On Dalrock’s Incentives Matter, Jean comments:
We have a 22- year-old daughter who’s basically out of luck when it comes to getting married. There are just not enough suitable men to go around. Most worthwhile men in her age range are already married or engaged, and the rest who aren’t can command absolute perfection in the woman they choose. As parents, we really didn’t see that coming.
Our daughter is a debt-free virgin with no tattoos (haha), an 8/10 in appearance according to objective observers, fit and active, firm in her faith, kind and loyal, and would love to be a wife and SAHM more than anything else. Very not a feminist. She has a great sense of humor, but she’s reserved when she just meets people. She loves to cook and clean and decorate and make ordinary things special for the people she loves. On the downside, I guess for some, she has a degree and a career (that she’s very willing to give up for a family), lives on her own with her own money (too independent for some), she’s never dated anyone (which to some people is a red flag), and sometimes she has some acne (we’ve tried everything). She’s capable of driving a manual transmission and of doing manual labor (on missions trips or helping her dad around here), which I guess some people interpret as unfeminine (although the farm ladies at our church can do all that and more without becoming unfeminine). So she’s not terrible. Just not excellent enough to be chosen.
She’s constantly approached by the über-handsome PUA type who are quickly uninterested when they realize she’s not looking for one of them. But the men she’s attracted to—quiet Christian guys, handsome to her, productive, with good morals—never reciprocate her interest. I don’t know if they’re holding out for someone better or what. I keep hoping that eventually someone will realize he’s not going to get the ultimate dream girl and will settle for my daughter, but quite possibly not.
She’s starting to realize that she’s probably going to be left out of marriage and motherhood. It makes her sad, but she’s not willing to just grab someone to have someone and then make a train wreck of things. Her list of must-haves, as I outlined above, is short and pretty open, but there just isn’t anyone like that who’s interested in her, even though she’s done things “right” as a young woman.
This makes no sense at all. If your daughter really is what you say she is, she should have no trouble at all finding men who are interested. None whatsoever. There should be at least 5 men interested in her, and who have shown interest. I simply do not believe this. The only way this makes any sense is
–you live in a very small town and are isolated from most other people
–you live in an isolated, closed, cloistered religious group
–your daughter is sending signals of disinterest to men
I suspect this because you say she is reserved when just meeting people. Well, if your daughter really is attracted to “quiet Christian guys” with “good morals”, she’s going to have to step out a little and make that interest VERY VERY clear.
But the men she’s attracted to—quiet Christian guys, handsome to her, productive, with good morals—never reciprocate her interest. I don’t know if they’re holding out for someone better or what.
I don’t believe this either. She isn’t showing interest in them. If she really were showing interest in them, they’d notice and reciprocate. Your daughter could very, very easily get every single one of these men interested in her. Very easily.
Jean, there could be many things going on here. I don’t know. It could be any one or a combination of:
–Your daughter is not anywhere close to as physically attractive as you say she is.
–She isn’t really interested in these Christian men.
–If she is interested in these Christian men, she’s not showing it clearly enough.
–she’s sending signals to these Christian men that they are interpreting as disinterest, whether right or wrong.
–She isn’t as kind and nice as you think she is.
–You, and she, are isolated and cloistered.
–Her standards are too high.
–She isn’t really making herself available to men wanting to date her.
One of the things I’ve noticed more when talking to my wife is the differences in the way men and women rate attractiveness. I’ve somewhat explored this before, but women don’t really understand male attraction.
Women that my wife may rate an “8” I would only rate as a “6” in attractiveness and vice versa. The difference between an 8 and a 6 is pretty huge. The majority of men would be likely fall over themselves trying to date an 8, but many men would simply be interested in dating a 6. Of course, the same can be said for women to men, so you can see how there is also a bottleneck when the average is in the 4-6 range. The people who are more attractive have a big advantage in getting married. But that was always the case. You can see above in the comments where there was a lot of misunderstanding until I explained how curves played into that.
In any case, a woman with obvious acne is generally not an 8 to begin with, so we can see the cracks in the story there. It’s likely that these objective observers are biased.
One thing I would add to Deti’s list is that if she is physically attractive but her style could suck. If she’s wearing more form fitting dresses and skirts that bring out her attractiveness or attractive body, that would make men more inclined to initiate or at the very least tell her she’s beautiful (if she was objectively an 8).
Contrary to many of Dalrock’s commenters, most Christian men actually want to see that their wife is living by herself and can support herself.
Ruth 3:1 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. 7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down.
8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet! 9 “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”
The funny part about this story was that Naomi told Ruth to show up at Boaz’s “house” unannounced, invite herself in, lay down near him until he wakes up, and then confess to him. This would literally be called ‘stalking’ nowadays. There is one thing about human nature then and now: if you’re attractive it’s not stalking but romantic.
Yet Christian woman today don’t even want to try to flirt with men or start up conversations with men they like or show interest in him or his hobbies and things like that. I just don’t get it.