Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hotter Wives Make Happier Marriages

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Social scientists for the past few decades have been trying to determine just how important a person’s attractiveness is in determining the success of a relationship such as marriage.  It turns out to be more important than the conventional wisdom suggests; at least for the men!

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology last month reports on the marital satisfaction of 450 newlywed couples over a 4-year time period.  It turns out that a wife’s physical attractiveness has more of an effect on marital satisfaction than the physical attractiveness of the husband.  It seems to support the conventional wisdom that a partner’s looks matter more to a man than to a woman.  From the abstract (emphasis added):

 Whereas husbands were more satisfied at the beginning of the marriage and remained more satisfied over the next 4 years to the extent that they had an attractive wife, wives were no more or less satisfied initially or over the next 4 years to the extent that they had an attractive husband. […] partner physical attractiveness played a larger role in predicting husbands’ satisfaction than predicting wives’ satisfaction. These findings strengthen support for the idea that sex differences in self-reported preferences for physical attractiveness do have implications for long-term relationship outcomes.

It’s interesting to read that the man’s attractiveness has no bearing on whether or not the wife is satisfied with her marriage, so what is contributing to her satisfaction?  An article about a study done at the Relationship Institute at UCLA a few years ago may provide some insight (emphasis added).

The [less attractive] husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal. Because for men, the attractiveness of their wives is part of the deal,” said Karney, who is also an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.
“For women, that’s not part of the deal. The deal that women get isn’t being with an attractive man. It’s being with a protective man, or a wealthy man, or an ambitious man, or even a sensitive man. So they didn’t care as much about the appearance of their husbands.”
Essentially, this means that the more beautiful the wife is compared to the husband, the more the husband wants to invest in the relationship.  The design of the experiment was interesting.  Married couples were asked to discuss an issue that would have a profound impact on their marriage relationship while being secretly videotaped.  The husbands of the more attractive wives were more open to discussions of those issues while men who were more attractive than their wives weren’t as engaging.
It’s no secret the men desire beauty in their partners.  It was often a visual indicator that the woman was young and healthy enough to conceive and bear his children so this feature tended to get selected as our human ancestors evolved and perpetuated the species.  Beauty was also a scarce commodity so a man that succeeded in obtaining such a woman probably considered himself fortunate and wouldn’t want to lose it.  Particularly, if having such a beautiful partner raised his status among his peers or within the community. So men had an incentive and hence a desire to invest in the relationship if his partner was beautiful.  As the experiment from UCLA has shown, men are more engaging in such relationships.  This causes the woman to feel that her man is “there for her” and is interested in her well-being so her satisfaction with the relationship increases causing the man to stay invested because he’s getting a return on that investment.  We can see a self-reinforced cycle of marital satisfaction if this is the case.
These studies dovetail very nicely into another study from the University of Tennessee that I wrote about when discussing obesity in American women.  The University of Tennessee reported that marital satisfaction was higher among couples when the BMI of the woman was lower than that of her husband.  Since healthy BMI is considered more beautiful, this study is basically saying the same thing.  It’s just using a different metric.
The conventional wisdom, happy wife, happy life may still be true, but probably for a different reason than one might expect.  Based on these studies, a wife is happy because she is simply mirroring her husband’s happiness.
This is nothing but good news for men who are seeking brides in Russia and the FSU.  Men are in the foreign bride pursuit looking for a beautiful wife (among other qualities I would hope).  There’s also the likelihood that when she immigrates to the USA, she’ll be completely dependent on her American husband to get established and acclimated to her new surroundings and customs.  A man who’s completely engaged and devoted to making such a transition as smooth and comfortable as possible will likely reap huge dividends in terms of marital satisfaction because the RW sees him as being more invested in the relationship.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a man needs to get the RW who’s the perfect 10 in the looks department.  It also doesn’t mean that a man’s appearance isn’t important initially because if a girl doesn’t know him well, then his looks and appearance is all she has to go on.  She would just need to be better looking than he is, so a strong marriage to a RW is very likely for the men willing to make the investment.  How much is your happiness worth?
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No More Shopping Sprees!

Evolutionary Psychology often describes men as being hunters and women being gatherers.  Anybody who doubts this theory would only need to visit a local shopping mall anywhere in the world and people-watch to verify this fact.  It’s easy to see that men, by themselves, will walk directly to the appropriate sections of the appropriate stores to snatch a few items and go to the cashier to immediately pay for them.  Women will stroll through and take a tour of the place while browsing through the material offerings and perhaps leave without buying a damn thing.

If there is a man and woman in the mall as a couple, this scene is typical:

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In the past, I’ve tried to find some enjoyment in shopping with a woman, sometimes successfully.  I wasn’t shy about giving honest opinions about what fashions I thought were sexy and accentuated her features.  Sometimes they listened and I got to suggest some fashions that she would try on in the fitting rooms.  It was like I had my own private fashion show with her as I directed her turns and poses in front of mirrors in clothes that I picked out for her.  It was joy I was able to extract out of three hours even when she wouldn’t buy anything.  If it was swimsuit season, things got even better!

I thought that I was a clever one.  I found a way to enjoy the activity, and surely, I was able to score some brownie points in the process.  Nah!  Take a step outside yourself while your shopping with your girl and observe.  See that man trotting behind your girl like some type of golden retriever?  That’s you!

It’s difficult to see how emasculating it is for a man to go shopping with his woman.  Seriously, it might be some test women do to see how much a man can tolerate.  I first got a clue during some previous trips to Ukraine and Russia.  I know that I’ve spoken previously about how great RW are, and it’s often true.  But they can also be full-blown mercenaries!  Try taking them shopping.  They’ll put an American woman to shame in terms of greed.

I remember one particular incident with a girl I visited in Kiev some years ago.  It was my first trip to the FSU.  Things seemed to go well for the first few days until she took me to an electronics store and started picking out new carrying cases and memory cards for her camera and expecting me to buy them.  There was no discussion before hand about me buying these for her.  I helped her with some groceries a day or so prior and I have been covering dating expenses up until this point.  We may have shared a few kisses but we did not have any sex yet.  There was no reason for her to presume that she can take me to a store and have me buy her items that she’d pick out.  No American woman would have this audacity.  It’s simply rude.

I ended up paying for the items she picked out.  It only set me back $150 but I was pissed.  I brought up the issue at dinner and she played the culture card about how men are expected to pay for everything and make his woman happy.  But even other Russians will say that this is going too far.  Needless to say, our relationship didn’t make it past the night. It wasn’t so much the money, it was the attitude and expectations she had.  And I felt very self-conscious about getting into an argument with her in the store in where other patrons and employees would be watching so I payed to show some discretion in public.  But I still felt all eyes in the store watching me as a foreign man getting verbally whipped by a young Ukrainian that was barely 5 feet tall!  It was humiliating.

In retrospect, I should have stood up to her and simply leave the store and see if she followed me or not.  But it was hard.  You try saying “no” to a knockout that’s dressed to the nines and made up like she was about to walk on a catwalk.  She had golden chestnut hair and piercing green eyes set into a heart-shaped face with large breasts on a petite frame.

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This petite bombshell from Kiev tries to get me to buy her some electronics to prove my manliness!

Let’s see if any of you Americans who’ve never dated such a woman come to a foreign country and say “no” to that.  If you did, you would be a better man than me.  If you don’t, then don’t worry.  With additional trips you’ll get better at dealing with such gorgeous women that hold your mental faculties in check by simply batting their eyelashes.  The good news is after dating enough in the FSU, beautiful women will seem ordinary to you and you can risk disappointing a gold-digging mercenary while knowing that you can bump into another hottie around the corner in 5 minutes.  Until you get to this point of proficiency in your love life, just follow one simple rule: NO MORE SHOPPING SPREES!  Tell her it’s not your custom.  Tell her you hate shopping worse than going to the dentist, even if you don’t mind shopping like I do.  I found it saves a lot of trouble and you avoid being emasculated in public.

I’ve told this story to more experienced bride-seeking veterans since then.  They are practically unanimous in the opinion that I probably would have had sex with her later that evening if I kept my mouth shut about it.  It’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy that, but it would be playing with fire.  I couldn’t imagine how much it would cost me in terms of money or dignity.  But if you think that your game, go ahead and try it.  I’d be interested in hearing how well it turned out for you.

I would suggest not even going shopping with any woman, even an American woman.  It’s just not worth it.  That emasculating feeling is real and it’s hard to expect that the woman you are with will think any better of you as your following her around the mall all day holding her purse.

NO MORE SHOPPING SPREES!

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Giving Flowers To Russian Women

A dozen roses may be considered one of the most romantic gifts for a woman in America, but in Russia and other countries in the FSU, it’s considered bad luck.  Despite your best intentions, your romantic overtures will face a serious setback.

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Don’t give flowers in even numbers!

This is because in Russia, flowers in even numbers (numbers that end in 0,2,4,6 and 8) are reserved for funerals.  Giving these numbers to a girl would condemn your chances with her to the afterlife.  It’s considered very bad luck to do so, or perhaps she’ll think that you wish her dead.

Russian women love flowers.  They love flowers more than American women, I suspect.  You just can’t give her flowers in even numbers (that includes 12).  Stick with odd numbers (1,3,5,7 and 9).  So if you have in your heart to give a dozen roses, stick with 11 instead; I wouldn’t try giving thirteen either since I’m pretty sure that’s also an unlucky number in Russia.

This is the one Russian custom that I fear American men will miss out on to their detriment if they haven’t done their research in understanding Russia customs and traditions.  Can a man possibly salvage the transgression by explaining that a dozen roses are a very romantic gift in America?  Honestly, I don’t know.  She may even be forgiving of a foreigner who isn’t aquainted with such knowledge, but the moment of romance that you were trying to set up as a man simply won’t happen and your efforts will be in vain nevertheless.  So I wouldn’t take the chance of giving any other number of roses accept for odd numbers.

Stick with red roses, it’s the color associated with love and passion.  You may feel like getting creative and distinguishing yourself by getting roses in different colors, but this may convey a message that you don’t want to send.  Stick with red only when it comes to roses.  You can play around with colors of other flowers in floral arrangements but not with roses.  Keep it simple.

Don’t forget Woman’s Day!

Russian women will always love receiving flowers on holidays and her birthday.  Valentine’s Day is another holiday that has become popular in Russia also.  But there is one holiday you must absolutely never forget.  It’s a holiday that isn’t really observed in the West so you might miss it.  It is Woman’s Day and it is celebrated on March 8 in all FSU countries and even many former Communist countries.

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The closest analogous holiday in America would be Mother’s Day, but Woman’s Day is even more of a big deal.  Men in Russia will go out and buy flowers and gifts for all the women in their lives.  Not just the mothers but daughters, cousins and girlfriends.  The women get to relax on this day while the men take care of the house and do other special favors.

Do not forget Woman’s Day.  You have been warned!  Fortunately, for the Western man, there are international flower delivery services on the internet that you can use to order flowers for delivery.  All you need is an address.  If you don’t have her address, (it’s possible if you’re just starting to see each other) make sure you have her cell phone number at least.  The delivery service might be able to call and confirm the address with your lady.  The international services make this very easy and convenient, so Google for a couple of them and see who has reasonable prices and selections.  It’s so easy you have no excuse.

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