Marry Him – an Interview With Lori Gottlieb

Longtime readers know about my friendship with Lori Gottlieb. Lori dated my roommate, got me my book agent, and we even wrote a sitcom script together before I coached her through writing “Marry Him: the Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” back in 2010. Eight years since the book’s release, it holds up as a cautionary tale for women in their 30’s who want to have their own biological kids. In today’s Love U Podcast, I catch up with the author who is a single mom, therapist, and one hell of a writer.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Emily, the original

    I’m wondering, before this age of the internet and belief in infinite possibilities, if a woman in her 30s and older would meet an available man through work or friends and actually be pleased he was “good enough,” — reasonably appealing, consistent in his pursuit of her, good job — and just go with it. Because she had to be asking herself: How many of these guys am I going to meet? I remember going to a party of about 30 people a few years ago where there was 1 single guy.

    1. 1.1
      Malika

      I can’t imagine what dating now would be like without OLD. In the six years since my last serious relationship i have been hit on a handful of times and only twice were they men who i would have been interested in. It’s far easier to settle for Mr Good Enough when you are meeting so few eligible bachelors than it is now where you can try to find someone that fits you the best on OLD.

  2. 2
    Jeremy

    I enjoyed this podcast.  It reminded me of a conversation I once had with a female friend, years ago.  She told me about her first date strategy of looking at a man’s shoes.  “If he wears nice shoes,” she said, “if he has taken the time to polish them and coordinate them with his outfit, I’ll know that he’s someone who takes care of all the important details.”  I laughed and responded, “If a woman I was dating had that algorithm I wish she’d tell me so I could dump her immediately and not waste more time with her.  Because it would mean, to me, that of all the things she could be observing in me, what she chooses to focus on is the least important thing.  How ever will I make her happy?”

    1. 2.1
      Eugenie

      I think you misunderstood the meaning of your friend’s comment. She didn’t mean “I reject anyone with unshined shoes”, it’s “shined shoes get a huge boost”.

      Women come in all varieties, but in my experience, few women in the non-crazy, looking-to-marry demographic (the kind likely to be dating you) just cross a guy off for arbitrary reasons like “belt doesn’t match shoes” or “didn’t hold door for me”, or even “he’s five mins late”. Each of these things add up to holistic character assessment – “Does he demonstrate thoughtfulness? Attention to details? Respect for me? Reliability?”

      1. 2.1.1
        Jeremy

        No, I understood it pretty well, Eugenie.  Each of the things you mentioned is a heuristic – a mental shortcut to another question.  The problem is that these mental shortcuts are often invalid.  They don’t answer the question we think they do.  The shoes – the door – the 5 minutes late – none of these is a valid heuristic for holistic character assessment.  We need better ones.  My friend certainly did.

      2. 2.1.2
        Karl R

        Eugenie said:

        “Each of these things add up to holistic character assessment – ‘Does he demonstrate thoughtfulness? Attention to details? Respect for me? Reliability?'”

        I agree with Jeremy on this.  Those are shortcuts that don’t actually work in the real world.  It’s the exact opposite of a holistic character assessment.  Instead of looking at someone’s whole character, these women (or men) are looking at a few isolated details and trying to extrapolate them into something else.

        You appear to associate “belt doesn’t match shoes” with “attention to detail”.  In the fairly common circumstance when my belt and shoes don’t match, I am always aware of it, and it was a conscious decision.  This was illustrated during a conversation with a very shoes-conscious female coworker.

        coworker: “You are wearing sneakers today.”

        me: “That’s correct.”

        coworker: “Today is not Friday.”

        me: “Correct again.”

        coworker: “Why are you wearing sneakers?”

        me: “It’s supposed to rain, and my loafers have no traction on the slate sidewalks.”

        We were both paying attention to details, but she was operating under the presumption that the details which mattered to her were also the details that would matter to me.  That’s rarely the case.

        I’ve also heard women claim that if a man takes good care of his shoes that it means that he’ll take good care of them.  I’ve always seen it as a much more reliable sign that a man cares about shoes.

        This holds true for your other examples as well.  I’m far more punctual than my wife.  It has nothing to do with reliability.  I’m much better at estimating travel time … and the margin of error I’ll need to deal with unexpected delays.

        Holding doors open is just a culturally-reinforced habit where I live.  No thought required.  Real thoughtfulness comes with the realization that my cultural habits are not universally shared by people who come here from other parts of the world.

        The one possible exception where you can safely extrapolate is respect.  If he shows respect towards other people, he will likely show respect to you.  If he shows disrespect towards other people, he will eventually show that same disrespect towards you.

         

        1. jo

          I agree with Karl and Jeremy. If anything, the best men in my experience didn’t care too much how their shoes looked, and the men who always cared how their shoes looked didn’t always translate to caring about the woman. A woman who thinks a man with shiny shoes will take better care of her is probably looking for a justification for caring too much about men’s looks. Why? Would she be embarrassed to go out with him otherwise? She needs to stop caring so much what other people think of how her man looks, because that doesn’t matter in her private relationship, which should be the thing that matters most.

          The only thing that matters is if he treats her well and if they are compatible. This is in line with about 30:00 in this podcast, where Lori starts to talk about how women care too much about men’s looks but should care MORE about if he is generous and reliable and committed to the relationship.

          Of course respect matters too, Karl’s last point. Women need respect in relationships as much as men do. Maybe you could say that a man shining his shoes is showing respect for the woman, but that is true in some cases and not true in others. There are better ways to test if someone respects you, that only have to do with how he treats you. Don’t use a heuristic. Look for the real thing.

  3. 3
    Eugenie

    I wonder what it is like to be a man on the other end of this arrangement – that is, being “settled for”.

    I imagine that the more flawed you are, physically or mentally, male or female, the more ypu understand that some settling is inevitable, but it’s a bit gauche to say it in so many words….

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      People really need to get over themselves. Seriously. Any time I’ve ever heard such complaints, it always harkens back to the woman who felt disrespected because her boyfriend didn’t find her as hot as Angelina Jolie.

      My wife “settled” for me because I wasn’t tall or Catholic. She settled for me even though she’d dated younger guys and hotter guys. She settled on me because I’m anxious, neurotic and opinionated. Do I feel like she “settled”? No. I’m the happiest married guy in the world.

      Dating is about having the self-esteem to set healthy boundaries and persevere and the humility to know that you’re lucky if someone puts up with your flaws. So make no mistake, Eugenie, someone will have to settle for you, too – and if you’re lucky, you’ll be thrilled he did.

      1. 3.1.1
        Kat

        I have to say that I think you misunderstand the Angelina Jolie woman, Evan.

        Healthy attraction should be about more than appearance alone; a man should healthfully find his woman hotter in her totality than he does solely the looks of a stranger. Same for women about their men.

        Unless of course I misunderstand his relationship with AJ. If he knows her personally and has a real connection with her, then he has a true basis for comparison with any woman he’s dating. If not, he’s comparing flesh and blood women to smoke and mirrors, and he’s possibly not mature enough to value a real and beautiful woman… one who might actually find him hotter in his totality than any celebrity.

        Personally, I think it’s disrespectful and rude, heartless and inauthentic (both to a partner and to a celebrity who is a person, not an object) to ever tell a dating partner that a total stranger (about whom you have absolutely NO idea of who they really are based on seeing them in the media, I promise you) has higher romantic value than the person standing in front of them. Purely based on looks. Unless they want to end the relationship.

        I say this having grown up on the world of celebrity. Most celebrities don’t actually look like you think they do, btw.

    2. 3.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Eugenie

      You do know that men are more likely to settle than women when they are ready to commit?   Women who remain unmarried usually do so because they are unable to find a man who meets their standards who is willing to commit.  Men who remain unmarried usually do so by choice.  All one has to do see this dynamic in action is look at remarriage.  Men tend to remarry faster than women? Is that because there are so many more fabulous single women in the dating pool than fabulous men? No, it is because men are more willing to settle for “Ms. Good Enough” after divorce.  Most men make peace with their decision to settle.  Metaphorically, men are more willing to learn how to dance with the woman they brought to the event than vice versa.  Far too often, women pine for the one that got away, or worse hold the men in their lives up to impossible standards that are amalgamations of the good traits found in the men that they dated before marrying.

      1. 3.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Far too often, women pine for the one that got away, or worse hold the men in their lives up to impossible standards that are amalgamations of the good traits found in the men that they dated before marrying.

        idk. I have a guy friend in his 50s  who is still spends a lot of time thinking about “the one who got away” in his early 20s. I don’t know if he’s pinning for her but she definitely set a sexual standard that no other woman’s met.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          Most men have a woman in their past who set a sexual standard that few women will ever meet.  Guess what?  It does not mean a thing after most men commit.

          Women constantly bring up the topic of mind blowing sex.  I have never heard a man use that term.  I have never heard a man claim that he had bad sex either.   With most men, what differentiates one woman from the next sexually is what she is willing to do in bed.  It helps if she is pre-trained, but any woman can be taught to be great lover if she is willing to experiment.  If a woman wants to be great lover, she needs to remove the word “no” from her vocabulary in the bedroom.  The same can be said for men.  Far too many men are penis centric.  There is so much more to making love than vaginal penetration. Intercourse is merely a tool in man’s loving making tool box.  Most women cannot orgasm via vaginal intercourse alone because the size of their clitoris (usually small) and the distance between the clitoris and the vagina does not allow for adequate stimulation during penetration in most positions.  These women usually require manual (or battery operated) stimulation of the clitoris during penetration.  Although, I can personally vouch for the fact that some women have been gifted in that anatomical area with a larger clitoris and smaller clitoris to vaginal opening distance.

          When in doubt, a man should learn how to give good oral.  That is an art form in and of itself that works best if a man reaches up, palm up with a finger and stimulates a woman’s g-spot while stimulating her clitoris.  For the men reading this blog who have never tried this technique, a woman’s g-spot is halfway between her vaginal opening and cervix on the top wall of her vaginal cavity.  It has a textured surface.  A man should strive to be able to say, “Show me a man who does not do oral, and I will show you a woman that I can steal.” 🙂  I promise that you will own any women who has never had this technique used on her before after she orgasms if you do it correctly.   I have had women grab my head with both hands and push me away or squeeze my head between their thighs during orgasm because it was so intense.  If you are with a squirter, be prepared to get wet. 🙂

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Women constantly bring up the topic of mind blowing sex.  I have never heard a man use that term.

          You’re not reading what I wrote. My friend didn’t use the word “mind-blowing,” but he said she was the only woman he was ever with who so occupied him sexually, he didn’t want other women. 

          Most women cannot orgasm via vaginal intercourse alone because the size of their clitoris (usually small) and the distance between the clitoris and the vagina does not allow for adequate stimulation during penetration in most positions. 

          I can if a guy knows how to move.

          When in doubt, a man should learn how to give good oral. 

          Just about any man can do oral. I’d give up oral for the rest of my days for a man who I’m really attracted to, who knows how to kiss, is confident is his abilities and knows how to move during intercourse. (We could work on the last item, but from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from friends, the kissing is usually an issue. It’s hard to get turned on if you don’t like the kissing.)

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Just about any man can do oral. I’d give up oral for the rest of my days for a man who I’m really attracted to, who knows how to kiss, is confident is his abilities and knows how to move during intercourse.

          It is still a matter of geometry.  If you are one of the women has who has medium to large clitoris and a relatively smaller clitoral-vaginal gap, then knowing how to move will work every time.   However, I have been with my fair share of women who have a tiny clitoris, which makes hitting it difficult.

          We could work on the last item, but from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from friends, the kissing is usually an issue. It’s hard to get turned on if you don’t like the kissing.

          I do not understand why so many men do not know how to kiss.  Learning how to kiss properly is an order of magnitude simpler than learning how to become a good lover. Granted, every woman wants to be kissed differently, but a man should be able pay attention to the feedback that she is giving and make adjustments.  The women I have dated have told me that I am very good kisser.  The reality is that I am very good at paying attention to feedback and making adjustments to how a woman wants to be kissed.  I have had women who kissed with their lips pursed together very tightly, and I have had women who had a very loose, soft, wet kiss.  The key is to go in with soft sensual kiss at first and see how she responds.  I suspect that a lot guys go for a full-on French kiss without working up to it.  That can be awkward to say the least because that type of kiss is so unique to the individual. There is a dance that needs to be performed before going full-on with that kiss.

        4. Buck25

          Any woman can be taught to be a great lover, if she is willing to experiment. If a woman wants to be a great lover, she needs to remove the word “no” from her vocabulary in the bedroom. The same can be said for men.

          @YAG,

          Totally cosign on that. Great sex, in my experience, is about 20% skill, 80% attitude (hers AND yours).

          Far too many men  are penis centric…Intercourse is merely a tool in a man’s love-making tool box.

          Absolutely! It’s an important tool, BUT you can do far more for her with your hands, lips, tongue and teeth than you can ever do with what’s hanging between your legs by itself. Also it helps not to get so focused on her primary erogenous zones (breasts and pelvic area), that we forget all those secondary arousal points most women have all over their bodies; those can give her a lot of pleasure during foreplay and beyond. Besides, discovering and enjoying those with her is part of the fun! Last but not least, I’ve found it’s vital to remember that a woman’s primary center of sexual pleasure is located not between her legs, but between her ears (as it is for us, for that matter). Turn her mind on, and her body will follow, guaranteed. That, by the way, is one of the best arguments against one-night stands, or first date sex. The better you know her, the better idea you have of what’s likely to get her imagination fired and her emotional motor running.

          We could work on the last item, but from my own experience and what I’ve heard from friends, the kissing is usually an issue. It’s hard to get turned on if you don’t like the kissing.

          @Emily,

          Yes, kissing is key, and is an art form unto itself, and the guy who doesn’t get that right won’t get very far. Other than a few basics, though, there’s no perfect, universal way to do that. Individual women have their own preferences with that too. Best general things I’ve found: Don’t make it too wet (most women really don’t like sloppy kisses), don’t try to suck her face off, or her tongue out of her mouth, don’t do it like you’re trying to stick your tongue down her throat, and don’t lock onto her lips like a remora; you both need to come up for air occasionally (I though we all learned that in high school, but from what I’ve heard from women, a number of guys out there didn’t get the memo). Other than that, what I’ve found works is to initiate softly, and feel what she does in response, then build from there. As for the how to move thing, sometimes it can take a bit to get that right with a new partner, sometimes, just a slight adjustment of position is all it takes.

          There is one thing though, that neither you nor YAG mentioned, that I think is important. No matter how well a man can do oral, or how long he can last in intercourse, or how many positions he knows, if he doesn’t get his woman in the mood before (sometimes long  before) he even kisses her, doesn’t know how to kiss and touch and caress her, and whether it’s gentle lovemaking or raw, animalistic sex, doesn’t hold her in the afterglow when it’s over, and let her know how much he appreciates her, how beautiful she is to him, and (assuming he means it) how much he loves her in that moment…well then, I don’t know if I can show you a woman I can steal, but I can show you a woman who will never be, with that man, half the lover she might have been.

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          However, I have been with my fair share of women who have a tiny clitoris, which makes hitting it difficult.

          I can have an orgasm vaginally. The clitoris does not need to be involved.

          The key is to go in with soft sensual kiss at first and see how she responds.  I suspect that a lot guys go for a full-on French kiss without working up to it. 

          Yes, with most men it’s too much tongue. As in … the whole time you are kissing. With one guy, I could barely breathe! With another, he jammed his tongue in my mouth so violently he almost knocked me over (we were standing up). Although I had kicked things off by grabbing his shirt and yanking him over, so he probably thought that’s what I wanted.

        6. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          Other than a few basics, though, there’s no perfect, universal way to do that. 

          Yes, I agree. I feel the same way about sex. There is no good and bad. There is just personal preference, but the best sex I’ve required two things — a high level of attraction and an unspoken liking of the same techniques/styles. The latter is a crap shoot, but there is sex and then there is “oh, ok, now I know what all the songs are about.” It’s that big of a difference between pretty good and fantastic.

    3. 3.3
      Eugenie

      Wow! Didn’t expect to create such a stir!

      Definitely agree that one HAS to 1) be realistic about one’s prospects based on one’s flaws, and 2) revise down the “checklist” only to the most important essentials, e.g., ,non-negligible sexual chemistry, respect towards you, kids or not, and so on. That is hard to do and requires soul searching and trial and error.

      However, once you’ve decided someone is good enough, you should be prepared to treat them as such, and not as the partner of last resort, the object of your pity and resentment because you missed out on better chances.

      Maybe I’m getting into semantics, but I think approaching it as “settling for less” – implicitly designating the thing you settled for as being less – is unhealthy, unkind, and unlikely to create long-term happiness.

      That said, I don’t mean to judge any specific compromises people make as long as they can maintain their relationships in good faith and live with them in contentment without lashing out, or resenting others for their chosen lot.

      1. 3.3.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Yes, but whoever endorsed treating your spouse like an object of pity? I can’t think of a single person who has ever advocated for that.

  4. 4
    Denise Lambert

    To Evan Marc Katz:

    Your post on this thread is so good (substance, depth , insight) that it should be a topic for your next book if you are so inclined.  I loved the podcast as well.

    1. 5.1
      Denise

      Sorry Evan, Sometimes  I do not have command of tech language. I am referring to your above post on this page where you reply to Eugenie. I think your post should be elaborated upon in a book or some other venue. I am one of those woman who have frequently parroted the ‘I don’t want to settle ‘ mantra never once thinking that perhaps the other person ,who is choosing me ,is also settling? What does settle mean exactly? Someone doesn’t measure up to my romantic fantasy?  And more importantly, even if I did meet my romantic fantasy who is to say  we would even be compatible? I would love to see a book titled, I Don’t Want To Settle. It is repeated often enough in the singles world as a battle cry and therefore an entire book challeneing this premise would be noteworthy.

      Anyway, I love the way you worded your post. It resonated with me.

    2. 5.2
      Denise Lambert

      Evan,

      The above post where you respond to Eugenie.

  5. 6
    Renee

    I found this to be an argumentative conversation. Didn’t get a good vibe or much information to take away. That’s of course my opinion, which isn’t up for debate 🙂

    Hopefully the next one I listen to will be better.

  6. 7
    S.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong for settling on some things. I settle all the time. On the quality of food, clothing, jobs, relationships.  There is a trade-off.  The friend who is more available isn’t great at emotional support.  The job that pays more money has exponentially more stress, or a longer commute or fewer benefits.  The home with a view has a higher heating bill.  We all settle but it doesn’t feel like it if you get most of what you want or the important things.

    I have never met a woman in my life that played fast and loose with her fertility.  Every single woman I know had babies when she was young if she wanted.  I know one woman who was infertile at 28.  She had IVF (three times for the first kid) for both children.  I don’t know how men plan about their fertility, but I know women do.  So the premise of the book is that somehow this is a surprise is difficult for me to really see.  This simply hasn’t been the case with the dozens and dozens of women I’ve known.  I’ve not seen any of the smugness in the dating world, just about dating (not babies).  I myself wasn’t smug. I just wasn’t ready.  For a long, long time.  It happens.  And I still have time to find love.   But it wasn’t ever an easy thing for me. Not at 16, not at 26. People say it was easier but it wasn’t.  Dating is hard if you’re not ready, don’t know who you are, or what you need.

    “The things I think that are quirky and cute really make me hard to live with.” Bingo.  This is everything.  When you have a great sense of self and a lot of love in your life, it’s difficult to see your flaws as actual dealbreakers.  And the things you think are flaws–like being short or having a gap in your teeth–aren’t really the dealbreakers you think they are.  But how can you ever know, though?

    The person has to be the best for you.  So many other things really don’t matter.

  7. 8
    S.

    How do you really see the challenges you have as a relationship partner? Like what’s difficult about dating you? It’s really, really hard to see things about yourself that you like or need are really hard for the other person.

    I think I know my stuff but how do I know for sure? For example, I’m always cold. Always, always. So I’m usually covered wrist to ankle.  In the summer, I love heat but if the AC is on I’m covered. I’ve worked around it a bit by wearing really form-fitting clothes that hug my hourglass shape.  Hey, it works.  But a lot of times I want to wear stuff that’s soft and cheap and billowy. 🙂 And warm. Not necessarily feminine though I am a girly girl inside there, just a very cold one. :-/

    Now is this a real dealbreaker? I dunno!  One guy I dated, it was a real annoyance because he really wanted to be under the AC all the time.  But that was toward the end.  On our third date I told our waitress I was cold and she turned the AC down in the whole restaurant. He had no problem with it then so I don’t know if it was a real dealbreaker or just a symptom that we were nearing the end. See? It’s not so simple.

    One guy said I talked too much, another said he liked the sound of my voice and we’d talk for hours.  What the heck? How do you know what’s really a challenge and what’s just one single person’s dealbreaker?

    1. 8.1
      Nissa

      I love that you said this! I used to be ‘the turtleneck girl’  at the office, because I was always cold. But I have solved the problem! If you get your trunk warmed up, then the rest of you can be less covered. For example, you can put on Spanx on bottom, Cuddle Duds tank on top, and a silk or chiffon top over that. I also found a Faux fur collar scarf that I bought because it was cute, and found that it is very warm. For home, I recommend Heat Holders extra long socks, they are 7 times warmer!

      1. 8.1.1
        S.

        Cuddleduds, lol.  They were too thick for me when I was looking for long underwear this winter. (Early January 2018 was COLD.) I wear a lot of scarves instead of turtlenecks.

        Who knows if temperature preference is a dealbreaker? Is snoring? The thing is one can have whatever dealbreakers one wants.  But when that list starts to get really long, it just eliminates a lot of people.  I think Lori Gottlieb wasn’t saying not to have a list. Just maybe have shorter list more about character and if you keep a longer list, to be aware it may take longer (not impossible) to find the right person for yourself.

    2. 8.2
      Buck25

      How do you really know what’s really a challenge, and what’s just one single person’s dealbreaker?

      S,

      Unless it’s something that’s a recurring theme with everyone or most everyone you meet, it really doesn’t matter. One person’s “dealbreaker” can be a “dealmaker” for someone else. A voice that one guy doesn’t like can be the sexiest voice another has ever heard. (Trust me on that one, it can work in the other direction as well-my voice is, I think, a pretty ordinary baritone that most women find pleasant enough but unremarkable; yet one I’m dating at the moment says that to her, it sounds like “pure sex”; I talk to her softly, and she just melts; literally turns her on before I even touch her! Go figure, lol!) Snoring can be a dealbreaker for some; to a partner who snores, it may not matter at all. The getting cold thing (not uncommon in women, really)may bother some guys, but actually be a plus for a guy who tends to get cold himself (some do). Oddly enough, I had one partner years ago who always got chilled; we found sleeping together curled up tight with each other warmed her, and somehow cooled me down in the process; to this day she was the only woman I have ever been able to sleep curled up together with all night, comfortably. Again, go figure.

      1. 8.2.1
        S.

        I talk to her softly, and she just melts; literally turns her on before I even touch her! Go figure, lol!)

        Hey, work what you got. 😉 And I’m glad you’ve found someone!

        I find a lot of men like to sleep in the nude or with very little on.  I honestly wouldn’t mind the same but they would literally have to be wrapped around me or I’d freeze to death.  If they can do that, we’re good.  One guy was so nice. He wanted the fan directly on us and when I started coughing and couldn’t stop, he woke out of a dead sleep, turned it off, and went back to sleep.  Even asleep he was attuned to my needs.

        Evan used to advocate the ‘exit interview’ not necessarily by the dater, but maybe from someone else. I think, like you, it’s just a bunch of random information unless there is a theme.

        In my dating, there’s no theme at least not one I can see.  What’s actually more predictable is to ask my good friends about what their first impression of me was.  They don’t mind telling me the truth and I take it well since I know they love me now. 🙂

        I do like Lori’s reminder that one’s flaws aren’t exactly cute. 🙂  It’s hard because honestly? The people who like you, like all of you.  You didn’t have to change or anything.   They honestly think you’re cool.  It’s good to remember with a new person, esp. a romantic possibility, your flaws aren’t necessarily cute and acceptable to them.  At least not yet.

        1. Emily, the original

          S.,

          I find a lot of men like to sleep in the nude or with very little on.I honestly wouldn’t mind the same but they would literally have to be wrapped around me or I’d freeze to death. 

          Do they expect you to sleep in the nude, too? I personally don’t like that. I wear a bra almost all the time. I’m trying to keep the chesticles at a reasonable level!  I take it off only in the shower and sometimes during sex. It is possible to keep some lingerie on depending on the activity and the venue. You don’t have to let it all hang out all the time.

        2. S.

          Expect? No. Would like? Hell yes.  But again, most know it would have to be super hot for me to do that or they would have to be superglued to me. 🙂  Some men get hot and sweaty and can’t do the cuddling like that and still get sleep.

          You wear a real bra at night? I’ve got double Ds and I don’t do that. I did used to sleep in a bra until I was 13 because I was so modest. My mother thought I was nuts. (This says a whole lot about me, being well, me early on.)  I did it until the bra left marks on my brand-new breasts.  Just from the constant friction.  It scared me and I’ve been free at night ever since. (The marks faded away.)   I used to wear an underwire during the day until I found tiny little lumps under my breasts where the wire pressed. I think the fatty tissue (which is what most of breast tissue is) was getting trapped between my ribs and the wire. Went away completely when I started wearing soft cup bras.

          Here’s the truth: my breasts always sagged.  They are tear drop shaped.  Still lovely but when you’re above a C cup? There is some droop at least it was when I was sixteen.   I wore a bra during the day every workday until I turned 34.  And I stopped for a few years.  Just stopped. I also gained some weight.  Yeah, they are drooping lower due to that, but honestly?  They weren’t perky at 16!  I know!  The bra was holding those girls up for years.  For 3o years.

          I’ve had enough.  I wear a bra now, but now the girls are free afterhours.  No man gives a damn.  These breasts are beautiful in a bra but I think men like that moment when I first let them bounce free.  It’s always a memorable moment. Delicious.

          We were talking about flaws in other comments.  This is one piece of feedback that is sincere and consistent.  My breasts get five stars.  One of the pros of dating me. 🙂  Not a single complaint as men who date me want a woman with a full bust.  And boy do they get that!

        3. Emily, the original

          S.,
          Here’s the truth: my breasts always sagged.  They are tear drop shaped.  Still lovely but when you’re above a C cup? There is some droop at least it was when I was sixteen.  
          Most breasts sag a bit, unless they are fake. I was reading a celebrity gossip site and some of the female posters were making negative comments about Jennifer Lawrence’s figure, and I thought: Are you kidding me? She has a great body. So many women in Hollywood have implants that it has skewed people’s perception of what real chests look like. \
          Not a single complaint as men who date me want a woman with a full bust.  And boy do they get that!
          LOL

        4. S.

          Shoot. Didn’t JLaw just turn 27?  That young woman is lovely.  And she is loving fashion, loving her body.  Not easy in her profession. Everybody is a critic.

          We have to be aware of our flaws, but also celebrate our strengths. Love our selves up!  I have issues, we all do  but I love this body immensely.  Men definitely see that in me and when I find one I care about we celebrate it together.

          I’ve worn bras now for more than half my life. I wear them, but I wear the most comfortable Victoria’s Secret bra I could find, many copies and colors of the same style in various states of newness-to-old.  I feel comfortable and pretty.  The girls go up sometimes, sometimes low.  I’m always me. 🙂

        5. Emily, the original

          J.,

          Shoot. Didn’t JLaw just turn 27?  That young woman is lovely.  And she is loving fashion, loving her body.  Not easy in her profession. Everybody is a critic.

          I’ve noticed in my last job: Throw an attractive young woman into the workplace and two things happen–the women get jealous and the men get riled up.

           

    3. 8.3
      Nissa

      It’s interesting what people have as dealbreakers. I told a friend of mine that a man not having confidence was a dealbreaker for me, and you would have thought that I had told her I only dated men who were 7 foot tall professional basketball players. She thought that was a very demanding, rude kind of thing to want. But from my perspective, it was extremely egalitarian – after all a guy that’s my height has just as much chance at me, as a taller man, if he is confident. But my friend just did not see it that way.

      To me what is reasonable are character based dealbreakers. After all, we all want to be accepted as we are, and our character is what we are. To me, that means that if I can’t accept those character based behaviors, it’s more kind to dump you than to try to change who you are.

      1. 8.3.1
        S.

        I can only speak for me: n = 1.  When I had less confidence, I sought men with less confidence.  Who else would be sensitive to me and understand? I needed and wanted that until I gained more confidence.

        When you have less confidence, people with confidence can almost seem unbelievable arrogant.  (Maybe they are, it’s all about perspective.)  But that view is coming form where the less confident person is.

        I’m pretty sensitive and I don’t like to leave others out.  So it can seem mean to me to drop less confident people from my radar.  But having dated men like this, no matter how nice and sweet I am, ultimately I can’t make them feel good.  They have to find that in themselves first. Before dating.  I don’t say this directly to them and I’m still very nice. And I’m glad I gave it a try but now I understand why others don’t date people with little confidence.

  8. 9
    Billy

    This was a weird  interview. Evan I like listening to you because you sound like a compassionate, kind and smart guy. Your guest sounded almost robotic, a bit arrogant. Even when she spoke how she referred to your wife, in her book, I believe an apology was warranted. If it bothered you, then maybe she should have wished she would have expressed it a bit differently. I just wonder as a relationship expert, why she never spoke about her own successful marriage. She did make a critical comment of Melissa Gilbert’s divorce, what also felt emotionally cold. How long is she married for?

  9. 10
    Gala

    Personally I think that Lori’s advice us bad, wrong and out of touch and could not possibly lead to a happy marriage (from a woman perspective). It is bad because it implies that women have two choices – settle or be alone and childless forever. But that is simply not true, may be it could have flown 6 years ago even, but in the current climate? Afraid this is a non-starter. Rather than encouraging women to get into unexciting marriages (in their prime earning years no less!), women need to be encouraged to explore other options on how to create meaningful lives for themselves, and, btw. women don’t need husbands to have children.

    Evan’s marriage example is so wrong to illustrate this point also. In fact it illustrates the opposite point. Evan’s wife married UP, not down. Therefore, she is happy. A woman who marries down is unlikely to be happy in her marriage (but this is not true for men, hence Evan’s marriage works but switch the genders and it doesn’t).

    Lastly, as I was trying to figure out whether Lori was successfull at using her own advice, i stumbled upon this article which i found to be excellent commentary on the topic: http://www.scarymommy.com/i-took-lori-gottliebs-advice-to-marry-him-this-is-what-happened/

    And as far as Lori, it seems that she didn’t get married. Perhaps, she found the hard way  that merely willing to “settle for” some “lesser” men does not automatically make them interest in you. Shocker!

    1. 10.1
      Emily, the original

      Gala, 

      Evan’s wife married UP, not down. Therefore, she is happy. 

      This is not a knock against either of them, but as I see it, it’s a classic assortative mating match. They are both college educated, attractive professionals. (I can’t remember his wife’s profession before they married. Was it PR?) They’re equals. Unless one of the two is super educated or super accomplished … say she’s a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar or she is a well-known columnist for The New York Times.

    2. 10.2
      Jeremy

      I think you are misunderstanding her point, Gala.  In Evan’s case (and please correct me if I’m wrong here, Evan) a young Evan had mis-predicted the qualities in a woman that would ultimately make his future self happy.  If he had married “up” (his concept of up at the time), his future self would have ultimately been fare LESS happy than he is with the woman he ultimately did choose to marry.  His young self quite literally did not know “up from down.”  This is COMMON, is Lori’s point.  She is not telling women to settle for things that will make them unhappy.  She is telling them to reconsider what things WILL make them happy, and what things don’t matter.  This is a VERY worthwhile point.  One I’ve tried to make on this blog many times.

      1. 10.2.1
        Gala

        May be. Honestly I find these discussions of “what Lorie really meant” exhausting. The woman had the whole book published and if 8 years later people are still debating what she meant when she said “settle for Mr. Good Enough”, than clearly she did not do a good job getting her point across. Which could have been the point all along, because controversy is what sells books and puts $$ in one’s pocket, right?

        In reality, Lori’s book speaks to a super narrow group (of successful women who are unmarried) since as a cohort, college educated high earning women are actually the most married (and to their peers to boot). We all know that from the stats. Also, the conclusion that marriage would make you happier than singledom is not supported by the data as most married women over 40 report being less happy than their single counterparts. So, the real problem is not how to get professional women hitched (most of them have it covered – a novel idea for a dating blog for sure), but whether it is advisable for them to get hitched at all – or on what terms? I have a lot of thoughts on this subject so may be I should write a book about it 🙂 So because there really is NO army of spinsters-CEOs out there who remained single because they had a laundry list of 1000 qualities for a mate, there really is no problem… no systemic problem. And really there is no point in suggesting in anyway that women, as a group, are the problem. The women are doing nothing wrong. But by suggesting that they are, by projecting her own issues onto the whole group, Lori has created this massive backlash.

        1. Jeremy

          Gala, you wrote, “ So, the real problem is not how to get professional women hitched (most of them have it covered – a novel idea for a dating blog for sure), but whether it is advisable for them to get hitched at all – or on what terms?

           

          I actually disagree with you here.  I agree that the stats show that women are generally less happy in their marriages than men, and often more happy after divorce.  But is that because marriage makes women miserable, or because women don’t know how to be happy in marriage? Is it because marriage doesn’t give women what they want, or is it because it DOES give them what they want, but once they get it they want something else.  I have very strong opinions on the answers to these 2 questions.

           

          YAG likes to write about how women have sex with alphas, marry betas, and then pine for alphas.  He’s wrong, though.  Or at least he is only right for a minority.  Replace the word “alpha” for arousal and the word “beta” for comfort, and you’ll get this statement from me:  Many women marry for arousal and come to understand that what they want is comfort.  Many women marry for comfort and come to understand that what  they want is arousal.  It’s not about hypergamy, it’s about changes in priorities that come naturally to most women (and not to most men) as their life circumstances change.

           

          My observation – if a woman chooses the right man for her personality, she will be happier married than single.  If a woman understand what her future priorities are likely to be and chooses accordingly, she will be happier married than single.  If she doesn’t, her future happiness is a coin toss.  The money-making blog, IMHO, is not to teach educated women how to marry, nor whether it is advisable to marry.  It is to teach them how to better predict their own entirely predictable changing priorities.

        2. Gala

          Jeremy, it is hard to disagree with you, but I will 🙂 I think it is possible that some women misjudge whether they want comfort or arousal. Sure. But, wouldn’t you want a little bit of both? A nice guy with balls? A guy who is confident (arousal) but doesn’t have temper tantrums when the eggs are overdone (comfort)?

          Secondly, i think the reality is a lot more prosaic, and this is my perspective as a woman. I think women are still mostly sold the bill of goods of what marriage should be. And here I am speaking about educated, high earning, married women. They go into marriage expecting fun lives, romantic trips and equal division or domestic labor, only to find themselves stuck in a suburban house with 2 hour commute, sleep deprivation, doing the majority of domestic labor, their careers taking a hit and their husbands perfectly content spreading socks on the living room floor. By this time they’ve had kids and are knee deep in the modern marriage trap. And they’re miserable. Meanwhile, their unmarried counterparts are planning skiing weekends and trips to Ibiza.

        3. Jeremy

          Disagree to your heart’s content, Gala, I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again 🙂

           

          I was reading an article this morning about why women are less happy in marriage than men.  The author was female and had several opinions as to the reason.  She claimed that if you ask young men and women what they will want in the future, most people of both genders claimed to want an egalitarian marriage with even role division rather than specialization and complementarity.  Yet if you ask them what their back-up plan is if that fails, most of the young men stated they would want traditional role division, while most of the young women stated they would prefer divorce.  Yet strangely, when these same individuals were followed 10-15 years later, most of them found themselves in marriages with traditional role division (or at least semi-traditional) rather than egalitarian.  Was this because they FELL into those roles, or because they CHOSE them?

           

          I know my life experience and that of the people in my circle, all of whom are educated and affluent men and women.  Almost none of them fell into their roles.  Almost all of them chose their roles.  And further, those roles were almost solely chosen by the WIVES.  It was not that these women failed to achieve their youthful prediction of what they would want, it’s that what they wanted changed once they fell pregnant.  The woman who thought she wanted a full-time career realized she didn’t – as she was statistically likely to do, according to recent Pew studies.  And then, because such women are often conflicted about what their role should be, they fail to be happy whatever they choose.  The stay-at-home mom feels guilty about not having a career and feels judged by her peers.  The career mom feels guilty about not staying at home.  The part-time working mom feels like she isn’t doing anything right.  And they all try to overcompensate by doing a ton of emotional work, much of which is totally unnecessary, and get mad at their bewildered husbands who intuitively understand what their wives do not – that one person can only do one job well at a time.

           

          The marriage trap you describe is often a cage of the wife’s own making and has less to do with the fact of her marriage/children and more to do with her priorities or inability to prioritize.  I say that fully realizing it will raise the hackles of many women here, but that’s what I see in my circles.

        4. Gala

          Yet strangely, when these same individuals were followed 10-15 years later, most of them found themselves in marriages with traditional role division

          I read the same article. The other half who said they wanted traditional marriage found themselves working. So what does that prove? That in high school we are not mature enough to predict what we will want in our 30-ies? Color me surprised 🙂

          I think people do “fall into” certain roles, for sure, otherwise known as “life happened”. I don’t really see anything contradictory in that article/study. Yes some women fall into the role of SAHM or worse into pulling double shifts of working FT and then doing most of the domestic work. Yes a great number of them will be unhappy and file for a divorce. Some will be happy because they will discover, incidentally this is what makes them content (SAHM part, not the double duty part. noone is happy doing that). Where is the contradiction?

        5. Jeremy

          I lent the book “Stumbling on Happiness” to my mother in law because she knew how much I liked it.  When she finished reading it I asked her what she thought, and she said, “Meh.  So people don’t know what they want and make mistakes.  Is that news?”  “That wasn’t the point,” I replied, “the point was that the mistakes we make are SYSTEMATIC!”  I could see her eyes glazing over, so I didn’t press the issue – but I know that you of all people will get this, Gala.  If the mistakes we make – the failures in our ability to predict what will make our future selves happy – are systematic, that means they are often correctable in prospect.

           

          What the article we both read shows is that our young selves THOUGHT they knew what would make them happy but were wrong.  And then our slightly older selves also thought they knew, but they were wrong too.  Because instead of predicting what would make their future selves happy, they considered what would make their present selves happy.  Fallacy.

           

          The woman with the Guardian-type personality will want security, community, and respect.  She will want a partner who provides security, is involved in community, and is worthy of respect.  She will want a man who is a help-meet to her – otherwise she will view him as a child and a burden, regardless of how attractive his younger self may have been.  The woman with the Idealist-type personality will need emotion and authenticity, regardless of what her 25 year old self thinks she will want.  The provider who was good enough to father her children will not meet her future needs if he can’t be his true self and help her to be hers.  The woman with the Explorer-type personality will need novelty and positive affect, and the drudgery of motherhood will be particularly onerous on her, regardless of how much she thinks she wants kids.  And the Rational-type personality will define her list of goals and want a man who meets those goals – regardless of what society claims she should want.  If he doesn’t help her meet her goals, what good is he?  Any of those sound familiar to you, Gala?  🙂

        6. Gala

          Any of those sound familiar to you, Gala? 

          No, not really 🙂 I think that trying to squeeze the range of human aspirations and emotions into a limited number of categories is not particularly useful, though certainly seems to be everyone’s favorite sport these days. We’ve had Type A/Type B, alphas and betas, anxious and avoidant, INTPs vs INJTs, etc. is adding another classification to that really useful? Its the same old tired search for a shortcut to fully understanding self. Take a quiz and if you’re in box A, you should be looking for X and Y qualities in your partner and it will make you happy. Wait, but what if I want Z instead? Nevermind, you don’t know what you want anyway. But the stupid quiz creators do? Don’t think so. At its core, this is no different from women refusing to date someone who didn’t color coordinate their shoes with their belt. A flawed predictor of future behavior.

        7. Jeremy

          That’s what I thought you’d say.  And you’re right – there is no such thing as a “guardian” personality, for example.  In “thinking fast and slow” Daniel Kahneman spends hundreds of pages distinguishing and describing System 1 and System 2 thinking, yet he spends the entire prologue of the book admitting that neither system actually exists.  There is no part of the brain that you can say is System 1.  It is a description – a shorthand – a way of describing something complicated quickly so it makes sense to people.

           

          There is no such thing as a Guardian personality, all people are complex mixtures of traits.  But there are definitely people who base their personality on externally-derived roles far more than other people, and such people will often exhibit characteristic behavior.  And this behavior is different than others who tend to base their personalities on personal meaning and authenticity.  Or positive affect.  Or logical goals.  The values is not in the classification (the classification HAS no value).  It is in understanding human motivations.

           

          My wife hates making family dinners.  But she says (and thinks) she loves it.  She will tell me how much she loves doing it, will start the preparation complaining and stressed the whole time, spend the whole dinner chasing after the kids and making sure everything is perfect, then spend the next day complaining that no one appreciated it.  And the very next day will tell me how much she loved it and wants to do it again.  I was baffled by this for years.  Until I understood that if a person’s base assumption is not what they actually feel but rather what they believe they SHOULD feel, they will forget how they felt and remember what they think should have happened.  This would never happen to me, because I don’t much care how I “should” have felt.  There is a whole subset of people who do, though.

           

          I have no interest in quizzes, personality tests, or horoscopes.  I’m interested in human motivations.  Most people don’t understand theirs.  But the clues are there to see for those who can pick up on them.

        8. KK

          “My wife hates making family dinners.  But she says (and thinks) she loves it”.

          Now Jeremy, is it possible that’s not completely true?

          Speaking only for myself, I know there are certain things I really look forward to and sometimes those things involve an awful lot of planning and effort. The further off the event is, the more time I have to plan, but also to fantasize about the result. Often the desired result is simply for everyone to be happy. When that doesn’t happen or something goes wrong or anything unexpected happens, it’s easy to feel like all your effort was for nothing. So I’ll be disappointed. Then… a few days later, I’m over it and I might start thinking about the next… (fill in the blank).

          I do enjoy planning, shopping, preparing. I do enjoy everyone coming together. The effort is worth it when the turn out is positive, but you question your effort when it goes wrong.

        9. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I’m interested in human motivations.  Most people don’t understand theirs.  

          This is very true, but you write about this a lot, and I think you are expecting a level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness that the average late 20-something/early 30-something who is choosing a spouse and at a marriageable age to have. And they don’t.

          And, yes, people change. Who anyone is at 28 is vastly different at 38. Or at 48. The only constant in life is change. And we can read several books on the topic, but the bottom line is that there are no guarantees in anything.

        10. Jeremy

          Hi KK.  Yes, she does justify things to herself in ways similar to what you wrote.  But it is just a justification.  She fails to remember how she felt in the moment because she prioritizes how she should have felt.

           

          Frankly, I get that a lot of people don’t find this stuff to resonate and think I’m drinking some pretty weird Kool-Aid here.  My point isn’t to say that you can predict how people will behave based on some personality trait – you can’t predict that.  I’m just saying that you CAN predict how a person will likely prioritize. And given that marital breakdown is so often predicated on re-prioritization, this is important.  But it won’t answer Gala’s question of whether a guy will lose his job, get depressed and become an unemployed drug addict, or KK’s question of whether he will have an affair, or Emily’s question of whether he will lose desire for her and flirt with others.  The only thing it might tell you is that if a person does behave in that way, what might his motivation have been.  My wife’s motivation in making family dinners is to see herself in a particular role, and be seen by others in that role.  She will never admit that, but it is the only explanation for her behavior.  The same motivation as the woman who needs the laundry folded just so, and won’t let others do it because they wont do it right – even though there’s no objective reason to do so, and lots of reason not to.  It helps to understand motivations.  Classification is less important.

           

          Oh, and Emily, I think 25 year olds can be pretty smart.  The reason they don’t think of these things isn’t because they can’t, it’s because they are not given guidance.  In the same way that they so often choose careers without fully thinking it through because they are not given proper guidance, often by adults who themselves never thought it through.

        11. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Oh, and Emily, I think 25 year olds can be pretty smart.  The reason they don’t think of these things isn’t because they can’t, it’s because they are not given guidance.

          There’s a huge difference between smart and emotionally intelligent. And at 25, for me anyway, I wouldn’t have accepted the guidance. I remember calling my grandmother at that age (I was slow to finish college) and announcing that when I graduated,  I wasn’t going to do a 9 to 5 job. It didn’t suit me. I honestly believed I ‘d find a way around it. HA! I still wish i had! And i thought people who picked practical majors had sold out.  So if I wouldn’t have accepted career advice, I sure as shit wouldn’t have accepted romantic advice. (I thought the older people around me were in terribly dull marriages.) Now, I’m one person. Maybe other young people would be more mature but I still think most are still trying to find themselves.

          My wife hates making family dinners.  But she says (and thinks) she loves it.  She will tell me how much she loves doing it, will start the preparation complaining and stressed the whole time, spend the whole dinner chasing after the kids and making sure everything is perfect, then spend the next day complaining that no one appreciated it. 

          Does the cycle of complaining, stressing, perfecting and then complaining again get exhausting for you to witness?

        12. KK

          Jeremy,

          You’re an MD, right? That takes many years of consistent effort, dedication, time, sacrifice, and money. Did you ever get frustrated or ever complain about a particular professor or assignment or ever feel overwhelmed, wondering if it was even worth it?

          If you did and you complained to anyone about it, I’m assuming you just needed to vent, maybe have someone else validate your feelings, understand how difficult it can be at times.

          But if that person said, Well, Jeremy, it’s not like anyone is forcing you to do this. If you’re that unhappy, just quit. That wouldn’t have been very helpful, would it? Wouldn’t you have preferred being told how amazing you are for even attempting something that most people, regardless of intelligence, have no desire to put in the time and effort that you did? Or an encouraging pep talk to hang in there because you’ve done great so far?

          Your wife simply has different motivations than you, which appear to not make any sense to you. It makes complete sense to me. Much like a day in the life of a med school student, the process of making a special family dinner can be especially taxing when you also have 4 children to take care of, who may not like and most likely won’t appreciate your efforts. So instead of saying, Well, this apparently doesn’t make you happy and no one even expects you to go to all this trouble, maybe try saying how much you appreciate what she does and offer to take the kids somewhere for a couple of hours or ask if you can be her sous chef. ☺ Because whatever her motivations are, it’s obviously something that is important to HER. You don’t have to pretend that it’s important to you when it isn’t. Just be supportive.

        13. Jeremy

          Emily, “does the cycle of complaining, stressing, perfecting, and then complaining again get exhausting for you to witness?”  It was never exhausting, it was mystifying.  How could she not see her own stress levels or lack of enjoyment?  At first, I tried to help her by being logical.  Telling her that I understood how much she wanted to have everyone together and make everyone happy (a la KK), but that they would be just as happy having a pizza or a catered meal without the work.  But she would have no part of that – needed to show herself and others that she was capable and able as a hostess.  It was important to her.
          The breakthrough for me came when I understood her motivation and stopped trying to help her with my logic, which was based on different base assumptions, and rather help her using her own base assumptions.  Let her do the planning and stressing, give her the overt praise for them that she seeks, try to help out as I can without usurping her role, and demonstrating gratitude and appreciation when it’s over.  Which is, after all, the logical thing to do when the base assumption is the role.  So much became clearer to me when I understood other people’s base motivations and my own.

        14. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          The breakthrough for me came when I understood her motivation and stopped trying to help her with my logic, which was based on different base assumptions, and rather help her using her own base assumptions.  Let her do the planning and stressing, give her the overt praise for them that she seeks, try to help out as I can without usurping her role, and demonstrating gratitude and appreciation when it’s over.

          You are a patient and understanding man. I don’t know if I have it in me to be that patient and understanding day in and day out. Maybe for a few hours a week if I had some down time on my own. Maybe I’m just limited.

        15. Jeremy

          @KK, it’s funny, I read your comment after I replied to Emily’s above, but you and I reached the same conclusions about the appropriate course of action.  My problem was that I assumed the goal was to have a nice family dinner, bring people together, and make everyone happy.  If that was the goal, catering the dinner would be the logical course of action – goal achieved, minimal effort, minimal stress.  But if the goal is to achieve something difficult and special – to plan, prepare and organize for the sake of the work, the role, and the appreciation, then catering the meal doesn’t meet the goal at all.  My point wasn’t to denigrate her goals or role.  It was to state (as I have so often before) that logic only remains logical when our base assumptions are correct and complete.

        16. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          It was to state (as I have so often before) that logic only remains logical when our base assumptions are correct and complete.

          And for me (I’m not speaking for all women), I don’t respond well to overly logical assessments if something is genuinely bothering me. I’ll calm down after about 24 hours and start to see things more clearly, but, as KK pointed out, I usually just want to vent. Men have a tendency to want to fix the situation or offer solutions. I had one male friend whose response sometimes made me feel worse because he felt like he had failed in that he couldn’t fix the situation … but I hadn’t asked him to, and then the whole thing became more about him.

        17. KK

          Hi Jeremy,

          Yes. ☺ I wrote my last comment before seeing your response to Emily.

          Before my first comment, I had also read this from you: “The marriage trap you describe is often a cage of the wife’s own making and has less to do with the fact of her marriage/children and more to do with her priorities or inability to prioritize.  I say that fully realizing it will raise the hackles of many women here, but that’s what I see in my circles”.

          Care to elaborate? Lol

        18. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          But that video makes it seem like the woman is oblivious to an easy solution and is just complaining to complain, maybe even enjoying the complaining, and I sometimes have felt that with male friends. They can be a bit dismissive and say I’m “obsessing” over something when really I just need to talk it out. And then they want to have LONG conversation about technology and say my eyes are glazing over … well, yeah.

        19. SparklingEmerald

          Hi  Jeremy My wife hates making family dinners.  But she says (and thinks) she loves it.

          I can relate to your wife’s feeling on cooking, it mirrors how I used to feel about sewing.  I used to say I have a love/hate relationship with sewing.  There were parts I honestly loved.  Not “thought” I loved, but honestly loved.   Then there were parts that I hated.  Unfortunately, it’s not like I could just do the parts of sewing I loved and omit that parts I hated.  When I struggled through the good and bad of sewing project and it turned out well, it was all worth it and I was elated.  I would have an item of clothing or a household good (window valance, duvet cover, throw pillows or whatever) that I loved and created.  If I struggled through the good and bad of sewing project and it turned out to be a disaster I would be majorly bummed.  All that time and effort on a project destined for the trash can or rag bin.  I used to have two major goals when sewing 1.  To get through the project without using my seam ripper and 2. To get through the project without cussing !  So believe me, I REALLY loved sewing, don’t let the cussing and fussing fool you, but I hated it too.  Perhaps your wife has a love/hate relationship with cooking family dinners as I did with sewing.

    3. 10.3
      Yet Another Guy

      @Gala

      Evan’s marriage example is so wrong to illustrate this point also. In fact it illustrates the opposite point. Evan’s wife married UP, not down. Therefore, she is happy. A woman who marries down is unlikely to be happy in her marriage (but this is not true for men, hence Evan’s marriage works but switch the genders and it doesn’t)

      I know that you are hypergamous, but it is not a universal truth that all woman who marry down are unhappy.  I know a female cardiothoracic surgeon who has been very happily married to a guy for over twenty years who runs his own small custom home building company.  While this guy has an undergraduate degree, he never used it professionally.  He put himself through college swinging a hammer during the summer and chose building homes over sitting at a desk after receiving his degree.  I can assure you that she is the major bread winner in this scenario by a large margin (although, he did build a beautiful home for her).  She had no desire to marry another doctor due to the hours that doctors work.

      1. 10.3.1
        Gala

        it is not a universal truth that all woman who marry down are unhappy.

        I didn’t say that it was. I said it was unlikely, not that it was impossible. And with all due respect you don’t know how happy the wife in this relationship even is.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          And with all due respect you don’t know how happy the wife in this relationship even is.

          Actually, I do know how happy she is in the relationship. She was my friend long before they married.  I have known her since we were elementary school-age children.

          Your pretentiousness is giving you a severe case of social myopia.  Luckily, most women are not like you.  No one is below you.  There is nothing that you own that cannot be taken away at any given moment.  However, you are too naive to understand that reality.  Not that I have anything to hide, but I cannot imagine a woman having the audacity to ask me for my credit score.  The guy you are dating must be a full-on beta.

        2. Gala

          The guy you are dating must be a full-on beta

          Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Of course he is (and i didn’t ask for the score, he volunteered). This is what makes him perfect for me since I have plenty of opinions for both of us and like getting my way, and don’t like working too hard on making the other person happy (and he’s super low maintenance)

        3. Shaukat

          This is what makes him perfect for me since I have plenty of opinions for both of us and like getting my way, and don’t like working too hard on making the other person happy (and he’s super low maintenance)

          This has got to be a very clever advertisement to send traffic to the red pill sites. Either that or it clearly illustrates that there is no limit to how low some low confidence guys will go for sex.

        4. Buck25

          Is that a bad thing? Of course he is, (and I didn’t ask for the score, he volunteered) This is what makes him perfect for me since I have plenty of opinions for both of us, and like getting my way, and don’t like to work too hard on making the other person happy (and he’s super low maintenance)

          Wow. Just wow. Can’t say I’m surprised, though, Gala; sounds like just the sort of guy I would have expected you to pick.

          This has got to be a very clever advertisement to send traffic to the red pill sites. Either that or it clearly illustrates that there is no limit to how low some low confidence guys will go for sex.

          @Shaukat,

          You thought there actually was a limit to that? Not with some of these Millennial guys; I swear some of them are submissive enough  to sell their very souls for even the vague promise of sex, judging by the way they act; I’m not sure some of these sad sacks wouldn’t try to menstruate on cue, should their “mistress” demand that as a token of their complete obedience to her, lol! Something about that description of hers gives me visions of Gala, in full dominatrix regalia, with whip in hand, one stilleto-heeled boot firmly planted on the dog collar around the poor fellow’s neck, as he crawls on all fours to gratefully lick her other boot. *smh* Has the sound of a “Sensitive New Age Guy” (a/k/a “lapdog”, to me; but then, the times. they are a’changin’ (or  so I’m told)

        5. Gala

          @Shaukat:

          I just prefer to be the alpha in the relationship. It’s actually very liberating to be yourself and not try to play some docile demsel in distress. Trying to date a carbon copy of myself doesn’t really work in the long run.  Can get some mind blowing sex and excitement but pretty soon too much power struggle ensues. “Betas” need love too! An easy going guy is a good match for me.

        6. Buck25

          @ Gala,

          All kidding aside,  (and I have been picking at you a bit), from everything I’ve read from you here, that’s the sort of guy I would have seen you choosing. So long as he’s good with that sort of relationship, and you feel enough attraction with him, that may be the best choice for you. One thing’s for sure; a relationship with a more traditionally masculine man could well degenerate into a power struggle between him and you, and that rarely if ever turns out well.

        7. Shaukat

          @Gala,

          I’m not suggesting that you or any woman should feign docility or passivity to please a man. But your post gave the impression that you generally speak on behalf of your boyfriend, which could denote a certain level of unhealthy control. And yes, betas need love too, but they shouldn’t be taken advantage of. But if your bf is content with that arrangement then I suppose it’s not for others to judge.

        8. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          I have a question for you, and btw I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing what type of guys are a good match for you.

          Trying to date a carbon copy of myself doesn’t really work in the long run.  Can get some mind blowing sex and excitement but pretty soon too much power struggle ensues. “Betas” need love too! An easy going guy is a good match for me.

          Does that mean the sex with the beta guys is not good? Does that become a problem for you in a long-term relationship? (And maybe it doesn’t. We just read a LOT of posts on this blog about alpha vs. beta female sexual preferences.)

        9. Gala

          @Emily:

          no the sex is actually very good. I wouldn’t be able to pull it off otherwise. When it comes to sex, there’s nothing beta about my guy! It’s just… i don’t know – good in a different way. I think back to the last “alpha” guy i dated and i think the sex with him was good but it was 70pc in my head. Like, my excitement about his alpha qualities made me long for him and make sex exciting even when he wasn’t necessarily performing that good mechanically or was not trying hard. Whereas with  my current guy it is 90pc his technique and effort and 10pc the arousal in my head. Does that make sense? But he is quite amazing and gifted in that department, and! he happily defers to me outside the bedroom so he’s golden. He’s the second best i ever had – and the first best is of the “that guy is in jail” variety 😀 and besides i was 25 so.. not a fair comparison.

        10. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          Whereas with  my current guy it is 90pc his technique and effort and 10pc the arousal in my head. Does that make sense? 

          I think most of it is mental, anyway. I don’t know if I’d classify the two guys I’ve had the best sex with as alpha or beta, but they initiated us getting together/the first encounter. That isn’t to say I didn’t ever initiate or take over, but they, initially, came after me. And it made all the difference. They knew what they wanted and went after it. I didn’t have to “nudge” anything forward by showing up places they were to “bump into them,” etc.

          He’s the second best i ever had – and the first best is of the “that guy is in jail” variety 😀 and besides i was 25 so.. not a fair comparison.

          HA! I know exactly what you mean!  🙂  I was reading an article the other day about how the “best sex” has an element of danger and urgency to it … like you know the situation with the guy could never be permanent.

        11. SSarah

          Gala, she probably is happy (the ex. used in Yag’s comment).  Because she did NOT marry down.  Yag, you’re getting into the post on here that was defining what was settling.  What was not enough?  The woman in your example married someone with a college degree (but a lot of people don’t use an undergraduate specifically), he was very accomplished at work, and could offer her great services as her partner.  In Evan’s marriage, she was marrying up.  Obviously, so obviously.  She got to not work ever again, have kids, take care of them, and all while being completely supported financially.

        12. Evan Marc Katz

          That’s a narrow view. I married up, too! My wife has a higher EQ, is nicer, more patient, warmer, more likeable, more organized, more selfless, and happier. If you think that money and status are “marrying up,” you are in good company; you’re just not correct that those things matter as much as these other qualities in building a happier marriage.

      2. 10.3.2
        Shaukat

        Not that I have anything to hide, but I cannot imagine a woman having the audacity to ask me for my credit score.  The guy you are dating must be a full-on beta.

        Lol. However, in fairness to Gala, I think there is some truth to her statement. Women in general, especially highly educated professional women, are probably less willing than men to “marry down,” whether you want to define “down” in terms of arousal, status, or wealth.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          I am not denying that some women will not marry down, but it is not a universal truth.  In the case of my doctor friend, her husband does much better than the average guy, but he does not come close to her earnings.   Like most couples, they have had their ups and downs, but I know few couples who share that much love.   Granted, they met before she was boarded, so she was not exactly killing it at that point.

    4. 10.4
      S.

      Wow, that ScaryMommy article.  I felt a bit similarly that Lori was advocating a scarcity mindset.  But I revised that.  She explained that she hadn’t to use the word ‘settle’ in the subtitle. That was an editorial choice out of her hands.   And I don’t think that what the author of the article did in her first marriage is what Lori advocates.  Some things you settle on and some things you don’t.  That’s what this podcast was really about.  If I compromise for a man who is not 6ft tall doesn’t make him ‘lesser’.  It just doesn’t to me.  If I settle for a man who treats me unkindly or doesn’t really love me, I’ve compromised on the wrong thing.

      Basically, I took the podcast as look at yourself and your flaws.  See yourself clearly.  Plan ahead.  That’s it.  And I don’t know if I judge a person who writes a relationship book by their own relationship history.  Katherine Woodward Thomas got divorced.  Doesn’t mean she didn’t ‘call in the one’ just that things change.  Evan was a single dating coach.  He supported marriage and he wasn’t married.  Did marriage legitimize his advice?  I don’t think so. The advice stands as it is.

      And there are people who’ve been married for decades who I like but that doesn’t mean they would have good advice for me.

      I took the opportunity from this podcast to take a good look at myself. I think that’s important.

      1. 10.4.1
        Alex

        @S

        I agree with you, I don’t think Lori would advocate what the ScaryMommy blogger did.

        But it’s so hard to square these things in my head. I don’t know I could ever marry someone I wasn’t crazy about. Though sometimes I think I would just to have someone at home at the end of the day. But how do you deal when there’s no apparent light at the end of the tunnel?

        I’m really struggling right now. I thought I learned all the tricks I needed to land a guy and now it appears to me that people find love based on sheer dumb luck. If you don’t get lucky, well, then you’re not lucky.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You make your own luck. You join Love U. You date online for a half hour a day. You screen men before meeting. You go on at least a date per week. You don’t go on second dates if he’s lacking attraction/fun/comfort. You don’t waste more than six weeks on a guy who is not your boyfriend. Do this and you’ll find him soon enough. Don’t do this and you will be single for a LOT longer.

        2. Alex

          Evan,

           

          how do you manage all the disappointments in the mean time? How do you psych yourself up for yet another mediocre date when you know that it will be another 10 or 15 years before you meet someone? Or maybe you never will?

        3. Buck25

          Alex,

          Who says  it will be another 10 or 15 years? That sounds like past disappointments talking. Don’t make that a self-fulfilling prophecy, where you go into every encounter expecting the worst, and anyone you meet picks up on the vibe. Just go in with the excitement of meeting someone new, be cautiously hopeful, try to relax, have a good time, and see how it feels. Follow Evan’s advice, put the best self you are out there;  the best recent pictures you have, and a profile essay that highlights what you can bring to a man’s life. Trust me, if you do that, instead of just a list of qualifiers for the man you want (we call that “the shopping list” and you need to keep that to the essentials; most of us “next” women who have a long list of “must have” demands), or a two to three line adjective fest that could have been written by virtually every woman on the site (we already know all of you are cute, funny, well-travelled, like long walks and romantic evenings, and are comfortable in jeans or a little black dress-now tell us something special about you we don’t know) and you’ll stand out from the crowd. If you’re not a good writer, Evan has a profile writing service that can help.

          Everybody struggles with online dating, except a few of the most beautiful people. Follow Evan’s advice, be patient, work all promising contacts, meet the ones you think just might work, and sooner or later, you’ll find someone. Don’t be afraid to email guys you like, if you fit their criteria. Not many women do that, and we are usually at least a little impressed that you were daring enough to try. Look Alex, if I can go out there as a 69 year old man, and find dates (and I do), so can you! Don’t try to find “the perfect guy”; just find one that seems to be most of what you want, and give him a chance. You just might find one who has a personality that comes off better in real life than online, and if he’s not every woman’s dream guy, he just might be yours; you never know. Like Evan says, if you’re just a little flexible, you should be able to find at least one guy a week worth a first date. Like Evan says, you make your own luck; you only lose, when you give up and quit. You keep your chin up, and your hopes up, young lady! You’ll be OK. Yes, really!

        4. S.

          don’t know I could ever marry someone I wasn’t crazy about.

          No one’s saying that you do.  Sometimes we have to really rethink what ‘crazy about’ means.   Sometimes there is just a quiet click of rightness that comes a lot later than passion. Doesn’t mean no passion, of course there should be passion.  But other compatibility points matter too.

          Evan’s a dating coach, he’ll give you dating advice. I’m just a woman.  A woman who has been slugging through just like you.  For several years.  I take breaks when I get discouraged.  Just not long ones.  I make my life fun sans man which I mentioned in this week’s podcast post. When dating I have as much fun as I can too.   You have to have fun with your life!  Dating isn’t all there is. You get focused on dating the same way you focus on a project at work, decorating your home, building more muscle mass,  tending your garden, or whatever it is that makes you happy. It’s in the midst of everything else you do. It can take years to get ahead at a job and it seems you’re getting nowhere. It can take years to get body you want or master a sport or skill you want to learn. Lotsa trial and error.

          I don’t call it dumb luck.  When I started my first garden I yielded vegetables!  I read, I went to the garden store, a friend helped.  It wasn’t luck.  But I did have to water that thing every day, sometimes twice a day if it was hot. No sleeping on a garden.  Despite all my work, I lost the tomatoes to blight. Some rodents would eat my carrots from the bottom! The peppers needed magnesium added to the soil.  I found that on Google when nothing was happening.  I didn’t give up.  I got a lot of vegetables in the end.

          Evan offers help.  But it’s also up to us to just keep doin’ it as Nike says. I never gave up on my first spinning class or lowering my blood pressure or finding a great home . . .

          You can do it!  Or we can rather. 🙂

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          Buck25 is right about men “nexting” women who have long lists of “must have” demands, and I, for one, am absolutely sick of encountering the jeans or little black dress thing.  Where do women get the idea that men need to be told this information?  Men are not stupid.  If a woman is an educated professional, then most men assume that she knows how to do the little black dress thing (although, a lot of women my age cannot squeeze into a little black dress, but that is an entirely different topic 🙂 ).  We also know very few people who do not prefer to be dressed down most of the time.  It is just profile fluff.  As Buck25 mentioned, tell a man something unique about you, so that you stand out from the rest of the rainbows, unicorns, platitudes, and long walks on the beach women.   For heaven’s sake, please do not mention anything about having a current passport or post a “tour of the world” set of photographs.   We refer to these profiles as “go fund me” women. A guy assumes that a woman is looking for someone to fund her trips whenever he encounters that language, and if he does not, he will at least assume that dating her will be an expensive proposition.

          A woman really only needs three photographs.  She needs a non-touched up headshot (way too many women are airbrushing/softening their headshots on dating sites, no, just no), a full body shot, and an “in context” shot that shows her doing something she likes to do that is part of normal every day life.  Never, and I repeat never post a photo of yourself with your girlfriends, or if you an older woman, never post a photo with your twenty-something daughter(s).  You want a guy to be focused on you.  I can assure that he will not be focused on you if you are not the most attractive woman in the shot.  I have lost track of the number of women I have told that they should not post group shots with their girlfriends.  They erroneously believe that a guy will think that they are social when posting these shots when, in reality, he is thinking who is her hot friend (or I would like to tap her hot twenty-something daughter in the mother/daughter photos)?

           

        6. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          They erroneously believe that a guy will think that they are social when posting these shots when, in reality, he is thinking who is her hot friend (or I would like to tap her hot twenty-something daughter in the mother/daughter photos)?

          Women are thinking the same thing if a man posts photos with him and one of his hotter friends. She’s probably trying convince him that a group date is necessary for the first meet up she so can ditch him and meet the friend.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          She’s probably trying convince him that a group date is necessary for the first meet up she so can ditch him and meet the friend.

          Lol!  The moral of the story is to never post group photos on a profile.

          Have you ever been out on a date with someone with whom you are on the fence and ran into one of their friends or acquaintances who catches your eye?  That has happened to me more times that I care to admit.  It kind of ruins the date.

        8. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Have you ever been out on a date with someone with whom you are on the fence and ran into one of their friends or acquaintances who catches your eye?  That has happened to me more times that I care to admit.  It kind of ruins the date.

          No, but I have been on dates in which I found the waiter at the restaurant or the bartender at the bar or the even the guy taking the movie tickets more appealing than my date.

           

        9. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          (although, a lot of women my age cannot squeeze into a little black dress, but that is an entirely different topic 🙂 )

          I’m getting awfully tired of reading this kinds of comments from you. You have written some really negative things about middle-aged women and their bodies, particularly those who’ve had children. You posted a link to your picture on this site several months ago, and not one woman wrote anything negative. I cannot imagine what you would have written if one of the female posters posted a pic of herself. It’s arrogant and clueless, as if you feel you’re Adonis coming down from Mount Olympus, which of course is not possible as he was known for his youth.

        10. Alex

          @Buck25 and S

          thank you for your encouragement and advice:)

          I have done Love U and E-Cyrano (both of which were great, btw). As a rusult, I don’t have a problem getting dates, they are simply with people that I am not interested in.

          For the last month or so, I’ve been thinking hard and I’ve resolved to go after men I actually like, instead of just go out with the men who find me. I think I have assumed that if they make an effort to take me out and show me attention, then they must have all the important qualities (such as follow-through, generosity, kindness etc.) for a relationship. The truth is, a man perusing you isn’t necessarily a good measure of his character or his sincerity about the relationship. And it definitely doesn’t mean you’ll be attracted to him.

          I think I’ve taken some of these messages too far. I need to actually go find a guy, not just pick fromthe ones who have picked me. Anyway, I really appreciate your responses.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I’m getting awfully tired of reading this kinds of comments from you. You have written some really negative things about middle-aged women and their bodies, particularly those who’ve had children.

          It is one thing for a woman to have a difference of opinion about her body with men if she is actively doing something about it, and an entirely different thing is she is doing nothing about it.  There are some women my age who have had children who look great because they engage in rigorous exercise on a regular basis, and then there are women who complain about men looking for Barbie who have not engaged in exercise more rigorous than walking to their cars in years.

          The point was that the little black dress thing is overused, especially by women who have no place attempting to squeeze into a little black dress.  From what I have experienced, women are quick to mention that another woman should not wear a two-piece bathing suit or a top that exposes her midriff.  Men should have the right to say the same things.  God knows that women are not shy when it comes to commenting about men being bald, short, or having a paunch.  Just because we are older does not excuse us from doing the best with the hand we were dealt.  Tracy Reifkind is an example of a older woman and mother who finally had enough of making excuses and did something about it.  A lot of women state that they want an athletically-built man in their profiles, but they do not live the same lifestyle.  I do not see many fit women lining up to date out of shape men.  That is what I refer to as an impedance mismatch.

    5. 10.5
      James

      Hmm… when most women discuss this issue they refer to either up or down but rarely if ever mention equal.

  10. 11
    amy

    Is this lady married? She sounds bitter.

  11. 12
    Nissa

    I find Lori hard to listen to, she seems to be in masculine/thinker energy instead of feminine/ heart energy. For example, her voice seemed to have a hard edge to it instead of being soft. I also found it interesting that at the 26:08 mark, when Evan was talking about feelings, she ignored what he said and went into her thoughts about how feelings can be wrong because it’s just the familiarity of dysfunction.

    Where I would agree with her is at the 30:05 mark, where she talks about choosing a partner based on character, instead of on more superficial qualities. I liked her questions about “what am I giving and what am I getting?”.

  12. 13
    Malori

    This book was amazing! I read it twice, and it really helped me get out of my own way. I started online dating shortly after I read it with the advice I learned, and 6 weeks later I met my future husband. He is a wonderful man, and I am crazy about him. I’m not sure if I would have given us a shot before learning about my own pitfalls from her book. Her story is spot on for women my age. We need to give men a chance – it’s not settling. It’s being open to the dating process – which is a lot less hot than having an instant connection with some guy we meet at a bar. I’m so glad I “settled.” My husband is an amazing partner, treats me like an absolute queen, and I’m so glad he doesn’t hold me up to some crazy standard and was willing to “settle” for me.

  13. 14
    Lilly

    I loved the book too, I’ve always picked not only very alpha type men but unavailable ones at that. After reading Marry Him (in conjunction with other books) I realised that subconsciously my list was very flawed. I started reading because I had met a really nice man, almost 7 foot tall, very athletic, amazing body, caring, called when he said he would, professionally successful and financially stable – oh and he was extremely well traveled and passionate about it and loves his family – and he’s generous! Perfect and with all the qualities on most women’s list. I didn’t feel ‘it’ though. The amazing can’t sleep at night, wait anxiously for the call, fight and make up passion I had with my exes. I was going to breakup with him and came across this book.

    Like Lori I realised how flawed my picker was, it wasn’t passion I sought, it was anxiety and rejection (FOO issues obviously but won’t go into it here!). This book along with Evans honest discussions on his marriage made me realise I just needed to get over myself.

    And i did, my guy is an available alpha (I need to state this here before any red pill beta comments come up) and we’re really happy. It’s the best and most stable relationship I’ve had and I came so close to throwing it away. Not by settling but by doing what Lori and Evan suggested and by focusing on what’s important.

    On on the podcast I did find the discussion on Evans wife uncomfortable, when Evans told the tale it clearly came from a place of love and wonder that he nearly let such a remarkable person go. It’s also been very clear that it was about his emotional issues and had nothing to do with how attractive or intelligent his wife was more that he was chasing a fantasy. But for one woman to describe another the way Lori did in the book came across as cruel and shallow, I remember thinking at the time that I hoped his wife never read it. Sadly Lori still sounded judgemental and dismissive of Evans wife in the podcast.

    I cant remember in the book in Lori was recounting her own or someone else’s tale when she discussed seating next to the perfect man at a dinner and meeting his bland, unattractive partner and actually asking the host what does he see in her. It’s still focusing on the shallow, unimportant traits that make up a person, or indeed a relationship work.

    Evan, I hope you bring your wife some flowers or something tonight, it sounds like she’s dealt with loris commemts gracefully but they must still sting.

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      My wife was over it instantly. She’s effortlessly secure and knows, full well, that there’s no point in being jealous or resentful when she’s happily married. That’s why she’s my wife.

      1. 14.1.1
        Malori

        I remember reading that part of the book (about Evan’s wife), and understanding exactly what Lori meant. Maybe that makes me the shallow one too, but most women at low points will look at the married women they know and wonder what makes them so special or deserving of love. It’s not intended to take away from Evan’s amazing wife. It’s just the irrational feelings that creep in when we’re focused on the wrong things.

        1. Christine

          I think it’s natural to initially judge people by “shallow” characteristics when we don’t have much information about them yet, since those are easier to see at first glance.  It’s not like you can look deep into someone’s soul at a first meeting.  I could see where Lori was coming from.

          Believe it or not, I actually wasn’t offended when some acquaintances of mine wondered what I saw in my husband, when they first met him.  Since he’s a quieter personality, I can see why he doesn’t instantly dazzle people.  Yet not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars I have him.

          In fact, if anyone looks at me and wonders “what does he see in her”, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be offended.  I know I’m not a “life of the party” type either.  What makes us great partners for each other won’t be readily apparent from small talk.

          Come to think of it, since we’re both introverts, it’s a miracle we ever got our dates off the ground at all, when we were both initially nervous talking to each other (but thankfully we gave each other allowances for not being instantly dazzling).  The “life of the party” and great partner aren’t always the same person.

           

      2. 14.1.2
        LW

        I think also straight women judge other straight women more harshly, because there is no natural attraction there. A straight man or a lesbian woman will see women differently, because they experience romantic/sexual attraction.

  14. 15
    LW

    I think this advice makes sense for women for whom having children is essential, though for women who don’t want children (like me), settling down quickly may not feel so urgent. Also, for those who are truly 100% happy and content being single, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be super motivated to settle because they have more to lose in dating and marriage. I think it’s rare to find people who are actually 100% content being single, but they do exist.

    However, even for those who don’t want kids, one argument for settling earlier rather than later is the fact that the older you get, the less emotionally available and securely attached people are left in the dating pool. Unfortunately, people with avoidant attachment styles get recycled back into the dating pool, because they are the least likely to commit, most likely to remain single and most likely to have trouble maintaining a healthy relationship.

    Another issue I wonder about is how gender and sexual orientation factors into this. As a bisexual woman who prefers dating women, I feel that I am less likely to be perceived as “losing value” due to ageing – but if I were dating men, I suspect it would be harder to find people my age who are interested in dating me. It seems like a lot of older men keep going for younger women and judge women quite harshly based on appearances.

    1. 15.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @LW

      I suspect it would be harder to find people my age who are interested in dating me. It seems like a lot of older men keep going for younger women and judge women quite harshly based on appearances.

      It is women, not men who judge the opposite sex more harshly with respect to appearance.  The OKCupid research publication pretty much laid this argument to rest.  Women found 80% of the men to be of less than average attractiveness whereas men only found 20% of the women to be of less than average attractiveness.

      With respect to the men chasing younger women argument, men have always dated women their junior.  That trend starts in high school and is initiated by women, not men.  It is women who desire to change horses and date same age and younger men mid-life.  While I constantly hear women lament about men chasing much younger women (greater than ten years), I do not see it.  Older men may lust after much younger women, but they are not getting them unless they are wealthy because younger women do not target older men for low-hanging fruit sex like younger men routinely do with older women.  From what I have seen, older women who are in shape and look good for their age have no problem finding men their own age and younger who are interested in more than a one-night stand.  The older who women experience difficulty when seeking men their age tend to fall into the unattractive category of being overweight with bad skin.  No amount of financial success can overcome that one-two punch unless it is used on a personal trainer, dietician, and cosmetic surgery.  Unless they are extremely wealthy, older men who look bad for their age also experience difficulty finding dates.

      All one needs to do is read dating site-related posts to this blog to see that dating is definitely a world of haves and have nots with respect to male success on dating sites.  Fortunately, I do not have a problem finding dates on dating sites, but that is because I won the genetic lottery that allows me to be tall enough, smart enough, educated enough, successful enough, attractive enough, and the other of “enoughs” a man needs to possess to be successful on a dating site.  Online dating is a pressure cooker for men and women.

    2. 15.2
      Emily, the original

      LW,

      As a bisexual woman who prefers dating women, I feel that I am less likely to be perceived as “losing value” due to ageing – but if I were dating men, I suspect it would be harder to find people my age who are interested in dating me.

      Do you think women commit to each other more quickly or more easily? I mean, do you think women who date women have the same issues waiting for their partner to get off the “I like you, but I want to take it slow” b.s. than those who date men?

      1. 15.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Emily, the original

        If a woman rocks a man’s world, he will commit quickly because he does not want to risk losing her.  The stall tactic is used to keep women in whom men are not that interested in the hook for steady sex and emotional support.  There is an easy way to test this theory.  All a woman needs to do is follow Evan’s advice of making a man commit before sex.  I bet that that act weeds out all, but a very small proper subset of a woman’s dates.

        1. Emily, the original

           YAG,

            The stall tactic is used to keep women in whom men are not that interested in the hook for steady sex and emotional support. 

          Nah, it’s a classic avoidant’s tactic, used with everyone he or she dates.

          As LW pointed out: the older you get, the less emotionally available and securely attached people are left in the dating pool. Unfortunately, people with avoidant attachment styles get recycled back into the dating pool, because they are the least likely to commit, most likely to remain single and most likely to have trouble maintaining a healthy relationship.

        2. Yet Anothe Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Sure, some of the behavior can be attributed to avoidants in the dating pool. Those people have never been married or have never made it to the 10-year mark in a marriage.  However, at my age, there are lot of people in the dating pool who were attached for 20+ years who act this way.  It comes down to if a guy is really into you, he will commit because the alternative is to lose you, that is, unless you allow him string you along for steady sex and emotional support until he finds the woman that he really wants. If a guy walks after you give him an ultimatum, then he was using you.   An avoidant guy will usually do the push-pull thing when confronted with an ultimatum.

        3. Emily, the original

          As I wrote, I was talking about an avoidant man who had never made it to the yearlong mark with anyone. Every experience is NOT like yours.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Well, I am one of those people who believes that anyone who makes it past age 40 without marrying while continuing to seek a partner has one or more unresolved issues that prevent him/her from committing long term.  We can argue that he/she just did find the right person; however, in that case, it is usually more of a case that his/her standards were too high given what he/she had to offer another person.  Most people settle in some way when marrying.  What they receive in return outweighs what they give up.  That does not mean that a woman has to settle for an abusive man, but it does mean that the list of “must haves” needs to be pared down.  It also means that a man’s quest for physical beauty has to be brought into alignment with reality.  The woman that most men marry is usually not the hottest woman they dated.

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Well, I am one of those people who believes that anyone who makes it past age 40 without marrying while continuing to seek a partner has one or more unresolved issues that prevent him/her from committing long term.  We can argue that he/she just did find the right person; however, in that case, it is usually more of a case that his/her standards were too high given what he/she had to offer another person.

          I’m over 40 and have never been married, but I fully acknowledge that the reasons lie with me. I think I’ve looked for the wrong things, never been that interested in being married, moved around too much to try to get some kind of career started and always had more fun with my female friends. 

           

  15. 16
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy,

    Would you ever date a woman who thought you were perfect? Or as a commenter on here said a few years ago, ” a person who though it was you that hung the moon.”

     

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