Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to be forever young

An aging Baby Boomer inadvertently highlights the importance of meeting your husband or wife when you are young:
I would have told you, before I was possessed, that I was fine with men my own age. The last guy I dated, after all, was someone who had been a friend when we were teenagers, a guy who, in his youth, looked like the blond ski instructors you would see on the Swiss tourist poster: “Come to Gstaad! Ski the Alps! Sleep with Rolf!” When we ran into each other again, 40 years later, we were both fatter, wrinklier and literally scarred from run-ins with serious illness. But none of that mattered. I looked at Rolf of the Mountains and I saw the face and body of the guy I had hung out with in school. Which, I now understood, was the problem. I was fine with aging when it came to old friends or people I had known for years, because I looked at them and saw the people they used to look like. Meeting men my age for the first time, I realized with a dreadful shock of self-recognition, I saw men who were too old. 
This is what many women, in particular, fail to understand.  Although looks are more important to men than they are to women, it must be recalled that what they see is not necessarily precisely what an impartial camera would insist is there.  Remember, optics are a function of the brain.  When a man of forty looks at his wife of 20 years, he does not see what the stranger at the supermarket sees.  What he sees is an amalgam of what she used to be and what she is now, which in most cases, due to the ravages of time, tends to be considerably more attractive than what others who view her more objectively perceive her to be now.

My grandmother, in her late sixties, once told me that she felt about 20 inside and was always a little shocked to look in the mirror and discover that was not the case.  She was a vivacious personality; if you simply looked at her style and listened to her speak, she still had the energy of a much younger woman.  Find your husband now, in your youth, and he will always see you as the same young woman that you feel yourself to be on the inside.

Marry in your twenties and you will always be young in his eyes.  Put marriage off until you are done "having fun" and playing at having a career in your middle thirties and he will never see you as anything but a middle-aged woman.

49 comments:

taterearl said...

It works the same way for men as well. I feel younger in my 30s and I felt like an old man in my late teens-early 20s. The difference is attitude.

There is something to adopting a childlike attitude.

greenlander said...

Dalrock had a great post about this

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/rejoice-in-the-wife-of-your-youth/

Elspeth @ Breathing Grace said...

Like.

pdwalker said...

It's called Marriage Goggles.

mmaier2112 said...

It's quite funny how the "advice" of the world runs completely counter to how things really work.

Well, it would be funny were it not so sad.

taterearl said...

"It's quite funny how the "advice" of the world runs completely counter to how things really work."

And how the advice of the Bible seems to line up with how things really work.

No wonder lots of people hate it.

Bob Wallace said...

I've heard them called Love Goggles.

Trust said...

Of course, the corollary is women who marry young may overrate themselves due to their husband's feedback of them. Such women often do a lot of damage to their marriage and families when they overestimate their SMV.

Strauss said...

Does this apply to men also? should men marry when they are young, or is there still a chance when you are in your late 30s or 40s?

Pepper said...

Oy! I don't know whether to put on my rose colored glasses or go scuba diving without equipment! The salt in the wound, though, is that it comes from the NYT...ouch!

But seriously, I thank this article reinforces the core problem with generation x: we never matured. People who leave the narcissistic stage actually see life outside of their own little world and understand that they are a) damn near insignificant, or at least a really small part of the whole and b) humans have an obligation to properly raise the next generation (particularly if one is religious...). Really, it shouldn't take 40 years to "grow up"...

VD said...

But seriously, I thank this article reinforces the core problem with generation x: we never matured.

No, immaturity is a problem with Baby Boomers. The Generation X problem is cynicism.

Does this apply to men also? should men marry when they are young, or is there still a chance when you are in your late 30s or 40s?

To a lesser extent. Because women are less visual and are attracted to other factors such as status, money, and power, the age-cost is also an age-benefit. There not only is still a chance, but in many cases, the chances are better, especially for men who aren't unusually physically attractive in their youth.

Daniel said...

But seriously, I thank this article reinforces the core problem with generation x: we never matured.

Speak for yourself, Pepper. I say quite the opposite: generation x has always despised the fragility of innocence.

That's why we look on with a sort of sarcastic respect for the generation below us: they are willing to contend for juice still in a cluster of grapes, while we say, "Just crush it instead."

We've wandered so long, that we've taken on the false aspersions cast by those who stayed in place, as if we do not care.

Log said...

What, one wonders, is the metric of objectivity?

Jimmy said...

In the article "Snap out of it, I say! Look in the mirror! We all age!"

That's terrible advice. While both age, men age better than women. Men in their 50s can maintain their looks better than women without the benefit of cosmetics. And you really can't change attitudes on sexuality. It is quite hard to fake desire on a 50 year old woman unless the guy is 60 years old. The age differential should be used to women's advantage if they still want to marry when they are old.

Unfortunately, this discussion is pretty much a waste of time. There is no advantage to marry at old age and there are simply less men available to do such a thing. The whole article is an exercise of useless brain activity.

AmyJ said...

It's so sad when they realize it too late

http://bit.ly/13E50fF

Stickwick said...

It's so sad when they realize it too late

Yes, it is. But this woman at least has some honor, in that she's warning others not to make her mistake instead of glorifying it some twisted way:

To those out there thinking of walking away from humdrum relationships, I would say don't mistake contentment for unhappiness, as I did. It could be a choice you'll regret for the rest of your life.

ray said...

My grandmother, in her late sixties, once told me that she felt about 20 inside and was always a little shocked to look in the mirror and discover that was not the case.


esp in the modern west, most women believe life-long that they are still fifteen

they look in the mirror every day (often all day) and see that they are not fifteen

so right quick they get busy MAKING the world let them be fifteen

extant reality, and all the planet (and most certainly men) must then be "corrected" so that the comforting ever-youth delusions of western women can be maintained lifelong

i know fifty y.o. women with young kids, the women still expect to be treated as if theyre l teenagers... demanding to flit from one steamy, exciting "Romantic Adventure" to the next, slathering on the makeup and changing the "laws"

multiple boyfriends, two husbands, three husbands, it's all good . . . and who cares about their little boys? those boys dont need daddies, nor stable male figures... after all, theyve got Everteen Moomy snd her Parade of Paramours running the show!

if their hubbies want to self-delude with marriage goggles it's ok with me, problem is your Cuntry demands that the rest of us share their delusions, and the delusions of their wives and aging daughters

"feeling 20 inside" is one thing, and shirking maturity and responsibility to coerce everyone else into agreeing that you -- at age sixty -- actually ARE TWENTY is madness . . . tho a very profitable and popular madness

Anonymous said...

LOVE your advice, Stickwick!!

Anonymous said...

Precisely 0 women will heed this advice. The only way they would do any of the above is if society/family/gov't imposes it (and should).

Jack Amok said...

This is so true. I notice it with my wife. She is in her 40's now, but I still see the 25 year old I married. The rare occasions where a quirk of lighting or circumstance makes me briefly see the 40 year old she is are disturbing. But the moment passes and my brain re-establishes the filter and I'm happy again.

My parents were married for 63 years. Even in their eighties, my dad would frequently comment on how beautiful my mom was. Indeed, she was a beauty contest winner when she was 18 and they got engaged, and he always saw her as that. It helped that she aged remarkably well in absolute term, and that she was - is - a kind, loyal and loving person.

Does this apply to men also?

Yes, but I think women have it better. Again using my parents as an example, my dad was a very dashing, charming young man. Tall, big, handsome, undefeated as an amateur boxer (including a stint in the Navy where he won the championship at every base or fleet he wast posted to), dynamic, virile, courageous, socially dominant... he was quite the catch.

In the end, the heart disease that finally killed him took that vigor away. Mentally he remained incredibly sharp until very near the end, and his personality remained the same kind, but commanding, presence. Physically he was shell of his former self though.

To the end, my mother remained loyal and loving. She still is - despite her own age and fraility she doesn't let a week go by without putting fresh flowers on his grave. But I could tell she saw less of the old him than he saw of the old her. It's far easier to ignore the physical imperfections that mar a woman's attractiveness than it is to ignore the behavioral ones that damage a man's.

I think my parents had a love as powerful as any husband and wife ever did for one another. That love absolutely blinded my dad to her aging, but it couldn't completely blind her to his, even though I'm certain she desperately wanted it to.

Mike M. said...

Very true, Vox. It's interesting to read the writings of older authors - because the ravages of age don't show. Only the personality.

Stickwick said...

The rare occasions where a quirk of lighting or circumstance makes me briefly see the 40 year old she is are disturbing.

Why is it disturbing -- because it conflicts with the vision you've had of her for all that time or just because she looks 40?

Jack Amok said...

Why is it disturbing -- because it conflicts with the vision you've had of her for all that time or just because she looks 40?

Probably a little of both. For one thing, it's just plain unsettling to roll over in bed expecting to see your wife sleeping next to you and instead find yourself face-to-face with what appears to be a poorly made replica.

Plus, even though I'm in my 40's and happily married, the animal part of my brain still wants to be - as the PUA community might put it - bangin' hot-bodied twenty-somethings. Since the human part of my brain wants to be loyal to my wife of 16 years, there's a conflict. Spouse-O-Vision(TM) resolves that by letting me see her as a hot-bodied twenty-something. The momentary glitch makes my inner animal unhappy, discontented like.

Stickwick said...

Great. Whatever solace I got from Vox's "love goggles" idea has been obliterated by that unbelievably depressing description.

There's your incentive to marry young, ladies -- once you hit 40, your husband will occasionally roll over and momentarily see you like this, until he can adjust his love goggles again.

Jack Amok said...

Nah, it still works in the end Stickwick (though Bilbo's momentary transformation under the power of the One Ring was what I was originally going to suggest!)

Remember, Frodo still loved Bilbo, and he knew that wasn't the real Bilbo he saw.

Desert Cat said...

Stickwick, I LOL!

Do not fear, it is but a passing vision. As I was reading this, my wife came out of the shower, her long hair damp and flowing, and I had to pause and marvel at the wonderful thing that is Spouse-O-Vision.

Emma said...

That reminds me of the post Dalrock made a long time ago. "Are women done with men after 50"?
Reasons for why some women seem uninterested in men after that age were

1)They lost their sex drive due to hormonal changes.
2)They are not hot anymore, and there are fewer and fewer men their age that are still alive, which gives men an upper hand.

And my own one
3)Men availible at this point are either players or losers, and women think they are too old, no matter how they, themselves, look. I seriously heard women complain about this: "I know I'm not 20 years old anymore, but these guys are ancient".

And yet, despite all this, if women want to date at that age, they don't want a younger man. They ask for their age, or older. I wonder why. My guess is that being a cougar feels like a desperate, powerless role, in which the woman feels like the less attractive one. They want to fill the female role in a relationship, not shift slightly into the male one...

Stickwick said...

Do not fear, it is but a passing vision.

That's small comfort.

I realize some amount of honesty about a woman's age is necessary -- a wife needs to have no delusions about other men finding her as attractive as her husband does. The love goggles notion is sweet and charming, and, properly understood, it not only bonds a wife more intensely to her husband, but removes all incentive for her to leave him for the prospect of someone "better." However, this level of honesty about the Spouse-O-Vision occasionally failing is just too depressing. How can a wife ever feel sexy with her husband if she knows he is occasionally disturbed by her appearance? I don't care how passing it is, it's devastating to know this happens at all.

Jack Amok said...

How can a wife ever feel sexy with her husband if she knows he is occasionally disturbed by her appearance? I don't care how passing it is, it's devastating to know this happens at all.

Bah, silly woman. You're thinking like a girl. A woman might brood over a momentary lapse her man had maintaining his alpha frame, but a man really doesn't care what a woman looked like five minutes ago while she had that goofy green skin cream mask on.

It's okay for you to have momentary lapses of hotness. Your husband doesn't fixate on it the way you might fixate on him having a moment of weakness.

Another difference between the sexes. A man's memory of a woman is usually when she was at her most beautiful. A woman's memory of a man is often of him at his weakest...

pdwalker said...

Stickwick,

Stop worrying so much about unimportant things. If your hubby thinks it is unimportant, then why should you? Here's an unescapable truth; we all get physically older and it cannot be helped. So the Missus sags a bit more, so sometimes I look over and wonder when she became older. So what? Most of the time when I look at her, I still see the young woman I fell in love with and married.

On the other hand, if your husband has lost interest, or is losing interest, then there is a more serious problem to be dealt with.

Worry about the things you can do something about and don't sweat the rest. Or stay single and never, ever worry about it. Remember, your cat's don't judge you on your physical appearance.

SarahsDaughter said...

Stickwick,
You're getting a little too worked up about this one, hon. I'll tell you a little story. It's not a very moral one but it may help you get some perspective here.

My mother was a bombshell as a young woman. She had an admirer prior to marrying my dad. He never got over her. She was dying of breast cancer alone (having divorced two men). She had a mastectomy of one breast, no hair, and was balooning with weight gain. Her admirer from thirty years prior got in touch with her. He was married but never lost his longing for my mother. He was a rich man too and started paying all her bills including her rent. He would come into town and take her off to hotel rooms for the weekend. When I asked her why she was doing this, she told me, "he sees me as beautiful and makes love to me even though my body doesn't even resemble a woman's body anymore. When I'm with him I feel like a woman again and not the mess I see in the mirror."

How much more will your husband - who you've been in submission to, long-suffering with, faithful and loyal - love you regardless of any flaw your physical body will produce as you age?

pdwalker said...

SarahsDaughter,

Wow. Moral or not, that's just ... Beautiful.

pdwalker said...

Stickwick,

Another comment in another blog that might be worth reading for the man's perspective.

From where I sit, that's nothing to be depressed about, but everything to be hopeful about. Men are usually pretty easy to keep, even as you get older, unless you really, really, really neglect him.

rycamor said...

Really, Stickwick...

On the one hand, we men are objective creatures. We know the facts even when our emotions tell us otherwise. But, we are very willing to invest in our emotions (and suspend disbelief) when we feel respected and honored.

Ask any man with a 40-something wife whether he prefers she just "give up" and start playing the tired, aging hausfrau in the bedrooom or would he still want her act like the hottest young thing in the world. You know the answer to that.

And, there is definitely something to staying fit. If a woman is the same overall shape at 50 that she was at 25, it's very easy for us to perform that mental photoshopping trick. We want to believe... we really do.

Stickwick said...

Thanks for the lovely story, SarahsDaughter. It does put things in perspective.

Maybe you're right that I'm overreacting. I had a couple of major setbacks this last year, and I'm pretty sensitive about my wifely worthiness at the moment. I got hung up on the word "disturbed" and the idea that my husband would be struggling against a desire to be with younger women. However, when I asked him about this, he just laughed and kissed me, so apparently my worries are ill founded. I'll just keep doing my best to be a good wife.

Thanks again for the help.

Stickwick said...

From where I sit, that's nothing to be depressed about, but everything to be hopeful about. Men are usually pretty easy to keep, even as you get older, unless you really, really, really neglect him.

That's good to know. Thanks.

And, there is definitely something to staying fit. If a woman is the same overall shape at 50 that she was at 25, it's very easy for us to perform that mental photoshopping trick. We want to believe... we really do.

It's good to hear that. I made a mistake recently by reading through a lot of Roissy's archives. The comments about women being sexually worthless after 35, and how some of these guys were grossed out even by very fit 40 year-old women at the gym, were incredibly discouraging. It's good to know that making the effort isn't futile after all.

pdwalker said...

It's good to hear that. I made a mistake recently by reading through a lot of Roissy's archives. The comments about women being sexually worthless after 35, and how some of these guys were grossed out even by very fit 40 year-old women at the gym, were incredibly discouraging. It's good to know that making the effort isn't futile after all.

Remember the context of where those comments were made. These are mostly single, young men looking to get laid with young women. If you were to start dating over again, expecting the 20ish men to fawn all over you like they did when you were in your late teens, early 20's, then this is a likely reaction you'd get. It's reality. Men aren't generally interested in older women who are past their child bearing years. It's biology pure and simple.

A lot of women who frivorce their husbands find this out the hard way. They'll find someone who'll be willing to dip their wick in a MILF, but almost never find that "new, improved" husband they were looking for.

If you've travelled with a man into those years, then this should not even be a concern, especially if you've looked after him.

Recognize what you do have and how valuable it is, especially as you both get older.

redlegben said...

It's good to hear that. I made a mistake recently by reading through a lot of Roissy's archives. The comments about women being sexually worthless after 35, and how some of these guys were grossed out even by very fit 40 year-old women at the gym, were incredibly discouraging. It's good to know that making the effort isn't futile after all.

This is dangerous. I fall into this trap of seeing the world negatively when I'm way too into reading or watching certain things. I need to take a break from VP occasionally for fear of the impending collapse of civilization. I stop SD from this type of stuff when it gets OOC. I totally quit on paying attention to politics after the election because I know it affected my attitude way too much. Guard your thoughts.

VD said...

How can a wife ever feel sexy with her husband if she knows he is occasionally disturbed by her appearance? I don't care how passing it is, it's devastating to know this happens at all.

Don't worry about it. We also get startled by our own image in the mirror from time to time. Who in the lower basement of the Seventh Hell is that Lovecraftian monstrosity staring back at me?

Then we shrug, move on, and forget about it. Don't worry about it. At the end of the day, there is only and always one test that matters, that being the physical response test.

Now, if he looks at you and loses it, yeah, then you can worry.

Anonymous said...

Marry in your twenties and there's a 77% chance you'll end up divorced.

Stickwick said...

Remember the context of where those comments were made.

I have difficulty putting things like this in perspective, especially since I don't seem to understand men very well. I took these comments and extrapolated them to all men, including my husband. Roissy is a very skilled writer and has some good insights, but the perspective from which he and his commenters write is clearly not my husband's.

I fall into this trap of seeing the world negatively when I'm way too into reading or watching certain things.

I frequently fall into this trap, as well. My husband has forbidden me to read anything about Game that is not written by a Christian, so from now on it's AG and Dalrock only.

At the end of the day, there is only and always one test that matters, that being the physical response test.

Good to know.

Jack Amok said...

Stickwick,

Even Roissy has written about the love goggles effect. It's not something his core audience has any ability to relate to, so he doesn't dwell on it much, but he understands it.

Here, let me see if I can help, since I seem to have caused the problem. Here's how a woman's looks factor into men's thinking. For a PUA looking for a pump-n-dump, looks are the second most import thing. criteria 1 is availability. He wants the hottest girl he can get into bed.

For a man looking for a wife, looks are also the 2nd more important thing. Criteria 1 is some combination of loyalty and kindness. He wants the hottest loyal and kind wife he can get.

You have a huge advantage in demonstrated loyalty and kindness over any potential rivals. Your job is to be the hottest you can be right now. That's all your husband really wants, that you don't stop trying.

Look, he's got his own inner insecurities too. "Does she still love me?" being a big one for men in this day and age of Eat,Pray,Love (Cheat, Stray, Slut). You making an effort to look good for him lets him know you still do. He doesn't really care if you look objectively as good as you did 20 years ago, he just cares that you still want him enough to try and seduce him.

Anonymous said...

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/110861/how-older-parenthood-will-upend-american-society

Which writer in the manosphere will ever courageously address the realities of male aging?The manosphere writers lie to themselves and each other about their dwindling erections, mutated sperm, and aged bodies.

Above is a balanced up-to-date information for young men who desire healthy families.

Stickwick said...

@ Jack: Thanks, that helps a lot. I'll never stop trying to please my husband. I just needed to know that it counts for something.

Desert Cat said...

Anonymous @ 10:51, you're making a huge assumption that older PUA's have the slightest interest in starting families late in life. Regarding "dwindling erections", erm...Suzie Quattro famously sang about this in "48 Crash" but lucky for her, Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have been invented since. Non-issue.

Courageously they address the reality that 40-something men with game can still pull 20-something women. What is your agenda?

pdwalker said...

Stickwick,

Married Man Sex Life is a blog devoted to teaching men what they need to know on how to keep their woman happy using the principles of game. Read the blog and read the archives. Read the forums. I think you'll find what is written there one heck of a lot more positive than sites dedicated to pump and dump. You'll learn lots. Your man should have no objection to it.

I'll never stop trying to please my husband. I just needed to know that it counts for something.

Let me clear a misconception here - it doesn't count for something, it counts for one whole hell of a lot.

Pepper said...

BTW...VD, you did well to correct me regarding Baby Boomers as immature and Gen X as cynics. Even I spewed nonsense as a college student about marriage being a form of "prostitution". And...I know several male Gen Xs who are resigned to live as singles. Upon thinking about the matter further, it was we xs who were latch key kids, saw (experienced) divorce, had drug using parents...all symptoms of the immaturity of the Baby Boomers. Thankfully my parents were committed enough to stay married, but there was actually a period in my life when I was one of two or three (i.e. a minority) in my circle of friends without divorced parents.

Anonymous said...

@ Desert Cat,
My agenda is to point to useful information for men who desire healthy families.........give your children the gift of young sperm.


If you are not in that subgroup, why do you care?

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/110861/how-older-parenthood-will-upend-american-society

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