Friday, February 15, 2013

The Advantage of Dating After 30

Two women step out of their front doors on a Friday night in New York City. It is the middle of winter and a light snow is just starting to fall. Both women are dressed up and heading out to meet with their respective friends for some drinks. One woman is 23 years old and the other is 32. Both are single and want little more than to ultimately find true love.

The 23-year-old has had one serious boyfriend in her life. She slept with him during all of the 3 years they dated, until he broke up with her soon after they graduated from college. She recently had an exciting night of sex with a guy she met in a bar who was incredibly attractive. He had seemed interested in her - he was even affectionate in bed; but now he isn't calling. In the back of her mind she knows there will be attractive men out tonight, and she is hoping to eventually meet someone she can date seriously. However, she hasn't thought too much beyond the evening and maybe the start of a relationship. Right now, the excitement and nervousness of going to a high-end nightclub for the first time occupies her mind, as she grew up and went to college in the rural South where all they had were a few dive bars.

The 32-year-old has had five "official" boyfriends in her life. She's slept with eight men - four were her boyfriends and two were guys she was "just dating." They seemed interested but faded away after sex. The other two were drunken one-night stands during college, before she knew better - or more accurately, when she learned better. She is growing more and more self-conscious and concerned about the fact that she is still single in her thirties. While she knows she was probably too immature to get married previously, she also knows that her friends and extended family have started raising eyebrows. However, in the past two years she's really started to see trends and mistakes in her dating history, and she encountered a few ideas in books and online, and these have really changed her outlook. She knows now what she did wrong before. While she knows Manhattan is a horrible place for a single girl to live, she hasn't lost hope yet.

As the 23-year-old gets out of her cab in front of the nightclub where she'll meet her friends, the sharp cold bites at her face. It excites her because she only recently moved north, and this is the first time she's gone out to party in the snow. Stepping out onto the busy Manhattan sidewalk wearing high heels and her her new coat, she feels like she is on the set of Sex and The City, or one of her favorite romantic comedies. If she is honest with herself, she sort of expects to meet a guy in New York, though she definitely isn't ready to get married. She has a career and other aspirations to meet before she is ready to settle down.

As the 32-year-old gets out of the cab in front of the lounge where she'll meet her friends, the sharp cold bites at her face. It reminds her of the time three years ago when she first met her ex boyfriend. It was snowing then, too. She'd seen him looking at her earlier across the bar she was at with her friends, but he didn't approach. Then, by fate (she knows now it was just coincidence), they had both walked out of a bar at the same time (closing time). She'd been a little tipsy and given in when her girlfriends pressured her to go ask him for his number. It had felt a bit strange to do it, but in the end they dated for eight months, so for a while she thought it was the right move - at least until he dumped her for a girl who he said was more "his type."

The 23-year-old meets her girlfriends, who are waiting in a big crowd at the velvet rope outside the nightclub. The single question that consumes her mind is whether or not she is hot enough to be let inside. She starts to feel nervous. She knows she is hot, but the other girls waiting to get in look like supermodels. But as the bouncer lifts the rope and chooses her and her friends before all the others, her excitement and ego both skyrocket. "I love nightclubs already" she thinks to herself, as she looks over her shoulder and sees the other girls outside in the cold, watching with jealously as she walks through the door. She feels sorry for the few girls who were clearly older than the others - probably over 30; they definitely aren't getting in.

The 32-year-old meets her two girlfriends at an upscale lounge that they've come to like, mostly because it is never too loud and has a good layout, conducive to meeting new people. It doesn't hurt that the men who go there are generally older professionals, men who have their shit together and don't drink until they fall down. They pick a good spot at the bar and order a drink. They've arrived early so the crowd is still a bit sparse, but this gives them time to actually hang out and talk before anyone else arrives and they get involved in other conversations. As the 32-year-old orders her drink, she chats with the bartender for a bit, because she knows that even a brief conversation with a stranger (male or female) will get her into a more social mood, which might help later if any men want to talk to her. She learned that trick when she first moved to the city and sometimes went out alone. In fact, she'd met one of the girls she was with tonight that way.

The 23-year-old is amazed by the decor and energy inside the club - she's never seen anything like it. She feels like a celebrity, surrounded by the dancers, the music, the lights, the men - the men! Through the heavy club atmosphere she sees them and wonders who these guys are... standing on couches, dancing with beautiful women and drinking expensive champagne by the bottle. Some of them look like they might be famous but she isn't sure. Almost all of the men are drunk already. A guy standing next to her, who looks a bit out-of-place in his simplicity (though he is fairly attractive), raises his voice to ask her what she thinks about the DJ tonight, adding that he would prefer more popular music, but overall he was quite good. "He is good" she says without making eye contact, but she turns away immediately. "What a stupid question," she thinks to herself (though if she is honest, she also admits that she didn't really know what to say in response). She wonders how she can get an invite to drink at one of the tables...

The 32-year-old returns to her friends after her conversation with the bartender to find that a tall, very stylish and attractive man was asking her friends if they could introduce him to her. Her friends oblige, and he immediately isolates her from the group. This screams "predator" to her, but she knows that not all men have great game, so she doesn't bail yet. They talk for a few minutes, but the 32-year-old is further turned off by his constant smirk and the way he keeps touching her arm. She's met men like this before - in fact, one of her ex boyfriends approached her with the same cocky, sexual demeanor. They dated for about a year, but that transparent facade of pseudo-confidence remained throughout the relationship. She eventually dumped him and now considers the whole year wasted - at least from a dating perspective. When the arm-touching becomes a little too much to handle, she tells him it was nice to meet him and politely excuses herself to use the restroom.

The 23-year old and her friends are approached by a bouncer who invites them to drink with "some gentlemen at the VIP table." They gladly agree, and follow the bouncer as he ushers them through the crowd like celebrities. The "gentlemen" welcome them with free shots of a vodka, which looks like it is top-shelf (she gets a glimpse of the label; it is called Stolichayna or Stolishnaya - something like that. It looks so exotic - Russian, she thinks.) The 23-year-old takes a liking to the only guy at the table dressed in a suit; he is very good-looking and seems to be the leader, even though she guesses he is only 24 or 25. She is sure that she can have him because she knows she is hotter than her friends. By now she is getting fairly drunk and they start to dance. After several minutes his hands are holding her waist (she loves that feeling) and they kiss. He sits down with her to "take a break from dancing" and they start to make out on the couch. The music and alcohol drown out everything else and she is lost in the moment...

The 32-year-old returns from the bathroom. Her two friends are now talking to a group of three guys, one of whom is listening more than participating. She can tell from his posture that is isn't shy or socially awkward - but rather patient. This interests her. She intentionally positions herself  right next to him as she re-joins the group. He introduces himself and they start to make small talk. She wouldn't have picked him out from the crowd for his looks, but his understated and confident demeanor is confirmed and grows on her as they talk. A couple times he mentions things in passing that really spike her interest. She would stop him and ask him to elaborate but she is also interested in what he is telling her at the moment. He is clearly experienced and intelligent, and she judges that he is probably at least in his mid-thirties. Although he is older, she's learned over time that this is better than the opposite. At one point it crosses her mind how glad she is to be in a venue where she can hear him clearly. Conversations like this were always impossible in the nightclubs she used to go to in her twenties. Their conversational chemistry is great, and they continue talking for almost two hours...

The 23-year-old is hammered by the time the lights come on at closing time, and she considers herself the luckiest girl in the club because of the guy she "picked up." He invites her back to his hotel room to "keep the party going." Despite her drunkenness, she hesitates. She knows she doesn't want to sleep with him - she remembers how that turned out last time. But she agrees to go anyway, reasoning to herself that she can always tell him no later. As he takes her hand and leads her out of the club and into a taxi, she catches a glimpse of the out-of-place guy who'd asked her about the DJ at the beginning of the night. He has a strangely smug look on his face as she trips into the cab with the guy in the suit. It occurs to her as they pull away in the taxi that the suited guy still hasn't asked for her name...

The 32-year-old is still talking to the quiet-but-confident guy when she realizes it is already a few minutes past midnight. Normally she leaves bars by 11 pm, but she really wasn't paying close attention to the time tonight. She tells him that she really needs to get home so that she can get up at a reasonable hour for her workout. He asks her for her name and then her phone number. She knows this drill; she'd been through it probably a hundred times before, but her gauge of personalities has gotten better and better over the years. She has a pretty good feeling about this guy, so she decides to give him her last name too. He suggests that they should meet up next week sometime for coffee. They say goodnight and go their separate ways. As she walks out the door, she catches a glimpse of the cocky, stylish guy that had approached her earlier. He had obviously been watching in confused surprise as she gave the less-attractive guy her number. "Filtered him out." she thought as she smiled to herself and slipped out the front door and into a passing cab. "Wouldn't have done that ten years ago..."

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  1. This single about-to-turn-32-year-old needed to read something like this this morning. Thank you. :)

  2. i think you are underestimating the maturity of 23 year olds and over-estimating the wisdom of 32 year olds.

    1. well ok, maybe you're not underestimating the maturity of 23 year olds haha.

    2. I was going to say, I've met a LOT of women OVER 23 that are much worse that what I described...

    3. I am 25 and live in NYC and I think this article is dead on. I am in between the age brackets described which is why I still do a little bit of both. Whenever I just want fun, I will go with cocky hot guy. Wee are both playing so nobody gets hurt and I don't feel ad for not being sweet. Butt when I feel like more than just fun, I will give my number to interesting guy instead. An then sometimes you luck out and interesting guy is also hot :) Great article!!

    4. Readers, Andrew - I have a question. I'm in my early 30s, and I date occasionally, but in the recent months i've been bombarded with people trying to set me up with guys I'm not remotely interested in. I've even been scolded for not wanting to date someone I was not attracted to (he's perfect in every other way), and I tend to be pigheaded in my ways especially since I know what I want in a man, and if I don't see those qualities in a man, I have no interest.

      A big part of why I'm single has to do with being in two lengthy relationships since my late 20s. I've been without a boyfriend for close to 2 years now. After the last relationship I decided to take a break from dating and was simultaneously engulfed by work, which was good for me. My serious dating hiatus was like backpacking through Europe after college.

      I've been trying to delicately balance relationships and maintain friends with guys I like but wouldn't not want to date. For the most part that's been working well, but I've had my judgment questioned and been recently scolded for not settling (for lack of a better term). Last night I was out with friends and asked what they thought of fibbing to SOME people about being single so they'd stop bugging me. I'm inclined to be straightforward, but on the occasions when I don't have the patience for the discussion, is it bad to lie and say that I'm dating someone even though I'm not?

      I recognize the consequences of being dishonest, but it's something I'd do to people who I would never rely on to introduce me to a guy I'd want to date. Any suggestions?

  3. I am 21 and thank God I think like a 32-year-old lol. But I can attest that my 21-year-old friends behave exactly like the 23-year-old in this post. This post also raises an important point, young women these days tend to prefer handsomeness to character. Men adjust to the expectations of the young women, and by the time the woman wise up and actually want a good husband, most men have ditched their character for the cocky asshole act. Little do the women know, they caused it in their earlier years.

    1. Totally true when speaking about the majority of men adapting to what women demand.

  4. I was going to say... I'll be 23 in 5 months and my nights sound more like the 32 year olds minus her dating past.

  5. I love this narrative, although the 23-year-old sounds more like a college freshman. However, naivete/inexperience can be found in women of a variety of ages, so if you read this story as a woman with experience vs. a woman with little experience, it reads well and incorporates many good points.

    1. I agree with this. The 23 year old sounds like me when I was 17, minus the sexual/relationship experience.
      In this case the 23 year old sounds like she's from a village and has been raised very sheltered. Of course the 32 year old is the one with the advantage of the two if she goes out with a girl like that. If she was out with a 23 year old New Yorker, it'd be very different.

    2. I spent most of my 20s in school so when I started dating after my divorce at 33, my mentality was very much of a 23 year old. It took me several failed relationship to learn the important lessons. :)

  6. I don't think being drunk does anything good for a woman or a man for that matter. heavy drinking can age you, make you feel like garbage the next day and cause you to make poor decisions. Also gets pretty expensive. You could be buying clothes with that money.

    Why people know this and continue to drink very heavily is beyond me. I can't even...uhh.. people are dumb.

    can you do "The Advantage of Dating in Your 20s?"
    I will also be turning 23 this year, but act more like this 32 year old. Maybe that means I'll find someone this year? Although I have yet to have any guys talk to me at a bar.

    last night I went out (I live in a big city) to a bar, kind of divey, some of my friends flaked on me, but I was there to support my friend who was djing and had a few friends were meeting me later so I stayed. I did what you suggested and sat at the bar with an empty seat next to me. My chair was facing out. I looked really nice and made small chat with some people my dj friend had introduced me to. I kind of did that to get in social mood like the 32 yr old in this narrative.

    A lot of guys looked/stared at me, but not one came up to me. Sooo frustrating. Later on I just stopped caring and danced with my friends when they showed up. What is wrong with men... I was totally open and in a great mood. Anyway... I guess I won't be going out alone because it seems like I would probably spend the entire night sitting alone like a loser.

    Has any girl here gone to a bar or a show alone? Thoughts? I know Andrew said going with one other girl is best, but what if you can't and want to go out?

    I was thinking of going out alone later this month, to a popular sports bar because I really love to see PPV UFC events and none of my friends like it.
    I'm definitely going just to see the fight, but do you guys think it would be a good place to meet a guy? why or why not?

    The last time I was there, I did the same thing, went out looked cute with my other hot friend. Just two pretty girls in a room full of men and some of them were attractive. No one except the bartender spoke to us.

    Do you think the men were too interested in the fights to pay attention to girls?

    1. The advantage of dating in your 20s is obvious: you are more physically attractive, and a LOT of men (even the quiet confident one in the post) will at least say hello and see if you spark an interest beyond your looks.

      I've talked to girls who have gone out alone and most of them have had bad experiences. Why won't those men talk to you? Read the post about Why You Don't Get Approached by Men. You'll notice that nothing on the list discusses distractions from sporting events.

      If guys are looking/staring at you, and there are no logistical barriers stopping them from approaching you - but they still don't, it is either (a) because they don't have the balls, or (b) because they find you attractive but not attractive enough to approach you.

    2. I see. I'll still go alone to see the fight, maybe just keep to myself.

      Wow, I can't believe that all of those men surrounding us were too scared to approach. I won't even get into my looks because I think it's obnoxious, but my friend is definitely hot and has long hair with a thin hourglass figure and a pretty face. Every guy in my social circle says she is hot.
      She does have that maneater vibe, so maybe we seemed unreceptive.

      then people wonder why I do online dating... no one approaches me.

    3. Believe it or not, men feel there is a time and place for everything and a sports bar during a fight or important match/game is NOT a pick up joint. Yes, they are distracted by the sport, many of them would already be in relationships and those that are not will definitely NOT appear stupid in front of so many of their peers by chatting up the only two attractive women in the room.
      I could tell you some of the most insane things women have done to meet men - in fact things that I did myself, like doing an Electrical engineering course. Surprise surprise - met many men but all of them were more interested in getting their qualifications and not interested in helping a stupid hapless woman (and I was young and attractive back then) stuggling with a subject she had no business in.

    4. I'm 23 too. And I agree with you about drinking. Every time I drink I end up being ill for about 5 days afterwards. I really want to quit but all my friends egg me on a bit with all the shots.

      Seems like there's a time and a place to scope out the opposite sex and that isn't it. Makes the dating stuff a whole lot harder.

      You know I think I'm going to try and embody the mentality of the 32 year old in the narrative. I am definitely not quite like the younger woman you talk about and I don't think my life is quite like the show 'Girls' although it kind of makes me laugh with painful irony. haha :)

  7. Nobody's said it yet, so I'll go ahead & be the bad guy: The thirty-two year old, if she wants to have kids, she better get cracking and find a solid man with whom to fall in love and make babies. Her fertility window is rapidly closing. Female fertility starts declining at 30, and really starts dropping at age 35.

    The truth is, if a woman wants to get married and have kids, age 24 is a good time to start screening men for the Big Deal. All this noise about the various 24 vs. 32 year old perspective on the bar, bartender, bouncer, bathroom, is a whooole lotta nothing compared to each's biological ability to make babies. The rest is banality. (I'm on a B-kick. Boom!)

    Fertility rates are declining, lots of careerist women aren't finding "worthy" men to have kids with. This is due to procrastination. So, from a biological perspective, where's the advantage?

    If this site really wants to serve women and women's interests, it must serve up uncomfortable truth, because, ironically, you're not going to get fertility information in your Women's Studies 101. The politically incorrect truth is, 32 is too late to begin wisely "filtering" men, and 24 is a great age to start that.

    1. Actually, fertility starts declining at 28, then dropping at 35.
      Most people (at least men) want to be married some time before having children, engaged some time before getting married, and usually they take around two years to propose. And before that the filtering process should be done. And this is all if you want ONE child, what if you want more? And have a few years between each?
      Realistically speaking, 23 year olds and 32 year olds shouldn't be looking for men in the same places. For a 23 year old, the eligible men are in their late twenties. It is best to meet them through friends, at graduate schools, maybe at a bar where young people hang out.
      If you're 32, the best men your age go for 20-somethings. The ones in their late thirties are probably eternal bachelors (the chances that a man of 38 who's never been married will marry drops dramatically). So her market is divorced men, whom might have children from a previous marriage. Those children will be the price she has to pay for waiting so long to settle down.

    2. Ugh, that is totally depressing to read. I just got out of an 8 year relationship (we were "engaged" but he never had the decency to get me a ring until I broke up with him) and I feel completely stupid for letting him waste my entire 20's. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I did learn a lot - I am just really annoyed with myself for not ending it about 5 years sooner.

    3. Yeah I'm 22 and I'm glad I'm reading posts like "Don't let a man waste your most eligible years" now. Still, there are so so many women who look for the wrong men and don't filter properly. I see many women in their thirties who go for younger men or men their exact same age and just waste their time. If you know that 1) a man should be a few years older than you for marriage and 2) you shouldn't let him date you for years and years without it going anywhere, you already know more than many women and are therefore ahead of the crowd when it comes to women your age (whatever that might be).

    4. "The thirty-two year old, if she wants to have kids, she better get cracking and find a solid man with whom to fall in love and make babies."

      I was waiting for this comment.

      So, right, we understand that the woman in her 30s has her most eligible years behind her. This is old news.

      The point of this post is not that the 32 year old has the OVERALL advantage, it is that she has this one advantage (experience), which counteracts the more obvious disadvantages to some degree. While the 32-year-old obviously has less time and fewer options, she also has the know-how to be much more efficient about who/when/how she dates.

      Merely saying "you're almost infertile and no one wants you" makes the situation seem worse than it is.

    5. I was under the impression that this blog was to point out what women can change about themselves to improve their chances of finding a potential husband, not an educational forum that identifies all of the physiological aspects of our female reproductive system. Yes, fertility does decline rapidly at 35, but that doesn't mean that one should frantically start screening men at age 24 for fear of ending up barren and alone. It is each woman's JOB to educate THEMSELVES about their own physiology if that is the path they truly want to take, not get it from a blog.

    6. While I agree that a woman doesn't need to freak out once she hits 24, I do agree with Revo Luzione that a woman should start from a very early age to filter out men that she knows she can't marry - assuming it is marriage and children she is looking for. I would actually say she should consider this every time she dates a new man.

    7. "You're almost infertile and no one wants you" is definitely what I read in some of the comments, not the post. I know it isn't entirely true, but it was just a little disheartening to read.

    8. I see no reason for any woman to be disheartened with any of the commentary on this post or the blog in general.

      Is it true that as a woman moves into her 30s he options in men decrease? Yes.

      Does this mean she needs to give up and start a building a cat colony? No.

      On the internet people love to overstate things we all know to be true for whatever reason. Just read these comments and internalize the general, take away message. Also, when reading stuff on the internet I consider the source. I have been reading this blog for a while now, and lately there has been an influx of comments from MRA/PUA types. While I don't think this is a bad thing, it should be noted that some guys who run in these internet circles have a hardened view towards women which is revealed in their harsh commentary on this blog. I don't allow these sorts of guys and their comments to infiltrate my mind. Whatever issues they have with women are their issues, not mine.

    9. "Right, we understand that the woman in her 30s has her most eligible years behind her. This is old news"..

      Didn't you include a segment of the 30s (to 32 as far as I can gauge) in the most eligible period in the relevant post? I am in my twenties but I couldn't resist pointing this out.

      Also, a woman should have the knowledge of a 32 year old in terms of filtering by her late twenties (at least) in my view.

    10. "You're almost infertile and no one wants you" is something guys in the manosphere are fond of saying because they're basking in cultural schadenfreude; this sentiment is understandable in some ways, but the point of this blog is to help women maximize their chances of finding a suitable mate so it's neither helpful nor practical to that effect.

      If you're around 32 and want marriage and children, yeah, it's a little late to start and you're going to have to do some scrambling. You'll also be competing with younger women and your chances of achieving your goals are much lower than they'd be if you started earlier. That's just a hard cold fact, but it doesn't mean you should give up trying entirely. BUT it may also be that you don't want children. If that's the case, you're in better shape as long as you filter for men who either don't want kids or already have kids and don't want anymore (slightly older, divorced men are a good choice.) Then you can market yourself as an attractive, fun, slightly younger woman and you'll probably do very well in this demographic.

      Either way, be kind and fun and leave the desperation at the door. It's not the job of every man you meet to satisfy your biological clock, especially since you chose your own life path that led you to "single at 32." Take ownership of your choices and try to think in terms of what you can bring into a man's life, not what he can do to fix yours. You'll be way ahead of most single women in your age group with that attitude alone.

    11. Annie, I guess in my comment above I am referring to physically prime years, but yes, I did extend the "most eligible years" slightly into the 30s - in part because of the phenomenon I am highlighting with this post.

    12. I think everyone has their own pace in life. Some women are ready to start filtering for marriage at 24. Some women are years away from even the thought of marriage, and are focused on their careers. Studies show that women who wait to marry, and pursue their career, end up in happier marriages, and are the least likely to divorce. They're more likely to marry for love, not money or security. What's funny Andrew is that I grew up in New York City, and when I was 21 I was pursued by a guy who was the whole package. He was 28, a banker, successful, and gorgeous, and he wanted me to marry him by the time I was 25. But I moved to LA where I proceeded to have these kind of 23 year old shenanigans you speak of, but simply because I was not ready for marriage. I am 30 now and probably because I look young I have no shortage of men after me. My gf told me I look very young but my eggs are still dying. And I guess she has a point. So filtering now is better than filtering at 34/35. Even though I look good for my age, I think a lot of 30 year olds have many advantages. Just having turned 30, I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, or confident. Things that used to bother me when I was 20 just don't perplex me anymore. I have friends that married young, and divorced. And I have friends who are marrying now, and are fine. People's personalities don't start changing until the age of 25, and the brain is still growing as well. It would be foolish to get married earlier than later, for the most part. In fact most marriages where the people are 25 or younger, have a 75% chance of divorce. I'd rather get married in the next few years than have gotten married before I was ready, and ended up even worse because I'd now be a divorcee, and maybe a single mom now, too. I think as long as you are bettering yourself during those years, it is good to wait some.

    13. My interest in this stuff is partly personal, partly professional. I'm in my late 30's myself, and single after a failed marriage attempt. One of my gigs is consulting in the fertility industry that has emerged largely due to the procrastination we're discussing. I consult and see clients at a couple different clinics. All the ladies waiting to put a bun in the oven are putting bacon on my table. (Why do I into these weird linguistic jags when I comment on this site???)

      To be fair, I have seen with my own eyes women in their late 30's, and even a few in their early 40's, having healthy babies with only natural fertility enhancement, no drugs. I've even seen one at 49(!!). She was an exception, though. A hippie mountain woman who ate super clean, did a ton of yoga and hiking, and had very little stress. Add in fertility drugs like Clomid (which has some serious possible side effects on both mother and baby, which are only now beginning to emerge), and there are a significant number of older women making babies. In this field, there are even stories of single women utilizing fertility drugs and sperm banks to have babies totally solo. This brings new meaning to the term "single mom."

      Whether the pregnancy is technology-assisted or not, the question then becomes, do you really want to be a mom to a teenager when you're in your 50's or even 60's?

      As anonymous, above pointed out, men do see a drop in marriage rates to in the late 30's, and SOME men who eat poor diets and/or with poor genetics also have sperm problems. But in my experience, the older fathers I'm seeing are almost always fit, active, and healthy guys, generally entrepreneurs, who are dating/marrying women 10-12 years younger on average. So far I have not seen a case of a child with a genetic disorder attributable to having an older father/younger mother. (Einstein was the product of such a union.) But I have seen a few cases of older mothers having babies with a few issues, and the studies out there seem to bear this out.

      My goal on commenting on this thread was not to make anybody feel bad, though if that's a side effect, it's more about you than about my comment. My purpose is simply to enhance awareness of age related fertility issues, and threads like this are ideal places for such discussions. On the dating side, Andrew's already got you covered with an excellent perspective, so I have no further comment on that.

    14. Apologies for a couple typos. I type fast & haven't had much time to proofread.

    15. "Studies show that women who wait to marry, and pursue their career, end up in happier marriages, and are the least likely to divorce."

      Would love a source for that.

      "In fact most marriages where the people are 25 or younger, have a 75% chance of divorce."

      And that too.

    16. Revo Luzione,
      "the fertility industry that has emerged largely due to the procrastination we're discussing"

      You raise some good points. However, I must say I have a lot of pity for women when they are told (by society in general, not you specifically) that they spent their 20's procrastinating and it’s their fault that they are now at the precipice of infertility frantically trying to get married and pregnant – because men are responsible for at least half, even not more of this procrastination.

      I've spent my entire 20's just looking for lots of easy sex because I don't have to worry about infertility. I know it's the job of women to weed men like me out, but it's difficult when they're young, na├»ve and don’t understand how men function. It's difficult for women because the window they have when they are financially, educationally and biologically ready to conceive is only a few years - and for most of those years their male peers are busy trying to have lots of casual sex.

    17. Thomas, don't pity women. It's condescending, and it takes away their agency. People get to make their own choices, let them. For that reason I disagree with your notion that men are "responsible" for women's procrastination. That is an absolutely asinine statement, and as much as it pains me to say it, it's misogynist to think that women can't make their own choices.

      With respect to your other comment, well I can't throw stones. I spent my 20's looking for love, (and I found lots, but no one to marry) but I also had my share of hot non-monogamous sex.

  8. @Sasha: I'm 28 years old and also feeling the time pressure. I think what Revo Luzione said is true, if a little alarmist.

    When I let myself think about it, I get really down too. But I think it's important to do the next step: now that I have this information, how can I use it to my benefit?

    In this case, I am trying to be a better judge of character, improving myself (physically and intellectually) so that I can attract more men.

    In light of this, I kind of wish that when I was younger I had been served with more "uncomfortable truths", since that would have helped me more. But I guess our society is too PC for that.

    1. I also wish that I had been served more uncomfortable truths when I was younger. I am also definitely with you on trying to be a better judge of character, I spent the majority of that 8 year relationship thinking that he didn't treat me well most of the time yet I stuck around. I am very much to blame - but I was/am shy and insecure. So I am also focusing on improving myself and trying to be the best version of me that I can be, including not being attracted to or sticking with jerks.

    2. I think this is similar for men and women - I am sure many men wish they'd taken the "red pill" much earlier.
      But it's not that easy to tell people the reality. Lots of women commented on the post about older women and all they did was yell out how much attention they're getting as 30 and 40-somethings. I am sure they do, but that's beside the point. Some were clearly bitter and directly offensive to younger women. "Young women are boring" or "Women my age eat 21 year olds for breakfast". It was riddled with insecurities. Of course you don't want to get into that debate.
      30-something women have a tendency to take basic facts about fertility personally. You can state a simple fact (for example that fertility drops at 35) and they'll say it's too "harsh" and that they're "upset" or "offended". A post on Hookingupsmart a while back gave statistics showing that most women are either unaware or in deep denial about fertility (thinking that their chances of getting pregnant at 35 or 38 or 40 are way higher than they actually are).
      I can see that it's difficult to be single at 30-something if a woman wants children, but there is no reason to get angry with people who's just referring to basic facts.
      It's been said over and over on this blog that women are still hot post 30 (obviously), they have more experience and more personality. I don't find the blog discriminating towards older women at all, rather the opposite. This particular post is riddled with generalizations, implying that younger women are naive, easier to get to bed (which I believe was said about older women before), are more seduced by celebrity and have grown up sheltered to everything social and urban. If you want to base it all on personal experience (which I believe Andrew has done here), you could might as well have gone the opposite way and say that 30-something women are cynical and bitter and that there is in fact a reason why they aren't married - which is MY experience, a lot of the time.
      It's not that I feel offended by it - I'm 22 and don't identify with the 23 year old one bit - but I didn't find it particularly well written or informative. Most of the blog is educational though.

    3. @Anonymous 5:31 - I definitely agree with you. I don't think I am personally old or past my prime - far from it. I have been finding all of this blog educational - no worries there. Sometimes the truth and constructive criticism is just difficult to swallow.

    4. @Sasha,

      You are 28..four years away from 32 which is a significant amount of time in my view. So much can happen even in a single year. I am also 28 and would consider myself still in the physical prime area. My first boyfriend was at 18 and I stayed with him until 25 so I can relate to your feelings of having your time wasted. But you still have time to find the right guy if you use it efficiently. I went through a bit of a panic a few months ago but then I realised that those feelings will do more harm than good. Since I have met a great guy..I don't know where that is going to go yet BUT once I let go of my fears I started to meet *real* prospects.

    5. I know, I know. Actually, I am almost 32.

    6. Either way, at 32 there is still time..I know many women in their early thirties with men fawning after them.

    7. @ Anonymous at 5:31.

      Yes, you're correct. Often we shoot the messenger. I agree with you, I mean, I think I'm a pretty typical person and I have to agree that as women move through their 20s and 30s, in general, some things get better (eg maturity) but some things get worse (appearance), and that is the reality.

      In fact, I think it is sometimes better for me to not be around those friends who are always so "supportive" and always say "you're great, it's those stupid jerks' fault and it's their loss." I love these friends because they're supportive but at the same time, I don't grow/improve if I never hear criticism. You know what I mean?

      Even if someone intends to insult me, I still think: Hm.. is there *any* truth to what they're saying? If I become better as a result of their offensive statements, then it's sort of like I got the last laugh, since they're trying to put me down but instead I just became better.

    8. And also, just wanted to say that those claims (A: When you're in your 30s no one will ever want you when they can have the hot 20-year-olds, you'll be so over the hill, you will only be able to date guys who are at least in their 50s, etc. and B: In my 30s, I had men falling all over me, I can have my pick of wonderful successful men, etc) are by people from both extremes of the spectrum. Those individuals may be telling the truth, based on what they've experienced. But maybe their experience isn't typical.

      But I've found that my experience is often somewhere in between what those people trumpet. Reminds me of this parody from Garfunkel and Oates:

    9. When you are in your 30s, it is harder to find 'normal' guys that want to settle down. There is something to be said about the phrase: 'The good ones are already taken'. There is no point to be bitter about it, just realistic. As for men falling over you, it clearly doesn't mean much otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog. Even in your 20s, men can be falling over you...all the wrong kinds of men. Maybe we tell ourselves this to make it better that there isn't one man in particular. Some beautiful women will go their entire lives with men falling over them but no one having fallen in love with them.

  9. I don't think Andrew was trying to use this 23-year-old as a stand-in for all girls in their early 20s. Rather, I think he was using two extreme examples: one a very naive 23-year-old making lots of basic mistakes and one a very aware 32-year-old. Not all girls in their early 20s are naive and not all girls in their 30s are aware.

    I would say though, that for girls in their early 20s who are readers of this site to say that they're more akin to the 32-year-old... Well, that's the point. That's why you read this blog. The 23-year-old girl in this story wouldn't read this blog, because she has no interest in becoming more aware. Simply by reading this blog you're standing out as someone who is pretty aware of the potential pitfalls.

  10. I totally get that these aren't prototypes of all 23 year old and 32 year olds out there. I suppose I just don't see the point in this little "short story". What I get from it is:
    - If you spend your time dating actively, learning from your mistakes and being social, you will get ahead of women who haven't spent their time that way.
    - You will get better at filtering as you go along.
    However I think most women know that and I also think it's covered in other posts. If anything, I feel it would be more worthwhile to read those two sentences only. This only tells me that "if you compare yourself to an absolute rookie, you'll always be superior".

  11. What bars and lounges would you recommend to 30-something women in New York City?

  12. When we get wiser, we also take less risks. I fell in love with my ex when I was 28. I sensed that we weren't fully compatible, but I wanted to start a family with him. We got married and had two kid before we split. If I were wiser then, I would not have married him. I should have waited for the right one to come along. Looking back though, I have no regrets. That is just how my life played out. My level of maturity at any given point leads me down a different path. I have to own up to the decisions I make, and try to make the best of the situation. :)

    1. @Honey: can I ask - how were you not compatible? I feel like I'm in a similar situation: he's almost perfect except we don't click on an intellectual level i.e. he prefers talking about simple matters or sports whereas I prefer talking about worldly matters, theoretical ideas etc. We also have different political views and come from different social backgrounds...

    2. He and I maintained different lifestyles. I have always been a practical person, whereas he pursued the finer things in life. This was fine in the beginning, but turned into a major problem later on.

      What you described does not sound like an incompatibility to me, as long as you two can communicate your feelings to each other.

      I like to talk about simple things with my friends because my job involves too much discussion of complex matters. I had a tax guy friend who liked to talk about worldly matters because he dealt with mostly numbers during the day. :-)

    3. @Honey: thanks for responding! Communication was a small but persistent problem at the start and it took us two years of patience and learning about one another to resolve it. He, more so than I, was committed to making it work despite all our differences and I found that admirable plus I rarely meet guys of his quality.

  13. Can you make a post about where 20-somethings are supposed to go to meet guys for mature relationships? Your post is spot on. This is mostly to do with the fact that early 20-somethings are straight out of college, low man on the totem pole. When they go out, they still go in large groups of girlfriends. And perhaps they are not as settled in their career to be professionally interesting. They don't know themselves well enough to be personally interesting. And they are people pleasers, who know little about the male psyche.

    Sort of stating how it is, can you tell us how it should be? Where should smart 20-somethings be hanging out on their spare time?

    1. I don't see a problem with going to bars and nightclubs, as long as you follow the advice in this post: and the second part (linked from the bottom of the first part)

    2. The best way to meet men, however, is always through your social circle. So focus on expanding your social circle. A big part of this is being the kind of person that others want to spend time with.

    3. I'm 27, so I think I'm closer in acting like the 24 than the 32-year-old girl. The thing is, I only attract douches and men than only want me for sex. I guess the way I behave is the reason for this to happen.

      Pretty tired of this...

    4. Not necessary, although I wouldn't completely write it off. It could be because of the types of guys that you are attracted to. Sort of like the excerpt above, except it might have been an extreme example. Not everything is so black and white. In fact, I think it is probably a mixture of the two.

      A sexy women with attract all kinds of men and all men want sex. However, I find that the materialistic, narcissistic, and overtly physically aggressive men are not relationship material.

      I have been friends with many women that claim to have the same issue. Then, you see them screening out men first and foremost based on looks. Their conversation with a guy starts with really sexual come-ons or very structured conversations (i.e. how much money they make, what they do for a living). There is a difference between physical attractiveness and the chemistry one gets just from 'personalities clicking'. If you find this person interesting in what he says, you will fair far better in attracting men for emotional bonding.

    5. Natalia, I seriously doubt that you "only attract douches an men who only want you for sex." If you are attractive, then relationship-minded men will like you. However, you are probably more attracted to the douches and overlook the good men because you either think they are too boring or you simply hang out at bars all of the time.

      In my own personal opinion, bars are bad places for most men to meet women for relationships because the odds are so stacked in the favor of women. Men get drunk and hit are willing to go after women less attractive than themselves for a little fling. A relationship-minded man, on the other hand, will usually not be willing to go after a woman less attractive than himself if he wants a relationship, not just a fling. The problem is that if a woman gets hit on by two men, one of whom is out of her league and just wants her for sex, most women will go for the man out of her league perhaps because the women cannot determine which is the relationship-minded man or the women overestimate their own attractiveness.

      I personally think that a gym or some other type of public place can be a better place to meet a woman. I personally get more obvious attention from women at my gym than I ever have at a bar.

  14. As far as the interesting vs good-looking guy, I think that the two are not mutually exclusive. This is to say unless your idea of good looking is some 'meathead' with no aspirations beyond protein shakes and lifting. This would be as if to say that men should date cute women as oppose to sexy ones. Reason being that cute women are better wives. Completely irrelevant.

    As for the other comments, you are assuming that people with more relationship experience are wiser. I beg to differ. Some people go through relationships learning nothing. Whether the 20-something is wise in her choices to settle with a man is yet to be determined. Perhaps this was her off night, she was stressed and needed some relief. Claiming the 30-something is better at selecting men is just false. All her experience and relationships and she is exactly at the same place as the 23 yr old, single. Clearly at that age, you have to be looking more internally for what you are doing wrong.

    1. True, and the post "Know why you are dating" is confirming that. People who go through relationships for the sake of it (because the feel like they have to) have a different mindset and are not more likely to have successful relationships later. If anything, they are less likely to do well.
      However, in this case, the 23 year old has (purposely, I assume) been given all the negative characteristics a woman can have, as she too, has chosen to remain in one long relationship going nowhere instead of dating.

  15. As a 24-year old, I can vouch that not every female is so immature or shallow at this age; though perhaps they make up the majority who attend night clubs. I think it's only a personality type who goes for vapid manwhores like that. Promiscuity in both genders is unattractive, and I would question the integrity of a man like that. I have always found interest in the quiet but friendly, slightly awkward but impressively smart types. It has worked out for me, thankfully (:

    1. you wouldn't be on this site if it actually worked out for you.

  16. First let me preface this by saying that I am 24 and in graduate school. Being career-oriented, I have had only one relationship thus far. Sort of felt guilty about it ending for a long time because I finally found someone that I really liked but we had to break up. We were both starting graduate school a plane ride away and hadn't gotten far enough into the relationship to be sure we'd eventually marry. We never went all the way because it was too emotional for me, knowing we wouldn't continue. He didn't feel like he could be my friend though.

    Several years later, I am finishing graduate school and moving. I had been approached by several men and went on few dates here. This is because I don't culturally connect with the men in this state. Graduate school has also made it difficult for me to seek out men outside class.

    Anyway, I met a guy that I was loosely friends with in school. He asked me out on a date by text for the same day. He suggested setting it up for another time. But I told him that night was great...knowing that was wrong form but because I didn't have an exam soon. We went to the movies and got drinks, he paid. He was feeling me out as I got tipsy, but totally in control of myself (i.e. flirty for me).

    I wasn't going to go back to his place, because I am never like that. But I finally just caved because I am getting older and tired of waiting for 'the one'. I wanted to do something fun for once in my life. I figured it wouldn't affect me emotionally, because I don't see a future with him. He is a great guy but doesn't fit my religious preference. The fact that he was sort-of a friend made me feel better about it.

    I initiated for this reason. Afterwards, he was extremely affectionate and the next morning. We were talking in bed...and I slipped and told him my thinking coming into sex with him. He was taken aback and told me he didn't have a specific criteria. I told him that I did as far as religion. He said...well, we can remain friends. The next morning, I could tell that he was feeling me out. He went to school and asked if I was going to come there to study. I said no and told him I was ready for him to drive me home.

    I didn't hear from him again, until I texted him asking if he was going to formal. He said he will see if his friends are going. I accidently sent him a text meant for a friend describing the sex that I didn't think I should of had. But that he was hot, and I was horny. Afterwards, I apologized profusely to him on the phone after he said he was sorry if I regretted it. He said that we were okay. He told me he didn't want to go to formal because it was boring and he didn't have a suit.

    When I see him in school, he stops me and talks a lot. We flirt for like 30 minutes. Talk about school and life stuff. I probably talk too much about how busy I am. I am in a more demanding program than him. Otherwise, we never talk or see one another. I invited him to my birthday through email and he said he is coming. I guess he is okay meeting my friends then. We don't have any mutual friends.

    I guess I don't want to be in a relationship with him because I am moving in 5 months out of state. I don't want the same thing to happen again. And he isn't my 'boyfriend type' as the ex was. But being a relationship person, I feel guilty about leaving it without dating. And I guess it's been so long, that having a guy take me out makes me feel like a woman again.

    Note: I never ever date men just to date them. And I don't take sex lightly. I am an attractive woman, just always been too career-oriented. I plan to change that after I move. I am submitting final projects now though, so timing is not on my side for something serious either.

    Does he just want sex or did I mess things up? Is it terrible to date just for the experience now?...assuming he would want to. He never contacted me thereafter.

    1. Your post raises a few questions. First, what is your religion that causes you to think that you wouldn't want to marry him? I am going to say something and I know it's going to sound very harsh, the only reason I'm saying it is because I can see so much of myself in you- I've been in your shoes and spent much of my twenties dating guys who did not share my religion but I figured "what the heck, it's just fun right? I'll settle down later." The fact is, you are living a lie. I was living a lie. On one hand I would talk about how important religion is to me, and how i wouldn't date a guy who wasn't a Christian. But on the other hand, I was living my life as if my religion had no meaning. From an objective perspective, my life looked about the same as others who did not share my "religion." The truth is, beliefs are worthless unless you, well, actually believe them. And if you believe something is true then it will affect how you live your life and the choices you make. As it stands, you are basically living in purgatory (to borrow a catholic term). You are not experiencing the "fun" of life (because its supposedly against your religious beliefs), but neither are you experiencing the joy and peace that comes from living out your faith. Does that make any sense? In tennis terms, you are residing in "no man's land" - too close to effectively hit a baseline shot, but too far to take shots at the net.

      Back to your specific question - and to borrow some of Andrew's bluntness, why the heck do you even care about this guy when you've already admitted there is no future with him. It is precisely this kind of thing that causes women to waste their most "eligible years." It is a string of "well, just this one time," "I have plenty of time to settle down later," "I just want to have fun for once," "maybe he will change" relationship reasonings that end up in you being 34 and single. Make no mistake, every choice has a consequence. You can't beat the game. No one has, and no one ever will. The best advice I can give you is to make a decision. Is your religion important to you? If so, live it out, no excuses, no compromises. By doing this you will find someone who shares your beliefs and you will ride off into the sunset. Ask yourself, are YOU that girl that the guy you want, will want? I'm sure you want someone who has an authentic faith, well then be the girl who has the qualities that THAT guy desires. Stop saying one thing and living another. I promise you, it's no fun, it will, at the very least, waste precious time, and at the very worst, end in heartache. Don't let that happen to you!

    2. Thank you for the response. It was really great advice, and I read it more than once over. I did think that way up until recently, but I guess it is difficult to stick to your beliefs when nothing happens. When eliminating guys based on more standards (i.e. religion being a very dividing one), it becomes more difficult to find someone compatible. This has been especially true at a busy time in my life, with little outlet for meeting people. Moved away from a big city to middle-of-nowhere, leaving soon though. You start to question if anything will ever happen. And find yourself missing the only compatible person that you dated years ago, made more pathetic as he is dating someone else. Then, you get the occasional contact from him and fall into delusions of what was. Don't know why men seek to follow your happenings and looks. Sometimes living with your beliefs is very difficult and lonely.

      The 'waiting game' just got frustrating to me recently, so I just 'chucked it out the door' for the night. In retrospect, I regret it a bit. You are right that I shouldn't care about this guy. I guess that I just wanted to date him to make myself feel better about sleeping with a sort-of friend on a first date. (First time for me.) Waiting for the right guy is really frustrating at times. And since no one can guarantee it will happen, sometimes you just wonder if it is ever going to happen. I used to think that I would be in a stable relationship by now. I guess that it wasn't in the cards for me yet.

    3. Sort of surprised by the battle of the ages on some of the posts. So far, my 20s have been really difficult, figuring everything out. Then, you read the posts related to the female biological clock and get paranoid. It's like at one age, you are told to stick to your morals in choosing men. Then if you don't find anyone by 30, something is automatically wrong with your standards. And you are told to just settle with whatever you can get.

      So many rules on how to act, what to look like. I wonder if this is solely the burden of the single female. Anyway, I guess that you have to just be positive and work on yourself. I will let this guy go and hope for the best moving forward.

    4. And thanks for the response, once again. It is great to hear from someone older than myself. My friends are all my age and of equal level in life experience. And it is not exactly the thing that you seek out a stranger to ask for advice.

      ps As for the religion part, I was raised with a firm belief to only marry within my religion without exceptions. I have dated one guy of my religion in the past and felt a stronger connection. Since then, any guy that I date outside of this criteria falls short. I feel like there is something missing.

    5. If you have been raised to marry within your religion, venturing out would be a waste of your time. I dated a guy last year who failed to disclose that about himself, and I failed to ask. We both recognized that something was off/missing, even though we really enjoyed each other's company. It was so sad when he admitted that he was not supposed to date me. Even if we were willing to try, the completely different mindsets and lifestyle meant that we were not compatible at all. Since then, this is one of the first few things that I check when I meet someone new.

    6. To the anonymous poster that I replied to, bravo to you for being honest with yourself and taking my advice to heart :) I have several younger sisters in their late teens and throughout their twenties and I just want to scream: don't make the same mistakes I did!! You are so right that culture today sends so many mixed messages and it can seem so confusing. The reality is, 99% of those messages are pure stinkin' junk. Surprisingly, a huge part of the message comes from nothing other than $$$. If those cosmetics, clothing, and jewelry companies, plastic surgeons, etc. etc. can get you to buy into the lie that it is only outer beauty that matters then they can continue to make the billions they make every year. This is NOT to say that appearance is not important, because clearly God made men to react to and value beauty. It's just that it shouldn't be the end all be all. We, as women, should focus on being just as beautiful inside as outside. Second, the other huge part of the lie is that sex is ultimate and by having sex with men before marriage, or living with them before marriage, you will cause them to want and love you. I believe this message is from Satan because he knows that it utterly destroys our relationships. But, take out all of the religious reasons for this, and you can just look at secular data and see this is one of the biggest lies of all! What happened in the 1960s? The sexual revolution. Birth control became legal, living together became legel (yes, before that it was actually illegal to cohabitate before marriage), "free sex" without consequences became the rallying cry, and we were told that we were now "empowered" to have sex just like men. To quote Doctor Phil, how is that working out for you? The U.S. currently leads the industrialized world in teenage pregnancy—one in three girls in America becomes pregnant before the age of 20, 81 percent out of wedlock. More than 40 percent of all births in our country take place outside of marriage. Pornography makes more money in America than Apple, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, Google, and Netflix—combined. America ranks first in the world in divorce rate. In 1960, 72 percent of American adults were married; in 2011, the number has fallen to 51 percent. Only 20% of young adults aged 18-29 are married, contrasted with 59% prior to the sexual revolution - crazy! The divore rate has skyrocketed to the point where our generation is questioning whether to get married at all. Something is SERIOUSLY and dreadfully messed up. I think it's because we've tinkered with the basic laws of humanity and pretended they no longer apply to us. We pretend that there is no difference between the sexes and that we can flout rules and traditions that have been place for centuries, without harm. And women themselves have been the biggest casualty of this debacle. Here we are now crying about why there are no men that will commit - heck, if I were a non-Christian guy, I'd see little to no reason to commit when I can get all the sex I want with no strings attached. I stay with a woman as long as she makes me "happy" and then I move on to greener pastures. Why not right? We as women need to seriously wake up.

    7. (Cont.) I just want to encourage you to STAY STRONG! Don't settle. It is MUCH better to stay single than to compromise your beliefs and settle for just having someone. This is because you don't just want "someone" - "someone" is going to leave you 45 and divorced with 2 kids (and you think dating is hard now?). You want a man who deeply shares your belifs, a man who will love, cherish, and respect you, putting your interests above his and your well-being above all else and second only to God. And this is where it is vital that you refuse to marry anyone who is not deeply rooted in his faith. This is because there is little to nothing else that will keep him devoted to you through the thick and thin, when things get tough, when you aren't as physically attractive as you used to be, when he's no longer "happy." Our culture sends us an onslaught of messages every day that we "deserve to be happy" and if our marriage isn't making us "happy" then to get out. You want your husband to be able to see that as the lie it is.

      If you want some seriously good dating advice, go to www dot theporchdallas dot com/media/ Listen to the entire "Cupid Dating Myths" series - it will rock your world.

      Ps, just to round out my story. In my late twenties I finally wised up and realized I needed to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk. I looked back on the string of long term relationships I'd had over my twenties (all with guys who didn't share my beliefs but who I'd dates for all of the wrong reasons I listed in my original post) and I knew I was done with it. I promised myself that the next guy I kissed would be my husband (I was sick of how all my previous relationships had following the same, stupid path into physical stuff, when I knew it was wrong). So how was I to guarantee that my next kiss would be my husband? Well, the only way I knew to guarantee that was that it would be at the alter. By the grace of God a few weeks later I began dating a young man I ran into at church. His story was somewhat similar to mine, he had a string of long term relationships that had ended badly and was tired of it. He had been the prototypical "good-looking athlete" throughout college, and even played professional sports for several years (leading the classic life of the pro athlete along with it, women, paryting, etc.). He had recently committed his life to Christ a few months before we met and had seen with his own eyes that there was no life in living that way. Anyway, we both committed at the beginning of our relationship to flee from sexual immorality and to guard against it. Less than two years later we did share our first kiss at the altar and marriage has been beautiful. Now, PLEASE do not get me wrong. In no way am I saying that it is wrong to kiss before marriage. I'm just saying that this was what worked best for us, because it drew a hard line in the sand and kept us from crossing any boundaries. The truth is, it really wasn't that hard -and it multiplied immensely my love and respect for him - because I KNEW he was in it for the right reasons. There were no questions or doubts or insecurities (like, ugh, I slept with him, will he still call??? And stuff like that).

      Whoa! I wrote a book didn't I! Anyways, I hope some of this helps you stay strong and believe it's possible to find a good guy. And listen to that dating series link I posted!

    8. Anonymous, the situation is even worse than you think. Yes, there are some men who "can get all the sex [they] want with no strings attached." Those men have little incentive to get married. But then there are also the other guys who have a lot going for them in terms of looks, job/money, but for whatever reason they have no "game" and have little success with women. I know guys like this and they get so sick of rejection that they either become very bitter or they simply give up looking for women. The sexual revolution screwed those guys over because they aren't "alpha" enough and women saw little reason to settle for them when the women were in their prime, most attractive years and the women were able to sleep around with good-looking guys. However, women who spend their most attractive years playing the field like this may be in a rude awakening because even if there are some "alpha" guys willing to settle down and get married, there certainly aren't enough for each woman to snag one.

    9. I like your post, Kurt. Alpha men are overrated. Whether or not I find a man attractive has nothing to do with him being alpha. But I wouldn't go to the other extreme either. I see what you're saying. Sometimes I hesitate around men who seem 'too sure' of themselves around women. I don't think effortless confidence is a bad thing, nor all-defining, but I try not to let it be a hook any more. I try and look behind it to get a real sense of who the guy is. That's definitely important.
      Something else I've noticed after reading this blog is that I've managed to not to get emotionally attached so easily, and even if I like someone, I take a step back every so often to get an idea of whether we are really compatible or not. Recently I've been going for men who are less alpha, but still emotionally secure, respectful and healthy...step one of operation "avoiding jerks" seems to be working.
      It's really about being humble and opening your mind. Every so often I realise that I'm looking for a trait in a man that I don't have in myself so I think "how can I develop this in myself?" and I work on that. Overall it helps me act less desperate and makes me more forgiving of men. I try and think about what weaknesses in a me a man will have to live with, and what character weaknesses in a man I can put up with. Because everything has a flip side. Someone who acts really dominant can produce a sexual spark in you but might be hard to get on with in a relationship of equals.
      I had to work on my lurch for 'excitement' and need for constant male attention. I don't like what that did to my character. Now I want to embrace the ordinary and find excitement in something other than feeling sexually wanted. Obviously other women go for more alpha guys for different reasons than I have done but I have come across plenty of women who were the same as me.

  17. Ladies, do you want to know how to solve this whole age issue asap? It's really incredibly simple, and Andrew has all but said it so many times (but he doesn't quite go all the way with it, understandably, as he is a guy ;) STOP HAVING SEX WITH GUYS BEFORE YOU ARE MARRIED. Twenty-something men not wanting to get married because of the bounty of "casual sex"? Gone. Men dating you for years on end with no ring? Yeah, show me the guy who will stay in a dating relationship for 5 years with no sex. Talk about a filter, it is the king of all filters. The reality is that, as women, you hold the power, you have "the precious" (in my best smeagle voice) - just as with any commodity, however, give it away and it rapidly loses its value. It's. So. Incredibly. Simple. You aren't going to beat the game. It's no surprise that as the feminist revolution bega, and birth control enabled casual "no consequences" sex, the rates of divorce, single moms, delayed marriage, abortion, etc. etc. etc. skyrocketed. You can him and haw all you want, and I'm sure there will be many retorts to this, but these are the cold, hard facts.

    1. Ps, pretty much everything Andrew says on this blog is true. Yeah, he says it harshly, but at least he has the courage to say it. The only thing I'd say is to move the "bar" from "don't have sex until you are in a committed relationship" to "don't have sex until you are married" (because, otherwise, "committed relationship" is so nebulous - marriage is the only sure-fire way to tell you are in a "committed relationship"). Also, for all who will say "that's CRAZY to get married before having sex with someone. You are placing FAR too much importance on the power of incidental compatability, and far too LITTLE importance on the power of sheer commitment. Show me 100 couples who had instant, animal attraction that formed the foundation of their sex life and I will show you 50 couples who are in a marriage completely disatisfied with their sex-life and 50 couples divorced or experiencing infidelity. (I mean, if good looks and sexual attraction were enough to sustain a marriage then these hollywood marriages should be the best marriages out there, but rather they are almost jokes). The fact is, the "instant, hot, animal attraction" fades - 100% of the time, take it to the bank, period. What you want is someone who will pledge their life to you, out of sheer commitment, which means that they will work for and through anything that comes - including having the desire to continually work to make your sex life amazing. By showing you the honor and respect of waiting to have sex with you until marriage, they are demonstrating that selfless commitment that is worth its weight in gold. Also, even by approaching marriage thinking that "you need to find out if they are sexually compatible," you are ALREADY demonstrating the number one marriage killer - selfishness. Our approach should instead be, how can I serve my mate, how can I make their lives better - as opposed to, how can my mate serve me, how can they make MY life better. Ladies, and men too, find someone who regards you as more important than themselves, someone who puts your interests above their own, and you will have found yourself a marriage that most people only dream of.

    2. This will not work for a number of reasons. First, you will most surely be the only single 80 year old virgin. Most women are not willing to hold to these standards, and men will not give you the time of day with this mentality. I am pretty certain that this is taking what Andrew says to the extreme. In fact, I am sure that Andrew would not enter a relationship with a woman that thinks like this. The only men willing to go through with this would be some ultra-orthodox religious men, which I personally would not agree with on 99.9% of my morals. Divorce rate in those communities is minimal as it was in other countries that practice this mentality. You have to account that this is where men and woman marry early, just to enjoy the pleasures of sex. Also, it is where divorce is taboo and sex is solely for procreation. You are taking these statements too far.

    3. Also, I am a young woman that tried this practice to an extent. I ended up dating guys for a while that became very sexually frustrated with me. At that point, they started asking questions. Note that my requirement was a serious relationship...and not marriage.

      The man found himself asking me into a serious relationship, that he was questioning, solely because of my sexual rules. We broke up fairly quickly. He felt manipulated and helpless.

      You cannot and should not take sex as far as being a bargaining chip. People have to decide by themselves if they want to be with you. It should not be based on repression of sexual desires. It is like withholding sex every time your husband disagrees with you.

      If you are so unlovable, you must work on yourself. If you are so insecure of being left, you must simply 'grow a pair'. Not make ultimatums to force other people into being 'stuck with you'.

      And this is coming from a woman who does not take sex lightly.

    4. Women like sex too...

    5. sage advice re: don't use sex as a bargaining tool. i am dating different men. my 20's were used for soul searching and travel, career exploration, one serious relationship that came close to marriage but he wasn't the one- i knew that.

      i'm in my 30's and trying to determine which men are in it for the long haul. i've gone on 6 dates with one man and received the "want to come over for dinner @ my place" question. to me this is the "sex" question and i'm feeling a bit disillusioned yet he's a man so he would take it to that level, i understand that. i guess my question is what now? i did politely refuse his invitation but how will i know when there is a commitment? is it fair to say i won't have sex until i'm committed? will he feel pressured? i guess we both need to have honest conversations about what we are looking for when the time is right... i'm feeling scared but i'll be o.k.

      Do i carry on and date other men casually until i hear from a man that they want to see just me? that seems like the only option without appearing like i want all the answers about where it's going? i want to ask him if he sees marriage and family in his future in the next few years, is that fair at this stage?

      our dates have been fun and i felt i handled the question very well as to going to his place but feeling confused about next steps?

    6. Honestly, I would go to his house at this point. No, not to have sex. If he had asked me to have dinner at his house as a first date, then it would have meant purely sex. At this point, he probably just wants to cook for you and figure out how you fit into his 'world'. And it is fine to do just that without the sex. And yes, he probably wants and thinks about the sex. But it doesn't mean that he would not be happy just cooking for you and cuddling. Eventually, the sex will happen. You don't have to figure it out in advance. After all, it will only happen if you want it to. You are the woman, so you hold the cards to the physical relationship.

      As far as wanting to have a commitment before sex, I agree with you. Not because that is how it is supposed to be to capture a man. This is just because that is how I function simply b/c I am more of a emotional girl. I am not really good at cutting ties with men permanently, especially after sex. I tested my reaction to this theory recently. I felt sad after first date sex with a friend, even though I planned it (i.e. never intended to make it anything).

      ps I am the anonymous poster with 'sage advice' :)

    7. I do not suggest ever bringing up the 'sexual aspect' of the relationship in conversation. Believe me, men think about advancing the physical side enough that we don't have to worry about it. I tend to respond with the physical the same way that men respond with the emotional commitment. You hold the cards here, so there is no reason to enter into conversation about it. Making things clear in advance reduces the mystery and makes things predictable. Let him sit and wonder when you will essentially 'allow him to go there'. Let him impress you the whole time and use it as your time to figure out if you are emotionally compatible.

    8. If he does ask you about sex before asking you into a relationship, let him be the 'awkward one'. Nothing that entices a man more than being given the chance to be nervous. When he does, you can say that it crossed your mind but obviously you are not the type of girl to go there with someone that isn't your boyfriend. Say it matter of fact. Let him make the connection ;)Like I said, he might fall for you before that. Then, you won't have to talk about sex at all.

      Anyway, that is what worked for me in the past. And that is how I function. My ex once mentioned that he felt manipulated to be in a relationship with me. But then again, it was because he didn't want to lose me to distance...and I wasn't in agreement with something 'open'.

    9. thank-you so much for your input Valentina, i have read it over several times to absorb it ;) you have given me some good info and thinking more about it, i am really enjoying the time getting to know him and what makes him tick and if we can tick together ;)

      i was happy that when i declined his offer to go to his place he understood and veered another direction as far as what next. i will continue to see him @ my own pace to determine if he's the one. i'm also dating other men (not being physical) and this has been an excellent way to determine the gold from the silver.
      i wonder if my message of **not** being at his place so soon has put the seed in his head that i am a girl who is serious about finding real love.

      i relate about getting emotional after sleeping with a man, it's some sort of instinctual response we have that is bizarre!? it's an awful feeling to not have the emotion reciprocated but i see where a man would freak out. just because two people have sex doesn't mean there is a relationship? and a women who expects that without first developing more emotional ties appears desperate. this is an excellent article i came upon about men and attraction and sex! really ladies it's a must read and makes a tonne of sense!! thank-you again Valentina ((hugs)) from a sister up in Canada :))

    10. Thank you so much, Anonymous! I still have a lot to learn about the process. I have made a lot of mistakes in my initial dating of men, which has repercussions on the development of the relationship. I have found that guys are fairly critical of a woman's response to situations at the beginning of dating. It's like they are waiting to figure you out and categorize you. I think that the biggest mistake is for woman to jump too quickly into conclusions and define the situation through 'talking'. This is the typical woman response when she gets emotional about men. You think that your anxiety will be reduced by talking to him. In reality, he probably knows just as much as you do and will deem it as clingy.

      I think that the best way to reduce anxiety about not-knowing-where-the-relationship is going is not to talk to him about it. Instead, just assume that you are the one in control. Fake it until you make it. For some reason, your ease about it will make him feel the anxiety. When you are all hot and bothered over him, he will naturally relax while you panic.

      It is great that you are continuing to date other men. I have made the mistake of narrowing my choices in the past. It ended up working alright because he was dating only me as well. But I was 'building castles' sooner than I would have liked, so much so that he felt the pressure.

      As for what he thinks about you being serious to find love, I used to think that way. I don't think it matters anymore though. He should be serious about you. Beyond that, whether he thinks you are serious or not does not change his mind. In fact, presenting yourself as so serious might make you come off as a woman worried about getting married. I find it best to think about this but present yourself as not worried about it (i.e. because you are so fabulous).

      Emotions are easier said then done. I totally agree with you on this. It is something that I have to work on at least control with expressing outwardly.

      Thank you so much for the article. It actually hit the nail on the head for me. I wasn't as intense, but I made all those mistakes in my last relationship. He must of really liked me more than I thought to stick through it. But I had no idea...I just now had it click fully from his perspective. I started being a control freak about needing to know the future to assuage my anxiety from emotionally connecting. I was perfectly fun and carefree until date 4.

      Hugs back at you, from a sister on the east coast. Great to help and receive advise from other woman. I hope that you find love very soon <3

    11. Hey everyone, I just finished reading all the posts and as much as I agree I also disagree with some. This pretty much says that a women in her 30's should panic and scramble for a man so that she can be married and have kids. I do not agree with that like mentioned above everyone has their own pace in life and I do not think woman should be scared off at 24 to have kids because their fertility dies down at 28 or 35. Quoting Revo Luzione " To be fair, I have seen with my own eyes women in their late 30's, and even a few in their early 40's, having healthy babies with only natural fertility enhancement, no drugs. I've even seen one at 49(!!). " I agree that it might be harder for a woman in her thirties to have kids as she might be less fertile than a 24 year old but come on we do not live in ancient times. Our bodies changed as so did evolution and in our century we have fertility clinics and drugs that help out although some women in their mid 30's don't need that anyway. Or a woman in her 30's should frantically look for a man to have a kid? Nonsense. She then in her panic will fail to filter and will pick anyone before her ticking biological bomb clock will explode. We live in a country with so many possibilities and so many people that scaring woman and rushing them because of their age is just wrong. Stating that she partied or procrastinated is her fault. Absolutely not. Everyone's life brought them to where they are for a reason and no one especially a blog should dictate on what the woman has done wrong. I am 24 and I am not ready to rush into kids based on of my fertility clock, or rush to pick the wrong man who then will leave me and make me a single mom. Same goes for woman in their 30's. My friend just got married at 39 and is planning to have kids. Another is 39 and few months ago had healthy beautiful baby girl. A friend at school was told she was infertile and couldn't have kids as for 10 years they tried medically to have a kid. At 41 out of nowhere she naturally became pregnant and had healthy baby girl whom she named Miracle. I'm not saying to wait till 50's but don't panic in your mid 30's because at 24 you decided to enjoy your life or the fact that you wanted to be stable in your career first so that your child has a stable life as well. So for all of you 30's and mid 30's yes date look around take care of yourself do and try different things meaning, yes go to bars should u like, visit a museum, visit an exhibit, go to a park and let your mind loose your attractiveness and confidence will show more than if you frantically run around looking for a "baby daddy" you will look desperate and men will notice that and then you will have a harder time. Also as to dating, men tend date younger girls as I find that there are also men that believe it or not have matured and want to date older woman as younger girls do not meet their interest. A friend of mine is 34 and has constantly younger men wanting to date her. As in other blog that I read here " they just want to have sex" oddly enough its them that want to get engaged with her and have a family opposed to her who is afraid of a 7 age difference for example. She told me she dated younger man all her life and its them that push her to stable relationships. My bf is 3 years older than me he's 27 and as well wants to start a family where I'm not ready. Everyone is different and life raised them differently. We come from different countries and religions and happenings in life. Speaking of life we only have one so use it well don't wait too long for things but don't rush either. Nothing good comes from rushing and everyone has a turn.

  18. I am blown away by this post, and the entire thread of responses and comments. I have never read this blog, but I found myself a bit lost and through a google search I stumbled upon this gold.

    Pardon me ahead of time for the long post. I hope I haven't arrived too late to the party to chime in with my 2 cents...

    I am a male living in Los Angeles, weeks away from my 32nd birthday and my divorce just became final. Lucky for both parties we did not have children, though we have some temporary financial ties, but that is all working itself out.

    I would love to be able to put a finger on the cause of our marriage's demise, but after much thought, I've realized that we both simply picked the wrong person to tie the knot with.

    She was 24 and fresh out of college when I met her. At the time I was 26 and single for about 2 years. I had warned myself about dating girls that were too young and inexperienced, although I was only 26 and relatively inexperienced myself, I knew I was tired of "the game."

    By my judgement, she was perfect. She was beautiful, educated, athletic, funny, and great taste in just about anything. Our relationship evolved fairly quickly and after a year, I was on one knee making the commitment of a lifetime.

    Fast forward to today, I remember once having a deep conversation with her about taking "the next step." I stressed how important it was to be sure that we'd gotten all our curiosities and young experiences out of the way. I respect the commitment of marriage and I intended on only doing it once... for life.

    As time progressed, it became more and more noticeable that we were evolving at different rates. I became increasingly more career oriented, started graduate school, began preparing for the purchase of our first home, etc...
    while she played the role, she wanted to have fun, go to dinners, stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, and so on. Not that any of that was wrong... everything has its time and place.

    One day about a year ago, she told me that I no longer inspired her, no longer lit her fire, no longer excited her. Naturally, I was shocked because everything I did, I did with the mentality of building a big long happy life for us, but that was also the moment when I realized that we were on two different levels.

    Now, as I am finally getting back to "me", I can appreciate Andrew's post and see the value in the message. When you are in your early to mid 20's the pool is larger, the options are plentiful, and you can afford to make a mistake every now and then... all because most people in that age group are mutually inexperienced.

    I could never go to a bar or club now and give myself the luxury of making so many mistakes thinking that I will come out unscathed. I see many attractive women and I feel intimidated many times, but that is when I have to rely on my experience, much like the 32 year old from this post. Many 20-something year olds will try to make a case for why they think or act older than they really are, like my ex-wife.

    The truth is that theory is just theory, and experience only comes one way... through experience. Most the vast majority of us in our 30's an above, experience is our biggest friend when trying to date.

  19. I looked at this article because I like to remind myself that sometimes women also have trouble finding love. It's easy to see so many lonely men competing for the affections of women and feel it's impossible to find love.

    Looking at the comments has been enlightening, albeit disheartening. There is a common trend. Women often talk about the cocky a**holes they have slept with very quickly and about the gentlemen they want to marry and aren't so interested in sleeping with.

    The hard truth is that there are men that women love and men that women want to marry. Very few men are both. Men generally do want to marry and have kids, but they also want a woman who loves them.

    Men respond to this ugly truth in a number of different ways.

    MGTOW - Some men can't or for moral reasons won't become the cocky a hole women genuinely love and won't marry a woman who doesn't love them. These men just forget about women and go their own way.

    PUA - Some men want love and can/will do whatever it takes to get it. These men become the cocky a hole you love. Why do you think there are so many of them?

    Traditional - These men want marriage and kids and will put up with anything including a woman who doesn't love them to get it.

    Oblivious Idiots - Men are stupid beyond belief. Many are so stone cold stupid they haven't realized women sleep with the men they love and aren't sleeping with them. They just can't put two and two together. They think the woman they are dating that slept with a holes and turned down every gentlemen she came across genuinely loves them and won't sleep with them because they are serious about marriage.

    So, what does this mean for a marriage minded woman? Instead of filtering on age or divorced, filter on the groups listed above. You're looking for a traditional man or oblivious idiot. Traditional men are rare but you're in luck as many men are stupid. These are the men you need to be looking for and many of these brain dead men have college degrees and good jobs!

    PS. I don't think women are evil for loving the cocky a holes. No one is really being evil here. Just please, try to be at least somewhat humane when you take your unloved husband to the divorce courts.

  20. Luckily these days fewer and fewer women want to end up married with children. On an overpopulated planet, this is obviously a good fact.

    Women should only concentrate on their careers in their 20s, so they can take care of themselves in the future and are not dependent. There are endless studies about how life quality decreases significantly once women end up married and as a mother.

    The truth is: there are more men than women on this planet, especially up to the age of 50. So there are nearly two men competing for 1 woman.

    Girls, just lay back and relax. You won't experience any shortage in men who will pursue you. Men are so desperate these days. And that is why blogs like these exist on the internet. Because men are desperate they want women to feel their pain. ;)

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