10 Weird Rules College-Educated Women Must Follow To Find A Husband
Have you heard about Jon Birger’s book Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game? In it Birger applies economic rules to the business of dating. You may think that romance and economics should be separate and that money should not play a part in love. Well, you might well be right, but only up to a certain extent.
Money should not determine who you fall in love with (if it does you might find the marriage less satisfying in the years down the line) but the rules of economics, simple supply and demand actually translate very accurately, and indeed scarily so into the world of dating.
We all know that a premium attaches to a scarce resource but what are the scarce resources when it comes to love? Roses? Chocolates? No, it turns out that the scarce resources in modern day dating are college educated men! This means that if you want to meet the man of your dreams and get that diamond ring on your finger you are going to be facing some very stiff competition; in New York, for example, the number of single straight women is more than double the number of single straight men. This is where economics comes in. When a traditional resource is scarce (gold for example) enterprising prospectors search for new sources of the product. They spend time and effort exploring untapped regions and, if they are lucky they hit the motherlode.
In his book on the subject, Date-Onomics, finance and tech guru Jon Birger has set out clearly and succinctly exactly what young college educated women today need to do to maximize your chances of making a success of your dating dreams and beating your contemporaries in the race to the altar. Here, in this article we have summarized his 10 key points for you. Is it really true that if you’re over 35 and unmarried you’re more likely to be killed by terrorists than get married? Probably. But if you’re under 25, college educated and looking for a college educated man your chances are even worse! Keep reading.
10Don’t Be Intimidating
Think about some of the unattached, college educated women that you know in their 30s and 40s. What do they have in common? The chances are that they are smart, beautiful and successful in their chosen careers. These women should be a premium product. They should have been snapped up by eligible men when they were much younger, so why are they still single? Some women suffer from being just too attractive. This is known as the ‘Carol Syndrome’ after the mathematical explanation that explains the phenomenon. When men see a very attractive single woman they assume that a lot of other men will be interested in her and that their chances of rejection are therefore very high. For that reason they never bother approaching her.
This also causes problems for very intelligent women. If you are too successful you will also be seen as unreachable and unobtainable by the men who are interested in long term relationships as these men often have low self-esteem compared with the lotharios who are easier to meet.
In locations such as New York the number of women vastly outnumbers the men available to date them. Here men can get everything they want (casual sex is often high on the agenda) relatively easily due to the high numbers of women in the city they are not going to want to bother with women who are challenging to talk to and date or those they perceive are so attractive that they might be rejected.
The moral of the story – if you just want to hook up don’t be too difficult to talk to or spend time with. If you want a long term relationship leading to marriage you should not sell yourself short or act stupid just to attract a mate (any one worth having will want you for you) but you should be approachable and easy to talk to. You should also make an effort to approach men so that they know you are interested in them rather than assuming you would reject them.
9Make Foreign Friends
The phenomenon of the rise of female enrolment in college is not unique to the US but it is particularly pronounced here in America. In the US in 2012 34% more women graduated from college than men in the same cohort. This imbalance is obvious in older generations and therefore spills over post-college as well.
This means that women are competing in a difficult market with, in some cases, two or more college educated woman chasing every single college educated man. This imbalance is not the same everywhere. In China, for example, the gender imbalance is reversed with 120 boys born for every 100 girls. Bearing in mind that the people from other countries who come to work at high level jobs in the US tend to be from the wealthier and more cosmopolitan parts of society; cultivating foreign students and friends from abroad will ensure that you have an opportunity to meet with a broad range of eligible men. Of course whether their social culture and customs are ones that you will be happy with are another issue and one for you to consider very carefully if and when you end up dating someone from abroad.
8Study A Traditionally ‘Male’ Subject
The gender gap in our colleges has become a real problem with social ramifications for both the men and the women attending these institutions. From the early 1980s more women than men have graduated college and this trend is set to get worse. Students in colleges with more women than men such as Sarah Lawrence in New York tend to live in a ‘hook up’ culture which regards relationships as transient and women as disposable. Majority male colleges such as Cal-Tech tend to be more traditional. It is not unknown for couples to meet up in freshman year and continue their relationship throughout their time in college.
If you are at the stage of your life where you are considering what courses to study you might want to consider enrolling on one with a traditional male bias. This will ensure that you spend your day to day life in the company of men and can get to know them as individuals away from the bar scene. It also makes it more likely that you will work in a male dominated industry and therefore that you will continue to be exposed to men in a beneficial environment.
A nursing degree is far more likely to leave you knowing only a handful of men compared with enrolment in a more typically male field like engineering where only 16% of all US majors are female. You may not end up dating (and may not want to) the men on your course or from your office but they will have friends and you will have a larger pool of eligible men to choose from.
7Cultivate Different Interests
Much like choosing to study a traditionally male subject you can widen your pool of potential male friends (and therefore potential boyfriends) by cultivating a hobby or interest that attracts a lot of men.
When men were asked (online) what sort of typical male hobbies they found attractive in a woman the answers ranged from the rather flippant (pool, for example, because they could enjoy watching the woman’s body) to the more considered (sports). What does spring out form the answers is that men really relate to women who have a genuine interest in the hobby that has been born out of their own interest rather than as a trap for men.
If you enjoy sports, follow a team, can talk knowledgeably about them and discuss the year’s results then you are on to a winner. Men will love to talk to you and will introduce you to all their friends. You will also come across as more interesting, independent and less needy than someone who has nothing to talk about.
6Move To The Right City
Did you know that where you live can have an impact on whether or not your dating life is a success and can determine whether or not you get married. It sounds crazy but it is true. Many women are drawn to large urban centers such as New York or LA for work but they also believe that in the teeming metropolis they will have the opportunity to meet a large number of men and have the pick of the crop.
Sadly this thinking is completely wrong; across the nation college educated women outnumber men with a similar level of education by 4:3 and this ratio. In certain places like big cities such as New York and LA the ratios are very much stacked against women and it can be equally difficult in some unbalanced rural areas like Montana. Fort Lauderdale scores as the location in the US with more women than men with an imbalance of 71% more women.
In areas with large numbers of women men tend to behave in a very different way. They have no real interest (or imperative) to settle down. Instead they can enjoy all the benefits of the ‘hook up’ culture. They don’t need to spend money on making a date feel special; they don’t need to promise marriage or even any type of permanent relationship. There are so many more women than men that the lucky few have to make literally no effort at all; the women will fight over them. It is perfectly possible in those situations for a man to enjoy sleeping with a different woman every week or even every night.
Despite the national trend there are locations in the country where men still outnumber women. This is typically in areas with a heavy military presence or where there are a lot of tech companies. If you are serious about finding a husband with as little competition as possible you should try to relocate to San Jose, San Francisco or Columbus Ohio. Seattle is also a buyers’ market as far as women are concerned. Indeed with a few exceptions (such as LA) the west coast is a better dating prospect for young women than the east.
5Be Less Religious
Being religious might sound like the perfect way to meet a really nice guy. If you go to temple or church or synagogue every week you are going to meet sober, devout young men who will want to settle down and start a family. Sadly, you can no longer guarantee that that is the case.
For many years the most devout religious groups in America have been Mormons and Orthodox Jews and both those groups have put a premium on early marriage. In the state of Utah there are now 50% more Mormon women than men. This means that only half of all Mormon women will be able to find a devout husband. This means Mormon men have become picky, waiting longer to marry in the hopes of finding the most perfect woman. This means that some women have to marry outside the faith or, alternatively, live alone. The women competing for this small pool of men have gone to extremes to make sure that they come out ahead of their rivals; not for no reason is Salt Lake City is one of the plastic surgery capitals of the US.
The Orthodox Jewish community is experiencing a similar problem of an undersupply of men. It has become so extreme that men and their families are now able to demand huge cash dowries from the bride’s family and young women are driving themselves to anorexia in the hope of making themselves more ‘marketable’.
If you are looking for a husband it may pay to look outside of your faith!
4Be More Aggressive
Educated straight women should be aware that you are competing against their peers for a very scarce resource, educated straight men. Birger has applied the concept of Game Theory to dating. Much as a game of musical chairs is harder to stay in the more chairs are removed so the dating game gets harder (for women) with age. It is a sad fact but true that by the time a woman’s career plans and biological clock incentivize her to settle down most of their male peers, used to being hotly competed over, may decide to settle with a younger woman. After all if they have the pick of women to choose from why would they settle for someone in their 30s who is no longer (in their eyes) a ‘premium’ product?
The solution to this; be more aggressive. Auctions, Birger explains, are typically won by weak bidders who know they need to be aggressive to get their bid in. Bidders in a stronger position often hold out too long. Translating this into marriage, if you know that your ultimate goal is to get married and have children then approach it like a career search. Make it your business to find a man to marry. Pursue opportunities whenever they present themselves and you will be a long way ahead of other women who believe that they can leave their husband search to their 30s. Make sure that you are one of the lucky 20 year olds. That is not desperate behavior; it is, given the gender imbalance, nothing more than pragmatic.
3Don’t Be Picky
Even as little as 100 years ago women did not have much choice about the men they would marry. These days’ generation Y and millennial women are extremely picky. They want a man who is their intellectual equal, educated to a similar level, with the same earning capacity. However, in our current society this causes problems. As seen in point 4 above, the bidder who holds out because they believe they have a strong hand and can hold out for the very best are often outbid. Research into why the pool of eligible, college educated men seems to shrink with age has shown that many of the most eligible married at a young age. Not always to the most desirable or attractive women but to those who actually decided to marry them.
What this tells us is that you should not be so confident that you hold out too long. Is it really important that the man of your dreams is above a certain height? Does he have to have a set minimum qualification? Only you can decide what your minimum standards are but if you are looking for perfection you may find yourself without anyone.
2Date Outside Your Socio-Economic Class
Despite some regional variation the national trend for gender imbalance in college educated millennials and generation ‘y’ers means that some college educated women will never be able to marry a man with the same level of education that they have. What can they do about it? Other than remaining single or dating other women the only option available to the ‘surplus’ is to date outside of their socio-economic book.
It stands to reason that if slightly more boy babies are born than girl babies then the boys have to go somewhere. If it is not college where is it? Men have many more job and even career opportunities such as roughnecking or joining the police, fire service or military after leaving high school than are on offer to their female peers. It is striking that the gender imbalance amongst high earning non-college graduates is the exact opposite of that amongst college-graduates. There are more men and they are desperate to meet women.
While college educated men will sometimes marry a non-college educated woman it has, historically, been extremely rare for women to ‘marry down’. This trend is changing, particularly in the African-American community where many more women have a college education than men and it is something that college-educated women who want to marry should think about very carefully.
A ‘mixed-collar’ marriage has the potential to provide career oriented women with many benefits, not least a husband with more time to support them in their professional aspirations by taking on more of the share of housework and childcare duties.
As there is now no social stigma to living together before marriage there is no social pressure on men to settle down. They can have their cake and eat it, living with a woman who may or may not be their ‘forever’ partner while still remaining free enough to dump her and go off with a more marriageable prospect should she come along. Anecdotally, most people will know of some women who spent years in a relationship, expecting it to lead to marriage and children, only to be dumped when they hit their mid or late 30s.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a man who is just not willing to propose one who tells you he is not sure if he is yet ready, you have two options. You can ride it out and wait for a proposal that may never happen or you can issue an ultimatum. Say that unless you get a proposal in the next (x) months you will be leaving the relationship. This may seem drastic but you owe it to yourself to be firm. If your partner refuses to accept the ultimatum it shows that he was never intending to marry you in the first place, you were, in effect, his placeholder. The British have a descriptive name for such men – ‘cocklodgers’ – you can guess what cock is slang for! If your partner truly does love you but has just not felt the urgency to propose your ultimatum will serve to issue a warning, ‘get off your butt or you will be dumped’ and have to start all over again.
You may love a man very much but if you want to have children be aware that IVF is still not guaranteed and is extremely costly. You may be fertile into your later years but the chances are against you. If you want children you owe it to yourself to see whether your partner is the one to have them with or get out and find someone new.
If you are an unmarried college educated woman and reading this article, don’t feel too bad. There are just not enough college men out there out there. This has a big impact not only on your chances of marrying but on the behavior men expect of you prior to marriage.
If you are a woman in your 20s and living in a gender imbalanced society then the chances are that the men your age are interested in ‘hooking up’ and not dating. This is not a problem, if that is what you want to do; sexual mores have changed and women are as entitled to enjoy hooking up as men, but do not feel pressured into doing something you would not otherwise want to do just to have a ‘date’. You should also be aware that while you are spending your 20s chasing and competing for men to hook up with for a short while, your time is running out. When men of your age look to marry they will have a much larger pool to choose from than you do – you may be looking at men of a similar age to you, they will be looking at women in both their 20s and 30s.
Think carefully about the type of man you want to spend time with. There are men out there who may not make the appearance grade (too short, too bald etc) but who are good, kind and would make an excellent husband. Men without a college degree are desperate for wives (all the women in their socio-economic group have gone to college and are competing with you for a tiny pool of men). Don’t value yourself so highly that you never engage in the dating scene because you are waiting for your version of Mr Absolutely Right (he might turn out to be a total tool who strings you along with vague mutterings of marriage and then dumps you for a better model). Equally be aware of your value enough to tell a man what you expect (I will date you for 6 months but if we are not going to marry after that I have to call it off) rather than just wait around for him to make a decision that impacts your future.
The men are out there – you just have to look for them that little bit harder these days. And if you need more help, check out Jon Birger’s book Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.
And let us know what you think in the comments. Numbers don’t lie. For you college ladies, would you date and marry someone without a college degree?