40-Year-Old Spinster Is Expert On Marriage

There is a sad article called Marry Him which has been floating around. I’ve beaten the topic to death here but there are a few sections I wanted to comment on.

And despite growing up in an era when the centuries-old mantra to get married young was finally (and, it seemed, refreshingly) replaced by encouragement to postpone that milestone in pursuit of high ideals (education! career! but also true love!), every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried.

Part of the problem is that when she does hit the panic stage she blames everyone but herself. It’s hopeless because these women will never make the changes necessary to get a husband. They don’t adapt.

My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year.

All girls have to do is be reasonable. They need to ask themselves if what they want deep in their hearts exists in the real world. If it does then is she bringing enough to the table?

It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business.

This is obvious to most guys. We have this expression called “marriage material” to describe girls who take care of us and would run a good household. We would not consider marrying the girl who allows us to videotape sex so we can show all our friends.

So if you rarely see your husband—but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear, and he provides a second income that allows you to spend time with your child instead of working 60 hours a week to support a family on your own—how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?

Notice the extreme selfishness: who cares about the child having a good daddy as long as you can be with it? With all we know about the disadvantages of growing up in a single family household, I’m surprised more people are not calling these single mothers for the harm they are doing on kids who I’m sure would prefer to have a father.

What I and many women who hold out for true love forget is that we won’t always have the same appeal that we may have had in our 20s and early 30s. Having turned 40, I now have wrinkles, bags under my eyes, and hair in places I didn’t know hair could grow on women.

Gross, but don’t forget the kid from an anonymous man.

This article got me thinking to why is there demand for dating or marriage advice. Why does this article (and this blog) even need to be written? I think part of the answer is that there is no tradition or culture to fall back on in meeting people. In this country our parents did not give us sound advice on how to meet the opposite sex and how to find a long-term mate, so a Mystery comes along or The Rules girls write a book (“breathe slowly”!!!) and everyone jumps on because no one knows what the fuck they are doing. Something retarded like speed dating or “lock and key” parties arrive in e-mail boxes and everyone tries it because they have no idea how to meet someone. And a 40-year-old woman who was inseminated with sperm and who failed in finding just one decent man is writing an article in a major publication on how to get married. That would be like me writing about how to keep your long-term girlfriend happy.

If knowledge was passed from generation to generation then you’d have a lot of people growing up with sound beliefs on how to deal with the opposite sex, but that’s not what we have here anymore. Instead we’re hypersexualized and clueless.

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Lemmonex
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The main difference between this blog and the “Rules” is you exist to teach guys how to bang women and the “Rules” exists to teach woman how to catch a man. Therein lies the crux; women and men have been societally conditioned to expect and desire different things.

This woman is batshit insane and I bristled at most of what she had to say, but I do think there is a point in here that she misses. What she advocates as settling, I call “being a grown up”. Most women never get to a place where they realize there is not going to be a white knight or a horse drawn carriage; we are living in the real world, with real men. We are all fucked up and just trying to figure it out. Feeling mind numbing euphoria and butterflies all the time is not all it is cracked up to be; it blinds you and things inevitably crash and burn in teh relationship. Women need to grow up after the age of 21.

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Shannon
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It’s kind of interesting to see a guy’s perspective on this – most responses have been women snorting and saying, “Are you kidding me?”

Because, really, is this lady for real? Has she ever been married? Nope. Does she have any idea what a slog it is to be married to someone who isn’t right for you? Hell no. It sucks the life out of everything. (I’ve been there.)

I’m not saying people should demand perfection from their mates, but marrying someone/anyone is just going to jack up the divorce rate even further.

My parents didn’t give me much in the way of specific dating/relationship advice. I learned from example (of what not to do), and the rest I figured out as I went. I’m glad I had the opportunity to set my own rules, instead of latching on to what works for other people.

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elvis
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Take if for what it is — one woman’s view as a result of decisions she’s made in life. She lived a little, she’s had a regret or two, and she’s airing her opinion based on anecdotal knowledge and polling of her friends. It doesn’t make it any more or less valid than advice about traveling in South America and eating well. Why is there demand for dating or marriage advice? There isn’t. It’s just something else to write about, other than celebrities, sports, stocks indexes, travel, financial markets, unrest in Kenya, Prince Harry in combat, eco-terrorism, EU fines on MicroSoft, etc.

Beach Bum
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I personally don’t think settling is the way to happiness — I rather be single and happy than be in a less than fulfilling relationship. True, that our views change as we grow up, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t marry someone out of love. She might as well say that arranged marriages are the way to go, if marriage is only a business relationship to her.

My parents are still head over heels about each other, and that’s what I want to have when I get old, someone that I still love 30 years later.

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Anonymous
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“Instead we’re hypersexualized and clueless.”

Like yourself?

irina
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Because, really, is this lady for real? Has she ever been married? Nope. Does she have any idea what a slog it is to be married to someone who isn’t right for you? Hell no. It sucks the life out of everything. (I’ve been there.)

Yes, life is not perfect and often sucks. This is what the previous generations had to deal with, but we now refuse to.

Bobby Rio
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“We would not consider marrying the girl who allows us to videotape sex so we can show all our friends”

speak for yourself… daddy is known to like them trashy!!!

The only people that seem happy in marriage are the trashy Swingers on HBO real sex… so why not join that club?

Shannon
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“Yes, life is not perfect and often sucks. This is what the previous generations had to deal with, but we now refuse to.”

Are you saying that’s a bad thing? Life shouldn’t be perfect, but I don’t see anything wrong with seeking out relationships that work for you (which may not be what would work from crazy “Settle! Marry Now! Marry Anyone!” lady).

I think what it comes down to is this: expectations should be a pretty good match for reality. You’ll never meet someone perfect. But if you latch on to someone out of fear of winding up alone, it’s a devil’s bargain. Learn to stand on your own, develop a life you can be proud of, and then share that life with someone else.

What I find amusing is that the people with the strongest views on marriage are the very same people who have never been married. Why is that?

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monohechomierda
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Every generation of kids thinks they know it all. I mean every. Combined with the infantilization of American Culture (nothing is every anybody’s fault) people refuse to grow up until later. The hard won knowledge of previous generations is regarded as out of date or inapplicable.

The sexual arms race that goes on between men and women has been going on for ages and will continue to go on.

spaceman
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i dont like your new banner.

Hannah
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“If knowledge was passed from generation to generation then you’d have a lot of people growing up with sound beliefs on how to deal with the opposite sex.”

I don’t know about this.

Previous generations of men believed that women shouldn’t have a vote, shouldn’t go to college, shouldn’t have independent ambitions outside the home, and should only concern themselves with laundry, cooking, cleaning and “making house.” Previous generations of men and women suffered arranged or forced marriages. Personally, I’m quite happy these stifling and unequal doctrines aren’t the “sound beliefs” about relationships that my parent’s generation passed along to me.

Most people are looking for answers when it comes to relationships, dating, love, etc.—which is why a site like this exists—because all that crap is confusing as hell. And we’re a conformist culture, so of course we want another person’s advice or insights to mirror or solve our own experience/problem.

But, what’s missing is the understanding that making stereotypes, judgments, and conclusions about any one man or woman without all the facts, all the details, is, in a way, as ridiculous and inaccurate as this 40-year-old “spinster” writing about marriage. It’s all just talk.

But, at least it’s entertaining talk, right?

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Brian
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the more i think about it the more i think “Bang for Women” would be a good idea. Educate all these girl what a man is looking for and make them read it before they’re 25 so they still have some appeal. Call it something like “How to get 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 kids, 2 SUV’s, a dog and a country club membership and a husband to pay for it all”

Anonymous
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Shannon

There’s a happy medium. On one side is “prince charming forever and ever” and on the other is “anyone who will have me after i’m desperate for an unfulfilling and depressing marriage”

Everyone finds their middle ground. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. My boyfriend has a theory that in today’s world, if you’re getting married before having at least 2-3 serious relationships and have dated around enough to know what you want and what it takes to make a relationship work, you’re gonna get a divorce. Otherwise, with the environment and the high avaliability of people to date, when you hit a rough patch, you will think that the solution lies outside, rather than inside of the relationship. I agree with this theory.

Perhaps your marriage was too far from the happy side for you. And that’s okay, it doesn’t mean you had high expectations. The woman who wrote this article probably had higher expectations in her younger years than you or I do, so she’s writing from that perspective.

I personally don’t have any grand idea about marriage. I hope that if I get married, there will be no change in my relationship with my husband. In fact, I want things to not change so much that I would actually prefer to not get married.

irina
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^ me

Joe T.
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Much more interesting than the article (I read it, it’s very boring and borderline poorly-written), is the intense controversy and bizarre brouhaha surrounding the article.

It seems that lots of women pundits and influential “opinion makers”, as well as many rank-and-file feminists, have decried this article as an egregious affront.

God only knows why, because the article is actually pretty timid. All it does is suggest that women consider marrying that earnest male suitor who doesn’t make them feel like a thousand rockets of passion are exploding at once in their vaginas, or brains, or both.

What strikes me as bizarre about this rather contrived media controversy is, since when are feminists so concerned with passion and love, anyway?

American feminists always want to have it both ways.

When someone suggests that they should give in to their emotions, warm up and open themselves up to men, come down off their high horses and express love and compromise, and appreciate men for who they are, warts and all, American feminists shout, “NO FUCKIN WAY!!!”

Then when men act like players, and don’t want to commit, and run game on women, these very same American feminists who want to give women more power, more options, and more freedom, chafe at the idea that men should have any power, options, or freedom, whether it’s in the context of a relationship or not.

These same American feminists decry the sexual “double standard” which they maintain allows men the freedom to play (and not treat commitment seriously), while women, practical realists who desire commitment and value serious relationships, are constantly thwarted by male hypocrisy.

Well, if THAT ain’t hyopcrisy, I don’t know what is.

I’m just sayin’…

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jg
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I guess women who read articles like this one are somewhat lost and are just grasping at anything that may provide them a way out. It’s really just another addition to the billion dollar self-help industry. I think one of the driving forces as to why people don’t want to settle is that we live in an upgrade society where people would rather trade in their significant other or their Ipod when a newer, shinier, jazzier model comes out. Nobody wants to put the time in to fix something when it’s broken- they rather just upgrade to a new one. When that possession (or person) is no longer top of the line, they will just trade that one in as well.

Anonymous
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Marriage consist of 3 components:

1. Sex
2. Ability to run a small business together
3. Emotional attachment

And that list is written in order of importance. If I was going to weight their importance I’d say 55%, 30%, 15%.

If you don’t have 1 & 2, you aren’t going to have 3.

If you aren’t having sex with your spouse, no one’s going to be happy. You also aren’t going to have much positive emotional interaction are you?

And if your spouse is busy spending every cent you earn, you’re probably going to be fighting like dogs and then… not having sex.

Although it’s the most important factor, I think men make the mistake of weighting sex too heavily (like 80%) and then get all bothered when their spouse is a complete failure at #2, the ability to run a small business (household and family). If they vent their frustration, chances are they won’t be getting any sex for at least the next week. And unless they LIKE being treated like a dog, they won’t have much emotional attachment going on either.

Women tend to put way too much weight on the emotional side and because the knight on a white horse is a fantasy, they are disappointed all the way around, don’t want to have sex because they are so disappointed and then resent the house/family. And guess who gets treated like a dog?

If you are having regular sex with your spouse and the household/family unit is running along smoothly, the happy factor will fall in to place.

irina
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i second anonymous

Shannon
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Hi Joe T. I’m American, I’m a feminist, and I didn’t agree with a thing you said. It’s not about wanting it “both ways” or wanting to neuter men or whatever. It’s about wanting to be seen as a person, not a mommy replacement or a bit of tail. My advice? Treat women like we’re individuals, not ideological constructs or ambulatory vaginas. Some of us are good, some of us are bad, some of us are both at once. Much like people in general.

The reason the article created such controversy is that she implies that being single is the worst outcome of all, which is patently untrue. The worst outcome is a bad marriage. Also, the I-know-what’s-right-for-all-women tone is annoying. And, as you rightfully pointed out, she’s a lousy writer and doesn’t deserve the level of exposure she’s gotten.

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roissy
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the author writes:

Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business.

if this is what marriage is, then men are right to wonder if there’s any point to it at all.

“doesn’t make sense not to live for fun.”

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craig of travelvice.com
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Dave Chappelle Psychology

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reality
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Marriage as ultimate goal of existence is a construct that needs to be questioned by everyone.

Especially bloggers who waste thousands of words championing the idea that if a woman doesn’t barter her youth into marriage, she’s failed at life. This breed of writer is not so different from a middle-age woman advocating that females should “settle” rather than live on their own terms.

Let’s move past this…. it’s tired already….

Anonymous
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Hey reality,

I laughed at your “let’s move past this … it’s tired already” since it immediately followed your need to express an opinion on the topic.

Treat blogs like television. If you don’t like what you’re watching, turn it off. Your choice little man.

Nomadz
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The pic with the cat fits sooooo well with the article………

Hope
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Instead we’re hypersexualized and clueless.

Nicely written Roosh. Are you admitting that you, too, are perhaps somewhat like this due to the culture and media?

I’m probably the only commenter in this circle that is married (and happy with it). My parents had a miserable marriage, divorced before I was in elementary school, and I grew up in a single mother household. So the knowledge wasn’t really passed from the previous generation in my case. I never believed in fairy tales, but a man can be a noble knight and a flawed man at the same time.

I did my own soul searching and followed my instincts, and they told me to hold onto the man I love who loves me, and to not let it go even if things are tough. Women need to realize that men never start out as marriage materials — same goes for women. People have to grow, adapt and change. Nobody is perfect, but the process of growing old together means your shortcomings are complemented by the other person. You bond the way two young trees planted close together grow and wind around each other.

I agree with a previous commenter that sex (last night here), ability to run a small business together (we’ve ran several guilds together and have ideas kicking to make a start-up together), and emotional attachment (almost 10 years) are important. But the most important thing is communication.

You cannot get anywhere if you do not or cannot talk to your partner. Both have to express themselves and to listen to the other. You have to talk, and talk a lot, and not be afraid to be honest. Two nights ago we had a long conversation about morality, and this morning I woke up and told him about three dreams I had. I also tell him about the guys I talk to and flirt with a little bit. I wouldn’t mind it if he flirted with other women, as long as he came back to me and lets me know it’s happening, and he feels the same way about me.

Marriage is not the ultimate goal of existence, but given the choice between a daily, tumultuous search for excitement and stimulation vs peace, serenity and contentment, I’ll take the second one in a heartbeat. Life is usually boring and mundane, and marriage is simply life with another person. People who believe marriage is inherently boring should look at the daily lives of most people in the world, even those who are single.

I still have my “high” and “fun” through other areas of my life, and I can share that with my husband and friends (for example, we play video games together). We have so many good laughs and jokes every day, and even though sex is not always amazing, when it is, it really is. He tells me his kinks, and I try to satisfy them. I tell him what I like, and he tries to do the same for me. When you love and care about somebody, doing things to make them happy makes you happy.

I’m not idealistically or arrogantly touting my marriage as an example of perfection. Far from it. Marriage is something you work on, just like life itself. It’s hard work, but it pays off a little bit every day. If you exercise, you should understand this concept. There are so many little things about relationships that make them very difficult, but the comfort and security of going to bed and waking up next to the one you love every day, and knowing deep down that it really would take death to part the two of you… that simply transcends physical pleasure.

Well I’ve written a book and probably no one will read it. But I hope this lets people realize that marriage is not dead.

roissy
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You bond the way two young trees planted close together grow and wind around each other.

or the way they choke each other’s root systems off.

and there will be pie in the sky by the by…

But I hope this lets people realize that marriage is not dead.

if it’s dying, you can lay the blame squarely at the feet of your feminist sisters.

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Hope
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or the way they choke each other’s root systems off.

Have you seen a forest? The thick canopy of branches entwine, and the roots go deep to where the nourishment is lasting.

you can lay the blame squarely at the feet of your feminist sisters.

I’ll take the faults of American feminists over being dashed against a rock for the sole atrocity of being female in a Chinese village. My father wanted only a son, despite the fact that technically a daughter passes on more of his genetic material since the X chromosome is much bigger than the Y.

Men are half of the equation. Pinning the sole blame on women is counter-productive. However, I’ll agree with Roosh’s point that women need to be better at their job as the sexual gatekeepers.

Personal advice for women who want to get married: don’t sleep with any guy unless you know for sure he loves you, and for that matter don’t make the mistake I made of sleeping with men you don’t love, even though they love you. You can have sex and still have standards.

My husband told me that if the first time he picked up a woman she told him something like that, it would have shocked him into evaluating his behavior, and he might not have slept with the women that he did.

It is men’s biological intuition is to sleep with as many women as they can, but it’s the women who are enabling men to sleep with so many women at such a low “market price.” Diluting the market with massive amounts of cheap goods does not necessarily lead to a healthier economy.

Not the best analogy, but women do shoulder at least half the blame in the current muck.

T.
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I agree with most of what you say, except for some parts like this:

We would not consider marrying the girl who allows us to videotape sex so we can show all our friends.

Okay, I disagree that what makes for a good relationship is different than what makes for a good marriage. The chick that allows the videotaping is not marriage material, but she sure as hell isn’t relationship material either. She’s a third category: fuck buddy material. And I agree that fuck buddy material and wife material are two different things. But relationship material and wife material on the other hand should have the same criteria.

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ElleCee
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As a divorced woman who has had plenty of attention and fun in my post-marriage years, I think anyone who wants to settle down should consider the realities of settling: find someone whose company you enjoy and with whom you will want to have sex on a regular basis even in the long haul. That’s a good marriage candidate in my book. Who cares who hauls the baby shit if you’re not getting any, or worse- don’t want any anyway.

T.
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Definitely agree with ElleCee.

The passion does matter.

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Shannon
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Passion matters, as does effort. If your relationship is positive and healthy, then you’re willing to make an effort and have sex even when you’re not necessarily in the mood for it.

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Gunslingergregi
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The ironic part of life is that the guys passion to have sex every day with the same woman over time goes down while the woman’s passion to have sex stays the same. It’s all bs in the media. Before woman where kept in pregnancy the man did his duty and she stayed happy and pregnant. Who’s more fullfilled the woman with a career or the woman with 8 kids. It makes me sick looking at all these woman with ‘carreers’ at fast food resteraunts and franchises taking orders from somone who is not there husband and making jack for giving up there time. Everyone talks about 70k a year jobs that’s not the reality for most. Just look around you. There are millions of shit jobs making shit money.

Cob
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uhh.. 70k per year really isn’t all that great. that’s an engineer with a bachelors on either coast after 3-5 years of work. lower to mid-level management makes that type of dough too.