Before there was The Rules, there was How to Marry the Man of Your Choice, filled with proven strategies that helped thousands of "nice" women get to the altar. Now completely updated to lead a new generation down the aisle, this timeless yet thoroughly modern guide shares the successful tactics used by other singles (including the author, who took her own advice and, at the age of 42, married the man of her choice), and reveals:
• The top 20 places to meet more than a few good men (hint: bars are not among them!)
• The keys to male behavior and how to use them to your advantage
• The 50 crucial questions every woman should be asking her man-and herself
• How to interview a man for the job of husband before you audition for the job of wife
• The best ways to dress for your body type and age
• How to recognize love when it happens
• How to enhance and maintain your relationship with the man of your choice
• How to defuse "dastardly acts"-male, and sometimes female, behavior that can sabotage a relationship on its way to the altar.
So forget the myth that you can't find love when you're looking for it. Complete with special sections on Internet dating, second marriages, stepchildren, and advice on living together, this strategy-packed guide is both fun and very, very effective.
The more you know about men in general, the easier it will be to learn about individual men. The more you know how men think and behave, the more success you'll have with the men you meet. There are three keys to male behavior:
The typical man has been predominantly influenced by women during his formative years. As a result, he has predictable reactions to women.
A man bases his sense of sexual worth and acceptance as a male on his teenage experiences. He carries that sexual acceptance or rejection to the grave.
The male ego is enormous, but eggshell-fragile. Learn about the male ego. Your knowledge of his ego is one of the best tools for leading the man of your choice into a long-term relationship.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Is men's behavior a mystery to you? Here's the three-step process to unlocking this mystery and using it to your advantage:
Learn about usual male behavior.
Use this knowledge to predict the behavior of the men you meet.
Use a man's own behavior as a means of leading him into a long-term relationship with you.
WHY MEN ACT THE WAY THEY DO
Males are under the authority and guidance of females from the beginning. They are born of woman and are helpless from birth until years later. From his earliest moments, the young boy is forced into behavior that pleases his mother, female relatives, and female teachers. Each one has a turn at subjecting the boy to her ideas of acceptable behavior, demeanor, and thoughts. As a youngster, he is dependent on his mother and other female relatives for his comfort and survival.
He remains dependent on women for much of his comfort and survival throughout his life.
Schooling generally is painful for the boy. His female teachers embarrass him with their authority, his subjugation to them, and his mental limitations. His female classmates impress him with their maturity and perhaps faster understanding of the classwork.
If the boy rebels, a principal dictates that his teachers, who are likely to be mostly female, place the boy under their greater control. Because of the boy's slower physical development, female classmates usually scorn him until they reach puberty. The girls can do so freely, since at that age they don't need these boys sexually. This type of intense and prolonged conditioning is hard for these boys to overcome, even when they mature.
The male-female relationship begins to change at puberty. Girls at adolescence begin to experience sexual curiosity and desire. They start competing with each other for the attention and affection of the more desirable boys.
Adolescent males, on the other hand, are supposed to surmount their years of conditioning to subservient childhood status by nature alone. The boy is expected to become the sexual initiator. Older or faster-maturing boys in his class cause the lad to declare his emancipation from female control. These boys call the less mature youth a sissy or a mommy's boy if women continue to dominate his life. Yet these same women despise this fellow if they continue to dominate him once he becomes an adult.
His Teenage Years
The teenage years are called the formative years. Most boys feel particularly awkward and unattractive in the early teenage years. His height increases rapidly in an ungainly manner. His face is filled with pimples, and braces cover his teeth. His self-image is likely to be low because girls reject his advances. The male develops his self-image at precisely this period.
His acceptability and his acceptance among females are at their lowest. Yet it's at this time in his life that he needs female companionship the most, as sexuality begins and reaches its peak. This sharp disparity between the male's needs and his actual relationships gives the male a negative self-image.
As a survival technique, the man asserts that he is tough, invincible, and unique. The man develops his ego in part because of his rapid increase in strength and height. His ego is largely a facade. His ego is eggshell-fragile because it is self-generated.
Dating is cruel to both men and women. Consider the following: Men with high sex drives most often have unfulfilled sexual needs. Consequently, these men have especially negative selfimages. Such a man suffers most when women reject him. His sensitivity to rejection causes him a horrible predicament. He can't hide his drive; nor can he afford to spend his time dating a woman without achieving sexual satisfaction. Yet women often view his sexual aggression as an affront to their dignity. He wants her, but she'll scorn him as a boor or worse.
A woman is often more receptive to men who are well mannered and polite, men who go through life with a minimum level of hormonal disruption and conform to society's mores. But these men are often those who lack sexual interest in women. These men tend to have low sex drives and a lower level of unfulfilled needs. These men suffer less during their teenage years. As adults, these men often appear gentlemanly and patient in initiating a sexual encounter. A woman may want such a man, but then puzzle over his lack of sexual interest in her.
Reversing of Dating Fortune
Females do well in their early years for three reasons:
The higher male birthrate, which increases the demand for females for pairing.
The higher male sex drive at that age bracket.
The acceptability in our society for young women to date men somewhat older than themselves.
These factors give the man a low self-image and give the woman a high self-image. But these self-images become increasingly inappropriate as the individuals mature.
In fact, these selfimages will hinder relationships in the future unless women and men correct them. The situation reverses as time goes on because of three factors:
Women outlive men.
Women's sex drives increase later than men's.
Women face increasing competition from younger women. Women are well advised to understand these facts. Their teenage years are behind them, and so is the attention that young men paid to them.
Rites of Passage to Adulthood
When does adulthood occur? Often it's at the moment of getting the car keys, because of the freedom that a car provides. The car is the youth's first kingdom. With his car, a youth controls where he wants to be and with whom, and his degree of privacy. His car may be as important to him as the family home is to his parents. The car is a status symbol that represents power, money, prestige, and independence, and buttresses the youth's self-esteem. The fellow who lacked a car in his formative years is going to be quite a different person from the guy who had wheels as a young man. Chances are that the carless youth is burdened with even lower self-esteem.
As a rule of thumb, whatever the man lacked or thought he lacked in his formative years, he will seek during the rest of his life. If the boy could not afford to dress as well as his friends, as an adult he will strive for an expensive wardrobe. Conversely, if the boy had more than adequate clothes, as a man he won't be particularly concerned about clothing.
Familiarities and Fantasies
Women often have a very difficult time unshackling themselves from the attitude of scorn they felt toward the men whom they first knew as youngsters. It's rare that a woman marries a man she knew at that age. Even if a woman marries someone she grew up with, they were probably apart during their formative years.
On an Israeli kibbutz, the parents are particularly eager for their youngsters to grow up together and be familiar with each other from youth. These parents put their youngsters together so that they can marry more wisely. Surprisingly, the parents find that these close childhood friends rarely wed. These youngsters know each other's weaknesses. They aren't impressed with each other's facades. We must marry strangers, for only strangers appear to measure up to our illusions.
WHAT IS A MAN?
Men generally behave in a consistent manner and share similar attitudes. Below, you'll find a list of some of these characteristics; the more typical the man, the more these general guides will apply to him. Not every characteristic applies to every man, but most will apply to most men. After all, the conventional male has been conditioned to certain conduct and behavior. As an adult man, he has consistent thought patterns and a stable self-image that make his behavior predictable. His self-image results from what others have said to him over the years, how they have acted toward him, and the limited freedom he has managed to achieve.
Depending on how closely your man fits the male pattern, here's what you can expect:
• He is a small boy at heart.
• He has a public facade that differs from his natural behavior.
• He inherently prefers a good marriage to being single.
• He is conditioned to obey women, starting with his mother.
• He will enjoy being led into marriage, except by foul and dastardly acts.
• He is polygamous by nature, but he learns to be monogamous by conditioning.
• He is very possessive about his mate and will extend himself considerably to keep her.
• He will attempt to follow the mores and the laws of the society in which he lives.
• He will follow social customs of his community.
• He is likely to believe in a higher power.
• He believes that he is inferior in many ways to other men.
• He will work to earn a living.
• His views follow popular notions.
• He likes sports-participating, watching, or both.
• He is not likely to believe in astrology or in fortune-telling.
• He wants and desires to be thought of as a lover.
• When ill, he will seek care from a woman who loves him.
• He usually will hold himself out as being better than his coworkers or peers, even when he is equal or lower in stature or achievement.
• He is slightly braver than his mate, and will defend her against physical attacks by others.
• Sooner or later, he wants children.
• He believes that he is special or unique.
• He will marry a woman only if she recognizes that he is special or unique.
• He expects more praise than criticism, but does expect both.
• He enjoys talking about himself.
• He expects convenient sex in marriage; in fact, it may be a principal reason he marries.
You can better anticipate a man's actions by learning these general features of male behavior. If a man says something that contradicts these attributes-say, that he will never marry-it may be wise to disregard his words. If most of the above statements apply to a man, he is likely to be available for marriage-unless he's married already.
A particular man will rarely have every single one of these typical attitudes. Trust that your fellow has normal behavior unless you have clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Your man is likely to be as similar to other men, and as distinct from them, as you are similar to and yet distinct from other women as a group.
Your Man as an Individual
You might not know what behavior you can expect from a man in a specific situation. If his actions offend you because they are so different from the typical man's, he usually won't hold your response against you for long. He should understand that your reaction is a normal one. If you express ideas that he doesn't share, a common reaction on his part is to attempt to convince you of the merits of his beliefs so that you'll accept or understand him.
Determine how your man deviates from "typical" conduct by carefully observing his behavior and his choice of friends and attitudes.
For example, if your man is a nudist, he obviously has scorned society's taboos on nudity. What you then must deal with is whether you could live with or become a nudist. If your man is an atheist, could you bring up children without religious values? How much does he care what others think of him socially? Could you love him if he insists on always expressing his thoughts even if it could start a public rift or family fight? Would you want this man to be your husband?
Our society has rules that run contrary to nature. The typical female's ideal of what she wants in a man is vastly different from the actual men she meets. Her dream man is likely to be a combination of father image, movie idol, and a character out of novels. In many instances, not just in husband hunting, people do not know what they really want. One woman had owned many homes because her husband was a contractor. She decided to have her husband build her an ideal house comprising all the features she liked best in each of the houses she had owned. The outcome was a horror, even to her, because the ideas clashed.
Chances are that if you meet your ideal mate or a better man than you could imagine, you would not truly want him for marriage! Sit down and make yourself a checklist of the characteristics you want in a man. Then list the positive and negative effects each characteristic would have on you. Think carefully about what you want or need so that your list is realistic.
You might be seeking Tony's ability to entertain, David's high sex drive, and Chuck's dedication to one woman all rolled up into your next guy. In fact, while Tony does enjoy entertaining, this might mean he'd rather be hosting a party than having a quiet cup of coffee with you discussing your private lives. Likewise, David's high sex drive can mean that he is attracted to many women, not dedicated to only one. Chuck's dedication to one woman may mean that his sex drive is on the low side, and one woman is all he can handle.
Evaluate the characteristics you insist upon in a man, then double-check the downside of each and how much will it bother you. Confirm that this is what you want in a man before you shop for one.