Thinking with You
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All the Good Ones are Taken

I guarantee that every Sunday morning or night at church, you scan the crowd to see if any new guys have decided to dwell in the house.  And I guarantee that with a frown and a sigh, you realise that nope, it’s still just the same old duds who fit into the categories of:

a.     Ugh

b.     Meh

c.      Hell no!

So your options are quite limited.  (Although there seems to be a strange phenomenon…whenever a new young blonde girl starts coming along, all of a sudden one or two really eligible guys seem to come out of the woodwork and sweep her away.  Where were they hiding all that time??)

Today I want to address two main questions on this MAJOR issue you are facing.

1.     WHY is this happening?

2.     HOW ON EARTH can I overcome it?

Firstly let’s look at the why.  Obviously, there are no good guys left.  Right?  Or at least, not as good as you…

Famed psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson talks a lot about a social construct called the ‘dominance hierarchy’.  Basically that’s a fancy way of saying that the ‘best’ people are at the top of the social hierarchy, and the ‘worst’ are at the bottom. Ok, so that’s obvious.  But what you might not realise is that there are different hierarchies for men and women.  So because feminism has been screwing us around for decades and selling us outright lies, girls like us have been putting all our energies into climbing the WRONG hierarchy.  We have become like men!  Everything in our culture applauds us when we become smarter, faster, richer, louder, more successful, more famous, with more stuff and more cool stories to share at the bar (or coffee house) every Friday night. 

Women of our generation don’t dream (or at least don’t talk) about baking our husbands a roast and knitting by the fire while our children play at our feet.  (You should practice talking like this, because it might attract some guys!) Usually these days, we dream about climbing Everest, saving the children, rescuing the homeless, having the biggest and best life group at church, working in NYC, getting a PHD, buying a house, sailing the Greek Islands…and so we put all of our time, money and emotional energy into those goals.  And we often succeed. 

Unfortunately, while those ‘markers’ of success are very attractive in a man, they are not particularly attractive to a man.  Uh oh!  We’ve actually been rising on the MALE hierarchy!  So compared to the successful guys out there, sure, we are on par with them.  We can hold our own, and in fact do garner their respect on many levels.  But they don’t want to marry us.  (Remember that JLo movie Monster-in-law?  Check out the female love interest – low on the masculine hierarchy and high on the feminine hierarchy = super appealing to a high-masculine man!)

The female dominance hierarchy has a completely different set of markers, particularly in the Christian world.  And yes, you guessed it; the primary marker has to do with beauty, or more specifically health and fertility.  Did you know that when a man looks at you, he subconsciously assesses your shape to see how potentially fertile you are?  It’s like an inbuilt ‘species selection’ mechanism.  And in fact, your shape may indeed denote your level of fertility! (Study link) Being slim and curvaceous with good skin, lush hair, minimal body and facial hair, good teeth – all of these things have biological bases and literally do mean that you are higher in female hormones and are probably young, and therefore probably more fertile – and therefore more womanly. 

What a man wants most in a woman is beauty, fertility, vulnerability, innocence, virtue, kindness, loyalty, and hope – and most of these factors are strongly correlated with age (as you get older you usually get more cynical, burnt out and bitter, unfortunately!).  A man desires a woman with these characteristics because they will best fit with what he hopes to offer her – protection, provision, adventure, leadership, and strength.  A man who properly operates in his masculinity wants a woman who will essentially reflect his masculine glory, by her femininity (1 Corinthians 11:17).

So a man isn’t interested in your successes, your degrees, your titles, your wealth.  These mean very little to him, if he’s pursuing you for the right reasons, and in fact they can be a real obstacle to you actually attracting a man.  No man wants to pursue a woman who is like a man, or worse, a woman who is more ‘masculine’ than he is!

If you are high on the masculine dominance hierarchy, so to speak, you may actually attract men who are high on the feminine hierarchy!  Weak, shy, immature or sweet mother’s boys who need you to take charge of them and lead them.  YUCK. 

So basically, YES all the men who are high on the dominance hierarchy are already taken.  Why on earth would they be single at 30 or 35?  They are the cream of the crop!  They would have snapped up a nice girl a long time ago.  And YES this means that generally there are only the duds left; those at the bottom of the hierarchy.

BUT…there are a few guys out there who are late bloomers.  They may have been hurt by a previous relationship so are very slow at testing the waters again.  But they have all the raw material for being a really good husband.  If you see a guy like this, do what you can to attract his attention, although be aware that he may still not be ready to choose and to commit.  These guys work on their own timeline and there’s nothing you can do to hurry them along.

Other than that, there are two things you can do to overcome the ‘no guys left’ situation.

1.     Get off the male dominance hierarchy!  Start jettisoning everything that brings any masculine power to your life.  You need to make spaces in your life that a man can come into.  (The man initiates, the woman responds.  The man enters, the woman receives.  You get my drift?  It has to work that way for him to feel like the man.)  

Give up your big titles at work.  Heck, quit your job if you can and do something a bit more feminine, with less responsibility and less stress!  Sell or at least move out of your starter home in the sticks, and move into a fun-loving and vibrant share-house in town where you have more chance of meeting people, and not becoming a boring old cat lady.  Don’t waste time reading up on politics and sport so you can hold your own with the guys at work.  Be a woman!  Talk about fun, bright, light things!  Men love that!  Stop talking smack and being the coolest, cruelest, funniest person in the room. Remember, the woman’s role when in the company of men is to receive, respond, react. Everything you do is because of an action initiated by a man. (I know it sounds like I’m tossing women’s rights out the window. But do you want to be right, or do you want to get married?)

Return to the covering of your dad or another trustworthy, older man.  Show yourself to be a woman who knows how to be sweet, submissive and vulnerable – a woman who allows a man to protect her and to provide for her.  Don’t be all Miss Independent – it’s not attractive.

Stop spending all your money on investments and sensible purchases, and invest some cash into bright and appealing clothes, a fresh sexy hairstyle, and some good quality makeup.  Quit your after-work scrapbooking class or book club (or PHD, so time-consuming!) and join the gym instead.  Remember, age is not your friend.  This is not the time to be embracing your wrinkles and getting comfortable with ‘the real you’.  Seriously, hit the gym, get a makeover, wear heels and learn to flirt!  You need to become less man, more woman!

If you ever want to get married, you need to GET ONTO IT NOW. Cancel EVERYTHING else and focus, focus, focus! I’m serious, people. You can do all that other stuff again later.

2.     Change your expectations regarding the type of man you want.  In fact, instead of thinking ‘what do I want’, think ‘what will I accept’.  Because frankly, guys aren’t exactly beating your door down, are they?

If you’ve been thinking, Ok I want a guy who is successful, rich, owns his own house, respected at his job, in leadership at church, taller than me, good-looking, well-dressed, from a good family, kind to children, romantic, well-travelled, sophisticated… Well I’m sorry, but you’re probably going to end up dying alone.  First of all, this guy doesn’t exist, and secondly, he is already taken! 

Dr Jordan Peterson suggests that women like to marry men who are higher on the dominance hierarchy than they are, and about five years older.  He also says that the higher your IQ is, the less likely you are to get married.  So if you are old and smart, your chances are not good.  You’re going to have to compromise.  This doesn’t mean that you are low on the female hierarchy; that you are a dud, or you are unlovable.  What it means is that you have unfortunately missed your optimal window for dating and mating, which I now think is probably between age 18-25. 

The thing is, as men age, they usually increase in ‘social capital’. Their resources (and emotional intelligence) generally grows. Look at George Clooney - married to Amal at age 53 and considered a total catch! (Well it is George Clooney I suppose.) But as women age, their social capital decreases. They get too smart, too cynical and boring, too wrinkly and fat, and too old to have children. (Ouch.) So because your capital is decreasing, you are not going to get Mr Perfect, and you have to make some compromises.  (Or you can be like Amal and marry someone 20 years older than you. It’s all relative!)

Do you really have to marry someone who is well-travelled?  Do you really have to marry someone who has the same missional dreams as you?  Do you really have to marry a man who is a leader at church?  Recently I suggested to two of my friends the idea of marrying a white, Aussie plumber.  They were both like, ‘ew’. (You know who you are.)  Interestingly, they are both white Aussies themselves.  Now I ask you, what’s wrong with a nice local plumber? At least they make decent money and will be home every night for dinner. 

Girls, you’re going to have to change your ideals.  Last time I checked, a man’s role was to pursue, protect and provide.  Not to offer an exegesis of the book of Romans in the original Greek.  Not to be a regular volunteer at the local soup kitchen.  Not to give you emotional counselling for three hours after work every day.  A man is a man if he PURSUES, PROTECTS, and PROVIDES.  So if there is a man who is offering that to you – take it!

I have tons more posts to come about where to go to find a man who might start pursuing you.  That’s where it begins.  In the meantime, less man, more woman!  (And if you balk at the idea of tapping into your femininity, maybe go back to my previous posts and consider getting some therapy to deal with your past abuse, daddy issues or burn-out!)

It’s going to be okay girls – just grit your teeth and embrace change!

Lots of love. Xo   

More home truths from Dr JP:



Ruth Harding