Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Guess I Wasn't "Off"

I woke up this morning at 1030 AM with no particular obligation.

And the reason I have no particular obligation is because I do not have children. If you don't have children you don't have obligation.

Additionally I have lived very frugally driving nothing by my 1990 Chevy and my 1996 VW. I only bought rental property to ensure I do not bear the full costs of my mortgage. I do not splurge on large ticket items, and though I do permit myself to indulge in a cigar and some finer booze, in the grand scheme of things I probably spend less money than people below the poverty line.

Ergo, my only real obligation today is to teach dance class later on tonight.

In between now and then I plan on using that time to work out, smoke a cigar, write this little post here, go running with a blue eyed babe and perhaps picking up the Captain's Bachelor Pad a bit (only on account my X-Box 360 is on the fritz, in which case I would have played some gamage for a couple hours before class).

Ergo, it's a great life. It's a wonderful life. It's a life most people wish they had. And even though the country is turning to a more socialist bent, in the grand scheme of things, I am still happy and content.

The same cannot be said for Lori Gottlieb.

Lori is a single mother, 30's I presume, and this recently-sent-to-me article confirms that I am indeed onto something and not just blowing smoke or running a self-pity run. The market for honorable, good and decent men is drying up faster than credit did during the housing/financial crash. I will say it again, as I have predicted other crashes before and then maybe someday, somebody, people will listen to the poor ole Captain, but men are exiting the market. They are leaving the game. The market is on the precipice of a crash.

This is sad as the timing of it could not be worse for women. As men have started their exodus, it is NOW (?) when they're in the 30's, perhaps with a couple kids, women start to realize that some semblance of attention has to be paid to what men want? You mean you can't just burden the guy with demands of having 4 children, the means to finance them and afford some discretionary income on top of it? You mean you just don't go to the grocery store and pick out your guy? You mean the guy also picks out you?

For Lori Gottlieb and her previous similarly-minded followers, it's kind of realizing in late 2007 that, "Wait, you mean property values don't always go up? I can't always take out money from my home equity line? You mean rents ultimately drive housing prices?" And thus the crash ensues.

However, I don't see it getting better, let alone a bottom to this particular market crash. The reason I say this is based on my past couple of posts and discussing with those of you who have participated, I see people are operating from the premise that it is presumed men want what Ms. Gottlieb wants; Marriage.

And here's where the bad news, gets worse;

The premise is false for a lot of guys.

Men are leaving the market. And this is the overall point I'm trying to make. They're gone. They're out of the club. They've left the party. The cats are out of the bag. The cows are out of the barn and making a run for the border. Elvis has LEFT the building. Which means they no longer care to get married. If they still did, the cats would still be in the bag, the cows in the barn, Elvis in the building, and the men in the market. I listed my itinerary at the top not to brag, but to show you that the alternative to a married life is not dreary, and dull, and lonely or lifeless. The bachelor life is actually quite easy in that men don't really need a fancy SUV to pick up the non-existent children. The bachelor life is affordable in that we throw in a pizza, maybe go out on happy hour to avail ourselves of some great-price apps, or perhaps we go out and treat ourselves to a fine dinner with our buds (and may I point out only have to pay for one dinner).

It is this that the Lori Gottlieb's of the world have to realize. They're not competing against other women for a dwindling supply of men. They competing against the bachelor lifestyle. They're battling the gravitational forces of a content, happy, and above all, a financial secure bachelor lifestyle. Void of divorce, void of having to support a family, void of any responsibility aside from oneself. It is an incomprehensible amount of freedom for a man to pursue and do whatever he wants, and in the literal sense allows them to be man-children (except now we have lot's of great new toys!)

Now I know those of you out there who are trying to help the good ol' Captain. I know those of you out there, and I agree with you, that there are good people out there. I know that.

However, my point is not a personal one, and certainly not one that applies to everybody. It is a generational and generalized one in that this is a trend. An economic observation that has ramifications for society at large. And all I am trying to point out is that when I see these "where is my knight in shining armor" stories, I find it necessary to point out a rapidly increasing percentage of the knights have hung up their armor and are now playing Call of Duty 4.

The question is whether the majority of love/marriage-lorn 30 something women realize that too.


Anonymous said...

The "knight in shining armour" type of women don't know or love themselves. I know because I used to be one of them. If you love yourself you don't need a saviour. You can learn this if you are in a relationship or not. The only kind of relationship worth having is where people grow & change together - learn to love themselves and then share that with one another. Eventually, you will meet a woman like this and all will be well.

Ataru074 said...

disclaimer: my comment is going to be incredibly rude.
a good and healthy man needs an attractive woman to have his rig to work.
shallowness, emptiness, ugliness and self commiseration usually isn't sexy. that sad, but works in this way. man can't fake an orgasm and can't use KY to simulate attraction in order to open wallets and find stability. that's it.

Anonymous said...


You complain that (a) men can't get turned on by ugly women, and (b) men can't use Ky to open wallets.

Well, (a) beer googles honey, and (b) sure you can, just beef up and go gay.

There, now your all set.

Anonymous said...

For both anonymous and ataru074: I agree heartily!!! (Can't speak from experience on ataru074's comment, but I've had lots of guy friends make the same statement.)

Captain, I'm sorry the dating scene is so awful where you live. I hope one day you meet someone nice, because you seem like a pretty nice guy yourself.

I have two questions related to your recent posts about men and the marriage / dating market, and I am curious to hear your thoughts:
1) I know more than one guy who married early, went through a bad divorce, and would probably have been someone who -- as you describe -- would rather spend time with the cable tv remote and the Xbox controller than go through all that pain again. Except in all that mess, they became a father. And they try very hard to be good dads. What are your observations about this single male demographic? What I've noticed is they'll put themselves back into the dating / marrying game to find someone who can be a good mom and female role model for their kid(s), even if left to themselves they would probably have mostly withdrawn from the dating game and completely withdrawn from the marrying game. (Usually with these guys the biological mom is still around but not the most emotionally stable person you've ever met -- one guy I know told me when he was a young man he realized "crazy in the head, crazy in bed" can lead to lots of fun things, and only later did he realize the crazy never goes away.)
2) Will the coming economic downturn affect some of the courtship economics? As you've pointed out in numerous posts, it's not just lower stock prices or house prices; personal and household debt is at an all-time high. Personal credit will likely be harder to get. More than half of the U.S. economy comes from consumer spending. Add all those together, and you are looking at a long period of time where jobs, money and credit are not as easy to get and people might have to live within or below their means for quite a while as they pay off their debts. Do you think this will affect the economics of courtship any? As in, do you think this will lead more women to realize they can't just sit there and expect men to line up and beg to date them, they'll have to develop enough personality they can compete with an Xbox in terms of pleasant company and they'll have to stop expecting unattainable perfection? Also, I've run into a lot of men who seem to think the airbrushed dermabrasioned fake-highlights fake-lashes fake-nails spend-6-hours-in-the-gym-every-day Hollywood look is something that's normal and should be easily found in any bar, and a lot of women do spend godawful amounts of money trying to meet that ideal, do you think there will be a change in aesthetic expectations of women? I don't expect that 300+ lbs with greasy hair and a snotty attitude will suddenly become popular (or at least I hope it won't!), but do you think the trend towards fake-or-augmented-everything will start to fade away because no one can afford it?

mdchris said...

I have to say that as entertaining as these posts are, they totally have it wrong.

People get what they deserve. Men who are shallow are only able to attract shallow women. Women who are shallow only attract shallow men.

Let me be clear that you do not need to be traditionally "attractive" to be shallow. Anybody can be shallow, more interested in how people look and how much money they have than in what kind of person they are.

The problem isn't women who ask "Where have all the nice guys gone?". The problem is when they say it but ACTUALLY mean "where have all of the prospective GQ model nice guys gone?". There are plenty of nice guys out there, and there are plenty of nice women out there. They just don't all look like they came out of a magazine.

I don't feel particularly sorry or empathetic towards people who complain about not being able to find a good boyfriend or girlfriend, and then proceed to refuse giving anybody a chance who isn't a "hottie".

From the sounds of most of the articles i've read recently, including the ones linked to from here, most people who have "given up" on the opposite sex have only been fishing in the shallow end of the pool, so the result is not surprising.

Anonymous said...

Not wanting to marry does not mean one doesn't want a good relationship with a good woman.

You could not pay me to get married. That is absolutely something I will never do.

But I would like a good woman to have a relationship with. You can even have children, but not get married.

I know a guy who had two children with a woman, and he is doing very well, has a Lamborghini, is building a business, has built a very nice home, etc...worth I guess around $2 million, not wealthy/rich, but doing very well.

Well the girlfriend pushed him to marry her, but he said he would never do it.

Well eventually they split not too long ago, and everything was so much more simplified! No divorce, no losing half his wealth, no destroyed business, no lost home, no lost children.

Now he can go and sample all the exotic types of women out there, and essentially live the bachelor lifestyle, aside from his kids, but I mean he made the choice to have them.

The basic tenets of marriage are necessary for civilization, but the legal contract of marriage itself is a complete and utter sham as far as I am concerned.

I also disagree that women who want a man who is a "knight in shining armor" don't love themselves. You can love yourself as a woman, but just be very romantic-minded and want a great man as well.

I love myself as a guy, but I ultimately think I want a good woman.

Anonymous said...

Two other things:

1) Cappy, don't have a job though; you may not be held children or a wife, but you need income, right?

2) As for Miss Gottlieb's article, I will never "settle," I know that, and also I would be highly upset if I found out that my woman simply "settled" for me (yeah yeah, rant alert).

I do not like that marriage is supposed to just be some "partnership." Who the heck wants to get married then?

Woman: "Well honey, you are far from perfect, I actually settled for you because I was getting rather desperate, I mean you help pay the bills, take out the trash, mow the lawn, etc...and also this relationship is a partnership, more than about love or passion, it's more like running a mundane business..."

Bachelor Man: "NEVER!!"

Anonymous said...

Why buy the cow when the milk is free!

As a 12 year married guy, I have no experience presently playing the field BUT observing my single friends ........ I see that sex is readily available at anytime for even the nerds. Why get married if you can have "friends with benefits"? Heck why even date when the goal is a phone call away?

Women need to figure out that sex is the only reason men marry. If they give it away for free, then they'll be lonely when they are saggy.

The real target of the Sexual Revolution was the destruction of the woman. The victor is the bitter man-hating lesibian, ie Rosie O'Doughnut.


Anonymous said...

I did not get married just for sex. Sure sex is better with someone who has learned you inside and out (I don't mean emotionally) but I got married for lots of reasons.
I want to raise several children and my wife was the best candidate to be my partner in this. We agree on methods and philosophies of child rearing.
I married her for companionship. She is my best friend, as corny as it sounds. We stay up late goofing off. I'm 27, I rarely stay up late for sex anymore, but I'll go to work dead tired b/c we couldn't stop laughing. She is there for me and fulfills most of my social interaction needs (I am really introverted)
I married her b/c I just plain old fashioned love her and want to do anything in my power to make her happy. Honouring and pleasing and edifying and all that jazz are worthwhile goals in and of themselves because I found someone worth loving.
And yes, the regular amazing sex is another reason, just not the only one. I think mike123 and the Captain himself are projecting their feelings and opinions onto the male population, because their viewpoints are completely foreign to me.

Also Captain, thanks for being right. You back up all my rants.

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting again b/c I don't think I displayed enough grace. I was thinking about all this as I checked my other daily read blogs, when I encountered this: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_4_darwinist_dating.html

I recall saying, shortly before I met the woman who would become my wife, that I would just marry the first woman I met that did not piss me off. (My wife takes this as a big compliment) Now since then I have met women that don't piss me off, most of them married. This may be because I am not on the market, but the majority of women do drive me nuts. I can understand being angry at women in general.
One thing I have had to learn as a married man is that my cultural programming is wrong.
She likes it when I put my foot down and take charge (If I am responsible with how I apply this). I should make plans for us, not ask what she wants to do. I initiate sex, if she isn't in the mood, I tell her it has been a week and we're having sex.
Seriously, there is this weird nice guy/alpha male balance to find.
I have to be sensitive to her feelings, yet I have cried three times since we met six years ago and she likes that.
She wants me to talk more about my feelings, yet she likes that I am not controlled by them, that I can be calm and rational and logical in an fight or crisis.
So I encourage you, still be a nice guy, it may take longer to find someone, but she'll be worth finding. Hell, you may never find someone, but at least you will be a man with integrity.

Rant over.

Anonymous said...

Apropos, as usual.


Bike Bubba said...

With all due respect, if you're valuing video games at the same level as you'd value family life and its abundant benefits, you have a somewhat different set of values than I.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, that's wonderful! But you can get all that w/o getting married, as well. If it goes sour, with the way the laws are these days, you can be fooked the big one as a guy.

I want what you have, but without the legal contract of marriage.

Anonymous said...

"With all due respect, if you're valuing video games at the same level as you'd value family life and its abundant benefits, you have a somewhat different set of values than I."

Maybe he's just found some really good video games? :)

Actually, I think he's more often comparing video games to the dating scene, where video games are far more competitive. The side effect of this is that without dating you're not likely to get married, so it's more a matter of deciding whether to enjoy yourself playing games and hanging out with your buddies, or if you'd rather take a chance and endure the dating scene hoping it eventually pays off.

I'm happy playing games and doing my own thing, and I find dating to be extremely awkward. I more or less dropped out of the dating market at 21, despite that where I live (Utah) there are significant social expectations to get married.

I don't believe in getting any "free milk" either, so not getting married has bigger implications for me than the average guy. Kind of tells you how appealing I find dating.

Bike Bubba said...

Ryan, it would be a pretty good video game that could compete with the affections of my wife. I think it would be one my friends would be unlikely to want to play as well, for reasons of basic sanitation.

If you catch my drift. I just don't think that being single can compare with happily married, even if one is "getting milk". Yes, our culture does its best to screw up the incentives--our host is certainly correct in noting that--but for those willing to overcome, the comparison is not even close.

Anonymous said...

"I just don't think that being single can compare with happily married, even if one is "getting milk"."

I said I wasn't. My position isn't that marriage is bad or even that being single is better, but that dating is such as massive obstacle that I'm probably going to be a bachelor for life.

curiepoint said...

I just don't think that being single can compare with happily married, even if one is "getting milk".

No, but being single under any circumstances beats a miserable marriage any day. One need only look at the divorce statistics to see that marriage is no sort of mystical, mythical journey of ever-lasting goodness. It has become, or perhaps it's always been, all about keeping the wife happy. A husband can usually only expect scraps of happiness that his wife deigns to give him.

While looking at those statistics, drill down a bit and see who files for most divorces, and the most common reasons given. I can tell you, the reason most commonly given has nothing to do with infidelity, abuse, or even coldness between the two. It's most common reason is simply that she doesn't "feel fulfilled".

Marriage belongs on the scrap-heap, along with the stagecoach, the blacksmith, and the pony express. It's obsolete.