Ugly Ducklings?

I thought I’d dealt with the ridiculous notion that there are lots of attractive girls who just can’t find a man to marry, but the goalposts have moved: now it appears that many of them are actually too ugly.  Of course, there are some truly deformed, ugly people out there, but that’s always been the case and they aren’t that common, so does it  really have anything to do with the modern phenomenon of “where are all the good men now that I’m ready”?  This all actually leads into a post concept I’d been planning to work on, so let’s deal with this new myth, shall we?

First, if you know a 35-year-old, shrewish, short-haired careerist who’s battling an extra 10-15 pounds and complains a lot about how much men suck, it’s completely believable that no one wants to marry her now.  But she wasn’t always 35, shrewish, careerist, etc.  Once upon a time she was a fresh-faced 18.  Was she really so ugly then that no guys were interested for the next several years, or did she shrug them off because she was too busy “living”?  Let’s consider.

I did a quick search and found a small, Midwestern high school that puts its senior pictures online.  (I’m not going to say what town, because I figure it’d be kinda mean to have one of them do a search someday and find these pictures and my mean statements about them.  Suffice it to say it’s a middle-American town like thousands of others, with small enough numbers to keep my experiment manageable.)  I grabbed the girls’ pictures from 2012 (the last year available), arranged them into a montage, and numbered them.  The result:


So, how many of these girls are “too ugly” for any decent man to be interested in?  Well, #6 is clearly whatever we’re calling “retarded” these days, so she may not be marriageable for other reasons.  I don’t think any of the rest qualify as “ugly.”  I could nitpick some of them: #4 has a heck of a man-jaw, #12 needs help with her makeup, and so on.  But those aren’t big things, and they wouldn’t turn off every guy.  The main problem I see is that three of them are significantly fat — enough to keep away a lot of guys — and a few others have at least a hint that they might be putting on weight.  That doesn’t have to be permanent, though; and if those girls lost the weight, their features look good enough that they’d fit in with the rest.

So my contention is that 27 of these 28 girls could be married to decent guys with jobs by the age of 20 if that’s what they wanted.  None of them are doomed to a life of cats due to their looks.  Very, very few women are — nowhere near the numbers to account for all the career girls hitting the Wall these days.

However, pick out any one of these girls, and imagine her after 15 years of college, work, and club-hopping.  Add 20 pounds, cut off the hair to give her a “sassy” do, and give her an N of 12-20 and the personality disorders to prove it.  Now, when she cries that no man ever wanted to marry her, are you going to buy that?  Before you do, think back to the cutie she once was.

Out of curiosity, I also grabbed their pictures from 1962, 50 years earlier.  The results:


Now, I actually find this group homelier than the 2012 girls, which surprised me, but that’s mostly because the hairstyles do absolutely nothing for me.  (I’m very heartened by the amount of long hair in the 2012 pictures, actually.)  I’m sure many of these girls would be much cuter with long hair.  But the most striking thing is that not one of these girls appears to be overweight (maybe just a hint on #3, but barely).

Does anyone doubt that these girls were able to find husbands?  Of course not.  But that’s not because they’rte more attractive than the 2012 girls; they’re less attractive in my opinion.  It’s because girls wanted husbands back then and they didn’t want to put them off until their 30s.


59 thoughts on “Ugly Ducklings?

  1. So my contention is that 27 of these 28 girls could be married to decent guys with jobs by the age of 20 if that’s what they wanted.

    We have a daughter who will be 20 this summer. She has been asked out once (ONCE), by an unbeliever who has no interest in the faith.

    While I get your overall premise, that assertion is just patently false, Cail.

  2. More later on this, Elspeth, but Cail is right and you’re wrong. Any decently attractive girl who isn’t getting men seriously interested in her is herself uninterested in men or putting out an unmistakable “don’t even THINK about it” vibes to all but the men she can’t have.

    Count on it.

  3. Elspeth, I’ll concede that your daughter may be in an unusually difficult spot. The out-of-wedlock birth rate for black Americans is what, 70% now? Black Christian men with an interest in marriage have to be pretty scarce. And even if she’s willing to marry a white man, not all white men are attracted to black women, and she has to meet them somehow. I can see how an attractive, traditionally-minded black woman would have a harder time getting interest from decent men than most.

    Still, she’s only 20. If she makes it to 30, still fit and attractive, and claims that she’s been marriage-ready all that time and no decent men have tried, I’m going to call bullshit.

  4. Gentle Elspeth:

    You’ve conceded your unique experience as to your marriage and that your experience is not the norm. I respectfully suggest you have a blind spot on this as well.

    Elspeth, young single chaste women are the rock stars of the SMP. Your 20 YO daughter should be able to literally name her price. There should be men literally falling all over themselves to date her. That should include chaste white men as well. I’ll suggest your daughter isn’t making herself available, or is turning away eligible men on frivolous grounds, or putting out an “I’m not interested” vibe that must good men won’t try to push through; or limiting herself to men who meet certain unreasonable criteria; or isn’t all that interested in dating or marrying.

  5. Any non-obese pre-wall woman is going to get attention from some* men, unless she locks herself in her room all the time, or is horribly disfigured in some way [think Mel Gibson in ‘Man Without a Face’], or puts up her protection shield any time a man gets in a position to approach her.

    *- The key word is ‘some’ – i.e., not necessarily the ‘hot’ guys she really wants. So she’s getting attention from men, but they aren’t the men she wants, so she rejects them all. Which is fine, of course, women have every right to want what they want, but if they’re going to reject men by the dozens like this then they shouldn’t turn around and complain how ‘shallow’ men are when they [women] are the ones doing almost all of the rejecting.

  6. Retrenched

    That’s a good point. “Attention from guys I’m not attracted to” translates in girl world to “no attention at all”.

  7. My daughter is not “getting lots of attention from men”. But even if she were, the whole lot of you would insist that she not wrong some guy she’s not extremely attracted to by marrying him just for the sake of being married.

    I’ll concede that of all my girls she is the one most wedded to the idea of marrying a man very similar to her father. Maybe that means she end up single. Whatever the Lord wills, I suppose.

    Seems a girl is darned if she does and darned if she doesn’t with this crowd.

  8. Well, if all these complaints from young women about how ‘No guys will ask me out!’ are really true, then maybe we’re at peak feminism. Maybe we’ve reached the point at which the costs of the criminalization of heterosexual male desire are starting to be felt by young women, as well as by young men.

    Some choice quotes from F. Roger Devlin’s Sexual Utopia in Power:

    [Y]oung men today are in an impossible situation. If they seek a mate they are predators; if they find one they are date rapists; if they want to avoid the whole ordeal they are immature and irresponsible for not committing. We have gone from a situation where it seemed everything was permitted to one where nothing is permitted. …

    The latest word from college campuses is that women have begun to complain men are not asking them out. That’s right: Men at their hormonal peak are going to class side by side with nubile young women who now outnumber them, and are simply ignoring or shunning them. Some report being repeatedly asked “Are you gay?” by frustrated coeds. This is what happens when women complain for forty years about being used as sex objects: Eventually, men stop using them as sex objects. …

    The geniuses of establishment conservatism may need a gentle reminder that the human race is not perpetuated through sexual abstinence. They might do better to ponder how many families have not formed and how many children have not been born due to overzealous attempts to protect young women from men who might have made good husbands and fathers.

  9. I have to agree with Elspeth here. I’m 22 years old and I’ve never been on a date. I don’t get asked out. Exception- 5 years ago a male coworker asked me to hang out. I turned him down. He was mentally ill so clearly it would have been a bad idea to date him. And no I did not ljbf him. I told him we were just coworkers nothing more.

    Another coworker that I knew for a 100% fact that he wanted to date me decided against it. Here were his reasons:
    1. He didn’t think he was good enough for me.
    2. He wasn’t good at being romantic.
    3. He was too busy with work and school.
    4. He thought I was too busy.
    5. He wasn’t looking for a relationship at this time in his life. (He was the one who brought up us dating in the 1st place!!)

    Excuses excuses. Boys can be full of them too ya know 🙂 Anyway he ljbf’ed me. That was 3 years ago, we are still friends and hangout. Group setting of course. Other coworkers that had talked to him about it informed me that he was just too shy to ask.

  10. My daughter is not “getting lots of attention from men”.

    I’m guessing you don’t follow your daughter everywhere she goes, right? And it’s not like a young man is just going to come out and hit on a young woman with her Mom standing right there…

  11. Deti- Attention from guys does not exactly equal getting asked out. I get attention but no dates. My reputation is that I’m friendly and sweet. Isn’t that suppose to be what gets the guys lining up? And before anyone asks…. I’m not ugly.

  12. Deti your comment at 2:14
    “Young, single, chaste, women are rock stars of the smp.”
    Wouldn’t it be the MMP (marriage market place) not SMP?

  13. Seems a girl is darned if she does and darned if she doesn’t with this crowd.

    Not necessarily this crowd, but this sexual marketplace, yes. I can see how it would be tough to be a truly marriage-minded, chaste young woman, because she’s speaking a different language from everyone else. She’s at one end of two extremes: she’s trying to save herself for marriage, while other girls are putting out on the first date. How is she supposed to let a man know she’s interested, and keep him interested long enough to get serious, when she can’t do what all the other girls are doing as a matter of course? If a guy is used to getting at least to third base with every girl who likes him, then the girl who doesn’t kiss until the second date will seem frigid or uninterested.

    It seems like she’d have to be very blunt, which goes against the natural way of things. She may just have to come out and tell a man, “I’m saving myself for marriage, so don’t take my reserve for lack of interest. I’m looking for the real thing, and when I find it I’ll be ready, and won’t play games to put it off.” That’s pretty heavy for a first date, but something like that may be necessary to let guys know where she’s coming from.

  14. Sandy, if your friends have told you he wanted you but was just too shy (that’s what it sounds like to me; he was trying to show his interest while leaving himself several outs in case you turned him down, and chickened out), why haven’t you asked him out? Is his chicken-heartedness too much of a turn-off?

    If you’re “friendly and sweet” and not ugly or fat (you didn’t mention that last one), and men aren’t asking you out, then all I can tell you is you’re putting up some kind of defense shield that’s keeping them away. Some girls just give off a vibe that says, “Don’t go there; I’m not interested and you’ll just get hurt.” When a guy you like is around, watch your body language. Do you cross your arms, closing yourself off, or keep your face turned away from him? Or do you have open body language, play with your hair, smile, look him in the eyes and look down if he holds your gaze, touch him lightly on the shoulder or arm once in a while, or other indicators of interest? It doesn’t take much, for most guys, but we do need to see some sign that a girl is interested.

    Men approach, but girls actually start the process by signaling that an approach is welcome. By the same token, they can keep the process from starting by signaling that it’s not, even if they don’t know they’re doing it.

  15. Elspeth, there’s nothing wrong with your daughter having high standards, but yes, of course there’s the risk of no one ever meeting them. If I set my bar at a 36-24-36 blonde who can wrap her feet behind her head, I might stay single the rest of my life too. That’s why I said each of those girls could marry a decent man in short order if she wished to. Not necessarily the ideal man they dream about, but a good man they could be happy with if that were their priority and they worked at it.

  16. As someone who spends a lot of time talking to single men and women from about 14 to about 34 years of age – I gently disagree with some of this.
    Let’s look at Elspeth’s example. She has a chaste, kind daughter who is marriage minded and religious and almost certainly unashamedly so. She is actually in a tough spot!
    Not because she’s ugly, or cold, or too demanding, etc. but because of who she is and what she wants. Think about it;
    Guys who want a fling? They see that she is chaste and committed. So they are going to stay away.
    Guys who want what she wants? If they have bought into the idea that they should be able to support a wife then unless they are looking at a trade then they are probably focused on education and career until they are, oh, 22-25. Guys in that age range tend to stick to women of at least 21 years old because of laws about people under the drinking age. Based on my experience with kids like her in her position if you had asked me I would have said ‘group events like dances and one to three dates’ because that is what seems consistent until they hit 21 and then then 24-25 year olds will magically become interested. The exception is soldiers who tend to look when they are younger and often don’t mind a girl under 21.
    tl;dr – it has more to do with the focus on college than anything the girl is doing, probably.
    And I *do* know a great deal of attractive women who struggle to find a husband. Mainly because they have been too focused on education and career and are, oh, 25-27 with no real network that includes marriage-minded men. They also tend to have poorer social skills, etc.

  17. Any decently attractive girl who isn’t getting men seriously interested in her is herself uninterested in men or putting out an unmistakable “don’t even THINK about it” vibes to all but the men she can’t have.

    Yep. Or if not from the girl herself, then from
    her mother and/or father.

  18. “#12 needs help with her makeup”

    Meh. She looks cute nevertheless. Probably a 6 or a 7, I’d say. She’s probably a Goth or part of some other subculture where such make-up is the norm. But I think most men would agree that #4, #6 and #24 are objectively boner killers. But that’s still only 3 out of 28. As far as the pictures from 1962 are concerned, I have to say I’m surprised that so many of them are plain-looking and meh. I’m sure most men today would be unable to produce an erection for #7 and #14 unless they are locked away in a cell for a couple of months and prevented from masturbating.

  19. “I can see how it would be tough to be a truly marriage-minded, chaste young woman, because she’s speaking a different language from everyone else. She’s at one end of two extremes: she’s trying to save herself for marriage, while other girls are putting out on the first date.”

    If her parents raised her like that, they should arrange her marriage. That’s the only effective way. It’s the path they have chosen.

  20. @ Elspeth:

    “My daughter is not “getting lots of attention from men”. But even if she were, the whole lot of you would insist that she not wrong some guy she’s not extremely attracted to by marrying him just for the sake of being married.”

    Correct. She should not marry a man she’s not extremely attracted to. Your own marriage shows that she should absolutely NOT do that. Marriages like yours, in which the woman is extremely attracted to the man, are the only ones in today’s society that work.

    You make it sound like it’s somehow a bad thing that she be exhorted not to wrong a man she’s not extremely attracted to by refusing to marry him. It’s not a bad thing at all. It will spare the both of them extreme pain.

  21. Aquinas Dad,

    Yes, as I said in a later comment, I realize the hyper-sexual dating marketplace does make it more difficult for chaste girls today. But I don’t think “more difficult” translates into “impossible to find a husband from age 18 to 35.” For one thing, the fact that most girls are putting off marriage means the marriage-minded girl has less competition. Nowadays, the ten hottest girls in that class aren’t going to snap up the ten most eligible boys; most of them are going to go off to college and revel in the exciting life that their peak beauty will shower upon them. So the #11 girl could be the hottest marriage-minded girl in her community, which should make her a hotter property than she would have been in marriage 1.0 times.

    Of course, there are also fewer marriage-minded men in their 20s today because they too have been trained to think that marriage is for your 30s. But men are mostly reactive in this matter; if young women stop delaying marriage while sleeping with and shacking up with their boyfriends, young men will adjust and start proposing again.

    As you say in your last paragraph, the main reason women find themselves unable to find a husband is that they’re starting the process a decade too late, so they’ve lost some (maybe a great deal) of their physical beauty, and gained a lot of baggage. That’s really what I was trying to get at with this post. I realize there are a lot of women out there who can’t find a husband, but that’s (usually) because they didn’t want one when their value was highest. They’re like a fisherman who buys a bunch of fresh, lively minnows, leaves them in the sun for a week until they’re dead, and then complains that the fish won’t bite.

  22. I should have added the event that actually kicked off the thinking that led to this post:

    I was at a family Christmas dinner, and saw the high school graduation picture of a distant cousin whom I only see every few years. Now, I’ve always thought of this girl as pretty homely. Her hair color and style are exactly the type I find least attractive, and there just wasn’t much feminine about her face, and she always had blemishes so she never looked her best. Yet in this picture, with that 18-year-old’s glowing skin and a good makeup job, she was actually pretty darn cute. Not gorgeous (though a man with different tastes might think so), but certainly attractive enough to get looks from men. Right now, in the next few years, if she wanted to marry, I have no doubt she could do so.

    However, her parents will probably send her off to college where she’ll be overwhelmed by the attention that her peak attractiveness gains her in that sexualized environment, and she’ll probably bounce through a few short- to medium-term relationships. By the time she gets out of college and spends a few years working until it’s time to think about marriage and kids, she’ll have lost that 18-year-old bloom and much of the attractiveness it gave her. All of a sudden she’ll be one of those “ugly” women IBB was talking about, who never had a chance. But she does have a chance, now, if she takes it. Nearly all women do; but they’ve been taught by Hollywood that they’ll be just as hot — even hotter, thanks to all their “experience”! — at 35 or 40 as they were at 18.

  23. None of my daughter’s are raving beauties. They look a lot like their mama did back then: kinda cute, but nothing special. Men aren’t falling over themselves to date them any more than they were falling over themselves to date me. If my husband wasn’t the kind of guy who wasn’t afraid to be up front about what he wanted and go for it, I might have been single today.

    Coincidentally, out of the blue my daughter’s friend who went off to school in New York asked her last night via text message: “Have you met anyone yet?”

    Daughter; “No.”

    Friend: “why?”

    Daughter: “I don’t know. I just haven’t.”

    I should note that my daughter’s friend was a “committed” Christian before she went off to school but is now living with the boyfriend she met up there.

    This past week at work she was asked by a co-worker if she had a boyfriend. Again, she answered no. The follow up question was, “Have you ever had a boyfriend?” answer: “No” Response was a shocked and surprised, “Why?” Clearly she’s an anomaly.

    Since my BIL asked her the question recently as well, she asked me this morning why people don’t get that she isn’t interested in “just dating”. That she’s not looking to have a boyfriend just to say she has one and that she’d rather stay single than just jump at the first guy who shows interest just because he showed interest.

    If it’s not leading to marriage, she said, she’d rather not be bothered. And then there’s the fact that (her words) that her father and I trained them throughout their high school years to not give off the vibe that they are available to date because they weren’t. It’s hard to switch out of that.

    Oh, and that article in Essence? Funny and truthful. There is very little about the state of affairs between black men and women that I have heard or read at this point.

  24. Elspeth, yesterday I was talking to a father whose daughter is in the middle of breaking up with one boyfriend because a better one came along. Of course, she’s doing the usual cowardly LJBF thing and hoping he’ll get the hint and go away, though everyone keeps telling her he’ll thank her in the long run if she’s just honest and cuts him loose quickly.

    Anyway, your post reminded me of that, because the dad tried to keep her from getting that serious with this guy, and now he’s hoping he can keep her from getting so serious with the new one. He’s trying to get her to just take it easy and date without starting a relationship — but that’s just not natural. This boy should be courting her with an eye toward marriage, and if either of them doesn’t want to marry within a year or so, they shouldn’t be dating at all.

    It’s that “just hang out and get to know each other” dating mindset that makes things harder than they should be for a marriage-minded girl (and her parents). In the past, everyone knew marriage was at least a possibility when you started spending time with someone. Now it’s assumed not to be until someone actually brings it up, but it’s really not natural for a girl to go around announcing her eligibility. Like Hollenhund2 said, maybe you as parents will have to get more involved (if you haven’t already) by talking to other parents and trying to entice some decent men her way. “Cute but nothing special” should still draw interest, but I can see how young men today would just be kind of confused by her “not interested unless you’re serious” vibe because it’s so out of the ordinary.

  25. Elspeth, have you thought of using a Christian dating website? Your daughter’s profile could be very explicit about what she wants (chaste, parent-chaperoned courtship until marriage; strong patriarchal head of the family; etc.). You could review everything too, by keeping the log-in credentials. You might have already thought of this (and vetoed it) but if not, it’s just a suggestion. If you live in a female-dominant area, it might be good to extend the search area, depending on how far your daughter is willing to travel/move. Hell, I’d think the best thing you could do is visit the church denomination (you belong to) at the nearest military base. Also, the Southwest/West are more male-dominant than the East Coast. If you’re really looking for a husband, you should consider those options.

  26. @ sandy:

    “Attention from guys does not exactly equal getting asked out. I get attention but no dates. My reputation is that I’m friendly and sweet. Isn’t that suppose to be what gets the guys lining up? And before anyone asks…. I’m not ugly.”

    Sandy, there are only a minority percentage of women who really are objectively physically unattractive. It’s perhaps 10, maybe 20 percent. It’s not insubstantial, but chances are you aren’t in that group.

    Your question about attention vs. getting asked out goes to the issue of risk. Today’s SMP and MMP are very, very different from 20 to 30 years ago. If you want guys you’re going to have to take some risk. It sounds like you’re just hanging back, waiting for the hot guys to ask you out. Today, you can’t expect a man to take on 100% of the risk. You will have to take some initiative. You will have to show that guy you think he’s attractive. You will have to show that guy that he’s not going to get blown out of the water if he asks you out. And if you like him YOU might have to ask HIM out.

  27. @ Marissa:

    To say that my husband is skeptical of Internet matchmaking would be a gross understatement.

    Had an interesting moment this morning when I dropped my 18-year-old off at her class. I don’t know why I looked back, but I did and just in time to see this kid breaking his neck watching her as she walked by.

    His pants were hanging off his butt. I couldn’t even write him off as a stereotypical ghetto thug. He wasn’t black (Cuban I think), and he was at the college at 7AM. Only a few students are willing to get up at that hour to take a class. Most avoid getting up at that hour like the plague.

    His pants were hanging off his butt.

    This is what we have to choose from? And yes, I know Christian men are better, but you haven’t been to my church, LOL.

  28. That’s just another one of those things that was lost thanks to feminism: older women stopped teaching girls how to “entice” a man. A girl who wore a skirt and batted her eyes at a man — who did anything solely to please a man — was considered a traitor to the cause.

    We need to bring back those 1950s educational movie shorts. I’ve actually seen one that told girls how to date without being a hussy: talk to a boy, ask what he’s doing, offer to help; be pretty but modest in appearance; etc. Women invite, men approach; women choose. We’ve kinda lost the invitation part, so men either don’t approach or they adopt a shotgun method where they approach everyone, which means they get shot down more often than necessary. Also, when women are being approached by men they never invited, they have to be more guarded than necessary, which may scare away the men they’d like to hear from. It’s a mess.

  29. This is what we have to choose from?

    Yep, players and doormats for women and fat harpies for men. We could quibble about which there is more of or which is the bigger problem, but there’s no doubt we have way too many of both. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be a good way to sort out the exceptions. Online dating seems like it should be good for that, but in my experience it’s not really. The churches don’t help much either; they chase away some of the players but make the harpies even more….harpilicious.

  30. Fascinating study: My initial response is that 2012 is better looking than 1962 but despite the terrible hairstyles (and not one beehive!) 1962 looks marriagable whereas 2012 often wear Pornstar smiles. Perhaps they are just happier than 1962. No plunging necklines in 1962 either nor brightly coloured tops.

    Even so, with the exception of the Downs girl I can see no reason why any are inherently unmarriagable.

    Are there a lot of sisters in 1962?

  31. Opus, the 1962 girls all had different last names, so I assume none were sisters. Unless you mean the ‘nun’ type of sister, in which case #10 looks like she might be practicing for the habit.

    Girls from that era always look old to me. I think it’s because they have my grandma’s hairstyle. But I know what you mean: the 1962 girls seem mature, like you’d have no problem seeing any of them running a household. Some of the 2012 girls seem silly, like they might set themselves on fire if you let them use the toaster unsupervised. I suspect that’s partly the styles, but partly the fact that they haven’t been encouraged to grow up. They’ve been encouraged to stay children and told that adult responsibilities can wait a decade.

    On another note, I can’t help wondering if the short hair in 1962 was a sign of feminism starting to peek through, even though society in general was still pretty traditional on the surface at that point.

  32. @CC

    I meant biologically – 4, 5 and 12 look very similar. As you say they look as if they might step into marriage tomorrow – and indeed look far more serious – about life – than the class of 2012 – hence my porn-star remark. The sort of woman one might actually enjoy talking to notwithstanding their still being at school.

    I mentioned Beehives (surely as much an American fashion as British?) but that short haired style – popular towards the end of the 1950s – had gone by 1962 the year Ursula Andress emerged for the sea in Doctor No and Julie Christie went down to London in Billy Liar, so I am wondering whether the mid-west was just a little bit behind L.A. and N.Y.C. I don’t really see the short hair as proto-feminist but more a temporary fashion (oxymoron) to get away from a Betty Grable or Barbara Stanwyk look.

    I am sure than in 2062 the 2012 hairstyles will look awful.

    Marriage is for the young as is finding ones path in life as one (Pliny Jr? I forget) Roman author observed.

  33. A friend of mine reported that at U.C. Davis (mid-2000s), most dating relationships went for 6 weeks, or all school year (or longer), because most of the kids *were* interested in marriage soon after college, and if the other person wasn’t marriage material, they’d get dumped quickly.

    I’d guess that over 90% of those relationships which did last more than a few weeks involved sex pretty significantly, even among the more Christian kids, and that among the more secular kids, even the short term ones probably involved sex.

    A lot of those relationships did end up in marriage, though. So at least among the brightest kids in a not-totally-libertine part of California, there’s a (subconscious) awareness of the rules of the marriage market.

  34. Opus, I hadn’t noticed it, but you’re right, those three are probably first cousins at least. It’s a small town — about 2500 people now, probably less then — so that wouldn’t be surprising.

  35. To say that my husband is skeptical of Internet matchmaking would be a gross understatement.

    This made me laugh out loud! From what I’ve read from you about your husband, I certainly understand. The good is that you can control her account (the matchmaking) in a way you can’t in the “real world” but I know there must be downsides too. Good luck with the matchmaking.

  36. Still, she’s only 20. If she makes it to 30, still fit and attractive, and claims that she’s been marriage-ready all that time and no decent men have tried, I’m going to call bullshit.

    That’s right. This has to be bullshit on Elspeth’s part. It couldn’t have anything to do with good men coming to a rational deicision that marriage (in and of itself) is too much of a risk? Nah it couldn’t be that because if it is, then your entire argument falls down faster than a statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

    I’m saying that more and more men are MGTOW. This has been happening over the last 40 years but its really taken off now. And the majority of these men are not even aware they are part of the movement. They are just responsing to the legal and social disincentives of marriage. They are opting out, and who could blame them?

  37. Cail- I’m not fat either. I’m only 110 pounds and my hair is long (middle of back) not short.
    My coworker only communicated on this subject with me over facebook. At work he would literally run out of the room from embarrassment when another coworker mentioned it. If I was nearby anyway. I made it perfectly clear that I would go out with him if asked. Our coworkers told him the same. He knew I wasn’t going to turn him down. We had worked together for over a year and always had fun then BAM! as soon as he admitted to liking me he got extremely shy. It didn’t bother me too much until after the “is he or isn’t he going to ask” went on for 4 MONTHS. That’s when I got fed up.
    He is still single. Except now he flirts and hangs out with desperate over-weight girls with sassy attitudes and older women. That right there is sooo unattractive.
    I have been working on my body language and am noticing some improvements in my interactions with men. I work in retail so there are many opportunities to practice. Longer eye contact is my goal. I love looking people in the eyes as there is so much to read but I’m shy and introverted so I tend to look away quickly. And I blush all. the. time. Whenever I’m around a guy I like I do all those things you just listed not to do. I can’t help it. Then I end up kicking myself the rest of the day for basically being rude. And by the time I come out of my shell the guy already has a girlfriend. (So guys, if a girl is rude to you she either hates your guts or realllly likes you LOL)

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  39. Yes Deti, that looks to be the case. I have to come out of my shell and initiate now. My grandmothers were shyer than me and still managed to get married young. But those days are gone.

    Stupid feminists had to go throw a monkey wrench into the dating/courting scene… And pretty much everything else for that matter.

  40. seems to me that what you guys need is a matchmaker. a matchmaker is very common in communities in India and everyone seems to use them regardless of how poor, rich, educated or sophisticated you are.

    you could say my daughter is fair, homely and educated and we are looking for a smart, educated guy for her. the matchmaker would have her profile and he would look for boys from the same community, caste etc with a compatible family (wealth, values etc) and arrange meetings. nowadays the boy and girl get to go out to restaurants, cinema etc and have a short courtship before they decide to get engaged or not and then get married.

    why is there no equivalent person or service in the USA? seems like a good business to me. someone in the church might be an ideal person to manage this

  41. @Hoellenhund:

    And that automatically disqualifies him from being a potential husband in the future?

    Maybe it shouldn’t, but there is a certain off-putting feature to an educated person who adopts an unacceptable cultural trend.

    Young people (especially the ostensibly educated) need to put their literacy to good use and explore the origins of the things they embrace.

  42. Sandy, it sounds like he was a hopeless case. I was extremely shy and lacking confidence with women when I was younger, and there was no such thing as “knew she wasn’t going to turn me down.” It sounds ridiculous now, but a girl could hang around me and all our friends could tell me she was interested and I’d still fear rejection and miss my chance. Not much you can do with a guy like that; fortunately most aren’t that bad and it’s something a guy can get over. Sounds like he blew his chance with you, though, now that he’s flirting with low-value women who don’t scare him.

    Keep working on the eye-batting and you’ll get there. Heck, I’d ask you out based on “110 pounds and long hair”; that alone puts you ahead of most. I did get a chuckle out of this, by the way:

    (So guys, if a girl is rude to you she either hates your guts or realllly likes you LOL)

    Very true. And girls wonder why boys can’t figure them out!

  43. Yea, have to concur that men are reluctant to marry and that has to be taken into account. Fix the legal issues and men will be reluctant to marry for generations to come. This is something women will have to contend with if they want to marry

    Dating chicks from work has to a minefield. Ladies might want to give such men extra leeway

    That never having had a boyfriend or been on a date probably sends a very anti social signal. Not saying it should, but that it’s likely it does. Folks want to have fun, laugh etc on the 1st series of dates, not interview for a job they might not want.

    And only talking to/ seeing a man if marriage is on the table, also sends a bad signal. It’s like looking for that love at 1st sight nonsense. I reckon it would take few dates to figure out if you want them around for 6 months let alone life time

    I am staring to see an epic level of poor tactical thinking that is almost universal with Christians. On every topic.

  44. Yes, men as a group are less interested in marriage these days, for good reason. But Dalrock has shown that there’s no major “marriage strike” happening yet. Most men still want to marry, or at least would be willing to if most of the cows weren’t giving the milk away for free. Women (with the blessing of their parents) are delaying marriage, most replacing it with sexual relationships in the form of unmarried serial monogamy, and men are going along with that. Unless you’re worried about hell-fire, why not?

    A marriage-minded 18-year-old girl doesn’t need all men to be willing to marry; she just needs one she’s compatible enough with. In that 2012 class, most of those girls will delay marriage, going off to college or work for several years at least. So if one of them — even one of the less attractive ones — is ready to marry, she won’t have much competition for whatever like-minded men are out there. If she’s smart enough to look at guys in the 25-30 range, plenty of marriage-minded ones will exist, and they certainly won’t turn their noses up at the chance to snag an 18-year-old. But she’ll have to be clear to signal what she wants, because they’ve been taught that girls her age just want to party with boys their own age, so they’re unlikely even to approach without encouragement.

    I’m not saying it’s easy; there are a lot of obstacles today for Christian, marriage-minded men and women in finding each other and getting on with it. But they aren’t insurmountable. A girl who wants to get married can still get married; she just can’t assume it’ll “just happen” the way it did in the past (although I don’t think it ever did “just happen”; women just forgot how to play the “invitation” role thanks to feminism). She will have to help guys find her through the maze of nonsense that makes up today’s sexual marketplace.

  45. “Maybe it shouldn’t,”

    But in your case, it apparently does.

    “but there is a certain off-putting feature to an educated person who adopts an unacceptable cultural trend.”

    Alright. So, as far husband candidates for your daughter are concerned, “adoption of an unacceptable cultural trend” is a non-negotiable red flag. How many more red flags are there? Just asking. Apparently you look for red flags and at the same time refuse to arrange your daughter’s Christlike marriage. Seriously, what other result do you expect?

  46. Look Hoellen,

    I didn’t say it was a non-negotiable red flag. Your words, not mine.

    If a godly young man looks to court our daughter, we will work with what is presented, assuming he is a Christian. He can always pull his pants up, LOL.

    But I’d be lying if I pretended that first impressions don’t register. They register for everyone. None of us is above judging books by their covers regardless of the adage.

  47. “Young people (especially the ostensibly educated) need to put their literacy to good use and explore the origins of the things they embrace.”

    You mean, like gender-equity feminism?

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