A LTR is not a mini marriage.

As I have mentioned before, the term Long Term Relationship is profoundly misleading in that there is no commitment and no term.  While it is theoretically possible that a couple would pledge to be together and exclusive for a set duration of time, this is almost never the case.  Additionally, when thinking about the concept of a LTR it is essential to think of it in the context of male and female preferred forms of promiscuity and the current “sexual marketplace”.  The preferred strategies for men and women are different based on their different reproductive needs.

The preferred form of male promiscuity is to create a harem of women who are exclusive to him, with additional one off sex as the opportunity presents itself.  This way he can sexually monopolize the women he is invested in, and additionally spread his genes through women he isn’t invested in.  In this way he hopes to have his cake and eat it too.

The preferred female form of promiscuity is serial relationships with men who are invested in her.  This way she keeps her options open to jump to a better man should the opportunity present itself, while still securing investment from the man.  If she isn’t able to secure investment from the man she finds most attractive, plan b is to obtain sex from the most attractive man (or men) possible while securing investment from another man.  Whichever course she chooses, like the male strategy she hopes to have her cake and eat it too.  Note that her ideal form of promiscuity is exactly what LTR defines.  The idea that promiscuous women have one night stands while good girls only have sex with their boyfriends is incredibly misguided.  Given the option (in general), even sluts want the men they have sex with to become invested in them;  they just want to keep their options open.

Next we need to consider the context in which men and women are coming together.  For quite some time we have been in hookup culture.  The term hookup is deliberately vague, and can mean anything from making out to having intercourse.  As Susan Walsh explains young people generally aren’t familiar with dating, and instead “hook up” and go from there:

  • Hooking up has replaced traditional dating on college campuses, and has also become prevalent in the general population and culture.  The hallmark of hooking up is the clear understanding between both parties that the encounter will be free from any expectations for further contact.  It is designed to avoid the possibility of commitment.  However, hooking up is still the primary pathway to a potential romantic relationship.
  • The hookup script reverses the sexual norm;  the pair becomes sexual first, before emotional intimacy or a relationship is established.

This is the status quo that the gold diggers from DABA wanted to overturn when they said  No more let’s start having sex and if it’s good then attempt to backtrack into a relationship.  We see similar expressions of this around the blogosphere.   For example, one of the women commenting on Date Me D.C. complained:

Dating at our age is completely frustrating. I’m sorry, but if we’ve been on several dates and have taken our physical relationship into sexy town over the course of one and a half months, it is plain and simply disrespectful of men to refuse to label me as their girlfriend.

As Susan pointed out, the pattern is the reverse of what many people my age and older tend to assume.  It is sex first, consider a relationship later.  There isn’t a promise of commitment or exclusivity.  This isn’t an accident, it was a deliberate move by feminists as they drove the sexual revolution.  Who here doesn’t recall the feminists screeching you don’t own me just because we had sex!  For those of you who had repressed memories of hairy legged women chanting that in response to innocent questions like does this bus go downtown?, my apologies for digging them up.

So this is where we are.  The whole process is steeped in ambiguity by design.  This provides women with the maximum freedom to choose and re-choose that they desire, but can make securing investment much more difficult.  Alpha men are probably in the best position to navigate this landscape, since the ambiguity works in their favor.  They can flip the female script of allowing their partner to become deeply emotionally invested in them while never promising investment, commitment, or exclusivity.  The promiscuous women are trying to play their own game, which is getting the men to become emotionally attached without offering commitment or exclusivity themselves.  Not all of this is always a conscious decision on the woman’s part.  Sometimes they follow their biological programming while their hamster spins plausible explanations for why they happen to be repeatedly acting on animal instinct.  Paige has described this best:

Relating Pump-n-Dumping to Serial Monogamy assumes more self-awareness in the woman than she actually has. At the beginning the woman is convinced she will be in-love forever…if the romantic feelings decline she believes the relationship is no longer worthwhile for either partner. But she doesn’t just assume at the beginning that this will happen.

Whether they are honest with themselves or not however, it is essential to remember that both the alpha and the promiscuous woman hope to exploit the ambiguity to their own advantage (and to the other party’s disadvantage).  This is why an outsider coming in and trying to play referee is so ridiculous.  Who is conning whom only tells us who succeeded in their plans.

Enter your typical clueless beta.  He is generally unaware of the rules the promiscuous women and alphas are playing by.  He’s stuck in a script which has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s.  He is in this position because this is what he has been taught by his entire family, especially his mother.  Possessing the standard beta traits of loyalty and rule following, he blunders in like a lamb to the slaughter.  Naive betas don’t stand a chance against the promiscuous woman’s game.  He typically falls in love and ends up either unceremoniously dumped when a better offer comes along for the woman, or playing the part of the chump in “plan b”.

This is the context that “Long Term Relationships” exist in.  Most people are tempted to think of them as mini marriages.  Far more often it is more accurate to think of them as extended hookups.  Just like either party has the right to disengage mid make-out or intercourse, either party can jettison the “LTR” relationship for any reason at any time.  You don’t have to like it, these are the rules.

It isn’t that no long term relationships are what most people would call “serious”, and “mutual”, it is just that it isn’t appropriate to assume such a thing.  Some number of relationships categorized as LTR do resemble a marriage in many ways.  To the extent that they do, the state will often declare them de facto marriages.

But not only are many people mis-characterizing LTRs as mini marriages, but they often are thinking of marriage as a sort of beefed up LTR.  This is precisely why so many people (mostly women, but some men) feel perfectly justified terminating a marriage because the feeling is no longer there, or they think they can get a better offer.

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97 Responses to A LTR is not a mini marriage.

  1. Well, that’s certainly an interesting way to be featured in a Dalrock post.

    But yes, I was indeed the clueless beta.

    [D: Sorry Private Man! I didn't think about it that way. Not what I had in mind. You just describe it very well in that piece.]

  2. Brendan says:

    But not only are many people mis-characterizing LTRs as mini marriages, but they often are thinking of marriage as a sort of beefed up LTR.

    This is, I think, the point, however.

    Marriages can also be terminated at any time for any reason (or no reason) by either party in every state now that NY finally adopted no-fault. So, in that aspect, a marriage is, legally speaking, every bit as conditional as a LTR is. Sure, people generally expect more commitment in the marriage context, but they don’t always get it, obviously, due to the shamefully high levels of infidelity and divorce. In many ways, it’s accurate to say that marriages are “state certified and state benefited LTRs”, because that’s basically what they are.

    It’s true that a non-marital LTR *may* have different ground rules regarding what happens upon dissolution, but that’s very state-specific and varies quite a bit. Some places like FL and PQ flatly reject the common law marriage concept and related concepts like palimony and equitable distribution upon dissolution of non-marital LTRs. But other states do have these kinds of rules. It generally depends on how long you have been together (and for a common law marriage, whether you have held yourselves out as H and W), but the trend both in the US and elsewhere in the West, is to add marriage-like rules on dissolution to non-marital relationships, simply because so many people are engaging in them, and the state has an interest in having stable rules about what happens when people disagree about what should happen when they end. So you’re not necessarily going to be treated that differently if you live together in an LTR than if you were married — it really depends on where you live, what the rules there are, and how long you were together.

    Again, it really depends on what the “difference” is between marital and non-marital relationships. And in our culture that’s an issue that is very much up for grabs. While in the US a solid majority still holds marriage in higher esteem (which is generally thought to be the reason why Americans have a much higher marriage rate than other advanced Western countries), in other advanced Western countries, non-marital LTRs are often just as common as marital relationships, and are just as long-term. Americans haven’t flipped that switch yet because marriage is still a key to social acceptability in many ways in the US, but the switch has been flipped already in other countries.

  3. That One Guy says:

    He’s good for sex: CR (casual relationship)

    He’s good for sex, plus he’s hot enough to be seen with in public: STR (short term relationship).

    He’s good for sex, plus he’s hot enough to be seen with in public, plus she can’t find anyone better: LTR (long term relationship).

    He’s good for sex, plus he’s hot enough to be seen with in public, plus she can’t find anyone better, plus she’s turning 30 in six months: MR (marital relationship).

    You’re right, Dalrock, the LTR is not a mini marriage – but that only applies to men. For most women, all “relationships” are the same whether they’re casual, short or long term. Relationship = acquisition of resources.

    Great article. The paragraph beginning with “Enter your typical clueless beta. He is generally unaware of the rules the promiscuous women and alphas are playing by…” should be required reading for every male on their first day of high school.

  4. Oak says:

    Good article.

    I’m not sure what the implication is though. LTR’s are superior for men, because they do not involve an openly sexist branch of law called “Family Court”.

    In fact, a woman might be more interested in ending a marriage rather than a LTR because she has nothing overtly to gain from ending a LTR. There will be no ‘Daddy-Judge’ making sure he’s bled dry for her benefit.

  5. krakonos says:

    Dalrock, you have forgotten one variable in the equation. And this is a welfare state. It gives money to women directly (via benefits) or indirectly (via cushy government jobs).
    This undermines marriages even more (married men with kids tend to work hardest – and pay taxes).

  6. detinennui32 says:

    Dalrock, this is pure gold. Chock full of insight and truth. Every high schooler and college student, and every parent thereof, should print and copy this.

    One point I’d like to make:

    Dalrock: “The preferred form of male promiscuity is to create a harem of women who are exclusive to him, with additional one off sex as the opportunity presents itself. This way he can sexually monopolize the women he is invested in, and additionally spread his genes through women he isn’t invested in. In this way he hopes to have his cake and eat it too.”

    Agree. But the term “invested in” from an alpha man’s perspective means something very different He’s probably spent a little money on her, and he likes her, maybe even loves her. But he’s not willing to invest to the level of lifetime commitment. Not now, not ever. He’ll expend some money and emotions, but only temporarily, and not very much, and not beyond his comfort level, and he will walk away when he’s not getting his desired ROI. A woman, on the other hand, wants the man’s full and complete investment of money, time and emotions, plus she wants him tethered to her indefinitely, for as long as she wants him.

    Marriage 1.0 and traditional dating tempered those tendencies. Marriage was the intended end of dating. One did not usually accept a date unless it was thought the date at least looked like possible marriage material. If you did not like your date, you did not go out again and you certainly weren’t surrendering the booty on the first few dates. In exchange for a permanent sex partner, the man gave up his money, emotions and time and took a wife. In exchange for a man’s financial support for herself and her children, she gave her husband her body and her wifely talents in making and keeping a home. Both partners also forfeited their freedom to sex up anyone they wanted any time they wanted.

    The children of Marriage 1.0 were clueless. They were told you can get a girl by being nice. And you went from meeting, to dating, to sex (maybe). The one night stand was rare, and its practitioners often shamed. The “Walk of Shame” was routine on Saturday and Sunday mornings at my mid sized university. You’d often see girls (and some men) at 8 or 9 or 10 am, in disheveled clothes and bedhead, smelling of stale cigarette smoke and Old Style, walking quickly back to their dorms. And all would have a good laugh.

    But in today’s hookup culture (which was just revving up in the late 1980s when I was in college and is in full swing today), the rules are completely different. Now the woman sometimes wants to give the man a trial run sexually. He can’t believe how easy it is to get sex. But then he gets emotionally attached because he’s really fallen for her. Or he thinks she wants to hear “I love you” because his mom told him that that’s what women want. He’s stupefied when she dumps him for a better guy. Or, he goes beta, shows deference, and then she ends up hating him because his betaness is so unattractive and doesn’t tingle her.

    IN college in the late 1980s, many of my contemporaries viewed LTRs as mini- marriages complete with expectations of fidelity and accountability. More than once I heard things like “I don’t have to tell you where I’ve been”. And she didn’t. (But then, I owed them nothing. Nonetheless, I had many women cold-shoulder me when I wouldn’t date them exclusively.) Breakups were “little divorces” complete with the attendant drama and heartache, sometimes lasting months or more than a year. And when those relationships involved sex, the woman usually instigated the breakup while the man bore the brunt of the emotional pain.

    Where we went wrong was in assuming that we had to make those kinds of commitments in the first place, even if sex was going on. We men were having sex and letting ourselves get emotionally bonded (cue Athol Kay and his vasopressin/oxytocin discussion). We also understood that women wanted to “marry up”, but did not understand at all how that biologically plays out.

    LTRs really are just “extended hookups”. And that is how it has been for a long time.

    The last paragraph raises the issue of how our society views marriages as beefed up LTRs. Indeed. About 10-20 years ago I saw a few articles setting out that marriage was trending toward serial monogamy. That is, a woman would have one man who would sire her children in her 20s. Then perhaps she would divorce her first husband and take a second husband through middle age to share her interests. Then maybe a third husband or even a fourth to “grow old and retire” with. And men would do the same thing – father children with a hottie, then get a hausfrau to fetch him his turkey pot pie, then a warpig to empty his bedpan.

    What this ignores is that many women have thought that they can divorce no. 1, thinking no. 2 will marry them immediately. But the research is bearing out their future is not a sequence of men, but cats. Lots and lots of cats. And that’s a sad state of affairs, really.

  7. greenlander says:

    Dalrock, I still think you should write a book.

    The girls over at Susan’s blog (including Susan herself) have pretty active hamsters, but that “Date me DC” blog is in a league by itself. It’s an orgy of hamsters.

    Dating at our age is completely frustrating. I’m sorry, but if we’ve been on several dates and have taken our physical relationship into sexy town over the course of one and a half months, it is plain and simply disrespectful of men to refuse to label me as their girlfriend. “I’m not looking for anything serious.” We all know that means “I think I can do better and am not willing to settle for you right now.” And if it really does mean “I’m not looking for anything serious,” at our age, jackasses, it makes you sound like a wanna-be frat boy of 20 years old.

    I’m sorry, I have had a massive spell of men who tell me they are on the same page as I am when it comes to finding someone, but when I finally bring up the exclusivity issue, they get all freaked out and bail.

    GTFU (grow the fuck up)

    Perhaps you should get off the cock carousel and date in your league, you ditz!

    Beauty really is a curse on young women.

  8. detinennui32 says:

    ThatOneGuy:
    “the LTR is not a mini marriage – but that only applies to men. For most women, all “relationships” are the same whether they’re casual, short or long term. Relationship = acquisition of resources.”

    Dead on, OneGuy. Bravo.

  9. modernguy says:

    Although it’s been a windfall for alphas, it’s important to emphasize that this situation was brought about by women, for women. Alphas were already getting the hottest girls, now they also get to have the next three tiers of women down too. Women want the freedom to sleep with alphas and play betas off against each other for the privilege of commitment.

  10. detinennui32 says:

    Dalrock: “The idea that promiscuous women have one night stands while good girls only have sex with their boyfriends is incredibly misguided.”

    True, that. And I suspect even more true now than it was 20 years ago.

    I saw this many times – if a girl liked the guy enough, she was willing to give it all up on the first or second “date”.

    And these weren’t sluts – these were girls from all walks of life, of every station, every educational level, every kind of upbringing, all religious backgrounds. Smart, dumb, rich, poor, big city, small town, ambitious, dull, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, no religion — didn’t matter. If she liked you and you were alpha enough to get it, the clothes went flying. The ‘gina tingle ruled all.

    I just wish someone had offered me this red pill 30 years ago.

  11. Brendan says:

    DateMeDC is hilariously funny, really. The lack of self-awareness is hilarious. What she clearly doesn’t see is that the men she is picking are interested in banging her, but not interested in committing to her. That basically means she is, to some degree, riding the carousel, clearly.

    As for the overturning of starting relationships with sex and then sticking around if the sex is good, this isn’t going to be repealed anytime soon. One main reason is that despite their bitching about it, the women who are engaging in this behavior like it because it gives them access to men they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and these are the men they find the most attractive. There are plenty of women who are willing to pay the sexual price of admission to access alpha males on the chance that they may snag a commitment from one of them. And that requires a positivity towards “sex first, ask questions later” attitude.

    The other reason is that in our culture, sex is the primary life function and source of happiness for a majority of people — the culture is dripping in the rhetoric of sexual satisfaction as being the main point to life. In that context, it makes “sense” for people to have a sexual litmus test before “wasting time” developing a relationship if the sex “is just going to suck”. It may “suck” for various reasons, including different sexual tastes, different chemistry (or no sexual rhythm or chemistry), physical problems like penis size as compared with vagina size, and particular preferences (size queens, men who like squirters and so on). This seems shallow, but it isn’t wholly irrational. Marriages are failing left and right because, among other things, the sex just sucks. Sometimes that is the core reason causing other symptoms and sometimes it’s the reverse, but in any case, in our culture, where sex is the main point of life, people are simply not willing to be in a relationship where the sex sucks or even where the sex is subpar compared with other sex they have had. So they are going to screen people on the basis of the quality of the sex. It does make some sense to front-load it as well — it *is* a waste of time, from the pragmatic point of view, to invest time and energy into getting to know someone and getting to like them if, at the end of the day, the sex is going to suck, and you’re not going to want a relationship with them as a result of that. So it’s not irrational behavior at all in a culture which values sexual satisfaction to the degree that ours does. Not at all, really.

  12. Susan Walsh says:

    Good post, Dalrock, thanks for the link. Someone once commented that an LTR just means: “I won’t get with anyone else because I like you, but that may change at any time.” There’s no need to cheat – one can just end the LTR when tempted by someone new.

    In fact, I think the LTR means different things for the sexes. For a woman, it’s a sanctioned way to have sex – the sex is meaningful, and being in an LTR allows a woman to have sex with one person, or even a few over time, rather than riding the carousel with impunity. It keeps her number low. And of course, women tend to be desirous of relationships in general. They want the emotional intimacy with a boyfriend, or favored male.

    For guys, the alphas generally won’t commit to an LTR, though some do and cheat on the side. This cheating is often in secret, but not always. The girlfriends often consent to a soft harem arrangement as long as they are number one.

    The beta guys are often happy to commit – it gives them a steady supply of sex, which is otherwise tough to come by. But they too will try to leverage the social proof of having had a gf and decide they want to “explore their options” or “just have fun with their friends.”

    For the college set, the intense academic and job-related pressures make relationships often seem like more hassle than they’re worth – another reason that hookup culture thrives. Easy in, easy out.

  13. Funny thing about the Red Pill.

    Dr. Helen has a funny and quick post about Dating Advice 1.0:

    http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2011/05/pick-up-artist.html

  14. modernguy says:

    I don’t think education is going to help the average beta much anyway. Like detinennui32 says, women are the ones initiating the breakups, even after the relationship has turned sexual, and it’s the men getting attached. While most women live in a world of romantic possibilities and opportunities, the average beta doesn’t, and before the advent of “game” he would’ve been hard pressed to even come up with a rhyme or reason to explain attraction. So it’s that much harder for him to recover after a breakup because he has to go through the process of generating attraction again. The alphas don’t have this problem, but like everyone knows they’re only a small minority of the population.

  15. detinennui32 says:

    I read the parent post to the DateMe DC comment Dalrock linked. The post and the comments from the women are ridiculous. The men post and honestly tell her and her female commenters EXACTLY why they are 3o and single. They simply don’t get it. They’re not listening. It’s the same old story, over and over again. They don’t like “nice guys” because they’re boring. Then they wonder why all the guys who will happily bang them aren’t nice guys. Brendan says it best – she dates guys who’ll bang her, but not commit to her. She’s sent away all the nice guys because she wants neither sex nor commitment from them. She wants the hot sex of an alpha, but also his commitment – which she can’t have. And so she, like millions of her sisters in arms, relegates herself to relationship hell in which she gets nothing.

    Modernguy – I disagree that education won’t help betas improve their lots. Inner game does wonders for lots of men. I’ve been astounded at how well inner game works to improve my wife’s sexual response. If I can do this, anyone can.

  16. modernguy says:

    Detinennui32: I just meant that learning what women want now and the way they behave in the SMP isn’t going to help the average beta because he just doesn’t have any options. I don’t think game is going to change that for the majority either, and even if it did, it won’t make women any less fickle. Most game advocates tend to stress the “abundance” mentality and anti-oneitis for that exact reason. Furthermore, I think what most guys are looking for is just one nice girl to love and be loved by, not really to bang a litany of forgettable or to become a pua.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Dalrock said: “The preferred female form of promiscuity is serial relationships with men who are invested in her. This way she keeps her options open to jump to a better man should the opportunity present itself, while still securing investment from the man.”

    Or, as Stanley Kubrick put it…

  18. Retrenched says:

    @ Brendan

    “As for the overturning of starting relationships with sex and then sticking around if the sex is good, this isn’t going to be repealed anytime soon. One main reason is that despite their bitching about it, the women who are engaging in this behavior like it because it gives them access to men they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and these are the men they find the most attractive.”

    This. This, right here.

    Right now western women have as much of a sexual utopia as they’ve ever had at any time in history… at least as far as casual sex and flings are concerned. They can now sleep with the most attractive “alpha” men who in the past would have been off limits. And the pill, abortion, and generous welfare programs free women from many of the consequences of promiscuity that they might have experienced in the past. In short, a woman need not consider a man’s long term potential (character, work ethic, responsibility etc.) before spreading her legs for him. Likewise, men (read: mostly alphas) don’t have to worry about committing to or investing in women before banging them either. (Though they may still get hit with paternity suits and child support if they get their lovers pregnant.)

    The big winners of the sexual revolution are top-level (“alpha”) males, who can now sleep with mid-level women who in the past would have been married to mid-level men. Mid-level women are big winners too, because they can now sleep with alpha men who in the past would have been married to top-level women. The losers are mid-level guys (“betas”), who have fewer SMV peers to choose from, and also the most beautiful women, who have trouble finding peer level (alpha) men who will exclusively invest in them. (Remember that even the super-hot Elin Nordegren got cheated on.)

    Because of the inflated sexual market value that alpha males and mid-level women have due to the sexual revolution, they are free to treat most of the opposite sex like dirt. And many of them do.

    And that’s it. The main problem carousel-riding women have with the system is not that there’s sex without commitment, but that the system works both ways. Women like the freedom to ignore betas, or discard them when a hotter guy comes along. But they hate it when alphas discard them, or cheat on them when a hotter woman comes along.

    Sex is cheap and easy, for those who can get it. But there are no guarantees… not for men, not for women. Finding someone who really cares about you and won’t screw you over is damned hard now, for both men and women.

    It’s where we’re at. Maybe it’s not where we should be, but… them’s the rules. The old ways are gone, and they’re not coming back… at least not in our lifetimes.

  19. detinennui32 says:

    Modernguy: reading your last post, I agree that unattached betas will have an even more difficult time now. As Retrenched says above, the alphas will now have the run not only of the 9s and 10s they really want, but now also the 4s through 7s whom they can now use and discard at will. (Thus we’ll see more blogs, posts and comments from mid level “average” women, scratching their heads at being pumped & dumped.)

  20. Sweet As says:

    I must just be wired differently.

    From my earliest understandings of my sexuality, I wanted a long term relationship/commitment, which meant having one, possibly two, life long partners. You know, two in case I messed up and chose poorly, or the poor fellow passed away in some tragic accident or some such.

    Thankfully, my husband and I have made it to our mid-late 30s ok, no tragic accidents or big mistakes. I could use more sex though.

  21. Brendan says:

    Thus we’ll see more blogs, posts and comments from mid level “average” women, scratching their heads at being pumped & dumped.

    Yes, because from their perspective (see DateMeDC), they’re just going for the “attractive” guys, and they wonder why *all* the “attractive” guys are behaving like that !?!?!

    The lack of self-reflection is, again, hilarious if also enormous.

  22. Butterfly Flower says:

    So what about the girls that are looking for a long term relationship that doesn’t include sex? [at least not until marriage]

    Do Betas dump girls that don’t want to “do the deed”?

    Does Susan Walsh assume all young women are dopey Alpha chasers that can’t keep their legs shut?

  23. RVT says:

    “I just have to say that all this stuff about women being more attractive in their early 20s as opposed to their late 20s or early 30s doesn’t apply to me because I lost 90 pounds at age 24-25 and am fitter, younger-looking and healthier now than I ever was then. So suck on that, anonymous male commenters.”

    Oh DateMeDC you poor girl

  24. modernguy says:

    Butterfly Flower: Just marry someone normal you love.

    I would also say try to make an effort to understand things from a man’s point of view from time to time, but that seems to go against the feminine prime directive.

  25. Dalrock says:

    @Butterfly Flower
    So what about the girls that are looking for a long term relationship that doesn’t include sex? [at least not until marriage]

    Your task is certainly made much more difficult by the change in the sexual marketplace. Grerp has commented on this, and I quoted her in the link in the original post to the gold digging DABA girls. It is a large price to pay for “fairness”. Still, it isn’t impossible, and your chances are better if you understand the challenge you face.

  26. workshyjoe says:

    “Some number of relationships categorized as LTR do resemble a marriage in many ways. To the extent that they do, the state will often declare them de facto marriages.”

    If they actually CO-HABIT, yes.

    “But not only are many people mis-characterizing LTRs as mini marriages, but they often are thinking of marriage as a sort of beefed up LTR.”

    No one has ever given me any compelling reason to get married. Ultimatums just result in packed suitcases.

    “This is precisely why so many people (mostly women, but some men) feel perfectly justified terminating a marriage because the feeling is no longer there, or they think they can get a better offer.”

    Who is going to be in a better financial position after the divorce? Who is more likely to initiate it?

  27. Brendan says:

    Oh DateMeDC you poor girl

    I know, it’s amazing solipsism isn’t it. She doesn’t get that while it may be true that at 31 she herself looks better than she did at 23 due to having gotten into shape, she still isn’t as attractive to men her own age as an in-shape pretty 23 year old. It’s amazing how difficult this seems to be to understand.

  28. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “Thus we’ll see more blogs, posts and comments from mid level “average” women, scratching their heads at being pumped & dumped.”

    Well this women have to have some logical skills (they learned to use a computer after all), maybe they will seek info on the net and find bloggers like Athol, Susan and the like and at least one of them will see the light. Maybe with enough time to change before things get worse or at least warn younger siblings and loved ones. Miracles do happen…sometimes.

    Butterfly Flower

    I most say that I was a virgin at 26 when I meet my current husband, but I spent many years dateless out of my choice of wait for commitment before sex, and my SMP was not as bad as here. I mean finding a man to commit is hard, but then the kind of commitment they offer is you the wife has to tolerate other women and sometimes out of wedlock kids, I wasn’t born to endure that and be happy at the same time so I decided to outsource with wonderful results. :)

    My advice:
    Learn about yourself: Who you are and what makes you happy, you can’t find a good partner unless you know yourself as much as possible. Also don’t rely in men to have fun that will make desperate and you will start to look at the wrong guy on the right way, learn to go to a movie theater or art exhibition you want to go alone, if a good prospect appears sure give it a shot but don’t go looking for men only do it because you enjoy it that way you always win.

    Learn to identify good men: hard task that one, but important, you need to remember that you are interviewing them for a long prospect, not fun in dating but you can have fun later on a LTR and date all you want.

    Learn to be a good wife/LTR: Your beauty and virginity and youth surely will help, but you need to also be good company in the long run, ask honest people that live with you what traits are the less desirable ones and try to work on them, I don’t mean to change yourself but if you have issues that might make a guy doubt closing the deal you might have problems later on, being a good companion is one of the best traits you can have to get a man to commit, IME.

    Surround yourself with like minded friends, those are the ones that probably will date committed orientated men, that will have brothers, friends and cousins, and that will help you to get see your problems in perspective without yelling “divorce his ass” at the first fight.

    And patience, lots of it, this is one slow strategy like saving on the bank and counting on the interests to buy something you want, instead of using a credit card, but it does pays off at the end and you won’t end up joining the army of bitter lonely middle women that is on the rise, also learn some Karate I got the feeling that in a few years a husband will be a luxury for any woman and many women will try to spoil your marriage some moves might be needed.

    I have a friend that married a Sweden guy and his ex-wife is being a pain on the ass since she lives there (sadly they kept the same circle of friends you know being modern and all that), even if she was the one that left him now that she is with a hotter and younger Latina she tries to humiliate her as much as she can, she is friends with a circle of Latinas married there and they report the same phenomenon the white girls try to make them look as bad as possible after they took the men they didn’t wanted anymore, bizarre indeed but it does happens.

    [D: Great advice.]

  29. A Lady says:

    Brendan, it’s the same hamster-logic as 300lb fat acceptance ladies who can do a hard mountain hike comparing themselves only to out of shape skinny people. They are less healthy and fit than the skinny person who can do the same hike, but comparing like to like would reveal the flaw in their reasoning, so they only compare themselves to the most out of shape examples of skinny women they can think of.

    And yeah, it’s always ladies.

  30. modernguy says:

    @Brendan

    Men think the point is to find out the truth. Women think the point is to feel good. Each thinks the other is stupid.

  31. Clarence says:

    Date Me, D.C.
    After a year and a half, 211 blog posts, 56 first dates, countless awkward moments and heartbreaks, I have a boyfriend. Blog officially over.
    May 22 at 8:42pm · Like · Comment

    From her Facebook, which she links to from her blog.
    I’ll wish her well, but I’m not that confident.

  32. Butterfly Flower says:

    Your task is certainly made much more difficult by the change in the sexual marketplace. Grerp has commented on this, and I quoted her in the link in the original post to the gold digging DABA girls. It is a large price to pay for “fairness”. Still, it isn’t impossible, and your chances are better if you understand the challenge you face.

    Not all girls that live in NYC want to date men in finance. The Wall Street men I know are neurotic, Type-A head cases prone to self destructive behavior; especially alcohol abuse. It’s pretty easy to spot singles CPAs – they are the men at the bar getting hammered before dinnertime.

    I know, it’s amazing solipsism isn’t it. She doesn’t get that while it may be true that at 31 she herself looks better than she did at 23 due to having gotten into shape, she still isn’t as attractive to men her own age as an in-shape pretty 23 year old. It’s amazing how difficult this seems to be to understand.

    What about the 30-something ladies that look the same as they did when they were in their 20’s? Some people have very good genetics when it comes to aging.

  33. Brendan says:

    What about the 30-something ladies that look the same as they did when they were in their 20′s? Some people have very good genetics when it comes to aging.

    Those are in the 8-10 category genetically. Date Me DC, by her own definition, isn’t that.

  34. RVT says:

    They might have good genetics when it comes to aging, but they’re still aging.

  35. Country lawyer says:

    There is no distiction between LTR and marriage anymore, Dalrock, despite what you would like.

  36. Actually I worry that the situation is more like that Marriage is now simply a LTR. But with penalties for failure.

  37. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “But with penalties for failure.”

    For the men…at least on USA.

  38. Butterfly Flower says:

    They might have good genetics when it comes to aging, but they’re still aging.

    Not necessarily.

    People that look young for their age tend to have longer telomeres. So genetically, they really are aging slower.

    DNA > Lifestyle; hence, the prevalence of chain smoking 101 year olds.

  39. Kel says:

    Butterfly Flower claimed in the last thread that she wanted to date a Beta.

    I don’t know why you guys didn’t call her out on this obvious lie. It’s like a man saying he wants to date ugly women instead of beautiful women. If you actually believe this, BF, you’re lying to yourself. Your woman-parts don’t lie, however, and there is no frigging way you would turn down a date from an alpha if he were to turn his attention to you. You’re what, 19 years old? Don’t insult my intelligence, BF.

    A man wants to date a beautiful woman.
    A woman wants to date a successful alpha.

    A man wants exclusive sexual access to that beautiful woman.
    A woman wants exclusive sexual access to that alpha.

    A man wants a feminine, slightly docile beautiful woman.
    A woman wants a confident, slightly teasing alpha.

    You don’t want a Beta. You want an Alpha who is committed to you. Period. You don’t want Mr. Nice Guy. I know, because I was Mr. Nice Guy.

    BF claims that “The Wall Street men I know are neurotic, Type-A head cases prone to self destructive behavior.”

    That CAN be true, but it’s really not representative of the reality. I work on Wall Street. I am an investment company/mutual fund/investment adviser lawyer, first at the BIGFIRMs in Manhattan, and now in-house at a very well known mutual fund company which runs commercials on TV all the frigging time. The guys on Wall Street that I know are successful because they are alphas and don’t abuse alcohol. They are completely in control of their lives. Some of them, even with their financial success, are still Betas, though. You would despise the Betas (as all women do).

    I’m 33. I’ve been a lawyer since I was 24. I went to Fordham Law School – the so-called “Catholic” law school, where every girl there was slutting it up. I’m Catholic. I graduated in 2002. In 2007, even though I was earning over $250,000 a year at my firm, even though I had bucketloads of female friends in the “friend zone,” even though I worked out every week and was well fit, even though I didn’t drink AT ALL, paid for every meal I had with a female, and etc., I was wondering why me as the “nice guy”was getting me nowhere. That year, I happened to read Roissy and never looked back. And he is a genius.

    Don’t lie to yourself, and don’t insult my intelligence. You don’t want a Beta.

    Woman, know thyself.

  40. Jimmy Hendricks says:

    Nobody’s saying women can’t age gracefully.

    But common sense says that no matter how attractive a woman is at 33, it’s probably about 90% likely that she was significantly hotter at 23. She also had a much better chance of competing with other hot 23 year olds when she was that age.

    Here’s an analogy: Ken Griffey Jr. was my favorite baseball player when I was a kid. By the time he signed with his hometown Cincinnati Reds in his early 30s, he was far removed from his prime years, and his numbers showed it (not to mention nagging injuries). Was he still one of the better players in the league at the time? Sure. But he didn’t have near the value on the open market that new stars Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez , & Alfonzo Soriano had in those days. Junior then proceeded to hit “the wall” last year, and decided to retire. There’s no doubt he had a hall of fame career. Arguably one of the greatest of all time. But nobody in their right mind would mistake 30s Junior for 20s Junior.

  41. Svar says:

    @ Brendan

    “DateMeDC is hilariously funny, really. The lack of self-awareness is hilarious. What she clearly doesn’t see is that the men she is picking are interested in banging her, but not interested in committing to her. That basically means she is, to some degree, riding the carousel, clearly.”

    hahaha yeah. Ask An Asshole was hilarious.

  42. PuzzledTraveller says:

    So, is there no hope? Is it an inescapable sexual arms race to the bottom or does the Internet place an exaggerated spotlight on the actions of some? Sort of like if you listen to the news reports all day you’d think there is a serial killer or child molester behind every bush. Maybe it does, but my experience tells me that, yeah, things are kind of getting this bad despite my desire for it to be otherwise.

    The mewling beta in me still wants to believe that a man and a woman can love each other. Perhaps they cannot. Having been burned once in a marriage with all the crap detailed in the blogs, [usual stuff: wife splits, cheating, blah, blah] Some days I’m about to the point of MGTOW. Ugh.

    I agree with Athol, the scenario in play seems to predominantly be that marriage is an LTR with extreme penalties for the male. Honestly, and I’m not seeking sympathy, but I genuinely feel like I was sold a bill of goods when comparing what marriage was sold to me as by family and religion, etc. as compared to what mine turned out to be. I’m not trying to come across as some bitter guy that is all butt hurt about women, I’m trying to learn from this.

    The shameful thing is I’m not alone. Aside from the crew on the Internet, I personally know of four other guys [who I have known for at least 10 years] whose wives also all did the Eat Pray Love on them. These were not drunkards, wife beaters, gamblers, drug addicts, etc. They were just guilty of being regular guys, with regular jobs, regular guy stuff and not much of a clue about what was happening. They were operating on Marriage 1.0 rules [go to work, come home to wife, take care of family, rinse, repeat] and the wives were operating on the EPL program. I don’t live in a swanky big city, this is just small town drama here.

    I will also add that in not one case did things turn out well for the ex-wife despite the financial rewards the state gave them. In each case, without exception, the super man [who really was a step down] they ran off with dumped their butts for someone else about the time that they figured out that living with her and her kids and ex-drama wasn’t as fun as porking her on the sly. Duh. I think everyone lost [except the other man]. What a mess, what a shame. Didn’t anyone think of the children? Funny how that is never a concern when it’s time to jump ship to the next man.

    I bounce back and forth between Roissy abject negativity and the other end of the spectrum, which I regard as more grounded and realistic such as Dalrock, Athol and Badger. This post by Dalrock and the comments included are yet more nuggets of wisdom.

    I still hold out a flicker of hope that I might be able to find someone who isn’t a complete tart. The scars of marriage past are reminders of important lessons I learned. I’m hoping that experience and the knowledge of game can help me.

    I have no illusions of turning into some PUA or Alpha cocksman, but I would like to think this new knowledge and awareness can help me select better and screen a partner to the degree that you are able without being a mind reader. Hopefully it will let me play my part better in a relationship. It’s still a kick in the nuts though to think that you were conventionally “doing all the right things” but flat out failed for lack of hamster awareness. [In a simplified summation]

    Here is the funny thing, and this seems such a gender stereotype reversal but modernguy nailed it. I just want one woman to love and to be loved by, a companion and lover. Very beta I know.

    But it would seem that that’s not on the agenda for the ladies these days. I’m a beta, and in the past I’ve been a chump, but I’m pretty much the average guy. Good career, not a doctor or millionaire businessman but good nonetheless. I have personal traits going for me: morals, agreeable personality, humor, intelligence, compassionate nature, above average looking, in shape, etc. Yet, I don’t think it much matters to the women. It’s like they are frantically scrambling around in a game of musical chairs to sit on the faux Alpha’s lap. Everyone knows the music is going to stop and a lot of people are going to be left standing around awkwardly staring at the floor, but damn if they don’t keep playing the game.

    Ah well, I promise to never turn into David Alexander, poor bastard.

    If I rambled: [choose your answer - tongue in cheek]

    A. Alpha: Suck it. No really, on your knees and…
    B. Beta: Sorry and thanks for listening.

  43. “Butterfly Flower claimed in the last thread that she wanted to date a Beta.”

    I rarely respond to comments from women but I’ll take stab at this one…

    Two reasons for her claim:

    1. Baby rabies are kicking in and the need for a beta provider is strong. Of course, alpha DNA (and sex on the side) along with beta paychecks would be the preferred outcome

    2. Pandering to her audience. The words of a woman are usually the result of social expectations. The actions of a woman are usually the result of the biological imperative.

  44. Kai says:

    “Kel says:
    Butterfly Flower claimed in the last thread that she wanted to date a Beta.
    I don’t know why you guys didn’t call her out on this obvious lie. It’s like a man saying he wants to date ugly women instead of beautiful women. If you actually believe this, BF, you’re lying to yourself. Your woman-parts don’t lie, however, and there is no frigging way you would turn down a date from an alpha if he were to turn his attention to you. You’re what, 19 years old? Don’t insult my intelligence, BF.”
    You don’t know how an individual works. Yes, there are averages and majorities, but a single individual may well be part of the rare exception.
    There is also reality. While a woman might ideally want to date a committed alpha, it is also possible for a woman (maybe rare) to recognise the inherent contradiction in that statement. It is possible for a woman to recognise her realistic options of ‘uncommitted alpha’ and ‘committed beta’, and choose that she’d rather have the commitment over the alpha.
    Similarly, a mediocre man might ideally want a 10 who is madly in love with him, but realistically decide that he’d rather have a 5 who loves him than an 8 who will leave if something better comes along.
    So while it is possible that a woman might ideally want a committed alpha, that doesn’t mean she can’t desire to date a beta, given her realistic possibilities.
    Additionally, the fact that ‘women’ want alphas, does not mean that every single female identically wants to date solely for the tingle.

  45. Badger says:

    “Easy in, easy out.”

    Only if you brought your Astroglide…

  46. greenlander says:

    Butterfly Flower should just be ignored. She’s nineteen, for Christ’s sake. Her inner hamster is approaching the speed of light at that age.

    There’s a window of opportunity for her between the age of about twenty-three (when the hamster slows down a little) and twenty-eight (when impact with “the wall” is imminent) that she might actually settle for an upper beta. That would be her smartest move.

    I wouldn’t place any bets, however. My bet is that Butterfly Flowers turns thirty-five and hits the wall like Lisa Linehan and gets half a dozen cats.

  47. greenlander says:

    Lisa Linehan try #2.

  48. Badger says:

    ““Butterfly Flower claimed in the last thread that she wanted to date a Beta.”

    I rarely respond to comments from women but I’ll take stab at this one…

    Two reasons for her claim:”

    The true answer: BF has a deluded and non-sensiscal definition of “Beta” which is why people here can’t figure out what the F she is talking about. She has repeatedly discussed flirting with/hitting on “shy quiet guys” and then being upset because they aren’t responding (i.e. rejecting her) – essentially, “don’t they understand a hot girl is hitting on them?”

    There is the possibility she’s not as hot as she thinks she is. Or, there’s the chance she IS, but in the “wrong” way – which could go far in explaining why quiet types aren’t really into her, yet she gets hit on by extroverted alleged “alphas” who just want to get in her pants.

  49. Gorbachev says:

    I spoke with guys who lived through the 60s, and they always told me more than half the reason they did the shit they did was for pussy: They supported feminism because it got them laid and it made women really, really easy. One guy (60+) said his father one day approached him in the late 60’s and instead of belittling him, like he usually did, he said something to the effect of “Son, I think you’re an idiot, but damn I’d be an idiot too if it got me as much carrot juice as it gets you.”

    All the comments here are directly on point. Sums it up nicely. But these chicks don’t get it. Seriously, all of their questions are answered.

    But not only are many people mis-characterizing LTRs as mini marriages, but they often are thinking of marriage as a sort of beefed up LTR.

    And this is the biggest reason for the divorce rate.

  50. Butterfly Flower says:

    So when Paige is not around I’m the designated girl that gets picked on?

    [D: Gentlemen, we have a volunteer!]


    There is the possibility she’s not as hot as she thinks she is. Or, there’s the chance she IS, but in the “wrong” way – which could go far in explaining why quiet types aren’t really into her, yet she gets hit on by extroverted alleged “alphas” who just want to get in her pants.

    I look younger than 19. I look hot in the “she might land you in jail” kind-of way. That’s probably what turns off the Betas I flirt with. They think I’m just a schoolgirl toying with them for the lulz.

    To be honest, I’m not sure if the men that hit on me are Alphas.

    I get approached by confident wealthy men….that are interested in being my sugardaddy. It’s ego bruising. Do I really look like the type of girl that would be down for that kind of arrangement?

    I don’t want to be a kept woman, I want to date a shy quiet guy that blushes when I kiss him on the cheek….

  51. modernguy says:

    “Blushes when I kiss him on the cheek…”

    In other words you want to test the waters by dipping your toe in first, and when you find out you like the feeling, you’ll look for someone who can make you feel something more intense.

  52. John Boy says:

    Prior to no-fault divorce and looser social standards, marriage was considered permanent both by the partners as well as the law and society. This meant that the deal that was made was frozen in time. We all know what time does to people. It ruins our health and SMV. In addition to that we change both hormonally, physically, and we have difference experiences which change our outlook. Women could expect to get a premium because the deal was made when her SMV was at its peak. On the other hand, women had to buy men on the come. The could never be 100% of what they bought because they guy might turn out to be a failure or problamatic. That having been said, a deal was a deal, and both sides had to make the best of the relationship because that was all they could do.

    The real poison of the current system is that there is a degree of seperation that occurs each year people do not marry at their peak of their SMV. And that seperation grows each year. At some point it becomes like trying to put an egg back together again.

  53. Doug1 says:

    Brendan–

    the trend both in the US and elsewhere in the West, is to add marriage-like rules on dissolution to non-marital relationships, simply because so many people are engaging in them, and the state has an interest in having stable rules about what happens when people disagree about what should happen when they end. So you’re not necessarily going to be treated that differently if you live together in an LTR than if you were married — it really depends on where you live, what the rules there are, and how long you were together.

    This is misleading. It’s not true for most of the United States. I’m cohabiting with a girl and this stuff matters to me.

    Only 10 states create common law marriages for purposes of divorce. These are generally low population states, other than Texas. In all cases the couple has to hold themselves out to the community generally as being married and not just living together or being partners, and have to have done so for some years. However if a couple move from a common law state to one that doesn’t create them like NY, Massachusetts, or California, those states will recognize the marriage created elsewhere.

    If a marriage, common law or regular, does not exist, but the couple are living together, even if for more than 10 years, the woman will have no right to alimony, and will have no right to half or any share of property in her male ex partner’s name, whether that be investment accounts, a house, a car, etc. Property held jointly (in both person’s name) will generally be divided in half in terms of equity, just as would happen if two non intimate people held property jointly, unless there’s a provable agreement to the contrary, which in the case of real estate has to be in writing. Property without title such as furniture and household appliances will generally belong to whoever bought it, unless it was clearly a gift.

    In Canada on the other hand most or all provinces consider cohabiting and intimate partners to in effect have a marriage for most or all purposes on breakup, after three or two years depending on the province. Which truly sucks. Couples might be able to have agreements to the contrary.

    It’s important for guys to realize that living together is a vastly less risky proposition than marriage, at least unless and until children are born. The same child support=also stealth alimony percentage of pretax income rates (which are not tax deductible) will apply as if they were married.

  54. Doug1 says:

    Oh and in living together couples debts will be separate two, unless both partners signed for a particular credit card or mortgage, etc.

  55. Doug1 says:

    PuzzledTraveler–

    Aside from the crew on the Internet, I personally know of four other guys [who I have known for at least 10 years] whose wives also all did the Eat Pray Love on them.

    Curious, how long did each of their and your respective marriages last until filing for divorce.

    [D: I think the rule is however long it took for her to bear the number of children she wanted and get the last one out of diapers. Right around then she discovers they have grown apart, she is bored, he is "controlling", etc.]

  56. Doug1 says:

    Kel–

    Don’t lie to yourself, and don’t insult my intelligence. You don’t want a Beta.

    Woman, know thyself.

    What Butterfly Flower wants is a lesser alpha who’s not, or is no longer, a player, who wants to get married.

    She’s happy with or even prefers an much older guy, in this 30s. That’s a bit problematic among professional NY men, at least until she hits 21 or 22, given social taboos among their peers. Her not being in college and not being sure she wants to go are also not helpful these days among professional guys, largely for peer groups taboo and social status reasons.

  57. PuzzledTraveler says:

    @Doug1

    Exactly like Dalrock said. Once the babies were in elementary school on up, and the wife had a lot of idle time. It started to happen. These guys and myself all made enough that the wives didn’t have to work. Stray At Home Moms.

    In my case specifically: 12 years married, 2 years together before that. Spent 2 more years trying to “do the right thing” and keep the family together. Only wound up damaging myself more. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to walk, immediately, no looking back as soon as I found out what was up. Would have saved myself a ton of agony. Easy to say, not so easy to do in practice when your family is being destroyed by an insurgency led from within.

    My hunch is if the man cheats, it’s bad but most women will stick around and “work” on the marriage as long a he doesn’t get caught too much or flaunt it in her face. If the woman cheats, well, it’s beating a dead horse to try and save the marriage, no matter how much you wish it wasn’t. They think it’s true love, destiny, their right to be happy, your oppression that made them do it, God willed it, whatever. It’s dang near impossible to get them to even admit that what they did was truly wrong. They’ll say something like.. “What I did was wrong but…[insert something about you that forced them to have to break their vows]

    When a man cheats, he’s usually just horny, not looking to leave his wife, because he knows he’ll pay the divorce tax. A woman cheats, she knows that because of no fault laws, no social stigma, etc. there really is no penalty that she can imagine. There is a penalty though, but it takes time and a little Karma for it to kick in.

    For a woman it’s pretty hard to secure new male commitment when she has to either A. confess she cheated on her first husband because she “wasn’t happy”. [Which should darn well give her new BF pause for thought...]

    or

    B. Not tell her new man about her history, then he finds out, and they will always find out. Then he knows she’s sneaky and trying to dupe him.

    Time marches on and she continues to age, her kids are alienated by her BS and she starts the cat collection. Sometime they marry the man they were fooling around with. Don’t think that usually ends well because we know two things for sure, both parties in that relationship are known liars and cheaters. It’s a time bomb.

  58. Doug1 says:

    Dalrock–

    [D: I think the rule is however long it took for her to bear the number of children she wanted and get the last one out of diapers. Right around then she discovers they have grown apart, she is bored, he is "controlling", etc.]

    Or about 4-6 years into the marriage often enough.

    What do you think of the theory advanced by Helen Fischer and some other evo psych type researchers that women tend to have a natural 4 year bonding cycle when kids are involved. One the one hand it comports with what you wrote above. On the other hand your been married what is it, about 15 years, and apparently still enjoy a happy sex life.

    I have see reference to stats that American eventual divorce risk climbs with time of marriage until 4.5 years of marriage, and then declines from then on.

  59. Susan Walsh says:

    Great comment by Kel, regardless of whether it applies to BF in particular or not. It’s the SMP in a nutshell.

  60. Dalrock says:

    @Doug1
    What do you think of the theory advanced by Helen Fischer and some other evo psych type researchers that women tend to have a natural 4 year bonding cycle when kids are involved. One the one hand it comports with what you wrote above. On the other hand your been married what is it, about 15 years, and apparently still enjoy a happy sex life.

    I’ve never understood the evolutionary logic for that. Bringing a step father into the mix is risky today. I can only imagine how risky it was in less civilized times. Plus, on average a woman deciding to rechoose when she is four years older and has born a few kids shouldn’t result in a better match. Again that is true today, and probably even more true in more primitive times. A quick perusal of National Geographic will confirm that living hard is hard on a woman’s looks. No one has been able to explain to me why in prehistoric times a woman could expect to trade up once she was older/less hot/you know…

    I suspect it comes down to financial incentives and the tendency of husbands to shift to the beta side (following the message of society). There does seem to be a pattern of marriage where everyone runs into some (temporary) rough patches. Our society programs women to pull the ejection cord when that happens. They have done studies showing that those who don’t pull the cord end up much happier than those who do (I need to write up a post on that topic). But this again really seems to refute the Evo Psych theory that women would be programmed to jump from the man they attracted when they were most attractive themselves.

  61. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “I’ve never understood the evolutionary logic for that. Bringing a step father into the mix is risky today. I can only imagine how risky it was in less civilized times. Plus, on average a woman deciding to rechoose when she is four years older and has born a few kids shouldn’t result in a better match. Again that is true today, and probably even more true in more primitive times. A quick perusal of National Geographic will confirm that living hard is hard on a woman’s looks. No one has been able to explain to me why in prehistoric times a woman could expect to trade up once she was older/less hot/you know…”

    I though about this and I think the theory is incomplete, is very possible that pregnancy somehow renew the cycle of attraction. I had have pregnant friends and relatives who report to start to fall in love again with their husbands during their pregnancy. My guess is that every time the mate plants the seed on her, her body renews the attraction to assure the provider to stay around for the new kid, and then it wanes till another kid is produced.
    In short birth control and family planning make the modern woman seek a new male, because her body is assuming that this one cannot get her pregnant and thus she should seek for a new fertile partner before her biology renders her sterile and not passing her genes.
    I could be wrong though, but you are right in ancient the communities were less than 200 people and life was harsher than ever, voluntarily playing the musical chairs could had easily left the woman with no man, meaning no protection for her or no protection for her already born kids, it seems Darwinian suicide, YMMV.

  62. Brendan says:

    It’s certainly one of the claims of EP/ED that is a head-scratcher.

    H-G communities (the ones who out-competed the rest of them at least) were fairly small and centered around kin-bonded males. Females were often brought in as booty, or exchanged with other friendly tribes and so on, so the level of male cooperation was quite high due to blood bond, while the women didn’t have these blood bonds with each other. It’s thought by some that this is why women evolved to have such a strong ability to herd with other unrelated females, whereas men didn’t develop as much in this regard as their cooperation was based on existing blood bonds.

    Looking at our relatives, bonobo females appear to have an even stronger ability to form secondary bonds (i.e., non-blood-based bonds) with stranger females, through grooming and bonobo lesbian sex (one wonders what the history of this is in our own species …), but human society that evolved and outcompeted, if anything, appears in many ways to be more like chimps than like bonobos, looking at the history of human tribal life (lots of violent warfare, patriarchal rule in groups arranged by kin-bonded males and so on). Feminists love bonobos, because bonobo society is seen as female dominated, with the main social lubricant being sex — homosexual as often as heterosexual, as compared with the absolutely-hated-by-feminists chimp society, which is seen as male dominated, and characterized by “rape” (interesting term in the animal kingdom) and “violence” (unlike other species?). I would say that on balance humans seem to have evolved a bit from both, but our H-G history seems much more chimp-like than bonobo-like.

    That is, our H-G tribes were male kin-bonds with females forming strong(ish) secondary bonds (as they still seem to do today). In a situation like that, it does not seem terribly likely that women would have been able to pull off switching mates every 4 years unless there was some sort of institutional system of mate switching for all the related males. Not that the male relatives would never try to screw each other over, but it seems very doubtful that human females had that kind of sexual/partner freedom in the H-G era.

    Yes, I am aware that the book sex at dawn claims that human H-G society was one big polyamorous orgy like San Francisco or something, but that seems very doubtful based on the remaining H-G tribes that exist today.

  63. Butterfly Flower says:

    She’s happy with or even prefers an much older guy, in this 30s. That’s a bit problematic among professional NY men, at least until she hits 21 or 22, given social taboos among their peers.

    Is this “social taboo” stuff a new thing? What’s so outrageous about a 10 year age difference? It’s not like I’m chasing after men old enough to be my father.

    Her not being in college and not being sure she wants to go are also not helpful these days among professional guys, largely for peer groups taboo and social status reasons.

    How bourgeois. You think an individual’s social status is determined by advanced degrees.

  64. modernguy says:

    “In short birth control and family planning make
    the modern woman seek a new male, because
    her body is assuming that this one cannot get
    her pregnant and thus she should seek for a
    new fertile partner before her biology renders
    her sterile and not passing her genes.”

    That’s a pretty interesting thought, there might be something there.

  65. Anonymous Reader says:

    That notion of a marriage being good for 4-5 years and then done due to E-B has been around for a while. As in, oh, 25 years or more. The people that I used to know who were proponents of it were all either divorced (multiple times in one case) or life long singles. It always seemed more like confirmation bias at work than anything else.

    Stephanie Rowling has a good point, I’ve seen that mechanism at work as well, and there are some tentative studies to suggest that hormonal birth control in women leads them to be differently attracted than they would otherwise be (more beta, less alpha, except of course during ovulation). In which case we should see more stable families in the Quiverfull Protestants, in those Catholics who are more or less pre-Vatican II in their outlook, within the Orthodox Jewish community, and so forth. Problem is, this notion of re-attraction via pregnancy is not readily separable from cultural aspects of those communities. But it is worth contemplating.

    I’ll add to her comment somewhat tangentially: serial monogamy makes sense from an E-B viewpoint. In the hunter-gatherer world, if a man gets killed on a hunt, on a raid, etc. his wife needs to attach to another man ASAP in order to keep herself and her children alive. This suggests that women should be on the one hand prone to one-itis, and on the other hand quite able to switch that loyalty to another man. All well and good as long as it’s Ogg, Oggette and all the little Ogglings, because if Ogg gets nailed by a predator or clobbered by a mastodon, Oggette switching her loyalty to Ugg means she gets to go on living, even if the Ogglings may not fare as well as they did before. In fact, this explains those cases where women murder their children in order to get the new man they want.

    And so once again, we see that quasi-instinctual features of our personalities that worked pretty well in the Neolithic can lead to a lot of grief in the modern world. Doesn’t have to, wouldn’t have to if women could realize the feral part of their brain isn’t to be listened to, much less obeyed. But that runs smack dab into “follow your bliss”, etc.

    Men with daughters would do a good thing by teaching them before they leave home just how ferocious their rationalization ability is, and how badly it can hurt them in the long run. Sons need to know, basically, Cosi fan Tutti…

  66. Anonymous says:

    Doug1 says: “What Butterfly Flower wants is a lesser alpha who’s not, or is no longer, a player, who wants to get married.”

    Well, that’s me, exactly and I’m looking… where’s she at?

  67. Dalrock says:

    @Anonymous Reader
    And so once again, we see that quasi-instinctual features of our personalities that worked pretty well in the Neolithic can lead to a lot of grief in the modern world. Doesn’t have to, wouldn’t have to if women could realize the feral part of their brain isn’t to be listened to, much less obeyed. But that runs smack dab into “follow your bliss”, etc.

    I don’t have time to properly flesh this out, but I suspect it isn’t so much that they follow their instincts as that their instincts are being tuned in the wrong way (same with betas). I’ve written before that I think there is a counterbalance force (fear of loss of choice/ spinsterhood) that would naturally hold hypergamy in check. The problem is our society seems to mimic a specific condition where the woman has a rather rare option to suddenly trade up. At a larger level it is of course nonsense, which is why all of the true life stories are so easy to debunk. But what matters is the perception and not reality. If we stopped feeding women a 24×7 message of “you can do better girlfriend!” and brought back the occasional friendly reminder of what spinsterhood looks like, I think we could do a great deal of good.

    Women would get this. They are brutal to other women who can’t get/hold a man. The same women who cheer a woman on to frivolous divorce will typically be the most merciless at subtle and not so subtle digs about her sudden misfortune after divorce. Mothers are particularly brutal to their daughters this way. It is very strange to watch them egg their daughters on to divorce and then revel in her inability to find a new man.

  68. Brendan says:

    I’ll add to her comment somewhat tangentially: serial monogamy makes sense from an E-B viewpoint. In the hunter-gatherer world, if a man gets killed on a hunt, on a raid, etc. his wife needs to attach to another man ASAP in order to keep herself and her children alive. This suggests that women should be on the one hand prone to one-itis, and on the other hand quite able to switch that loyalty to another man. All well and good as long as it’s Ogg, Oggette and all the little Ogglings, because if Ogg gets nailed by a predator or clobbered by a mastodon, Oggette switching her loyalty to Ugg means she gets to go on living, even if the Ogglings may not fare as well as they did before. In fact, this explains those cases where women murder their children in order to get the new man they want.

    That makes sense as well from the E-B perspective in terms of female survival. Although it’s quite different, as I think you also agree, from saying that women are programmed to re-mate after 4 or 5 years no matter what.

  69. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “That makes sense as well from the E-B perspective in terms of female survival. Although it’s quite different, as I think you also agree, from saying that women are programmed to re-mate after 4 or 5 years no matter what.”

    I agree. This model should meant that after the loss of the primary mate she should get over it fast and seek someone new (the merry widow syndrome), but if the primary mate is there and providing trading when he is still there and invested on his biological children doesn’t make any sense, she can lose a lot more by showing disloyalty than by keeping herself attached to an already proven good mate.
    Thus there should be something else that makes her change her attraction while the man is still alive. I already mentioned artificially withholding pregnancy, might be a reason or selecting a poor genetically mate another one. It could be also a residual of all the times women had been trade up, married and took as war spoils.
    But still this are circumstances that are no part of the modern SMP, so is puzzling. It might be a combination of all of the above aside from herd mentality making women discard marriage and fidelity as conditional to their level of happiness.
    Like I mentioned on Badger, the way I had seen some women change after being surrounded by females with different POV is a scary phenomenon, my husband told me of some female students (he works on a college) that join sorority house and in matter of months are dressing, walking and talking the same way like little clones.
    Are there studies on this phenomenon?

  70. Kai says:

    “Butterfly Flower says:
    “She’s happy with or even prefers an much older guy, in this 30s. That’s a bit problematic among professional NY men, at least until she hits 21 or 22, given social taboos among their peers.”
    Is this “social taboo” stuff a new thing? What’s so outrageous about a 10 year age difference? It’s not like I’m chasing after men old enough to be my father.
    “Her not being in college and not being sure she wants to go are also not helpful these days among professional guys, largely for peer groups taboo and social status reasons.”
    How bourgeois. You think an individual’s social status is determined by advanced degrees.”

    Ten years isn’t an outrageous age difference when you’re 25 and he’s 35 – but it’s still a pretty big one. Ten years isn’t a very big age difference when you’re 35 and he’s 45. Ten years is a minimal age difference when you’re 55 and he’s 65.
    But when you’re 19 and just out of high school, and he’s 29, through college, and working a while, it’s a massive gulf. and if you’re looking for a guy 30+, you’re looking at a ten year age difference at the very bottom end. That’s just too much for a 30ish guy. the 30ish guys I know wouldn’t consider dating a girl below university-finishing age (23-23), and probably wouldn’t date a girl who hasn’t been out in the working world for a couple years whether or not she did school first, because a girl just out of high school, even if abnormally mature, is just way too young. His peers would also think that a girl a third less of his age is too young.
    As I’ve said every time, if you can wait a couple years, and be 22 who looks 18 but acts 26, you stand a very good chance then of landing a 30ish guy who’ll be thrilled to have you.

    As for the status, you misinterpreted. He did NOT say that a person’s social status is determined by advanced degrees. He indicated that a person’s social status *to holders of advanced degrees* (like the professional men you seek) is determined, in part, by advanced degrees. He placed no personal value judgement at all. He pointed out that in the social world of 30ish professional men, advanced degrees do mean a lot for social status.
    That doesn’t mean you can’t find a guy looking for a wife and mother who doesn’t care for (or doesn’t want) you to have an advanced degree, but it does mean that if you’re interested in dating someone in that world, you should be aware of how his peers will view you. For many guys, how his peers will view you will be a consideration to at least a bit of a degree.

  71. imnobody says:

    I don’t know if this is E-B or not, but one of the biggest shocks in my life was to see the ease, the speed and the completeness with which women can change from a man to the next man when their interests change. It’s like an on-off swich. From “I will always love you and will marry you” to “I don’t love you and don’t want to be your friend because I love another man” in some few weeks.

    When you have seen this several times (in your own life or your friends’), you never see the world the same again. All these “I love you”, “I could not live without you”, “You are the man of my life” feel kind of hollow and a tool of manipulation. Women use the L-word in a way that it is very different to the way men say it. In women, love follows self-interest.

  72. imnobody says:

    “I was wondering why me as the “nice guy”was getting me nowhere. That year, I happened to read Roissy and never looked back. And he is a genius.”

    LOL. Been there, done that, as most men writing here. My problem is that I was in my mid-thirties when PUA, MRA and evolutionary psychology exploded. Thanks God, young guys don’t have to experience what older guys had to go through (twenty years of betadom and loserdom).

  73. PuzzledTraveller says:

    Here are a couple observations going along with some of the E/B – women jump to a new man thing:

    I think in the case of these feral female divorces it hits the men a lot harder. Obviously I can’t read the minds of the women but from observation it seems their ability to turn off all feelings for the men they are leaving is rapid and pretty complete. They go from love to almost pathological hate in pretty short order. If the fling doesn’t work out with the man they were cheating with, after the divorce they are at least dating again in pretty short order. It certainly would seem “I love you” coming from a woman does not mean the same thing as a sincere I love you from a man.

    Whereas the men are wrecks for a long time. Two of the guys I know confessed to me that they seriously were sitting alone in the house contemplating eating a bullet in the aftermath. I don’t get the impression that that ever crossed the women’s minds. Anyway, from where I sit, I’m seeing in the 35-45 age group an awful lot of this stuff where the women get to a point that after a couple of the kids are grown enough not to be helpless that they suddenly need to find themselves. Find themselves in another man’s bed that is. For all the MSM bashing about men’s bad behavior it seems that the females these days are just as bad or worse. Of course they are cheating with other men who may or may not be married but I suspect cultural pressure for females to EPL their men this is high.

    After all if you ask a woman who has done this, “Was it worth it? Was it a good decision?” You’ll get a majority answer of yes, it was the best thing I ever did. People rarely can look on a horrible decision they made and call it as such. So if one woman sees another in her circle doing this, it can be contagious even if the reality of the action’s outcome is not as it was sold.

    In regards to Ogg getting eaten by a predator and Oggette needing a new man quick, that has some merit but I would think that female mortality in HG society would be high as well. Pathogens and disease would take quite a few and pregnancy and childbirth were risky propositions. I wonder how that plays in.

  74. Doug1 says:

    Butterfly Flower–

    Doug1–“She’s happy with or even prefers a much older guy, in this 30s. That’s a bit problematic among professional NY men, at least until she hits 21 or 22, given social taboos among their peers.”

    Is this “social taboo” stuff a new thing? What’s so outrageous about a 10 year age difference? It’s not like I’m chasing after men old enough to be my father.

    It’s been around in professional and similar circles for a long time. I came in with 2nd wave feminism in the 60’s I believe. It’s largely an issue among women, both professional women and the wives of professional type husbands, including middle management.

    I’m not describing my own feelings on the issue. The girl who’s living with me is more than 15 years younger. We do fine with it but then she’s not 19. There are wives though who are uncomfortable with it. Yeah jealously is there covered up by their feelings of “power differential” being evil etc. If she was 19 that would be way worse.

    Doug1–“Her not being in college and not being sure she wants to go are also not helpful these days among professional guys, largely for peer groups taboo and social status reasons.”

    How bourgeois. You think an individual’s social status is determined by advanced degrees.”

    It’s not what I think. I’m describing the social taboos. There’s no doubt it’s bourgeois with a strong feminist twist. Again the main judgers will be other older women who will hint about your being a “bimbo”, cradle robbing, and so on.

    This will be less operative if the guy’s in entertainment, an actor, artist, musician, and so on. Also less operative if he’s a small businessman, though there will still be noise from wives but it will effect he a lot less. Actually if Butterfly Flower was herself in the arts, a model, actress, etc. even if not so stellar, it would matter less even in professional circles. Less sense of an evil power differential that even slightly feminist women love to hate.

  75. Doug1 says:

    Kai–

    As I’ve said every time, if you can wait a couple years, and be 22 who looks 18 but acts 26, you stand a very good chance then of landing a 30ish guy who’ll be thrilled to have you.

    Yes.

  76. Anonymous Reader says:

    Puzzled Traveler
    In regards to Ogg getting eaten by a predator and Oggette needing a new man quick, that has some merit but I would think that female mortality in HG society would be high as well. Pathogens and disease would take quite a few and pregnancy and childbirth were risky propositions. I wonder how that plays in.

    The default male reproductive strategy is polygamy; get as many different women pregnant as possible, in the expectation that some children will survive. So in the case where Oggette dies in childbirth, Ogg is going to need a new woman – a single, or a widow, or one obtained by killing another man, one obtained on a raid of another tribe, etc. So the default male strategy fits in with any level of female mortality. It’s also pretty much not as relevant to the thread as the ability of women to switch their loyalty relatively quickly and easily.

  77. Stephenie Rowling says:

    The default male reproductive strategy is polygamy; get as many different women pregnant as possible, in the expectation that some children will survive. So in the case where Oggette dies in childbirth, Ogg is going to need a new woman – a single, or a widow, or one obtained by killing another man, one obtained on a raid of another tribe, etc. So the default male strategy fits in with any level of female mortality. It’s also pretty much not as relevant to the thread as the ability of women to switch their loyalty relatively quickly and easily.

    ITA. That is why men of power are usually the ones allowed to legally take many wives, they have the means to provide for them but also they cannot afford not to have heirs and the high infant mortality and/or mother mortality would had make impractical for him just to commit to one wife.
    I most mention that probably the women of the past that were loyal to their mates even after death, died with less children thus making this trait scarse to pass around the female homo sapiens, thus it explains why most women (not all we all know of cases of eternal widows) can trade up so easy.

  78. Sweet As says:

    Thank you, Dalrock. :)

  79. Oak says:

    PuzzledTraveler: In tone and words, I could have written everything you said in the posts on this thread. Thanks, it’s good to feel less alone with my thoughts.

  80. Höllenhund says:

    @ Brendan, Stephenie, Anonymous Reader,

    your scepticism about this EP argument seems to be based on the assumption that men in H-G communities would try to keep their female mates in lifelong monogamy. Objectively speaking, why would they do that?

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  96. Steve H says:

    “Whether they are honest with themselves or not however, it is essential to remember that both the alpha and the promiscuous woman hope to exploit the ambiguity to their own advantage (and to the other party’s disadvantage). This is why an outsider coming in and trying to play referee is so ridiculous. Who is conning whom only tells us who succeeded in their plans.

    Enter your typical clueless beta. He is generally unaware of the rules the promiscuous women and alphas are playing by. He’s stuck in a script which has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s. He is in this position because this is what he has been taught by his entire family, especially his mother. Possessing the standard beta traits of loyalty and rule following, he blunders in like a lamb to the slaughter. Naive betas don’t stand a chance against the promiscuous woman’s game. He typically falls in love and ends up either unceremoniously dumped when a better offer comes along for the woman, or playing the part of the chump in “plan b”.”

    Outstanding article. Wish I had seen this about 4 years ago. And it reminds me of the sacrifice that I make to my gf to be in an LTR with her today. I limit our time together, and that is very intentional on my part. As long as we’re together, she will appreciate the magnitude of what an investment it is on my part simply to be exclusive with her. No other investment will ever be assumed as a given; any gifts I give beyond that are one-off demonstrations of my generosity and desire to give, and as such, are expressly not to be expected in perpetuity (E.G. if I pick up a big check, it’s because it’s a special occasion. Otherwise, she’s chipping in).

    With this quoted portion above, I think the alpha-male vs. promiscuous-woman ‘conning’ you speak of – it’s not remotely commensurate. The very insistence upon, and later – the highly-valued presence of, commitment – this is the bellweather and key dynamic which facilitates the true con.

    The alpha male isn’t even bringing commitment into the picture. If he’s initiating any kind of deceitful dynamic, it’s awfully subtle and doesn’t generate the reasonable time-bound expectations of any honest person, period. OTOH, the commitment-seeking promiscuous woman is binding her man to an ostensibly time-bound, long-lasting arrangement which he understandably takes on good faith. Then the committed man ups the ante with regard to his investment, building his relational equity (credit: Rollo) over time, and setting his sights for that LTR down a road of indefinite length.

    That is one hell of a difference if we’re giving any thought and making any contrasting comparison whatsoever to fairness, justice, and integrity here.

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