India Uncut

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dating and courtship

In an article titled "Dating is Competitive Manipulation," Violent Acres writes:
The truth is women love to compete with other women. Women want to win men over. They want to be chosen by a man who could have any girl he wants. No woman of caliber wants to win a man by default. She wants her man to be a prize, a good catch, someone she can be proud of. When you tell a woman that her significant other is handsome or intelligent, she’ll likely beam with self satisfaction. In complimenting her man, you’ve complimented her. You have told her, in so many words, that she is capable of attracting a quality mate. The women who rail against this usually have a low self esteem and thus avoid competition because they fear they’ll always fail….or they’re ugly. You pick. [Emphasis in original.]
So all you naive men who sweetly thought that just being charming and sensitive will land you a good mate (ha!), wisen up: the trick to getting a beautiful woman by your side is to first get another beautiful woman by your side, so that the woman you're really targetting feels that there's a challenge in landing you. That's all there is to it.

Being older than the lady in question helps. Here's an abstract to a paper, "Courtship As A Waiting Game," by Ted Bergstrom and Mark Bagnoli:
In most times and places, women on average marry men who are older than themselves. We propose a partial explanation for this difference and for why it is diminishing. In a society where the economic roles of males are more varied and specialized than the roles of females, it may be that the relative desirability of females as marriage partners becomes evident at an earlier age for females than it does for males. We study an equilibrium model in which the males who regard their prospects as unusually good choose to wait until their economic success is revealed before choosing a bride. In equilibrium, the most desirable young females choose successful older males. Young males who do not believe that time will not treat them kindly will offer to marry at a young age. Although they are aware that young males available for marriage are no bargain, the less desirable young females will be offered no better option than the lottery presented by marrying a young male. We show the existence of equilibrium for models of this type and explore the properties of equilibrium.
Going by this theory, it would seem that couples who marry young have low self-esteem, and I'm not too sure I'd agree with that. Some young people tend to be more romantic than others, and love and marriage happen. Or am I rationalising?

Anyway, to go back to Violent Acres, do check out her post on confusing sexual identity with self worth. Common enough these days, I guess. (In the case of men, replace "sexual identity" with "financial status.") Pity.

(First two links via email from Naveen Mandava.)
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