Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What about Online Dating?

The crowd over at Dear Sugar has noticed a problem. New York Magazine is on the case. Here is the problem:

On this week’s Dear Sugar podcast, hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond read a letter from a 34-year-old single urban woman who bemoans the fact that good guys seem to be “scarce,” wondering if she will have to “settle” with someone. Strayed and Almond mentioned that they’ve recently gotten a steady stream of similar letters from unhappy single women who argue that “all the emotionally available men are spoken for.”

Naturally, New York would want to turn to a behavioral economist, but before evaluating his wit and wisdom, allow me to make a couple of observations.

First, it might not help the 34 year old single woman, but someone should be telling the young women out there that, as they get older, there are fewer marriage prospects. You see, not all women are dumb enough to buy in to the feminist ideology and postpone marriage in favor of career. While feminists are putting it all on hold, other, more savvy women, are snatching up the best available men.

It’s a competitive marketplace and women who wait too long find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Second, when a woman arrives in her mid-thirties her biological clock starts ticking more loudly. Thus, she will be looking for a man who wants to have children right away. This will, I suggest, influence her judgment. But it will also make her come across as desperate. Most men are not very attracted to desperate women.

Third, I will suggest, on very little evidence, that this woman has done too much therapy. From her many hours of therapy she has learned that she must have an “emotionally available” man.

In principle, a man who is emotionally available is fully in touch with his feminine side. He must be willing to marry a feminist and to share all household chores equally. Not only has our young over-therapied feminist put herself at a competitive disadvantage because of her age, she is probably setting down no conditions that very few men would voluntarily accept.

Note that she does not care whether he is solvent, whether he can provide for his family, whether he has good character, or whether he is trustworthy and loyal. You see, she doesn’t really need a man except to fulfill her emotional needs. She does not understand, because her therapist never told her, that when a woman wants a man to be an emotional crutch he will feel diminished and demeaned. If he can think at all, he will do everything in his power to avoid having anything resembling an entangling alliance with such a woman.

Now, to the wit and wisdom of our behavioral economist. Paul Oyer, a Stanford economist who considers himself an expert in online dating tells New York Magazine that the woman in question should not feel that she needs to settle and should not be looking for perfection.

What would we do without behavioral economists?

I am not sure where Oyer got the idea that she was looking for perfection, but I will grant that she seems to be looking for a soulmate. Anyway, the woman seems to be wearing ideological blinders and does not really understand what makes a man good or great or perfect.

One must also note that an older unmarried woman has probably suffered from more failed relationships. Such traumas make it more difficult for a woman to know the difference between good from bad men.

Next, Oyer points out, quite correctly, that large American cities are suffering from too many single women chasing not enough single men. Given the surplus of single women, men can naturally be very selective. A woman who leans in with a list of demands will not be very high on anyone’s list.

Finally, Oyer points out that this woman can solve her problem by online dating. It worked for him—a male 50 year old Stanford professor--so why can’t it work for her?

Do you think that she has never tried online dating? Does Oyer understand that men and women are in seriously different positions in the dating market? Does he know that the surplus of available females skews the market and makes it more difficult for any individual females?

If the problem is that men have too much choice, the solution cannot really be online dating. Surely, some people have found their spouses via online dating, but one suspects that it is more the problem than the solution.


Wm Sears said...

Why are there a surplus of single women, or do you mean a surplus at that age group with a corresponding reduction at other age groups?

Dennis said...

Coming up on almost 53 years of marriage and it continually amazes me that women who bought into feminism cannot figure out why they are so unhappy. When one's mantra is invested in "What do women want? without the corresponding "What do men want?" then one does not understand that marriage is about honoring the other, sharing both the good times and the bad times, giving up or delaying self satisfaction for the benefit of family cohesiveness,et al. It is about becoming one unit based on love and not the physical needs or a woman's "biological clock."
Selfishness is NOT the way to start a relationship. Life is easy if one realizes it isn't all about self. To believe that is to miss the joy and heartaches that come from sharing a life with another person. The joy of of child birth and watching, guiding and being a part of that child's growth into a self sustain individual. The joy of facing the challenges of life knowing one is not alone. I would recount the many joys and travels one has in a marriage, but those who seek only self will never understand. One makes their bed so they have to sleep in it. Why do we have two genders? Might I suggest that we were meant to be a part of each others' life with all that entails. Selfishness always leads to disappointment no matter the amount of fame or fortune one may gain in life.

Dennis said...

There is always a surplus of women especially in urban settings. After boot camp I went to Washington DC for school. There were at the time 8 women for every man. If you were not having a good time then you did not know how to say "Hello." I still have a soft spot for women from West Virginia. Very nice people.
I would suggest that many young women head towards bigger cities because that is where the jobs, money and suitable marriage prospects are to be had. Next time one is in a major city take the time, if you have the inclination and willingness to be thought ill of, ask the women you meet where they came from in this country. Should not surprise anyone that many of those women were not born or raised there because the more people move from rural areas because of economics the more they gravitate towards urban areas and this affect women far more than men.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Third, I will suggest, on very little evidence, that this woman has done too much therapy. From her many hours of therapy she has learned that she must have an “emotionally available” man.

Yes, "emotionally available" is an interesting requirement. But you don't need therapy to find this advice, just the internet these days.

I think all my male ancestors were good workaholic providers, and none of them emotionally available drunkards. And my mother thought she was going to become an old maid, and met my dad at a bible study when she was 34, and still had time for 1 miscarriage and 3 kids birthed before she was 42.

What do the therapists say anyway? Here's one, ouch, rather imposing, it hurts my brain a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to this course.
To become a more emotionally available person, here's what I will need to do:

1. Examine my feelings of not feeling worthy of a close, loving relationship. I need to challenge my assumption that if you really get to know me, you will eventually reject me. I have to discover and embrace why I am lovable, and why I am deserving of your love.

2. Tune into your feelings and needs, and be very careful that I don't place my needs and wants above yours. I need to develop a greater level of empathy and compassion for your feelings, desires, needs and requests.

3. Act trustworthy, accountable and responsible. I can't afford to permit myself to have a secret life, or someone else on the side, and I would have to offer you complete transparency (access to my computer, phone, text records, and so on) in order to clean up any trust issues that I generated in the past.

4. Make time for you. I would have to treat you (and our kids) as top priorities in my life, and I would make myself accessible and available to you.

5. Cease being volatile, losing my temper, acting mean-spirited or saying hurtful things to you. I would never again threaten to end the relationship if I didn't get my way, or use anger in order to get my way.

6. Commit to letting you in, by sharing my inner dreams, hopes, fears, disappointments and emotions with you.

7. Finally, I would become a better listener, gain control over my addictions, commit to being more of a giver than a taker, and cease being so judgmental and critical of you and of myself.

priss rules said...

'Good guys seem to be scarce.'

Prolly true.

But 'good girls' are scarce too.

Our culture says lose your virginity as soon as possible and screw around as much as you want. And then settle down when you're tired of whoring around. Marriage is not about finding special love but settling down to humdrum after you had all the fun in the world.

So, when a guy meets a woman, the chances are she's been around. I mean really around. It's more like looking for a wife in a whorehouse.

There used to be a time when the majority lost their virginity with that special someone. Virginity was something to prize and hold, not something to just toss away. It was something precious to give to someone special.

Now, virginity is all about losing it as soon as possible and telling your friends that 'i lost, i lost it'.

And then, women screw around like crazy... and then looks for Mr. Right.

So, men look at women as whores, and the majority are.

Also, in our stud-thug culture, women tend to see men as studs or duds. They prefer studs, but studs tend to be unreliable since they go for more action. So, there are the duds who may be nicer and more reliable, but women weaned on rap music and Hollywood movies don't like them.

Sam L. said...

Women are the victims of their feminist overlords.