Received wisdom in the manosphere is that women need to settle. I have to say I enjoy a good hamster carpet bombing as much as the next guy. But in the end the entertainment value isn’t worth the human cost. I’ve touched on this before, but after seeing the article Did You Marry the Wrong Guy? from Marie Claire (H/T GudEnuf) I wanted to revisit it.
The problem with telling women they need to settle isn’t that they won’t listen. The problem is that they will listen, or at least use this message as rationalization for wrecking an honest man’s life. The problem occurs because women don’t think like men. If you tell a man he has too high a sense of his own value in the dating/marriage marketplace, he is likely to be humbled by this. Actually no one needs to tell the typical guy this because they tend to figure it out based on which women are and aren’t attracted to them.
Too many women (especially the kind of women the message is aimed at) however hear this message and decide this means they should marry the well off guy they aren’t attracted to, ultimately doing him the favor of taking his kids and half his stuff when they figure out they don’t love him anymore. According to the Marie Claire article this is quite common:
According to recent research conducted by Jennifer Gauvain, a therapist in Denver, 30 percent of now-divorced women say they knew in their gut they were making a mistake as they walked down the aisle — and kept walking anyway. Only a handful backed out.
Being a women’s magazine, the article goes on to explain that the women themselves aren’t to blame for leaving a trail of wreckage in their wakes because society made them do it. The reality is they feared loosing the option to choose, and wanted the status that came with getting married as well as his money. He wasn’t likely to give up half of his stuff and pay for her to have children if she didn’t pretend to be in love with him in order to marry him:
Clark had dated a handsome businessman for four years before they got engaged, and although he didn’t make her heart race, she still loved him. “We were best friends, and I thought he’d make a great husband and father, even though I wasn’t ‘in love,’” she says. “I walked down the aisle thinking, What the hell? During my vows, I wasn’t making eye contact with my fiancé.”
Five years and two kids later, their sex life nonexistent, Clark wanted out. “I’d often wish he would cheat,” she says. Finally, her husband, sensing her unhappiness, ended it.
I see this woman as beneath more traditional gold diggers and prostitutes. She isn’t just harming him, but putting her children through great pain as well. Aside from stealing his wealth and children, she also stole his opportunity for great happiness. The truth is another woman would likely have found this same man quite attractive and lovable. She had no right to rob him of that because she lacked the capacity to reciprocate love but still wanted all of the benefits of marriage. Some might say that he should have learned game and all would have been well. Aside from the fact that this isn’t common knowledge in our culture, had he learned game he would have been able to marry a much better woman. She wanted a man of his appearance wealth and status with game, but none of them wanted her or she would have married one of them.
My guess is the root cause of women who are incapable of experiencing reciprocal love and attraction is a blend of the mismatch feminism has created between men and women, the impact of alpha chasing/promiscuity, and an overall entitlement complex. Whatever the cause of the issue, it does appear to be real for a significant percentage of women.
Making things worse, older women consistently advise younger women to pass up men they are in love with and attracted to with the assumption that another better man will be along shortly. We have seen this with Advice Goddess, Amy Dickinson, and the authors of Last one down the aisle wins. The reality is that experiencing mutual attraction isn’t a given for women, and should therefore not be abandoned lightly. This also is why the advice to women to postpone marriage and “just have fun” for a decade or more is so detrimental to them. Finding a man who they can reciprocate love and attraction with is difficult for many women, and only gets harder the older they become.
So stop telling women to settle. I beg you! The innocent (but clueless) beta you save may be someone you know.
I think this is the single biggest risk a man looking to marry faces. This is even bigger in my opinion than a woman’s sexual history, although the two are often connected.