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Thoughts on meeting and falling in love with the right spouse for you

Posted by John T. Reed on

This is a collection of recent posts on my Facebook account.
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It is a great mystery to me, and maybe most other men, why many beautiful women choose men who are not attractive as their spouse or boyfriend. Felicity Huffman, who is a TV star albeit not that great looking, has a husband who looks like a homeless guy, even when he’s wearing a tux. (William H. Macy of Fargo fame) Lori Loughlin, who IS great looking, is married to another old homeless guy. (American clothes designer with an Italian first and last name? He was formerly good looking.)
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I guess one explanation is that women value looks less. Another is that I am a heterosexual male and find very few males attractive. Bruce Willis? Jack Nicholson? Tommie Lee Jones? Christopher Walken? Sean Penn?
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https://www.imdb.com/list/ls055520138/
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I just saw a recent photo of Loughlin’s husband. He cleaned himself up for his perp walks. Now he looks like an ordinary old man who shaves daily.
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Dan Reed I disagree with about half the list. Tyrese is the most absurd member (he was and is model-level good looking), but otherwise I suppose it’s a subjective discussion.
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My son Dan Reed is perhaps an expert. He was a GQ model once in a Navy blazer story. When he and I walked on a crowded street together, I had to laugh at the looks on the faces as the approaching teenage girls and women of all ages the moment they noticed him. It’s kind of a pissed-off, double-take look. They are not pissed off. They are focusing intently. (When I walk on a crowded street alone I very rarely get a very much milder version of that and only from women over about 35.)
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When Dan was briefly a high school teacher, pictures of the new teachers were in the first issue of the school paper. It was free and lying all over the place. He had to look at three to see how the photo turned out. His photo had been torn out of the first two.
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I do not think it is totally subjective. A lot of handsome guys and beautiful women are consensus choices. Then there are occasional guys who are totally smitten by some non-consensus, but prominent woman.
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I look forward to Dan’s modest response to this post.
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Some additional thoughts on choosing a spouse. "The System" that a West Point roommate and I invented relied on a lunch first date. That was based on being long enough to find rapport. Also, well-lit and quiet, unlike a smoke-filled bar. It is also relatively cheap and brief and the girl does not have to admit that she did not have a date for Saturday night to accept a Saturday lunch date. All of which we thought showed us at our best. 
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My oldest son Dan, who is quite good looking, not surprisingly met his wife, who is equally good-looking, when they spotted each other walking towards each other on a street. Dan was with a group of guys at a singles bar and his future wife was at the same bar with a group of girls. 
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When you're good-looking, that's all you need. 
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When you look like my WP roommate and me, better make it lunch.
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What about if you are less attractive than my WP roommate and me? Gonna need more than lunch so your other qualities can be discerned. 
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Bill Tycoon Greene is a real estate investment guru. I do but know how much money he had, but people THOUGHT he had a lot. He met women by teaching a single women only class on real estate investing in Marion County, CA. It worked for him. Although he went to prison on tax evasion and is now a fugitive after not returning from emergency leave.
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I would call that a mainly non-romantic approach. Our System started out by asking for a date. Greene suggested he MIGHT do that, but guaranteed real estate investment training. 
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The less attractive or less rich might get a job where their work caused them to meet and get to know a series of opposite gender possible romantic interests. Like local salesperson or consultant or trainer. 
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No hint of romantic interest in the first meeting so no physical appearance test to pass. And prolonged time period, not just the one hour of our lunch. 
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One guy I know invited a co-worker to a colleague business lunch. The relationship morphed into a marriage. I do not call him unattractive. Maybe very shy. He is a Facebook friend so I am not going to speculate on why he needed to go this route.
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So I guess the rule would be the more physically attractive you are the less time you need to start a romantic relationship. The less physically attractive you are, the more you need more time and maybe a non-romantic pretext for the initial and subsequent few meetings.
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Anyone got proof or refutation of this? Or refinements of it?.
Justin Chow Personally, I would not ask a coworker or student/mentee out on a date. Too much of a minefield. My experience has also been that if the other person doesn't find you attractive, you're not getting a subsequent meeting. 

Your oldest son may be a littl
e too old for this, but there are a number of contemporary studies on dating. See "The Dating Project". Also see "Paradox of Choice", which might be especially relevant to someone who is widely regarded as attractive.

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John T. Reed Our policy was we would not date a coworker or a bank or restaurant employee if we planned to continue using that bank or restaurant. Basically, we did not date anyone we might have to visit after we broke up with them—and you break up with all but one. Our System allowed us to get away with that. It worked so well that we could rule out meeting venues that most others rely on.
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Being so attractive that all the boys or girls want to be your mate is sort of a distraction and a waste of time. I speak not from experience on that; just arithmetic.
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You can only marry one assuming you agree that marriage is like golf: low score wins. My wife and I have each been married once, for 44 years, to each other.
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So if “all” the girls in your school or workplace are attracted to you, what does that mean? You need a stick to beat them away. Some don’t go away quietly. See the movie Fatal Attraction.
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I had one girl who kept pestering me at one point in my childhood. I will not describe it further because I have Facebook Friends from all age levels of my life and do not want it to get back to the girl in question or her friends.
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One regret I have about our System was it was so easy to replace a girl with another that we were too quick to end promising relationships. So if there was the slightest problem or even a hint of a problem, we would just replace the girl in question with another. We called it motioning to the bull pen. T
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he girls did not know it but they had to be on their best behavior every second with us to avoid being dropped. Rather, they started to assume they were “the one” and relax and take the relationship for granted. “Fatal” mistake.
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One girl whom I dated for a while gave me some mixed signals one a date. I just stopped calling her and the following weekend had my usual full calendar of Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night dates with three different girls plus meeting a new girl for a weekend lunch.
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When I asked my wife to go steady—which I only did once in my life—she laughed and said no. I later learned that laugh was what she did when she was extremely nervous.
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I just stopped calling her totally—cold turkey. The following weekend, I again had a full calendar because we always had more girls we wanted to see and who were due for a second or third date than we could fit into the weekend. How did she end up marrying me if I stopped calling? She came to where I worked to say she changed her mind. A number of girls sent me letters to try to restart the relationship. It did not. The vast majority just silently accepted it. They should not have. Inexperience on my part and theirs.
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Our success at meeting new girls caused us to lose the ability to manage relationships—ironically, not unlike the pretty girls who can act like jerks and still keep boyfriends. So we should have stopped meeting new ones when our calendar filled. We were not attracting them because of being super handsome, but rather because we were the only two guys in the region who figured out how to meet them and they were all languishing in a society where it was hard for them and all the other guys to meet the opposite gender. Same result mathematically though—it was as if we were rock stars.
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In spite of The System, we ultimately had the same arithmetic on the long-term relationship as everyone else: you can only marry one. If I had it to do over I would had fewer new first dates and thrown away fewer promising relationships because the girl looked cross-eyed at me once.
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Wilson Stooksberry Reading posts like this make me cringe at my total lack of methodology in the personal matters of my college life. I was the prototype tumbleweed in this area. It seems to have worked out in the end for me... but I’ll do my best to make sure that my younger family members (nephews et al) and hypothetical unborn children don’t adopt the same laissez-faire approach.

John T. Reed What you did is the most common approach. I read a bunch of books about meeting the opposite sex. One called what most people do in terms of meeting “chance proximity.” They just go through life trusting that Ms. or Mr. Right will be in the nex seat onan airplane, in the apartment across the hall or their blind date. It’s not good enough for the most important decision of your life. There are two many divorces, too many unhappy marriages, too many lifelong unmarrieds who may claim that was their preference but who intended to get married.
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Had I not gone to West Point, I probably would have married some chance-proximity acquaintance like most people. But West Point in the mid-sixties—all male, isolated, operated like a monastery and like a medium security prison literally—forced me to address the subject in high relief.
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Falling in love is zen. Don’t make it happen. Let it happen. Get yourself and a likely candidate in terms of age, nearness to your home, education, and so on together and see if the chemistry happens. If not, next.
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But getting together with those candidates is NOT zen. Don’t let it happen. MAKE it happen. Relying on “chance proximity” is letting it happen. It does not produce enough first dates. I figure you need to meet about 40 pre-qualified candidates to get a good match.
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Fewer, I figure, means increased chance of divorce. I cannot prove that because there are no stats on pre-qualified first dates.
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I recall a sad case history from my 20s. One local daily paper had the annual habit of publishing the name, hometown, college, and photo of all the locals graduating from college anywhere in the nation. I met a number of girls using that source in The System. One was stop-the-conversation-in-the-room-when-we-walked-in beautiful. She was also extremely nice and had a sense of humor and may have been smart. I’m not sure.
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We were seeing each other weekly starting with our third date. I got the very strong vibe that she regarded me as her Mr. Right. That amazed me because she could have had her pick of thousands of men.
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But I could not establish rapport with her. Maybe because she was shy about revealing her true self. Maybe because there was no great true self—she was not that deep.
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So why was such a girl walking the streets unclaimed? She was from NJ where I was stationed at the time. She lived with her parents. She had gone to college about a thousand miles away, then returned after graduation. She took a job as a Catholic elementary school teacher. Her life when I knew her seemed to be wake up, drive to school, return home, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat—plus a date with me on the weekend.
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You can see the problem. No meeting any other men than me. I think she was about 23 at the time. I later heard through the grapevine that she got married at age 34. I hope everything went well for her after that.
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I ran into another woman about her age who went to her college in a non-romantic situation years after I stopped seeing her. “Did you know so-and-so,” I asked. “Oh yes. She was the most beautiful girl at our college. All the men in the state wanted to date her.”
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Has she worked and lived in a more public situation where she met more eligible men, she would have been married by the time she expected me to propose. I also heard through the grapevine that she refused to ever speak of me afterward. 
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At one point, for no particular reason, we stopped at my mom’s somewhat distant house on a date. I had not mentioned her to my mom previously so there was no great fuss, just a courtesy sort of introduction of a girl I was dating. 
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But her family seemed to attribute great meaning to that event, like proposal coming soon. I never had any such thoughts and never verbally said anything about marriage or being in love or any of that. I was a PERFECT gentleman with her always. Her father could have been along with us on every date. When I got out of the Army, I moved about 70 miles away and stopped calling her.
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Her problem was not my misleading her, but rather her failure to make meeting men happen in her life. My I-saw-your-picture-in-the-paper was deus ex machina given her situation—and less than a once-in-a-lifetime event for the single woman of the time. She may have seen it as too unlikely for me thus to be other than Mr. Right.
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She should have made meeting men happen, not expected it to happen by chance. You are not going to meet Mr. Right in your apartment building if you live with your parents. You are not going to meet him in the next office at work if you work as an elementary school teacher.

Paul Bonomi "I figure you need to meet about 40 pre-qualified candidates to get a good match." That's a strong argument for online dating. On the other hand, a common criticism is that you get too many options, and you may never settle at all....

John T. Reed I am told that on-line dating swamps the good-looking girls with massive quantity of invites, so it would be good for those girls. 
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I have heard about a whole lot of people who marry on-line dating matches. I never tried it because I stopped dating anyone but my wife in 1973. I think it has great potential but would not work for everyone.


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