After my last post, “You’re not all 8’s,” I began to feel a little bad about knocking everyone down a peg (including myself). While it’s true that in general, if I’m a “7,” I am destined to marry another “7,” there are always exceptions. Some people marry down a notch or two. Which of course means that an equal amount of people are marrying up. Why does this happen? And more importantly…how can I get in on the action?
When I was in college, I took an evolutionary psychology class from a professor that had come up with a fascinating interactive lesson. Everyone in the class of about 30 students, half male, half female, was assigned an index card with a number, 1 through 10. There were equal amounts of each number for both genders…one girl and guy were 10’s, a couple each were 9’s, and so on. But we couldn’t see our own number…you had to hold it against your forehead, so that everyone could see it except you.
The professor then stated that we had five minutes to try and pair up with someone of the opposite sex. The goal was to find a mate with the highest number possible.
Obviously, I immediately set about looking for a 10, who I found quickly, and who was already entertaining a small group of suitors. I stuck my head in. “How bout me? Interested?” I asked. She looked at my number, made the “icky face,” and shook her head.
I knew my number was low. But how low? I found an 8, who passed on me quickly. Then a 7. No takers. A female 3 walked up to me: “Hi!!! Wanna be my mate?” This time, it was I who made the icky face. I shooed her off.
As the deadline drew near, I finally just realized I needed to take whatever I could get. I turned and found myself face-to-face with a 5. “Hey!” she said with a smile. “Hey!” I said back. We were in love.
When time ran out, everyone looked at their own number. Mine was a five, just like the partner I ended up with. In fact, almost everyone had matched up either exactly or one number off. It was an invaluable lesson on the free market of human mating…competition and selection are forces that move quickly and accurately.
Except in one case. Remember that 10 who blew me off? Turns out she blew everybody off. She figured out real quick that people were clamoring for her attention, so she must have a high number, and waited for another 10. Problem was the male 10 hooked up pretty quick with a female 9. You know what partner the female 10 ended up with? A 2!
To further highlight the mismatch, the female 10 was, in reality, a tall, gorgeous blond girl who every guy in the class drooled over, and the 2 she ended up with was the shyest, nerdiest Korean kid you ever saw. I swear, when they both stood up in front of the class, the guy was beaming from ear to ear. I could see it had been the greatest moment of his life. How did it happen?
One word: Timing. No matter how hot a person is, we are all slaves to Mother Nature’s deadlines.
If we were all immortal, our romances would probably be a series of monogamous relationships, whereby we found the best available mate we could at the moment, then jumped ship as soon as we could find a better one. This would continue, endlessly, until all 7 billion people on earth had dated each other, and based on their experiences were able to choose which human was the absolute best they could find, who also wanted them.
But we don’t live forever. More importantly, we don’t reproduce forever. A women’s reproductive era starts around age 13 and ends in her mid forties. So if a woman, even a perfect 10, wants to wait for “Mr. Right,” she does so at an increasingly high risk the longer she waits.
Men are a little different. They gain the ability to reproduce around 13 as well, but they can keep firing off healthy sperm well into their fifties and sixties. The quality of the seed goes down from there, but if the guy is hot enough, there will still be takers: Rod Stewart just fathered his eighth child at age 66. (Could you say no to that handsome old devil’s baby batter? I couldn’t!)
So what does this all mean? As men and women approach their respective fertility deadlines, they get a lot more relaxed about standards, just like the people in my college classroom. Ask the hottest girl in high school to marry you, and you won’t have much luck. If she’s still single at the ten year reunion…bro, try again! It’s not nearly the long shot it was a decade earlier.
And ladies, this goes double for you. A man can keep firing off live rounds till his pubes turn gray, but that doesn’t mean he wants to. I often hear guys say things like: “I want to be a young enough Dad to play basketball with my kids when they’re in high school.” This is their evolutionary programming kicking in, reminding them that men, like women, need to get on with the baby-making before they die, and leave enough time after to actually raise the kids and ensure they survive to reproductive age themselves. With this in mind, I now give you women the single most important piece of dating advice you will ever receive:
DATE GUYS WHO ARE 30. There is nothing more crucial to a woman’s ability to marry her boyfriend than the age of the boyfriend himself. And the ideal age is 30. A mixture of things–his own biological clock, his elevated station in life and his peaking ability to get a hot mate, and maybe just boredom at having banged so many women already in his 20’s–conspire to make a man ready to settle down as he enters his fourth decade on earth. It’s literally like a switch gets turned on, and his romantic pursuits do a complete 180. It’s so obvious, in fact, that I find myself confused as to why women even bother dating guys who are 28 or younger. It’s a suckers bet. Unless you’ve got the patience, and ability, to hang on to him until he reaches 30. Many a frustrated woman has dumped a 29 year old man after five years without a proposal, only to be shocked and horrified to find out he became engaged to another women the very next year. How can this happen? Timing!
And so it follows that an understanding of timing can not only help you secure a mate, but possibly a hotter one than you would normally aspire to. For men, this means getting to hot women early. Remember, they’ve been dreaming of finding a husband since grade school. Their biological clock goes “tick, tick” starting at age 13, but that ticking becomes a firehouse siren by 23. Get to a girl early and lock her down. Take Brian Austin Green for example: I’m not saying the ex-Beverly Hills 90210 star isn’t attractive, but the guy shot the moon when he landed Transformers bombshell Megan Fox. He did it by getting to her young…they started dating when she was 18 and he was 31, long before she realized how high the number on her forehead was, and how low Mr. Green’s would become. Just like the show that made him famous, his celebrity started with a 9 but will end with a 0. Yet it doesn’t matter…thanks to his excellent timing, he will die happy.
Ladies, do just the opposite. Patience is key. I guess you can think of romance as a big, epic game of musical chairs. The men are just walking around in circles like idiots in their 20’s, not realizing how pointless the endeavor is until the music stops. And when it does stop, whatever chair they’re next to becomes the greatest chair in the world. In other words: be next to a hot guy when the music stops. There’s a good chance he’ll sit on you.
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