An Unsettling Evaluation

In the past couple of days I have been carrying on a discussion with a reader of mine about my “The Way We Met” series. The principal topic has been the question of “settling.” It was prompted by his observation that a number of the more traditional minded Catholic unmarried Catholic women are in their late 20s and early 30s. [The how and why of that is not the topic of this post.] From his perspective they at least seemed outwardly chaste.

What he was curious about was the effect of their settling versus a woman with a long and/or troubled “history.” Here are some questions he asked:

  • As a man, should you care if a woman is settling for you, assuming that she has been chaste?
  • Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?
  • How do you find out or realize this is happening?
  • What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?

Those are his questions, slightly rephrased. And good questions they are, too. I invite my readers to try and answer them to the best of their abilities. At the same time, I would like to keep the conversation focused on this particular topic.

[Note: In a couple of days I intend to create a post in reverse of this- advice for women about men settling. Mayhaps it might be useful for some of my female readers, or women they know.]

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27 Comments

Filed under Alpha Widow, Attraction, Blue Pill, Courtship, Hypergamy, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sexual Strategies, Women

27 responses to “An Unsettling Evaluation

  1. These are my quick and dirty first thoughts.

    As a man, should you care if a woman is settling for you, assuming that she has been chaste?

    Yes, you should care very much if she is settling for you, even if she has been chaste. When it comes to commitment, most women settle on the sexual attraction part in favor of getting the security and commitment they want. Most women cannot get a man they’re sexually attracted to, to commit to them.

    You should care about this because it will likely affect your sex life, and the health of your marriage. If she’s not sexually attracted to you, she won’t want to have sex. And when she does have sex with you, she’ll make every effort to control every aspect of your sex life. When, where, how you have sex, the kinds of sex you have, how often. You will have no control over your sex life; and you’ll be totally at her mercy on it. A poor sex life will wreak absolute havoc on your marriage.

    Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?

    Yes, because a woman’s attitude toward chastity reflects her overall attitude toward sex, love and relationships. An unchaste woman tends to view sex as a tool to get what she wants and needs, a weapon with which to bludgeon men, or a shield with which to protect herself. A chaste woman tends to view sex as something intimate between two people who love and care about each other.

    How do you find out or realize this is happening?

    How do you know if a woman is settling for you? Look for signs of waning attraction. She might be smiling less, turning away when you touch or kiss her, or be in a foul mood more often. Look for things she says about you and other men she’s known, dated or had sex with. Compare and contrast the men she used to date with you. If there’s a stark difference between you and the other guys, that’s a red flag, because it indicates a rapid radical shift in her dating/sexual strategy. (That will require some brutal honesty on your part, and some killing your ego.)

    One important sign is her age. If she is between the ages of 28 to 35, she is dating “intentionally”, looking for a man to marry. That will imply some settling. Another sign is her conditioning her further involvement/time spent with you, on indicia of commitment. The whole “you should buy me more gifts” statement, or “take me out for a night out, take me out to dinner”, etc.

    Another sign is her talking about marriage, wanting to get married, wanting children.

    Yet another sign is her pressing you for commitment – not for exclusivity, but for marriage. She has had her Epiphany Phase and is consolidating her strategy on you. She has decided to cash in her chips and wants to get married, and has decided you’re the most promising prospect/best she can do.

    What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?

    If you believe she’s settling for you, as in she is not sexually attracted to you and is looking to you for commitment because she thinks “well, you’re the best I can do, I guess”, you should end the relationship.

  2. Novaseeker

    A man should not be with a woman who is settling, regardless of whether she has been chaste or not, because she will be (1) not enthusiastic about you and (2) tempted to step out on you if the opportunity arises (which it eventually will). It makes no difference if she has been chaste in that sense — the temptation will still be there. If she has not been chaste then it’s also a case of competing with her memories. But most guys won’t be able to figure out whether she has been chaste or not if she is decent at hiding it and isn’t a total ho. If a guy finds himself in this scenario he should not continue the relationship.

    What to do? Obviously you need to make yourself into the guy that the woman isn’t settling for — you have to become the sexually attractive guy that she would “make a mistake” with.

  3. MK

    Should you care if a woman is settling for you?
    He shouldn’t care what she thinks, but ensure his SMV is always higher.

    Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?
    Hell yes. Not for sure a dealbreaker, but details/whys mandatory.

    How do you find out or realize this is happening?
    If this obtuse, you’re screwed. Sorry. Gotta know things.

    What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?
    Be irrationally self-confident. For real. Give her opportunities, yes encourage her, to go. Make women enlist with you so never chase or try to keep. And never place faith or hope in any man, let alone a woman. Life is too short and full of too many opportunities for you. Demand more.

  4. Leiff

    Once again Deti nails it, drops mic, walks off stage …

  5. Leiff:

    Thanks. But I think the biggest question is how to know whether she has been chaste or not. “Chaste” meaning not only her sexual “continence”, so to speak; but also her attitude and view of sex, love and relationships. Why does she have sex? What is its purpose? Why has she had sex in the past? Does she recognize the purpose of sex in a marriage?

    Does she also recognize that men view sex differently than women, and how men view sex? Is she sympathetic/empathetic to men’s views on sex? Does she understand that to men, sexual access to the woman’s body is the ultimate compliment a woman can pay a man? Does she understand that the male sex drive is orders of magnitude higher than hers is… until she gets around a man she is really, REALLY attracted to?

    “But most guys won’t be able to figure out whether she has been chaste or not if she is decent at hiding it and isn’t a total ho.”

    Yeah, and this is where, for lack of a better phrase, the ‘slut tells’ are useful. I won’t post them here; look around the sphere and you’ll find them. Heartiste has a good list.

  6. Leiff

    A lengthy, fairly-close association with a woman and her circumstances would be the best (maybe only) way to know if she is “chaste” or not according to your definition. There is an attractive young-ish (now 30) woman working on my floor whom I’ve been acquainted with for the last five years. She is single, dresses fashionably in ways that don’t hide her very nice figure, but are also fairly conservative. She is quite good at her job, too. Outwardly, she appears to be quite a catch. We’ve had lunch a few times when working on the same projects, but really I don’t know much about her personal life. But it seems to me that something must be wrong/broken for an attractive young woman like that to have wasted the best years of her life.

  7. If a woman has made it to 30 without ever having been married, and she wanted to be married, something went wrong somewhere.

    [DG: I kept this bit as a lead-off for a post sometime late next week. Don’t address it until that post, thank you.]

  8. Follow up:

    MK, I don’t think this can be fixed on a large scale, given current conditions on the ground. The best that can be done is pockets of the remnant/faithful here and there.

    I will say, though, that at least around here, women getting married when they want to is not a problem. No problem at all. If a woman wants to be married — really wants to — she can find a man willing to help her get that done. The key is that she wants to marry.

  9. @ MK:

    #1- I think a woman who has been chaste is less likely to be *settling* in the first place. I don’t think man should have to care because if the woman has the right spirit, it won’t matter all that much. However, given our cultural climate, and the fact that men are as infected with romanticism as women are (if not more so), I think a man would do better to steer clear if he has any doubts about the woman’s passion for him.

    #2- I think every man decides that for himself. Despite the rhetoric around these parts, and despite the standards we have set for our own children, it is naive to pretend that the vast majority of men place a high premium on a virgin bride. If that were the case, there would be far more couples at the altar who haven’t done the deed yet and chaste women wouldn’t get *nexted* in favor of women who put out. Yes, I know Christian men who nexted the good girl and married the one who put out. They have told my husband point blank that they did it. I don’t subscribe to the “No True Scotsman* theory of Christianity.

    #3 – I have no idea, only my own subjective experience as a woman.

    #4- What scenario exactly? If the question is about being *settled* for then I answered that at #1

  10. You absolutely, positively MUST have the sexual attraction component of marriage. Otherwise, it’s not a marriage. Marriage is a sexual relationship. You need sexual attraction for a sexual relationship. Going into marriage with the attitude of “well, if you enjoy sex with him, BONUS!!!” is the wrong way for women to approach it.

    Women should not be marrying any man they don’t want to get naked with all the time. If you don’t want to rip his clothes off and jump him every time you see him, DO NOT MARRY HIM.

    [DG: Left this one because it is more on-point than not, albeit in an indirect way.]

  11. As a man, should you care if a woman is settling for you, assuming that she has been chaste?

    I would care, but I’d pay attention to the circumstances. Settling is a subjective term.

    Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?

    Yes. If she was chaste (for me that means no genital contact): In this era that is almost always a sign of excellent character. Even if she is trying to be holier-than-thou: So what? She has integrity to hold out in a world where her sexual value is so highly inflated that she can spend a bunch of it and still be thought rich. The holier-than-thou problem is a different question, and should be evaluated separately.

    If she was not chaste: Did she repent, or does she chalk it up as a “learning experience that made her the amazing/complicated/sophisticated/beautiful person she is today”? Does she shrug it off? I would not accept anything short of “It was a huge mistake, and I regret it bitterly.” If you get that, then you still have to watch that she is both physically into you, but also trying to stay chaste–which is a hell of a line to walk for anyone. If she was humble about her unchastity, and into me, think I’d just marry her ASAP.

    How do you find out or realize this is happening?

    I probably can’t. This is a job best suited for friends and family to undertake.

    What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?

    I’d probably take the settler over the sinful past. You can impress someone who settles. Impressing the “adventurous” woman is tougher.

  12. MK

    Elspeth: got it.

    Deti: I don’t think this can be fixed on a large scale
    Yep. We ate our seed corn. Sewers flow with infant blood. This fire has just started. Gonna burn hot. The winnowing fork is in His hand…

    …around here, women get married when they want no prob
    Ha. Wait by the riverbank another decade. The floating bodies of used-up 30 yo chicks keeps getting younger around here.

    [DG: Not really on-topic, but not as disruptive. Also, uniquely disturbing enough to keep around.]

  13. Today was a long day for me. And then, when I get home, I come back to this thread. Oi.

    Will get out the broom tomorrow.

  14. Ok, I cleaned up most of the out of place comments. Lets try and keep that from happening again, shall we?

    Also, to clarify, the focus is on settling, not just chastity. The second two questions don’t really deal with it except indirectly.

  15. Ok, going to try and answer these questions now. Quick take on it.

    “As a man, should you care if a woman is settling for you, assuming that she has been chaste?”

    Yes, absolutely. A woman “settling” for you represents a huge risk to you in marriage. Whatever the nature/character of the woman, she is still a woman. If she is settling, that will have a considerable impact on her behavior in the marriage.

    “Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?”

    Yes, yes it does. At the very least it means that she won’t have any real man to compare you to. She won’t think to herself that “so and so was a better lover.” So on some levels it makes a huge difference.

    “How do you find out or realize this is happening?”

    It isn’t necessarily easy to determine if a woman is settling. If she is chaste, I think it might be harder. You would need to look at various “tells” to see how attracted she is to you. Sure, she can fake it. But not all the time. She will slip up at least occasionally. Look at the previous men she was with, or showed interest towards. Perhaps ask her who her ideal man was 5 years ago. Or 10. And now today.

    “What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?”

    Run, don’t walk is the general rule. Unless she is really exceptional otherwise (devout, chaste, attractive, feminine, etc.), the risks probably aren’t worth it. Now if you do find that rare gem, then it is time to get a feel for what her real preferences are. Are they somewhat attainable? Can you compensate by upping your attractiveness? Tough decisions to be made there.

  16. MK

    DG, A woman “settling” for you represents a huge risk to you in marriage. If she is settling, that will have a considerable impact on her behavior in the marriage.

    This is the prevailing opinion here, but there are problems with it. Think about it: women think 80% of men are “below average” (as per OK Cupid). So about 80% of women “settle” in their (air)heads.

    So the guy who won’t marry a woman who thinks she is settling? He prob ain’t gonna marry. And he’s especially not likely to marry a young woman.

    Speaking as an older married guy: 3/4 of women grow out of this fantasy in the first 5-10 yrs of marriage. But what’s really important (as always) is what he thinks. Men lead, women follow. Her thoughts won’t matter as long as he thinks (knows) he has settled (and by historical measures 75% of American women truly are below average; it’s a rare dude who doesn’t settle). And if he thinks this, so will she. And it will likely be fine.

  17. anonymous_ng

    John Ross, author of the novel Unintended Consequences used to participate in a couple online gun forums and got tagged as the relationship guy. From that he wrote a couple columns for his pre-blog blog Ross In Range.

    In one column, he made a comment that you shouldn’t date a divorced woman. If you ever meet the ex, you’ll find one of two things. Either he’s a pretty good, normal guy in which case, she frivorced him, or he’s a nut case in which case, she’s got poor decision making skills.

    Similarly, a woman that’s settling, that’s not really into you is choosing for practical reasons. No one thinks that the young woman with the fat, old rich guy is doing it for love. Or, she has a mistaken view of her MMV.

    If you both go in with a clear understanding of the terms of the deal, so be it. Frankly, I find so called gold-diggers to be refreshingly honest about what they’re trading and their expectations. That doesn’t mean they’re immune to frivorce, but at least it’s all upfront without the veneer of emotions and romance.

    Chaste or not, if she’s settling, it doesn’t bode well.

    How do you find out if she’s chaste or not? Frankly, you really can’t, but there’s been plenty of discussion in this little corner of the interwebz on the differences between the party girlz and the girls who are likely to be good wives. Beyond that, you can pray, and ask the opinion of some older folks around you as it’s so much easier to see things when you’re not involved.

    If you find yourself involved with a woman who is settling for you, bail out and keep looking, but be sure that you’re not deluded, and that you’re not projecting.

    Just one more random opinion.

  18. Pingback: A man’s take on potentially dating or marrying a woman with a past | Christianity and masculinity

  19. MK

    anon, How do you find out if she’s chaste or not? Frankly, you really can’t

    This is another “standard opinion” everyone seems to agree on. And again, it’s not true. Any guy who can’t tell if his future wife (this is somebody he should know extremely well and have tested for honesty) has been sexually active with other men is either not very bright, doesn’t care much about it (or about her), or just doesn’t want to know.

    Why not just ask her directly, explaining you will find out anyway if you marry? And watch her face as she answers? I could accurately tag 9/10 & I’m no Sherlock Holmes. Hell, I wouldn’t buy a used car without this level of suspicion!

    The real truth hiding behind the “you can’t know” lament? Men want to be free and independent, answering to nobody, and yet expect society and families to do the heavy lifting of keeping women chaste for them. Or: they want to pick the pretty flowers yet demand the garden to remain fresh and ripe. Snort.

  20. anon: “How do you find out if she’s chaste or not? Frankly, you really can’t”

    MK: “This is another “standard opinion” everyone seems to agree on. And again, it’s not true.”

    I don’t agree with this. And no, it’s not true. You might not know a woman’s exact N. Heck, most times even the woman herself isn’t sure. But you can know whether she is chaste or not, or whether she has a history of inchastity. There are all sorts of ways to tell whether she was or is unchaste, and yes, one way is to ask directly. I think a man offering his commitment is entitled to ask that, and to get as direct and straightforward an answer to that question.

    One way to assess it is to ask the question, and see how she reacts. If there’s hesitation, hemming, hawing, protesting, and judgment, well…..

    “Any guy who can’t tell if his future wife (this is somebody he should know extremely well and have tested for honesty) has been sexually active with other men is either not very bright, doesn’t care much about it (or about her), or just doesn’t want to know.”

    yep.

  21. Charity in and of itself doesn’t mean she isn’t settling.

    I’ve seen late 20s Christian girls who pined for the unattainable, with unrealistic self views. They might tick the chaste box but emotionally they sold out years ago to men out of their league.

    One particular gal I know got married to a guy despite not loving him. Couple of kids later they’re still married, but she’s never checked in to the relationship. They’re more like room mates.

  22. @ MK

    There might be a semantic thing going on, in terms of the difference between settling and compromising. Perhaps worth exploring the difference between the two, if one exists.

  23. MK

    DG, to me, men compromise, women always settle. Polygamy vs Hypergamy. Cinderella herself settled. Small kingdom. Bad dancer. Rotten timing. Bad wheels. She could have done better. Charming was a beta.

  24. Novaseeker

    It’s actually better to be single than to settle, but being single “properly” requires a lot of discipline that most people do not have in order to avoid falling into bad habits. This is true of both sexes.

  25. Pingback: An Unsettling Evaluation- Part 2 | Donal Graeme

  26. SirNemesis

    Does it even make a difference that she has been chaste?

    Yes, because a woman’s attitude toward chastity reflects her overall attitude toward sex, love and relationships. An unchaste woman tends to view sex as a tool to get what she wants and needs, a weapon with which to bludgeon men, or a shield with which to protect herself. A chaste woman tends to view sex as something intimate between two people who love and care about each other.

    Or the opposite, depending on the woman. An unchaste woman views sex as something to do with guys she likes (either because she enjoys having sex or because she cares about pleasing the guy she likes). A chaste woman views sex as something she has to give up reluctantly in exchange for a man marrying her.

  27. A chaste woman views sex as something she has to give up reluctantly in exchange for a man marrying her.

    I wouldn’t say that what you described is chaste, any more so than the part you quote Nemesis. Those are inferences one *might* be able to make. But you would need additional information about her character before doing so.

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