Marry Me Or We Are Through…

Reader Email:  Hey Athol,  I’ve read your book, and have been a reader of your blog for the last 5 months or so, and have learned a ton from them both.  Thanks for taking the time to write so regularly.  I have a dilemma and don’t know what to do, and would very much appreciate your perspective.
I met a girl (“Sue”) 5 years ago while in grad school and fell pretty quickly (and hard!) for her.  Within several months of getting to know her I asked her out and was rejected.  Her reason at that time was that she had recently ended a serious relationship and wasn’t ready for anything new.  (The truth was that she had been out of that relationship for over a year.)  To cut a long story down to manageable size:  In the end I asked her out three times before she finally said yes.  We have now been together 4 years.  The first 1.5 years was a little rough for me as I was very suspicious that she didn’t really want to be with me as a Plan A.  The next 1.5 years was better as I slowly got over that feeling (and learned a lot about game.)  However, the last year has not been very good, because she has wanted to get engaged, and I have not been ready.  And the reason I have not been ready is that I still have lingering (though much less intense) doubts about whether she really sees me as a Plan A desirable man.  Finally, 5 days ago she broke up with me, saying unless we got engaged she couldn’t continue the relationship.
I think I have reason to be hesitant.  First, I’ve briefly described how things started for us.  My take on the beginning of our relationship is that if she really found me strongly desirable in the beginning she would have immediately wanted to begin a relationship.  Another concern for me is that I never really saw that “sparkle” in her eye for me.  Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but I have seen that sparkle in many girls’ eyes when interacting with me, and it almost always = sexual and romantic interest.  And more concerningly, I have seen that sparkle in Sue’s eyes for several other guys.  These guys were mutual friends of ours in grad school, and were both very socially dominant men.  And though I’ve made great strides in my game over the last 4 years, Sue will always remember me, at least to some extent, as the clueless guy I was when we first met.
So where does that leave me now?  I have a girl that wants to marry me.  I do not doubt her character.  She’s a great girl.  She would make a great mother.  We get along very well.  And she will not continue the relationship unless I ask her to marry me.  She’s emotionally hurt that I still need more time.  She just doesn’t understand where I’m coming from.  But, our sex life has been mediocre.  Her sexual/primal response to me is luke-warm.  I’m concerned she want to marry me because we’re great friends and I’d make a good dad/provider.
A brief note about my own (self rated) sexual rank:  I am 1.5 years away from a six figure job (and this is a virtual certainty – I’m halfway through a medical residency and it is very rare for someone to fail or to not find a job once done.)  I am probably a 7-8 on the looks scale.  My body needs work.  I’m “cut” but too skinny.  Six feet and 155 lbs.  In terms of social interactions, I tend to be a high Beta with a significant amount of Sigma (taken from Vox Day’s rankings) mixed in.  With Sue, I was much more Beta when we met, than I am now.
Sorry this has been long.  It’s hard to give enough information, while still keeping this a reasonable length.  The question I face now is:  Cut my losses and move on, happy to escape a situation that probably won’t work long term (due to lack of animal/primal attraction on her part)?  Or, try to make this work, and continue to increase my social/sexual rank, knowing I’ve got a trustworthy and good girl, who’s only real downfall is that she nearly certainly prefers more of an “asshole”/dominant guy than I am naturally?  Knowing, of course, that my future sex life hangs in the balance?
Athol:  I think you have to just let her go and count it as a blessing in disguise. Here’s my reasoning.
(1)  You should never ever ever ever ever marry anyone, without you having a (A) strong positive feeling about getting married, and (B) an intellectual viewpoint that the match makes sense. Simplifying your email down, you basically said “I don’t have A, but I have B, should I get married?”  So my knee jerk reaction is “NO!”
(2)  She’s not that into you and the sex is mediocre. So she’s basically liking you for your Beta Traits, but doesn’t get a heck of a lot out of you for your Alpha side of things. This is as good as it gets, she’s not going to suddenly become more interested in being with you after the wedding.
(3)  When you become a doctor, you’re very likely going to have to move to get a job. That means she as your wife would have to come with you. While you work long hours being a new doctor, she’s going to be trying to find something to do in a strange city, not highly attracted to you and bored in general. So unless she’s a saint…
(4)  If her primary interest in you is your potential or actual income, that’s an incentive to get her to the altar. However your net worth after you marry can become an incentive to get her to a divorce lawyer. If she’s not into you, but is into your money, there are ways to remove you from the picture and keep your money.
(5)  You’re going to become a doctor and that is a massive game changer. Once you become a doctor, your Sex Rank is going to jump up at least a point, more likely two entire points. So your ability to attract a woman is going to utterly change once you’re a doctor. So in a sense, your girlfriend has a time limit to nail you down as her Beta Provider. When you become a doctor though, she’s herself is not going to be overly impressed because she just expects it.
(6)  Her breaking up with you with an ultimatum is a “dramatic incident”. Dramatic incidents tend to have dramatic causes, that dramatic cause could very well be the slow build up of pressure over the year with her wanting to be married. (This slow escalation is exactly the sort of thing I suggest with running the MAP for example.)  However people rarely leave a serious relationship, without an exit strategy involving another person. So there may well be an additional dramatic incident or relationship that you are unaware of. You’ve not provided me with any evidence of that, but I always suggest ruling out the existence of another man when wives/gfs start “wandering off” or making major relationship breaking demands.
As a final thought, I remember a scene from Seinfeld where Elaine helps a struggling resident through his final licensing exam….  (crappy video quality, but it’s the only one I could find, just be impressed with my memory that I even remembered this single scene from an entire decade of Seinfeld.)
So that’s my reasoning. But like I said right from the start, if you don’t have a strong positive about the idea of getting married and your ability to be able to stay married to a particular woman, it’s a no brainer to not get married.
Jennifer: It sucks, but I agree, don’t do it!    (and it is frightening that you remembered that clip Athol)
I know (6) sounds cynical, but I have been regrettably wrong on this issue a few times in the past, and now it’s just my standard policy to advise actively ruling out the possibility of another man in the picture.


  1. Being a male doctor's heaven in terms of mate selection. You've got status, as well as the sex ratios are tilted in your favour, between the feminisation of the medical profession and the dominance of women in the nursing profession and allied professionals. I don't think a doctor with game and looks should even think of settling.

  2. Anonymous says:

    this is jen

    I gave my boyfriend (at the time) an ultimatum to marry me or move on too. we had been dating in college, then dating long distance. I wish someone would have told him to say no back then. Take Athols advice. I ended up leaving him after being married for 15 years.

  3. Very simple answer…..if you have any doubts
    whatsoever of any kind about getting married DON"T. It's tough enough when both parties
    really really want to be married to each other.
    It's virtually impossible for it to succeed when
    it starts out as an accession to demands. No
    relationship will prosper founded on coercion.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It's completely reasonable for her to throw in the towel if you're not interested and she wants to get married.

    IMO, if she has essentially walked away and, instead of having a gut reaction of panic, you're trying to convince yourself that marrying her might not be so bad… then wish her the best and move on. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Move on.

    Thing to know about women as that they tend to remember *everything*. So they'll remember the schlub you were. It is possible to overcome that but not always. It may be better to cut your losses with this one so that you have a chance to enter a new relationship with the more up-to-date version of you. A new woman would not know the old beta you. She'll only get to know the new you, the one that inspires that sparkle in her eyes and gives you good to great sex. I certainly think it's worth looking for that new girl now that you have some alpha on you.

    Good luck.

  6. The Outsider says:

    Being married is tough enough without starting out behind the eight ball. You need that highly-charged honeymoon period to get things off on the right foot. It sounds like you never had it.

    Some things I've learned the hard way:

    Once you're in a certain box with a girl, it's tough to get out. You're in a version of the "friend zone," and it's an uphill climb.

    Marriage is not to be trifled with. The deck is stacked against you, as a man, especially a high earner. If you're not sure this one is a good bet it just isn't worth the risk.

    Being too beta is the worst mistake we guys make. It's a major turn-off, and once you've set that precedent it's not at all clear you can undo it.

    Contracting one-itis is the second worst mistake we make. If you don't mind my saying so, it sounds like you've got a bad case of it. There are lots of fish in the sea, so catch one that's in to you.

  7. Unrelated: Just watched Crazy Stupid Love. Really upped the entertainment factor now that we get the alpha/beta thing. Helpful to see your whole concept played out onscreen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I can't add anything that Athol and the others have not already said. Let her go and move on.

    That said, there is one thing that deserves further comment:

    "I tend to be a high Beta with a significant amount of Sigma (taken from Vox Day's rankings)"

    No, you do not have a "significant amount of Sigma." The fact that you even sent the question to Athol proves this, because "Sigmas don't care." From what you have said you are currently a high Beta, with potential to move to low Alpha in a year or so and if you up your Game a bit more. (High Alphas are either naturals, or those rare few who are so totally able to swallow the red pill that the issue becomes moot.)

    This is one of the most common mistakes I see in self-assessments of SMV – telling yourself that you are what you want to be (fantasy) rather than what you are (reality). It is also the mistake that will keep you from truly changing, and keep you questioning yourself and worrying about choices such as the matter concerned.

  9. Anonymous says:

    @Reader, Athol's conclusion is likely correct but you can still gain some valuable experience in this interaction & if she really has 'wifely & motherly characteristics' then keep in mind sunk & opportunity costs. She is just a common hypergamous female who is tired of the cock carousal or at least trying to cash in her chips.

    The problem is you do not know when to hold them & when to fold them. In this case you should not fold because you have the stronger h&. I do not think you understand your own relationship market value (different from sexual market value).

    Men are getting savvier to female instincts & behavior. Since you met in grad school I am going to assume you are the same age. Females peak in sexual attraction around 24 while men around 30 & at 27 they cross. Sexual power is vested in young women & men. The reason she has laid down the ultimatum is because she can feel her power in the relationship slip away as you eclipse her Sex Rank.

    If you want to have some fun exercising your new found Sex Rank then take her to a really expensive steak house & call her bluff. Hypergamous women want a man with more education & earning power than they have which is increasingly rare with college rates, etc. You are going to be a doctor soon which demonstrates your discipline & ability to provide for a wife & children which is an increasingly rare characteristic among men; college statistics, etc.. Two Kings.

    You are approximately the same age (an assumption) & men can date their age divided by two plus seven but women are not afforded the same luxury, the only real thing a wife has to offer a man is children because men can get sexual access from plenty of women 30+, companionship from male friends & fulfillment from business/work & her fertility is waning & her self-worth defined more by her relationships than legacy. Three Aces.

    What cards does she hold? She can offer you children & be a good mother. Two Queens.

    So, you win, full house versus two queens. If you explain it to her from a congruent & dominant frame, reframe your earlier sel as just not having matured & flip the script by raising the issue that if she were such a great investment for your male capital then she would have invested in you five years ago for your potential instead of now when it is a surer deal.

    Rejection is much harsher on women because men reject them based on their relationship market value instead of sexual market value & that is so much more personal.

    Marriage, by its nature with divorce laws, etc. cause men lose Sex Rank & women gain Sex Rank. You can raise this issue in the discussion with regards to a pre-nup, etc. Single childless women, spinsters, are at the social totem pole's bottom.

    Then the real dagger of a reality question, if you feel like twisting, would be: Why would I want to marry you now when I can find someone seven years younger who can have 2-3 more children?

    & the follow-up: & what are you going to do after walking away from me, get a cat & join all the other girls wondering where all the 'good men' are? Good luck.

    You have no real downside. She is just shit testing you & wants to rub up against your manhood & know you are in charge of the relationship. If anything tell her you think she has a lot of great characteristics but this little episode has caused you to rethink the situation, that you do want to continue to see her but you do not want to be exclusive. If she walks then she will regret it the rest of her life & will always remember you. After a few months & when you notice that twinkle of lust in her eye, you need to capture her soul in submission before you try to figure out what to do with it. Then you can ask her to marry you, which is fine since she brought it up first & assuming you do not find a younger, hotter, kinder giver with integrity to replace her with.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good advice here. Move on. She's not that into you and your market value will rise while hers is at or near peak.

  11. Anonymous says:

    - Oneitis
    - Mediocre sex life even before marriage
    - Ultimatums

    A man should Never enter a marriage with those pre-conditions. Never.

  12. Anonymous says:


    As they have all said, she just wants to marry you as a beta provider and with marriage 2.0, you'll be dumped in 5 years but a LOT more expensively.

    Move on Doctor.

  13. Trimegistus says:

    A woman who gives ultimatums before marriage will give ultimatums after marriage.

    A marriage should not be like the run-up to a world war.

  14. "So long and thanks for all the fish"

    Really, she's done you a great favour. She's saved you years of pain, terrible sex and finally an expensive divorce to boot.

    If your relationship doesn't have that spark now, it certainly won't have it after you get married. Start with a strong relationship and go from there. This isn't the one.

    Thank her, thank her very much and then walk.

    (Don't be surprised when she tries to get you back, but don't fall for it. And certainly don't have sex with her afterwards or else you might find out she's magically become pregnant – it might even be yours)

    ((and no, you cannot be cynical enough))

  15. Anonymous says:


    With the exception of your chosen profession, I have been exactly where you are. Take Athol's advice. Cut your losses now, let her go and move on. DO NOT marry this woman.


  16. Anonymous says:

    Bail. Now. If you're still hitting it, wrap it and dispose of your used condoms yourself.

    another Dr.

  17. A Happy Bicycle says:

    Giving ultimatums such as "Marry me or we're through" is a BIG Red Flag!! It you think your relationship is mediocre NOW, just wait — if you are foolish enough to marry her, it WILL get worse! Women who bring something to the relationship and are worthwhile DO NOT give ultimatums because they don't need to.
    End the relationship completely NOW — do not EVER have sex with her again or you could find yourself on the hook for eighteen-plus years of child support or a false rape charge.

    I second everyone else — kick her to the curb and never look back. Your future will be much brighter without her.

  18. I tend to agree with the folks who say you should hold off. However, I'd be surprised if she maintains her ultimatum over the long term. You could probably figure out a way to keep the relationship going without marriage, for now, if you wanted to. The question is, should you? A good mother for your kids is hard to find. A wife who also makes a good and trustworthy friend is maybe even harder to find. I don't think I'd be willing to put up with a lifetime of mediocre sex for those two things, but if they are already present, I'd sure try to explore whatever potential is there for improvement in the sex department before giving up.

    Also, 4 years is a reasonable amount of time to make a determination about somebody's potential as a mate. I'm not a fan of ultimatums, and I'd never make a decision about marriage based on one, but I think it is acceptable at this point for her to push you to make decision about your future together, especially if you see big lifestyle changes in the immediate future. If she's going to be an important part of your life, she deserves to know where she stands.

    The questions about whether she is just after your future ability to provide for her… that is going to be a lingering question with any woman you end up with. That's part of the trade off we have made in society for waiting so long to get married (my wife and I married in our early 20's and have built our lives and careers together, and I simply cannot imagine trusting a woman's intentions enough to marry her at my current age and income level).

    So, in your shoes, I'd look really hard at the relationship and why you still have reservations after 4 years. Having a 'sparkle' in her eye for other socially dominant men is not the end of the world (don't you get a sparkle in your eye for other hot women?), but you have to be able to generate a sparkle as well in order to a) keep her committed to you and b) have great sex. If you really don't think that's possible, then perhaps it is time to walk away.

  19. Ian Ironwood says:

    While I concur with the group consensus, you do have a history with this woman. I'm not saying marry her, but I'm also not saying dump her . . . exactly.

    You're about to hit the Big Time in sex rank, and she wants to cash in. I'm sure she's getting massive pressure from everyone around her that is compelling her to give you the big ultimatum. While I completely agree not to capitulate, I do think you can use it as leverage to re-assess the relationship. You might actually get some of the good sex out of it too, before you're done (although I completely agree with Anon Doc: WRAP THAT RASCAL!

    This is a time for you to slip into Cast Iron SOB Gentleman Mode and take the moral high-ground. I would counsel a break of a couple of weeks or months, minimum, to let her cool off and to let you get your ducks in a row. Then go as strongly Alpha as you can. Tell her — don't ask — to meet you at a nice restaurant to discuss things. Take careful note of her appearance and her demeanor. If it is anything less than respectful and well-tended, then she doesn't take the relationship seriously enough to make an effort and that should be noted.

    Ensure your mannerisms are all bull Alpha. Then sit her down and start listing your complaints:

    1) You resent the ultimatum, but now that it is out there, you feel that it has seriously damaged any hope of a relationship with her. While you certainly have feelings for her, some of those feelings are now "resentment" and you're having a hard time getting over that.

    2) You have very real and valid concerns about your future together, and you should list them explicitly. Include the sexual component, and be explicit. Her lack of response, her lukewarm desire, etc. etc. Bring up every little thing. When you're done, ask her why you should commit to a relationship with someone who clearly has little desire to make you happy?

    3) Point out the financial issues. Acknowledge that your hard work and sacrifice is about to pay off, and that you are very, very aware of that. Tell her how many women have hit on you recently, and exaggerate by a factor of 3. Point out that the moment you're done with residency, you know you'll have women crawling all over you. So what does she offer to compete with them? What about divorce assurances? Children? Pre-nup?

    4) Inform her that the only chance she has is to aggressively prove to you that she's wife material. That means upping her game significantly, and competing with every other woman who is interested. Tell her that you will not date anyone exclusively for six months, but that you do want to see other people. If she wants to be included in that list, fine — but she gets no special privileges. She has to be as out-going, giving, and attractive as anyone else to keep your interest, and she may actually have to do more to get over your resentment. So if she still wants to be in contention, then she's going to have to work for it.

    If she blows up on you and makes an ass of herself, calmly have the management call her a cab: you have your answer. If she's willing to disrespect you like that, then she fails the wife test. If she breaks down into tears and gets visibly emotional, then ditto. Tell her it's undignified of her, and certainly doesn't help her case. You want your wife to be able to handle her business. If, however, she begs for a second chance, apologizes for the awkward ultimatum (this is important) and promises to make it worthwhile, then at least open yourself to the possibility. Men can reinvent themselves ala the MAP, women can too.

    But unless she paid for your Med school, you don't owe her squat. It might be painful, but its a lot less painful than divorce. If she wants to audition for the part of wife, let her know what you expect in your wife (as opposed to your girlfriend) and then be adamant about those qualifications. If she can't handle that . . .well, then you have your answer.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @ anon who suggest hard-core gaming as a result to her shit test: I think this test is beyond the run of the mill female BS.

    Besides, who needs it? My wife's from HK, and is smart, sweet, feminine and educated. She's never given me an ultimatum and is a very good mother to my kids. Best part: I only have to turn on the alpha about 5% of the way to keep things going smoothly both in the sexual and non-sexual aspects of the marriage.

    So, unless you want to have to spend your entire life running hardcore alpha game, let the woman with the wandering eye go. There are still good, traditional women available (Meaning women who a) look at alpha asshole game as the horrid behavior it is, and b) are self-aware, introspective and smart enough to not fall for players), you just have to marry outside your tribe.

    Unless a woman looks at you, personally, with that sparkle, why bother? She WILL cheat, and then as a high income man you WILL lose in court.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Whether or not you get married, I don't see the need to twist any daggers. The original letter that this perfectly nice woman has been wanting to marry him for years, and he hasn't wanted to commit. It's not some sudden decision to cash in her chips. Everyone's playing their stereotypical role (woman wants to get married, man refuses to settle down). She's just cutting her losses. As everyone points out, her value is sinking… why should a good marriage-minded woman hang around a non-committer forever just hoping? She has to bail and find someone who will marry her. A good move for everyone, unless you're sure you actually want her.

  22. Anonymous says:

    "and she may actually have to do more to get over your resentment"

    What resentment? I think some people may be projecting.

  23. anonymous 11:16 makes good points (I also encourage American men to look for woman with at least one foot in a culture other than Mainstream American), but we really don't know much background on the woman in question here. She could have legitimate concerns that, after 4 years, the guy is just keeping her around as a steady fuck and social release valve, and that he plans to ditch her as soon he's in the money and has access to better options. I'm not going to fault any woman for having some relationship anxiety in that situation (especially after 4 years), but giving a marriage ultimatum is perhaps the single worst way to deal with them, and is admittedly a big red flag.

    I also very much agree with Ian's suggestion that you be up front about the sexual issues. Ask her, point blank, what you're supposed to think when she tells you she wants to marry you but doesn't act like she's sexually excited by you.

    One thing that's vital to realize: by giving you this ultimatum, she has temporarily put all the power in your hands. Use it wisely before handing any of it back to her.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Resentment over the "ultimatum".

    I'm one of the anons from earlier. I like Ian Ironwood's approach to this. She has put the Reader into a box akin to the "friend zone" so Ian is essentially telling Reader to use his newfound sex rank to break out of that box and by her reaction, he'll know whether it's salvageable or not, whether marriage can be put back on the table or not.

    I think that women who give ultimatums like that before marriage make unacceptable partners: that's because having succeeded with the ultimatum once, she will do it again about some other major issue. That behavior has to be nipped in the bud now before the couple can get on with it together.

  25. The Outsider says:

    Anonymous 11:26 makes a good point. The problem is not the ultimatum. She wants to get married, she's telling him. What do you want her to do?

    The problem is the lack of attraction and the history of beta behavior. This will cause serious difficulties if it can't be corrected – which is *tough*. Maybe it's worth trying to fix, but please – please – don't marry her until you're sure it is.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ian Ironwood's suggested course of action is a bit like a cat toying with a mouse. Sounds like fun and a little vindictive, but it won't make marriage material out of this woman.

    If she isn't already attracted sexually to the reader/ soon to be doctor, she never will be. The reader should let her go now and spend no more time with her.


  27. These types of posts are great because of all of the opinions and conversation that can come out of them.

    I have a few ideas, but first I wanted to say to the reader that I am not trivializing his relationship to this woman. It sounds like they have been together for a long time (3yrs?) so for me to just say "move on" it makes it seem like it is an easy decision or an easy thing to do.

    So yeah I alluded to it, I think first and foremost if you are at all questioning whether or not you want to marry this person then you should not do it.

    I also think from her perspective, since she provided you an ultimadum, should you decide to marry her, she will likley be questioning in the back of her mind if she truly made the right choice, she may be asking "I kind of forced him into this." This coupled with some of the things Athol mentioned, new city, long work hours etc… may cause a lot of strain.

    I have seen the ultimadum card played a few times amongst friends, it has only ended well once. All other friends either ended the relationship at that point, or got married and divorced.

    The history of beta behaviour and how your relationship started doesn't concern me at all. Call me naive but people change, a lot. If you were a pushover then, it doesn't really matter. What matters is how you are as a couple now.

    Marriage is no joke. If you have concerns about marrying this woman then I think you need to work through those concerns outside of marriage not after you have dived in.

    A friend just recently split up with his long term girlfriend because of the marriage ultimadum. He thought he wanted to marry her, but just couldn't bring himself to do it. He always had an excuse and often said that he thought marriage wasn't for him.

    Now he is dating someone new and he told me he knows marriage is for him, it just wasn't for him when he was with that other girl.

  28. Whatever your decision, make it, and make it quick.

    Female hyper-gamy and immoral behaviors is usually discussed on these blogs, but stringing a woman along in her 20s, when she was only a few "best years" for which to find the best mate is also highly immoral. If you don't want to marry her (and frankly I don't think you should) you should let her find someone who will soon.

  29. alphapersona says:

    There is only one right answer to this:


    I'm sure a lot of people have opinions about her wanting commitment, etc. – but I can tell you that Athol is right. She is looking to lock him in as Beta Provider as soon as she can so she wont lose him. Hypergamy at its best.

    Good post and good advice! I'm looking forward to the cool new things you're going to do this year with the site.

  30. dannyfrom504 says:

    marry me or it's over……


  31. Anonymous says:

    while i'm definitely not in favor of marriage or marrying when in doubt at all, but this idea that she should be faulted for an ultimatum is silly.

    Girl knows what she wants and as we all know her SMV is declining by the minute. Why should she wait any longer to know where she is going to end up?

    good for her for knowing what she wants.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible that the sex is mediocre because she's holding back until she's got the security of the diamond ring? Just wondering…

  33. Anonymous says:


    Looking into my crystal ball I predict this if you marry her:

    1. Sex life becomes even more mediocre.
    2. You get increasing shit tests and grumpy wife.
    3. This goes on for a few years. Every time you try to improve the relationship she gets more bitchy.
    4. About 5-7 years in, once she has had a child or two (not necessarily with you as the father) you discover she was seeing the old boyfriend the whole first year you were dating her. You also discover she has been seeing him again the last two years of your marriage by her accidentally leaving her Facebook open.
    5. She cashes you out, breaks your heart and you pay her a lot of money to leave.
    6. You continue to pay her a lot of money in alimony and child support while she shacks up with her original boyfriend.
    7. You come back here suffering from PTSD from it all.

    Please man, don't do this. Dump her. Now. Complete your medical program. I predict new horizons will open up for you that you never imagined. You may even decide you are having so much fun nailing the women that will throw themselves at you that marriage isn't something you desire any longer.

    As a doctor with a high income, you are going to have a lot to lose in such in a marriage that goes south, unless you marry a woman doctor who has just as much skin in the game. In the case of this woman, she has everything to gain and you have anything to lose. I am in business, we call that a sucker deal.

    The current chick wants to nail you down because she knows she has a limited shelf life once you finish school and a wide array of new options become available. If you were my little brother I would kidnap you to Vegas and get you mad stripper sex and disabuse you of the notion of marrying this shrew. Giggle. :-)

  34. Anonymous says:

    Anon 3:26 PM:

    "Is it possible that the sex is mediocre because she's holding back until she's got the security of the diamond ring?"

    Highly doubtful. A woman who is sexually attracted to a man will do almost anything he wants and the sex is great. Financial security has nothing to do with it. Ask the bad boy biker without a dime to his name what great sex he has with his woman (women).

    The sex is mediocre because she's just not that into him.


  35. Anonymous says:

    At anonymous 1/3/2012 3:19PM

    "while i'm definitely not in favor of marriage or marrying when in doubt at all, but this idea that she should be faulted for an ultimatum is silly.

    Girl knows what she wants and as we all know her SMV is declining by the minute. Why should she wait any longer to know where she is going to end up?"

    Yes good for her that she has recognized her declining SMV and that she is about to face some monstrous competition from other women when he completes his program.

    Too bad she didn't have the foresight to see that coming and actually treat him right all this time. There is no sane reason why this man should sacrifice his future for her benefit. None at all. She snoozed, she should lose.

    She's playing a game. The game is called "My Vagina is the bestest Vagina evah – do what I say boy, or I shall withdraw the Vagina." But our man has an ace up his sleeve. He's about to move up to a higher tier in the SMV. One in which she is uncompetitive. Her only hope is to bully and guilt him into getting locked down.

    He's not stringing her along because he wants to play the field or be a jerk. He doesn't want to marry her because his gut is SCREAMING at him – DON'T DO THIS. It is only his natural beta fear of being alone or of having to go through the process of finding a new woman that holds him back.

    When I read his words what I essentially see him saying is "I have this girl, she's okay but I'm not really happy and have strong reservations, but I guess it's better than being alone." This is scarcity mentallity in action.

    Typical guy think is: "Oh if I break up with her I'll never find someone else, so it's better than nothing." Bullcrap. He just needs to get over his fear of that and make the leap.

    Ain't love grand. It seems callous to think of this in terms of future dollars and sense. Maybe, but I guarantee you the woman in this story is thinking in exactly those terms. Both in regards to the lifestyle he can provide her while married, and her future take when she divorces him later on. It would not shock me if she had the thought of "Well, if it doesn't work out I know I'll still be well taken care of…"

  36. Ian Ironwood says:

    Anon 3:26:

    No, no it's not. If she's not trying to impress him before the ceremony, she's sure as hell not going to try to impress him afterwards. That kind of belief is what fuels Chumpdom.

  37. First of all, thanks for the response Athol, and thanks for all of the comments.

    The bottom line for me with this girl is this: I don't think I can ever believe she is attracted to me in a strongly sexual way. When I first met Sue, I was clueless regarding what was attractive to women. I thought my decent looks were enough, and the fact I was a nice guy was a bonus. My biggest mistake was thinking that only "bad" girls liked bad boys. I'd have never dreamed that a nice, religious, wife-worthy girl would also naturally be attracted to the same thing as the "slut." Like I said, I just didn't get it.

    And what happened with Sue I think is this… She got to know me, and realized we made a good pair for having a family and raising kids. She found me compatible in nearly every way. And she decided she could live without deep, intense sexual attraction. But, she couldn't entirely hide her natural reaction to other dominant men, and she also couldn't convincingly fake true attraction to me over the long term. And that is the crux of it. Can I marry someone who probably never saw me as an object of sexual desire?

    As a small note: she is actually in medical residency as well, though her specialty won't make quite as much as mine will. Also, she wants to work with indigent/poor populations, so there may well be an element of counting on my income to pay the bills/loans, while she works for free/discounted pay.

    Btw, I don't blame her at all for wanting to know exactly where she stands. I get why she would want or need to know this. But, even if I did know I wanted to marry her, I would still think she's doing something more harmful than helpful to the relationship by giving an ultimatum.

    I am taking my time with this. I haven't spoken to her since we had "the talk." I don't deny I have some degree of the scarcity complex, but it's more that I do love this girl and it's not easy to walk away from that, even though I know (and I really do know this) that there are lots and lots of other good, hot women out there.

  38. Anonymous says:

    “If your relationship doesn't have that spark now, it certainly won't have it after you get married. Start with a strong relationship and go from there. This isn't the one. Thank her, thank her very much and then walk.” Exactly. Once your tied together, seeing each other every day, and especially after kids come in the picture, it gets harder and harder to find that spark, and to keep it alive. If it wasn’t there in the beginning, I seriously doubt you’ll ever have it. It doesn’t mean you’re not a great guy, or that you’re not hot, it just means that you don’t do it for her, and chances are that will never change.

    Ultimatum? How, given her history with you, does she think she’s entitled to issue ultimatums? I think she’ll always see you as the beta she met and ignored for the first few months. Tepid sex is not a great way to start a marriage. One more piece of advice – does she have the potential tendency to gain weight? What does her mother look like? Imagine what she’s going to look like a few years down the road when she has you locked in. Two thirds of Americans are overweight, one third are obese. Roughly one-half of marriages end in divorce. People heed the advice to avoid starting a new business since most new businesses fail within the first five years. But suddenly, when it comes to marriage, we all think that love will conquer all and that we’ll beat the odds. I know you’re smart and all and you’ve picked a winner, right? You’re going to beat the odds? Right … I’m speaking from 14 years of married experience. I also thought I was smart and that I picked a “winner.” Marriage is highly overated. Dude, these are your testicles talking: Do. Not. Marry. Her.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Agree with The Outsider and company – she broke up with him and explained why. That's not an ultimatim, it's a decision about what's best for her based on the openly stated position of her significant other, namely that he doesn't want to marry her. She is doing nothing wrong. This in no way means that his response should be to marry her, but good grief, what else is she supposed to do? They've talked about it, she wants to get married, she's taking him at his word that he doesn't want to. Ok, fine. OP is now completely free and clear to decide whether or not he wants to marry her.

  40. Anonymous says:


    Thanks for checking back in. Let me just add this. You want to avoid divorce in your future. No matter what, it stinks, big. The first way you avoid divorce is not to set yourself up for failure.

    That's what I see here my friend. You know it in your gut even though it hurts you to have to take the big step and call this off.

    Look, there is the way you would like things to be, and there is the way things are. I beleive a great deal of our pain as people comes from this conflict between how we would like things to be or imagine things to be in our heads, and what is staring us in the face.

    When confronted by a situation like that, it's hard, but the best thing to do, and the kindest thing you can do for others, and most importantly for yourself is to do what is needed. Even when it hurts some. Think of it like enduring the pain of a needle versus the pain of catching a disease the vaccine could have prevented. What's the smart play there? Exactly.

    If you marry her you are possibly setting yourself up for a lot of future misery for yourself. If you marry her and you know in your gut this chick is not into you the way you would like her to be, no matter how badly you would like that to be, how is that kind to her to deliver to her a husband that is going to be constantly wondering and anxious in the marriage? Best you set each other free.

    I know you have feelings for her, but heck if my guess is right, I'd say you're suffering from the curse right now of being the partner in the relationship that cares the most. Here you are on this blog tearing yourself up inside trying to come to terms with this. There she is telling you take it or leave it. So, who do you think has hand here?

    It's tough, and only you can make the call, but based on the info provided, if you were my brother or my son, I would tell you to walk and don't look back. Not because she's a terrible person or anything, but because you are sensing in your gut that something very critical to this thing getting off the ground right and staying functional, is just not there.

    In 3-6 months the hurt feelings will subside and you'll likely look back and think "WTF was I doing with her?" and then you'll nut punch yourself for letting five years slip past you in a relationship that was "meh" and going no where good.

    Good Luck Man! Wish you the best sincerely.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I have to throw in there that in the context of marriage, oneitis is hardly a problem. What you want is two-way oneitis. I think that's what mainstream society would describe as a starry-eyed couple in love… those poor saps.

  42. Dodged a MAJOR bullet there buddy.

    You´re unconsciously unsure of her motivations because your unconscious perception of her subtle body language is much smarter than your ignorant ass consciousness is aware of.

    Also if the biatch is giving ultimatums even before the deal is closed, it´s only going downhill from there.

    Mad props Athol for remembering that clip! :)

  43. Anonymous says:

    Like the former poster said, it’ll be tough at first, but time heals all. A college girlfriend dumped me and I thought it was the end of the world. I channeled that angst into working out and being productive and I came out a better man for it. Plus, looking back, she did me a HUGE favor, I don’t know how I’d ever continue being with her without losing my mind.

    In addition, as Athol has noted, even the very best marriage is a compromise, where a man attempts to channel his polygamous tendencies by frequent and varying sex with his wife (although he always wants to bang some strange); and a woman’s hypergamous nature is somewhat satisfied by a man running the MAP (although there is always someone more alpha than you). So, why marry at all? Why fight mother nature? Especially in a case where you don’t appear to be the one that lights her fire? How can you ever trust her to not follow her hypergamous nature? Just some food for thought.

  44. Anonymous says:

    OP, given these circumstances, and knowing what you know about game, how would you ever trust her? The saying is that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” However, understanding game, you now know that the flesh is not weak, it has its own powerful, insistent and ceaseless agenda and over the long run, it takes a will of iron to make it submit. Why tempt fate and nature by entering into marriage with the cards stacked against you?

  45. Athol Kay says:

    TA – ulitmately she's just not that into you. And other women will be.

    There's plenty of pratical reasons to get married. But the only reason to marry any particular girl, is that she's into you.

  46. Athol Kay says:

    Oh and I don't think she's an evil bitch either. I think she's just been playing an overly "safe" strategy of settling for someone high Beta that she isn't into.

    She will potentially be a lot happier married to a lower social status but hunky guy working in her general area of vocational interest.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Agree with everyone else – cut your losses. You both need strong sexual attraction to each other. Sexual interest from the woman decreases after marriage, almost inevitably. If you're disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm now, just wait – it will inevitably get worse once she says "I do", as the deal has already been sealed.

  48. Anonymous says:


    I feel like we saved a life here. Heck, two lives his and hers, not to mention any future children that would get caught up in this whirlwind of misery brewing on the horizon.

    I predict TA will be blue for a bit, then he'll bump into some cute thing that knocks his socks off and vice versa. Then they'll get married and have like 3000 babies and he'll tell us breaking up with the current GF was the best thing he ever did.

    Lolz. Love.

  49. This is a sad but true post, AK.

    "The bottom line for me with this girl is this: I don't think I can ever believe she is attracted to me in a strongly sexual way. "

    That's the end of the story as far as I'm concerned. Anybody undertaking marriage 2.0 has a moral obligation to pick a mate with whom they can plan on having a full, expressive sexual life with. She's obviously trying to not do that. It's not just your children's best interests that are at stake…

    …it's your own personal happiness, which at the risk of sounding Pollyanish, is your birthright. It's considered less than moral to take from others without remorse in pursuit of your happiness, but nobody said you have to put someone else's _happiness_ above your own. (That's actually a typical reframe when somebody is getting dumped, asking the dumper to put aside their own best interest for the other person's.) You don't owe her anything she's not going to give you in kind.

    "Ultimatum? How, given her history with you, does she think she’s entitled to issue ultimatums?"

    Good point. Ultimatums are often an attempt by the less-powerful party to use the psych principle of time-scarcity and takeaway to shift the power back in their favor. I might feel differently if she said "I want to be a wife and mother, and if you don't want to help me do that I need to find someone else." But it's clear she's trying to flex her power before you get the big SMV boost of entering practice.

    There's another thing going on here – TA says other women sparkle for him but Sue doesn't. This is just a mismatch, two people who are generally attractive but not compatible on the dopamine scale.

    I know walking away is going to be incredibly hard. I have a lot of the beta in me and even times when I knew it was the right move it was very painful and I still felt regretful for causing her pain. I think this is normal, a sign of a healthy bonding mechanism. But it really does get better, as long as you get off the mat and meet new people, and keep your passions up.

  50. @ Iam Ironwood

    You say "ensure your mannerisms are bull Alpha" then you tell him to talk about his feelings and negotiate with an ultimatum.

    Nope, been there, done that, it only leads to bigger failure down the line.

    He needs to cut his losses now and move on.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Nobody reacts favorably to ultimatums. Also, It is rare that ultimatums are given unless a strong backup plan is in place. Based on this, and I'll be tough, I would immediately discontinue communication with this woman. At your age you are just getting started with your career and have knowledge of a bit of game. The land of milk and honey only beckons.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Let me put a point on this conversation. The below was communicated to me by a woman regarding her divorce. All personal details removed. TA – this could be your future if you don't listen. Swear on Athol's nuts the below is true:

    "I was in a friendship marriage. I chose that man because I didn't feel the fireworks. I felt fireworks for someone else, but I really wanted kids, and I didn't think the passion would translate to a stable home environment. I burried myself in friendship. Until I encountered a person who made me feel passion. Nothing ever happened with the other man while I was married, although I think my husband would argue I had an "emotional affair."

    You feeling me now? This is not some guy talk. This is verbatim a woman explaining how she thought it was cool to marry a guy for stability and then tossed the chump for tingles later on. DON'T BE THAT GUY.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Badger makes a good point, you don’t have a mutuality of “tingles.” Its neither right or wrong, it just is. However, if you get married knowing this, it becomes wrong and a recipe for disaster.

    As for the post about the “friendsip marriage”, I believe it. I’m sure it happens all the time. What I don’t believe is the BS that she told the poster about only perhaps being emotionally engaged with the other man. Come on, she’s not going to admit to her male friend that she was riding the slippery salami while she was married! Maybe her husband bought that line. You don’t want to be that guy in the future.

    TA, please report back and let us know what you decide to do. I think we’re all waiting with baited breath …

  54. Anonymous says:

    I have really gotten a great education in the last few months reading this blog and all the responses from men and the occasional woman. I would like to just post a real-life observation; all of the men and Athol too throw the "alimony" fear around and I think it is unfounded. It didn't used to be but it is now. Most states (with the no-fault divorce laws) are 'rehabiitation' states. Meaning no financial reward is given past the rehabilitation timeline of 2 years. Yes, you split the assets but alimony is non-existent. I am a recently divorced (past 3 years) woman and I didn't even get the 2 year re-hab portion, and I was married for 23 years, and a stay at home Mom. I make this comment as I have great compassion for people in bad relationships that are trying so hard. Don't let the 'fear' of alimony deter you from cutting your losses and a wonderful life with someone who will adore you and light your fires.

  55. Anonymous says:

    @Anon 1/4/2012 5:57PM

    Don't worry I didn't beleive a word of the nothing happened. I've been unplugged from the Matrix long enough to know better. Lolz.

  56. Anonymous says:

    @Anon 1/4/2012 10:06

    Since were all anonymous here, what was the catalyst for your divorce that prompted you to cut your losses?

  57. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes, when you finally give up on someone, it's not because you don't care anymore, it's because you realize that they don't.
    I was completely, utterly, amazingly, what the hell was wrong with me-faithful!, had 4 beautiful children, worked in our business, and the one in the relationship that "cared the most", or "worked the hardest". He was never into me sexually (despite the 4 children artifice!), I didn't understand this as he was my first and only lover so I had no reference point. I am at least 2 points higher than he on the attraction scale, I am considered at least an 8. I am trim and athletic, run half marathons, read profusely, cook, ski, wear nasty heels and sexy dresses (I didn't while we were married as he didn't "allow" me, (now that I've been reading Athol's blog I understand why!) All that being said I am now divorced. I "wasted" too many years "waiting" for him to care. If they're not "hot" for you, they're not hot. You can't "make" someone hot. I worked for over 20 years trying to improve myself and make myself "hotter" so my husband would love me. It doesn't work. Looking back I'm going to say he's probably gay. He really WANTED to be married to me. I mistook the "wanted" part for "wanting". Two very different things! I'm happy and alone now. It's much less lonely. :) My comment to the above gentleman is bail!

  58. Anonymous says:

    this is jen

    seems like anonymous 1-5-12 210am and I lived a parallel life! I was definitely the higher sex rank, made most of the money, cooked, etc. I kept thinking if I tried harder it would make him love me….it never worked

    He did finally realize he wasnt going to do any better, but by then it was too late for me.

    but I will add this…after the ulitmatum, he did walk….and I was okay with that. I knew it was about a 60/40 shot. but I was sick of waiting for him, and felt that knowing for sure one way or the other would be better than waiting any more. So i did whatever I could do to move on- started dating another guy, doing stuff with friends etc

    a few months later got a call at 4am saying he was ready to marry.

    shoulda been the biggest red flag ever…but I wanted him so badly I went all in

    DON'T DO IT!!!

  59. Anonymous says:

    @This is Jen,

    I dunno, sounds like he played you like a fiddle.

    He had you working, bringing home the bacon, cooking it up in the pan, trying harder to make him love you. You gave him an ultimatum and he walked.

    So then later he calls at 4am with some sob story, and you married him anyway despite all your misgivings and the red flags.

    Just couldn't keep away from him eh?

    To him I say "Well played sir, well played…"

  60. Anonymous says:

    this is jen

    to anonymous jan6 859

    maybe youre right…its hard to have insight when you smackdab in themiddle of something. but honestly=I think it was dumb luck for him that I was so attracted to him. He did everything not to marry me. I ended up paying half for my own engagement ring. ( embarassing now, but, then? I just wanted to do whatever would make it happen)
    It sure was a huge surpise when I left, tho.
    He said he was " deleriously happy" until I announced my departure.–yeah, no kidding-I was totally rowing the boat alone for the whole time

    yikes does that sound bitter?

    I absolutely bullied him into marrying me….thers another red flag for ya

    yeesh-young starry eyed women in love are stupid. FTR we were eachothers first sexually, too

  61. Athol Kay says:

    To the anon who I have now deleted six comments from:

    Comments are required to be productive and positive in tone.

    You are allowed to disagree and debate with me, other commenters or readers mentioned in posts. However you may not simply insult them and attack them for asking for help.

    Yes we do "take their side" in these matters. It's expected that you offer a helpful viewpoint aimed at getting the reader to their stated goals. Not scream at them in moral outrage because you don't agree with their goals.

    It is a requirement that you actually read the post in question. It's extremely clear that the reader in question doesn't believe she loves him, like he loves her. He isn't an evil person for wanting his future spouse to love him as her loves her.

    Furthermore, you cannot be censored here. The first amendment rights of the blog are mine, not yours. Blogs are free, nothing prevents you from starting your own and speaking your mind to others.

    MMSL is an important place for many people. I'm not going to allow you or anyone turn into into a place that trolls are welcome.

  62. What Athol, Jennifer and Bhetti said.

    Don't do it.

    I feel strongly about that.

    And additional reason not to do it is that first impressions matter. You've said you were a lot more beta then you've become at the beginning. Although Athol does teach married guys how to up their alpha traits so as to raise their sex rank, it will be much easier for you to come off as a lesser alpha with some good comfort creating beta traits with a woman you sees you as you are now.

    As well you can continue to up your alpha game by reading here and I'd advise also reading Heartiste/Roissy archives in the 2008-2009 period, at it's heyday. First google site search at Heartiste's blog "Dave from Hawaii Relatinship Game Week", then read the "Agreed and Amplify" post that precedes it. Then just start at the beginning and read posts through 2009.

  63. Anonymous says:

    TA, you knew she wanted marriage, and 4 years is way longer than most women would wait around. You haven't proposed because your gut says no.

    Ultimatums never work because they're to force an unwanted result. Consider yourself lucky that she just gave you a verbal choice, rather than getting pregnant to force your hand.

    (Similarly, I know Athol suggests ultimatums as a last ditch effort to force a wife to have sex, but it should never come to that. If being the best you is not enough to turn her on, you've lost the game. It's over, and there is no need to end things with a threatening ultimatum.)

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