Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Why women need to be pursued, not be pursuers

By
From page A2 | October 30, 2012 |

“When a man loves a woman, he can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else; he’ll trade the world for the good things he’s found.”

— Percy Sledge

Just before my wedding (Oct. 13!) I wrote that I had learned Tom and I were considered “deciders” not “sliders.”

That according to Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, his research has shown that “often couples who live together report that their cohabiting ‘just happened.’ ” It’s then not uncommon for the same thing to happen with a marriage itself, meaning inertia keeps them in a relationship that had they been living apart, would have ended. They “slide” into marriage, versus overtly “deciding” about it.

Stanley says this is one reason that couples that live together before marriage or engagement are statistically less likely to be happy in marriage than those who did not cohabit ahead of time.

Here’s the “Part Two” I promised in that column.

No surprise, couples that live together before marriage or engagement are more likely to experience what’s called “commitment asymmetry” than those who do not live together before marriage. That means one is a “slider” and the other a “decider.” Usually, Stanley’s research shows, when there is a difference in commitment level between two persons in such a marriage two-thirds of the time it’s the woman who is the “decider” and the fellow who was the “slider.”

No surprise.

Anyway, I’ve long said that girls shouldn’t call boys, to use my mother’s terminology. And I always ended relationships in which I didn’t feel pursued by the fellow. In fact, I think there should be a little asymmetry, at least at the beginning of a relationship. I just wasn’t quite sure why. I do know that if you are at a dinner party with 10 married couples talking about how they met, we love the stories of the fellow having to pursue his love over her objections, sleeping on her doorstep until she gave in and said “yes,” etc. It’s romantic. But if a wife said, “I had to be gum on his shoe until he finally said ‘yes’ ” – we’d cringe.

Now I get it.

“Forget gender for a minute and think about who can become pregnant,” Stanley told me. “The person who can become pregnant is more vulnerable if they ‘misdecode’ the commitment level of their partner.”

Eureka! The person who can bear children is more vulnerable to the other one leaving than vice versa. This isn’t some false social construct. It’s about reality.

Because women bear children, just biologically speaking, they need to be “extra” sure of the commitment level of their partner. (That’s also true for all those single moms out there looking for a man to marry.) That’s why we women instinctually look – or should look – for a man to pursue us at least at the outset. Biologically, we need to be sure of him, and his initial courting of us toward marriage may be one strong signal that that commitment is there. Or, put another way for a little more clarity, if when it comes to marriage we women have to pursue him, threaten him or rely on inertia in a living-together scenario to get him to the altar, we can be darn sure his commitment level isn’t high. And guess what? It’s not very likely to improve over time. As Stanley puts it, “transition is not transformation.”

For women – excuse me, to make this gender neutral, the one in the relationship who can bear children – to settle for such a relationship is apparently uniquely destructive. I would say: hare-brained.

People who are in asymmetrical relationships before marriage are typically more able to end the romance and find a more suitable partner if they are not living together. That’s one important lesson.

The other lesson is: Girls shouldn’t call boys.

Gosh, Mom was smart.

Betsy Hart is the author of “It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting our Kids – And What to do About It.” Reach her through [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

 
Smoke-free policy back before Board of Supervisors

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

Colliers releases Solano-Napa commercial real estate report

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1

Home tour symphony benefit boasts 6 special abodes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: D1

 
Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2

 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville library plans Cinco de Mayo event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Garage Sale brings out best treasures

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

 
Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

Planned march turns into ‘victory rally’ in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Living

US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

 
Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Yankees say they don’t plan to pay home run bonus to A-Rod

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Oldest parade marches to oldest fair in California

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM10

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Jelly Belly Candy Co. offers more than just candies

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM31

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45