Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nine major reasons why people Divorced

The following are the top ten reasons why people get a divorce.  When seeking a first date, I advice AVOIDING these problems now.   Don't date to get divorced, dude.

  1. Poor communication.  If you want to get married, quit your job and raise a family, tell them that BEFORE you get married.
  2. "Sexual incompatibilities"  That is, if you can't satisfy each other's desires sexually, it won't matter. You both need to be attracted to each other at a bare minimum - so if one of you gains weight, it can cause a divorce.  If one of you likes feet, the other better like getting their feet massaged.   Some people want sex with many partners.  Such a person needs to find someone willing to accept that.  Or not get married at all. 
  3. Compatibility.  I.e.  you have to actually LIKE the person.  Enjoy spending time with them. Even if you find them acceptable, you can't be bored with them or you will divorced
  4. Low Tolerance and Rigidity.  I.e. you can't dislike the person's habits - especially if you have the same habit.  If two people both want to be in charge, that won't work.   If one person snores, and the other wants a good nights sleep they better be willing to sleep in separate bed rooms. That also means your preferred jobs/religions/cultures do not cause problems.
  5. Money.   Money differences are a big one.  If one person is marrying the other for money, that money better be enough.   If one person spends a lot and the other saves,  that will cause problems. 
  6. Unwilling to Commit.  You need to both be willing to work at the marriage.  Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint and you need to work on it all the time.
  7. Not capable of the commitment - because of illness, addiction, or abusive personality.
  8. Children are a whole other level of commitment.  Think of it as commitment squared.  You need to spend so much time and money on them so it will make Money and Commitment problems even worse .  
  9.  Personal growth.   People grow as time goes by.  You may become bored with something or someone you used to enjoy.  

My Sources:

(India source)
Psychiatrist's reasons

Note some of these problems get 'reverse blamed' in the court of public opinion, particularly if the person with the real problem dealt with it poorly.   Stop trying to blame people, instead avoid the problem in the first place.  Among other things, I am a big believer in sharing the blame.   People don't start cheating on you out of the blue - they either were always a scumbag or you have been ignoring their needs.   Same with fighting over money.   He may be a cheap SOB, but that makes you a spendthrift.  Worse, you both should have known this before you got married.  Don't marry, cripes, don't even date someone that isn't acceptable to you in the first 8 categories  (9 is hard to measure before it happens).

So let's talk about how you know before hand.
#1 is fairly easy.  Talk to them.  Not just about the easy stuff, but about the hard stuff.  The emotional stuff. 
#2 is generally best figured out with experience.   But you can start out by being more honest - and talking about sex before you do it.  Generally a woman has to initiate this conversation, otherwise the guy comes off as creepy.
#3, also via experience.   Do you have fun with them - when they are sober.   Drinking often makes people think they are enjoying themselves but aren't really.
#4 - ask your date to name some small thing that pisses them off.   If you do them, reconsider.  I.E. neat freaks should not even date messy people - not if you are considering marriage. 
#5 Ask the date if they think X amount of money is too a good vacation, bad vacation, or just OK.
#6 and #7.  If they don't want to commit, don't try to force them.  No tricks, just leave.  Also make sure they actually can commit.
#8.  If you are not on the same page for children, don't go ahead without the other person. 
#9 is a bit of a luck, but if you find someone that is in a shell, don't be surprised if they break out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Unattraactive vs. Desperate

There are studies that show that people that are more receptive to everyone (i.e. the will date anyone) are themselves considered less desirable.  

There are two major possible explanations for this.

  1. The less desirable people know they are less desirable (at least unconsciously) and therefore have lowered their standards and are willing to date anyone.
  2. The loose daters are known to be loose and this is a turn off - i.e. they are desperate and no one wants to date a desperate person.
There is probably a bit of truth to both of these ideas, but I strongly believe that #1 is the more powerful effect.   Option 2 postulates a lot of unproven assumptions.   It requires most people to be poor at concealing their desperation, most other people to be good at detecting it, and it also requires that no one  likes desperation.  The last is a very hard assumption to believe - particularly as many attractive men don't care how desperate a woman is and many women take pity on desperate men.

Option 1 on the other hand has assumptions that look obvious to me.  Clearly some people are less desirable (i.e. rude, cheap, ugly, broke, short, mean, etc.) and almost everyone can compare themselves with others and realizes how poorly they do, and it is a fairly easy thing to lower your standards.

Far easier to lower your standards than to improve yourself (short is almost impossible to improve, but the rest are not easy things to do either).

Often the effect is not a conscious choice.  Men start out trying to date only the hotties.  Then after we have been rejected by all the 10's, we move on to the  9's.  Then on to the 8's.

If we one night we get nowhere even with the 8's then the next time we go out, we start at the 9's, move to the 8's, move to 7s.   This keeps happening until our date attempts are successful.   We never consciously lower our standards, we instead slowly find ourselves with lower standards.

Similarly, a woman that gets hit on by 6's, 7's, and 8's, may start out rejecting all because she thinks she's a 9.  But by the end of the night when she realizes no 9's have hit on her, she may accept an 8.     As this happens time and time again, she may eventually start out by accepting all 8's. 

In other words: humans learn from the past.  It may in fact be our defining characteristic.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Secrets from OK Cupid's lost diatribe

OK Cupid once published a diatribe against pay dating sites.  They have since taken it down, but you can read a copy of it here:

There are interesting things to realize from it.

First of all, apparently most profiles are dead.  They said between 93 and 97% of eharmony subscribers are no longer active.  Honestly, that seems likely to me.   Eharmonny has a tiered response system and most people don't even respond to the first set of questions. 

Second, they say an average response rate for an active profile is 30%.   Even using a generous 10% active account number, 30% means you only get a response 3% of the time.

Obviously, some people are more attractive and might get 5%, while others are less and might get 1%.   It then went on to say the more emails you sent out the less response rate you get.   They think that is a factor of just not putting enough effort into it.  A well written email takes more time so you put fewer out.

I find their conclusion to be a false.

First, that might be a bit reversed - the less attractive people might know they are less attractive, so they put out more emails and get fewer responses.   In my personal experience, men that list a height above 5'10" get a lot more responses than a man whose height is listed below 5'6".  Similarly, women with hot pictures get a lot more emails than those with less attractive one.    These people KNOW this - which is why every once in a while you see men lying about their height and women putting up old or deceptive photos.   It is not unreasonable for a guy knowing he is less attractive to send out more emails.

Second, despite their complaint about lower response rates, the more email strategies works.  If I get a 3% response by sending out say 5 emails a day, but get only a 1% response by sending out 30 emails a day, then I am better off sending out 30 a day.   That is, statistically I should get 1 email response in 7 days at 5/day with 3% response, where as I get 1 response every  4 days at 30/day with 1%.

As quantity beats percentages most of the time.

The real question is quality, not quantity of response and we don't really know if the well written attracts a better quality of women.   It may be that all the first email does is convince the women to look at your profile and then make the decision based more on the profile you put out for everyone rather than the email you crafted just for them.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deja Weight

Over the past 10 years or so I have noticed an interesting trend.  Many people that see me only one in a while constantly think I've lost weight.  A lot of weight - as in 30 lbs or more.  Now my weight has fluctuated some, but mostly in a 10-15 lb range.  I never go below 170 or over 185.   Usually I am between 175 and 180.    In effect, I have lost the same 5 lbs time and time again.  OK, when I try hard/get sick, I can make it the same 10 lbs.  

Recently I have turned some fat into muscle, which has helped some, but that's only been over the past year, and I was at about 178 or so before that.  Yet people that see me after a couple of months swear I've lost two or more belt sizes.  In truth, I have lost one belt size over the past year, and that's about it.

I have come up with several possible explanations for this phenomena.  These are all things I invented, no scientific evidence exists for them.

  1. Fat Memory Syndrome.  That is, when I stand in front of people they see me for my true weight, but the second I leave their sight they create a false memory of me being fat.  The longer they go without  seeing me, the fatter I get in their memory.
  2. Edge of Fatness.   I am on the cusp of perceived fatness.  That is, slight changes in my weight create massive illusions.   When I am above it, perhaps when I wear particular clothes, I look fat.  When I lose just a little weight, and perhaps wear the right clothing, I look much thinner than I really am.
  3. Hair Illusion.   Sometimes I let my hair get longer than usual, often in the winter.   In the summer I prefer my hair shorter.   This year I have however kept my hair shorter.   Perhaps my hair style creates the impression of a fat body or a thin body. 
Now I do have some particular weaknesses when it comes to weight.   My neck is unusually thick and has been ever since I was young and thin.   Similarly, I am short, which is a double whammy for weight - you need to eat less food (and they don't sell you less food if you are short) and proportionately the same percentage of body fat on a tall person looks better than on a short person.

If I was not concerned about side affects, I would be the guy that tries all the weight loss drugs, even the risky ones.  As it is, I tend to try lots of different physical exercises.  My newest routine seems to be working, so I am sticking with it.  Specifically I use a large number of short small classes.  Each class is about 45 minutes, and generally has 1-4 other participants.  Having the trainer pay close attention to your body is very important.  Among other things it means they can customize the work out for you.