The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Losers on the Romantic Demand Side

Posted on | August 9, 2013 | 79 Comments

One of the worst things a guy can do — women can do the same thing, but in a different way and, trust me, there’s a reason I’m making this about guys — is to overestimate their own attractiveness, or to fixate on an “ideal” of beauty in a partner. This isn’t really an either/or, because the two mistakes tend to run in tandem.

The Barbie doll/Playboy centerfold dream-woman “ideal” is quite a rare commodity, and the potential demand is practically infinite, so any woman who remotely approximates that ideal can pretty much name her own price, so to speak, in the dating market. As a result, such beauties are seldom without companionship.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

From high school onward, a girl who rates as an “8” or above is nearly always going to have a boyfriend or a husband, and if you ever meet a really attractive woman over 21 who doesn’t have a boyfriend or husband, the explanation is one of two things:

  1. She very recently broke up with a guy;
  2. She’s crazy.

Sometimes, of course, it’s both. If a girl is really good-looking, but crazy, she tends to leave a trail of ex-boyfriends in her wake, but the next guy she lures into her crazy-beautiful trap is going to be too impressed by her looks to notice the crazy. What you often find is that the crazy-beautiful types — the only 8+ type women you ever meet “single” out on the scene — are helplessly attracted to Bad Boys. Despite their good looks, crazy-beautiful women have some kind of damaged ego issue, so that if a guy treats her nice, she loses interest:

“Gosh, he really likes me — there must be something
wrong with him, because I
deserve to be treated like crap.”

Some guys never quite figure this out, because they have never really evaluated themselves or women objectively. These guys psychologically separate women into two categories:

  1. Super-attractive women they really want to hump;
  2. Normal women they might actually have a chance with.

Unrealistic expectations — and particularly the Barbie-doll fixation — inevitably produce disappointment, and guys who fall into that pattern tend to end up pathetically alone.

Before proceeding to our example of this phenomenon, let me explain something basic: By the time you are 25 or so, you have probably already dated the best-looking person you’ll ever date. True, there are late bloomers, people who were high-school losers who get their act together by the time they graduate college and suddenly discover that they are more attractive than they were as teenagers, but this late-bloomer effect is very unlikely to occur after age 25. So by the time a guy is in his mid-20s, if he has never dated an 8+, he’s a damned fool to keep dreaming that Cinderella/Barbie/Playboy model will stumble into his life.

Ain’t gonna happen, Jack. Get over it. Life is not fair.

OK, so social media consultant Marc Ensign went to a networking event and exchanged business cards with a guy who didn’t make much of an impression. Afterwards, this guy spammed out an e-mail to everyone he met at the event:

my situation is somewhat unusual in that i am the #1 surgeon of my type in the northeastern US by volume, and have performed nearly 20,000 procedures over the last 15 years, so i really don’t need additional income (which is the unusual part). i’m actually so successful that most of the reason i attend networking events these days is for personal networking, not business networking — i’m trying to meet the right woman to fall in love with, marry, and start a family with (i’m single, never married, and really want kids before i’m old!)
i’ve hired some professional matchmakers over the years, with OK results (eg i’ve dated 2 of the matches for 6 months each, which is pretty good). the services vary enormously in quality and price (with an imperfect correlation). . . .

(Here’s your first clue, see: The guy has been a top surgeon for 15 years, which means he is in his 40s. Why would such a highly paid professional still be single at that age?)

These are my Hard (Objective) Dating Parameters which are NOT Flexible:
(this means I am only willing to pay for introductions if ALL these criteria are met)
(if you want to set me up w someone missing 1 of these criteria, I may accept, but will not pay for that)

  1. Age 27-35 (ideally 28-34)
  2. No kids, wants kids in the next 1-2 years
  3. College graduate, doesn’t have to be a great school, but needs to have finished the degree
  4. Skinny (i.e. dress size 0-2, if you don’t know what that means (many men don’t) it means very skinny)
  5. Caucasian (not black, not Hispanic, not Asian)
  6. Healthy lifestyle (defined as no smoking, no drugs, good diet, no hard drinking,

(OK, this isn’t too much, is it? Skinny non-smoking, healthy college graduate, white ages 28-34. Probably several hundred thousand single women in the U.S. could fit this description and might be interested in marrying a successful surgeon. But . . .)

These are things that I would ideally prefer, but don’t require (i.e. I am flexible about these criteria)

  1. Christian (any denomination is fine, I’m Catholic but not very religious, prefer any religion over none, must be religiously tolerant, will not be compatible with someone who thinks everyone else is damned)
  2. Graduate degree or very good undergraduate school (more compatible since I went to 3 Ivy League schools i.e. Dartmouth, Columbia & Harvard, as well as Emory and my MBA from NYU)
  3. Spent significant time in another country other than the US (either born somewhere else or lived out of the US for a total of a 6 months or more, not on a vacation, doing something like school or work)
  4. Spent significant time (>1 yr) living in a city of 1 million or more (so can live in NYC if moves here)
  5. Likes animals and pets, particularly dogs (because I plan to have a dog for the rest of my life)

These are the Soft (Objective) Criteria I require, but are difficult to match (because they’re qualitative)

  1. Attractive (like an 8 out of the 1-10 scale, 9-10 is actually bad as it comes with a lot of downside)
  2. Nice, normal, sweet, kind, altruistic, selfless, not entitled, bitchy, materialistic, selfish, self-centered
  3. Stylish, fashionable, polished, confident but not vain, superficial, overly concerned about looks
  4. Hard-working, real career, full-time job (unless in graduate school), achievement-oriented
  5. Highly functional Type B (not a Type A because too similar, not a Type B who can’t get stuff done)
  6. Easy-going, sense of humor, doesn’t take life or things too seriously, gets along well with everyone
  7. Good person, follows the Golden Rule, nice and kind to others, never does bad things because of values
  8. Good family, good role models, ideally good nuclear family so can emulate good patterns of behavior

You see the basic problem here? Whatever his accomplishments as a surgeon, this guy can’t be very good-looking — and his social skills are probably minimal to non-existent — or else he wouldn’t still be single. He’s a perfectionist and a control freak, and is apparently embittered by his past relationships (or lack thereof).

When a man seems to be demanding an 8+ woman, but pejoratively remarks about women who are “vain, superficial, overly concerned about looks,” it’s like a red flag. This guy has serious personality problems. Likewise, when a guy boasts about his multiple Ivy League degrees and his career success, and then disparages women who are “materialistic, selfish, self-centered” (note the redundancy), you know he’s got painful broken relationships in his past.  He’s been burned before, see, and he’s not going to get burned again.

In a phrase, this guy is damaged goods. Maybe if he had married one of his college classmates, or some woman he dated in his late 20s or early 30s, whatever his underlying personality flaws, he would have been all right. Instead, his relationships didn’t work out for some reason, and when I say “for some reason” of course I mean, because this guy is a desperately neurotic basket case.

Mama’s Precious Little Boy, eh?

Hate to go all Freudian on this guy, but c’mon — that e-mail is practically a Valentine to his mother: “Nice, normal, sweet, kind, altruistic, selfless . . . gets along well with everyone . . . nice and kind to others.” In other words, he wants complete acceptance, no criticism or disagreement — a mother’s idealized love, in a college-educated non-smoking size-zero package of 8+ Barbie-doll beauty.

This guy is doomed and hopeless, and if he somehow did manage to find and marry a woman who met his criteria, that wouldn’t actually solve his problem, because he is the problem.

Guys: Don’t be this guy. Accept who you are and don’t imagine that your romantic problems can be blamed on women being too “superficial” to appreciate how wonderful you are. If you were really so wonderful, you’d already be married to a wonderful woman.

The fact that you’re still out there looking means you ain’t all that, no matter how precious your mother thinks you are.

UPDATE: It appears that the author of the detailed “demand” e-mail is Manhattan eye surgeon Dr. William Chen, whose rants about a dilapidated property in his Greenwich Village neighborhood went viral in 2010. The question of why Dr. Chen is insistent on having a wife who is “Caucasian (not black, not Hispanic, not Asian)” immediately comes to mind. Is this some kind of “trophy” thing? Or just another aspect of his generally bizarre personality?



79 Responses to “Losers on the Romantic Demand Side”

  1. Dana
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    If you are a middle aged man who looks even half-way sexually competent, you don’t have to worry about getting laid: there are so many women in the forty to fifty-five age range that will throw down on you in a heartbeat that you can have all you can handle. They’ve either gotten divorced or are married to husbands who no longer can or will take care of business and they are on the prowl!

  2. Dana
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    You missed it: if he’s the one who placed the ad, he’s already excluded a Chinese woman, but wants a “Caucasian (not black, not Hispanic, not Asian)” woman. (Actually, he looks more Vietnamese than Chinese anyway.)

    As for his looks, he looks well-groomed though rather ordinary, just the kind of guy mothers want their daughters to marry: Neat, hard-working and financially successful. Trouble is, for the daughters themselves, he doesn’t look like the type of guy who’s going to get their motors running. Add to that the fact he’s probably about 5’3″ tall . . .

  3. Zilla of the Resistance
    August 10th, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Marc Ensign has removed the post you linked to, apparently due to the meaniepants people who responded with criticism of the creepy doctor.

  4. Quartermaster
    August 10th, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    Generally – the operative word. That does not preclude significant numbers of Asians in the western USSR. The numbers just aren’t huge.

  5. Dai Alanye
    August 10th, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    Dana is far too generous. Assuming this guy’s (self-stated) qualifications are anywhere near accurate, and his personality is more sprightly than that of a snapping turtle, he could be ugly as sin yet still have women dogging his footsteps. Most likely he qualities as a creep with a capital K.

  6. ThomasD
    August 10th, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    It is even worse than that. Most of these people never really had much time in high school, much less college, for anything approaching a ‘normal’ range of life experiences.

  7. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    I’m going to go with, “another aspect of his generally bizarre personality”, frankly.

    No more than a 6, myself, but lord, that set of demands would send me flying for the hills!

  8. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:19 pm


  9. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    I don’t think he’s bad looking. It’s the demands!
    Yikes, the guy’s just nuts!

  10. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    Not Asian, he said.

  11. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    Well, a six foot size zero might be a smidgen hard to find. ///

  12. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Eeep! Run!

  13. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    Damn, you are amazingly cynical!

  14. Dianna Deeley
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    Dana? Are you all right?

  15. Julie Pascal
    August 10th, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    Half-way through those lists my gay-dar went off. I usually don’t say things like that because I think it’s actually really bad that our society insists on assuming anyone not clearly a heterosexual horn dog must be gay and in denial, but it really did go off. I just can’t say precisely why.

    Maybe because he’s clearly setting it up so that he never has to follow through because he can’t possibly find someone that perfect. Maybe he’s just Aspie and really is that particular. (shrug) I get wanting kids, and soon, but maybe he should look for a 30 year old lesbian Ivy League professional who also wants a couple of smart babies.

  16. richard mcenroe
    August 10th, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

    Mine whispers when you close it. Is that a problem?

  17. richard mcenroe
    August 10th, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    Nobody’s Aspie anymore. The shrinks unpersoned Asperger’s because every woman who watched Big Bang Theory and had a bright kid was dragging him to the shrink for fear she had her own Sheldon.

    Now all the former Aspies are either autistic or just badly-socialixed assholes, I guess.

    Correction: “autistic spectrum disorder.”

  18. RMNixonDeceased
    August 10th, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

    “Half-way through those lists my gay-dar went off. I usually don’t say things like that because I…” — Julie Pascal

  19. Susannah72
    August 10th, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

    Losers on the Romantic Demand Side (Great column filled with hard truths by @rsmccain !!) 🙂

  20. rsmccain
    August 10th, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    RT @Susannah72: Losers on the Romantic Demand Side (Great column filled with hard truths by @rsmccain !!) 🙂

  21. Dandapani
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

    Spelled Dr. Chynn

  22. Dana
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    Well, one of my old girlfriends was a 5′ 7″ size 1, so that’s close.

  23. Dana
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:44 pm
  24. Dana
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

    Oh, I’m fine . . . and I’ve been married for 34 years, 2 months and 22 days! But the point is that our “romantic problems” are simpler, because the “market” is so overflowing with available ladies.

  25. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

    This is true.

  26. Susannah72
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    Losers on the Romantic Demand Side This post by @rsmccain should be called “She’s Just Not That Into You”. Good piece

  27. Dai Alanye
    August 10th, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    Thanks! I’ve been working toward that end most of my life, but was stuck on skeptical for a while.

  28. Fareedi al Laayla al Kakhol
    August 10th, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    I didn’t meet my wife in a church per se, but I did marry a preacher’s daughter… IFYWIMAITYD!

  29. ajpwriter
    August 11th, 2013 @ 5:00 am

    His age requirement was all I needed for his diagnosis. 27-35 but ideally 28-34? What possible difference does that year make on either side?

    No doubt he has his reasons, and no doubt they’re too esoteric for a layman like myself to fathom. The ratcheting lunacy of the following requirements surprised not at all after that. I confess shock only that he had not time for his ideal shoe size.