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.