Just How Universal Is the 80/20 Rule?

Deep Strength had a post up a few weeks ago where he looked at how Tinder reaffirmed the 80/20 rule. The post is short, so go there to read it in full. I was not surprised by this result, in fact I would have predicted it if asked given the OKCupid numbers.  What led me to create this separate post is the following comment by Deep Strength:

The ‘most attractive’ men have a disproportionate amount of female attention and can pretty much pick and choose who to bang (if secular) or to marry (if Christian).

I happen to agree with that statement. But it got me thinking about the assumptions involved in it. What I would like to know is this:

Is the 80/20 rule truly universal? That is, does it apply to every “market?”

Tinder and OKCupid are specific markets. They cater to specific (and somewhat different) crowds. Those crows would be secular in nature, and with Tinder especially, focused on those looking for casual sex. So I would expect people to argue that the numbers apply only to those markets.

But my own experiences back up the 80/20 rule. I see which men in Christian (specifically Catholic) circles the women crush on. And it is the same handful of men. I hear this same thing from other Christian men- especially here on the sphere.

Everything leads me to believe that the rule is universal one, and doesn’t depend on the particular market in question. I invite my readers to offer their own take on this. Am a right? Wrong? Somewhere in between?

 

57 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Sexual Strategies, Women

57 responses to “Just How Universal Is the 80/20 Rule?

  1. fuzziewuzziebear

    Donal,
    I hope that you are sitting and have set your coffee down. The OkCupid statistics go back to 2009. Hypergamy has gotten worse since then. The Tinder study has a very small sample, so it is only good for qualitative analysis. According to him, the top twenty percent are choosing among the top seventy eight percent of women, while the bottom eighty percent of men have to compete for the remaining twenty two percent of women. I think his numbers are too optimistic. According to Tinder’s own numbers, a man has “like” eighteen times more women than a woman has to to get the same number of matches.
    Internet dating should work. The problem is that hypergamy is unleashed and choice addiction sets in because the pool is so large. I came to this corner of the internet to figure out why I wasn’t having any luck with internet dating. This is the sum of it after years. Women got greedy and wrecked it.

  2. fuzziewuzziebear

    I have to add to that. A few months ago, I saw lots of positive posts about Tinder on Reddit. They qualified it as a hookup app. I am not seeing that anymore. Also, I heard one person describe OkCupid as dead.

  3. The 80/20 rule applied to my experience with Catholic Match. I got lots of attention from the 40+ crowd and chubby girls, they know they have to be aggressive. If I ever try online dating again I’ll probably get a professional photographer.
    On the other hand I do know one very pretty girl who routinely dates ugly guys just because they are Catholics and still hasn’t managed to find a husband, so the market is pretty poor even for girls willing to date down.

  4. On the other hand I do know one very pretty girl who routinely dates ugly guys just because they are Catholics and still hasn’t managed to find a husband, so the market is pretty poor even for girls willing to date down.

    Huh? Ugly guys are refusing to marry a very pretty girl?

  5. Roman Lance

    80/20 for Catholic women…pffffttt! It’s more like 90/10 or higher. They want someone who will adore them like the Blessed Virgin Mary, and roger them like a $1,000 call girl, only nice like, they are good girls after all.

    I feel sorry for most of my catholic confreres, the expectations leveled upon them from their wives and their parish communities are atmospheric.

    Fortunately for me I don’t give a crap about their expectations anymore, but I have seen many a man broke-back and bent-over from a life of catering to these women and communities.

    I say let the Awesome 10% have them.

  6. Larry

    “I see which men in Christian (specifically Catholic) circles the women crush on. And it is the same handful of men.”

    Could you explain what you mean by this? “Catholic circles”? “Catholic women”? I’m almost 50 and I’ve never seen any of that. And I’m pretty observant; I would notice them if they existed. Parishes in my area have no social network where one might meet other singles.

  7. Novaseeker

    It applies in every market in terms of attraction — it doesn’t necessarily apply in terms of selection.

    What does that mean?

    It means that women in all markets are attracted to the 20% — it may not be exactly the same men for every woman, but every woman is attracted to who, in her mind, is the top 20% of men in any given market (that is, guys whom she views as being in the top 20% of men in her mind who are available to her in that situation). Christian, non-Christian, offline, online, US, overseas, etc.

    However, not all women can *have* one of the top 20% as a long-term mate/husband so they also select men outside the 20% when it comes to husband selection — notice, *not* when it comes to dating/relationships/hookups before she is in husband hunting mode.

    This is why places like Tinder and OKC and online dating generally are so terrible for men. These are often places where the women are looking for various things — some may be husband hunting, but a lot are just date hunting, and with Tinder a lot are just hookup hunting. When it comes to “just dating” and hookups, women are at their most selective, and more or less demand the men who are, in their own minds, the top 20% available to them — women are a LOT pickier when it comes to short term and hookups than they are when it comes to husbands, in terms of raw *attraction* — they are of course also looking for other traits in husbands, so they are trading down in attraction when those other traits are present, whereas in short term they are just looking for raw attraction, so they are extremely, extremely selective when it comes to selection for short term dating, and hookups. That is why we see the behavior we do on Tinder and OKC and so on.

    When it comes to selecting husbands, however, women are looking at a broader array of traits, and will trade down in raw attraction to get them, also realizing that not all of them can have a top 20% (again a guy who is, to her, a top 20% guy in her own mind) guy for a husband. Not so for shorter term dating.

    A significant issue arises, of course, where the social structures provide that marriages arise from “dating” situations which always begin ambiguously and could turn out only to be short term dating situations. That means that even though a woman may be open to marrying a guy if it were to work out that way, she sees it as a short term dating situation at least at the outset, and applies those criteria. So most men are excluded per the 80/20 rule, because it’s a short-term dating situation, or at least “could end up being that”. This applies less in situations where it is unambiguous from the outset that it is not a short term dating situation, but this is rare in the general market — which leads to a lot of frustration for both sexes.

    At the end of the day the issues all arise from this conundrum. The current husband/wife selection market relies on dating, and dating is ambiguous at the outset for the most part — it could end up being long term or marital, or it could end up being short term. Because of that most of the time women in general market dating are using their shorter-term lenses in dating situations, at least before they are at the age where they are very explicit that they are only husband hunting and not doing short term dating (if they ever get there … some women never do, actually, because not willing to give up those short term criteria even when husband selecting) — and those short-term lenses exclude most men (in her eyes) because of women’s tendency to be very picky on raw attraction criteria when assessing for potentially short term situations. It all arises from the trouble with linking dating and marriage.

  8. stmichaelkozaki

    DG: Everything leads me to believe that the rule is universal one, and doesn’t depend on the particular market in question.

    The rule must be universal since all markets are playing the same game. We know this from genetic studies; just like waist/hip ratios are 0.7/0.95 for F/M everywhere because they are genetically superior, women must chase the most successful men to breed with. It’s not an choice over time, it’s a genetic result. All the women who did the “honorable thing” and picked willingly from mid-tree slowly slipped into the dustbin of history. Human survival is not objective here, since humans are their own greatest Darwinian threat. Rather, survival is graded on a curve, and only the top men pass on their genetics over time. Women must accept that reality, that their offspring’s survival depend on getting into the upper half of male success. That’s just how God made things.

    <blockquote:DP: On the other hand I do know one very pretty girl who routinely dates ugly guys just because they are Catholics and still hasn’t managed to find a husband, so the market is pretty poor even for girls willing to date down.

    Yep. As empty as the girl tree is I would not want to be a girl in the dating market these days. Men can at least lead and create their environment, be part of the top 1/3%, and thus attract a worthy young girl. Girls OTOH have to get lucky and wait/hope for him to arrive within the 10 yr window. I’d rather be a dude in the MM today (unless I was F8+). In fact, I don’t think things have ever been easier for men to set themselves apart than today. Women? Not so much.

  9. be part of the top 1/3%, and thus attract a worthy young girl. Girls OTOH have to get lucky and wait/hope for him to arrive within the 10 yr window. I’d rather be a dude in the MM today (unless I was F8+). In fact, I don’t think things have ever been easier for men to set themselves apart than today. Women? Not so much.

    I think its time for a med check. You probably need to up the dosage or switch prescriptions.

  10. Universal and non-universal.

    Non-universal in the extent that the artificial status of just being a man that used to be in society helped “prop up” male attractiveness to a fairly decent extent. This is why feminism has been trying to tear at patriarchy in the first place because they envied the status that men have just for just being men (not to mention jobs and whatever else they also envy).

    Overall, you could say that successful civilizations stem from the fact that men have position over women both in marriage, occupation, and so on. Feminism’s analysis of this situation that women are dependent on men is correct. But unfortunately they get it totally wrong in that driving women to become like men tends to make the whole system fall apart because of destabilizing the normal assortive mating that happens with the positioning of men above women. You can the dystopia that we have today, among other factors.

    I think it’s universal in the sense that all things being equal, both women and men would prefer the most attractive spouse they can get. But since womens’ attraction is not all objective like men’s (female beauty is generally fairly independent of other women), women tend more toward men who distinguish themselves from other men via power, status, and so on. I think this is why polygyny is not necessarily condemned in the Scripture in specific circumstances, but it is definitely pushed toward the fringe and not considered ideal. A king like David who could take care of multiple wives much better than say some random poor person was allowed by God and offered more albeit not in a sinful manner.

    I think we’ve gone over this some before at least a few years ago when we considered assortive mating the artificial propping up of men’s ladder to so to speak

  11. Novaseeker

    Non-universal in the extent that the artificial status of just being a man that used to be in society helped “prop up” male attractiveness to a fairly decent extent.

    Yes, I agree with this. The subsidy was taken away, when the market was “liberalized”, and now it’s a free for all where the hierarchy (there’s always one, regardless of what the fems like to claim) is: top 20 men –> top 60 women –> next 30 men –> next 30 women –> next 30 men –> last 10 women –> last 20 men. Women are higher in the SMV hierarchy at every level other than the very top one, where the top men rule (because they are in very high demand from almost all women). Assortative mating in today’s scale *is* a 75th percentile man with a 40-60th percentile woman, in the eyes of most women, because 60% of women have higher hierarchy in the SMV than 80% of the men, roughly. They see that as assortative under these circumstances, because the unsubsidized sex hierarchy has most men as losers, naturally. Just is how it is. It’s a big reason why most guys never reproduced.

    One could take it further and say that the reason why women are so unattracted to most men is that too many men mated under the subsidy system who had no “natural” business mating, and created generations of very unattractive offspring, which is especially problematic on the male side of the offspring due to hypergamous attraction on the female side. One could argue that this situation is correcting itself in the current market, where things are returning to the intended setup of a few men getting most of the mating, and most men not having any business mating.

  12. earlthomas786

    It’s probably universal when it comes to sex and hookups and not as universal when it comes to marriage.

    For example is there the flipside 80/20 rule when it comes to men choosing who they get married to? Probably not…certainly the top 20% of marriage type women are most likely going to get married unless they are outrageously picky, but marriage stats certainly don’t portray the bottom 80% of women stay unmarried.

  13. earlthomas786

    Yep. As empty as the girl tree is I would not want to be a girl in the dating market these days. Men can at least lead and create their environment, be part of the top 1/3%, and thus attract a worthy young girl. Girls OTOH have to get lucky and wait/hope for him to arrive within the 10 yr window. I’d rather be a dude in the MM today (unless I was F8+). In fact, I don’t think things have ever been easier for men to set themselves apart than today. Women? Not so much.

    I agree…it took me a long time to realize that. Even in a world where it seems like the relationship dynamics are all on the woman’s side…men still have the power to lead and create if they so choose to use those gifts. Women have to wait for that to happen or get desperate and start asking guys out.

  14. Some folk’s comments weren’t going through. That should hopefully be fixed now.

  15. Scott

    So I was kind of interested in doing these numbers on some actual, quantifiable data points in my own life, since Mychael and I met online, and I quickly rounded up some stats that were pretty easy to find.

    But first, my experience with online dating was pretty much that I would have to send out roughly 10-20 interest emails “hey, I saw your profile, here’s mine. Give me a call” a week and would usually have at least one date by Friday (on the weeks I was actually engaged with the website. Sometimes I was just way too busy to look at it at all). I would normally get about 1-5 unsolicited interest emails from women, and almost never returned them. (That is, the ones interested in me I almost never found attractive. I had to initiate with the attractive ones).

    At the time I met Mychael, I “looked” like this:

    Age: 33
    Rank in the Army: 51st percentile.
    Income: Bottom 50% (off the charts low, graduate student)
    Height: 75th percentile
    Education: 92nd percentile

    Right now:

    Age: 46
    Rank in the army: 82nd percentile
    Income: 83rd percentile
    Height: 75th percentile
    Education: 99th percentile

    Obviously, I am not dating now. But I still confounded by these kinds of numbers and manosphere posts because I think I did well but had almost nothing going for me (quantifiably speaking) at the time I got married.

  16. Scott

    Correction, I was 35 when I met Mychael.

  17. Scott

    As far the “80%” piece, I am of course quite biased. But if you take a look at my 10 year anniversary post, you’ll note the very first photo. That picture was taken the week after we started dating.

    https://americandadweb.wordpress.com/2017/08/26/double-digits/

  18. Scott

    Sorry to keep multi-posting.

    Keep in mind that in 2006, I was not a regular church attendee. This was straight up, secular divorced dude dating. I don’t know anything about the manosphere, “n counts” or any of that stuff.

    Just using the old set of rules, jumping from one LTR (which I usually define as >3 months with monogamous physical relationship) to the next until finding “the one”

  19. stmichaelkozaki

    S: doing these numbers on some actual, quantifiable data points [age/rank/income/height/ed]

    To me, the 20% is hard to quantify with objective metrics as above. It’s like porn: hard to define but easy to recognize. Standards are indeed objective but are given on a curve dependent on one’s local SES.

    This is why media is so devastating to the lower SES groups (it exposes the upper SES to wide-eyed hot women who can and do jump ship). This is less problematic for those who create effective sub-cultures and young marriage (say Mennonites, Mormons, or trads).

  20. LOL Scott.

    Just a wild guess…but you are not in the 80%. Probably why your experience doesn’t track with the overall narrative.

    Not everyone’s does, and that is okay.

  21. Scott, Elspeth is correct that you are not part of the 80%. Probably never have been.

  22. Kate

    The way to present this to women is to explain that marriage is not a guarantee. If they want to shoot for the 20%men, they’d better be a 20%woman or there’s a far greater chance they won’t end up married.

  23. earl

    But I still confounded by these kinds of numbers and manosphere posts because I think I did well but had almost nothing going for me (quantifiably speaking) at the time I got married.

    Well much like in baseball…analytics and statistics only tell part of the story.

    While I don’t know how much things like height, income, or skills goes into the ‘20%’ stat, a lot of it probably has to do with things outside of stats. A lot goes into how good are you at being a man…and let’s not forget the women have free will in what they choose to be attracted to as well. You can’t put those traits into a number.

  24. @ Kate

    That is a whole ‘nother ball of wax to tackle there- Getting women to understand where they fall is no easy thing. Especially in this age.

  25. Anonymous Reader

    Donal:
    The answer to your question is “yes”, echoing multiple other comments.
    “Yes” in a global sense and “yes” in a limited sense, it always applies and any NAWALT’s just highlight how universal 80/20 is.

    Kate
    The way to present this to women is to explain that marriage is not a guarantee

    Sure, that’s got to work. Because women always respond so well to logic, as the 80/20 rule clearly demonstrates.

  26. feeriker

    If they want to shoot for the 20%men, they’d better be a 20%woman or there’s a far greater chance they won’t end up married.

    Most women already think that they are in the top 20 percent, which is why they fail so spectacularly when they collide head-first with reality. As Anonymous Reader just reminded us, women don’t cope very well with logic or cause and effect, nor do they respond with anything but indignant offense at the idea that they 1) work on improving themselves in order to attract a suitable husband, or 2) adjust their expectations to accord with reality.

  27. earlthomas786

    The way to present this to women is to explain that marriage is not a guarantee.

    You must not know how much the modern Western woman doesn’t really care about that. They got their career, their exotic trips, their shopping sprees, their wine, and loads of empty male attention. Even the ones who say they do eventually betray their own lips when a prospect comes in.

  28. stmichaelkozaki

    feerik: Most women think they are top 20% & why they fail so spectacularly

    Not really. They know the truth but are more realistic and less romantic than men. A book that helped me understand this paradox: Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. Granted it’s about poor women but it goes a long way in describing how women react to marriage/sexual relations in general. An eye-opener, for most men to visualize how strong the Darwinian call for women to breed with a higher-class man is. It blows away our modern lighthearted cultural approbation to “settle” for a beta and “do the right thing”. So we turn to men in the hope they will take one for the tribe. Hey, it saves us tax dollars, right?

    No, women would much rather breed with the top 20% than go beta to better invest in said child. And this grim choice makes genetic sense for her, she is better off with good genetics than good training and good manners for her spawn. We know this from the genetic data. We know this from our experience (parenting has little effect on outcome). We know it from dating services data. The only way to prevent women from slutting? a) religious instruction, b) social pressure, c) self-interest (starvation), d) interest of child survival (child starving). The analogy I like best? Imagine having a harem at your disposal and try to get me to convince you to give it up. Maybe 20%. But this is old news. Muslims invented an entire culture & religion to match to harness women’s temperament. And if Europe’s demographics are any indication, it seems to be working.

    But the way it plays out in the West: outside of the religious, women chase the top 20% in hope and breed with the to 40% when things get desperate & they settle. QED.

  29. earlthomas786

    A lot of women who think they are in the top 20% are basing it off things that aren’t actually what men consider top 20%.

    We don’t prefer women with sexual experience (especially if you are marriage minded).
    We don’t care she has a degree and or career.
    We don’t think big is beautiful.
    We don’t really like it when she tries to talk or curse like a man.
    Having great consumer skills isn’t an asset.

  30. Larry

    I have written before that I really don’t understand 90% of what you people write. Hip/waist ratios and scoring systems and crazy acronyms out the wazoo.

    Nobody responded to my comment above, so I’ll try again. In nearly 50 years on the planet and almost 30 years of being a reasonably faithful mass-attending Catholic living on my own, I’ve NEVER met any like-minded single Catholic women. You people write about a “marketplace” that simply does not exist.

    Yes, earlthomas, I would prefer that a woman has a degree and a career, because that means she developed the talents that God gave her instead of waiting for a sugar daddy. One who attends mass every week, and tries to live by the church’s moral rules, as I’ve tried to do. That’s my baseline. But since the parishes in my area provide no social opportunites, it’s always been a non-starter.

  31. earlthomas786

    I would prefer that a woman has a degree and a career, because that means she developed the talents that God gave her instead of waiting for a sugar daddy. One who attends mass every week, and tries to live by the church’s moral rules, as I’ve tried to do.

    I want to see traits that she can run a household and be a good mother. I don’t know of any degree and very few careers that can show that. However I think it is more important about things like you mentioned after.

  32. earlthomas786

    The two careers women do I consider an upside would be teachers and nurses.

  33. Larry

    I assume you selected those careers because they make a tangible contribution to society. I agree, but there are many many other careers that do that. As opposed to college majors such as art history or women’s studies or other worthless degrees.

  34. I don’t know of any degree and very few careers that can show that

    My grandmother earned a home-ec degree. I don’t think they have any of those anymore, but if they did I would definitely look at the women with those kinds of degrees.

  35. DJ

    First let’s consider what the 80/20 rule says 80% of women agree that they find the same 20 percent of men attractive. Meaning these men are attractive to the majority.

    This doesn’t mean that the other 80% of men are not attractive it means that they are less Universally attractive.

    So perhaps the goal should be to look for someone that suits them. There is no point in being universally attractive if you only want one woman. A better strategy to find this woman is to be what you are and consistently improving for yourself, (ie don’t invent a false personalty to attract a woman) this narrows down the options and allows easier filtering for one that suits you specifically.

    The only real reason someone would be bothered by the 80/20 rule then is if their goal is multiple sexual partners.

  36. As empty as the girl tree is I would not want to be a girl in the dating market these days. Men can at least lead and create their environment, be part of the top 1/3%, and thus attract a worthy young girl. Girls OTOH have to get lucky and wait/hope for him to arrive within the 10 yr window.

    Nonsense. The majority of men have no hope of rising to the top 20%. And girls have a wide array of available methods to improve their chances in the mating market.

  37. Huh? Ugly guys are refusing to marry a very pretty girl?

    Yeah, it sounds like a BS story. It simply doesn’t add up.

  38. I’ve recently read a book on tank warfare (don’t ask). It briefly discussed the experiences of Soviet female tank crew members, and the general attitude towards them. (Only in the Soviet army were women permitted to serve in combat roles.) These women usually competed for the attention of the highest-ranking officer they could find, and ignored the rest.

  39. “Yeah, it sounds like a BS story. It simply doesn’t add up.”
    Nope, true story. It is of course an anecdote and should be taken as such: there may be factors I’m unaware of or this just may be a particular case of bad luck. But it does seem to me that the dating market is not easy for serious Catholic girls.

  40. earl

    But it does seem to me that the dating market is not easy for serious Catholic girls.

    It’s not, but don’t underestimate their ability to shoot themselves in the foot too. All those Catholic girls will have friends, sisters, co-workers, etc. putting bad ideas into their psyche…and some are deceived by it.

  41. anonymous_ng

    Larry, I’m not sure what is your question, but I’ll take a stab at things.

    I suspect what Donal was saying about his experience in Catholic circles is his local parish, perhaps other local parishes as well, possibly a Catholic high school or college, or a Catholic group at the college he attended(I’m making an assumption here as I don’t know that he attended college etc.).

    Then, you wrote that the parishes in your area don’t provide any social opportunities to meet women. I understand that as well. Most churches are more akin to a movie theater. Everyone shows up a few minutes before the start of things, and when it’s over, it’s off to your car and back to your own life.

    Also, there isn’t much opportunity during the Mass to see where the young women are directing their attention. That might be happening in the youth group, or perhaps Donal was referring to Catholic women at his high school etc.

    The bottom line is that Catholic women are still American women. They’ve still grown up simmering in the same soup as the rest of us.

    You comment about having never met a like-minded Catholic woman is telling. My understanding is that regardless of denomination, most young men, and young women will still follow the secular life plan of leaving home, going off to college, finding a professional job, dating around, getting married, having kids, and then returning to the church.

    One thought I’ve had for a while is that there may be a higher percentage of young, devout, single people attending services at parishes and churches near the downtown areas of large cities. My thought process there is that most couples with small children move to the suburbs. Most young people post college move to the downtown areas. This then gives the appearance that they’ve all turned their back on the church as they’ve disappeared from their local parish, but they may be devoutly attending services elsewhere.

    None of that changes that they’re making life choices in line with that life script which says not to marry too soon, that your 20s is the time for adventure, and to travel the world etc.

    First consider that only a small percentage of people are truly devout, or devout enough to eschew fornication. That rarity is then synonymous with scarcity. Then, of that small percentage of potential partners, add in the intangibles of attraction, and the odds of meeting a woman like that and marrying is pretty small.

    I think this is along the lines of what you were asking.

  42. stmichaelkozaki

    anonymous_ng: That rarity is then synonymous with scarcity.

    Good comment, But one of the issues I have with it? No recognition of personal responsibility. Men & women blame each other, the local church, the previous generation, parents, whomever. But never themselves. That’s who I blame. I’ve never seen such a shortage of marriageable men and women as today. And next year will be worse.

    What I’m about to say isn’t popular, but if anyone is having trouble dating today, look in the mirror not at the world. There is a factual flat-out shortage of good men/women out there, period, in every market, religious or no. If you are F20-35 yo or M25-50 yo, physically fit (BMI 21), dress well (tailored, shoes), and are masculine/feminine/serious in manner and life,you are in demand.. Period.

    When I dated, I used to think I was fit. But I actually had a BMI of 25. I used to think I dressed decent, but never tailored & wore tennis shoes alot. Married at 27 but had I met my standards above? I couldn’t have stayed free past 22 yo. Why? Because there are too many desperate women out there. Of course, the problem is they all suck too. But like attracts like, so I had nobody to blame but myself.

    Anymore, when I hear laments about dating/marriage I just ask for their height/weight & quick calc their BMI. Then ask if they tailor and wear real shoes. Then how many pull-ups they can do (if a guy) or how often they wear a skirt (girl).. Then nod knowingly. Since it always checks out.

  43. Larry

    I take responsibility for having 100% focus on college, grad school and career start-up until about age 28. For not sleeping around during those years, unlike almost everyone else I knew. I’d do it all that way again if I had to. Does that make me “devout”? To me, “devout” means novenas and retreats and weekday masses, and I don’t do any of those things. I’m just what used to be called an “average” Catholic.

    I also now realize that I totally failed to see how the social life of Catholic parishes died out… right at the time when I could have used it. It wasn’t till my mid-thirties that I realized that I didn’t know, or even know of, any single Catholic women in my area. And never had. And had no idea what to do about it. That’s all on me.

    I can’t agree that young people leave the church but return after marriage and kids. Look at the demographics of your local parish to easily see that isn’t true. Young people have been leaving and NEVER returning for more than a full generation now. Especially the “average Catholics”, in my view. They are indeed rare and scarce.

    Also, the idea that young singles live “downtown” and later move to the “suburbs” is straight out of the 1950’s. It hasn’t been so for decades. My metro area is essentially one giant suburb. There are no “downtown” parishes at all.

    And the poster who declares his personal preferences for pull-ups and BMI and shoes and skirts? Wow. I’ll get my fashion guidance elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

    My bottom line has always been: if I knew single Catholic women, I’d try to get to know them, and date any that interested me. But in almost thirty years as a grownup, I’ve never known any. Game over.

  44. earlthomas786

    Anymore, when I hear laments about dating/marriage I just ask for their height/weight & quick calc their BMI.

    You do know BMI doesn’t take into account if the weight comes from muscle or fat right? Body fat percentage is a better indicator.

    Anywho 6’4″ 225…it’s a BMI of 27.3.

    Then ask if they tailor and wear real shoes. Then how many pull-ups they can do (if a guy).

    Clothes could improve, wear real shoes…I can do 10-15 pull up.

    So have my superficials reveal why women I date keep deciding to break up?

    Sometimes you got to look at world…you have to figure out what forces are out their deceiving and lying to people into blaming each other or making the opposite sex unattractive.

  45. stmichaelkozaki

    E: BMI doesn’t take into account weight comes from muscle or fat.

    I’ve heard this so many times I expect it. Lifted weights my whole life but the only time I was truly fit and looked good was when my BMI was exactly on (I’m 6′). It’s a 1/100 man who exceeds his BMI due to muscle, but I’ve heard at least 1/4 make this protest (Michael Jordan is usually invoked tho). Guys who finally find their BMI (usually from ditching carbs & eating protein/fat) are usually shocked at what they were really meant to look and feel like; it’s 90% diet, 10% weights. Every man has a 6 pack, it’s just hidden behind fat.

    So have my superficials reveal…

    I don’t find them superficial; they usually are a reflection of the truth. Shoes and physique and 10 seconds? Usually enough for me. Girls think so too.

    L: pull-ups/BMI/shoes? Wow. I’ll get my fashion guidance elsewhere…in [30 yrs] I’ve never known any [RC]. Game over.

    Well, you seem to agree with me. At least by results.

  46. earl

    I’ve heard this so many times I expect it.

    As have I. Once I went the body fat percentage route…that makes more sense as far as how fit you are in regards to body weight. Should be 17% or less and preferably around 10-14%.

  47. stmichaelkozaki

    E: Once I went the body fat percentage route…that makes more sense as far as how fit you are in regards to body weight.

    Since BMI is easier to calculate less error prone in measuring than fat, why not use it? Answer: everyone is too fat to use BMI so seek alternatives. Look, any guy over his BMI yet in good cardio/lifting shape (say run a 10k fast, do 25 pull-ups, bench 1.5X BW) is such a monster fat is a moot point.

    But all this is oblique to the point. Bottom line: 9/10 American men past 25 are not fit and thus not very attractive. Women are even worse. It’s a race to the bottom, the excuses are everywhere, so anyone with solid BMI, careful attire, and active living cleans house in SMV ’cause it’s graded on a curve.

  48. anonymous_ng

    @Larry, I’m not Catholic, so I’m only guessing there. Most of my life was spent in the Protestant and Evangelical churches, and it’s a common story there that people leave the church after high school, and return once the kids are born. Now, I’m Orthodox, but that’s only been about six years, and I don’t have enough data to make a strong conclusion there.

    The downtown versus suburbs is only a guess that I’ve not put much research into.

    @Michael, your greater point is very true. Starting after college, lots of people really let themselves go, and BMI is a reasonable proxy for most people. Then, to the extent that exceptions exist, they don’t invalidate the rule.

    Then, the large point is that almost no one finds a large percentage of the population attractive. After you make that cut, then of the remainder, try finding someone who is devoutly a part of your religious tradition. After that cut has been made, then try and find those people as that tiny percentage are spread out across the country and the odds of any given man and woman who fit those criteria finding each other is vanishingly small, and there is still no guarantee there will be a mutual attraction.

  49. Scott is definitely in the 20% club (but has a hard time accepting the fact). He’s tall, fit, and smart.

  50. Novaseeker

    So perhaps the goal should be to look for someone that suits them. There is no point in being universally attractive if you only want one woman. A better strategy to find this woman is to be what you are and consistently improving for yourself, (ie don’t invent a false personalty to attract a woman) this narrows down the options and allows easier filtering for one that suits you specifically.

    The only real reason someone would be bothered by the 80/20 rule then is if their goal is multiple sexual partners.

    Not really, no.

    The reason is that it much harder for men to “find someone who suits them” if they are not attractive to most women, but only attractive to a much smaller subset of women.

    There are a few reasons for this. One is that who knows how to identify this subset of women to begin with. It isn’t based on “shared interests”, that’s for certain. You may find friends that way, male and female, and be able to network that way to perhaps be exposed to more women overall and find one you like who likes you, so it isn’t useless, but in itself shared interests doesn’t make a woman find you attractive — not in my 50 years of experience at least. This is, in fact, the exact dynamic one finds in most church singles groups or young people’s groups or what have you — these people all have quite a lot in common, presumably, if they are all committed Christians, but it doesn’t make them find each other attractive, and the women who are in any way attractive gravitate towards the most attractive men, just as you find in any other setting or context.

    A second reason, which is basically intuitive, is that this is just a small body of women — that makes it harder to find one in an objective sense as compared to someone who is just more “generally” attractive. If there are 10000 women in a city, and only 50 of them are in your niche, it’s harder to come across one of them — and, as I point out above, trying to do it through “shared interest groups” is not very fruitful, typically.

    A third reason is that it takes two to tango. It isn’t just about finding the women who are into your niche of the 80% in terms of how you look/act/present and so on, it’s about finding one of them whom you yourself find attractive enough to marry. Again, this is a numbers game as well — if your pool is smaller, it takes longer to find mutual attraction than if the pool is larger. Another way of saying that is that even if you could magically arrange for all the women in town who are into your niche (whether that’s interest or style/physique/height/etc) to be in the same room at the same time, if there are only 10 of them, you may find none of them attractive enough to be interested in marrying them, simply because of the numbers game.

    When I was young, in my early 20s, I tried this niche strategy. It didn’t work at all, really, because (1) the women in my interest niche were no more (or less, for that matter) prone to be attracted to me than the women outside my interest niche and (2) trying to find women who were interested in whatever physical niche I was at the time was impossible because women are not organized that way. It turned out to be a waste of time. Online dating would appear in theory to provide the kind of “bilateral filtering” to make this strategy work better, but it does not, because of the overwhelming imbalance of interest expressed between the sexes that basically makes online dating useless for men who are not “generally attractive”.

    A much better approach than the niche approach is the approach MK recommends above — become one of the 20% (or very close to it). His point is that this isn’t hard to do because of how awfully unattractive most people are today, so that if you get your BMI in order, get tailored clothes and proper shoes, and stay physically fit, you’re either in the top 20%, or close enough to it that it doesn’t matter in practice. Then you can go into your niche groups of women *you* like for whatever reason and rest assured a good number of them will be interested in you as well, because you are just more generally attractive than most people. You can filter away, based on morals/religion/history/family — as much as you like, because you have a large enough pool to actually filter with. That, in my experience, is a much better approach, even if you have no interest whatsoever in multiple sex partners or the casual sex scene.

    It’s an important discussion, really, because a good number of people are following other approaches and wondering why they are failing — when the reason is quite simple: they aren’t attractive enough, period.

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