I have a friend, a lady friend, who just turned 40. Ish.
She’s single, a single working mom with a grown son, and she is drop-dead gorgeous
. She is about as far from the Wall as a woman can get at her age – from two feet away she can pass for 20. Italian features, beautiful fair skin, long curly hair with a distinguished touch of gray. She knows how to dress, how to present herself, and she wears her femininity unashamedly on her sleeve.
She really, really wants to meet a dude – the right dude – and get married. But a few weeks ago, at a mutual friend’s birthday party, we got to talking and I leveled with her about her chances – and any 40 year old woman’s chances of finding a permanent, decent dude at this stage of life – and from what I understand she’s been hopelessly depressed since then.
Here’s the deal: the numbers are the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie. That doesn’t mean you are a number, however. In fact, just by reading this you’ve improved your chances of finding the rare and elusive Marriage-Minded-Bachelor. Allow me to explain.
Consider the Sexual Market Place in all of its brutal glory. Consider the cold, hard numbers about sexual attraction, and how a woman gets hers all at once and declines over time, and a man gets his gradually and in increasing amounts over time.
Consider the number of women in the SMP who are open to the idea of a long term relationship with a man. You’re in that pool, and it’s huge. You may not want to think of yourself "in competition" with other women over a mere man, but that's the Red Pill reality of the situation. You can either continue to fool yourself by pretending that you aren't really competing, you're just "waiting for the right one" as you get shut out of one promising date after another by other women - your competitors - or you can bite the bullet, be willing to be realistic, and step up your Girl Game to the point where you're a contender.
Now consider the subset of the pool of women who want to find a husband – and are willing to make that a life priority. If you fall within that category, you’re already in a better position than the women who aren’t actually consciously pursuing a long-term relationship, but are depending on the fickle finger of Fate or Jesus to bring them a man. Congrats! They're idiots, you've made a decisive move.
Further, if you are one of those women who has decided that finding the right husband is a worthy and noble goal, and are willing to put forth the effort to pursue that goal, then you have further self-selected into a higher probability pool. Once you have established a realistic goal and have committed to it, you automatically improve your chances over your lackluster competitors who are waiting for "chemistry" or "electricity" -- in other words, they're letting their pussies decide the issue.
Now, you know you want a husband, and you know that you’ve got to devote some time and energy to finding him. “True Love” says to wait for Fate or Kismet . . . but the vulture said “Fuck this waiting around shit! I’m going to go kill something!” That is, sometimes you have to take proactive action even if it's outside of your comfort zone. The next step is figuring out just what kind of husband you want. That’s very important . . . but you have to be Red Pill realistic about it.
First of all, discard all fantasies of the Christian Grey billionaire kinkazoid. Sure, he’s out there, but dudes like that are what we call “Bull Alphas”, that is, he’s going to get into your panties and hit the road, or keep you spinning on the side until you realize that no, he isn’t ever going to commit. That whole falling-in-love-with-the-innocent-grad-student-and-living-happily-ever-after bullshit is just this side of criminal negligence -- kind of like telling a retarded kid that he has a realistic shot at the Presidency without having oil wealth and nepotism behind you. Set your sights realistically, on a real dude. Just by opening yourself up to the possibilities, you improve your chances.
So let's take a look at you. This is going to sound an awful lot like “lowering your standards”, but the cold hard reality is that if you’re over 30, your Objective Sex Rank is inevitably in decline. No matter how adept you are at keeping it at bay, even though you’re a hot 40 year old, the “high ranking” guys who are really looking to settle down are looking in the 25-30 range, prime baby-making years. If you are desperate to get pregnant and have kids with your future husband, prepare yourself: your chances just went down again. But put a pin in that thought, because we’ll come back to it.
But consider this, as you “lower your standards” and decide that maybe just a bachelors degree will do, when you were really hoping for a doctorate: when you are considering a man on a date, and he can just about hear you “lowering your standards” to condescend to date him and consider him for mating. When a woman’s eyes play over you and you can see them wince as she thinks “y’know, if I don’t think about it too much, he’s not bad”. One whiff of that, and you’ve likely already blown it. No one wants to feel like they’re someone else’s consolation prize.
Part of the problem is that you are thinking of it as “lowering your standards”, when in fact what you are doing is “adjusting to the reality of the situation”. Because more than likely your original “standards” for what Prince Charming needs were formed in your starry-eyed 20s, when you really thought you’d be famous or rich or happily married to Mr. Perfect by now. While your girlish idealism may feed into your key romantic fantasies, the plain fact is that the dude you saw yourself with when you were 25 isn’t on the menu anymore.
But that doesn’t mean that what is on the menu isn’t just as good . . . maybe better.
Love happens in the strangest of places, to the most diverse people, and while more often than not that infatuation that drives love dies a natural death pretty early on, it’s also quite true that there are times when love between unlikely pairs blossoms into something incredible and wondrous. When you have closed your heart to all but a narrow range of possibilities, you have artificially reduced your chances of finding a good mate because of your own inability to envision success.
One friend of mine left a promising relationship when she was 31 because of her boyfriend’s apparent lack of ambition. By the time she was 34, it was clear that a secure, decent paying gig is actually a pretty good thing, even if it means she wouldn't get the McMansion of her dreams . . . but by that time he’d gotten snatched up by a girl with more sense. Then his boss died unexpectedly and left him the business. Leave your preconceived notions at home when you go on a date, and your chances of finding a man improve dramatically.
After you have ditched your preconceived ideas about who your Mr. Right is, and you have opened yourself to the possibility of a relationship, then your chances of finding a dude go back up. Remember, the more effective mating strategy is not to find the most handsome, richest guy you can, despite the allure. Indeed, a man’s Sex Rank comes far less from his looks than his context, and it’s more likely to go up over time than down. If you are a solid 7, who can whip it up to an 8 or an 8.5 in a pinch, then finding a dude who is a 9 isn’t your best bet at all. That’s the dude who is going to dump you for a younger model three years after you get married – if he ever commits.
If you’re a solid 7, then finding another 7 or even a 6 is a better bet. Because in ten years, you’re going to drop a full point and he’s going to rise a full point, and ideally you want your SR to be slightly lower than your future husband’s. Ditching preconceived ideas about who Mr. Right is and considering men you ordinarily wouldn’t give a second look at increases your chances dramatically.
That being said, you still have to find the right dude.
I’ve helped a lot of women look for love with varying degrees of success, but one of the key things I do is have her envision her Mr. Right, down to the last detail – because sometimes those details can be key.
One lady in Manhattan decided to get serious about her reproductive strategy and asked my advice. After going over her list of must-haves and would-be-nices, I pointed out that the kind of man she wanted (a 30-something engineer who wants kids and has a secure job) is going to be attracted to certain kind of activities, and by placing herself in the right place, she might just hit the right time for Mr. Right to come out of the bushes once she went where the fish were. In this case, a high-end auto show.
We mapped out the six bars closest to the convention center the attendees would most likely be drinking in, she boned up on her automotive knowledge (come to find out, her dad and a brother were engineers . . . coincidence?) and she prepared herself for an adventure by cranking up her Sex Rank a point before she went. The goal was to meet dudes.
A lot of women forget that. They want a husband, and a father for their children, but they have been so focused on the intricacies of being a modern woman that they often know fuck-all about dudes. I regularly counsel men who are in the early stages of a relationship to be careful not to ally themselves with women who are overly feminine, since I’ve witnessed several instances where these unions de-evolved into high-maintenance Beta slavery the moment the honeymoon lingerie was dry.
A woman who has no real interest in a man’s world is unlikely to make a good wife . . . so developing some dude-related interests, or at least studying men and their ways, gives you a huge advantage over the women who simply get their hair done, shave their legs all the way up, push the girls into something tight and sexy, and hope that their sex appeal will be enough to attract a decent man.
That can work . . . but knowing a little something about what guys like and how they think actually gets you a better chance at a mate, long-term, than going up a cup size. No, really. And that brings us to your biggest advantage. One of my favorite quotes is “To know thyself is the ultimate form of aggression”. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your desires and your goals, puts you far more in control of your reproductive destiny than the vapid blonde at the end of the bar in the shiny dress.
Thing is, there are a LOT of pretty girls out there, and you have to be honest: they are your competition. You are both going after the same guys, even if your motives and ultimate goals differ. Knowing what you want gives you a big edge. Knowing what dudes want gives you an even bigger edge. Having realistic expectations about the way this story ends buffs that edge even more.
I’d like to be able to tell you, in three or four paragraphs, exactly what every dude in the world wants in a woman, but that would be incorrect. Men have their own agendas, goals, and preferences, and they vary as widely as women’s. But there are a few broad generalizations that can be made, and while they seem a little on the remedial side, there are plenty of women out there who fuck up every date they’re on because they ignore some of these basics.
First – and foremost – a man is considering you as a sexual partner. In your quest for romance and true love, you might conveniently forget that – but none of us did for a fucking moment. Sex is important for men, perhaps the most important element of the relationship from our perspective.
For women, sex is the affirmation of infatuation, the natural progression of physical intimacy after emotional and mental intimacy has been established – else, it’s strongly responsive in the heat of the moment. Most dudes are hoping they can get you in the latter mood by exciting and stimulating you. Either way, the man you are speaking to is thinking about his chances of fucking you, no matter what he says about your charm, wit, and taste in art. He might consider you a pump-and-dump opportunity, or he might consider you a long-term humpy partner, but he’s definitely not thinking about whether or not you share a deep emotional connection or how you really feel about the fashion industry.
He wants to fuck you. Use that.
Not to be mean , but remember that your sexuality is the best “bait” (and I have a few feminist readers who object to that term, but I’ll remind them that for the last 100,000 years, minus the most recent part, men used hunting as the metaphor for most of their activities – and finding quality pussy certainly qualifies) you have. Not just your appearance, but your openness, your willingness to experiment, and your general attitude toward sex are all going to be factors in how strongly he will be attracted to you. Showing some cleavage is nice – but it you don’t plan on putting out until you’re engaged, you’ve put yourself into the ‘longshot’ category.
Unfair? You betcha. After all, shouldn't you get to know a guy before you sleep with him?
Of course. Mostly. But from his perspective, every moment he spends with you is going to revolve around that question, and if you give him the idea that the only way to get your legs open is with a life-long commitment or too many other hoops, then he’s going to bail on you. Because there are a lot of pretty girls in the world, and for every one chick who wants to slow down and take her time and evaluate the relationship for a while, there are two chicks that will blow him in the parking lot or head back to his place to rock his world. They might not even want him permanently, but they have what he wants, and if he has a choice between older pussy he has to work hard for and younger pussy that falls into his bed, he’s much more likely to chase after the latter.
You see, your sexuality is your best attractant, but thanks to feminism, someone dumped their bait in the water, and now sex is EVERYWHERE for a dude. Sex without commitment, relationships or even last names. If you have money, you can have sex. If you have a modicum of Game, you can have sex. In fact, the only thing stopping most dudes from having a lot more sex is their own willingness to Scalzi-out and pedestalize women to the extent that they become hopeless Beta (Delta) Orbiters. That is, those dudes who just respect you too much to try anything . . . even if you really want them to.
But for the rest of the guys out there, pussy is still our primary source of inspiration and motivation. If we think it’s immanent, we’re willing to put up with just about anything. If we think it’s hopeless, then we find some way to move on to someone with whom it isn’t hopeless. So the key is to keep him interested in you sexually until you have established whether or not he’s got a couple of hidden dealbreakers in his pocket.
After your sexuality, your personality is going to be your next biggest asset. That is, a warm and giving personality is going to be more alluring to Mr. Right than a cold and distant bitch who looks like a million bucks. Remember, the man you are looking for is also interested in a commitment – and as shallow as we dudes are, any man worth marrying is going to want to take a good hard look at your personality.
What does that mean? Laughing at his jokes and smiling and making eye contact are all good Girl Game, of course, but after that, what do you do to convince him that you’re good “wife material”?
Well, you might want to start thinking of yourself as such.
It’s amazing how many women think “strong and independent” is what men are looking for. In point of fact, we only say that because that’s what we think you want to hear, but when we’re alone “strong and independent” usually translates to “ballbuster future ex-wife”, not “future mother of my children/romantic companion unto the end of my days”. It’s not that we want you to be weak . . . we just want to see some vulnerability, some need for us in your life. No man wants to be a woman’s unnecessary accessory, and unless he feels like you need him, he’s not going to be interested in more than your vagina.
(Mrs. Ironwood did this, I realize in retrospect, by cooking for me on our 3rd date. She already knew I loved to cook and was good at it, so she thought she’d honor me with a meal she cooked. She made a valiant effort, but by dessert I knew with certainty that any future relationship with her would mean I would be cooking all of our meals – which was perfect. I’d rather share my toothbrush than my kitchen.)
Apropos to that, don’t discuss your job more than you absolutely have to. Women who are more engaged in their workplace social life than they are the rest of their lives rarely make ideal wives. We know you have a job – in fact, it’s a red flag if you don’t. But we don’t care how much money you make, what your title is, or what Rhonda and Carol said just last week when you complained there weren’t any decent men around. Unless you both work in the same field, hearing you talk about work when you should be talking about us is another red flag.
Thanks to forty years of feminism, women have been conditioned to believe that men really do want “strong and independent” women, women who put success ahead of other considerations in their life. They have spent their lives thinking of themselves as a profession or vocation, perhaps as a girlfriend, but hardly as a wife.
So ask yourself, ladies: just what do you have to offer a man as his wife?
That goes beyond your vagina and your high threadcount linens. Think about what it means to be a wife. Think about it good and hard. Imagine what it meant to your grandmother, your mother, and you, and how that changed – and how it didn’t. Remember that what you are getting is a husband, and that’s a different animal than a live-in boyfriend. So what can you tell a man that will suggest that you would make a good wife?
Some hints: don’t mention how much you like to cook unless you’re willing to do all the cooking (remember, someone has to). Don’t mention how much you like to shop unless you do it professionally. (It’s not that we’re anti-shopping, but I think we can all admit that the women who consider shopping a competitive sport have been the ruin of more than one man). Don’t appear obsessed by celebrities, fashion, or reality television – we can appreciate your interest in them, but unless we’re deep in the closet we really could care less.
Don’t mention your crazy ex(es). No one wants to pick up a jealous stalker. In fact, don’t mention any exes, especially if you’re still good friends with them. We know you’ve probably had sex, and we’re wary of your “number”, but those kind of details can kill your chances with a guy if you’re too free with them. If you spent a year just slutting out, you might not want to mention that up front, either. Sure, he will want to know that, but that’s the sort of thing you discuss with your dude after he’s addicted to the way you give head.
The caveat to that is if you are asked about your “number”, then tell him. We know you’re lying about it, we just want to hear you say it. And if you don’t know it off the top of your head . . . red flag. Nor is a high number death to all hopes of a relationship. Some dudes mind a lot more than others, and some don’t mind at all.
Don’t talk about your pets. Even if he asks, that isn’t a sign he’s into dressing up kitty cats like Star Trek characters, too – it’s a test. If you show more interest in your pets than you do him, that’s a red flag.
DO talk about whether you want kids. This is the biggest single dealbreaker on either side, and if you want a baby and he doesn't, then it's not going to work out. Cut your losses and move on, no matter how hot he is. But the conventional wisdom that says "don't discuss children" on a date doesn't really apply at this age. When you're a 20 year old guy, just about the last thing you want to hear on a date is "I want kids within the next six months!", which is just under "Y'know I'm a dude, right?"
But a 40 year old man might also have a powerful biological itch to be scratched. Believe it or not, your desire to have children may actually improve your subjective Sex Rank. Or your decision not to have (any more) kids may be just what he's looking for. This is one of the few points upon which you should be honest and upfront. Fatherhood is a serious issue for guys, so don't play around with that.
Here's the thing: even if you don't want kids, a dude is still going to imagine what kind of mother you'd make, and that's going to profoundly feed his attraction to you. While few of us expect to be "mothered" on a daily basis by our wives, there are indeed times in every man's life when his success or failure depends on the matronly emotional support his wife can muster. If your wife can't comfort you and make you feel better when you don't feel well, it's not ideal.
It comes down to this: when a man is evaluating a woman for a relationship, he’s either looking for a) the mother of his children or b) the sex kitten of his dreams or c) All Of The Above. They aren’t looking for an ambitious climber with a fat 401k, a leased luxury car and her own home.
Think of them as the traditional Manosphere “Alpha/Beta” mix: you want to demonstrate your “Beta” skills as potential wife and mother, while simultaneously hinting at your “Alpha” skills, that is, your sexuality and social adeptness. And yes, a decent guy is going to want both, even if he doesn’t want kids. If you aren’t willing to compromise on that . . . well, don’t expect him to put a ring on it. Or even call you again. “He’s just not that into you” is often code for “nice ass, but she was a bitch to the busboy” or “she was friendly enough, but she hasn't had sex in two years and I need someone hornier than that in my life.”
Yeah. We're really like that.
Feminist propaganda to the contrary, men have all but given up lighthearted commitments anymore. It's just too expensive. That is, don’t expect to move in with a dude after six dates, the way you could back in the 1990s. As men are starting to realize that they are gatekeepers of commitment, they’re also starting to realize that their commitment has value. If you aren’t attractive, sexually available, and easy-to-get-along-with, then yeah, you’re going to have a hard time finding a husband. And that’s before he’s had a chance to even look at your baggage.
Beyond that, do you have any notion what being a “wife” entails? It’s not just what you’re called after the big party with the pretty dress. Being a wife is a job description, and the best way to get the job is to make sure you have the credentials. The whole “co-equal partnership” ideal is crap – husbands and wives who make their marriages work tend to be willing to compromise and watch each others’ backs, not jealously guard their individual prerogatives. Being a wife is more than being an “official girlfriend”. There are expectations and responsibilities tied up with being a wife. If you aren’t willing to live up to those, then perhaps you should abandon your search.
This is a true story: a man I know dumped an otherwise good prospect because she wasn’t willing to change her last name to his if they got married. I knew both parties, and I knew that this was a Very Big Deal to the dude – he was an only child and the last of his line, and he felt that it was important for his wife and child to share his name. He was trying to build a family, after all.
When the woman tearfully called me a few weeks later (she had apparently exhausted the patience of our other mutual friends) to complain, I gently pointed out that I’d known the man for a long time, and he’d always made that a dealbreaker. She didn't think he was being serious . . . or that she could get him to change his mind. She had established a career under her maiden name and didn’t wan the inconvenience of changing her name or even adding “Mrs.” to it – she thought it was a needless anachronistic atavism.
He didn’t. He thought it was a traditional sign of respect for his ancestors. Family was important to him, whereas to her the wedding was the important part. She didn’t want to be a “wife”, she wanted to be a “bride”. She wanted the party and the attention and the feeling of success she’d get for finally landing a man . . . she didn’t really want the husband that comes with all of it. In fact, when I asked her about her potential future with him, she didn’t have much to say after she told me everything she’d imagined about the exotic honeymoon. She wanted to get married – she didn’t want to be married.
And when the dude and I talked about it, he pointed out that if she was unwilling to compromise on such a fundamental issue so important to him before the wedding, then she would be even less likely to compromise on issues important to them both after they were married. He didn’t want a “strong and independent co-equal partner” he had to discuss and get approval for every move he makes, he wanted a wife. While the latter can be a part of the former, those aren’t essential skills for a wife.
What? You didn’t know being a wife involved a skillset? Perhaps I’ll cover this in a future post.
So if you’re in the neighborhood of 40 and you find yourself single, ladies, it’s not the end of the world. It’s a challenge. A big one. Finding a decent man now is going to be hard, much harder than when you were younger, prettier, and skinnier, but most of your Girl Game relies on what’s going on in your head, not your bra. If you can shake your own mind around a bit and get out of the self-made traps that sabotage your efforts, then you have a fighting chance to dramatically improve your odds of being Mrs. Charming some day.
It’s not a sure thing . . . but then again, what is? The only way you can really lose is by giving up. Hell, even romance novels know that much.