Cut Your Dating Drama In Half By Dating In Your League

As some of us learned last week, the guy from this story ended up fading once he got laid.casualsex1

The biggest red flag that this would happen, in my opinion, was one that the author herself acknowledged.

The guy was out of her league.

Nobody likes to admit that there are just some people out there that we find attractive who will never return a similar level of interest. We’d like to believe all the myths that we’ve been told throughout out lives.

“Beauty is on the inside”

“It’s all about confidence”

And my favorite..

“There’s no such thing as dating leagues.”

Oh, but there is.

Reality: There are just some people you’re never going to get no matter how witty and wonderful you think you are.

The stories we hear, like Dater X’s tale from the Frisky, about ghosting and fading and online dating frustrations almost all have one thing in common. The person telling the story was out with someone who probably wasn’t as invested as they purported themselves to be.

To put a spin on the words of Chris Rock, “A person is only as interested as their options.”

If our options are vast, then we will be choosy. If they are low, we won’t. It’s a simple concept, really. And yet so many people struggle with it. How could it be that this person who seemed so genuine and attracted to me could say and do those things? Well, as we discussed last week, people lie. And as we mentioned yesterday, people lie to themselves.

If you pursue people you know are in demand, expect the experience to have a high degree of difficulty. If someone you know is out of your league presents no resistance to committing, be suspicious. That’s another concept people have trouble wrapping their brain around. Let me clarify before people take that bit to heart and say it’s not true. I can assure you, I’m not talking about you. You are not that mythical unicorn of a mate. Few of us are.  The problem, of course, is that few people want to accept their station. That’s why you people clinging to an age bracket where they no longer belong or see folks desperately trying to break in to some inner circle of status and struggling to do so. It’s often why you hear stories from average looking men and women complaining about being used or poorly treated by a date. You tried to trade up and you got smacked down. Everybody wants to think they are the exception to the rule. Sorry, but you’re not. Once more, but with feeling, few of us are.

The reason why the most vocal of whiners complain about the unfairness of online dating or ageism or various other biases most often discussed in relation to dating is because they refuse to accept the lot that they and all the rest of us have been given. The end. Full stop.

They don’t want to accept their audience. They don’t feel they should “settle.” They will insist that they don’t feel they should compromise their standards. To which I say, keep at it. Because what they’re actually doing is weeding themselves out of the dating pool, making it easier for the rest of us.

They just don’t realize it.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 

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89 Responses to “Cut Your Dating Drama In Half By Dating In Your League”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I totally agree that dating drama can be reduced or elimanted by dating people that view you as their top option. This “league” discussion always gets tricky because people start getting into the numbers which just obscures the underlying principles. There is no objective “league” as in he’s a 6 and she’s a 9. It’s about “perceived options.” If the person you are dating believes, rightly or wrongly, that s/he has better options than you, you are “dating out of your league.” The way to determine your league is through experience. You need to start with a healthy awareness of yourself as well as an understanding of what motivates your target market. Though a worthy exercise, it is more than most people are willing or are capable of doing. The ideal match is when both parties believe they are dating above their league. (Ie each perceives the other as his/her best option). That is where the magic happens.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 0

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    • Howard Says:

      Well said. There is a lot of gray when it comes to this league thing. The divers tastes of people affects the equation of league significantly. Some women want shy white guys only. Some women want heavy-set black guys only. Some women like men in uniform. Some women like starving artist types.

      The same can be said for men. Some men like thick women. Some even like them very heavy. Some men like shorties. Some men like the exotic look. Some men like big breasts or small breasts or legs or big butt or small butt or just about any type of physical characteristic. Some men like shy women. Some men like alluring women. Some men like women with good congeniality.

      If a woman has problems dating, it is always a little befuddling to me how quickly she rejects a man who has a fascination with her peculiarity. I do understand that it’s always at the back of one head that the person doesn’t like you for who you are, but only for the satisfaction of the fetish he has.

      I have a more compassionate view of human beings. It may all start with a fixation, but the power of who we really are, takes over and it becomes more that just your heavy look or whatever fixation, that keeps him loving you. And in the end it’s really not that much different from the guy who like large breasts or tiny waists or pretty faces or long legs. It’s just that we accept liking breasts, pretty faces, small waists and long legs as normal, but the guy who likes overweight women as somehow having a fetish.

      Drama is often something we create ourselves. If one can clearly understand the lottery aspect to playing out of his or her league, one would do a lot better. I believe the problem on blogs like this, is that most women seem incapable of playing that game. Men tend to hardly write in to bemoan the unfairness of the world when it comes to this issue. Yes we do have our Avery and Steve and a few others.

      Moxie’s advice is indeed well suited for the women who have problems playing the game. That advice is however not as needed by most guys. The few guys who bemoan on this board could do well to take that advice too.

      In terms of looks, I have always dated out of my league. I know quite a few guys who have done the same. We generally don’t worry about the no’s we get. We only focus on the few yes’s we get. It gives the illusion of us doing the impossible. Some guys like to keep that illusion in place. I have always fessed up to the realities of what I do, dogged persistence and the thickest skin with rejection. I am in sales, so it’s no different from my job.

      It’s hard developing that thick skin, so we are somewhat back to Moxie’s advice and playing the edges with using people’s tastes to get our foot in the door of the other league. Staying from being bitter and beaten down also really helps. People read that bad energy off of you when you do that, and league doesn’t even matter; the league thing becomes something in your head only.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

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      • Avery_t Says:

        Howard wrote:

        Moxie’s advice is indeed well suited for the women who have problems playing the game. That advice is however not as needed by most guys. The few guys who bemoan on this board could do well to take that advice too.”

        Or women could lose weight. Moxie’s advice is not bad, but most women who get rejected are rejected for weight. Not all, but many.

        Men know they should/can earn more money (and lift weights). When I list my income online, I get a lot of attention. Maybe it’s no better than getting breast implants, but it may signal ambition, drive, and know-how.

        Most people don’t believe they can change their body or their income. As a gym-nut, I think it’s really possible to change one’s body. Income is harder to change.

        An old building-mate of mine who was running a small bookstore (a labor of love) proposed to his hot girlfriend (he’s tall, handsome, and very intelligent). She said “yes, on the condition that you give up the bookstore and get a real job.”

        What i look for in a woman is version of my ex-girlfriends. I liked most of them. I was into all of them. When I do online dating, I sense that many women are seeking men who in no way shape or form resemble men they have ever dated.

        Women seem to HATE it when men talk about ex-girlfriends. But it’s GOOD, if the men liked those women, because it means men’s wishes and hopes are grounded in reality. But women, I think, are greatly attached to the idea that love is always new and immaculate and magical and erases everything that went before it. That seems very Immaculate Conception or very New heaven and New Earth. It’s like messianic attitude toward love. For men, it’s more like denim. I love this wash and that fabric blend, but the cut is wrong. If I could JUST find a pair with the same wash and fabric blend, but the right cut, I’d never take those jeans off. I’d wear them forever.

        I think the solution is to work out all the time and base your romantic hopes on happiness you’ve had in the past. Maybe very few people online have actually had serious relationships.

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  2. Arbee Says:

    The usual negativity and bitterness from Moxie. No one can be happy and in love until she is. Until then, everyone, lower your standards and don’t think you are all that. The usual messages. Even the name of this company is in that category.

    Anyone can call themselves an expert and spew advice. Keep that in mind when you read these posts. There are far more people out there who read these and don’t comment on these threads but do in person at events, and that is the general sentiment. Moxie, your issues are showing. If only you were rooting for your readers. You may think you are, but that is not how it comes across. And anyone who disagrees with you will be put down.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 45 Thumb down 41

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    • LostSailor Says:

      lower your standards and don’t think you are all that.

      Indeed. Most people who complain about dating would do very well to heed that advice. I suspect Arbee is one who would benefit.

      If only you were rooting for your readers. You may think you are, but that is not how it comes across.

      Yes, if only more bloggers would blow ego-stroking smoke up people’s asses, telling soothing stories of unicorns and rainbows, everything would be like paradise and all dating issues would be solved. Unfortunately, there are already too many of these fantasyland promoters out there. If Moxie tells unpalatable truths, some people are going to be upset because they can’t face reality.

      And anyone who disagrees with you will be put down.

      Really? I’ve disagreed with Moxie’s advice in the past (as I’m sure I’ll be in the future) and haven’t been too shy about sharing my opinion, and I don’t recall being “put down.”

      But you, Arbee, aren’t just “disagreeing” with advice or an opinion, you’re attacking the person and showing resentment that your faith in consistently shooting out of your league will someday pan out isn’t being catered to. You’re resentful because you recognize the truth, you just can’t handle the truth…

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    • Emma Says:

      Amen. While I do believe that some people can be guilty of trying to date out of their league, Moxie’s advice comes across as if EVERYONE is out of your league. I think it’s because she truly doesn’t believe that she is worthy of love. She is skeptical of everyone, won’t let a man pay for a date and has sex on the 2nd date…all reasons why she’s 47 and still single. I feel bad for the people that tune in to this blog day after day and actually listen to this horrible “advice”. Honestly, the dating world is not nearly as tough as she makes it out to be. Maybe start being positive once in a while Moxie and you might actually find someone that loves you for you.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 14

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    • JulesP Says:

      Umm.. Arbee, it’s Moxie’s blog.. meaning you/we are going to ‘see’ Moxie via this blog, warts and all as we say.

      I’ve never been ‘put down’ by Moxie when I’ve disagreed with her.

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  3. Steve Says:

    I wish hot girls would seduce me, and have sex with me, even if I never saw them again. It would be better than what I’m getting now, an occasional online date that leads nowhere.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

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    • Goldie Says:

      Steve, I’m with you. I’ve done it and it felt good. (By “it”, I mean going out with a guy who perceives himself as high-options, knowing full well it would be a one-time thing, which it was.) The trick is to go into it with full awareness of what’s happening, not get attached, and see it as a fun experience. Way I saw it, I got an interesting guy, from a fairly different walk of life than mine, tell me interesting things about his life and make me feel good in every way, for one evening. I saw it as an evening well spent. Of course my schedule was fairly free at the time – if I had other things scheduled every evening of my week, be it dating, hobbies, or family-related stuff, I probably wouldn’t have met with him.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

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    • Howard Says:

      There was a way of meeting women before online got invented. Sometimes you just have to take it back old school, to get your edge back. There is too much over-reliance on online dating.

      I believe women have this intuition thing to spot men who can’t get women. They run as far as possible from guys they sense as unsuccessful in the dating arena. They are probably hard-wired to assume, that if many women don’t want a guy, then he is not good for them.

      I believe online works really well for the guys who were in demand anyway. I believe that the guys, who had problems before, don’t gain anything with online. They have to work just as hard at meeting women offline. And if height is an issue, they have to work even harder.

      Online dating feeds well into our instant-gratification mindset, but it’s not as much of a boon for people who had challenges offline.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

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    • A to the F Says:

      Stop dating online. Get some courage, learn to be funny, and meet girls in real life. It’s not difficult at all.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

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  4. Paul Says:

    Moxie is absolutely right. People must date within their league. When we don’t, we get rejected.

    A nasty truth, but that’s the way it is. No amount of whining and wishing and blaming Moxie will change it.

    What you can do, if you’re unhappy with people in your league, is get proactive. Lose the weight, update the wardrobe, improve your social skills, take an interest in the world, etc. It’s hard work, but the results will be worth it.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Paul…anything people can do to go back in age? Yep, thought not. That fountain of youth hasn’t been discovered just yet. Some factors can’t be changed. Our genetic features, height, etc – we must work with what we have. Good or bad. Embrace who we are, and whomever comes along to appreciate that is the right person for us–and vice and versa. You can only be proactive to some degree.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

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      • Paul Says:

        Not sure why you’d want to go back in age. My idea of attractive has tended to change more or less in step with my age. The younger women no longer seem as appealing, and and I’m noticing things in the older women that previously I would have overlooked. I hope that most people would adjust the same way, whether consciously or not.

        However, I do get your point that you can’t change everything. I hope you accept mine – that you can change a lot of things.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

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    • Lily Says:

      What is it with this league thing? Haven’t we all seen someone in a relationship and wonder what they were doing with their partner? Because in our eyes, they weren’t attractive enough for the person or whatever the case may be. And yet they are together because they are attracted to each other which at the end of the day, is all that matters. It’s a cliche but beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I’m so tired of all the negative talk…if you find someone attractive, talk to them because you might think you’re ok dating someone “in your league” and they end up doing the same BS the better looking guy/girl does. Until you get that notion in your head, you’ll either be alone or dating people you aren’t really that attracted to because you think that’s all you’re worthy of.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

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  5. Chester Says:

    I think Moxie is absolutely right here. Although DMN feels it is mostly subjective, I believe a large component is objective: primarily appearance for women and combination of appearance and confidence for men. But there certainly is a subjective component as well – which is why there are so many single people in NYC.

    Most issues here are exactly as Moxie says; after you look deep, you will see the “out of league” is the underlying issue.

    For women. dating above their league results in hearing “men only want one thing – sex” – No, the woman took a gamble and gave sex hoping to lock in a higher value guy and lost the gamble.

    For men, they try wine and dine hoping to win the hot woman and when they get the kiss on the cheek, they complain that women just use them to get free dinners. No, the man took the gamble and lost.

    Yes, there are guys who just want sex and there are women who just use guys for free meals but I think most of the time, these things occur due to dating “out of your league”.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

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    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      I agree that there is some basis in objective reality, particularly in how you view yourself if you have any sense. But you can never know how someone else perceives themselves which is largely my point. You don’t know what someone else finds uniquely attractive or what traits they might especially dislike. You don’t know whether they have severe self esteem issues or wild delusions. You’re only looking at the external. But, yes, if all else is equal, perceived options should relate closely to actual “real life” options.

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    • Lisa Says:

      This might be true among White Americans. But w/ regard to African Americans, the landscape is a bit different. 1) There are fewer available African American men than women. 2) The ~perceived~ number of African American men (compared to African American women) is WAY lower than that. 3) Many African Americans have grown up in broken or nontraditional homes/family structures. 4) Relatively fewer African American women want and pursue marriage.

      Just pointing out the context isn’t the same for everyone here.

      I date African American men exclusively and never have any problems getting or keeping them. But I know finding relationships for some African American women is very hard. And even for the women who vastly “outleague” the men. The women who are the most successful follow a pretty predictable pattern and it doesn’t have much to do w/ leagues…at least not in the way Moxie describes above.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

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    • Chester Says:

      It’s the subjective part that gets us in trouble. DMN, if League were fully objective, these issues would not exist. The mismatches and disconnects occur when people overestimate their own value.

      We can distinguish between preferences and value. A woman, who only dates men who are Taurus, can still recognize the value of man who is not a Taurus. This is her preference, not really a value per se. I’m sure there are shades of grey here, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying.

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  6. Yvonne Says:

    The issue of “leagues” makes me uncomfortable because, despite what anyone thinks, to some extent, it’s subjective. Yes, attractive people are able to attract other attractive people, but it’s not quite that simple. If you’ve ever met someone who looked great on paper, but with whom you had no chemistry, you know what I mean. Another example: I used to know a man who many people considered unattractive, but he was so witty and charming (and confident) that he always dated very good-looking, intelligent women, and eventually married one.

    So what if Dater X was smitten by her guy? He encouraged her to feel that way. Her mistake was that she didn’t slow things down enough to make sure that he was sincere (which is an issue with anyone you date), but I don’t think there’s any doubt that she’s young and impressionable, and that HE mislead HER. And that has nothing to do with leagues, but more to do with the fact that he’s actually an asshole, and not the great catch she though he was. I also doubt that she was the first person he has done this with, and I doubt she will be the last.

    If a guy’s a jerk, he’s not “out of your league”, he’s just a jerk. It’s not about the “league”, it’s about the level of interest and sincerity, and that often isn’t something we can know after a couple of dates.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 17

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    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Nope.

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    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Way to completely miss the point.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

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      • Yvonne Says:

        So if a more average-looking guy was saying the same comments to Dater X, that would be okay because he’d be “in her league”?

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        • ATWYSingle Says:

          She probably wouldn’t have gone out with a more average looking guy. That’s the point..

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          • Yvonne Says:

            So are you saying that only a really attractive man would do this? That he deliberately chose Dater X because she was less attractive than he and so he could get over on her more easily?

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          • ATWYSingle Says:

            No, I’m saying he got away with it because he was out of her league. That’s why she bought what he said. If he was just average and said those things, she’d have thought he was desperate. It was because he was out of her league and therefore perceived to be able to have anybody he wanted that she believed him. I really don’t understand why you’re so resistant to all of this.

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        • HammersAndNails Says:

          A much less attractive guy might have actually meant the nice things he said.

          There are no guarantees in dating, but a guy who thinks he can get another girl just as pretty as you any time he wants is a lot more likely to behave like a jerk to you, and not a jerk to a prettier girl that he thinks he’s lucky to be getting a shot with.

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  7. D. Says:

    I agree with what DMN says, but Moxie also has some excellent points. The thing is “league” discussions too often degenerate into some concept of objective leagues, usually based on some numerical hierarchy. Leagues are subjective and personal.

    I think it’s far more about knowing yourself, knowing the kinds of people to whom you’re attractive (and being realistic about that), and knowing the kinds of people to whom you’re most attracted, then focusing on the overlap of those groups. Doing that can cut down on a LOT of the bullshit.

    Someone sent me a Funny or Die video recently that flipped the trope of the “nerdy guy” and the “hot girl,” and also highlights the concept of “types” in dating. It shows a date between these two broad categories, except the “hot girl” is actually way, way nerdier than the “nerdy guy.” The reason why this video is remotely funny, though, is precisely because most people know that this kind of pairing doesn’t usually match up, and because the “hot girl” is actually so far from the “type” you’d think she’d be. The guy looks like an extra from the comic shop set on The Big Bang Theory. The girl looks like a hot ESPN anchor.

    This does not occur in nature. We know this instinctively. It’s when we try to ignore this that we get ourselves screwed up. Likewise, when we know what kind of person we go for and try to “force” ourselves to like someone different, we end up lying to ourselves and hurting someone else’s feelings. Granted, the real world doesn’t provide you with such clear-cut stereotypes when you meet someone, but you can at least get a sense of whether it’s more or less likely that the other person will dig you, if you’re realistic.

    The good news is that, within your “type,” you can find a whole range of people. That can lead to disappointment, but it can also lead to amazing success. When you look at a pairing that doesn’t “objectively” match up (e.g., she’s way better looking than he is), recognize that they’re probably each other’s type. So, yeah, the “nerdy guy” won’t likely end up with the “hot ESPN anchor girl,” but he may end up with the “awesome nerdy girl.”

    Focus on the people you dig, that you also appeal to, and things can work out fantastically.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

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    • Goldie Says:

      So what I’m getting from your comment is, we have to make an effort to learn to be more self-aware, while at the same time making an equal effort to learn to understand people better, in order to determine our “type”, who falls into it, who falls outside of it, and what we can do to expand it if we think it’s too narrow.

      I like this!

      My last relationship was with a man who was fairly far outside of my “type”, and I outside of his. I knew this pretty much as soon as we met, but was interested to see what would happen if we expanded our horizons and went outside of our types. Turns out, doing so complicates things tremendously, both during the relationship, during the (inevitable) breakup, and after the breakup. That stuff is difficult enough if the two of you “get” each other; insanely hard and painful if you don’t. So yeah, type FTW.

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      • D. Says:

        Basically, yeah. Self-awareness and an understanding of people is pretty critical to making relationships work. At the very least it really helps to be able to spot where it won’t work.

        “Out of your league” vs. “not their type” is probably a matter of semantics for many people, but discussions about it often focus on “on paper” qualities (e.g., looks, education, job, income, etc.) as the sole criteria. That stuff is important, but there’s more to attraction.

        That’s where I think DMN’s point comes in: attraction is subjective. If someone is looking for some set of qualities in who they’ll date and has a particular opinion of themselves that makes them think they can find it, then one’s objective “league” doesn’t really matter. What matters is the subjective things that individual is looking for set against their belief that they can find it, whether that’s realistic or delusional.

        So, this is where the self-awareness part comes in (and also where Moxie’s point, in a general sense, comes in). You have to be self-aware. You have to know what you bring to the party and the kinds of people you’re likely to attract. Knowing this and sticking as close to it as possible prevents you from dating the people who aren’t likely to be interested in you, but who might go out with you out of boredom or because they’re horny and looking to get laid or whatever. Related to that, really knowing what you’re looking for and sticking pretty closely to that will prevent you from dating someone “to give it a chance” when deep down you know they aren’t what you want.

        Basically, what I gather from Moxie’s advice is that she has a core belief: date people who are into you, and don’t try to date people who clearly aren’t. The rest of what she talks about mostly boils down to how to attract people who are likely to be into you, and how to figure out when someone isn’t into you so you can walk away. That’s it. That’s really what I see this site as being about.

        I think a lot of people read her advice and just see “Settle!!” as the message, but I think that misses the point. I think it’s about shaking people out of their delusions and fantasies about what they think they want, and refocusing them on the real essentials of what matters to them. Granted, a lot of the articles focus on the first part of that equation — the shaking people out of their delusions. But I think there’s more to the advice than JUST that.

        If people can let go of the obsession with the “league”-related criteria, figure out what it is that really matters to them at the core, and go for that instead, they’ll probably find it to be a lot more available.

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        • manwich Says:

          I think this is an excellent point. There is such thing as leagues. We are naive to think we are entitled to date just everyone we want. There is also “type” though. Type trumps league.

          “league” assumes some objective linear standard that everyone is judged by. Sadly, a woman’s beauty is somewhat like that, but type obscures this. Some women assume that any guy who treats them well must be beneath their league, but you may just be his type.

          In the DaterX story, he never really explains why he likes her. Every line he uses could be used on any woman. That is suspicious.

          Type is like a hundred different leagues. There’s a tattoo league for people who are into that type. Some people won’t date you because you don’t have enough tattoos. Some people won’t date you if you have any tattoos.

          I’ve been rejected for not being Jewish. If I were, someone else would reject me for that.

          Half the women on this planet can’t date me because I don’t speak Chinese. I fail hard in that league.

          You can’t be everybody’s type.

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          • LostSailor Says:

            Well, as D notes, at this point it’s becoming a matter of semantics.

            But I think there is a distinct difference in how most people refer to the concepts of “league” and “type.” The former is a measure of what some call the sexual or marriage market value. For women it might be looks, for men it might be status, but it is essentially a value. The concept of “type,” however, is generally based on particular characteristics, such as height, hair color, ethnicity, or even tattoos.

            So, even if you have a preference for a certain “type” of partner, across the spectrum of people who meet that criteria there will be people who are out of your league both above and below as well as people who are in the same league.

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          • Tinker Says:

            This! I totally agree with Manwich here- type trumps all. And you can’t tell what someone’s type is just by looking at them. You can guess, based on what ‘league’ you think they are in, but ultimately you don’t know and a person is going to go for their type, regardless of their perceived league.This explains some of those head-scratcher couples- they appear to be mismatched, but it’s really a case of someone being the right type.

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          • fuzzilla Says:

            **In the DaterX story, he never really explains why he likes her. Every line he uses could be used on any woman. That is suspicious.**

            Yep. Even if a guy is perfectly nice and compliments me, I see it as a red flag if his compliments could be used on any woman rather than show he’s been paying attention to me and what makes me tick. Not a red flag that he’s a “player” or a horrible person, just that we probably aren’t gonna get real far as a couple.

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          • Goldie Says:

            “The concept of “type,” however, is generally based on particular characteristics, such as height, hair color, ethnicity, or even tattoos. ”

            Ohhh, I was thinking of type in terms of a person’s character type, e.g. strong and silent, sensitive/romantic, suburban dad, starving artist, free spirit etc. Each of us clicks with some types, but not the others. Using myself as an example, I have a more or less sarcastic sense of humor (as do my kids) and will try most anything once. When I mentioned having gotten involved with someone outside my type, I meant that he was a rule-abiding, sentimental romantic. We both thought it was worth a try, because we still had quite a lot in common. Sadly, fundamental differences in our characters got us in the end. Major communication issues. Towards the end, pretty much anything any of us said left the other shocked and horrified. Completely different people. That’s what I thought was meant by different types – looks and tattoos, and even ethnicity, are all things one gets used to and stops noticing after a couple of months together.

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  8. msM. Says:

    In this woman’s case, I never once got the impression that she cared about him as a person, it was more about what he represented to her, some “fancy” dude with a cliché love story she could brag to her friends about

    He probably really enjoyed the attention. This guy must do this at least once a week. By picking women that are “below” his league he knows chances are there is no need for him to make any effort. Sitting back and enjoying the ego boost…

    Yes there are dating leagues. That have more to do with what someone’s options are (i.e. whoever messages you or writes you back) than with someone’s idea of what their value is. The thing is, most people would still rather go for the top people than “settle” in their own minds (as per that study that said the “most attractive” people online get the large majority of messages).

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    • manwich Says:

      Yeah, it was a story of two shallow people using each other. The guy was so over the top it seemed creepy. It seems like any decent judge of character would have seen right through it.

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  9. Lisa Says:

    This might be true among White Americans. But w/ regard to African Americans, the landscape is a bit different. 1) There are fewer available African American men than women. 2) The ~perceived~ number of African American men (compared to African American women) is WAY lower than that. 3) Many African Americans have grown up in broken or nontraditional homes/family structures. 4) Relatively fewer African American women want and pursue marriage.

    Just pointing out the context isn’t the same for everyone here.

    I date African American men exclusively and never have any problems getting or keeping them. But I know finding relationships for some African American women is very hard. And even for the women who vastly “outleague” the men. The women who are the most successful follow a pretty predictable pattern and it doesn’t have much to do w/ leagues…at least not in the way Moxie describes above.

    Sorry this is a double post…posted it in the wrong place the first time.

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    • Speed Says:

      As a fellow African American, I get what you’re saying: too many brothers in prison and not enough in MBA programs. Still, I think Moxie’s advice is universal across races, nations, genders and sexual orientation (notice the OP’s from Europe, Asia, South America, men, women, gays, straights, kinky/vanilla, etc.).

      I feel a little funny saying this, but I think the solution for many sisters who can’t find the “right” brother is to expand the dating pool. Most black women I know are like you: they only want to “exclusively date African American men.” Considering our racial history, I get that. And if a sister is getting what she wants, no problem. However, if she’s not, I’d recommend considering other races. As a long a non-black guy doesn’t have a case of “jungle fever” and seems like a decent guy, why not give him a chance?

      And also, to be frank, many black men, especially the most successful, tend to date/marry whomever they want, regardless of race. I’m also obviously guilty of that.

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      • Lisa Says:

        I agree that ppl should try to be as open as they can to all their options. But using myself as an example, I’m just generally more attracted to African American men and enjoy their company more. No shade to White guys, but we all have preferences…which sometimes can’t just be rationalized away.

        All this talk of league-jumpting and knowing your audience leaves me scratching my head.

        What if a 40 y/o woman is told she will have much better odds w/ a 50 y/o? So she focuses only on 50 y/o but can never manage to get worked up on dates w/ any of them. She longs for a 35-40 y/o’s hard chest and full head of hair?

        Isn’t it better for her just to go after what she likes? Won’t the victories, tho possibly fewer and further btwn, be so much sweeter?

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  10. C Says:

    I’m with DMN too.

    The conversation of leagues is tricky. I can confidently say that I’m not in John Mayer’s league. I can also confidently say that I find John Mayer repulsive. If he were to ask me out, I would agree strictly for “the experience” and the ego stroking. So how does the fact that I would use John Mayer play into the league discussion?

    Not too long ago, I gave a guy I saw as beneith me a chance only to find that he treated me as if I were beneith him. So how does that fit into the league discussion? Was he beneith me or was I beneith him? Was one of us delusional or were we measuring each other on different sets of scales? Perhaps he was measuring me strictly on the youth and looks scale, while I was measuring him on the fitness and intelligence scale.

    As a side note, in her last note on GQ, Dater X sounded kind of nuts. I can understand being a irked, but I doubt any level headed woman would confront a man demanding “closure” to their “relationship” after 3 dates.

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    • Lisa Says:

      Yes, sometimes you think the lower status guys will be a safe, comfortable bet, but they can turn out to be the biggest mess of anger, insecutity and cynicism.

      (A lesson learned in grad school…my own personal soc-psych experiment.)

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      • C Says:

        Thats definitely true!

        In the case of the guy I’m thinking of, he really wasnt a bad guy (I dont think). We would have a really nice, fun date, and as I was saying good night at my doorstep or in my car, he would suddenly very aggressively try to get me to sleep with him….in my CAR!! And this was on date #1 and #2. Then he called me at 7:30pm on a friday to ask if I wanted to hang out.

        Really, no harm no foul, but everything about this guy screamed, “You’ll be fun for now”. This guy wasnt a loser, but he was definitely not nearly as attractive as most of my boyfriends. What gives?!

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      • Elle Says:

        I have also noticed that. In my case, I have noticed that the guys who I find very attractive and have good jobs treat me a lot better than the ones who are unattractive and have low paying jobs. I don’t think you should judge a book by its cover. I usually stay away from unattractive guys because they are usually really mean, controlling, and jealous. For me, its better to continue dating someone based on how they treat me opposed to preconcieved standards or leagues.

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        • Goldie Says:

          “I usually stay away from unattractive guys because they are usually really mean, controlling, and jealous.”

          I see what you mean, but it is not as clear-cut as that. You cannot determine a man’s character just based on his looks alone.

          What you seem to be describing is men with major insecurity issues and/or low self-esteem issues, and yes in my experience they can be extremely needy, clingy, controlling, always needing validation, always terrified of not being loved and appreciated and of being taken for granted, and no amount of reassurance, both verbal and nonverbal, is ever going to convince them of your love and respect. (Can you tell I have BTDT? lol) Yeah these guys are a lot of work. But they’re not necessarily unattractive. They can be quite good-looking, although they will probably still perceive themselves as unattractive. Their issues might stem from their childhood growing up in a dysfunctional family, having been bullied in school, etc etc, things that have nothing to do with the way those men look now. Likewise, I know men (and was in a short relationship with one) whose looks are not all that, but they’re confident, they grew up in healthy balanced families, and as a result they have healthy and balanced personalities themselves, and are not controlling, clingy, or jealous at all.

          Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take one look at a guy and immediately tell what he’s like as a person. Alas, no such luck. We have to spend time with him and get to know him better in order to learn what his character is like. There are no shortcuts that I know of.

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  11. manwich Says:

    Awww, poor DaterX. I think we all saw that coming. At least she still has a job as a frustrated single girl.

    For a guy, this advice is spot on. For a woman, this can be tricky because a man’s value is more subjective than a woman’s beauty.

    The best way for a guy to ruin his life is to marry out of his league. A guy who marries slightly down however is in for a long happy life of being cherished and adored.

    The trick is that men judge women by their looks. It’s shallow, but true. A beautiful woman can’t hide. Guys will find her. Women don’t have any one single standard to judge men by, so they often fall into the Groucho Marx syndrome “I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member”.

    We just had thread the other day about a woman lamenting that she liked guys out of her league. It turned out she was attracted to jerks. The whole PUA thing is all about treating beautiful women like you’re out of their league. It’s sad but women fall for this. A man can improve his success with women just by learning to be more arrogant and condescending. There is a whole industry teaching nice guys to become douche bags. Single women should learn about this stuff, look out for it, and think long and hard about why it works.

    As a man we judge other men by a completely different set of standards. I know guys who are scrawny, dorky losers, who get picked on by other men, but somehow have skill at manipulating women. Is that kinda guy “outta your league”? I know other guys who are leaders among men, but just not good at the dating game.

    I have these three good friends. They are all tall, athletic, successful, respected in their careers, and have great personalities. They’re the kind of men that men respect. All three of these guys were in a dating rut, because they don’t hang out at night clubs, and they are maybe a little too busy with their careers. They were frustrated with dating without really trying. I had to practically beat them over the head to try internet dating. They all pretty much settled with the first nice girl they met. They are all three engaged now to women who adore them and feel lucky to be marrying up. Guys like this are out there.

    Just because a guy treats you like he’s better than you, doesn’t mean he is. I think some women need to be better judges of character. See through the smoke and mirrors. Judge a man by his attributes, not just how slick and confident he seems. Take a more active role in finding what you are looking for instead passively waiting for it to come to you. Give introverts a chance to warm up. You can’t date without chemistry, but be careful of too much chemistry. Everyone should have a realistic goal of what they can attract, but if you value better qualities, you can date better people.

    Like I’ve said, we need to be persuasive salesmen, but skeptical consumers.

    GUYS! Try to be more charming
    GIRLS! Be skeptical of charming guys

    GUYS! Lower your standards. Date someone who turns you on, but you don’t need a supper model.
    GIRLS! Look your best. Use your sex appeal.

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    • Lisa Says:

      These are some great points.

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    • Avery_t Says:

      manwich,

      You wrote: I have these three good friends. They are all tall, athletic, successful, respected in their careers, and have great personalities. They’re the kind of men that men respect.

      what if this is not what women want?

      take the physical (height, good looks) out of the equation. certainly many women want Tom Brady, but what if some (many?) women want to de dominated? You imply that negging is about increasing value by presenting the illusion of superior value. But what if it’s more about displaying dominance than it is about the illusion of value?

      Can there be dominance (domination) WITHOUT value? can there be charm without value?

      many discussions about dating are about value, but women again and again and again say they want confidence in a man. Why is this? I don’t exactly know. I’m asking.

      Can a woman be dominated (in a psychological/emotional way) by a man who’s value is low?

      My ex’s have always praised my biting wit. It thrills them and scares them. I never turn it on them, but they’ve heard me savage people in private. Some ex’s have said “I hope you never turn that thing [my wit] on me.” So, maybe they have felt dominated by my wit in that way. I do not know. I’m spitballing. I’m trying to figure out if negging is successful for any reason OTHER than the Grouch Marxian way it may create the illusion of high value. maybe it’s NOT just about rejection or the potential for it. Maybe it’s about the image of confidence which may somehow be very sexually arousing for women. Many women admit to wanting to be dominated in bed, and for that reason seek out much larger men. but what if women also want to be mentally and verbally dominated and seek out more verbally adept men. I do NOT mean verbally abused. I mean bantered into a sort of submission, like some sparring match from some Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant movie.

      Is confidence more attractive than sheer good looks, and if so, why (beyond the notion of value)?

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      • Avery_t Says:

        oops. whose.

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      • Lisa Says:

        What does “neg” mean?

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      • C Says:

        I think women more so then men look for emotional and psychological repore. Someone to connect with who really “gets them”. I dont know about verbal domination. Generally, theres nothing more exhosting then someone who constantly needs to one up you. Its also the most obvious sign of an inferiority complex.

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        • Avery_t Says:

          I don’t mean one upping. That’s totally annoying.

          I was a literature professor. I read lots and lots and lots of books. Words are very, very important to me. I worship Oscar Wilde. I worship his wit. I tend to date women with astronomically high verbal SAT scores because they tend to be eloquent, clever, and passionate about stuff like etymology. And we develop an easy rapport through that.

          The type of verbal dominance I meant is more like the play of verbal wit in Gilmore Girls. Or Spike and Buff on Buffy. Or Veronica and Logan on Veronica Mars. Logan Echolls is a great example. He’s not that handsome (he is rich), but he’s very clever. His wit is more handsome that his face.

          I think it’s hard to explain to people who are not into it.

          By domination, I do not mean brow-beating or showboating, I mean displaying a verbal cleverness and mental agility and quickness that takes a way a woman’s metaphorical breath and makes he feel a bit helpless in the way that anything new and astonishing makes a person feel a bit helpless (but in the good way Kant talks about when he talks about the Sublime in his Critique of Judgment). There may be some odd sublimity to good negging. There is certainly sublimity to good wit. But I’m just spitballing, because I’ve never negged anybody. However, I have refrained from showing attraction. That’s as close as I’ve come.

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    • Avery_t Says:

      mawnich,

      1) also, you imply that men who neg are invariably bad boyfriends and husbands. I am not in favor of negging. I don’t do it. But some guys may not have a choice. They may not have the looks or status to initially attract wimen. but they MAY turn out to be terrific guys.

      2) I think women may look for signs of male endowment. So, if a non-handsome guy has a lot of attitude, a woman may assume that he’s well-hung or really good in bed.

      3) some women yearn for degradation. this may have to do with the illusion of value (as you say), or it may be a more Sex Pistols/Punk urge (like getting a face tattoo). These women want to discard their inner (or outer) princess or they want to shed the myth of prince charming and fairy tale romance.

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  12. BTownGirl Says:

    This is all so true. I’m pretty thin with a (natural) big chest and a lot of guys put me in the “Insecure Bimbo” category because they assume I have implants. I live in Boston, so guys here are much more likely than, say, guys in LA or Miami to get judgy about that sort of thing. I finally stopped bothering with the finance and law dudes, because they see me and think, “She looks slutty and, ipso facto, beneath me. I’d bang her but I don’t take her seriously enough to date her.” Interestingly enough, I dress very conservatively, but it doesn’t make a difference. It really is about finding your audience!

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    • manwich Says:

      Yeah, I’m finding my audience. I’m moving to Boston where girls with nice figures aren’t getting enough appreciation.

      No, seriously, I have read of psych experiments where they found that men perceive busty women to be more promiscuous. It’s these kinda stupid caveman instincts we all need to outgrow.

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      • BTownGirl Says:

        HA! Puritan Instincts die hard, you know! Well, you can guess which episode of Seinfeld is my personal favorite :)

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    • Mercutio Says:

      Why were you targeting the finance and law dudes in the first place? Boston has plenty of Biochemistry dudes and Medieval history dudes. You’re targeting the high earners, and they know that. Go to Kendall Sq and meet some of the guys studying Astrophysics or Neurobiology.

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        I will tell you once more: if you’re going to continue to post here, Avery, then post under your original username. We’re not stupid. Everybody knows it’s you.

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  13. LostSailor Says:

    I agree with Moxie and most commenters except for those who think a discussion of “leagues” is “tricky.” No, it’s really not. And, as I mentioned to Arbee above, I think they know it, and just have trouble facing it.

    Yes, people lie to themselves all the time. We think we’re more attractive, more fit, more charming than we really are precisely because most people are fed a steady diet of self-esteem-building platitudes that “settling” is bad, that only the best will do, and that we all deserve the best of the best.

    The problem is that the “best” is the best because it’s rare and there’s not enough of it to go around. If we all deserve the best then a lot of people are going to be disappointed because demand vastly outstrips supply.

    And lo and behold, what do we find? A large number of people who are frustrated and who become angry and bitter when someone points out the plain facts.

    The idea of “leagues” is not one of hard boundaries, but slightly more fluid perceptions. And it’s definitely all about being honest with yourself about yourself. And if we are honest with ourselves, we all usually realize that we know pretty much who is and isn’t in our league. That doesn’t mean you should never try to extend your reach, but you need to be clear with yourself about what you’re doing.

    It’s people who deny the reality of their league–who stamp their feet, cross their arms, and pout under the banner of “never settle”–who are out their on dates and constantly thinking “could I do better?” “am I settling?” and “what if my dream-date is right around the corner?” that are getting in their own way. Instead of people who are dating thinking “am I happy with this person and is this person happy with me?”

    Who do you think is going to have more success?

    Oh, and Dater-X’s guy was totally slumming. Not sure why, but some guys are like that…

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    • Goldie Says:

      Settling *is* bad, but not in the way most people see it. The way I look at it, deciding to go with someone who’s not a good fit for you, for whatever reason, is settling. A woman may choose a guy who’s not a great personality match, but he’s super attractive or has an Ivy League degree or a high-status job or what have you – in my book, she’s settling. If a guy chooses to get serious with a woman that he doesn’t click with, because she’s very attractive and they like the same books, bands and TV shows – that’s settling.

      I agree that “am I happy with this person and is this person happy with me?” is the only question we should ask ourselves while trying to decide on a potential partner. And maybe, not just happy in the now – DaterX was happy in the now and look where that got her – but do I see myself being happy with this person, and being able to make this person happy, long-term?

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      • LostSailor Says:

        Dater-X was “happy” (actually, too happy) but she wasn’t honest with herself. She knew this guy was our of her league, but she let herself get sucked into the fantasy. Sure, it’s not easy to resist, but a lot of hurt can be avoided if you’re clear about the situation.

        But what you’re describing deciding to go with someone who’s not a good fit for you isn’t “settling,” it’s making bad decisions for the wrong reasons.

        Instead, what most people mean when they talk of “settling” is not resigning yourself to someone who isn’t a good match or purposely looking for someone of a perceived lower value. What most people are saying when they talk of “not settling” is the idea that what I have now might be good, but I’m going to hold out for better.

        By definition, the moment you decided to be exclusive with or commit to someone, you have “settled” because you’re paying the opportunity cost of foregoing other possible “better” people.

        It’s not necessarily a dirty word…

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    • msM. Says:

      You can also have a lower opinion of your value and play very safe which I have done. When I started this out I thought at my age – 34 – I’d get divorced dads 10-15+ yrs older and that was it. I got better responses than I expected, and this is the odd thing, once you realize that you can “trade up” you find it hard to “settle” so you try to find what your “market” is (who has demonstrated interest in you) and the best you can find within that.

      Even though I get contacted by some men my age, I have a suspicion that they can “do better” than me (i.e. finding a younger woman) and that I should always go for a person of similar/compatible market value. So the ideal is a man about 6-10 yrs older for the sake of reality and balance

      Because even if a more conventionally attractive man my age-ish is after me, I am too insecure to pretend that he won’t want to trade me for a younger woman a few years down the line.

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    • manwich Says:

      I think it’s a no-brainer for men. We just expect beautiful women to be high maintenance. We don’t live in a culture that panders to men’s shallow needs, like we shouldn’t settle because each one of us is a special little prince who deserves a super model. Guys who play the field learn early on that the return on investment is inversely proportional to how hot a woman is. Most of us grow up eventually and settle.

      For women, this is more confusing, because;
      #1 a man’s value is more subjective.
      #2 a confident manipulative man can exploit this.
      #3 our culture tends to pander to women and create false expectations. Moxie is a rare exception.
      #4 guys know they can date down for better results, so women are used to dating out of their league.
      #5 for everyone, type obscures league.

      It’s tricky, because we all need more realistic standards. We need someone like Moxie to tell us the hard truth.

      Unfortunately, this advice goes to an opposite extreme. Women often loose respect for a guy when they find out he likes her. It’s like “if he likes me, he must be beneath me. If he uses me, and treats me like crap, he must be a quality man”. This is why men have to play hard-to-get. It’s harsh, but true. Often, the less respect we give, the more we get back.

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      • Howard Says:

        Don’t necessarily agree. I think it’s more about knowing the man is in demand. But guess what? We are all a little that way. If your boss thinks the competition wants you, he will try to take care of you a little better.

        In the dating arena, we men do it differently from women starting out, but we end up back at the same place. I think most guys look for an available women that is as beautiful as possible. It’s a “low hanging fruit mentality”. For men, availability seems to trump desirability, starting out. For women, desirability trumps availability, when starting out and every stage of the game.

        However, when it comes to deciding commitment, men definitely value desirability more than availability. Most men hang on to a woman because they come to realize that she is very valuable, and they better grab her up before someone else comes along and steals her.

        I don’t know, which way is better. The “something being better than nothing” mentality allows us men to not complain as much. It however leads to much time wasting with women who are not best for us in the long term. This sowing one’s wild oats thing, gets stale after a while and we do demand more.

        Maybe women are smarter than us. I was just reading this study that shows much greater prosperity in countries that choose female leaders. And as much as we like to think women have all this power and entitlement now, the numbers just don’t show it. There are only 18 heads of state worldwide out of some 200 plus nations. Yes it’s up from four in the 1950’s but still ridiculously low considering the better success rate of women; think, Golda Meir, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thacher, Chancellor Merkel in Germany. When my girlfriend needs something done on her car, I have to take it, or they will charge her more. So we still have ways to go.

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    • Avery_t Says:

      lostsailor wrote:

      The problem is that the “best” is the best because it’s rare and there’s not enough of it to go around. If we all deserve the best then a lot of people are going to be disappointed because demand vastly outstrips supply.

      ___

      men don’t think in terms of best. I mean, is Rachel MacAdams better than Megan Fox? Whothef-ckcares?! they’re both hottt.

      men are much, much less competitive with each other than women are with each other. For women, “best” means “better than her guy.” I don’t think men think that way.

      In some sci-fi films, men create female sexbots. They all look pretty much the same. All the men are happy with their slender pretty female sexbot.

      But would women be happy if they all had the same hunky tall lantern-jawed male sexbot? In that scenario, all women would have a clone of their friend’s male sexbot. So, they couldn’t perceive themselves as having higher value man (sexbot). They couldn’t use male sexbots as tokens in an intragender competition. They couldn’t say “my sexbot is taller” or “my sexbot earns more” or “my sexbot is smarter.” They could say only “my sexbot has a lower serial number than your sexbot.”

      men created the notion of sexbots.

      Women created the notion of value.

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  14. G Says:

    I agree in theory. It should cut the drama and help people form more realistic relationships, there’s one big problem with it.

    It makes the assumption that if I “date within my league”, that every person deemed to be in that “league” also follows the same advice. Which sadly, is not the case.

    Especially with online dating, if the people you *really* like a re not biting, it’s easy to start messaging more people who you figure “Eh, they’re seem ok, I’ll give them a shot..”. Then THEY don’t reply because they are also awaiting a reply from Mr. Dreamboat… and the whole thing spirals downwards from there. It’s easy to begin to think your “league” is so far below what you actually could have if you turned off the computer and went and met real people.

    I went on a date a few months ago with a “high powered exec” who told me all about the multi-million dollar deals she was involved in. I’m in the same business but got the feeling I was really up against someone higher up and more qualified than myself. As the conversation went on, it turned out she worked at the same company at a different site. She was basically an assistant. We have someone in our office too who orders the coffee and donuts for the morning meetings.

    I met another who I stupidly added on FB before we met up. She would post about her dating life constantly, telling how many dates she had lined up and who “difficult” it was being an “extremely beautiful person who’s in too much demand” (her words not mine). Needless to say I went through with the date but it was like pulling teeth, she really wasn’t my type, while reasonably “ok” looking, I wasn’t blow away but maybe I’d have seen something if her personality was sweet and charming.

    I’ve also seen friends just “give up”. I know it’s aweful to say but I could see them getting to a point where they didnt want to date or chase people anymore and just “settled” (yes, that word!) for the next person who came along. Now, not ALL my friends did, but some you can only look at and think “Why?”, they are in LTR’s with people they are not matched well with, are not in my friends league on looks or just plain don’t treat them well… but whatever it was, led them to believe, this was their “league” since waiting it out and aiming higher became too much work.

    In an ideal world, if everyone took this advice, yes, things would be a much happier place. But sadly, not everyone does.

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  15. Dori Says:

    Two things I found strange in Dater X’s story. I wonder whether it is generational or cultural or whether she is crazy

    1. She spends a night with her new lover, and sleeps in a tank top and yoga pants aka PJs. WTF happened to lingerie or good old nudity?

    2. Her new lover cancels the date because he is sick, and she is not even asking whether he perhaps needs anything. Orange juice, food, meds, tender and living care. Later he asks her when is he going to see her again, and she answers that he will see her when he gets better

    Maybe he dumped her not because he is out of her league, but because she is self-centered, lacks compassion, and not very good in bed?

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    • Dori Says:

      lOving care, not living care

      sorry

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    • msM. Says:

      dori there was no “dumping” because there was no relationship. She barely knew this guy.

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    • LostSailor Says:

      aka PJs. WTF happened to lingerie or good old nudity?

      Yeah! I never wear PJs in favor of good old-fashioned nudity! Which I probably shouldn’t put in my online profile. And which you probably didn’t really want to know…

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    • Shame Says:

      In regards to the PJs thing…according to the article, I think she was on her period?

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      • Tinker Says:

        She slept with a new guy, who she really liked, for the first time while on her period?

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        • BostonRobin Says:

          There’s something to consider too, that when you date out of your league, you just might get a case of nerves and do weird things like that. I’ve experienced both ends of that myself, when I’ve dated someone outside my usual circles.

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          • Dori Says:

            That is so true… Couple months ago I totally lost my marbles after encountering an ‘out of my league’ guy. So who am I to cast stones?

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  16. Chris Says:

    Celebrated my parents 59th anniversary last week. My wife and I have been married for 33 years. The whole approach to “leagues”, physical attributes, and random sex indicates such a shallow self-serving crowd that finding a successful relationship would be a miracle. You can’t build a lasting relationship on being fair or equitable. “Fair” is the killer of all relationships. Fair implies everyone gets an equal return of physical attributes, happiness, and effort. Here is the truth – life is messy and if you want commitment you had better be ready to give commitment way beyond “fair”. Is sleeping in a chair in a hospital for days while your spouse fights cancer “fair”? Is earning a living while your spouse raises the kids fair (for either side!). If you are financially successful should you re-evaluate your options because you are in a new “league”? If your spouse ages a little more quickly, do you dump them?

    Here is wisdom – join a good Christian church to reorganize your values. Work on your own inner beauty. Stop treating others like chattel or sex objects. Learn to love yourself so that you can properly love others. Don’t accept the media’s valuation of people by physical attribute or money. Accept God’s love for you, so that you will be able to love others. Look for potential mates who are doing the same, instead of those who hit the bar scene looking for short term pleasure. Then you will be blessed, but it will never be fair!

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    • Goldie Says:

      “Fair implies everyone gets an equal return of physical attributes, happiness, and effort.”

      Um? no, that’s not what fair means. In terms of LTR/marriage, fair implies pulling your weight, supporting each other, not treating your spouse like dirt because he or she gave a vow and so cannot get out of the marriage anyway… not taking your spouse for granted, not treating your spouse and kids like a chore. Things of that nature.

      You can find your inner beauty, learn to love yourself and others, without joining a church.

      The logistics of dating (which is what this post is about) are very different from the logistics of being married. Everyone I know who got back into the dating scene after a long marriage, myself included, had a rude awakening.

      This is my two cents on the above comment.

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      • Chris Says:

        Agree with your general comments. That is why you look for people with the right mind-set (not physical attributes) at the beginning. They are found more often in good environments.

        Life itself will be unfair and inequitable. When my wife and her mom both had cancer, I bounced between hospital floors to meet their needs while working a full time job. I never once thought about her pulling her fair share. The love and commitment we made to each other at the beginning was more than sufficient to see us through. It’s more about love than fairness. There is a danger in measuring others to see if they meet parity and then “fairly” returning what is perceived as their shortcomings. Men and women think differently enough that both sides will feel something is unfair. “He never talks to me.” “She seems sexually distant.” “He is inconsiderate.” “She is too emotional.” “His work is his life.” “She is always slow.” The fair thing is to return in kind. Love goes beyond that and helps through weaknesses and differences.

        The difficulty of guidelines like physical attractiveness is that they are at best short lived. It is best to ask oneself “could I enjoy being with this person if they were 80 years old?” because that is what will happen if you are lucky.

        Your experiences seem to have been difficult and I sympathize. Wishing you the very best in life!

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    • LostSailor Says:

      Unfortunately, Chris, this discussion really isn’t about building relationships, lasting or otherwise. It’s also not about being fair. It’s about dating with a realistic approach that encourages true mutual attraction, which is a necessary first step whether an ensuing relationship is short- or long-term.

      I do understand where you’re coming from, however. Five years ago, when I was married, I might have subscribed to some of the ideas you mention, but the fact is you’re trying to apply lessons from a long-term relationship/marriage to the dating market. You’ve been off the dating market for quite a long time, longer than I was, but I can tell you that times have definitely changed since you were last in the pool.

      It’s not that people are more shallow or self-centered (well, mostly not) than in the past, but life moves much more quickly now, and being awash in online dating options, pervasive social media, and now such phone apps as Tinder, people are sized-up and judged rather quickly. If you’re not prepared to deal with that, you’re not going to have success dating or finding a relationship.

      But the idea of dating “out of your league” and the mechanics of physical attributes and attraction have always been with us. Even in the church environment you describe, these concepts apply. In her post Moxie identifies, correctly in my opinion, the mythical bromides that you are echoing: “Beauty is on the inside”…“It’s all about confidence”… and “There’s no such thing as dating leagues.”

      In a fast-paced dating market where lots of people have many options to choose, it has nothing to do with being “fair,” it has to do with being realistic, honest with yourself, and maximizing your chances for success. Until one does that, advice about how to create or maintain relationships is pretty useless.

      If you are financially successful should you re-evaluate your options because you are in a new “league”? If your spouse ages a little more quickly, do you dump them?

      Sadly, this happens all the time. Even in good Christian churches. Not that it makes it right. It makes it reality…

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      • Chris Says:

        You make good points. Perhaps we were fortunate to start our relationship as friendship instead of mutual attraction. My wife and I were best friends before we ever dated. There is a Bible verse inscribed in my wedding ring (Song of Solomon 5:16): “My beloved and my friend.”

        Wishing you the very best in life!

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      • Mercutio Says:

        “In a fast-paced dating market where lots of people have many options to choose”

        This is an illusion. Most of the beautiful women I saw on okcupid complained about men lying about being married and using online dating to cheat. Married men are not an option, unless we want to redefine “option.” So many women complain about married men that I assume that most of the men getting all the attention online are married men. They are more attractive and more successful than the men who do not get attention. There does seem to be immense uniformity to women’s preference. It makes sense. If dating sites could exclude all married and seriously involved men things might be different.

        I mean, at this point, based on what I read, I assume that 50% of the single women online are pursuing men who are married (and thus who are dead-ends).

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  17. Kurt Says:

    This is great advice for men and women to follow. I actually know a guy who divorced within the last couple years who must have gotten married in his early 20s and divorced in his late 30s. I have seen pictures of his ex-wife and I can say that she was very unattractive at least from a physical point of view.

    This guy is socially awkward, but he must have a fairly decent job as a computer programmer. Anyway, this guy always tells people how he is dating all of the time and is meeting lots of women on eHarmony, etc. However, he universally goes for women who are way out of his league – I’m not even sure why they go out on dates with him in the first place. He must come across far better over email than he does in person.

    He seems to be incapable of picking up on social cues such as signs of interest (or disinterest). He told me that he has tons of confidence around women, but I know that isn’t true as he has been desperate for a girlfriend for the past year and still doesn’t have one despite all of the alleged dating he has been doing. Anyway, so this guy has supposedly been going on lots of dates and they never go anywhere – I would bet that 90% of the time he goes out with a girl as often as three times, he doesn’t even get a kiss.

    He’s unhappy and constantly posts whiny messages on his Facebook wall to complain about his single status even though he is 40 now. The thing is that every one of the women he has gone out with even one time since his divorce is much better looking than his ex-wife was. He could probably still get a woman more attractive than his ex- if he were a little more realistic about the type of women he can get.

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  18. Mercutio Says:

    I will tell you once more: if you’re going to continue to post here, Avery, then post under your original username

    Why?

    What would Foucault say about your demand? Go read his essay “What is an Author?”

    Either my comments have merit or they do not have merit. Either they, directly or indirectly, help the people who read them or they do not help the people who read them. My comments should have merit regardless of who makes them. This paragraph has nothing to do with Foucault’s essay.

    Anyhow, “Avery” is not my real name. Furthermore, it is possible that I’m a 60 year old woman. This is the internet.

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