I never imagined I would be single this long. In fact, I went to a college where a popular saying was “a ring by spring;” however, I am still no further along the road of mutual forever togetherness eleven years later. I would like to think I am a relatively interesting, relatively moral, and relatively attractive person, but maybe I am missing some key ingredient in this whole process. To my surprise, I discovered a book the other day which discussed some aspects of the dating process.

The title of the book is called Mate, and the basic premise is women look for certain traits in men to see if they are “mate” material. Supposedly the authors have studied this topic for years and claim these findings are scientifically proven. Ordinarily I would have never considered reading this book, but I guess I was intrigued by the concept. Granted, I was somewhat skeptical because I have always believed in a sort of God-ordained marriage process where a man and woman are somehow meant to be together. However, it does make sense that there are certain traits which make men more attractive/suitable as a life partner. So, onward I read!

I knew I was in trouble when the authors started discussing cleanliness. Supposedly women evaluate a man’s habitat for suitability for raising children, and a dirty environment is a major setback in the pursuit of healthy offspring. Whether a vehicle or living area, the degree of cleanliness seems to be directly proportional to a man’s fatherhood potential. (I guess I should clean that dried blood in my refrigerator and ensure my fruit fly problem does not worsen.) This point seemed rather harmless; just tidy up a little more to put your best foot forward.

Up next was the social aspect and much of this discussion revolved around a man belonging to a strong “tribe.” Supposedly in a Darwinian world of survival of the fittest, a woman wants to know her man will still be standing when times get tough. Three hundred years ago, this concept probably meant a man who could hunt, fish, farm, build structures, etc… Now, it probably means a man who can provide a steady source of income and relative physical security. Unfortunately, I’m afraid my tribe consists of distant co-workers, casual Crossfit acquaintances, and seventy year old fellow church members. If there were ever to be an event of apocalyptic proportions, I highly doubt my tribe would be the last standing.

One of the next topics discussed a man’s sense of style. Fortunately I am required to wear a uniform in my current occupation, so my lack of wardrobe acumen is somewhat disguised. However, I think my true colors might show when my default clothing options include JNCO jeans and a fedora.

Another part of the book discussed the ability to create things as an attractive quality. I don’t remember all the details, but supposedly a man who can build bookshelves or a kitchen table is viewed as creative and a problem-solver from a woman’s point of view. Unfortunately, about the only things I am creating these days are rudimentary meals designed to provide myself a minimal level of nutritional sustenance. I’m afraid the craftsman gene is not that strong in my bloodline.

Some of the other topics included picking the correct dating market, determining one’s dating goals, developing a sense of confidence, etc… While I’m not exactly sure where I stand on the spectrum of 100% God-ordained marriage to “the one” vs. man’s complete free will in the process, it never hurts to optimize one’s probabilities, right?






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