I got a stark, first-hand confirmation of Rollo’s SMV comparison chart last night. About ten years ago when I was doing quite a bit of online “dating,” I got to chatting up this one girl. She was almost 30, and I would have been mid-30s at the time, so on Rollo’s chart we were pretty close to the point where men and women cross. She was pretty hot — kept herself in good shape, though primarily with smoking and stress, long hair, pretty face, etc. — and I was fairly smitten for a while. We chatted and talked on the phone every day for a while, but never met in person, partly because she was a few hundred miles away (this was before I learned not to chat up girls too far away for a casual meeting), but mostly because she was still enjoying her hotness and not really wanting to settle down yet. She had enough guys hitting on her, both online and in person, that her SMV was probably at least an 8 in her mind, and mine perhaps a 7 or so. Eventually we both just dropped it, and it turned into a once-every-couple-years birthday wish or something.
So last night she suddenly pops up and says hi. Within five minutes of chatting, she has: 1) mentioned that she’s recently single again after a long serious relationship (not marriage); 2) asked about my own marital status; and 3) made suggestive comments about how she could help me relax. We were always pretty forward with each other, so that wasn’t surprising, but I shot that down pretty quickly, saying no fun stuff is worth driving that far. And I really believe that now, so I guess my own perspective on scarcity has changed.
But while we were chatting, I saw some of her recent pictures, and whoa! She’s gone from a 7-8 to maybe a 5, and that would be adjusted for age. She hasn’t gotten fat, but that’s about the only positive note. She looks so rough that I found myself wondering what I was thinking ten years ago, but I looked back at some old pictures, and she really was pretty at 30 — not a model or anything, but enough to turn heads. Now she looks like she’s lived 20 hard years in 10. She works nights at a pretty demanding job and has had some serious health problems, so I guess it’s no surprise, but it was really striking: ten years ago I ached for this girl, and now I wouldn’t look twice at her if I passed her in the grocery store.
That got me thinking about Rollo’s chart. My own SMV, as far as I can tell, hasn’t changed much from mid-30s to mid-40s, just as his chart would predict. I’m about the same weight, same build, maybe a little less hair, but I’d lost quite a bit of it already back then. I’m not much better-off financially, but at least not worse, and I have more of a sense of direction in my life. I’m certainly more confident, especially with women, and more established in my communities. So some pluses and some minuses, holding steady at about the same level. The amount of interest I get from women seems to support that.
She, on the other hand, going from 30 to 40, has gone from fertile to not likely. She’s also a grandmother now, so instead of looking to start a new family, she’s focused (and rightly so) on helping her kids with theirs. (If single moms don’t have much spare attention to give a husband, imagine the single mom of a single mom.) An additional ten years of dating and relationships under her belt certainly doesn’t add to her appeal. On top of those reasons, add the drastic decline in her looks, and now I not only don’t want to marry her, but as we chat I’m mostly thinking, “How soon can I politely say goodnight so I can get to sleep already?” Harsh, but true. Just as Rollo’s chart predicts, her SMV has been on a steady decline since we met — maybe more of a free-fall in her case — and now mine is well above hers.
And she knows it, whether consciously or not. That’s why she was the one who looked me up this time, why she was the one to start the flirting, why she was the one to say let’s talk again soon. Back then, I was obviously (in retrospect) the needier one; now that’s reversed. I thought through some of the other girls I dated or chatted with back then, and looked up a few. Most weren’t attractive to me now at all, and in some cases I felt like I’d dodged a bullet by never dating them.
If I’d been smart at 35, I would have been looking at 20-year-olds instead of girls my own age. The 30-35 crowd were attractive enough in the short term, but only had a few of their best years left, at most. At 35, I could have dated younger girls without skeeving them out; and if I’d married one, her SMV would have pretty much paced mine instead of accelerating downward while mine rose or leveled off. Of course, when even the still-hot 30-year-old single moms are still putting off marriage, a guy only has so many options. When the 30-year-old single moms are turning you down and putting you off, it doesn’t occur to you that you might have better luck with the younger, hotter set, if you haven’t gained any red-pill insights yet.