Freezing Your Eggs Doesn’t Always Work Out

Every so often, I receive an application from a woman who wants private coaching who is torn: invest into finding lasting love or freeze her eggs to potentially have children. If she has a finite amount of money, as most of us do, it’s often an either/or.

I’m aware of the potential conflict of interest in giving advice in this situation, but my opinion has never wavered: the best thing you can do – and the surest ticket to long-term happiness is to become happily married and then figure out how to start a family together – IVF, adoption, surrogacy, etc. And yet, for many women who long to have their own biological children and see their window closing, they opt to freeze their eggs first and try to find a guy later.

The best thing you can do – and the surest ticket to long-term happiness is to become happily married and then figure out how to start a family together – IVF, adoption, surrogacy, etc.

Perhaps this article will give them pause.

It’s the story of Brigette Adams, who spent $19,000 to freeze 11 eggs in her late 30’s, only to discover, at age 45, that her insurance policy wasn’t as airtight as she thought.

“Two eggs failed to survive the thawing process. Three more failed to fertilize. That left six embryos, of which five appeared to be abnormal. The last one was implanted in her uterus. On the morning of March 7, she got the devastating news that it, too, had failed.”

This is not an uncommon story.

“James A. Grifo, a fertility specialist at NYU Langone Health who is one of the pioneers of the procedure, calls the whole notion of being able to “control” your fertility — perpetuated by the media and embraced by feminists — destructive.

“It’s total fiction. It’s incorrect,” Grifo said. “Your whole life it’s beaten into your head that you’re in control and if you can’t have a baby, you blame yourself. There has to be more dialogue about what women can be responsible for and what they are not responsible for.”

To be clear, it’s not that egg freezing is a bad option. If you freeze your eggs when you’re under 35, you have a very high likelihood of fertilizing them. Those numbers drop steadily through age 45, when harvesting 6 eggs only offer a 5% chance at a live birth. For a fortysomething woman counting on egg-freezing to save the day, that can be a rude awakening.

“Individual clinics are often reluctant to share their own information, she said, and many don’t refer patients to academic studies that attempt to quantify the probability of success. Only a few such studies exist: A 2016 Fertility and Sterility study of 137 women who tried to use their frozen eggs found that women who froze 10 eggs at the age of 36 faced a 30 percent likelihood of achieving a live birth. Last year, researchers writing in Human Reproduction calculated that the same women should have a 60 percent success rate based on their mathematical model.”

A 100% drop between the mathematical model and reality; that’s a pretty big difference between what doctors hope will happen and what actually happens.

The decision to conceive a child without a father is an intensely personal one, and the only person who has the right to make that decision is the woman involved. Still, I think it’s essential that women start with a full set of facts.

The fact is that egg freezing has a highly variable success rate, dependent upon the age of the woman and the availability of viable eggs.

The fact is that telling a guy you’ve frozen your eggs is NOT a huge selling point. I’ve seen women put this in their profiles as if it would attract a 40-year-old man who wants to be a father. It’s not. He’s still going to reach out to women 25-35 if he wants time to fall in love and get married without the iffy nature of egg freezing determining his future.

The fact is that telling a guy you’ve frozen your eggs is NOT a huge selling point. I’ve seen women put this in their profiles as if it would attract a 40-year-old man who wants to be a father. It’s not.

The fact is that even if you have a child, dating as a single mom to an infant or toddler is extremely challenging, and most men will tend to avoid the situation, if possible.

Once again, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t freeze your eggs. If anything, you should just realize the limitations of egg freezing while weighing your options.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Gala

    There’s a lot of incorrect information, half-truths and simply outdated data out there when it comes to egg freezing and fertility issues. Every woman should do her own serious research and not rely on any one source, especially on opinions of non-professionals.. with that said, as someone who’s recently gone through the process I would like to share some nuggets and thoughts.

    1. The price quoted above must be from 5-10 years ago. It has come down a lot, and most good insurance plans will cover a good chunk of it (they will not cover the actual freezing, but will cover all diagnostic tests, hormones, monitoring and retrieval and this is well over 80% of the cost). My cycle cost me less than $1800 all in out of pocket, and charging it to the FHA account made it even cheaper. To bring the costs down, avoid large hospitals that have huge overhead and use specialized and/or small clinics.

    2. Yes, egg freezing is not a guarantee of having a child nor does it increase one’s chances of having a baby. Anybody who claims that is either ignorant or purposefully misleading. However, freezing one’s eggs does ensure that your chances of having a baby later in life stop decreasing from this point onward. May be your eggs are already “no good” – but then you can bet they will be even less good 2,3,5 years from now. So, yes, you will “stop the clock”, but you don’t know whether the train had already left the station until you actually try to use them. Don’t bask in the false sense of security. Which brings me to my point #3:

    3. Fertilize ’em (or at least some of them) now. The only way to really know how many of your eggs will result into embryos is to make the embryos. The chances of getting to a baby from an good quality PCG tested embryo are very, very high. While everybody is different, and nothing is guaranteed, having 10 embryos will make your chances of having your own biological children as high as they possibly can be. Personally, I have gone half and half on this – but i had a lot of eggs and they were all high quality so i got 15 eggs and 12 embryos out of 2 cycles.

    But what about (the lack of) father? This is where every woman needs to be  able to face the ugly truth. After a certain age, the chances of you meeting Mr. Right and having your white picketed fence dream life with him are declining even steeper than that fertility curve your doctor showed you. If this hasn’t happened for you by the time you’re pushing 40, that ship has sailed. Has sailed. The time to move out to the suburbs with your new husband to unwrap your wedding gifts and have your first kid was at 32. May be at 33. May be at 35. At 38-40? Wake up ladies. I am not saying you can’t meet a man. I am saying that men you’re gonna meet have likely already done all of the above (with another woman) and you are looking at either a blended family, a set of step-kids, or a guy who is in the “don’t want kids but ok if my partner has one” box on match. Very few guys in their 40ies are dying to repeat the experience of sleepless nights and change diapers again. Sure, that does happen (and if you capture that unicorn hold on to him please so we can clone them), but then again a lot of things “happen”. Some women get pregnant naturally at 45. Some people won half a billion dollars in lotto. If you’re contemplating freezing your eggs, you’re not the kind of person who relies on things “just happening”.

    So, it is my belief, that if you’re a single woman around the age of say 38, who wants her own biological children, your best course of action is to divorce the idea of having children from having a relationship with a man, and simply move forward on your own (or not – and nix the idea of procreation altogether which is a perfectly valid choice in our overpopulated world). And for that, ladies, you gonna need embryos, not eggs. Therefore, any 34-35 yo contemplating egg freezing now, should really think 2 steps forward about how she’s gonna use them, and if she does, she will realize she needs DS embryos, not eggs. Because if she partners up in 1-2 years she will still use her “fresh” eggs, anything beyond that age – and she’s looking at single motherhood or being child-free.

    That is the realization I came to some time ago. I have a serious boyfriend. I also have a whole bunch of “babies on ice”. If this relationship doesn’t pan out within a year, I will start having kids on my own. I will probably take a break from dating for 2-3-4 years while my baby is little. When I return to the dating world in my early 40-ies, I am sure there will be plenty of divorced guys with partial custody who will appreciate my company as much as I will theirs, without the pressure of having to get married or having children together. Heck, I haven’t dated anyone who wasn’t divorced with kids since I turned 33. It’s just gonna be more of the same…

     

    1. 1.1
      Heather K

      Love this take – and you write so well and so logically!  I am not in the situation you describe (I have a child and am married to someone who has a child), but from observing the world, I think you are spot on.

    2. 1.2
      Mrs Happy

      Dear Gala,

      this post is gold.  Wisdom throughout.  Good luck.

      BTW my healthy boisterous smiling now 5 year old was conceived via IVF – I picked him as the biggest one out of a group of my fresh embryos in a petri dish, 5 days old, and his cell divisions straining the cell walls, before they implanted him almost 6 y ago – and I could not agree with you more about kids, the reality of IVF, and the reality of life and relationships in general, as you have posted above.  Adult partners do come and go.  I have not regretted doing IVF for a single millisecond and would do it all again and again and again if necessary.

      1. 1.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        There is virtually NO parent who regrets a SUCCESSFUL experience with IVF/egg freezing because virtually NO parent would trade in their kid for anything.

        This post is to warn about the OTHER side of the story – the one where you don’t get the desired result, and don’t necessarily calculate the tradeoffs on the way.

        Of course Gala is going to double down on the way she’s doing things. Shit, people are still doubling down on Donald Trump. Meaning: people will do anything to justify their feelings and choices. It’s too hard to admit one’s own mistakes. That was the revelation of Lori Gottlieb’s “Marry Him.” She, too, had a sperm donor in her late 30’s, and three years later was looking around the park at all the families with fathers and feeling the pain of knowing THAT was her real dream. Lori’s in her early 50’s now, her son is now 13, and I promise you, she wouldn’t trade him in for anything in the world. But would she like to have found a partner first to build a family? You bet she would. There’s no point in playing Sliding Doors with the past, but if we’re going to have a conversation, it has to come from a place of honesty, not defensiveness. I don’t know of a single woman who would prefer to be a working single mother than to be part of a happy marriage where there is love, support and money coming in from another partner.

        1. Gala

          Evan, it is called a “Plan B” for a reason. B being the operative word (letter?) 🙂

          Would I rather be a part of a full family and give my kids a real in the flesh dad? You bet! But if that fails, would i rather have my kids or not have my kids? I would rather have my kids. Think about it as a decision tree rather than a linear progression. The only question really is when to pull the plug. At some point it is no longer about the reproductive biology as much as common sense. Conceiving is one thing, raising them is another. Working back from 55 when i want my kids to be on the way out of HS, gets me to 38 yo “scary age”. I mean we don’t live forever.

          And, of course, the act of freezing eggs/embryos at the age of 34-36 doesn’t preclude one from continuing to date in pursuit of the Plan A. This is not an either or proposition.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re right. But having a baby by yourself at age 40 pretty much DOES preclude one dating for at least five years since babies/toddlers require so much time and attention. Which is why you’re largely making an either/or choice: date smartly from 35-40 and find a husband or become a single mom and give up on men for a good, long while. I advocate the former; I respect your right to disagree and make whatever choices work for you. I just don’t think many women understand how difficult it is to raise a child – much less raise one all by yourself.

      2. 1.2.2
        Gala

        Evan:

        Yes having a small kid at 40 precludes you from dating for 3-5 years. On the other hand, NOT having a kid at 40 precludes you from having your own biological children. Every woman will decide what’s more important. To me the answer is, how is this even a question?

        And, of course, freezing eggs/blasts at 34 does not prevent one from pursuing the plan A, like i said. I have done that. I may still get my plan A executed… we shall see. But what’s the upside to not freezing eggs? I don’t even see the argument against it at all, especially considering how much the costs have come down and the availability of easy financing.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I was framing it in terms of either or. If you have a finite amount of money to invest in your long-term happiness and are choosing between freezing eggs as an insurance policy and learning to make healthier relationship choices with men that result in marriage, my belief (and bias) is that love is a better investment.

        2. Gala

          Ok, i can see how in some limited cases the “either or” can apply. I just thought it was important for women to know that affordable options are available these days. And surely a woman who can dole out thousands for either an elective medical procedure or lifestyle coaching has other items she can sacrifice – bags, vacations, 401k contributions for a year, etc. If not, she’s probably not even in a position to have a child financially so yes she should focus on landing a husband.

  2. 2
    Yet Another Guy

    @Evan

    This blog post is on the money, especially this part:

    The fact is that even if you have a child, dating as a single mom to an infant or toddler is extremely challenging, and most men will tend to avoid the situation, if possible.

    I have encountered a large of number of mid-forty-something to early fifty-something women on dating sites with young children who have never been married or who appear to have done the quick-and-dirty courtship to marriage to childbirth to dissolution of the marriage thing.  I truly feel sorry for these women because online dating in this age range is difficult enough without throwing a child who will not be eighteen until one is sixty-plus into the mix.  A woman who makes it to her late thirties to mid-forties childless should be more focused on finding a partner who will go the distance than having a child because being single in this age range with a small child is a relationship death sentence.  Most single guys in their forties have been married and have teenage or older children. Guys in their early to mid-fifties tend to have children that are in college or are fully launched.  In both cases, these men are looking forward to not having to care for young children.  Very few guys who make into these two age ranges without having children are looking to help raise small children, especially when they are not their own biological children.

    1. 2.1
      Gala

      A woman who makes it to her late thirties to mid-forties childless should be more focused on finding a partner who will go the distance than having a child because being single in this age range with a small child is a relationship death sentence

      Eh, you are basing this on the assumption that having a relationship with some guy is more important than having children. As a “woman who made it to her [not yet that late] 30-ies childless”, I can tell you that is exactly the opposite for someone in my position. I have dated up and down, i have been married, i had 3 great “can’t live without each other” loves in my life (one died on me and 2 didn’t feel quite the same way, as it turned out…) and at this point I wouldn’t want to be in an “all in” relationship unless kids are involved. Some company is nice. Some sex is nice. But living together and the whole shebang? Nah. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.. The idea of sacrificing having my own kids for a chance to shack up, childless, with some divorced dude at 42 seems absolutely bat shit crazy to me. I will take my kids and if a guy shows up – great, if not, I’ll still have my kids.

      1. 2.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Gala

        I will take my kids and if a guy shows up – great, if not, I’ll still have my kids.

        As long as you go into the commitment accepting that reality, I see no problem with your decision.  However, a lot of women have children at this age thinking that they can find a guy later.  There is higher probability of ice cubes forming in Hell than a woman who elected to have a child on her own in her forties finding a man in his forties or even early fifties who wants to marry her.  Have a child first, get married later only works for hot, young women, and even then, it usually does not work well.

        They reality is that women who want to have children within the context of a stable marriage should start to seek a marriage producing relationship by their late twenties at the latest.  Every year a woman puts off marrying past age twenty-nine increases the difficulty of finding a quality man who will want to marry her, which often means settling for a less than optimal choice.  There is a reason why age thirty is referred to as the “Wall” in the manosphere.  Men in their thirties or forties who want to have their own children will usually seek a woman in her twenties.  I met my ex shortly after I turned thirty-six.  She was twenty-eight at the time.

        1. Emily, the original

          YAG, 

          However, a lot of women have children at this age thinking that they can find a guy later.  There is higher probability of ice cubes forming in Hell than a woman who elected to have a child on her own in her forties finding a man in his forties or even early fifties who wants to marry her.  Have a child first, get married later only works for hot, young women, and even then, it usually does not work well.

          You are the Guardian of Doom. Why are you so negative?

        2. Gala

          There is higher probability of ice cubes forming in Hell than a woman who elected to have a child on her own in her forties finding a man in his forties or even early fifties who wants to marry her.

          This is patently not true. Divorced people remarry all the time, mixed families are commonplace… I mean a 40-something divorced guy with his own 2 kids may WANT to go for a 28 yo, but that would be a very specific arrangement that would require a lot of $$ from him. Most normal seek their own level.. But again, even if that doesn’t happen, I would rather be taking care of my own 2 kids than a 40-something guy 🙂

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          I think you also underestimate the number of men in their 40s and even 50s who have young or school aged children.  It’s not just women who are becoming parents at later ages.  Men are too.

          From personal experience, I can tell you that it is a much harder dating game for a single mom in her 20s than one in her late 30s or 40s.  When you are a young single mom, you are an exception to the rule–most single women in their 20s don’t have kids.  But when you are an older single mom, you are in the rule group–the majority of single women are moms. And the majority of their dating peers are dads.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          Please see Evan’s very popular post about the man in his 40s who doesn’t understand why he is having a hard time getting with a woman in her 30s.  The gist of it is that what men want (a younger woman) doesn’t always align with what this women want, a same aged peer.

          And really, cut the crap with the manosphere “wall” talk.  These are the same guys whose misogynistic psychobabble inspired Elliot Rodger and the Toronto van killer.

        5. shaukat

          And really, cut the crap with the manosphere “wall” talk.  These are the same guys whose misogynistic psychobabble inspired Elliot Rodger and the Toronto van killer.  No, they were inspired by a group of pathetic, entitled incels who populate forums like reditt and 4chan. If those guys had actually listened to productive voices from parts of the ‘manosphere’ who tell degenerates like those two to actually pick up a weight, work on their social skills, and become more attractive, then maybe they would have gone down a different path. I’m abstracting from their obvious mental illness issues of course. 

        6. Jeremy

          @Shaukat, agreed.  As much as I have general distaste for the manosphere, the 2 killers GWTF mentioned were not inspired by it.  They were pathetic, lonely, and horny as hell.  They received an incorrect story about women and the world from society, not from the manosphere, and when they found that story to be false, they lost it because they saw no hope for themselves (and they were also crazy).

           

          Having said that, I’d also encourage people to cut the crap about talking about “the wall” and other such things, both because they are offensive and largely untrue.

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat,

          “If those guys had actually listened to productive voices from parts of the ‘manosphere’ who tell degenerates like those two to actually pick up a weight, work on their social skills, and become more attractive, then maybe they would have gone down a different path”

          Totally agree.  Men on the internet can proselytize about self-improvement, finding a noble purpose in life, and having self-confidence and the world will be a much better place.

          OTOH promoting a theory about how women lose all value on their 30th birthday and become deceptive, manipulative shrews, as a way for a man to feel valuable in comparison, dehumanizes women.  The first step in the online radicalization of a murderous incel like Rodgers and Minassian is dehumanizing and othering women into a perceived enemy.

          No, not all men who buy into entry level red-pill concepts like hitting the wall, hypergamy, and the “cock” carousel will engage in the mass murder of women.  But the Miniassian’s of this world all started down their dark path that way.  It’s an entry level drug that can poison a mind.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          You are the Guardian of Doom. Why are you so negative?

          I am the voice of reality.  I am a guy.  Almost all of my friends are guys.  None of my single friends are getting involved with women who have young children. They have already been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it.  These are men ranging in age from early forties to my age and older.  If they get involved with a woman with children, her children are usually at least 15 years old.  Very few men in their forties or early fifties want to get involved with a woman whose children require a sitter.  That is reality.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @GWtF

          I think you also underestimate the number of men in their 40s and even 50s who have young or school aged children.  It’s not just women who are becoming parents at later ages.  Men are too.

          I am acutely aware the there are men who become parents later in life. I was thirty-nine when my twins were born.  However, I was also one of the oldest, if not the oldest father in my daughters’ group of friends through elementary, middle, and high school, often by ten years.  The reality is that men without children are not lining up to raise another man’s children. I have two childhood friends who elected to remain single until they were old enough that most women had grown children rather than become a step.  The fact remains that most men who remain single until their forties do so by choice.  If they get married, they are not looking to raise children, especially another man’s children.  That is not natural for a man.

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          I mean a 40-something divorced guy with his own 2 kids may WANT to go for a 28 yo, but that would be a very specific arrangement that would require a lot of $$ from him.

          It is much more common place than you would ever imagine.  All one needs to do is live in an area with estate properties and golf course communities. It was very common place where I used to live. Of the men who only had one family among my daughters’ schoolmates, I was usually a decade their senior.  There were men my age who had children older than my daughters and a second family by a much younger woman.  There were men my senior who were on their third or fourth family with wives who were easily young enough to be their daughters.

          The reality is that men prefer a woman of normal childbearing age (<35) if they are marrying to have children later in life. A late thirty to forty-something woman may want to marry a peer-age man, but that is not what men who have waited this long to marry desire.  A man who has waited until his early forties to marry can easily find a childless late twenty-something or early thirty-something woman who will marry him. The reality is that men have absolutely no problem marrying down for looks and youth. Women are hypergamous by nature.

          By the way, has anyone bothered to look at the preferred age ranges for thirty-something, forty-something and fifty-something men on Match, especially the desirable 20%?

        11. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re 100% right on this. I don’t even see a counterargument.

        12. Emily, the original

          YAG,
          “I am the voice of reality. I am a guy.”
          Did you ever see the 1990 movie “Reversal of Fortune”? It’s about Claus van Bulow, a very wealthy man accused of trying to murder his wife. Bulow goes to famed attorney Alan Dershowitz and asks him to represent his appeal. After spending time with Bulow, Dershowitz says, “I’ve seen what the rich have, and you can have it.” So now I’ve read the voice of reason, and you can keep your dark attitude.

        13. Gala

          YAG:

          It is much more common place than you would ever imagine

          You are saying it like you think I have been living under the rock? I have been a 28 yo woman not so long ago. I have dated those men. I have dated all sorts of men. For a guy with that amount of baggage, to land a much younger, childless woman, he better produce a huge house on a golf course and the whole thing. But i have never been a gold digger and never had any interest in being a kept woman, so naturally i found little else appealing in this type of guy when I was 28. At that point i was married to my peer… Most normal men will pair up with their equals. My former boss married a divorcee with 3 kids (while he himself had 2, full custody) all under the age of 10. Imagine that. And he was (and is) a very wealthy man buy even New York standards…

          My point is, that for a woman to hope to relieve the life reserved for 30-somethings in her 40-ies is delusional.. You have to come to terms with the reality, that you’re fishing in the pool of divorced men with kids, and it is perfectly normal to be a single parent at that age, but the plan A had ot be executed 10 years ago for it to work. Holding on to it is holding on to a fantasy.

        14. Chris

          Most middle aged men don’t have what it takes to appeal to much younger women. But the “top 20%”, the attractive, self-confident, financially secure professionals that most ladies here seem to aspire to, can attract younger women if they so wish. Many of them will do so. I see many lamentations from professional women that the men they consider their peers are chasing younger women.

          The basis for this is gender differences. Men can potentially compensate for age by increasing their wealth and status in a way that women can’t (although most men won’t be able to). Men are also fertile much longer (male fertility does decline with age, but at a much slower rate than with women).

          Of course there are plenty of delusional men who think they can wait until 50, marry a much younger women and start a family. Most won’t be able to.

        15. Emily, the original

          Chris,

          Most middle aged men don’t have what it takes to appeal to much younger women. But the “top 20%”, the attractive, self-confident, financially secure professionals that most ladies here seem to aspire to, can attract younger women if they so wish. 

          Yes it’s possible, although it’s the exception. Everyone thinks he is the exception, but that’s not possible. Why would a 28-year-old woman, in her prime, not date a man in his prime? And something that has been written over and over again on this site — women, no matter what their age, as a general rule, want to date men who are their age, give or take make maybe 5 or so years. Most marriages, even second marriages, occur between people who are similar in age.

        16. Tron Swanson

          This is strictly anecdata, but I thought I’d share my own observations in this area.

          In my region–and, I suppose, my class–it’s very common to see divorced men with younger women. These women may have a starter marriage under their belt, but they almost never have kids. The age difference is usually between five and ten years. These men aren’t elite by any stretch of the imagination; they’re simply moderately successful. Half of these younger women are marriage/baby-centric, and and the other half are focusing on their careers, at least for now. As an example, my first girlfriend left me for an older divorced guy, and she’s been with him ever since. He had a kid that he never saw; she didn’t have kids.

          Alternately, I know some less-successful guys who have a lot of kids (and have equal or even full custody of them), and they’re more willing to marry women with kids. My most recent FWB, a single mom, just married a guy with some ridiculous number of kids, and they’re combining families. He’s a good deal older than her.

          I’m not seeing this “people seek out other people like them” stuff. For as long as I can remember, the women in my circles have sought out older, more established men. When I was in junior high, they dated high schoolers; when I was in high school, they dated college guys; as adults, they dated married or divorced men who were already successful and “mature.”

          All that said, it’s patently obvious that the “cat lady” fearmongering is an attempt to control women’s behavior, in terms of getting them to behave more traditionally. “Oh no, you’d better get married and have kids early, or you’re doomed, doomed!” Both genders have to make hard decisions that involve tradeoffs, so there’s no point in singling them out in this area. This is the part of the manosphere that’s never made sense to me; a lot of traditionally-minded guys end up there, so that sort of crap infects it. Look, I personally believe that women have it easier than men. I think that women are playing with fire, and that, sooner or later, it won’t be so easy for them to take advantage of men. But how can someone say “When women turn thirty, they’re doomed” and simultaneously believe “Women have it easier”? Why complain about modern women being (insert slur for “sexual” here) when you want sex and are complaining about how hard it is to get it? We shouldn’t be trying to scare women into being more traditional–marriage is the problem, at least in my opinion–we should be encouraging them to be hedonistic.

          The Wall is real for both genders. The “30” stuff should be viewed as shorthand, though. I’ve seen 20-year-old women and thought “ugh” and I’ve seen 40-year-old women and thought “wow”. The thing is, by putting so much emphasis on the Wall, we’re admitting that men are the more superficial gender…so we’re really insulting ourselves, not women. But there are enough desperate men out there that, for now, women don’t have much to worry about. They can be old or overweight, they can have kids…and some desperate guy will still be willing to wife her up.

          Male desperation seems to be a diminishing resource, though. As time goes on, more men will check out, and more women will become scared by what’s going on. I’m looking forward to the show.

        17. Elizabeth

          “A man who has waited until his early forties to marry can easily find a childless late twenty-something or early thirty-something woman who will marry him. The reality is that men have absolutely no problem marrying down for looks and youth. Women are hypergamous by nature.”

          This is what I hate about the manosphere.  Blatant ignorance.  “Looks and youth” are not examples of marrying down but marrying up.  A reverse hypergamy for men.  Some would say men are like this by nature.

          That said, just because men feel entitled to dating youth and looks, doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for their lives.   Amber Heard dragging Johnny Depp’s career in the mud comes to mind. Maybe he should have stayed with the loving mother of his children?  As we all know,  there are examples of countless others.

          Yet Another Guy misses the point of Gala’s response.  The dating world has become so toxic she’s decided having kids is more important than landing a man.  Wall or no wall. In fact, the wall ceases to exist if the woman takes reproduction into her own hands and cares not one iota about attracting the opposite sex.  And there it is.  Raising a child in a single-parent home thus ensuring a broken, cyclical future for said child is the consequence of living life in Modernity.

          Rinse and repeat.  No attachment needed on both sides.

      2. 2.1.2
        Nissa

        No matter what, somebody will tell you that you did the wrong thing – so you might as well please yourself. I’m childfree (defined as those who don’t have kids and don’t WANT kids via birth, adoption or marriage) and the FB group has yards of posts by people talking about all the crap they get from their families and potential dating partners.Most of the childfree have at some point been asked, essentially, what was wrong with them that made them not like kids. There’s an assumption that if you don’t have children and are over 30, you are either A) secretly rabid for a baby, B) a cold hearted, selfish bitch or C) a gold digger who will discover her need for children as soon as she marries. Sigh. The fact that most of the people on these sites don’t seem to fall into those categories, doesn’t stop people from making assumptions.

      3. 2.1.3
        Lena

        @Gal

        Thank you for your comments here! I’m 32 and considering having a child as a single mom because being a mom is important to me. Your comments are encouraging!

  3. 3
    Malika

    When i turned 28, i took some time to reflect whether i wanted children or not. As my love life had been a bit hopeless up to that point, and understood it might take a long journey before i would settle down, i considered freezing my eggs. The prohibitive cost of it (a cost i and many other ladies in their twenties would not be able to stump up) stopped that from being an option. That’s when i started to think about going through life childfree, as i saw that apart from this hurdle, i would also not be able to provide a child the emotional and financial stability that is needed in order to thrive as a family. I remember feeling sadness but also relief from having to deal with the anxiety of whether i would be able to conceive in time. It feels like a huge responsibility that is so easy to f up, making sure you find the right partner, develop a relationship and pop out kids in such a narrow window of time. No wonder freezing your eggs for wealthier women sounds like a saviour. It’s sobering to see that even they don’t really have this solution to their problem.

  4. 4
    Gala

    P.S. Oh, and BTW, an egg freezing cycle only takes 2 weeks. So hardly an impediment to finding a guy now

  5. 5
    Chris

    So in order for the idea to actually work, women need to be younger, probably under 30. Yet younger women aren’t likely to freeze their eggs.

    And finding a husband that a woman can truly be happy with is hard work. But it doesn’t get easier with age. It is an unpalatable truth that female attractiveness is correlated with youth. If she can easily afford the process its worth considering, but as Evan points out if money is tight she may be better off trying to find a husband in earnest.

    I’ve seen women put this in their profiles as if it would attract a 40-year-old man who wants to be a father. It’s not. 

    Especially not the sort of desirable 40 year old man a professional woman is likely to want as a husband. Such a man can and probably will pursue younger women.

    1. 5.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      “‘I’ve seen women put this in their profiles as if it would attract a 40-year-old man who wants to be a father. It’s not.'” 
      “Especially not the sort of desirable 40 year old man a professional woman is likely to want as a husband. Such a man can and probably will pursue younger women.”
      Okay, how many women who have gone through egg retrieval and freezing put this on a dating profile?  Probably not anywhere near the majority of women who’ve done it.  Most men who go out with women who have had their eggs frozen probably don’t get that info up front if ever.

      1. 5.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I’m a dating coach. I’ve had clients ask me if they should put this in their profiles to attract men when they’re 40, lest the men think they were infertile.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          I’m sure you have, Evan.  But do you think your unique job is providing a sample bias?  Over the years, I have looked at many women’s profiles in researching out the competition, and to get ideas to improve my profile.  I have yet to see this in any woman’s profile.

          I know two women who have undergone egg freezing.  (My own biased sample.)  Neither of them have mentioned it to men they are are in the beginning stages of a dating relationship with, much less put it in a dating profile.  They consider it personal medical information that is only for a serious partner to know.

          Maybe some of the guys on the blog can chime in with what they have seen in women’s online profiles, or what they have been told on first or second dates.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          “I have yet to see this in any woman’s profile.” That’s because it’s objectively a bad idea. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that egg-freezing as an insurance policy may make women feel better but it is not remotely an enticement to a 40-year-old man who wants to have his own children.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Yep, it is a bad idea to put that in dating profile, because egg freezing is something that women do for themselves.  It would be crazy to think that will entice men to date you.  But I’m sure you’ve heard even crazier 😉

    2. 5.2
      Nissa

      It is an unpalatable truth that male attractiveness is correlated with youth as well.

      1. 5.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Nissa,

        It is an unpalatable truth that male attractiveness is correlated with youth as well.

        And hair.   🙂

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          You two crack me up!

          Universal truth:  Youth is wasted on the young.

        2. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          Universal truth:  Youth is wasted on the young.

          This is so true, and by the time you realize it, you’re middle aged!

          But in terms of men — a man with good hair, a good butt and dancing ability. What more do you need in life?  🙂

  6. 6
    Stephanie

    Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade. Gina Davis and her doctor younger husband. Janet Jackson (51) and her younger husband. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley. Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford. Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig (49). Sylvester Stallone. Tom Arnold. Steve Martin. Larry King. Kelly Preston (48) and John Travolta. Iman (45) and David Bowie. Elizabeth Edwards (one at 48 and one at 50). Holly Hunter (twins at 47). Martin Scorcese (52). Heard of George Lucas from Star Wars??? He and his wife welcomed a kid when he was 69. he has 3 others.

    The list goes on and on… I just listed a series of celebrities that are having kids in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s!

    And some of those celebrities (Calista, Michelle) also had YOUNG kids when they went on to have more with their partners/spouses.

    Just Another Guy, you do realize that the VERY author of this post, Evan, his wife falls into the category of meeting Evan in her LATE 30’s and yet, wow, Evan actually wanted to marry and HAVE kids with her.

    Different people want different things.

    I personally know two women; one was 36 divorced and had 4 kids; she got married and had a 5th kid with her new husband! Another woman who is big in the dating world was divorced with 3 kids, at 40 decided to adopt a 4th and met her husband 2 1/2 years later. They may be the exceptions, but in dating there aren’t always any clear rules.

    Wanting children past age 38 is not a “dating death sentence”. It’s just that like everything else in life, if you want it, you have to work for it and once you are past entry level things take time.

    1. 6.1
      John

      Stephanie,
      Everyone you listed are celebrities and have tons of money. IVF is expensive. They also have an army of nannies that help with the child rearing. When you are in your 40s, 50s and 60s, most folks don’t have the stamina to raise kids and work full-time without nannies. This is the reality for most people.

      Your examples are the exception to the rule

      1. 6.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @John

        You are beating your head against the wall. The desirability of women having children at an advanced age is something on which men and women disagree. Women on this blog tend to project female traits onto men. Given the choice between a peer-age woman and a woman under 30, most mid-thirty-something to mid-forty-something men will chose the younger woman with whom to start a family. It is well-documented that the normal two to three year age gap that starts in high school expands to five or more years after a man crosses the age 30 threshold and the size of the age gap that women will entertain increases as they approach age 30. A woman’s highest probability of finding a mate to marry and have children occurs before age 30. A lot of what is posted in the manosphere can be chalked up to sour grapes, but the proverbial wall is real. It may not be the extreme to which men in the manosphere claim, but there is definitely age bias when it comes to finding a mate after a man crosses the age 30 threshold without fathering children, especially after he crosses age 35.

      2. 6.1.2
        Stephanie

        John,

        Exactly.

        If YAG thinks that most men are done having kids by their 40’s; there are plenty of men who don’t fit in that boat. Same with the idea that women who already have a young kid or kids, don’t date. I know of plenty. One single Mom of 3 kids (under 10) has a boyfriend she met on Tinder. 5 kids in all. Another friend of mine with 3 kids, married a widow with 2.

        However, since I know plenty of people (my late Grandmother included) who had my mother at the age of 41, (no nannies). My daughter’s friend’s Mom had her at 49, the Dad was 57, they both work and there are NO nannies involved. In addition, their friends also are in the 45+ group of 1st time parents.

        I am trying to point out that women who have young kids or who were “older” and their partners were older were still having kids. The comments that people are just “done” doesn’t resonate for me and I’m in a big city.

        Even my cousins who live in small town Tennessee; 3 of them married someone with one small child from a previous marriage/relationship and went on to have 2 more.

        I’m not sure why you insist that IVF is expensive without knowing the cost, I know the costs of surrogacy, IVF, adoption, first hand; I haven’t seen only the rich doing all of the above these days, but I have seen a lot of parents, grandparents and financial agencies offering to help people to get a family.

        Like I said, my reality of living in a big city and what men and women want seems to be different than some of what was expressed.

  7. 7
    GoWiththeFlow

    “And yet, for many women who long to have their own biological children and see their window closing, they opt to freeze their eggs first and try to find a guy later.”

    Why is this an either/or situation?  A woman can go through the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval process and still seriously date.  As Gala said above, it took two weeks.  So even if a woman doesn’t log on to match.com or go out on a date while actively in the process, two weeks out of her whole life isn’t going to radically impact her ability to seriously look for a life partner.

    And why is it considered a linear progression from egg freezing to single motherhood?  Egg freezing gives a woman options in the future she might otherwise not have.  Including the option of using those frozen eggs with a husband.

    If a woman has decided to be a single mom, wouldn’t she just go straight to conceiving either the old fashioned way or through artificial insemination or IVF instead of freezing her eggs?  A woman freezing her eggs can mean that she still has hope of finding “the one” but that she is mindful that her fertility might not be on the same time table as when she meets her partner.

    1. 7.1
      Emily, the original

      Gala,

      Why is this an either/or situation?  A woman can go through the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval process and still seriously date.  As Gala said above, it took two weeks.  So even if a woman doesn’t log on to match.com or go out on a date while actively in the process, two weeks out of her whole life isn’t going to radically impact her ability to seriously look for a life partner.

      I agree, but I think it’s probably best to start thinking about egg freezing AND life-partner searching at 28 rather than 38. Maybe even 26. That sounds early, but the average age for marriage a woman is 27. Starting early gives her more options and more time.

      1. 7.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        ETO,

        The two women I know who have had their eggs frozen (that I mentioned above in a response to Evan) did it in their early 30s.  They are both nurses who work at fertility clinics, so they knew the down and dirty info on declining fertility.  They both hope to be able to marry and have kids the old fashioned way.  But they have specialized knowledge and the process itself is de-mystified for them, so they both decided to do it to give themselves options down the road while also being aware that it’s not a sure thing.

        1. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          They both hope to be able to marry and have kids the old fashioned way.  But they have specialized knowledge and the process itself is de-mystified for them, so they both decided to do it to give themselves options down the road while also being aware that it’s not a sure thing.

          That’s a good attitude to have and probably takes off some of the pressure to find the right guy right this second. Makes the dating process more relaxed.

           

  8. 8
    Tiger Mom

    Hmm….it’s interesting to read all the negative perspectives on this. I agree with Evan that the best road to becoming a mother is through marriage—parenting is difficult enough with both mother and father in the picture—but some women know in their hearts that they were born to be somebody’s mom, I know I did from a very early age and would have felt a big empty space in my life had I never had children. So I have no idea if I hadn’t of gotten married when I did if I would have wanted to freeze my eggs or not, I just know that in no way would I have wanted to miss out on motherhood (whether that meant looking into other methods as well).
    With this said, I got married at 32 and had my first child at 36, and my second at 42. Although both of these pregnancies were considered “Advanced Maternal Age” pregnancies (and something to this effect were written on both of my medical files, as a matter of fact, I believe the term “Geriatric Pregnancy” was written on my last one, LOL!), I had absolutely no complications with either pregnancy.
    Fast forward some years and I have been separated and divorced for over two years at the ripe age of 47, although our marriage had been dead for at least the last year or two we were together.
    And here’s where it gets good and I get to discredit some of the comments already made:  I did some online dating and went out with a few men here and there the first six months after my divorce, and none of them had any issues dating a woman with 2 brats under the age of 10, and the one’s who did I’m sure never messaged me because I listed on my profile that I had two young children as a weeding-out process.
    And then I met a keeper. He was 52 years old and I was 45, going on 46. He had a 9 year old, and I had a 3 year old and an 8 year old at the time we met. 19 months and counting and we are still together and have a great, loving and stable relationship. And I will mention now that he’s no chopped liver, but handsome, kind, generous, emotionally stable, a CEO of a great company and an awesome dad and I could not have asked for more out of a man if I was 30 with no kids!!
    But similarities are key here: we are both over the age of 45, divorced and parenting children. Because we are older and make parenting a top priority, we understand that we have busy lives to tend to and make the best of what we have!!  This goes a very long way. I also would never date a man unless he had kids because I know that only another parent would understand my situation.
    I am saying all this to say that sure, there are rules and regulations, averages and percentages, but life happens, and shit happens. Life is messy and complicated. Beautiful and ugly. It’s best to have children when you are coupled up and in a secure and loving relationship, because you and your children will need this secure foundation to weather the storms of life, better. But there are also women who are mothers without children, and for whom adoption or surrogacy may not be the right answer, and for those women, I say FREEZE your eggs if it will give you the peace you need.
    But at the same time, stay flexible in your thinking. Don’t believe that you won’t find the perfect match for you because you’re single and have “aged-out” of the system and have a rug-rat or two riding in the backseat of your mini-van. If you believe in scarcity, then that’s what you will find!!
    Only, the world is full of love and wonderful surprises if you are willing to play the game!!

    1. 8.1
      Marika

      Tiger Mom

      Wow, amazing story! What impresses me the most, is working back from your timing, you met a keeper after 5 months online while still separated. That is RARE! You’re obviously doing something right. Keep up the good work ☺

      And please keep posting. I’d love to know how you found the right guy so quickly & easily.

    2. 8.2
      S.

      If anything, you should just realize the limitations of egg freezing while weighing your options.

      I saw these options recently and am glad you posted about it.  There are no guarantees about anything. Sometimes the frozen eggs get damaged.  That happened with one woman and she ended up having IVF with her fresh (and older) eggs and I think she had a set of twins. She wanted more but I think after that she may have used donor eggs. I just thought that was intriguing.  Some women sue if the egg storage facility causes a problem with their eggs. But suing, doesn’t bring a person a biological child.

      I think you have to know what you want and how far you are willing to get it.   And know your limits.  Whether it’s having a child, a relationship, or both.  If a person knows they want a biological child more than anything else, then yes, go for it early.  If you want the relationship more than anything, then go for that.

      Me? I wanted me more than anything else. I needed my twenties and thirties for me and I have no regrets. I love men. I love children.  But I was always first.  Now that I have had that, I can put myself aside a bit for someone else.  Some people do that for their career. Others their children.  I am so proud of who I’ve become and I simply don’t think I would have been a good wife or mother before I did the work on myself that I did.  Is it all harder now? Sure.   I still have no regrets.  I’m my best investment and everything healthy in my life starts with me.  Even if I lose everything and everyone there is still gonna beme.

      Maybe that sounds selfish.  Maybe it was.  I’m okay being selfless now, but maybe I needed that then.  I have no longing or regret at all. Just peace.  Whatever happens in this next phase, I’m ready and looking forward toward.

      But if your thing is something different: go hard or go home.  Freeze your eggs.  Date 300 people. Do what it takes, people.

      I’m sincerely rooting for you, whatever choice you make. 🙂  And the right person for you will root for you even harder.  I truly believe that.

    3. 8.3
      anon

      Good story, it works because it is an equal relationship. No imbalance. The kid people should date kid people. I am a childless woman and I feel that the only men I met already have kids, and that puts me at a lifestyle disadvantage.  I feel as if I would be on my own emotionally and fiscally, forever since I will be pitching in to supporting another woman’s family- and get nothing in return. I dated a divorced dad from my high school a few yrs ago who had 3 kids under 10 yrs. old., his ex wife got 1/3 of his paycheck. He had a vasectomy. So, no kids for me. I got nothing (except dirty looks from ex/kids), since they all have legal/blood ties together. Kids are loyal to their moms, so they were politely chilly to me, at best. I have two college degrees, and the ex wife was high school educated. She drove a new car, while mine was ten years old and he explained “that’s because she drives my kids to school.”  Financially I didn’t want to move in with a family to pay 1/2 the mortgage to be an outsider, permanently. Tough situation (for me, not them, they all have each other). Oh, ex gets 1/2 his pension too after retirement, & the kids get the house in the will. Then, repeat all of that with grandkids- theirs (not mine) wry smile. Dating is tough at this age. Even my 95 year old grandma (who lived through the depression and WW2, with a paralyzed husband) told me “don’t do it, that’s no kind of life- for any one.” Is this a situation that can be re-framed more positively and I am just not seeing it? 

      1. 8.3.1
        Cathalei

        Not intending to condemn, but I think you can do some things to make this situaton better.

        I don’t know under what circumstances you broke up (it seems you did) but kids usually take time to get used to a newcomer to family especially at this age. Speaking ill of their mother with your guy is not a good idea in any case. Neither comparing yourself to her, because your places are different. She is part of the past but she can’t get divorced from her kids. You are the part of future and you don’t have to compete with her.

        ” I have two college degrees, and the ex wife was high school educated.” No one cares for their mom because of her degrees. It’s irrelevant to building a family atmosphere. It’s okay if you don’t like the ex wife and even your guy might not be in good terms with it but putting her down about this is a recipe for disaster. Your degrees don’t make a healthy relationship. Your kindness, understanding, ability to compromise together with his do.

        “She drove a new car, while mine was ten years old and he explained “that’s because she drives my kids to school.””
        Did he buy her that car? If so, could you talk to him about that and how that makes you feel? Do you expect him to do the same favor for you? Why not discuss the situation in a way that doesn’t put blame on him but highlights your feelings about it? It might be a tricky situation but not impossible to resolve.

      2. 8.3.2
        ezamused

        Wow anon that message comes off as very entitled. You got nothing from him not even companionship? He sounds very lucky that it didn’t work out with you.

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Ezamused,

          I suspect Anon wanted more than companionship.  Like many of us, she wanted to feel the relationship and family she was part of, was a priority for all participants.  Understandably her male partner was split between old and new family units, emotionally and financially, and his time and energy would have been divvied up.  Anon got less of him in all ways.  Sometimes such arrangements can work but the single person without biological kids is sacrificing a lot, and that is the point Anon illustrated well.  She is hurting, not entitled.

        2. Clare

          ezamused,

          Companionship is what you get from a friend. Partners who are in a relationship generally hope for much more than that… I think feeling welcome and included in your partner’s life is the very least that you can hope for. I’m not taking sides here, because I certainly wouldn’t have stayed in a situation like that for very long. But I certainly understand her feelings.

        3. ezamuzed

          The comment about the car, the pension and house are completely entitled. I can understand her sentiments about everything else.

          @Mrs Happy if you are dating a guy do you really expect him to buy you a car? She has the two degrees why doesn’t she buy herself a new car?

        4. Mrs Happy

          She was considering a defacto relationship, not just dating – moving in, running a household together.  Considering paying 50% of the mortgage, only to realise she’d be financially contributing to an asset (property) she would not own – the house is going to his kids once he dies. Half of the man’s retirement money was going to go to his ex-wife, which means only half as much for him and Anon to live on during their retirement years.  Years of time and effort going into raising kids that aren’t Anon’s biological children.  No option to have her own bio children because the man has had a vasectomy.  Also, + admittedly here I’m reading between the lines, little emotional prioritising of her needs. Three kids under 10 = massive housework workload for the woman of the home.

          It’s not about the car, it’s the whole package.  Jeez, I agree with her 95 y old grandmother – this is a disaster and not many women with choices would buy into this deal.

          Every relationship is about what each person can put on the table. Every single one.  There wasn’t enough on the table for her.  Everything was spread too thin.

        5. anon

          ezamused; ‘The comment about the car, the pension and house are completely entitled.” No, they prove my original point that she gets every thing I get nothing, even after they are over and divorced. That is not entitled of me, it is my accurate response to a situation that unfair and inequitable. For me, It is all costs and no benefit My original statement said I am on my own emotionally and financially, and by buying all my own assets and pitching in for theirs, I am getting a terrible deal. Much less than what she got, it is concubine status at best. She is never going away- ever. He doesn’t have to deal with my exes hanging around in an intimate, daily contact. yuck. I googled ‘childless stepmom’ and the auto fill phrases are ‘depression, divorce, support… etc.’ The blogs read very grimly. Not many happy stories. I even asked divorced dad if he would want his daughter to grow up and be a second wife or stepmom. He smiled and shook his head no. That just tells me none of them would play second fiddle or fourth banana, and its rotten to ask some one to do so. At any rate, I made the right choice. Never again. The logistical problem now is finding the statistical outlier without baggage, or minimal baggage. Found the haystack, where is the needle…

        6. ezamuzed

          anon

          What you describe is the very definition of entitled:

          believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

          You feel like you deserve his assets, that they are somehow owed to you. And you have resentment because they are not.

          Although I suppose that could be a fair exchange if he was demanding that you help take care of his kids and help pay his mortgage. But that sounds more like a business deal than a real relationship.

          I’m in my late 40s with two teens. I do not expect any woman I’m dating to help take care of them or to help pay for my bills. I would expect them to understand that they are my number one priority and take a bit of my time and focus.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @ezamused

          I’m in my late 40s with two teens. I do not expect any woman I’m dating to help take care of them or to help pay for my bills. I would expect them to understand that they are my number one priority and take a bit of my time and focus.

          If your children are your top priority, then you are not ready for a relationship, and that is okay.  There will be time when your children are grown.  However, no one is going to take a backseat to another man or woman’s teenage children, no one! To call someone shallow because they do not want to make these kinds of sacrifices demonstrates an entitlement of your own; namely, the feeling that you have the right to subserviate the woman in your life to your children.  I wish you the best of luck with that mindset because that is one of the major reasons that cause men to “next” women on dating sites.

          Anon has a right to feel like she is subsidizing another woman’s lifestyle. The resources that this man shares with his ex-wife are not available to them as a couple.  The retirement thing highlights the complications of a childless woman getting involved with a man who has been married and has children. If I was a single woman with no children of my own, I would just say “no” to sterile men who have been married and have children.

          A relationship works best when it is the primary thing in a couple’s life. Few people will argue that a marriage-focused marriage is not better for children than a child-focused marriage. That is one area where I give Evan and his wife major props. Their marriage appears to be the primary relationship in their home.  I made major sacrifices to ensure that my children grew up in a home with two parents.  However, the thing that my children never got to experience was a healthy, loving relationship.

        8. ezamuzed

          Yet Another Guy

          You are so wrong. Everyone I’ve dated with or without children knows that children come first. Any woman with children will expect men understand that their children are their top priority. What top priority means depends on the situation. In my case it just means that I’m mostly unavailable for dates on certain weekdays and occasionally unavailable on certain weekends days. My teens are old enough where I don’t have to be with them when I have them on weekends.

          She has no right to feel like she is owed a car, a house or his retirement as a condition of him being in a relationship with her. That is entitlement.

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          ezamused,

          “She has no right to feel like she is owed a car, a house or his retirement as a condition of him being in a relationship with her. That is entitlement.”

          I have no idea where you got the idea anon felt “entitled” to a new car or any other material assets.  She is merely pointing out the obvious:  He may be divorced but he is still the primary breadwinner of his first family and his main concern is the welfare of his first family.  He is basically a husband who is living in a separate home.  In that scenario there is no room for anon.  She will never be more than a third wheel in all aspects; emotional, practical, and financial.

          “Everyone I’ve dated with or without children knows that children come first. Any woman with children will expect men understand that their children are their top priority. What top priority means depends on the situation. In my case it just means that I’m mostly unavailable for dates on certain weekdays and occasionally unavailable on certain weekends days.

          Well duh, yes when you are first starting to date!  Where the problem is is when the relationship continues but no attempt is made by the partner with the kids to integrate the girlfriend or boyfriend into their family life.  That means the relationship is perpetually stuck in the beginning stages with no room to grow.

          The whole problem with “Everyone knows children come first” is that everyone has a different definition of what that means.  IMO this is why it is inadvisable to put this in a dating profile.  It could be seen as a declaration that there is no room in this person’s life for a real relationship.

          I assume the average single dad loves and is involved with his kids.  That he is concerned with introducing them too early to a new woman.  I think this is a given for the average single mom as well.  But what is necessary to have a relationship and eventual marriage is that the single parent at some point be able to start to integrate the new partner into their life.  If things go well, after many months/a few years they should be able to form their own blended family unit.

          This is something anon’s ex would have been incapable of doing because he was still firmly enmeshed with his first family.  He has to separate from the ex-wife and develop a relationship with his kids that isn’t primarily based on providing emotionally and financially for their mother.

          This is where the car comes in.  The new car for the ex-wife because she “drives his kids around” is above and beyond what an emotionally independent man without gobs of excess cash laying around should do for an ex.  This is not noble or healthy.  He is codependent. The car is a symbol of this man’s continuing emotional involvement with his ex-wife and his inability to separate from her and move on.

          I know divorced dads who loaned money to an ex so she could get the car fixed.  Or they did the repairs themselves to help her out.  But even the high earning men I know (in the multiple six figures a year) didn’t buy new cars for their exes. The overall car situation was something for their ex to figure out herself between the money she earned from her job and any alimony she got.

           

        10. ezamused

          GoWiththeFlow

          You have made a lot of unusual assumptions about the situation. There isn’t any signs of him being enmeshed that I can see. I believe the 1/3 of his paycheck, car and the pension are all things the ex was awarded as part of the divorce. It is pretty standard stuff in divorces. If for some reason he is willingly giving his ex more than what was required by law then I can understand her issue with that.

          I’m part of a big local group of single/divorced parents and

        11. GoWiththeFlow

          ezamused,

          I’m not making assumptions at all.  In the two states I have friends and relatives in, alimony, if it is awarded, is for at most 4 to 5 years, usually less.  Most assets are traded off–wives are more likely to keep the family home and in exchange that man keeps his 401k.  Very few people have traditional pensions, unless they are long term government employees.  And those benefits have rapidly gone down the last decade.  Custodial moms are expected to work, even if they were stay at home moms at the time of separation.

          But that’s concrete thinking.  To understand anon you have to be in operant thought mode.  No anon doesn’t feel entitled to her boyfriend buying her a new car.  The new car he bought the ex is an example of how the man will likely continue to put his ex-wife’s perceived needs (and a brand new car is not needed for safety) above her’s.

        12. ezamused

          @GoWithTheFlow

          You are making a big assumption. She doesn’t say he bought her a car. If that was the case I would understand why she doesn’t like that. She just says the ex “Drove a new car”

          She drove a new car, while mine was ten years old and he explained “that’s because she drives my kids to school.”

        13. GoWiththeFlow

          ezamused,

          “She drove a new car, while mine was ten years old and he explained “that’s because she drives my kids to school.”

          Read it again. She (the ex) drives a new car BECAUSE she drives MY kids to school.  Sounds like he’s claiming responsibility for the ex having the new car.

          Not a big leap to think if anon became his wife, he would continue to prioritize the woman who drives his kids to school over her.

        14. ezamused

          GoWiththeFlow 

          When I got divorced I also suggested that my soon to be ex take the new car as part of a settlement as she was going to be driving the kids more than me. This wasn’t charity on my part, the assets are usually split around 50/50, so I received a bigger portion of another asset.

          I understand anons concern that if he paid for the car outside of the divorce settlement.

          If he didn’t pay for the car do you understand why it seems very entitled to me?

           

      3. 8.3.3
        Gala

        Anon:

        You totally made the right choice. Yes we may not expect a guy we date to but us a car, but if he’s buying it for another woman but not for us, that’s bullsht right there. This guy of your got a horrible deal in his divorce and yes his ex will be leeching off of him forever. Perhaps he wants that to be the case…. emotions around these situations are complicated. However not all divorced parents are like that. Many have no problem moving on. Like i said, i haven’t dated anyone not divorced with kids since i turned 33. Most guys i dated had 1 kid (one had 2) and had “every other weekend” arrangement with them which actually is perfect since i always like some time to myself! One guy’s son lived 4 states away with his mom and step dad and sister (ideal). So don’t write off divorced guys, the distribution of said baggage varies.

        1. anon

          Thanks for all the support you guys…as I am currently residing in a small town, where locals are in the mindset (like ezamused) of ‘roll up your sleeves and make it work… with any one.’ No thank you. Even though this site is about successful pairing as ‘the goal’,  I think we can agree there are worse situations than being alone. It feels good to have validation rather than clinging to tenacious beliefs about ‘it will all be ok’,  even while presented with some financial truths and legal realities, that it will not be ok. I was not excited to resign myself to a life of less-than, deserving to put my long suffering face on a martyr Catholic medal.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          anon,

          I’m happy for you that you got out of that mess.  Yes, there are some things worse in life than being alone with no immediate partner prospects.  A man who says his daughter shouldn’t accept being a second wife and stepmom, but that’s exactly what he would want you to accept says all you need to know right there.

      4. 8.3.4
        Lisa

        Anon, I am also childless and it sounds like a similar age to you.  I can understand and relate to everything you wrote, and your intentions behind what you wrote.  I agree that those with kids should ideally date those with kids, but that makes the pool for us even smaller than what it already is.  It is definitely a quandary.

        1. anon

          Lisa, thank you for the reply. Yes, we are at an age where the dating pool is small and eschewing divorced dads will make it even smaller. A quandary indeed. So, I can see a couple of silver linings here. First, you (or I) could date a considerably older man (the Catherine Zeta Jones) and the kids will be grown and gone, so he will have more time and resources for you.  Second, you could date a younger man (the Madonna) who might or might not be at your level professionally or financially. This makes him a little bit of a sugar baby, plus he might want his own family some day, and eventually a girl his own age. Maybe or maybe not.  Third, you could press though with the divorced dad peer, the stepfamily situation, knowing it will not be ideal, or like a first family.  Disengage a little, don’t fall into the power struggles or drama ever and keep your own life, hobbies and friendships going. The parents are responsible for the kids, not you. This way, you are getting some of your needs met, and it might or might not be enough, but you can always keep looking for a man with less baggage.  This might sound like a veritable pick your poison, but it’s really not the end of the world. If all of this sounds like too much compromise, you could be alone for a while and knock off some big goals, then come back to it. Of course, you have the option being your very best – whatever that means for you- since guys are so visual, I’d say by hiring a personal trainer and a stylist, and then enlist in Evan’s coaching. Then you will know with certainty that you tried your very best strategy and execution, and accept that the rest is up to fate and dumb luck. There are many women in this situation.

  9. 9
    Marika

    Jeremy & Shaukat

    I’m sure you’re both right. I think GWTF is just voicing the frustration at some less self-aware men on here who make it their business to keep telling women over 30 how hopeless it all is for them and they should just get a bunch of cats or settle for a 58 year old. And be happy they managed even that!!

    Which is both blatantly untrue and a losing strategy on a site designed to help women, most of whom are over 30.

    Taken to extremes, that type of anti-woman, myopic, unempathetic thinking can have some dangerous consequence (although in the examples given there was clearly a lot more at play).

    I actually think the man in question thinks he’s being helpful. But if he thought about his wording, wasn’t so focused on being right all the time and was receptive to feedback about how he’s coming across (and how UNhelpful that is), it would be nice. I also think his message is for women online he comes across who think they’re the bees knees and deserve a rich, hot dude. Most of Evan’s readership aren’t like that, as women (or people) like that generally don’t have the humility to seek advice.

    1. 9.1
      Emily, the original

      Markia,

      I actually think the man in question thinks he’s being helpful. But if he thought about his wording, wasn’t so focused on being right all the time and was receptive to feedback about how he’s coming across (and how UNhelpful that is), it would be nice

      I’ve decided that trying to resist it and argue back is pointless. He doesn’t have listening ears and I’m not sure what his motivation is, but it’s not in any way altruistic and maybe reflects some deep personal unhappiness.

      1. 9.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Emily,

        A typical back and forth:

        Man:  This is what really happens to women and it’s just HOW THING ARE.

        Woman:  Um, no, I know plenty of people who don’t fit that.  That is not what I want, and it’s not what my friends want in a man and a relationship.

        Man:  Well my observations are different.  Therefore your’s cannot be true.

        It’s like we are being told we don’t feel what we feel, we don’t desire what we desire, we really don’t prioritize what we really prioritize.  Because it’s not how he wants women to be, because it would blow up his perfectly ordered world view.

    2. 9.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      Marika,

      In the States, a week after the Toronto van attack, a tenured economics professor at a major public university wrote a widely read piece that the incel concept that there should be “sex redistribution” so these incels can get laid.  Because they’re suffering.  And then that hot mess got picked up by a prominent New York Times opinion writer.

      So women get murdered by a man they don’t know because he hates them, because he feels he is being unfairly deprived of sex. . . so let’s talk about sex redistribution!  Because sex isn’t an activity two mutually consenting people engage in.  It’s a commodity and the market for it can be manipulated.  Because finding out how these men get radicalized to the point where they become violent, so maybe we can prevent it (and in the process improve men’s lives too!) would be a waste of time.

      1. 9.2.1
        Mrs Happy

        It must be quite difficult to be male, often yearn for sex with females, but not really like females much or particularly want to be around them and part of their lives. I mean that sincerely. I can’t even imagine that position. It’d create an internal emotional/cognitive schism and distress.
        Various bitter online comments by random males disturb me because the men seem to be separating the sexual act from the person they would be having sex with. It’s much like the Professor’s thinking – as though sex is something fungible, not an activity really connected to feelings. There seems to be a disconnect in all these men’s minds. I cannot understand.

        1. Jeremy

          It’s both funny and tragic how the sexes fail to understand each other, how we extrapolate the way we are to the way we think they should be.  I’d re-arrange your quote a bit to better understand the men, Mrs. Happy: “It must be quite difficult to be male, often yearn for sex with females but have females not like them much or want these men to be part of their lives.  I’d create an internal emotiona/cognitive schism.”

           

          One of my favourite parts of the book “Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker is where he discusses rape.  He brings up the modern feminist idea that rape is about power rather than about sex – how that was what was believed in the nineties and early 2000s, but is now being reconsidered.  He cites a female high-court judge who said, “When a young man at a kegger corners a young, drunk coed, he’s after only one thing and it ain’t re-institution of the patriarchy.”  It is an “ad feminam,” says Pinker, that women can’t understand the mindset of a man who can think of sex dissociated with emotion.  It MUST be about power and not sex, think women, because how could it possibly be about sex?  And men respond by ducking their heads, because they don’t want to admit that they/we all can think of sex without emotion, and that doesn’t preclude sex from also carrying significant emotion.  How sex can be, in our minds, both an act to share and also a commodity to desire, and how starvation of that commodity can inspire craziness in some people the way sleep or food deprivation does.

           

          It is a fallacy IMHO to think that one can solve the problem in the lives of these incel men without directly addressing the cause of their distress.  Women believe the cause can’t just be lack of sex.  Men understand that it can.

        2. Gala

          @Jeremy:

          with all due respect the problem all these men have had in common was mental illness. Both Roger and the other shooter in PA who’s name i can’t be bothered to google were legitimately good looking from the physical standpoint. The Toronto guy will not be crowned the sexiest men alive but he’s perfectly average. ER was also from a rich family. When a rich, good looking teenage boy in LA is not getting laid, it is for one reason and one reason only – his mental issues are so severe that he creeps out every woman in the 2 block radius, ok? So can we please stop with the whole “if we only gave these guy a woman to rape at will none of this would have happened” bullshit?

          What i find particularly fascinating about this discussion is how it continues to be framed as a gender issue. It is not. It is a class issue. In the “good old days” hierarchical society system, powerful men would be at the top, they would rule the world and shit on other males. A handful of powerful men controlled wealth and expropriated other men’s labor, sent them to die at war to protect the interests of the powerful few, etc. In turn, all of these dis-empowered men would go home, rape their wives and beat their children with impunity to blow off some steam. Ok? They had no power, they couldn’t stand up to the powerful few, but they could own those bitches and they showed them who’s in charge at home goddamn it!! Right? Now we have evolved to the point where, in the western world at least, you can no longer rape your wife and beat your kids with impunity. But.. the majority of men still have no power. They are still being subjugated by the oligarchy of the powerful few, still are treated as disposables, still are enslaved by the – yes – patriarchy – but they no longer have domestic slaves of their own to compensate for this feeling of disempowerment, ok? Therein lies the problem. If these men bothered to give it a slight thought, they would realize that them and the feminists have the same enemy – patriarchy, personified by a few powerful men who rule the world. Turn of the 20th century socialists aspired to “turn the imperial war [WWI] into a class war”. It seems that capitalism has successfully turned the class war into a gender war. And who benefits from it? You can easily guess…

        3. Cathalei

          Jeremy

          It’s a fallacious example, desire is an emotion as well. Sex and power are not mutually exclusive concepts either. Come to think of it, they don’t go to a hooker instead of raping, why? Could it be because they either want to feel desired or they want to feel powerful over the victim? (If I can’t get that by their will, I will get it by force.)

          Note that both are emotions and thoughts associated with them.

          Lack of sex could very well be resolved with a hooker/escort but they won’t do that. The reason is a transaction like this isn’t enough for them. They desire more. And not all of them are necessarily “incels”.

          How to address the cause of the distress of incels? Plenty of people get a willing partner despite all the negative qualities they might have. Even if one could randomly assign a partner to them it’s no guarantee that they would be content with this. Only they should address the cause of their distress by changing their attitude. If they were by any chance offered sex out of duty/pity, they wouldn’t want that either judging by their rants. Building up an entire identity based on sexual experiences or lack thereof is a repellant of any potential that could develop.

        4. Jeremy

          @Gala and Cathalei,

           

          I am not suggesting that these issues would be resolved by “giving such men a woman to rape.”  I definitely agree with Cathalei that there is more than a desire for sex – there is a desire for power and love and validation, and all sorts of other things, and with Gala that there is an issue of mental illness.  Obviously the issue is multi-factorial.  My point was to approach it from the other angle and say that you can’t take the sex out of it.  Rape, for example, may well be about power and control – but it’s also about sex.  The only reason I think that is important to say was to address what GWTF suggested in her comment about helping men – and what Gala suggested.  I absolutely do NOT believe that doing away with the “patriarchy” will do anything to solve this issue.  Because young men like this are not disempowered by the patriarchy.  What they are after is not empowerment in society or status among other males.   What they want is the power/validation/emotion/connection that they believe a woman can give them – that they are hard-wired to believe a woman will give them.  I have no solution for that – I think the notion of “sexual redistribution” is ridiculous.  But frustrated single young men have been a source of violence for as long as they have existed.  It does no one a service to pretend that their frustration does not have to do with sex.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          First, why this topic is personal for me:  My niece lived in a small apartment building next door to the sorority house where Elliot Rodger started his murder spree.  She had been at a church social function, walked home past the sorority house, entered her apartment, tossed her purse on the kitchen table, then BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.  If she had lingered five minutes longer at church, or walked a little slower on her way home, she would have been in the kill zone.

          After that attack, people expressed shock and horror, sent their (useless) thoughts and prayers, shook their heads about mental illness, and then nothing was done to address this.  Before ER there was the guy at the gym, and before that other shootings.  People mention mental illness, but it is a red herring as much as a legitimate concern.

          The only mass killer in recent memory that I can think of that was actively psychotic–hearing voices that told him to do the killing– was Jared Loughner who shot congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others in Tucson.  The huge majority of these mass killers have personality disorders or other behavioral/relational spectrum disorders that are difficult to treat.  Loughner’s family and school knew he had lost his marbles and contacted authorities.  Rodger, the gym shooter, and now the Toronto killer flew under the radar.  Most of their crazy came out in internet chat rooms.  And even if their friends or relatives were concerned about their apparent hatred of women and contacted the police, what could they do?  You can’t involuntarily commit someone for treatment and to keep others safe because they are strange and have issues relating to women.  The only way is if someone discovered their actual plans.  Which of course they keep secret.  Which is then used as a reason why they aren’t clinically insane.

          The time to help these men and prevent the violence from happening is way before this point. While these men had pre-existing issues, they were sucked into and radicalized by online groups of like minded men.  Then they go a step further. Much like the muslim men who get radicalized to leave families in the west to join ISIS and other terrorist groups.

          When I mentioned in a previous comment that these incel killers went down a dark hole after they got hooked into the manosphere as a starting point, this was dismissed as an issue because “they were crazy.”  As if these men would have gone on murder sprees even if they had never stumbled upon an incel group that told them their difficulties with women were all women’s fault and then worse.

          Concepts like women becoming ugly manipulative harpies after “hitting the wall”, or tricking men they don’t truly desire into marriage after they’ve promiscuously screwed bad boys while they were in their pretty pre-wall years (alpha fux/beta bux) dehumanize women.  And that’s the first step down the dark hole for a hurting young man.

          Words have meaning.  And while people have a right to spout sexist, racist, or bigoted opinions and theories, they don’t have a right to be taken seriously.  When a lot of people say they are tired of “political correctness” they are not looking to have a serious exchange about why women are underrepresented in STEM fields, or why women in the lowest SES groups have children outside of marriage, and really consider a wide variety of possible contributing factors and opposing viewpoints.  They want to say something along the lines that women are too emotional to be good at science, or that poor women are just sluts.  Without getting any pushback or social consequences.

          I guess the “redistribution of sex” is now a topic worthy of serious intellectual inquiry.  Instead of What!  This is insane!  Women’s bodies aren’t commodities in a market that can be manipulated so that the consumer is assured of an adequate supply.  Maybe we should recognize that if a guy is talking seriously about how sex should be redistributed, someone should talk to him about what is going on in his life and possibly guide him to professional help.  That literally may save some lives.

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “. . . because they [men] don’t want to admit that they/we all can think of sex without emotion, and that doesn’t preclude sex from also carrying significant emotion.  How sex can be, in our minds, both an act to share and also a commodity to desire, and how starvation of that commodity can inspire craziness in some people the way sleep or food deprivation does.”

          The huge majority of women DO get this.  We get specifically prepared for this starting before actual dating age. Advice and pearls of wisdom from moms, grandmas, sisters, cousins, friends, dads, and older brothers.  It’s a pretty routine task of parenting girls.

          Starting in late elementary school, my adults started to tell me things like, “Boys will have their agenda you stick to yours.”  Or “Be careful, some boys only want to get into your panties.”  I think I was in junior high when I read in a teen sexuality book for girls my mom had conveniently left on my dresser that “For women sex=love.  For men sex=sex + sometimes love.”  Dads are usually the most blunt with the warning, “Boys only want one thing!”  What is the whole dad greeting his daughter’s date while cleaning his gun/knife thing all about?  It’s an acknowledgement that everyone knows teen boys want sex.

          Later as we get to dating age, we share with our female peers experiences we have and learn ways to avoid getting into possible sexual situations with young men.  Claiming a curfew so were taken home instead of the want to go park and see the city lights situation.  Buddy systems at parties.  We quickly learn which guys pump and dump so we can avoid them, or at least be on high alert for signs that it’s just sex they want from us.

          As far as want of sex literally driving young men (and older ones too) crazy, there are way more men who learn how deal with it and survive than those who rape.  So while frat boys at the kegger may be horny as hell and trying to score, how many actually use force or continue to ply a woman with alcohol until she’s near unconscious?  Something else is kicking in with the ones that do.  So what is it?

          When Mike Tyson went on trial for and was convicted of rape, a number of men I knew accepted the theory that it couldn’t have been rape because he was famous and could get any woman he wanted.  To which I and and other women I knew replied, that’s exactly the point, Tyson can get most any woman he wants.  So when one turns him down it angers him.  “Don’t you know who I am?  NO ONE turns me down.”  Exerting one’s will on someone.  Punishing them for not giving you what you want when you want it.  Power and control.  Really, how sexually satisfying is it to “have sex” with a woman who is crying, frozen in fear, or unconscious?

        7. Tron Swanson

          Gala,

          The vast majority of people will never have any significant amount of power. On the other hand, the vast majority of people will (or should) be able to have access to at least semi-regular sex.

          I’m not really sure how we made the jump from talking about sexual needs to talking about enemies. As a non-masculine, non-traditional male, I’m no fan of the patriarchy, myself, but I care much more about sex than I care about power. There are obviously men that resent their loss of status in society, and go looking for dark forms of racial and/or gender power, but there are also otherwise-happy men that just want to get laid. And prostitutes are both illegal and expensive. I wish we could perform a social experiment: create high-quality, affordable sexbots, put them on the market, and see what percentage of men want sex, versus what percentage want power. I think you’d find that a lot of men aren’t very interested in society at all–who has the power, all that stuff.

          Now, I admit, I’m an extreme example. Whenever I consider any potential social interaction, I ask myself a critical question: “Will this help me get laid?” If the answer is no, I usually don’t do it. Once upon a time, opposing the patriarchy and being a feminist ally would help get you laid; unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case, which is why I’m now apolitical. The poor could win the class war tomorrow, and it’d be great, but…if I still wasn’t getting enough sex, would it really matter? I’m just not very materialistic. I’d rather be poor and having lots of sex than be more well-off and giving a platonic handshake to my feminist allies.

          There’s a growing sexual underclass of men. Ignore it at your peril.

        8. Mrs Happy

          Dear GoWiththeFlow,

          I find your comments above simply fantastic.

          Also, a while ago I postulated the metaphor of serviettes for sex.  I was trying to illustrate the exasperation some women have about this minor thing in our lives, that men, and industries controlled by men (media, advertising, society, most other things really) prioritise. I like men and I am walking this earth only because of the sex drives of my male ancestors, but I am over our whole society being driven by sex, and the negative effects of it.  Sex feels great, sure, no argument, but balanced against the below litany of casualties, I have to question how good it would have to be, for the overall cost to be even neutral.

          My main serviette point obviously needed spelling out clearly: I am completely sick of the pain and suffering and death that occurs through men’s “need” for sex (and are we kidding calling sex a need – a kindergarten aged child can tell you what are needs and what are wants, and the list for the former is food, water, shelter and clothing, and that’s it).

          Think of it all for just a moment.  Some of the consequences of men’s need for sex, just the ones I can list without even trying too hard.

          Most of the HIV/AIDS victims.  All the social and emotional destruction that occurs when both your parents die in their 20’s/30’s and leave you orphaned and sick in Africa at a young age.  Maybe with HIV yourself, age 5.  Certainly not with any social security or infrastructure or healthcare safety net. No money for meds, or even food.

          The female deaths in childbirth (1 in every 5 women giving birth until recent times).

          All the people trafficking – and dwell on this through the ages for just a minute: the removal from loved ones and security, the torture, the bashing, the imprisoning, the deaths, the illnesses mental and physical, the forced prostitution of young boys and girls and women. Still happening in unimaginable numbers.

          In bygone times, all of the victims of then untreatable syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the other diseases that result from these infections – want some liver failure after hepatitis, anyone?

          Most of the rape ever committed.

          Lots of the scary situations girls and women find themselves in, going home late at night, or among drunk teenage boys while they’re navigating parties and desire, or actually just anywhere anyplace almost.

          All the childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by adult and teenage males.  Repetitive, chronic, damaging.  All the paedophilia at the hands of priests, teachers, ministers, scout leaders, any men in power over young kids.

          All the wacky religious “your body belongs to your husband and it is your duty to service him” (gee I wonder what gender wrote those laws?) crap.

          Even ‘just’ the constant pressure of men like spreadsheet guy, who kept hassling his wife night after night for sex, seemingly oblivious or uncaring about her preferences.

          The unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and unwanted (by the parenting man or woman or both) children.

          And now we can add, because we need more on this list, the incels’ violence – because hey yeah, when I don’t have a serivette that’s exactly what I do, go on a shooting spree or drive a van down a sidewalk, because (tears, woe is me) I really really wanted (sorry, needed) a serviette and no-one would give it to me.  And I deserve a serviette.

          Does anyone think serviettes are truly worth all this suffering?  Not the people suffering, I tell you that now.  Half the population – more when we count kids and asexual adults – don’t want the serviette that much, that often – it’s just a serviette.  Some – not all – of the people who do want (not need) the serviette, are causing all this despair.  It’s unfathomable.

        9. Cathalei

          GWTF,

          These forums are a serious influence on malleable minds, the question here is why do they need to turn to those forums for their problems?

          There are a lot of accusations on that. Look at how they react when a man says “I’m a virgin at age xx. What should I do do start?” and see the finger pointing about how he absolutely must have felt entitled to others’ bodies and that must absolutely be the reason he’s a virgin. This is both presumptuous and hypocritical as the accusers have sexual desires themselves. Having desire towards something doesn’t make anyone entitled. Disregarding others’ thoughts and feelings about it and going about it regardless of what others want does.

          Rejection hurts. And one is not wrong to express hurt at rejection and frustration that their efforts don’t produce desired results and seek help based on that. When people’s feelings (as opposed to how they act on them) is criminalized, they become vulnerable prey to the nefarious influences that say that society (and not the individuals who rebuffed them like that) has wronged them and it’s time to take what’s theirs. The very notion of “sexual redistribution” is ridiculous as it wouldn’t bring anyone involved the intended satisfaction. But there are things to stop the sinister influence of such forums and that involves a lot of honesty and self introspection as to how people react to the expressions of those feelings.

          For example, Harvey Weinstein used his power to solicit sex but without the complicity of those embraced the solicitations while throwing those aspiring actresses who rejected the offers under the bus, he couldn’t have survived and thrived in the industry for that long. Now those people speak up only when it’s profitable. If he wasn’t powerful like that, he would have been labeled, named and shamed promptly. But when he threatened people with their livelihoods they covered for him for almost 2 decades. Some get scolded for simply having desires and others get away with such lecherous behavior points to a staggering hypocrisy.

        10. Jeremy

          Dear Mrs Happy, while what you wrote is undoubtedly true, there is something really, really huge that you are missing.  Go look out your window at the city you live in.  The society you live in.  All the luxuries you enjoy of civilization.  The desire for serviettes built that.  Be cognizant of it.  Be aware of the balance that your comment here lacks.

        11. Mrs Happy

          Dear Jeremy,

          surely you are not claiming that every invention and improvement to the human condition throughout our species’ history is a product of the heterosexual male sex drive?

          And I’m not missing the huge thing that sex is.  I’m fully aware of it, as is almost every female adult on the earth.  I’m trying to say, women are just sometimes sick of sex’s primacy for men, and the huge negatives it causes, because for women, there are many other things in life which are quite important, or more important, than sex and male wants in that regard.

          In fact, my comment could be appreciated as an attempt to introduce a balanced view of the situation, so massively unbalanced as the view usually is, towards providing male wants throughout human history… and at such cost.

          When some brides plan their wedding they become frazzled, and minutiae start to really matter to them.  They actually have discussions about the colour of serviettes as though it matters, and their fiances just roll their eyes and put up with it, knowing there will be an end to the madness fixation on serviette colour, something no straight man including the groom will even notice at the wedding meal.  That’s all understandable and men put up with it because it’s temporary and their goal is a life together.  But just imagine for a moment this serviette fixation continued on for your whole life, and society revolved around it, and it caused enormous suffering, death, illness.  Can you see that you would get a bit sick of serviettes?  I mean they are ok for the minutes each night or week you partake of them, but they have their place as only a part of your life.  That’s what this sex craziness is like for lots of women.  Sex does not cross many women’s minds more than very occasionally unless something causes it to.

          I understand what sex does the benefits it reaps and the advantages of it, but sometimes I am just over it, and the incel-derived idea of women sexually on tap for men, akin to Atwood’s horror in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, makes my blood boil.

        12. Jeremy

          It was Freud who said that all civilization was built from channeled and redirected male sexual energy.  I’ve yet to see anything to disconfirm that.  By my observation, most men’s base motivation to produce and to excel is an algorithm for status to signal sexuality.  Which is why, in modern times when success is becoming de-coupled from sexuality, men lose their motivation to succeed and to produce.  Women wonder why – because their motivation is lifestyle rather than sex.  They can’t imagine that literally half the world doesn’t share their motivational machinery.

           

          I understand what you are saying regarding getting tired of hearing about sex over and over when it isn’t all that important to you.  My point is that it likely IS very important to you.  Not the sex itself, nor the male sex-drive, but what results from it.  Take it away and you lose all the things that make our civilization great.  I believe, when you and I were discussing the Toronto murders, you praised the police officer who took down the killer.  Tell me, what do you think his motivation was to be a hero?  “I want to serve and protect.”  Uh huh.  WHY?  Basic algorithm – provider-protector gets sex.  Run algorithm, make excuses.  I don’t mean to be a reductionist – and certainly other factors were also at play, but you can’t take the male sex drive out of male decision-making.

           

          I both read the Handmaid’s Tale and saw season 1 of the series.  Chilling plot, but nothing like reality.  Do we live in a world where men line up women to use them for sex, or do we live in a world where women line up men to use them for everything but sex, using sex as motivation?  Answer – both, as evolution would have it.

        13. Tron Swanson

          Mrs Happy,

          As our illustrious host often points out, men look for sex and find love. Without sex in the picture, I don’t think that the majority of men would ever experience romantic love…and thus would have nothing to bond them to women they aren’t already related to. Without those bonds, well, society would be in serious trouble.

          Sex, in my opinion, is a key reason why men are so competitive. Men aren’t particularly social, and yet we’re constantly fighting for status. Part of it is ego, sure, but part of it is also sex.

          It always baffles me when women say that they wish men would deprioritize sex. They have no problem when the male sex drive benefits them–men aren’t paying for a ton of first dates because they’re desperate for conversation–but they seem to think that they can get male attention without sex being involved. Believe me, if large numbers of men ever truly deprioritized sex, The Handmaid’s Tale would look like a utopia in comparison, because men would no longer have an incentive to treat women well. Look at how (straight) men treat each other if you want a quick primer. We don’t want anything sexual from each other, and thus we frequently kill each other, steal from each other, sell each other into modern versions of servitude, etc. Take sex away, and you’ll generally get MGTOWs and incels, not friendly, happy-to-be-platonic buddies. Sex is the only thing keeping a significant percentage of men connected to society.

        14. Adam Smith

          Mrs Happy,

          It’s sort of interesting to muse on ‘alternative histories’, and what you write does seem stark, but you’re missing the obvious: men are shaped, what men actually are, is formed by the approval, sexual and otherwise, of women. So you can see how a manosphere blogger could easily turn your argument around on you; imagine if women were not so turned on by ‘ambition’, ‘success’, high social status etc. No Napoleons, no wars, no violence etc. You can’t ring-fence people like that. Each sex is half the species, they’re inextricably interconnected.

        15. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I realize that teen boys and young men have to learn how to successfully mange their sex drives, including channeling sexual energy into something more constructive.  My 48 year old brother told me how much easier his life became as he got older and his sex drive mellowed out.  He said it made him miserable in high school.

          My point with the incel spree killers is that they seem to be failing in this area where most men mange to do okay.  I don’t think it has to be this way, that our only option is to hope someone discovers that a guy is planning a killing spree.  That will save women’s lives but that man’s life is destroyed.  How do we intervene with these men before they become radicalized?

          What make the whole idea that incel concepts like “sex redistribution” are worthy of serious consideration in the pages of the NYT so maddening is that a young man spouting these catchphrases is really in need of an intervention.  Not to have his ridiculous and dangerous theories normalized and used by a conservative columnist to defend the old school sexual system of boys will be boys and girls need to be locked in a closet for their safety.

          Just look as Tron’s closing sentence:  “There’s a growing sexual underclass of men. Ignore it at your peril.”

          WTF is up with the threats?

        16. Mrs Happy

          Guys,

          if we didn’t have the male sex drive, we’d probably still live in cities with buildings and infrastructure, water and electricity, because we would still have people who could invent and make such things. I’m at work right now and it’s not so I can have sex.  It’s because I find my work cognitively stimulating and I want to pay my mortgage and bills and buy nice chocolate.

        17. Mrs Happy

          Dear Jeremy,

          we’re quoting Sigmund now are we?  At times Freud fell prey to a neurologist’s reductionistic conceptualisation of life, as you well know.

        18. Nissa

          Jeremy, when I think about the power desired by a rapist, I don’t see it as a general, “I need to have a better place in the patriarchy” kind of power. It’s the power to force, to make that other individual do what YOU want them to do. It’s to make them say yes to what he wants, even when it’s not what they want. The woman’s desires or consent is irrelevant. That’s the power a rapist wants, and takes, in the act of rape.

          I’ve known rapists, and I’ve known women who have been raped. I’ve never heard any of those women express that men shouldn’t have desires for sex or ANY kind of worry that men can have sex without emotion or that sex is a commodity. Neither of those things directly results in rape. An individual who chooses to violate another is what causes rape. An individual who is willing to cause harm to another is what causes rape. Everyone has needs and desires, but very few choose to violate others to achieve them.

        19. shaukat

          Freud’s theory on creativity, as laid out in his Civilization and its Discontents, is deficient. It builds on his general argument pertaining to repression, which is valid, but overall it neglects the general social context in which individuals operate, and it completely elides issues of class and exploitation as drivers of creativity. It is true that feudal lords, nobles, barons, and clergy were motivated by status and conspicuous consumption, and sometimes how the latter provided access to sex, but at the same time sexual gratification during these periods was met through conquest and warfare, and the primary driver of such pursuits was the acquisition of land. Moreover, the vast majority of the male population during this period, the peasantry or slaves, did not engage in much innovation.   The theory also breaks down in the context of modern capitalist society, especially at the level of the firm, where most innovation takes place. Theorists such as Weber, Marx and Joseph Schumpeter provide far more convincing accounts of the origins of creativity and  innovation, ultimately rooted in competitive pressures to rationalize and innovate to acquire surplus. Schumpeter’s principle of “Creative Destruction” is especially useful here. It posits that at the level of the firm, and in the context of competition, managers will always be compelled to innovate and devise new technological breakthroughs in order to lower unit costs and produce greater output to price out competitors, which results in a continuous process whereby previous innovations are made obsolete.   

        20. Jeremy

          Shaukat, while I would agree that Freud’s theory is not all-encompassing, it is the piece missing from the other theorists you mentioned.  You referenced Marx, for example – and I found the reference interesting.  Because for all of Marx’s brilliance, the minor detail he forgot to account for was…..basic human psychology.  Therein lay the failure of the communist and socialist concepts.  Remove motivation and humans fail to act – or rather, they find other motivations.  Economic theories at the level of the firm or the level of social stratus are all informing – but they say little about the motivations of the individual.  Firms innovate to compete – WHY?  Individuals strive to produce – WHY?

           

          The other day, as I drove my 10 year old son to the bus, he saw the budding fruit trees on the roadside and he made a comment about the generosity of trees.  “Imagine dad,” he said, “the tree creates green leaves to allow for photosynthesis, so the tree can produce sugar, so the tree can produce a sweet fruit for people and animals to consume.  What a lot of effort for such a generous cause!”  “And why do you think the tree has evolved to produce such a sweet fruit,” I asked.  “Is it for the benefit of the people and animals who eat it, or is it an attempt to spread the seeds inside the fruit so that the tree can reproduce?”

        21. Gala

          Jeremy:

           “I want to serve and protect.”  Uh huh.  WHY?

          Let me guess – so that he could get laid?

          Jeez. Seriously. Why are you peddling these ridiculous theories when they can be belied by a few simple observations. Some of the most competitive achievers in history were gay. Think Alexander the Great, Turing, Da Vinci (clearly, banging women was not high on their list). Older men, who according to the testosterone chart, should be less competitive, compete fiercely. Just take a look at the most recent presidential election in the U.S. Men also never stop wanting to make more money. As should be clear to anybody with a functioning television that can be tuned into CNBC. What are you talking about here?

        22. Jeremy

          Gala, my point is obviously not to say that sex is men’s only goal.  Obviously the officer in the Toronto shooting had more than just the goal of getting sex in his decision to be a police officer.  None of us is uni-dimensional.  Rather, my point was to say that in men’s pie-chart of decision-making, our sex drive and also our evolved drive to out-compete rivals takes up a lot of real estate.  Heterosexuality or lack thereof makes no difference.  And while there are some visible examples of old men competing fiercely, stats show that male competitiveness declines with age and also with marital status, see the age-genius curve.

           

          The ONLY reason I’ve involved myself in this discussion is because I hear men and male sexuality get bashed over and over in society.  The root of all evil.  The cause of women’s woes.  The conversation lacks balance!  The same force that when misused leads to harm also leads to civilization, progress, even heroism.  This fact is too often forgotten.  That’s all I have to say about the subject.

  10. 10
    Stephanie

    I actually did what the article talks about: freezing eggs.

    I froze my eggs when I was 38 and a month later when I was 39. I got 22 eggs but I knew back them in (2010) that it averages 1 in 6 will be good, now it’s reported to be 1 in 4. So I was expecting 3-4 embryos. Cost was $16,000 plus $500 storage per year.  At 42 I had my daughter and sure enough, when I unfroze those eggs I got 4 embryos. After putting in 3 of those 4, it didn’t work so I went to fresh embryos. 2nd try didn’t go well. 3rd try didn’t work, but I had another frozen to put in the bank with the other one from my egg freezing. 4th try = my daughter.

    I know a lot of people including Amy West and Brigitte from the WP article. Amy is younger than me and the egg freezing was better for her than me.

    My thoughts were always that egg freezing buys you an extra two years of time, and may make you more relaxed when you are dating but it’s not a fix to having kids that much later.

    Egg freezing and IVF for the record are really the same thing. When you “freeze” your eggs all you are doing is the egg retrieval (you can put sperm in with it or not) and you are not putting it back in to attempt pregnancy.

    GALA is absolutely right; 10 EMBRYOS (not eggs) is the best way to have a biological child. Not guaranteed, but better odds.

    Too many people get 10 or so eggs and assume all are good. I knew one woman who did one cycle at 38 got 8 eggs and tried to argue with me when I told her I was recommended to have over 20 eggs in the “bank”. I had multiple friends that told me that their parents or friends thought they should freeze their eggs and these people were 42, 43 and older! Misinformation!!!

    Or we hear stories like the Sophia Vergara story where he ex is making assumptions that 2 embryos are already children waiting to be born.

    However, the tides are turning when it comes to having kids. We hang out with an over 40 first time parents crowd. (Minus one guy who was divorced and had one kid previously) All of the couples I knew from 15 years ago and for one reason or another and they got married later and were are all in the same boat.

    I have one friend who she was almost 50, her husband was 57. Both first time parents and first marriages. When I come to her daughter’s birthday party, most of those FIRST time parents are their age! I know a second guy who really, really wanted kids and he also had his first at 57, his wife was 43.

    One of my closest friends had her kids at 43 and 45; and she’s going back into the dating pool; her marriage isn’t working but her attitude is just like Tiger Mom’s.

    With online dating it means you get a lot of options, but you get a lot of crap you would never meet in a bar or on the street. If it comes down to having kids vs. finding a partner, then sometimes the choice has to be made or it will be made for you. Adoption (well over $50k PER kid whether you are talking about local or abroad), IVF (can be more than $30k or $50k) or surrogacy (two of my friends did it it’s $100k).

    And your fertility history makes a difference: my maternal Grandmother had my mother at 41 and my paternal Grandmother had her kids at 34 and 36 (due to the Holocaust and having to leave Germany); so I was in luck with that on my side.

  11. 11
    Coffee & Words

    Long time lurker. As a 44 year old divorced mother of 2 kids aged under 8, I can also attest to meeting similarly aged single fathers who also have young children via online dating. The only point I’d like to add is that having shared custody where my ex has the kids 3 consecutive days a week has been essential to my being able to date. Even then, my child-free days have not always aligned with my potential dates, so there have been interesting guys that I haven’t been able to pursue anything with.  I’ve been in a relationship for the last 12 months and we were able to delay introducing the children until just a couple of months ago, because we could limit our time together to our child-free weekends. Having a good co-parenting relationship with my ex is crucial. Obviously other family members or friends could babysit, but I wouldn’t feel good going away for weekends away every week or fortnight while my kids are being babysat by grandma (grandma wouldn’t appreciate it either!).

  12. 12
    MilkyMae

    I know a few women who want(or wanted) to be married and/or have children.  They subscribed to match, eharmony, pof and other services. The really weird observation is that many are vague about their wishes and goals.  They check off the “maybe” or “not sure” check boxes. They will talk to their gynecologist or medical professional but not the man they’ve been dating for the last month.  I don’t understand this thought process.  They want something from a man but the man is the only person they don’t tell. I don’t think women should to tell men they froze their eggs in their profiles but they need be honest with men and with themselves.  Wanting to be a wife or mother is crucial information to share yet many women feel the need to hide this.  When did it become a stigma?  People on this board talk about “the wall”. I don’t think women hit the wall.  Women erect the wall and men paint graffiti on it.

  13. 13
    Tracy

    I was in the minority amongst my friends in that I never focused on marriage or kids. I was very focused on school and career. Many of my friends got married and/or had children very young. It was all they thought about.

    I had a kid at 32 when I was in a long-term relationship. We now co-parent and our kid is fabulous and I love her to pieces.

    I date when I feel like it and there are no shortage of men in their 40s with kids. Having kids is not an issue, although I don’t typically date men with little kids. Mine is much older now.

    But I do know older woman whose clocks were ticking quiet loudly. And it really affected the decisions they made. Often, they went after men they liked for money, looks, etc, but who were just terrible partners. They thought they could change them.

    I would say if you want to have a marriage and kids, you can’t choose the party guys and expect them to change over night. Those guys will be the ones in their late 40s and 50s looking for younger women to have their children.

     

  14. 14
    Jeremy

    @Clare, regarding the guy on the date.  I get what you are saying and it makes sense from the perspective of a woman who considers herself a selector – wanting to weed out men from a pool of applicants.  You want him to be honest, so that you either see a future with him or you can weed him out.  But what about the perspective of the man?  Is his being honest going to make it more or less likely that HE will get what he wants?  Obviously less.  Because while women can glibly tell men to fish from the pool of women who admit to only wanting casual sex, that pool is far smaller among women than men, and the quality of the women may not be as high.  And furthermore, who said that sex was ALL he was looking for?  Many men look for sex and find love, because that’s their hierarchy of relationship desires.  Women have a hard time relating to this because most women’s base need is intimacy, and they only consider sex once intimacy is obtained.  Men, though, only start giving much thought to intimacy once they are no longer sexually starving.  That’s why every man on earth would have given you the same answer as this man did, if they were being HONEST.   Your question, I hate to say, was a classic manospherian shit-test.  A test that is passed by refusing to give the woman what she says she wants, and failed by giving it to her.  If he had lied to you, he would have been far more likely to get what he wanted, and so would you have.  Because if you filter out every man who wants sex on the 2nd date, you’ll be left with no one.  Doesn’t mean you have to have the sex with them, but it means you need to understand their hierarchy of desires. I find that so many women and men make the mistake of assuming that members of the opposite gender should want the same things they do if they are to make a good partner.  Yet we all lie through our teeth.  Men lie through the dance of courtship – the dance designed to convince women that we want sex far less than we want intimacy (which is a LIE, until we get the sex).  And women lie through failing to admit that what they are looking for is less a soul-mate and more a life-partner to give them the life they want.  As the whole thread about Egg-freezing has so chillingly demonstrated.  The fact that a man’s hierarchy of desires places sex before intimacy doesn’t mean he can’t be a great husband.  The fact that a woman wants a child more than a husband doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t make a good wife.  Caution is necessary.  But honestly, if we were all being honest right from the get-go, no relationship would every lift off the ground.

    1. 14.1
      Clare

      Jeremy,

      I appreciate and respect your perspective. But I do think you have completely misunderstood me.

      do understand his perspective. I completely understand that a man who is attracted to you or interested in you in any way probably wants to see you naked on the first date, never mind the second. I haven’t been living under a rock; I have brothers, I have guy friends, I’ve dated lots of guys. I love men. And I appreciate the way they feel. Again, I didn’t berate this guy for his comment. And whether or not my answer was “a manosphere shit-test,” I really don’t give a damn. I was being honest about the situation. I felt as if his comment came out of left field. Frankly, the fact that I was a bit blunt with him had almost nothing to do with the fact that he really wanted to see me naked (which I assumed anyway) and far more to do with the fact that I had just had to endure an hour and a half of him rambling on about all the distasteful things that he had done in his misspent youth. Oh yes, and then there was the fun part of the date where he dissected the end of his last relationship for my benefit. It just turned into a horrible, awkward date.

      So again, I think you are misunderstanding me. My response was not a lack of understanding or respect of his perspective. After all, I’ve had connections that turned into really strong, rock solid relationships where I slept with the guy early on. In fact, my ex-husband and I (and we were together for 9 years and are still friends to this day) slept together on the first date. With the guy from the date, I just really felt that we weren’t on the same page. And frankly, any guy who feels the need to “manosphere shit-test” me is not someone I have the time of day for. I have far more integrity in a relationship than that.

      1. 14.1.1
        Jeremy

        Fair enough.  I respect your perspective too. Sounds like this guy was just either really clueless or really misguided.  What do you think his motivation was for talking the way he did?  I knew guys who talked like that back in high school or university – trying to impress women with their rebelliousness – and frankly that sometimes worked on the foolish young women in school who were impressed by bad-boys.  But as an adult?

         

        It’s funny how some things just seem obvious to some people.  My mother loves to sing and has been a member of many choirs over the years.  But inevitably, she will get into a squabble with someone in every choir and will leave the group with a scathing letter or email, describing in detail how they wronged her.  Each time she does it, I ask her what she hopes the result will be – does she not know that she is only making herself look bad and burning all sorts of bridges?  But she doesn’t think ahead, she only thinks about the feelings in her head at the time – the need for revenge and validation.  Some recent posts on this site (not yours) remind me of this.  Things that *should* be obvious…I wonder what I am missing that isn’t obvious to me…

    2. 14.2
      Nissa

      Because while women can glibly tell men to fish from the pool of women who admit to only wanting casual sex, that pool is far smaller among women than men, and the quality of the women may not be as high. That’s true for women too. One can easily say: tell women to fish from the pool of men who admit to wanting a serious relationship, that pool is far smaller among men than women, and the physical quality of the men may not be as high. So, all of us have to pick the quality which is most important to us. It’s not a gendered thing, it’s a human thing.

      1. 14.2.1
        Cathalei

        Wanting casual sex and serious relationship is not mutually exclusive. One can be willing to have casual sex but end up with a serious relationship upon meeting a person that’s on the same wavelength. Similarly one may want a serious relationship but have casual sex with people whom they find attractive in the meantime like Evan. Maybe more women have different motivations ascribed to casual sex but it doesn’t mean they’re less willing. Otherwise those that do wouldn’t jump to the opportunity.

  15. 15
    Clare

    Jeremy,

    “What do you think his motivation was for talking the way he did?  I knew guys who talked like that back in high school or university – trying to impress women with their rebelliousness – and frankly that sometimes worked on the foolish young women in school who were impressed by bad-boys.  But as an adult?”

    I can only say that I’ve observed a worrying trend of immaturity in some of the people in the age group I typically associate with (early to mid 30s). People you’d think would have grown out of that. People whom you’d think should know better. It could be that this guy (and some of the others like him that I’ve met) think that the whole “bad boy” vibe will impress the ladies. I think it’s a bit of that, and also just simply a lack of maturity. This guy, for instance, still played video games and smoked weed with his friends several nights a week (as soon as I heard that, I was done). There are a lot of people in their 30s who simply haven’t grown up.

    As far as people who say things which accomplish nothing but rubbing other people up the wrong way… I think this is a society-wide epidemic. I know of a lot of people like your mom. They give vent to their feelings first and do damage control (or not) later. I think it’s as simple as they just speak without thinking. I have realised that many, many people are completely oblivious how they come across to others.

    1. 15.1
      Shaukat

      Now now, let’s not disparage people for choosing to smoke weed. I know many mature people, professional men and women, who live what would be considered the text book definition of “successful” lives who occasionally dabble in that. For some people it’s the equivalent of having a glass of wine or a beer with friends, and it’s pretty much legal where I live. I agree playing video games in your 30s is dumb, but whatever, I try not to judge based on those innocuos details.

      1. 15.1.1
        Clare

        Shaukat,

        I’ve got no problem at all with people who smoke weed. Or people who play video games. To each their own. And I’d date a guy who did either of those things occasionally. But I wouldn’t date a man who did them regularly. And I’m not talking about a little spliff to relax for half an hour after work. Or an hour of video games once or twice a week. I’m talking about guys who smoke or play for hours and hours numerous times a week. I have had long-term relationships with guys who did both, and I will never, never do it again.

        1. Adam Smith

          Okay so there’s goes every guy on planet earth, roughly:)

  16. 16
    Tron Swanson

    I’m like the guy that Clare mentioned…except I wouldn’t have taken her (or any woman) out on a date.

    Look, I tried playing the game. I tried being polite, using code, whatever you want to call it. Instead of flatly telling women that I wanted to have sex with them, I said a bunch of other stuff that, while it wasn’t dishonest, didn’t really mean anything. It didn’t usually work, I didn’t usually get what I wanted. I got sick of all that wasted time and effort, so I did something much easier: I told the truth. I felt a lot better, too, because I was finally being honest. And it worked far more than the other strategy ever did. Oh, I still dealt with a lot of rejection, but at least I knew right away, as opposed to stringing out this weirdly-artificial process.

    I have to be dishonest about my true thoughts and feelings a good portion of the time, just to keep the peace. I hate it. It takes effort, and I certainly don’t want to have to do it in my personal life. It’s just another catch-22 for men: if you hide what you’re actually after, you’re being deceptive and manipulative, and if you don’t, you’re being immature and trashy.

    1. 16.1
      Clare

      Good to know, Tron.

      Do you put that right up there on your profile? “I only want to have sex with you, but I will never take you (or any woman) out on a date because I don’t think you’re worth the time and effort.”

      I’m guessing no. I’m guessing that you feel comfortable in expressing your bitter, negative, disrespectful and completely off-putting views here to strangers on the internet, but I’m guessing you have to put on a certain amount of “charm” to the women you hope to entice into bed because no woman in full possession of her senses would have sex with a man who spoke to her the way you speak on this blog (hence, your claim of total honesty is at least somewhat invalid).

      Also, I honestly cannot imagine what you hope to gain by spewing out this misogynistic rubbish to people on a blog which is all about happy marriage and relationships? Have you had any luck at all in bringing people round to your depressing world view? Aren’t there plenty of manosphere blogs where you would fit in? What the f*** are you doing here?

      1. 16.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        My profile is a minimal-effort thing, I didn’t put much detail into it. So, no, I don’t have that in my profile. Granted, when I talk with women, they don’t usually have “I cared more about getting married than having a boyfriend who was committed to me” or “Only men six feet tall and over please” or “Getting involved with me means getting involved with my dysfunctional, heavily-medicated children” in their profiles, either.

        I am the least charming person you’ll ever meet. I can be kind of funny, I guess, but I have zero social skills, so I’m incapable of “charming” anyone. I’ve learned that, if women want to have sex with me, they will, and there isn’t much I can do to mess that up. Alternately, if they don’t, no amount of social interaction will change that. To quote someone that Evan hates, you can’t negotiate desire. I used to put more effort into it, as my female friends told me that women liked to be pursued…but those same female friends were banging guys who made zero effort and clearly weren’t relationship material. The more I tried, the less successful I was. It’s a lot easier to just let chemistry do the sorting. In my experience, women usually show you that they want to **** you by ****ing you.

        As for why I’m here, well, the last bastions of cultural segregation are finally falling. Gay people can get married, girls can join the Boy Scouts, and I can post here (as long as Evan lets me)! We’re all playing in the same sandbox, so we might as well speak to each other…

        1. Clare

          Tron,

          I know you’re allowed to. Much like I’m allowed to put a bolt through my nose and sing Danny Boy in the city centre. It’s just that that course of action isn’t a useful or productive use of my time and wouldn’t bring me any pleasure.

          So I’d really just like to know why you want to comment here. What do you have to gain by doing so?

        2. Jeremy

          Tron, you wrote, “To quote someone that Evan hates, you can’t negotiate desire.

           

          I remember when I first came across Rollo’s writings.  It was a particularly bad time for me, and this statement in particular struck me as a truth that should have been obvious to me yet wasn’t.  It was as though society had thrown a shroud over the truth to make it seem like desire could be negotiated, because that’s what women wanted men to believe.

           

          Years later, some wisdom gained, I now realize that Rollo was wrong.  Or rather, only right for a subset of women.  Not that I think you’d have the interest in this, Tron, but perhaps some readers here will – there is an excellent book called “Come as you are,” by a sex expert named Dr. Emily Nagoski.  One of her main points is that sexual desire can be spontaneous, or can be reactive.  People with spontaneous desire get horny all on their own, and are the ones who either want sex or don’t.  People with reactive sexual desires rarely get horny on their own, and rarely are the ones who chase down sex.  But given the proper context and stimulation (be it emotional or physical), their desire can become quite active indeed.  And wouldn’t you know it, more women seem to have reactive desire rather than spontaneous, for the majority of the time.

           

          The upshot of that is that desire can, indeed, be negotiated for some women – women with reactive desire.  And not for others – women with spontaneous desire. It can be negotiated with women whose sexual “brakes” are sticky and need lots of comfort to deactivate, but whose sexual accelerator is raring to go once the brakes are off.  But can’t be negotiated with women whose accelerators are hard to activate.

           

          But take a guy like Rollo, who is obviously obsessed with validation, and he would not perceive the value in reactive desire.  After all, if a woman was not all over him without his needing to make her feel comfortable, where’s the validation in that for him?  Which is why he will be the first to say (and I’m quoting him now), that “a woman who makes you wait is never worth the wait.”  True for him.  Depends on what you want. I’ve said it before – Rollo’s brilliance is his description of the women he sees.  His myopia is ignoring the entire rest of the planet.

        3. Chance

          Hi Jeremy, I’ve noticed that you often mention Rollo Tomassi, most notably as it relates to observations where you disagree with him.  However, I’ve noticed that your disagreement is often based on a misinterpretation of those observations, and then you propose what you believe to be true, which actually aligns with what Rollo was saying in the first place :).   In this instance, I think you are misinterpreting what is meant by “negotiating” desire.  What is meant here is that, while you can get someone to overtly agree to something (weekly sex, for example), that doesn’t mean he/she wants to do it.  That negotiation becomes his/her obligation.  This isn’t to be confused with calibrating your behavior in a manner that can spark desire in your partner.  In this case, your partner is arriving at that state of desire on her own even though you are consciously behaving in a manner that is causing her to feel desire, which is what I believe you might be saying?  If so, that’s what Rollo says, too.   My intent isn’t to correct you.  Rather, I’d hate to see you dismiss information that could otherwise be helpful based on a misinterpretation of that information.  We can talk about other examples if you’d like:).

        4. Jeremy

          Hi Chance.

           

          I agree with your parsing of the nuance in the word “negotiation.”  Certainly I agree that no one, man or woman, finds obligation to be sexy and in that sense you can’t inspire desire through “earning it.”  But there is a world of difference between that and believing that a woman either wants to f-ck you or she doesn’t, and if she doesn’t you are wasting your time (a la Tron).  Or the notion that if desire can be inspired, it is inspired through Alpha behaviors, not Beta behaviors.  And that is, indeed Rollo’s thing.  Killing the Beta.  Denigration of “Beta Game.”  The entire philosophy fails to understand that there is a whole subset of female personality types that absolutely REQUIRE beta comfort before their desire can ever be awoken.  Of course, what use would Rollo’s ilk have for such women?  They are of no use to PUAs.

           

          But you’ve sparked my interest.  What other topics do you think I’ve misinterpreted of manospherian ideology?

        5. Tron Swanson

          Clare,

          My reasons for being here are deep, multifaceted, and ultimately unknowable.

           

          Jeremy,

          That’s very interesting, thanks for sharing it. Still, I sort of get the impression that the physical desire was already there, it’s just a matter of unlocking it. Even if desire could hypothetically be negotiated, I still wouldn’t trust myself to do it correctly, and would instead rely solely on already-present physical attraction. I’m looking for something as simple and idiot-proof as possible.

        6. Tom10

          @ Tron Swanson
          “My reasons for being here are deep, multifaceted, and ultimately unknowable”.
           
          Lol. Let me guess Tron: attention, kicks and giggles?
           
          I’ve actually thought of a solution to all your problems though; have you ever considered medication to nullify your libido? The quacks call it chemical castration I believe. That way you’ll never have to worry about sex, relationships or women again!

        7. Clare

          Tom,

          Haha, chemical castration… I love it!

          I suspect “deep, multi-faceted and unknowable” is Tron’s way of describing reasons which don’t exist.

        8. Tron Swanson

          Tom10,

          I have thought about that, actually, but never as a serious option. You’re right, my biology has been the source of most of my problems in this area. I can relate to the gay conservatives/traditionalists who hate being the way they are. If not for my biological attraction to women, my life would be much easier. Luckily, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it isn’t as strong as it used to be.

          And, I’m not big on attention, but “kicks and giggles,” absolutely. Everything I do, I do for the sake of enjoyment. I’m very much a pleasure-seeker. (As for my posting frequency, it has less to do with attention and more to do with my life, such as it is. Some weeks I have time, other weeks I don’t.)

        9. Chance

          Hey Jeremy,

          “But you’ve sparked my interest. What other topics do you think I’ve misinterpreted of manospherian ideology?”

          I don’t know what the broader manospherian ideology would entail, or even if there is such a thing. So many different viewpoints. I haven’t found much use for a fair amount of it, but I’ve found that Rollo’s observations largely align with my experience. His talent is in articulating those observations in such a way most people can’t, which is why I find him useful.

          So, to your question: one example would be relating to the definition of “alpha”. If memory serves, I believe you referenced his story about the Australian kid who threw a house party that resulted in extensive property damage to his parents’ house as being a textbook example of alpha. I think your takeaway was that Rollo considered him to be alpha because he was selfish. Not so. His point was that being alpha (as he views it) comes from having a dominant “frame control” (i.e., “putting yourself as your mental point of origin”, as he puts it). Not to be confused with selfishness. His point with using the Australian kid as an example was that “alpha” is independent of one’s character as he says that “there are noble alphas and there are scoundrel alphas” – both of which will generate a fair amount of female attention (the latter being the types of women that you say respond to “beta game”). He clearly noted that the kid was a selfish jerk who no one should aspire to be like. I guess if I could elaborate on his idea, I would say that one could be the most kind and generous man on Earth, and still be an “alpha” that generates arousal in women. It’s just that this kindness and generosity has to truly come from a place of grace and/or altruism as opposed to doing so because one feels that it would generate approval, or if one adheres to societal expectations, he would be rewarded for it. How often are we nice because we subconsciously understand that people are more likely to approve of us for being nice and considerate? IME, women have a keen sense for this, particularly as it relates to men trying to cull intimate approval from them….. and, their distaste for it has nothing to do with them feeling like they’ve been manipulated. It just comes from a place of weakness, and they feel it (either consciously or subconsciously)… They feel that he isn’t his own mental point of origin.

          You mention “beta game”, and how some women require beta comfort before desire can ever be awoken. I remember you stating that courtship is a beta act, and I’m wondering if you are referring to something like this. If so, I’d like to discuss that further because I think I could provide some insights from my perspective that you could take or leave. Could you please elaborate?

          Another example of a misinterpretation (IMHO) would be your quoting Rollo in response to Tron up above: “a woman who makes you wait is never worth the wait.”, and how it was all about validation. Rollo’s point wasn’t that if a woman makes you wait, it isn’t worth it because you don’t get the validation that comes from bedding her really quickly. He was saying that, in his experience, the women who made him wait weren’t enthusiastic when they eventually had sex for the first time. This has been my experience as well. Also, this is a particularly salient point today since we are moving closer and closer to anything that isn’t sufficiently enthusiastic being considered “rape”.

          Btw, it was cool to read that you visited Tofino. Such a beautiful place… I loved it as well. Only downside is the abundance of inexpensive and totally fresh halibut, salmon, and sablefish…. Who wants to stomach that garbage? 😉

        10. ezamused

          Jeremy

          I think Chance is 100% right on his interpretation (it looks like you agree also)

          What makes you so sure of the REQUIRE part of “there is a whole subset of female personality types that absolutely REQUIRE beta comfort before their desire can ever be awoken.”?  I do think they women need to feel safe and have connection/rapport but that isn’t necessarily beta.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          Denigration of “Beta Game.”  The entire philosophy fails to understand that there is a whole subset of female personality types that absolutely REQUIRE beta comfort before their desire can ever be awoken.

          I recently had a conversation with a woman who pretty much let the cat out of the bag on this issue.  We were discussing the preference for male height. Her response was, “I never dated a man shorter than 5’10” when I was looking for a man to be the father of my children.  Now that I have my kids, I am no longer looking for genetic material.  I want a man who will be kind and make laugh.”   I could not believe that she referred to men as “genetic material.”

          What this woman inadvertently did was to highlight that the alpha fux/beta bux dynamic does in fact exist. Only 35% of the male population in the United States (U.S.) is at least 5’10”.  However, if one reads American female profiles on Match, one will discover that this height threshold is extremely common.  Men shorter than 5’10” are good enough to help raise children and be a woman’s BFF/duty-born, versus passion-driven lover, but they are not worthy of being able to father their own children.

          While it is socially unacceptable to openly discriminate against women based on weight (something that is completely under the control of most women), it is completely acceptable to openly discriminate against men based on height. Luckily, I never had to deal with height discrimination, but I have a lot of friends who are shorter than 5’10”.  My shortest friends never married.  These guys are not super short. They are 5’6″ and 5’7″.

        12. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          If that woman you went out with personifies an alpha fux/beta bux example to you, the only thing you know is that that applies to her only.  You can’t extrapolate her priorities, her thought processes, or her behavior to all women.  Yet that is what you seem to do.

      2. 16.1.2
        Nissa

        Chance, I really liked your explanations here. I haven’t read Rollo but I find the definitions interesting. I especially liked your comments about: negotiation becomes his/her obligation. It really helped me understand the idea of if a woman was not all over him without his needing to make her feel comfortable, where’s the validation in that for him?  I know that I find people who put themselves first to be very attractive, mostly because my life was full of martyrs growing up. I experienced the passive/aggressive pull of those who constantly claimed to be putting others first, but who continued to whine about how their needs were not met. This was no surprise, as there was a common pattern of failing to do what was needed to get what they wanted, but instead of taking ownership of that behavior, expected others to act differently so that they could feel better. I actually believe that the ‘altruistic alpha’ model would work best because there isn’t ever an end point. Adam Smith’s invisible hand will persist; a person will continue to act in the way that benefits him best. However, I would argue that men are not so simple as to only want sex. Like women, they want a host of other qualities and benefits as well. Therefore it benefits him to treat her well so that she will stay. The common error that we see of men treating women like crap and the woman sticking around for it is the woman’s issue much more than the man’s. A man can’t treat you badly if you don’t stick around for it.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Nissa,

          Rollo is interesting.  Yes I bought and read his main book.  In between the few true observations he makes about certain women, there are pages that basically repeat over and over that women are base creatures who are ruthlessly driven by their lizard brains.  They are disgusting.  They are out to manipulate and screw men.  If you decide to interact with women in life, you need to do it from a point of control and the objective is do keep them off-balance and dominate them.  And DO NOT ever get married, because men are society’s true victims.

          I had no idea there was this community of men out there that hated women SO MUCH.  It made me give up on trying to meet anyone and date for about six months after I read it.  That’s how bad it is.

  17. 17
    Marika

    I know nothing about Rollo. But I do know that anyone who tries to simplify female, or even human, behaviour into all or nothing categories clearly hasn’t met many people!

    It’s a fear-based strategy. It sounds like he’s trying to be the David Attenbrough (sp?) of understanding women, like we are some other species to be studied (and ultimately, hunted & overpowered).

    I’m still surprised at what some women are into. From friends, reading here, various sources…we can’t all be distilled into one category in terms of desire, or anything else, really.

  18. 18
    Marika

    Clare & Tom

    He wants attention (even negative attention). The more he gets it, the more he posts.

  19. 19
    Marika

    Chance

    I can relate personally to what you’re saying. I’m very attracted to men who are their own ‘mental point of origin’, as I understand what you’re saying (their own man regardless of approval/disapproval, context etc.). Unfortunately, as you talk about, it’s hard for me to lose that attraction even when I learn that they are closer to a selfish jerk than a ‘noble alpha’. I’m actually glad that you explained it this way, as I tend to beat myself up for still being attracted to (although physically keeping my distance from) the types of men who are their own men, but selfish people & bad partners.

    HOWEVER:

    This is not all women. It may be some women, it may even be a lot of women, but I know for a fact that not all women operate this way. I see it in friends, family, on this blog – some women are immediately turned off by that behaviour, are very much in love with the puppy dog type guy and aren’t turned off (like I am) by a guy trying hard to impress. I also know very happily married guys who were previous players, found a woman they really loved and waited a long time (in one instance, until marriage), to sleep with her. And many, many other examples of men choosing to wait for sex, and women not being sucked in by game.

    So, while there is certainly truth to what you’re saying, there is also truth to what Jeremy is saying: that this doesn’t apply to women across the board.

    That is the biggest issue I have with this type of thinking..the idea that however many billion people, half the world’s population, think & act the exact same way…is ludicrous, and actually a dangerous way to think (leading to all sorts of discrimination & manipulation).  If men use some of these ideas for self-improvement, great. If they use it to trick & deceive women, awful.

    1. 19.1
      shaukat

      I agree with you Marika, though only partially. It’s true that we can’t treat human beings, men or women, like automatons, but certain generalizations are rooted in substantive factual evidence and broadly observed trends. Even Evan’s motto on this blog is clearly rooted in a generalization that can’t possibly be applied to all men and women: “men look for sex and find love; women look for love and find sex.”

      Regarding Rollo and the ‘manosphere,’ I’d say (with respect to Chance who I like:) he over complicates a very simple issue. I would recommend reading Mark Manson or GLL over Rollo; the latter muddies the waters with concepts such as ‘masculine frame,’ ‘alpha,’ ‘beta,’ etc. None of this is really that necessary. Just look up the ‘halo effect.’

      Want to do well with women? 1). Look good; 2). Be interesting.

      That’s it.

      1. 19.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        In my defense, Shaukat, it is next to impossible to give advice to masses of people without trafficking in generalities, especially since such stereotypes have a strong basis in reality. To deny this is to deny science. So if someone says, “I know this one guy who doesn’t look for sex, he’s just a nice guy who wants to see if there’s a connection,” it may be true, but it’s the equivalent of “It’s snowing in North Carolina. There must be no such thing as global warming!”

  20. 20
    Jeremy

    Interesting discussion, everyone!

     

    So first, to Marika – you know, I’ve never met a woman who wasn’t aroused by a man who prioritizes himself rather than others. And I looked hard, because I very much didn’t want to believe that to be true.  I’ve met women who’ve had bad experiences with self-centered men and deliberately sought out other types.  I’ve met women who made a conscious decision to choose men who prioritize others.  I’ve met women who internalize the role of being the dominant personality and seek out more submissive men – but that is what they believe they “should” want, rather than what they want internally – and that’s easy to spot when you’re looking for it (or at least, it’s easy for me to spot).  Rollo and his followers are 100% right that this is the personality type that women in general find most AROUSING, though not necessarily most attractive.  So…..what is most attractive?

     

    This question leads me to respond to Shaukat, who quoted Mark Manson – whom he likes, but whom I do not much care for – “Want to do well with women?  1) Look good; 2) Be interesting.”  Hmmm, which women are we talking about now?  And what do we mean by “doing well”?  The reason I don’t much care for Manson is that he can’t seem to think beyond his own personality type.  His entire blog (which I have read) is basically an Explorer-type advising others to act like Explorers in order to attract Explorers.  This isn’t me pigeon-holing people again, Shaukat, it’s people pigeonholing themselves!

     

    What is your base assumption?  What is your motivation?  What is the motivation of the person you want to attract?  You want to attract a woman with a Guardian personality, you’re going to have to show her that you can play a role.  Because while being attractive and interesting might arouse her, it won’t interest her enough to make you do well with her if what you hope for is a relationship.  And the role you’ll have to play has everything to do with what Rollo and his ilk would consider Beta qualities:  Prioritizing OTHERS first, not yourself; placing the centre of your system of priorities outside of yourself.  This is the antithesis of Alpha.  And it is the preferred partner of the Guardian woman.

     

    You want to attract a woman with an Idealist personality?  You’ll have to show her that you are passionate about something and that you prioritize something meaningful. Otherwise she won’t respect you.  And if she can’t respect you, she won’t be attracted to you in the long-run.  Being attractive and interesting won’t be enough.  What does “doing well” mean?  Note how Manson is not, nor has ever been, married?

     

    Ezamused asked me, “What makes you so sure of the REQUIRE part of “there is a whole subset of female personality types that absolutely REQUIRE beta comfort before their desire can ever be awoken.”  Answer:  Because I understand the concept of sexual brakes and accelerators.  Because I have known women who absolutely need their brakes turned off by comfort qualities before they can perceive any sort of arousal.  But this sort of woman is not the type likely to engage in much casual sex.  Ezamused wrote, “I do think they women need to feel safe and have connection/rapport but that isn’t necessarily beta.”  It is EXACTLY Beta – without the shit-storm of scorn we heap on it by calling it “beta.”  Beta is comfort.  Alpha is arousal.  Beta is putting others first.  Alpha is putting yourself first.  Take the bullshit out, and realize that every woman needs a mix, but the mix any particular woman needs will depend on her personality!  So be careful with generalizations!  Because while just about every woman I’ve ever met is more aroused by Alpha, I’ve known many, many women to completely ignore the part of their brain that feels aroused and walk from guys who lack balance.  And the balance between comfort and arousal can’t all come from a self-centered mentality – the mentality of the altruistic alpha.  Because the altruistic alpha is only altruistic for as long as it benefits him – how comfortable do you think women will be with this when they are married with kids?  How many women do we all know who divorced their husbands because they were too self-centred?

     

    What does “doing well with women” mean?  Which women are we talking about?

     

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank you, Jeremy, for having the patience to do what I couldn’t do.

      Similarly, I think it’s pretty obvious when advice givers have a clear agenda and POV.

      If I have one, it’s based on understanding the opposite sex without inherently make them wrong, carrying yourself with confidence, choosing important traits in a partner like consistency, kindness, communication, commitment, and character, and using big data to inform our choices (what works best vs what we WANT to work best).

      Which is why I’m always surprised to find dissenters – since I don’t believe I say anything too radical on here – certainly not in that Tomassi vein, which is so smug and condescending towards women. Manson is entertaining – but probably a bit simplistic, which is why he’s so popular. I would say that even if someone gets things right 80% of the time, that 20% could be the difference between success and failure, so you really want to follow people who are ethical, trustworthy and walk the walk. Thankfully, I have a few industry colleagues that do.

      1. 20.1.1
        Jeremy

        You do a very good job of it.  You give advice that will help people with the opposite sex, but without making them feel negatively about themselves or others.

         

        Rollo’s stuff will definitely help men get laid more.  But it will also give men an attitude so negative about women – and ultimately about themselves – that it makes them miserable.  I met many men on the manosphere.  None happy.  Many who claimed that happiness was just an illusion, that love was an illusion, that life is about frame and control.  I would invite them into my home to see happiness without the shitstorm.  Their reply would be that my happiness all hinges on the fact that my wife has yet to “pull the trigger.”  And I’d reply that I’m not worried about it.  Because I know what it takes to make her never want to pull that trigger.  Because I bothered to learn and to care.  And now I need not put my efforts into maintaining frame.  I need not adopt a personality that is foreign to my wiring – pretending to be Alpha, noble or otherwise, when my inclinations are to consider the feelings of others first.  I can be who I am and be loved, and have everything I ever wanted.  I just had to learn how.

         

        The advice is not to be alpha.  It’s not to be attractive and interesting.  It’s to learn who you are, to learn what type of person would be the best partner for you, and to learn how to be the best partner for them.  And if THAT means being alpha, attractive, and interesting, then so be it 🙂

      2. 20.1.2
        Chance

        It doesn’t mean the advice giver has an agenda just because the advice doesn’t align with your agenda (and, frankly, I don’t think my message to Jeremy even contradicts your message).

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          That’s the point – I don’t have an agenda. I don’t write advice to make women like me or buy my products. I write advice that “works” in real life (not just in theory) if you want to get into a healthy, long-term relationship.

          I suppose you can call that an “agenda” but since it’s what my core readership is looking for, it would appear to be wholesome and mainstream.

    2. 20.2
      Nissa

      Except he is married.

      1. 20.2.1
        Jeremy

        Is he?  That’s new.  Doesn’t change anything, though.

        1. shaukat

          Hi Jeremy, First, I should point out that my prescription above regarding dating success was not a direct quote from Manson-I was attempting to synthesize the basic import of his message in as simple a fashion as possible, and when it comes to dating I do think it’s pretty simple. I’m talking about arousal and getting your foot in the door because that’s what interests me, not maintaining a long term relationship or a marriage, which is obviously far more complicated and nuanced. I accept that you have far more experience on that topic than I do. Secondly, and with respect, I really don’t give too much credence to those personality categories you like to throw around. At best, I consider them to have as much validity as Myers Briggs, and at worst, as much credibility as astrology. Unless you can direct me to the peer reviewed publications by psychologists or sociologists that they’re based on, I’m not inclined to change my mind on this. Finally, I don’t think Manson’s message is how you describe it. Below is a direct quote from his work; if I didn’t just tell you this came from Manson, you could be forgiven for believing that Evan wrote it: If you choose to be cold, calculating and manipulative with women, you will naturally screen for women who will create a cold, calculating and manipulative relationship with you. If you pursue women with a neediness and an idealization of them, then you will attract equally naive and insecure women who will create a relationship of neediness and false idolization.

        2. Jeremy

          Hi Shaukat. I think we might be talking past each other, and that we might agree on more than we think. First, I agree with the idea behind Manson’s quote that you used to conclude your comment – the type of woman you’ll get depends heavily on the way you pursue or present yourself. This is EXACTLY the point I’ve been trying to make with those “types” I like to throw around. If you find no value in the heuristic, replace the heuristic with the underlying motivation it is designed to represent: If you pursue women based on your being attractive and interesting (as per your first Manson quote above), you will get women who choose men based on them being attractive and interesting, because that’s their motivation – positive affect. Whether or not we want to put a label or a type on that is irrelevant – the label just helps me think about it. If you pursue women based on your being kind and generous, you will find a woman who desires a man who is kind and generous (though be careful of users). If you pursue women based on having a purpose, an identity, a strong sense of meaning, you’ll find a woman who is attracted to that as well. Nothing whatsoever to do with Myers-Briggs nonsense or astrology – it’s not that you “are” a type, it’s that you tend to have consistent motivations.

          If you like Manson (and many people do), I have no quarrel with that. I find his advice not applicable to my own motivations. I find it foreign to me and unlikely to get me the sort of life I want – but I understand that it speaks to millions.

    3. 20.3
      ezamused

      @Jeremy

      Alpha/Beta behaviors are not characterized by what they make the other person feel (arousal/comfort). It is the mindset behind where those behaviors come from. A comforting behavior would be beta if the reason for it was because the guy felt like it was needed or if it would win her approval. But it certainly is a confusing concept which is why Rollo has article after article trying to explain it.

  21. 21
    Shaukat

    I agree Evan, in fact the point I was trying to make with my comment was that certain broad generalities are grounded in some truth.

  22. 22
    Jeremy

    @Chance, to respond to your comment (which I appreciated), you know I often talk about motivations here.  The reason I think motivations are so important is that they dictate the future of our actions to a large degree.  It might be true that a person can be “Alpha” – self-centred – yet noble and altruistic much of the time.  That a person can act generously out of magnanimity and strength rather than a desire for approval.  But the person who is self-centred, in my experience and by my observation, will tend to act selfishly the majority of the time.  Exactly as one would expect a self-centred person to act.  Marrying a self-centred person because he is attractive and then expecting him to prioritize his wife and children out of magnanimity…..is not a winning strategy for women.  As any woman who has done it (and thought much about it) will tell you.

     

    It’s a fine line.  A guy who has been too giving and nice his whole life needs to learn to “up the alpha” because otherwise women will walk all over him.  But it can’t be taken to the extreme.  Along that line, yes I do think that courtship is a “beta” act – or rather, an act designed to elicit comfort much more than arousal (though aspects of courtship will do both).  What is your insight into this?

     

    Oh, and yes, I’d go back to Tofino in a heartbeat.  One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – kayaking through a calm sea of starfish with eagles soaring above you, mountains in the background, and a forest full of trees that are thousands of years old – the rest of the world sort of falls away, doesn’t it?  Some people like vacationing in cities, surrounded by people and culture.  My idea of a vacation is getting away from people for a while 🙂

    1. 22.1
      Chance

      @Jeremy – thanks for your response.  Agree that people who are self-centered would act selfishly the majority of the time.  However, I don’t view someone who is self-centered as being much better than someone who is selfish (if better at all).  The “alpha” that I was describing wouldn’t be self-centered, either.  Better way to describe it is someone with a strong constitution… who takes care of himself first so that he can better take care of others, and of course, acts of kindness don’t come from a conscious or subconscious place of needing acceptance or approval.  In my mind, that’s altruistic.  To your other comment about an “alpha” only being altruistic when it benefits him, I would say that isn’t being altruistic.

       

      As it relates to courtship, I think that I see now what you mean by a “beta” act.  Since betas tend to inspire comfort over arousal, while alphas vice versa, it appears that you are saying that any act that elicits comfort is a beta act and an act that elicits arousal is an alpha act.  From that standpoint, I would agree.  I originally thought you were saying that betas tend to court, while alphas do not.  From that standpoint, the act of courting isn’t really a strong indicator of an alpha vs. beta mentality as much as how you are and how you carry yourself during that process (and in general).

       

      As far as my “insight”, that probably wasn’t a good choice of words on my part (“observation” would have been better).  Yes, courting inspires some comfort, but I see it as a comfort that many women find necessary to mitigate the inherent uncertainty associated with the initial phases of dating.  It’s a heuristic women employ to offset their hard-wired heuristic of equating caddish and disinterested behavior with being confident.  However, this inherent uncertainty far outweighs the comfort injected into the situation with courtship, which is why sexual frequency is so much higher in the early phases of dating IMO.  While some women need that comfort first to become sexual, it’s that overarching uncertainty that drives the sexual tension.  Far different in a marriage where the comfort is now the dominant force… the solution in these cases for increasing sexual frequency is to almost always introduce more uncertainty into the equation.

       

      Yes, I love getting away from people on vacation, too.  I loved Banff/Jasper/Yoho Valley even more.  Gros Morne is next on our list.  So many beautiful places to see and get away from people up there!

  23. 23
    Marika

    Guys

    Jeremy, I couldn’t agree more. And the point about individuals is exactly the point I’m making. The manosphere talks about women as though all it takes is a, b and c and they’re hooked. And I admit to being one of those people. I have to actively ask myself ‘is this right for me or just activating my arousal’..but regardless, when I’m in the midst of it, am I hooked and happy? No. Is he? Often, no. Because I don’t date full psychopaths.

    And me aside, many, many women are not like me. They scoff & roll their eyes about such ‘alpha men’, or maybe enjoy them briefly, then walk away. My sister and a good friend are very happily married to highly uninteresting guys…they would, in fact, tie for the most boring man alive competition. And couldn’t be happier.

    Not for me though.

    This is good, Jeremy: You want to attract a woman with an Idealist personality?  You’ll have to show her that you are passionate about something and that you prioritize something meaningful. Otherwise she won’t respect you.

    I’m not seeing any Aussie males reading this blog though! Haha. What can I do to be appealing to an idealist with meaningful pursuits? Because what you say is spot-on..I get very excited by passionate people. Then over time I realize what they are most passionate about is doing whatever makes them feel good in that moment..and I lose respect for them..and try to find evidence they are actually the kind, giving passion type I fell in love with…which probably they never really were.

    1. 23.1
      Chance

      Hi Marika,

       

      Lol geeeez Louise.  No one is saying that all women are like “x”.  See Evan’s commentary above regarding the need to generalize for the sake of argument.  We get that everything exists on a spectrum.  I’m surprised you are so concerned about women being generalized when, in fact, we were doing far more generalizing about men (e.g., with the alpha/beta dichotomy).  At any rate, cheers, I don’t think that all women are alike.

       

      Also, there are many people in your country who follow Rollo.  One guy in Australia has actually become quite popular on YouTube for interviewing women that he meets in public regarding many of Rollo’s observations.  What’s interesting is that I found when you don’t mention the “manosphere” or use any of their buzzwords (that are known to these women) when presenting an observation about men and women, most women typically agree with the observation.

      1. 23.1.1
        Marika

        Hmm Chance I disagree.

        From what (admittedly little) I’ve read on the manosphere, it very much does say that all women operate in the same way. And there are commenters here who clearly believe that and are highly influenced by it.

        Equally, there are women who think all men are x and operate on that assumption.

        Both bad.

        My point about Aussies, is your average Aussie guy is not reading up on how to be a better partner – or certainly the one’s I’m attracted to. So any analysis really needs to come from me.

  24. 24
    Marika

    Jeremy

    Reason I ask is, it would be very easy for my to throw up my hands and say: ‘all men are selfish’. When in reality it’s a case of me being attracted to men who prioritize themselves. I’ve tried very hard to be with the gentler, softer, nicer, ‘where would you like to go’ types…can’t do it. So if I can figure out how to make healthier choices within my ‘type’, that would be good.

    Women friends (the types the manosphere don’t think exist) keep giving me books like: Why Men Marry Bitches to try to help…but what I really need is something like you did, a better understanding of myself and men, so I can act like me (not a ‘bitch’ or a circular dater or a rules girl), but more outcomes focused.

  25. 25
    Marika

    Shaukat

    If the categories Jeremy speaks of don’t work for you, feel free to ignore them.

    I have a Master degree and trawled through many, many peer reviewed journals on psychology-related topics and learned one big lesson – just because it’s in a journal doesn’t make something
    a. correct, b. entirely reliable, or c. necessarily useful. For every study, there’s one which refutes it. Authors have agendas because they are human, working with overworked research assistants, need to get something out to keep tenure, didn’t have time to clean the data, didn’t end up with a large enough sample size…etc. etc.. etc..

    I had a woman make a formal complaint to my professional body about something at work (which took me days to respond to and in the end got thrown out) because in her words what I recommended ‘didn’t have enough peer-reviewed research to support it’. True, but we had case after case of patients benefitting greatly from it, it was a suggestion not a decree, and the alternative which IS backed by research has harmful side effects (which people ignore! But it’s sciennnceee!!).

  26. 26
    Jeremy

    I wanted to address one other comment regarding the notion of “what does success with women (or men) mean?” And this will speak to the conversation above with Shaukat, and also with the advice Marika was asking for.

    Years ago, one of my younger female cousins came to me for career advice. She was hoping to go to medical school and wondered what I thought of that idea. And she was surprised by the questions I asked her: What sort of lifestyle do you think you’ll want to live? Will you want kids? Will you want to spend a lot of time with your kids when they are small? Is your priority making a high income at the expense of free time, or would you rather more free time at the expense of income? It seems, strangely, that no one had asked her these questions before – and she hadn’t asked them either. Instead, the only question she asked was, “How do I get into med school?”

    Flash forward about a decade and a half later, she’s a family doctor with 4 small kids. She works 2 days a week and is going out of her mind. She doesn’t have adequate time to focus on her practice, and she feels like she doesn’t have adequate time for her kids. She feels she made the wrong career choice, because working half-time as a family doc hasn’t given her the income she thought she’d have, nor the free time she wants.

    Picture in contrast – a decade and a half ago my (now) wife approached me for career advice along those same lines, and I asked her the same questions. The difference was, she actually thought about the answer. And given her answers and her priorities, I gave her the suggestion of a career in school and child psychology – flexible hours, summers off, government benefits, and a salary that, while lower than a doctor, is actually not much different once benefits and pension are factored. My cousin looks at my wife in awe and wonders how she managed to set her life up so well. She asked the right question and listened to the answer. She thought about the future….with some help from someone who does that naturally 🙂

    Why is any of this relevant to our discussion here about success with the opposite gender? It all has to do with what we consider “success with women/men” to mean. Considering “success” to mean getting one’s foot in the door is equivalent to equating life success with getting into med school. Getting in is the easy part! What sort of LIFE do you want? Is med school even the right choice for you? If you obtain “success” by being attractive and interesting and thereby attract a woman/man who prioritizes someone attractive and interesting, is that the sort of partner you’re going to want once the desire for sex/novelty wears off? Whom do you WANT to attract? What sort of life will you want? Is a successful person a 25 year old who got into a program, or a 50 year old who is happy with his life?

    I have no idea if this applies at all to the men on this blog – many of whom are content to keep things casual with women. But Marika, you asked me for advice because the type of man to whom you’re attracted tends to be bad for you, and the men you think would be good for you tend to bore you. “Jeremy,” you ask, “How can I find a man who is extroverted, funny, prioritizes himself but also me, has a life-goal that I can respect and also wants me to be part of that life goal?” And my answer – “Marika, are you asking the right question?”

    1. 26.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jeremy

      On my humble opinion, I, like a lot of men, prefer to keep things casual because we like women who are sexually exciting, but toxic from a partner point of view. At one point in our lives, we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable with these women, but we have learned that it is best to keep things casual emotionally. Women with whom we are good emotional matches are usually about as sexually exciting as kissing one’s sister; therefore, they are best left in the friend zone where they can provide emotional support. I suspect that Marika and a lot of other female posters have the female version of this affliction. However, instead of wanting to keep emotional distance like men, they want to close the gap, which results in them getting repeatedly burned. Heterosexual men are better suited for being emotionally disconnected because we have been socialized to live in the “Man Box.” I really appreciate Charlie Glickman’s take on the subject (https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/megasahd-escape-the-act-like-a-man-box/). He hits the nail squarely on the head with this sentence: “Since the Box is hierarchical as well as performative, the guy at the bottom of the heap is at risk of being cast out.” I know that I have mentioned on numerous occasions that by making one man wait while rapidly giving another man a green light to sex, a woman inadvertently lowers a man’s rank within the male social hierarchy. Charlie’s article goes into detail about the socialization that makes men feel this way as well as to why masculinity is so fragile.

      1. 26.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        YAG,

        I do think that you are correct that you have much in common with some of the female commenters who find very few men attractive, require an instantaneous high chemistry level, and then aren’t happy when they wind up with these guys, yet they find other men they get along with to be boring or have no chemistry with them.  Every now and then some of these women commenters will say something along the lines that alot of the sex they have had hasn’t been good or that most men suck in bed, and that just is.  They don’t see where maybe the mediocre or bad sex is because their BIG INSTANT CHEMISTRY FIRST system of picking men is faulty.

        I think there are two things you can do.  The first is to adjust expectations as to what levels of chemistry and compatibility are really required for you to be happy.  There’s a recent blog post where the comments got into whether a spouse of partner is someone’s first choice or not.  It struck me that in the context of how it was being discussed, “This one would have been my first choice but for (insert reason they are not together here)” what a person’s first choice is, is what their ideal in their head fantasy creature would be.  Because they aren’t with their first choice because there is a real life issue with that first choice.  i.e. even their first choice isn’t up to their fantasy.  So if that’s what we are really talking about, my first choice is Sebastian Stan.  Or Kit Harington.  Maybe Henry Cavill.  The point being that if your expectation for what you need to be happy is a fantasy, you will never find it, because people are real, with real flaws and real issues.

        I think the second thing you can do is to try on other behavior or do a fake it until you make it.  Before Love U, I had a big problem with jumping ahead in my mind and not taking things a day at a time.  I was also too sensitive about rejection.  So if things didn’t work out I was very hurt and took it personally.  So I had to practice not overthinking.  If I found myself doing this, I would literally call a friend, or start reading a book to short circuit that.

        So maybe try dating different people.  If you don’t feel a big chemistry surge on first sight find something you do find appealing, a nice smile, beautiful eyes, a niece voice, and see if that is enough of a spark to build on.  (Okay maybe that’s better advice for women than the men.)

    2. 26.2
      Mrs Happy

      Dear Jeremy, your cousin will have 4 small kids for only 10-15 years.  These years are likely the hardest juggling for her.  Any mother wrangling 4 small kids is going out of her mind, working or not.  For the rest of your cousin’s life – decades – she will have the interesting job of being a doctor.  She will work until she is 65-70, so ‘just’ 10-15 years of that being a harder juggle may be worth it for the overall benefits, for her. Choosing a less stimulating, easier, more boring job or career is a common move women make so as to factor in kids that only exist in their dreams future, but I don’t know it’s the right one.

      1. 26.2.1
        Marika

        I agree, Mrs Happy.

        You can plan all you want for a life you think you want, or will have, but there are no guarantees.

        I assumed I’d be married with kids by now, and I actually tried to find the best course at university that would lend itself to that back when I was 17 (and hated it). I finally got up the courage to do a course I actually enjoyed (after much hand-wringing because I was surrounded by a bunch of people saying similar things to what Jeremy said to his cousin). I’d feel pretty miffed right now if I was both in a career I hated and didn’t have the white picket fence lifestyle I imagined.

        I personally think it’s a rare person who knows exactly what life they want at age 18 (or 20, 25, and even in some cases, 40).

        I’m not having a go at you, Jeremy, but I do think this kind of approach only works out for highly logical people who know exactly what they want and how to get it.

         

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Marika,

          you live in Sydney so you’ve seen the ads all around for private schools.  One of the best such ads I saw a few years ago was for a quite exclusive private girls school.  (For the non-Australians reading this, these schools span 13 years of education, from ages 4-5 to 17-18, and cost up to $35,000/year.  Have 3 kids there and you have to be earning half a million a year.)  This ad, as opposed to all the other ads talking about what their school could offer, just said “8 out of every 9 women will have to financially support themselves in life.”

          We know from various sources that some women don’t marry, some get divorced, some become single mothers by choice or adverse circumstance, some have relationships with men who will not financially support them (see numerous recent Evan blog posts and comments), some men don’t even want to carry the cost of a date.  In such a world it is a very risky position indeed to choose a career that will work around your future husband and children who don’t exist yet. 

          I agree with Montgomery’s Marilla Cuthbert when she let Anne Shirley do the extension classes over a century ago: a girl should always be in a position to support herself.  It is an uncertain world.

        2. Jeremy

          “After much hand wringing because I was surrounded by people saying similar things to what Jeremy said to his cousin”.  No.  I would not have advised you to choose a career you didn’t enjoy.  My advice to my cousin was specifically designed to get her to think about what she WOULD enjoy – as opposed to what she is doing now, which she does not.  Please do not confuse what I am saying with advice to settle for something that will make you less than happy.  I know many female doctors who love their job, and I know many who don’t.  Those who don’t tend to have several things in common – the most notable being that the reason they chose their field had nothing to do with what they actually wanted in their life.

    3. 26.3
      GoWiththeFlow

      Jeremy & Mrs. Happy,

      I imagine that when Jeremy’s cousin wanted advice she must have been very young, late teens or early 20s.  The advice to contemplate what you want your life to be like is solid, but there are some pitfalls.  The biggest being that for some things, you cannot adequately imagine what it will be like when planning for it.  When I was in my teens and early twenties, I would have told you that I wanted a large family because I love kids and even the chaos of a busy household.  Then I had a child. Yeah, my limit is two youngsters at a time.

      Another example of this is teaching.  You both brought up the example of women choosing a school/education career and whether it’s a good fit for a woman who wants a big active family.  It can definitely work out well for someone like Jeremy’s wife, but I agree with Mrs Happy that for other women, making a decision about a career field they will work in for 35-40 years to fit the 10-15 years when they have dependent small children may not be a good choice.

      Your cousin is struggling to manage it all now, but she may have struggled just as much if she was in a different career field.  If she was in a job that allowed for low job stress and regular hours, that may make things easier now, but when the kids got older and needed her less and then moved out of the house, she may be terribly bored and frustrated with her job.

      Both my parents, an aunt, a niece, and my oldest son are teachers.  My mom once told me that the teachers who go into the field because they will have summers and holidays off to spend with their kids are often the ones who are unhappy in their jobs and leave teaching for other fields.  When you are a young person planning an education career, you may not appreciate how teachers have to work 50+ hours per week while school is in session, manage multiple difficult parents (Whaddaya mean my son isn’t going to play in the game on Friday night?  He’s going to be a star!  When he’s in the NFL/NBA/MLB, he won’t need to know algebra and history!) and the intra-school and district politics are hellacious.  You really have to be able to find a deep inner sense of purpose and joy in working with kids.

      1. 26.3.1
        Jeremy

        GWTF and Mrs Happy, I think you both might have missed my point. Regarding my cousin, the problem isn’t that she is struggling. As Mrs Happy wrote, all women struggle when their kids are little. Rather, it’s that her motivation for choosing medicine as a career was not solid. She wanted income and free time. She has neither. She doesn’t like her job. She is terribly bored and frustrated with it right now, never mind in the future. I would not willy-nilly advise a woman to choose a career in government work or education without considering her desires and her personality. Wouldn’t have suggested it to a young Mrs Happy, not that she’d have asked :). I do not suggest choosing “boring careers” to women. I suggest that women think about what they want before choosing their careers, and choose the best one for themselves. Men too, but men have fewer confounders.

        Mrs Happy, what makes you think that a career in child psychology is less interesting than a career in family medicine? Especially for a person whose personality is predisposed more to the latter? And please re-read what I wrote about the income aspect as well.

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Jeremy @ 26.3.1,

          interesting that you’d not have suggested a teaching job for me as career advice, because English teacher, along with Assassin, are my 2 favourite fantasy dream roads-not-travelled career options.

          To answer your question about family medicine v child psychology:

          I’ve had to google what Family Medicine in Canada is, and to answer this I am assuming it is what is called General Practice (GP) in Australia, + your cousin is not a specialist doctor/physician, but a GP, i.e. the Dr I would first take my kids to when they had an ear infection or sore tummy or something.  Our countries may be different in how these clinicians work and are renumerated – certainly if a school psychologist earns the same as a GP in Canada, the income is vastly different between the countries.

          I think the average GP will see more variety during their working day, have options to do advanced study like diplomas in obstetrics or child health, or Masters in epidemiology or public health (my local GPs have these), have more treatment options open to them, and have more complexity in their work, than the average child psychologist, especially one based in a school, who is going to be identifying a few issues/diagnoses only, and only using a handful of treatment options.  Surely this all translates to, the GP has a more interesting job?  If we assume interest equals some combination of variety, ongoing learning, cognitive stimulation, curiosity, case complexity and difficulty?

          I don’t want to assume a typo but perhaps you meant ‘former’ not ‘latter’, because if your cousin’s personality was more suited to being a GP you have answered your own question.

           

          I suspect your cousin is at a point in life – 30’s or 40’s with numerous young kids – when almost all working mothers feel they never have enough income and free time.  It’s more likely a stage of life issue, than a consequence of her chosen career.  She probably needs to do some further study, or build up her business more profitably, to feel less bored at work, but she can’t sacrifice the time to do those things because they are hours directly subtracted from time with her young kids, which she feels drawn to prioritise.

          In this I think she is similar to all working mothers with little kids.  Such women stop staying back late at work, stop travelling as much for work or conferences, stop putting themselves forward for extra projects and promotions, and just… coast a bit at work, during the years their kids are at school.  They do their work adequately, but don’t immerse themselves in it, or give as much to the job, for those years.  Your cousin likely feels discomfort making such reduced effort at work, and is thus dissatisfied.

          Lots of women are completely shocked by the workload of modern mothering.  In my circles, 3 kids is the tipping point beyond which most women give up on the idea of returning to work while the kids are in school, because the juggle strains the family too much.  Of all the women I know with 4 or more kids, and I know quite a few, only 2 work in any paid work at all.  Maybe your cousin is burnt out and it’s colouring her whole life experience.

           

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I make good money and have a lot of free time, so where your cousin may have gone wrong was in the specialty she chose, not her decision to go into medicine.  A lot of doctors go into my specialty after doing residency training and working in other areas.  They do it almost exclusively for lifestyle issues, including a lot of men.  So I wouldn’t say your cousin’s motivation to go into medicine was faulty on that point.

          If making money was her only motivation to go into medicine, then yes, she set herself up for a hard time.  Because if you don’t find your specialty interesting and like doing it, the money just can’t compensate for that.  And heck, if family practice in Canada pays like it does in the States, then she’s really not making much as a part timer, so she’s not even getting the money.

          “I would not willy-nilly advise a woman to choose a career in government work or education without considering her desires and her personality.”

          ” I do not suggest choosing “boring careers” to women.”

          No, I don’t think you would.  But back when I was a young woman, a lot of us got bad, and often unsolicited, advice to choose a field of study or career path based only on how easy we could work it around a family.  I hope things are better for younger women these days.  I think it is.

        3. Jeremy

          Mrs Happy, LOL, it was a type – as you knew :).  If you talk to a lot of family docs/GPs they will tell you that their job is very, very repetitive.  How many old men with hypertension or kids with flu do you have to see in a day before your mind goes numb?  You either enjoy it or you don’t.  True of many specialities too.  I’d say that what makes a job interesting to a given person is whether the job speaks to the person’s predisposition.  But who thinks of this?  I kid you not, I just had a conversation with a young female patient, early 20s, telling me about her career aspirations.  “I just applied to law school,” she said, “because I did a degree in English and I guess law just makes sense.”  Makes sense?  Did you research the average starting salary of different types of lawyers, the lifestyle and work-hours expectations?  Did you speak to many female lawyers about their lives and what they enjoy/don’t?  Nope.  Just chose a career because mom and dad want me to go into a profession and I don’t have the prerequisites for medicine. Oy.  How can you make good decisions when you don’t ask any good questions?

           

          GWTF – yes, I bet you have income and free time – now – as an anesthesiologist.  But imagine my cousin – wanted to start a family as soon as possible.  Pregnant in her first year of residency, planning more pregnancies in the near future.  Not wanting to be in school.  Choosing family medicine because it was the shortest residency, not wanting to work long hours but hoping for lots of money.  Not enjoying the practice of medicine because what she wants is to focus on being a mom.  Did she make the right choice?  She was a psych major in university and loves kids, is interested in child psych and doesn’t want to work long hours.  In Ontario, there is a demand for school psychologists.  They make their own hours, have government benefits and pension, no papers to grade or angry parents to deal with – make higher salaries than teachers with far fewer stressors and all the benefits.  And if their kids grow up and they want to make more money, they can open private practices doing psych-ed assessments at $2500 a piece for a single 2 hour assessment.  It is quite the racket.  But no one thinks about it because they don’t ask the right questions.  Tailor the job you choose to the person you are and what you want.  No different than relationships.

  27. 27
    Marika

    Jeremy 

    I’m open to what you are saying. What question should I ask?

    1. 27.1
      Jeremy

      What do I need?

      What do I want?

      What can I do without?

      What am I better off without (in spite of what I might think)?

      Are the goals of my past the goals that should remain the goals of my present, or am I allowing my past to dictate my future without consulting my present?

      In what way is my major fear (of being an asshole) limiting me from being happy?

       

       

      When I was a kid, I loved sweet foods.  The sweeter the better.  Now I drink my coffee without sugar.  Who knew that people start preferring more bitter foods as they age and less sweet?  Oh, right, EVERYONE.  What does that say about what we all think we want right now?

       

      PS.  If you think I’m being obtuse and vague, it isn’t due to a desire to appear all mystical.  It’s because of the Ikea Effect.  We all ascribe greater value to the things we come up with ourselves – even if helped along.  It’s like baking a cake with Duncan Hines.  They might powder all the dry ingredients, but if you add the oil and eggs you like the cake more 🙂

      1. 27.1.1
        Marika

        Thanks Jeremy

        I should say, on the rare occasion I’ve bought IKEA furniture, I asked someone else to assemble it. Even, in one case I paid to get it assembled!.. I don’t like advice imposed on me, but if I ask for it, I’m open to the truth.

        I do think I see what you’re saying. But the reason I’m asking different questions is that logically I know the answers to those questions you asked…it’s my emotions I’d need to convince and my actions to modify. And I’ve tried that. For years.

        I know myself well enough to realize I’ll never have the logical approach of, say, a you and Mrs Happy to finding love. I’m exploring different ways. I’m not masochistic enough to stay with a guy who mistreats me or anything, but if I can understand the probably predictable patterns and pitfalls of those extraverted idealists (not taking their behaviour personally when it’s not), I feel like I may be able to navigate the dating waters more calmly.

        I was impressed that when things weren’t working with your wife, you didn’t fall in a heap or leave her, but sought to understand and make things better.

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Marika,

          Jeremy is amazing in his ability to adapt to change and not become bitter.  I talk to a lot of people about their relationships and I have never ever heard of anyone using their intelligence to problem solve such a common, usually unsolvable, problem.  He holds a distinct IQ advantage over the average person trying to problem solve though, and character attributes of drive and grit not afforded the general population.

      2. 27.1.2
        Marika

        Apologies Jeremy

        I think a few of us did misunderstand you somewhat and put words in your mouth. Of course you didn’t say to your cousin: “do something you hate and be a good mother”.

        My boss and her family are from a similar community to you. They are all married, married young, married well, are professionals..I wonder if it’s upbringing or socialization…I was just never around uni friends or others since who knew exactly what they wanted and didn’t waiver from it from a very young age. And I wouldn’t have been open to sitting down and writing a life plan from a well meaning advice-giver anyway 🙂

        If you’d asked me at 17, again at 21, 30..things kept changing for me in terms of what I wanted, in my life, career and love. Or maybe I’m unusual..

        The only constant is my need to nurture. So I work with kids. I’d love to have kids, but I’m more than happy to adopt, be a step-mother again..or any other way.

        That’s the contribution people like me make. I know so many people who are stuck on biological kids and drive themselves crazy with IVF etc. Or won’t ‘take on’ someone else’s kids. I’m more than happy to.

        So while I haven’t done enough to maximize my own happiness, I can rest easy knowing I’ve contributed to other’s happiness…And I have written down those questions and will give them some thought. Happy to be a bit spoon -fed too ☺

  28. 28
    Adele

    Jeremy,
    Thinking about the example you gave of your wife vs your cousin, I  do not see how 2 days a week as a doctor is significantly more demanding than a flexible child psychologist job? I gather that even though their salary is not “much different”, the doctor is still earning more. Heck, my partner and I have good salaries but we could not afford 4 kids. Do you also have 4 kids? I suspect that is the reason why your cousin is so overwhelmed, rather than the job she where she spends 2 days a week.

    I understand that she might not be able to spend a lot of time working when the kids are small. However, once they grow up, she will have another 20+ years of working life ahead of here. I am sure she will appreciate she picked a career she actually likes. 

    1. 28.1
      Fi

      Adele,

      To save Jeremy’s energy scroll up and read his responses to Markia and Mrs Happy, theyre as thoughtful as ever:)

  29. 29
    nsandersen

    Just to be annoyingly precise – a drop from 60% to 30% is a relative decrease of 50%, not 100% (a 100% drop means ending up at zero).

  30. 30
    Marika

    Mrs Happy

    Re the serviettes, you and I disagree on this issue, as you know. But, that aside, I think maybe try to find a different analogy.

    Serviettes aren’t shared, they don’t benefit two people, no one misses a serviette that much if suddenly (or over time) it disappears, a serviette is no marker of how well anything is going or indicator of change, and no one gets upset if you give your serviette to another person.

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