Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52673
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/3/4-11 [Recreation/Dating] UID:52673 Activity:moderate
3/3     Why smart people can't find dates:
        \_ Wow, that's even more stinker crap than that ladder poop people
           keep flinging around.
           \_ You can debate how original the "ladder theory" is, and there is
              some chain yanking, but the basic idea that a lot of people have
              trouble finding people to date because they are "overshooting"
              their prospects is accurate, in my reading of single women I know
              in San Francisco.
              \_ Considering the ladder theory starts with "the only
                 really important thing is how rich and powerful a man
                 is" and goes downhill from there...
              \_ The ladder theory starts with the premise that women are
                 all golddiggers at heart and goes downhill from there...
                 \_ That falls under the chain-yanking, as does "and all
                    men care about are looks/putting out".  Here are two
                    specific examples of two women I know in San Francisco
                    who have been single for a long time, are keen to be in
                    relationships and are not scary trolls:
                    woman1: has a degree in an unemployable field from
                    Stanford and works at a not especially well-paying
                    office job, is moderately interested in pop culture and
                    sports but is a little chubby and a lousy dresser, but
                    has a reasonably strong personality, sang with a amateur
                    band etc. If she went after the typical soda software
                    engineer, she'd be with a guy making decent money whom
                    she could probably dominate in a relationship.  But her
                    self-professed type is "the frat boy." (I joke that in
                    her book "a baseball cap is good, and a backward baseball
                    cap is *really* good).  But she probably cant bring her-
                    self to date a dumb, blue collar, right-wing good-looking
                    guy. So as long as she is after a Marina-boy who works at
                    law firm, she's out of her league.
                    woman2: also well-educated -- Columbia MBA -- decent-
                    looking [better than woman1], but terrible dresser and
                    somewhat unusual personality (somewhat stridently left-
                    wing, but also occasionally Sex and the City party girl),
                    and a higher-status job, but not ultra-successful. Goes
                    to the gym a fair amount, skis, so in shape, but not a
                    Marina Spandex Girl.  Has gone on many, many internet
                    dates but doesn't come to anything solid.  She is clearly
                    most interested in a guy who is tall, doesn't have to be
                    amazingly attractive, but decent looking and in decent
                    shape.  That is all reasonable, but I get the sense that
                    her idea of success is unrealistic:  doctor, lawyer,
                    banker, successful business type etc. At the age group
                    she is looking in, and *in SF*, these people are likely
                    to be married, quite high net worth etc.  Between her
                    personality and her dressing, they statistically too
                    personality and her dressing, they statistically not too
                    likely to get to know her.
                    The over-reaching in a combination of success and looks
                    is s a pretty decent explanation of these two cases.
                    is a pretty decent explanation of these two cases.
                    \_ Maybe, maybe not. You seem to think that a good-looking
                       Marina lawyer is above these women because he's busy
                       seeing some tall, blonde cardiologist. I agree with
                       the premise that people who are too-picky wind up
                       alone, but I disagree with the idea that these
                       uber-successful men are in turn: 1) such a great
                       catch (they can be jackasses like anyone else) and 2)
                       not interested in women like these because they can
                       date 21 year old cardiologist supermodels. The main
                       thing these women seem to be doing wrong is
                       dressing poorly. It's bad for a man, but the kiss
                       of death for women. A makeover is in order. I don't
                       think their "success levels" matter too much because
                       these are both highly educated and intelligent career
                       women. You are making them out like they work at
                       McDonald's while going to night school. They are in
                       the right socioeconomic group - Stanford and Columbia
                       fit right in those circles. You sound bitter that
                       they aren't interested in *you*, but why would a
                       woman like that want to date a pudgy s/w engineer
                       with no social skills?
                       \_ First, my comments are descriptive not prescriptive:
                          it's not a matter of whether the should change plans,
                          I am just describing what the are doing.
                          Second, woman2 is significantly more successful than
                          woman1 -- there is a big difference in discretionary
                          income between somebody who makes say $70k a year
                          (which I doubt #1 makes) and even a modest $100-120k
                          a year, and I think women are pretty averse to
                          subsidizing vacation and dining for their significant
                          others. Third, among people say above 35, a
                          significant number of the available men are married
                          and a reasonable number od the women are factoring
                          and a reasonable number of the women are factoring
                          biological clock issues, or are post-divorce, which
                          also affects the pool.  Fourth, dressing is part of
                          it but in the case of w1, being chubby is a big issue
                          and w2 also has some personality factors when it
                          comes to "putting herself out there".  Fifth, I was
                          never interested in w1.  There was a bunch of talk
                          in a social group and me and w2 and we went out a
                          couple of times, but untimately I think it was a good
                          thing I am not going out with her -- I am actually
                          going out with a different Stanford person who would
                          probably be considered a hotter commodity, so this
                          isn't sour grapes.
                          \_ Sounds prescriptive. You spent a lot of time
                             analyzing the situation. My point in mentioning
                             income is that most guys pulling down $400K aren't
                             too worried about whether their mates are making
                             $70K, $120K, or $300K. If she is her own woman
                             capable of holding down a good job who has her own
                             interests (not an airhead looking for handouts)
                             and well-educated that's probably enough. You are
                             making too much of the income of these women.
                             Income matters a lot more to women when looking
                             for men. Obviously personal appearance matters,
                             but "a little chubby" isn't a big deal. Look at
                             Bill Clinton's taste in women. It sounds like you
                             are more shallow than most guys. However, if
                             they dress sloppily then that's likely their
                             biggest mistake. Put them in a hot outfit and
                             make them up and I guarantee they will get hit on
                             by more men than they care to be. As for sour
                             grapes, I don't know if it's a case where you
                             want to date these women, but you want them
                             to want to date you. It's like when the hot
                             girl gets all into you because you don't pay
                             her any attention and then once you do and
                             she's affirmed her attractiveness she wants
                             nothing to do with you. It bothers you that
                             these women don't want to date you or people
                             like you *even though* you don't want to date
                             them anyway. You think they are aiming too high.
                             To me they sound like good catches who just
                             need a makeover and possibly an attitude
                             \_ You are making a lot of guesses about me, w1
                                an w2 without first hand knowledge, so it's
                                one thing to be dubious but speculating is
                                crazy.  These are two people I've known
                                pretty well for ~5years and "men in SF",
                                internet dating (them, not me), "will I die
                                alone or with a cat" were all major topics of
                                conversation with them.  Next, income affects
                                going out and other life style options.  For
                                example one owns a modest condo, the other
                                went from a roommate situation to a micro-
                                apartment which sucks up a large part of her
                                discretionary income, and does affects her
                                "going out options" which in turn in SF affects
                                who you meet.  The speculation about me wanting
                                to date them or wanting them to want me are all
                                way off so lets ignore all that.  Your last
                                line is what I am getting at:  if they had
                                an attitude and expectations adjustment, they
                                an attitude and expections adjustment, they
                                would find somebody to date very quickly
                                (but I mean that "if" predictively, not
                                prescriptively.  I think it is fine to remain
                                picky, but the outcome is going to change).
                                If fact there is almost a "control case" in
                                this social group: w3 who is an unattractive
                                quite fat woman with poor manners -- generally
                                inferior to w1, and w2 in every way except
                                possibly making more money (I dont know what
                                she makes and while she rents, she does own a
                                boat) is going out with a low-on-the-ladder
                                Pillsbury dough boy type.  If you want to get
                                into specifics, w1 and w2 have an interesting
                                "asymmetry" problem, which goes beyond the
                                "simple ladder theory" which unifies all of
                                you into a single axis.  w1 has a number of
                                nerdy elements, such as an "ironic
                                appreciation of bad movies", like party games
                                appreciation of bad movies", likes party games
                                she owns some t-shirts with obnoxious/pseudo-
                                clever slogans you see frequently advertised on
                                web pages etc.  She'd do well with a geek,
                                EXCEPT she I think reviles Tolkien, computer
                                games and dweebery in guys.  W2s inconsistency
                                is wanting both a guy who is smart and
                                substantial and ideologically compatible
                                (she went to Ohio to knock on doors for Obama)
                                but will also whisk her away for the occasional
                                spa weekend in Sedona or to some trendy
                                restaurant up in Napa (she actually isn't
                                that into food, which is why I made the
                                Sex and the City comment) ... the investment
                                banker with taste and a conscience.
                                pillsbury dough boy type.
                                \_ The way you characterize these people (and
                                   others like these mythical investment
                                   bankers and Tolkien geeks) and the details
                                   you think are important about them is
                                   repulsive. No wonder they aren't into you.
                                   You sound immature, shallow, and lacking
                                   much life experience. Have you ever
                                   been in a long-term relationship with a
                                   woman? (Let's say > 5 years.) BTW, people
                                   (especially women, since men will buy their
                                   drinks/food and let them in clubs free)
                                   don't need much money to go out to meet
                                   people. Funny that you think these women
                                   are handicapped by making "only $70K/year".
                                   They could be making half that and it
                                   wouldn't matter. You sound like an elitist,
                                \_ If she has an Ivy League MBA, why wouldn't
                                   she want to date someone else with a similar
                                   level of education and success? It doesn't
                                   seem like she is being that unreasonable to
                                   me, actually, unless she is looking for looks
                                   money, brains *and* success, which from your
                                   description, she is not. But if she is over
                                   35, she definitely needs to fish or cut bait.
                                   me, actually, unless she is looking for
                                   looks, money, brains *and* success, which
                                   from your description, she is not. But if
                                   she is over 35, she definitely needs to
                                   fish or cut bait.
                    \_ Some women have a unrealistic expectation of how
                       lawyers live (or ought to live).  Not all of us
                       live (or like) the flashy BMW, thousand $ suit,
                       five star lifestyle.  Many of us who started out
                       as engineers remain basically the same geeky star
                       trek watching guys we were before we went to law
                       school.  For some reason many women find that
                       unacceptable.  I've gone out with women very
                       similar in general description to the ones
                       you mention, and after a few dates they start
                       mentioning things like a BWM is a much nicer
                       car than your subaru, and I'm sure you could
                       afford it, or why don't we get you some nice
                       clothes at some super high end SF store, or
                       let's go on some exotic vacation.  Its a huge
                       turn off b/c the only thing these girls are
                       interested in is upgrading their lives via
                       my paycheck.
                \_ The way I understand the "ladder theory" is that everyone
                   is trying to move up to someone higher on the attractiveness
                   ladder that supposedly everyone subscribes to. Even if they
                   are currently dating someone, they are looking for someone
                   better. Which is a bunch of BS, btw, if you are older than
                   25. Actually, it is BS in any case, because not everyone
                   has the same idea of attractiveness. I, for example, am a
                   guy how rates a woman's intellegence as the most important
                   guy who rates a woman's intellegence as the most important
                   characteristic. I know this makes me unusual, but it also
                   means I never had much of a problem finding dates.
                   This is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen:
                   "Toward A Meaning of Life
                    Convieniently, the ladder theory answers the oft asked
                    question, "What is the purpose of life?" The purpose of
                    life is to move up the ladder. The person you are with
                    now should be better (higher on your ladder) than the
                    person you were last with."
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Comments I have a mini-confession to make: I wrote the Tao of Dating books specifically for really smart people. The writing of the books was precipitated by the endemic dating woes on the Harvard campus, as I observed them as an advisor and earlier, indulged in them as a student. Those kids graduate and pretty much continue to have the same dating woes -- only now with fewer single people around who happen to live in the same building and share meals with them every day. So if they had challenges then, it gets about 1000 times worse once they're tossed from the warm womb of their alma mater. From my observations, the following dating challenges seem to be common to most smart people. In fact, the smarter you are, the more clueless you will be, and the more problems you're going to have in your dating life. Once upon a day I used to be pretty smart, and believe me, I had a lock on clueless. For simple things, it takes someone smart to really screw it up. So whether you went (or should have gone) to the likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Swarthmore, Amherst, Dartmouth, Brown, Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley, Penn, Caltech, Duke, read on: 1 Smart people spent more time on achievements than on relationships when growing up. Take piano, violin, tennis, swimming and Tibetan throat-singing lessons. At the same time, there's an opportunity cost associated with achievement. Time spent studying, doing homework, and practicing the violin is time not spent doing other things -- like chasing boys or girls, which turns out is fairly instrumental in making you a well-rounded human. The upshot of all that achievement is that you get into a top college -- congratulations! Dating is at best another extracurricular, #6 or #7 down the list, somewhere between Model UN and intramural badminton. All they need is a little tune-up, or a little dating textbook like The Tao of Dating for Women or Men, to get them going -- plus a little practice. Of course, as noted above, things only get worse once you graduate. And if you're frustrated with your love life, you just might try to compensate by working harder and achieving even more to fill that void. I know people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond who still haven't figured out how to create an intimate connection with another human being. For most of their lives, smart people inhabit a seemingly meritocratic universe: if they work hard, they get good results (or, in the case of really smart folks, even if they don't work hard, they still get good results). Good results mean kudos, strokes, positive reinforcement, respect from peers, love from parents. So it only makes sense that in the romantic arena, it should work the same way. The more stuff I do, the more accomplishments and awards I have, the more girls (or boys) will like me. Please say I'm right, because I've spent a LOT of time and energy accumulating this mental jewelry, and I'm going to be really bummed if you tell me it's not going to get me laid. Well, it's not going to get you laid, brother (or sister). It may get you a first date, but it's probably not going to get you a second date. And it certainly won't bring you lasting love and fulfillment. Here's the thing: your romantic success has nothing to do with your mental jewelry and everything to do with how you make the other person feel. And making someone feel a certain way is a somewhat nonlinear process that requires a different kind of mastery than that of calculus or Shakespeare. In other words, you need to earn love (or at least lust). Sadly, no mom, dad or professor teaches us about the power of the well-placed compliment (or put-down), giving attention but not too much attention, being caring without being needy. I wrote a whole 280-page book about that, so that's a story for a different day. At some point in your life, you got pegged as a smart person. From then on, that was your principal identity: The Smart One. Especially if you had a sibling who was better-looking than you, in which case she (or he) was The Pretty One. Now you could be absolutely stunning (in which case you're both smart AND pretty and everyone hates you except for me -- call me, like, immediately), but your identity is still bound up in being The Smart One. So maybe you dress frumpy and don't pay a lot of attention to your appearance. Or never bothered to cultivate your sensuality as a woman. Attracting a partner is all about the dance of polarity. Energy flows between positive and negative electrodes, anode and cathode, magnetic north and south. Unless you actually convey femininity as a woman or masculinity as a man, you're not going to attract a suitable companion of the opposite sex. Part of the issue is this: when all of your personal energy is concentrated in the head, it never gets a chance to trickle down to the heart, or, god forbid, the groin. By virtue of being born of the union of male and female, yang and yin, you are a sexual being. Now do what you need to do to perpetuate the race already. Here's an incontrovertible fact: every one of your ancestors survived to reproductive age and got it on at least once with a member of the opposite sex. And even further back to monkeys, to lizards, to the first amphibian that crawled out of the slime, the fish that preceded that amphibian, the worm before the fish and the amoeba that preceded the worm. And you, YOU, in the year 2009 CE, the culmination of that miraculously unbroken line of succession, you, Homo sapiens sapiens, not just thinking man but thinking thinking man (or woman), are the only one smart enough to SCREW THE WHOLE THING UP. Perhaps you should consider thinking a little less then. Because heaven knows that the amoeba, worm, fish, amphibian, monkey and primitive hominids didn't do a whole lot of thinking. Their DNA had a vested interest in perpetuating itself, so it made sure that happened. And maybe when you're really sloshed at a party and your whole frontal lobe is on vacation in the outer rings of Saturn, you've noticed that your lizard brain knows exactly how to grab that cute girl by the waist for a twirl on the dance floor. Or knows exactly how to arch your back, flip your hair and glance at that handsome hunk just so such that he comes on over to say hi. Now quit thinking you're smarter than the 3 billion base pairs in your genome and 4 billion years of evolution. Generally speaking, smart people seek out other smart people to hang out with, simply because they get bored otherwise. And if they're going to spend a lot of time with someone, intelligence in a partner is pretty much a requirement. Well, congratulations -- you've just eliminated 95% of the world's population as a potential mate, Mr or Ms Smartypants. Now, luckily, the world's kinda big, so the remaining 5% of the gender of your choice is still a plentiful 160 million or so people. Even if only 1% of those are single enough, good-looking enough, local enough and just all-around cool enough for you, that's over a million people you can date out there. And if you live in a smaller city, it may be just a handful of folks who are going to meet your stringent criteria. At this point, you have three choices: A) Loosen up B) Do a very thorough search all over the planet and be prepared to move to Duesseldorf OR C) Join a monastery. My hearty recommendation is choice A The purpose of relationship (and perhaps all of life) is to practice the loving. No partner is going to be 100% perfect anyway, so learn to appreciate people for what they have to offer, not what they don't. you should still spend time only with worthwhile company. But do question the standards to see whether they're serving you or you're serving them. When you open your heart to love, you may find fulfillment in ways you never imagined possible -- like the day you tried sushi or beer in spite of your trepidation, found it surprisingly alright, and expanded your personal envelope of pleasure. Taking that into consideration, given a choice between happy-go-lucky and picky-but-lonely, happy sounds like more fun. Relationships I have a mini-confession to make: I wrote the Tao of Dating books sp...