          Doctor’s – 53.3

          And the trend is going UP for women.  So 60/40 seems right. And since 60% is 50% more than 40%(40 x 1.5 = 60). I’ll stand by my statement.


  3. 3

    I think this article basically reflects what my situation is. I am attractive , mid 20, good education and promising career, and semi established financially.I have a lot of options but maybe  I am picky, I am single. I am still young and can afford to wait a little while. I am using okcupid now. flooded with messages. But boy,  dating is not easy these days. Some guys who I dated always thought I am high maintenance, which made dating a little bit awkward sometimes. After dating around for a while, I realize   similar social economic status is very important . I don’t want to be judged by splurging on designer stuff or luxury cars( with my own money of course) .

    So for me, I only dated guys who share similar education background, career and life style. I am willing to make compromise on appearance but not too much though.


    1. 3.1

      I dated a man who made significantly less than myself.   Toughest relationship.   I agree with your decision to date someone financially similar.   I felt I had to explain my new purchases or hide my success.

  4. 4
    Karmic Equation

    I didn’t want to pay to read the full article.

    So what was the age range of the couples interviewed who had been friends first for years before dating?

    I ask because if the “friends for many years” couples were mostly in their 50’s and one was hotter than the other at the time of the interview (not at the time of getting together) — could it be possible that one simply aged better than the other?

    There’s a guy I know from pool who I think is very handsome. I saw a picture of his wife. She looked at least 15 years older than he and, if he were a 9, she was at best a 5. I don’t know their history and I don’t know their ages. He looks like he’s in his mid-30s (but maybe he’s late 40s, who knows). She looks like she’s in her 50s.

    And it seems that I’ve seen this phenomena more often where the guy looks better than his wife, when both are over 50.

    Perhaps this is because men are often happier in marriages than women? So they age better? lol

    1. 4.1

      Well it’s not PC but you do realize men physically age better than women right? Men literally have thicker skin. Oiler skin. More collagen. More muscle mass. Denser bones. Don’t go through child birth. Don’t go through menopause. Don’t use all those awful cosmetics that ruin your skin over time.


      But women outlive men quite a bit. Depending on which is more important it equals out???

      1. 4.1.1

        Maybe, but they also lose their hair, develop beer guts, get flabby butts covered in cellulite, grow hair like gorillas and go gray without dying whatever hair they have left. 😆

        1. Rebecca

          Men get cellulite?   I thought that was my curse!

        2. Holly

          Lol nope, cellulite is not strictly a woman’s curse! We may be more prone to it but guys (especially older guys) can have it too.

        3. Morris

          I totally agree. Just pointing out the science as to why people might be starting to notice men aging better. In this day and  age where men are taking better care of themselves. It shows.

        4. Holly

          Yah, maybe!

      2. 4.1.2

        Morris: I always find these types of comments interesting. While men may have more collagen, thicker skin, and dense bones, and don’t use harmful cosmetics, here’s the kicker: we women can and often do more to take care of our skin and bodies. We get chemical peels to stimulate cell turnover. We moisturize for soft skin. We use sunscreen to protect us from the harmful and aging effects of the sun. Have you heard of CoolSculpting technology? Yep, women use that much more often than men. Ever heard of retinol creams and growth factor serums? We may possess less muscle mass, but guess what? We often work out and eat healthy. I can bet that women make more home-cooked meals, while men often trash their bodies with fatty foods and too much beer. My current boyfriend have transitioned to an all organic diet free of processed foods, high in lean meats like chicken and fish, and veggies like broccoli, asparagus, peppers, and carrots, and low in starches and cheese. Before he met me, his diet consisted of fast food like McDonalds and pub food.

        Son while men may have an advantage, both men and women can do things that really harm or help their bodies.

        1. Noemi

          *My current boyfriend and I.

        2. Morris

          I agree women are better at taking care of their body in many ways. Especially when it comes to diet. But all those cosmetics etc really don’t work all that well. Every year it’s a new moisturizer or procedure that works x percent better than before… I’ve been hearing that for decades. If any of it where true we would have been reversing the aging process by now. 🙂

        3. Morris

          Outside of genetics. Eating right, exercising and staying out of the sun(and tanning beds) are really the only things that will make a noticeable impact on aging.

        4. pat

          Morris:   Actually there are plenty of products and procedures to make women look better as they age.   The problem is that the average woman doesn’t have the money to access these things.   Women like Christy Brinkley and Heidi Klum and Gwen Stefani and Sofia Vergara don’t look as good as they do without help.

      3. 4.1.3

        Noemi, I agree with you.
        Either sex can take care of themselves or let themselves go.
        I am on OKC and I see just as wide a variety of men as I do women regarding overweight through fit body types, and good maintenance vs poor.

      4. 4.1.4

        Oh please, men do not age better than women.   They also don’t do nearly as much as women.   Do you men create life?   Do you give birth?   Do you nurse? Do you run around, raising children?   If all you do is clock in at work from 9-5pm, of course you’re going to look a little better than a poor woman who’s working, raising your kids, and running the household.   But even still, most older men I see still look old.   They lose their hair, they get spare tires, their clothes are out of fashion, etc.   And they really don’t have any legitimate reason to let themselves go, since their bodies don’t go through nearly the same amount of trauma that a woman’s body goes through.   There’s no excuse for “dadbod” and most women really don’t find it attractive – it’s just another double standard lie that the media tries to feed us.

        1. Kitty

          Basically men don’t lose their sex hormones and fertility (on average) as soon and as suddenly as women do and it reflects in their exterior youthful appearance.   Aside from that I agree that women usually age better.   Women rarely go bald and many women have been dieting, exercising and taking care of their skin for decades. It is very hard for a man to start dieting and exercising, and keeping it up, at 50 when he is very much set in his ways.   And forget wearing sunscreen when he isn’t on the beach!   For women it is easier to keep doing what they’ve always been doing.

        2. Holly

          It’s true that women tend to be much more forgiving of bad looks than men. But I confess, I still pray that God sends someone like Chris Pratt my way! Or Ryan Reynolds – amazing bods PLUS great personalities and they can make a girl laugh to boot. Definitely a winning combo. ☺

        3. DeeGee

          pat, while I agree that there is no reason for “dadbod”, your post reads a bit slanted to me.   🙂
          Either spouse can let themselves go.   I see just as many women who carry a lot of extra post-pregnancy weight, as I see men with beer-bellies.
          Not every man leaves all of the house work to the wife.   Unfortunately, I will bet that most couples never even discuss things such as these when they are dating.

        4. DeeGee

          Holly, unfortunately it requires a lot of time to get the shape that Ryan has.
          I do strength training (and ketogenics and carb-cycling) and spend typically 2 hours per day to keep myself in great shape for 53.   If I were in a relationship that amount of time would eat into my evening time with a lady a lot.
          I do not do cutting (the bodybuilding type aka shredding), which is what Ryan does, which requires significant time and work.   His wife must be patient.
          P.S. Ryan is one of my favorite actors.

        5. Morris

          I was pointing out science. And what I see around where I have lived. If it’s different where you are that’s great. But just because you might not like something doesn’t mean it isn’t a scientific fact.


          Women  live longer. Fact. Men age better. Fact.

        6. Morris

          So you don’t think I’m making it up.




          And men actually get more  exercise than women.



          I’m sure there is a reason for everything. But we can’t just ignore science because we don’t like what it’s telling us.



        7. Holly

          Lol Yeah, I know those guys look that way cuz they’re paid to. I don’t really want a guy who spends THAT much time in the gym every day. I’d much rather have a guy focused on spiritual fitness. That said, physical fitness is still important to me. A guy who keeps himself in good shape usually has much more vigor.

        8. pat

          Morris: I think men tend to over exaggerate how wonderfully they age.   I’m a female with eyes and I can vouch that men do not look better as they age.   Whether you think that men look better than women as they age is absolutely subjective, but it doesn’t change the fact that as everyone ages, they become less attractive.

      5. 4.1.5

        Also not politically correct, but I think I really only see this difference in white people. Their skin ages faster and is affected by the sun more. In other races (black, Asian, etc) if the person maintains themselves, both sexes age very well. I don’t objectively think men physically age better. Certain people of all groups and races age faster and some slower. It’s probably more linked to diet and lifestyle than anything else. For every woman who ages, there is a counterpart male the same age that is balding and getting a beer belly.

      6. 4.1.6

        “Men age better.   Fact.”

        Yeah… it’s dubious to call something so subjective and completely variable a “fact.”   I know plenty of same-age couples where the wife keeps herself trim and pretty and the husband is losing his hair and getting fat.   It’s quite sad and unbalanced.   I’m sure there are couples where the reverse is true, too.   You really can’t make ridiculously blanket statements like the ones you are making and then call them “fact” when they clearly aren’t.

        But if it gives you some kind of solace and helps you to come to terms with aging (which it seems like it does), then by all means keep telling yourself that.   I hope it brings you the comfort you are seeking.   God bless.

    2. 4.2

      Karmic in that case with the “pool boy” it’s highly likely that she makes more money than him. Or there is something he gets out of being with her that makes up for looks or whatever she may be lacking.

      Not to mention, you have no idea if he’s faithful to her. Just because a man/woman is married, doesn’t mean they’re faithful.

      Too often people assume everyone who is married is happily married in wedded bliss, and that is just not the reality.

      1. 4.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        There’s a study Evan has referred to that touted men being happier married.

        I’m in my late 40s. I have many married friends who are 60s and older.

        I would say that they seem very happy…now. It’s quite possible they had strife earlier in their marriages, but I didn’t know them then.

        But these friends are happy grandparents and seem devoted to each other. One couple, both are very heavy. One couple man is slender wife is very hippy, but I’d say for her age (mid 60s) she’s attractive despite that. They have eyes only for each other though. And they’re two of the nicest people I know.

        Anyway, my point is that perhaps marriages our generation (are we X or Y or Z???) —   tend to be less happy than at least the marriages of people I know in their 60s.

        Could it be that nowadays we have access   via social media and OLD more people of the opposite sex and everyone is growing to be more “maximizer-like” in their outlook than people 20 years ago, who, because they lacked these access channels to the opposite sex, were satisficers by default?

        I know I’m a satisficer by nature. The first guy that meets my minimal criteria for relationship (kind, respectful, good-hearted) when I’m single gets a shot. Hence my serial monogamy.

        The only “downside” is that I never looked for (and obviously did not find) someone I could live with for the “next forty years”. I was happy with the next 48-hour chunks, which extended into many multi-year LTRs.

        I guess maximizers would deem this “failure to find the my soul  mate.” As a satisficer, I would say, I succeeded in finding three soul mates thus far, and love and happiness for huge chunks of my life (4 years, 11 years, 6 years). And currently at 5 months into a new relationship, I can’t say he’s a soul mate yet. Only time will tell.

        So what’s wrong with several  relationships  in big chunks of time with different people than one long relationship with one person?

  5. 5

    From what I’ve seen people who were friends for a good long while before becoming romantically involved tend to have the happiest marriages.   But everyone has opposite sex friendships that have simply remained friendships.   None of my platonic friends ever became boyfriends.

  6. 6

    On one hand, this is lovely news, showing that people are able to overlook more superficial concerns once they know the heart and mind of another.

    On the other hand, for those of us who only meet romantic prospects via online dating and never in real life (and trust me, there are many of us), we are relegated to being chosen based only on perceived initial market value.

    1. 6.1

      FWIW – Golf, sailing, and international travel meetup groups can be good avenues to pursue fun hobbies while meeting smart and successful men without the meet market superficialities.   Also, there are real estate investor groups out there, which seem to be popular where I come from.

  7. 7

    A great article, and it pretty much says what I have found in my personal life.

    For middle age people (40’s and 50’s) who were divorced and trying to get back into the dating scene, the pool of available people to date is much smaller than in your 20’s or 30’s, and more people should be emotionally and financially stable in this age group.

    My own experience has been that most of my friends (I am now 53), shortly after they became single again in their 40’s or 50’s , simply hooked up with and married pretty much the first available half-decent person they found.     Often regardless of the other person’s looks or status.

    My experience on dating sites (I am currently on OKC) is that most women between the ages of 43 and 55 have the same shopping list that they had when they were younger, passing over guys like me simply to go for guys who are really tall (I’m 5’8″) or very wealthy (I am currently in the $150k/yr range).

    Unfortunately, most of the women I encounter in the workplace who are single are in their 20’s.

  8. 8

    $150K doesn’t count as very wealthy?   That’s the 89th %ile income as a percentile rank

    This post just made me smile.   Every relationship I’ve ever had was a long term friendship first, and it’s always seemed to me that I date men who are a little out of my league.   I didn’t understand how I managed to get so lucky, and just decided not to question it, but maybe it’s the happy consequence of also getting to know guys really well before we become a couple, so I also manage to avoid all the jerks.   Whee!

    1. 8.1

      Rebecca, unfortunately not where I live.
      I am located near the oil patch in BC.
      I am on a dating site because unless a guy makes well over $150k, owns a $350k+ house (mine is only $250k), plus all of the toys (jacked up pickup truck, quads, snowmachines, etc.; I have an SUV) it is pretty much impossible to even get a date here.
      I have had women living in trailers (pull type, not mobile home!) tell me that my “status level” wasn’t high enough for them.
      I don’t chase though, they say no or go gold-digger and I just walk away.
      I plan on moving myself and my media company to a larger center just so that I can escape the crazy women here.   🙂

      Congrats on having good luck.

      1. 8.1.1

        those woman are wackos just role your eyes and move on …

      2. 8.1.2

        I’m sorry I couldn’t resist. Where you live, a man needs ‘jacked up pickup truck, quads, snowmachines’  to get a date? The world really is a big place and yours is very different from mine. 🙂


        1. DeeGee

          Morris, I am not exaggerating, I wish I was.   🙂
          It would be hilarious if it were not so sad.
          Watch any film or TV show about rednecks, and you are watching where I live.   Oil patch country.
          Easily 80% of all men are driving 4×4’s with liftkits and a quad in the back.   Many guys my age (late 40’s to early 50’s) are driving Cameros/FireBirds/TAs/Mustangs… I drive an SUV.   Women here think I am weird.
          One of my friends had to get a Filipino mail-order bride.
          This is why I am moving as soon as I can.   🙂

        2. Morris

          DeeGee – lol. Well make sure you do some research before taking that big move. Would hate  for you to end up in a similar situation. 🙂

      3. 8.1.3

        Aye, I have heard some pretty crazy stories about living in oil boom towns.   I kinda wanna give the women credit for being so blunt.   If I were rejecting a guy because of his income, I’d be ashamed to admit it.

        1. DeeGee

          One woman on one date proceeded to tell me all of the things that she didn’t like about my house.   I told her to leave and never spoke to her again.

  9. 9


    I’m sorry to laugh at your situation– but there is definitely a country song in your last comments!

    Good Luck. I’m having a hard time with how fast just a communication can stop in mid-“air” -mail if you say something that is not exactly right with the opposite sex (online dating) . Seriously it’s exhausting. I’m taking up golfing and other pursuits to meet more people.

    P.S. Hmm a quad??? (Lol I grew up in the South and don’t know what that is)

    1. 9.1

      Christy, please feel free to laugh.   I try not to take life too seriously and laugh about my dating woes all of the time.

      I am also working on getting out more to what few events we have here, but I don’t hold much hope for where I live, it’s only ~10k people, churches and bars, agriculture and oil.

      A quad is the Canadian redneck term for a four wheeler or ATV (Honda, Polaris, etc.).   🙂

  10. 10

    I agree 100% with the market value assessment indicating that people of similar market value usually end up together, because no one wants to be in an uneven relationship for long – the divide can cause serious damage. To make a long story short, my ex-husband of 18 years was not on the same playing field as me educationally (me – both a BA and MA, him – HS diploma) as well as financially (me – nearly 6 figures, him – 1/3 of that) but we loved each other, so we married. However, at the end of the day, he resented me for both of those things (we married before I achieved those degrees and that income), and the divide eventually led to the destruction of our marriage especially when my ex was laid off from work and chose to live off unemployment until it ran out instead of trying to find a job (another difference – someone highly motivated vs. someone who was not). So the second time around, wishing to avoid that, being fearful of having someone mooch off me (I have 3 kids to support and cannot easily support another person), as well as wanting to find someone who wants the same quality of life and same things out of life as I do and not having to struggle financially, I chose to date someone who was educated (on the same intellectual wavelength) who made as much as me or more, not less. My boyfriend of 4 years is educated, earns a good salary, supports himself and his 2 kids, and both of us own our own homes, so I feel that we are on the same level, which certainly has taken the stresses out of this relationship that my marriage suffered, and it feels awesome to not be resented, but respected instead. My story is just one example of why this occurs, so I find this phenomena unsurprising and it makes perfect sense why. @Christy – I hear ya and think it is a fabulous idea to take up new pursuits to meet more people. I took up long distance race running 5 years ago, and have met many fit and attractive runner guys who are single (not that I need to, but it would benefit those who are not in relationships). Also, by simply by loving football and having a team, I have met some good guys who I love to commiserate with during the NFL season. So that is definitely one great way to go about meeting a potential boyfriend/future husband. Best of luck!

    1. 10.1


      I had a similar experience when I was married.   The uneveness does show up and men are the ones who tend to not be able to handle the lower socioeconomic circumstances (although I didn’t care at the time). But it’s hell when your man feels he has to compete with you.   I do the same…the man doesn’t have to make even close to 6 figures. In fact, I tend  not to care too much about salary.  But, I would prefer someone who graduated college and has a decent/consistent job.

  11. 11

    I am 6 feet tall, earned a PhD at 28, and soon became a university professor. Yet, I’d say my mate value is “average”; where I live (in Scandinavia) physical appearance is the dominating factor. Only very handsome men have a high mate value. I look rather average, I guess. However, I have noticed that my mate value seems higher among immigrant women with university degrees, so lately I have focussed on dating foreign academics.

  12. 12
    Karmic Equation

    It’s interesting how my comment, which was about the disparity in a COUPLE’s looks, turned into a debate about whether men or women age better in general 🙂

    I think active, single women do tend to age better than inactive single women. Same for men.

    But when you compare inactive single women to inactive single men, then both don’t age too well.

    That said, I do believe (and I suffer from this myself) — that women in relationships (even those who have NOT had children) tend to gain more weight (or perhaps shows it more visibly) than men in relationships. But “couples” do tend to gain weight together, whereas singles tend to keep it off more readily.

    Just the nature of the beast I guess 🙂

    I know I tend to be thinner (relatively speaking LOL) when I’m single than when coupled up. I was eating more healthily and had more time to go to the gym when single. Now I go where he likes to go eat and have no spare time to go the gym unless I give up sleep, which I’m already doing for other reasons 😉

    Gotta figure out a routine to fit in visits to the gym and how to eat healthy now that I’m back in a relationship. It’s really difficult!

    1. 12.1

      Finding someone who shares your desire for eating healthy and keeping fit can limit your mate choices.   In my situation, that is one of the requirements I am looking for both locally and in online dating.   Once we hit our 50’s I feel it becomes even more important.

      1. 12.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        I think you might just need to find someone who’s OPEN to changing their eating and exercise routines.

        My guy works a manual job, so automatically gets his exercise in daily. Like 10-12 hours worth.

        He’s a meat and potatoes guy who does like a lot of different types of veggies. Loves seafood also. But not a fan of salads. And also somewhat frugal. It’s tough to get good salads at Chinese buffets. lol — But I’m trying to avoid starches and pick the healthiest options available from the buffet. Not very easy to do.

        I’m trying to adapt. The 12 lbs I lost came back way too easily!!!

        1. DeeGee

          My personal belief is that most people by the time they are in their 50’s are pretty set in their ways.
          I doubt that the majority would change their lifestyle and eating habits, unless something drastic were to occur such as illness (heart attack, etc.).
          So changing for your significant other is even less likely.
          Most people in their 20’s and 30’s “let themselves go” once they are in a relationship…

        2. Karmic Equation

          Well, as someone who has let herself go multiple times in a relationship, I can tell you it’s not intentional. It’s not even laziness.

          It’s just as simple as when you’re single, you’re usually out and about and active, at the very least, to meet other singles. You fill your time with friends and shopping and other hobbies, both to meet people and to kill time. You live your life and you’re burning calories.

          Once you’re in a relationship, you don’t go out as often. You’re not flitting to and from different hobbies and events every night of the week. You end up going to work, eating dinner together, then crashing together at home more often than not. Sure you still go on date nights, household shopping, etc., but your “life activities” dwindle down to just a few that you do with your significant other. You eat the same as you used to when you were single, but the lessening of activities means you’re just going to get fat if you don’t change your eating habits, too. Which is WICKED hard to do!!

      2. 12.1.2

        I personally have never “let myself go” more than 5 lbs. over my ideal weight, even in a very long term relationship.   I have always been active, have an athletic hobby, and when I gained those few pounds it was due to having been forced to cut back on said hobby (and being a little depressed due to the inert state of my relationship, which should have been on the path to marriage but was clearly not).

        The man I was with, however, let himself go more than 25 lbs. (!) and yet pointed at my supposedly flabby thighs and made comments about “how I had a six-pack when he met me.”

        Thank goodness I did not marry him.   Sad to say I am now a 39 year old with a fitter than average body, but still at a serious disadvantage in this late 30s dating pool.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Yeah. That guy was a hypocrite. You dodged a bullet.

          When I gained 20 lbs and asked my bf if he thought I was fat. His answer was “You’re perfect!” and he meant it. He didn’t care that I had gained weight.

          Once a guy truly loves you, he puts more weight on (pun intended haha) how he feels about you, how you make him feel, than how many extra pounds you put on.

          I hated how I looked more than he did and tried to get the extra pounds off, without obsessing about it or talking about it, which I think would have made him more aware of my weight.

          So here’s the tip. If you feel you’ve gained weight. Don’t mention it to him. He’s unlikely to bring it up unless you do. And if you don’t like how you look or how your clothes are hanging on you, do something about it, without making a big deal of it. Just don’t bring it to their attention, whether you’ve gained or lost weight.

          I’ve gained back at least 10 lbs in 4 months. Bf hasn’t made any negative remarks and love life is still going great. However, I feel I’m shirking my gf duty by having gained the weight and am trying to get back on a gym schedule that fits into my current life and finding healthier options when we eat out.

          It will be a process, but I need to do it. Because *I* am feeling less sexy — and also quite guilty for not going to the gym — than when I first met him, not because of anything he’s said or done.

  13. 13

    IF   a woman is hot, men will accept her regardless of her station in life (for the most part, barring unique circumstances).

    Men value different things and tend to consider looks on the height of that scale. They could care less how much a woman makes or if she has a college degree. although, I think many men may still want her to be employed (but even in this case, they would probably still date and have sex with her at minimum). Although I am 37 and have 2 kids from a previous marriage, men are still attracted to me in droves because they think I am hot…I am not naive to think it’s otherwise (even though I do have a grad degree).   That’s it!  Other standards be damned.

    Women, on the other hand, assess sexual market value with a range of factors and looks is not usually at the top of the list.   So, men and women assess SMV differently.   That’s why Mr. 40 or 50 year old can yearn for the 25 year old but for women, the 25 year old would be a turnoff.

    1. 13.1

      If this is in fact true, then I must be different than all other men.   :/
      Maybe that is why I am still available.
      I would never date a 25 year old seriously.
      I want someone who has life experience, like myself.
      I also have no issue with dating someone who is “not in my league” so to speak.

      1. 13.1.1

        I think you still being available may have much to do with   your environment that you spoke of earlier. It’s certainly not because you prefer more mature women.   Women are falling over each other to find a decent man so if you fit the bill, then you’re way ahead of most.

  14. 14

    Let’s acknowledge the obvious here, and one that has numerous studies to back it up.. Do a little research for yourself, I’m not going to lay it all out for you, here it is….

    1. Men are visual creatures, you can be crazy, broke and as dumb as a box of rocks, but if you’re younger and hot, they will happily date and screw you. Doesn’t matter if that person is long term relationship material or not. Usually, they are more intrigued if they’re not long term potential, that just means they are a better lay. Which at the end of the day, as the saying goes, men look for sex and find love. So what do they really have to lose??


    2. Men are well known to over market their own value. This is why you see the older, hairy beer gut and balding guy hitting on the ‘hot’ girl. He genuinely believes he’s got a shot!!


    3. Men are delusional pigs.

    1. 14.1

      Unfortunately this is stereotyping all men into something false, and it reads like it is coming from a place of hurt.

    2. 14.2
      Karmic Equation


      With that outlook about  men, you ain’t never gonna find a good one, darlin’. Only damaged men put up with damaged women. Which means if you do find a man who’ll put up with you, he’s going to reinforce your negative world view. That’s such a sad negative feedback cycle.

      Try to think well of men, and, magically, they do appear in your life.

      To start you off, let’s restate your assertions in a positive way:

      1) “Men are visual creatures.”

      So if a man (who isn’t a lost tourist or a salesman) approaches you, it means that he at least finds you physically appealing enough to approach. Make the best of the conversation, whether he’s an old man or a young ‘un. Practice flirting and being pleasant. Make it a goal to make the guy who approaches you smile.

      2) “Men are well known to over market their own value.”

      I think most women agree that most men are not very self-aware. And this is just another indication of that lack of self-awareness. Instead of being angry with him for over-valuing his SMV, feel sorry for him. That guy is not worth your  headspace.

      3) “Men are delusional pigs.”

      I’m not sure there is a way to spin this positively. So I’ll give you the correlating view men have of women: “Women are insecure, crazy bitches.” If you’re going to hold on to the “men are delusional pigs” outlook, you can’t blame men for holding the “women are insecure, crazy bitches” outlook.

      Better to pay it forward. IGNORE the men who piss you off. Don’t focus any energy on them. Instead, use your energy positively and look for the good in men. You would want them to do the same with you, wouldn’t you?

  15. 15

    Yes, attractiveness is very important, with having a partner who fits the bill just as you do with him, which can make the level of chemistry and passion off the charts. However, in addition to that, I know some men do care about the education, degrees, and careers of their partners, because they want to know that they will have a good quality of life with the partner they choose, especially if they have those same assets, and also more importantly if their partner has children from a previous relationship, where they do not wish to be dating a woman who is on a lower economic scale, thinking that the woman may be looking for a man to help support her and her kids. When we first met, my boyfriend liked the fact that I am educated and have a good career, so me having 3 kids did not seem so intimidating to him, as I can completely support the 4 of us and am not giving the impression that I am looking for a man to save me. I respect that, because I felt the same way. Maybe in general most men are more interested in physical attractiveness, as well as how a woman makes them feel, which are both important, but there are those few that look a little deeper because they have higher standards, and may possibly hope for the whole package with a woman just as women do with men – beauty and brains. If both of you are on level playing field with both qualities, then more power to you.

  16. 16

    My recent experience has emphasized how tough it is to find a man who is interested “taking things slow” and letting a relationship develop organically,   to find the “slow love” that tends to have staying power.

    Talking to a guy I met from a dating site, one new connection was ended by my  mere statement that I prefer to take thing slow and act as friends during the first few dates (especially after a recent spate of disappointments and misrepresentations through online dating, which I briefly explained to him ).    He explained that he prefers to see quickly if there’s physical chemistry and that’s how he dates, sorry take it or leave it.

    This guy had complimented my profile, intelligence and interests…   but wasn’t willing to take things at a pace that was comfortable for me.   I’m sure he will meet someone who is ready to hop into the sack by the third date… but will that person share a common set of interests? Will she have a healthy self esteem and be ready for a relationship?

    1. 16.1

      He was definitely not right for you.
      I’m a guy and I’ve always waited months before getting physical.I have found that it is easier to break it off in the early dating period if there has been no sexual intimacy.
      IMHO having sex with someone creates a specific close bond that can rip your heart apart if it ends badly.
      Maybe that is just my experience though.

      Any time you feel uncomfortable, feel yourself going “WTH?” towards a man’s actions, or his attitudes are polar to your attitudes, it’s time to move on, and the earlier in the relationship the better.

  17. 17

    Josie, I think of it this way – the man probably got the impression through your “act as friends for the first few dates” comment to mean that if he feels chemistry and interest, he cannot flirt, etc. with you because that would be offensive to you. Chemistry and attraction ARE important, and you will never get there by just keeping someone in friend mode. The interest will quickly fizz out. Not all men are looking to hop into the sack immediately, and also, people cannot be held accountable for another’s sins. Being disappointed by men sucks, as I have been there, but you have to realize it was that other guy who disappointed you, not this new one, and enter into meeting this new guy (or any new guy) with an open mind, or else it will never go anywhere. My boyfriend and I met online, talked almost 3 weeks before we met every single day (alternating via email, text, and phone calls) to get to know ach other, build trust and comfort, build up suspense/anticipation/excitement at meeting, and threw out a lot of questions on life and reatuonships and about each out to get a feel for who each other truly is, and although we both stated that we each were looking for a long term reactionship to lead to marriage, we didn’t throw out there about taking it slow and/or start dictating how the relationship should be, because in respect, we had not met, so we truly despite all of the info we shared did know each other. If one of us had said let’s go slow and be friends first, then I am sure the other would doubt that person’s intentions about wanting to see if we were compatible and looking for a long term serious relationship (I know I would). We are both in our 40’s and divorced with kids, and have busy lives, and did not have time to waste meeting a buddy and hoping it would progress to more. Either you have attraction and chemistry or you don’t, and having been a marriage for nearby 2 decades with a man I had lukewarm attraction and chemistry with who I more felt like friends with (but he was so nice and giving to me, treated me well, and we shared many common interests and values), I can tell you that it started to feel like roommates and I longed for some passion. My boyfriend and I went on 5 dates before more happened, but by that time, we had know each other for 5 weeks, and both of us agreed on the fact that once you start sleeping together, you are exclusive. We have been exclusive ever since and are now discussing living together and marriage. I did not hold him accountable for the disappointments of other men (nor did he with me about women), and we did not stipulate about the need to take it slow or anything, as is has been slow by allowing things to unfold organically, but before laying expectations on a man you have not met, the best way to allow it to happen organically simply to talk a bit before meeting to ensure some level of trust and comfort and build some sort of foundation there, be open and honest, a little vulnerable, have some humor about dating, and meet first to see if you feel anything or he is your type, then go from there. Basically, instead of telling someone you want to take it slow, which might scare them away (taking it slow might mean something different to a girl and a guy, and face it, most people do not want to waste precious time with someone who just wants to be their friend and date for ????? period of time before deciding they are ready for more, in case it does not work out), just simply DO take it slow if you both like each other. Then if he does try to be pushy, just stick to your boundaries, as long as they are realistic. If he genuinely likes you and is interested in more, then he will stick around. If not, cut him loose, but you still walk away with your dignity in tact without ever having wholely given up yourself. I know it can be tricky, but nothing ventured nothing gained. Sorry Josie. I do not know how old you are, but maybe age makes a difference, with younger guys less willing and older guys more willing to meet you on that? I think one of the biggest single factors that helped me was dating a divorced man with children. He has a busy career and 50% custody, as I too have a busy career and 50% custody, and we live an hour apart, so time was important and precious, and neither of us had the time to waste on the dating scene, so that really helped in us understanding each other, and not wanting to be friends or just hang out until we decided we were ready for more. We felt chemistry and attraction from the beginning and have allowed the relationship to develop slowly over time (at 4.5 years now). So I know this is way off the original topic, but I guess my point here is this – just let things happen organically without verbally spelling out very specific details which might make you feel better and be straightforward/honest, but it might be taken different by a man, who feels he cannot be himself but has to allow you to decide the terms of the relationship before you even meet and know each other, feeling that he cannot be trusted or even given a chance to show you who is is, has to suppress his feelings, and who will doubt what you are truly looking for, should it be the same as him ultimately. I hope that makes sense. I realize you did what you felt was right and I am sorry it did not go well. Dating is not easy, and we all have different ways of going about it, but overall, trust yourself, be open, have fun, do not allow anyone to pressure you into something that does not feel right, and remember all that EMK says – his wiseness and excellent advice rock!

  18. 18

    Good point Barbi Jo. In rehashing the phone convo with this guy, I recall that he called me much later than I was expecting.   I actually should have politely texted him and tried to talk later.   I was a bit negative due to recent train wrecks via OLD (one man was not actually divorced , another turned out to be a drunk with multiple DUIs).    What I told him and related here probably came out different than I intended –   my intention is to express my desire to take things slow and get to know one another as physical chemistry develops over time.   But you are right, and I won’t repeat anything of the sort in the future.

    In any event, I got a weird and pushy vibe from the guy, and while I was staying up past bed time waiting for his call he was supposedly “putting his kids to bed then taking a shower” , but as I was waiting I was viewing his Tinder profile and saw that the entire time he was “active within 1 minute” – meaning he was using the site during that time.

    So I do not feel any loss about him.

  19. 19

    Morris said :” If any of it where true we would have been reversing the aging process by now.”

    Have you heard of facelifts lol?  That’s as close as we get to the  fountain of youth.

    On a serious note, many cosmetic products and procedures out there are more of a hype. Take the vampire facelift, for example. I don’t know whether it works or not, but it seems to me like it’s some fashionable thing made famous by the famous! But, there are some that truly have stood the test of time and can reduce, but not eliminate,  the effects of sun damage (wrinkles, dark spots, discoloration, etc).

  20. 20

    I wonder if it might be the nature of online dating that encourages snap judgements.   A woman may not be intensely attracted to a fellow on the first date, but the rapport with him is good enough that she would like to continue getting to know him and see if physical attraction grows.   The man however judges her interest in him based on her demonstration of physical affection on date 2.   If she’s not kissing him (or more?) he assumes she is not interested and stops contacting her.


    Neither gender wants to feel strung along, or used for attention/entertainment so “taking it slow”, “friends first”   etc,   is sometimes seen as red flag for online daters.   A woman who might be open to seeing if chemistry develops could feel pressured into a saying No to a second date if the fellow doesn’t meet some attraction threshold.

    I’ve had relationships where I wasn’t initially attracted to the guy. But I liked talking to him enough to continue getting to know him. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him, and the more I liked him, the more attractive he became in my eyes.   These were all offline scenarios, 2 of the guys were neighbors, one was a friend of  a  friend.   I got to know the men to an extent, in a no pressure way before we started dating.   Hard to get to know someone that way with OLD.


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